Hi all. Today is a promptly penned post. I gave it a fair shake, I swear. It’s been all kinds of crazy here. The hubs is off on a long-ass business trip, I’m sick, and life, in general, with its regular brand of madness… But enough about that. Here’s what came to me. The prompt will be in bold in the story.
“Hurry! Before Gran comes back!”
I glanced over my shoulder and glared at my little sister, Hattie, who was in the window, keeping a look out. Or at least that’s what she was supposed to be doing. Instead, she was staring at me, clearly freaked out.
“Shhh. Keep watching, for crying out loud!”
Once she did that, I turned back to the bookshelf in front of me. Perched on the chair I’d dragged from the desk, I reached as I high as I could. Almost there… My fingers scrabbled along the spine of one of the books I was after. So close…
They were my mom’s, and I just wanted to see. She had magic, just like Hattie and me. And there had to be something in them, something more than what Gran was teaching us. We weren’t like kids in books who had no idea what they were – we were witches. Or magic-users, as Gran called us. We were meant to keep it secret from everyone else but here, in Gran’s cottage, she was teaching us all about ourselves and the “great power and responsibility” we had. Or so she said.
Honestly, based on what we’ve learned so far, magic wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. For example, there were 20 spells for making tea but none to save yourself from falling off a cliff. What was the point of it all then? How was dinking around like this supposed to be a responsiblity? I didn’t get it. So, I thought if I could read Mom’s journals and her books, maybe I could figure some of it. And…well, I missed her and Dad. I wasn’t stupid or anything. I didn’t think magic could bring them back or let me talk to them from the grave. But this could make me, and Hattie, feel closer to them. Even a little.
I was able to drag the slim book closer to the edge and grasp it fully. I pulled it down and cracked it open. My breath caught at the sight of my mom’s handwriting on the pale pages. Before I had a chance to read anything, Hattie squealed.
“Cody! I see her car!”
I jumped off the chair – I’d get the other books later – and dragged it back to the desk. I heard the front door open, creaking on its hinges. Hattie stared at me, face pale, gray eyes wide.
“It’s fine. Sit on the couch,” I whispered, tucking the book into the loose waistband of my pants, the cover hard and cool against my belly. I yanked my t-shirt down to cover it.
My sister sat on the couch carefully and faced the TV, which was playing some ridiculous educational program neither of us had any interest in, but Gran thought was worthwhile. I ignored the guilt that weighted on me as I flopped down next to her. The book was our mom’s – and by all rights, it was ours now that she was gone. And I wasn’t a little kid anymore, no matter what Gran thought. I was ready to know more about magic – certain there had to be more.
“Sorry it took so long!” Gran exclaimed as she came into the room. “Mrs. Miller was feeling more ill than she let on, and I wanted to be sure she was all right before I left.”
“S’okay,” I mumbled.
“You must be starving.” She dropped kisses on the tops of both of our heads before hurrying toward the kitchen. “I’ll make some sandwiches.”
As soon as she was out of sight, I sprang up. I looked down at Hattie, and she nodded. We’d promised to always look out for each other, and I knew she’d keep her mouth shut.
“We’ll look at it tonight,” I whispered, then ran out into the foyer and up the narrow stairs to my room. Heart pounding, I pulled out the book. Unable to resist, I opened it again and ran my fingers over the words – words Mom had written – and my eyes started stinging.
I nearly fell over when Gran’s shout traveled up the stairs.
“Yeah?” I yelled back.
“Come on down. You can practice the new tea spell you learned yesterday while I fix lunch.”
I huffed a laugh then answered, “Be right down, Gran.”
I shut the book and shoved it between my mattress and the boxspring. I knew this was the right thing. There had to be more to magic, more to me than making tea. And I was ready to learn it all.