The Patrons have spoken! Meet the main character of my newest series. Do yourself a favor, don’t laugh at her; pretty sure she’ll shoot you, stuff you, and hang you on a wall. As always, this is copywrited. The series ‘The Witchglass Chronicles’ will begin later this year! Don’t forget, support me on Patreon if you want the secret novels and a vote on future projects!
A Girl Named Coffee
My name is Coffee Jean McGovern. Oh yes, I know. That isn’t a real name, honey. Tell that to my father. He named me and, if you want to know the truth, I like it. I could have a perfectly ordinary name like Melissa or Joan or Susan. Sure. But I don’t have an ordinary life, so what good would an ordinary name do me?
I’m a Djinn hunter. You would recognize that better as genie. Yes. Your wish is my command, Alladin saving, lamp dwelling, magical creatures of lore. Only, and this is important, they are about as nasty a set of creatures as you’re ever likely to meet. They don’t just live in lamps. They can infest everything from shoes to hair brushes, though they like it nice and fancy. In one extremely famous case, there was a mirror. On a wall. And it gives you an idea of what a Djinn really is. Evil, of course. But worse than the usual sort.
Way, way worse.
I’ll spare you the history lesson, this time, and tell you that, a long time ago – no, not once upon a time because that would suggest a happy ending and, when a Djinn is around there aren’t a whole lot of those – a long time ago, there were seven men, all of them princes from seven separate kingdoms who were plagued by Djinni.
Djinn don’t much care how much money you’ve got or what you look like, but they do kinda like somebody who’s always been losing; makes it easier to get you looped into their nasty little circus. And, when its a Djinn, it is always a circus.
Anyone can make a wish, the bigger the better, and the Djinn will grant it. You tend to end up wishing they hadn’t, so don’t get excited. The wishes cause havoc and misery and whatever you ask for, I promise you. They’ll ruin it but good. This is where I tell you what the Djinni actually are. Demons, of course. Don’t ask me about religion; nobody knows if they’re from hell or some other dimension. It really is just an unimportant detail because what they do is eat your soul and I haven’t met anybody yet who gives a good god damn where something’s from while they’re getting their soul sucked out through their ears. Wish by brilliant wish, that’s what they do. The more pain and suffering they can cause with their wishes, the happier they are. And they cause plenty.
So our seven princes – and they were real princes in real places – gathered up some holy men and asked for something a little more practical than a carriage made of glass (that was a bloody one) or the touch of gold (you’ve heard a version of that, I’m sure, well the real version ended a lot worse). The princes asked for a way to battle these Djinni because it really was getting out of hand. The thing about a Djinn is that he or she possesses all the charms of a demon. Forget those warped, horrible things from the movies. Djinni are a type of Succubi. They are people shaped seduction and once their voice is in your head, good luck getting it out. Know that saying ‘be careful what you wish for’? I’ll give you one guess where it comes from.
Long story short, the holy men, through multitudes of ancient ritual and a little reality bending, gave our princes the ability to imprison the Djinni. Back then, a Djinn would just find an empty space it liked, such as a lamp, and wait for some sucker to come along. And one always did, yessir. So our good princes started setting traps. It isn’t hard. Djinni like pretty things. They like things that look like they ought to be magical and, yeah, they are plenty vain. So there you have it. My humble ancestors hard at work managed to trap a whole lot of bad in lamps and shoes and mirrors. But, of course, there is the fine print. They can still grant wishes to any sucker foolish enough to take them up on the offer and they can still destroy a soul in about three wishes, which is where that number actually came from; they will grant as many as it takes, but after you watch the third wonderful thing you envisioned explode, your heart just breaks in half. The record – according to our historian – is a single wish that went so horribly sideways that it imploded the life of the wisher and he sucked in all his closest friends and family just like a black hole. And its effects are still being felt a thousand years later, so. There you go. Meet a Djinn, run like the wind. That’s what Papa used to tell me. Aside from strange name choices, you could usually bank on him knowing the best thing to do.
Well, the seven princes made a bargain to continue working together and to pledge their children and children’s children to the cause. Which is how you get me, the spunky little tomboy from Louisiana with a weird name.
Oh, but there are so many other strange things about my family. My name is about the most normal thing about it. For instance, my gran was cursed by a voodoo queen (a certain Laveau) for stealing George H. McGovern from her. He was a wealthy young man who, upon seeing my gran, was never swayed by Marie’s magic ever again. And Miss Laveau was not pleased. That doesn’t mean Gran is moping around about it; she’s used to curses. When she was about seventeen, one nearly ate her for dinner and she had to go into the magical version of the witness protection program. I’ll give you a hint, though. Before she was pissing off voodoo queens, she was twisting the buttons of a guy in Russia and she was a grand duchess. If not for a troop of gypsies and a clever uncle, she wouldn’t have been able to do much of anything. I’m sure Marie Laveau would have been plenty happy. And the Djinni. Gran is just about their least favorite person ever. Yup. Annie McGovern has been causing a stir pretty much her whole life.
The seven families kept the promise and that has become one of the most lucrative and secretive corporations in the world (hey, keeping Djinni locked up and away from the innocent isn’t cheap), The Tower of Glass. The Glass families, as we’re named, aren’t all royals. Some, like mine, are just plain, straight up redneck, despite Gran’s royal heritage. I’ve got a secret suspicion she didn’t much like being a royal; she can be plenty lady like, but takes great pleasure in being anything but.
Some of the others are the Romany – you’d probably recognize them better as gypsies – and there are some of middle eastern descent. One of the families is old Japanese royalty, but, like Gran, they seem happier without the titles.
All of us still work in constant harmony (so we try to pretend) and those who sit at the head of those families all have a seat as (in name only) Princes of the Glass, the secret society of Djinn hunters.
What’s with all the glass? Well, remember that mirror? Worst of the absolute worst. They called it the Witchglass. Djinni don’t often have partners, certainly not humans. But this one did. He created the baddest witch of them all. Together, they played hell until our heroes decided enough was enough. They chased it down and that’s how they met. We keep the name because everyone pretty much agrees. That’s the danger we’re always facing. And the witch? Buried under a mountain. But likely still alive; the Djinn feeds on you for too long and you lose the ability to die. Again. Don’t get excited. All the Mabeleine in the world ain’t doing you any good. Mirror mirror on the wall, remember? Only the rest of that is a bit different than you know.
We of the glass don’t wish because we know what wishes can do. We learn it young. Nobody ever tells us about happily ever after, no way. We know the real stories, the ones that end with everyone pretty much dead, dying, or cursed for eternity. You don’t believe me? I could list you a thousand names that would send shivers right up your skirt tails. Vlad the Impaler, Ivan the Terrible, Charles Manson, Ted Bundy, Osama bin Laden. Get the picture? Yeah, you might think they can’t all go badly. They do.
A wish ends in tragedy and the worst of them were the source for whole oceans of blood. Not every terrible thing started as a wish, but some of the very worst are still told to children in history.
No matter how many we catch, there are always more. Nobody is quite sure how demons breed, but they must do a lot of it. So our job is the same as it has ever been. Catch them, bind them, put them in the vaults. And never, ever speak to them. Not everyone who does it is actually blood related, but, if you are in on the secret, then you are pretty much soul bound into your family. That pretty much means we’re like the military. You want to sign on? We own you. That isnt nearly as sinister as that sounds; Gran’s basically the all American version of our queen (Lavaeu’s curse keeps her alive… as a seventy year old arthritic old woman. Never mess with a voodoo queen) and binding yourself to Gran means you’re bound to her magic. It will protect you from the Djinni voices and she knows if anyone’s in trouble. Course, that also means she’d know if somebody was planning on betraying us all, but nobody cares about that; one badly worded wish and goodbye humanity. Which is what makes recent events so very frightening.
Somebody is setting the Djinni free.