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A Peculiar Party ~ Part Seven March 28, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Fiction, Magick & Mystery, Word Play.
26 comments

IMGP3544b“You said you believe that someone or something compelled you to return to read the plaque.”

“I’m sure of it.”

“Let’s assume you’re correct.  Why you?  Why Betty?”

“I’ve given that some thought and have a theory.  First, frogs are amphibious with a high moisture content.  If the magic is conducted via moisture, as it seems to be, we would be more susceptible to the spell-weaver’s magic than the average tourist.”

“That makes sense.”

I snapped my fingers, “Have you ever read Hidden Messages in Water?”

Freddie raised his eyebrows at me.  “Yes.  Just this past week.”

“Combining Emoto’s research with your theory, our anonymous sorcerer would have been able to steer you and Betty down the proverbial garden path using the power of suggestion.”

“I’d say so.  I suspect that when the spell-weaver communicated with us, it seemed much like our own intuitive impulses firing.”

“Making you believe that curiosity alone impelled you back to the plaque.”

“Yes.”

“Of course, curiosity sometimes kills the cat.”

Freddie nodded assent.

“Let’s assume we’re on the right track.  Why did the spell-weaver need you for the spell?”

IMGP3524b“I believe the totem needed the sand.”

“The sand in Betty’s necklace.”

“Yes.  We were only a few blocks from the beach when the alleyway appeared.”

“The spell-weaver would have sensed you coming, communicating water molecule to water molecule.”

“Yes.  He, she, or it read our minds, knew we were coming down Fifth Avenue, knew where we’d been, and knew that Betty had a vial of sand around her neck.”

“And sand in her shoes that had started to chafe.”

IMGP3537b“The spell-weaver lured Betty in with the promise of a seat to ease her aching feet.”

“Okay.  So it lures Betty in, encourages you to explore until you find the totem, urges you both to back-track to read the plaque.”

Something niggled at the back of my mind. “Wait!  You said you had just started reading the plaque when you heard Betty.”

“Yes.  So?”

“If you didn’t have your glasses, how were you able to read anything?”

“Wow!  Now I really do feel like I’m being cross-examined.”

I shrugged.  “Sorry, Freddie.  Old habits die hard.  Once a recovering litigator, always a recovering litigator.”

“Fair enough.  To answer your question, I hadn’t actually read anything when I heard Betty.”

“So you didn’t notice that you didn’t have your reading glasses.”

“No.  Not then.”

IMGP3541b“Why did the totem need you to read the plaque?”

“I don’t think it did.”

“You don’t?”

“No.  I think it just needed the sand.”

“And the best way for it to get its hands on the sand was for Betty to hand her glasses over to you, pulling both chains off at the same time.”

“Bingo!”

“And once it got hold of the vial, the spell was complete.”

“That’s my best guess.”

“It’s a decent working hypothesis.  Except for one thing.”

Freddie stiffened and leaned forward.  “What’s that?”

“If the spell-weaver could conjure up an entire alleyway complete with totem pole, why couldn’t it go to the beach and get its own sand?”

Freddie relaxed.  “I’ve wondered the same thing.  Why involve a couple of middle-aged frogs . . . and run the risk of them croaking?”

To be continued . . . 

If you missed any installments, the entire story can be found at the Short Stories tab . . . or just click HERE!