“And then there are the times when the wolves are silent and the moon is howling.”
— George Carlin
Autumn leaves tapped the small windows. Elspeth blew the dust off the book. She knelt amidst generations of clutter and debris in the Martin family attic. She was looking for a costume, because Halloween was that night. On the leather book cover was burnt a full moon surrounded by a five-sided symbol. As the dust settled on old crocheted blankets and old-fashioned high chairs, she opened the book at random.
hidden in the trunk
voice rusty with disuse
still with much to say
“Scarab powder, dash of scaly rot, and ground bat bones sprinkled on seven squashed wolf spiders. Stir widdershins under a howling moon with a finger of oak. Stroke quarter over the main mast and quarter on the crow’s nest. Every particle that remains, seal in wax and burn until gone in the hold. Soon will come to you a strong headwind, fair weather and enemy bane. Beware shoal and reef, but raise proudly your flag, for safe port you will make, wise cargo making your fortune.”
seek the howling moon
sailing toward future fortune
magic within you
Fate had brought her to her ancestor’s spellbook, and fate denied becomes foe. Elspeth decided to be a witch for Halloween. She had no immediate need for a sailing spell, but perhaps it could be adapted for her car. Elspeth embraced the book, and put it back under the crocheted afghans in Grandma Demeter’s favored avocado and pumpkin colors. Grandma Demeter had always seemed to have a charmed life. Now Elspeth knew why.
hold close heritage
its magic will come to you
when fate brings you home
Copyright 2013 Brenda Davis Harsham
Prepared from the weekly Līgo Haībun challenge. Please visit them if you want to see some great writing!