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The story will continue here and I appreciate your support immensely. Please feel free to comment below your thoughts on it all. I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing without the support and community that wordpress has provided 🙂
Now for the story:
Becca stared at the key that had dropped out of the box and into her hand. It was a normal everyday key, which was a little disappointing. The birds had cleared the sky and the rush that had filled her body at their immediate flight was fading, allowing her muscles and mind to work again.
She heard the meow again. Cora. “I’m coming,” she said, as if the cat could understand her.
Upon entering the house, Cora began pacing in and around her legs with a purring so loud she could hear it even while standing. She bent down and ruffled the white fluff that was Cora’s head. The box, she sat on the small table by the door. She looked up to see that the large chandelier still hung. The dimming light meant the switch by the door was all the more important and when she flipped it up, the lights dazzled across the walls, displaying the rainbow sparkles she remembered as a child. The house was impeccable.
She found a note propped against a vase of flowers on the table where she had set the box.
You will notice that your aunt wanted the house to be perfect for you. Please contact me if there is anything out of place or if you find you are in need of supplies.
The house looked similar to when she was a girl. It felt smaller now, even though it was still an enormous house, especially for one person to have lived in it alone. Note still in hand, she noticed the same walls, covered with flowery wallpaper, the floors hardwood with ornate rugs, and the doors solid wood with decorative iron handles.
She knew the library was to the right. She had loved that room as a child. Books upon books, all either within reach, or even better, a ladder to climb for the unreachable. The meowing cat was not about to let her go back to that memory though, as Cora was determined her dinner was next on the agenda. And Becca knew she was late on that account.
Upon entering the kitchen, she found it had been updated. The stone counter was not what she remembered, nor the additional greenhouse entry. A greenhouse. She would have to explore that.
She found the cat food just as instructed, in a box by the first cabinet. Her bowls were on the counter. “That’s not gonna be a thing,” she said to Cora as she poured the food into the bowl. Cora began her purrs again. Becca ran her fingers down her silky fur as Cora munched up the little bites. She laughed at the absurdity of the cat’s place on the counter and thought, Oh, who cares.
She made her way into the greenhouse, it’s heavy, damp air filling her lungs. She couldn’t help but notice all of the sweet and strange smells. The dim lights were soft and welcoming. The air was warm and inviting. At the end of the first row, there was a seating area. It overlooked the outdoors but it had gotten dark out, so the view was blocked. She would have to check it out in the morning.
The small space was cozy. A large wooden bench, the boards all of differing shades, dark to light. A cup left on an arm rest. She wondered if Aunt Jo had left that cup behind and the emotions inside her began to show themselves. She could feel them in her throat at the idea of never seeing Aunt Jo in that house again. She imagined her sitting on that bench, drinking her tea and looking out over the lake all alone.
Aunt Jo, I do miss you. I didn’t know I would. She let her hand run across the edge of a shelf as she walked past a row of plants and then her fingers couldn’t help but feel the softness of one as she grabbed up a fuzzy leaf. She was gentle and loving as she moved it back and forth between her thumb and middle finger. The moisture built behind her eyes and she blinked to force it away.
Then she heard something. She paused and listened intently. A whisper. She heard it again. She walked to where she thought she heard it coming from and turned her head to the side in an effort to make the sound louder. Again. She waited, holding her breath. And then heard the wind brush across the side of the greenhouse. Cora had entered through her little door. What is wrong with you? My god, get it together.
She picked up Cora and headed back into the kitchen. “I need to go get my things,” she said to the cat after she patted her head and dropped her on the counter. Seriously, stop. You are talking to a cat.
Becca went out to the car and picked up all her belongings. She didn’t even pause at the staircase, open to the floor below and curving around like a grand entrance to heaven. She simply hopped up to the bedroom in which she had always stayed as a child, before remembering she could actually take over the master bedroom. Nah…..
The room was freshly cleaned and smelled like ginger cookies. A candle was lit on the dresser. That doesn’t seem safe. She looked it over and saw that it hadn’t been lit for long.
She began looking around. “Hello?” she said. And then repeated it even louder before adding, “Is anyone here?” She went back to the whisper she heard and she started to feel the temperature change as her heart pounded faster inside her chest. She was in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the night. She held her phone tightly and picked up a glass as if that would protect her from anything as she slowly began walking around to inspect the safety of the area.
Then she heard a crash downstairs. She jumped five feet in the air, screamed, and threw her phone.
Then there was silence. She slowly exited the room, peering around the edge of the hall to see Cora having dumped over a vase of flowers. The glass all over the floor and the water slowly making its way toward one of the elaborate rugs. Damn you, cat.
She ran down the stairs and pulled the rug up before the water reached it. The bathroom presented a towel, and the pieces of glass were mostly large enough to be gathered up into a trash can. Her body began to shake from the after effects of the night’s event. The cat watched the whole process from the entry to the kitchen. I guess this is what I get for feeding you late.
After the cleanup, she noticed that the flowered box was still on the table by the door. She picked it up and headed to the library. The lamps must have been on a sensor because they lit up for her one by one as she entered the room. Nice addition, Aunt Jo.
The room was as she remembered. Books from floor to ceiling. She sat the case on the large desk and began looking over the titles. They ranged from, A history of the Civil War, to Spells and Potions for the Solitary Witch.
What have you been up to, Aunt Jo? The idea of “crazy Aunt Jo” was solidifying in her mind and the memories of their activities began to return. She remembered the time they mixed up a soup to take to a friend. It was a simple chicken noodle, but there did happen to be some song and dance involved.
Next to where she had sat the flowered box was a blank book. Large and leather bound and inside the front cover was another of Aunt Jo’s letters.
Dear little B,
I hope you have found the house to your liking. You can see I have added some additions! This book is for you. This way you can build your own spells when you are ready. I only wish we could have done it together, but I know the family would have had us both put away. If I can offer any advice, it’s be careful with whom you share your knowledge. I promise I’ll be here every step of the way! To get you started, I have your first spell. Let’s see if you can do it now?
Becca’s eyes widened. What the fuck? She flipped through the large book to all of the empty pages. All were empty except the first.
1 white candle
1 black candle
1 teaspoon sage
1 teaspoon rosemary
Find a nice comfortable space on the earth floor.
Becca looked around the room, forgetting that what she was about to do seemed ludicrous just a moment ago. There was no earth floor in there, but she knew where there was some and she also needed to find bread.
She gathered up all of the supplies and placed them back into the flowered box. Carrying that, the book, and the cloth that she had found the letter on, she made her way into the kitchen where Cora awaited her place on the counter next to a bread box, of course.
Inside was a small baguette of herbed crusted bread. She broke it in half and scooped it into her arms on her way into the greenhouse.
Table cloth spread out on the floor, she sat on her knees and laid the book open. The box clasp clicked and she removed the items, carefully arranging them. The white candle to the left, the black to the right. She got back up and searched around until she found a small bowl and platter. Her memories of Aunt Jo returning, she felt like a child playing games. She remembered doing similar searches, assisting Aunt Jo in finding and gathering all of the supplies.
Back on the cloth she spread it out flat and placed the bowl in the middle. She added the charcoal to the bowl. The blackness stained on her hands. Instinctively, she wiped it onto her jeans.
She grabbed the bread and placed it onto the small platter. She put the herbs on either side. She next looked for the small candle holders that would keep her candles glowing until the end of the spellwork.
As you light the black candle, say a prayer to dismiss any negative energy.
As you light the white candle, welcome all the positive energy into your space.
Becca closed her eyes and felt the warmth of the room kiss her skin. She felt the words move through her body. As I light this black candle, I dismiss you, negative energy, from my space. You are not allowed to bring me harm. She took a deep breath and opened her eyes. She lit the black candle, sat back on her heels and closed her eyes again. As I light this white candle, I welcome you, positive, loving energy, to guide me along my way. She lit the white candle and watched the light as it danced above each of them and spread their shadows around the room. She marveled at the way those small objects became so large.
Add the coconut oil to a broken piece of bread. Smash together the sage and rosemary in a mortar bowl.
Becca looked around the room. She had to stand and begin her search again, but found a mortar on a shelf by one of the windows, in between various plants. She returned to her place on the floor and dropped some of the herbs from their satchels into the bowl, pushing the pestle into them.
Sprinkle some of the mixture onto the charcoal and the rest onto the bread.
She felt the wetness of the newly crushed herbs on her fingertips as she followed the instruction. The smell was earthy and warm.
Light the charcoal and repeat:
I welcome my guides into the space around me. Let them steer me in the right direction and guide me.
Becca followed the instructions.
Eat the bread and repeat:
I welcome my guides inside me. Let them steer me in the right direction and guide me.
This seems strange. Becca paused. She looked at the bread, turning it in her hands. Then she shrugged and popped it into her mouth, biting into the chewiness.
“Becca,” she heard, pulling her from her ceremony. “Where are you?”
She recognized the voice. It was Jenny. At the sound, she looked around and saw that she must look like she had lost her mind. There she was in the middle of a strange, voodoo hexing or something. She quickly blew out the candles and set them aside. She wrapped everything else up in the cloth, pushing it all into the box. The smoke rose to the ceiling and disappearing as she stood. She sat the box on the shelf next to her and pushed it between two plants. Their large red and green leaves camouflaging it.
“I’m in here,” she answered as she headed towards the entry back into the kitchen.