A Dash of Belladonna by J Rackham
An Epistolary YA Fantasy set in New Zealand.
Tomorrow I fly to New Zealand, a country where my future master will no doubt teach me the deepest secrets of brewing the most marvelous, miraculous and magical potions. Perhaps he will teach me how to make an invisibility potion? No, no. Too mundane. I’m sure he’ll teach me the sort of magic that paints the Milky-Way with the stars, the kind that swaps the sky with the still ocean, or the ones that make fireflies dance in winter. Okay, all of those are illegal, but a girl can dream, right? Ma, of course, thinks I’m going to get kidnapped by some moustache-twirling villain and become embroiled in a magical struggle that’s been brewing for centuries. If I had a say, I’d add a dash of danger and adventure in there. Why stop at getting kidnapped? Why not rebirth an ancient magic everyone thought was extinct?
What would I do if I find myself in a series of such non-sensical events? Who knows? But I promise you I wouldn’t give up without a proper, magical fight.
Your Fantabulous Friend.
I am sure you are dying to hear more about my new mentor. Her name is Elyse Sherington and she is Mikaere’s former student. It is odd to say that she is of age one and twenty, which would make Mikaere’s age quite questionable.
When I voiced this concern, he simply smiled and shrugged.
She laughed, no, cackled.
When I questioned her motive, she pulled out a long, ancient pipe and blew out hot pink smoke and answered “Protection.”
“From what?” I inquired. The most suspicious person was tilting the kitchen stool back and forth, smoking in presence of a child.
“Just precautions, Lottie.” Mikaere answered, throwing herbs in the air into her smoke. It danced in the air and rained down in sprinkles of fine sand.
“From that suspicious man who offers me sweets?”
At this both froze in their movements and turned their whole attention to me.
“I’m going to kill that son of a bitch!” (Yes I know, Mikaere actually swore! Who would have guessed!)
“Have you been accepting something from Mr Dragicevich?”
They shouted in unison, jumping from their respective stools.
Ah. So that was his name.
My smug smile must have given me away. You couldn’t fault a girl for being so utterly clever.
“Lottie. Tricks aren’t meant for family members.” Mikaere scowled.
“You shouldn’t keep secrets either.” To be honest, I was feeling very happy at being considered family to Mikaere, but I let my clever retort shine.
Elyse burst into laughter and messed my hair like I was some puppy.
“Kid has a point Mick, she should learn how to protect herself too.” She said. I instantly liked her more. Only a smidge though.
Defeated, Mikaere sighed and poured himself another tea.
“Listen well Lottie. You have become a target,” he said after a moment of silence.