The Adventures of Millie and Sandra
After leaving Frank at the crime scene, the PC was making her way to the Coven when she saw Judith walking towards her.
“Judith,” she said, “I was just coming to find—”
“I was coming to find you,” she said.
The PC was confused and couldn’t understand why Judith the elder would be looking for her.
“Why? What’s wrong? And why—”
“I’ve just been to see Mill’s the elder,” Judith lied, “she said the totem’s been stolen, and Meryl may have the shards.”
The PC had heard on the Northern Witch’s hotline that Tess and Mill’s mother had returned from the dead, but this was the first of her coven to verify it.
“God’s,” the PC said. “We’ve gotta find them… Find her. But how?”
“I might know how,” Judith said.
The PC nervously pulled her hair back into a ponytail and tied it up. Although she’d been with the coven for some time, she’d not seen battle.
“Okay,” she said. “What do we do?”
Judith led the PC to the mouth of the river where it splintered off to form the creek behind Millie the Elders house. As they neared, the PC saw the fog. It was low lying and hovering just above the water. It felt like it was calling to her.
“What’s going on, Judith?”
“Meryl’s hidden the shards in that fog.”
“How do you—”
Before the PC could finish her question, Judith pressed her hand in the middle of her back and pushed her towards it. A large fiery hand reached out, took the PC by the throat, and pulled her in to the fog until she disappeared. Judith took a quick look around, made sure no one had seen, nervously brushed her hands down the front of her dress before hurrying to the hospital. She had to get to Mill’s the elder before she knew.
Back at the hospital aunt Millie had ripped the drip from her left hand and Tess was helping her get dressed. They’d sent the twins back to the house. Told them about a secret room where their mum and aunt had practised magic at their rage.
“To get to it,” Tess said, “You have to go into the cupboard under the stairs, and the top right corner of the cupboard, there’s a board. Press it like the self-opening doors in the kitchen. It’ll open automatically.”
Tess and Millie hadn’t been in it for years, but knew it was fully stocked with everything they’d need to find out who the spy was, find something to secure, and contain, the crystal ball in, and find all the tools they'd need to scry for the crystal shards. Their crystals should point the way.
“Use the crystal around your necks, girls,” Aunt Millie said.
“How?” Sandra asked as she examined hers.
“Millie will show you.”
“Ready?” Tess asked, just as she slipped Millie's last shoe on.
“As I’ll ever be,” Millie said, though she didn’t sound as convincing as Tess had hoped.
Tess was worried. She wasn’t ready for what was to come. It’d been a long time since she’d practice magic, and Mill’s had always been the strong one.
Time to grow a backbone, Tess, she thought leading her sister from the room.
“What if someone sees us?”
“I’m hoping they do,” Millie said. “they’ll get word back to the sisters. Give us the strength we need to fight Meryl once and for all.”
“Where too first?”
“We’re going into the fog—”
“What?” Tess asked and was unable to hide her anxiety.
“Frank’s in there, sis. And so’s mother.”
An intense heat radiated from her skin, and the more she thought about Frank, the hotter Millie burned.
“Dragonflies, away,” Tess said, and tried to smile like they did when they were girls, but could only manage a grimace.
When they were teenagers practising their magics in the woods, where the old barn used to be, it was their favourite saying. It always proceeded a swirling burning tornado of fire, they were eventually able to control.
Good times, Tess thought and smiled. With the stress leaving her body, she was genuinely amazed at how excited she was at the prospect of making magic with her sister once more. Hope the Twins are okay.
They stepped outside as the sliding glass doors swished closed behind them. They were momentarily blinded by the sun when they heard a familiar voice.
“Woah!” they said, and as their vision returned, Judith was standing in front of them. “And where do you think you’re going Mill’s?”
“To save Frank,” she said and took a step towards the car park, but Judith sidestepped to bar her way. “What are you doing?”
“You! Go back to bed,” she said and tried to turn Mill’s around.
“What’re you doing?” Tess asked.
“I’m worried about my friend,” Judith said, but there was something behind her words, and it caught the attention of the sisters.
Something wasn’t right.
“Mill’s is fine,” Tess said, “she’s been released into my care, and we’re going!”
Refusing to give up any ground to Judith, and having to physically move her out of their way, their suspicions grew stronger.
It’s Judy, isn’t it? Tess said telepathically.
Don’t know, she said, she's certainly behaving very odd.
“Look, Judith,” Tess said, “you can come with us, or you can get out of our way, but either way we are going to save Frank.”
Judith was taken aback by the forcefulness of Tess’s tone. She nervously ran her hands down the front of her dress again before uttering another word.
“Coming with,” she said, and helped Tess get Mill’s to the car.
“Oh my,” Sandra said, when Millie pressed on the board. A sliding door opened inside the cupboard under the stairs. “How come we never knew this was here?”
“Don’t know,” Millie said, reaching around searching for a light switch.
Finding it, she switched it on and saw a stair well that winded down.
"This is fantastic," she said. "Watch out for the steps.”
“I wonder where they go?” Sandra asked, her eyes ablaze with wonder.
When they walked down the stairs, a huge basement came into view. It was decked out with books, potions, handwritten spells and an array of other wonderful things.
“Put that down,” Millie snapped, and Sandra dropped what looked like a wand.
It was about a foot long and was twisted with a carved handle on one end, and a point on the other.
“What is it?” Sandra asked.
“Don’t know,” Millie said, “but that’s the point, isn’t it?”
“S’pose so,” Sandra said. “Where do we start?”
“How could Mum keep this from us?” Millie muttered as she walked around the room. “They must have spent a lot of time down here.”
“What makes you think that?”
“There’s a table and chairs, two sofas… A fridge,” Millie said. “Wow. I bet they slept down here a lot too. All right, let’s start looking… Just be careful with whatever you pick up.”
The Twins moved around looking for something big enough to hold either the shards of crystal, or a crystal ball intact. And they needed a spell to either destroy it or seal it away forever.
“Huh! Looks like they were preparing for anything,” Millie said.
“Look at all these tins. There’s a silver soap tin, bit tarnished now, an espresso coffee tin, that might work? It looks big enough—”
“Oh wow,” Sandra said, “what about this?”
Millie turned to see Sandra holding an old cornflakes tin. It was tall enough, and wide enough, for whatever the job called for.
“That’ll do it,” Millie said, “now we need to write three spells—”
“Three? Why three?”
“Do we need to go over it again?” Millie asked. “We need one to seal the tin. Another to destroy the crystal, shards or ball, and one for the Marcotte witches, that’s us, mum, and auntie, to once and for all, destroy grandma.”
“Seems like a lot of work,” Sandra said, and Millie let out an exasperated sigh.
“Why don’t you practice’s scrying?” Millie said.
“That sounds delicious. How do I do it?”
Millie was surprisingly pleased to hear her sister use the word delicious. She took her to a basin in one corner of the room, put the plug-in, and half filled it with water. She then took off her crystal from around her neck and showed Sandra how to see in the water with it.
“My turn,” Sandra said, and Millie looked at her as if to say, “of course it’s your turn. You’re the one doing this.”
“I’m going to be at the table over there,” Millie said pointing to the table and chairs some way from where Sandra was scrying. “So, you need to be quiet.”
While Millie and Sandra were busy doing their part, Tess, Millie, and Judith were pulling up outside Aunt Millie’s house. It’d been a bit of a ride to get there. People were in the streets walking around with their heads in the air. They were on the sidewalk standing and staring at nothing, and those out the front of aunt Millie’s house had more than a vacant look, their eyes were empty. All the neighbours, and the CSI, they were all still there and there was nothing behind their eyes.
“What’s going on?” Judith asked.
“Mother,” Tess and Millie said at the same time.
They’d parked car on the street and had to push their way through the crowd to get to the creek. The fog was looking mighty ominous hovering like it was.
“What do we do now?” Tess asked.
“We’re going in—”
“What?” Judith asked feigning disbelief, and not quite carrying it off.
Do you think she’s the spy? Tess asked.
I so hope she isn’t, Millie said unable to hide the sadness in her voice.
“What about the coven?” Judith was asking.
“They know what to do,” Millie said, and sensed Judith's apprehension.
“What do they know?” she asked. “I’m feeling a little left out of the loop here, Mill’s.”
“No one’s out of the loop, Judith. Everyone has a role to play, even you.”
Mills the elder took Tess’s hand in her left, and Judith’s in her right.
“It’s now or never,” she said, “just hope the twins know what they’re doing,” and before anyone could say another word, she took them into the fog with her.
“Sandy? Sandy?” Millie was yelling as she ran to her.
She could feel the heat coming off Sandra as she neared. Blue flames were shooting from her eyes and the water, with which she was supposed to be scrying, was boiling.
“Sandy?” Millie yelled again, then put a gentle hand on her shoulder. “Come back, Sandy. You have to pull back. Release the flames into the water and come back to me.”
The blue flames began to subside. Sandra had heard her twins voice guiding her. She looked down into the water and a waft of steam shot into the air.
“Sandy? Oh, thank goodness you’re all right,” Millie said. “What happened?”
“I don’t know. One minute I was watching the water spin in a counter-clockwise direction, and the next thing I knew, a wave of heat shot up through my feet so fast that it was burning my legs and shooting into my mind before I knew what was happening. Next, fire was coming out of my eyes. I couldn’t stop it, Mill’s,” she said. “I became lost to the flame.”
“Come sit down. I think I have an idea,” Millie said.
When Sandra sat on the sofa, a sharp pain radiated across her shoulders, and she stood faster than she’d ever stood before.
“Ouchie, ouchie, Mill’s,” she said, “what is that?”
Millie turned to see Sandra ripping her shirt over her head and while Sandra was hoping it wasn’t some ginormous bug biting her, all Millie could do was gasp.
“What? What is it, Mill’s?”
“It’s not a bug is it… please don’t let it be a bug,” Sandra was saying, but Millie couldn’t say a word.
“Mill’s? You’re scaring me. What is it?”
“You’ve got wings… dragonfly wings… Oh my gods, Sandy… here, check my back,” Millie said and tore her shirt up over her head, but Sandra was too stunned to do anything. “Sandy!”
“What? Oh, yeah. Let me see.”
Sandra took a good look at Millie’s back, but there was nothing. No wings.
“There’s nothin’, sis.”
“Oh well, guess you’ll…. Hang on. I know how to defeat grandma,” Millie said.
“First. What do I do about these?” Sandra said pointing around to her wings. “I can’t sit. I certainly can’t go outside… And what about dad? What’ll we tell him, “Sorry dad, but I’m turning into a dragonfly?”
Millie snickered at the image of her dad’s face, and the look on Sandra’s.
“For the moment we won’t tell him, but we’ll get one of his shirts for you to wear but listen. We’ve got the tin—”
“That you need to write a spell for.”
“Yeah, and that’s the easy part,” Millie said, “the hard parts are to do with the crystal ball and grandma, right?”
“What are we?” Millie waited but got nothing. “We’re dragonflies… all of us, except—”
“Except grandma,” Sandra said and was starting to catch on. “She’s no magic of her own. Only the ball, right?”
“Right, so we scry for the shards, or the ball if she’s put it back together, cause that’s where she’ll be,” Millie said.
“And where mum and auntie will be,” Sandra said.
“Exactly,” Millie said, “but, we only need the one spell—”
“For the tin.”
“Yes, and with our dragon-fire, yours and mine, we join our flames to create one, and we can take ownership of the ball.”
“By joining our flames, we imbue our essence into the crystal,” Millie said. “And grandma has no essence that's hers, and I’m pretty sure when we set the ether witches free, they took back their power.”
“An gran’s been dead a long time,” Sandra said. “She can’t do it… Oh, hang on. Auntie said there’s gotta be a spy in the coven… Working for gran… What if they’re there? Could they share their essence with her?”
“Good point, sis.”
Millie stopped to think. She thought about the sisters in the coven and their powers.
One on their own couldn’t do it, she thought, although if it’s Susan, she might be able to move them to another dimension… no, not Susan. Grace trusted her above all others.
“I’m going to take a huge leap and say, no,” she said. “I’ve thought about those in the coven and not one on their own has the kind of power two dragonflies have. Then the four of us, mum and auntie, joining our powers can blow grandma to smithereens.”
“I sound sure, don’t I?”
“Then I must be,” Millie said. “All right, I’ll scry and you practice… over in that far corner where it looks a lot like lightening crystals growing out of the sandy wall… Hmm, strange, anyway, over there and get a good flame going. But don’t get drawn into it. You are the flame, the flame is not you.”
“Okay,” Sandra said and made her way to the other end of the room.
Milly scried for the crystal. It wasn’t easy, she had to make her way through the fog, and just as she found it, Sandra let out a scream. When she turned, she saw there’d been a backdraft and the papers on the table were burning. Millie grabbed an old towel from the sink area and was trying to put them out when Sandra held up a fire extinguisher and activated it.
“Wonder why there’s one of these here?” she asked with a cheeky smile.
They shared a laugh, but it fell between the cracks of the old sofa, and they imagined for a moment what it must’ve been like for their mum and aunt.
“They had to hide, Mill’s,” Sandra said, and her sadness filled the room.
“I know, sis, but we’re going to put an end to grandma today. We’re going to save mum and auntie so they can forget about that old witch,” Millie said, and after a few moments they were laughing again.
“Punning intended,” Sandra said.
They enjoyed the moment because they knew the day ahead was going to be bad.
“So?” Sandra asked. “Where’s the crystal?”
“Out the back of aunties house… Where you found it.”
“Yeah. I was confused at first too, but what if gran can’t move it from its resting place?”
“Mum and auntie are great witches, and the coven shared their power with them to get rid of gran,” Sandra said.
“So, I’m thinking we walk into the fog—”
“What?” Sandra asked.
“What, what?” Millie said. “Please tell me you knew we were going to have to go into the fog?”
“Well, yeah. I s’pose, but it’s not a very delicious adventure, is it,” she said. “I mean, it’s like, “Where’d you go for ya holidays,” and all I can say is, “Into the fog.” Can’t it be some divinely inspired adventure? One that no-one else could ever say they’d been on?”
“Who are you going to tell?” Millie asked.
She was perplexed but pleased about it. Sandra always left her feeling perplexed and always has some ridiculous answer.
“Mum… and… aunty… Oo oo, the coven! They’ve not heard my stories before. Bet they’d love a good tale about how the Marcotte witches finally defeated that damnable beast, grandma.”
Millie was rolling around on the sofa laughing. Sandra always told her stories, even when she was thinking them up, as if she was on stage entertaining a group of children. She was a one woman show, and Millie loved her for it.
Once they raided their dads closet and found a shirt to hide Sandra’s rapidly growing wings, Millie took the opportunity to trial a new spell she’d been working on, a transportation spell.
“Just stand there,” she said, “hold my hand and be quiet.”
“Shush! Here we go.”
Through the gentle touch of sky,
Lift us easy, lift us high.
Carry your daughters, Sandra and I,
Descendants of the dragonfly.
A swish of cool wind gathered around their feet. It spiralled up around them, joining them as one. Once the twins were tightly bound, the wind picked them up and flew them through the sky, setting them down out the back of their aunt’s house.
“Crikey, Mill’s,” Sandra said in awe. “How long you been workin’ on that, cause… You know, it worked.”
“A little while,” Millie said. “Hold my hand, sis. We’re going in.”
The twins walked towards the part of the creek where Sandra had found the Anzac biscuit tin, but before they reached it, two fiery foggy hands reached out, took hold of them and pulled them in.
“You’re here,” someone said, and they were thrown to the floor inside the fog.
The twins turned and saw Judith was there and she had hold of the tin.
“Judith,” Millie said, “thank goodness you’re here… and you found it. Quick, we need the tin—”
“It’s not for you,” their grandma’s voice sounded, but with her having no body, it made it a bit hard to see where she was.
“Where are you?” Sandra asked. “I’ve got a bone to pick with you. Stealing my bod—”
“Shut up!” she said, then the twins saw it. It was Judith speaking.
The betrayer, Millie said to Sandra. It’s Judith, and her heart broke.
What can I say, girls, Judith said tapping into their minds, she made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.
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