Witches on Parole Unlocked - By Debora Geary

Chapter 1
Some birthday presents made you feel really old. Jennie looked at the neatly wrapped box with the WitchLight logo on the front and shook her head. Surely she wasn't old enough for senior witch status already?

Gingerly she opened the box. Inside she found two aquamarine pendants - gorgeous, faceted blue stones set in simple silver teardrops. They were lovely. And they were a message.

She was to have two students, then.

She touched the matching pendant around her neck. A sense of calm and clarity radiated from the blue stone, stronger than usual. Jennie laughed. Clearly someone at WitchLight thought she might need a little pacifying.

She hoped they'd put as much effort into bespelling the pendants for her two students. Most new WitchLight recruits weren't volunteers, and, as she remembered all too well, it was often the guides who took the worst of the reaction.

Nothing like standing in the line of fire of a pissed-off witch.

Ah, well, she thought. WitchLight had done well enough by her all those years ago. It was only right that she return some of the good that had come to her.

Perhaps she'd be lucky and get a couple of students with open hearts and a desire to serve. Or at least, ones a little less cranky than she had been. Her guide really hadn't deserved the singed eyebrows - he'd only been the messenger.

Jennie's sense of humor kicked in. If there was any karmic justice in the world, her two students would be doozies.

She took a deep breath and opened the letter that had come with the box.

My dearest Jennie,

It's your time to serve. WitchLight needs your insight, your humor, and your creativity. I suspect we've made you feel old this morning, but it's your wisdom we seek. It's a curious trick of fate that wisdom generally finds those of us who are getting on in years.

You've lived courageously and made us both very proud. Now we ask you to share that courage, that driving will to be the woman and the witch you were meant to be, with two who need a bit of a kick in the pants.

Invitations have been sent, and your students will arrive in the next couple of days. We ask you to send us regular reports - further instructions will follow via email, as we've now embraced the wonders of modern technology.

Use our help. You'll likely find yourself needing it. Melvin said to tell you that eyebrows do grow back.

And a most happy birthday. I hear the triplets have taken over Nat & Jamie's home for the event. I trust it will be very glittery and full of love, just as you deserve.

Blessed be,


Jennie leaned back into her couch as memories swamped her. Melvin's crusty voice, always gently pushing, never, ever letting her take the easy road. He'd put a camera in her hands. Her first pictures had been terrible - a task completed only because he'd insisted. He'd kept pushing until she'd been willing to put herself into the pictures.

It had always appealed to her sense of the absurd that the career of a world-famous photographer had been launched by a blind accountant. A very tenacious blind accountant.

And at fifty-seven years old, the knowledge that she'd made him proud was enough to bring her to tears.

In three months, Melvin had changed her life.

It was for him that she'd serve as WitchLight asked - and hope to be half the guide he had been.

She stood up. There were things to get ready, but first, she had a birthday party to attend, and the guest of honor shouldn't be late.
Chapter 2
He was a totally evil jerkwad of a slime-ball, and may he rot in hell. She had the worst freaking luck with roommates. What prehistoric idiot still thought it was the girl's job to do all the cooking and cleaning, and then take care of a couple of his friends' "needs" on the side?

He was just a pimp with a fancier name. Although, truth be told - and if you couldn't tell yourself the truth in the middle of the night, you were a delusional idiot - it was the cleaning that had made her run. Apparently baseball players shared the slovenly gene with druggies and frat boys.

"Slovenly" was such a cool word. The kind

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