Don't Hex with Texas

Page 16


“We were talking about your mother,” Dad said solemnly.
“Mom’s fine. She just got a little overexcited.”
“It’s not the first time,” Molly said softly.
“She’s acting like she did in New York, when she kept talking about seeing things,” Dad added.
Of course she’d seen things in New York. She was magically immune and in a place full of magical people. “Well, New York can be weird,” I quipped. “You don’t really think she’s crazy, do you?”
I looked around at the others, who all appeared deeply concerned. Even Beth was frowning, and she was usually the most optimistic one in the bunch. “We’re worried that she might be putting her health at risk,” Teddy said, putting an arm around his wife. “That fainting spell today wasn’t a good sign.”
“So, what are you proposing we do?” I asked. “Put her away somewhere?”
Dad shook his head. “No, not that, not yet. But it might be good for her to get some professional help.
They could find out what’s wrong with her and do something to make her better.”
The funny thing was, the treatment they’d give her probably really would make her better. That’s because antipsychotic medications tended to have a dampening effect on magical immunity. If they put Mom on drugs, she’d stop seeing things, one way or another. It would certainly make life easier for the family, but would it be good for Mom? With a possible magical war brewing, I liked the idea that magic couldn’t be used against my mother. Most of the danger I’d gotten into had been during times when my immunity had been altered. Plus, there were side effects to long-term use of drugs like that, and I didn’t like the idea of her taking them when she wasn’t really sick.
“That still sounds a little extreme considering that she’s just had a few bouts of flightiness,” I insisted.
“Heck, Granny’s been talking about the wee folk for years, and we haven’t drugged or committed her.”
Beth crossed the room to take my hands in hers. “Katie, I know it’s hard to think this way about your mother, but we really do have to consider what’s best for her.”
Under other circumstances, I’d have been the first to admit that Mom could be a bit on the crazy side, but that was just her personality. Now I knew for a fact that Mom was most definitely not crazy, that everything she’d seen had been real. Unfortunately, it was impossible for me to explain that Mom wasn’t crazy without sounding even crazier than she did. It’s one thing to announce that you’ve seen something odd. It’s another entirely to say that you know exactly what the odd thing was and that it really was magic.
“We’re not talking about shipping her off to the state hospital tomorrow,” Dad said. “We just want to keep an eye on her for the next few weeks and make sure she’s okay.”
“She’s probably a little overtired and stressed-out,” Beth said reassuringly, giving my hands a squeeze. “A week or so of rest, and she’ll be right back to normal.”
She most definitely would be, if I could do anything about it. “Okay,” I agreed. “Two weeks, and then we’ll discuss this again. And now, I probably ought to catch up on some work while Sherri’s watching Mom.” The circle split up as everyone headed off to their respective jobs to close the store down for the night. Fortunately, no one followed me to the office. I didn’t need an audience for what I was about to do.
There was only one way I could ensure that Mom stopped seeing things that would make her sound crazy, and that was to deal with the magic. Magic wasn’t normal around here, and I was pretty sure my former boss would want to hear about the situation. Making life easier for Mom would be a bonus.
With one last look over my shoulder, I picked up the phone and dialed my old office. It was after business hours in New York, but my boss had a way of knowing when something was going on, and since he lived in the office building, there was a chance he’d still be around.
Sure enough, a deep voice answered the phone after one ring. “Hello, Katie. It’s good to hear from you.” When I’d first met Merlin, he’d had an indecipherable accent, but at the time he’d only recently been awakened from a long magical hibernation and had just learned modern English. Yes, I mean that Merlin, the one from Camelot. He’s my boss—well, former boss. His accent had faded considerably in the time I’d been gone. He barely sounded foreign anymore. “Now, what seems to be the trouble?”