Magic, Motels & Mania


Bring the pot to a boil and add the seeds. Let that sit for exactly six minutes, not a second more or you’ll have to start all over. Now pour the water and its contents into a flask; seal it, and let it sit for a month. Once the brew is finished, you’ll have a span of two days before it expires, so you’ll have to act fast.

My great grandmother’s words buzz in my mind as I stick the cork into a glass tube, the last one of the batch. In a month and two days I will be rich and famous and my enemy will be at my feet, mumbling curses while patches of her beautiful skin peel away from her body and turn to gray ash. Before long only a petrified skeleton and some dust shall remain of my mother. I only have a few weeks left to put up with the bitch; I wish it were sooner, but even magic has its restrictions.

I wrap the batch with linen, place it on the top shelf of the pantry and close the door. For a moment, I look around at my old, rotting kitchen and the nasty living room. If the Faeries hadn’t taken over the old Raponvale Motel, as per the so-called fantastic Faerie-Blessed truce, I would have claimed the territory as my own. But no – under their rule, all motels and whorehouses belonged to the state. Those filthy Blessed, they call themselves “good witches” as if there were such a thing. And my pathetic mother leads those witch bitches, but not for long. Only time is keeping me from turning the grand ivory palace of the good witches to black, hot tar. The reigning board of Blessed will be forced to admit their wrongdoing, or live the rest of days in wooden caskets.

“Mrs. Ettings, it’s time to take your medicine.”

With a scowl that could melt glass, I walk up to the all-smiles nurse holding a Dixie cup of water and swallow a smorgasbord of pills. One day I will break free of this padded prison, and when I do, they will all realize the crazy woman was never really crazy. I will be queen.

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