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The room was dark and quiet. Andrew pulled the blinds apart to reveal a field of wildflowers.

“How did you find this place?” Becca asked as she dropped her bag on the bed and took in the view.

He walked over to her and wrapped his arms around her waist, meeting her eyes with his. “Luck,” he laughed. “I really just picked a place. I didn’t know it would be this great.”

The silence filled the space around them. He leaned down and touched his lips to hers. She could feel it rush through her body and in that moment, she knew she was addicted to the way he made her feel, if not to him alone. All she knew was that he was the only person in her life to ever make her feel that way.

He moved slowly and with purpose as he backed her into the bed where she lowered herself. She watched intently as he pulled his shirt up over his head, revealing the smooth tan skin beneath. His muscles rippled as he crawled onto her, she backing to make room for him.

He kissed down her neck and the top of her breasts before pulling her thin sweater up and over her head. She must have forgotten her bra that day, a detail she did not overlook in reality. She thought about this moment, knowing that he was slow and thorough as he made his way about her body. She loved that he took his time, seemingly to memorize each and every inch of her. She never felt as much pleasure as she did with him and she always returned the favor. It was an easy task considering that every naked piece of him felt as if it was an empty canvas begging for her first verse and longing to hear the last.

The night came easy, and went too fast. Daylight broke and they were expected to go on living, returning to the chaos that was each of their lives. Becca looked over at her phone to see it was nine am. “Got somewhere you need to be?” Andrew asked.

“I feel like I have a million things to do,” Becca said. “Actually, I do have a million things to do.”

“Yeah, me too,” he leaned up and pushed her hair behind her ear.

 

“You have to get here now,” Jenny’s voice pierced the other end of the line. Becca was at work and the call must have been important enough to have had her call the restaurant.

“What’s going on?” Becca asked.

“It’s Morgan,” Jenny said. “She was fine. She was trying to cast. She told me she could fix it. She started chanting and the black thing kept growing and growing and everything just got crazy.”

She started crying. Becca could hear the fear in her voice. She spoke clearly and with authority. “Go outside. I will call you when I leave and figure this out,” she said. “I’m on my way.”

Becca pulled off her apron and shoved it into her locker while grabbing her phone and keys. “I have to go,” she told one of the other waiters as she passed him on her way out.

Dialing Jenny’s phone from her car gave her nothing which only heightened her anxiety level. She wondered if she should call the police, but found it unnecessary when she arrived and saw the lights flashing outside the house.

She parked the car and spotted Jenny standing in the front yard. She was talking to an officer. As she walked up, she heard Jenny finishing her explanation. “Yeah, I’m guessing it was drugs. How else do you explain the way she was acting before she passed out?”

“Well, here’s my card,” the officer said as he reached into his pocket and presented it to Jenny. “Call me if you change your mind,” he added and then walked to his car.

“What is going on?” Becca asked as she looked up and saw the broken front door. “What the fuck happened?”

“I’m not even sure,” Jenny said, “and I just lied through my teeth because how the fuck do you tell a cop that a demon attacked your friend, who isn’t your friend, she’s just some crazy person who you met because of your crazy aunt that was apparently a witch. I need a drink.”

The two girls walked up towards the porch to the house. “I am not going in there,” Jenny said as she stopped dead in her tracks.

“Wait on the swing,” Becca said and ignored Jenny as she tried to convince her not to go in.

The walls were black in the entryway. The table beside the door, flipped. The vase smashed across the floor. Becca looked up to see Cora sitting somewhat peacefully at the top of the stairs. She meowed and sauntered down upon seeing Becca.

The railing on the stairs was broken, the floor littered with papers to which she assumed was from the bookshelves as she saw most of them empty. She didn’t bother looking throughout the house, but went straight to the kitchen to grab a bottle of booze. Any kind would do. Her first step was to open and take a giant swig as she looked around the kitchen. Surprisingly, it was pretty unharmed.

It’s not as it seems. “What?” Becca asked even though she heard what was said. She swore the words were spoken out loud, they were so precise. The room fell quiet and did not offer her a response.

She grabbed another bottle for good measure and went out the door to meet Jenny on the porch. Jenny was swinging back and forth. She reached for a bottle and put it to her mouth, tilting it back. Becca sat next to her.

“Why didn’t you guys wait for me? For the rest of the group?” Becca asked, knowing that what had happened in the house was an attempt to push out the dark figure that had visited them in the night.

“I don’t know,” Jenny said. “Morgan came and said the rest of the group couldn’t make it and that she would do her best. That she had done it successfully before.”

“Where is she?” Becca asked, realizing that Morgan was nowhere in the vicinity.

“An ambulance came and took her,” Jenny said.

“Is she okay?” Becca spoke the words in urgency.

“I don’t know. She was unconscious when I called for help. They started an IV and didn’t seem too freaked out about her when they drove her off. It was kind of like what happened with you, except there wasn’t a giant black, fucking, smoke goblin attacking us before she passed out.”

Becca didn’t speak.

Jenny continued after she tipped up the bottle to take another drink. “What the fuck have we gotten ourselves into?” she asked.

“I don’t know,” Becca replied, “but I think I’m done with it. This is too crazy. I’m putting it up for sale.”

Don’t.

She ignored the feeling that fell in her stomach the moment she spoke the words and drowned it out with another drink.

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