The aroma of freshly baked goods and sweet perfumes filled my nose. My eyes darted around the many people in the market noticing everything. Buyers and sellers, thieves and smugglers. I checked my pocket for the money mom gave me for the food.
Good, it’s still there.
I continued down the dirt road lined with stands and booths with various goods. The canopy above shielding my eyes from the sun. I made my way to my favorite stand, the basket full of groceries for the week swayed on my arm with my strides.
“Hello, Mr. Rye,” I said, pushing my big, round glasses up my nose.
“Hi, Lunette,” Mr. Rye replied, “the usual?”
I smiled and nodded. That would be the only reason for me to be here at this stand. He smiled at me and handed me a small, brown box with four chocolate-covered croissants.
“Thanks! have a great day!” I waved heading home, hastily making my way through the hustle and bustle.
When I got home Mom greeted me.
“How was the market?” She asked, taking the basket out of my arm.
“Good, I guess. I saw a pickpocketer.” I replied, walking in the door. Mom followed close behind.
“You have a very keen eye,” She smirked, “So what's for dinner?”
I rolled my eyes. We always had a soup of some kind, “Umm, surprise me.”
She smiled and nodded. Taking the basket into the kitchen. I went to the bookshelf in the living room and grabbed a cheesy romance book. I made my way into the kitchen and sat at the table.
“What book did you grab?” She asked, stirring the soup.
“Umm…” I looked at the cover, reading the title out, “One Cold Winter Night. It’s a romance novel.”
“Ooh, this should be fun.”
I read a few chapters Mom and I giggling at some of the silly romance tropes used. When we finished eating I washed the bowls and put them away. Mom kissed me goodnight and we went to bed. I closed my eyes and slipped into a deep sleep as the darkness hugged me.
I woke up the next morning as the sun filled my room. I stretched and yawned, then groaned as I remembered I had to help my neighbor, Rosy, with her garden. I sit up in my bed. It squeaked as I shifted. I kept the blanket over my legs. I rubbed my eyes and grabbed my glasses off the nightstand. I unfolded them and slid them on my face.
I stood up and my blanket fell. I felt goosebumps as the chilly air brushed my bare legs. I went to my closet, the wooden floorboards squeaked under my weight. I picked out my outfit for the day: a navy blue shirt and tan pants that stop just under the knee. Then I made my way towards the bathroom.
I look like a mess.
My silver hair is matted and tangled just from sleeping. I sighed and brushed out all the tangles. I occasionally hit a snag and the brush would hit my large pointy ears. After I finished up making my hair nice and smooth I grabbed a rubber band and put my hair up in a ponytail.
Mom had the day off so I let her sleep. I quickly write a note and slipped on my boots and laced them up. I sighed thinking about the long day ahead of me and headed out the door.
Rosy’s house was only an hour walk from our house. By the time I got there, she was already tending to her garden. She had two gardens, a fruit and vegetable garden, and a flower garden.
“Hello,” I said walking on the stones leading up to the gardens.
“Ah, hello, my dear child,” She said, getting to her feet to greet me. She smiled, her wrinkles following her facial expression. “How was your walk here?”
“Good. It’s nice out today,” I responded as she handed me lime green garden gloves.
“Well let's get started,” She said as I pulled the gloves over my fingers.
We worked tirelessly for a few hours pulling weeds and planting new flowers and even some new fruits and vegetables. I enjoyed the smell of the sweet flowers and the warmth of the sun on my back. I listened to Rosy prattle on about her favorite plants and some facts about them.
“I think we deserve a break,” Rosy said standing to stretch.
I stopped pulling weeds and wiped sweat off my forehead. Rosy went inside to get water. I got up and sat on the white bench nestled between two bushes. I took a look at the work we had gotten done. With all the weeds we pulled the flower garden looked a lot cleaner and spiffed up. The new plants we planted wouldn’t sprout for another few weeks so there were some empty spaces. Rosy came out of her house holding two cups of water. She held a cup out for me and I thankfully took it.
She came to sit next to me, “So how’s spell casting coming along?”
“Oh… Umm… I can still only do basic and minor spells,” I replied. I’m still not very good at spell casting, but I’m better at that than I am potion brewing.
“Do you think you can water some plants?”
“Hmm… Yeah, I might?” I responded, and got up and walked to some thirsty-looking flowers.
I held my hand over them and said the spell to make it rain from my palm. This kind of spell was easier to perform with the correct spell symbol But I didn’t have a writing utensil so my words alone would have to be enough. It took all my focus but I managed a sprinkle from my palm.
“Sorry, that’s all I can manage,” I sighed.
“No, no, you did fine,” She said reassuring me. “Don’t push yourself too hard.”
I looked down at the ground.
That's the problem though. I’m not working hard enough. Mom can cast pretty powerful spells and I can hardly do a simple rain spell.
“Your mom doesn’t have work today? Does she?” Rosy asked, snapping me out of my thoughts.
“No,” I replied.
“Why don’t you go home and hang out with her for the rest of the day. I think I can manage the rest.”
I smiled, “Okay.”
“Oh wait,” She said, handing me a cloth full of berries, “Here have some fruit. And tell your mom I said hi.”
“Will do,” I say heading down the stones to leave.
“Good luck with your spells!” She yelled after me.
I smiled and gave her a thumbs up. Then I head back home.
As I walked closer to the house I noticed the front door was wide open.
“Mom?” I asked, stepping into the living room. It looked like a tornado had swept through. The bookshelf was knocked over and the couch had large slashes with cotton spilling out. But there was no blood.
“Mom?” I asked again, feeling the color drain from my face, “Where are you?”
“MOM!” I screamed, Searching our small house hoping to find her hiding safe and sound. I felt warm tears roll down my cheeks. Every room in the house was torn apart like someone was looking for something. Clothes were scattered throughout the house, even the bathroom mirror was broken. One thing that made me feel only slightly better was the lack of blood. But mom was still gone and I had no leads.
I picked up a blanket off the floor and crawled into mom's bed, sobbing as I realized mom was gone and I was alone.
Where are you, Mom?