Beatrice Bumsqueak is the toad animagus that acts as the Healer in the P.A.W.S. Institute of the Midwest. She is also an avid crossword enthusiast. Here’s a little sampling of a scene in Umbrae, the upcoming third installment of the P.A.W.S. Saga that will be available in March.
“What was that?” Beatrice Bumsqueak woke with a start. She swore she’d heard something. It had sounded like a scream or a chuckle. She glanced over at the baby sleeping peacefully in his crib. It must be the full moon. The wolf pack outside were becoming rambunctious again. She wished Josh would return. He’d always kept them in line, but he’d been gone for two months and the wolves were roving into residential areas. One of them had been hurt when a trigger-happy resident had exercised his right to defend himself and shot the poor wolf in the leg. The healer had worked hard to remove the bullet the next morning.
Andrew had been trying to take control of the pack but with little success. Beatrice sighed. She didn’t think she’d get anymore sleep tonight. She switched on the light and picked up the paper from her bedside table and turned to the crossword. Maybe a puzzle would help to pass the time.
That was odd. She didn’t think this puzzle was supposed to have a theme, yet the fifteen letter entry running along the center of the grid seemed to be without a clue. Beatrice, an expert solver, filled in the answers to the rest of the clues. When she was finished, she gasped. Spelled across the center of the puzzle were the words: ALISTAIR WATCHES.
No, it’s just a coincidence. Beatrice glanced over at Ryan. The boy had opened his eyes and was staring at her in complete silence. Wasn’t he supposed to cry if he woke? Shouldn’t he be cranky and need to be comforted? But this was not a normal baby. This was the baby that had torn himself out of Jenna’s frail lupine form. Had torn his mother apart on the day of his birth. Was it possible that the soul of Alistair still dwelt inside him? What would happen when he was no longer a baby?
Ryan’s eyes were blue like his father’s. And yes, they were watching Beatrice.
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