TITLE: June Plumay, Teenage Curse Inspector
GENRE: YA Science Fiction, Contemporary
June Plumay wants to be a licensed curse inspector like her Pop, then she can investigate his murder. That means playing by the council’s rules: no giving the stink-eye to school bullies, hiding her hex-smithing from her new family, and – most importantly -- No Investigating On Her Own.
June handed her father the wheat flour and the jar of frosted melancholy. He set them down on the counter next to the big copper bowl, and checked the splattered and much abused recipe. The words were beautiful calligraphy torn from an ancient manuscript written by a Welsh monk who liked cats, and whiskey, and cursing the Romans.
While her father whispered a powerful grace over the eggs, June closed her eyes, ran her hands over her head in a benediction, and pretended she was taking a shower in a waterfall. She needed to perform this ritual before she touched her phone, or it would get zapped by her tainted blood.
Her father considered almost anything electronic an abomination, and would not allow her to buy another phone if she destroyed this one. It had taken all of her money doing odd jobs for Sour Ann, babysitting, and fixing Cancer Jack’s skateboard just to replace her first phone.
“Cinnamon.” He wagged his fingers impatiently.
“Just a minute, boss. I need tunes.” It was not easy to select a playlist that fit the mood. It was a late Saturday morning in the Fall, her favorite time of year, when she felt most comfortable in her skin, and all her clothes fit right.
The aroma of bacon and lazy sunlight lingered in the kitchen, and she could still taste buttery pancakes from breakfast. So, comfortably full and pleased with the universe, June helped her father brew concoctions of dreadful potency.