27

I think I’m still alive. Maybe.

Jack was pretty horrified to come home with me in this condition. It took a lot of explaining and even more time reassuring him his grandma (probably) didn’t mean to poison me. Of course Jack wasn’t entirely convinced I was going to be fine, but now that I’m officially out of bed and back at work, he’s not worried anymore.

Mom isn’t sulking anymore either. She’s mentally swept the whole incident under the rug and pretends it didn’t happen. Her usual M. O. when something bad happens to one of us. As far as she’s concerned, our lives are always perfect and she is a perfect parent. Lies, but until I can get back on my feet and into a new place with Jack, we have to pretend with her.

I’ve figured out in life, though I hate it, sometimes one has to pretend everything’s fine for the peace. I just want to run, but there’s no way I can support Jack without help yet. I’m going to make up some calming sachets. Anything to compartmentalize this anger.

Blessed be.

26

I’m sicker than my cat when he’s gotten into something he shouldn’t have. It’s been vomit volcano for three days straight and I’ve only felt well enough to venture out of bed this morning. I hate upset stomach. Well poisonings, at the very least.

And see, this is why I don’t like it when mom starts mixing up spells in the kitchen. She found some hex powder recipe she wanted to try out, on an old ex-boyfriend who has come back around and she hates, which had oleander in it, of all fucking things! She wants to use oleander in her work, fine, whatever. But she knows how bad she is about cleaning up the ingredients when she’s done. The last time this happened was with powdered ghost pepper all over the kitchen. It took me and Angie hours to clean it after a ruined lunch.

I’m lucky it was just me who ended up like this. Angie’s already cleaned the kitchen and given mom a stern dressing down. The old ax has been sulking the whole time I’ve been sick and won’t talk to either of us. Good thing too. I’d hate to choke on my own sick while I’m yelling at her. Holy shit. I’m still mad.

Mom’s lucky Jack wasn’t home.

I’m going back to bed. Ugh.

Blessed be.

25

Color me surprised. I went to the lunch with Jack and the ex, and Jack was emphatic the change in visitation was his idea. I still don’t quite buy it but until I have proof otherwise, I can’t confront the issue. For now I’ll have to keep watchful eyes one situation. As many as I can enlist.

This is the first week of the new schedule and I don’t like it one bit. Jack being gone for a week at a time is fraying my nerves. I’ve petitioned Sehkmet to guard him while he’s away from me. She’s the fiercest Goddess I know, so I’m hoping She’ll be enough to keep him relatively safe. I’m just… Unhappiness. Unhappiness all the way around.

Otherwise, all is quiet in my world. Mom’s still grumpy, Angie’s still an asshole and I’m still here. Maybe I’ll take up proper meditation again, something to help with the listless feeling I have when Jack’s not home. Or murder. I guess it depends on which strikes my fancy first.

Blessed be.

24

My skn is still itching. Nothing has manifested yet, but I can’t shake this feeling a change is on the horizon. It’s affecting my sleep with strange, disjointed dreams.

Jack started school Thursday. I kinda miss him being underfoot and I miss the time I spent teaching him about our Craft. Mom says that’s normal, that I should plan on smaller lessons until the breaks. She’s right, as much as I hate to say it, but I still miss our longer lessons. He does too. Burn out is a real thing though and I don’t want to overwhelm him between this and schoolwork. I’ll figure something out.

Speaking of, the ex wants to change Jack’s visitation schedule with him. Says Jack wants too as well. I really doubt that’s the truth, but we’re going to lunch tomorrow to talk about it. As always, I’ll follow Jack’s wishes on it and I won’t let his father bully him into some other choice. I’m not looking forward to this fight.

Blessed be.

23

Angie did something last week, during the Thunder Moon. I don’t know what, but her spellwork has my skin itching. Maybe it was the storms she has called to us or her standard request for blessings gone awry. I’ll bet it was the dragon’s blood resin she added to her little bonfire. The potency is overwhelming.

Anyway, I was overrun by my first proper robbers at work the other night. The vaulted my counter and tried to grab a bag full of cigarettes, but my dragon guard spooked them. He did good work. I’m very disappointed in the police, however. I called and they never even showed up. I think I’ll bring a can of that slick cooking spray for the tile behind the counter. The little shits will think twice is they risk breaking an ankle on the landing.

Jack goes back to school in a few days. He’s very excited and it’s making it hard for him to concentrate on the lessons I’ve been giving him. I’m going to keep them much shorter for this last week, though I think I’ll have to repeat the information at some point. Ah well, so be it.

The ex has also decided Jack needs to go through therapy because Jack is unhappy when he’s visiting the ex. I tried to explain how this whole situation looks from a kid’s perspective, but it went right over his head. If he wants to waste his money instead of spending real time with Jack, who am I to argue. An outside ear might help, though I doubt it’ll fix whatever problem the ex thinks he’s having.

It’s been a long Summer, and it’s not even over yet.

Blessed be.

22

The monsoons have started this year, but they’re lackluster so far. It’s too bad. Monsoon season is my favorite time of year in this place, one of the few reasons I stay, but the rains come later every year and they aren’t the same anymore. Angie agrees with me for once and wants to see if we can do something about it.

Weather is a tricky thing to manipulate. Less the actual weather change and more because of the potential side effects. Want a cloudburst in one place? The water has to be pulled from elsewhere, redirected from another place that might need it, or might not. During the height of hurricane season, which coincides, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but the water might also come from a system over a drought area. There’s a delicate balance to maintain and we have to keep watchful eyes on the direction we pull from. And that’s if we’re successful at all. We might not be.

In any event, it will be a new thing to teach Jack. He’s been getting restless now that the end of summer is in sight, no matter what I do to distract him. School has him excited. I’m happy he enjoys learning so much, but I wish he had a little more patience. He’s ten though and ready to take on the world.

The bowl of honey and cream hasn’t shown for three weeks. I’m not sure if I should be worried or relieved. Time will time on that.

Blessed be.

21

Angie broke my damned computer. Almost three weeks ago. I’m still angry about it. Not writing here ramped my stress level up higher than I wanted. This really has been helping me cope with all the weirdness and bad and life going on.

Now that I have my computer back in about the same condition it should be in, I’m happy to report life is mostly quiet, though one major incident sticks out in my mind.

My ex has been taking Jack for a couple days every week to “spend time with him”. Of course, the ex’s idea of spending time is plopping Jack in front of the TV and wandering off to spend time with his girlfriend. That wasn’t really the big deal.

I guess the girlfriend doesn’t like Jack at all, considers him a troublemaker and a nuisance. Wants my ex to spend all his time and energy on her girl, who isn’t even the ex’s child. Which, whatever. If my ex wants to dote on some other kid, it’s not my business.

But the girlfriend likes to get Jack in trouble just so she can punish him. He seems to be grounded practically the whole time he’s over there for months now. Part of it is Jack being a snot and I know it, but this is absurd.

So the ex brings Jack home a couple days ago and says, outright, that Jack is making this whole situation harder. I thought mom was going to come unglued. The ex destroys are family with his selfishness, and Jack’s the one making this hard? I don’t think so. I just smiled that creepy Umbridge smile and showed that bastard the door.

Jack, naturally, doesn’t want to go back this weekend and said so to the ex’s face. I’m not going to make him go either. The ex can go fuck himself, and that homewrecker he’s got can get her punishment jollies elsewhere.

The fucking nerve.

Blessed be.

20

Binding box has been made and laid. I was surprised to find out how easy it was to get something in there. I tried to locate a key first, because the closer to the center I can get my binding, the better, but the key has disappeared. Anyway, I managed to find a tiny gap between the board over the old windows and the ledge where the customer would stand while ordering cigarettes or candy or gas. My box plinked on the ground inside.

It’s too bad we don’t use this little booth anymore. Work would be a lot easier if we only had the 10 by 5 floor space to deal with, along with the pumps. I always thought the set up was cool. Ah, well. Price of progress, I suppose.

On the other hand, I still felt as though I was being watched, but from a distance now. Stared at behind a solid wall of safety glass. If I’m very lucky that’s all I will ever notice about the thing lurking in the center booth. The feeling it’s not just a ghost is stronger, because a ghost would’ve turned its eyes away once the box was in there.

School is out for Summer, so I have to ramp up my parenting game to keep Jack from getting lethally bored. I’m not sure what to do though. There’s the big things for the bucket list this Summer, but it’s the little day to day stuff I’m at a loss for, especially once monsoon starts. Being locked indoors for half a day while ran comes down in sheets won’t be fun. The constant struggles of parenthood. We’ll figure it out.

Blessed be.

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.

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.