Hello, Everyone. This year for the winter holiday season I’ve decided to express my appreciation for all of you by doing a bit more than wishing you a happy Solstice, Hanukkah, Hearth’s Warming, Hogswatch, Yule, Christmas or whatever other holiday you may celebrate. Although wish you a happy *insert one of those here* I do. But as a little present from me to you, I’m going to be posting a little extra story for a while. It’ll probably be posted on Saturdays, with maybe some extras. It also happens to be related to the extra little story I posted for Halloween. So, without further ado, here’s the first part of The Bagged Heiress and happy holiday season to all.
Bianca Hexe carefully manoeuvred her broom down onto the roof of the office building that happened to house the investigation agency of Hildegard Elizabeta Müller, careful so as not to be seen. She set her broom by the entrance down into the building and cast a quick protective spell over it. Just in case. The door down wasn’t locked, not that it would’ve mattered if it had been. It is, after all, terribly difficult to keep a witch from going where she pleases.
She made her way to Hilde’s office. Hilde was inside, talking to a gentleman who looked to be in his sixties. His black hair was peppered with grey. His dark skin was visibly wrinkled. He was dressed in a polo shirt and slacks but still had a distinguished air about him.
Bianca moved behind Hilde and threw her arms around her neck. “You must be our client,” she said. “Don’t worry about a thing. My lovely Hilde is quite the detective. I guarantee we’ll solve your case.”
To Bianca’s surprise, Hilde looked embarrassed. Hilde did her best to hide her face, shrinking back in her seat a little. “Bianca, she said “this is my dad. Dad, this is Bianca, my girlfriend.”
Bianca pulled away from Hilde and extended a hand to her father. “Pleased to meet you, Sir.”
“Likewise, likewise,” he took her hand gently. “You can call me Gottfried. Hilde, you didn’t tell me..” he shook his head. “Never mind. I can see that you two have work to be getting to. Hilde, bring your lovely lady here down to the restaurant. I’m sure Lorelei would love to meet her and we can talk properly.”
He bowed and excused himself.
“How’d I do for first impressions?” Bianca asked. “I think he liked me.”
“You just outed me in front of my dad,” Hilde said.
“Really?” Bianca asked. “You always seemed so open. There any reason you kept it from him?”
“Of course there is,” Hilde said. “He’s a very religious man. I didn’t know if he’d be okay with it.” Hilde’s phone vibrated. She picked it up and checked it. “Guess I underestimated him,” she said. “Take a look.”
Bianca peeked at the screen. Gottfried had just made a post: “Just found out my baby girl has a way cuter girlfriend than most straight folks could manage. That’s good genetics right there.”
“Nice!” Bianca declared. “You should put a like on it.”
“You only like it because he called you cute,” Hilde said.
“Hey, it made you smile too,” Bianca said. “So, where is this important client we have to do a job for?” She didn’t say anything when she noticed Hilde press “like” on her father’s post.
“We’re meeting him at his town house,” Hilde said. “We’ll take my car.”
“Then I’ll get my broom and put it in the back,” Bianca said. “Just in case.”
The two met at Hilde’s Beetle.
“It’s not far,” Hilde said. “Our client is Francis Weber.”
“Oh yeah, his family owns all those factories, right?”
“Right,” Hilde said. “Apparently his young daughter’s gone missing..”
“So, our job is to find this brat,” Bianca said. “Is this really our speed?”
Hilde shrugged. “Work is work. Besides, it’ll be nice to have a simple, easy job.”
They arrived at the Weber’s luxury town house. Francis was a wiry man with spectacles and blonde hair.
“It’s my fault,” he lamented. “She just wanted another horse. I should’ve just given it to her.”
“Calm down, Mister Weber,” Hilde said. “We’ll find her. Just tell us, where did you last see her”
“She was in her room,” Francis answered.
“Anywhere she might have gone?” Hilde asked.
“Perhaps to our place in the country,” Francis said. “But I’ve called there already. The staff haven’t seen a sign of her.”
“I’d like to see her room,” Hilde said. “Maybe we can find some clues.”
“Yes, of course,” Francis said. He clapped his hands. “Abigail, show Detective Müller and her associate to Francine’s room.”
The maid bowed. “This way, please.” she said.
Bianca waited until they were a little away before leaning over to Hilde. “Another horse?” she whispered. “How many does the kid have already?”
“Miss Francine has six horses,” Abigail answered, overhearing. “This is her room.”
“Thanks, that’ll be all,” Bianca said. Abigail curtsied and went back to her duties.
Hilde opened the door. Bianca felt it instantly. A magical presence hung thick in the air.
“Careful!” she said.
“Something wrong?” Hilde asked.
“Don’t you feel it?” Bianca asked. “No, I suppose you wouldn’t. You’re just an ordinary human. Well, an extraordinary human in a lot of ways but without any magical tendencies, you know?”
“Please, Bianca, Hilde said. “Get to the point.”
“There’s magic at work here,” Bianca said. “Powerful stuff too.”
Hilde scanned the room. “Doesn’t look like anything’s amiss.”
“But you must feel a sense of unease,” Bianca insisted.
“You’re right about that,” Hilde admitted. “Something here does feel… wrong, somehow.”
“And the magical miasma is thick,” Bianca said. “But I don’t think it’s fresh. Whoever… whatever was here did its business and got out.”
“You think Francine was taken by this thing?” Hilde asked. She’d gotten on her knees and was examining the ground.
“It seems likely,” Bianca said. “Given that its presence is relegated to her room.” With a great sense of discomfort, she stepped inside Francine’s room and shut the door.
“You’re the expert, what kinds of magical creatures abduct children?” Hilde asked. “Another witch?”
“A witch is possible,” Bianca said. “If it is a witch she’s amazingly strong. Fae sometimes steal children, but I don’t know if they have this kind of power. There’s the Grýla, Lamia, Baubas, Cuco, certain demons and other creatures. You’d be surprised by how many magical creatures will steal a child.”
“Then we have to narrow it down,” Hilde said. “Hello, what’s this?” She indicated a small indent that had been covered by the rug. “Looks almost like a hoof mark.”
“That does narrow it down some,” Bianca said. “Let’s go back to your office. I’ll use my crystal ball and see if I can find her.”
“Agreed,” Hilde said, replacing the rug.
Bianca shuddered at the mystic miasma lingering in the room. She was not looking forward to facing whatever creature was responsible for this.