This excerpt is from chapter one, and catches the narrator Adrienne in a tight spot, with magic pressing in on her, demanding release. Here’s a taste of how she usually handles a buildup of her power:
* * *
I found Kendall in the knitting section, sorting out balls of yarn that customers had misplaced. “Kendall, I need your wallet,” I said.
My best friend spun toward me, her green eyes alarmed. Her dagger-shaped dangly earrings jingled as she looked me up and down. “You okay?”
“Wallet,” I said, flinching as another wave of magic rolled over me. “Now.”
Wordlessly she drew her duct tape wallet from her back pocket and passed it over. She’d made it herself with black tape and orange trim, and a little beaded zipper pull that read “404 Money Not Found.” I rummaged through the cash pocket until I found a smooth, new twenty. I yanked it out and returned the wallet.
“You gonna give that back?” Kendall called as I rushed away.
At my workspace, I flashed a reassuring smile at Mrs. Jacinta before ducking behind the partition. I slapped the twenty on the metal table beside Mrs. J’s half-finished wind chime, then draped the leather cord across the two objects. I closed my eyes and reached into the fog of magic choking the air.
May riches grace the home where this wind chime rings, I chanted in my mind. May poverty never find shelter there. May this be a talisman of plenty, a harbinger of abundance.
I repeated the words as I felt the magic move, swirling around me, guided by my impromptu enchantment. I sent it into the twenty dollar bill, letting it absorb the money’s nature, the crispness of the paper, the smell of the ink, the financial security it represented. Once the magic had stewed there, I channeled it through the soft leather cord and into the engraved wave on the chime.
When I opened my eyes, the enchantment had taken hold.
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