We’re less than a week away from the official launch of Philipp J. Kessler’s first novella from SRP. Philipp will be hosting a short author takeover and release party on Facebook on April 1st to celebrate. You are all invited to join in the fun. There will be games, giveaways, and LOTS of author talk throughout the evening.
Here’s a little teaser to get you going:
Sandra opened the window a crack to let a bit of fresh air into the room. The incense smoke swirled in the breeze as it was sucked out the window. As the air cleared she blinked the smoke from her own eyes.
“Well that sucked,” she muttered under her breath. “Back to square one.” She pushed her hair away from her forehead, brushing the sweat away from her brow.
She looked about the now smoke free room and sighed. Picking up the athame she began to put her ritual and spell tools away. Sandra put each tool into its place in the box she pulled out from under the altar table. The wand, the incense burner, and the athame each had a special compartment in the ornately carved oak box. As she put the pentacle plate and the bowl into their pouches she gazed into her own reflection in the blade of the boline.
The curved blade, shaped like a crescent, was affixed to a piece of deer antler. The antler was hand carved with delicate Celtic knot work and the blade itself had been hand forged by her grandfather. Her eyes were captured in the blade’s surface, reflecting back her own frustration at the failed spell. Her hand shook a little and she broke her own personal staring match.
“Oh, stop it!” she admonished herself. “No sense in crying over spilt milk.”
She tucked the boline away into its pouch and picked up the simple silver chalice she preferred to use for her personal workings. Her gaze went to her reflection in the curved metal and she paused. What she saw in that reflection was different from the narrow bladed reflection of the boline. She could see more than just her eyes. She could see the frown of her lips and the smudge of soot on her nose where she had touched her face after snuffing out the candles with her dampened fingertips. The smudge made her grin a little and as she watched her lips twist in the curve of the chalice she couldn’t help but giggle at the image. The giggle soon turned into a laugh.
She took up a small terry towel and wiped out the chalice before placing it into the box as well. All the while laughing to herself.
“Hmm. Wonder what I did wrong this time.” She shook her head and made sure that she had placed all the tools in the box before closing it and putting it back under the altar. “Too much sandalwood in the incense? Or what is it the wrong color for the candles?” She wrinkled her brow with thought and picked up the remains of the failed spell materials. A bit of burnt twine, blackened parchment, and a small cracked quartz. She brushed it all into her hand and got up from the pillow on the floor.
As she left the small room she used for rituals, spell work, and meditation it was as if she walked from one world into another. Her bearing and attitude changed as soon as she stepped over the threshold. She hurried off to the kitchen and dumped the remains of the spell materials into the trash before washing her hands at the sink. She wiped the smudge from her nose with the dampened towel and filled a glass with water from the tap.
Her phone made a beep. Picking it up she saw that her best friend Elaine was texting her.
YES. WHAT UP?
WEIRDNESS AROUND HERE. WAT U DID?
WAT U MEAN?
THINGS WEIRD HERE. SAW U IN CORNER OF EYE & THINGS WENT WEIRD.
??? SAW ME?
YES. IN CORNER OF EYE. WEIRD!
Sandra’s phone rang in reply to her last text. “What do you mean you saw me? I’ve been here all afternoon.”
“I saw you out of the corner of my eye. I did. And then everything started to go weird.”
“What do you mean weird?”
“The light in the bathroom blew as I saw you out of the corner of my eye. It was like catching a glimpse of you in the mirror and then boom! The light bulb blew. Scared the shit of me, I tell you!”
“Wow, I imagine. You said things went weird. More than just the blown bulb?”
“Oh, yeah! A lot more. I ran out of the bathroom, scared the shit of me. Almost literally. The lights were flickering in the whole apartment. What did you do?!”
“I, uh…” she hesitated. Elaine knew she was a witch, but trying to explain magick to her was not always easy. “I just tried to cast a spell. It didn’t work.”
“Didn’t work? Elaine asked. “What on Earth were you trying to do?” Her tone of voice was enough to convince Sandra that she wasn’t going to have to explain much about magick. At least not just yet.
“I was trying to bring you peace,” she replied flatly.
“You call this peace?” her tone was almost accusatory.
“No. I said the spell failed. Nothing seemed to happen on my end.” Sandra was grasping for an explanation in her own mind. She cast a spell for peace in Elaine’s life and nothing seemed to happen.
“Girl! Something happened here on my end!” Elaine’s voice rose in pitch a notch and her volume was increasing. “What the hell were you doing!?”
“I did what I always do. I made my Circle, laid out my tools and worked the spell. Other than a lot of choking incense smoke, nothing happened. Nothing,” she was really at a loss here. She couldn’t fathom that a simple spell for something positive would cause anything to go wrong, let alone on the other side of town.
“Okay. Let’s take a breath.” She could hear her friend take a deep breath and exhale loudly over the cell’s speaker. Instinctively she did the same thing. “Now, tell me exactly what you did.”
“But you don’t believe in magick.”
“I might not believe in magick. But I know something happened today. Just tell me what you did.”