I looked at myself in the department store mirror. How in the Hell did this happen? All I wanted to do was a spell to see her-instead I became her! As I tried to move our combined bodies, I felt her pulling away from me. I could sense she was trying to figure out what was happening as much as I was. Our magic was the same, so it was hard to compromise to separate. Our mistrust was causing the spell to become the jailer of our two bodies.
I looked around and focused on communicating with her using my thoughts. Perhaps if I stuck with this, it would help separate our bodies. I moved around the store, completely stuck in her body. We had the same face, but everything about her differed from mine. She was more intelligent, she was faster, and she was better at controlling her anger. I sifted through my body, trying to find a way to separate myself when I saw him.
I could hear him speaking, and I was lost in memory at that moment. There standing at the checkout register, was Darius. The man was my ex-love. He was the one that I would have given up everything for if not for my magic. For a split second, I was confused, then I realized why he was there.
“Deb? Are you ready to go?” He asked in an angelic tone as his voice had always done that to me. He had a soft-spoken way about him. His long wavy blonde hair and striking blue eyes were catlike when he grinned. He was the most gentle soul on the planet, and I had lost him due to my own stupidity. Yet, here he was with my look alike. Could it still be that he was still in love with me? Ten odd years and he still made me blush.
“I’m um,” I felt her separate from me. I was now back in my room, looking at myself in the mirror. I had done it most likely from shock. I looked at myself in the mirror and felt tears roll down my face. I began to cry for the first time in what felt like a hundred years. Nothing had brought on the tears, not for my mother, brother, or uncle, but for my now broken heart. It felt like it was breaking all over again.
I didn’t have to do another spell to locate Deb. I knew from being inside her head she would seek me out first this time. She would be as curious as I was about my twin only a short hour ago. I looked at my poor uncle’s head and decided that if I couldn’t do a spell to bring him back to life, I could do a temporary Necromancy spell to at least re-animate him to where he was in his last moments of life. The only issue is that it wouldn’t last more than a few hours. Once the few hours passed, his body would be heavily in decomposition unless I could make him as he was before that beast tore off his head.
I got to work sewing his head back onto his body. This was a rather sick part of the spell. I found his mangled body parts and, as they say, “really put my back into it.” He was heavy, and I tried to move him, but I couldn’t. Instead, I decided to just do the spell where he was. Just then, Jack came in.
“What in God’s name are you doing?” he looked horrified.
“Don’t look at me that way. I could use some help. Slither over here and help me with my uncle!”
Jack moved quickly and helped hold his body in place while I used a large needle and thick thread to stitch my uncle back together as if he were a rag doll made of hay. After some time, I had him stitched back together and ready to go.
Now, when I say I’m not much in the area of magic spells, I’m not. I have never been one for doing a spell correctly the first time; however, thanks to my aunt Josephine’s magic that was given to me when I received the quilt, I had an easy time doing any form of black magic. Which is probably why regular spells were so tricky for me.
I had Jack help me draw a circle using the only item I had near me- a tube of my uncle’s toothpaste.
“I feel like you were adopted. How can you not ever be prepared for spell casting? I mean, how are you a witch?”
“Oh, Shut up! Just let me concentrate. It doesn’t matter what you use to create the circle as long as it is created. Now, I’m going to need your magic to help me. I know Sea Magic is a bit different. You guys mainly control the weather but I really need you to focus on him for me. I need Arnold back! He is the only one that can help me with Josephine.”
Jack did as told begrudgingly. We finished the circle, picked up a dagger, and cut both of our palms to bless the circle with drops of blood. I needed only the dark ones to give me my uncle for a short time, if not at all. I was not asking for much, but I knew I would need a sacrifice to complete the spell correctly. I couldn’t give up any more of my magic, but there was something I would give up. I picked up that same dagger, ready to give the dark God something I knew it would want- my flesh.
I closed my eyes and sat across from Jack, who always seemed to be sitting. As a Cecaelia, you need not worry about knees and joints. Jack took a deep breath and removed his jacket. He sat across from me, and I felt his magic move through me. His magic was as pleasant as I recalled it back in our dating heydays. I opened my eyes for a second and smiled at him. His dark eyes and full beard sat across from me. How old he looked now.
“You aren’t concentrating,” Jack said.
“Yes, I am,” I laughed, then closed my eyes again to entirely focus on my uncle’s lifeless body.
“I call upon you the dark God of the underworld by stars in the sky and fire beneath my feet. We ask you to illuminate this child of yours to bring him back one last hour past Midnight. I give you my sacrifice,” I quickly cut into my left pinky finger, and as the blood splattered all around me, I shoved the finger into my uncle’s mouth and waited.
Within seconds I saw his mouth moving. The thing lying before us was now alive, feeding upon my flesh. The Dark God was now inside of him. I watched it gnaw on my finger, and I had to look away so I wouldn’t get sick. Jack noticed my bleeding and tossed me a rag to stop the bleeding.
“I thought we were leaving?” My uncle asked, standing up as he seemed to pick a piece of my fingerbone from his teeth. “We must stop Josephine before it is too late,”
“Thank you, Dark God,” I breathed a sigh of relief. I knew I didn’t have much time, and every second was precious. “Uncle, I need your help. I found Deb, but when I found her, our bodies merged. I don’t know how to get her to use my magic without our bodies merging in the process.”
He laughed. Even for a zombie, I thought this was rude. “You see, you have to merge to merge your magic.” He walked towards me, stumbling. His eyes began to grow milky now, and I struggled to look at my uncle Arnold. I felt hateful towards Josephine and hated myself even more for what I was doing to him. He was basically a vessel of information from the Gods now. In one hour after midnight, he would be gone forever. I only had so much time to get Adelaide safe and sound. I had to remember the goal was to save my niece from my evil aunt.
“Can you see where Josephine is?”
My uncle wobbled towards the entryway of the cave-dwelling and walked out into the early evening light. He pointed into the ocean, and I could see a massive cloud in the distance. The something out there was something I had only heard of in passing.
Witches tell stories of a beast that lives in the clouds. It merges with the sea and becomes one giant organism. It was something out of a book only those writers wrote about it from hearing tales of those who had once seen it. It was what I always referred to as the Dark Anima. Everything in nature possesses a distinct spiritual presence. What separated this from everything else is that it also encapsulated emotions. It felt the world’s tears, fears, hate, and happiness. If someone could harness that power, they would rule not only the earth but space and time. That is what Josephine wanted, which is why she was sucking up all the magic. Adelaide held the key to that, and I couldn’t let her destroy that child.
I didn’t know when she would do the spell, but I guessed that New Moon would be when she would attempt anything. The night sky’s darkness gave the world a fresh start, like erasing chalk from a chalkboard.
I watched the sea, and then suddenly, as that black cloud appeared, it disappeared. I looked at Jack, who was now just as concerned as I was.
He came over to me and held me. “We will get her. I will ask my elders for help because we can’t let Josephine do this. It was all family drama for me until now.
I barely heard a car pull up behind me, but when I did, I saw her, and then I saw him. There was a third man with them also. It was Deb, Darius, and a stranger who looked like he had just left a college classroom.
They got out of the car and walked towards where Jack, Arnold, and I were standing.
“Celeste, I believe we already met,” Deb said. She smiled kindly, and I knew then that was why Darius was with her. I was rougher around the edges.
“Celeste, it is nice to see you again, although I wish it were under different circumstances,” Darius said, looking me directly in the eyes.
I gulped, trying to wrap my head around his standing here. The last time I saw him, I told him I never wanted to see him again because I believed that my being a witch and his being a scientist would never work. I think it sounds stupid and childish now.
“It is good to see you again, Darius.”
He came over and gave me a hug and a kiss on my cheek. There was a spark of electricity, but I had to leave it in the past.
“I found out that we were connected when I was a teenager. I was told we would never meet until it was the end of one of our lives. My guardian was not a witch. I was given to her by our grandmother to keep me safe. I don’t know which one of us is about to die, but I hope it is for a good cause.”
She even spoke gently.
I looked at Darius, trying to figure out how, out of everyone, I would ever know or knew how he would have found my twin. It was so strange, and it made me angry. I hid my jealousy as I looked at how he stood by her. I must have been showing every thought in my head when Darius and Deb’s friend finally spoke.
“Hello, it is very nice to meet you. My name is Henry. I work with Darius at the Museum.”
“No offense, Henry, but why are you here? These are very sensitive family matters. I don’t even understand why Darius is here with her,” I said spitefully. I felt Jack’s hand on my lower back to calm me.
My uncle walked over to me and put his hand on my forehead. Then he touched Deb’s forehead at the same time. Suddenly, we both seemed to link up. My uncle’s vessel status was now being used to show us what we needed to do next. It also showed me why Deb was here with Darius.
Thirty years ago, when I was born, they had created Deb. She was placed with my grandmother’s friend’s daughter. Her daughter was Darius’ mother. I had never known about Deb because she was sent to a school to learn about her magic when she was old enough to understand it.
I looked at Darius. “Why didn’t you ever tell me?”
“I would have in time, but you never gave me a chance.”
I wanted to slap myself for all those years ago judging him so harshly. I wasted my entire life pining over him. I didn’t have to. I could have been with him. I spent years hating who I was and witchcraft because I gave him up to protect him. Here I realize I had been so stupid. I didn’t have time to think about my past, though I had to think of my future. I had to think of all of our futures.
“I didn’t want to interrupt you, but there is something you must know. I am a museum artist, but I am also a collector of oddities. I found something recently that may be useful to you in your situation.
I looked at Daris, and he nodded.
Henry had a large duffle bag with him, and when he opened it, there was a large jar with some sort of creature in it. It was strangely familiar, like an octopus at first, until you got a good look at it. That is when you realized it had razor-sharp teeth. Henry placed the jar on the sand before us and then slowly opened it.
“I found this not far from the northern part of Eldritch Harbor. I don’t want to say anything else. I just want you to watch it. But you will need to stand back.” Henry said, opening the top of the jar. He tipped the jar on its side, backing away quickly.
We all watched as this thing slowly moved one tentacle at a time from the jar. It grew lengthier and more prominent as it moved from the pot. Once it had slithered out of the jar and spread its thirteen tentacles onto the sand, it began to morph. Suddenly, this creature stood from where it was and got taller. Then its face got longer, and its mouth, well, the thing was now just a mouth and tentacles. It opened its mouth wide, flinging itself into the ocean. To our horror, it began eating threw fish, sharks, and anything it could get its sharp teeth on, leaving nothing but a murky, bloody mess in its wake. It was deep into the ocean within seconds. Henry pulled out a whistle and blew into it. I couldn’t hear it, but suddenly the creature came rushing back, but with it were others precisely like it.
I watched in horror as their tiny heads made of nothing but sharp teeth rose out of the water and began to swim towards us.
“What the hell is that?” I asked, genuinely frightened.
“This is a Razor Tooth Cephalopod. They have as much intelligence as an Octopus, but unlike their more mundane cousins, are three times as deadly.”
“Wow, but how can they help us with Josephine?”
“Because they are completely immune to magic,” Henry said, grinning wide as the creature came up to the jar and crawled back inside.
I looked at Henry and the others. “You are controlling that one?”
“Yes, with a simple tool that sounds exactly like its mother. The Jar acts as a pouch, much like a marsupial. The way Kangaroos have to be in their mother’s pouches. Well, these are young, so they need to be in a place that feels secure. It just so happens that in my studies over the past few years, I stumbled upon a happy accident. They enjoy my leftover Jars of jam. As you see, they are quite powerful if you get enough of them together. Can you imagine what they would do to Josephine?”
I smiled at the prospects, finally getting an idea of how to get Adelaide back once and for all.