Short Story, Talitha's Curse, Writing

Talitha’s Curse: Installment #2

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Read Installment #1 HERE

One- A Curse is Caused part 2

“Queen Serenity had her baby!” Cicili beamed and I stopped shredding, suddenly interested.

“A baby girl!” Cecil chimed in and I turned to face them. My mood changed for the better, I couldn’t help but smile.

“Yes a girl! And they are to call her Ayanna! Princess Ayanna Philippon!” Cicili finished with enthusiasm, practically bursting with joy.

“Well how nice!” I clasped my hands and beamed, “We shall prepare a meal for our queen immediately and bring Princess Ayanna some gifts!”

I was already planning out what would be needed to make Serenity her favorite baked potato casserole, along with her favorite lemon raspberry cupcakes, and began writing out my store list.

“Yes Cecilia that is expected, however, there is an organized list of which all visitors must sign up on in order to visit the castle. We wrote our names on the nearest date available, but I’m afraid that its still two weeks out.” Cecil explained.

“A list?” I asked, slightly confused. This was not a usual custom.

“Yes, apparently our queen wishes to visit personally with everyone who brings her and the young princess gifts. She had a list organized so that this could be accomplished; there is a limit to her seeing only 4 persons a day.” Cecil once again spoke, the one who always knew the practical details.

“Oh.” I said, not at all surprised that Serenity had done this, she had always enjoyed making lists when we were kids.

“When are we to go see her?” I asked as I pulled out my ever handy pocket calendar. Flipping to the week that was precisely two weeks from today. I looked up at the two of them, waiting for my answer.

“Oh it’s the 10th that we signed up on.” Cecil answered as she removed her outing slippers.

I wrote down “Go see Serenity” on the 10th and then moved over to the previous block which was the 9th and wrote, “Make food for Serenity.” I never did a single thing throughout my day without consulting my calendar first, so it was vitally important that making the food was listed the day before.

The fact that I had a small tendency to forget things over long periods of time was also a reason for writing it down.

“Okay girls, I must finish our dinner so that we do not starve when we go to bed tonight. So, if you don’t mind, please go busy yourselves so that I can cook without interruption.” I announced when I finished writing in my calendar and had placed it back in my pocket.

“Would you like us to help with dinner? We don’t mind at all.” Cecil offered, already washing her hands.

“Oh! Cecil can help you with dinner,” Cicili batted her eyes, “I must attend to the garden as the weeds are overbearing.”

She picked up her skirt and started walking towards to door.

“You put a spell on the garden that will not allow weeds to grow.” Cecil stated dryly as she dried her hands.

“Ah, yes of course. I was speaking of the weeds that are growing around the garden.” She smiled, “Off I go now!”

And she walked out the door, leaving Cecil shaking her head.

Cecil and I finished dinner a lot more quickly than normal. We were both so hungry that a few spells were involved to speed up the process.

Just like I don’t typically use spells throughout my day, I don’t normally like to make my food with spells either, mainly because it never tastes as good as a homemade meal. However, I was willing to make an exception. Once.

Pulling the cheesy potato casserole out of the oven, I asked Cecil to go ahead and fetch Cicili so that she would be clean for dinner. I set the table in her absence and a few moments later, our meal was dished out and the three of us sat down together to eat.

Not one of us had taken a bite, however, when suddenly the lovely doorbell that I had just installed earlier that day sounded off. A beautiful tinkling that lasted about five seconds brightened my mood as I tossed my napkin onto the table and rose to meet our guest.

“What a gorgeous sound Cecilia! Is that new?” Cicili spoke at the same time that Cecil asked, “Well who could that be at this hour?”

Ignoring both of them, I opened the door with a smile. But the smile vanished and all of the blood drained from my face when I saw Talitha standing there, a huge, unnatural smile on her face.

She was wearing all black, her normal attire, and her thick black hair was braided down to her ankles, also normal. She held her usual black spell bag in her right hand and an umbrella hung from her left arm; she always expected rain. What was not normal though, was the smile spread over her face. It even looked strange.

“Cecilia! Darling! It’s so good to see you!” Talitha exclaimed and embraced me in a brief hug before all but shoving me out of the way to let herself in.

Cecil and Cicili had heard her exclamation and, being familiar with Talitha’s voice, were immediately at the door, wearing the same expressions that I’m sure I was.

“Oh Talitha. It’s, um, surprising to see you.” Cicili attempted to be friendly and embraced Talitha briefly.

As I said before, Talitha was once a very dear friend to the girls and I, and it was nice to see her again after such a long time. But in light of her previous actions, and the fact that she was still banned from the kingdom, made me uneasy at her presence.

“How are you fairing?” Cicili practically choked on the words.

“I’m doing well Cicili! In fact, I am doing amazing!” She swept her arms around the room and did a happy twirl.

My mouth went dry and I tried to find something to say, but I was frozen where I was, completely unable to think. How did she cross the border? She must have used her magic, and that is extremely illegal!

“We were just about to eat,” Cicili began as she nervously looked at me.

I shook my head violently, knowing exactly where she was going with that statement, but she continued despite my silent protest.

“Would you like to join us? I believe Cecil and Cecilia made cheesy potato casserole, that was always one of your favorites-”

“But we understand if you’re busy, so please don’t feel obligated to stay.” Cecil blurted harshly, causing Talitha to raise her eyebrow.

In the awkward silence that followed, Talitha studied Cecil eerily. My breath caught and I found myself creating an escape route should something bad happen. My palms began sweating and I had to focus on telling my lungs how to breath. Talitha’s powers scared me and I didn’t want to be on her bad side at all, but nor did I want to be on the wrong side of the law, and I was quite certain that entertaining a person forbidden to enter the kingdom was on that wrong side.

****

Come back next Monday for Installment #3!

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