This is the fourth part in an ongoing serial I’m writing. To read from the beginning, click here.
Tabitha led the way to her tent. She didn’t actually live at the cemetery like the majority of the residents, but then she was neither dead nor undead, but very much a live. However, she did spend a lot of time here, and if there was over-night work for her to attempt, she usually pitched her tent in one of the clearing near the woods.
‘Tea? Coffee?’ she asked over her shoulder as she unzipped the door and then cast her bag of knitting to one side.
‘I’m not here for beverages, Tabby. You promised me an explanation.’
She huffed. ‘Fair enough. But I’m in dire need of tea.’ She set the kettle on the little gas stove. Only once her drink was made did she begin her tale.
‘Samhain approaches. As you know, at this time of year, every year, I treat myself to a new spell working to add to my spell book. This latest one I found on the internet.’
Damon groaned. ‘What? You know you can’t trust anything you find on there!’
Tabitha shushed him. ‘Everything was going well…I cast my circle and called the elements and my spirits of protection…I added all the spell ingredients into my cauldron and then said the magic words…’
‘So how did it go wrong?’
‘Who says it went wrong?’
‘There is a squirrel the size of a woolly mammoth two hundred yards from where we are standing.’
‘I know that, Damon. What I meant was, perhaps the spell was simply mislabelled. Anyhoo, the furry fellow we just met wasn’t so big before the spell-casting. He was just an average sized, run-of-the-mill squirrel.’
‘So how did he get so big?’
Tabitha coughed. ‘I…er…accidentally…stole one of his acorns and he wanted it back. You see, I needed one for the spell and when I wasn’t looking he jumped into the cauldron and whoosh.’ Her arms went flying outwards to mimic the squirrel’s expansion. ‘The pesky creature broke my cauldron. It was a family heirloom.’
‘So how are you going to fix this?’
‘Do not worry, my friend. The remedy is in hand. I’ve been baking.’
‘Soul cakes. My own recipe. Ground acorns, I think the squirrel with love them. All I need to do is wait until midnight and get a witch’s dozen of spirits to sprinkle a little soul dust on them and we’re good to go.’
Damon pulled a face. ‘That’s not what a soul cake is, Tabitha. They’re a tasty, baked, part biscuit, part cake thing, with currants made into a cross shape.’
‘You and I must work from different recipe books. Now, if all you’re going to do is tell me how to do my job – notice, I’ve never told you how to do yours – you might as well go and see what that scream was all about.’
The scream had all but been forgotten by Damon. From the back pocket of his jeans, he pulled out a little notebook, that looked awfully like the ones carried by football referees.
‘Oh, Damon, no!’ Tabitha protested. ‘You can’t book me. I’ve never been yellow carded in my life!’
‘Oh I can, and I will, and I think we can all agree, you deserve it, Tabitha,’ he said, scribbling down a few notes, before he pulled out a yellow card and showed it to her.
To be continued…
Written for: 13 Days of Samhain vol ii: Day 4 – Soul Cakes