Tattoo: The Books of Glory

a webserial about people who are not like us

Tattoo Book 5, part 3.12

Posted by harmony0stars on March 12, 2010

“You… want some of my blood?” Cindy inquired incredulously.

“Just a drop or two,” Glory assured her, “for the spell to find Chelsea.”

Cindy’s brow wrinkled as she thought it over. Considering the woman could breath underwater, a naga had inadvertently helped rescue her, and there was a ghoul sleeping away the morning on the floor below them, Glory couldn’t quite understand what was so hard to believe about using spellwork to find someone. Maybe she was simply tired of being poked and prodded after her months in the tender care of Miskatonic University. Her next question set Glory back a bit though. Obviously the woman was familiar with the rudiments of magic even if she seemed not to want anything to do with it.

“What will you do with it when you’re done?”

“Whether it works or not, you can have the whole coconut when we’re done,” Glory assured her. “You can do whatever you want with it. I’m not trying to put anything over on you, Cindy.”

“I-I know. I’m sorry. I don’t mean to seem ungrateful, but I know my mother wouldn’t approve of this. She’s from the reformed Church of Dagon. We don’t traffic in the old ways, and I haven‘t practiced since I married. We raised Chelsea Jewish.”

Glory smiled slightly. “You’ll forgive me if I tell you I have absolutely no idea what the Church of Dagon means, reformed or otherwise. I just practice magic.”

Cindy laughed ruefully, rubbing her eyes. The dark circles weren’t likely to disappear without a month of rest and good food, but at least she seemed sturdy enough now that a gust of wind wasn’t going to knock her down.

After Robert had left for school and while Cindy and Edgar were still asleep, Glory had slipped out of the house for a few supplies. Finding a coconut at the local market hadn’t been difficult, but it was just as well that she’d asked the grocer’s advice beforehand on how to get it open. She drained it first, and though she had no need of the water inside, she decided to freeze it, just in case it was something she could use at a later date.

She could have tried using a hacksaw to get the thing open, but the grocer had suggested tapping with the blunt part of a large knife, which worked reasonably well, if not evenly. But it didn’t really matter how even the break was since she intended to reseal the nut with wax once she had everything assembled. She drew her compass rune on the smaller of the two halves before prepping the rest of the ingredients for her spell. At least she knew the compass rune worked, even if the rest relied more on creativity than lore.

By the time Cindy woke, Glory had a small piece of parchment prepared with the seal of the moon at its center. As the celestial body which governed motherhood, children, navigation, and water, it seemed to be the perfect “engine” for the spell. For good measure, she put the seal of Mercury on the back of the sheet for its control over terrestrial travel and things which were lost or stolen. She set a bit of powdered angelica and tobacco in a large violet leaf, and tied it up with twine. Though the angelica had more to do with protecting children than finding them, it couldn’t hurt to include it and would only serve to fine tune the spell to look for a child. Tobacco was useful in finding missing people at least and violet for bringing back a lost love. In a small green bag, she placed a piece of pink calcite, fairy stone, and rutilated quartz. The fairy stone was helpful in locating lost objects and the calcite enhanced the empathic connect between parent and child, with the quartz amplifying the power of both gems.

It only remained for Cindy to give her some specifics about Chelsea, her full name and date of birth, and to give the spell focus by adding her blood. Glory reduced Chelsea’s name to its numerological equivalent as well as including her birth date along the edges of the sheet. If she’d had time, she might also have included the child’s birth chart. Rolling the parchment up, she tied it shut, attaching the violet leaf and bag to it with the same twine before laying everything inside the hollow coconut. She dipped the edges of the top half in the hot wax before fitting the two halves together. Then she continued to ladle the wax over the crack to make sure it was airtight.

“You know… if this works, you could hold onto this at least until Chelsea’s old enough to date. You’d always know where to find her. You’ll just need a map of wherever you think she might be.”

Cindy gave her a tremulous smile in response, but it was clear that her heart wasn’t in it. Well, Glory had never claimed to have much of a sense of humor, but she tried. She carefully set the sealed coconut in a bowl to cool. “We should let it harden before we try it out. It’s almost lunchtime. I‘ll make you something to eat while we wait.”

Glory hated keeping Cindy in suspense, but she didn’t want to rush the spell and have the thing fall apart when she put it in the water. Cindy looked discouraged and Glory knew how she felt. If her daughter was to be found, Cindy wanted to find her as soon as possible. In light of that, meals must seem extraneous, but after all the woman had been through, she needed to keep her strength up if only for her daughter’s sake. They still had no idea where she was or what had happened to her in her mother’s absence. She might very well need the strength of a few good meals before she found Chelsea.

to Book 5, part 3, page 13

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