Of magic and more


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No Rest For The Holy

This is my submission to the SpeakEasy  writing challenge #157

NO REST FOR THE HOLY

Winter seemed reluctant to release its hold. Snowflakes drifted down, waving merrily at God as he glared balefully out of the window. He sighed and turned away. How all his devotees would laugh if they saw him now- Creator of the universe, sitting bundled up in blankets and shivering! Those foolish younglings of the Weather Department! When would they learn to do their jobs? Today, he decided, he’d go over to the office himself and pay the boys a visit.

 

Much of God’s irritation had waned by the time he reached the gold and silver doors of the Weather Department, but it came back with a vengeance when he stepped inside and found the place in complete disarray. Pizza boxes and crumpled coffee cups littered the switchboards. Ethan and Nicholas were ogling at the sexy secretary Lilith’s rear as she picked up bits of paper from the floor. Meanwhile Patrick, the regulator, was snoring away to glory with his nose pressed against the Snow dial. No wonder it was so cold!

“What the hell is going on here?” God burst out angrily. Lilith turned and smiled seductively at him. “Oh, don’t mention my home so frequently, Father.” She purred. “You know how I miss it.”

“Wicked wench!”God exclaimed. “You miss your home so much, don’t you? Be gone then, you’re fired!”

“You senile old man!” Lilith hissed and slunk away.

“As for you two!” Ethan and Nicholas shrunk into their chairs at God’s fury. “Iniquity is NOT permitted in the holy abode of the Lord!” The ground shook slightly. Ah, how he loved that effect! The acoustics of this office were better than the old one- he’d have to thank Michael for that. However, he certainly did not thank anyone for what happened next. The vibrations from his voice woke up Patrick, who in his startled half-conscious condition flailed his fat arms about, pushing random levers and knobs. Outside, thunder rumbled in the face of scorching sunlight, and hailstones mingled with rain.

 

Clearly unused to doing anything other than leering at Lilith, the other two employees lost their heads. “What do we do? What do we do?’ They cried helplessly.

If no one can handle this situation I must! God thought, and charged forward, only to slip on a puddle of stale coffee and hit his head hard against the control panel.

 

Many hassles and hellfires later, God sat in his chambers holding an icepack to his head.

“See, Father that is why I tell you to leave all the administration to me.” Michael, his eldest son, was admonishing him.

“I have left it all to you, and that’s why the quality of staff is declining day by day.” God grumbled.

Michael snorted impatiently. “How often must I explain, Father? The budgetary demands of this fiscal year require cost cutting, and since Lucifer won’t give up his fondness for video games, Gabriel won’t control his sweet tooth, and you must have new robes to wear every week, I saw no other way but to hire cheap labour so we may all survive in peace.”

God opened his mouth to make a comment, but nothing came out. Instead, he said, “I want to see Lucifer immediately.”

“Hold on, I’ll Whatsapp him.” Michael tapped busily away at his iPhone. “He’s on his way.”

 

God’s favourite son Lucifer shuffled in after a while. His eyes were glued to the game he was playing, shoulders jerking left and right as he operated the controls. God eyed Lucifer’s jeans with displeasure, they were hanging off his hips and God despised that. Teenage had ruined Lightborn.

“Lucifer.”

The shaggy haired teenager paid no attention.

“Lucifer!” God threw his icepack at his son.

“Damn!” Lucifer cursed. “Look what you did, Dad! I just got injured fatally!”

“Who has injured you?” cried God, alarmed. “I will maim them!”

Lucifer rolled his eyes. “In the game, Dad. Anyway, you wanted to see me?”

“Yes.” God turned and switched on the plasma TV. Headlines and news reports filled the screen. “Lucifer, can you tell me why the human babies are being born with horns and tails, and in some cases, wearing…” God tried to come up with a word suitable to describe the stiff pink skirts he had seen on the infants.

“Tutus.” Lucifer supplied sheepishly, and shrugged. “I just thought it’d be funny.”

God save me! Thought God, and then remembered. Oh wait, that’s me!

God sighed tiredly. There was no rest for the holy…

 

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“Winter seemed reluctant to release its hold.”

  • Your post must be dated April 13, 2013, or later.
  • Submissions must be 750 words or fewer.
  • Submissions must be fiction or poetry.
  • You must include the following sentence as the FIRST line in your submission: “Winter seemed reluctant to release its hold.”
  • You must also include a reference to the media prompt.
  • The speakeasy is for submissions written specifically for the grid. Please don’t submit an entry if you intend to showcase it to another blog link-up. Such posts are deleted without notice.
  • Please don’t post long explanations before your post. We want your writing to be the star of the show. If you need to clarify anything, feel free to do so at the end.
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A Helping Hand

A HELPING HAND

Joanna sat in her study with her fifth cup of coffee for that night. Her husband Gerhard was fast asleep upstairs and so were the children. Go on, you can do it, she urged herself. She lowered her eyes to the .45 pistol on the desk. She had sneaked it away from Gerhard’s closet when he was showering earlier in the day. The pistol had a silencer in it- Gerhard always kept it in the nearest safe place- the closet- in case there was an intruder.

 

Joanna let her fingers close around the cold metal, knuckles whitening as her grip tightened. All she had to do was go up the stairs, into the bedroom and fire a single bullet. It would be so easy, killing Gerhard. Just as it should have been all along, for all these years.  Joanna had stopped eschewing the thought of murdering her husband when she realized how much she had suffered at his hands. She had left everything for him- a promising modeling career, her city, even her family. In return she had seen days and months of abuse- the beatings, the insults, the excuses she had had to give for her bruises…

 

No more, she vowed. Steeling her nerves, Joanna got up and walked quietly into the dark hallway. The sound of swishing fabric made her whip around as a blurred neon shape moved into her field of vision. Thankful of her sharp reflexes, Joanna tackled the intruder. “Don’t move, I’ve got a gun!” she warned in a harsh whisper, cursing her luck. Of all the nights, this had to happen now!

“And I’ve got a knife.” The intruder said in a trembling voice, familiar to Joanna. Her eyes better adjusted to the darkness now, recognized the person below her. “Sadie?” she cried softly. “What are you doing here?” Joanna helped her husband’s secretary up. “Don’t try to attack me again.” She told the sniffling girl, prying the knife out of her fingers.

Switching on the lights, Joanna turned back to Sadie with a raised eyebrow. “Well? Explain, or I’ll call the police.”

“No, no, please don’t do that!” Sadie burst into tears. “I…. I came to kill you.”

“In this costume?” Joanna felt a wry smile tugging at her lips. The glow-in-the-dark jumpsuit would make it difficult for anyone not to see it coming their way. “Nice camouflage.”

“What?” Sadie sniffed. “Neon is the new sexy! I ordered it online just last week. Priority shipping.”

“So why did you want to kill me, Sadie?”

The pretty girl looked bitter. “Gerhard- I mean Mr. Adler told me to.”

Joanna narrowed her eyes. “So he wants me out of the way.”

Sadie nodded. “Mr. Adler and I… we’ve been having a secret affair. He told me he loved me. He gave me this-“ She fingered the delicate silver chain she was wearing- “and promised to marry me if I killed you.” She started crying again.

Foolish little thing, thought Joanna with a mixture of amusement and contempt. She decided she had to finish Gerhard off that very night. If she missed this opportunity, she knew she might not get the courage again. Only, what was to be done with the silly creature in front of her?

“Two pairs of hands are better than one.” The words escaped her mouth before she could stop them.

“What do you mean?” Sadie cocked her head at Joanna, looking at her with wide blue eyes.

“Well Sadie.” Joanna tried her best to sound convincing. “Gerhard doesn’t love you at all.”

“Of course he does!” Sadie bristled. “He told me so. And he got me a Porsche a few days back!”

“Darling, that’s nothing. He got me a 10 carat diamond ring from Tiffany a while ago.” Said Joanna truthfully. Gerhard had always been particular about giving expensive gifts to make up for being the world’s worst husband.

“Oh! A diamond!” Sadie sounded outraged. “He certainly never got me one…”

“See? There’s the proof.”

“How could he lead me on like this?” Sadie raged. “I want to kill him now!”

“As I said Sadie, two pairs of hands are better than one. Let’s do it together.”

“What’s in it for you?

“Despite appearances, he isn’t all that good to me either.” Joanna pulled her robe aside to reveal a yellowing bruise. “I’ll split the insurance with you, fifty-fifty.”

They shook hands.

A Bee Gee’s song played in Joanna’s mind. She smiled. No more Stayin’ Alive for Gerhard.

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This was written for speakeasy #152 at yeahwrite. The challenge was (a)to write a piece of fiction or poetry,750 words or less(mine is 750 including the title)(b)to use the sentence ,”“It would be so easy.”,anywhere in the piece and (c)to make some kind of reference to the media prompt, which this week is a video for ‘Staying Alive’ by the Bee Gees.In case,this challenge interests you or you would like to read what others have written,click on this link http://www.yeahwrite.me/speakeasy/152-open/


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Avarice

AVARICE

Rachel crouched in the shadows. Tiny beads of sweat trickled down the nape of her neck as she waited. Time was passing agonizingly slow for her. She wished he would hurry up and walk into the trap she had set for him! She cursed him under her breath. Matthew Whitman. Rachel hated everything about him, from his squeaky clean smile, to the shrewd businessman’s brain whirring away behind those pretty blue eyes.

 Rachel and Matthew had been rivals throughout their education at Harvard Business School. Right from the start Matthew had infuriated Rachel by countering all her intelligent answers by his equally brilliant opinions, and winning the favour of every professor he studied under. Rachel had hated him when he was the top scorer of the batch, sailing past her with just a mark , just half a grade point above her. Rachel could have forgiven him for all of that, but it was the last straw for her when she learnt from the university grapevine that the job, her dream job, as a Harvard professor, was going to be offered to Matthew during campus placement. This is not going to happen, Rachel vowed to herself. She felt no need for threats or blackmail, she was certain she could talk it out with Matthew. After all, they had an understanding, didn’t they?

 

After a few months at Harvard, Rachel’s lifelong interest in the occult had led her to a secret society dealing primarily in Wicca and necromancy. There she had been surprised to see Matthew and angry that even here he was a notch higher than her. But she hadn’t said anything, not openly, because their relationship as fellow occultists was quite friendly and they were co-dependent on each other to protect their secret.  Rachel was sure the matter of the job offer was negotiable.

 

“Rachel Hudson, are you mad?” Matthew laughed scornfully. “This job is great! Why on earth would I negotiate with you about it?”

“It’s my dream!”

“It’s easy money, and I’ve always wanted that. Sorry, but I’m not letting this go.”

Rachel was desperate now. “I’ll reveal your membership in the secret community to the university!” she threatened, making him laugh again.

“So they won’t give me the job-but they won’t give it to you either, when they find out that you’re a member too. And then you won’t have to worry about jobs anymore because the society leaders will find you and execute you for treachery. Game over.”

He was right, and she knew it. But how could she stand by and watch him take over her life? Rachel thought long and hard about all she had learnt from Wicca and a plan began to unfold in her mind.

 

Looking back, Rachel could not find a single flaw in her planning. Everything was in place. The hex bags were under the cabinets and inside the drawers, the elements had been invoked, and offerings had been made to the deities.

Rachel watched with bated breath as Matthew entered the room and stood in front of the computer, which was unresponsive. He punched the buttons and kicked at the CPU, starting when the printer suddenly spat out a sheet of paper with a huge inky black spot covering most of its area. Puzzled, Matthew took it in his hands and peered at it.

Rachel could have jumped in joy when he touched his fingers to the spot and they swam in the dark pool of space instead of stopping at the surface of the sheet. This was it. The black hole that Rachel had herself designed and enchanted with spells, potions and a lot of hard work. Matthew was doing exactly as she had predicted he would. She had already conducted a necromantic ritual to ensure that the spirits guarding Matthew would not warn him against his impending doom. And there he was, placing the black hole on the sealed mouth of the safe, looking delighted as he pulled out bundles and bundles of the university’s funds. Then came the moment she had been waiting the most for- Matthew in his attempt to reach the last of the money, scrambled headfirst into the vault.

Rachel flicked her wrist. The sheet dropped to the ground, sealing Matthew into his cave of death.

Now it was time for her to pay the price. Rachel sat down on the floor and uttered the required incantation. She waited for someone to tell her what to do next.

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This is my submission for the speakeasy yeah write #150

For details regarding the challenge, refer to http://www.yeahwrite.me/speakeasy/150-open/