Magic's Not Real, p.1part #0.50 of Voodoo Dolls Series
Magic’s Not Real
A Voodoo Dolls Story
This book is a work of fiction. All of the characters, organizations, and events portrayed in this novel are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.
Copyright (c) 2017 J.L. Hendricks
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First Edition March, 2017
All rights reserved. Copyright © 2017 J.L. Hendricks
Editor: Rebecca Reddell
Illustrator: Victoria Cooper
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Magic’s Not Real
Other Books by J.L. Hendricks
Magic’s Not Real
When magic IS real, what would you do to protect yourself?
Jenna and her three adopted sisters, the Voodoo Dolls, run a tourist shop in New Orleans, Louisiana (NOLA). They are also The Voodoo Dolls, an indie rock band who don’t believe magic is real.
That is until someone tries to kill Jenna using a death curse. Rico and his pack are there when it happens. They decide to protect Jenna and the Dolls, while going after the evil that tried to kill the beautiful lead singer.
What the dolls don’t realize is that everything from their nightmares is true! When they discover magic IS real, they all discover the terrible truth about vampires, shifters, and magic wielders. Will Jenna survive the evil which is after her? Will she be able to accept the assistance of a wolf shifter and his pack? Or will she fall prey to the creatures that live in the night.
“Welcome to the Voodoo Doll’s House. How can I help you?” I asked the latest patron who entered my shop.
“I was looking for a charm.” The young, pretty blonde woman looked around and slowly walked to the counter. “I, um, well. You see, my boyfriend is cheating on me, and I want to either make him pay or get him to stop cheating. I don’t know which yet. Can you help me?” The young, twenty-ish girl with wide, blue eyes, looked at me, and asked, “What can I do? I heard you make the best voodoo dolls in all of NOLA. Should I punish him?”
“Hm, yes, I see.” I tapped my chin and thought for a moment. “Do you love him?”
“Yes, with everything I am.”
“Then you don’t want revenge or punishment, you want him to love you in return. I have just the thing.” I walked to the other side of the small store and picked up a sachet of leaves and flowers, then handed it to my new eager client.
“This is a tea that you brew and serve to the one you love. If your love for him is true, he’ll love you forever.” I winked at her. “However, if your love isn’t true, well, let’s just say that you might want to think twice before you give him this tea.” I frowned and watched her face for a reaction.
“Why? Will he hurt me or something?” Her eyes went wide.
“Not physically, but emotionally it will be quite painful. I must warn you. Only a few of my clients have actually come back to tell me that their journey ended in wedded bliss. Think long and hard about how you really feel for him. If you decide you love him - really and truly love him, like there would be no tomorrow without him, brew him this tea. You must drink it together and finish it while it’s still hot.”
My business partner and best friend, Indie, came through the back door and watched as the young woman ate up every word I said. “Oh, really? He’ll propose and everything? Never cheat on me again?”
“If your love is true, yes.” I nodded my head.
“Oh yes! I know exactly how I feel. I want him forever and ever! Tonight, I’ll make him a special dinner, and then we can have tea with dessert! Tony - that’s my boyfriend’s name - isn’t really a tea kinda guy, but I’ll get him to drink it.” The customer reached into the basket and grabbed five more bags of the tea before turning to follow me to the register.
“Miss, you won’t need more than one bag of tea. If it doesn’t work the first time, it won’t work.” I smiled at her, and when the lady turned to put the tea bags away, I winked at Indie.
Whirling back around, the young lady questioned, “Oh, can I buy these for my friends? Do they make nice gifts? I have several girlfriends who are having trouble with their boyfriends or husbands. Yvette’s husband has already cheated once, that we know of, and she could really use this, too.” The customer furrowed her brow and held on tight to the tea sachets.
“Of course, they make fantastic gifts! I have some gift bags you could use too. How about an aphrodisiac to go with them? We have a fresh batch of fudge, my partner Indie, made just this morning. If your man isn’t in the mood, this will certainly help him get there, if you know what I mean.” I raised my eyebrows and walked to the next counter to grab six sets of wrapped fudge, one set for the customer and the rest for her friends.
“Is there anything else you need help with?” I put the packages of dark chocolate and nuts, wrapped in red paper with a white bow, on the counter in front of my new client.
The woman looked around, hunched her shoulders and whispered, “Can I try the fudge first? I mean, does it taste weird once you put your voodoo in it?”
I put a hand over her mouth and giggled. “Of course you can taste it, but it must be a very small portion as it doesn’t take much to get the magic working.” I cut off a sliver of one of the bars of fudge and handed it to the woman.
“Mmm, that is really good. Does the magic or voodoo or whatever you do make it taste better? Cuz that is some of the best fudge I’ve ever had.” She licked her lips and her eyes rolled back as she sighed.
“Huh, I hadn’t thought of it before. But then again, I don’t eat the fudge.” I winked at the customer.
I rang up the purchase and said, “That will be $109.59, please.”
The lady pulled out her credit card and giggled. “Oh, right! That would be awful to eat the fudge and have to stay here at work the rest of the day, wouldn’t it?” The woman smiled when she handed her credit card over and gladly paid the bill.
“I guess a hundred dollars is cheap compared to the counseling bills some couples have, or the divorce attorneys!” The lady shivered.
The bell on the door rang as the smiling customer walked out the door. She had no clue she just paid over one hundred dollars for a simple rose tea and ordinary chocolate fudge. Those same items could be purchased for less than ten dollars at the grocery store.
“How do you always get them to spend over one hundred dollars? That lady came in looking for one thing, and you sent her out of here with twelve different items, including fancy gift bags.” Indie shook her head.
“It’s a gift.” I shrugged and went back to sorting the new voodoo dolls we all made the night before.
* * *
That night I headed to Bourbon Street with my three best friends and roommates. We were the Voodoo Doll Sisters, a hot and popular indie rock band. At
Kat, the oldest of our quartet at only twenty-five, smacked her gum while she drove the van to the club. “Ladies, I know we’re headed to a major recording deal if we can just get in front of the right people!” She spent most of her spare time researching the agents and where they liked to hang out on Bourbon Street.
“I found a booking for a group of recording executives from a large New York agency. They’ll be here in just a couple of months for a conference. If we can get our band booked to play even one gig in front of them, they’ll be begging us to sign on the dotted line.” She slapped the steering wheel.
Indie asked, “How’d you find out?” She blew a bubble while twirling the long pink strands of hair mixed in with her natural blonde locks that went down to the middle of her back.
“Hmph, while you girls were flirting with the bouncers at the last few clubs we played, I was schmoozing all of the booking agents. In the process, I was able to get our band booked into a few of the hottest clubs in town, Bourbon on the Rocks, being one of them.” She eyed Indie over her shoulder before looking back at the road.
I was in the front passenger seat and laughed. “You mean you made out with all the booking agents in town!” I put my hand up for Indie, who gave me a high five.
Kat sat up straight. “Not all women have to use sex to get what they want. I happen to be extremely good at needling men until they give me what I want.” She pursed her lips and kept her eyes on the road. Kat was beautiful. She was 5’ 7” with long brunette hair. We all died strands of our hair different colors, hers was electric blue. Which helped her blue eyes to stand out even more.
“Oh come on, Kat. Don’t be mad. Jenna was just teasing you. We all know you’re the best at negotiations, which is why you’re the band’s manager.” Sam replied. She was the fourth member of the band. At twenty-one, she was also the youngest.
“Exactly! Kit Kat, I know you would never do anything like that just to get us gigs. We’re all too talented to sell ourselves for bookings.” I twisted in my seat so I could reach over and pat Kat’s shoulder.
Kat shook herself and said, “Alright Dolls, this is it! If we kill it tonight, we’ve got it! I think we should do that new song.”
“Not tonight, Kat. It isn’t ready. I don’t want to play that one until we have it perfected.” Sam exclaimed.
“Sam, you know that song better than any of us! Are you saying that we aren’t ready for it?” I turned around, tilted my head, and looked at my younger band mate.
Sam’s eyes opened wide and she shook her hands in front of her. “Uh, ah… NO! I would never say that. You guys are all so much better than I am. It’s just that, I don’t feel comfortable with the song yet. You know I need more time for new music, to feel it and learn it intimately. I can’t just pick up an instrument and play something like Indie does.” She pursed her lips and looked at her hands in her lap.
“Oh no you don’t! You’re practically a one-woman-show Sam. You can play any instrument you touch. None of us can do that. And if you weren’t so shy, you’d probably be the lead singer. Right girls?” Indie put her arm around her best friend and adopted sister.
“I would be more than happy to play guitar and be back-up vocals, Sam. You just say the word, and you can front the band.” I was the lead singer of the band and on occasion played the guitar.
“And have all those guys staring at me? No way! I’ll stick with my bass and being ignored. All of the guys want the lead singer or the chicks who play drums.” Sam shook her head. We all knew she was wrong, but we decided to let her live in her bubble.
“I say we do it. Sam you’ve already perfected the song. What more do you need? Come on, it’s totally awesome and those record guys will love it!” I poked Sam in the arm and smiled at her before turning back around to look out the front window.
Sam couldn’t resist smiling back. “Alright, Jenna. But I warn you. I don’t feel like I really have it yet.”
Kat activated the left turn signal to pull down the back alley of the club. “Sam, you have this. You’re the only one who can play the song on all instruments. I’ve heard you sing the entire thing by yourself, and I was moved to dance. Girl, you got chops. Don’t ever let yourself think you don’t.”
We all hopped out of our dusty blue 1969 Ford conversion van as soon as Kat stopped it behind the club. “Man, this old rust bucket sure has seen us through a lot.” Indie ran her hand along the dented rear fender. “I remember this dent. Kat, you were teaching me to drive back when I was only fifteen.” Indie smiled and patted the van.
“What’s with the reminiscing, Indie? That was ages ago. Come on, we have to unload this bucket of bolts and get set up before we go on in,” Kat looked at her wristwatch. “Thirty minutes! Let’s get a move on girls. Fame and fortune wait for no one.”
“Except the Voodoo Dolls!” We all chimed in together. It was our mantra. One day, we would have both fame and fortune.
I peeked through the red velour curtain that hid us while we set up our equipment on stage. My eyebrows rose and my mouth formed an “O”.
“What? Who’s out there?” Kat asked.
“The place is packed, wall to wall muscle! It’s full of men with arms the size of my thighs!” I pointed to my purple fishnet stockings that matched the color of my hair. “Looks like a convention of body builders. It’s standing room only out there.” I pointed to what lay beyond the curtain separating us from the testosterone filled room.
“Kat, where are all of the women? The only females I see are the waitresses,” I asked when I opened the curtain just enough to peek one eyeball through the only thing protecting us from all of those men.
Kat walked over to the curtain and peered out. “Don’t worry. It’s a party of some sort tonight. A closed party in fact. The owner assured me there would be recording guys here tonight too. Just relax and enjoy all of the hot guys checking you out.” Kat nudged me to take my place.
It was odd playing in one of my favorite clubs. This was our second time performing here and it was just as nerve-racking as the first time.
After taking her place stage left, Kat tuned her electric guitar. I stopped before taking my position center stage. Indie, the group’s free spirit, walked up to the front of the stage. She opened the curtain and stepped out.
“Hiya!” Indie winked at a table of men who were ogling her. She blew them a kiss then turned around and strutted to her drums.
The men whistled and pounded the tables as they downed their shot glasses of amber liquid.
“That’s how it’s done, sister. Now get your butt out there and get things started.” Indie smacked my backside, then I yelped and jumped.
I took my spot in the front and nodded to the stage hand who started to open the curtains. Then Indie counted “One, two, three, slamming her sticks together before launching into our first song of the night.
I felt the drum beats through my body as I paused, breathed, and belted out the next verse. When I closed my eyes I allowed the rhythm of the music to drown out the shouts of men in the audience. Bouncing on the balls of my feet, I grabbed the microphone and held it close to my chest.
Sam’s voice crescendoed, weaving in harmony with my own voice. Indie pounded the last few bars of the song as Kat’s guitar resonated with the final notes of the set.
The men screamed and whistled all around the bar. “That’s some hot talent!” one guy yelled, and I heard his voice through the melee.
Taking her guitar off, Kat smiled and waved at the audience. I stretched my neck and let out a deep breath as my heart continued to beat in my ears. Sam scurried behind the stacked speakers next to her as she tried to hide from all of the attention. Indie sashayed up front, holding her sticks in
Jumping off the stage, I walked across the room to get drinks for us all. Along the way my eyes met several of the body builders who stepped out of my way, but I felt rock-hard shoulders rub against me when a few stayed too close. Some whistled their appreciation and some sent me one-sided smirks as I moved past. “Waaaaay too much muscle here tonight,” I mumbled and rolled my eyes.
“Hey, you’re one totally talented chick! You ladies are rocking it tonight! Can I buy you a drink?” A tall man asked, as he leaned closer to me and gazed at me with his hazel green eyes.
The hairs on the back of my neck bristled and I shivered. “No, thanks. I only drink water when performing.” I raised my hand to get, John, the bartender’s attention.
The guy kept trying. “My name’s Leo. What’s yours?”
“I’m Jenna.” I quickly looked at Leo and then waved my arm again to get the bartender. “Look, I only have a few minutes before my break’s over. Sorry.” I winced and felt a slight bit of disgust at the tenacity of the guy.
The bartender sauntered over and winked at me. “What can I get you tonight?”
“Just four water bottles, please.” I watched as he bent down to the mini fridge under the bar and brought out four bottles of water. “Thanks, John.” I walked away leaving Leo behind. The hairs on the back of my neck stood on end again, and a slight chill went down my back, when I felt him staring at my retreating form.
I walked backstage and bumped into the broad side of a semi-truck, or at least that was how it felt. “Excuse me,” I said when I took several steps to the side in order to walk around the over-sized groupies. After setting the water bottles down on the TV tray sized table, I looked around. “One, two, three…six men chatting up my sisters. Huh.” Shaking my head I picked up one bottle and twisted the cap.