And, as usual, it somehow came back to being my fault in the end.
Mom arrived a short time—okay about five seconds—after the kerfuffle was over, fury in her face and power crackling, ready to erase memories of the normals in the salon.
It was only Evie’s continuing ravings about being a witch that saved her and her clients, Blue and Madge included, from having their minds wiped.
While Mom was glad the boy’s echo had moved on, she was furious I had failed to watch over Gram.
From the startled look on her face when I told her what Gram had done, Mom wondered herself why she’d even considered leaving my grandmother in my care. As though it hadn’t been her idea at all.
Another thing to make me go hmmm about Gram.
My grandmother fell into her worst lapse of sanity yet, barely able to focus on anything and I had to wonder if she’d somehow used up part of who she was, the woman who remained intact deep beneath the crazy, to help Evie and Alex. I felt terrible for her, guessing such was the case, and made sure to be extra kind to her the next little while, though I felt sure she never knew it.
I have to admit, I was pretty pissed Mom made us move two days later when the excitement of Evie’s “gift” only expanded and didn’t die down as we’d hoped. Celeste raised such a stink, Mom had no choice, though Sassafras apologized to me for pushing so hard.
The thing is, we could have stayed. No one would have been the wiser. Evie was so excited to know her life-long belief was real—even though it wasn’t—she was taking full credit for the incident and the rumor mill was more than happy to accept her story.
She didn’t even seem to realize the bracelet I’d been wearing was the same one she now worshiped. Instead, she acted as though it appeared from thin air, a story everyone bought.
To the point the phone at the salon stopped ringing for hair appointments and started for psychic readings.
But Celeste insisted, mostly, I think, to cause trouble for me. Because it was just like her. And with Erica nervously backing her up, Mom had no choice when the coven responded to their joint request we just move on and leave this behind us.
Evie was sad to see me go, hugging me several times when I came to tell her we were leaving. At least Mom gave me that much, allowing me to say goodbye.
My boss had decided to stop hairdressing and devote herself to witchcraft full time, just like she always wanted. Though she had one remaining client she puzzled over.
The evil Mrs. Tiller who pissed Gram off with her homeless comment, somehow—I knew now what my grandmother’s power surge created—ended up with deep blue hair the color of our family magic.
Evie took full responsibility, claiming, in a breathless voice, it had to be an after-effect of her commune with Alex’s ghost. But no matter what she did, the blue just wouldn’t cover or come out.
I expected, knowing Gram, it never would.
Evie shed a few tears over me before telling me in her new, solemn way she saw hardship in my future, darkness coming I would have to face with courage and conviction.
But that I would be more than up to the tasks ahead and happiness waited for me on the other end of my troubles.
I hugged her one last time before leaving her behind, trying not to shake my head.
After all, what did a make-believe witch know about the future?
Family Magic by Patti Larsen is the 2014 winner of World’s Best Story which officially launches tomorrow August 6th 2015.
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