Sealed with a Hiss
by Eule Grey
Series: Kitten and Blonde, Book One
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: 10/24/2023
Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex
Length: Novella / 39,900 Words / 169 Pages
Genre: Paranormal, contemporary, paranormal, British/Yorkshire/Ladybower Reservoir, lesbian, over 40, mystery, cold case, blogger, reporters, local paper, small town, witch, bikers, neurodivergence, sexy lizard lady, interspecies sex
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Kitten and Blonde set forth on Lisa’s motorbike armed with packed lunches and crucial questions.
Kitten and Blonde: Mostly Paranormal. Sometimes alien. Always gentle.
Mave Kitten is ecstatic when she lands a dream job as a paranormal journalist for a local newspaper, the Echo. It’s a chance in a lifetime for a neurodivergent Witch. She’s a little nervous about the boss, leather-clad motorcyclist Lisa Blonde. But Lisa’s got a heart of gold, and Mave soon settles into her new role. There’s even an office cat to help out. Only one tiny problem remains—Lisa doesn’t believe in the paranormal. How is Mave to change her mind?
Her Little Joke
Mave and Lisa investigate a creepy sound emanating from a nearby canal. Little do they know to what depths the trail will lead: Ghosts, a haunted well, ignorance, a flapping bird. What of the woman in green? Mave’s interviews lead to some unexpected situations, and all the time, the hissing sound grows louder. The last place Mave and Lisa wish to visit is the depths of a macabre well. Heck, no. They’re just ordinary women with bills to pay. But entities are fashionably unpredictable, and ghost whisperers can’t choose when to answer a supernatural SOS. When the darkness closes in, Mave is glad of Lisa’s winning formula of strength and softness.
Although Mave loves her Sunday dates with Lisa, she wishes the outings would lead to something more intimate. When a swamp monster at Ladybower Reservoir goes AWOL and a researcher disappears, it’s a brilliant opportunity for Mave and Lisa to get better acquainted and stretch their investigative skills. Mave leaves no gravestone unturned. Phantom aircraft, a missing scientist, abandoned lizard tails, tussles in the bushes: all pathways lead to one heated conclusion—it’s time to tell Lisa how she feels.
Kitten and Blonde set forth on Lisa’s motorbike armed with packed lunches and crucial questions. Why is a mysterious noise coming from the well? What’s causing the toxic chemicals at Ladybower Reservoir? Where’s the nearest pub? Maybe the most crucial question of all is whether Lisa Blonde will ever believe in the supernatural.
Her Little Joke was previously published as part of the NineStar anthology, Listen: The Sound of Fear.
Sealed with a Hiss
Eule Grey © 2023
All Rights Reserved
Random fact of the day: a green wig is hanging on a hook in our office.
Hello! This is Mave Kitten reporting for Litten’s Echo, our very own free version of the New Yorker. Over the next few months, we’ll be offering weekly broadcasts about issues that matter to you—our lovely residents of Litten Vale.
When the boss ‘asked’ me to run a blog, I almost died from shock. It had been another uneventful afternoon. I was sorting the Echo’s files. Round and round in a forever loop. The office cat snored, and our Lisa was gliding, quite skilfully, on one leg.
I’m nervous of ‘she who must be obeyed’ and, at the same time, hypnotised by her idiosyncratic behaviours. Still, I had to ask. “What’re you doing, Lisa? Ice skating?”
It’s true to say we’re wary of each other. Life has taught me to be cautious. I talk too much and don’t notice hints. I’m not everyone’s cup of tea. On my first day as junior reporter, I noticed and looked. Lisa reciprocated. Now, we’re trapped in a bizarre cycle of wariness and looky-looky.
In response to my question, Lisa hurled some wipes onto the floor, placed her foot on top, and continued skating. “Cleaning the floor.”
I winced, started talking, and then couldn’t stop. “Wipes are no good for the environment. The cloth takes five hundred years to biodegrade. Haven’t we got a mop? Shall I buy one? We need cat treats too. I’ll get the pricey kind. Kitty doesn’t eat the crappy ones you get. Shall I get organic? Or how about that mice kind?”
Lisa grimaced, as if to suggest I’d twisted off her arm. “Did she tell you she doesn’t like the crappy ones?”
I shook my head. “Not exactly. But—”
A firm expression took hold of Lisa’s face. “No pricey treats. The cat can stand the cheaper brands if she knows what’s good for her. You, Ms Kitten, are about to record an interview down at Ellison. Too busy for mops! If you run, you can catch the two o’clock bus.”
Record an interview? I’d have been happier if she’d told me to join the army. “No! Interview actual people and make broadcasts? I couldn’t possibly.”
“Yes,” she’d said. “Definitely. I want a weekly blog about local urban myths.”
Dear listener, I died a death of horror and then came back to life and got on with it. Mauve Mave’s like that.
Listen to this,
Too good to miss.
Less than a day later, and the first blog’s being broadcast. My sensitive nature isn’t equipped to contradict six feet of muscle and blonde. Between you and me, I call her the ‘Lisanator’. Blonde, like the beer. Big, strong, and got a kick. Her words, not mine. Our Lisa isn’t one to argue with, but don’t snitch on me. She never listens to broadcasts or the news. If you don’t say anything, she won’t know.
A little personal info before frying the chips of journalism. I’m fifty-two years old and am a proud Littenite. I love cats, documentaries, cheese and onion flavour crisps, and the colour purple. Very important, that. Fluffy cushions and wind chimes also make me happy. Friends call me Mauve Mave, and so can you.
What don’t I enjoy? Tight spaces and flapping wings. Urgh. I know it’s a daft thing, and you can blame it on my sister, Tamara. When did it start? All I remember is a bird or butterfly flapping in my face and a lot of girlish screaming. Tam says we were in a library lift, and it broke down. When we got out, a big sea gull appeared and flapped at us. Witches Tipple beer! So horrible.
Reporting for the Echo means a lot to my girlish heart. I was made up when Lisa offered the job. Literally, crying with joy. I still don’t know why she picked me from hundreds of applicants. I don’t ask in case it was a mistake.
I’m nothing to write home about and have had too many thankless café and cleaning jobs. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! As Dad says, any work’s work. Bless him; he’s always been a pub philosopher. Just don’t get him onto fracking or craft beer. Not if you want to get to sleep that night.
Our first blog will be—hopefully—of interest to Litton folks and especially anyone from down Ellison way. By now, you’ll have guessed what I mean because everyone’s talking about it. Yeah, that’s right. The sound…
According to Lisa, it’s something of a local legend. Kids have made memes, and the neighbourhood app is abuzz. Like all good scares, the noise began during a dark and stormy Tuesday night. Right after Coronation Street, and before Holby. Some heard a buzz and others more a hiss. A few claimed to sense a vibration coming from underneath the house.
Weird, no? Irritating, certainly.
By next morning, the noise had vanished along with the good tempers of Ellison. Tired, confused, and spooked, people got on with their day and forgot about it… Until a few nights later when the same thing happened.
Now the sound is a regular occurrence, despite residents doing their best to get to the bottom of things. They’ve called the council, plumbers, electricians, and a roads expert. The area has been tapped, dug, poked, and prodded. Nothing has worked, and the noise persists.
Of course, rumours are rife. Lisa told me some old story about the canal, as eerie as spaghetti in a stew.
Get a brew on, and make sure you’ve a biscuit at hand, dear reader. Are you ready?
Meet the Author
Eule Grey has settled, for now, in the north UK. She’s worked in education, justice, youth work, and even tried her hand at butter-spreading in a sandwich factory. Sadly, she wasn’t much good at any of them!
She writes novels, novellas, poetry, and a messy combination of all three. Nothing about Eule is tidy but she rocks a boogie on a Saturday night!
For now, Eule is she/her or they/them. Eule has not yet arrived at a pronoun that feels right.
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