This week I’m posting from my YA trilogy, Hedge Doctor.
Jeff Hansen is a witch with the green touch, the ability to grow plants. His green touch is exceptionally strong though. He can not just grow plants, but enhance their medicinal and magical abilities. He practices his art on monster hunters, people who can’t get healed in a hospital.
High school his is refuge, the only place he gets to be a normal kid, mostly. His extended family is everywhere, and if a hunter needs Jeff during school hours, a way can and will be found.
Things go from difficult to deadly for Jeff when the poltergeist forms in the basement.
This scene features Jeff and his best friend, and cousin, Courtney. They have just gotten out of class to help out some demon hunters. Jeff has a mini-clinic hidden in the basement of the school for emergencies.
Court clucked her tongue. “Tea, and pills, and the ointment. Somebody’s going to figure out that you use magic sooner or later.”
Jeff shrugged. “It’ll probably be Matty. He’s really smart.”
“We’re not supposed to flaunt our magic. What are you going to when some hunter decides that you’re a monster because you have magic?”
Jeff slammed the lid of his herb kit shut. “I have a calling, remember?”
The anger faded from her eyes. “You don’t have to do this.”
“Yes, I do.” It was the worst part. He meant it. He liked healing people. A calling sounded old fashioned and weird, but that’s exactly what had happened. He’d never decided to be a hedge doctor, he just was one. He’d been fascinated by plants as long as he could remember, but the green touch wasn’t unusual. The ability to grow plants was relatively common in his clan. The ability to enhance their magical and medicinal properties wasn’t. Nor was a true diagnostic sense of herbs. He always grabbed the right leaf. Usually before the patient told him the symptoms.
Jeff put his kit in his backpack, and closed the door behind him. “But when I decided to move to Pittsburgh, nobody told me…”
“You were twelve years old. How do you explain all this to a twelve year old?” Court headed towards the stairs.
Jeff smiled as he tried his best to mimic their grandmother’s accent. “Yer gonna pach up demon hunters, Jeff. Monsters is real, n’at.”
Court laughed. “Your yinzer is terrible.”
Before he could find a retort, a familiar red stain dripped down the wall. “Blood.” His arm shot out, stopping Court. Jeff backed away from the wall.
“Are you sure?” she squeaked.
“Absolutely. I see enough of it.”
Something tangled around his feet, pliant and heavy. He and Court went down in a pile. Jeff wrenched away, and his hand landed on something soft and slimy.
“It’s a body!” Court crabbed away on her palms and feet, her breath whistling.
“No.” The haughty demeanor of a hedge doctor came over him as he surged to his feet. “Court, calm down. This body is old, look at how bloated it is. If this were real, Matty and Rick would have come back for us.”
She nodded with a squeak, but didn’t move. “What is all this?”
Guilt surged through him. Court’s experience with the supernatural was strictly clinic-based. She’d never seen a monster first hand. She still was uncomfortable with Matty and his sister.
“I don’t know.” He pulled out his phone. “But I know who does.”