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.