Thursday, September 16, 2010


Gemma is the adolescent girl with wings, a birth defect caused by her mother smoking Fairy Dust.  Gemma is in New York City, searching for her mother, who ran away when Gemma was six.  Earlier posts from Gemma appeared in OGW 9/24/09, 10/29/09, 2/4/10, and 7/29/10.  In this, longer, post, Gemma finishes her visit with the Hag, who divinates where Gemma can find her mother.

Gemmma:  “Spirit of Fire, burn away the masks which may hide Gemma’s mother from her --” 
     I close my eyes.  I barely breathe.  This is so stupid, and yet I want to believe.  I want to believe this is a spell that will conjure my mother.  I want to believe that tomorrow midnight -- the dawn of spring -- the Hag will turn into a beautiful maiden, and she will have fulfilled her destiny and magic will be real and my mother will appear in this circle next to me any second now, any second now I’ll smell her rosemary shampoo and feel her hand rest on mine and I’ll stop shivering and --
     “Spirit of Water, wash away the obstacles that stand between Gemma and Maya--”
     I smell incense, not my mother.  Incense and rosewater and the slight stink of diaper, a smell I remember from when Jacob, my Jacob, was a baby.  
     Great, just great, the most magical witch in the city wears Depends.  Opening my eyes a crack, I see her bare feet right next to me.  They are smooth and milk-white, not the hairy, bunioned things I expected.  But instead of seeing the magic in that, I want to scream, You’re not a witch! I but I don’t, I just sniffle again as I start to cry, thinking, It’s hopeless.  This old woman will never find --
      “Spirit of Earth, ground us... ground us...”
     Ground us in reality, woman!  Like, get a grip, I think, mustering up some anger out of my fear and heartache and starting to stand up again.  With surprising strength, the old lady pushes me back down. 
     “Ground us in reality,” she says, which freaks me the hell out, I mean does everyone here read minds?  Again, I try to stand, and again she pushes me down.  “You must not break the circle,” she says, and then she totters away to the cabinet over the sink.  I’m watching her as she stands on her toes and reaches in, pulls down a box -- not a shoe box but maybe a boot box -- and brings it back to the circle.  She puts the it in the circle with me.
     All of this has been as if I’m not here looking at her.  Frustration is welling up inside of me like a tornado gathering momentum and sucking everything in.  I’m shaking, I’m so mad.  Where is my mother, that’s all I came here to find out!  I don’t have time for hocus pocus bullcrap.
     “What the --”
     Before I can even get going on my rant, the old, haggy, witching woman gasps!  She claps her hands to her cheeks, and her mouth is a ridiculous “O”.  Putting her hands on the box, she says, “Look what the spirits have brought!”  She pushes the box toward me until it touches my legs.
     The bitch witch opens the box slowly.
     Oh my Goddess.  Oh my Goddess!  I dive into the box with my hands, grabbing letters addressed with my mother’s handwriting -- oh God, I remember now how she used to dot her “i’s” with little hearts...  Envelopes marked “Return to Sender”, envelopes addressed to me!  Fifty letters, easy, plus drawings, a little watercolor of me, a silver ring with a dragon etched into it that says “Luis”.  That’s my Celtic zodiac sign.  I put the ring on, and my finger feels warm, and then the warmth rushes up my arm and to my heart.  Other trinkets that clatter and tinkle as I scrape my fingers through the box, feeling my mother, physically feeling her presence.
     I’m crying so hard, I can hardly see.  I’m happy to have the box, but I’m going to rip the old woman’s head off for not just giving it to me.  I want to boil her in oil.  I want to shake her until she breaks into pieces and leave her on her weird kitchen floor in her weird, fake circle, a puddle of baby blue satin and tulle.
     “You!  You!  You, you -- you had this all this time and you made me sit here and wait and you saw, you saw how upset I was, and you, you pretended to do magic, but I saw you!  I saw you turn on the stove to make it warm!  I saw you get my mother’s things out of the cabinet!  You’re just, you are -- you are a LIAR! I HATE YOU!”
     I drop handfuls of my mother’s letters back into the box, try to put the top on but am shaking so badly, I can’t even do that simple task, and I feel like such a loser and a chump.  Finally, I get the top on and clutch the box to my body -- protecting it, loving it, holding on to it for dear life.  I scramble to my feet and run to the door in a totally ridiculous way because I am still wearing my tight leather skirt and I can’t move my legs that well, plus my foot has fallen asleep --
     “Fuck a duck!” I say, withholding a scream as I struggle with the chains and bolts holding me in.  I can’t get out, I can’t get out, help me help me “MoFo!” I cry out.  I can’t breathe.
     The old woman puts her arm over my shoulder.  I feel something like an electric shock, and for an instant I think I’ve been tasered!  Either because of the taser or because I’m panicking, I can’t move!  I call out with my mind for my Fant friends, “Help me!”
     Suddenly, the shock fades, and like before, when Aleia touched my chest, I feel calm.  I watch while a hand unfastens the door and opens it for me.
     “Go in peace, Believe in peace, Create peace,” I hear, but it’s not the old woman’s gruff, warbling voice -- it’s a soft, warm, feminine voice that feels on my ears like a swallow of warm milk would feel.
     As I leave, I turn to look, and instead of seeing the old woman, I see a beautiful maiden.  She smiles.  “Spring is early this year,” she says just as Ian comes barreling up the stairs. 
     “No!” I say to him, but it’s too late.
     He’s yanked a pole out of the bannister, and is brandishing it like a sword, aiming for the hag/maiden’s throat.

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