Chapter One: Circles, Spells, and Charms

The last rays of sunlight slanted through the narrow bedroom window, landing on the soft skinned face of the girl inside. Her eyes were closed tight though her mouth was propped only the slightest bit open. A radio played next to her giving off light spoken lyrics from her own voice with the occasional playing of a guitar.

She didn't awaken until the sun had disappeared entirely behind the horizon. Turning off the radio she sat up and out of bed. The blanket fell away to reveal the red, off the shoulder shirt and long black pants that she wore. She looked unnatural for just a split second when the light of the full moon bounced through the window to throw shadows on her blue eyed, blond hared silhouette.

The rest of the three-storied house was empty so she made no attempt to silence her footsteps as she made her way downstairs. As she picked up the canvas sack by the door, she slipped into her sandals and went through the back, heading off toward the outskirts of town to the woods.

It wasn't far from the house, maybe a mile and a half but it seemed to come and go too quickly, for by the time that she relived it, she was at the woods. It was dark all around her except for a small flickering collection of lights in the distance.

When she got to the source of the lights, she was greeted by two young girls who welcomed her in unison, saying, "Greetings, Kayla, sister of the southern fires."

The girl who stood closest to Kayla was tall and very thin dressed in a white top and mini-skirt. Her brown hair shimmered in the lantern light and her liquid brown eyes glistened. A cream colored gem hung on her neck, glowing when her hand touched the black dot at its center. Kayla bowed to her and said, "Greetings also, June, sister of the eastern air.

The second girl was a bit shorter with long black hair and striking gray eyes rimmed in blue eye shadow. She wore a gem around her neck, much like June's but hers was a murky, blue green like lake-water. A teal, satin top and multi-colored blue jeans were all that covered her pale skin.

Kayla turned to her and said, "Greetings, Abigail, sister of the western waters.' Abigail nodded her head in response.

"Did you bring everything I asked of you?" June spoke somberly. Abigail made a grunting yes while Kayla nodded.

"Good," came a voice from behind the trees. A girl, even taller than the rest of them with mousy brown hair and green eyes stepped out and looked at them. Her own gem rested high on her neck, glowing a dirty green. She too was dressed for the occasion in a leafy colored top and matching slacks.

June spoke to her with a high strung voice, "Good evening, Rosalynn, sister of the northern earth."

They gathered together everything that they had brought and sat down in the circle, backs pointing in the proper direction. As one they pulled out candles and lit them while the lanterns were blown out. Herbs were pulled out and sprinkled on the ground around each of them. Some stood for fire, some for air, some for water, and the rest of earth. Lastly, Kayla pulled from the bottom of her bag, her own gemstone, now glowing a fiery red in her hand.

On Abigail's silent cue they chanted: "We cast this circle, a circle of power to be a shield and a boundary between the worlds of men and the realms of the mighty ones. We bless and consecrate thee in the name of the Lady and in the name of the Lord. This circle is now cast. So mote it be." It was spoken three times for power, protection, and guidance.

They then broke off, Rosalynn first saying, "The flames to guild, the flames to perge. Protectress at my side; the shadows merge."

June continued, "With your torch to like the path, guide us from the crossroads wrath."

"The Goddess of Crossroads, of earth, sea, and sky. The light in all darkness, from torches held high," Kayla spoke.

Abigail said loudly, "Our guardian in the darkest hours, bring to this circle your greatest power."

They finished the last line as one, "Hekate, the holder of all keys. Great queen, we invoke thee.

A gust of wind howled through the forest, kicking up dust and rocks. The candles sputtered and nearly went out but held strong as the gust kept on. A shudder came over them all as if ice was being pressed into their skin.

June pulled a goblet from behind her and passed it to Rosalynn first. She took a swift sip of it before passing it on the Abigail, resisting the force of the wind. Abigail followed suit and then handed the glass to Kayla who did the same. She savored the wild feeling as the liquid passed down her throat. June snatch the cup from her hands and drank the last of it with greed.

The wind howled on for several minuets before it faded into a silent whisper.

They finished by saying, "By the earth that is her body, by the living waters of her tears, by the fire of her spirit, by the air that is her breath, our circle is open but never broken."

Kayla was the first to speak. "What was in that June?" she was both angered but bewildered at the still existing fire in the back of her throat

"I cannot say," June answered. "Why?" she asked Kayla sternly.

"It did not taste like anything ever before. Like living fire in my mouth."

"I agree, it tasted to me like grass and dirt," Rosalynn chimed.

"And to me, nothing more than water," Abigail stated inquisitively.

"But you see, it was all of those things for you were drinking nothing. Just air," June spoke with audacity towards them.

"Your telling me that it worked?" Kayla asked.

"Beyond a shadow of a doubt," June's eyes lit up.

"What are you to babbling about?" Abigail barked.

"We cast a charm over this cup to make it taste like the drinkers element." Kayla started. "Mine tasted like my fire, yours like your waters, Rosalynn's like her earth, and June's like her air."

"I think it's because our last sister is near. We are becoming more powerful." June eyed the others to see their responses.

"As do I." Kayla stood up and brushed off her pants. "But for now I think we should part ways. My gut tells me we will need the sleep." Without question the girls parted as soon as their belongings were gathered up. Silence fell over the once again empty woods.