Stir Around Dead Part 5

Chapter 4: A Poor Use of an Omelette’s Ingredients

After putting on a rather plain purple dress, Koolah stumbled groggily into the cottage’s brewing hall.

The pots bubbled, the main cauldron was still a grinning catshead and the salamanders were gently gambolling beneath it.

Everything was as it was when Qusheab had woken up.

Not a herb or fungi out of place.

To the side of the cauldron, Qusheab herself was stirring the brew, brow knitted in concentration. She had a tortured look to go with the brow. It was indeed the case that Qusheab had the most potential of the three sisters, but she was by no means the most powerful, though calling the remaining members of the Dauftima powerful might only apply if you compared them to the likes of hedgewitchs and other magi that generally have a poor background.

Qusheab was wearing a dress that almost looked like it was formed from nothing but some daisy-like flower. Truthfully, the outer layer of the dress did indeed have flowers, these flowers grew from the dress itself!

“Morn’ Koolah!” Qusheab chirped.

Koolah looked blearily at Qusheab.

“Morning. Shouldn’t Jadah be stirring that?” She asked.

Qusheab looked a bit confused.

“I was up first though?”

Koolah put a paw to her temple and rubbed, making the rounds of the other pots and various other containers. The pounding in her head was getting to her, it was like a crew of dwarf miners in there.

“Huh? Is that right?” she muttered.

Qusheab eyed her eldest sister worriedly, almost messing up the stirring as she did so. Concentrating back on the brew she spoke.

“You don’t seem too well today sister, how about I make breakfast! I’ll make some of my lovely soup!”

Koolah suppressed a shudder.

“Omelettes” Koolah declared.

“You sure? I mean you could take over the stirring, it relaxes you doesn’t it?”

-How exactly could I relax knowing I would have to eat that fiendish soup of yours?- Koolah thought.

“I will make omelettes, if I am not well enough to do that, I’m not well enough to breathe”

Koolah grabbed a pan and started piling mushrooms, preserved meats, spices and so on onto it, she’d just move the stuff onto another pan when she had everything together.

“Are these frying pans multiplying?” Koolah accused.

She had spotted rather a large amount when she looked for a second pan to actually make the omelette on.

“Ha ha ha, no way that couldn’t happen. Nope, such a joker sister, no way that is happening” Qusheab laughed awkwardly.

She peered into the cauldron of the brew, almost falling in her haste to hide her guilty look.

Koolah sighed and shook her head, she’d have to deal with that after she sorted out the most important thing.

The most important thing?

What was that?


A part of Koolah screamed in frustration. How could breakfast be the most important thing!

The gap in her mind widened with such force that it actually brought pain to Koolah. A hiss escaped her mouth. She quickly grabbed a leaf of pilloweave that was nearby. It was a lovely herb with soft white leaves. The plant had a minor effect of easing mental pain, but it wasn’t a particularly strong one, it only counteracted a few origins of pain, and was in general a pain to refine or mix with other reagents. Supposedly it aided sleep too, but Koolah had never noticed such an effect. It tended to grow in cold underground areas, frequently near beds of moss.

An experienced herbalist would weep to see her throwing it in her mouth to relieve some mental pain, but unless you knew what to do with pilloweave, that was about all it was good for!

“Qushqush, where is Jadah?” Koolah asked as she moved towards the salamanders.

Qusheab hap-hazardly waved a full ladle around.

“Wanted to check something, um, She’s gone into the storeroom!”

“The storeroom? What for?”

A twinge of pain.

“No idea, something funny ’bout today she said”

“Just today? This place, even with the wards up, it can’t help but feel strange” Koolah objected.

The salamanders grew alert noticing someone coming closer to their lair, however when they saw that it was Koolah, they gave whimpering hisses and their fiery bodies grew dim. They reluctantly retreated from their eggs.

“It’s just what she said ok? Oh bother, nothing turns out well when I wake early does it?” Qusheab complained.

There was quite the number of eggs. Clearly it had been some time since they last had eggs.

A scale on Koolah’s hat twitched and one by one ethereal green scales covered her paws as she reached through the flames for the black leathery eggs.

She stared at them for a time, but whatever tried to come to mind, it didn’t.

Everything went smoothly, and Koolah grabbed a bowl to split the eggs open into. The first few she split the casing off were quite regular but one when she split it, had something a little extra.

A blue wisp snaked into her forehead, and Koolah jerked around mechanically.

“How many days has it been?” Koolah asked dully.

Qusheab seemed not to hear, staring into the brew.

“How many days has it been?” Koolah asked again.

This time, Qusheab reacted.

“Oh, hasn’t it been… sorry? What were you asking again?”

Koolah’s eyes flashed.

“How. Many. Days?” she growled.

Qusheab looked utterly bewildered.

“It’s been… oh dear…”

Qusheab got increasingly flustered. She couldn’t remember

Koolah for her part instantly sat down and started scattering the spices she had taken for her omelette, smashing the eggs open at key locations, creating a pattern around herself. A ward.

Qusheab directed the ladle into stirring by itself and fled from the cauldron shouting towards the storehouse!

“Jadah, Jadah! How many days has it been?”

There was a crashing sound from the storehouse and the screech of a cat.

Both Qusheab and Jadah came rushing out before Koolah.

“Quick, jump into this ward!” Koolah commanded.

Qusheab and Jadah did so and when they did the realization came crashing down on them.

They had gotten ensnared by the loop.

“This, this shouldn’t have happened. We set wards, all around the cottage! We had necklaces to protect us!” Qusheab worried.

Jadah pawed at her neck. There was nothing there.

“What happened to them?”

Koolah opened her eyes, giving her messy impromptu ward a second look to make sure it was protecting their minds from the effects of the grand loop magic.

“They must be gone” Koolah said.

“We have no way of knowing how much time has passed do we?” Qusheab panicked.

“Calm dear, we can all just check our patterns, we should know from those” Jadah said.

All three closed their eyes as they looked inwards.

Koolah was the first to open her eyes.

“Well, it could have been worse.” she grimaced.

Qusheab let out a relieved sigh.

“So, our personal protections and the wards of the cottage are gone” Jadah concluded.

Koolah nodded.

“So, the question remains, how did this happen, I cannot recall anything. There is a gap in my memories, as if they were torn from my mind”

“My mind is the same!” Qusheab said.

“As is mine, but isn’t that too brutal for the effects of the loop magic?” Jadah mused.

“Yes, so, something or someone…”

Then there was a knock on the front door of the cottage.

Author: SnowyMystic