Chapter 3 - Theo, I'm a witch.


“Have you talked to Mitch’s family?” Amy asked as the car turned out of the Shady Acres driveway.

“Not yet, that was next on my list. I wanted to see the crime scene first” Theo responded as he frantically fumbled to untie the striped noose around his neck.

“Well, they didn’t have a good relationship with Mitch. I can only remember them coming to Shady Acres once, to drop him off” Amy offered. “Although, some of his more distant relatives would sometimes call to check on him. Which makes leads me to wonder, who hired you for this job?”

“Dorris told me that it was someone from his extended family, a grandmother I believe.” replied Theo.

“Dorris?”

“Yes, she’s my secretary.. or boss depending on who you’re asking” Theo grinned.

Ignoring the information she’d deemed inconsequential, “Ok, so I guess the next step would be to go and talk to his grandmother, but first I need to change out of this uniform and get some supplies for the road. Let’s stop by my house on the way out of Crescent. Take the next right.”

The car obeyed Amy’s instructions and eventually pulled into the small driveway of an even smaller cottage. The house was nothing notable, it was the garden that took Theo’s breath away, just as the garden at Shady Acres had. He realized that many of the same plants grew here as in the facilities gardens, and asked “did you do all this?” motioning towards the lush greenery.

“Yes” Amy shrugged without any further explanation and continued to walk towards the small house.

“And the gardens at Shady Acres?” Theo asked, catching up to her.

“Yes” Amy stated, stopping abruptly in her tracks almost colliding with Theo. Then she looked into his eyes, searching for something that made him somewhat uneasy. It was the first time that he’d really been able to look into her eyes, and he realized that her dark eyes weren’t a normal blue or brown or even green. They were a very dark purple, almost indistinguishable from her pupils with brighter violet streaks that seemed to be moving. The streaks sped up, definitely moving. Theo couldn’t look away it was as if he were looking into time.

After a few moments that felt like decades, she seemed to decide something then blinked, releasing Theo from his trance. She waited a few seconds, then squaring her shoulders she confessed, “Theo, I’m a witch”.

“A.. what?” he replied, not knowing how to take this information. Was she pranking him, or maybe she was as crazy as the patients she cooked for at Shady Acres?

“A witch. You know, magic.. spells.. potions?” Rolling her eyes “Well, that’s what the humans of this world know about us anyway” Amy clarified.

Trying to stay calm next to this lady who’d just gone insane, Theo slowly explained “but, witches aren’t real”.

“Oh we’re real, we just don’t come to this world much, you humans are kind of a bore.” then once again realizing that she was being rude, she seemed to internally scold herself and added “not to offend or anything. I just needed to tell you because I felt something when Mitch died that made me believe that someone in the magical world had something to do with his death, and the sooner you come to terms with this information the sooner we can find out who did this and why.” she replied.

Theo gaped at her dumbfounded and at a loss for words.

“Come inside, you can let it all settle in the AC while I pack” then she walked into the cottage leaving the door open for him.

As he entered the house he had to stop to take in the eclectic decor. Nothing went together, there was no theme that he could identify, but that somehow made it all strangely work.

Above the small fireplace he saw a golden bust of a fox wearing a monocle next to what was definitely a voodoo doll purchased from a tourist shop and more candles than he had time to count. How did she have time to light them all, he puzzled. Then as the sun set, it was as if the house changed personalities, during the day it seemed like an ordinary home with some strange decorations, but as the sky grew darker the decor changed into something that Theo had only imagined while reading fairy tales in his youth. A mix between the princesses room in the castle and the witch's cabin in the woods.

The hardwood floors were covered with colorful overlapping mismatched rugs, with only a few places to sit atop them, she obviously didn’t have company very often. He chose a comfortable looking chair, plopped down, and looked around in amazement still trying to take in the scene around him. It wasn’t messy or even cluttered, but no one would ever mistake her for a minimalist either.

There was an extensive amount of paintings and tapestries covering every inch of wall space in the living room, all of which looked like nothing he’d ever seen, classical portraits of monsters and landscapes of hot pink rolling hills. Every shelf, table, and available horizontal surface had stacks of books ranging from the history of the universe to Dungeons and Dragons fan fiction and everything imaginable in between.

He could see the small kitchen from his seat, with worn in pots and pans hanging from the ceiling and a