Thanksgiving was a few days away, a light snow had fallen covering the last of the dying grass and decorating the still fall colored trees. Abra offered Jacy to join her family back home, but Jacy declined. Rose insisted on making a Thanksgiving dinner for Jacy but she assured her that she would be fine, and that Rose should take the time for herself. Jacy sat in the living room in a chair by the window, watching the snow glisten in the morning sun. Fay was curled in a ball, sleeping in front of the lit fireplace. The house was quiet, she hadn’t realized how silent an almost empty house could be. Her phone buzzed. A text from Ezra saying that he still hadn’t heard from Aria and that she hadn’t shown up at work. He was beginning to worry. Jacy texted him back asking if he could meet for coffee later.
She met him at the coffee shop later that afternoon. It was just the two of them, and before there were any interruptions again she told him about what they saw at the cabin, leaving out the detail of the necklace.
“We should go back, maybe she got hurt. Maybe she needs help.” Ezra said covering his mouth thinking of the worst. Jacy nodded in agreement. What she saw had shaken her, but she knew that was only because it was magic she was unfamiliar with. She started feeling silly for judging her friend who had been so supportive of her. It would be dark soon, but Ezra insisted that they go as soon as possible. He said he would meet her at her house, and would call to see who else was available to come with them. Jacy went home and packed a small backpack with flashlights and extra sweaters. Chase and Ezra were standing on her front porch when she answered the door bell ringing. They headed out the back door and into the woods. It was almost dark by the time they reached the field.
“It was just over there, right across the field.” Jacy pointed to the other side of the woods. They crossed the field, turning their flash lights on, looking for the cabin.
“Hey guys.” Chase called to them. He was standing next to an old cabin. It looked as though it could collapse at any moment.
“I don’t remember it looking this old.” Jacy said. Chase shined his flashlight through the window. It was empty and filled with dust and dried leaves on the floor. They walked around to the front door. The door creaked open, they each pointed the flashlights inside. Jacy walked in first.
“The table was here, and the fireplace was lit. There was a chair in the corner.” She said looking around the empty room. “Where could it all have gone?”
“Maybe it was like the vision from the field? In the past?” Ezra asked. Jacy threw her hands and brought them down placing her hands on her hips.
“No, the crow. The crow was cawing at us, and it brought her attention to the window. In the field they had no idea we were right in the middle of them.” Jacy shook her head. Chase squatted down in one of the corners and picked up a crow feather, he held it to the light.
Jacy hung up her phone, she had called Abra to tell her what they found at the cabin. She promised Abra that she wouldn’t do anything too crazy by herself. The kettle whistled and she poured the boiling water into a mug. She pulled a chamomile tea bag from the cupboard. She went to sit down in the living room and turned on the tv for some distraction. She covered herself with a blanket, and held her tea while it steeped. She flicked through the channels and decided on Miracle on 34th Street. Fay curled up on her lap, purring while Jacy petted her. She sipped her tea and tried to let the movie take her mind off of things.
She woke up to a morning news program discussing the tomorrow’s parade. She glanced around and realized that she had fallen asleep on the couch. Her mug of tea, half full sat on the end table and cold now. She rolled her neck and pushed herself up off the couch. Fay was sitting the breakfast nook window, watching heavy snow fall. Jacy looked out the window.
“Looks like we’re staying in today.” She said patting Fay’s head, the cat meowed back. She opened a can of cat food for Fay, and made coffee. She poured a cup of coffee and went back into the living room. She grabbed one of the throw pillows from the couch and made herself comfortable on the bench in the bay window. She drank some coffee and watched the snow fall, collecting on the ground. She texted Abra about the snow falling, she noticed the old book had fallen out of her satchel and onto the floor. She picked it and sat back down. Fay sauntered into the living room, meowed and went upstairs.
She ran her hand over the worn leather of the book. She opened it up. It was Oliver Thornheart’s journal. She took a gulp of coffee and started reading. About half way through she came across a short entry.
25 September 1897
I believe I have found a solution to my dear Annabelle’s barrenness. There is a witch that lives in the woods, I will go tomorrow to seek her help.
The next few pages were blank. Then started up again. He detailed his encounter with the witch. She had told him that she could help, but it would cost him. He offered her money, jewels, whatever she wanted.
She didn’t ask for anything yet. She began mixing liquids and herbs into her cauldron. She spoke words I could not understand. She took a large wooden spoon from the wall, she mixed the brew. Then she scooped out a perfectly round stone. It had the appearance of the diamond and glistened even in the dimly lit cabin. She wrapped the sphere in a sheep hide and before handing it to me, she also gave me a rolled up parchment. She said it contained everything that was needed. As I began to leave, she made her request.
Jacy dropped the book, a folded page fell to the floor. She picked the piece of paper up and unfolded it. It contained everything about the spell they had saw in field. She picked the book up and flipped through the last few pages. Entries from her great grandmother Lillian Redwood, detailing how Annabelle, her mother, taught them the spell. The last page from Mildred, she wrote about how she refused to use the spell. And how she helped Jacy’s parents, after her mother, Mary, begged her and then told Mildred she would tell everyone about Penny if she didn’t help.
She tucked the paper back into the book and put it back on the shelf behind the picture. She sat on the end of the bed and stared at the wall for a few moments before her phone rang.
“Hey, we found Aria’s car just outside of town. No sign of her though.” Ezra said on the other end.
“We’re going to fill a missing person’s report.” He said and told her that he would keep her updated. Jacy hung up and went into the kitchen to make some lunch. She put a salad together and thought about calling Abra, but decided it was too much to talk about over the phone. She sat at the breakfast nook, looking out the window. At least a foot had fallen since this morning. The doorbell rang and she went to answer thinking it was probably Ezra. Elenor stood on her porch, bundled into large red down coat. Jacy invited her in.
“I’m sorry to bother you.” She said she took her coat off and hung it in the foyer.
“You’re just the person I needed to talk to actually.” Jacy said leading her to the living room.
“I am sorry if I scared you during my first visit. It was just, you being in this house, and I didn’t want you to make the same mistake.” Elenor hung her head, looking at her hands.
“Elenor, Ellie, whatever you call yourself. I need you tell me everything.” Jacy said reaching out and grabbing Elenor’s hands. “Please”.
“I prefer Ellie, Meadows was my mother’s maiden name.” She smiled at Jacy and began telling her everything that knew about the witch’s sphere.
The sun began to set over the snow covered ground. Another foot had dropped while Ellie and Jacy talked that afternoon.
“You said something about it protecting the house? How does it do that?” Jacy asked.
“I lied, it was a ploy to get you to find it.”
“What do you want with it?” Jacy asked, her brows furrowed.
“I want to destroy it. I don’t know exactly how to, yet. But after your conception, I promised Millie that I would.”
“And then she lost it?”
“She told me that she put it somewhere, away from the house. And that she didn’t remember where.” Elenor replied. Jacy stood up and went to the kitchen to get them both some water. Elenor followed her. Jacy sighed and turned around to face Ellie.
“There is one more thing, I had a vision. Rose pushed my grandma down the stairs.” She searched Ellie’s face for her reaction.
“Well, I’ll bring a spell for you next time. One to help you get the truth.” Elenor replied.
“Thank you, do you think she could be the one causing all the trouble in the house?” Jacy asked as she poured water into glasses.
“Oh, no child. I have a suspicion that the person is much closer to you.” Elenor said before taking a sip of water.
“Aria?” Jacy asked, Elenor looked down at her feet, Fay rubbed against her legs as she walked over to Jacy. Elenor sighed. Jacy picked the cat up and gave her a cuddle.
“Be careful with that one, she isn’t who she says she is.” Elenor said and set the water glass down on the island.
“I should be going, before it gets too dark.” Elenor said and turned around to leave. Jacy put Fay down and rushed after her.
“What do you mean she isn’t who she says she is?” Elenor turned around and looked at Jacy.
“It’s a very strong glamour spell she’s using. But, I believe she is actually your mother.” Elenor said, she opened the door and gust of cold air rushed toward Jacy. She ran to the door, but Elenor was gone again. She slammed the door shut. She shook her head. Aria couldn’t be her mother, her mother was dead. Fay walked up to her meowing. Jacy picked her up again.
“I wish she wouldn’t do that. I also wish she’s teach me how to do that.” She said and she headed back to the kitchen with Fay.
“Hello!” Abra yelled from the foyer. Jacy came rushing down the stairs and embraced her in a hug.
“How was the family?” Jacy asked.
“Good. The usual things, too much wine, too much food, too many politics.” Abra said as she put her bag down and took her coat off.
“How was it here?” She asked reaching down to pet Fay. Jacy gave her a nervous smile and rushed her into the living room. They sat down on the couch and let out an exasperated sigh.
“I’m not sure where to start. First, Aria is still missing. They found her car outside of town but no sign of her….” Jacy rushed and Abra nodded trying to keep up. She told her about what she read in the journal and about Ellie’s visit.
“I’m going to need a minute to digest everything.” Abra said standing up and going to the kitchen to open a bottle of wine.
“So it’s kinda like a curse, but only if you use the sphere?” Abra said taking a sip of chardonnay.
“Right, and my grandma didn’t use it, which is maybe why she didn’t get pregnant until she was forty-three. And I guess we know why I’m supposedly barren. All the women born from the sphere are.” Jacy said taking a glass of wine from Abra.
“And the father’s die in a fire. But your mother died with your dad in the car fire, right?”
“I don’t know for sure now. They found evidence that she was in the car, but no part of her was left like there was with my dad. It was just assumed she died as well. What if Ellie is right?” Jacy asked and jumped up to sit on the island.
“Let’s say she’s right. And your mother is using a glamour to look like someone else. Why would she be trying to scare you out of the house?” Abra huffed and jumped up to sit next to Jacy. She shrugged her shoulders. And they sat quietly drinking the wine.
“Well, how about this snow, huh?” Abra said nudging Jacy with her elbow. They both laughed.
Jacy woke to the smell of bacon cooking. She went downstairs to discover Rose cooking in the kitchen.
“Good morning dear, coffee is ready. I’m sorry, I haven’t been around, they just finally got roads plowed last night.” She said flipping a pancake. Jacy pulled a mug from the cupboard and poured herself some coffee.
“It’s ok, does it normally snow like this?” Jacy asked her and blew on her hot coffee.
“Normally until late December.” Rose shrugged her shoulders and put the bacon on a plate.
“Thank you for breakfast.” Jacy said and went to sit down in the dining room. Abra came into the dining room fully dressed and sipping her own cup of coffee.
“Rose said you were in here.” Abra said sitting down across from Jacy. Jacy’s phone rang. It was Ezra.
“Ezra was wondering if we wanted to get coffee before opening the shop today. I told him we’d meet him there.” Jacy said putting her phone back down on the table.
“Sounds good.” Abra replied.
Jacy got dressed and bundled up. She went out to shovel the driveway and clear the snow from her car. She turned the key in the over and over but it wouldn’t start. She wasn’t surprised. Abra’s car started without trouble. They slowly drove to the Coffee Shop where Ezra was waiting inside. He stood to give to give Abra a welcome back hug. They shared Thanksgiving family horror stories while Jacy ordered coffee. They were in the middle of laughing when Jacy brought over coffee for Abra. They went to go sit at one of the open tables.
“So I still haven’t heard anything about Aria. We filled the report and I guess we’re just suppose to leave it up to the authorities.” Ezra told them. They both nodded.
“But the coven is going to get together tonight and do a location spell. See if we can’t help the search along.” He winked.
“Sounds good.” Jacy said. They chatted for a bit until it was time for Ezra to go open his bookstore. Jacy and Abra didn’t open the Merry Broom for another hour, they decided to stay at the Coffee Shop for a little longer. They headed to the shop, opened up and realized it was freezing inside. Jacy checked the thermostat, the heat was on but not working. Elsie came over from the bakery next door.
“Hey do you guys have heat?” She asked. They shook their heads.
“We don’t either, I came in around five like normal to get to baking, ovens and everything are working fine, but no heat. I’ve called about it at least ten times but they haven’t fixed it yet.” She said and headed back over to the bakery.
“Lets light some candles, maybe that’ll bring some heat in.” Abra said.
“Maybe we should just stay closed for today.” Jacy suggested. Abra shrugged her shoulders and nodded in agreement. Jacy made a sign saying they were closed because of the head not working and stuck it on the door. They huddled together and started walking back to the house. They decided to stop into the Bistro for lunch and to catch up with Pete and Liz. Liz greeted them with each with a hug and ushered them into one of the booths. They ordered some tea and a couple sandwiches for lunch. Liz brought them back and leaned down to whisper close to them.
“So do you girls know anything about Aria going missing?” She asked them. They shook their heads.
“We probably know just as much as you.” Jacy said shaking her head.
“The poor dear, I do hope she’s ok.” Liz said went to check on the booth next to them.
They returned to the house, Jacy checked the mailbox. There was a padded envelope without any addresses on it. She opened it when they got into the house. It was the truth spell Ellie had promised her. They went into the kitchen and took everything out. Ellie included the instructions and all the ingredients that were required. Abra took out a pot and put it on the stove. Jacy got a few candles out and lit them. They added each ingredient to the pot, Jacy stood over it and stirred counterclockwise like the instructions said. Abra wrote Rose’s name on the piece of paper that Ellie included and held it over the pot.
I command you
I compel you
Tell the truth of what you’ve done
Abra dropped the paper into the pot and Jacy stirred it in until it completely dissolved. Abra opened the top of the small bottle from the envelope and slowly poured some of the potion into it. Jacy hide the potion to use in the morning and Abra discarded the remaining potion outside.
Jacy texted Ezra to ask if they needed to bring anything for tonight. Just a few extra candles he replied. They were meeting at Ezra and Liam’s at six, they decided to try to get Jacy’s car running. Jacy went out to try to start the car again. She put the key in the ignition and turned. This time it started right up.
“Weird” She said to herself.
“Hey you got it going!” Abra said opening the passenger door.
“I didn’t do anything, it just started.” Jacy shrugged.
She sat in the running car for a few moment so that everything warmed up. Elsie texted Abra to let her know that the heat was working.
“The heat is working downtown.” Abra said looking at her phone. Jacy went inside to get her purse. They decided to go open up for the few hours they had left of the business day.
Jacy flicked the lights on, it felt much warmer inside now. She took the closed sign she had made earlier down and turned the open sign on. Abra lit some incense and put it on the front counter.
It was a little slow, but they knew that the cold was keeping people inside. Jacy grabbed some candles from the back and put them in a bag to take over to Ezra’s. They locked up and headed down the road to Ezra’s house. A circle had been set up in the middle of the living room. With a map in the middle. Jacy gave the candles to Liam and he put them out to be lit.
“Where’s Chase?” Abra asked.
“He had an emergency call, a dog got hit,” Liam said putting his hand on her shoulder. She nodded her head.
Abra and Jacy joined the circle. Liam lit the candles around them and sat down. They all joined hands, except for Ezra.
Bring her to sight
Bring her this night
Aria come to us
Ezra held a pendulum over the map, while they chanted. The pendulum began to spin and the point stopped over Jacy’s house. Ezra looked up at Jacy, her mouth fell open. She got up and rushed to her car, Abra chased after her. Ezra, Liam and Elsie followed them in Ezra’s car. They pulled into the drive way and Jacy ran to the front door. She unlocked the door as quickly as she could and ran through the house turning on all the lights.
“Come out!” She screamed. The group stood in the foyer and listened to her scream.
“ARIA!…MOM!” She screamed out. Ezra looked at Liam confused. Abra went to find Jacy in the attic.
“Hey, we’ll all look around. If she’s here we’ll find her.” Abra said trying to calm Jacy down. They both took a deep breath together and headed back downstairs.
“Ok, we need to search the whole house.” Abra said to them. They all split up and began the search.
They met back in the living room, with no sign of Aria in the house.
“Maybe the spell didn’t work.” Ezra shrugged. He took Jacy’s hands in his and looked her in the eyes.
“Why did you yell mom?” He asked her.
“Ellie, she thinks that Aria is my mother. Some sort of glamour spell.” She said shaking her head, tears welled in her eyes. She sat down on the couch. She told them about her conversation with Ellie.
“That would explain some things.” Liam said. Ezra got up and began pacing, Liam tugged on his shirt to stop him, but he brushed him off. He paced the living the room deep in thought and muttering to himself. Liam shook his head to signal the others to just ignore him.
“How could the spell have gone wrong?” Abra asked.
“If Ellie is right, we weren’t focusing on the right person.” Liam said whispered to her.
“So we do the spell again, but focus on my mother.” Jacy said sitting up.
“Worth a try.” Elsie agreed. Ezra stopped pacing and was shaking his finger in the air.
“That’s it! The spell focuses on the person’s essence. And if Aria isn’t Aria, her essence isn’t real. And if she is your mom, then your essence would be the closet to hers. Which is why the spell brought us here!” He said without taking a breath and jumped in the air. Then leaned down on one knee next to Liam.
“Ok, we do it again. Jacy do you have a picture of your mom?” He asked. Jacy got up and went to her bedroom and pulled a photo album from under her bed. She brought the album downstairs, Ezra and Liam were already setting the circle again.
“We need a map of Honeywick.” Elsie said.
“There’s an old framed one in the attic, will that work?” Jacy asked, holding the album to her chest.
“It should yes, land is the same. Just buildings change.” Liam told her. Abra got up to go find the map, putting a hand on Jacy’s shoulder as she passed by. Jacy sat down and flipped pages in the album until she found the photo she was looking for. A picture of just her mother, smiling kneeling next to her garden. She handed the photo to Ezra. Abra came back down to with the map. Ezra put the map in the middle and placed the picture on the upper right corner. Elsie came back into the living room with candles, and placed them around the circle. Jacy went into the kitchen and returned with her pendulum, handing it to Ezra. They performed the spell just as they had before. This time focusing on Mary, Jacy’s mother. The pendulum swung in a circle and landed next to the map.
“What does that mean?” Jacy asked.
“She’s not in Honeywick.” Ezra said.
“Are you sure? It’s an old map, Honeywick is probably bigger than it was in 1900.” Abra said.
“Yes, you see this road here, and this line. That’s the river. That’s where Honeywick ends, on that side.” Ezra said shaking his head.
“Well now what?” Jacy asked, looking around the circle.
“Drinks.” Liam said. They nodded in agreement. They quickly cleaned up and gathered their coats. They all piled into Ezra’s car and drove down to the end of town. The Oak Tavern was the the oldest bar in Honeywick.
“I’ve lived here almost a year and this is the first time I’ve been here.” Jacy said, putting her hands on her hips.
“Honeywick holds many secrets darling.” Ezra said, putting his arm around her shoulder. Elsie grabbed the door handle to open it.
“And my favorite secret, karaoke night!” She said as she pulled the door open. They sat at one of open high top tables. Elsie went to put her name in to sing while Ezra and Liam went to the bar to order drinks.
“We thought lavender lemon martinis for everyone sounded good.” Ezra said, he and Liam put the glasses on the table. Jacy mouthed thank you to Ezra and he nodded his head. They sat quietly and listened to the karaoke singer while they sipped their drinks. Elsie’s name was called next and she skipped to the stage. I put a spell on you by Nina Simone began to play.
“Oh this again.” Liam chuckled.
“What?” Jacy asked leaning in to hear him.
“Watch everyone in the, it’s her favorite trick.” He said, nudging his head toward Elise. She started singing, Jacy looked around. Everyone stopped talking and all eyes were on Elsie. Jacy looked at Liam and he smirked raising his eyebrows. The song finished and everyone went back to their conversations and drinks, paying no attention to the next singer.
“What was that?” Abra asked Elsie as she sat back down at the table.
“I just prefer no one talks while I perform.” She laughed and took a sip of her drink. The bartender brought more drinks over for them. Jacy started to say they hadn’t ordered more drinks but Elsie shushed her.
“It’s part of the spell. Someone in the bar will order all of us one round of drinks.” Elsie winked and raised her martini and they all clinked their glasses.
Rose was in the kitchen making breakfast. Jacy and Abra tipped toed down the stairs.
“You go first, distract her.” Jacy whispered. Jacy nodded her head and headed into the kitchen.
“Good morning dear.” Rose chirped. Abra got down a coffee mug and poured herself some coffee. She moved past Rose to go sit down. Getting just past the island she dropped the mug.
“Oh no!” She said
“Don’t move! You don’t want to step on any of the pieces!” Rose hurried to get the broom. Jacy rushed into the kitchen and poured the potion into Rose’s mug. She flourished her hand over the top of the mug and repeated the words from making the potion. She quickly left the kitchen, and stood behind the doorway until Rose returned with the broom.
“Let me just get the big pieces first.” Rose said, bending down to pick up the pieces of the broken mug.
“Hey is everything ok, I thought I heard something break?” Jacy said walking into the kitchen.
“I dropped a mug, I’m sorry. I’ll buy you a new one!” Abra said smiling.
Rose put the pieces into the trash and then got a towel to clean up the spill. Pleased that everything was in order, she went back to butter the toast, taking a big gulp of her coffee before bringing the food to the breakfast nook.
“Thank you Rose.” Jacy said.
“You’re, uh, welcome.” Rose said, clearing her throat. She walked back to the kitchen counter and started cleaning up. She took another big gulp of coffee, finishing it off and putting the mug in the dishwasher.
“Um, Jacy? I, there is something, I, uh, have to go do. I, um, probably won’t be back.” Rose said and abruptly left the house. Jacy and Abra looked at each other curiously.
“I guess we wait.” Jacy said taking a drink of her coffee.
The shop was busy enough to keep them distracted from thoughts of Rose. Jacy was in the back to get more candles to restock on the shelves when the bell over the door rang. Abra peaked around the door frame and nodded for Jacy to come out front. Two police officers were standing by the front counter.
“Are you Jacy Horne?” One of them asked.
“Yes, what’s this about?” Jacy asked them.
“Your grandmother, Mildred Horne. Your housekeeper, Rose Moore has just confessed to pushing her down the stairs causing her death.” The other officer said. Jacy hands went up to her mouth and tears formed in her eyes.
“We’re so sorry it took so long to find out this information. We assume that Ms Moore just couldn’t live with the guilt any longer.” He said, he handed Jacy a card, and told her to call if she had any questions. They said that the District Attorney has already filed charges.
“Thank you.” Jacy said softly, Abra put her arms around her for a hug. The officers left. Jacy let the tears roll down her eyes and then slowly turn into a laugh. Abra started laughing with her.
“Why are we laughing?” Jacy asked between breaths.
“I don’t know.” Abra said, whipping tears from her eyes.