“I don’t know about this, Yuki,” Sabrina said, looking at the campfire with trepidation. “I don’t think this is such a good idea.”
“Of course it’s a good idea,” Yuki said, her southern drawl a jarring contrast with the rest of her looks. “It’s how I knew I was going to marry George.”
“You only saw him because he was on the other side of the fire,” Sabrina protested.
“And naked,” Yuki agreed. “But it’s how I knew, you know? And it’s how you’ll know, too.”
“I still think it’s a bad idea,” Sabrina said. “You know how these kinds of things work out for me.”
“The flood was not your fault,” Yuki said, pouring a drink for both of them. “And we were due for a tornado.”
“I wished for rain and a breeze, Yuki.”
“It’s called weather, Sabrina, and none of it was unseasonal. If you had anything to do with it, you just gave it a little extra oomph.”
“Yeah? So what happens if something goew wrong with this? I’m looking for a man so I get a what? Some kind of demon?”
“Doubtful. Honestly, your mother is, like, the original flower child and you are so deeply in touch with nature, I’m surprised you don’t have leaves instead of hair. If you don’t get a man, I’ll bed you get some kind of nature spirit.”
“Nature spirits aren’t always nice, Yuki,” Sabrina said. “And some of them are really freaking scary.”
“Sabrina, the whole point of this is to find the guy, the one guy, who will be perfect for you. And this is you we’re talking about! I predict some hippy dippy artist with a massive-”
“Yuki!” Sabrina interrupted. “I still don’t think it will work but whatever.”
“Okay, well, I’ve got everything ready so it’s now or never.”
Sabrina stared at the fire and sighed. “Now, I guess.”
“Good, then drink this,” Yuki handed her a cup with a golden-brown liquid and some ground leaves floating in it. “It will open your mind.”
Giving her friend a skeptical glance, Sabrina tossed back the drink and choked a bit. “It tastes like bourbon.”
“It is bourbon,” Yuki said. “With a little boost. Now, clear your mind while I do the next part.”
Sabrina took a deep breath and dropped into the meditation trance her mother had taught her years ago. The light danced before her eyes, the smell of whatever herbs Yuki was dropping into the fire invading her senses. She could feel the bourbon starting to affect her, whatever Yuki put in it making it work faster than it ever had.
Shapes began to form in the fire, colors seperating out until she could almost see the dancing bodies. Most of the shapes were distinctly men or women but some had too many arms, some too many legs. Sabrina could feel the beat of the drums in her chest, distinctly different from her heart but pulling her in to the dance. She felt herself begin to dance, her gaze still captured by the forms in the fire. One of them turned in her direction and came towards her.
It was eight feet tall, with four arms, horns and a fine white fur all over it’s body. It wasn’t until Sabrina heard Yuki gasp that she realized it was standing directly next to her instead of inside the fire.
“You,” it growled at her. “You called me here.”
Her head still fuzzy, Sabrina nodded at the creature next to her. “I did.”
“She told me to,” Sabrina said, pointing to Yuki. “I was looking for my soul mate.”
The creature bowed to Yuki, grabbed Sabrina and jumped back into the fire. Once they’d disappeared, Yuki begain screaming.
Sabrina lounged on a couch in her husbands workshop while he stood behind an easel. The dress she wore was chosen specifically to remind him of the color of the flames he’d come through to find her. “Will you let me see it when you’re done?” She asked him, knowing the answer.
“If you promise to hold still,” his voice rumbled through her, making her shiver. He’d been nearly naked when he’d come through the fire, having been called from a religious ceremony. His people were nature spirits, worshipped by the people who inhabited the area on the other side of the veil from where he lived. She’d seen him adorned in the very best finery when they’d married; a bejeweled and embroidered loin cloth, gold arm-bands, gold earrings and gold rings on his horns. She’d felt down right plain next to the sparkling creature who’d claimed her for his bride.
“What will you do if I wiggle?” She asked, teasing him.
“Make you stay there longer,” he answered, glancing at her and then back to his canvas.
“I’ll behave,” she smiled. “Have you found if there’s a way to send anything back through the veil?”
“I’ve made enquiries,” he said. “They have not borne fruit yet.”
“Well, if they ever do, I want to send one of your paintings to Yuki. She did, after all, predict I would marry an artist.”
Ok, so I’ve been reading a little too much manga lately. I hope everybody enjoyed this weeks story. If you’re so inclined, drop a little in the tip jar up at the right and do share this with your friends.