A Summoning of the Spirits

“You know, I really have somewhere to be,” Patches said while his new…love, he guessed…grabbed a fistful of rose petals from her handbag.

“Could we perhaps make this ritual quick?” His eyelids felt heavy as he considered the past few hours, and the need for rest overwhelmed him. He must be refreshed before attempting the job in front of him.

“Darling heart, I have no earthly idea how long this will take. You can’t rush magic, sweetbottom.” With winsome frolicking she began sprinkling the luscious petals in a loose circle around the perimeter. The hearts bobbed above her as if tied by an invisible string; in this light, they looked almost cartoonish.

When she had scattered the last rose petal, she went back to her handbag and pulled out a large metal pair of shears. She also included a deck of cards and a handkerchief, which upon closer inspection Patches saw to be his. “Where did you…” he began, then realized the he had been filched. She must have been very skilled, indeed, to have done it without drawing his notice.

“Okay, sit in the center, rufflecake,” she demanded, gesturing with the shears. They looked dull with age, save for the blades, which gleamed with a recent sharpening.

“You aren’t going to do anything…unseemly, are you?” he asked, cocking his head back and raising an eyebrow.

“Not it you aren’t offended by a little summoning of the spirits, dimple cheeks,” she said waving the cards in front of him. He saw from the box that they were tarot cards, and he cautiously sat where she pointed, reserving the right to change forms if the situation progressed in an unsatisfactory manner.

“Ah,” she breathed in deeply, seating herself across from him. As she began pulling the cards from the deck and shuffling them about, he saw they weren’t like any tarot cards he had ever seen. They glowed with electric paint, a rarity he had only seen in the most unusual of circumstances, ordinarily in the hands of supernatural creatures…

After shuffling them thoroughly, she began fanning them out in a half-circle, muttering under her breath as she arranged and rearranged them. The muttering grew louder, into atonal singing of what sounded like nonsense words. Patches, however, understood Rubiconion, a dialect of a certain coven who wished to mislead those who would accuse them of illegal sorcery. She repeated, in varying non-melodies, a loose translation of “We are one, we are done, we are lovers no more.” Translating Rubiconion doesn’t always work, Patches knew, so he couldn’t be exactly certain.

She lifted the shears and pointed them at Patches. He inhaled a tad deeper than necessary as he looked down the blade. Just as he was about to abandon the entire enterprise, she deftly halved the handkerchief. He expelled a sigh of relief.

Lifting the linen halves up in the air, she released them, and they, along with the hearts above her head, dissolved. Just as Patches regained inner composure and began believing that a quick nap might indeed become a reality, he looked into his now-ex-lover’s eyes, and felt panic wash over him.


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