Alpin McDuff opened the door to the garage, glancing back at the small line of people ready to go in. He passed a hand through his white hair and smiled at the customers. “Hey, Mac,” said a young long-haired man, pressing a cup of coffee into his hand.
“Joey, how was your weekend?” MacDuff smiled at Joey, while his other employees and some customers filed by him.
“Busy, you know? See the game last night?”
“No, I didn’t.”
“Good game!” he said, walking on by and heading into the garage proper. Mac nodded to the customers, who were dropping off their vehicles. There was Mr. Lloyd, who was a hypochondriac when it came to his car. It wouldn’t be a proper Monday morning without seeing Mr. Lloyd.
“Morning, Mr. Lloyd,” Mac said, finishing turning on the lights.
“Yeah, well, my car’s clutch is slipping.”
“You have an automatic.”
“It’s got a clutch inside it, doesn’t it?”
“Not really, but we’ll take a look at it. Keys, please?”
The gruff older man handed them over to Mac who dutifully put his name in the computer and gave him a ticket so he could pick it up. “Give us a couple of hours, okay?”
“I’ll be across the street.” He usually hit the donut shop there every Monday morning as well.
“Very good, sir.” Then Mac smiled at the next customer.
After checking the four people in, he went to find his employees. Six men were gathered in the back room, while Arthur told them stories of his weekend that left them all in stitches. “Guys, guys…” Mac said, closing the door. “Anyone do any work this weekend?”
The group fell quiet, looking at each other. Not only were they his employees, but they were also part of his coven. Mages all at one time or another, the ones he considered the wilder ones, he trained them in mechanics so he could keep a closer eye on them. Many had gone to start up their own garages or other businesses in other parts of the Isles, still returning to him during the high holidays or whenever he needed their services.
“I know one of you is lying to me.”
An older man with a pony tail down his back waved his head back and forth. “Okay, okay, I did a lust spell.”
“Did you get laid?” Arthur asked, his blue eyes twinkling.
“Yeah, I did.”
“Was it worth it?”
The older man waved his head back and forth, blushing. “I…uh…”
The rest of the men roared with laughter and Mac shook his head. “What lesson did you learn?”
“Never to cast a spell into the ether, because you might get a dog!” roared a black man with translucent gray eyes.
“Or some psycho bitch,” commented another.
“You’d know all about those,” said the older man.
“Enough. Who wants Lloyd’s car?”
They all groaned. The only one who had been silent all this time, a man maybe five or six years younger than Mac, held his hand out for the slip. “I know that car inside and out.”
“I know you do,” Mac said, giving it to him. “Let’s get to work, boys.”