Monday, June 29, 2015

Michael Phillip Case Crashes Genres With Witches Protection Program - Verrrry Cool!

 When I hear the word witch, I first think of the two from the classic film...

Hey, the beautiful witch's name was Glinda so I was partial to her, you might say... But, then, The Charmed Ones came along and we witch followers were entranced by these good witches as well...

Witches have been around since the beginning, but the most notoriety was when the Pilgrims started killing...people...whether they were witches or not... Sometime during the more enlightened years, the government stepped in to provide protection and the Witches Protection Program was born, according to Michael Cash...

"You're crazy, dude," Wes smiled lazily.

"Not so crazy. They've been around for years, living underground, hiding their abilities. But that is just the tip of the iceberg. The history of witches and our country goes way back. Please pay attention to the monitor." Alastair gestured to the far wall. West noticed he aimed a remote at the blank space.

Imaged flickered on a screen West hadn't noticed was there. It filled the room with cinema quality actors, and West Stretched out his long legs, getting comfortable.

It was a black and white grainy documentary style. The words Salem, Massachusetts, 1692 identified the time period. Fields of corn and small cottages, clearly New England streets. Wes admitted the realism of the set...

"I knew we shouldn't-a let Good Prudence in which her potions..."

Witches Protection Program

By Michael Phillip Cash

Wes Rockville is a cop, maybe not the best but maybe part of his problem was that he reported to his father and his sister was a distinguished prosecutor in New York City... But, then, Wes did seem to mess up on what would be several simple cases--like not being able to transport one little old lady...

All he had been told was to not look her in the eyes...But he must have...

And his father was on the line and Wes was given his last assignment, or he would be kicked out! He had been assigned to the Witches Protection Program...

A secret part of the force referred to as DUMBO...

...West ambled to a darkened corner of the street,
pressing the phone to his ear to make sure he
heard the message correctly. He stared absently
at the setting sun that washed the sky to a faint
pink. The light wind ruffled his jacket, sending
a chill down his spine. It was an unfriendly street;
there was not a pedestrian, baby carriage, or even
a delivery bicycle in sight. The policeman in Wes
scoured the facade of the brownstones, looking
for a hint of life. There was not even a chirping
bird. The sound of cars racing overhead created
a wind-tunnel effect, so the whole place had an
unearthly air.
"The line you've called is currently out of service"
Shit, he messed up. He blew air through his lips
in a rush. "Please leave a message after the beep."
Closing his eyes wearily, he repeated the number
again, then looked back at his phone, the glare
painting his face blue. The sun disappeared,
bathing the entire street in blue...West shivered
in the cold. Wait a minute. He paused. What
line that is out of service takes messages? He
redialed the number. West anticipated the beep
and held the phone close to his mouth. He said
softly, "Alastair? This is Wes."
Now I found this totally plausible. After all, humans don't have a good history of accommodating to individuals that are different from them... Besides, it had been recognized that many witches were able to provide support for the needs of the world...

But that's when the fun begins...

(pop. less than 1200 according
to Wiki)
Wes is unable or unwilling to accept that witches actually exist! But now, he will be out of a job if he doesn't proceed with the reassignment. So he heads on down to DUMBO--Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass, but he couldn't find the place!

And the rest of his getting to work is, to be brief, mind-boggling... To Wes, that is; to the readers, it is humorous and quickly gets us totally involved in this strange world where quite a bit of their work is saving the good witches (Davinas) from the bad (Willa).

"The accusations caused a great schism.
Witches split into two factions: the
Davinas and the Willa. Both groups
continued to practice their brands of
magic even though they disappeared
into the fabric of society. Davinas
mastered medicine and healing. You
may have known one as a teacher or a
nurse. They used their powers for the
good of mankind.
The Willa went dark--very dark--
embracing the nefarious arts and
anything that thwarted goodness.

But first Wes sits through a lengthy documentary of what has happened to witches in the which Wes is certain that Jennifer Aniston stars!  His mind began to wander a little, but was quite shaken when he realized he would no longer use his Glock!

First he received a Steampunk Vaporizer, then a Darrow Trance Lifter,  a mirror, which he was told would be used--at times when he would know how to use it--and, finally, a roll of duct tape.

And then he was given his first assignment. He read through the folder materials and responded, "I won't do it." Which was quickly followed by a need for him to turn in his resignation... In other words, he didn't have a choice...

He was going to be introduced to Junie "Baby Fat" Meadows of the Meadows Witch family. On the way, Wes at least found out she was Davina...

Soon they were in Red Hook, Brooklyn, and entering the home of Pendragon Cosmetics, known to most women throughout the world. It was a lower-end cosmetic found in most drugstores.
A squat woman wearing a polyester skirt and a vest-like apron covered in shamrocks walked down an alley of containers, a clipboard under her arm and a pen designed to look like a tree branch in her gnarled hand. She had unkempt, mousy hair, with a tortoiseshell barrette holding it back from her bulbous eyes. Spider veins created a road map on her flabby face, and most would call her ugly. Junie "Baby Fat' Meadows didn't mind. She had a magic mirror at home, so it didn't matter. 

And Junie is about to be called to the office by her "pain in the ass" boss... She has an idea of what is going on, but it could be dangerous for her to do anything on her own... Morgan, niece of the head of the company, soon also learns she is in danger... Alastair and Wes are called to the rescue. Wes takes one look at Morgan, thinks she can't possibly be a witch, then decides he doesn't care if she is!

And then the fight is on!

"You're a witch!" Dominic shouted.
"No shit, Sherlock," Scarlett replied, pointing to a container thirty feet high. "Box them in, seal the door, ship them all to Singapore."
...Scarlett turned to the vast cavern of the warehouse, the drumming from the men imprisoned in the metal box becoming fainter as she walked the aisles. "Oh, little playmate," she began iin a singsong voice. "Come out and play with me. You'll bring your dollies three. Climb up my apple tree..." her voice had a breathy quality that echoed down the deserted warehouse. "Cry down my rain barrel. Slide down my cellar door..."
Morgan's foot slipped. The singing stopped abruptly. Scarlett's eyes widened, an evil smile on her face. She wet her lips, beginning the song again. "And we'll be jolly friends..." Scarlett tossed aside a heavy container with her bare hands, her mouth a snarl as she finished the childhood ditty, expecting to find her prey. "Forevermore!" Morgan wasn't there. Scarlett sniffed the air; she knew the girl was nearby. "Come out, come out, wherever you are!"

There is an underlying edge of humor throughout the entire book, but some places are even hilarious! For me, I enjoyed this one more than any other novel by Cash. This is the kind of humorous mystery that is worthy of a series and I hope the author considers more activities for the Witches Protection Program! The characters are wonderfully drawn, reminiscent of other witches stories, but with a unique twist that, I believe, is the first providing witch protectors!

The blend of old instruments used by witches, such as brooms, combined with contemporary cosmetic schemes has brought a delightful, fully satisfying--and without much violence--novel that is exciting, audacious, with an innovative humor that will be fun for all readers--YA and above!


Michael Phillip Cash is an award-winning screenwriter and novelist. He's written ten books including the best-selling Brood X, Stillwell, The Flip, The After House, The Hanging Tree, Witches Protection Program, Pokergeist and Battle for Darracia series.

Michael resides on the North Shore of Long Island. He writes full-time with his screaming kids in the background.

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