Though the mirror images of me gave an impression of ubiquity, no witch in her right mind would ever attempt to physically be at two places at once. Since the rock sound came from around Jordan’s position, I crossed my fingers and hoped he would investigate it. I moved closer to the river to see where the shushing came from.
At first, I thought the barrel was real but as soon as I focused on it, I saw through the wood. The transparent barrel rushed toward the fall and went over the edge only to crash in the river below.
Then, it reappeared at the top.
So many people died attempting this, I shouldn’t be surprised a ghostly echo manifested from time to time. What was surprising was that no one mentioned it before. The only way that could have happened was if the manifestation was new, fuelled by the power of the full moon, the approaching Shabbat and the uncontrolled emanations of amateurs doing some hocus pocus nearby.
“Ladies.” Jordan’s voice came from the general sector where I had heard the rocks. “I’m sorry to inform you that you are trespassing. No spelling’s allowed near the falls.”
I cursed; hadn’t I asked him to call me for help before any intervention? I flew toward him at full speed.
“Why?” The girl’s tone couldn’t have sounded more falsely innocent than that. She may have surrounded herself with amateurs who leaked magic through every pore but this leader knew what she was doing.
I reached the observation platform and chose to remain out of sight until I could assess the situation properly. The girls stood in a small grotto, a few feet up and away from the platform. They were backlit by what was most likely a bonfire. That they managed to go that far into their ritual told me Jordan had gotten distracted at some point during patrol.
I foresaw a scolding in his future.
“The water element energy emanating from the fall tends to screw spells up unless they are already stabilized in an amulet,” Jordan said with a smug smile. He fingered the amulets hanging around his neck.
I flew past the little group to see what was in the grotto and get an idea of how much trouble I should be for the girls. What I found pissed me off.
“What did you raise?” I yelled, grabbing the leader in a choke hold at the same time I uncloaked myself. The three amateurs jumped and sheepishly pushed themselves against the grotto’s wall.
“Maybe we should try asking nicely first,” Jordan said. I glared at him.
“Because you didn’t pay attention while you were on guard duty, they managed to complete a summoning spell, which, as you so brilliantly mentioned, will blow in our faces.” The witch wiggled in my arms trying to escape. I squeezed a little bit more. “No time for kindness. What did you raise?”
“No way I’m telling you before she gets here.”
“Who is she?” I growled. Her resolved seemed strong so I didn’t expect her to talk. I turned my eyes toward the helpers who shivered when they noticed how wolfy my iris looked.
“She told us it was just for fun.”
“That it would never work.”
“We didn’t know.”
“Who is she?”
The girls froze. Speechless.
The wild banging coming from behind the falls told me I would get an answer soon enough.
Next part coming next Wednesday!