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Powerful and impulsive, Haley Bixby is a young warrior witch living in Seattle—and in the shadow of her mother’s legacy. Haley and the Sisters in their Coven live under a strict code, but one rule stands supreme: all wizards must be killed. When Haley botches a mission and risks her Coven’s safety, she vows to make things right. But the wizard she must defeat is most powerful foe she’s ever encountered, and his twisted plot is bigger than anyone could have anticipated. Especially when Haley realizes that his mission is personal.

Age Rating: 16+

 

The Book of Bixby by Max MacKenzie is now available to read on the Galatea app! Read the first two chapters below, or download Galatea for the full experience.

 


 

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1

Summary

Powerful and impulsive, Haley Bixby is a young warrior witch living in Seattle—and in the shadow of her mother’s legacy. Haley and the Sisters in their Coven live under a strict code, but one rule stands supreme: all wizards must be killed. When Haley botches a mission and risks her Coven’s safety, she vows to make things right. But the wizard she must defeat is most powerful foe she’s ever encountered, and his twisted plot is bigger than anyone could have anticipated. Especially when Haley realizes that his mission is personal.

Age Rating: 16+

Original Author: Max MacKenzie

Witches live by a simple, five-point creed, written centuries ago by The First Coven.

A witch must master her magic.

A witch must hide her true nature.

A witch must face the forces of darkness.

A witch must slay wizards, whoever they be.

A witch must chronicle her story, so that others may learn.

It’s that last one that’s relevant to you.

My name is Haley Bixby.

I’m a witch.

If you’re reading this, you likely are too.

I can tell you now that people have a lot of preconceived notions about witches.

They think either of ugly hags with crooked noses and pointy hats or cute, bookish schoolgirls with magic wands. They think we’re all about bubbling cauldrons and turning people into toads.

But in real life, witches are more than cackling broom jockeys, am I right?

We’re warriors, trained in as much martial skill as magical. We protect the waking world from the boogie-woogies that would eat them alive if we weren’t watching their back.

It’s a pretty crappy job most of the time.

After you’ve been knee-deep in zombies, goblins, werewolves, and good old fashion jerks with guns, you have to write it all down in a journal.

Your book.

Written by your own hand.

That’s right. No computers. Get ready for some cramps.

Someday, Witchlings will read your story, just as you’re reading mine. Recorded here are events and insights from not only my witchly activities but my personal life as well.

The idea is to give you every chance to learn from my mistakes, my choices.

My life.

You’ll likely find that my book is more eventful than most. You’ve probably already heard stories about me.

I assure you, most have been exaggerated. Here you’ll find the complete truth.

No embellishments.

No revisions.

No excuses.

Enjoy.

 

Read the full uncensored books on the Galatea iOS app!

2

I was born and raised in Seattle.

I’ll admit. There is something amusing about a witch living in the Emerald City.The Wizard of Oz jokes do get a little tiresome.

I suppose it’s what people from Houston, Albuquerque, or any town called Springfield go through.

The Seattle Coven has a no-nonsense approach to magic. You use it when we say you can.

That may seem a little fascist, but we know what we’re doing.

Some jack-hole who gets his hands on a magical item or a potion has no idea what they’re playing with. If your husband/wife/kid got turned into a frog or something, you’d probably be on board with the policy.

Besides, where there was illegal magic, there were wizards.

Crates popped open with a crack.

The dank warehouse was busy with activity.

Burly men unloaded wooden boxes from the backs of trucks. Sifting through the shredded cardboard stuffed within, they lifted out old stone tablets.

They dusted off and carefully inspected each one by lamp and magnifying glass.

A man with an automatic rifle paced on a catwalk above the trucks, eyeing the workers, making sure no one accidentally slipped something into a pocket.

The walkway connected to a stairway, both leading into the management offices.

He walked near a window and took a moment to admire the Seattle skyline, the Space Needle standing tall. Giving his reflection a quick once over, the rifleman turned to resume his pacing.

No sooner had he taken two steps, than the glass exploded inward. He turned with a startled spin, but Haley was on him before he could act.

Before you start judging me, you should ask yourself whether you could pass on the opportunity to smash through a window like Batman.

Didn’t think so.

The witch quickly knocked the rifle out of his hand.

A hard chop to the throat followed.

As he helplessly wheezed, she slammed his head into the railing.

The guard crumpled to the cold metal grating before the rest of the warehouse had time to react. Some of the workers scattered while others reached for weapons.

The smugglers that night were in for a treat.

I was looking pretty good, if I do say so myself.

My long, brown hair was back in a ponytail. My pants were tight and tucked into my boots. My dark red motorcycle jacket was open, revealing a black tank top underneath.

Of course, they were probably more concerned with the Glock 38 on my hip and Dohlneem strapped across my back.

Haley’s gun came free of its holster.

One of the men below reached for a shotgun, but wasn’t able to so much as aim it before a bullet struck him in the chest.

The barrel of the handgun smoothly moved on to two more targets, dropping each with a single shot.

Allowing the runners to flee, Haley stalked across the catwalk toward the office door. Before she could reach it, the passage flew open.

There are times in my life when I’ve wished I wasn’t a witch.

That I didn’t have to deal with the burdens.

That I didn’t have any magic.

You will too. But being caught on a narrow walkway, with no cover in sight, staring down the barrel of a submachine gun, was not one of those times.

As the surprised guard lifted his weapon, the witch dropped to a knee.

Balling her hand into a tight fist, Haley spoke words of power, setting the gold ring on her finger ablaze with arcane light. “Aves Thavel.

There’s a weird feeling to magic. It’s difficult to explain.

It sort of feels like when the carbonation in a soda tickles your nose, only across your entire body.

Magic can technically do anything.

It can be molded and directed by the caster’s mind, but improvised magic can really get away from you.

That’s why we learn spells; pre-established acts that remove a lot of the guesswork.

The words we use to conjure them are in the demon tongue. We don’t actually know what they mean, but they work.

The mention of demons might have raised eyebrows.

You see, for centuries whiny religious prudes have complained that magic is evil, and demonic, and then they try to burn us at the stake.

Well, funny story; they were right.

Magic was brought to our world by demons. It’s dark in nature.

It’s also highly corrosive.

Every time you allow magic to flow through your body, it tries to touch your soul, your spirit.

If it gets a hold of it, the magic will poison you.

We call it The Stain.

It will corrupt you and twist you into something unrecognizable.

But we have ways around that.

We use channels.

Channels are items of significant personal value that we force the magic through instead of our bodies. It deludes the magic, weakening the effects, but it’s a trade-off well worth making.

My channel is a gold wedding band that belonged to my grandmother. She gave it to my mother, and she passed it on to me.

Its main downside is that some guys always think I’m married.

Its main upside is that other guys always think I’m married.

The air rippled as a shimmering sheen, barely visible to the naked eye, folded over Haley as the weapon roared.

Bullets deflected away from the witch before they were close enough to do any harm.

She heard the weapon click, its store empty, dropped her shield, and lifted her gun in one fluid motion.

Two quick muzzle flashes slammed him against the wall and sent him tumbling down the stairs.

Keeping her gun trained on the doorway, Haley quickly approached, slowing when she reached the opening. The witch pressed against the wall before whirling around the frame and into the offices.

The boom of a shotgun prompted her to throw herself against the opposite wall. She widened her eyes at the shredded barrier she was hiding behind only seconds before.

Sliding toward the corner, Haley listened for movement.

A slight scuffling gave her a ballpark area to return fire. Popping around the corner, she squeezed off three quick rounds.

A tall man ducked behind a desk, but it was unnecessary.

The trio of shots was off target.

Regardless, she knew where he was.

Slipping back into cover, she holstered her Glock and reached for the hilt over her right shoulder.

Guns are great, don’t get me wrong, but magic doesn’t flow through mechanisms.

Regardless of how simple the device is, they just don’t get along.

That’s why some witches carry a traditional martial weapon.

In my case, a sword. But not just any sword.

A short sword forged by a dwarf.

That’s right.

A dwarf.

The blade is 100% pure silver.

Werewolves don’t like seeing this bad boy coming, I can tell you that for free.

It was given to my mother on the day I was born by a dwarven smith. Like all dwarf weapons, this one has a name: Dohlneem. Dwarven for champion.

Dohlneem flew out of its sheath with a metallic ring. Gripping the blade with both hands, Haley charged around the corner.

The man’s eyes widened. His shotgun rose, but it trembled in his trembling hands.

The witch took two expert swings, despite being well outside of the weapon’s range.

Laventaas!” she shouted with each arc. “Laventaas!

Her channel glowed and runes appeared along Dohlneem’s blade. Long streaks of golden light cut through the air.

The first struck the desk, slicing through it and tossing the halves aside with violent force.

The second severed the shotgun, sending buckshot flying in a shower of tiny pellets.

He managed a single shout of panic before Dohlneem gashed his throat. Without breaking stride, Haley shouldered open the door he was guarding.

The hulking slob that waited within did not react to her sudden entrance. Bixby sneered as she looked over the fat, hairy man.

He looked over his flabby shoulder.

His face was twisted and ugly. His teeth rotted and his eyes were glazed and dull, yet burning with primal fury.

His hair was dirty and stringy and was missing in patches. As if it had been falling out.

“Witch,” he growled.

“Wizard,” she answered, with a slight smirk.

There’s more that separates witches and wizards than gender.

Or maybe not.

I guess it depends on how you want to look at it.

The fact is that men fall victim to The Stain in far greater numbers than women.

This isn’t some kind of feminist man-hating thing.

I like men. Quite a bit, actually.

But the numbers don’t lie.

For whatever reason, males are more vulnerable to the corrupting power of magic.

That’s why The First Coven decreed that wizards had to die.

It’s not the easiest part of the job.

From a practical standpoint, wizards can unleash raw magic, which can be far more powerful than what we can use through our channels.

Luckily, wizards rarely receive any training, and therefore don’t know any spells.

They have to rely solely on improvised magic, which, as I explained earlier, is often unreliable.

But it’s the moral issues that really cause problems.

We’re supposed to terminate wizards no matter who, where, or what they are. It doesn’t matter if it’s a fat, smelly, sack-of-crap smuggler, or a harmless father of three.

We only get a pass on children. They have to be at least fifteen. If they haven’t shown indisputable signs by then, they aren’t wizards.

With a not-quite-human bellow, the fat wizard lunged at her, his jiggling, but massive arms outstretched.

Haley nimbly rolled to the side, avoiding his charge.

Leaving her feet, she raised Dohlneem high and swung down with power and momentum.

He reacted quicker than she expected. Seizing her wrists, the wizard spun and slammed her into the wall.

With her arms pinned, the witch lashed out with a powerful kick. The attack struck ribs and generated a groan, but his grip held.

Another quickly followed.

Then another.

A fourth finally loosened his hold.

The wizard stumbled back, gnashing his teeth. The second Haley’s feet touched the ground, she dashed forward.

Silver flashed again, and again the fat man tried to catch the swing.

He almost managed it.

He howled in pain as Dohlneem sliced through flesh and bone, reducing his hand to nothing but a bloody stump with a thumb sticking out of it.

Bixby quickly attempted to follow up with another stroke but didn’t get far.

The wizard roared with fury, unleashing his undiluted magic. His voice formed into waves of raw force.

It struck Haley like a fire hose, taking her off her feet and hurling her backward.

She landed hard on her back but gracefully rolled to a knee out of sheer instinct. Blowing her bangs out of her face, she glared at the ugly wizard.

He growled back, his eyes feral.

The room went quiet as the two stared like gunslingers.

Then they both charged.

The wizard conjured a fireball in his one remaining hand and flung it forward.

Aves Thavel!” Haley shouted, thrusting her hand forward and deflecting the projectile.

Slobber flew from the wizard’s mouth as he rushed her. The witch raced forward with hard eyes.

At the last second, Haley sidestepped his charge like a halfback juking a tackler. She twisted as the fat wizard rushed past her, and brought Dohlneem down on the back of his leg.

Silver severed his hamstring, causing him to scream in agony and clumsily collapse.

Rage temporarily chased away his horrible pain, and the wizard quickly tried to pick himself up.

Dohlneem suddenly protruding through his chest stopped him.

He stared at the silver blade, coated in his blood. With a weak gasp, the ugly wizard’s weight fell forward.

Dohlneem slid free as his body hit the ground.

Haley twirled her blade victoriously before wiping it on the fat man’s dirty muscle shirt.

Slipping Dohlneem back into its sheath, the witch glanced around the room. The area was sparse, but another door waited. One that had two padlocks on its frame.

Confident that items or artifacts the wizard deemed worth keeping under lock and key were likely the only ones worth confiscating, Haley approached the door.

A simple word, Bentic, would have opened the locks, but she instead chose to kick the door down.

A loud buzz immediately alerted her to her mistake.

“Oh, son of a—” she barely managed to shout as she dove backward just as an incendiary explosive rocked the warehouse.

Like I said, no revisions. We all do stupid things when we’re feeling cocky.

A massive fireball lurched out from the busted-down door. Hitting her back, Haley extended her ringed hand.

Aves Thavel!

Her shield held as an inferno washed over her.

When the blaze passed, the witch sprang to her feet.

Glancing around, she found the fire quickly spreading. The majority of the warehouse was already burning.

Quickly zipping up her jacket, she reached to her belt and retrieved a small plastic vial of red liquid.

A witch’s arsenal is more than just weapons and spells.

We also have the highly effective, yet under-practiced skill of alchemy.

It’s an ability that I must say I am highly proficient in. With the right ingredients and a little magic, a witch can create a potion to do almost anything.

This is where we do fall into a few witch clichés. Eye of newt actually is an active component in quite a few compounds.

That one, in particular, was a firewalker potion.

Before Haley could pop the stopper off the vial, movement caught her attention. She turned to watch the wizard rise, fire covering his flabby body.

With an agonized roar, he pounded the floor.

His magic smashed through the concrete, causing the ground beneath them to crumble.

Haley plummeted to the storage room below, losing her grip on her potion as she fell.

Gasping at a combination of the smoke and the impact of hitting the ground, Bixby tried to get her bearings and find her wayward potion.

Her foe was easier to find.

The wizard continued his rampage despite his injuries and flames licking his body. He growled in fury as more fire began to consume him.

The flames swirled, dancing at his commands.

Haley’s eyes widened as she scrambled to her feet. Her shield would likely not stand up to what he was about to unleash.

Quickly drawing Dohlneem, she swiped at the rolling door behind her. “Laventaas!

Magic ripped through the thin metal, leaving a wide gash.

Haley dove through the opening as the wizard unleashed his fiery might.

Flames erupted from the cut as fire slammed the rolling door.

The witch rolled to her feet to see the door warping under the volcanic heat. With a curse, she dove to the side as the door exploded.

A torrent of flame roared out into the main floor of the warehouse. Fire quickly spread to the moving trucks the workers had been unloading.

Haley readied Dohlneem as the wizard came stomping out of the storeroom. As he did, he kicked a small vial, sending it skittering across the ground.

Reaching out with her ring hand, she focused on the potion. “Vricta.

The vial leaped off the concrete and soared into her waiting hand.

Unfortunately, the spell required her to take her attention off the wizard. The second the potion hit her hand, he was on her.

A broad shoulder struck her, sending her smaller frame slamming into a metal support beam.

Dohlneem clanged to the floor.

The wizard tried to press his advantage, but Haley drove both feet into his chest. He kept coming, his one good hand clawing for her pretty, young face like a grizzly going after a salmon.

Bixby pushed hard against his bulk, her back pressed against the pillar.

Flames from the fat man’s body curled around the soles of her leather boots. Popping the top, she quickly downed the potion.

Magic raced through her body. The oppressive heat of the burning building cooled as she became impervious to the flames.

Now able to focus entirely on her foe, she opened her palm to the wizard and called Dohlneem to her.

Vricta,” she summoned.

The blade sprang back to its owner’s hand. Sadly, for the wizard, he was in the way.

Dohlneem’s hilt struck him in the back of the head.

Just then, Haley shoved with all her might and forced the bulbous man away from her. She whimpered slightly as she landed flat on her backside, but quickly came to her feet and snatched up her sword.

With an angry scowl, she went on the attack.

She easily ducked a clumsy haymaker from the ugly wizard. Haley brought Dohlneem across his flabby torso, leaving a deep gash behind.

He bellowed in pain, but the witch was heartless to his agony.

Bixby slashed across his stomach before sidestepping another wild swing. Another arc sliced his side open and a final swing separated his head from the rest of his bloated body.

Again blowing her bangs from her eyes, she triumphantly thrust Dohlneem back in its sheath with more force than was necessary.

Turning to flee the burning warehouse, she froze when she saw flames licking the gas tanks of the large moving trucks.

“Oh, dammit,” she swore.

Spinning on her heels, she dashed across the warehouse toward a nearby window. She left her feet just as the vehicles exploded.

The shockwave pushed her out the window faster and harder than she expected.

The graceful roll she had envisioned instead turned into an awkward tumble. Shattered glass rained down on her from higher windows, knocked out by the explosion.

With a groan, she started to pick herself up.

“Freeze!” someone shouted.

Haley looked up to a handsome, young police officer. Red and blue lights flashed behind him and a standard-issue police sidearm rested comfortably in his hands.

“Keep your hands where I can see them!”

With a quiet curse, Haley extended her arms out to her sides, palms open wide. Keeping his gun trained on her, the officer reached for his cuffs.

I imagine most people have a cute story of how they met the love of their life.

Maybe they shared an umbrella during a rainstorm, or they both got stood up on separate dates in the same restaurant, or they were stuck in an elevator together.

Well, I met mine when he pointed a gun at me and read me my rights.

 

Read the full uncensored books on the Galatea iOS app!

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