no more history after blood
no rivals, for it’s who you are
kitchen witch feels and hears
teenage girls wanting to fit in
become disconnected from their bodies
dreams and spells written simply
hidden inside another story
the way of the witch
Every spell begins with a blank page,
connecting me to things I haven’t said;
putting thoughts into my incantation
for they cannot remain in the past,
ghosts of lips on glasses;
I’m not a bad person, I tell myself
I’m just lost with insecurities,
willing to sacrifice
to make my love spell come true.
I wake up with sounds inside me,
rhyming like a childhood spell;
to be a witch I hone my craft,
personal magic to navigate the world;
power – magic – destiny,
I call on that spiritual force;
trust myself to walk the path,
to let myself drift among secrets;
connecting me with nature
for she is who I am.
Time becomes the hour
of magic and power
to heal or harm
flesh and blood
with dark whispers
within the circle
for now is the time
to wake fierce
I believe in love spells
dark powers that twist the mind,
braided knot of hair to help me find the way
to creatures of the forest, dreamers,
moonstone and jade
shadows swallow the earth
where secrets die,
a few simple verses
that could turn an army
or win a man’s heart
hands held out – cold, like mine
but burning in the fog,
until there you are, soft of foot,
emerald eyes glittering,
innocent lips parted
I trace the lines upon your palm,
gypsy hair, blowing gently
to your beating heart
until there is just the two of us.
‘I know what you need, Bea.’
‘A real solution to your problem.’
Bea blinked. She looked at Emily sitting across from her.
‘Which of my problems are you talking about?’
She took a sip from a can of soft drink. It still tasted strange to her. She didn’t know why.
Emily sat at the table with a notepad in front of her.
‘We need to get some things.’
She began to make a list:
Candles – red and black
Incense – other magic stuff
Emily wasn’t really sure what she was doing but she was trying to make it up to Bea for dredging into her past. She had an idea but Emily thought if she could sneak in a memory spell as well then everything would be perfect.
Bea sighed. She didn’t believe in any of this magic stuff, but she wanted to humour her friend. Bea thought about Josh. She knew Emily didn’t like him but she couldn’t help being drawn to him. Josh had invited her to hear him play at the Fireworks Spectacular. He said he had been playing for several years but this was his biggest event yet. Bea wondered if what she felt for Josh was something more than just friendship.
Bea talked Emily into going with her to the Fireworks Spectacular. The school band was playing and it was meant to be a huge party. At first Emily didn’t want to go. She said she would feel out of place.
‘It’s not my scene either, Em, but I really want to go. Won’t you please come with me?’
She kept pleading so much that in the end Emily decided it wouldn’t hurt if she went just this once. Gwen was worried but agreed that Bea could stay overnight with Emily and catch the early bus home in the morning.
Bea answered fervently, ‘That makes me so happy.’ She laid her hand on Emily’s and looked cheerfully into her face.
Emily blushed but couldn’t bring herself to pull her hand away.
‘We should get back to the assignment.’
‘Yes, of course.’ Bea couldn’t stop smiling as she pulled the chemistry book out of her bag.
The evening passed quickly until Emily began to get restless again. ‘Would you like something to eat?’
‘No, I’m fine. Thanks.’
‘Okay, well I’m just going to make a cup of tea.’
‘I guess I should be going.’
‘Oh no, please—don’t go.’
Beatrice decided she wanted to get to know Josh. The way his music moved her—she needed to learn more about this boy. She had found out his name from Emily. Bea had casually asked Emily to tell her about some of the kids in the class.
Emily said she didn’t know much. She usually kept away from them, she said, because they were mostly the children of rich parents—spoilt children whose parents could afford this expensive school. She didn’t have time for any of them.
‘What about that scruffy guy over there?’ Bea had said, casually pointing at Josh. ‘He doesn’t look rich.’
Emily had admitted they weren’t all spoilt. Bea suspected it was a way for Emily to justify her attitude to herself.
‘His name is Josh. His mother is the school librarian. That’s how he can afford to come here and why he’s always hanging about the school late in the afternoon—waiting for his mum I guess.’
The librarian! Bea made a plan.
That afternoon as soon as the final bell went Bea packed her bag and rushed to the library. Sure enough, there was Josh sitting on a bench just outside the library. The cello case was on the ground beside him.
Bea stopped for a moment to catch her breath then walked casually up to him.
‘Hi, is the library shut already?’ She knew it was.
Josh was startled.
He just nodded.
‘Oh, damn. I’ll just have to take these books back tomorrow.’ She had several books tucked under her arm.
Josh was looking uncomfortably at her.
‘Is that your cello? I heard you playing in the music room the other day.’
Josh’s face relaxed a little. ‘Yeah, it’s new. I only got it a few weeks ago.’
‘I think the cello is the most amazing instrument. It produces such beautiful music. It makes me want to sing.’
Josh was amazed. No girl had ever spoken this much to him before.
‘Do you sing?’
‘Not really,’ said Bea, ‘At least—I don’t think so.’
‘Do you ever perform in public? I love hearing the cello played.’
‘I’m in the school orchestra. Actually—’ Josh hesitated. He could feel his heart racing. ‘I’m playing at the Fireworks Spectacular on the weekend. Are you going?’
‘I haven’t decided yet. Emily wants me to go.’
Josh lowered his eyes.
Bea looked at him curiously.
‘Well, I guess I should be going. I have to catch my bus. Maybe I’ll see you at the fireworks on Saturday.’
Josh nodded and Bea smiled as she turned and walked away. Her red hair bounced against her shoulders as she moved and Josh felt a warm glow spread throughout his chest.
He reached into his bag and pulled out a notepad and began scribbling down some music—this piece was going to soar like magic spinning across the sun. He needed to get home and begin practicing it so he could play it for Bea on Saturday night.
Emily was smiling as she sat on the edge of the bathtub. Candles illuminated the bathroom. Flower petals floated on the steamy surface of the water. She had been left alone in the house while her mother was out with Dave. That was her chance to study the book she had found in her locker. She assumed it had been a present from Bea.
The book had a single crescent moon printed on its cover. No title or anything to indicate what it was. She couldn’t believe her eyes when she realised it was a notebook. The pages were covered in handwritten scrawl and drawings, just like the one she had found in the cottage.
But unlike the other book this one was full of spells. Emily took off her coat and threw it on the sofa. She curled up with her feet underneath her bottom and began to flick through the book. A small packet fell out and when she opened it Emily found a silver chain with a pendant in the shape of a crescent. It was the same as the pendant she’d gotten from the antique shop. She stood at the mirror and placed the chain around her neck.
When Emily went to bed that night her head was full of happiness spells, love spells, wish spells—but best of all was the page titled memory spell.
Herbs for sleeping and dreaming – hops (dream pillow), passion flower, camomile, lavender, peppermint, poppy seeds, willow
Emily let her gaze return to the steaming bathtub. She could still picture the tattoo on the back of her neck.
‘Goddess, send me your gifts.’
She looked around the room and her eyes came to rest on the chair. Even in the dim candlelight she could see the book propped against the back of the chair.
Through the thin walls of the apartment she could hear children playing.
Emily thought about her mother. The long hours she worked to keep food on the table and Emily in school. When she could, Emily would create a money spell and her mother would never have to work again.
Emily stood and slipped off her robe. She turned to see if she could see the back of her neck in the mirror. She couldn’t see it, but it was still tingling. Instead she studied her body. She could see the outline of her ribs, the soft layer across her stomach. She sucked it in then ran her fingers across the tattoo that was tingling at the back of her neck.