Friday, November 08, 2013

Chapter Seven: Vance and Anna, Mischief

“So, you’ve been searching for how many years? And all you know about the Libram is that it’s in this crappy town somewhere?” Vance had started this conversation a few times, it never went anywhere, but he enjoyed the flush in Anna’s cheeks. 

“How many years did you search, grandpa?” She grinned. The top was down as they drove through town. The wind blew her bobbed hair around, the locks made luminescent by the moon.

“Ouch! You’ve never used that one before. I feel so wounded.” He said sarcastically. “Seriously, how are we going to find it?”

“Well, I could have just taken care of it during the day, but I was busy preparing boring spell stuff. We are taking a trip to the library.”

“Ah, it’s going to have some security, no?”

“Totally. But I’ve got a plan.”

“You always do.” He gave her a sly gaze. Neither the laptop or phone were in his hands and he turned in the seat with his knee up to face her as she drove. 

“I’m glad you think that.”

“I do. You are the mastermind of which I’ve always dreamed.”

“Shut up!” She swatted at him with her shifting hand. She’d insisted on a car with standard transmission, which was fine with Vance. 

“I mean it. Everyone always thinks so small. You’re the first person ever to come to me with a wild plan for ultimate power. I love it.”

“We have a saying nowadays,” she had a slight drawl. “Go big or go home.”

Vance laughed. Indeed. He was risking everything on this young woman and loving every moment of it.

“We’re here,” she said, pulling into a parking lot behind a shopping center.

“This isn’t the library. I may be 30 years behind, but I can tell that much.”

“Of course it isn’t, silly. We have to lay the groundwork for that, create sufficient confusion and distraction.” 

“Very well, o mistress of mystery. Show me what you’ve got.”

Anna got out of the car and got a gym bag out of the trunk. Vance got out, too, and lit a smoke. He puffed and smirked and watched Anna prepare for a ritual. She laid out a tarp of some kind in between two rows of parking space markers in the lot. It had gaps in it and when she pulled out a can of silver spray paint from her bag, he saw that the tarp was in fact a stencil. In a few moments a perfectly circular pentagram of silver spray paint dominated the empty lot. It was perhaps 4 meters across.

“You need a hand with anything?” Vance asked.

She glanced up and winked at him. “Later,” she whispered. Then she blushed as if she’d surprised herself and went back to her work. 

 Also, isn’t this something that should be done in private?” He was trying to be helpful. Really.

“You said you liked that I think big, Vance.”

“No, I said I love that you think big. I just don’t get how that applies here.”

“Of course you don’t,” she said, lighting candles at each point of the pentagram. “I haven’t shown you this trick yet.”

“Oh, I think I’m going to like this.” He puffed on his smoke.

“I think so, too. Just stay over there, okay?” He noted real concern in her voice.

“No problemo.”

Anna stepped into the circle. He saw she held a hand rolled cigarette in one hand and a cauldron by it’s hanging wire in her other. She put the joint to her lips and fished a lighter out of her pocket. Once it was lit, she put the lighter away and stepped into the center of the circle. She took three big hits, and then spread he hands out to her sides, as if preparing to hug the world. Instead, she spoke, her voice raspy as the smoke slowly left her mouth. 

“Smoke and wind, iron and rain. I come to bring the dark again.” Vance noticed she was focused on an electrical tower, rather than the buildings of the shopping center.

She put the smoke to her lips again and pursed them as she knelt and laid the cauldron in front of her. She picked up a knife that she’d placed earlier. She looked at Vance, but he could not take his eyes from the knife. 

“Stay where you are,” she reminded him. Then she laid the knife against the fleshy part of her left hand and cut. Blood dribbled down in the the cauldron and she repeated the words of her spell.

Vance gritted his teeth but held his position, he’d gained a lot of control over the centuries. He would have Anna’s blood later. He could wait. Just as he thought to light another smoke to pass the time, she finished the ritual.   

The Electrical transformer across the parking lot sparked and an arc of electricity streaked toward Anna. In a flash, Vance felt the charge in the air. But the arc stopped at the edge of her circle of power. At first it splashed there. Then it arced back toward the transformer. Another shower of sparks flew from the tower and then the entire section of town went dark.

Anna spoke another phrase and the pentagram lit up like a glow in the dark poster. It provided enough light for her to put out the candles and pack up. By the time she walked back toward him, the pattern was growing dimmer by the second. 

“Let me guess,” Vance said, “a spell that uses up the paint?”

“And provides decent light!” she chirped, dropping her bag to the ground at his feet and throwing her arms around him. “Step one, accomplished.” She kissed him and he responded, wrapping her in his arms. She brought her left hand up to caress his face, and Vance felt sure he was being played, and the smell of blood overwhelmed him. He grabbed her wrist and pulled it toward his face, inhaling deeply. Anna put her face close to his, her other arm around his shoulder. Her body was very tight next to him and he felt distracted by that in a way that rarely happened for him, especially when the lust for blood rang so strongly through him. 

“Shh, shh, shh.” She soothed. “Later, baby. Later. Later, you can have anything you want, okay?” She looked him in the eye. She should be more afraid of that, Vance felt. It made him afraid of what he might find out if he tried to bite her. Instead he let go of her hand and cradled her head, kissing her passionately.

Anna pushed away gently after a few moments. Already sirens and shouts broke the silent darkness of the blacked out town. “Later.” 

Vance grinned.

* * *

Outside the library, nestled in the abundant shadows, Anna wrapped herself in Vance’s arms again. 

“So, you can do the turning to mist trick, right?” All the stories say you can.

“You believe in superstition and folk tales?”

“I believe in you,” she spoke with such earnestness that Vance had to tell her.

“Yes,” he said, “but only I can go. You want me to go take a look around?”

“Nope,” she said immediately. “We can both go. Really. Just try.”

“What have you done to me?” His tone was serious, but he also squeezed her and looked at her with affection.

“Just a little magic.”

“You’ve bewitched me, you vixen.” They giggled together.

“Maybe. I just…I don’t do many things without assurances, that’s all. I don’t mean you any harm.” She’d seen his features harden at her words, but he smiled again. 

“Don’t you witches believe in the rule of three or something like that? Whatever harm one does is returned threefold?”

“I’m not a witch,” she chided. “I’m an entropomancer. There’s a difference.”

“Very well, entropomancer,” he spoke the word with a haughty tone, “let’s see if your spell is as keen as you believe it to be.” He pulled her tight to him, her cheek pressed against his chest, his hand buried in her hair. Vance felt his legs go numb. At one time, he’d been able to do this in an instant. Then it happened.

And there was only darkness and a deep mist near the library.
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