“Erin! Hurry up we’re going to be late!”I jumped into her Barina and threw my bag on the floor. Her car was reversing down the driveway so I made a grab for the door before it hit the fence.“In a hurry are we?” I asked.“Yeah, I got a surprise for you. You trust me right?”“Yeah…” I said reluctantly. I waited for more but she wasn’t giving in.
An hour later we pulled up in front of a small cottage. A large sign hung above the entrance ; in old English writing it read ‘Imprinted with Magick. I felt a little uneasy at the thought of what was in store for me. I did trust Carol so I shouldn’t have been worried. Carol opened the door dragging me behind. The cottage was packed full of books, candles, incense and all sorts of things.A small round woman met us at the counter and after a brief conversation with Carol, led us both to a room in the back.“You must be Erin,” she said looking at me. “I’m Edwina. Carol has told me so much about you. I can tell Carol hasn’t told you why you’re here, love. I can assure you that you will need to make a choice before anything is to happen.”She asked me to place my hands over hers. Once Edwina closed her eyes I snuck a look at Carol, my eyebrows raised in question. She just shook her head, her gaze still fixed on Edwina.“I feel you spent a lot of time wanting to be different. I can change that for you but think hard before you decide. This has to be what you want. What will it be?”I nodded uncertainly. Carol jumped up from her seat excitedly and disappeared behind the heavy curtain, only to appear a few minutes later with some candles, crystals and incense.Edwina moved the table to the side and drew a circle around the three of us. A Witch? But they couldn’t possibly exist. We joined hands. Carol helped Edwina in some kind of cleansing ritual while I stood still not knowing what to do.We moved around the circle slowly, all the while both Carol and Edwina chanted a beautiful song. Faster and faster we spun around until everything around us was a blur. I was starting to get dizzy and my stomach threatened to empty its contents, but as soon as I thought I couldn’t take it anymore, we stopped abruptly. Both Carol and Edwina threw up their hands, so I mimicked them. Feeling both warm and exhausted, I sat cross-legged on the floor trying to collect my thoughts. I felt calm and peaceful in a way I’d never felt before. Whatever we just did, I liked it.Edwina blew out the candles and came over to sit by my side. “How do you feel, love?” She asked. Her unsure smile reached up to her eyes so I knew then she was genuinely concerned. I waved Carol over but froze mid-wave.On my arm was a brilliant blue crescent moon, little vines the colour of ruby red decorated around it. “What the…” I started to say. Edwina gasped at the sight of it.“My goodness, you have been marked! In all these years, I’ve never seen one this decorative.
We eventually left, thanking Edwina for her time. The drive home was strange. Carol hadn’t said a word to me at all. I felt warm all over and extremely light. There were so many questions I wanted to ask Carol but I didn’t know what to start with first.
I said goodbye to Carol and collapsed on the sofa inside. Pepper padded in and jumped on my lap happy to see me. The only noise I could hear in the house was his purring. I guess Kayla had gone out with friends.
The Mark on my arm began to tingle and glow. That’s weird I thought. I pushed Pepper off my lap and got up. I took two steps before I froze. The hairs on the back of my neck stood on end. Outside on the footpath stood a young girl no older than seven. Her back was to me so I couldn’t be sure it wasn’t next doors child. As if sensing me, she spun around. Our eyes met briefly, then she was gone. Just faded away like an illusion. I blinked a few times. Ok I’m losing it I thought. Pepper wrapped his tail around my legs purring. Today’s events had finally caught up with me. “Come on Pepper, it’s time for bed.” My head hit the pillow and it took less than a minute before I drifted off to sleep.
I jolted awoke the next morning with a sense of urgency as the memory of my dream floated back to me. The little girl I thought I saw last night was playing in a peaceful garden I didn’t recognize. Bright Gerberas, daisies and pansies brought the garden to life. I was there too of course but it seemed that I was looking in on the dream. A few minutes went by before the girl was approached by two older boys. I could only guess their ages; maybe 16 or 17. The taller one had scruffy brown hair that badly needed a haircut. He seemed to be the more dominant one, strutting over and peering down at her while the other boy stood back a little. The feeling of peace vanished instantly and it was replaced with fear. The scruffy haired one grabbed the girls’ ponytail fast while the other boy grabbed her feet and they dragged her into some bushes. Panic set in. I tried to run after her but I couldn’t move. Or breathe. My chest felt weighed down as I tried to gasp for air. The pain came after. It was horrible. The smell of something metallic and salty assaulted my senses. I managed to look down to see my shirt soaked through with my blood. The last thing I remember before I woke up was looking out at that peaceful garden, watching the colour drain away to a dull gray.The Mark ©Melissa Freeman 2011