Did you miss Chapter One?
Did you miss part one of Chapter Two?
Chapter Two Continued . . .
Her eyes open wide, and her pupils dilate.
Oh, yeah, good ol’ Chuck knows how to keep a lady on her toes!
She yanks her hand away, and I keep my smile and confidence.
“Magic?” she questions. “I can’t say that I believe in magic, Mr.
“Oh, but I do,” I say, leaning forward. Her entire face is red, the
slight pinkish look no longer subtle.
She’s swooning, I think.
Yeah, totally, that’s what’s happening.
“And I definitely feel it in this café. You’ve put … put your magic
touch on this place, haven’t you? And you, darling, have definitely cast
a spell on me,” I say, enunciating the words as clearly as I can. Then I
lock my eyes on hers and say, “And if it’s not too much trouble, I’d
love for you to cast another-”
And then the pain starts.
This horrible, shooting pain goes up and down my left arm all the
way to my chest. I step back and grip my chest with my good arm.
“Mr. Lowry? Are you all right?” Maeve asks, stepping toward me
with a concerned gaze.
Oh my God, I’m having a heart attack!
“I … I …” I stutter.
I’m a little out of breath.
I’m way too young to be having a heart attack! I eat right, I exer‐
cise–got to stay looking good for the camera, you know? Why is this
happening? I’m about to tell her to call 911 when I see a woman’s face
in the reflection of the café window.
She shakes her head at me and mouths the word “leave.”
I grit my teeth, but I nod at the woman in the window.
“I’m sorry, I just remembered I have to be somewhere. It’s been a
pleasure, Ms. O’Dare … I’ll stop by tomorrow morning for some
I practically run out the door. I dart down the dark street and hide
in the alley, dropping down to the ground. A part of me wonders if
this had been Selena’s plan all along: get me so scared of not listening
to her that I’ll crawl into a back alleyway to die instead of doing the
reasonable thing and have Maeve call for an ambulance!
I might be paranoid, but then again who could blame me? I got
turned into a dog by a witch, and now I’m pretty sure she’s causing me
to go into cardiac arrest!
I grip at my chest in horror as I prop myself up against the wall of
the building. The burning pain continues pounding through me, and I
can’t stop shaking.
This is it.
This is the end of Chuck Lowry!
“Tsk, tsk, tsk,” a familiar voice taunts, and a hound-like growl
erupts from my throat.
Then, suddenly, there is this green electric light swirling in the
alleyway in front of me. Before I know it, there she is, Selena–the
witch who did this to me! I bolt up. I want to tear her face off, but as
soon as I move, the pain in my chest gets worse. I surrender to the
cold ground and moan.
“You almost broke the rules!” she exclaims.
I stare at her. She doesn’t look like a witch. Just a pretty blonde in
her nice button up shirt and khaki jeans.
Frankly, she looks like a housewife. Not an evil sorceress.
“Rules?” I question but speaking hurts. I grab at my chest and take
slow breaths. If I had the energy, I’m pretty sure I’d be strangling her
“I already told you once, Chuck. Although to be honest you were
barking at me the whole time, so maybe you didn’t hear. You get
twelve moon cycles to break the curse. You’re down to eleven now. If
you tell someone what you are while you are human, you will die. And
you almost told Maeve, didn’t you?” Selena laughs at me. “I could have
sworn I felt a little magic between us,” she says in a taunting tone and
then laughs at me yet again.
My breathing becomes wheezy. I feel like I’m going to pass out.
“Am I going to die?” I ask, and I’m not too macho to admit that I’m
terrified right now.
“Tonight? No, sadly,” she says. “But know the pain you’re feeling
now is because you almost broke the rules of the curse. You can’t tell a
single person about your curse while you are in human form! As if
anyone would believe you anyway. You have to tell them while you’re
… oh, what’s the silly name they gave you? Wanda?”
I grit my teeth. Slowly the pain in my chest starts to settle down,
but I don’t dare move from my seat on the ground.
“Tell me one thing. Once I find a way to tell Maeve the truth as
Wanda, then what? How do we break the curse? She doesn’t even
realize she’s a witch!”
“Now, Chuck, it’s not fun if I tell you all my secrets!” Selena says,
and she laughs. “Oh, and just you wait. There will be more trials to
come, you little pooch. Soon, you’re going to be a real lady.”
I jump up, tired of her games. I lunge at her, and a bolt of green
lightening strikes down where she’s standing. And just like that, she’s
“You crazy witch!” I roar. I pause and then shout into the night,
“Wait, what did you mean by real lady?”
She’s gone. I swear if I sprout breasts I’m going to lose it. Although
walking around as a woman wouldn’t be half as bad as walking
around as a stupid female dog!
Okay. Deep breaths, Chuck. Deep breaths.
You could have died tonight, but you didn’t. Okay, keep to the
rules from now on. I’ve got to play Selena’s game if I’m going to make
it out of this thing alive.
How long before I’m a dog again?
I think back to Selena’s first conversation with me about the curse.
When the full moon rises, I’ll turn back into a man, but I won’t turn
back into a dog until the next moon rise. That means I’ll be a man all
day tomorrow until the moon rises again!
Man, where am I going to sleep tonight?
I doubt Maeve is going to let me sleep on her couch. I wonder if
she’ll be worried when she gets home and Wanda isn’t there? Jeez, this
curse stuff is complicated!
I walk down the street in the general direction of Maeve’s home–
not that I’m dumb enough to go to her house. Maeve would freak out
if she thought I was stalking her. Problem is, I don’t have anywhere
to stay. I think about walking back into town to find a bank. But
they’re all closed at this hour and without my wallet an ATM isn’t
Without cash how can I stay at a Motel?
Just as I am about to turn around, I spot good old Tommy Ether on
the side of the road attempting to pull a stubborn cow out of a ditch,
using only the light of the moon to guide his futile attempt.
“Come on, you stubborn girl!” the old man groans.
Mr. Ether was the first person who was kind to me after I changed
into Wanda. For six days, I’d been eating nothing but stuff I’d dug out
of dumpsters. Then when I got to Wisteria Pines, I found a market‐
place where the man was selling some of his crops. Mr. Ether fed me
peaches and strawberries as Wanda.
I wonder where his kids are and why they’re not helping him. I
assume they’re at the farm asleep. He’s one of those stubborn old
farmer types who still thinks he can do the work of a twenty-some‐
thing. I groan, but I decide I can’t leave the poor old man alone to deal
with a stubborn, oversized cow.
“Need a hand?” I ask, heading up the road towards him.
Up close, I see he has a flashlight hanging around his neck, but
we’re honestly getting more light from the moon and stars.
“Do I know you, son?” he asks.
“I doubt it,” I say. “I’m from out of town. You need some help?”
I can tell he wants to say no. He’s too proud, but he knows he’s
been defeated by the stubborn beast. Who knows how long he’s been
trying to get her out of that ditch before I showed up?
“I reckon I do,” he says. “My good-for-nothing hired help left my
gate open before he left my farm this evening, but thankfully only one
cow got out. Now she’s stuck in a ditch.”
The two of us grab hold of the cow, and he attempts to chase her
up out of the ditch while I push her from behind. “Stop pushing me,” I
hear the cow moan, and I jump in surprise. Okay, so apparently it’s
more than cats and dogs I understand with this curse.
This gives me an idea. I get up towards her head and look the thing
in the eye. I give my most serious expression. “Move,” I say.
“I’m not listening to you,” the cow says.
“Yes, you are listening to me,” I say, and the cow’s head cocks to the
“Do you understand me?” the cow asks.
“Yup,” I say in a whisper so Mr. Ether doesn’t think I’m bananas.
“So you’re going to move for me, otherwise we’ll be out here all night,
and that’s not fair to the old man, got it?”
“Fine, but tell him to stop touching me. His hands are cold!” the cow
I sigh and glance up at Mr. Ether who is attempting to push the
cow with his bare hands. “Sir, can I make a suggestion?” I ask.
“Sure, why not,” the old man says. “It’s not like anything we’ve
tried so far is working.”
“Do you have some gloves?” I ask.
He pulls some out of his overalls.
“Try putting those on,” I say.
Mr. Ether rolls his eyes at me, but he puts on the gloves anyway.
Pretty sure Ether thinks I’m a know-it-all city boy.
“Thanks,” the cow says to me. Much to Mr. Ether’s amazement, the
cow suddenly moves forward as he pushes her up and out of the ditch.
“Well, how in the world did you know that was gonna work?” he
asks with a toothy grin.
“Just a hunch,” I say. “It’s … um … a bit cold out tonight. Thought
maybe your hands were cold to her, so she was being stubborn.”
He looks me up and down. “Pretty good for a city boy,” he says. “I
never would have guessed I was annoying her because of my hands.
This cow has a strange personality, I’ll tell you what! This is the most
stubborn cow I’ve ever dealt with, but she’s a good breeder. Gives me
good calves every year, and her babies always wind up being great
dairy cows, so I put up with her.”
The next thing I know, I’m walking with Mr. Ether and the cow
down the road. I help the old man return the cow to the pasture. After
hearing I have no place to stay for the night, to thank me for my
assistance Mr. Ether offers to let me sleep out in his barn. It’s better
than out in the cold, I suppose.
They have a little cot set up in the barn. He tells me he sleeps out
there when a cow is getting close to birthing. I smile because I’d
pictured sleeping on hay when he had offered up the barn. He thanks
me again and tells me his wife will have breakfast ready at dawn
I smile, looking around. “This will do,” I say to myself.
“Who’s this guy?” I hear a horse ask, and I roll my eyes.
“I don’t know,” says another. “I saw him come in with Tommy, though.”
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐”I couldn’t stop reading!”
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐”Fast-paced and fun. I love these mysteires!”
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐”Diana Orgain is my new favorite author!”
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