A shriek from the back yard usually was bad news. Not this time.
Instead of her neighbors stealing oranges, Garnet found a beautiful girl stuck in the highest branches of her tree.
Getting her down set off a chain of coincidences that were anything but as Garnet and her orange thief found themselves drawn together by ancient magic more powerful than the biggest coven on the west coast.
By Meyari McFarland
Something shrieked outside.
Garnet froze, one hand on the cutting board, the other on her chef’s knife. The onion sat between her hands, rocking gently side to side. Her little kitchen was silent for a moment, stew pot sizzling with chunks of beef and sliced mushrooms covered with the first onion she’d diced. The tomatoes had already been chopped, as had her green chilies and three nice fat jalapeños to up the heat.
She turned and stared out the back window towards her orange tree. It better not be those neighbor twins stealing her oranges again. Every single time they started getting ripe the twins snuck over her fence and stole the good ones before Garnet could get a single one.
Something rustled in the treetop. Garnet heard cursing and a yelp of pain. She glared, slapped the knife down and then jerked the sash on her red-checked gingham apron, the one that matched her most comfortable apron tichel with the absurdly delicate lace on the straps. Damn those kids! It’d be one thing if they stole the oranges to eat but no, they used them in their duct tape and plumbing supply potato cannon. Instead of actual potatoes because apparently ripe oranges made a better ‘splat’.
“Get out of my tree, you brats!” Garnet shouted as she threw open the back screen door. “I told you I’d call the cops on you and I will!”
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