SAPPHIC WITCH HEIST
Witch-prospector Deliverance Jones hates people almost as much as she loves whiskey, except for her girlfriend Marlene. Her lone-wolf routine is shattered when a rival witch asks Deliverance to help steal a magical lodestone from a fanatical preacher hell-bent on using it to kill witches. When the preacher discovers they’re after him, Deliverance must decide if taking back the lodestone is worth risking her life—and her partner.
Deliverance Jones swung her hammer down with the force of a stamping stallion, hit the chisel off center, and sent the blade slicing into her forearm instead of the rocks in front of her. Swearing, she tossed her hammer and chisel on the ground and rubbed her damp hands on her pants, blood trickling down her forearm. Stupid body, betraying her again. Why did hands always sweat like a sinner at the worst possible times?
She poked at the wound with a grimy fingernail. The gash throbbed, dirt and metal flecks dark against the red blood. Ordinarily, she’d heal herself by magic without hesitation—only half the crystals in her bandolier lay dead as a rotten cachetree, her reserves running low after so many days out prospecting. She couldn’t afford to waste the magic, but she also couldn’t risk blood poisoning, not in the middle of nowhere. Population: one very surly witch-prospector, plus a horse too damn smart for his own good.
Grumbling, she drew a little magic from a chunk of purple adelphite, then ran her grimy finger over the wound. Her skin pulsed with light as the magic faded into her arm. The cut healed to a pink welt, though it didn’t disappear completely. She grunted. Good enough for her.