WRITTEN FOR: Magic and Mayhem Universe
SERIES: Book 2 of the Baba Yaga Adventures
LENGTH: 31,700 words
RELEASE DATE: June 2019
The Baba Yaga job didn’t come with a witch’s guide to a magical life.
Ahmed is leaving and people are escaping the magic pokey. Carol—aka the Baba Yaga—is winging it the best she can in this new light paranormal installment of the Baba Yaga Adventures.
She’s got a jailbreak at the magical pokey to deal with and two persistent men wanting to take her bed. The warlock geezer guarding the jail thinks he saw a dragon. Carol thinks it’s old enemy come back to seek revenge. Sorting out her love life? That’s going to have to wait.
How did any of her predecessors ever do this job without zapping everyone in sight? Carol has no freaking idea but now she’s under orders from the former Jezibaba to pick a warlock posse before her familiar leaves. Ahmed’s sentence has been served and he’s done. Her goose is cooked if she has to drag warlocks along to do her work. Why can’t people just back off and let her do the job her way?
Turns out everyone’s time is up, including hers.
After the longest bout of fighting she’d endured so far as the Baba Yaga, Carol poofed back into her apartment for some well-deserved rest.
For three long miserable days, she’d battled a resurrected, one-eyed giant who’d been sent to torment the Amazons. Apparently, one of them had ritually bedded and left a sorcerer who hadn’t handled rejection well.
Everyone knew that’s how Amazon females worked. Each woman had a whole speech she gave before sharing a man’s bed. Jilted lovers had no business sending necromanced creatures as relationship ending gifts.
“Ahmed? Are you home?” Carol called out, looking around for her familiar who had ignored her orders to tidy up the place while she was gone.
Her current familiar was a djinn who had been appointed to serve her by the Jezibaba. He’d popped in on her once or twice but left when he saw she was okay. Being male, she guessed he was a bit intimated by the Amazon females she was helping, Ahmed hadn’t stayed.
The giant was gone now, but the Amazons still hunted for the scorned magical who’d brought the giant back from beyond the veil. They promised to let her know when he was found, and she’d gotten to come home—thank the goddess.
Sighing from both mental and physical exhaustion, and her keen disappointment at finding a messy house and no one to greet her, Carol pulled out the emergency wand the Jezibaba had insisted she carry for times when she needed a magical boost.
Today was one of those days.
To end the fight with the giant once and for all, she’d allowed herself to be swallowed whole so she could explode the giant from the inside. The many, many pieces of him were then gathered up and burned so no further regeneration could take place.
Since he wasn’t a firebird, her plan had worked just fine—except for the part where ended up covered in the giant’s blood and guts. The Amazons had made sure she got physically clean, but there was nothing they could do to erase the memory of being swallowed by a such a vile creature.
Carol’s tired eyes looked around as she idly twirled the wand and tried to think what to do to fix her house. Green swirls of glitter started filling the air. A small smile finally pulled at her lips. What female didn’t like a little bit of sparkly, magical glitter dust now and again?
All the rest was just a clever—and she hoped not too selfish—spell.
“Come braying donkeys and hopping toads,
transform into servants and clean my abode.
For your service, you shall live thrice.
Let no one ever say the Baba Yaga isn’t nice.”
When the doorbell rang, Carol smiled smugly as she walked to answer. She opened it still smiling… and then she screamed. Six different combinations of toad-donkey creatures bowed their ghastly heads in greeting.
When the shock abated, Carol rolled her eyes at her own reaction and glared upwards to wherever Morgana was hiding and watching. Her Goddess just loved to play jokes on her. This was a good one, but Morgana’s timing sucked.
She looked back at the pitiful beings she’d created and pointed her wand at them. “I meant for you to transform into humans temporarily.”
All six of them morphed immediately into mostly human creatures, but humans with either donkey or toad face. She fisted a hand on her hip and glared. “That’s not what I meant either, but you’ll have to do. This place is a mess, and I need to rest. Oh, just do your best.”
And now she was rhyming like a freaking Troll…
Carol wearily stepped aside and ushered the creatures into her house. One frog woman croaked to a donkey man who brayed back. That seemed to be all the communication necessary. The six of them dispersed and soon had cleaning rags and dusters in their now mostly human hands.
Carol gave herself a moment to feel gratitude that any creature would come to her with so mundane a task as housekeeping. Were perks like this worth being swallowed by a necromanced giant?
She paused to remember how bad it had been inside the giant’s stomach.
“Seven hells to the no,” she muttered quietly.
In the kitchen, a donkey brayed out a question.
“No. No. Everything’s fine,” Carol called out in answer. “Just talking to myself.”
When a frog croaked in relief, it made her laugh despite how tired she was.
Before she could head to the shower and shed another layer of grossness, Ahmed finally poofed into the room. She looked down at his doggie form and frowned. Where were his doggie clothes? Her familiar never left the house without at least a bow tie around his neck.
Ahmed scratched at the floor, looked around in disgust, and then growled to show his displeasure at what she’d done.
“Neither of us have been here to do any chores. I had to do something,” Carol explained as her hand swept out. “Where were you all this time? I thought your job was taking care of me. I’ve been home long enough to cast a dozen spells.”
Ahmed stopped growling, hung his head, and stared at the floor.
“Come on, dude, stop with the moping. That was sarcasm. I’m tired and need comfort food. You know being hangry isn’t pretty on me.”
Carol hoped her familiar accepted her half-hearted apology. She was too tired to be any nicer. “Besides, everyone deserves some privacy now and again. I was just worried about where you’d gone. Are you okay?”
Ahmed barked sharply once and without meeting her gaze trotted off to check on their housekeepers.
“Great. Now he’ll brood for hours because I let someone else clean up…”
Carol reached under her skirt and put the wand back into the thigh holster she’d made for it.
Unlike the ample-boobed Jezibaba who’d trained her and the full-boobed Shifter Whisperer she called friend, Carol didn’t have any storage room at the top. Technically, she didn’t even need to wear a bra and often didn’t. All the magical tools she kept handy had to be stored in pockets or elsewhere on her person. The holster had been the Jezibaba’s idea. She said she’d worn one during the time she’d needed two or three emergency wands to make it through her day.
Before Carol could decide what to conjure for dinner for her and Ahmed, the whole house suddenly rocked as something huge hit the ground outside and shook the earth in the process.
Donkey braying, frog croaking, and then angry dog barking instantly filled her house in response to it.
Carol wobbled with the aftershocks and then righted herself, snorting when the doorbell rang only once before falling silent. Only a dragon would have that kind of nerve, and she knew several. The only question was which of them was now at her door. Some days she could tell, but today her magical senses were as tired as the rest of her.
Sighing, Carol moved forward to open the door only to be unexpectedly blocked from doing so by a growling, still angrily barking familiar who’d managed to wedge his small doggie self between her and the entrance.
“What’s wrong now?” Carol asked in exasperation, fisting both hands on her hips. “We both know that’s a dragon standing at the door. Dragons do not go away when you ignore them, Ahmed. They set your freaking house on fire. I am not going to be explaining to Morgana that I let the house she found for me get burned down because I was afraid to open my door to a dragon. Especially since several of them practically raised me.”
Ahmed plopped down and glared up at her.
“Don’t give me that stubborn look. We’ve had this discussion many times before. I’m the Baba Yaga. I serve all magicals—even dragons. Move your djinn ass out of the way, buster.”
Ahmed growled low and showed his teeth.
Carol groaned. “Will you please stop worrying? The whole species knows I killed a dragon. I’m not ashamed. Professor Smoke said the dragons didn’t blame me for killing Thane.”
Ahmed jumped to all fours, snorted, turned around, and then scratched the hardwood floor in rebellion.
Carol grunted and shook her head. “Of course, I’m going to be careful. I’m always careful with dragons.” She winced when Ahmed yipped twice. “Jacob was a baby dragon. How was I supposed to know he’d develop a crush on me just because I said hello? That doesn’t count as a mistake or a problem. Professor Smoke said his grandson still thinks girls have cooties.”
Yanking the door open, Carol smiled at her visitor before turning to smirk at Ahmed. “See? I told you everything was fine. It’s the Jezibaba.”
“I must disagree. I’m Elenora the Dragoness, especially in the presence of the Baba Yaga,” Elenora reminded her.
Carol chuckled. “I can’t seem to catch a break today. Everybody’s a critic of my words. Welcome to my crazy home, Elenora the Dragoness.”
Elenora chuckled at the sarcasm and crossed the threshold. Ahmed immediately turned into a camel and bellowed loudly in Elenora’s face.
Carol’s mouth dropped open at his rudeness before her irritation exploded.
Purple glitter flew from her swinging hands and covered the entire room, including all three of them. “What in seven hells is wrong with you today, Ahmed?”
She snapped her fingers and pointed at him. Ahmed immediately turned back into a dog and barked wildly while running around in mad circles.
“Hush,” she ordered firmly.
Her witch power over her familiar allowed her such control, so Ahmed immediately stopped protesting and sat. Having authority in this instance didn’t make her happy because Carol could count on one hand the number of times she’d ever had to use that control with Ahmed.
She didn’t understand why he was being so difficult.
She’d thought they were better friends than that. And he had absolutely no reason to be rude to their guest.
Carol turned to Elenora. “I’m sorry. Ahmed wasn’t here when I got home, and he’s been acting crazy since he got back. He even tried to stop me from opening the door to let you in.”
Elenora crossed her arms and glared down at the dog, glaring up at her. “You didn’t tell her, did you? Letting Carol find out the hard way is not fair, Ahmed. Nor is it the honorable way to handle this situation.”
Ahmed’s low grumble vibrated the floor beneath him as he sank down to it and put his head on his paws in defeat.
“Tell me what?” Carol asked, looking between the two of them before letting her gaze rest on Elenora.
“This is exactly why I came,” Elenora said with a sigh as she turned to a woman who was like a daughter to her. It seemed like all she ever got to deliver was terrible news to Carol. “Ahmed’s magical sentence is nearly at its end. I’m sorry he didn’t tell you himself since he already has the power of human speech back. His natural form has also fully returned to his control. You might say Ahmed’s on magical probation now. He will be completely free at the end of the month.”
Carol burst out laughing and clapped her hands. “Hey, that’s great, Ahmed. Now we get to be human together.” She smiled as she looked at her brooding familiar. “That is great news, isn’t, Ahmed? Why wouldn’t you tell me?”
When Ahmed refused to comment, Elenora sighed again. “I’m guessing because it means you’ll soon be getting a new familiar and Ahmed hasn’t accepted the idea yet,” she said bluntly.
Carol’s smile instantly faded. “Oh… right… I forgot him being here was his job. I guess I thought we… well, never mind. We both knew this would happen sometime. Right, Ahmed?”
Elenora shook her head. “It’s even more complicated than you know, Carol. Another familiar will come to you eventually, but as the Baba Yaga, you should never be unguarded or without magical help. You can’t delay making your choices any longer. I’m sorry, but I must insist you do what’s right before Ahmed has to leave.”
Carol closed her eyes and groaned. “But I don’t want a warlock posse. They’re so clingy. And annoying. Goddess, are they annoying. I mean, like really, really annoying. The hovering alone is maddening. I don’t know how you ever stood it.”
Elenora shrugged in answer. “I agree completely about the warlocks, but you’re the Baba Yaga. You must have them for backup. What did you do with the ones from my posse who stayed to work with you?”
Carol bit her lip. “Well… I…” She looked off. She looked back at the witch protectress she’d replaced and laughed nervously. “I guess I sort of fired them.”
“Carol…” Elenora said with disappointment in her tone.
“Why did I need warlocks when Ahmed could turn into a Thunderbird? My familiar has been all the help I’ve needed.”
Jezibaba fisted hands on her hips and glared at her stubborn replacement. “I can’t believe you fired the fully trained warlocks who volunteered to stay and serve you.”
Carol held up a nervously sparking hand. Hunger and nerves were not a good combination for a witch with her power. “I know. I know. Morgana has already lectured me for letting them go without getting her permission first. But they were so…”
“Caring? Concerned? Willing to sacrifice themselves and their magic to save your witch protectress ass?” Elenora suggested.
“Actually, I was going to say they were lame,” Carol admitted, biting her lip again. “And those clothes… those ugly brown and gray robes… I couldn’t look at them every day. I just couldn’t.”
“Carol, you need to be reasonable about the warlocks. Their offer of magical protection should exclude them from having to appeal to your fashion sense. And Hildy’s right, you know. The 80s are long gone.”
Carol grunted in rebellion as she frowned. “Now you’re just being mean. Okay. Fine. I’ll hire a new warlock posse. That can’t be the reason Ahmed didn’t tell me his good news. What are you two keeping from me?”
Sighing a little doggy sigh, Ahmed rose to all fours then changed into himself—half man and half ethereal smoke—before letting the rest of his human form finally materialize. “It is true what the Jezibaba told you. I said nothing because I don’t want to leave you.”
Carol giggled at the sexy declaration. Her yipping dog familiar had a very sexy man voice when human. Her assessing gaze raked the sleek man candy standing in all his shirtless glory right in her very own living room. Ahmed, in his human form, was a lean and buff male with taut muscles, smooth tanned skin, and chocolate eyes. He contrasted nicely with the blonde-haired fitness guru look she currently favored. His djinn power twinkled like stars in his gaze as he stared back at her. She felt the butterflies in her stomach start to flutter their wings.
“What are you wearing?” Carol asked, pointing to his clothes.
Ahmed wore some male version of harem pants, which was a little off-putting, but Carol had no problem at all imagining him in tight jeans and a white t-shirt.
And that sexy voice of his? It was to die for. Her instincts had been spot on about how incredible her familiar was going to be in human form.
“It is traditional djinn dress. I hope it pleases you.”
Carol barely stifled a soft sigh of pleasure as Ahmed walked a bit closer to her. Her head spun with lusty possibilities that she probably shouldn’t be thinking in front of a woman who was practically her mother.
“Elenora is regrettably right, Carol. I’m ashamed that my courage chose to fail me in this matter. I had forgotten you were to be my last assignment. I had forgotten our time together would one day end. These last few years have flown by without my notice.”
Carol used a hand and pushed on one of his firm shoulders. “Dude—why are you talking like you’re gone already? Nobody’s running you off, especially not me.” She waved a hand up and down him. “You look even better in person than that one time I saw you in the djinn mist.”
Ahmed smiled weakly at the memory and bowed his head. “Thank you for your kind words. Your admiration of my human form means the world to me. It’s also part of my dilemma.”
Carol closed the distance between them and looked up at him when Ahmed raised his gaze to hers again. Her djinn familiar was a lot taller in human form than she’d imagined he’d be. As a female, she wasn’t Elenora tall, but she wasn’t as short as Hildy either. Having to tilt her head so far back to look up at a male was a somewhat unusual occurrence for her.
“Seriously, Ahmed. You can stay as long as you want, even if you’re not my familiar.”
“No, Carol. Ahmed can’t stay. His reprieve is over. He needs to return home.”
Carol turned to look at Elenora and found her mentor with a pained expression on her face. When Elenora shook her head, Carol swallowed past a lump in her throat. It had been quite a while since anything had rendered her speechless.
She turned back to her equally pained-looking familiar. “Why can’t you stay with me?”
Ahmed lifted both shoulders. “Because I am betrothed. Ibarra has been waiting patiently for me to finish my service to you. I admit I am duty bound to keep my father’s promise to her father. We are to join our djinn houses. This is my destiny.”
Carol’s face wrinkled in confusion. “Wait… so… you’re engaged to be married to a woman you’re not in love with?”
“It is not a matter of love. My nuptials were arranged when I was born. When I came of age to take a wife, I rebelled against the arrangement. I am fond of Ibarra, but I barely know her. I was consumed by panic at the thought of tying myself to someone for eternity.”
Ahmed swept into his usual dog form and then back to his human form in a blink.
“When I sought a reprieve, Mother Gaia answered my request by making me a witch’s familiar. She gave me one century and assigned my care to the witch protectress. The Jezibaba’s reputation was unquestionable. My father accepted her alleged sentencing of me as something that had to be honored. I have been having a reprieve.”
“Wow. And you couldn’t tell me any of this before now because you couldn’t speak,” Carol said, guessing the rest.
“No. I could not tell you. And there was Iren. Later there were others—many others—who held your interest for a time. Yet no male lasted with you, which made me consider whether I could postpone my destiny a bit longer. I could tell you were searching for a mate who would understand and support you.”
“I guess it was something like that,” Carol admitted. She’d actually been looking for a male to make her forget how wonderful Iren had been to her. So far, no male had accepted her like her first love had. She ran a trembling hand through her messy hair. “Wow… so you’re engaged. Wow. That’s really unexpected.”
They’d both been sort of waiting for him to be able to change to human. Carol was guilty of having a few fantasies. Obviously, Ahmed could never be the one male who’d always be there for her. His betrothal was her situation with Iren happening all over again.
Losing Iren had been awful, but she well-understood obligation and duty. Because of that, she’d worked on accepting that she and Iren weren’t meant to last as a couple. Maybe she’d made it look like he’d been quickly forgotten by her, but he hadn’t been. Her saving grace in letting go was that Carol could tell Iren’s fairy princess had adored him even more than she had.
Why was it that all the best males were committed to other women? Was anyone ever going to be committed to her that way? Feeling sorry for herself and fighting not to show such weakness, she looked over at Elenora. “Why didn’t you tell me before today? You could have warned me about Ahmed’s personal situation.”
“I could have, but it wasn’t my story to tell. It was his, and I assumed he would share it since you’re so close,” Elenora said, pointing to Ahmed before looking back at Carol. “And I did warn you not to get attached to any male. Ahmed was included in that warning.”
Since she couldn’t argue with that logic, Carol nodded before sighing in resignation.
The Jezibaba had warned both her and Hildy not to get attached to any male until they were sure of their own power and purpose. The first love and lust a woman felt for a new lover could be used to manipulate the role of witch protectress. Many had tried to do so in Elenora’s long service.
Hildy became immune to other males once Chuck had wedged himself firmly into her life. Unfortunately, no one had ever explained to Carol how to give up a male she loved without getting her heart broken. She and Hildy had both concluded that avoiding romantic pain simply wasn’t possible for any female.
“I’m genuinely sorry things have worked out this way, Carol. I knew you had a lot going on, so I thought it best to deliver the news myself in case Ahmed lost his nerve,” Elenora said softly. “Morgana will no doubt be by for a visit soon as well. She’s arranging for a new familiar for you.”
Lifting one shoulder in a shrug instead of raising her middle finger like she wanted to do, Carol forced a small smile to her mouth. “I guess I should say thanks for the reality check. I’m sure I’ll be fine eventually. At the moment, I need a shower and a decent meal to feel normal again.”
Elenora nodded. “Do I have your word about putting together your warlock posse?”
Accepting there was no way out of it this time, Carol nodded to that as well. “I’ll start interviewing warlocks tomorrow.”
“Witch’s honor?” Elenora asked.
Carol’s mouth twisted. The witch who’d trained her was no dummy. “Witch’s honor.”
“Good,” Elenora said in relief as she smiled. “Let me know if you need my help. I did pretty well, picking mine.”
“I will definitely call if I have questions,” Carol promised, watching as her second mother, mentor, and now mental torturer magically poofed away.
She turned and looked once more at the gorgeous man standing in her living room. He’d been there all along, and she’d had no idea what was in front of her. Now she did know, and it wasn’t fair. But then most of life wasn’t fair.
“I’m going to take a shower and then we’re going to have dinner and talk,” Carol said stiffly.
Ahmed nodded. “As you wish. You can send your helpers away now. I’ll finish their cleanup.”
Carol shrugged and pulled the wand out of its holster again. She shot a stream of yellow magic toward her kitchen and recanted the spell. Moments later her house filled with the braying of three confused donkeys and the croaking of some hopping mad toads.
“You can go now. Thank you for coming,” Carol yelled toward the creatures in her kitchen.
Then she turned on her heels and stomped away to her bedroom with Ahmed making his pained face again.
Her head was pounding. Her stomach was in knots. And once again her world was turning upside down without warning. Like this job wasn’t already hard enough?
Soon she’d have to deal with Ahmed leaving. Who was going to share her love of 80s fashion and music? Who was going to watch the Flashdance movie with her? Listen to disco music with her?
Thinking of Hildy’s favorite outfit when they were in high school, Carol decided she needed some Cindy Lauper pink netting—stat.
And maybe some Bee Gees music to mend her broken heart.
What is the Magic and Mayhem Universe? Here’s what the author says…
Blast Off with us into the Magic and Mayhem Universe!
I’m Robyn Peterman, the creator of the Magic and Mayhem Series and I’d like to invite you to my Magic and Mayhem Universe. What is the Magic and Mayhem Universe, you may ask? Well, let me explain…
It’s basically authorized fan fiction written by some amazing authors that I stalked and blackmailed! KIDDING! I was lucky and blessed to have some brilliant authors say yes! They have written brand new stories using my world and some of my characters. And let me tell you… the results are hilarious!
So here it is! Blast off with us into the hilarious Magic and Mayhem Universe. Side-splitting books by fantabulous authors! Check out each and every one. You will laugh your way to a magical HEA!
For all the stories, go to https://magicandmayhemuniverse.com/. Grab your copy today!
Who is Robyn Peterman? So glad you want to know!
My life hasn’t been the same since I met Robyn Peterman in a writer’s group where we were the only two comedy writers and the only two authors writing paranormal. Now we’re critique partners and over our years of working together she’s taught me many, many, many new potty words. We’re thinking about making our own dictionary.
Check out Robyn’s original series that began the Magic and Mayhem Universe. CLICK HERE to visit the website.