Best Witches Issue 12
We piled into the car our bags less organized than when we left Omaha. For some reason, there is no way to put things back in your bag the same way you did initially, even with magic. The girls took the front seat, and I grabbed the back taking the book with me.
We hit the open road windows down, I throw my hair up into a messy bun to keep it from whipping me in the face. Thankfully the hangover tonics worked wonders or else the sun would be killer for my head as we headed out towards Wisconsin.
The radio blared and the girls sang, I ran my hands over the book. I could feel the book pulse between my fingers. It’s cover begging to be opened, it’s pages singing to me. Just one peak wouldn’t hurt.
Slowly I peeled the cover open, a creak sounding from its spine. As the pages flipped themselves open the car shuddered, the radio skipped, and electricity shot up my arms. The car swerved, and the girls made a noise from the front.
“What are you doing back there?” Peyton growled at me. The car straightened out, the radio resumed, and I smoothed the page down.
“Sorry,” I muttered. The pages flickered to life. Showing the map of Illinois to Wisconsin. Our route was sketched out in a red dotted line; all the way up to Lake Superior. A pulsing x was on the edge of the lake and the northern side of Wisconsin. A script appeared on the book, and I touched it with the tip of my finger.
Slowly the script started to move, but not on the page it caught hold of my finger. It crawled its way up my hand, to my arm. I tried to wipe it away, scrub the ink from my skin, but it wouldn’t smudge. It twirled its way around my arm like a snake coiling around its prey. I twisted around trying to get a good look at it, but I couldn’t read what it said. It now stained my skin like the tattoos I had but kept from sight. This one in plain view. I wish I knew what it meant. I could feel terror creep up my spine. Cursed book, moving tattoos, something still nagging at me about the meeting with Bazo.
“Shit, well crap,” I whispered. The girls were still too busy rocking out to hear me over the ruckus. Quickly I grabbed my hoodie and threw it on tugging it down over my arms. Terrified as I was about what this meant I couldn’t help but feel the tug from the book. My hands once more caressed the pages.
Bring us together so we shall be whole. We will give you the freedom you seek. The wisdom you crave. The power you desire. I rubbed at my ears.
“Did you guys hear that?” I asked having to raise my voice to be heard over their din.
“Our amazing singing? Yeah totally.” Finley said cackling.
“Why what’s up?” Peyton said giving me a quick glance in the rear-view mirror.
“Oh, it’s nothing, I must have just been imagining it,” I said already forgetting what I had thought I heard. Just the feeling of something ominous looming over me. My arm started itching. I pulled the sleeve of my hoodie up to double check my arm, but the words were gone. What in the world was going on? I slammed the book shut and dropped it on the floor. I pulled my feet up and sat crossed legged on the back seat. Keeping as much of myself as far away from the book as I could get without chucking it out the window.
“You okay girl?” Peyton said giving me a look in the mirror.
“Yeah, I’m good. Just leftover weird from last night I’m sure.” It was like my brain was in a fog, that I could feel there was something wrong but I couldn’t remember what exactly now. Something on the tip of my tongue, the edge of my mind. I rubbed at my ears again, running my hands over my face.
“Rest stop! We’re switching off so who’s next?” Peyton asked.
“I can drive, I think I need to keep my mind busy,” I said ready to stretch my legs. How long had I been curled up back here? It had to be much longer than I thought as I stretched my legs. Once we parked the three of us headed for the bathroom. There was a line, and I was the last one to get a stall. The girls managed to get out of there before me, saying they were going to grab some sodas from the machine.
I washed my hands looking in the mirror I could have sworn I saw something, someone behind me. When I spun around though no one was there. Drying my hands, I kept my head on a swivel and rushed back out to the car. The girls were already there waiting for me. I wasted no time jumping in the car and turning the ignition.
The radio blared, the girls’ attitude was infectious. Within moments I was laughing and singing with them forgetting all the odd feelings of the past few hours. Soon I was just another girl on a road trip with her best friends, sun on her skin, and wind in her hair.
Thank you, Sean Eike, for the photo this week.