Chapter 3

After spending about half an hour looking for a parking spot, I managed to get one close to where I was heading. Off a busy high street in the city centre, down an equally busy side street, was the place I was looking for. Squeezed in between a barber shop and a fried chicken place, was the oldest magic shop in the city.
A large wooden sign above the door proudly proclaimed the ancient shop to be McMillan’s Magic Emporium, where you would find ‘a wonderful world of magic curiosities from around the globe’. A grand way of saying that the place was a toy store for magic users. A tiny brass bell chimed when I walked in, and I suddenly found myself surrounded by a tonne of people. Everyone was flocking around the large colourful displays in the big room. The items they sold here were fairly innocent and cheap nick-nacks like giggle potions and anti-snoring charms. But that wasn’t what I was after. I needed the big boys’ toys in the back room.
I spotted Ian at the counter and slowly made my way through the excited mass of people. “Hi, Ian. You look tired.”
The middle aged man smiled and pushed the pile of items in front of him over to a young brunette next to him. “Christine, can you please serve this customer.” Without waiting for a response from the pouty girl, he walked out from behind the massive wooden desk where an army of people was trying to serve the hoard of customers. “Casey! Long time since I’ve seen you around. What can I do for my favourite customer?” His thin white hair floated around his head like an excited cloud.
I couldn’t hold back a soft chuckle. “Since when have I become your favourite customer, Ian?”
He looked at me in mock horror. “Casey! You’ve always been my favourite customer. For someone who claims to know nothing about magic, you always buy such interesting things – and you always spend a tonne of money.”
Laughing, I shook my head at him. “Shocking! But it’s true. And I’m here to spend some more money.”
Ian closed his eyes blissfully. “The best sentence in the universe and beyond.” Grabbing a pair of gloves from behind the desk, he made a sign to one of the employees. “Got to make sure someone capable is in charge as soon as I leave the room. Right, let’s talk business then.” He walked towards a door labelled ‘employees only’, and I followed him through the crowd.
The back room was smaller than the shop space, but it was filled with shelving units. Every wall was covered with inbuilt boxes in hundreds of different sizes. A small counter was placed in the middle of the room.
“So what do you need?”
“I need five Ectoplasmic Blockers, three big jars of Sight Crème, and 10 Solid-Spirit potions. Oh, and six snoozer bombs – I think we’ve run out.”
Ian blinked. “What exactly are you doing today? Hunting a platoon of ghosts?”
I smiled sheepishly. “Maybe”.
He shook his head and went to get a small ladder at the back of the room. “You are living a crazy life, woman!”
“Tell me about it.”
After paying a fortune, on the company card, and with three big bags in tow, I was heading back to China Town’s cursed forest.

Read chapter 4 here!