This is for those of you who have been asking to read my books. I have decided to share an excerpt from one of my books or short stories as a gift to you. I may decide to post an excerpt once a month after this posting. The downside is that you will have to wait for publication to read it in its entirety. Enjoy!
Excerpt from “YOU’VE GOT THE MAGIC IN YOU” by Shelly O’Connell
This work by Shelly O’Connell, M.Div. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
We are pulled from our conversation with a polite but insistent little cough. Kim and I have been so engrossed that we failed to notice that the older lady with white hair and wrinkled face and hands has moved from her table and is standing at a slight distance from our table. We both look up as her second cough registers on our radar as a socially acceptable way to politely break in on a conversation.
In a voice weathered with age she humbly states, “Excuse me girls, well you’re not really girls anymore are you? Rather I ought to say excuse me ladies.”
While Kim and I recover from this honest truth the woman goes on to say, “I couldn’t help but overhear you talking about magic. Is there something specific that you wished to know?”
Kim looks at me and blinks and I think, “Exactly.” I look up at the lady and she is waiting expectantly with a little smile on her face and a twinkle. Yes, no doubt about it that is a twinkle in her eyes.
“Would you care to join us?” I offer.
She just grins and replies, “I think the question is, dear, would you care to join me?”
I glance across to Kim as the woman gracefully takes a seat. Can we say that shades of Alice now march across my head? I begin to think we have crossed over into a parallel universe where everything that we knew as certain suddenly changes in meaning. I do not have long to wait to see where this wormhole takes us. I look over to our new table guest and think, “Weird.”
The woman is staring at me with that knowing little smile. “Did she ask if we had something specific that we wanted to know?” is the thought that courses my mind as she nods her head. “Wait; was that an invitation to join her? Does she mean she is a Witch and that she is asking me to join her?” my mind is stumbling through this thought as I simultaneously remember that traditionally most people become Witches by invitation and initiation according to the research I have done on the topic.
Before I can really put these thoughts coherently together the woman smiles into my eyes and says, “Yes, dear, that’s’ right.”
“What’s right?” I ask.
Again with that smile! She takes a quick scan of the immediate area surrounding us, leans in conspiratorially toward me and states in a matter of fact tone, “It does mean I am a Witch and the invitation still stands.”
I feel my world tilting because she has answered the questions in my mind. The trouble I am having is that I did not utter them aloud. “Does that mean she’s in my head? Can she hear what I am thinking,” my mind queries?
“Yes I am and yes I can,” she informs me.
I look to Kim to throw me a lifeline. Surely some down to earth, no nonsense response from her can pull me from the sea of uncertainty that is threatening to take me under. Kim opens her mouth and I imagine the life preserver being tossed my way in the nick of time, my right arm begins to rise in order to grab on and stay afloat, but it is wrenched abruptly away as she speaks, “Don’t act so shocked, Gabs. So she knows what you are thinking, you do this to people all the time.”
That’s it! I am gone. I am tumbling and swirling, falling under the swell of a huge wave that captures you, spins you around and drags you along the ocean bottom. You are not sure when or if your next breath of air will arrive, you cannot see and have utterly no control over when or if the ocean will spit you out and give you back to the realm of land breathers.
I come up gasping for breath and coughing out salt water or in this case what is left of my chai latte. I am left feeling raw and vulnerable and still a bit shaky around the knees.
The woman whose name I don’t even know at this point reaches over and begins patting me on the back presumably to help me gain my equilibrium. She says, “Sink or swim, dear, sink or swim” with no expression of irony in her voice.
I shift my head to peer at her in amazement. I hear a chuckle that is attempting to be smothered; my head whips around as I recognize the offender to be none other than Kim. I level her with the full force glare she earned from ripping my lifeline away. I deepen the glare to include her traitorous chuckle. This only serves to encourage her to stick out her arm and offer her hand to the woman in greeting, saying, “Hello, I’m Kim.” Does she have no concept of the wrath of a betrayed pixie? Apparently not because she is smiling at the woman in complete delight, clearly anticipating what will happen next.
The woman reaches her hand across directly under my nose to grasp Kim’s outstretched hand, “So very nice to meet you Kim. I am Lillian, Lillian Dupree,” states our mysterious visitor.
“Pleased to meet you, Lillian,” replies Kim.
“Hey, we’re not at some tea party social you know! Anyone remember me? I am trying to figure out what happened here,” I retort angrily.
Lillian responds, “There is no need to raise your voice, dear. All we are doing is making introductions.” She gives a small sniff to indicate my rudeness in butting into the conversation.
“Pardon my manners,” I say somewhat sarcastically, “but I am trying to find my feet here.”
Kim jumps in, “That’s right. She is trying to learn what magic is and what???” Kim fades off as she realizes that she has perhaps revealed too much. Plus my expression has caught her eye and she decides finally to be silent.
“That is ok, dear, remember I came to your table with the intention of talking about magic. Your friend hasn’t let the cat out of the bag,” says Lillian.
I take a deep settling breath and attempt to clarify, “First off my name is not, dear, my name is…”
Lillian interrupts me, “I know who you are, dear.”
This has me slowing down, “You do?”
With the gentle smile this time, she replies, “Oh yes, dear, your name is Gabrielle Cara Worth.”
I am mollified into submission and complete silence. I can only stare at her as Kim’s eyes grow ever wider. We both openly stare at this woman before us who calls herself Lillian. I am peripherally aware that our waiter has arrived with our lunches. Interestingly enough, I am not surprised to see him place Lillian’s order in front of her although she has been at our table only moments. It is as if he knew all along that she would dine with Kim and me.”