Hey everyone, I know it's Thursday Morning but yesterday got away from me!
Below I have a small snippet of what I'm working on.
Part of the prologue from Miss Sasha's School of Magick: Book One: Abracadabra and Alchemy. (not final draft):
PROLOGUE: Dark Root, Oregon Miss Sasha’s School of Magick 1990S Dusk
There were many signs of the impending darkness, yet Sasha chose to disregard them all. The omens were small at first: ravens in the cornfields, snakes emerging from their burrows midwinter, trees dropping their leaves earlier every year.
But over time, the warnings magnified, and even Sasha found them impossible to dismiss. The rains turned acidic and withered the gardens, the clouds shaped themselves into dragons, and there was the smell of brimstone lingering in the air, that disappeared whenever she inhaled deeply, like the remnants of a dream.
Things were changing—much quicker than the witch anticipated. The wheel had turned, and a new era budding. But was it coming in trickles? Or a wave?
Sasha lifted her chin, trying to catch the last of the sulphuric scent wafting in through the second story window, attempting to discern its location. Sniff. Sniff. She turned her head right, then left, nearly locking on to it—and then it was gone.
“Frickle-frack,” she grumbled, closing the window. Sasha preferred other words, but had been trying to set a good example for the girls, especially Maggie, who blurted out curse words as casually as she breathed. Words had power, and one had to be careful with them. Especially curse words.
Sasha left the window, wringing her hands like a silly old woman. The smell had intensified in the last few weeks—and she couldn’t determine the source. It hung around the school like mist on a mountain top. But not being able to pinpoint it, troubled her.
Sasha, herself, used Sulphur in in her craft, mostly for protection spells and counter magick. But Sulphur was also used in exorcisms and binding spells—the darker arts, as well as alchemy, and there were no alchemists alive that she knew of, except perhaps, herself. She wondered if her former apprentice, Armand, and his mistress—the word made her lip curl—Larinda, had something to do with it? She had sensed they were dabbling…but had they really turned to practicing forbidden magick? And so close to the school? She would have to keep her eye on them both, though their appearances had been scarce since they had been removed from The Council.
“Let them try their tricks,” Sasha said, clapping her hands together like two chalkboard erasers that needed cleaning. Armand might be a powerful warlock, and Larinda a witch of her family line, but Sasha was far better trained, and far more disciplined.
There was an even more troubling option than the warlock and his concubine, one she hadn’t wanted to entertain before—but now felt compelled to address. Hellhounds. Demonic beasts summoned up from the bowels of the earth, with the bodies of dogs and wolves, and imbued with the darkest of human souls. Their arrival was said to herald the end of time. Sasha shivered, pulling her shawl around her shoulders. Hellhounds were not to be trifled with. Not even by a witch as accomplished as herself.
Leaving the window, Sasha walked the vast library, strolling past hundreds of books and scrolls that called out to her with their magick. Writings on spells, myths, legends, arcane languages, maps, math, geometry and religion. Knowledge that was meant to be forgotten, but had found its way into her possession. The last accounts of their kind, for most.
She went to the large stone altar in the middle of the room, where a golden book the length of her arm span lay open. “Hellhounds,” she said to the book, careful not to touch it. The tome was sentient, and temperamental as a feral tom cat to those it distrusted, and she treated it like a beloved pet rather than a book.
The enormous pages flipped of their own accord, landing in a section titled: Beasts of the Netherworld.
“Mom!” Ruth Anne, her eldest daughter, peeped her head inside the libarary, and Sasha turned quickly, attempting to block the sight of the book, and the ghastly, demon-eyed creatures staring back from the pages. “Aunt Dora says the tea leaf readings are about to begin, if you want to watch.”
“I’ll be there shortly,” Sasha said, straightening up and adjusting the collar of her fitted black gown. “Dora doesn’t need me for that.”
“A’ight,” Ruth Anne said, craning her neck to see what Sasha was hiding. Ruth Anne was the least magickally talented of the girls, preferring knowledge over practice. “When do we get to visit the library?” she asked, scanning the shelves that lined every wall, and the many smaller cases of books, too.
“Soon,” Sasha promised. “You girls have a library of your own to read from, until then.”
Ruth Anne sighed and left, as she was given the same answer every time. But these books were precious, and the girls still too young. And Ruth Anne’s fingers were forever sticky with gum and candy bars. If these books were lost—their knowledge might never be recovered.
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