“Okay,” Diane huffs, as she throws herself into the seat next to Calle, wiping the sweat from her perfect brows. Today, she went for a white button down to go under her yellow sweater, her black high waisted jeans showed her beautifully shaped ass and she definitely showed it off to the hot girl at the other table who she knew has a thing for her. Hopping up on the stool, putting an arch in her back before she sat down. “I’m ready to get this class over with. I tripped three times just getting through the house before leaving. There are like six boxes just down the hall near the stairs. The only clean rooms are the kitchen, the living room, a bathroom and my own room. I really need to empty those damn boxes.” SHe sighed twisting a strang of her coily afro.
“Yea, no shit, you moved in three months ago and for some reason, you still haven’t made things homey. Your home is so beautiful! What 25 year old has a ten bedroom house all to themselves these days? You know I love coming over, you should let me clean up.” Calle responds handing Diane her morning tea latte and forcing her bubblegum pink bob cut out of her face and shoving it behind her ears.
“Thank you, dear.” Diane grabs the cup and sips.”I’m just scared about what I’ll find in my grandma’s boxes. I’m grateful she gave me an entire house all to myself but she and her wife are into wild stuff and I don’t want to find some weird kinks in those boxes.” she hesitated, “second thought, maybe I’ll just let you look through it.”
“Alright, will do. Grandma and Gran have far too many things. Do you think they have like whips and chains? OH! Maybe they have a sex dungeon! I’ll check the basement! Anyways, where is Shay? She’s always late.”
Just then, Shay runs into the room with paint smears all over her white t-shirt and denim overalls and her brown skin. A few of her locs had some colors in them even while twisted up in a bun. They’d usually hang at her waist.
“I literally ran across campus from the studio. I am so hungry, I didn’t even come here for class but for my-” Calle shoved a warm danish in her face.
“Yes,” Shay moaned as she sat in the seat next to Diane.
“Wait. Why are you excited about my grandparents having a freaking sex dungeon?”
“Uh. What did I miss?” Shay says over the pastry in her mouth.
“Alright. I hope everyone had a great day. Let’s begin today’s lesson!” called Ms. Leo.
Diane and Shay began to slouch closer to each other. One enjoying her danish and the other sipping her latte and gazing at the video on the board. Today they are learning about the intricate processes of evolution.
As usual, Calle was the only one of the three who was writing out her notes aggressively, trying not to miss anything on the board. The other two jot information down here and there, knowing that Calle would help them study later.
After four hours, the three girls walk back to Diane’s crowded home. It was a Victorian style home with three floors. That was in their family for generations. Some slave master was able to leave the home in Diane’s family and it has remained in their care for generations. Her grandmas recently built the greenhouse around back. She lived on 32 Orchard Street. The only black house on the street. The wrap around porch was filled with plants and there was one swing hanging. She remembered nights with her grandmothers and sipping hot chocolates under the stars and telling them all her problems. Both of her parents were there and attentive but there was something about her grandmothers that made her feel protective.
Her grandmothers have just given her the house now that she was an adult and bored with being at home. Plus they wanted to travel during their retirement. They spent their lives securing a comfortable life for them and their family and now that that’s all done, they’ve decided to see the world. Now out of nowhere she has an entire home to manage and it would be pretty foolish to complain.
Since the semester started a few months ago, after every biology class on Tuesdays and Thursdays, their ritual was to go over to Diane’s. Once the door opens, Calle walks down the hall and heads for the kitchen to cook dinner and make them some tea. Thankfully the grandmas have also spent a lot of time renovating the home so the kitchen has up to date appliances. Which excites Calle everytime she gets here.
Shay runs upstairs to lay in Diane’s bed for her post-class nap.
Diane grabs her laptop and sits at the kitchen table while Calle chops onions on the counter. Diane struggles to get her 4c hair into a bun but some strands just didn’t make it.
Calle sends a mug of hot chocolate over to Diane with a wave of her hand and moves to begin chopping green cabbage. Diane happily took the mug and began to sip her drink. Thank you. She mutters as the steam from the drink fog her glasses. “Did you put… chili in this?”
“Yes. It’s a new recipe. Priya from the old coven told me about it.”
“Well, it’s delicious. Keep making this.”
“Will do!” Calle turned and gave Diane a quick smirk before turning to finish her chopping.
The two girls work in silence for over an hour. Working in comfortable silence. Diane asks, “So, in evolution, there are some parts within the body that are useless now, like our tailbone, remains, even though we don’t have tails so with that idea, my characters; if they’re ancestors had wings, they’d have wing bones? So, with wing bones, I can use the science within my world to bring those wings back. Right?” Diane asks Calle’s back.
Calle turns around waving her knife, “Either way, it’s your own book with its own history. Their history has a different kind of science. Just make shit up. If people don’t get it then, they won’t.” She turns back around and continues chopping.
“But according to Williams, the people within our generation will need to understand and connect with my plot. They need to understand the book and connect with the day to day in order for my book to gain popularity.”
“So say you write a book that conforms to society’s standards and everyone hates the book. Then what?”
“Shut up. You’re right but shut up.” she sighed and turned head head back to her screen.
“Am I just supposed to write this book for me and only me? What if no one gets it. Everything falls to the majority, to widespread media. So… just… How?”
“Just write. Let’s figure it out later. Go get Shay. Dinner is ready.” Calle started reaching for plates to set the table.
Diane popped up from her chair and jogged up to her room. Diane walked past three unused rooms until she kicked open her own at the end of the hall.
She threw her body next to Shay on the bed. Shay turned over half asleep and just gazed at Diane. Diane gazed back. The two of them laid there staring at each other, unmoving for a bit. Finally, Diane whispered, “Dinner is ready.”
“Okay,” Shay replied, both still unmoving. They heard Calle’s feet running up the stairs and the two of them slowly turned away and got out of bed. By the time Calle reached the room, Shay and Diane were heading towards the door, both slightly towering over Calle. She wasn’t even five feet. She coasted at 4 feet and seven inches. Diane was exactly a foot taller and Shay was five feet and four inches.
Calle leaned against the door frame and slyly said, “I thought you guys were fucking. I didn’t know if I wanted to interrupt or join in.”
Shay’s eyes widened and she quickly grumbled, “Ha. You would just tell us to stop and go eat your dinner.”
Diane chuckled nervously, “Yea… no… Shay would much rather go find the nearest man than mess with me.”
Calle just laughed and followed them downstairs. They all sat around the table, Calle already prepared the table for them to eat. They had pots filled with sofritas tofu, chopped scallions, green cabbage, jalapenos, limes, rice, miso soup, soba noodle salad and cilantro. A plate piled high with tortillas and a pitcher of sake margaritas. Tonight’s dinner was sofritas tofu tacos, Calle’s specialty.
Calle loves cooking and combining both her heritages in every meal, Mexican and Japanese. She finds it a challenge. Both of her parents were born in America and don’t really cook so she learns recipes from her grandparents on both sides and cooks.
The girls sit at the table and pile their plates up and begin to properly stuff their faces.
After a long while of the silence that comes with delicious food, Shay huffs, and says, “I can’t believe that those idiots I call parents won’t stop drinking.” She takes a big sip of her miso soup before she continues “They argue constantly. I know they hate us, you know, their children almost as much as they hate each other. They made a bad choice when they were young and now they are just miserable drunks who refuse to fucking grow. I don’t want to go back there with them. I’ve spent 25 years taking care of those idiots and hurting myself. I don’t want Leo to have to go through that. I wish we had somewhere better to go. We’re just squatting in my dorm room and hoping we don’t get caught.”
“How much do you have in savings? Can you get an apartment?” Calle asks finishing the dregs of her second margarita and pouring another, refilling everyone’s cups.
“Not enough to afford anything near this campus. I can’t afford to pay for gas. I’m just a regular broke college kid.”
“You know you can stay here in this giant ass house.”
“I thought about it but I don’t know. It would feel a bit weird, right? Plus I want the independence, the pride knowing I have paid for my own place.”
“Okay. The offer still stands,” Diane shruggs and sips her drink then decided to change the subject. “It’s a good thing we have so much free booze from my Grandmother. Now we can afford to get drunk.” Diane says, raising her glass to the other two.
“HERE, HERE! Grandma has booze from everywhere around the world stored in her basement! I love her!” Calle yells, slurring her words a little.
“Your grandmother is a gay goddess and her booze and her home is saving us. Diane, you live in a fucking man-mas-mansion. How many rooms do you have? like eleven? twelve? Is there a pool?” Shay giggles. Clearly happy to move her thoughts away from her difficult home life.
“I do not have a pool and this house has I think ten rooms? I just stick to my own room. I’ve been too busy. There is an art room and a music room and a greenhouse. This place is wild. I swear some rooms just appear”
“THERE’S A GREENHOUSE?!?!” Calle looks up from her plate, alert.
“Yes! It’s at the end of the hall and to the right, near the basement door. I have no idea what those plants are but I water them every day. When I got here, they were dying.”
“What if they’re all mary-j’s!? Your gran is the coolest so I wouldn’t be surprised.” Calle implores.
“I doubt there is weed but I did see a bunch of herbs. Gran is a witch.”
Shay jumps up and starts heading to the living room, “Sorry, it’s Leo, one sec.”
Diane and Calle began cleaning up the table.
Shay runs back in, “I need to go, they caught us, campus police found out about Leo and they’re kicking us out.” She chokes on the last words.
“What? We’re coming!”
The three girls grab their jackets and head out.
Diane was the first to grab the keys and they all piled into the car. “So what happened, Shay”asked Calle from the backseat.
“Leo was staying by their friends tonight and they went to pick up some games from the room. Somebody called campus police because they say a little brown kid and for some reason, campus police wouldn’t just let them go. I don’t know how they found out. Leo didn’t say. Oh god. What is going to happen? What if they kick me out of school?” Shay put her head in her hands and started taking deep breaths.
“It will be okay, Shay,” murmured Diane and reached over to briefly rub her back before placing her hand back on the wheel. “We’re almost there.”
When they arrived at the dorm, Shay swiped her ID card and they ran up to the third floor to Shay’s room. They found Leo sitting on Shay’s bed with a campus police officer standing over them. Leo was crying and Calle and Shay ran up and held them in their arms. Diane walked up to the campus police, drawing herself up, folding her arms and demanding to be told what happened.
Looking very pleased with himself, he said “ I found her in the hallway after we received a call about a child terrorizing the students. I got her to tell me where she was staying. This is against the rules, ladies.”
“Firstly, I’m sure they’ve already told you that their pronouns are they and them which is something you should be mindful of before saying them. Secondly, you look very proud of yourself about terrorizing a “child”. They just sat there crying and what did you do? Just watch?”
Over on the bed, they kept apologizing and Calle tried to keep soothing them. Finally Shay told Calle to take them to the car.
“Well, if they followed campus rules then she wouldn’t have been crying on the bed. I was told that you will need to pack up your room tonight, Shay. You may remain studying but cannot remain living on campus.”
“Why? This is my first issue with campus police.”
“That is what I’ve been told. You need to leave tonight.”
“I think it’s about time you dismiss yourself, Office Howard. You will be hearing from me soon.”
“To say what?”
“I guess you’ll just have to wait and find out, Howard.” She indicated for the door and he made his way out the door.
“Little does that idiot know, I could get him fired! I will. That is horrible. Why would he be so cruel?”
Shay just looked at her with tears in her eyes. “What do we do?”
Diane walked over and pulled Shay into her arms. “It’s okay, my love. You guys can stay by me. You know I have the space.”
“Fine but would this mess with financial aid?”
“I don’t know. We have to ask tomorrow. Okay? Right now we just have to pack.” She gave Shay a kiss on the forehead. “Look. Just sit down and I’ll pack things up.”
Diane decided that now would be a good time to use a quick tidy up spell, hoping that Shay would not be able to see. Diane spent years hiding the witch part of herself from Shay. She’s been terrified that she will find out and hate her forever but she will always use a quick spell when she knows that Shay or even Leo isn’t looking.
Shay left the room to sit out in the hall. Thirty minutes in, all of their things were tidy and ready to be moved to the car. She called Shay in and soon they were packed up and ready to drive back toDiane’s home. Calle decide to stay with them all for the night to make sure everything was okay.
When they arrived home, they quickly moved all of Shay and Leo’s things into the house. Leaving them in the hallway and sitting in the living room to chat and cry until they all fell asleep.
Calle was up and moving before the sun came up. She made her way down the hall and into the kitchen. Moonlight crept in from the open windows giving her enough light to see as she chopped onions and herbs for omelets and made some batter for waffles.
A slight breeze comes in moving her curly, pink shoulder length hair. She reaches down for the two hair clips on her shirt and uses them to move back her hair then began prepping their morning feast. Her tattoo on her forearm of a sunflower gleams in the moonlight. If anyone were around they’d notice it slightly moving with the breeze.
This was the time she felt the most connected to herself, her power. She loves waking up this early, the silence gave her so much comfort. When she finishes in the kitchen, Calle lights the candles down the halls of the house with a wave of her hand. Calle decides to get Shay and Leo settled in their rooms and so she begins levitating Shay and Leo’s belongings upstairs. The only sounds in the house are the breathing of her friends in the living room and her steps up the stairs.
On the second floor, where most of the bedrooms are, Calle drops off Shay’s belongings into the room next to Diane’s. She can sense the love and admiration Diane and Shay have for each other… and that both girls are foolish enough to not think that the other feels the very same. They’ve spent the year and analgesic since them all meeting being jealous of whomever the other was seeing. She can’t count the times she’s caught either girl looking at the other in a way they’d never look at anyone else. It is so clear to her.She believes that maybe if they are closer to each other, they will realize this.
Calle takes it upon herself to clear up the room across the hall from Shay so that Leo can live near Shay. She gently places Leo’s belongings on the floor and heads for the room.
Calle spent an hour clearing up the room, it seemed to be Diane’s grandmother old art room. She opens box after box and casts a spell to place each piece of artwork around the house. The paintings were mostly impressionist paintings. One she assumed was an outline of her wife’s body. That one will go in the hall and be spelled onto the wall near Diane’s room. Just for fun. The impressionist paintings will line the walls in the living room and the hallway downstairs and the final painting of the sunset was placed outside Leo’s room.
Most of her time was spent trying to find the perfect piece of furniture to suit Leo. Now that they have their own room, they would need the space to chill after long days of school and whatever else they get up to. The abandoned tan futon that sat against the wall near the big window in the room would do well for their bed so that it allows for more space during the day. It will go great with the white and brown sheets and comforter they took with them.
Grandma’s painting desk can be reused as Leo’s desk. Calle decided to leave all of the old art supplies in a box in the corner just in case Leo decided to get creative. When Calle finished, everyone was up downstairs. Diane and Shay were cooking up the prepared breakfast and Leo was doing their homework. Calle walked straight to them and said, “check the room upstairs. I found the perfect room for you.”
Leo sprang up and ran up the stairs. Calle summoned herself a mug of tea.
Diane followed right behind it scowling after Leo. “You’re not supposed to be doing magic in front of Leo or Shay! They don’t know witches are real!” She hissed.
“They already went upstairs! Plus, Leo would be ecstatic to know that magic is real.”
“No duh!” She hisses, “Shay doesn’t even kn-.”
“SHAY TOTALLY KNOWS!” Calle says incredulously.
“If I didn’t know then, I do not now!” Shay said from the kitchen.
“B-W- What?? Know what?” Diane said with uncertainty.
Shay came out to the kitchen and said, “Was I not supposed to notice all the times you woke me up from my naps while you were in the kitchen? You always made your voice sound like it was RIGHT in my ear. It’s really annoying. You hide speakers in your room to be annoying. You can’t do that now that I’m living here.”
“Y-Yeah. Of course not. I wouldn’t dream of it. No more speakers!”
“You should stop hiding the truth, my dear.” Calle said moving to sit on the couch.
“My dear, you could try shutting up because I’ve already told her the truth” Diane rushed to the kitchen.
“Guys, just don’t do it again. This is now a safe space. It was just a prank but no more. You prank me again and I am moving out. I forgive you for now.”
“Big threat for someone who lied to me for years about how cute I actually looked while bald.”
“I really thought you looked cute! You always look so cute!”
“Stop! I think the only reason I got laid so often is probably because they assumed something was wrong with me.”
Shay reached out and softly touched Diane’s cheek, “Oh please! You are beautiful. Who wouldn’t want to fuck you.”
“What’s for breakfast?” Leo asks, carefully seating themselves into a seat at the kitchen table with their homework.
Shay and Diane laughed and pulled away slowly.
“Calle set up some waffles and omelet fixings. All vegan so don’t you worry. Everything has been seasoned to perfection!” Diane replies while making everyone’s plates for breakfast
“Thank you! And Diane, thank you for letting us stay here. We’re so grateful. I don’t know where we’d live if it weren’t for you,” says Leo.
“It’s no problem at all. I love you both and I might as well do something with this empty home. So do you have school today?”
“Yes. I’ll be going to school. I have a test today. What are you guys doing today?”
“I have a meeting with this other writer. She’s talking about collaborating on a story. I’m not sure if it will work out but she’s hot so maybe I’ll get some! If not, there’s always fuck buddy Becca.” She says sitting at the table placing a plate in front of herself and Leo. Shay carried her plate and Calle’s.
Calle came in singing, “when will you stop fucking all these women and just settle the fuck down. This place smells like different perfumes and pussy. I’m over it.”
“Would you like for it to smell like one pussy and perfume?”
“Yes, I like consistency.” Shay grumbled.
“Look. I’m just tryna get laid” Diana shrugged fork in hand. She dived her fork into her omelette and took a bite, giving Shay a taunting look.
“So you really just fuck anyone?” Shay asked
Calle knew that meant, “So why not fuck me?”
“I don’t fuck just anyone. Well, there are different kinds of fucking. There are the quick fucks, accidental fucks, passion fucks-”
“Diane, I am 17, a minor. Please stop. I could tell my friends crazy things about fucking now. What will the teachers say?” said Leo.
“Whoa. Language.” Shay softly scolded.
“That better be a joke because your ass is out here talking wild as shit.”
“Um… lil one. Chill.” Shay says shoving a fork full of waffles into her mouth.
“I thought so. Calle can you drive me to school? I need to pick your brain about something.”
“Oi! Don’t teach them anything crazy, Calle!” Scolded Shay.
“I won’t,” replied Calle getting up to clean her and Leo’s plate. Diane noted the wink Calle gave Leo.
“Okay, well I am going to meet this beautiful woman. I’ll see you later. Have fun cleaning…”Diane grabs her things and leaned over to give Shay a hug and a kiss on the cheek.
“Bye Shay!” Leo and Calle called out in unison and the three of them left the house.
Leaving Shay alone to grumble to herself.
Shay found herself a room upstairs, well Calle chose it for her. Her things were laid out on her freshly made bed.
Calle even blessed her with an old easel and set up her materials. She sat and began painting what she has been painting for months, Diane.
The two of them have been best friends since they were in middle school. For years, neither of them even thought about the other in that way. Diane dated boys until she realized she only wanted date women and Shay was there for her.
When Shay realized she wanted to date women, she never told Diane because she didn’t know what it meant for her. In high school, she kissed a female friend while drunk and it lead to sex. For years after, even though she knew she liked it. She was too afraid to admit it because she still liked men. What point would it make to announce it to everyone?
It wasn’t until one amazing sleepover that Diane reached over to hold Shay. This kind of intimacy was normal for them. Cuddling during sleepovers, kisses on the cheek, holding each other, all normal. It would have been nothing big but she looked at Diane and she looked back and there was a moment.
She could see her hair in bantu knots formed under her black bonnet, the moonlight giving her brown eyes a grey shine, her face so soft and they were so close she could feel her heart beating with her own and how easy it is to just be in her arms. Diane laid there looking at her and Shay scanned her face for more.
Diane finally pulled her close and kissed her softly on her forehead and immediately fell asleep.
There was no way Diane was interested in her. She would have kissed her lips instead of her forehead. That night would have been their first night together if only she were interested.
So that night, Shay decided to go to sleep.
It’s been months since they’ve slept in the same bed. They both avoided it. She’d rather sleep on the couch than be rejected by her best friend.
It doesn’t stop her from trying to paint the exact way the moonlight showed on her face. The light sharpening her cheek bones making her dark brown skin glow. There is no combination of blues, browns, yellows, reds, etc. That can do it justice but she hasn’t stopped trying.
Shay was two hours into this painting before her frustration made her give up and started throwing paint on the canvas instead.
Sher heard the front door slam and footsteps running up the stairs, followed by a knock at her door.
“Who?” Shay asked.
“Me.” Diane opened the door and threw herself on the bed.
“She stood me up! What the fuck. It was for our writing. Who does that?”
“Maybe her intuition told her you just wanted sex.”
“Nah. It don’t think intuition is all that good anyway.”
“Well she didn’t show up so… ”, Shay shrugged.
“Fine. Let me take you out. Get cleaned up. I like your painting by the way.” Diane got up and quickly left the room. “20 minutes.” She yelled from the hall.
Shay was so grateful she ruined the painting if Diane before she got here. She headed to the bathroom to wash the paint from her hands, face and locs. They always dip into the paint like Medusa’s locs, having a mind of their own. Even if they’re tied up in a bun.
In 20 minutes, she is dressed and downstairs with Diane and heading out.
“Can I drive yours? I want this to be a surprise and I walked from the cafe because I was so upset from earlier.”
“Yea, no problem.” She said as she handed her the keys.
The pair of them hopped into Shay’s beat up pink punch buggie and started driving.
After a thirty minute ride, they arrived at an abandoned looking factory off an abandoned road.
Shay and Diane often found weird places to discover together but they would usually plan the trip together so that they could rent out camera equipment. These trips are only good for their pictures.
“So why are we here?”
“I found this place and I thought we could have some alone time.”
“What for? We would have been alone in the house.”
“Honey. You know why”, Diane reached over to hold Shay’s hand.
Once again, not a shocking form of intimacy but then she pulled Shay’s hand to her lips and kissed it. Then she started leaning closer. Diane normally smelled of lavender and mint but today she smelled different, something more floral. They were so close that their lips were just barely touching. Shay could feel her entire body warming up, her heart pounding in anticipation. Just waiting to feel her lips on her own.
She was waiting for the moment their lips finally touched. She hoped it would be better than what she dreamed. What she didn’t expect was a hand on her throat, squeezing. SO hard she couldn’t breathe.
Calle finally arrived back at Diane’s home after dropping off Leo and then picking up items from her fellow coven member Violet. She needed to pick up some mugwort and bunch of candles from the wicca shop she works at. Violet always talks her ear off with strange facts and then ends it with giving her a tarot card reading. Now Calle knows for sure that what she needs to do next is move in with Diane. Something is coming and it would be better if she wasn’t living on the couches or the other coven members.
Calle is ever so grateful that no one told Diane about her living situation.
Calle decided this was the best time to check out the greenhouse. As she started walking, she heard a car pull up to the house. She peeked through the window and saw Diane so she opened the door wide and let her in. “Hello, love! You’re energy is off.”
“That girl stood me up! How rude! At least I got myself some tea and the barista’s number.” Diane threw herself onto the living room couch and Calle followed. Throwing herself onto the love seat on the other side of the room.
“Great. Another perfumed pussy around the house. Did you bring anyone new today? Something smells off.”
“Nope. No one. Is Shay still here?”
“I don’t sense her here so no.”
“That is so creepy but I also wish I could sense people. I wonder where she went.”
“Cast a spell or use that new spangled ability. I have a feeling. Something is off.”
“You just magically have some feelings and now I have track my own best friend? Invade her privacy?”
“Do it and shut up. My senses are better than yours.”
“Fine.” Diane threw herself into a trance, eyes going white for a moment and then she was out of it as quickly as she went into it.
“We have to go. Now.”
“Why? What’s wrong?”
“I saw her. She’s with me.”
“Exactly. Grab my hand.”
“Can we drive? I hate this part.”
“No. I’m about to kill her.” Diane grabbed Calle’s hand, thought of Shay and then they were there. Just in time to see Diane choking the life out of a struggling Shay.
Calle used her power to yank the car door open and then ran in to quickly unbuckle Shay and pull her away. Shay was gasping for breath on the floor near the car.
Diane in the car grew pale, eyes turning black, hair turning grey and it began hissing as it came out the car readying to fight Diane. It leapt towards her only to be forced back by the force field she placed on herself and her friends behind her. She yelled to Calle. “What the hell is this thing?”
“It’s a shapeshifter!?” Shay started regaining her breath and finally sat up in Calle’s arms.
“No shit!” She formed balls of electricity in her hands and began throwing them at the creature. It seemed to be holding it but in no way detering it from trying to kill them all.
“It looks like one of the creatures from this book! I forget the name but try fire!”
Diane gathered both hands together to create a giant ball of electricity, hoping it would give her enough time to concentrate on producing enough fire to fill this thing. It seemed to have grown five feet since changing to its normal form.
The giant ball of electricity finally knocked it off it’s feet which gave Diane enough time to create a ball of fire big enough to kill the thing. There was a loud shriek before it fell into dust.
“Finally.” Diane says smiling and turning back to her friends.
Shay was lying in Calle’s arms with such fear in her eyes. When Diane walked close to her, she shrank away.
Calle put her hand up to Diane, telling her to stay back and Calle began murmuring in Shay’s ear. Softly stroking her hair and giving her kisses.
Diane knew that one of Calle’s gifts are to soothe but it is breaks her heart seeing Shay lie there in anyone else’s arms but her own in this moment. She has been holding Shay for years but one step towards her seemed to scare her. She has never seen Shay gives her a look like that.
Diane thought it would be best to push down that hurt and do the most practical thing, checking the car to see if they could make it home. Gas was full, there was surprisingly no damage to the car. She looked over and saw the two of them still on the dusty road clutching each other so she sat and waited in the car.
Calle and Shay lay on the couch in the living room. Almost in the exact same position they were in when they were on that abandoned road.
“I-I’ll pick up Leo from school,” Diane mutters.
With that, Shay finally looks up at Diane. Her eyes full of something Diane has never seen before. There was sadness in it. Definitely still that hurt laced with contemplation. She looked on for a beat longer then in a huff, she laid back down. Diane took that as saying that Shay is okay with her picking up Leo so she headed for the door.
“What did I just see?” Shay whispers in Calle’s lap once Diane shut the door.
“I think we should wait for Leo to get here, okay?” Calle said brushing Shay’s locs behind her ear.
“I think they need to hear this too. We need to talk about it as a family.”
“I want to know what the fuck is happening.” Shay says leaning up and looking at Calle so fiercely. Calle looked at her in surprise, realizing the effects of her natural soothing ability seems to be wearing off or Shay is growing an immunity. That hasn’t happened before.
“Please. Can you just wait maybe ten minutes.” Calle says, trying to lace her words with calm. Hoping that Shay would just lay back in her lap until Leo and Diane get home.
“No. I need to get us out of here. What kind of shit is this?” Shay got up quickly, walking across the living room rug then turning to go up the stairs.
Calle figured it would be best if she just remained where she was and let Shay try and pack. She’d just cast a spell that would unpack her belongings as she packed.
Since her first method of calming Shay didn’t work, Calle found herself back in the kitchen making mugwort lattes and pulling out her lavender cookies for everyone to eat during their witchy chat.
By the time Calle finished setting up everything on the kitchen table, Leo and Diane were home.
“SHAY! I got an A on my test! Let’s order pizza!”
“No! Leo. We need to leave. Come pack your things.” They heard her yell over the shuffling in her room. Boxes obviously being packed.
Both Leo and Diane looked at Calle questioningly. Calle saw in Diane’s face that she hoped they would both be on the couch when they came back home.
“Shay. I need everyone to come downstairs and sit at the table.”
“NO!” and then mumbles in frustration, “I just packed my glitter thong!”
“SHAY! Get. Your. Ass. Down. The Goddamn. Stairs. Now!” Calle yelled in her firmest voice. Only heard when she was tired of eveyrone’s bullshit.
They heard more shuffling, frustrated grunts then a loud sigh and then She appeared at the top of the stairs, looking down at Diane and Leo standing in front of the door.
“Everyone. In the kitchen.”
Leo threw her bag into the living room to the right and then glided to the kitchen to the left. Diane stood there for a beat looking at Shay. Shay quickly looked away and marched down the stairs and Diane turned to walk into the kitchen.
There were six seats at the table. Leo and Calle sat at the either head of the table. Diane took a seat on the right closer to Calle and Shay took the seat closest to Leo.
“Grab a mug and a cookie.”
They all reach for a mug and a cookie in unison. Shay, aggressively avoiding any physical connection to Diane.
“So, this is our first house meeting–”
“Um. Do you live here now, Calle?” asked Leo expectantly.
“I will address that in a moment.” She turned and gave Diane a look that asked if she could move in and Diane gave her a happy little nod. Some of the tension released from her shoulders.
“Okay. We are gathered here today because Diane and I want to tell you guys that we are witches.” She paused for dramatic effect but Shay and Leo just stared so she started again. “We can perform spells and incantations. I have a familiar, Rockie. The jokes about Diane’s grandma being a witch are true and today, Shay was attacked by this shapeshifting beast that acted like it was Diane. For that, I am so sorry. We planned to tell you both tonight at dinner but… then you were attacked.” Calle looked at Shay who had tears in her eyes. Leo looked at everyone like they were crazy.
“Are you guys on drugs?”
“No, Leo. We are not on drugs.” Diane said while raising her hand up to conjure a small ball of electricity.
“W-Wait.N- No. What the fuck?!” Leo says as they hop out their seat and take turns looking at all three girls seated at the table in shock.
“Leo, Dear. Can you please sit down? I truly understand what kind of shock this could be to you. I really do and I sympathize but what I am asking for everyone is to temporarily hold off the excitement or shock or… fear. I would just like to say one more thing.” Calle says using the voice she knows will get everyone to shut up.
Leo takes a deep breath and sits back down in their chair indicating for Calle to continue.
“Thank you. Today, I went to visit a friend from Diane and I’s former coven. Her name is Violet. You guys know her from that party. She did a tarot card spread that gave me a warning that something was coming. I had no idea what that means. I still don’t but today has shown us that there are dangers out there. Diane and I have never had to face anything like we did today. Our magic is mostly focused on plants or small spells. It has never been used as defensive for us but something is now coming and because something actually came for you, Shay, I believe that something may be after all of us. I don’t know but I can feel something brewing and I want everyone to be on guard. This shit never happens.”
“I just want to chime in and say that it really never does.” Diane said, a finger in the air. “We did in fact plan on telling you both soon since you just moved in and I didn’t want you guys to wonder.”
“Bitch, I’ve known you since we were kids and you have never said a word! All those sleepovers and drunken nights and not once did you tell me? But now that I moved in. It was necessary! Interesting. Leo. Let’s go pack our shit.”
“Wait.” Diane jumps up, chair clattering on the floor. “Please just wait one second.”
Leo and Shay pause for a moment.
“I’m sorry. I truly made a mistake. I thought that you both would hate me so I never said anything. I thought it would end our friendship. Plus, I didn’t even know I was an actual witch until junior year of highschool. I assumed that the levitating shit in the house or candles lighting themselves was just normal. I didn’t really think too much of it. I don’t know. It just happened. I’m so sorry.” Diane choked on the last words, eyes brimmed with tears. “I never wanted you to get hurt. I-I just thought you would be safer not knowing and things will just stay the same. I didn’t want things to change or for you to hate me but I realized it can’t be hidden anymore with you guys here. Things happen. I wanted you to feel safe-.”
“This is bullshit. Too much bullshit. Leo! Come on!” and turned one one foot. Leo stayed where she was.
They took a deep breath and sat down, grabbing onto Diane’s hands. Entwining their long and thin fingers with her short and chubby ones. “Diane. I understand why you didn’t say anything but I really wish you did. We love you. There is nothing that will change that. Shay is just going to need some time. We have been lied to and hurt before. You know that. We have been in traumatizing situations. That you have been there for. She will need some time to process. We can’t just willingly jump from trauma to trauma.”
Diane, full on sobbing pulled Leo’s hand up to her lips and kissed their knuckles, nodding. After a moment, she released their hand and they got up slowly then retreated to the stairs. Leaving Diane crying at the table and mournful looking Calle at the table. The pair of them held each other’s hands.
As if sensing it, Calle’s familiar appeared at the window. Rockie, today he had black fur with piercing grey eyes and a brown arrow looking mark trailing down his back. He hopped from window to counter to table and planted himself on their joined hands and began licking Diane’s risk for comfort.
Leo made it in the room just in time to narrowly miss a pair of underwear flying towards their face.
“WHOA! Watch it,Sister Shay!”
“Sorry. Have you packed yet?”
“No. I haven’t. I think we need to talk about this. Remember. We are a team and you can’t just make choices for me.”
“You really want to live with THEM?”
“You mean our friends for years? Yea. No shit.”
“But they have been keeping things from us!”
“You mean like you have been keeping one from them?” Leo hissed low.
“It-It’s not the same thing. You know it isn’t.”
“Then why are you keeping it from them?”
“Because- they just wouldn’t understand.”
“That sounds exactly like what Diane said. That fear of judgement? Of course. There is fear.”
Shay settled herself down, she sat on the bed and put her head between her knees. Her breath finally slowing. Leo moved themselves from the doorway and closed the door. They seated themselves next to Shay and began rubbing her back. “Shay. I can only imagine how scary it must have been to have had that experience. I get it. I just want you to not make a rash decision without talking it through. I mean witches. CRAZY! Who would have even thought about having friends who are witches?”
“I know. You seem to be taking this better than I am.”
“Yea. That’s because I had a feeling. At least with Calle. Diane was a shock. I once saw her stir tea and then she let go and I saw it go three times around the cup before it stopped. I felt like it could have been something that could have been explained away. Like no big deal so I kept it to myself but then one day, I came by and Calle was cooking and all the pots on the stove had been stirring on their own. I thought I was crazy so I kept it to myself. I mean it was crazy so I didn’t want to start calling my friend a witch. I mean. It’s crazy. I didn’t even think they existed but isn’t it cool?”
“Yes. It is. You know when my life isn’t in danger but that’s fair. I honestly would have done the same. It’s a weird concept to wrap your mind around. They’re actually real and we know two of them. What?” She laughed incredulously.
“I know. Ha! You think the Salem Witch Trials were right all along?”
“Yea, no. That’s a stretch. Like men don’t jump at the chance to kill a woman that doesn’t conform to what they want. They were probably like: “this woman doesn’t want children? WITCH!” Or “this woman doesn’t like me! WITCH!” Or even “these women want to spend their lives living in the same home away from men who murder them because they think they’re witches! WITCH!” Honestly, men are an absolute mess. They were probably incels”
“Wow. That was quick. Back to the old Shay! Love you, girlie.”
“No. I’m still pretty shaken up though. I mean that thing looked and acted like Diane It- it was so close.”
“I know, love. I know.” Leo indicated for Shay to come lay on the bed and they laid there soothing her locs until they both fell asleep.
By midnight, Shay and Leo had woken up from their mournful nap and made their way downstairs. They were slightly surprised to find both Diane and Calle still in the clothes they worn before and sitting on the couch in the living room. Calle leaning on Diane’s shoulder reading whatever she was writing on the laptop. It looked like they had been sitting there as day slowly turned to night. The only light that shone on the screen from the computer. Exhaustion written on their faces. Their eyes glued to the screen.
“Hey. Can we talk?” Shay asked softly breaking through the silence.
The only response was a grunt from one of the girls on the couch but Shay couldn’t figure out which one.
“I-I’m sorry I was so quick to dismiss you guys. I’d like to listen to what you guys have to say so that we can work through this.”
The only thing that answered them was silence. Diane typed on and Calle was entranced. Leo walked into the room and tapped them both on the shoulder and got no response. They yelled “GUYS!” And nothing. Leo looked up at Shay and mouthed “what the fuck?”. Shay finally found the confidence to walk into the room. She tried moving the laptop from Diane’s grasp but it wouldn’t budge either.
Shay looked up at Leo with panic on her face, “What is happening?”
“I have no idea. DIANE! CALLE!” She began slapping them both aggressively but still nothing. “Fuck. Do you think it has something to do with the fucking things that are trying to get us or whatever?”
“I don’t know. Maybe.” Leo tried grabbing and closing the computer.
“They’re the witchy people. What the fuck do we- AH! I’m calling Violet. She’s a witch. I mean she never fucking lied about it.” Shay whipped out her phone and called Violet. “Hey! I need you to come over here now. Okay? Something is happening to Diane and Calle. I don’t know what to do.” From the other side of the phone she heard Violet say, “Okay. I’ll be there in five.”
Shay and Leo kept trying to break their trace and soon the door was busting open and Violet was coming through. She quickly made her way to Diane and Calle, She analyzed the scene and dug in her bag, pulled out a powder, blew it on them and then quickly using her middle and pointer finger made a circle. Within moments, Diane and Calle were up and Diane slammed closed the laptop.
“What the fuck just happened?” moaned Calle rubbing her head.
“No idea.” replied Diane.
“What happened was that you two idiots got hacked. You guys know about witches casting shit through viruses. What the hell is wrong with you both? I will add in software.” said Violet grabbing the laptop and left the room.
“You guys don’t know what happened?” asked Shay.
“No. We don’t have issues like this. I told you guys. For us it’s just like telekinesis or small spells. We don’t fight. We don’t practice defensive magic.”
“Well that is fucking stupid!” Yelled Shay, walking up to them both and scanning their faces.
“Shay. It is not stupid.” Calle grumbled.
“Yes it is! You know for a fact that there are dangers in this world and you do not know how to protect yourself? How dumb is that?”
“No. You guys could have been hurt because you aren’t protecting ourselves. Shit. I GOT HURT because you guys aren’t prepared for attacks. That thing got into this house. Walked up the stairs. They could have gone through anything. If you won’t protect yourselves, protect us. Protect this house! What the fuck.” Shay turned stormed out of the room and went back upstairs.
“My very dramatic sister is right. We need to feel safe. At least in this house. Do you have a spell or something? We need to create a plan to keep us all safe. Diane, can you call your grandparents? Maybe figure out what attacked us and how to stop that from happening?”
Diane looked like she was still processing what happened in the past ten minutes but finally she said, “yes, I’ll call her now. Calle, you can get in touch with the coven? They can teach us some protective spells or something.”
“Of course. I’m on it. Leo, I am so sorry we scared you so many times today. We will make this house safe.” Calle got up on unsteady legs and walked to the kitchen where Violet sat at the kitchen table typing aggressively on the computer.
Leo sat next to Diane on the couch, wrapping a blanket around them both. “I know you like to have control of things so this entire situation must come as a shock. It’s all very scary but we need to prepare. We need to get ahead of whatever happens next. We need to protect our family, okay?” Diane nodded and leaned on Leo’s shoulder. Diane and Leo’s coily hair meshed together and Diane pulled out her phone and dialed her grandparents.