My mother said never cast a love spell
Wire wrapped the bottle red and black, suspended on a cord, the sandalwood inside warmed by the constant drumming of my heart, fight or flight primed. This necklace called to me in the crisp of October, when air like apple-bobbing splashed against my face through the window, when my friend confided her sadness—she’d never be a child in the summer again; adulthood would come for her as the sun entered Scorpio. It does make you think, I said. But by then I was simply waiting—not for the best person, but the best time. And I bought the vial from a woman as she breastfed her child; her blue eyes saw through me, over the dead leaves littering her stall at the renaissance festival. And I wore it for a month, for courage. My mother said never cast a love spell, but then, my mother said a lot of things—a witch baby will do as she pleases, left all alone, connected to the moon phase, the right day, the new season. So I burned the red candle, cheap drugstore joss sticks, sickly jasmine, uncorked a bottle charged with my fears. Before the next full moon we drove to the edge of the woods. He accepted my offer, unaware of the illusion.
Kate Garrett is managing editor of Three Drops from a Cauldron and Picaroon Poetry. Her writing appears here and there–most recently in Dying Dahlia Review, Riggwelter, and The Literary Hatchet. She grew up in rural southern Ohio, but moved to the UK in 1999, where she still lives. www.kategarrettwrites.co.uk