“Pause, tell me what happened again?” My face twists as my roommate, with a slight slug of blood oozing from his hairline, recounts whatever just happened.
“Remember how I told you my Great Great Grandmother Garnet practiced voodoo?”
“Faintly, but I always thought that was a joke to scare me into keeping the toilet seat down every now and then.”
He quickly scrolls through his phone, searching for something. “Well a week or two ago, when I visited home, I was helping my mom clean up my Grandma’s old shed, I came across an old dusted box. Inside was this book.”
He turns his phone around and shows me a picture of an ancient tome with an unrecognizable inscription, which probably means “Book of Spells” or just “Hocus Pocus Things”, its usually something like that. I grab his phone and then take a seat adjacent to him on the kitchen island. I zoom in to take in the details of the book, though its age makes it hard to study, especially under the faint light of the shed.
“So what: you mistakenly summoned a coven of witches or something?” I swipe to the next photo, which is an actual photo of one of the book’s pages. Just before I zoom in on the words…symbols, he grabs his phone, locks it, then sets its screen down on the countertop. I shake the suspicion away, there were more pressing matters to attend to than turning on my best friend with surely crazy suspicions.
“Well, mistake is a broad term. Right?” He looks around, avoiding my eyes which are like hot coals on an August day.
“No, Talon. No.” I stand up and walk around the counter, catching his attention before he can look away. “A mistake is unintentional. No if, and, or buts about it. What did you?”
He sighs, placing his arms on the counter and then sinking his head within them. After a moment he sits up then begins to fill in the missing pieces: “Well my Grandma used to always tell me her mother practiced voodoo, and one of the bedtime stories she would always tell me was about the time she witnessed Grandma Garnet, and her twin sister, fighting a coven of witches. It was thirteen of them and things went left.”
“Left like how?” I lean back on the countertop behind me, crossing my arms and allowing my leg to shake anxiously. Now invested in the tale, I eagerly listen.
“The witches put a curse on my Grandma Garnet, her twin sister too, and-“
A crash sounds from outside our apartment complex. We quickly drop to the ground. Talon crawls behind the island where I am taking a quick, careful, glance out the windows across from our kitchen. The windows are shattered.
“There goes our security deposit.” Talon’s breath is shaky, though somehow he retains his bold strength, the stubbornness he’s carried since middle school.
“Talon, what do they want?”
Suddenly the kitchen island rumbles, stones falling all around us. A wallop of marble nearly crushes our fingers before we slide to opposite sides of the kitchen, taking cover behind the wall. Firmly a silver matter grabs ahold of my waist, while a green one grabs ahold of Talon. We’re dragged out of our apartment through the broken window. I wince sharply as my arm oozes red from a cut on the glass.
“What have you done with her?” The woman who has hold of me, who’s floating atop thin air, shifts her silver fishtail-braided hair out of her face as she shoots us – mainly Talon – a stern glare.
Talon doesn’t respond. The matter grows acidic, burning my being intensely. A shout escapes my lips, though Talon seems to be unaffected.
“We won’t ask again,” says another woman, in control of the green matter that’s clenching Talon. Noticing my pain he mutters something under his breath and the pain recedes to nothing but a mere sting, though manageable.
“A few weeks ago huh? Seems like you’re past the novice stage.” I look over at Talon, then back to the sight ahead of us. I count how many oppose us: twelve.
“Who are these people Talon? It’s only twelve of them, this can’t be the coven that cursed Grandma Garnet.” He shakes his head, though I can’t tell if it’s to confirm or deny my comment.
A man with blue carvings on his face, which seems to glow and breath as if it were a heartbeat, flies up closer to my face than the rest. “That’s because he cast a conveyance spell on our sister. We know she’s here!” The last bit comes out as a hiss.
“Talon can you say something” I plead with uncertainty.
“Over a hundred years ago they made my-“
Talon’s response is cut short by another woman who comes from behind the green matter witch. “There’s nothing to say. He’s guilty. I say we complete the Nulla spell and seal his fate.” This one has maroon, pixie cut, hair with a staff. On the top is a glowing crystal, it vibrates every few seconds.”
Just then I hear our cat Gale meowing. I can’t turn my head but I can hear him as if he’s right behind me.
“Gale get back inside.”
“Sister!” Another witch near the silver one that has ahold of me quickly scoops up Gale with a flick of his wrist.
The red pixie cut witch shouts: “You named our sister gale!”
“Sister? Gale is a he? Wait a minute, Talon, I thought you found Gale by the dumpster scrounging for food”
“I did. Before I performed the conveyance spell and trapped that old hag into its body.”
“Silence!” The witch with Gale in its hands silences us with ease. I try to speak but no words come out, Talon seems to be experiencing more of the same. “Leave the spare, bring this one,” the red pixie cut witch points to Talon with her deep red manicured nails, “with us.”
I’m quickly swooshed back into my apartment with another slash, this time near my ankle. The witches, with Talon in their clutches vanish, or flew away, though it all happened too quickly for me to notice.
I look over at Gale’s bed, and my mind winces for a moment at the sight in front of me. Nestled atop its furry surface is the book from Talon’s Grandma’s shed. It’s in perfect reading condition as if Gale was skimming through it himself. I quickly make my way over to the corner and place my hands around the ancient relic. Oddly enough I find my way to the contents, amazed that a century-old witch needed a table of contents to organize whatever is in here. I flip towards the end: “Replevy & Locus”.