Rise of the Wadjet Witch - By Juliet C. Obodo

Chapter 1

“It happened again!” Memphis Holland exclaimed as she plopped down in a seat next to her friend Jill at the nail salon. She was a little out of breath; she practically ran to the salon to make sure that she made it to their biweekly mani-pedi appointment on time. She was usually punctual but had fallen asleep on her desk at work. As a PhD candidate, she struggled to balance her work and class schedules.

“What did?” Jill asked. She was frowning, or at least Memphis imagined she was. Jill began Botox treatments as soon as she received her first paycheck after college graduation three years ago.

“The Gypsies—another one caught me on the street on the way over here. They’re drawn to me.”

“Maybe they know that you’re an easy mark,” she offered.

“I am not! I usually just wish them a good day and go on my way, but this one mentioned something about a recent breakup.”

“Like I said, easy mark. It’s New York City; one out of three people are dealing with a breakup.”

“No,” Memphis said patiently. “She knew about Jonathan and how he suddenly ended our relationship after almost two years together. She also knew how hurt and confused it left me.”

“That’s just your normal facial expression, no?”

Memphis stuck out her tongue. Maybe Jill had a point. She had been walking around all week in a big cloud of confusion.

“She really was genuine, until she tried to take my wallet. She suggested that I give it to her because it was holding all the negative energy in my life, and if I held onto it I would never obtain anything of value.”

“That’s hilarious. Oh, Memphis, you keep me so entertained.”

Apparently she also entertained the nail technician. She could have sworn she saw her smile before she quickly bent her head to spend a great deal of time filing Memphis’s index finger.

“He called last night. We just discussed work.”

“Oh, it’s great that he can remain professional despite the fact he broke your heart.”

“I know,” she sighed. “I just don’t get it. One night he takes me out to the most wonderful romantic dinner. The next day he says he can’t do this anymore and dumps me.”

“Well, honey, let’s get these nails dry and I will take you out for dinner. I’ve got some great news.” She handed Memphis the fast dry spray for her nails.

“You got the promotion at the newspaper.”

“Memphis! How did you know? I swear, sometimes you’re psychic.”

“Ha. Yeah, sure I am.” If she were psychic, she would have been better prepared for her recent breakup. “But that’s really great, Jill. Dinner is definitely on you, but I get to choose the place.”

She picked their favorite Indian restaurant on Bleeker Street for the celebration dinner. The great thing about living in New York City was that it earned its reputation as a city full of insomniacs; you could get manicures at 11:00 p.m. and dinner at midnight. Memphis couldn’t decide if it was the city or its inhabitants that determined its lack of a curfew.

“So, tell me about this promotion,” Memphis requested. They sat down at their usual table and barely glanced at the menu, which they practically had memorized. They proceeded to order their usual spread of one Murgh Kari, a large vegetable paneer, tandoori chicken, and three vegetable samosas with a side of mango salsa.

Jill worked at Sign of the Times, a daily New Age newspaper publication. It had recently increased in popularity after a starlet mentioned it on a morning show as the reason for her new and improved spiritual life. Besides the fact that “spiritual starlet” sounded like an oxymoron, their circulation skyrocketed that day. That was eight months ago, and they still had a large readership that was continuing to grow. Jill was there from the beginning, and now she was reaping the benefits.

She described how they were hiring more staff and covering edgier news topics. They were also expanding their coverage to relevant topics that dealt with the everyday spiritual observer and some of the obstacles they may face, such as being murdered.

“Wait, murdered?” Memphis repeated.

“Were you even paying attention?”

“Yes, of course I was.”

“No, you weren’t. You were thinking about Jonathan.”

“Now who’s the mind reader? I’m sorry, I was. I can’t help it, but I will try harder. What were you saying about murder?”

The waiter placed their food in front of them and left them plates to divide the spread themselves. Jill rolled her eyes, but gave Memphis a dimpled smile to show

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