Meisha's Magical Compromise
The earth moved between the moon and the sun, creating an amber hue. I lucked out. No clouds. I let go of my sash. Its silk slid off my shoulders. The tassels tickled my fingers as it fell to the ground. I walked the circle clockwise; the hem of my skirt brushed my toes. The moist grass and squishy soil melded beneath each solid step. This spell only had until the white of the moon returned.
“Can we move this along any faster?” Lucian stood at the altar in a black robe. He didn’t need to wear it, but he forced my hand, the least I could do was humiliate him a little. What I really wanted to do was drive this athame into his chest. But that wouldn’t get Raphe Veronica back, and I wouldn’t learn anything about Origin.
I ignored him and kept walking the circle. A safe circle was a productive circle. At the four corners I cut a finger and anointed it with three drops of blood. Once at the altar I cut my thumb. The blood splashed on the black obsidian Hunab Ku charging plate. It sizzled. The plate was cool to the touch for nonmagical workers. The Hunab Ku was an ancient Mayan symbol Hunab means One state of being and Ku means God. In other words: You are One with God. It was doorway. With each drop of blood I said, “As above so below.”
Lucian’s eyes widened as the winds kicked up. This was why I braided my hair. I raised my arms to the sky, palms up. He mirrored me. The amber lunar eclipse darkened to a black sheen.
“Do you love her?” I asked, arms still up.
“What?” He faltered. I felt the wane of his essence.
“You heard me. This could kill us, you know?”
He widened his stance. “I promised I would get her out of there. I always keep my word.”
“Is this really the time? We’re in the middle of summoning a creature from the abyss and you’re asking me stupid questions about love and loyalty. Are you twelve?”
“I’ve just never seen anyone go this far for anyone.”
His arms fell to his side. “You really want to know?”
Keeping my eye on the athame, “Yes.” My arms were still up. Someone had to continue channeling.
“Have you ever looked at someone and felt home?”
“I’ll take that as a no.”
“When I met Veronica she was lost in every way a person could be, but always knew her heart. We better each other. I want to be better for her. She makes me want to be better for me and she encourages me to believe it’s possible.”
The big bad Lucian moved me with his heartfelt words to the point I hadn’t noticed my arms were down until an ear piercing scream cut the tension and a giant black shrimp monster smashed my altar. It had fallen from the sky and landed between us. Pereopods and swimmers flailed like an inflatable waving guy at a car lot. Without a doubt I knew its glowing red eyes would haunt my nightmares.
I concentrated on the fire inside me, the red-hot desire to feed, and sent that feeling into the palms of my hands. It rippled and sparked. In a blink of an eye I manifested fireballs.
“No! We need it alive!” Lucian leapt upon the creature. He wrestled it. There was too much going on to follow everything. I kept the fire ready incase things got out of control.
Rustling came from the western woods. I aimed. Romeo Caravelli stepped into the light. “Fuck.”
The monster caught his scent. It flung Lucian off. He flew out of the circle. The monster prepped to pounce like a cat –wiggled its ass and everything. It launched itself at Romeo.
“Meisha!” He flattened against a tree.
Running on pure instinct I sliced my palm with the athame and immediately placed my bleeding hand on the Hunab Ku. “Go back to whence you came. The door is closed. So mote it be!”
It ricocheted off the circle’s protective barrier. Shrieks and cries of agony made my ears bleed as it shrank.
“No!” Lucian raced backed into the circle. He grabbed the creature by the tail. They vanished into the shadows.
I placed the charging plate on the soft earth. The lunar eclipse waned.
After I placed it back on the altar I went to Romeo. “You okay?”
“Yeah. What the hell was that thing?” He moved his long curls away from his face.
“A shadow creature from Origin.”
“Oh, okay. Well, as long as it’s gone then no harm, no foul.” He flashed that whimsical smile that always made me comfortable and anxious. “Who else was with you?”
I darted a glance where Lucian landed. As I assumed, he was gone. He got what he needed and didn’t stick around for the clean up. Not that I blamed him. There was a huge price on his head. If Raphe or Grump found out I helped him, no matter the reason, they would have my head.
Something about what Lucian said stuck with me. “Romeo, why did you come out here?”
He stroked my bloodstained hand. “You had been acting a little twitchy the last couple of nights. I remembered you talking about how powerful the eclipse was, so I was wanted to see for myself. Your Housemates said you liked doing spells out this way.”
That anxious feeling settled a little. “Can you keep a secret?”