For this week's "Tuesday's Tales", I'm doing something a little different. Instead of a short-story based on the week's word prompt, I'm posting the first part of a novella, Love Spells. I hope it catches your attention and that you'll be back next week to read more of the story.
And...don't forget to read what others have written for this week's prompt.
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Love Spells - Part 1
“You’ve got to be out of your mind. The man lied to you, cheated on you, dumped you, and ran off with another woman.” Miranda’s scowl deepened. “Why would you want him back?”
Ellie sighed. “When you put it that way, I know it sounds crazy, but there are two sides to every story.”
“Not this one.” Miranda got up, grabbed her jacket and headed for the door. “David Cameron is bad news. You want him back? You’re on your own. I want nothing to do with this.”
Miranda didn’t understand, of course. That was the problem. Yes, David was guilty as charged...except that it wasn’t really his fault. Not completely. He’d been bewitched, lured away by a potent spell cast by a beguiling sorceress.
But things were about to change.
With a knowing smile, Ellie opened the dusty old book she held in her hands. She now had a few spells of her own.
She’d found the weighty tome two afternoons before while browsing around at a neighborhood estate sale. A grimoire. Even the word sounded mystical and powerful. A tiny laugh slipped out. Never would she have guessed old Mrs. Parsons to be a witch.
Funny how little we know about people.
Just like David. When she’d first met him, she would never have thought him capable of lies and deceit, would never have believed he would willingly inflict emotional pain upon another’s heart.
It wasn’t his fault. It was witchcraft.
She knew that now. From the moment she’d first touched the old grimoire, an odd power had surged forth within her. At once, the truth had become clear. Sadly, that knowledge alone wasn’t enough to ease the pain he’d put her through, and if she had good sense, she’d find some terrible spell and cast it upon both of them -- David and Julianne, his new love.
Quickly she thumbed through the book. Something to cause boils, or a wart on one’s nose. Or maybe something to shrivel certain body parts...
Ellie sucked in a deep breath and shook the thoughts away. No, she would not become vindictive, would not stoop to cruel retaliation. Her spells would be rooted in love, not anger. Her magic would bring renewal, not revenge.
On Thursday, Ellie left work early. She strolled down 39th Street, enjoying the fresh spring air and the gentle warmth of the glorious, golden sunlight. Red bud trees were beginning to blossom, and all the world around her looked fresh, vibrant, and new.
A perfect time for magic, for new beginnings, for making dreams come true.
When she reached the little shop near Carlysle Street, she hesitated only a moment before climbing the old wooden steps. She pushed open the door and stepped inside. The smoky scents of frankincense and patchouli greeted her, luring her in to the dimly-lit store. Exotic, oriental-sounding music floated around her. She swayed to the haunting rhythms as she peered at the colorful displays of candles, crystals, cards, and stones.
The magic is strong here. I can feel it.
Ellie closed her eyes for a moment, letting the power flow through her. In the past, before she’d discovered that old grimoire, she had never believed in magic. Now, she had no doubts.
It was real. It was here. It was now.
With every breath she took, the feeling grew stronger.
Something magic was about to happen.
“Good afternoon. Is there something I can help you with?”
The deep, masculine voice seemed to come from someplace far away, almost as if it were part of a dream. Ellie smiled but kept her eyes closed. She liked the soothing sound of the man’s voice.
"Yes," she said. "I want to learn about magic...about love spells..." Her words drifted away in a sudden sea of embarrassment. Oh, dear, but she didn’t want to confess the awful truth to this kind man with the soft voice.
“There are a lot of different love spells. What did you have in mind?”
Ellie opened her eyes and stared down at the dark, plank flooring. No need to tell him the particulars. Like Miranda, he’d probably think her a fool if he knew the whole story. She shrugged.
“I don’t know,” she admitted. “Recently, I bought an old grimoire, and I’ve been reading different spells.” Aware of his keen gaze upon her, she shifted awkwardly. “But everything seems so complicated, and I’m not sure what I’m actually supposed to do to make them work.”
Finally, she lifted her chin and looked up into the bluest eyes she’d ever seen. Clear and luminous, they reminded Ellie of the crystals atop the shop’s counters. They were eyes that seemed to see straight through to her heart and soul. Eyes that held magic.
She studied the man, taking in the rough, craggy face, and the close-cropped blond hair, the tall, broad forehead and tapering cheekbones. Careless stubble covered his chin like the evening shadows that had now begun to fall.
“Are you wanting to find new love? Rekindle an old flame?”
For a moment, Ellie couldn’t remember what she wanted. She blinked, shook herself, and took in a deep breath. She forced her thoughts back to David and her broken heart. It hurt to speak the awful truth.
“The man I love left me. I want him back.” Her voice quavered only slightly.
“There’s a simple love spell for that. “
“Simple would be good.”
The man laughed. Like his voice, the laughter had a gentle, reassuring quality about it.
“You’d be surprised at how many people come in here looking for love spells of one sort or another.”
“Love does make the world go around, or so I’ve heard.” Ellie smiled.
“Not really.” The man grinned. “It just makes the ride more enjoyable.” He went to a shelf and began counting out seven pink candles. “Here’s how the spell works.”
She listened closely as he explained the ritual. “Every night for one week,” she repeated when he’d finished. As he rang up the purchase, Ellie closed her eyes again, imagining the happiness that would soon be hers.
“Remember, love spells should always begin on Friday.” The blue-eyed man placed the candles in a bag. “Good luck,” he added as he handed the bag to her.
“Thank you. I’ll begin tomorrow.”
A lifetime of happiness.
All within her reach.
She took the bag, hugged it close, and hurried out into the gathering darkness.
- TO BE CONTINUED -