Elias walked up the stairs with heavy steps.
He wasn’t used to getting up so early, but he was excited about what he had planned. His backpack was full of the items he’d need—his tokens, a yellow candle, bay leaves, a copper burning bowl, etc.
As he reached the 13th step he slipped out of his sneakers into just socked feet. He trod quietly on the wood floor, although there was no reason to be quiet. The host already knew Elias was here, he’d been invited.
He ignored the door at the top of the stairs, following the walkway that continued past it and into an adjacent small room. He knocked on the pillar of wall beside the entrance, peering in to see nothing. An empty room with no one inside.
He took out the compass on his knife, finding that the wall opposite the door faced west. It had a small window with broken blinds covering part of it. Elias reached into his backpack and retrieved the token of earth, a twig of pine with a small pinecone attached. He placed it nicely on the windowsill. The north wall had a high shelf; a bottle and a discarded empty trash bag sat on it. Elias added from his backpack the token of water. A little bottle of homemade perfume, floral since it's what he had available.
In the east was the doorway, and an indentation beside it in the wall. Upon this sat four or five books and a bowl. There was a horizontal pole just above Elias’ head for hanging clothes. To it, Elias tied a hawk feather with a yellow ribbon, the token for air. Finally, in the south corner, there was a space heater and a table with only a candle holder.
Elias smiled, in the candle holder he placed a pillar candle, lighting it with a match as the token of fire.
After placing the items, he approximated the center of the circle and stood there. Using his arm he drew a clockwise circle in the air through each item.
Circle cast, he faced the doorway, took two steps backward, and sat down on the wooden floor.
“You’re welcome” he answered no one. He then spoke to no one “Thank you too, for helping me with this spell." No one answered. Seemingly satisfied, he put in his headphones, he had a playlist for this very occasion. Before him sat a skinny red notebook and a red pen with super-glue stuck to the end of it. He supposed he didn't mind using the junk pen.
He set his backpack down beside him, removing each item from the bag and placing it in front of him. The first thing he removed was the spellbook he had the recipe in. Then he removed each ingredient as follows.
1 Crochet hook
1 Ball of orange yarn
1 Yellow candle
1 Copper burning bowl
2 Bay leaves
He arranged the items neatly and began his work. He took the pen and paper provided and began to write his step-by-step detailed instructions for the project he was about to make. He used as much detail as he could, describing each step so he wouldn't miss anything. When he was finished, he cornered the papers with the sigil he’d prepared beforehand. He lit the candle and unwrapped the bay leaves from their protective plastic, using the scissors to hold the leaves in the flame. They went up surprisingly quickly, giving him only seconds as he dropped the flaming leaves into the burning bowl where they simmered down. When the flames died, Elias held the instructions he’d written over the resulting smoke, letting the paper bathe in the grey swirls of charging herb. The smell of the spice filled the room, and Elias sighed.
In the dim mist he saw something, it could've easily been a trick of his eyes as the light streaming from the bare window seemed to pulse. It layed upon the floor in bright patches that glowed and dimmed like a heartbeat. Elias paused his hands moving and watched.
slowly, he brought his hands together, grounding himself and breathing deeply. He cleared his mind with a practiced ease not expexted of one so young.
He stared and his eyes lost focus, letting other senses inspect his surroundings. His nose detected light copper like blood on the air, so faint it was a memory of the smell. His eyes saw different shapes forming infront of him as his eyes lost focus on the familiar.
Bright light like the sun erupted into his minds eye, making him stiffin but not shy away. A voice spoke clearly in his mind but not out loud.
Elias' eyes blinked open in the morning light once more, as if awakening suddenly from an accidental nap. What was that? He couldn't remember exactly what had happened or why he'd stopped his spell, but he felt vividly like someone had walked over his grave.
Or he'd walked over theirs.
With a sigh he shook his head and refocused on the task at hand. Now it was time to do the thing instead of just writing about it. He took the yarn and looped the end, larking it loosely so it became its own knot. He took the crochet hook and threaded it through the loop, stitching a few before connecting the third stitch to the first. He continued crocheting in a circle, adjusting the number of stitches to maintain a conical shape. When the diameter of the cone's base reached that of a CD he stopped and held it up, satisfied.
Instead of tying it off there, he turned the row of stitches he was on into a chain veering off the main project into a foolhardy rope. He made three chains connected to the base of the conical yarn thing. Each chain was equidistant on the rim. After finishing this he took the instructions one last time, lighting them on the still-lit candle. The flames burned high and hot as he once again transferred them to the bowl. The flames died and the ash was all that was left. The fire activated the sigils.
“Thanks again,” He said to nobody. There was no response. “No problem” He answered the silence. With that, he packed all his things back into his backpack. One by one he retrieved his tokens, thanking each as he grabbed them. First east, then south, then west, then north. With a last whispered “so mote it be” He left the threshold of the room. He put back on his shoes and tromped back down the stairs two at a time.
He was going back to sleep.