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The Book Club

a short story

By Kayleigh Fraser ✨Published 5 months ago Updated 4 months ago 9 min read
14
The Book Club
Photo by Adrian Infernus on Unsplash

September Full Moon

“I’m sick and tired of his vindictive acts

The way he treats me is abuse, in fact,

He’s drunk all the time, swearing and mean

The things he says are completely obscene

I wish something would just…

wake him up.

Shake him, make him stop breaking trust.

He left for work on the oil rig today

and you know what I wish for, you know what I pray?

I pray he falls over the side

Gets the biggest shock of his whole damned life,

loses all this egoistic pride

and starts to treat me like his actual bride

I don’t ever recognise this demon any more

Screaming at me while I’m crying on the floor

What kind of husband acts like this?

I’m so sick of it all, universe grant my wish

Julia’s eyes flashed with pain and exhaustion as she looked to the other three women. Tonight’s book club had derailed ever so slightly from it’s usual format. We normally began with spells for world peace. For love. Not wrath. Never wrath.

“Well we didn’t call ourselves ‘The Coven’ without good reason, Jules. I trust the universe is listening. You deserve so much better than the way he treats you and I think you’re right. Perhaps he needs to face his own death to stop acting like such a vindictive jerk. I mean, obviously we don’t want to hurt him, but you’ve tried everything else.”

“Yeah Karen is right. You’ve literally tried everything with him. It seems the more love you show him and the more forgiveness you offer - even without him being sorry - all just makes him even worse. Like, how is that even possible?” Hannah asked.

Bella waited for the room to fall into silence as we all turned to her expectantly. Bella was a pure Air sign knew how to invoke a storm for this spell. We had always found it quite amusing that each of us were pure representations of each element. I am Earth, Hannah is Water and Jules Fire and it certainly showed in our personalities.

We had heard many of Bella’s stories over the years about invoking storms and casting great spells but in the 12 years of our sisterhood, we had never experienced it. Maybe we had all been playing a little at our ‘Coven’. Maybe we all still didn’t truly believe the power we had. Something I could feel was about to dramatically change.

She drew a deep breath, closing her eyes as she did so. As she pursed her lips and slowly exhaled, the westerly winds began violently pounding against the cottage windows, intruding through cracks in the old wood. The curtains began to samba into a wild frenzy, knocking over the vase of red and yellow tulips as they did so. Shards of glass surrounded us and glinted in the light of the fire. We looked to each other wide eyed. Tulips were the flower Julia and Steve had exchanged on their wedding day. We all felt the significance of this.

Our awe and reverence of the sheer power surrounding us in that moment was one of the most intense experiences the three of us had encountered. Bella had lived a rather colourful life before us, so I can’t speak for her. This was probably tame for her!

She began to whisper “So let it be, so let it be done. So let it be, so let it be done.” and each of us joined her one by one, keeping to hushed tones.

—————————————————

October Full Moon

“Oh it’s so good to see you all! These past weeks have felt long!” Karen exclaimed as she walked into the cottage. She tossed her copy of Nicholas Spark’s latest book onto the chair and began removing her many layers. Karen always arrived to a room with a dramatic flair of chaos surrounding her, it was ever entertaining to the rest of us.

“Can you believe this book?! Seriously? Of all the openings! Of all the stories!! He jumps off an oil rig?! An oil rig!!!! I literally spluttered my drink everywhere when I read that! The synchronicity is off the charts!”

“I know! And the book wasn’t even released until a week after our last meet! How crazy is this?! I thought the same” offered Hannah.

Bella rolled her eyes at the two of them “I don’t know why this stuff still surprises you. We are creating all of it”. Hannah looked immediately ashamed and Julia winced slightly. Bella always had a knack for speaking her words in a far more cutting tone than I believe she intended.

“More to the point, how did Steve’s trip offshore go? I mean, I know it might be too early for the spell to take form, but we’ve created instant manifestations before…” I inquired, in hope of reviving the energy in the room.

It worked.

“Oh my god. Just wait until you hear.” Julia tossed her snow boots in front of the fire and collapsed into the sofa. “So he didn’t go to work.”

“What, how? I thought he left the day before we saw you” Hannah asked, scrunching her face in confusion. She had such an innocent kind of cuteness about her when she didn’t understand something.

“Yes, yes! He told me he went offshore, but he actually didn’t. He bailed on the trip, got on a bus and headed to some middle of nowhere town on the north coast. Of course he takes himself straight to the local pub - where he drinks for 11 hours straight. Nothing too surprising there. But!!! Wait to hear this! So he tells me he met a couple of guys in the pub and come closing time they told him they had a boat at the harbour nearby and could continue drinking there. So of course he goes with them.”

We were all hanging on every word. Even Bella’s eyes gleamed as she listened intently, hungry for the rest of the story to unfold. After pausing to sip the tea I poured for her, Julia continued.

“So they walk to this boat, completely drunk. I can imagine Steve could barely walk, I’ve seen it a million times. Well apparently there was some kind of small gap between the boat and harbour to step over, like a foot or two. Nothing big but, being drunk, Steve loses his footing, and plummets down that gap!! He basically fell into the North Sea just as we invoked. Only not from an oil rig. But to be fair - the oil rig was maybe a bit too severe?”

She paused for breath. “Anyway. So apparently they really struggled to get him out. And meanwhile between him being drunk and the shock of the cold, he genuinely believed he would drown. He fractured his ribs and is now unable to go back to work until they heal. He also said he spend the past weeks in hospital with pneumonia but I don’t know if I actually believe him on that. I felt like he was just trying to further victimise himself with that part of the story. You know, making me out to be the uncaring wife because I knew none of this and he was suffering in hospital alone.”

We all looked unsure how to react. A slow smile crept over Bella’s lips first. “Did it work? Has it woken the bastard up to his shitty behaviour? To his despicable drunkenness?” she asked with distaste dripping from every word.

Julia’s eyes immediately flooded with tears. The question brought her energy plummeting to the ground after her high of belief about how our manifestation had played out. She tried to hold them back and my own heart was feeling her pain. “No. If anything it’s made him even worse. Now he’s drinking more than ever at home and is even more vicious because he’s in pain. It’s becoming impossible to bear.”

Sensing how needed it was, I crossed the room to hug her. She immediately broke down. Feeling the love in my touch had made it impossible for her to keep suppressing her pain. Jules has been chronically deprived of touch and kindness as a child. It was painful for all of us to witness her recreating this suffering through her marriage but there was very little we could do. She had to be the one to choose herself. She had to find her self worth and respect on her own. And sadly her levels of tolerance for his awful behaviour were insanely high.

Call me naive but I really had thought that a near death wake up call actually could have transformed Steve. But it seemed the years of alcohol abuse really had taken its toll. The man was completely devoid of empathy. The whole family was in all honesty. It was just a few months ago that his brother physically choked her for defending herself verbally. The entire family just pretended like nothing had happened. It was completely messed up.

We all looked to each other as Jules cried in my arms. Bella’s rarely visible empathy was evident as she waited for the tears to stop and composure to be regained. She smiled warmly and asked “Jules, haven’t you realised it yet? Haven’t you realised who you are yet?”

“I know we’ve had this coven for over a decade now. And I know part of you, all of you” she gestured to us, “want to pretend to yourselves that it’s just a silly name for our book club and an excuse to meet up once a month. But does this not prove something to you finally? You cast that spell. We helped to power it, sure. But you cast it. You make a demand of the universal energies. You were pure of heart and reason, and your wish was granted. You did that.

Jules wiped her face with the sleeve of her dress. Bella’s words were reaching her. We could see the positive energy pouring into her again. Restoring her by the second. She sat taller. She breathed deeper. She slowly smiled. “Oh my god!”

“Yes. Yes!” Bella replied, nodding to her in reflection.

It was such a beautiful moment to witness and it’s a day that none of us will ever forget. It was so gleaming and shining and crystal clear. That was the exact moment that Julia finally felt and understood her power. Her worth. Her connection to higher realms.

And that was the day she left her husband. A choice she never once regretted.

———————————————-

Inspired by true events

———————————————-

Written for the Under A Spell Challenge

Short Story
14

About the Creator

Kayleigh Fraser ✨

philosopher, alchemist, writer & poet with a spirit of fire & passion for all things health & love related 💫

“When life gives you lemons,

Know you are asking for them.

If you want oranges, focus on oranges”

🍊🍋💥🍋🍊

INSTAGRAM - kayzfraser

Reader insights

Outstanding

Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  2. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

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Comments (9)

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  • Raymond G. Taylor3 months ago

    Congratulations and well done on your win and for joining the roll of honor. You should have received your prize by now. https://vocal.media/writers/witchy-winners-all

  • Chloe Gilholy3 months ago

    I loved it and felt really connected with the poem at the beginning.

  • Printique Studios4 months ago

    Awesome story! Thank you for sharing!

  • Raymond G. Taylor4 months ago

    Congratulations! You are one of six finalists in the write-a-witch challenge. The winning entries are here, each guaranteed one of the cash prizes. I will be ranking the stories over the next week, 1st ($10), 2nd($5), 3rd($2), 3x runner up ($1 each) based on comments and the given criteria. Please take a look and it would be great if you could give your views on the other stories. And please feel free to let others know about the awards so that they can comment too. Thanks for participating and please forgive the copy and paste comment to each of you. Details here: https://vocal.media/writers/boom-ta-ra-the-winners-of-the-write-a-witch-challenge-are

  • Meeru 4 months ago

    I submitted my insights as your story telling style was outstanding I am new here, hope you could find some time and visit my page, thanks

  • I was sooooo excited that you wrote a fiction! I'm a huge fan of your fictiom after reading your Bitcoin story! But I was kinda sad to find out that this was inspired by a true story. I mean, even if it wasn't, this is still prevalently happening everywhere. I'm sad that Steve didn't die but knowing you, I know you wouldn't do that, lol. You're too nice, unlike me 🤣 But I'm happy that you at least made him end up in the hospital. I'm so glad that Julia finally found the strength to leave him! I loved your story so much!

  • Babs Iverson5 months ago

    Fabulous story!!! Trrrific ending!!! Loved it!!!❤️❤️💕

  • Alex H Mittelman 5 months ago

    Great spell! He sounds like a jerk! Great story too!

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