Are you a good witch or a bad witch?”— Glinda the Good, The Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum

Tis now the very witching time of night when churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out contagion to this world.”

— Hamlet, William Shakespeare

Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. — Exodus 22:18, Holy Bible, King James Version

Friday, March 11, 2044 (Moon Phase)
Once Upon a Time in Hawaii

Once upon a time, witches flew, gliding through the clouds, free of earthly constraints. That’s the story, anyway. Me? I never sailed on air currents, not like the old ones. The way I saw it, modern witches either soared in their dreams or boarded jets. Cyrus Harper’s private jet introduced this witch to a whole new level of magick. Tonight, I’d go to sleep in a King-size bed with thousand-count Egyptian cotton sheets in Kona, Hawaii and wake up in the same bed four-thousand miles away in Riverton, Illinois. Come on, now! That’s the biggest badass magick ever! Or, maybe, it’s a faery tale wrought by a man I often suspected of being a dark fae prince.

Maren Lilienthal’s BoSsBlog

     I closed my Book of Shadows Blog. Faery tales end, and no one can fly forever. Gravity came calling as we drove to the airport from the winery Cyrus bought as a vacation souvenir. We circled the Big Island after a blizzard (yes, I said blizzard) closed the Saddle Road over Mauna Kea.

     “Hawaii’s almost in the rear-view mirror. Time for our little talk, yeah,” Cyrus said outside Pahala where jagged lava fields separated the road from the ocean.

     Air whooshed from my lungs faster than a punctured balloon. We should have taken our chances with the blizzard instead of the jagged fields of black lava. Old habits and old ghost die hard, and mine oozed through eons of molten rock gone hard, feisty from their dormancy and ready to rumble.

     “Since we’re stuck in the car, now’s a good time,” he said. Although we rocketed along at sixty mph, the distance to the airport stretched out from here to eternity.

     Had I expected him to forget? Cyrus took pride in not forgetting anything. If I still had a million dollars to gamble, I’d put all of it on him sending a digital reminder.

TO: Cyrus
From: Cyrus
Note to self. At 4:37 pm on March 11, discuss Wheel of Fortune Tarot reading with Maren. Propose major life changes.

     My fingers curled around the door handle. The last time we made plans, the police arrested us for murder, and someone tried to shoot us. Why take the risk? For ten days, not one sentence had started with “when we were accused of murder.” No “good thing your brother didn’t send an armed militia to exfiltrate us.” Not a single, “wasn’t jail a hoot?” It never crossed my mind to say, “Golly, Emelia really hated me.” Nope, we kept it light. “Mahi Mahi on the grill, or shall we swing by 'ULU?” On daring days, we asked, “Sunbathe by the pool or windsurf?”

     Now, he wanted to make plans? Not bloody likely! Not on my watch. Did I know any amnesia spells? Nope, not one. Distraction it was.

     “Great vacation.” Lame. Maybe the lamest distraction this decade.

     “Do I need to drive to the volcano so we can symbolically enact The Fool’s leap off a cliff?” He grinned and gestured toward the lava fields.

     Good one! While struggling to prove our innocence and asking how to move our relationship forward, my Tarot reading advised a leap of faith.

     “The leap was a soul lesson, yeah.” Cyrus had a photographic memory when it served his purpose. “Also, what about taking the reins of our personal power and going after what matters?”

     Total freaking recall.

     Every nerve twitched. We’d stuffed disaster in a bottle and put a cork in it. Making plans decanted the jinx. My grip on the door handle tightened. Whenever I bumped up against a plan, I bolted, but you can’t bolt from a car going sixty-miles-per-hour.

     Calm down, girlfriend! This is not unexpected! So, why were my lungs burning and my heart racing?

     “It also said I needed to focus, which is impossible after three glasses of wine. And wasn’t there something about you not always being in the driver’s seat?” I reminded the man in the driver’s seat.

     “Want a turn at the wheel?” He pulled to the side of the road.

     The ghosts from my past, as black as the lava, hopped around the alien landscape, imitating the dancers we’d applauded at a luau. I was always watching, waiting for a sign he already had a foot out the door, a sign that he saw what everyone saw about me, something that drove people away. Remember, the ghosts chanted, remember what you do best.

     “We’re supposed to be at the airport at seven.” I countered, buying time. “Do you want to miss our flight?”

     “It’s my plane, babe. It’ll leave when I get there.”

     Right! My soul flew out of my body to join the ghosts. You know what happens when you make plans.

     A mere eleven days ago, I vowed to go all in with planning. Now, my breath came hard and fast; my brain ate clouds and became fuzzier by the second. The ghosts circled the car, reiterating their warning.

     Make a run for it before HE does. My hand clutched the door handle in a death grip. You know how this ends. Get a move on.

     Our eyes met; his grin faded. “Uh-oh. Is it hightailing time?”

     When you find your soul mate, someone who really gets you, nobody warns you he might see you for the shipwreck you are. A thousand bees came to life under my skin. The ghosts waved cautionary pom-poms.

     “Take a breath,” he said. “Hold it. Now, release.”

     Cyrus breathed with me until I stopped hyperventilating.

     “Better?”

     “Yep.” I squeezed the word past the macadamia-nut-size lump in my throat. “It’s tickety-boo.”

     “Fibber.” Yeah, he knew me too well. “We’ll talk later.”

     When we were cruising at thirty-thousand feet and even I wasn’t daft enough to try bolting?

     “We’ll work on tuning out the chatter in your head.” He reached across the console and pulled me into an embrace, kissing my forehead right where the Third Eye was located. “Everything’s gonna be alright, yeah?”

     Promise?”

     “Even if I have to move the mountain we leap off of.”

     Like all fae, Cyrus Harper didn’t make idle promises. It’s why I loved him.