All caught up and a centimeter ahead.
Current word count: 20,036
Thanks for your comments on the last bit. It helps to know how you want this to go!
ps. I have not done any proofing. Please do excuse errors.
Phoebe felt like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz as she scooped up her cat and sat on her back deck. There was no place like home. She was expected at Aunt Philo’s later, but for now she wanted nothing more than to listen to the ocean and the sound of her cat purring.
All last night she had dreamed vivid dreams, some were of her and Kaden that left her breathless. Others she didn’t understand, but wanted to discuss with Aunt Philo. They held darkness and rituals and they felt so real that it had almost seemed like she was tapping into another reality.
And there was the last one that jolted her awake just before dawn. The one in which a woman reanimated a dead man, a dead man who looked far too much like Kaden for comfort. When she opened her eyes, there was the odor of something strange, and for no reason that she could understand, she thought: boneset.
Even now, thinking about the extreme dread she had felt when she awoke, her skin erupted in goosebumps. The thought had occurred to her that if Aunt Philo hadn’t had the foresight to suggest she do protection spells that maybe something horrible would have happened in the night while they slept. She was not misguided enough to believe that the entity who had possessed her was done. Not by a long shot.
She stretched and extended her feet out in front of her. She glanced at her toes and thought that maybe it was time to redo the purple polish on her toenails.
Her deck door slid open and she almost jumped through her skin, which caused her cat to meow, hop down from her lap and scurry inside. Aunt Philo joined her on the wicker loveseat.
Philo’s red hair was in frizzy curls around her head and her bright blue eyes were alert. A green bandana was tied around her head and matched the gauzy lime green paisley top she wore over her orange broomstick skirt. Phoebe was pretty sure that Philo might glow in the dark in that outfit.
“I hate to go all doom and gloom on you, but you and the cat are going to be spending the next few days at my place,” Aunt Philo said.
Phoebe frowned. “Why? You sound a little rattled.”
“A lot rattled. You can’t tell? I’ve felt some bad vibes before, but never anything like this and I don’t like it because I don’t know what it means. The idea of you being here by yourself unprotected . . .”
“I could do a protection spell on the house . . .”
“No. Remember how you always laughed when the girls on Charmed would talk about the power of three? Well, there’s a lot of truth in that. We’ve got the power of four right now. I just hope it’s enough.”
“You know you’re scaring me.”
“Good. Because you need to be. I’m scared too. I’m almost thinking of calling your grandmother.”
Well, that was something. If Aunt Philo, of all people, was about to contact her mother whom she mostly just spoke to under duress than maybe things were seriously bad.
“What aren’t you telling me?” Phoebe asked.
“I had a strange dream early this morning and when I woke up there was the odor of . . .”
“Boneset,” Phoebe finished.
Aunt Philo’s face blanched. “You too?”
“Phoebs, I’ve got to be honest. I just don’t know enough. I have no idea what we’re dealing with and it’s completely out of my realm.”
The air around them seemed electrified. Phoebe looked out at the gray ocean, at the white caps on what had been a calm sea, and then suddenly the wind swirled up around them.
“If you don’t know what to do, Philo, we probably need help.”
After Aunt Philo left, Phoebe hurried to her shop and looked through the library of books on the black arts. She didn’t like to keep them in the shop because it seemed like it was encouraging a behavior she didn’t believe in, but there were times they came in handy. Actually that wasn’t true. They had never come in handy before now. She was just glad that she had a few to consult. She slipped them into her bag then went back to the house to pack up a few things besides Cat’s litterbox and assorted accessories. Cat didn’t mind traveling. She never had. In fact, there were a lot of ways in which Cat was not like a cat at all.
As Phoebe put things into her trunk, she noticed that the sky had become strangely, sickly green, like the face of a Frankenstein creation. It reminded her of what her friend from Oklahoma used to say about the sky right before a tornado hit. Green.
But they rarely got tornadoes in Pleasant Point Cove, especially in November. The ominous swirl of the clouds sent her running into the house to grab Cat and the carrier and hurry back to the car and drive the mile to her Aunt’s house, looking at her mirrors, checking the sky. She felt her heartbeat rattling inside her chest. Cat meowed inside the blue carrier, her green eyes looking at Phoebe, almost urging her on.
Phoebe pulled into Aunt Philo’s driveway, grabbed the cat carrier and ran toward the house. A jagged streak of lightening darted across the sky and hit the ancient oak tree that had stood in the yard for at least a century, splitting it down the center. Black smoke rose and the a few orange flames licked the air. The front door opened and Chloe yelled at Phoebe to hurry.
It felt like the world had suddenly gone crazy. Like it hadn’t twenty-four hours ago? Thunder resounded. Phoebe was just running up the four white steps when another streak of lightening hurled toward her. She screamed and then dove with the cat carrier through the doorway. The jab of lightening seemed like it was deflected from touching the perimeter of the house. The protection spell?
She lay on the maple hardwood floor for a moment while Cat yelled in her carrier. She couldn’t wrap her head around what had just happened. It seemed like the storm had tracked her. Like the storm had possessed an intelligence and was aiming for her. To what end?
She sat up and looked at Chloe. “You know when people say ‘all hell’s broken loose?’”
“I think it’s happening for real.”
Aunt Philo and Aunt Caroline appeared in the foyer then. The sound of thunder boomed around the house, rattling the windows.
“A bit odd for November,” Aunt Caroline observed.
“The lightning almost hit Phoebe,” Chloe told them.
Aunt Philo held her hand out to Phoebe. “Things are moving a bit more quickly than I expected. Something’s gone wrong with the little old internal crystal ball,” she said, pointing to her temple.
Phoebe felt sickened. “Your readings?”
“Like a blank space. I feel like someone’s interfering with my radar and I don’t like it. In fact, it’s kind of pissing me off.”
In between the roar of thunder, Phoebe heard music. “Is that the band?”
Philo grinned. “That may be the only highlight of the day. Those boys don’t only rock, but it’s like having a dream aroma of pheromones and testosterone. I haven’t felt this good since . . .”
“For bejeezus sake, Philomena. This is chaos. This is panic. This is the end of the world and you’re going on about pheromones,” Aunt Caroline said.
Philo rolled her eyes. “I’m living in the moment. The moment in which I am not battling evil but thinking about Tito the bearded drummer with a smile that would melt a Snicker’s bar. I can think of a few other things he could melt. In fact, I’m pretty sure I feel one of them melting right now.”
Phoebe grinned despite herself and the unhappy expression on Aunt Caroline’s face. She pulled herself together. “If that storm is related to what’s going on with Kaden, I think we are . . .”
“Up shit’s creek without a paddle?” Aunt Philo provided.
Phoebe shrugged. “That sounds about right. I brought some books from the shop, but they’re out in the car, which I’m thinking we’re not going to get to any too soon.”
“There’s always google,” Chloe said. And in that instant, the lights flickered than died.
“Or maybe not,” Phoebe said.
“Ladies, what did you do with the electricity? We need it for the amps.”
Wind hurled around the house. It felt like shingles were lifting from the roof and spinning off into the sky. The siding rattled and the trees swayed ominously toward the house.
Aunt Philo made a fire which illuminated the living room with a dancing light. Cold seemed to permeate the rooms so they all joined together. Jared sat in front of the fire with Chloe and strummed his guitar making it seem like a campfire.
Phoebe hung back. This just had the feel of too many horror films she had seen through the years. She loved horror movies. She loved the feeling of terror, the expectation of the unexpected scare. But that was on film. Something to be walked away from. This current experience was nothing like that. The terror felt too real.
Kaden came up behind her and although he was still not touching, she could feel the heat radiating off of his body and she wanted to lean back against him, feel it seep into her, feel his hands on her.
“You okay?” he asked.
“Sure,” she said. “Right as rain.”
“Which in current definitions means that you feel like an apocalyptic flood.”
“Well, there is that.”
“You’re worried,” he surmised.
She nodded. There was no use in being coy or hiding fear. It wouldn’t do any of them any good in the long run. “There’s some scary stuff going on and I don’t think any of us know how to deal with it.”
“I thought you all were kickass witches.”
“We’re kickass witches who deal with love spells and good fortune spells and health spells. Not thwarting evil and darkness and the end of mankind. And, I’m not serious on that last bit. At least I don’t think I am.”
He closed the space between them then and wrapped his arms around her waist. “I know you don’t want me to do this. But it feels kind of necessary right now, you know?”
She leaned against him and absorbed the warmth that only moments before had teased her. His breath was against her neck and she tilted her head just a little, offering it to him. His lips pressed against her skin and she sighed.
A roar of thunder seemed to burst over the house, shaking the foundation. Phoebe clung to Kaden, but understood that maybe this, this attraction between them, even acting on the attraction was making the storm fiercer.
She tried to pull back but he held her close and his lips sought hers. To say the kiss was everything she had hoped it would be was understatement. It started rough, hard, but then he was sucking and licking and his tongue was tangoing with hers and she became so lost in the moment, the eroticism of his kisses, that she allowed her body to meld against his. She felt him hard against her and wrapped her arms around his neck, holding him close, needing him close. He tasted like the sweet malty scotch ale he had just drunk. She moaned against his mouth feeling like she could never get close enough to him. His hands were on her ribcage, steadying, and then they moved to her butt and lifted her up until her legs encircled his waist. He turned slightly until she was flush against the wall. She had never felt like this in her life. Letting go. Feeling.
“Umm, kiddos, we’ve got rooms for this,” Aunt Caroline said behind them.
end of Day 12.5