Monday, May 27, 2013

The Blue Lady - Part IV


Part III -- Part V


Loud banging pulled Cal from her sleep. It took her a minute to realize it was someone knocking on the basement door. Only a few people other than Cal and Lucas had keys to the house, and none of them would let themselves in if it wasn’t important.

“What is it?”

“I need your help Callie.” Jill’s voice sounded strained.

Cal grabbed her bathrobe from the floor and threw it on. It was just past four in the afternoon according to the clock next to the bed. That explained why Lucas didn’t wake up, it was hard to rouse him during the day. Opening the door she was greeted by Jill’s round, bright red, face. Her shoulder length blonde hair was pulled back in a ponytail and she still wire her state police uniform.

“You look like a lobster.”

“I know. I was outside all day and didn’t have any sunscreen.”

“Ouch” It really did look painful, Cal was happy she didn’t burn easily.

“Yeah. Actually that’s part of why I need your help.”

“I can’t kiss it and make it better.”

“Funny. I’ve been working a search all day, a four year old boy.”

“Oh shit. You want me to find him?” She already knew the answer of course.

Jill nodded anyway. They had known each other since fifth grade and had almost immediately become best friends. They had briefly dated in high school. Now as adults they were as close as sisters and considered each other family. Jill had long ago accepted the magic and sometimes asked her for her, very unofficial, help on police cases.

“You have something of his right?”

“Of course.” Jill said holding up a plastic bag containing a tiny white sock.

“So what happened?”

Jill explained how Jessica and Daniel Kelly had taken their two children camping near Sebago Lake the day before. It was school vacation week and the weather had been beautiful and warm for April. Sometime during the night four-year-old Matty had left the tent, when the family awoke in the morning he was gone. His parents had searched around the campground for an hour before calling police, they had been searching since.

They had walked to the work room while Jill recited the story. Her workroom had originally been a large bedroom that she had filled with just about everything she needed as a mage. The walls were lined with crowded bookshelves full of not just books but also jars of ingredients, candles, magical tools, a human skull, and one large grumpy looking cat. Cal ordered Ghost out of the room before starting to gather up the supplies she needed from the shelves.

Finding a person was a little more difficult than finding a lost bracelet but the theory is the same. Concentration, the finding glyph as a focus, and the always present blood. Not every mage evokes their magic in the same way, it’s an inborn ability that can present in a number of ways. For Cal’s grandfather it was a physical force, it could leave his tired and sore in muscles that never actually moved. For her mother and grandmother it was emotional energy, each spell pulled feelings from them. No one in the family had been a Blood Mage in many generations. It’s an obvious focus for magic but one rarely seen in those who are not of the Darkness. Cal didn’t consider herself wholly of the Light either, more in the soft fuzzy gray in between, but she tried to do the right thing and help others.

“Could you grab the map of Cumberland County? It’s on the shelf over there by the big red dictionary.” She pointed at the middle bookcase.

She started laying out what she needed on the work table once Jill had fetched the map. She’d pulled alcohol wipes, gauze, and a disposable scalpel from the box she had nicknamed the ‘sharp and pointy kit’. She preferred using medical equipment for drawing blood whenever possible, she didn’t see the point in risking infection or using a ritual blade when it wasn’t necessary for the spell. Cal just needed one more thing, an object to fill with magic to guide her to the right spot on the map. Looking through a box of odds and ends she settled on an ordinary glass marble, small and easy to roll around the map, and placed it on the map in the middle of the lake.

“No one is going to miss that sock right?”

“Nah, kids lose socks all the time. I know how you work, it won’t be fit to return.”

“Thanks.”

Deep breaths to focus her mind. Finding a person over such a large area would take more than a couple drops of blood, magic always has it’s price. Not a large one still but more than finding where an object had been in a room. Cupping her left hand to catch the blood she sliced into the ball of her thumb. She waited for a small pool to form in her cupped hand, just a teaspoon or two of blood. Dipping a finger into the blood she drew a wet red circle on the map around the marble. More blood was dribbled more over the small child’s sock staining it scarlet. Finally she touched the finding glyph on her arm triggering the spell.

Cal felt the spell beginning to seek out Matty. Slowly the marble began to roll, spiraling outwards in a search pattern across the map. The family had been at a campground next to the lake so it was the logical place to start. Please don’t stop over the water.

As the marble kept moving the feeling changed. It felt wrong inside Cal’s head, like something was pushing against the spell. The spell had already locked on to Matty’s location, all she had to do was keep it going. The marble slowed it’s search pattern, coming to a rest at a spot deep in the woods. It exploded.



Part III  --  Part V