Toni came to us with her witchy guns loaded. She was never one to mince words, and it came to no one’s surprise that she would ask so directly. The surprise was in what she asked for.
I knew she was married and had two children. That her daughter was the older, and right around the time when she’d be coming of age. Her son, Lamar Kevin, was getting ready to go into first grade. She didn’t talk much about her husband, but it seemed like they must be happy together. She never complained.
Of course, I didn’t hear her complain of anything – ever. It was one of the reasons I liked her right away. We liked her right away. She was safe and it was pretty clear she wouldn’t be talking about us. An absolute necessity when you’re trying to keep your secrets under wraps.
“Make me a love spell,” she said. It wasn’t a demand so much as an expectation that we would do anything for her. Which we probably would because she didn’t strike me as someone who was told no very often. If ever. She was a sweet woman, full of smiles that made you want to do anything you could to make her happy with you. It wasn’t overbearing of her to ask, but if anyone else had asked it, that kind of thing would never fly. You don’t just go in and demand spells from your coven.
“Mmm, okay,” I said. “But aren’t you currently married?”
“I am. And I didn’t say who the spell was for, anyway,” she said with the smile of a naughty child.
Good, I thought to myself. Because we’re not in the habit of casting spells on other people who haven’t given their consent. We didn’t practice voodoo or hoodoo or anything like that. Magic was a potent gift. Something that took years of practice and heaps of discipline to not be putting out powerful energies just to suit your whims.
I wondered if this was a good time to teach her. I looked up at the girls, and Sonci caught my eye and gave her head a shake perceptible only to me. Today wasn’t the day to teach Toni. I let out my breath. Very well, I thought. She’ll figure it out soon enough!