Matched by Magic 0.5: Spells at Midnight

Jenna Castille

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Renee has seen much in her lifetime: much violence, much bloodshed, and much heartache. A witch and one of the survivors of a century-long shadow war between the paranormal races, she lost her entire family. A decade later, an une...
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Renee has seen much in her lifetime: much violence, much bloodshed, and much heartache. A witch and one of the survivors of a century-long shadow war between the paranormal races, she lost her entire family. A decade later, an uneasy peace exists, but only because the entire paranormal population has been sent to the edge of extinction. Renee refuses to spend the rest of her life alone and cut off from the love of someone who might understand her. Desperate to end her emptiness, she tries an impulsive spell. At midnight on Samhain, when the veil between worlds is at its thinnest, she pleads with the God and Goddess to bring her soulmate, whoever or wherever he might be.

But even she isn’t prepared when Zachary, a satyr and a non-human paranormal, comes crashing through the veil and into her life.

Desperation led to desperate actions.

She straightened her shoulders and braced herself for the work to come. There were many elements she’d woven together in her overall spell. She needed to keep her wits about her so as not to forget a single piece.

First to prepare herself for the casting, she placed a handmade wreath of myrtle flowers and leaves on her head. She then poured herself a glass of plum wine to which she’d added ground cardamom—lust and love combined.

Sipping her concoction with a wrinkled nose and a grimace, she walked to the windowsill where she’d placed chunks of dried dragon’s blood resin. She sat on the built-in bench and lit the resin. She fanned it gently and let it smolder, both to attract her lover and to help keep any evil away from her casting.

Satisfied with the incense, she walked to the middle of the room and sat down cross-legged. She took a deep, cleansing breath in through her nose and let it out through her mouth. She completely cleared her thoughts, concentrating on the present moment. No past. No future. Just the now. Once her mind and body felt completely centered and completely at peace, she focused her intention in her casting—love, in whatever form it chose to take. She held the idea, the ideal, fast in her mind as she let the world flow through and around her.

Mentally prepared, she opened her eyes and rolled her shoulders. Resisting a groan, she stood and walked back to the fireplace. She took the brass cauldron from its hanger, filling it with rosewater and then added wine-soaked lemon balm before placing it back over the flames. As it started to bubble slightly she added cinnamon oil and the red juice of a crushed flower of bleeding heart.

Three minutes later she took the entire brew off the flames and poured it into a large rose quartz bowl to cool. She stared into the mixture as she waited, channeling her thoughts and desires into the potion with pure, silent, dogged determination. After it cooled to the point she could touch it without burning herself, she added the last ingredient: a piece of alexandrite from the ring her father had given her mother when they first met. It hurt when she’d ground the stone down into a fine powder, but she told herself it was for a greater cause, something her parents would understand. She sprinkled the precious dust into her now vile smelling mixture, stirring it evenly.

Finally she strained it three times through cheesecloth, leaving only a brackish colored liquid behind. She stripped out of the long white robe she wore but left the myrtle that donned her head and waited.

When the clock struck midnight she took the liquid and coated herself from head to foot. Every last inch of her body was covered in her noxious smelling, unorthodox potion, a mixture of what she considered the most powerful love and lust attracting herbs.

This finished she knelt in the center of the room, her heart opened and tears filling her eyes.

Please, God and Goddess grant to me my most-heartfelt request. Please bring to me the one person in all the worlds meant to live by my side. Human para or nonhuman, I do not care, as long as I am loved, truly and well.

She remained there beseeching the God and Goddess for so many hours her knees ached. Finally too exhausted to do even that, she rose from her silent benediction. Mind nearly blank, she took a damp towel to wipe off the worst of her concoction before falling into her bed and into a deep, numbing sleep.

Copyright © Jenna Castille


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