Circle of Memories
By Jessica Meats
Cara brought her hand up to her face and was surprised to find wetness there. She looked at the damp ghosts of tears glistening on her fingertips and wondered what she’d been crying about. On the other side of the ritual circle, the witch held a small crystal, which was still glowing with the magic it had just absorbed.
“That must have been a powerful memory,” the witch commented. The witch was younger than Cara might have expected, her hair a mess of untidy, endearing waves. She met Cara’s gaze with eyes full of sympathy.
Cara blinked away the last of her tears. The confusion was less easy to blink away.
“Do you know what the memory was?” she asked.
The witch shook her head. “I don’t see the memories during the ritual, and you didn’t tell me what it was.”
She held the crystal out and Cara, still feeling a little dazed, accepted it. It was cold in her hand, but tingled with the promise of magic. Cara’s magic, that she’d traded something powerful for, something she now didn’t know. Her memories of coming in here and asking for the ritual were vague, like looking through fog, all the details obscured. She looked about the room as though seeing it for the first time, noting the mess of cluttered jars, the herbs drying from the beams, stubs of old candles, cups and bowls that needed washing, and the big book open on a worktable. It was the room of someone too busy to be preoccupied with tidying. Cara itched to move the tea cup further away from the jars of strangely coloured liquids, just to ensure there was no absent-minded mishap there. But it wasn’t her place to start tidying some stranger’s workshop, or to braid those curls back so the ends didn’t dip into anything.
Cara shook herself before she lost herself in imagining running her fingers through that soft hair or anything else equally inappropriate. (Continue Reading…)