Sienna took Shay up to the practice room, where Shay watched from her spot on the floor as the blonde girl pace around the room with her spell book propped up in one arm.
She ran her finger down one of the pages of the old leather bound book, and then stopped. Understanding dawned in her narrowed blue eyes.
“Alright, here we are. Spells to promote peace.” Sienna cleared her throat. “‘A peaceful state of mind is essential in casting, as well as many other forms of witchcraft. It allows more control over a witch’s powers without burning them out or bringing unwanted harm to themselves or others . . .’ Blah, blah, blah . . . ‘Many different mental tricks have been found to help access this peace . . . even tricks as trivial as listing items in the thoughts . . .’”
“Like a grocery list, or what?”
Sienna didn’t seem amused by Shay’s joke, or else didn’t seem to understand that it was supposed to be a joke. “It says any group of things that can be arranged in a particular order. Stones, herbs, countries . . . Things like that.”
“Okay. I can do that.”
“I want to try some meditation first, with black cohosh to help relax your body.”
She set the open spell book down on a wooden podium. She browsed the shelves until she found the vial she was looking for, and then she dabbed some of the liquid in it onto her fingers. She knelt before Shay and began to massage it into her temples.
Shay felt the oil begin to work almost immediately. The tension in her muscles eased and she leaned back against the wall behind her. Her chest moved softly in rhythm with her breathing.
She closed her eyes under a command from Sienna.
“Are you relaxed?”
Shay gave a slight nod of her head.
“Now I want you to begin to list things in your head in alphabetical order. Can you do that for me?”
She nodded again.
Agate . . . Alexandrite . . . Amazonite . . . Amber . . . Amethyst . . .
Her mind became a swirl of colors against the darkness. Soft blues of aquamarine and bright yellows of citrine. Vivid reds of garnet and shimmering whites of quartz cat’s eye.
She could hear Sienna’s voice, but it was fading quickly. Soon all sound faded except for the faint hum of white noise. She seemed to be drifting away from the world outside her mind.
The names of gemstones trickled through her mind like the background noise of a faraway stream. Her subconscious was working of its own accord, as if detached from her body and belonging to another.
Beryl . . . Black tourmaline . . . Black opal . . . Bloodstone . . .
A pleasant thrum of electricity settled over her skin. She felt weightless. Gravity no longer had a hold on her. There was no wall or floor. No up or down, left or right. It was all just darkness and brilliant, contrasting colors.
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Author’s Note: This was very short because the chapter after it is in another character’s POV.