The minute the words left Daniel’s lips, thunder cracked across the rapidly darkening sky. Through the windows, US could see the trees shudder, whipping back and forth according to the howling wind’s whims. Mildred crumpled to the floor, her white face as crinkled as her once starched apron. The butler cleared his throat.
“Madame? What would you like me to do?”
“Leave.” She never took her eyes off the shards of black circling the moon.
“If you value your life, you’ll leave now!” Taking the steps two at a time, she rushed up to her room and slammed the door, locking in behind her. The wind rattled the windows more than Daniel’s screams did, the roars of the wind drowning out her name repeated over and over on his dying lips. She didn’t dare look out. She didn’t want to see. She knew too well what a love spell gone wrong looked like. Striking a match, she lit the three candles on her desk.
“Black for protection, white for trust, red for love,” she whispered. ”Mother, if you’re there, please help me. Help him. He didn’t know. He didn’t know he shouldn’t say my name.”
Glass shattered and the wind screeched through. Her stomach twisted in knots at his screams below. But she knew better than to rage or scream. There was only one thing that would help him now.
Closing her eyes, the words for the goddess spilled from her lips as the wind and sea raged around her.
No one ever said love came quietly.
“I prefer ‘white magic practitioner’ to witch,” Edna, the lunch lady, growled at Charlie. ”I don’t call you an imbecile. I call you a student.”
“But I’m not an imbecile,” Charlie protested.
“And I’m not a witch. Funny how that works.” Edna returned to stirring her pot. She tilted her head toward a stack of books in the corner. ”Your books are over there, Professor.”
Bennett slid closer. ”What spells are you cooking up?”
“Oh, the usual. This is the Wednesday brew– plenty of cinnamon to help kids with tests, some rosemary to calm them down.” She shot him a grin. ”You should see what I put in it for finals week.”
Bennett’s shoulders slumped. ”I thought you’d have eye of newt or something.”
“That’s Thursday,” she informed him. Raising her spoon, she gave Jackson an evil grin. ”Want a bite?”
“No thanks.” He shook his head, backing away.
“Suit yourself.” She took a sip and smacked her lips, considering. ”Needs more frog legs.”
Bennett gagged and covered his mouth with his elbow. ”Gross.”
“Miss Edna? Your assistance?” The Professor waved a book from a stack in the corner. Edna handed the spoon to Charlie. ”Stir this, won’t you?” Without waiting for an answer, she hurried over to the Professor. Charlie looked at the giant purple stew in the pot below. Sliding the ladle in, she circled the steel edges, forcing the ladle through the dense murk. ”It’s like trying to stir natural peanut butter,” she muttered, backing away from the oil splashing over the sides of the pot.
“Hey, let me do it.” Bennet nudged her out of the way, over eager in his stirring. Plum waves surged over the steel lip and Jackson reached for the ladle.
“Dude, back off. Edna told Charlie to do it, not you. You’re making a mess.”
“Hey, Eagle Scout, get lost. Anyone can stir a pot.” Bennett shoved back. The pot tilted alarmingly on edge.
“Bennett, don’t be a”–
“Watch out!” Charlie screamed, thrusting between them. The pot took a nosedive towards them, purple waves drenching them in a monsoon of frog legs and flapping appendages from creatures she didn’t even want to know about. As the world swirled around them, Charlie learned something very important.
Lunch ladies lie.
Stay tuned, Invisible Friends! A new week of whimsy coming up! Have a wonderful Memorial Day!
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