Government Witch Ep. 4

I considered escaping the backseat half a dozen times on the way. Learning more about what happened to Peter was the only thing that kept me there. As it was, I’d removed the handcuffs and handed them back to Agent Carson within the first five minutes of our drive. They needed better equipment if they planned to make it work investigating supernatural crimes. All it took was a basic unlock spell. A five-year-old witch could manage that much with a day’s training. I planned to get a good look at their operation before saying anything about it. If they seemed power-hungry or abusive towards supernaturals, I’d be out of there before they understood the magic I’d escape with. Agent Boone at least seemed to want cooperation between mundanes and supernaturals. Still, I couldn’t judge an organization based on a single emissary. 

Agent Carson opened my door for me. I’d tried to get out on my own, but they had the child lock on. So many spells could break me out, but I wanted to keep as many tricks under wraps as possible. I didn’t want the DPI taking any further interest in me if I could avoid it. A car drove past us on its way out of the garage as we walked. There were many more cars than I would have expected for a fledgling agency. Either the government pulled the DPI together very quickly, or this building wasn’t home to their organization alone. People nodded to my agents as they led me through the office, but no one tried to stop them to chat. I caught a few intrigued glances on our way to the interrogation room. 

“What can you tell us about Peter Brooks, Mr. Clark?” Agent Carson asked, apparently not the type to waste time. I didn’t like the way he said my last name. A part of me wished I’d given them a fake name, but it felt too risky since I was effectively in custody. 

“A lot. Could you narrow it down a bit?” I asked. He narrowed his eyes a fraction. I made a mental note to curb my sarcasm while dealing with him. 

“You said that witch at Mr. Brooks’s apartment wanted to hurt you. Is that common? Would she want to hurt him too?” Agent Boone asked. 

“No, witch-on-witch violence is no more common than mundane-on-mundane violence. Holly didn’t know Peter,” I said. 

“Did you know Peter well?” Boone asked. 

“We were friends,” I said. 

“So you said at his apartment. You must be pretty close if he didn’t mind you letting yourself in when he wasn’t home,” Carson said. 

“We had plans to meet today, but he didn’t show up. When I got to his place, the door wasn’t locked, so I went inside to see if he was okay.” I left off the bit about his missing magic. I doubt they’d know what to do with that information, anyway. 

“When did you set this meeting up?” Boone asked. 

“Yesterday. Midday, I can’t remember the exact time,” I said. 

“Did he mention where he would be last night?” Boone asked. 

“No. Where did you find him?” I asked. 

“A house just outside the city. The owner had already moved before putting it up for sale. Do you know why Peter would have broken into someone else’s house?” Carson asked. 

“No,” I lied. It wasn’t a regular habit, but when a client didn’t want to use their own place, Peter found somewhere suitable. I didn’t want to tell them that Peter made his living off fake seances. He actually had a talent for contacting spirits, but more often than not, it wasn’t about the spirits as much as the spectacle. Since supernaturals revealed themselves, there was no shortage of people willing to pay for a magical encounter. Any witch could pull off the spells it takes to convince people a house is haunted. The acting was the more challenging part of the scams. 

“You sure he didn’t say anything about his plans?” Carson asked. 

“Yes,” I lied again. “What happened to him?”

“Are you sure you want to know? It wasn’t pleasant,” Boone said. 

“Yes.” Something in the way he died might explain the disappearance of his magic. 

“He was stabbed through the heart,” Boone said. “It looked ritualistic.”

“Do you have any pictures?” I asked. I needed more information. The seances always had a certain amount of pageantry to them. No ordinary stabbing would erase all traces of a witch’s power from the world. If there was something out of place, I’d know, and it could be the clue I needed to track Peter’s killer. 

“Will you see if they’ve got the pictures of the scene printed yet?” Boone asked Carson. 

“Sure thing,” he said, leaving me alone with Boone. 

“Do you know what kind of witch Peter was?” Boone asked. I didn’t answer, instead gave him a questioning look. “I’ve noticed that witches can be particularly talented in one type of magic over others.” 

“How much do you know about witchcraft? Do you guys have a Witches 101 course or anything?” I asked. 

“We’re still figuring things out. The supernatural community is understandably reserved when it comes to our agency,” he said. 

“Understandably?” I asked. 

“Yes, as far as I’m concerned. You’re still waiting for the other shoe to drop, I get it, but that doesn’t change the fact that I’ve got a job to do. We can’t ignore people getting hurt or killed just because we don’t understand everything there is about supernaturals.” 

“Peter had an affinity for communicating with spirits,” I said. Either he meant what he said, or he was a hell of an actor. Either way, he’d already picked up on the concept of affinities, telling him Peter’s didn’t feel like I was betraying the community. It might even help. 

“Spirits? Like ghosts?” he asked. 

“Not just ghosts, but yes, they’re part of it,” I said. 

“Could a ghost or spirit have hurt Peter?” Boone asked. 

“Yes, but not in the way you mean. A strong enough spirit can affect the physical world in a limited capacity. I guess one could stab someone if they wanted, but it’s atypical.” 

“You sure you want to see these?” Carson asked, holding a folder up as he came back into the room. 

“Yes.” I hoped their photographer caught something to point me in the right direction. I held my face as neutral as I could when he put the folder down in front of me and opened it. The first picture showed Peter staring up with lifeless eyes. I flipped through the pictures, careful to notice every minor detail I could, but there was nothing out of the ordinary from a typical seance setup. None of the photos featured the exterior of the house. I had to decide. Since I couldn’t feel Peter’s magic anymore, I had no way of finding this place without the DPI. Either I could let this go, answer the rest of their questions, and leave, or I could try to convince them to take me to the house where Peter died. Getting them to trust me that much meant telling them things I wasn’t sure I wanted them to know. 

“Can you tell us anything about the setup in the pictures?” Boone asked. 

“The killer didn’t set this stuff up. Peter did,” I said. “Can you take me to this house?” 

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