The long drive was a bit surreal. It had been awhile since she had driven it. Not to mention she was still running on very little sleep. For whatever reason, she had placed Cora in a basket next to her. The silly cat must have a sixth sense and was weaving in and out of her legs the whole time she was getting ready to leave.

When she put the car in park, Cora jumped in her lap and waited for her to open the door. She ran to the porch and waited on the railing for Becca to catch up.

Morgan sat on the swing. “Are you ready?” she asked as she stood to greet her. She held a wooden box that was decorated in intricate designs.

Becca gave her a look saying she wasn’t before nodding and added, “Yep.” She unlocked the door and entered.

Plastic was hung in various places and they pushed their way through. She could see piles of plaster on the floors and couldn’t help but feel sad for the lost history in the original construction of the home. Morgan must have felt it too. “Oh, it is so sad to see the house in this state,” she said.

They worked their way through the kitchen to the greenhouse room out back. Becca opened the door and the thick, earthy air filled her lungs. Morgan led the way to the bench in the back that overlooked the pond out back. Moonlight sparkled on the water. They both spent some time mesmerized by it.

“Well,” Morgan finally said. “Shall we begin?”

Becca looked into her warm eyes, “I suppose so,” she answered.

Morgan opened her box and pulled out a small piece of fabric that she smoothed out. She placed a bowl on top and a few small boxes around it. She had a small candle holder and two larger ones. She had a glass container of water. After she carefully set each piece, she closed her eyes and Becca could only guess she was saying a prayer.

When Morgan had finished, she opened her eyes and began lighting the candles. One at a time, slowly and with words Becca did not understand. All of this was causing the anxiety that lived inside her at a regular state of awakeness to rise even higher. She could feel the heat flush into her face as her heartbeat became more prominent inside her chest.

Becca watched as Morgan opened one of the containers. She pulled out a few pieces of an herb and placed them in the bowl. She then opened another container and pulled out another herb to which she did the same. All the while, speaking in a language Becca didn’t understand.

She finally reached for Becca’s hands. Becca placed hers inside and listened to the words roll off Morgan’s tongue. It was poetic and beautiful, yet she felt the heat as it rose around her. Sweat began to form on her forehead and she lifted her arm to wipe it away with her sleeve. As Morgan proceeded, a sharp pain formed inside Becca’s stomach. It pushed through her back and up to her head where it pulsed inside her temples.

Morgan could see the fear in Becca’s eyes and so she assured her, “Everything will be okay,” with an intent stare before going back to the words she had been speaking previously.

Becca felt a strange twinge in her side and her arms and legs felt so heavy. Her heart went faster and faster. The anxiety insider her built up until it was clear as day, Run.

Her eyes wide, she looked at Morgan as the words repeated. Run.

“No,” Morgan said simply. “You mustn’t listen.”

Run. Run. Run.

The words came faster, louder, and stronger. Her heart raced and she couldn’t catch her breath. She looked around the room. She saw shadows at every corner, around every window, under every cabinet and bench.

“Look at me,” Morgan said, but it was too late. Becca had pulled her hands away. The room felt as if it was constricting upon her. She stepped backwards and slammed into one of the shelves that held potted plants sending several off the backside.

“Breathe,” she heard Morgan say as she moved towards her.

“No,” Becca finally uttered out of her mouth. “You need to stop,” she said.

“Okay,” Morgan said. “Okay, we will take a break.”

“No, you need to stop,” she said again. “Get out,” she added. She didn’t look at Morgan. She watched the figures move about the room and the fear in her began to subside.

Morgan stepped towards her. “Look at me,” she said softly.

Becca turned to see Morgan’s face. She felt a calmness inside her. She did look into Morgan’s eyes. “You need to leave now,” she said in a slow and simple manner.

Morgan stopped. Becca could see the tears in her eyes. Morgan turned away and began gathering up her things. She softly uttered words as she packed away everything into the box.

Becca watched as Morgan silently left the room. When she turned back she noticed the candles still burned. She watched them intently for a moment before she felt a cold breeze wrap around her. She could see it shimmer through the air as it circled around the room landing finally on the candles as it extinguished them.


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