Short Fiction: Black Magic
Time for a little fun, I thought, so today I give you Black Magic. I think it’s fiction …
I am one of the elect, those chosen from amongst the legion, the devotees of our cult, to fulfil the highest calling. I am the handmaiden, the initiate who intercedes between the faithful and the deity. Every morning I perform the cleansing rites, the devotions that fit me for sacred service. I prepare myself with care, braiding back my hair and dressing solemnly, ritually, in black. Even the ribbon tying back my hair reflects the colour of night, as it should, for darkness is the purest heart of our worship.
Mine is the place of highest honour, the first to step inside the sanctuary every morning. The moment I cross the hallowed threshold, I feel the frisson of power, a filament of electricity uncurling along every nerve end and entering my soul. I close my eyes and for that first moment it is enough, simply, to breathe. I open myself fully to the mystery, the intoxication of the incense and the allure that encompasses every elixir and secret potion, the far-flung sources of my magic. It is a sorcery of the senses: of sight, smell, touch and taste. I know the sacred incantations and ritual order of the spells that perfect my witching brew, all timed with precision.
The acolytes know my power, they walk softly around me and speak reverently, in whispers of hushed respect, for I am the lightning rod, the conductor. I alone bring down the divine fire, the manna from heaven. The supplicants wait humbly at the entrance to the temple, knowing that the proper orisons must be spoken and ceremonies completed before they can be granted access to the holy of holies. I see their eyes fix on me with expectation, anticipation, even exultation as I bare my arms to begin the invocation. Their bodies sway with mine as I hear the long, spine thrilling hiss from my familiar and divine for that first, black splash of the hallowed oil, wafting the incense heavenwards.
All breathe in, deep, eyes closing, lips uttering the ecstasy of “Ah….”
Then all eyes open again, avid, as I complete the final step, the communion of taste, the initial sip of my magic potion on the tongue, the perfect completion of the spell. And it is always perfect, each and every time, as it must be, for I am the adept, the doyenne of this magic, the high priestess who intercedes between the masses and the machine.
Satisfied, I set down the holy grail. The waiting line shifts and sighs for this is the signal, the sign to the faithful that the power of the deity has at last been channelled. Only now is the barrier between the priesthood and the laity set aside, only now may they enter and begin their devotions, the new day’s communion with another perfect cup of coffee.
(c) Helen Lowe