I got to the writing cabin at a decent time this morning, then made my way to the paranormal office. I rolled the top of Patty Hall’s old-fashioned desk back, then opened my document.
Lisa Burton, my robotic personal assistant walked in.
“Ta-dah! Ready for work, Captain.”
“Yeah, um… We finished that one, remember.”
“You’re here to do edits, though, right?”
“I’m going to wait until August. Let it clear my mind a bit.”
“The raven of Doubt will be so disappointed. He’s been super excited to help you.”
“He can wait, too. I’ve been working on something for Lizzie and the hat. It’s fun, and keeps me busy.”
“Does he become a pirate hat?”
“Great, then I have the wrong outfit. What should I be wearing?”
“Nothing special. I need some help with research, and you’re faster than I am.”
She took a seat on the couch. “Okay. What do you need?”
“Well, we’re back to witchcraft in this tale. Every one of the witches has a different base for their magic. I need you to find some things I can use.”
“Like elements and stuff?”
“Yeah, but not completely. There’s plant magic, death magic, weather magic. Maybe one can have art magic.”
“What about Lichtenberg marks?”
“What the hell are those?”
“People get these elaborate scars when they’ve been hit by lightning. They also show up in lawns, and even wood. Turn on your iPad and I’ll bring them up.”
“Those are cool. They almost have to be magical. I can work with that.”
A knock came at the front door. “Probably your Amazon guy. Get rid of him, and let’s go to work.” I flipped through the images while Lisa got the door.
When she returned, she had guests. Consultia, Libraria, and Wiki, the Research Sirens.
“Okay, I know you ladies are good, but I have words to write.”
“Nonsense words, if you don’t have some facts ready,” Consultia barged into the room. Her giant Afro bounced as she clacked across the floor, then sat on the couch, crossing her long legs.
Libraria followed in her sexy librarian garb, stacked her books on my coffee table, then took a seat on my desktop.
Red headed Wiki wiggled her fingers in hello, as she sat in the wing backed chair.
“If you want to know about Lichtenberg scars, let me set you up with some interviews. It would be best if you could see them in person, and consult with a doctor,” Conversia said.
“I can book us tickets to Congo,” Wiki said. “Lightning strikes there more than anyplace on Earth.”
“I can’t go to Congo. Besides, that’s dangerous.”
“How will you really know unless you experience some of these things?” Libraria asked. “The smell of ozone, the explosive feel.”
“All I need are the scars. I don’t intend to write a lightning storm.”
“We might find a fulgurite,” Wiki said.
“It’s a stone configuration left behind after a lightning strike.” Libraria opened one of her books. “See.”
“Those are cool. I can use those in the story.”
Wiki looked at her iPad Mini. “If you’re willing to fly on standby, I can get some good rates.” She turned it around and held it by the Pop Cap on the back as if I could see that far.
“All five of us?”
“You and Lisa,” Conversia said. “We have other methods and can meet you there.”
“I know your tricks. Lure unsuspecting authors onto the rocks of research so they don’t get anything accomplished. I write fiction. It has to be plausible in the story world, not factual. You’d have me so far down the rabbit hole I’d never come out.”
Libraria looked over her glasses, and my heart stopped. She leaned over and kissed my forehead leaving me with a face-full of cleavage. “But it’s such a sweet rabbit hole.”
“Uh-huh. Whatever you—”
Lisa snapped her fingers in my face. “Come out of it. You know their tricks, but they can be helpful. Just focus on what you need.”
“What I need is something written by a guy named Cotton Mather. He’s like the patron saint of a group—”
Libraria returned to her books and selected a gigantic tome. “I brought his entire collected works. You should read all of it, so you have a better understanding, and can choose the best part.”
“How did you know I’d want— Nevermind.” I flipped through the pages. “Oh, Hell no. I need to base something off his words. My readers would shoot me if I wrote like this.”
Conversia leaned forward in her scoop-necked dress. Tiny bits of glitter flashed in the light against her ebony skin. “It was a long time ago, and people were pretty flowery back then. I know three historians who can give you a real feel for his time and role back then. Maybe even a trip to Williamsburg.”
I closed my eyes and calmed myself. “I’m writing about Lizzie and the hat again. I only need references to a few things, and a snippet or two. It’s their story, not his. They are outside observers to this world, so they don’t need to know how everything works.”
Wiki turned her iPad around once more. “He had silly hair.” She wrinkled her nose in an adorable silent laugh.
“You can stay, and you can help, but I’m giving Lisa total control. If it goes too far, she pulls the plug. I don’t have months to fly all over the world for something that might be two lines in my fiction. Even though you are fun company. Agreed?”
Libraria slid into my lap and leaned her head on my shoulder. “Agreed. Shall we get to work?”
Needless to say, today wasn’t one of those word-count giants. I did learn some fun things that will show up in Good Liniment.