his hands on his hips. “Yeah,” he said as Jumoke flew in trailing a disappointed green dust. “And the freak had kids shoving witches into ovens, too.” Scraping his wings for his son’s attention, he tossed Jumoke the pollen ball.
Catching it, his son tucked it away, saying, “It’s not there. I think Rachel used it.”
“Crap on toast,” Jenks swore, using one of Rachel’s favorites, but pleased that Jumoke had indeed been tapping off his sugar level. The kid had a head on his shoulders. “She did. I remember now. She put it around the azaleas this spring.” Frustrated, he rose up as his wing speed increased. “I hate it when people use stuff and don’t replace it. How am I supposed to make a bomb without nitrogen?”
Bis brought up a serious-looking black screen and started deleting evidence of Web sites and searches. “How about mothballs?” he asked, and Jenks laughed.
“You’ve been watching TV again. No, mothballs and pixy dust don’t mix. Besides, that would make something more like napalm, and we want inward destruction, not outward devastation. Vincet wouldn’t thank me for destroying his garden.” Jenks frowned. Ammonia, maybe, but Ivy didn’t keep that on hand like she did the soap and lighter fluid. “We want a nice simple pop, and for that, we want fertilizer.”
Jenks looked at Bis as he pushed back from the table, wondering what Ivy would say if she knew the gargoyle had been using her computer. Silent, Jenks pointed to a bowl hanging from the overhead rack.
Bis’s pushed-in face smiled as he flew to the rack, his wings sending the loose papers on the table flying. Jumoke took flight, yelling that Bis was as dumb as a downdraft, but Jenks squinted through it, not moving as the gargoyle dropped to the counter with the larger bowl.
“We’ve got lots of nitrogen at the basilica,” Bis said, grinning at him through the settling papers. “I’ll ask my dad about nymphs and dryads, too.”
Alarmed, Jenks clattered his wings. “Hey, this is a run, not a job,” he called, and Bis hesitated, flipping in midair to cling to the archway to the hall with the bowl dangling from a hind foot. “You can’t steal it from the gardener shed.”
Bis made his wheezing laugh, looking evil as he hung upside down with the white tuft of his tail twitching. “No problem. They can’t give this stuff away. Thirty minutes.” Instead of dropping to fly out, he slithered up to the hall ceiling, going nearly invisible as he shifted his skin tone to match the shadows. Only the glint of the copper bowl gave him away. That, and the faint scrabbling of claws. Jenks would be really worried about the scratches on the ceiling if he didn’t know where they came from. The ceiling, the walls, the window ledges…He had to get Bis to start wearing some clothes. A bandanna or something.
Stifling a shudder, Jenks turned back to Jumoke, seeing him pale and wide-eyed. “It gives me the creeps when he does that skin thing,” the small pixy said, and Jenks nodded.
“Me too. But we need to figure out how to mix this stuff up in one batch before he comes back or we’ll be here all night. I know Vincet’s going to keep his kids up, and Sylvan might burn another one of his newlings. And carefully!” he added when Jumoke tipped the bowl with the lighter fluid to look in it. “The last thing I need is Ivy coming home and finding fire trucks at the curb. She’d have hairy canaries coming out her, ah, ear.”
At his shoulder, peering in at the lighter fluid, Jumoke shook his head. “Women.”
That one word jerked Jenks’s attention up, and his own smile grew to match Jumoke’s. Pride filled him. Jax hadn’t been like this. He wasn’t making a mistake teaching Jumoke his skills. This was going to work, and his son would have a unique talent, one that would help him find a wife, and then all his children could have their happy-ever-after.
Jenks clapped him across the shoulders. “Can’t
Lynette Eason, Lisa Harris, Rachel Dylan