19

Overnights at my store are creepy. I mean, yes, I only have them two nights a week, on Friday and Saturday nights, and my boss is good about picking up the phone no matter what time some calls, but I feel like there’s something unnatural skittering through the dark just beyond the store lights. On the other side of the abandoned center booth in the middle of the lot. Maybe in the center booth itself.

No one ever goes in there. I doubt the boss knows what’s in there, now that I think of it. All I know is I feel eyes on me while I work the night shift and I have a serious itch to break out the salt. I think I’ll make another little miniature charm to seal the booth and tuck it into one of the gaps. Something. Even Nick is disturbed by the booth, the other overnight guy, and he’s the least prone to flights of fancy than anyone I’ve met in a long time.

Jack likes the change in routine. We take walks through the local park and I explain the powers moving through the place. He’s taken a real interest in the Mother and her creatures, how they are supposed to interact with each other. Thank the Gods for the inspiration. He’s clamoring to visit a live volcano next. I guess it’s good for him be so enthusiastic.

Blessed be.

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18

The cactus seems to have worked for the moment. Whatever problem was about to manifest itself in our lives has back off to the outer fringes of my awareness, like a bad joke in a different room of the house. For now everything has settled into that same strange calm from before. I don’t trust it, but what else can I do?

Jack is excited for the end of the school year at least. I’m not. A bored child is never a good thing. With my new schedule at work, it’ll be a little easier to manage his boredom, though not by much. I’m likely to be exhausted a better part of Summer. I’ll push through and make sure I have plenty on hand to teach him.

I think that may be the best use of the hot days. Before the ex became the ex, Summer was filled with camping trips and his family gatherings. Every week there was something to do with them or for them. With just me and Jack, because mom and Angie refuse to do any activities during the day when it hits over 100 degrees, I can focus more on his spiritual teaching. Now, let’s see if I can stick to me new schedule.

Blessed be.

17

The tension has become almost unbearable in the span of a week and I don’t know how much of the stress I can take. It’s become so thick, I’ve bought a cactus and enchanted it with every repellent spell I know or could find in the hope that whatever badness is coming gets sucked into my prickly friend’s thorns and shredded first. It’s a lovely little plant, which seemed to embrace its chosen purpose with enthusiasm.

Otherwise the timeless march toward a blistering, strange Summer goes on. Already the temperature is on the rise and we’ll hit eyeball-melting hot within a month. I can’t wait for raucous monsoon season this year. After the weird Winter, the storms promise a grand show of wild.

In a way, I really hope the whatever is coming surprises me by just being a particularly dangerous monsoon season. Those I know how to protect Jack from. Real storms, while dangerous, are easy. I’ll petition for luck. My hope is that I’m answered or this weirdness I feel barreling down on us breaks soon. I hate surprises.

Blessed be.

16

It’s been a quiet week. Calm before the storm kind of quiet. The electric feeling of trouble has been gathering over my head for days since Donna thrust her nose in my business again. I don’t like the way this calm makes me twitch and reach for my cards. Not at all.

I think I’ll spin out some protective wards, maybe a few stronger works to hold in reserve. Even mom is on edge, more than her usual paranoia anyway, and she’s been up to her elbows in herbs and threads. She’s wrapping Jack in a protective magical bubble the likes of which I haven’t seen since I was very small. When I focus on the coming storm at all, it’s as though the center of it is twisting tighter around, funneling down into a catastrophic tornado. If I knew where it would land, I could either divert it or dissipate it. Sometimes Chaos blindsides even those of us who are aligned with it. Such is Its nature. We’ll have to ride it out.

Angie has hightailed it out of here for the duration of whatever is going to happen. For all that she’s a flighty social butterfly pretending to be human, my sister doesn’t like Chaos. She prefers her life to be well planned disorder, if that makes any sense.

The only one of us who is not worried about the feel of trouble coming is Jack. He seems to think we’re invincible, able to handle any problem which comes our way. I don’t want to burst his bubble. So far I’m going with rolling with the punches, but I’m worried one day will come too hard a hit. My boy thinks too highly of me, sometimes, even when I explain the mistakes I’ve made. I think I’ll make yet another plea to Set. Maybe He’ll have mercy on us. Maybe I’m jumping at ghosts.

Blessed be.

15

I could just strangle my ex-mother-in-law. I’m still shaking with anger. How dare she!

Donna. She’s hated me from the start, if I’m honest, and she hates me for a lot of reasons. Mostly because I wouldn’t bow and scrape my forelock against the floor to her. She fancies herself the matriarch of her insipid little family, despite the fact that her mother-in-law is actually the one who runs the family my bastard of an ex is part of.

For such a petite woman, Donna’s hard to miss. It comes down to the bad dye job. She should just let her hair go gray because the red she picks is all wrong. Anyway. She came into my work Saturday and demanded I present Jack for pickup for the weekend, so she can take him to Easter Mass like the good Christian boy he is. I laughed in her face. Mini-Boss was pretty confused, but he was smart enough to realize I didn’t like this woman and was uncomfortable she was there. He asked if I wanted him to trespass her from the store. I told him no.

Now, Donna knows I’m a witch. She knows I don’t hold with her religion, though I’ve never talked bad about it. How dare she come into my work and cause drama!

I managed to make her leave with a few choice words and a very creepy Dolores Umbridge smile. Probably went home and raged at her husband after the talk I gave her. What a mess. Her son is a bastard, make no mistake, but he leaves most of the parenting decisions about Jack to me, including his religious education. He doesn’t care if I’m teaching Jack about witchcraft. One less thing he’s responsible for. Still, the gall Donna has.

If anything else happened this week, I can’t remember in the face of Donna invading my life again. Needless to say, Jack didn’t go with her.

Blessed be.

14

The dragon spirit works, almost too well.

My coworkers have given me sidelong looks all shift today and I eventually got an answer why when my manager explained we haven’t had a robbery or incident with a customer in a week. I think it’s unnerved my fellow employees, but I told them what I was doing, so why are they surprised? They’ll lose their nervousness about the protection on our store soon enough. What’s funny is their reaction to not having a dragon among them at their next job, if they leave.

No luck still with catching the milk-and-honey petitioner. Or maybe patronizer. I still can’t tell, mom and Angie are still stumped, Jack thinks it’s funny. He might have the best response to this. The offering does no harm, though warning prickle crosses my senses every time I see it’s been replaced.

On Jack, we’ve moved from stellar and planetary Gods to ones on life and death. It seemed the next good place. Anubis is a favorite probably because He resembles a jackal, which is pretty close, visually, to a dog. Jack loves dogs and I can’t wait to get him one.

Life is quiet at the moment, but that’s not anything to worry about. The first real taste of warmer Spring weather makes us all happy, even mom. Less quarrelsome. I’m happy for the reprieve before Summer starts.

Blessed be.

13

I went to work an hour early on Sunday and called for the dragon spirit behind the shop. 6 AM is nice, quiet, deserted. Perfect for this kind of work. My coworkers know I cast, but I chickened out at the last minute and gave them some vague fluff about a protective charm for the shop. They seemed fine with that. I won’t give more details unless one of them asks. Maybe they think I’m crazy or something. Doesn’t matter much. Magic seems to work best when one forgets about the hows and wherefores. I’m okay with that.

There’s something weird going on with my boss though. He’s very skittish around me about work problems, though he’s almost ferocious when talk turns to personal matters. Maybe he’s trying to talk me into something. Not a relationship. I wouldn’t go in for that. First, he’s already heavily involved with a nice woman and has been for some years, and second, while he’s tall and dark and calm, there’s a warning that crosses my heart when the thought manifested the one time when I first met him. Probably best I stay on my guard with my words around him. I’d hate for something nasty to happen because of something I said to him. I need this job too much to jeopardize it.

Jack took to the stellar Gods with particular relish. A favorite is definitely Saturn, though another is Poseidon. While the second is a water God, I figured, since I was already teaching him the Roman Gods, I’d teach him the Greek ones at the same time. If I’m not careful, he may end up a pirate.

Blessed be.

12

Good thing I demanded to only work days at the start of my new job. The weekend overnight guy was robbed at knife point. I think it’s time to heavily fortify the shop with the strongest protections I can manifest. Maybe call down something big to prowl the store. Would a dragon spirit be overkill?

There are a lot of benefits to having a dragon spirit as protection, though keeping them interested enough to stick around is a challenge when not everyone would be comfortable with it. Some of my coworkers are leery of my witchy ways. Then again, this group is pretty laid back, so they might not comment at all on it. If someone becomes uncomfortable, I can always dispell the spirit. Dragons create a heavy presence, after all, even if they’re unseen.

There hasn’t been any luck so far on catching the person leaving the bowl on our doorstep either. I’ll catch them at some point, but what to do then? I guess it depends on why. I’m off to calm and ground myself. What a week.

Blessed be.

11

Job hunting is a pain in the ass until the best circumstances, a long tedious selling of oneself just so one can have money to pay the bills. It’s harder to find employment with a ten year gap in employment history, I figured out, because I couldn’t explain the gap until an interview. I think most employers assumed the worst when they saw it, not that I was a house mom.

With a lot of luck, and some minor workings, I managed to find one. Bottom of the totem pole work, cashier at a convenience store, but I’ll happily take what I can get at the moment. The area manager is an overbearing ass, the store manager is a decent fellow, and the assistant manager is a funny little string bean who I really enjoy talking to. My new co-workers are a mixed bag, but they seem pretty nice. I think I’ll be fine here for a while. Thank the Divine.

Angie has disappeared the last few days. I’m not exactly worried. It’s a stunt she’s pulled since she was sixteen and it was her birthday Friday. I’m uneasy though. Something about it doesn’t smell right.

The milk and honey showed up on our doorstep again. Mom says it wasn’t her and Jack says the same. I want to assign a benign meaning to it, but something niggles in the back of my mind. I don’t like it. We’re not quiet about our witchiness, but this feels like a taunt. Until I figure out what’s going on with this, I’m on guard. I hate to worry. Maybe it’s time I set a trap for this unknown person.

Blessed Be.

10

Jack hasn’t stopped badgering me about the Gods. I love his ability to focus on a subject for days on end, but in this instance, I really wish he wasn’t so good at it. Mom laughs every time he brings the subject up to me. Says it’s the price I pay for such a smart, perceptive son.

In dodging Jack’s questions though, I’ve come to think on all the reasons why I respect and petition the chaos Gods with the level of reliability I do. Both answers are true, in that I do like how they roll and I honestly believe it’s better to stand in the eye of the storm. There are less volatile versions of chaos than Set and Loki, on the other hand. Why these two? Set is God of the storm and the foreigner, of endless wandering and death in the scorching desert. Cunning Loki, silver-tongued and the destroyer of the world in His need for revenge. Maybe it’s because I have something my sister calls a ‘wild soul’. Even though I’m contemptuous of my fellow humans in general, I enjoy being out among them with the same kind of fascination a scientist gives to research of a subject. And while I am a homebody kind of person, that doesn’t stop me from wanting to go and go and go. Just to see places. Maybe They’re a reflection of my desire to back out into the world an explore all the secret places I can find. And maybe I will do exactly that, once Jack is grown. I can wait eight more years.

For now I have to divert Jack’s attention to some other thing. He’s really not old enough to have dealings with chaos. I think I’ll start him on the light and birth Gods for now. Best to give his spiritual education a good foundation. And then I’ll teach him about the stellar Gods. He does want to go to Mars, after all.

Otherwise, life is good. Quiet. Ryan Reynolds said it in one of his movies. “Boring is best.”

Blessed be.