Being Cerridwen had changed my life, for the better I believe. My mom is now more involved with my life than she was before. She also started teaching me a lot of domestic skills, like how to make up a bed, how to deep clean a house, how to sew and how to handle a broom. She also started teaching me more of the craft, see my mom's a witch, and since the craft is normally passed from mother to daughter, she always figured the craft would die with her. That's not to say she was overjoyed to find me wearing that old skirt and blouse one afternoon. No, quite the opposite. She was madder than a cat who's just been tossed into a bathtub.
What happened next was a verbal battle that left us both on the edge of tears. In her anger, she shouted that I should just go ahead and kill myself and save my father the shame of having such a son. Being in a very emotional state, I shouted that maybe I would and stormed off. Tears burning my eyes, and streaming down my cheeks I biked toward a nearby bridge. I remember that night, it was late summer and the moon was full. I reached the bridge shortly after midnight. I remember putting my bike down by an old tree and walking onto the bridge, I was starting to waver, but I had just enough courage to jump. I was sure the fall would kill me, if not the fall the fact that the creek below was swollen to the banks would end me by drowning.
All of these thoughts swirled through my head as I climbed up to the railing and prepared myself to jump. I remember taking one last deep breath as I prepared myself to jump over and enter the next life. Then something happened, something stopped me, something made me pause, to pause long enough to see the headlights of an oncoming car. Then I heard my mother and father, they yelled something and rushed toward me. My dad was the first one to reach me, he quickly scooped me up and brought me in close to his chest. Mom was second, she joined in the hug.
I don't remember what happen next, only all thoughts of suicide vanished and I felt love. Dad told me he accepted me for who ever, mom at first ashamed of herself kept her distance but as the days wore all she started addressing me as "Cerridwen" instead of my given name of "Heracles' '. She later said the Celtic flavored name suited me better than the Greek one. And so I became Cerridwen.
All of this drifted through my head as I browsed the children/teen section of Albert Sidney Johnstone Memorial library. Mom had taken me to the library to check out a few books. Mom had a rule, only one hour of Internet for one one of reading or housework. Her way of trying to balance the amount of screen time I had. While that sounds harsh, she never said a word about the books I selected, it could be any book. And much to her amusement I settled on the "Fear Street" series by R.L Stein.
With that in mind, I picked a few from the series. All of the covers showed cheerleaders, and with those in hand I started toward the desk. I was halfway to the desk. When out of the corner of my eye I caught sight of something. Pinned to the announcement board was an advertisement. The flyer was something of an anime picture that showed a girl with chestnut brown hair that had been divided down the middle with each section styled in pigtails with a bit of red ribbon tied around them. The girl wore a dirndl type dress with the bottom half being red and white stocking and red Mary Jane dress shoes completing the look.
She was sitting on a folding chair of some kind that had been placed under a gunge booth. A deep blush colored her face. As deep blue gunge dripped down down around her, the gunge had coated her shoulders, most of her head and was pooling around the cobblestones the chair was sitting on. The artist it seemed had drawn inspiration from downtown Benton. In the bottom of the picture there was located a capital "J" followed by an capital "S" and finally an capital "P".
Below the picture was the following message.
"The association of downtown merchants and restaurants is sponsoring a gunge gunge tank for charity. We are looking for a willing volunteer to brave the gunge from the hours of six to eight. A change of clothing will be provided along with a voucher for a hot meal at one of the sponsoring restaurants. Volunteers need to be between the ages of twelve to eighteen, and be enrolled in either the Benton Public School System (Benton AG High School, Benton Jr. High School, Benton Middle, and Benton Elementary) Or attend Benton Academy or St. Clare's Catholic Academy, a student ID is required and will be asked when filling out the forms. Any willing volunteer can pick up the forms at the front desk. - Madeline D. Brewer vice president of the Anime & Manga Club of Benton"
I blinked and blinked again as I peered toward the picture and then toward the message below. I took a deep breath as I reached up and removed the pins holding the poster in place. I then folded the poster down and started toward the desk. I placed my chosen books down upon the desk. The girl behind the desk was typing away at her keyboard. Figuring she was doing some type of business I decided to wait. And I waited and I waited till at last I felt like the girl was ignoring me.
Then after a few more minutes of waiting, she finally caught sight of me out of the corner of her eye. She quickly rolled her eyes and wheeled her chair down the front desk. Without saying a world, she started to stamp my books. Handing each one back to me after she stamped them. I stood there silent as the grave as she stamped my books, I was working up my courage you see. Finally deciding it was now or never, I cleared my throat.
"So, I was looking in the hallway, and I noticed there was a flyer saying something about a brave volunteer who wanted for the gunge booth. I was wondering if you had a little more information. As I was kind of wondering if there were still like looking for one." I said trying to hide the fact that I was blushing up a storm.
She rolled her eyes. Sighing she reached down and dropped a clipboard down upon the desk and handed me a pen.
"Fill this out, and turn it back in. We're closing in about twenty minutes, so it won't take all day. And oh, the girl who typed that up, forgot to mention, this is for the Halloween Carnival that's being hosted downtown. So, you need a costume too. Something that machine washable too. Unless you feel like blowing twelve or so dollars." She said, shrugging her shoulders as she handed me my big stack of books back.
"And what with you anime kids and horror stories? First it was that girl, Madeline you know the girl who volunteered for the dunking booth that one year. Then it was that Potter girl. And Like I even heard through the grapevine, that Madeline Brewer is collecting ghost stories for a book she wants to publish called 'Ghost Stories and Urban Legends Of Benton' like good for her I guess, maybe she could become the next William Faulkner or Steven King or something." She said with a roll of her eyes as she returned back to her keyboard.
I nodded my head, collected my books and started toward the door. I'll fill out the forum and return it tomorrow when mom come back into town for our once a week supermarket one. Saturday was kind of our day to make groceries for the week.
I pushed open the door and stepped down the huge concrete steps and started to stroll down the brick paved walkway. A sudden breeze then rose up and pushed through the trees, the brightly colored branches, heavy with orange and rust colored leaves started to sway back and forth as the strong wind passed through them. The wind swirled around me, causing my pleated, woolen skirt to lift a little. The wind then rose around me and tossed my ponytail to the side. The wind caused me to pause, it was like the wind was whispering a name into my ears. I closed my eyes and tried to listen with all my heart, the wind seemed to whisper 'Lisa' into my ears.