Chapter 3.19 – Happiest Man Alive

Note: teeny bit of blood.

Broof had been waiting at the hidden area for thirty minutes, the secret meeting place where witches had been convening for centuries, mulling over life and how things had changed.

A couple of months ago, he was butler to the most famous woman on the planet, living in luxurious quarters in her mansion, truly earning his inflated pay and feeling like he was indispensable. Now he was unemployed and, thanks to the media, most of the world thought he was a murderer or a pervert. Despite his acquittal, despite Travis’s confession he remained a guilty man.

There’s no fire without fuel, they’d say.

His name had been irrevocably tarnished but that alone would not rule out every potential employer. Those who did not want integrity in their servant, however, demanded discretion and thanks to that reporter practically stalking him, Broof could no longer offer that, either.

He would find some work, somehow, and the Harpers wouldn’t let him starve. Besides, hanging out at their place enabled him to watch April finally experiencing moments that made her smile.

No, not just smile, they made her beam from ear to ear.

However it may have been achieved, whatever the cost was, it was worth it just for that.

He shifted his weight, listening to the muted voices coming from the clearing and the birdsong in the surrounding trees. He closed his eyes and allowed himself to feel.

Jarringly, he still had the poorly drawn images from Sage’s presentation the previous night burned into the back of his eyelids – he’d even dreamed about them. He could still feel the nervous embarrassment that hung in the air long after Sage had gone to bed, when Caleb took off to shower and the girls convened in Wyatt’s room, asking the questions they really wanted the answers to.

Broof had watched these girls grow up from tiny, giggling little children and he struggled to see them as anything else, so the conversation was too much for him. He’d made his excuses and left them to it. What Melinda did with her hairbrush was her own business and he was content to never know.

Although, in hindsight, perhaps he should have stuck around longer. He doubted Wyatt had given much thought to cleanliness in his answer.

“Yo! Teach!” Wyatt called, startling Broof from his thoughts, which was just as well as they were becoming dirty, and not in a sexual fashion.

Pre-occupied as he now was with hygiene, Broof took a moment to give his ‘student’ a thorough once-over. Wyatt was un-showered which was not uncommon. His routine most mornings was to roll out of bed, chew gum and spray on another layer of deodorant. That upset Broof, but not as much as noticing that the unkempt witch had put on a clean t-shirt.

Why would anyone put clean clothing on a filthy body? It was beyond Broof’s comprehension.

“You’re late,” he said, in his best authoritative tone.

Wyatt only grinned back in his lazy way. “You’re early.”

Broof scoffed and looked at his pocket watch before realising that yes, he had in fact been early. Still. “Don’t speak to your mentor like that, Wyatt. If we’re going to pull this off, we have to at least act the part of teacher and student.”

Wyatt rolled his eyes. “Whatever.”

“Right! Are you ready to learn the basics of casting, my dishevelled friend?” Broof called as they headed towards the clearing. “I reserved us three hours; that should be ample time to make a good start—”

“Oh my gosh, Toady; look who it is. The livewire himself… and the other one.”

“Hey Broof,” Toadella beamed. “I like your jacket. You always look so sophisticated.”

“Boring more like,” Wartilda muttered, her eyes never leaving Wyatt’s face.

“Dude,” Wyatt whispered. “Did you know they were gonna be here?”

“Do I look like I knew?”

Broof cleared his throat, ever polite. “Thank you, Toadella. You’re looking…” he tried to think of a compliment that wasn’t too complimentary. “Very purple. Hello, Wartilda.”

Toadella twisted her hair around her finger, fluttering her eyelashes at Broof but Wartilda ignored him, as usual.

“Hi Wy,” she purred. “I’m about to whoop my sister in our final duel of the day, then how about you and I…?” she leaned forward to whisper in his ear, pulling back to gauge his reaction.

Broof felt a little guilty. The only reason Wyatt constantly ignored Wartilda was because of him; because of who the Globrot twins were mentored by.

Speaking of which. “Is Claudia here?” Broof asked. He glanced around but saying her name hadn’t made his lovely ex-wife appear in a hail of snakes and broken promises.

“No,” Toadella assured him. “High Priestess has her on another mission, so we’re being mentored by Moon for a while.”

At the mention of her name, Moon – one of the coven’s most enduring members – lifted her attention from her knitting and waved, catching Broof’s attention for the first time.

“Hello boys. Are we running a little behind schedule? Come on now, girls! Final duel and then home for potion practice!”

“We’re making love potions,” Wartilda whispered as she grazed her fingernail down the front of Wyatt’s shirt.

He leapt back. “Uh… aren’t they, y’know, illegal?”

“Only if you use them on someone unknowingly and I would never do such a thing,” Wartilda gasped. “Now, excuse me. I have a floor to wipe with my sister’s face.”

“Which one? The one attached to her, or the one attached to you?” Broof joked. Toadella giggled, but Wartilda merely blinked.

“I don’t get it.”

“Girls!” Moon called. “Less flirty, more fighty!”

The twins sighed and made their way to the centre of the clearing, preparing themselves to duel.

Duelling was a way to – believe it or not – build up non-violent magical defence skills. Many witches saw the practice as outdated and claimed that all duelling did was expose witches in a negative light to any non-witches who encountered it, that the threats from vampires and witch hunters were non-existent and the practice was pointless.

The new High Priestess, however, disagreed on a few of these points and had made the practice mandatory for every probationary witch.

Moon tutted, in time with the click-clack of her knitting needles as she observed her scarlet-clad student. “Arm a little higher, Wartilda, and tense that wrist! What are you trying to defend yourself against, a kitten?”

“I know what I’m doing, Moon,” Wartilda muttered under her breath.

“Do you?”

“Eek!” Wartilda shrieked as ball of electricity appeared from nowhere and almost struck her. “What on earth? You could have killed me!”

“That little thing can’t kill you. And it wouldn’t be anywhere near you if you had your arms higher and tension in that wrist!” Moon smiled, scrutinising her knitting. “Oh, poo! I’ve dropped a stitch.”

“No one could defend against that!” Wartilda screeched, cowering from the aggressive ball.

She was still shrieking as the lightning suddenly hurtled towards her sister who, like a pro, caught it and began to bend it to her will.

“Wonderful! That’s how you do it!” Moon shouted gleefully. “Great job, Toadella! Here’s your second chance to defend against it, Wartilda. You’ll even get warning this time!”

“What?” Wartilda gasped, realising, too late, that her sister was sending the crackling ball of light directly towards her.

“Tense those wrists, Wartilda,” Moon instructed.

“They are tense!” Wartilda screeched as the light overpowered her and sent her somersaulting through the air, landing heavily into the dirt, face first.

“Eat grass, Warty,” Toadella whispered and then raised her voice, wearing a false expression of concern that Sandy Moss herself would have applauded. “Oh my goodness, Tilly! Are you OK? I’m sorry!” She rushed over to her twin’s aid but Wartilda was having none of it, shrugging off her sister’s sham comfort and scrambling to her feet.

“You’re crazy, Moon!” she cried. “You’ll be banished when Claudia hears about this!”

“When she hears about what, darling?” Moon said calmly. “That you ended up with a mud mask because you cannot follow simple instructions?”

“Ugh!” Wartilda huffed, storming from the clearing. “You could have helped me!” she hissed at Wyatt, her eyes ablaze.

“I…”

“I don’t want to hear it. Ugh. Some boyfriend you are.”

“Wha?”

“Tilly, come back!” Toadella pleaded, trotting after her sister like the shadow everyone thought she was, but flashing Broof a wicked little grin as she passed.

As the clearing fell silent, Moon sighed happily. “That was exhilarating! I think I need a cup of tea. It’s been a while since I had a student and days like this make me so glad that I retired.” She began packing away her things, humming to herself. “The space is all yours, boys. I’ll see you at tomorrow’s ritual.”

Broof watched as Moon vanished in a shower of sparks. He sighed, wistfully.

“She makes that look so easy.”

“It is easy,” Wyatt insisted, mimicking Moon’s action.

“Boo,” he whispered from his new place behind his buddy. Broof only rolled his eyes.

“Show off.”

“Who’s showing off?” Wyatt asked. “It’s pretty basic magic, Hoggy. You used to be able to do it.”

“I used to be able to do a lot of things,” Broof said ruefully. “But as I told you before, it’s like I just can’t work with the energy. It defies me. It simply flows out.”

“Hmm, interesting,” Wyatt mused. “It can’t be the mansion now. Maybe you’ve been cursed or hexed or something?”

“I doubt it.”

“Maybe we should ask HP about it. She knows a lot about dark magic.”

“Dark magic.”

“—faced it a lot, apparently, being a former swamp witch and everything. She’d know exactly what was wrong and… dude, are you OK? Lost you for a second, there.”

“I-I’m fine,” Broof managed. “We can’t tell her remember? Because she would never let me… mentor you.”

“Yeah, that’s true. Then I suppose it would have to be Claudia. Or Mum.” He shuddered.

“Besides, I’m not cursed. I’m just out of practice.”

Wyatt didn’t look convinced, but he dropped it. “OK. Forget it then. In that case, let’s get you practiced. We’ll start simple. Um…” he looked around, tapping his chin. “OK. Transportalate yourself across the clearing. You only need to hold the energy in for a second before you discharge it, so don’t give it chance to leave. Think you can do that?”

“Probably not, but I’ll give it a go.”

“That’s the spirit!”

Broof stepped closer to the centre of the clearing, so it was a smaller distance to travel, and raised his arms, blocking out the world around him and pulling force through his limbs—

“Too wavy, Hoggy.”

“Huh?” Broof asked, broken from his charge. “Wavy?”

“Yeah. Wavier than those noodle things you see outside car dealerships. No wonder you’re confusing the energy if you’re shaking it about like an old photograph.”

“I wasn’t—”

“You were. You’re not trying to fly; you’re trying to explode through the air almost. So, like, you need to pull your arms in a bit, like this, focus your energy in the direction of travel…”

“Did you just boop me, Wy?”

“No…”

Broof sighed, carefully moving every limb, and feeling a sudden warmth swirl around inside him as he did so. “OK, this feels better. How does this look?”

“Wrong.”

“What about this?”

“Like a drunk uncle at a wedding.”

Broof sighed and shifted position again. He was starting to feel a little queasy. “How about this?”

“…I don’t even know what that is.”

Broof dropped his shoulders; the little energy he’d managed to amass bleeding out with ease.

“I can’t do it,” he mumbled. “I’m useless.”

“You’re not, OK? You just gotta find your groove again. Let’s try something else.” He paused, looking around. “I know! You set up a rock pit, I’ll be back in a sec.”

Wyatt disappeared for a few minutes as Broof dutifully rolled the fire-singed rocks into place in the centre of the clearing. Wyatt returned; his skinny arms laden with logs that he arranged in place.

“Is this a pyre to burn me on?” Broof asked drolly.

“So negative. No, you’re gonna light it with your fearsome sparkles then we’ll have a scorching source of your preferred energy to work with. Fire is still your best element, right?”

“Marginally.”

“Good enough.”

Now this he could do. Broof settled himself into position and began to draw up the reluctant energy from the ground.

It’s just a big candle, he thought, focusing on the stack of wood before him. Just light the big candle. For Cabbage.

“This is gonna be so epic, I can feel it,” Wyatt whispered, probably out of politeness as Broof couldn’t feel anything much at all.

But what little he did have was reaching a crescendo. Broof reached forth, directing the white heat from his fingertips, feeling it drain from his body.

The pile steamed slightly for a second and the pair watched with bated breath. Broof’s heart was racing, the beat sounding in his temples. His palms and brow were slick with sweat, and he shook like a leaf. Waiting. Any minute now it would turn into a towering inferno.

Any minute.

Wyatt sucked in lungful of air through his teeth. “Hm. I don’t think—”

“No, it’ll take,” Broof assured him. “That the most power I’ve drawn in ages. Just give it a minute.”

“It’s been forever. It’s not gonna light, Hoggy.”

“But… no. No, it must do. I gave it everything.” He scratched his head. “Maybe the wood is too wet?”

“It shouldn’t really matter—”

“Or maybe it’s because I’m around you? I can do it when I’m on my own. Maybe I get nervous. Or perhaps you’re soaking up all the energy.”

“Wha? That’s not even a thing,” Wyatt muttered.

“There. How’s that? Feeling all powerful now?”

Broof shrugged. “I guess. A bit. Not really.”

“Woah. Maybe we should’ve started easier,” Wyatt chuckled. “A candle soaked in kerosene.”

“I can light candles, Wyatt.”

“With matches?” Wyatt joked.

“It would have ignited if you’d given it another minute instead of jumping in again!”

“Boohoo! My wood is too wet.”

“It was. I probably dried it out for you with my attempt.”

“Yeah, you probably did,” Wyatt winked. “Now it’s dry and roaring though, so how about manipulating it a bit, changing the colour. Can you do that?”

“I’ve never actually tried that before,” Broof admitted.

“It’s super easy, a non-witch could do it. And you can draw from the fire energy now, so that should help you. All you need to do is focus on your spirit and direct it towards the flames. It’s kinda like a mood ring; the colour will reflect your feelings. How are you feeling, anyway? Other than totally owned.”

“Great. I’m the happiest man alive.”

“Awesome!” Wyatt said. “Let’s see what Hoggy’s happy colour is, then.”

Broof didn’t really understand what he was supposed to do. He tried to think happy thoughts and pointed in the general direction of the fire, hoping that would do the trick.

“Yeah, that’s it!” Wyatt encouraged Broof’s uncoordinated arm movements. “It’s changing! You’ve done it!”

“I’ve done it!” Broof grinned, watching the flames flicker slowly from their natural orange to a wild, vivid red.

“Aw. Pretty pink is your happy colour,” Wyatt cooed. “That’s adorable. You’re so cute, Hoggy.”

“It’s not pink, it’s definitely red and it’s not done changing yet— oh.”

“Dude. Uh. Yeah, that’s not pink.”

“Damn.” Broof sighed. “I can’t even do this right.”

“You know, without a crowd of sobbing witches around us, purple flames are actually quite pretty, aren’t they?” Wyatt stated, watching with childlike fascination. “Bit morbid, though, that the mourning colour is your happy colour. Are you a secret psychopath or something?”

“Well, now that you mention it, my long-term employer was recently murdered and I wouldn’t say I was particularly devastated by that,” Broof whispered, feeling awful as he said it.

“Clearly not.” Wyatt laughed. “Dude. When did you get so dark?”

Broof didn’t have time to dwell on this; Moon had materialised back in the clearing behind Wyatt. He immediately shrugged himself back into mentoring mode and gestured towards the bonfire.

“And that, Wyatt, is how you change the colour of fire.”

“Yeah, I know, I—”

“—did a great job with it!” Broof interrupted. “We do need to talk about the appropriateness of conjuring purple flames, however—”

“Wha?”

“—As traditionally they would only be used in a passing ceremony for a deceased witch and you wouldn’t want to cause unnecessary alarm— oh, hello again Moon. Didn’t see you there.”

Wyatt grinned as the penny finally dropped. “I see! You’re a great teacher, Mr. Hogwash,” he enthused.

“Well, I do try…”

“I’m learning so much from this guy!” he explained to Moon. “When I grow up, I want to be just like him!”

“Too much,” Broof hissed through gritted teeth.

Moon was carefully studying the violet flames and nodded approvingly. “Very good job, Wyatt. Looking at this blaze I can almost feel the sadness inside it,” she mused quietly. “I remember the first time I cast a purple flame. Summer, 1729. Tragic.”

She lost herself in a reverie for a moment before shaking her head. “I just came to retrieve my knitting bag and I shall be on my way. Keep up the good work!”

“1729?” Wyatt muttered quietly as Moon once again vanished. “Do you think she remembers anything about the vampire hunts? About the cure they once tried to make?”

“Maybe,” Broof said, trying to recall why that date was familiar. “We can subtly ask her at the meet tomorrow. Now, where were we?”

“You were teaching me the basics of fire,” Wyatt said wryly. “So, what’s the next lesson, oh great and wise teacher? Oh! I know. How about ‘you teach me’ how to put this fire out?”

“Yes, putting fires out,” Broof agreed.

 That’d sure be a handy thing to know.

Thanks to MonaSolstraale for donating Moon!

21 thoughts on “Chapter 3.19 – Happiest Man Alive

  1. Okay… so what do we learn here. That the Globrot twins are very obviously not identical, at least when it comes to magical ability and that the less skilled one is acting all entitled. Interesting. Is Claudia preferring her for some reason?

    That and… yeah. Of course poor Broof would be pretty down about everything right now. Dark magic, though? Now it looks almost like his daughter’s death was due to dark magic… as well as his current… handicap, it almost feels like. Maybe he was cursed. Maybe someone killed Cabbage and cursed him?

    Also, note to self. “Swamp witch” is apparently a unique thing/role and expected to face malicious magics. That sort of experience might be why the current High Priestess was given the position.

    Like

    1. They are most definitely not identical and it would be safe to say that Claudia has a favourite, yes.

      Ooh, interesting scenario you have created from very little there, Gina. We are very slowly peeling the layers from Broof’s onion and we’ll see how close you managed to get. 😁

      The swamp witches (not what they call themselves) are – hm, is this a spoiler? Eh, I’ll tell you anyway – they are a coven started by outcast/banished witches. We’ll be meeting the High Priestess soon so you can garner clues about her route to election. And maybe we might even meet some of the swamp witches, too. You’ll definitely want to be ‘here’ for that. 😉

      Like

      1. Bah. That sure doesn’t help my opinion of Claudia, favoring the loud, clumsy one. Maybe Claudia is just full of wind herself.

        Mhmm… not only those few snippets, of course. I did factor in Wyatt´s ribbing of Broof earlier. Y´know, the “I´m a big bad vampire and I got your daughter” thing? I do think Cabbage may have been murdered… 😦 Or kidnapped and the rescue attempt went wrong, something like that maybe? Definitely something bad including vamps, I do suspect.

        Ooooh, exciting! Swamp witches. Witches that either did something genuinely bad, or their covens just ran on nonsense and they decided they weren´t gonna take it. Witches that left their traditional structure and survived. Probably very “do not mess.” Yep, I´m definitely all “here” for that. Or is it there? I think I´m all “there” for that. ;DD

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Claudia is … something. You can judge her for yourself soon.

          There was a vampire involved at some point in the fate of Broof’s daughter. That’s all you’re getting for now. 😉

          Ooh yes, you definitely will be ‘there’! 😁 But why? Something bad… or something misunderstood? 😇

          Like

          1. Also exciting. Claudia is a big unknown thus far. Could be she is terrible, could just be that… well, Broof can get a bit boring… could be she never got over their daughter´s fate and covers it with a haughty mask. Could be a bit of everything. Could even be she blames Broof for not being able to save Cabbage and cursed him herself. Wellp, there we go again, running away with wild theories. Heee! XD

            *stops snooping*

            Tee-hee! Well, I´m definitely curious. 😀 Just… don´t let any considerations stop you, okay? I won´t mind, whatever you do, I promise. 😉

            Like

  2. Lol interesting dynamic. Wartilda might be arrogant and egoistical but she’s obvious. Toadella though is the one to watch out for. I would very much like to see her and Broof workout since Broof could use someone with a little less compassion-oriented and Toadella seems into him. But I love me a good frenemies to lovers so I’ve kinda shipped him with Lilith… (I know, I know, I ship her with too many people.) Plus I need to see more of Toadella and to what intent she uses her astuteness for before I ship my favs with her.

    Aw, this chapter paints Broof’s feelings raw. We all know he never got over Cabbage but his musings on April’s smile and purple flames hit home. I think it’s somewhat a good thing that Wyatt deals with Broof’s sadness with… to quote Hermione, the emotional range of a teaspoon. I’m joking, that’s what it looks like on the surface but Wyatt is deeper than that, like how he picked up on April and was very gentle with her. He probably settled on this method to proke and prod Broof forward. Tough love lol. 😄

    SAVE THE DATE – is all I can say for Moon’s reverie. And yes, I am still pestering you about Broof’s cold. I’d love me a cold that turns my pupils white, not so much the ear part, I’m already half deaf lol. 😄

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    1. Ooh! What a treat! A Foamy comment full of those ‘almost in the vein’ strikes you’re so good at. Right, so. Toadella is definitely the one to watch, the dark horse, whatever cliché you wanna use. Claudia focuses all her attention on Wartilda, but a girl can learn a lot watching from a shadow. Broof and Lilith you say? Interesting.

      You nailed it. Wyatt understands, as you identify, but yeah, Cabbage has been dead a loooong time and Broof is still hung up on it and still stuck. However Wyatt can move him forward now, he’s gonna try. It’s definitely a tough love. If Wyatt could be tough for 3 seconds before reverting back to goofball, that is. 😆

      Moon has sure been in the coven a long time, hasn’t she? Probably seen a lot of things… 😉

      You never get white irises and bleeding ears when you have a cold? Oh. Must be these weird English colds.

      Like

  3. There we go! Brain is reset, all the Halloween nonsense is finally out of my head and now I can comment normally. Novel incoming! 😄

    Poor Broof. His reputation and job prospects have been destroyed for years, if not forever. “No fire without fuel” only make sense if you ignore absolutely any motivation someone might have to cause misery for someone else. It should be “innocent until proven guilty” instead, but people rarely seem to realise that 😣

    Yes Broof thank you very much for not going into graphic detail like Sage did, because Melinda’s alternative uses for a hairbrush is something I also never want to know 🤣🙈🙈 Haha, Broof getting upset over Wyatt putting on a clean shirt made me laugh. It could be a lot worse, Broof. He could be walking around in the same clothes for days without washing. I used to know plenty of teen boys who did just that. 😆

    Oh no! The Globrot sisters! Noooo, I wanted to see Broof and Wyatt have spellcasting mishaps aaaaaaaand that thought is immediately forgotten because MOON! 😍 I love her! Less flirty, more fighty! Yes!

    Haha, slinging bursts of magic at each other is non-violent? They have a strange definition of violence – Wartilda just slammed face-first into the ground. It’s stone, too. That’s got to hurt. 😆 Ooooh, I love how their eyes are glowing as they’re casting magic at each other. Toadilla’s seem to be the same but glowy, but Wartilda’s turned red, too 😮 is that just her version of glowing eyes or is that because she’s angry? LOL looks like she decided on her own that Wyatt is her boyfriend. Oh dearie. Um. Good luck with that, Warty. I like Toadella’s sweet-on-the-outside charade, she’s clearly more than she seems.

    Most of this chapter is colourful and light-hearted and funny but Broof’s triggered flashback at “dark magic” made me do a double-take. Something very bad happened around Cabbage’s death. That’s a dahlia, isn’t it? If I’m not mistaken that flower has both positive and negative symbolism to it. I wonder what it represents here.
    Correct me if I’m misremembering, but Cabbage was not murdered, right? I think we got confirmation of that at some point but I can’t for the life of me remember where. If she was, could Broof have turned to dark magic for revenge? Regardless, could he have turned to it to try and bring her back? Is that why magic seems to go so poorly for him now? Does it dislike him because there’s traces of dark magic remaining? Is there a barrier that prevents him from connecting to the energy properly? Is he cursed?

    Pretty sure red fire is angry, not happy, Wyatt. Oh, it turned purple 😢 I can imagine him still mourning his daughter even after all these years, as well as seeing her in April and Melinda.

    Waaaiiiiiiiit 1729 sounds familiar 😮 that’s the death of Angeline, isn’t it? Moon might very well remember the vampire hunts and the cure attempts and whatever happened to Angeline and/or Seth 😮😮😮

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay! Novel! You know, I think the word count in my comments probably exceeds the word count of the story. If this was a book series, the comments could have their own book series. Right so, enough nonsense. Time for comment responses now I am also un-mindfucked after the Halloween special (both mine and yours – yes I’m dropping links to that everywhere. EVERYONE NEEDS TO GO PLAY YIMI’S GAME. GO!)

      ‘No fire without fuel’ makes me rage, so moving swiftly on.

      It’s not like Broof to go into detail about anything. Except cleaning. Sometimes a blessing, like the hairbrush, sometimes infuriating like everything else. I keep having to stop myself from monologuing details about his past because… he just wouldn’t.

      Teen boys are disgusting. I’m sure there are a few ‘Broofs’ amongst them, but all the ones I’ve ever known are much more the ‘I don’t need to shower or changes clothes for days’ kind. I have 5 brothers who were all teenagers around the same time. They were gross. Their room was revolting. Thankfully, they all grew out of it. Will Wyatt?

      I know you wanted spellcasting mishaps, would I ever let you down? Don’t answer that. It’s supposed to be non-violent and what Moon conjured did not have the power to hurt anyone… Yay! I can finally make glowy eyes properly! Windows to the soul and all that. Oh. Not liking this romance between Wartilda and Wyatt? Must try harder, must try harder. Also, “I like Toadella’s sweet-on-the-outside charade, she’s clearly more than she seems.” take her name out and replace it with yours and it still works! 😉😆

      Triggered flashbacks is pretty much all Broof is going to be able to offer you for now. That is indeed a dahlia. Oof! Right in the superior vena cava. Gah. I can’t even give you a vague answer because you’ll figure it out. Sorry to do this to you but… 🤐

      Jebus effing crap. This little paragraph gets silence too, sorry. Read this comment at the end of the story and see how close you were with everything.

      I can answer this one! Yes, 1729 was when Angeline died. The very eagle-eyed might spot a young, newly initiated Moon in that very scene. Oh she’ll surely know something, yes. But will she disclose it?

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Cookie!
          I don’t think I’ve ever silenced you twice before. I should sit in the dark and clear my head of pumpkin gibberish before comments more often. 😋 Somehow Broof has gone from set dressing to likeable but one-dimensional to incredibly complex and interesting and now I want to learn aaaaaaall the things.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. GLOWING eyes on Broof? Wow. I have theories, and I flew past the other comments just in case someone else guessed it. I don’t really wanna know right now because it’s fun to guess. Other than that, I feel so bad for Broof losing his powers. Or his confidence. Or both.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am catching up at just the right moment to choke on my drink over the line about Melinda’s hairbrush, become suspicious about Hoggy, and then feel guilty for feeling suspicious because that dude is pathetic but then coming back to suspicious because what was he doing in that flashback yo?!?!?!?!?!?

    Liked by 1 person

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