The Love Spell

December 26, 2009

I had a bad feeling the minute I let the girl into my house.  She was a little thing with mouse-brown hair that she’d tried to liven up with blond streaks.  The streaks didn’t work; they didn’t suit her skin tone at all.  Colored contacts swam wetly in her large eyes, making her irises appear an unnatural shade of turquoise.   She had a tiny little non-figure that she could have worked to real advantage a la Keira Knightly if she hadn’t done her best to cover it with a huge sweatshirt.  Worst of all, she was wearing flip-flops.

Flip-flops.  Gods preserve us.  Pink flip-flops.  And her toenails needed a trim.

I studied her over my half-glasses for a moment.  “You’re Rachel’s friend?”

The girl nodded.  “I’m Chelsea.”  She was a low-talker.   “Thank you so much for seeing me.  Rachel said that you don’t do this for just anyone.”

“Rachel is right,” I informed the girl.  I headed towards the back of the house, gesturing over my shoulder for Chelsea to follow.

“I’m really, really grateful that you could see me,” she said to my back.  “I didn’t know where else to go.  I didn’t know who else to talk to.”

I stopped in the doorway of my den and motioned for her to go in ahead of me.  She stopped just inside the doorway, looking around at things that were undoubtedly very strange to her.  She glanced back at me with those myopic, unnatural eyes.  “I’m desperate,” she breathed.

She perched like a bird on the purple velvet chair I pointed to, and pulled her arms and legs into her body as much as possible without doubling over.  I’d never seen such defensive body language in one so young.

Taking a seat across from her, I picked up a deck of Tarot cards and began to shuffle through them.  I had no intention of laying them out.  That wasn’t what Chelsea was here for; it wasn’t part of the spell she was after.  I did it out of reflex.  It helped me distance myself from the pain and confusion that rippled off the girl like puddle wakes after someone has gone tromping through with angry, careless feet.  She stared at me avidly with those strange, liquid eyes.  She was amazingly needy.  She was amazingly wounded.

I laid the cards down face up and spread them with my right hand.  “I’ll get you started,” I told her, “and give you the material you need to complete the spell.  But I’m going to give you the same caution that I give everyone else.”

Chelsea nodded eagerly, watching me as I drew The Lovers out of the deck.

I set the card on a tray, then turned to my basket of crystals.  I selected a glowing pink rose quartz.  “Take seven pieces of paper,” I told her as I set the crystal on top of The Lovers.  “On each of the pieces, write a quality that you’re looking for in a man.  Single is always a good one, and so is faithful.  Maybe you want him to be rich.”  I didn’t need to see her shake her head to know that wasn’t the case.  This girl wasn’t looking for wealth.  “Maybe you want him to be tall, or romantic, or intelligent.”  She was nodding now, at which of those qualities I didn’t know, but I suspected she was all about the romance.

I picked up a small vial of lavender oil and let three drops fall on the card.  “You need to be specific about what you want in a lover,” I advised her.  “I’ve had women come back to me wailing about how they’d suddenly been overwhelmed with date offers from men they wouldn’t give the time of day to.”  I cut a look at Chelsea over my glasses.  “Obviously, those women didn’t listen.  Be specific.”

“There’s a man at work,” Chelsea told me softly, “he’s totally amazing – “

I held up my hand and cut her off.  “You need to hear me out.  Whatever qualities this guy has that you think are so ‘amazing’, write them on the little pieces of paper.  Maybe he’s sentimental, or shy, or handsome, or gallant.  Whatever.  Seven pieces of paper with a quality you seek written on each one.  Got that?”

Chelsea nodded.  “Got it.”

I picked up a sugar cube from the bowl that was always waiting.  I cast a lot of love spells.  I used a lot of sugar.  I crushed the cube between my thumb and forefinger and sprinkled it over the card and crystal.  It clung to the drops of lavender oil and glistened.

“Every day, once a day for seven days, you’ll take a pinch of sugar like this.  In a clockwise motion, sprinkle the sugar and repeat three times, ‘all the love I feel in me is now returned to me times three’.  Got that?”

“All the love I feel in me,” the girl repeated.  She rubbed one eye, which had turned a painful pink.  She was about to cry.  “Got it.  I’ll do it, I swear.”

“Every day, once a day, for one week,” I repeated.  “Then you’re going to put the spell away in a safe place, like on the top shelf of your closet.  Leave it, don’t touch it or mess with it.”

Chelsea stared at me.  “And then what?” she asked breathlessly.

I smiled at the girl.  “When the spell is worked and you find yourself in Prince Charming’s arms, you’ll bury it.”

I took out a little velvet bag.  I folded The Lovers’ card carefully and put it in the bag, followed by the crystal.  Then I tipped the tray I had worked the spell on and emptied the sugar into the bag on top of the other elements.   I pulled the little drawstring closed and was about to hand her the bag, but held back for a moment.  “There’s one more thing,” I cautioned.

Chelsea stared at me in dismay.  She thought I wasn’t going to give her the spell bag.  She was used to being offered things that she never actually received.  My heart broke a little.

I took her hand and placed the bag in it, then closed her hand in my own.  “Chelsea, listen to me,” I said earnestly.  Her attention seemed to flit like the little bird she was from the bag to my face, again and again.  “I give this same warning to everyone who comes to me for a love spell and it’s very important.  Are you listening?”

She forced herself to meet my gaze.  “Yes,” she whispered.

“You might get the urge to direct this spell at a particular person, like this guy at work at you mentioned.”  The color that flooded her cheeks told me I was correct, and I continued sternly, “Don’t do it.  This spell is designed to pull someone with the qualities you need and want into your life.  To direct it at a specific person is about as reckless as you can get.  Ask yourself, what do you really know about this guy at work?  Maybe he’s gay.  Do you really know?  Maybe he lives in his mother’s basement.  Maybe he’s deeply in debt or has a criminal record, or maybe he has a violent temper.  If you draw him to you with this spell, you could win, but – “  I broke off and forced her to continue meeting my gaze.  “You could be winning the booby prize.”

The girl put the spell bag into her purse as quickly as possible when I released her hand.  “I promise to do just what you say.”

I doubted that very much, but, gods forgive me, I let her go.

The phone rang seven nights later just as I was dozing off.  It was Rachel.

“Are you watching the news?” she asked.

“I was trying to sleep.”

“God, it’s awful.  That girl I work with, that Chelsea chick, she was murdered.”

I sat up and switched on the bedside lamp.  “You don’t say?”  My stomach had grown very, very cold.

“The news is saying that her mom found her body today.  She’d apparently been raped and stabbed like a million times, but you know what’s the creepiest thing?”

“I think I can imagine,” I sighed.

“The police have a suspect in custody, and it’s a guy we both worked with!  Can you believe that?  I always thought he was weird.  He never talked to anyone and he had pictures of his cat all over his desk.  He and Chelsea suddenly started having lunch together the last few days, and now this.  God, can you believe it?  He was some kind of weirded out killer!”

I flipped my cell phone shut and sat there for a few minutes, staring at nothing.  Then I shook my head, turned off the bedside lamp and lay back down.

Young girls just don’t listen.

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2 Responses to “The Love Spell”

  1. janet Says:

    Wow….just wow!

  2. LoB Says:

    This one gave me shivers. Magic does that.

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