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 A Prophecy of Shadows


Chapter 4


The leaves rustled slightly on the branch as she sought a better vantage point.

*Click* *Click*

She observed silently as he loaded luggage into the trunk of the car—obviously bags for both of them. She wasn’t even aware that she was gritting her teeth until her jaw started throbbing. Taking a deep breath, she blew it out slowly, focusing her attention on the couple as she focused her lens. ‘C’mon,’ she thought, ‘just a little closer together, damnit!


She growled in frustration as they got into the vehicle…she had not gotten the picture she needed. A few minutes later, the car was pulling out of the drive, heading…somewhere. It was then that the thought formed in her mind. If they both had luggage, then they both would be gone at least overnight, if not longer. Taking her camera, she zoomed in on the front of the house, scanned it slowly. No alarm company sign. The neighboring houses weren’t too close to each other, either. Sitting in the bushes on the hill located at the side of the property, she wondered if she could pull it off. If she had something…personal…she could do so much more.

"Yes," she whispered quietly as her thoughts took on a life of their own. She’d have to wait until nightfall, of course, but the benefits far outweighed the risks. Going over the different scenarios in her head, she walked the short distance through the wooded area, emerging a short distance from where her car was parked. She had plenty of time…time to do something in the interim, something to drive the wedge deeper between that bitch in her way and the man she wanted.




Once she got home, she downloaded the pictures from the camera. Even though she didn’t have one with a clear view of both of them together, she figured she could improvise. Picking out the two with the most clarity, she sent them to the printer. Listened to the machine begin calibration as she walked through the bathroom into the connecting room. Going through one of the drawers she withdrew a gray taper candle, along with black cotton twine. Using a small pair of sharp point embroidery scissors, she cut three short lengths of the narrow thread. The oil-filled cruet and matches rounded out the items she placed on the altar.

The sound from the printer faded away. Taking the scissors with her, she withdrew the two sheets from the tray and trimmed away the excess paper until all she had left was a picture of Cam and a picture of Jessie. These, too, joined the items on the altar. Assuring everything was accounted for, she began by pouring a few drops of oil into her hand to anoint the candle. Having accomplished that, she picked up the scissors, holding it as she would a pencil. Turning the candle over once, she began pricking the wax as she whispered the incantation.

"As I prick this candle, I prick at thee, broken hearts unhappy be. As she is quickly led astray, soon you’ll go your separate ways."

She then lit the candle, watching the flame flare before it began melting the wax. Tilting the taper sideways, she let the wax drip along the edge of Cam’s photo. Setting the still burning taper into a single candleholder, she took the picture of Jessie and pressed its outer edge into the wax, creating a bond as well as a makeshift picture of the couple together. ‘It’s not perfect, but it’ll have to do,’ she thought. With the picture in front of the candle, she next picked up the black twine, tying each of the three pieces individually around the candle.

"Take this couple that I see, love is gone, unhappy be. Threads of discord, threads of hate, soon to part be their fate."

Picking up the photo, she held the wax seam to the flame just until it ignited the paper enough for her to rip it apart. Laid the smoldering pieces a foot apart on the altar. Leaning in, she blew out the candle before taking it from its holder. Applying careful pressure, she broke it in half to where two of the twine threads were on one half, with one on the other. Placed the two pieces of broken candle in between the separated pictures. Closing her eyes she began meditating, visualizing Cam and Jessie being pulled apart from each other, Jessie moving further and further away until she could no longer be seen. Pictured herself comforting Cam, embracing him, drawing him in. She was so deep into the imagery she didn’t notice the drop in the room’s temperature.

When she finally emerged from her meditation, she was exhausted; shivering from the cold and a weariness that seeped into her bones. It was always that way after she did rituals—she felt it was because she was ‘paying her dues’…literally selling a bit of her soul in exchange for a favor. Reaching out, she briefly caressed the marble statue at the back of her altar before stumbling into her bedroom, collapsing on the bed and falling into an unnaturally deep sleep.

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