I will never understand why humans will stand in extremely long lines for overpriced thimbles full of coffee. I took another sip of the one that I’d conjured up and leaned back in my chair. The table I was sitting at was outside, near the edge of the coffee shop’s property. It made is easier to people watch. Or people search.

            I opened the folder again and looked at the picture of Elizabeth Prior, resident witch hunter. The picture I’d been given had been taken during the fight with the Belaya sisters. A friend of mine that worked with the police had set up a camera in the Belaya apartment.

            Taking another sip of coffee, I memorized her face. Her hair was just past her shoulders, a wavy light brown that had been pulled back in a severe ponytail during the confrontation. Her face was locked into a fierce snarl and her arm was in mid-thrust of sticking a metal cross into a witch’s neck. I was just glad her arm wasn’t blocking her face. There’d been plenty of those pictures. But it was her eyes that kept drawing me back to the picture. They were a light soapstone green, a rare and pretty color. From her biography that was also in my folder, I knew that she got her looks from her deceased mother, and her skills from her still-living father. I also knew that her apartment was right across the street from this coffee shop.

            I was hoping that she’d show her face today. I knew for a fact that the Belaya sisters hadn’t hurt her too badly, because she wasn’t there when I’d gone to get the camera from the apartment. And any witch hunter with her record wouldn’t be bested by anyone of a weak coven like the Belaya. But even if she didn’t appear today, I would wait. Witches don’t get this old without being smart and patient.

            “Hi, I’m Anna. Mind if I sit with you?”

            I look up, concealing my irritation with a smile as I close the folder and set my coffee on top. “I was actually about to leave,” I reply, feeling a small measure of satisfaction as the girl’s smile faltered.

            She continues speaking, helping herself to a seat anyway. I tune her out and look over her shoulder at the building behind her. The revolving door spins open, sunlight reflecting on the glass, and a petite girl with wavy brown hair walks out. The witch hunter.

            I stand up quickly and gather up my things. “Anne, I have to go. I would say it’s been a pleasure, but my mother always told me not to lie.”

            Ignoring her correcting her name, I run to the edge of the block and walk across the street. The chase had begun.

The End

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