Handbook for Mortals: Book 2 of the series Excerpt

Chapter 2

When Aunt Aldyth incinerated the entirety of the wedding venue giving several guests third-degree burns, questions naturally arose. What was responsible for the sudden gathering of clouds and weirdly synchronized lightning? Who was the oddly dressed man holding hands with Charles’ wife and surprise daughter, and what were they chanting? What happened to the Plain White T’s? Did Carrot Top and  Wayne Newton plan on showing up in matching t-shirts with my face emblazoned on them, or was it a coincidence?

The investigation began right away. Some fans speculated that Carrot Top and Wayne Newton were both trying to woo me, and because the two were such good friends they naturally had similar strategies of how to go about it. Others argued that it was meant as a show of solidarity regarding my recent accident involving an illusion gone wrong. Some people thought that the shirts weren’t actually identical, saying that while one of the shirts did depict me, the other actually featured my mother’s face, and therefore no fashion faux pas had been committed.

I hadn’t had a chance to ask them about it yet, but I knew I probably should at some point.

Oh, and we solved the freaky magic weather thing by wiping the mortals’ memories and fixing the trees with magic.

The next day, I had to take my mother and Charles to the airport so they could leave for their honeymoon. They would be staying at some fancy resort in the South Pacific, on some tiny island no one has ever heard of. If it were up to me, I would have sent them on a vacation to the Moana-themed Disney resort in Hawaii because I just really love that movie. When Mac and I get married, maybe we’ll honeymoon there! But Mac hates Disney movies, and sun. And singing. And a lot of things, really. But before you think something like “Wow, this Mac person sure sounds like a sad sack,” or “this could be a sign of major incompatibility between you two,” I would like to point out that people can change. Especially when they’re in a relationship with a super powerful witch.

“Zade!” yelled my mother as a car honked its horn at me.

“What?” I said. In the rearview mirror, I could see a car screeching to a halt. It would have hit me if it had been going any faster.

“That light was red!” my mom said, shocked.

“I know. That driver could have killed us all.” I could still see the car in the rear-view mirror, and suddenly it burst into flames.

“No, Zade, you ran the light.”

Had I? It was true that I’d been a little distracted, but wouldn’t you be too if you’d just been told you were the Chosen One prophesied a millennium ago? And had a boyfriend who didn’t like a lot of the same stuff as you? But I would have noticed if the light was red. I’d never run a red light before, even when I wasn’t paying very close attention. .

“I don’t think I did,” I said.

“Zade, your mother is right,” said Charles, who was sitting in the back seat. He’d been quiet for most of the drive. “The light was red. Don’t look so sad, I’m not trying to malign your driving abilities—oh no” he said as I took a sharp left turn into the airport. “It’s just, well, we could have called a limousine service.”

Sometimes even I forget how out-of-touch Charles is with the average person that he can afford to just throw around money on a limousine, even when he has a daughter who’s happy to drive him. Besides, I wanted to drive him. Most people may take doing normal stuff like driving your parents to the airport for their honeymoon for granted, but, well, that’s just something I’ve never had the chance to do.

“But we’re a family now. Maybe if you hadn’t abandoned Mom, we would already have plenty of normal family experiences. But I have twenty-five years of lost time to make up for, and we’re starting now,” I said as I swerved the car up against the white curb, and then hit the breaks hard. Charles gave a little groan of agreement, and then we all sat there in silence for a moment. I could feel my parents’ happiness at being reunited, and at having a daughter who was so supportive and helpful. But then they both got out of the car. I did too.

“Bye, Mom,” I said, after we’d unloaded their luggage from the trunk. I hugged her for a few seconds, and she gave me a kiss on the cheek. Then I turned to Charles, and threw my arms around him.

This, right here, was what I’d always wanted. He held me delicately in his strong arms, and nothing had ever felt so natural. This was the “normal” I’d been looking for when I’d moved out to Vegas. Until now, I had been like a traveler lost in the desert, parched and dying of thirst. Charles was an oasis in the middle of the Mojave, and I drank up every drop of his love like a life-sustaining elixir.

“Not too tight, Zade. I’m feeling a bit queasy.”

I pressed my face into his shoulder. The light fleece sweater he wore was so soft that I almost couldn’t feel it at all, even as I rubbed my cheek against it. I inhaled deeply.  He smelled aftershave and a rich, woody cologne.

“Zade, we need to check our luggage and the line is getting long,” my mom said.

Charles reluctantly pushed me off on him so he could look directly into my eyes.

“I love you,” I told him. “I love you so, so much.”

“I know.” It wasn’t like Charles to make pop-culture references, and I didn’t even think he’d seen Star Wars. But, I realized, he must have watched them all after learning they were some of my favorites!

I was so touched that I went to pull him into another quick hug, but he’d already turned towards my mom and the two of them were already rushing into the check-in area.

“And I love you, mom,” I called to her. “Have a good flight!”

After they were gone, I got back into my car. and had the GPS map a course to Mac’s apartment. Our relationship had been official for a month now, even though we’d been casually dating for the past six. I should probably get him a monthiversery gift, now that I thought about it.

As I merged onto the freeway, I pulled out my cell phone and texted Sofia.

Hey girlie 😊 I know we haven’t talked since my welcome home party. How’s your role in Cirque Du Soliel going? If the benefits are better over there, maybe I’ll join up too! J/k 😝 Anyway, I was just texting to ask if you remembered what cologne Charles wears? And we should totally hang out sometime! Love ya! Byeeeeeeeee ❤ ❤

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13 thoughts on “Handbook for Mortals: Book 2 of the series Excerpt

  1. I love you and now I want to have your majestic babies somehow. This was truly mahagickalll! That bit about Wayne Newton and Carrot-Top wearing team shirts was divine.Thanks for making me snicker-snort aloud so much, especially with the gaslit red light.

    And of course, I chuckled evilly when the incest cropped up. God, I about died. That bit at the end with Sofia was the butt-clencher of sheer joy (“I might join… J/K!”) and I think I squeed a little when Zod asked what cologne Charles wears. Mwah! Bellissimo. She would totally transform that poor bastard into her delicious daddy replacement and pretend she wasn’t disappointed. Honestly, I’m kinda disappointed that she didn’t go on vacation to the same place and stalk her parents. Maybe after Mac turns out lame in bed she’ll take the first jet out to snuggle with dear ol’ dad on the beach? Or would she just summon up a new daddy with chaos majicks? XD

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  2. Okay, I’m imagining it now… Zade gets caught in bed with a 25-year-old version of Charles and Mac is horrified.

    “Wait, it’s not what it looks like!”

    Zade was the spitting image of womanly virtue as she sat astride another man’s dick.

    “HE HAS YOUR DAD’S COLOGNE ON, WHICH YOU GAVE TO ME FOR OUR MONTHIVERSARY!” Mac took a deep breath. “AND HE HAS YOUR DAD’S FACE, WHAT THE FUCK, HONEY?!”

    “I wanted to make sure it got me off while I fuck. It’s nothing.”

    Zade battered her eyelashes at Mac. The Charles Chaos Clone did as well.

    “But you said you wouldn’t do anal!” Mac snapped.

    The clone pointed at himself.

    “Not you!” Mac growled. “Wait, have I asked you?”

    The clone looked deeply disappointed before he was smacked down into the many velvet pillows and buried out of sight as Zade hissed.

    “Look, I’m just trying it out now because… uh, training!” she said. “Yes… I mean, I’d be perfect at it the very first time, obviously, but I’m learning how to teach men to do it right… with me.”

    “… Okay.” Mac gave her a sideways glance. “Then I’ll go pick up dinner like I promised, but I better get some ass after that.”

    “You won’t, and you’ll love it,” Zade said, wearing her biggest smile ever in the history of all her many, many smiles.

    “Yes, dear.” Mac slammed the door behind him.

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  3. Except Mac totally shouldn’t think Zade should be willing to have sex with him. Even though they’ve been dating for over six months, they’ve only been officially dating one. Zade is a good girl, she wouldn’t just jump in bed with a guy she’d only been officially dating a month. Zade would still be Lily white pure as the freshly driven snow virginal.

    Practicing anal with a majickal look alike of your father at 25 totally doesn’t count.

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  4. Glad you enjoyed it 🙂

    I like to think that Zade would be blissfully unware of her attraction to her father, and unconsciously tries to re-create Mac in her father’s image. Like, maybe she starts suggesting that Mac try harder to “sweat charm” the way her father can. Maybe she uses her Mahgickz to subtly influence his fashion choices to be “more mature.”

    I could also see her summoning her Charles homunculus to “practice” on, and justify by saying he was the only homunculus model she knew for sure she could summon, and she didn’t want to go through the effort of creating an entirely new person from scratch. Oh, and when Mac catches her and is weirded the fuck out, Zade would definitely use Mac’s relative experience against him by saying that he’s the only sexual partner she’d ever had and Mac had been with lots of girls, so it’s only fair that Zade get to play around a little on the side. And then accuse him of slut-shaming her.

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  5. Yeah, the denial is strong in Zade. And god, I just wanted to make myself laugh too hard, but between the two of you, I’m now convinced this is all canon. It’s just too good. XD

    I ship Young Charles/Mac now TBH.

    Yeah, they can find tentative solace in each other’s arms. It would be a bitter-sweet refuge from the gaslighting and abuse. ;P

    Oh! But I didn’t think about the magic system any more than the author did. I quite honestly forgot Mac had to be in the building unless she can summon when he’s there and then after that, it’s a non-issue. But Mac was surprised so… I dunno. What if Zade learned how to summon the clone without needing Mac as a focus? Or she comes up with some lie but is secretly using a shut-in neighbor as the lightning rod, or whatever the metaphor was. Either way, she might keep Young Adult Charles around like a pet, which could lead to snuggles with Mac.

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  6. God, now I ship them too! Honestly, I ship Mac with anyone that gets him far, far, FAR away from Zade.

    Well, there was a lot of Chaos Magic flying around during that act. Maybe the Young Adult Charles isn’t that much of an issue by himself?

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  7. God, now I ship them too! Honestly, I ship Mac with anyone that gets him far, far, FAR away from Zade.

    And then one night they ran off to Cuba together, during Zade’s newest illusion. It didn’t require the homunculus, so she didn’t even notice his disappearance, but she did need Mac in the building because Zade never learns from anything, and she died from hubris. Luckily, Mac had retired a few years ago, no longer the castrated safety director, and they weren’t married, she’d only recently forced an engagement on him, so he wasn’t that worried about the fallout, especially since there was no way in hell the coroners could link him to the catastrophe. So, Charles and Dela got divorced, never to reunite again, and Charles went to jail for negligence and tax evasion. Young Charles and Mac lived in a shitty little apartment together, just making ends meet, but those were the happiest years of their lives. The End.

    Well, there was a lot of Chaos Magic flying around during that act. Maybe the Young Adult Charles isn’t that much of an issue by himself?

    That works for me.

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