The blood moon set high in the sky was the Earth’s guardian angel tonight. It stood watch while all the Earth’s blessed and damned creatures roamed freely. It guided them to their redemption or eternal damnation.
The enchantress took a deep, channeling breath while she absorbed the magic and the energy this night brought forth. It was the perfect time to seek the answers she’d long sought.
If the omnipotent transcendental powers would not reveal them to her tonight, then all hope was lost.
She perched the silver chalice engraved with defined runes on the altar in the garden. She poured the spellbinding liquid into it and began to chant the spell she’d memorized.
At first, nothing happened, but like everything else in life, she needed to be patient and persistent. She continued on with the ritual until the potion started to twirl, then churn. It soon glowed a celestial blue.
Peering into the aquatic abyss, she asked, “Reveal to me the means to restore the harmony. The balance must be brought back to the line.”
An image gradually morphed in the chalice. It appeared to be a tall, thin girl with unruly shoulder length red hair who knelt on the floor. She seemed to have fallen and had scraped her knees because blood trickled onto the uneven concrete.
The enchantress cocked a brow while she curiously observed the scene. Why was the Voyeur Chalice showing her this teenager? The girl was no older than seventeen. How did she fit into the whole scheme?
Knowing that she wouldn’t get more answers until she performed the next part of the ritual, the enchantress raised the chalice and languidly sipped the elixir. The bitterness made her shudder until a transcendent voice spoke to her in her mind.
The enchantress’s eyes glazed over and she remained perfectly still paying acute attention to what was said.
Once the answer and all its details were divulged to her, she lit the candle ending the liturgy.
With leaden legs, she walked back into the building. The ritual had taken its toll on her. She’d need to rest to fully recover. But before she could, she had to send a message.
The kindle needed to be laid down so that the catalyst could catch fire and set off the next chain of events.
Unprecedented things would soon begin to happen.
* * * *
Brianna Meadows thought that this would be her lucky day. She’d felt it the moment she’d awoken this morning. The uplifting energy surrounded her and urged her on. She could move mountains if the feat were physically possible.
So when her mother had asked her to pick up her facial cream at the department store, Brianna had jumped at the chance to go.
She’d been planning to apply for the stock clerk’s job she’d seen posted on the store’s door earlier this week.
She made sure to hold her head high and strut with confidence as she walked up to the customer service counter. A cashier standing there, wearing a white and red striped uniform, greeted her with a smile.
“Good morning. How can I help you?”
Brianna cleared her voice. “Umm, yeah. I’m here to apply for the stock clerk’s job you have posted on the door.”
The cashier frowned. “Hmm, they didn’t get rid of that yet?” Her expression switched into an apologetic one. “I’m so sorry, but the job has already been filled.”
“Oh.” Brianna spun on the heel of her ballerina shoes, ready to head toward the cosmetics aisle when the cashier asked, “Did you bring your CV with you?”
“Yes, I did.” Brianna held up the manilla envelope she carried it in.
“Why don’t you give it to me. I’ll give it to the manager. Maybe he’ll keep you in mind when another job opening comes up.” She smiled brightly.
“That’s very kind of you. Thanks.” Brianna slid it to her on the sloping counter.
As she walked away, she felt her heart stir. The cashier didn’t have to go out of her way to accommodate Brianna like she did. Brianna was touched by her kind gesture even though she had a strong hunch the store manager would most probably chuck her CV into the recycling bin.
Casting her discouraging thoughts out of her mind, she moseyed over to get her mom’s cream. Her mother had given her a fifty-dollar bill and told her to buy herself something with the change.
The cream cost only twenty-three dollars and thirty-nine cents, which left her with twenty-five dollars and sixty-one cents to splurge on herself. She pressed the tips of her wild curls between her index finger and thumb. She wished she could tame them somewhat so it didn’t look like she’d just been electrocuted.
She glided her hand along the edge of the shelf, perusing the selection of hair conditioners that would straighten her hair when she accidentally tipped a plastic bottle that rested close to the edge. Multiple bottles toppled to the floor.
Laughter burst out behind her. She spun around to find Cynthia Doyle and Seraphina Peck, two of the popular girls in her school, covering their mouths, trying to muffle their chuckles.
Cynthia leaned in to whisper something into Seraphina’s ear, which made her bend over in hysterics.
They obviously were making fun of Brianna. What else was new? Brianna had been the object of their ridicule all of the school year. Why would they stop now even though the school year had ended and summer had begun? Ignoring their cruel behavior, she crouched to gather the fallen bottles. One by one, she placed them back where they belonged.
The sound of stiletto heels clicking on the tiled floor reverberated in Brianna’s ears. She cursed under her breath. She knew who approached. It was Seraphina. She had a unique rhythm to her gait. What did she want? Hadn’t she tormented her enough in school?
“Is there something you’re looking for?” Seraphina asked as she came to stand next to her.
“I was just looking?” she mumbled.
“It was hard not to notice you after you made everything fall. If you’re looking for a special conditioner, maybe I can help you search, so you won’t make anything else fall.”
Brianna wished the jab had just slid off of her, instead of cutting deep.
Glancing at the shelf, she replied, “I was looking for something that could straighten my curls.”
Seraphina snorted. “Well, you’re looking in the wrong place for that. There isn’t any over the counter product to tame your wild hair. You need super concentrated industrial products. You should go to a professional hairdresser who uses strong chemicals to straighten it. She would be your only hope.”
“Yeah, right,” Brianna grumbled as she walked away.
She huffed, trying to rein in her frustrations and anger. Sometimes bad news was good news. The fact the job had already been filled was a blessing in disguise. She wouldn’t have been able to work in the same store those two bullies worked. She wouldn’t have survived more than a day in that toxic environment.
She made a mental note to avoid this department store from now on. Her mother would have to come herself to get her facial cream.
As she reached the exit, she rested her left foot awkwardly on the cracked concrete and she fell hard forward. Her knees adsorbed the full brunt of the forceful hit as they made contact with the concrete.
Pain shot through her legs and she gasped, trying to resist the discomfort.
She’d been completely wrong about this day. It hadn’t been her lucky day. It was the unluckiest one she’d had in a while. It couldn’t possibly get worse, she thought.
But she was so very wrong, because from twenty feet away, she heard giggling. Cynthia and Seraphina were at it again.
Athena Floras is a wife and proud mother of three who loves to read and write suspenseful and romantic stories. When she isn't busy being a mom, she spends her spare time in her den, totally immersing herself into the whimsical, fantastical world of fiction. She hopes the stories and characters she creates will bring readers as much pleasure and entertainment as they have her.