I can’t believe this is the last PP of the year. Everything has gone by so quickly. I will say, we saved one of the best for last, since the prompt made me laugh. Oh and I instantly thought of Shay and Josie for the prompt. Hope you all enjoy. And, as always, the prompt will be in bold type.
Shay settled her backpack more securely and worked her way up the small rise. The forest was quiet around them as the last rays of the sun were visible through the trees. As a child, her mother had always told her to trust her instincts and that’s exactly what she was doing. Which was good, since she didn’t have a clue. They needed help so she was going to use a spell from one of her great grandmother’s grimoires. It was called The Spell of Calling and was only to be used in a dire situation and only as a last resort. Well demon things lose in the world and eating people was pretty much a huge emergency.
As she reached the highest point of the hiking path, Josie staggered up and dropped to the ground.
“This is my life now,” Josie said, trying to catch her breath. “I have climbed this hill and now, I will die upon it.”
Shay rolled her eyes. “Shut up. We’ve only been hiking for twenty minutes.”
“You shut up, stupid face.”
Shay shook her head. “You need to shut up more. And, we’re supposed to utilize the training facilities to stay in shape. Aren’t you doing that?”
“Hey, I’m the brains of this operation not the brawn.”
“Are you done screwing around? We have to get to the spot before the full moon rises.”
Josie forced herself to her feet. “I’m not screwing around. I’m exhausted and sweaty. Oh, and scared, let’s not forget scared.”
Shay put her hand on Josie’s arm. “Me too, but if I can get this right, we’ll have help.”
“Then let’s get this done.”
They set off again, but the walk was definitely easier. The ground was flat and it hadn’t rained recently so there was no mud. Also, it looked as though they were on an established walking trail. Shay only hoped that if they strayed into the forest, she could lead them out. Of course, she didn’t say that to Josie. The girl was already flipped out, no need to add more to her plate.
She led them down a small incline then veered off to the left and over a fallen tree. She broke into a trot as the pull became stronger. She pushed her way through heavy brush and found herself in a clearing containing a small mound. Shay gently put her foot on the ground and found it solid. Then she climbed to the top and dropped her pack.
“Should I stay down here?” Josie asked.
Shay knelt on the ground and began to pull items from her pack. Her great grandmother’s small cauldron, her grandmother’s wand, and herbs from her mother’s garden. Then she pulled out stones from her own collection. Pieces she’d collected over the years. None of them were particularly spectacular, but they’d spoken to her. Lastly, she pulled her great grandmother’s spell book from the bag and opened it to the spell she wanted.
Shay took a deep breath. Then another. She opened her senses to the forest. She could hear the wind rustling the trees and night birds calling. When she was ready, she picked up the wand and cast a circle. Settling on the ground she began to add the herbs and stones to the cauldron. Though she had the book she didn’t need it. She knew what she had to do.
Finally, she placed her hands, palm down, over the cauldron and pushed all her need, fear and want into it. At the last moment she said, “Send me who we need.”
The contents of the cauldron lit up and began to glow. Shay pulled her hands away in time as a beam of pure radiant light shot up from the cauldron into the sky. Then it shot into the mound she sat on. The earth vibrated under her for about thirty seconds then everything went dark. She sat for a long moment then glanced up to find Josie staring at her wide-eyed.
“Okay, that was freaky as shit,” her best friend declared.
“Yeah, but I don’t see any help appearing out of the forest. Do you?”
Josie looked around. “Maybe it will take a few minutes.”
Shay really didn’t think so, but began the process of cleaning up and closing the circle. She was exhausted though. She felt the same way she had in college after taking a huge final. Empty and fuzzy headed as if every ounce of knowledge had been drained from her.
The two of them waited around for another half an hour when Shay had to admit to herself and Josie. “Okay, that was a fucking waste of time.”
Josie rubbed her eyes. “You don’t know that. And before you say anything, true, no one appeared out of the woods and declared he or she was here to help, but maybe it’ll take time. Maybe this person will be waiting for us back at our apartment.”
Shay nodded. “You’re right. I need to stay positive.”
As they hiked out of the woods, Shay tried to keep that thought alive, but deep down she knew she had royally screwed up.
Bronwyn Green Jessica Jarman