Cassandra Brown lives a double life.
During the day she attends to the needs of her husband Bob and two children, Benjamin and Annie, with the efficiency of an executive assistant on steroids, political savvy of Genghis Khan and the dedication of a Sumo wrestler. No one messes with her family. She works afternoons at the local library, and to the world she appears to be a normal, thirty-five year old, bottle-blond with car pools to organize, bills to sort and a weight-loss program to ignore, who looks like everyone else in her book club where she religiously exchanges recipes, sex tips and gardening ideas. At midnight, however, she resumes her immortal body.
She has chosen her double life for one reason, and one reason only, she wants to raise children of her own.
Mondays were laundry day at the Brown house. As Cassie stuffed the second load of wash into the machine, she noticed blood stains on the neckline of Benjamin’s, much beloved, Led Zepplin tee shirt. Tracing her fingers over the stain she tried to remember him hurting himself, but nothing came to mind. She gathered the fabric to her nose and used her witch senses. Startled by the vision of him being punched, she dropped the shirt.
Oh my God -dess! My little boy fought over a girl.
All kinds of thoughts flooded her mind: he was too young, the girl was unworthy of him, where were the teachers … But the one that really stuck in her heart was how to get even with the bully.
Should she pay the vile, freckle-faced teenage villain a visit after midnight?
She could threaten the orgre, or she could smack him on the butt with a two-by-four. That thought warmed her blood. Of course she would prefer to smack him on the head. That thought warmed her blood more. But hitting a human child would get her in trouble with her coven. They were a peace loving group committed to solving problems with love, and chants, and herbs. Sometimes spices.
Oh for the love of Goddess. Poop on love. This boy needs discipline.
Grumbling as she paced the living room floor, she replayed her vision of the incident over and over again. The boy looked fully human and three years older than Benjamin. He wore a football shirt.Perhaps if she spoke with him about his anger issue, he would see his error, apologize and mend his ways.
Yeah, right, said a tiny voice in her head.
Cassie went to the kitchen and pulled out her brown mixing bowl, the one she used only for magic. She filled it with water from the tap and added a few herbs. Holding her right hand over the solution she chanted until the dragon tattoo on her right wrist darkened and the air pulsed with magic. A dark blue mist settled on top of the water and formed the image of the boy and his home.
She chuckled. Humans think they’re so smart with their GPS.
Later that day Cassie stopped at the boy’s house. It looked like every fourth house on the street, with a double garage, one dormer window on the second floor and shutters on the front window. She knocked on the door. When it opened the smell of apple-cinnamon muffins baking and floor cleaner accosted her nose. The boy answered, “Yes.”
“You don’t know me, but …”
“What do you want, lady?”
How incredibly rude! She felt her face drop and hoped it hadn’t hit the ground. Balling her fists to keep herself from zapping him, she gave him a very human stink eye. “Listen here young man, you shouldn’t hit others.”
He slammed the door in her face.
She knocked again. He opened the door again. “I recognize you.” He narrowed his marmalade eyes. “You’re the mother on the next block.The one who gives whole chocolate bars out on Halloween.” He folded his arms across his chest and nodded his head, as if he had invented a cure to the common cold.
“You hit my son.”
His cheeks pinked. “Benjamin hit me first. It’s not my fault he’s a lousy fighter.
A woman in a navy-blue business suit appeared behind the boy. “If my son hit your son, then your son deserved it.”
Anger is a useless emotion and one Cassie had fought with for centuries. I will do no harm. I will do no harm. I will do no harm, she chanted as she squeezed her fists so tightly, her fingernails bit into her flesh. Dear goddess there’s no spice strong enough to deal with this family.
“Please, leave at once,” the woman continued in a haughty voice. “If you bother us again, I’ll phone the cops. Henry, close the door.”
As the door slammed once again on Cassie, she released her hands and stretched her fingers. She had tried being nice. Now it was time to go nasty. That night she consulted her grimoire for a solution.
When Benjamin came home from school the next day his grin grew so wide it made his cheeks dimple.
“What’s up?” she asked.
“Nothing,” he said.
“You look to me like something happened today.”
“Mom, if a girl kisses you, out of the blue, does that mean she likes you?”
“Well son, it doesn’t mean she hates you.”
“Cool. Brianna kissed me on the cheek and she did it in front of her boyfriend.”
Now this news should have made Cassie happy. After all, Benjamin had gotten back at the bully in the most loving of ways. But something wasn’t quite right. The sweetheart kiss had awakened something in her son. Something Cassie had not expected. His right wrist bore the unmistakable markings of a young dragon tattoo.
This made no sense to Cassie, but then little did, when it came to motherhood.
Meet the Browns
If you like this story, check out my other stories about the Browns, the most normal, abnormal family in the burbs.
Do you like ghosts?
Launching next week:
Everyone has secrets.
Escaping the clutches of a mobster, art forger Harley Davis dives off a yacht in the middle of the night and swims ashore to Sunset Cove, a small town in the Pacific Northwest, where the only light she sees comes from inside a haunted teahouse. Soaking wet and shaking, she pauses at the door. No one in their right mind would enter such a creepy place, but she has no choice. She needs to hide.
Pirate ghost, Three-Sheets, enjoys his extended life on earth, gambling and flirting with the ladies, but when he meets Harley, he discovers he wants more out of death than a good gambling hand.
As the charming Three Sheets woos Harley, her former boss puts a contract on her head. What do you get when you mix a saucy thief, a pirate ghost and an angry godfather? Another fun, Gambling Ghost story.
How could a dead guy be so sexy?
When Charlene Walker, a tattoo artist with a sweet tooth for bad boys, starts a boycott of the haunted teahouse in a small, west coast town, no one alive or dead is safe. One way or another, she intends to stop the haunting of her brother.
Biker ghost, Rufus has no idea what he’s up against. Her saucy personality makes him feel alive, not to mention her provocative tattoos and every inch of her body hidden beneath. Pulled into her web, he finds himself confessing to more than the ace up his sleeve that got him killed, and he struggles with feelings he never imagined having.
Adding to their epic heat is the mischievous charm of a resident pirate ghost and the twisted intentions of a human trafficker from Charlie’s past.
What happens when you mix an ink slinger with attitude, a cheating gambler, a playful pirate and an evil creep? Another Gambling Ghost story.
Feature Photo from Pixabay
Meme created on Canva