FlashFic: Crimson Sacrifices

The fifth small ruby dropped into the bubbling liquid. Blood red sparks flew up amid the steam. Robyn used the blessed knife to cut a small lock of her hair and knelt. She dropped the hair into the cauldron. It floated on the surface, dancing on the slow boil before it was dragged downward by the forces within the potion. A thrill ran through her as she murmured the ancient words, drawing a pentacle with the knife, the athame, through the red light shining upward through the steam. Her heart pounded as the light glinted off the well honed blade.

Robyn paused and gazed up at the moon, full and gracious. “Blessed be,” she intoned, not hearing herself speak. She turned to the stump next to the firepit. It was covered with a crimson cloth, dyed muslin, embroidered with the old symbols of power. Within the circle worked in silver thread upon it, most of the remaining ingredients lay. Five pieces of pure silver, five red rose petals and a bottle of patchouli essential oil. As she added each, the silver, the rose petals and five drops of patchouli oil, red sparks flew up, making her belly sizzle with excitement.

All that remained was the focus of the spell. Tenderly, she removed the linen handkerchief from a red velvet pouch. The spell and potion were steeped with red, making the white of the handkerchief stand out in stark relief. Robyn brushed her fingertips over the soft material. With a flick of the wrist, she snapped it out, unfolding it. She recalled Jimmy breaking down at the graveside. His dear sister, lost in a senseless accident, falling asleep at the wheel while drunk. Or so it seemed. Robyn was there for him, a handkerchief ready to dry his tears. Precious tears. Precious handkerchief. Poor sister. Robyn’s lips curled in a slight smile of triumph. It was all easier than she expected.

Into the cauldron she dropped the handkerchief. It was snatched out of the air as though by unseen hands and dragged under. A pinkish spiral of light lazily rose from the surface. Robyn’s voice came from a place deep within, an otherworldly sound. “I call upon you, Ishtar, Great Goddess. I beg you to receive these offerings. The girl, the rubies and silver, his tears, all the energies blended by the blessed fire. I beg you to bring us together, that we may join in the deep, abiding love we deserve. I offer this into your keeping, hoping to serve your purposes in this dimension.” Lifting the athame, she sliced the tip of her index finger and squeezed several large drops of blood into the cauldron. The lazy spiral of light turned vivid red and began spinning. It was so hot she could feel it across her body. She trembled, arching her back, hands flung out to savor the power.

“Blessed Ishtar, your daughter offers her gratitude for your acceptance.” She bowed her head. “So mote it be, Great Ishtar. Blessed be.” The fire under the cauldron burned white hot, boiling the mixture up into the red spiral, evaporating it down to a fine, granular sand. Robyn used the athame to scrape up the remains of the potion. Slipping the reddish sand into the pouch which had held his handkerchief, she envisioned the transformation of his sister’s earrings. The spell, now concentrated, converted them for her purpose.

She practiced a sad face, a sorrowful voice, as she put her materials into the trunk of her car. “Jimmy, I don’t know if this is the right time. Your sister loaned me these earrings. It’s only fair you should have them.” Yes, that would do. He would take them. He would be grateful, not realizing where her comforting would lead.

It was worth all the sacrifices.

© 2010 Jessica Rosen

Do Not Try This at Home!

This flash was inspired by a #storystarters I wrote a this week. I didn’t use it verbatim, but modified it to fit the story. You can get a free copy of an eBook with 500 of these writing prompts by Twitter’s own Selorian. StoryStarters: Mini Edition is currently available at Smashwords.

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13 thoughts on “FlashFic: Crimson Sacrifices

  1. Deanna Schrayer November 18, 2010 at 4:42 pm Reply

    Gorgeous descriptions here Jess, and your voice becomes more clear with each new piece. Wonderful.

    Like

    • Jessica Rosen November 20, 2010 at 8:01 am Reply

      So encouraging, Deanna. Thank you. I hope you’re doing well.

      Take care,
      Jess

      Like

  2. Icy Sedgwick November 18, 2010 at 4:45 pm Reply

    Wow, what a bitch! Problem with spells like this is once you get the man, you might find you don’t want him after all, and then you’re stuck with him…

    Spell-binding work. 😉

    Like

    • Jessica Rosen November 20, 2010 at 8:02 am Reply

      Ha – good point! Always have to guard against the object of the spell becoming too enamored. … or so I hear…

      Thanks!
      Take care,
      Jess

      Like

  3. Marisa Birns November 18, 2010 at 7:31 pm Reply

    Excellently told! I agree with Icy. After all that, she might find out that he wasn’t really what she wanted. But, guess there’s a spell for that, too. 🙂

    Like

    • Jessica Rosen November 20, 2010 at 8:04 am Reply

      Thanks, Marisa. She does have a good point, but you’re right. Hopefully she can find the counter spell if she needs it. Hrm, maybe there’s a story in that.

      Take care,
      Jess

      Like

  4. John Wiswell November 18, 2010 at 11:57 pm Reply

    I hope he studies up on magic before the break-up. That’s going hurt otherwise.

    Like

    • Jessica Rosen November 20, 2010 at 8:05 am Reply

      Ohhh ouch, that would be nasty, wouldn’t it? Thanks, John. Maybe another story right there, too. So many good ideas in comments.

      Take care,
      Jess

      Like

  5. Johanna Harness November 19, 2010 at 10:04 am Reply

    Great detail in this, Jess! I love how you present her future behavior. He is so trapped.

    Like

    • Jessica Rosen November 20, 2010 at 8:06 am Reply

      Thanks, Johanna. Yeah, he’s screwed. Would be interesting to travel down that road with them and see how things turn out.

      Take care,
      Jess

      Like

  6. Gloria Bostic November 20, 2010 at 8:31 am Reply

    Thoroughly enjoyed the read! Left me wanting more!!!

    Like

  7. laradunning November 21, 2010 at 6:08 pm Reply

    Sounds like she has been busy working her web of deceit. It left me wandering why she wanted Jimmy, as the whole scene was dedicated to the ritual of attaining him. I wanted to know why she was going to all this trouble. I agree with Icy, what happens if she gets him, realizes he is not the one for her and is then stuck with him. That would be a good twist on the story. Your own witchcraft turns against you.

    Like

    • Jessica Rosen November 22, 2010 at 7:11 pm Reply

      Thanks for your comment, Lara. You brought up a good question. I wish I’d thought of a way to work something about the why of her attraction to Jimmy into it without taking away from the flow and focus on the ritual. The few times I tried ended up as lame attempts, so I took that as a clue and dropped them.

      The three-fold rule in witchcraft teaches us that what we do comes back upon us three times over. I trust she will face some interesting issues as a result.

      Take care,
      Jess

      Like

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