The book was old – ancient – the sort of thing that people hoard and pass on to their descendants in their wills, and Jenivere had found it in the back of a flea market booth, hiding in a bargain bin.
She’d felt a little guilty about what she’d paid for it, so she’d done a little spell around the booth, one of her favorite easy ones that just made everything a little fresher without ruining the quality of something old or antique (although it sometimes had unfortunate effects on ‘shabby chic’ sorts of things).
Now that she’d read the whole thing three times, she was ready to start one of the spells in it. It was a shield spell – it was listed as ‘defend and protect’ – and the ingredients were almost all supermarket-easy.
She’d had to go to three specialty stores – and spend more than she’d paid for the book – for the last ingredient, but now she was ready to brew the thing.
She powdered down the root parts and seeds, added in the proper ash and the drop of blood, and mixed the whole thing over heat with just enough of the oil to make everything smell like some very strange cookery and smear together into a paste. Into that she added thrice-filtered vodka until she had a paint.
Then, working quickly, she used the mixture and a horsehair brush to paint the symbol from the book in front of her doorway.
A protection spell usually provided some sort of shield, some sort of faintly glowing light, or the sort of edge you could feel like static electricity. There was none of that.
Jenivere looked in the book. She read the page again, went through the ingredients, the process.
She’d done everything –
-done everything right.
In front of her, glowing in light that was almost the same hue as the berries she’d put in her mixture, was a dog that came nearly to her shoulder.
“Woof,” it informed her.
Jenivere took a step back and read the book again.