Main Story: “Where There’s Smoke” by Michael H. Payne
Sudden crackling twitched Cluny’s ears, memories sparking through her of harvesting termites from the fallen trees back home on her parents’ nut farm.
The sound kept growing louder, though, its vibrations taking on a supernatural edge that prickled her fur and pulled her out of her notes. Looking up from the floor in front of the bookcase where she lay sprawled across Magistrix Gosstelain’s treatise on the numenistic forces inherent within the mind/brain interface, she said, “Uhh, guys? I think we might have a–“
A cabbage-sized mass of flame burst into the air above Crocker’s desk, made him cry out and nearly tip over in his chair. “The fools!” came a shout, and Shtasith whooshed from the fireplace, his black and gold wings flaring. “They shall rue this attempted invasion of our inmost sanctum!”
Michael H. Payne’s stories about Cluny the Sorceress Squirrel have appeared in every issue of the annual Sword and Sorceress anthology since 2008. He seems to spend most of his time these days writing and drawing 11 pages of webcomics every week for his Daily Grind and Terebinth series as well as putting together fanfiction for the current My Little Pony cartoon series under the name of AugieDog. Check hyniof.livejournal.com to see how it all comes out.
About the Narrator:
Cheryl Phipps was born in Canada and presently resides there, but has also lived in Jamaica and Maryland. By the time she was 16, she had moved 15 times! She used story telling as a way to fit in whenever she was the “new kid” in town. Cheryl obtained her Honours BA in Sociology at the University of Western Ontario. She spent many years teaching call center representatives customer service and communication skills. She wrote a book that won second place in an international literary contest. Cheryl has always loved words, grammar, reading, acting and writing. All of these things came together for Cheryl in the form of voice over work, which she loves!