Copyright 2017 Evelyn Zinn.
All rights reserved.
Saturday hurt. I only closed on Saturday but after Friday this week, I just wanted to sleep and drink salt water. It wasn’t until after seeing why Absinthe is called Green Faery that Marcus and I called it a night. I’m just glad we had a friend in the area that could take Marcus home.
I woke up at eight after getting to bed at five. I looked at the wall and it spun. Nope. I rolled over and went back to sleep. I woke again at one pm. Checked my phone and saw Maxine laughing at me. ‘Relax, you don’t have to be here until six.’ Thank the Gods of Old and New.
I was up by four pm but still was almost late. Absinthe kiddies… it’s not meant for those of you who work the next day or babies and most of us are babies. Seriously. Especially when it comes to a drink that makes you high AND drunk.
I came in the back door just in time to hear an argument with Maxine and a male voice I didn’t know.
“You mean to tell me it’s been here all along?!” the male voice was very angry.
“The map was distributed to everyone and had enchantments to lead everyone astray. You seriously think it’s been unraveled at this point just because the Spirit world is quiet right now?”
“Then what about the other chests found that made everything go quiet in those areas?”
I could mentally see this person start to turn red.
“That is irrelevant. This chest belongs-” “BELONGS TO NO ONE…. let alone you.”
Right there. That was my Maxine. The woman who had taught me to be soft spoken until it was time to snarl quietly. For those of you wondering a quiet snarl is damn terrifying.
“It belongs to… someone.”
“Only the Spirit World and Gods can deem whose worthy. Not us.”
The other person left in a huff. I leaned against the cold wall. The ugly of side of my world was rearing its head again. I had just been reminded why I was doing it. Maxine looked around the corner at me.
“Did you recognize his voice at all?”
“No. Who was that?”
“Out of the big city. Damn fool thinks just because he’s married into the family that he entitled to manage their affairs. He’s the secretary for one of the covens.”
She told me the name of one I didn’t recognize. Kinda glad too considering it was something Aspe. Who the hell names their coven after a snake that if not said very carefully sounds like ass? Either way, she assured me there were one of the oldest, descended from Spanish Mountain bloodlines.
“He did not sound spanish…or latin anything for that matter.”
“Heh, no that boy is city and black. I’ve heard rumors he’s doing everything he can to draw out the divorce because he wants to keep the family together for the kids sake, but refuses to walk away from Paganism until they’re 18.”
I blinked a couple of times as Maxine continued.
“It’s not uncommon for a married couple that isn’t very strong to end up being affected like that our community. It’s also no uncommon for both parents to practice with brooms until the kids of age and out of the house and can no longer be used as shields or weapons.”
I grimaced. Divorces were nasty messy businesses. All parties involved one always got fucked over for a couple of years afterwards. Especially kids.
“So he’s after the journals…”
“For reason only he knows,” Maxine finished my statement, shaking her head.
“He’s not the one to worry about it. It’s the three woman of the Templar’s Grove that we need to worry about.”
I froze. I had had four run ins with those women since starting to practice. They were cold, efficient and brutal when it came to punishing transgressions in the community, whether you were a known pagan or not. They had never liked me. Mostly because I wasn’t impressed by anything they had ever done.
“They would be most upset at what you’re going to do.”
“Ah… they’re one of those.”
Within the pagan community, once you dive into for more than a few years and aren’t just dabbling, you begin to find all sorts schisms. Including those who want to rip the walls between our world and the spirit world down. There are those who to create specific portals. There are those who want to ignore it completely. The grove grannies were most likely in the camp of ‘that’s the way it’s always been, so that is the way it’s going to stay, period’. Many practitioner’s didn’t realize how porous everything had become. It was dangerous.
The more sloppy work done, the more things that could slip through from the spirit world, the more things messed up in the human world. The sooner things got cleaned up, the better. However, preciseness was called for.
“Claudette, you’ve kept it under wraps were you live right?”
“Even if I haven’t, my lease is almost up anyways.”
“Do you remember the old Talbot’s place?”
“Yeah, I thought it had been torn down?”
“Yes, but I own the property as of two years ago. There’s a pre-fab house that they just finished building. It’s big enough for you and the work you’re going to be doing.”
I stared at Maxine.
“That’s an hour drive from any kind of backup.”
“Yes, but I’m planning on making my residence there and my circle for all their flaws, will have members out there daily. This is going to be the first year any of the gardens will have broken soil and it’s going to take a least until next year before the grounds are fully ready.”
“By which point in time, I’ll be done with this and won’t need to keep my head down so low,” I mused.
I walked with her just far enough out onto the store floor to continue the conversation as she locked the door. I was concerned someone might be watching the store to see if I was there. I was going to have to find a new job too.
“You’ll be the store secretary and work from the property via the fiber optic internet and run the online store.”
“How… how do you do that?!”
She started laughing.