Aura Fly Now (EBOOK)

Wendy Meadows Paranormal Cozy Mystery Aura Fly Now (EBOOK)

Aura Fly Now (EBOOK)

Witch of Wickrock Bay Book 6
Regular price $2.99 Sale price $1.99 Save 33%
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Murder has come to town…

The quiet seaside town of Bay is abuzz with activity when a traveling consulting and marketing firm rolls into town. Amateur witch and sleuth Mimi Knotley is eager to see what kind of advice they have for her business… and how she can make sense of all the auras she’s been seeing.

But when one of their key employees is murdered, the excitement soon takes a turn for the worst – and Mimi finds herself caught up in another investigation. Rumors of secret affairs and arguments with customers begin to fly, leaving Mimi and Police Chief Robert the puzzling task of finding – and catching – their elusive killer.

And all the while, Mimi’s ability to see auras is growing stronger and stronger. It seems that between magic and murder, there’ll be no rest for Mimi Knotley and her trusty dog Baxter…


Murder has come to town…

The quiet seaside town of Bay is abuzz with activity when a traveling consulting and marketing firm rolls into town. Amateur witch and sleuth Mimi Knotley is eager to see what kind of advice they have for her business… and how she can make sense of all the auras she’s been seeing.

But when one of their key employees is murdered, the excitement soon takes a turn for the worst – and Mimi finds herself caught up in another investigation. Rumors of secret affairs and arguments with customers begin to fly, leaving Mimi and Police Chief Robert the puzzling task of finding – and catching – their elusive killer.

And all the while, Mimi’s ability to see auras is growing stronger and stronger. It seems that between magic and murder, there’ll be no rest for Mimi Knotley and her trusty dog Baxter…

Chapter One

Mimi Knotley wrapped her long, brown, woolen scarf higher around her neck and pulled the matching knit beanie lower over her ears. 

My hair will end up looking like an electrified green broom, she grumbled inwardly. Why did Baxter insist on going out at such an unsocial hour? Most locals were in their warm homes, getting ready for dinner. 

She would also have preferred to curl up in her armchair, but…actually, having spent the entire day indoors, Mimi guessed she was eager to feel at least some fresh air on her face. And fresh the air was!

Nevermind the hair. Warmth was far more important on this November evening, particularly if one planned a longer walk. Actually, why not? 

Mimi took a deep breath through her nose. The air was crisp and cool and saturated with the darker, earthy scents of fallen leaves. 

Mmm…Lovely. 

Trees in the local park were bare, but she didn’t mind this. Fall in Wickrock Bay was a beautiful season. One of her four favorites. 

“Come on, Baxie,” she said, beckoning her pug. “Let’s keep moving. Otherwise, the night will creep up on us.”

She started to walk down the street toward the park. Baxter gave a sharp bark and followed her.

The sky was getting darker, and the streetlamps were already on, marking the sidewalk with splotches of soft light. The nearest post was adorned with a large poster. 

A poster?

Mimi walked up closer. A 16x11-inch piece of paper attached to a slightly larger piece of cardboard announced in bold, colorful letters: “Business Consultant Extravaganza comes to your town!” 

Mimi folded her arms. Really?

“Come and have a look, Baxter,” she called out. Baxter’s tail sprang in the air. He barked again, but he trotted away toward a bunch of bushes. Mimi shrugged.

“Fine, I’ll have a look for myself,” she grumbled and studied the poster. At the top of it were two photos: a beautiful red-haired woman and an older gray-haired man, both in formal business attire with a professional smile on their respective faces. Another photo, of a larger group of people, equally dressed up and equally smiling, was placed below a short note. 

“‘Looking to expand your business? Need to upgrade your brand? Or just starting and not sure how to best sell your products/services? Come and talk to us. Sterling Media is a traveling business consultancy for people like you. We have more than ten years of experience helping small and medium-sized businesses in towns like yours grow and flourish. Come and check it out,’” Mimi read out. “Dates, addresses, all that. Sounds interesting. Should we go and see if or how we can grow our Surprises?”

Surprises: Rare and Wonderful Antiques was Mimi’s beloved shop. She’d been quite busy with it lately, despite—or probably thanks to—a number of murder mysteries she had gotten herself involved in. The summer season had been busier than usual with tourists and locals alike coming to talk to her, hoping for a good story from one of the cases. Most of them ended up buying something, which depleted Mimi’s stock.

She should probably go on another big treasure-hunting trip overseas. The little local escapades she’d taken over the summer just barely kept her shelves from being completely empty. 

“What do you think, Baxter?” she asked her pug, but there was no reply. Baxter’s apricot-fawn tail flickered in a bush by the sidewalk. 

“Oh, well, I may try and see it for myself. And book a trip. Maybe I could even ask Rob to join me?” she wondered. 

Rob Thompson was Mimi’s boyfriend and chief of the local police. He was another key reason she had been so busy this summer. A much more enjoyable kind of reason. Or maybe, just differently enjoyable. 

Yeah, Mimi nodded to herself, all that business-running, storytelling, and dating were exhausting. She was overdue for a vacation. She’d have to talk to Rob soon. He also deserved a break. 

Mimi rubbed her hands together. The air was stinging her fingers. She should have brought her gloves.

“Right, let’s keep moving, shall we?” she said aloud. Baxter squealed. That was unusual. 

“You all right, Baxie?” Mimi called. 

A low grumbling noise reached her ears from her left. 

Mimi stepped toward the bushes where she had just seen Baxter’s tail. She bent over the patch of low shrubs adorning the side of the path. 

There he was—her pug sitting nicely and staring at a large black crow.

Not that crow again! 

Mimi started to take a swing with her arm but stopped herself. Her dog was fully capable of handling a bird. With that in mind, his earlier encounters with crows had been strange, and Mimi often thought that Baxter had developed some sort of fear of crows mixed with fascination. It was as if he didn’t want to be there with the crow, and yet—he must have felt compelled to stand there, staring at the bird and having some sort of conversation until the bird decided it was time to end it. 

Mimi shook her head. But that was a long time ago, in winter, shortly after she got Baxter from the shelter. He was still settling into his new home and was still behaving oddly from time to time. As if…he was a cat, not a dog. But he had become such a brave little pug since. 

Oh, yeah, it’d been a while since her pug had one of his strange encounters with the bird. 

The crow made a rattling sound, which brought Mimi back into the present. 

Baxter kept staring at it. And then he…nodded.

The crow cooed and nodded as if in reply. It made some more cooing sounds. Not as grating as before. 

Baxter tapped his tail on the ground. 

It was bizarrely fascinating to watch. Mimi forgot about the crispy cool air pinching her cheeks. 

The bird jerked its head and, as if cued, Baxter jumped to his paws and gave a sharp, energetic bark.

The crow flapped its wings and took off, Baxter keeping his eyes glued to it. Once the bird was up in the sky, Baxter spun, prancing up and down. 

“And what exactly is this?” Mimi asked. “Looks like you’re happy that the bird is gone.”

Baxter stopped, gave her a stare, and then yelped. 

“Fine with me,” Mimi replied. “Let’s keep moving, though, or I’ll freeze to the spot.”

Baxter wagged his tail and sprang forward. Mimi followed.

She’d think about her dog’s behavior later. 

Mimi stepped back onto the sidewalk, and, in one jaunty hop, Baxter joined her. His tail was up in the air like a little glowstick. Mimi smiled to herself. Somehow her pet dog’s happiness rubbed off on her. 

Mimi walked on, Baxter following just a few feet behind. Suddenly, a tall woman with a head full of short curls emerged from around the corner and Mimi’s eye caught a spark shooting from her back. And then another one. A whole series of flickering flashes rose into the darkening sky. Mimi stopped, mesmerized.

What in the world?

The woman tripped over something and dashed forward, crashing into Mimi. 

Baxter barked somewhere to Mimi’s side. Mimi caught the woman’s upper arms just in time to avoid a head-on collision.

“Oh my goodness, are you all right?” Mimi asked. 

“Visibility…mhmhmh…voice…” the woman mumbled. Her blue eyes stared at Mimi blankly. The curls were sticking to the woman’s pale face. In any normal circumstances, Mimi would think the stranger pretty. 

She leaned on Mimi. Mimi squeezed the woman’s arms lightly, just to make sure she was holding her. Was the woman drunk?

No, Mimi would have smelled the alcohol on her breath. 

Disoriented? Ill?

“You can’t see? Can’t talk?” Mimi asked, a note of urgency creeping into her voice. 

Baxter growled.

“Grhrhr…” A gargling noise emerged from the woman’s mouth. “Clicks…” she added. 

What a strange comment to make…

The stranger’s eyes closed, her lower lip dropped, and then her whole body slid down out of Mimi’s hold and onto the ground. 

“Whoa, be careful!” Mimi cried. She crouched beside the stranger. Her slim body was lying on its side, motionless.

“Let’s get you up,” Mimi said, sliding her hand under the woman’s arm. Her eye caught a glint—a reflection of the streetlamp on something smooth. 

A blade?

Mimi’s heart skipped a beat. She gulped and leaned forward for a better look. 

Yep. From the woman’s back, a piece of metal with a wooden handle stuck out.

A knife.

A few more sparks sprang out of the wound, but these were darker, smaller, and quickly disappeared…like embers from a dying fire. 

“Hello?” Mimi touched the woman’s forehead. It was cold and sticky. “Talk to me,” she cried. 

But the woman’s face remained calm and motionless. 

A bead of sweat rolled down Mimi’s neck. She reached for the wooden handle just as a dim orange aura appeared around the woman’s body. 

The stranger’s aura. The sparks must have come from it. 

Mimi’s fingertips touched the tip of the handle.

Oh, one shouldn’t try to take the stabbing tool out of the wound! Mimi remembered.

She pulled her hand back. The aura glimmered and dimmed. Mimi’s heart accelerated and sent a wave of adrenaline into her system. 

The woman was dying. 

She should have done CPR, but how could she do it with the knife sticking out? And she couldn’t take the knife out, either… 

Mimi slipped her hand into the pocket of her coat and fished out her phone. Her fingers trembled as she brought up the keyboard. It had been several months since she last called emergency services…

She punched 911 into her phone.

“Hello, I’ve just found a woman who’s been stabbed in her back,” Mimi rattled into the receiver. Her voice sounded wooden. Even though she had found a number of bodies over the past nine months, she had never gotten used to it. 

“No, I don’t know her,” Mimi continued. “Never seen her in town. She’s about five feet, slim.” She described the woman to the emergency dispatcher. “My name?” she asked. “You should know it by now…I’m Mimi Knotley. I’m at the edge of the park, just by the Main Street exit. Yes, I’ll stay with her.”

* * *

The few minutes’ wait for the ambulance to arrive were the longest minutes in Mimi’s life. She tried rubbing the woman’s cheeks, talking to her, crying, praying, but all was in vain. The woman’s aura gradually faded away. 

Baxter sat beside her and howled. 

When the ambulance finally arrived, Mimi let the paramedics take over. She stood up, her whole body awash with pain and numbness, her head dizzy. She found the nearest tree and leaned against the trunk, breathing slowly. Baxter sat at her feet, hanging his head low. 

The paramedics hustled around the woman lying on the ground. Mimi fished the phone out of her pocket again. She fumbled with the keys but her eyes unfocused, refusing to see clearly. She finally found it—Sara Domico’s number—and pressed it.

Sara was her best friend. A woman who had been there for Mimi every single time she’d ended up in trouble in recent months. Sara with her level-headed, calming presence was what Mimi needed. 

“Hi, Mimi, how are you?” Sara said as she answered the phone. 

“Not too good,” Mimi replied truthfully. “I’ve just found someone wounded.”

“Wounded?” Sara asked. “As in with a broken leg?”

“No. As in stabbed.”

“Do you mean you’ve found another body? Someone else has been murdered in our little town?” Sara’s voice climbed an octave. 

Mimi swallowed, but the lump that grew in her throat didn’t go away. 

“I think so. I saw her aura go darker and darker until it was no more,” Mimi replied, turning her eyes away from the scene playing just a few steps away from her. 

Baxter squeaked a sad, complaining kind of sound. 

“Who is this and who’s done it?” Sara asked.

“No idea,” Mimi replied. She took a deep breath. The decision had been made. “But I’m going to find out. I couldn’t save her life, unfortunately, but I’m going to make sure the culprit is uncovered and brought to justice.”

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