“Hourglass”

Chp9

Both Aroh and Lily have decided that it was time I learned self-defense. I was pretty nervous my first time sparring with Aroh, but after a few weeks I got the hang of footwork and hitting down pressure points. One of our matches I took down Aroh single handedly and it was so remarkable I even questioned if what I did was actually real. He hit the mat with a “Humph!”

“Damn,” he gasped for air, “You’re making more progress then I was expecting.” I must admit, I was surprised by my own will power. I was running with Aroh every morning and doing yoga and breathing exercises with Lily. After the last call I had with Tarah weeks before I decided it was time to take all my life experiences up to this point seriously. She told me to master my own demons and weaknesses, challenge my patience and determination, which will increase the drive to my absolute best. I finished the Book of Now, and I feel that I am ready to attack whatever lies ahead head on.

Inamorta had studied with her Master for a year and had completed the Trials of the Red Dragonfly, yet they were not fully explained in the book, only referred to as ‘voids she visited.’ The boy unnamed wrote of how she was able to call upon the elements by her own Will, and mastered the darkness of her subconscious. She had visited Hell and Heaven, and she had reached the Crown of the Universe. There were no easy steps, because the steps were not written down, more like they were riddles. I had a sinking feeling that this book will not tell nor give me the correct language I need to get along with my own Work. It reminded me of a ‘writing fiction for dummies’ book, yet it didn’t give you the ideas of books, just how to scope through it. It is the key to a lock but it is not the only lock on the door, and the key secretly can open up all the locks with the right variations. It was definitely a mind twister.

I almost didn’t understand it until I read it for the fifteenth time, “Replenish the cup from the cosmic well, burn anew fiery hearted child- an open box in the universe of wonders.” I’ll leave that for your own comprehension.

I felt like her trials were more like one big rundown of her duty being a Dragonfly. But now I know there are more out there, more like me. I had a feeling not a lot of magicians knew of the power they possess, but knowing so could lead to absolute truth or destruction. I felt like I was very destructive in my past, but since Xavier it’s been something different. Something meaningful, I feel I can offer the world something more that’s already there. It’s hiding in plain sight- just no one knows how to search for it.

It’s been two months now. Two months without a word from Xavier, and only one phone call from Tarah. I miss Ashley, and Leonard. I miss my dorm room. But I don’t miss my ordinary life; I like the way the tide is forcing me into new obstacles and things. It was around seven in the evening, and I decided to go out and smoke. Lily and Aroh were aware of my smoking habits, they know it helps with anxiety and it releases pinned up stress- so they don’t try to approach me about it. I took my bag and tightened the amulet around my neck before I headed out. They gave me a key whenever they were not home or if I was going to be out late. I dressed in all black to weaken the risk of getting caught. I rolled a joint and headed out with my headphones, phone, and lighter in hand.

Locking the door behind me, I walked down to my right. I decided to walk to the beach, there I can stand underneath the pier and smoke.

There were many picket fences and two story beach homes that were all faded in color except for a few that were refurnished into bigger and more expensive homes. Some homeowners and neighbors were outside with their kids and dogs, I waved to them and smiled as I passed by. The sea salt in the air was cool and the whole Galveston feel was very low key and calm. I felt especially watery these past two months, getting ahold of my journey and picking out the flow of the day.

I was growing stronger each day, and I felt more confident in myself than I’ve ever had. I felt strong, and these past few months I’ve been practicing everything Tarah had mentioned, even getting advice and guidance from Lily and Aroh. These people were my family now, and I wasn’t going to jeopardize everything up to this point.

I got to the wall of the beach and went down a set of stairs. In my flip flops, I jumped down the last step and dropped onto the white sand below. Galveston was dirty compared to other beaches, but this particular beach had a drawing feeling to it. It made city folk want to live near the beach.

I was near the touring pier ‘Pleasure Pier’ and underneath were a few teenagers around my age. And then there was her.

“Kayla-” Her name escaped my lips before I could adjust to the fact that she had already saw me coming and started to meet me halfway.

“Lolita.” She spoke smiling. I pulled out my joint from behind my ear and lit it. Tonight was just beginning, I thought. She had her hair pinned up in a high ponytail and she was wearing short shorts and a red tank top. She had the same boots on and I tried to look at her up and down before she noticed. She turned and I followed her to the group of two girls and a guy. She introduced me to Nana, Leslie and Drake. They all had matching band shirts, and they explained to me that they just went to a house concert.

“Wow. I didn’t know they had them down here!” I said amazed. Kayla put her arm around my shoulders and pulled me close. I could smell alcohol on her lips.

“We got everything down here, baby girl.” She spoke. My cheeks warmed and my heart sputtered in my chest. What was happening? Was she hitting on me?! I think so! Oh dear, okay- okay. Act cool.

“Bet they don’t have… Magicians!” I teased. They all kind of laughed, mimicking pulling out something from their pockets. Well, I thought, at least I tried. The conversation topic went off into its own little world and the sun dropped and the moon raised. We decided to get off the beach and return to Nana’s house that was a few minutes away. We passed my street heading to her place.

Me, Kayla and Leslie were piled in the back and head banged to a metal artist playing on the radio. I let the evening take me on a journey that I’d never forget.

“So-” Kayla hiccuped, “You married? In a relationship? Go on- tell me!”

“Well,” I began, “My ‘boyfriend’ I guess you could say is in Florida for a job opportunity and haven’t seen him since I moved down here- I’m from Houston.”

“A Houstonian!” She perked up at my answer, “I’ve heard they make a mean lean- is that true?”

I laughed nervously, not knowing what she meant by lean, and she caught on to my blissful laugh. “Oh, you have much to learn, little grasshopper!” She bumped shoulders with me and that same butterfly affect tickled my stomach. She whispered in my ear a little too loudly, saying that she was on coke and molly. Man, I thought, this girl is something else. Our shoulders stayed in contact until we made it to a one story white beach home, pulling into the small driveway.

We all climbed out of the green Jeep and up the stairs. Nana pulled out her keys and jammed one into the keyhole. Opening up, a small gray pit bull yelped and wagged its tail at his owner. Nana picked the small pup up and bestowed kisses on him. “Lola- or Lolita, this is Benjamin! I found him abandoned on the beach a few weeks ago and decided to name him mine. He’s cute isn’t he?” She patted his head and he moved his face up to lick hers. I went up to the little pup and scratched him behind the ear.

“He’s a darling little thing ain’t he?” I spoke in a cute voice. She sat him down on the ground and we all passed the small living room and made our way to a nice size bedroom with lava lamps on every table and different colored lights hanging on the ceiling. Nana sat on her bed as the rest of us shimmied onto a couch facing her. Behind her she pulled out a water bong, and began loading marijuana into the bowl. Rap music was playing on the speakers and everyone conversed wildly. I assumed that the rest of Kayla’s friends were on something as well but I couldn’t be sure. Kayla pulled out a small coke bag and began to pour out its contents on the coffee table. She divided the contents into four lines.

“You wanna hit?” She asked me, I shook my head- explaining that I only smoke. She shrugged her shoulders and leaned over the table, using a cut straw to snort up the coke.

“Ahh,” she leaned back and inhaled loudly, “that’s the stuff your mama hides under her bed in a box.”

“My turn!” Leslie, the skinny redhead spoke, leaning over the table. After her, Drake took his turn, then Nana. The fourth line they split amongst themselves, and I wondered how they felt compared to my not-so-high self. I need to get higher, I thought. And on that note, Nana passed the bong to me. Excited to smoke out of a big piece, I lit up the bowl and ripped a huge hit. My lungs burned on the intake and I coughed madly.

Nana turned up the music and began to dance. “Woo!” She hollered, “Let’s get fucking fucked up!!” She ran into the other room and came back with a bottle of vodka. Pouring each of us a shot, we clanked our glasses together and in union we drank. I coughed as the vodka rushed down the back of my throats and settled in my stomach. It felt warm.

We all conversed on basic topics while the bong was being passed around. Every round after we would each take a hit, we poured another shot, and then another, and then another, and I began to lose count.

By nine o’ clock I was already drunk, and I didn’t know it hit me until I suggested we all play truth or dare.

“Me first! Me first!” Leslie excitedly spoke. Nana asked her truth or dare, and she chose dare.

“Ok, I dare you to give your best impression of Nicholas Cage.” The group laughed and watched Leslie as she got up and cracked her knuckles.

“Alright, y’all get ready cuz this is gonna be a doozy; Ahem. ‘Killing me won’t bring back your god damn honey! Ahh! Not the bees!!'” On cue everyone laughed.

“The wicker man is my fave!” Drake insisted, laughing as he slapped his knee funnily. After everyone had drunkenly calmed down, it was Nana’s turn to play- Leslie asked her truth or dare.

“Truth.”

“Pussy!” Drake hollered, and Nana flipped him off. Leslie thought for a moment before asking, “How many people have you slept with?” Nana began to silently count on her fingers, and before she could answer, Kayla commented, “Forty!”

“Nah, fifty.” Leslie whispered to Kayla. They giggled but Nana looked mildly hurt.

“I heard that!” She said, shaking her head, focusing back to counting. After a moment, she spoke, “Thirty-three.”

“Daaamn!” We all spoke in unison and laughed uncontrollably.

“Yea, yea- laugh all you want, fuckers.” She joked, flipping off all of us now.

I couldn’t hold in my laughter, and I was shocked to hear her say that many. She’s probably only twenty-one, maybe two.

“Alrighty- for next contestant… Lola!” Nana pointed to me with a wicked smile.

“It’s Lolita.” Kayla interjected. Nana made a talking too much gesture with her hands, mouthing ‘blah blah blah.’ I giggled, nervously thinking if I should be brave and choose dare, or stick to old times sake and choose truth.

“Dare.” I decided. Everyone ooo’d and snickered. Nana thought of what she would say.

“I dare you to kiss Kayla.”

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“Kayla”

Chp8.

“Nah man! You fucking inhaled all that shit last night, we watched you.” The dreaded boy Tony spoke.

“Pat? Chels?” The dealer asked. They both nodded in sync. He exhaled annoyingly bringing a bag from behind him. “Yeah- probably should lay off a pack of lone stars.” He laughed at himself and everyone followed to laugh after him, including me. He pulled out a pound bag of weed, two ziplock baggies and a foil sheet.

He pulled out a foil sheet. I stared at that thing the second he pulled it out and laid it on the coffee table in front of us. “Alright, so a quarter, you up for any other inventory?” He made a hand gesture to the drugs strewn on the coffee table. I pointed to the wrapped foil sheet and he laughed, “Ah shit! We got a psychedelic sheep in the house!” I laughed at his humor, but the other three people in the room were crickets. I looked at them, confused.

“No offense or anything-” Patty began explaining.

“We don’t fuck with hallucinogens, made us go loopy.” Chels chimed in, explaining a one time scenario that they got busted and it was the worse trip and experience in their lives. I listened as the dealer pulled out my share of weed, and went to the foil.

“So this-” he cut the two girls story off, raising the sheet and exposing a sheet of acid. “Is one hundred percent pure. I forgot the name it was but you can trust me.” I did trust him, he seemed legit by the tattoos and the persona he showed off like a shiny medal.

I handed him my money and I also threw in extra for one tab. Storing the drugs in my bag, I heard the door open.

“So your name was?” Chels asked me as a beautiful curved woman entered with extremely curly purple hair and long lashes. Wearing a mini skirt and a black turtleneck, she wore red Doc Martins that matched her lipstick. She looked at me suddenly, and I got up and extended my hand, “My name’s Lolita.”

She grabbed my hand, grinning, and like soothing water that rang from her lips- she spoke, “Kayla.” I felt my face get red and my heart thumped wildly. Butterflies filled my belly and I was astounded by my own reaction to such a… beaut. What was this feeling? I asked myself. I don’t know!

“You didn’t touch my coke, did you?” The dealer turned around and pointed in Kayla’s direction. She scoffed, and flipped her hair perfectly. Oh god, I think I’m falling for this girl. I didn’t even know who she was and she had such a strong impact on me. I didn’t understand it. Kayla swung in his direction with much force it threw him off cue.

“I don’t do that blow no more Patrick, shit. I’m grabbing my stuff and I’m out of here. I got another place I can crash.” She went into the bedroom and slammed the door, giving the dealer- Patrick- no time to comply. He looked like he wanted to say something, but instead he mumbled something underneath his breath. It looks like the dynamic between Patrick and Kayla were only roommate and dealer- and I began to wonder if she did have a boyfriend… Or girlfriend, in that matter.

The two other girls began to whisper to each other as Tony sat alone tapping away on his smart phone. I went to check mine and was startled to see three missed calls both my Lily and Aroh. I opened the text messages.

It read: “Where are you Lolita? You were suppose to check in with us an hour ago.”

“Are you still wearing the amulet?”

“You need to come back here ASAP. Important.”

I texted a response; “Headed that way now, eta 30 min”

“Hey-” I announced to everyone in the room,” I need to skedaddle, got some plans I have to keep.” I got up and went for the door after thanking Patrick for the drugs and the rest for the conversation. As I began to open it, Kayla was right behind me, with a duffel bag full of clothes. I looked at it, and then at her, and she said, “Gypsy life.” Shrugging her shoulders she smiled and slipped out the door unnoticed.

Oh crap, I remembered I need to get my board out of their car, I don’t think they ever locked it. I followed Kayla out and shouted “Wait up!” I ran down the hall to her and followed her down the stairs. Not knowing what to say, I told her I could guess her sign.

“My what?” She said confused, cutely scrunching up her nose. “Zodiac sign?”

“Oh! Yea sure, try.”

“Let me ask you three questions. One, are you a morning person or night person?”

“Definitely a night owl.” She said.

“You find a hundred on the ground, take it or leave it?” I asked.

“Fucking take that shit man, I’m broke.” We headed down the stairway and out the apartment building door.

“Last-” I began to ask then remembered I’m not going to make it back on my board in thirty minutes. “Uh- can you give me a ride to my place?” She looked like I took her off guard, but she smiled and said, “Girl I just said I was broke, you think I have a car?”

I frowned, nodding understandably. She pulled out a lanyard with several keys at the end of it, and she clicked a button and a small fiat honked down the street. She looked at me and laughed. I smiled, and followed her to her car after grabbing my board from Patty’s SUV.

Buckling in, she floored the gas pedal and we sped forward. And she’s a reckless driver, never would’ve guessed.

“So,” she flipped her hair in that perfect way again, and grasped the steering wheel, “Tell me what Zodiac sign I am.”

“Aries.” I said.

“Hmm. Not bad Lolita. What are you, psychic?” She laughed.

“I can be whoever you want me to be.” I joked. I gulped, realizing what I just said. Stupid unintentional flirting! Dammit!

“Haha! You’re something.” She giggled, looking at me from a side glance, we stared at each other for a second. It was a long second, because I could identify the blue and yellow specks in her green eyes.

“Is that a good something?” I inquired.

“Something you don’t see everyday…” She insisted. Was that her way of flirting? I couldn’t tell. I thought I was good at reading people, but she’s a very… mysterious ram.

“So-” I said very long and seductively, “Come around here often?”

She giggled playfully, using one of her hands to gesture as she talked, “I’m originally from Port Bolivar, but I stay down here in Gal. It’s a lot more tour-y and the vibes are much more down to earth. There’s a calling I have for the crowded beach.”

“Ever visit the skatepark?”

“A few times whenever I was getting ganja from Pat. God, he’s such an idiot when it comes to blow and pot. He always thinks other people steals his shit whoever he lets over- and forgets he’s doing most of it the night before.”

“He didn’t seem like the responsible drug dealer. Anyway, this is my place right here on the right.” I pointed ahead.

We pulled up to my small two story blue beach house, where it was gated with rose bushes growing on either side of the entrance. Lily came out suddenly, watching me get out of the car.

I thanked Kayla and was brave enough to ask for her number. “I don’t have a phone,” She said. My heart sank but she added, “But I know where you live.”

That gave me hope as I shut my door and off she went in her small cyan fiat. As I turned around Lily had a very serious look on her face, that I couldn’t tell was angry or worried. She waved me inside and I followed her to the front door. We walked inside and Aroh had his back to us. He turned around and welcomed me. As I sat down across him Lily poured hot tea into a cup for me and her. Aroh was sipping on his, and he looked to Lily. She nodded and took a seat.

“At any point did you remove the amulet?” She asked. I shook my head. Aroh looked at me then to Lily.

“I know the dangers of taking it off. I have no reason to-”

Lily then grabbed something off of her lap and waved it in front of me. It was my notebook that was opened to the sigil of finding other magicians. Shit, I thought.

“Did you charge this?” She asked. I looked down, aware of my broken promise I made to them. She sighed, setting my book down. Time for Aroh to talk.

“You know Lolita, the only reason we tell you you cannot do things like this because it can put you and us in danger. We have this home spelled to be off the radar of any Strays for a reason, and exactly this type of Magick is the exact opposite of what we are trying to keep out.” He spoke calmly and collectively.

“I understand. Really, I do- it’s just I feel so under stimulated and alone. I barely talk to both of you about everything, and I know you two are doing your best for me- but it’s like I don’t have anyone to really connect with. And I miss my cat.”

“We know you wish to continue your path of being the Red Dragonfly, it’s just for your sake of doing so you need to hide until you can start back at it again. You have the Book of Now. How far are you?”

“Inamorta is currently mastering fire.” I remembered her undergoing of Earth and Air, simple elements that came too easily to her. Through my time reading, I became aware of the different sensations I would feel while reading this magickal book- Xavier gave it to me a couple months back. I was on page three hundred and twenty five. I’m not a super reader, but I am near the middle. I never dare skipped a page, or just skip to the back, I felt it would cheat me out of surprise and it’s chapters of growing suspense.

“What was the big hurry for me to come home?” I asked. They both looked at each other and didn’t say anything in the moment. Lily went to a drawer in the kitchen and came back.

“Tarah asked for you to call her.” Lily said as she handed me a small flip phone. I wanted to ask, but I decided to wait until I heard from her. I went upstairs and closed my door, relaxing on a rolling chair near my desk. I flipped the phone opened and called her on speed dial.

She answered on the second ring.

“Lily had told me of your active plan of finding magicians. Why?” She asked, making me feel that what I did was beyond any reasonable comprehension of a normal person- but she wanted to hear what I had to say.

“I know it was wrong. I caved underneath this isolation.”

“You’re lucky this doesn’t necessarily count against you. We are watching you Lolita- this is serious. Why would you want to risk Strays finding you?”

“I’ve been growing stronger.” I told her.

“Not until you can invoke the elements. Not until you can become completely invisible, not until you know the real duty of being a Dragonfly-” she caught herself and suddenly stopped.

“So like Preachers and Servers- there are more Dragonflies?” I asked, beginning to understand the bigger picture of what I am getting into, or more- what I’ve already gotten into.

“Yes. As you know already, Inamorta was the Red Dragonfly that had sacrificed her life and power to become the literal Light that guided the three kings to the Bible’s messiah. It is apart of the Hidden Truth that most do not know about. You must be the worlds bliss to the chaos that lies ahead, and you’re brothers and sisters you do not know of yet are there to fight alongside you.”

“So when I conjured up that sigil…” I trailed off, wandering if it was just wild intuition or wisdom that led me to act upon an emotional outburst of Magick.

“I feel like you are not in the right state of mind to do this type of Magick yet. You don’t need a sigil to find magicians around you. Everyone you meet is a magician.”

“Wait… Really?” I gasped. I could feel her nodding on the other side of the phone.

“Mhm, most people do not know it, but they possess a power to create their own universe.”

“That’s amazing!”

“Yes. So please Lolita, for everyone’s sake and yours- do not reach out to strangers and do not- Heaven forbid- strip away from your amulet. It was powered by great Stone Preachers to protect a magician and their demi-God from harm.” I took a moment to evaluate my life and how dangerous it has been. I’m in hiding with people I don’t even know if I can trust with a whole secret order I barely knew anything about- and the first person who brought me into this is now states away. What kind of spin did my life take?

“How is Xavier?” I asked quietly. Tarah took a moment to think what she would say, but all she said is, “He misses you.” My heart clenched and my breathing ceased. Before I knew it my eyes watered and began to drop droplets of tears down my face.

I try to remember he’s closer then he really is by this amulet. It’s the only thing I have of him. My chest aches and my heart bleeds for this man I feel like I barely knew.

We said our goodbyes and I traveled downstairs to give Lily back the phone. They were in the living room watching TV. It was around five now and the sun hung astray in the sky. Clouds rolled in and it was going to rain in a couple of days. Lily and Aroh did not say much to me, so I decided to grab something small from the kitchen and go back upstairs and read the Book of Now.

Part 2; “Away”

Chp 7.

It smelt of salt in the air and I heard seagulls call from above in the sky. I opened my eyes and I was in my new room at Lily’s and Aroh’s place in Galveston. I was sleeping on a twin bed near a double sided window looking out to the beach two blocks away. On the right side of my bed was an old wardrobe that held my new clothes, a small wooden desk with a rolling chair that also held my new laptop which was Lily’s old laptop but it still worked like it was brand new. Stretching, I got out of bed and went to the bathroom down the hall upstairs. I turned the sink faucet on and splashed water on my face.

I looked at the new me. No longer did I have long hair, I chopped it right above my shoulders and dyed it red. I looked like a strawberry icicle pop the first time I bleached and dyed my hair, so I grabbed some darker shades of red and now it was more of a crimson. I heard music playing downstairs as I finished my rounds in the bathroom and changed into a white tee and jean capris. Heading downstairs, I watched Lily as she fried up some eggs for breakfast. Without looking she spoke over the music- a thin and fit golden brown hair woman with splotches of freckles all over her body. She had piercing blue eyes and a straight angular face with round perky lips, she was absolutely stunning. She almost sung her morning hello, “Mornin’ sunshine.”

“Good morning.” I spoke back, grabbing a mug from the old cabinets and poured myself a cup of coffee. Aroh was on his usual early-bird run on the beach, and by the looks of it Lily had already completed a yoga session, sweat stains covered her back and under her arms.

“You missed the work out.” Lily turned around and grabbed a plate off the counter. Coming over to me, she filled my plate with a serving of eggs, toast and grits. The little beach home was very spacious in the kitchen which connected to the smaller living room. Tile floors lined the kitchen with an island in the middle by the sink and stove, and a table set sat near a window looking towards the neighboring house. The colors were a calm blue and pastel yellow, with matching silverware and dishes.

“Had a late night,” I told her, before I could tell her why, she said “Uh-huh.” And scooped me more grits out of the pot to eat. I never had grits before until now, and I favored it the most out of anything in the morning and knowing this she would give me extra.

Making her plate she sat down with her cup of coffee and read the newspaper. Aroh and Lily were brother and sister, not biologically but they were both adopted from the same orphanage and were basically raised together in the same home. They were in their late 20’s and lived in Galveston ever since they were eighteen. They still talked with their adopted parents and see them every holiday in Oregon. I never had adopted parents, I was the only child who was raised strictly in an orphanage- so I saw all the kids who came and go. I guessed it never really bothered me until recently, because I have no one but Lily and Aroh to talk to. I can’t make daily calls to Xavier since he’s in Florida on an important duty call, and Tarah is busy with work too. I couldn’t tell my best friend Ashley where I was at, so I was stuck like a hermit in a cave.

I was allowed to venture out only with my amulet collar Tarah had given me and Xavier. They said it would protect me from any Strays that would be searching for me, and also push any other magicians away, yet all I want is to connect and communicate with people who were immature magicians like me.

To keep time from standing still, I got a new notebook that I’ve been writing in every day with the fountain pen Tarah had bestowed to me. I’ve only been writing how the days are and how I miss Xavier, nothing magickal that could possibly be looked at, but that day I decided to create a sigil. After finishing up breakfast I ran upstairs and closed my door, putting music on I opened my journal and began to formulate the words that will be powered to making this little Magick assistant.

For my words, I wrote “Find other magicians like me.”

Crossing out the vowels and repeating consonants it reads,”FND THR MGCS LK” and connecting the letter and making it look occult-y, I finish it with a deep meditation and slipped it underneath my pillow case. Leaving it there, I go back downstairs to see Aroh has just came home.

He was a Native American looking and had straight black hair and an aftershave. He was strongly built and broad in the shoulders, with a slim waist and muscular figure. Most of the women flaunted over him- but for some reason he was happy with pretending they didn’t exist.

They both stopped talking abruptly and looked at me. They must’ve been in a serious conversation I thought. Putting on my converse I told them I was headed out and grabbed my newly bought longboard with me. “You have your amulet?” They both asked like twins.

I pointed to the choker around my neck, they both nodded and wished me safe travels. I waved to them and went towards the front door through the living room. As I stepped out, a sudden rush of euphoria enveloped me. I’ve grown fond of Galveston; the people, the music, the waves- everything. It was a city of wondrous things, I lived near a touring amusement pier which was one street over from the well known skatepark I would go to on a daily basis. I have a trick board but kind of not that great at it. Long boarding was way easier for beginners like me- maybe a month of skating.

Throwing the board in front of me, I hopped on and began cruising. I swerved around cars making my way a couple blocks down towards the beach. It was a beautiful day out, I couldn’t ask for anything better; slightly shady with a windy breeze of cold, salty air. I came up to the entrance and hopped off my board- carrying it up the short staircase.

Kids of all ages were treading on their boards on the concrete walls and rails. It was definitely I sight to see, some of the kids were waiting their turn to dive down into the bowl. There was one huge bowl with two tiny bowls that was divided off by a wall, so kids were standing all around it. Someone had their speaker on and punk rock music blasted at the park and across the street. I walked and looked around, viewing the vast landscape of people I could potentially talk to. But what would I talk about?

A small spurt of anxiety kicked in the back of my head and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to find someone to connect with. I’ve been starved of conversation and stimulation I thought I might burst like an air head. Luckily I spotted a small group of young adults around my age smoking on one of the sides of the bowl. I made my way up to them, wiping the anxiety away abruptly and asked a little too firmly, “Know where I can score some weed?”

Their were two guys and two girls lost in conversation while hitting a blunt and passing it around. One of the skinnier guys with dirty brown hair with tight jeans on looked at me and said, “You came to the right person…” he explained to me his stash was at his place, so the group followed him out.

Leaving the skatepark, I caught a ride with the two girls back to the dealers apartment. They chatted all the way over the sound of indie rock. They asked me a few questions, where I was from, do I go to school- that sort of thing. I kept it simple ofcourse, or what Lily and Aroh had expressed to me.

“I’m currently taking online classes and I moved from Dallas,” which were both lies.

“Oh dope!” The long brown haired girl said, “My boyfriends from Dallas. You know Harris Stone?”

“Nah, I was home schooled.” I lied to her. The other girl looked at me up and down- like she was studying me. This girl had a short blonde bob and was a little heavy set.

“Damn girl where did you get your toke on?” She asked.

“At this boys house I met online-” I began but she cut me off with moving her hand in a absurd motion in front of me, grabbing my subtle attention.

“Girl, is this your first time? Really?” She asked me. Would it hurt to say it was my first time? No, I thought- I know too much about marijuana to even lie about it. I told her I’ve been smoking since high school. She seemed to believe me. They then asked me where I stayed in Galveston.

“Off of a… street. Close to the uhm… ocean.” I had to be careful of what I tell strangers Lily told me, they could be anyone.

We pulled up next to the guys car and all got out. We were halfway down the sea block, maybe twenty minutes away. I left my longboard in the car and followed the crowd up to a gate that leads into the apartment buildings. Everyone was chattering and as we went up the stairs the dealer turned around and asked, “So how much were you looking for?”

“A quarter.”

“Alright I dig it. Were you wanting to catch anything else along the way?” He asked, pulling out his keys to room number 214.

“Like what?” I asked as we stepped in the tiny room apartment. He went to a back room as everyone settled on the beige couches in the living room. The TV was playing rap music and the atmosphere of this place felt heavy, it made the back of my hairs stand on edge. The shorter boy with dreads talked to the two girls, telling them about a time he got drunk on the beach. I listened and he noticed I wasn’t talking and gasped suddenly, saying he never told me his name. He was Tony, and the long haired girl was Patty, the cute blonde was Chelsea.

“I’m Lol-”

“Motherfucker!” The skinnier kid from another room yelled, everyone went quiet. He came out, flustered. “I think Kayla got into my coke again.”

“Red Dragonfly”

Chp6

My knees wobbled and I felt like I would faint any second. Me? The Red Dragonfly? What does that even mean? Everything was suddenly spinning around me and I felt nauseas. Tarah jumped in her silver Buick and motioned me to come with her, aware of my weakened and shocked body.

I pointed towards my truck and she nodded, telling me to follow her. I ran to my truck and sped after her. Looking out the review mirror to see if anyone was tailing us, a shiver ran down my spine. The man had already disappeared into the void.

I wasn’t used to these drastic events, but I was easy to adapt. It’s like I was only dreaming of something like this happening- having said power, be a problem for people I don’t know, able to blow out a candle without blowing at it- I could go on. But that guy who followed me from the park to the restaurant, who was he?

Time sped up and we were at Tarah’s small brick house. I followed her inside and she went to the back room and brought back a small chest that she placed on the round brown table. Confused, I asked her what it was. She couldn’t tell me she said, but it was something that will be bestowed to me once I complete the trials- whatever that meant.

Suddenly there was knocking at the door. I gasped and almost jumped out of my skin. My heart began to thump really quick in my chest and I held my breath. Tarah went to the door and peeked out the small hole. She unlocked the door and spoke, “Come in, brother.”

Xavier stepped inside and we made immediate eye contact. He stood there, so noble and proud he was, but he seemed shaken up. Our energies bounced off each other and I felt his aura warm at the sight of me.

“Lolita.” He called.

“Xavier-” I ran to him and wrapped my arms around him, sighing with relief of finally feeling safe.

“My little tiger, are you alright?” He held my face and looked at me with a smile. I nodded and held his hands in mine, “Peachy.” He laughed and hugged me hard. I could smell his odor, a warm chocolate sandalwood scent that I loved as much as I did him.

“There’s not much time left to be spent here, once word hits back to TriForce they’ll start sending a whole army.” Tarah closed the door and locked it, motioning us to come into the den.

“We can go to Moonshade, there she will be safe.”

“Safe? Am I not safe here?!” I asked shakily.

Xavier frowned, looking at me, motioning me to stay quiet as Tarah and him spoke. They talked about a small alliance camp off the east coast of Texas, in Galveston, where a young couple named Aroh and Lily can take me in under their care. They told me I would have to ‘disappear’ for awhile.

“Disappear?” I questioned.

They both nodded, and Xavier went on, “If you feel if this is too much for you-”

“No, this isn’t. It’s just… A lot of information all at once and I don’t even know who I am anymore.” I held my face in my hands, overwhelmed. Who am I? Xavier put his hand on my shoulder and lifted my chin so I was staring into his deep blue ocean eyes.

“You are Lolita Way. Who you are is what you make yourself to be. If you feel this is too much for you, we can reverse it.”

“Reverse it?” I asked. He nodded. I stared at both him and Tarah. I thought for a moment, so all of this can go away, just like that?

I shook my head, “No, no I’m already in this, I’m not backing out now, I’m not afraid.”

“That’s the Lolita Way I know,” Xavier smiled and embraced me one more time, “We cannot waste anymore time here.”

They gave me a pre payed phone and told me to leave my phone with them. People who’d be following me can track down exactly where I am, so they also gave me car keys to a new car.

I walked outside, the sun hanging high in the sky. Tarah opened her garage that held a sleek car underneath a tarp.

My heart dropped as she flung the tarp off. Laying underneath was a shiny exterior cobalt el Camino. It was stunning and I bet the engine roared as loud as Xavier’s 67′ Camaro.

Tarah smiled at my astounded face and giggled, “Her name is Saphira, treat her well while you’re away.”

She handed me the keys as I loaded my backpack into the backseat. She handed me a wallet with five hundred cash and a credit card. “What’s this for?” I asked her.

“You’re going to need a new look and clothes, food to eat and gas. This should keep you for a couple of weeks until me and Xavier can guarantee your safety back here.”

“What about Leonard?” I thought about my cat, and remembered Ashley too. Xavier thought for a moment before saying, “Tell Ashley you have a family emergency and ask her to tend to your cat while you’re away.”

“That’s if she believes it… but okay, I’ll do that.” Ashely is going to want more then just a sudden family emergency… I’ll have to tell her the truth whenever I come back. I sent her a text and handed my phone to Xavier who passed it to Tarah.

“So… Do I leave now?” I asked. They both shook their head, saying that it would be better to go at night.

“Right.” I nodded and we all went back inside. Tarah made tea as I talked with Xavier. He told me more about Fotia, things I cannot disclosed in writing.

But if you must know, the trials of the Red Dragonfly has been moved up because they believe they found someone who could complete them- which was me. They didn’t get into detail about what the ‘trials’ were, but it seemed I’d be tested on my ability of magick.

“What makes you guys think that I’m the one?” I asked, looking at both of them.

“Your essence and old soul, almost a replica of said heritage that flowered back in time to Inamorta, Camille, and Ida, the first of the stars through recorded time,” Xavier spoke, ” How far are you in the book?”

“I’ve only gotten to the point where she was learning about the element water.”

“I see,” Xavier stroked his beard thoughtfully. Tarah sat tea cups in front of us and poured hot tea into them. Earl grey.

“I advise you to continue you’re readings but only when you are alone. You cannot risk the possibility of someone searching for you with the book in hand, your prophecy lies within the words of the Book, and it getting into the wrong hands could be the end of your incarnation.”

“Why would this book be important to someone else other then me?” I asked him, sipping on my tea.

“In there lies Fotia’s hidden secrets. Secrets to initiation… to spells and rituals, and can only be read by the user and giver.”

“So only you and me?” I said, he nodded. Xavier continued on,

“I am your Demi-God.”

“My what?”

“I am your protector- since our last time together, we have imprinted on each other and now our energies are tied together. Think of it like an invisible collar that connects around your neck and mine, held together by an unbreakable chain.” And Ashley warned me about being tied down, good grief.

But will that affect us when we are apart?”

“Yes, but Tarah had made something to aid that.”

Tarah was secretly hiding a small box which she opened that held two amulets inside. One was white, the other black. Strung by a leather choker, Xavier fastened the necklace around my neck, me taking the white stoned amulet, and he the black.

“Me wearing the negative energy I’ll be able to manifest power that will then reflect upon your amulet, the positive energy. Any strays will not be able to pick up your ‘scent’ so to say, but if one challenges you- they will easily be zapped away by the mirroring power in the amulets.”

“O-okay so super power choker, got it.”

An old grandfather clocked chimed, alerting the household it was five. The sun peeked through one of the windows that was left open and bare to the outside world. I felt a little bit of energy fester through my veins, probably a reaction from the amulet. It was strange how I was bestowed very powerful things, as if they trust me enough to keep care of these things. I felt special. The rest of my time there Tarah had filled me in more about Lily and Aroh.

By sundown I was ready to head out, I said my goodbyes to them and they wished me farewell. They both watched me as I pulled the roaring Camino out onto the side road and Xavier approached my car. I was jittery with tension and I gripped the steering wheel firmly until my knuckles turned white. I exhaled, thinking what the hell am I doing. This all seemed too much to take in all at once, but I felt like I was taking this better than most people.

“The Red Dragonfly, what does that mean?” I asked him, rolling the rest of my window down, trying to get a grip of reality.

“Red signifies fire, and in Fotia’s term of dragonfly, it is a chosen gifted girl with the ability of extra sensory perceptions. You will soon meet a family that has been waiting for you, you will see.” He told me.

“Is there Blue, Yellow and Green dragonflies out there?” I asked.

He nodded. And for the first time, I began to feel butterflies in my belly. A whole set of new people that has been waiting for me… I felt… happy and excited, like I belonged. Xavier made me feel like I belonged.

“Then, what am I waiting for? Let’s meet my sisters and brothers.”

“Strays”

Chp5

Rushing in through the door at Golden Bull I care to look at the hostess who greeted me with a perky smile. I looked over to the a booth near the doors leading outside where a warm chocolate haired woman who was Xavier’s younger sister sat. She waved me over and I went to her. Before taking a seat I stood asking, “What’s going on?” I asked a little too loudly- some customers turned their heads toward us, interrupted. So much for making a scene, ugh, I thought. She grasped my hand and pulled it down, I sat in the bench across from her.

A waitress came over and grabbed my drink order. “Water with lemon, please.” The short hair punk waitress smiled and scurried off, bringing back a water with a small plate of lemons. I thanked her and sipped on my beverage, throwing in a few lemons.

Tarah watched me with a smile, probably waiting for me to reframe my question I previously demanded.

“Uhm… Well, he called me and told me to meet him here, but here you are.” I began, genuinely confused. She knew which ‘he’ I was referring to.

“He had an important business call that kept him from coming here, so he asked me to come by here for him.” She warmly told me.

“Oh,” I trailed off. That could be a reason why he seemed distant earlier. “Over the phone he didn’t seem like himself.”

“This business trip wasn’t suppose to take place until another year-” She paused and glanced at the other customers to see if anyone was listening. Then she leaned in close and began to whisper, “New information came through and he’s needed in Fort Lauderdale.”

My heart sank, “Florida?” That means a substitute will be showing up for the remainder of time he’ll be down there, and not with me. My chest ached as I thought of him leaving me for his worldly duties. I became jealous suddenly over his Work, and now my only teacher of the secret arts will be absent. Am I not important enough for him?

She frowned, empathetic of my feelings toward this rough situation. I pulled out my new book and placed it on the table. Tarah looked at it over, “You got that at Crystal’s?” We refrained from the talk of her brother and carried out a different topic of conversation. Everything was still in the back of my head though.

I nodded. I also pulled the Book of Now out of my bag and what happened next was something I’ll remember vividly and tell you with every detail I can.

Tarah’s face went pale and she grabbed the book quickly and slipped it down on the seat between her and the wall, out of view. “Where did you get this?!” She looked at me questionly.

“Xavier gave it to-”

“He told you his first name?!” She hissed. I gulped and nodded slowly. She told me to store the books back in my bag and she had me follow her out to her car after dropping a five dollar bill at the table. The parking lot was almost empty except for two cars besides mine and hers. She opened her trunk and inside was a metal safe. Before I could question her, she asked me to get Inamorta’s book out as quickly as I could- then she turned and unlocked the safe. Opening it, I passed her the book and she locked it in. She sighed and made calming hand gestures to herself. She turned around to face me, looking behind me to see if anyone had followed us out.

I turned to see too and a man stood at the front door with shades on and a very nice suit, looking straight at us. He looked out of place and definitely looked suspicious. He pulled out his phone and began talking as he made his way to a grey sedan with no license plate. That’s shady as fuck, I thought. Wow, was someone trailing after us? Are we in trouble? What is going on?

Turning, Tarah put her palms on my shoulders and squeezed as she looked deep in my eyes. “I’m sorry we have not told you, but there’s a possibility people are following you.”

“Wait. W-what?” I stuttered.

“Your energy is attractable to Strays; agents who know the Way but who hunt young magicians, it’s been like this since I’ve opened your energy flow the other night, I’ve sensed this would happen. You are at your weakest and strongest with the Book. No one can know that you are in contact with it.”

“Why?” I questioned, scrunching my face and burrowing my eyebrows, utterly taken by surprise, a little bewildered, and a whole lot of upset. They could of at least told me of the chances I’d be taking entering this… Whatever this is. I slowly remembered when I was at the park a man passed me a couple of times who had the exact shades and suit. He was the same man who followed me here! All of a sudden I didn’t feel safe.

Tarah continued on, “Me and Xavier believe we have found the Red Dragonfly,” She said.

So all of this was real.

“You are it, Lolita.”

“Water Trail”

Chp4

I was running down a brightly lit hallway that smelt of sterile chemicals and bleach. The followers, shadowy men were tailing behind me, with scary looking weapons that hummed with electricity. There were sticky pads on both sides of my temple and chest. A machine connected these things that monitored my heart and brain wave activities. They knew I had power, and they did all they can to take it away from me. My heart was racing and I panted quickly, taking a right down another long hallway. The lights flickered above me, and suddenly they went out. I couldn’t hear heavy footsteps after me and I dared to look back behind me.

I was alone now. Suddenly the lights shut off and I was in complete darkness. Some people would be scared in this situation but I found comfort in the darkness. Then, as if on cue, a door opened and light flooded the hallway. I walked slowly to the opened door and glanced inside.

Nostalgia enveloped me as I stepped inside my old house. How I could remember this I did not know, for I was only two. I walked to a lovely sized living room with red sofas and a small tv. The kitchen was empty, old tupperware strewn evenly amongst the cupboards and stove. I made my way to my old bedroom.

My name was spelled out on the door in pink and blue. I thought maybe they didn’t know if I was going to be a girl or boy, so they got both pink letters and blue ones. Calmly, I opened the door and there sat my mother in a rocking chair, pregnant with me, and my father on the ground with a hazel colored guitar. He played a melody for her and sung softly. Mother closed her eyes and leaned back, holding tight onto her belly, as if the baby might fall out of her grasp. She had long brown hair that came down to her elbows which swayed back and forth as she rocked herself in the chair. She had a dark blue maternity dress on, and the expression on her face made me tear up.

She looked so happy. My father looked even happier.

Time sped up in that one room and my father was standing over my crib next, crying softly. I went to go stand by him, and watched his loving yet pained expression stand over little me. I looked down at myself, who’s eyes were closed and mouth cracked open. I was so small, with black hair and a pink bow. My first bow ever.

“Lolita!” A voice from the darkness called. The room faded to black, and I opened my eyes. I was back in my dorm room. I was sleeping, how real everything seemed I thought. Leonard laid next to me, softly purring as he felt me stir awake. I brushed my hands alongside his neck and he purred louder.

“Lolita!” The voice I now recognized called me. There was knocking on the door and I went out of my room in my pajamas, yawning tiredly. I unlocked the door and a very post-drunk-post-party Ashley slumped into the living room. She dropped her purse on the floor and crashed down on the sofa with much exaggeration. She sighed heavily and looked at me with drunken eyes and a slurred speech.

“I forgot my dorm key, and I tried calling you a shit load of times and I had to wait twenty minutes for someone to come open the main dorm door for me, the elevators don’t work so I had to walk three flights of stairs AND wait for your tired ass to wake up which then took ten minutes of knocking and I get bitched at for being too loud too early in the morning!” Ashley barked madly at me. I apologized and tiredly accepting it, she grabbed a Topo Chico from the fridge and went to her room probably to pass out.

I looked at the clock hanging in the kitchen which read 5:34 A.M. I still could catch a few more hours of sleep, but my dream kept me from hitting the pillow. I grabbed my books from the living room and stored them in my room. The great leather bounded journal I brought with me to my bed, and flipping to the page where I left off, I continued to read half asleep.

“So he taught me,” the boy wrote for Inamorta, “I had stayed with my newly found master as an apprentice. He was to teach and guide me in the ways of the Fotians. I did not know what my journey would uncover, but it was much more then I’ve set out for.”

My first official day as my masters apprentice he took me to a river that runs down back all the way to my home, where I was miles and miles away from. I did not ever see this village on a map before, it is as if this little town had sprung up in my journey towards Truth. Beautiful palm trees and small cacti littered the terrain, the sun was high and the wind blew forcefully in the desert. In the distance I could see mountains of sand that made an illusion of water on the horizon; a sea of sand, as I called it.

Approaching the river, my master had me strip down to my undergarments. “Our first approach to the ultimate goal is usually one of poor status; unmediated, sloppy rhythm of the mind and body. We learn that in order to execute in correct energetic formation- we must first purify our minds and hands,” he pointed his staff towards the water and scratched his beard in a laughable manner, “Purification is the first step of three that allows any blocked energy to be untied and lose and flowing, just like this river.”

Master then had rolled his fisher trousers up and stepped into the river. He beckoned me to come with him. I dipped my foot in the water, it was cold and the current was weak. As I settled my whole body in the water, I watched my master move his staff in a way that worked against the flow of the river. Suddenly, the rush of the cold water had stopped, and it stayed idle.

Master demonstrated the first of the Work with me, nothing my eyes have ever seen. He controlled the wave of the water- he motioned his staff up and water trickled up to meet the tip of his wooden staff. He was bending water! I was amazed by my masters simple power he manifest at the blink of an eye.

My first lesson started there. He told me, “Water is a healing agent and one of the first oldest elements to be brought to this Earth. Water creates life and sustains life all around. Learning to be fluent and adaptable like water is a lesson only a few can succeed.”

I marked his words off in my head as he motioned me to come closer. I was wild with a strange energy I’ve never felt before, but more I will tell you later on. He cupped his hands in the water and reached up to my head and poured it slowly onto me.

“With the delicate and terrible power of Aeyu, Phinx, and Zay, I bless Inamorta with the power of onefold,” Three times he cupped water in his hands and sprinkled it down my head.

“Now purify and cleanse and erupt anew.” He pressed down on my shoulders and I held my breath as I went under the water. Time has stopped and I felt like I was in the womb of Earth. I felt the energy gather around me and in me. Nothing I have ever felt like this before. Surging I was, I broke up from the waters surface and breathed in a whole new batch of fresh air.

“My life flashed before my eyes and for a split moment I had known my purpose…”

My eight o’ clock alarm went off and I hurried to shut it off in hopes of it not bothering Ashley. I totally forgot to turn that off yesterday, I thought. I closed the massive book and set it on the end table. I got up and stretched, yawning tiredly. Heading to the kitchen, I grabbed a mug and placed it in the coffee maker. Tossing a vanilla creme latte mix in the machine, I pressed the on button and it purred to life, slowly the coffee pours into my cup.

A meow sounded at my feet and I looked down to see Leonard wait patiently for his breakfast.

“Alright little lion, I’ll feed you too.”

My mug of coffee was ready after feeding my little furball. Sipping on my hot drink, I then headed to the bathroom, turning on the shower head, I unclothed. The water was hot on my back and my pores opened up to the steam that rose in the room. Sighing with contentment, I grab the bar of lavender soap and lathered my body. The scent lingered and tingled my senses, awakening my body and letting the dirt and tight energy wash off. After other necessary hygiene routines, I stepped out of the bath and wrapped a towel on my head and around my body.

Dressing in a white tee, blue jeans and my combat boots, I scurried out of the dormitories, bringing that massive book along. The weather outside was perfect; cloudy with the sun peeking underneath the water blankets. The air felt cool and light, like it was spring. I almost wanted to run back inside to put on shorts but I wasn’t going to waste anytime in my hunt. The hunt though, what was it? Something that this book is written for…

I decided to go to a local but hidden occult bookstore where I decided it was time to catch up on some elementary readings. The small two story bookstore was named Crystal’s half priced Books. I want to be able to impress not only myself but those I yet to meet whom are acquainted with Xavier. The bookstore was ram sacked in the middle of a coffee house and a frame store. I glanced at one of the signs that hung outside the store. It read, “Second book half off entering the ‘Poetry Slam Anonymous’.” This area of town wasn’t too far from my school, maybe twenty minutes. The front door was painted a stale brown, not totally welcoming but the second you walk in- you’re hit with a smell of old books and sandalwood, maybe even a hint of pine from the bookshelves. The aisles were tightly packed and there was an upstairs that held more delicate old books. There was science, fiction, fantasy, anime, drama, horror- all that on the first floor, the second floor held more… Peculiar things. Today the shop wasn’t flooded, only a handful of grandparents with their kids or high school couples looking for vinyls. I made my way slowly up the creaky staircase, up here were only two stray people browsing the bookshelves of anything to eat, I mean read.

I stared at the genre signs, looking for one that hopefully says, “Learn your Elements Guide for Dummies,” or, “The Book of The Path towards all Truth,” or “All-Knowingness Book.” I could either search under astrology, or botany, or even religion, but I feel like I’m at a dead end. Browsing each individual shelf, I embark on a quick sped journey on finding the right book for me.

I could get lost in this shop for hours, just picking up books that sound appealing or cool. I looked at my watch and it was almost ten, Xavier’s second English class is about to start. I thought of texting him to see if he knew where I could find this book I’m looking for, but I also wanted to surprise him with my newly found knowledge. Alright, time to get this done.

Stepping out of Crystal’s Half Priced after entering a haiku for the poetry anonymous to get that second book half off- I inhaled deeply, the sun shone brightly over my city in Texas. I decided to go to a nearby park and read my new book, but first I went to the coffee house right next door.

Ordering a iced black coffee with sugar to go, I walked on the sidewalk to Willow Park. It was a couple acres long, holding a tennis court, volleyball net, a swing set and a playground for the kids. Old oak trees spread out evenly across the lot, their heavy branches curling this way and that, with fading colors of August. The park was empty except for a mother and her two kids, swinging and laughing gleefully.

I sat at one of the benches near a great oak tree, finding shade underneath the leaves. Sipping on my coffee I pulled out my book from its paper bag and turned to the first page.

Clouds made their way amongst the horizon and shaded the park from the sun. A powerful energy since Tarahs Work on me blossomed with butterflies in my stomach and a keen awareness in my head. My heart beats with a harmonic rhythm I didn’t understand and in the first time in a while I felt free. I continued on with my book with occasionally looking up at joggers and dogs with their masters. The Book of Now felt especially light in my backpack that I just noticed was still on my back, to be safe, I kept it on my back.

My readings began with explaining the first element, water. Funny how it correlated with my readings in my other book.

Not long after my phone buzzed. I stopped on page ninety-three, and picking my phone up from the table, I answered. I wasn’t given any time for a hello.

“Where are you?” A harsh voice asked. It was Xavier- but not like him to come off cold like this greeting me. His demanding question caught me off guard, it almost sounded threatening. What did I do?

“At the park?” I told him, a defensive toning I made sure he heard in my words.

Grunting uncomfortably, he talked with no emotion, “Let’s meet for lunch at 1. The Golden Bull.”

There was a click and we disconnected. Okay, that was strange I thought. Why was he in such a hurry? Class ended a few minutes ago. He could’ve had a student misbehave during a lecture, I thought. I tried not to think about it too much. I strode back to my truck, finishing off my coffee. The whole ride I gripped my steering wheel until my knuckles were white and I clenched my jaw, waiting for what laid ahead. I barely made it on time.

“Beginnings.”

Chp3

It was around 10:43 when we made it to Xavier’s sisters house. She was a few years younger then him and I’ve met her only once at my college whenever there was a PTA meeting, she’s a psychology teacher yet I rarely see her on campus. I think Ashley took a semester of psychology.

“Hello, I’m Tarah.” The dark haired European woman which was Xavier’s sister reached her hand out. She watched me carefully, I noticed she was analyzing me secretly. I took her hand in mine, “I’m Lolita.”

“My brother has told me of spectacular things about you.” She smiled as I felt my cheeks get warm. I wonder what exactly he has told her…

Her small suburban house was made with crimson red bricks and black shackles. Inside she had almost the similar lay out like Xavier’s; dark blinds and a steam punk feel across the house, unique clocks and metal furnished lanterns that hung in the hallways and on each side of the fire place. There was a small fire going on and I could smell incense in the air. The first moment I walked in I had a sudden rush of balanced, earthy energy that radiated in her home. She seemed rather warming and her energy was charismatic, cool, calm, and collective.

“What sun sign are you?” I asked her, sudden curiosity toxicating my mind. She pulled out a cigarette and lit it, “My dear lady, I am a Virgo Libra cusp.”

“Virgo-Libra huh?!” I said, smiling at her as my inner analysis studies her every move. Virgo-Libra cusp people are very unique- they have a love for the arts and are humorous, yet they don’t like to be the center of attention.

“Do you ask everyone that?” She asked. I thought for a moment as I came up with an answer, “Only to the people who interest me.”

“Well my dear, you will learn that I am one of the most interesting creatures there is! Come along now, I’ve made some Earl Grey-” she motioned to me and Xavier to come to the kitchen.

There was a small round table in on one side and a nice cast iron stove with an island in the middle for cooking. The kettle was hissing and she moved it off the stove, turning it off, and moving towards three cups that were laid out. Pouring each, she grabbed two cups in her hands and turned to me and her brother.

“Thank you Tarah.” Xavier spoke, sighing as he held the tea up to his lips. I sipped on mine, blowing on it so it’ll cool off. We all sat at the table and the two siblings began to talk of secret things I cannot tell you, but if it helps I didn’t understand exactly what they were saying.

Me and Tarah held our mugs in our hands as Xavier sat his down, seeming like he was about to say something. We both looked to him as he gathered his words. It wasn’t like him to not know what he would say. He brought me here for a reason I don’t know, and it started to concern me.

“Before we can continue your magical path, I need you to know everything I’ve yet to tell you.”

“What have you been hiding from me?” I asked, deeply concerned. He sipped his tea as he contemplated the delicate words he would say to me. My hands began to get clammy, I wiped them on my jeans.

Before he began, Tarah put a hand on his, and shot him a glance that somehow hid some type of telepathic meaning to it. She began to speak, and every word rang in my ears after she spoke them.

What she told me was that they were apart of The Fire, or Fotia, a secret order that’s been apart of the world since the dawn of time. There purpose is to follow a code that was written for the disciples, which gave them access to a wide range of secretive and unknown tools that allows the holder to inherit power after an initiation. There were Servers and Preachers. Servers were holy people who mentors initiates and guides them toward their path being either Servers or Preachers. Preachers are of different initiation and have attained some physical power that enables them to create divisions of Fotia based on their power based on the three fire signs; cardinal, fixed, and mutable.

“We’ve grown apart of Fotia, our family and other families generations after generations had held up this Order in wait of the Red Dragonfly, an avatar of fire.” Tarah spoke. Every word sat heavy in my head, it was almost too much to take in.

“Quiet now Tarah, she’s becoming ill to understanding, this is too much for her to know now-” Xavier began.

“No! I want to know. I can understand, slowly,” I interrupted. They looked at each other and then me, waiting for me to respond.

I pondered her words but I didn’t know the gravity of what she said, not yet at least. Her and Xavier still had to withhold information from me only because my path is still unfolding in front of me and uncertain, they couldn’t risk being too careless.

“I am a Fifth degree Server.” She told me. What that means I couldn’t know, but it seemed like she held a high title of the occult.

“What about you?” I asked, looking to Xavier. He looked at me and frowned, telling me I could not know. I nodded, a little hurt he could not tell me, but maybe it was better not to know, it might affect the teachings he will do for me.

We were all finishing the last bit of our tea as Tarah chauffeurs us to a dimly lit room down the hallway that was covered with crystals and rocks and beads that hung from colored strings. There was an alter that stood at the north side of the room, resting upon it was a bowl of water with sand in it, two blue lit candles and a piece of paper with writing on it. There were different painting that were hung up that were all abstract in color, some looking like a portal leading into another dimension or something Salvador Dali would tell a student to paint. The room carried a different energy that felt almost similar to Xavier’s room. There was a black box and a small bag that rested on the floor in the middle of the room. On the floor rested an Arabian rug with vibrant colors where some petals laid strewn about on it. Tarah sat on the ground facing us but facing away from the alter. Me and Xavier sat on the floor in front of her. She picked up the small bag next to the box and gently shook it.

“Tonight I will be reading your soul path and future.” She said. I became intrigued when she asked me to pick out seven different crystal rocks that she laid across the rug. I studied each little rock. There were so many different colors and shapes and sizes it was hard to choose, but I finally picked out seven, the last one being I think a quarts crystal. Before she told me of the different rock crystals, she asked me to hold out my hands as she skimmed over the terrain of my palms.

What she told me was that there was something in the past that was blocking my path of growth, either it be a something bad that happened or something I cannot remember. With the choice of my crystal rocks, she said that my soul path is leading me directly to the Divine. The power of the five elements guide me and with good instinct I will succeed in what I desire most. My chakras are strong but there is an uneven flow of energy.

“I can help you regulate your energy flow of your chakras.” Tarah said.

“How is it you know there is something off?” I asked her.

“The way you hesitate before choosing, second-guessing yourself, becoming unsure. You are a strong independent young lady, and your instinct is more keen than what most people’s are.” I agreed with her, and she had Xavier leave the room as she continued her Works on me.

There was spacey atmospheric music humming in the background as she doused me in oils and sage. She had me undress in only my bra and underwear, and had me lay on my back. She grazed her hands along both sides of my spine and moved her hands in a way as if she was wiping water off my skin, flicking off the energy from her hands as she took them off my back. I was in deep meditation when she began to whisper secret words in the air.

I felt a surge of energy building up from my groin growing higher to my stomach. I heard her murmur the word “Muladhara.” And I recognized that was the root chakra, the first of the seven. She had me flip over on my back now, and she doused me in oils and fanned me with sage.

“Now breathe in deep.” She said and I did. I could then feel a electric tingle in my lower abdomen rise up. It felt like little needles were poking on my insides, aching to get out. Exhaling, and inhaling, the energy grew stronger. My eyes were kept shut but I saw a light behind my eyes that glowed dim and began to turn a vivid orange, then deep yellow… mossy green and sky blue… she was regulating my energy flow in all my chakras.

I was awed by her power of healing. I felt like she could relate easy with me and become receptive in her means of work. I brainstormed what her moon sign can be, it has to be a water sign I thought. Maybe earth…

Suddenly there was a pop unrecognizable of where it came from and I gasped from energetic stimulation. A light flashed across my eyes as I felt ocean deep in a sensational euphoria. I felt wide and awake, keen and alert, not on the outside with all my physical senses, but on my inner senses and intuition. What had I just experienced?

“What was that?” I asked her, out of breath.

“That Lolita was your energy opening and expanding.” She had put out the sage and had blew out all the candles except one. The light from the white candle danced across the room and splashed onto the walls.

“Now concentrate on the light. It is your peeking energy. Now since you have full control over your senses, I want you to blow out this candle not with your breath but with your mind.”

“With my mind?” I asked. She nodded. Okay, this seems easy. I looked at the small dancing flame that connected itself to the wick. I studied it and began to take deep breaths in and out. I closed my eyes and meditated, focusing on my breathing. As I felt my energy spill, I opened my eyes and the light distinguished. It was dark in the room now.

“Never forget the source of power you control. Remember, you have a fire in your soul and behind your eyes, learn to grow and control it.” Tarah said in the darkness.

“Okay.” I chimed, astounded by my hidden power.

The night had reached it’s point and Xavier joined us back in the kitchen. They walked outside and talked for some time as I sipped on some water Tarah gave me.

I felt alive and my body tingling. I wasn’t ready to sleep yet. I replayed the night in my head, and gently browsed my memory of different areas in my life where I found I had an overwhelming sense of clarity.

After they have came in, me and Xavier said our goodbyes. Before I left, Tarah bestowed a fountain pen to me, she said it was made in the 60’s by an Italian artist. I thanked her and we departed.

The ride back to my dormitory was quiet. I felt content and relaxed, yet Xavier seemed uptight. I went to place my hand on his, yet he hesitantly pulled back. Confused, I asked him, “What’s wrong?”

“Lolita…” he trailed off, lost in pondering thought. I waited for him to say something. He looked over at me and by the look on his face he seemed almost lost. He then entwined his hand in mine, and lifted it up and kissed the back of my hand. “Whatever happens next, don’t ever lose the light inside you, it is undistinguishable and cannot be caged. Remember little tiger, I do not exist, only you exist.”