Mother Lilura – Flashback
Bright morning sunlight was streaming in the kitchen window when the phone rang, and Mother Lilura was in the middle of drying the wet dishes, so she called for Kendall to answer it.
A moment later, Kendall yelled back from upstairs. “It’s Grandmother Clarissa! Would you like me to take a message?”
“No, it’s most likely important. Tell her I’ll be there in a second.”
Mother Lilura set down the plate and dish cloth on the counter beside the sink. She picked up the phone off the hook on the wall.
“Lilura? I have news regarding the girl, Shay.”
Mother Lilura settled into one of the wooden chairs at the kitchen table. She was too busy being concerned by the grim edge in Grandmother Clarissa’s tone to notice that the other line never clicked off.
“Was it a vision?”
“Yes,” Grandmother Clarissa continued. “I was in a castle, and there were vampires and fires and earthquakes. So much anguish and death . . . I think it would be best to get the girls involved. Do you have anything of hers that we could use for a tracking spell?”
“I’m sure she left something we can use.”
“Alright. I will gather the girls and we’ll travel up to your home. I believe the vision is going to come true later tonight. Hopefully we can get to Shay before then.”
“Thank you, Clarissa.”
“I will see you soon, Lilura.”
“Goodbye.” Mother Lilura hit the End Call button and stared at the phone in her hand.
Kendall descended the stairs, and paused with her hand on the railing when she saw Mother Lilura sitting at the kitchen table with a furrowed brow and a bleak expression. Something like triumph flashed in her eyes, and then her face became a mask of worry.
“Mother Lilura! What’s wrong?”
“Grandmother Clarissa and the Daughters of Hecate are coming here. Something has happened to Shay, or is going to happen soon.”
“Oh, my God. Is she alright?”
Mother Lilura shook her head. “I think she’s in trouble, Kendall.”
“Shay was like a sister to me. If there’s anything I can do to help . . .”
“Do you know if she left anything of hers behind? A hairbrush, a bracelet, anything?”
“No, I’m sorry,” Kendall told her. “I can go look, if you want.”
“Please do that. I’ll finish up with the dishes, and then come help you.”
Kendall nodded and went back up the stairs.
Mother Lilura placed the phone back on the hook, and picked up the towel and the plate she’d been drying. There were only a few cups and pieces of silverware left in the sink, and she quickly finished with them and put them away in their proper places. She went after Kendall.
When she reached the top step, Mother Lilura heard Kendall rummaging around in what used to be Shay’s and Theodora’s room. She opened the door to see Kendall under the king-sized bed.
Kendall crawled back out with a green shirt clutched tightly in her fist. She sat back on her heels and a smile broke out across her face, but it disappeared as soon as she spotted Mother Lilura in the doorway.
“Mother Lilura!” The shirt fell from her fingers onto her lap.
“Is that Shay’s?”
“N—No,” Kendall stammered. “It was the other girl’s. The one with the short black hair.”
“No, that’s Shay’s shirt. I remember seeing her wear it once.” Mother Lilura held her hand out for it, and Kendall reluctantly gave it to her. “Yes. I’m sure this is Shay’s.”
Kendall’s face twitched in annoyance, and then it smoothed over in sweet innocence once more. “I guess I was mistaken.”
A knock sounded at the door a few hours later, and Mother Lilura answered it because Kendall was nowhere to be found. A slender woman with graying blonde hair stood on the porch, accompanied by a tiny tow-headed girl. A dark Hummer with tinted windows was parked in the driveway.
“Clarissa, Sienna, merry meet. Please come in,” Mother Lilura said, and held the door open for them.
“Merry meet, Lilura.”
Sienna nodded shyly in acknowledgement. “Merry meet, Mother Lilura.”
“Can I offer you something to drink?” Mother Lilura asked.
“Let’s not waste time on formalities. Where is your practice room?”
Mother Lilura led them through the living room and around to the basement door. It already hung open, and their shoes clacked as they went down the wooden stairs. The door off the practice room that led to Kendall’s room was shut, but light shined from under it.
“Prepare the circle please, Sienna,” Grandmother Clarissa instructed.
Sienna ducked her head. “Yes, Grandmother Clarissa.”
She ran around the room, gathering up white candles and placing them in a large circle that surrounded the three of them. A map of the world was pinned down to the floor and a stone bowl with Shay’s shirt sat in the middle.
The three witches clasped hands and bowed their heads.
“Oh, Mother Hecate, hear the words that we speak, and aid in our spell to find the girl that we seek.”
Fire blossomed on the wicks of the candles.
“Comb the forest and mountains, and plains and seas—”
A pillar of flame rose up in the bowl, and then died almost instantly.
“—And show us her place so that we may be at ease.”
The dark ash that had replaced Shay’s shirt swirled around the inside of the bowl, and then blew over the edge as a sudden breeze tore through the room. The ash skipped and tumbled over the map, leaving a smudged trail behind it.
The ash settled itself delicately into a pile a few thousand miles off the South-Atlantic region of the U.S. in the Atlantic Ocean.
“We’ve found her.”
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Author’s Note: The next chapter will also be a flashback from Mother Lilura.