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The balmy night held a serene, tranquilly-ripe-for-straddling tone. Azrielle Marris stretched out on her bed. The fluffy down comforter cushioned her in a cloud of white. She smiled up at the familiar wood knots on the beaded panel ceiling. Then, slowly lowering her lashes, she shut out the sight of her room. Her heart pounded with excitement. Not good, when she needed a deep, undisturbed slumber that put death to shame.
"A few too many cookies, I should think," she grumbled as her favorite, sleek black dress, inched and bunched at her thighs.
She bought the slinky, sexy spandex for the purpose of going to a nightclub. Though she didn't drink, her sister-in-law, Andale, met her brother in one of the upscale dance clubs. And it was Andale who convinced her it was a good place to meet men.
"Azrielle? Azrielle, are you in there?" Her mother's voice echoed from outside the door.
"Oh, not now," she grumbled under her breath.
"Yes. I'm in here." She swung her legs over the side of the bed and hopped off.
Hurrying, she tugged on the hem of the dress, and stumbled to the door. She jerked on the doorknob and nearly ripped her arm from the socket.
"Damn." The curse slipped out softly.
"Azrielle, is everything all right in there?"
"Yes." The old slide bolt moved freely under her fingers and she opened the door without quite so much vim.
"Why, dear, don't you look nice?" Her mother smiled.
"Thank you." Azrielle rubbed the ache in her shoulder.
"Are you going out tonight?"
"It was my intention."
"Well not like this you aren't." Her mother looked at the bed, at the window, and then at her. Herfrown made worry lines crease her smooth forehead.
"Mother, I'm not a child anymore."
"You're trying to take flight." She walked to the window. "When I taught you how to project your astral aura, I thought I made the rules clear, you must leave--"
"A window open." Azrielle sighed.
Her mother pushed the sash up. The white painted wood groaned in protest to the movement. Gwen Marris turned and placed her hands on her hips. Her head shook from side to side with disappointment written in the fine lines creased at the corners of her mouth.
"Azrielle, you're new at this. When a witch does anything, it should be with care and diligence for repercussions."
"I know. I'm sorry I forgot."
"Until you master astral projection, the window must be open. I would hate to think your aura isn't able to find your physical-self after taking flight."
"I'm getting better."
"'Better,' 'sometimes,' and 'just about got the hang of it,' won't do. Don't forget the window again."
Her mother cupped her cheek. "I love you, and I don't want to lose a daughter. Until you master this gift, you must allow for error."
"I won't forget again."
Azrielle waited for her mother to leave before she hit herself in the forehead with the heel of her hand. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.
Flopping back on the bed, she straightened her dress, and closed her eyes. With calmer thoughts, she progressed through the steps much quicker. Her beating heart slowed and she felt lightweight. Drifting upward for the fourth time out, she floated away from her body.
She discovered she had a knack for shifting into flight. However, she struggled with direction. Her first try had landed her on a downtown street. The second, she fell into a sandbox on a children's playground. The last time, when she really thought she'd done well, she discovered she was in the wrong mall.
Azrielle whispered the incantation. "Pass the moon if you wish to be seen, or tarry yourself in between."
Of course, she wanted people to see her. She didn't see any other reason to travel like an apparition if she couldn't mingle and party as part of the crowd.
She rode the night wind unable to feel the cool breeze filter through her. Crossing over the slip of a crescent moon, she smiled. Her ancestors, with heavy robes and pointy hats, left an impressive silhouette as a legacy that modern witches couldn't change.
"Stop!" a masculine voice shouted.
Distinctively aware the command didn't have anything to do with her, she couldn't keep from listening. Footsteps shuffled and scuffed the pavement. A loud crash of trash cans and boxes followed.
Posted November 18, 2010
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Posted March 25, 2010
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