Best Witches Issue 6
I feel like I got hit by a train. Slowly feeling my aches and bruises, I try and make sure everything is still attached. With a groan, I am careful to try and push myself up to my elbows. Tyrone and Steve were still unconscious after being thrown against the walls of the workroom.
“Well, that didn’t go great,” I mumbled. My brain still feels like it’s slogging its way through a haze so thick I wouldn’t be able to see my hand in front of my face.
The book was glowing. It looks lit by some internal luminescence. The pages are blowing through a non-existent breeze.
“Strange.” Pushing myself the rest of the way to my feet I toddle towards the table. It feels as though I had forgotten how my limbs were supposed to move. My head is ringing from the blast. I peer at the book and the pages that are flapping by. The words and symbols seem to be shifting as if making up their mind what they want to say.
“Hello, Riley.” A voice says from the corner of the room. Spinning, instantly regretting it as nausea hits me, I see a shimmering figure floating at the side of the room. It’s a strong looking woman with short wavy hair that must have once been silver strands. I recognize her instantly.
“Grandma? What is going on?”
She gives me a sly smile. “The book found its way to you.”
“Because that explains a bunch.” The look she gives me about my sass makes me snap my mouth closed. “Sorry,” I say with a mumble.
“This is our grimoire from centuries back. Your Great Aunt Edna used it for malicious purposes and was cursed along with the book. Since then it’s been hidden on a farm in the middle of nowhere with your estranged Uncle, who seems to have finally given up on this mortal coil.” She says shaking her head in a disappointed motion. Like this Uncle had some say about when he finally kicked the bucket. She had always been so controlling. Strong, opinionated, loving, but controlling to no end.
“Okay. So what do I do with it now?” I ask. Something came to me and I look at her with fear in my gaze. “Wait, am I cursed now? Did Steve just get me cursed?”
My grandmother laughs. “No, you are not cursed, well maybe a little. You need to protect this book. If it falls into the wrong hands, great evil could be wrought on the world.” She sounds like an ominous fortune cookie. She walks to me and puts a ghostly hand upon my check. The contact caused my entire body to feel like it was being flushed with electricity. “You are the only one left of us that can. I believe in you young one.” The love in her voice makes me miss her so much more than I had in years.
“Great. A little cursed. A lot of trouble. This should be fun.” I can’t help but groan, and my grandmother fixes me with a stern look.
“This is of the utmost importance Riley. You have got to keep this book safe. I’m running out of time. I love you little bird. Never forget that.” With that, she starts to fade from view.
“I love you! I’ll protect it I promise!” I yell, scared she won’t hear me. She smiles softly at me before completely fading away.
It was as if a spell had been lifted over the room and at the exact same time Steve and Tyrone both let out a groan. The book slams shut as both boys snap their eyes open.
“What happened?” Tyrone asks his words slurred.
“I wasn’t expecting that.” Steve groans.
“Why did you tell me to touch that book?” I yell at Steve, the sound making him wince.
“Your last name and family crest were all over the thing. It seemed like an appropriate course of action.” Steve says sitting up and putting his back against the wall.
“Are you okay?” Tyrone asks me, seeming a little confused as to how I was already standing when they could barely move.
“I’m okay, sore but okay. You guys should be fine in a few minutes,” I say, holding a hand out to Tyrone to help him up. I let Steve sit on the floor for now. I’m still miffed with him. “Turns out it’s a family book that was cursed years ago thanks to Great Aunt Edna. Now it’s my turn to watch over the thing since I’m the only one left alive. Fun.”
Tyrone pouts at me. “But my book.” He whines.
“Literally my book,” I say to him. “Plus I don’t think this is a task you want. I think I’ll probably need some help going through the book though if you want to help. Both of you.” I say looking pointedly at Steve, and he smiles sheepishly at me.
“The destructive spell seems to have been broken with your touch though,” Steve says happily. I can tell he is itching to get his hands on the spells inside.
“We need to keep this book safe. Which I assume means not dabbling with the spells inside, but yes research is something I’m sure we’ll need to accomplish. If you are up to it? Yet, for the rest of today can we close? I want to go home and curl up in bed. I’m sore.” Steve nods vehemently and then regrets doing so by the look on his face. Tyrone looks a peculiar shade of green.
“Yes, closing seems like a relevant course of action. We shall regroup tomorrow.” He says finally getting off the floor. I grab the book, wrapping it in the cloth just in case and shove it into my bag.
Once I get home, I spend the rest of the day napping on and off with troubled dreams of family, spells, and curses.
Thank you, Sean Eike, for your image this week.