Betty walked behind the woman, making sure to keep out of sight. That wasn’t hard. It was a busy Saturday at the mall, and the woman had a noisy child with her to make an excellent distraction. Betty was able to follow much closer than she was usually able to get to a person.
The woman was older, but not really old. Betty was surprised to find that she even had a pacemaker. She paused when the woman stopped to consider a display of books. Taking the chance, she pointed one finger at her.
Nothing happened. The woman walked off to the next shop, the child following after.
Betty moved forward. Perhaps she hadn’t been close enough.
The woman stopped again, to consider some candles outside of a soap shop. She smelled one, made a face, and offered it to the child to sniff.
Betty stopped when she was about six feet from the woman, and pointed her finger again.
This time, she heard a click. The woman dropped the candle before falling to the ground herself. The glass shattered, and Betty walked past her. She was still close enough to hear when the child started to scream.
“Not good enough, not at all,” Betty muttered. “But at least now we know.”
Daintry looked down at the woman’s body. Her supervisor, the coroner, had done a thorough job. As much as he knew to do. He’d taken out the pacemaker, and assessed that it had been the cause of the woman’s death. Something had caused it to malfunction and blow up. Such a shame, but at least it had been quick.
Problem was, Daintry thought there might be more to it than that. There wasn’t a doubt that the pacemaker had killed the woman. Daintry’s question was what had caused it, because she was sure it hadn’t gone off on its own.
It wasn’t the coroner’s fault. He didn’t have the same training or tools that Daintry did. It also wasn’t his fault that she had to wait for him to leave before she could get to work. Awkward questions were sure to be asked if anyone saw her using her tools.
She wasted time, waiting for the coroner to leave. Cleaning her glasses, shuffling her papers. He sat at his desk, writing reports.
Daintry was starting to think she was going to have to find an excuse to come in early when he said, “Aren’t you finished with your reports yet?”
“No, Sir, and I haven’t even started on my cleaning, yet,” she replied with a sigh.
“Well, don’t take all night.” he replied, stashing his papers in his desk. “Are you alright here with just Nick?”
“Yeah, that’s fine,” Daintry said, wishing he’d stop worrying about her and just leave.
“I’ll see you in the morning,then,” he said, and finally left.
Daintry wasted no time. As soon as she heard the buzz of the outer door she grabbed her bag and darted for the body.
The woman lay on the table, a sheet pulled over her body. Daintry pulled a green silk clutch from her bag, and from it took a triangular glass in a copper frame. She pulled the sheet off of the woman’s body, and looked her over through the glass.
The body was grey, devoid of any of the normal sparks and swirls of light that would have been present in a living body. Daintry had expected this, of course. What she hadn’t expected was the dark magic burn mark on the place where the pacemaker had been. Daintry turned her glass to the machine set on a nearby table.
There, right in the center, was a black burn mark. “That doesn’t belong there.” Daintry said.
Betty sat in the city park, a newspaper on her lap. She was watching as builders set up a stage near the fountain. It looked like they were nearly done for the day.
She kept her eyes on her paper,trying to sense electronics around her. There was a man with a sleeping in his arms, and a phone in his front pocket. Betty gave him a warm smile as he passed, which he returned.
She waited until he was about ten feet away, then pointed her finger at him.
With a click, the sound on his phone went off. He jumped, waking the sleeping child, who started to bawl.
“Ten feet,” Betty said. “Better than five, I suppose.”
The builders were packing up. Betty waited until they were all gone, and the stood. She walked to the end of the seating area. Facing the stage, she took careful steps along the isle, counting each one.
When she was finished, she made her way leisurely towards a coffee cart. There was a two yard space between the two points. Betty wondered if she would be able to reach that far in the next week.
Daintry was a little concerned with just how easy it was to sneak the pacemaker out of the office. Maybe it was because she was so well trusted, or maybe it was because Nick the night guard was smoking outside instead of watching the monitors like he was supposed to.
Back at her apartment, she pulled pacemaker from the box, and set it on her kitchen table.
She opened her tool bag. Thinking that something in there might lead her to an idea.
Inside, she found a clear crystal.
“Well, maybe I can at least track it, see where it’s coming from.” she said. She picked up the crystal, and grabbed a map of the city from the drawer nearby.
She spread the map out, placed the crystal in the center of it, and picked up the pacemaker. Setting her thumb over the scorch mark, she held her other hand, palm out, towards the crystal.
It wobbled for a moment, then skittered across the map. Daintry watched as it landed over the city park, and started to glow.
“At least I can still do a tracking spell,” Daintry said. She placed her hand over the crystal, and closed her eyes.
She could see a woman, a techno witch judging by the sparks in her hair. She was walking towards a stage, looking down at her feet, her lips moving as though keeping count.
“Oh, no,” Daintry whispered. She recognized the place, passing the park every day on her way to work. It was where the governor was making his speech next week. And the governor had a pacemaker.
Daintry knew that no one who had any power to help her would listen. Humans, silly creatures that they were, generally didn’t care about evidence discovered during visions. What she didn’t know was what she was supposed to do about an evil techno witch by herself. But she knew that she had to at least try to stop her. So she found herself slinking through the crowd on the day of the governor’s speech, her eyes scanning the crowd for the witch with sparks in her hair.
Finally, she saw her, sitting on a chair in the first row. She was reading the paper, glancing up from time to time. She looked like anyone else, waiting for the speech to start. Dainty took a deep breath, and marched toward her.
She sat down next to the other witch. “I know what you’re doing,” she hissed.
The woman looked at her over her sunglasses, and raised an eyebrow. “What am I doing?” she asked.
“You’re going to make the governor’s pacemaker kill him. You’ll make us all look bad and kill an innocent politician.”
The woman laughed out loud. “Wrong, wrong and wrong,” she said. “There is no such thing as an innocent politician, and very few innocent men. I’m just bringing some chaos into their lives. And,” she grabbed Daintry’s wrist and gave her a grin, “I can’t imagine you would have gotten so close to me if you really knew what I was up to.”
Daintry tried to pull away, but she wasn’t strong enough. She felt her strength draining from her, as the other witch looked around her. She gave a little slash with her finger.
From all around them Daintry heard a series of clicks. People in the crowd fell, and those around them started screaming. Shouts were coming from behind the curtain on the stage.
Betty let go of the other girl’s arm. “Well, that solves that problem. Thank you, dear. We’ll have to work together
“You, you killed all those people,” the girl whispered. She was looking around at the screaming crowd, “Why?”
Betty shrugged, “They could use a little chaos, humans. Otherwise they get complacent and discontent. See you.”
With that she stood, and went on her way.