CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED and EIGHTY-ONE
“It must be feminine fire,” Abi said. “Those wonderful matches are male energy. We need only female energy for this ritual.”
Abi looked around the circle. The children were either held in someone’s arms or were lounging on the blanket with Jabari, Zoe, and Zaidy.
“Wait for us!” Noelle yelled from the car as Aden drove up.
Noelle, Nash, and Teddy rushed out of the vehicle to the circle. Aden straggled behind. He helped Rachel Ann out of her car seat and went to pick her up. She scooted out of the car and ran to her cousins Mack, Maggie, and Jackie.
“I know that Jake would have wanted to be here,” Jill said.
“He’ll be sad that he wasn’t here,” Valerie said.
“Sandy wanted to come,” Noelle said. “She cried because she couldn’t be here.”
“She’s too sick,” Nash said.
“We’re supposed to tell her all about it,” Teddy said.
“It has to be done tonight before the moon turns full,” Abi said with a slow shake of her head. “Sandy and Jake will have to be here with us in spirit.”
“Can you do that?” Noelle asked.
Abi just smiled. Jill looked at Valerie. With a grin, they both shrugged their eyebrows.
When you live at the Castle, you had to be ready for anything. Tonight’s ceremony fit in the category of “anything.”
“Let’s settle in so we can start,” Abi said.
Everyone settled in where they were sitting. Tanesha grabbed Jabari and M.J. captured Maggie. Jill and Katy held onto the twins while Valerie and Mike managed Eddie and Jack.
Blane and Nelson came out of the Castle carrying Mack and Wyn. Heather went to take Wyn from Nelson but the child wouldn’t budge. Blane put an arm around Heather and the three walked together to the grass.
Only then did another car pull in to park. Wearing sweatpants and a T-shirt, Tres Sierra hopped out of his sedan and ran over the grass. He made it to the blanket before the others. Heather kissed his cheek as she sat down. Nelson touched Tres’s shoulder and Blane hugged him.
“Good, we are all here,” Abi said. “Let’s start.”
The night became very still. It was almost as if the entire world was bending in their direction, straining to catch every word.
“Someone in our humble community is frightened,” Abi said. “She is experiencing terrible terrors in the night.”
Abi nodded to Tanesha. Heather put her arms around Jabari and Tanesha stoodt up.
“I don’t know if I …” Embarrassed, Tanesha looked around at everyone. “I’ve been practicing, but …”
“Go ahead,” Abi said.
Tanesha looked at Ivy before turning to Abi and giving her a curt nod. Rubbing her hands together, she walked to the fire. She opened her hands out so that her palms faced the dry wood. A spark flew off her hands.
“Oooh!” Everyone said as the little fire caught.
After a moment, they clapped for Tanesha.
“Will you tend the fire?” Abi asked.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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