Copyright 2017 Evelyn Zinn.
All rights reserved.
Days turned into weeks and weeks into months. Each of the old journals was taking anywhere from a day to four or five days depending on its age. I’d had already gone through a full box of cotton gloves and was on the second box now. Maxine had moved into the second bedroom suite moving in officially with me and Rosscoe was living on site now as well. During one of the days at the store several weeks back, Maxine had fallen and busted her hip. It had been a huge blow to all of us as she seemed to be less herself now.
She was in her 60’s true, but to see a woman you once watched rope an errant bull that then decided to try and run her over and hit the brakes when it realized that she wasn’t backing down and meekly follow like a damn lamb, be brought low was painful. However since moving in with me, her spirits had started to begin to recover. She was an old country gal and when they found themselves abruptly stopped for whatever reason, it tended to take a while for them to come around.
Fall was in the air and we were having to finally turn the heat on at night. Maxine insisted she didn’t need it but I don’t think she’s realized I know she has two quilts and one of my afghans on her bed. The leaves were starting to turn color, the air crisp and ground slowly falling asleep for the coming winter. Halloween was just around the corner leading the holiday season ever closer and with it, Winter Solstice.
That was my deadline. It was a null moon. It was falling on a meteor shower that night and there were all sorts of little astrological goodies that Rosscoe kept raving about. I couldn’t care less. I was finding the clues and keys as needed and had figured out the last of the missing pieces with Maxine’s help.
It had been purely by accident. I was mixing together a batch of moon tea, going purely off smell this time as the last time I did by flavor and it wasn’t a success. As I was measuring out parts, I was explaining to Maxine the wall I had come up against.
“It’s all one hundred percent now laid out on a clear path. The only problem is the vessel or rather the delivery system. If I use what all these journals state is a surefire way I’m going to end up bringing everyone and their cousin down onto my head and this isn’t going to happen.”
Maxine paused from where she had been very slowly pulling out a binding stitch from her families ancestral journal.
“Is there anything from your hobbies that you could use to help yourself figure out a solution?”
“Not entirely. An overlay of all them perhaps.”
This had set me into thinking. It wouldn’t be the first time I had done what the snobs call low or common magic which is to say, prep everything a little at a time and then either burn, bury and drown the magic so that it enters the streams of the world.
If I used a large ceramic bowl, and covered the top with a dis-solvable in water substance that could give me the advantage I needed. Our lakes freeze over by Yule and the ice acts a nice little shield to keep anything from been found.
I hadn’t realized I had been thinking out loud.
“And you’ve stumbled on all this information on how to pull this all off by sheer accident and insane levels of curiosity?”
“I should be grateful you’ve not blown up this house yet shouldn’t I?” she said with a chuckle that sounded more like the Old Maxine.
“How’s the spirit world sounding?”
“It’s loud and chaotic again as it has been for the last several decades.”
“Not for much longer.”
I shoved the cork into the tea bottle.
“I suppose if one wanted to, they could hold it all hostage but how long?”
Maxine didn’t look up from her work.
“This may be why certain ones have tried so damn hard to a hold of it all. It would make them powerful.”
“But also hunted,” I plopped into the rocking chair Rosscoe had bought me as a house warming gift.
“I do think with the place we’re at with the journals, means we can take a break. Besides, I need your help in making a component for this.”
“Do you remember the knots you tied for the Bridge spell you cast several years back?”
Maxine started chuckling.
“I think I see where you’re going with this, but explain to me what you see in that mind of yours.”
I showed her the rough sketch and pointed out where I needed the knots to fall and why I wanted those knots in particular. As I explained my reasoning for each knot her eyes widened.
“You really are trying to cover all bases aren’t you?”
“Do you honestly think I could live with myself if I didn’t? For all I know, it’s the most logical explanation but all avenues must be accounted.”
“What happens when those who choose that second option start to make an impact?”
“The same thing that would happened once their bodies became too old to sustain. It’s staying their choice, I’m just empowering them to make it.”
“This is going to go over well with most anyone.”
I paused in my color selection for the cord.
“I don’t care. There are too many things going on in the Spirit World to just leave it alone. I won’t leave alone and I won’t abandon anything or anyone over there.”
“It’s because of that that my children choose you dear. They could see you shared the fire.”
“Have they been in contact?”
“Yes, they’re spending New Years here with us.”