Jacy was meeting The Willow Coven at the coffee shop to make plans for Litha, summer solstice. She couldn’t believe it had only been four months since she moved to Honeywick. It felt like she had been here her whole life. She waved to her friends and went to order her soy latte. “We’re just waiting for Chase.” Liam said as she sat down at the table.
“How’s the house?” Elsie asked her sipping a cup of tea.
“It’s been quiet, nothing has happened. So maybe the reversal spell worked.” Jacy said taking a sip of her latte.
“Let’s hope it keeps working.” Ezra said smiling at Jacy.
“What do you guys normally do for Litha?” Jacy asked.
“Last year we had a BBQ and bonfire at Chase’s. Which is what I think we were planning this year.” Aria told her.
“Why not have it at Jacy’s” a voice behind her spoke. Jacy turned around to see a woman with tight dark curls in a short black strapless dress standing there with her arms open.
“Abra!” Jacy squealed and everyone in the coffee shop turned to look at her. They hugged and jumped together laughing. When they released their embrace Jacy turned to her new friends with her arm around Abra’s waist.
“This is my best friend Abra, this is Aria, Elsie, Liam and Ezra.”
“And Chase.” Chase said ducking into the group. Chase held his hand out to Abra, she took his hand in hers and he led her to sit at the table.
“I thought you weren’t coming until next week?” Jacy asked Abra.
“I just had a feeling that I needed to come earlier.” Abra replied.
“Chase, Abra here thinks we should have Litha at Jacy’s this year. What do you think?” Aria asked him.
“I think it’s the perfect place. Her backyard is much bigger than mine, we’ll have more room for the events.” Chase said.
“Ok it’s settled then, Litha at Jacy’s, unless you object Miss Jacy.” Ezra smirked.
“No objections from me.” Jacy smiled happy to have her best friend with her finally.
Jacy showed Abra around the house while she filled her in on the few strange things that had happened since she moved in.
“Maybe you could use a roommate? I mean the house is big enough.” Abra suggested to her.
“And where will I find one of those in this small town.?”
“I could move in.” Abra shrugged.
“You can’t just uproot your life to come live with me.”
“But I already did.”
“Let’s pour some wine and I’ll tell you all about it.” Abra said putting her around Jacy.
“It’s three in the afternoon!” Abra looked at Jacy with her eyebrow raised.
“And? We’re going to need it” Abra retorted
They went into the kitchen and Jacy opened a bottle of Chardonnay. She poured two glasses and ceremoniously handed one to Abra. They went and sat at the dining room table with their wine and some crackers to snack on.
“Ok so what happened?” Jacy impatiently asked. Abra took a gulp of her wine and sighing leaned back in the chair.
“Trevor broke off our engagement. Decided that some girl he met on a business trip is his soulmate or whatever.”
“I’m so sorry Abra.”
“Yeah me too. Anyway, the lease was ending on the apartment, the magazine was going under and laying people off left and right. It just seemed like everything was coming to an end. My cards told me to make a change. So, I quit before the magazine shut it doors, and decided not to renew the lease and now I’m here.” Abra raised her glass toward Jacy, they clinked glasses, and both took big gulps.
“If you’ll have me?” Abra gave Jacy a little smile.
“Of course! You can move in right away!” Jacy said reaching over to give her friend’s hand a squeeze.
“I have missed you so much!” Abra said squeezing Jacy’s hand back.
“Same, and now that you’re here, you can help me figure out all this crazy stuff about this house!” Jacy jumped up to go find the newspaper articles to show to Abra.
“Look here, that’s Annabelle my great great grandmother, and there is a picture of my grandma Mildred in the Bistro office and she’s holding the same ball thing that Annabelle is holding.” Jacy showed Abra the copied article.
“Any idea what it is?”
“No, that lady Ellie said I had to find it. I think it might be in the woods behind the house.” Jacy filled Abra in on her encounter with Ellie Meadows.
“Well that’s terrifying.” Abra said drinking the last of her glass and pouring another.
“It was. I don’t understand any of it. And grandma’s grimoire has been no help.” Jacy sighed and finished her glass.
Abra poured Jacy another glass and sat at the table going over the articles. They decided that they would venture into the woods after Litha and try to figure it out.
“Do you think Annabelle was a witch too? I mean, she had the ball thing first, maybe it’s some special witch ball.” Abra asked Jacy.
“I didn’t think of that. Maybe.” Jacy made a mental note to go through the old trunks in the attic, maybe she could find something there that might give them a clue.
Abra moved the few boxes she brought with her into the bedroom across from Jacy’s room. She set up her altar by the window that looked over the greenhouse. Abra was smudging the room with palo santo and the smell wafted down the hallway and brought happy memories to Jacy when she caught the aroma.
“Whatcha doing?” Jacy said peeking into Abra’s new room. Abra smiled and waved for Jacy to come in. Abra showed Jacy her altar set up, and they decided to go out for dinner to celebrate.
They went to Carina’s, the only restaurant in town other than the bistro. They were greeted by Aria.
“Hey! Just the two of you?” Aria beamed at them. They followed Aria to a table by the window looking out onto main street. Aria handed them menus and took their drink orders.
“This is a nice place for such a small town.” Abra said looking over the menu of Italian dishes. Aria returned with the wine they ordered and Abra asked about the restaurant.
“My grandpa opened it, named it after my nonna. I’m the manager now, took over a couple years ago, but I try to be out front as much as possible. If there’s nothing else I can get you, your waitress will be right with you.” Aria switched from friend to professional faster than Jacy could blink. They ordered their food and caught up on everything that had happened to the two of them since Jacy had moved.
“Tell me more about this Morgan.” Abra insisted as she drank her wine.
“I don’t really know him. He’s Ezra’s brother and he’s a nurse in Merribrook. That’s about all I know.” Jacy shrugged her shoulders and took a bite of her eggplant.
“Ezra said he gave him your number, right? So maybe you’ll get a chance soon to find out more.”
Jacy smiled at Abra, not wanting to talk about romantic interests after what Abra had told her about Trevor. Jacy changed the subject to the upcoming Litha celebration. They made plans for decorations and food while they ate their meals.
“For such a small town, I think this was the best Italian food I’ve ever had.” Abra said to Aria as they left. They walked down main street arm in arm, Jacy giving Abra an early evening tour. Abra stopped and stared into an empty store front with a for lease sign in the window. She let go of Jacy and peered into the window.
“This would be perfect!” Abra excitedly said.
“The shop we always talked about silly!” Abra gabbed Jacy and directed her to look into the windows. Jacy saw the empty inside, it was hard to see anything with only the street lights. Abra got out her cell phone and turned the flashlight on to get a better look. The walls were bare, there was a counter at the very back, everything looked covered in dust. Jacy gazed into the window with the shop and thought of the plans that Abra and her had made years ago.
“It would be perfect.” Jacy agreed.
“But?” Abra said with her hands on her hips.
“But right now, I’m only a waitress, and the only inheritance I got from my grandma was the house. I can’t afford a deposit or anything.” Jacy frowned. Abra chewed her cheek in thought.
“I could.” Abra said looking into the window.
Jacy looked over at Abra, and without questioning rushed over and enclosed Abra in a hug.
“Calm down, I’ll call the number in the morning and find out all the details!”
Jacy smiled and grabbed Abra’s arm leading her back to the house.
Jacy woke to Fay hissing on the end of the bed. She sat up and looked around the darkened room. Seeing a shadow in the corner of the room, she quickly turned the light on and found nothing there. Her heart racing, she assured herself that it was just the dark playing tricks on her sleepy eyes. She looked at her phone, it was three thirty in morning. She got up to go make some tea to help her get back to sleep. She went downstairs to the kitchen, she put the kettle on and scooped out some chamomile into the tea pot. Fay rubbed on her legs and she bent down to pick her up.
“What happened Fay? Did you have a bad dream, or did you think you saw something too?” Fay nuzzled under Jacy’s chin. The kettle whistled, and she pour the hot water over the tea leaves. She leaned over the island and looked out the windows into the dark. There were lights in the woods again. Jacy raced up the stairs and woke Abra to show her the lights. Abra came downstairs with her, they huddled by the window watching for the lights.
“There! Do you see them?” Jacy pointed out the window.
“Yeah, what is someone doing out there at this hour?” Abra asked. They sat and watched the lights flicker and move deeper into the forest. They each drank two cups of chamomile tea, but neither could fall back asleep. They stayed at the breakfast nook until sunrise when Rose came in.
“Did I miss the party?” Rose joked.
“No, we just couldn’t sleep. Rose this is my best friend Abra, she’s going to move in with me.”
“Oh, how lovely.” Rose said. “How about some breakfast?” Rose asked the two.
“I have to go shower and get ready for work, hopefully I can make it through the day with such little sleep.” Jacy went upstairs to get herself ready. She came back and joined Abra for breakfast before going off to work.
“I’ll call and see about the lease on that store front. I’ll see you later!” Abra called to Jacy as she walked out the door.