Copyright© 2021 by Charly Young
Sixteen-year-old Abigail Knelling and her sept-sister, Charity Delancy, were the youngest of the Sabina Coven’s novitiates. They therefore drew the most unpleasant tasks. So right in the middle of the best part of summer vacation, they had to come down to Seattle and watch the man they called Boring Dude. Shadowing him would have been easier if they could have used the spell-craft they’d learned, but Mistress Penrose insisted they not draw on any of their magic. She told them the man was dangerous—had stressed the need for caution. They obeyed until this morning when some jerk took their parking spot and they had to park out in the open. Abigail was best at illusions, she was the one to hide the car. At first it seemed like he had sensed it, but then he went about stowing his tools like he always did so maybe they got lucky and he hadn’t spotted them.
“Mother of All, Charity,” said Abigail, “I can’t believe we have to keep doing this. The dude has the most boring life ever. He gets up at six and runs. Then back home for breakfast, then to work on that mansion over here on Mercer Island. Then back to a gym in Fremont then dinner then to bed. He’s kinda hot, but Sweet Mother of All he’s in a rut. You’d think he’d have had at least one date in all this time.”
Charity giggled. “That blond Barbie at Starbucks this morning was sure trying awful hard for one.”
Abigail shifted, trying to make herself comfortable in the broken down seat of the old VW they had borrowed to do their stakeout. The assignment had seemed so exciting at first, but after days of watching. They were both sick of it.
“We’re gonna miss the start of soccer, I bet.”
Forbidden to text or call anyone unless there was an emergency. The two girls had amused themselves discussing every boy in school, sorting them by hotness, date-ability and absolutely no way on this earth. They ran through all the senior girls, rehashing all the gossip they could recall. Bored beyond what they could stand, they finally made a game of timing the guy’s routine only to find it was weird, right to the minute for each activity.
They’d also discussed what they’d do if the Aunties ordered them to end him. Both just completed their preliminary training in The Malefic—the attack magic. They’d have to do it, of course. They had no choice; you didn’t talk back to the Aunties. But he seemed sort of nice, not the type of guy who would have drawn the Auntie’s enmity.
Her phone vibrated. Abby answered quickly. You didn’t make the Mistress wait. Punishment came right quick to girls who tried their patience.
“Yes, Mistress. Right away.”
Abby disconnected. “It’s time.”
They did rock-paper-scissors to see who would do it.
“Damn, I always lose,” Charity grumbled. “Look how hard it’s raining. I’m gonna get soaked.”
“Be quick and maybe we can finally go home.”
Charity tied her bright red hair back in a scrunchie, pulled up her hood, opened the car door and sneak-ran over to the big white pickup. As her friend played lookout, she reached into the medicine pouch around her neck and drew out a tiny pouch of red ocher. She coated her right hand ring finger with it and traced a rune on the hood, chanting all the while. Then she hurried back to her sister-sib.
Breathless, they waited to see what developed.
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