Preview: A School for Murder

July 13, 2013

A School for Murder

It’d been a long day and I was asleep almost before I hit the pillow. In my dreams Roger stood in front of a judge who was asking him questions about his life. The judge was one of those southern “hanging” judges, or at least that’s how it seemed to me. The judge asked why Roger thought he was there and laughed when the lawyer didn’t know.

The judge’s eyes burned red as he spoke. “You’ve been sent to my court because you died by black magic. There’s only two kinds of people who die by the dark arts; those who practiced it and those who condoned it. Which are you?”

The sound of the alarm woke me before I heard Roger’s answer. My Grandma always said that dreams of the dead could be telling me something. In this case, the judge was right, whoever had killed Roger had to know him in some way. In order to cast Blood Magic on him, they would have to have something of his as a focus. The easiest items to use would be hair, nail clipping, or some of his blood. A strong mage could use an item that belonged to Roger, but they’d have to be truly expert in the dark arts. I’d expect such a person to have exposed themselves by now. It was disturbing to think there could be someone out there with that much power who hadn’t been caught.

Agent Harding was outside when I came down the stairs with coffee in a travel mug. She hadn’t bothered to call and I wondered if she’d staked out the front of my house all morning. She leaned against her black SUV. I was tempted to say something about the gas-guzzler, but Harding didn’t really have a choice with the company vehicle.

“I thought I’d make it easy and give you a ride,” she said.

“We could have just met at the U. I forgot to tell you where Professor Ellison’s office is, but wait, you work for the FBI, so I’m sure you could’ve figured it out.”

“Just get in.”

I resisted the urge to roll my eyes and got in on the passenger side. Agent Harding drove to the UW with her foot on the gas pedal. She didn’t talk to me, and I decided to stick to drinking coffee and studying her.

I was still trying to guess her first name. My two agents seemed to have no desire for small talk. I knew neither of their given names. It was unfair, they knew all about me, and I knew nothing about them. I was tempted to try to call up a spirit on one or the both of them, but that wouldn’t be fair play. Maybe at some point they’d start trusting me, or maybe they were both just too dedicated to their jobs to want to talk about anything outside of work.

“What can you tell me about Professor Ellison, besides the fact that you trust him?” Agent Harding asked as she pulled up in a guest parking spot.


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