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Rogue

They were coming for her, she could sense it. Only minutes away, she grabbed just the essentials. She stuffed them into her green leather pack and ran to the bookcase in the living room. On the bottom shelf she pulled out a thick tomb of a book, some kind of science text. Her fingers moved quickly across the front of it, tracing a sigil, Unhiding, onto the glossy finish of the cover. The air around it rippled as the concealing spell released its hold. She opened the book to its center. There in its hollowed out pages was a slim case of dark wood and pearl; and the reason the Guard was after her. She slipped the case into the breast pocket of her jacket and went for the door. They were so close, if she went out into the street now they would surely catch her.

Panic brushed the edges of her mind threatening to destroy her resolve, but she knew she couldn’t give up now; she had come too far to be captured by Major Berta and his men. She closed her eyes. Her breathing and heart slowed as she cleared her mind. Now calm she connected with the Jok. She let the power fill her, like a hot tonic it soothed her, welcomed her with open arms. In her mind’s eye she drew lines around her, connecting the disparate sigils around the house and the land to synthesize a greater, more powerful spellsign. As she let the power flow through her, the line of all the sigils became tangible, erupting with bright multicolored light. Not only was she the conduit, but, also the focal point.

“Jahzara!”

Berta and the Guard burst through the door. She could feel them, their determination to stop her. But she did not open her eyes, they knew just as she did that it was already too late. One final, deep breath, then she exhaled and released the energy that had been building inside her. Light and power exploded from her; in a single, intense, brilliant flash she was gone.


It was early morning, still dark and quiet in the sleepy beach town. Down on the boardwalk next to the beach was a row of single story buildings housing various shops and cafes. Near the end, close to the pier extending out into the water the building began to shake and there was a blinding light as if the sun had just risen inside the small restaurant. Just as suddenly the light dissipated. In the corner next to the largest oven, Jahzara collapsed against the south wall, exhausted from her escape. She didn’t know how long she slept, an hour, maybe two. The first rays of dawn crept thru the windows above the door.



“Breakfast is ready, darling,” Bahari’s wife called up to him in the loft.

“I’ll be right down.” He pulled a shirt over his head and slipped into sandals as he headed for the stairs. At the kitchen table was his daughter Subira. He kissed her lightly on her forehead. “Good morning, baby girl.”

“Good morning, daddy,” she said sweetly, yawning slightly. She, like him, was not a morning person.

He rounded the table to his wife, Tene. She turned to greet him, handing him a loaded plate. He didn’t let her get away without catching her hip and pulling her in for a kiss. They smiled into each other. “Good morning.”


Breakfast proceeded intimately as they planned out their day. Tene would take their daughter shopping while he was working. His assistant, Kei, would be in before midday so that he could leave early and join them for lunch before going to the zoo. Subira was very excited about the zoo. He loved his daughter. They had tried for so long to have children, just when they were about to give up hope, just when they thought their relationship wouldn’t make it another year, Osun blessed them with Subira. She saved them. As long as she was happy there was nothing that could upset him.

The phone rang.

“Sir, please, you have to come here now. Please, sir, right now!”

“Kei? Slow down. What’s wrong?”

“I don’t know where she came from. I tried sir, but I couldn’t. Please, hurry. She’ll kill us if you don’t.” The line went dead.

It was Kei, Bahari recognized the crack of nervousness in his desperate plea for help. But who was ‘she’? Who would want to attack his small restaurant and threaten the lives of his employees? And for what reason? Why did ‘she’ want him there?

“Bahari, what’s wrong?” Tene’s voice was full of concern. She could read his every emotion on his face. Bahari didn’t want to lie to his wife, they kept no secrets from each other, but neither did he want to worry her. She was an intelligent, capable woman, one of the many reasons he loved her, he had to trust her.

“There is something happening at the cafe. I don’t know who is there but they want me for some reason. Stay here with Subira and ward the house against anyone who would harm us,” he whispered to her firmly. He read the love, worry and understanding in her eyes.

“Be careful,” she breathed to him as his lips brushed hers. He held her briefly, their heads bowed together in a quick prayer of safety and guidance. Then he was gone, a quick jog would bring him to the shop shortly. As he left, Tene closed her eyes and drew the Jok to her.

 

Lesson

Letting yourself fall for a man who cannot (or will not) reciprocate the depth of your emotional investment is the absolute worst thing you can do to yourself; because there are always signs, you just chose to ignore them.

And in that moment of devastation you would do anything to numb that pain, any drug, any willing John will do; you run from it, recklessly, destroying your life for a love that was never yours.

Then you you finally emerge from the darkness of temporary insanity only to find him standing there waiting for you; and he still makes your breath catch and your heart thumps out of your chest because he still wants you in his life, even despite his self.

Neither of you learned anything.

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