The Witch and the Psychic
Upstairs, while the rest of the household went about their day, Penny still lay in bed. She was procrastinating. She knew she should get up, but she just didn’t want to. She wanted to remain snuggled between the sheets, beneath her warm, pink comforter, but it was after eleven o’clock and she would be expected downstairs eventually.
With a groan, Penny sat up. Before she could change her mind and lie down again, she pulled back the covers. Penny swung her legs out of bed and she exhaled in pleasure as her toes sunk into the soft gray carpet covering her floor. She only relished the sensation briefly before she made herself stand up and head to her en-suite. As Penny neared the closed door, she altered direction and went to her chest of drawers instead. She would have to change into a dress for tonight, so she could shower later. She quickly pulled her shoulder length, strawberry blonde hair back into a ponytail then began to grab out items to wear. Penny haphazardly threw jeans and a t-shirt onto the pile of teddy bears on her rocking chair. The neat arrangement of bears quickly become untidy, but she didn’t care it was getting messed up. She cared even less that with every open and close of the drawers, the horse and dolphin figurines displayed on top wobbled precariously.
Once dressed, Penny left her room and made her way to the storage closet to use the back stairs instead of the main staircase. She would most likely disturb the kitchen staff, but at least she wouldn’t have to go past Thomas’s study. His door would be standing open, like usual when he wasn’t in a meeting, and even though his mind was on tonight’s event and the new recruit, he would probably want to talk with her. That was something she really didn’t want to deal with at the moment.
She made her way down the spiral staircase and entered the kitchen, finding it busy with preparations for lunch. The smells were delicious, but Penny couldn’t enjoy the scent of baking bread or roasted vegetables, because the kitchen staff wasn’t happy with her presence.
Most of their thoughts were of annoyance at the interruption during a busy time, but Penny could also detect an undercurrent of fear. It was a common reaction when people knew and also believed what she could do.
“Good morning, Miss Penny,” said Agatha, the head cook, as she removed something from the refrigerator.
“Morning,” replied Penny.
Agatha was not a woman to be messed with. She took her job as head cook very seriously. Penny had known her since she was nine, and learned on Agatha’s first day at the estate not to mess with her kitchen.
“Can I get you anything?” asked the older woman as she set a tub of butter on the counter. “You missed breakfast.”
Agatha treated Penny like everyone else and always made sure she was fed, but Agatha was only human, and sometimes she had the same fear as others did when it came to Penny.
Penny tried to smile. “I might grab an apple, if that’s okay.”
With an apple in hand, Penny left the kitchen, passing through the laundry and going out the side door. She moved through a small enclosed area, which housed a washing line and a tool shed, and made her way through the garden to the edge of the woods.
Penny stepped beneath the trees. Daylight turned to dusk as she walked further and twigs snapped beneath her feet as she made her way to her favorite clearing. The estate had a lot of woods, and Penny loved to be able to walk amongst the trees and breathe the scent of everything that made up this beautiful place.
When she reached the clearing, Penny sat down on the ground and closed her eyes. She breathed deep and relaxed, pushing all thoughts from her mind. She breathed slowly, ignoring the chatter of birds and other animals and the pounding of her own heart. In these moments, alone with only herself, Penny could find a freedom that could never truly be hers.
She opened her eyes, slowly letting the outside world back in, and a musky scent caught her nose as she saw the squirrel sitting in front of her. Penny started to smile. She slowly extended her open hand. The squirrel leaned forward, tickling her palm as it sniffed, and Penny held back a giggle. As the squirrel examined her, she put her apple aside then reached out with her other arm. She moved both of her hands to lie on the squirrel’s soft, furry face.
“Talk,” she commanded, and the squirrel started to chatter loudly as a wave of dizziness washed over her.
Penny’s smile grew. She was getting stronger.
She hadn’t tried this new ability on anyone other than animals yet, but this time the dizziness wasn’t as severe. Maybe it would work on humans. Penny wasn’t sure, though, and she didn’t really want to reveal this new ability to anyone. It would just be taken advantage of, like her mind reading and visions, so Penny would keep it to herself. Maybe one day this ability could be used to her advantage.
Penny sat for a while longer as she ate her apple, enjoying the sweet juice that filled her mouth with every bite. When she finished she held out the core to the squirrel, who sniffed at the offering. Liking what he smelt, he took up the core and began to nibble on the left over apple.
When he was finished, the squirrel hopped onto Penny’s lap. He raced up her arm. Perched on her shoulder, he touched his nose to hers, thanking her for the tasty treat.
“You’re very welcome,” she laughed as he raced off into the woods.
With a sigh, Penny got to her feet, brushing off her jeans. It was time to go inside and present herself: something that she wasn’t looking forward to.
Logan sat on the bed, looking around the room that was now his. It was small and the plain, white walls were pretty boring, but the room had everything he needed. He picked up his handbook and was about to open it when there was a knock on the door.
“Come in,” he called, and the door opened to reveal a young woman with long, black hair and blue eyes.
Logan quickly stood and put his handbook aside.
“Hi,” she said, moving further into the room. “You must be Logan?”
“Yeah,” he stammered.
She wore a mischievous smile, but unlike Mack’s grin, hers was almost on the verge of seductive.
Logan swallowed deeply, feeling his face heat.
“Are you an employee, too?” he asked, glad his voice didn’t shake. Usually he didn’t get nearly this shy or nervous when talking to beautiful girls, but usually they didn’t smile at him like Gena was.
She sat down at the end of his bed. “Not exactly. Thomas Gerard is my father.”
“Oh, you’re Genevieve.” Logan felt like an idiot. He hadn’t put two and two together because she looked nothing like her father, except for her eyes he now noticed. Her skin was a flawless, creamy latte color and her straight hair was so black it was almost blue. But the eyes definitely came from Gerard. They were intelligent and held authority.
“Please, only my father calls me Genevieve,” she told him playfully.
“Apology accepted. Why don’t you sit down?” She patted the bed beside her. “I don’t bite.”
Logan sat down, but he wasn’t so sure Gena didn’t bite. He was beginning to get the feeling she just might enjoy devouring guys.
Gena leaned back on her outstretched arms, appearing totally at ease on Logan’s bed. “I’ve just come to check on how you’re settling in and if you have any questions. And to introduce myself, of course.” She smiled.
“Everything’s good,” Logan told her, wondering if he should ask her about what AJ and Mack mentioned. About how you apparently weren’t allowed to leave, or a witch and a psychic would stop you if you tried. Logan decided not to worry for the moment. Besides, there were other things to ask. “So, when do I get to see these supposed supernatural creatures?”
Gena raised an eyebrow.
“Hmm, a non believer,” she mumbled, more to herself than to Logan. “You probably won’t see them until tonight. Things work a bit differently on display days.” Gena stood up. “But to keep you going until then...”
And Gena flicked her fingers. Logan felt something soft slam into the back of his head and he looked to see his pillow re-settle itself on his bed. He looked back at Gena, eyes and mouth wide open, but she was already headed from the room. She gave him a playful smile over her shoulder and disappeared from sight.
Logan had just met the Witch.
© 2012 Jade Fowler