Dervishes Don't Dance
Valkyrie Bestiary Series, Book 2
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Critter wrangler rule 5: Just because something smells dead, doesn’t mean it can’t kill you.
Sometimes you just need to hug your dervish. Like when he protects you from brownies. Or goes down into the scary basement with you because he’s proud to be your apprentice.
Or when he saves the world.
Kyra Greene, pest controller to the extraordinary is back with a new adventure!
A Guardian is dead. Fae are missing. And someone has let a golem loose in town. Ride along with Kyra Greene, the only pest controller qualified to deal with the strange and wonderful creatures that come out of the shadows when magic flares.
In this snippet, Jacoby is on his first job as Kyra's official pest control apprentice.
The brownie stared angrily from the shadows under the hedge. Somehow, I needed to detain him for questioning.
“I catches him for you!” Jacoby made a wringing motion with his hands. “No more brownie!”
“No! If you’re going to be my apprentice, you need to follow my rules. Understand?”
“‘Prentice?” The whiskers around his eyes twitched.
That’s right, you little whirlwind of trouble. Take the bait.
“I be’s your ‘prentice?”
“Only if you can obey my commands. We don’t want to hurt the brownie. We just want to talk to him.”
Jacoby pouted but nodded.
I peered through the hedge, and the brownie hissed. If I tried to claw through the brambles, the little beast would attack with the ferocity of a pissed-off cat. I wouldn’t be able to take him by force without shedding more blood.
“Come out of the hedge and I’ll give you...” I thought about what I had to trade, dug into my pack and found a small bag of mints. I held them out. “Candy!”
He sniffed the offer and hissed again. Apparently brownies didn’t like mint.
“Kyra-lady shouldn’t talks to filthy brownies,” Jacoby said. The fae were as sensitive to social hierarchy as Victorian ladies, and brownies were way down the pecking order.
Jacoby stood at least six inches taller, but more importantly, his magic would outclass a brownie’s any day.
“I have to talk to him. I need to find out who hurt Cyril,” I said through gritted teeth.
“Kyra-lady could sets fire to the hedge,” he suggested. “Brownies don’t likes fire.” He grinned. Tendrils of smoke leaked from his ears.
“Uh, no thanks.”
I tested the solidity of the bush. The branches were thick and intertwined.
“Kyra-lady could stabs ‘em with her big sword. Stabs ‘em right through the eye!”
The brownie peered through the branches and stuck out his tongue. Jacoby lunged at the hedge with a pretend sword. The brownie disappeared.
“Kyra-lady could poisons ‘em.” Jacoby stood back and scratched one ear with a long finger. “Or explodes ‘em. Explodes ‘em with a big bomb! Then chops ‘em into tiny bits!” He made a chopping motion with one skinny hand.
I was starting to think that Jacoby didn’t like brownies.