“They got Karen too,” Kelcie whispered in my ear. She’d come in, arm cast and all when I called. So had most of the other librarians.
I groaned, writing another name on my list. “At this rate, it might be easier to name who they didn’t get, Kelcie.”
“Uh… Well, they didn’t glamour me, so far as I can tell,” Kelcie replied. “And Mark seemed clean too.”
“Okay, that’s good information,” I said, turning the list over and writing the names upside down.
“And they didn’t glamour you either,” Kelcie added.
“Of course not,” I muttered, “Faeries hate salt.”
I heard the woman snerk under her breath and I grinned at her. “Did you figure out anything about who took out the rest of the books, Kel?”
“Beyond that they were fae?”
“Well yeah, if they’re casting glamours then obviously we have fae,” I replied. “I meant something useful that could track them down.”
Kelcie snorted at me, making her dark bangs fall over her eyes. “I appreciate your faith in me, but even other faeries have trouble spotting glamoured faeries. Your best bet is probably in that brooch that Amber described.”
I flipped up the top sheet of my clipboard, looking at the paper towel doodle under the list. It was loose and sketchy, but still better than the other reports we had gotten. “An old woman” according to Jeff. “A blond boy” according to Nate.
“Did Karen say who she lent the book to?” I asked, “Any descriptors would help at this point.”
Kelcie shrugged. “She said they smelled like rain and wanted one of the blue books. “Haunting Melodies” she thinks.”
I wrote that down too, she was the first one to remember the book title. “Looks like Jeff and Nate got hit the hardest out of everyone so far. Do you think they could have been the ones to loan out multiple books?”
“I think you’re making assumptions we can’t afford to make, Rach,” Kelcie replied. “They might have just been generally less observant than the other two. Most men wouldn’t notice a perfume or brooch on a good day.”
“Well give me something, Kel!” I snapped. “So far, I’m cruising the city looking for a boy or woman wearing a brooch who smells like rain. I think most people would agree this isn’t feasible, and that I need more to go off.”
“You have the design of the sigil,” Kelcie retorted. “That’s probably enough to identify which house the faeries hailed from, and potentially what they were looking for.”
“Which would be great,” I said, rolling my eyes, “If they hadn’t stolen the reference to the house sigils as what I can only assume was their first act.”
“Sometimes, Rachael, you act really dumb for smart person,” Kelcie said, rubbing the inner corners of her eyes.
“What are you talking about?” I asked.
“Yeah, we’re missing the books. But we aren’t missing the book’s source.”
“If you tell me to just go ask the fae, you’re pretty dumb as well,” I retorted. Not my wittiest moment, granted, but in that moment Kelcie was shaking her head.
“Just go to the Falconers. See what they remember.”
“Where did you say you got this?” Syra asked, running her hands over the tooled leather cover. The vibrant orange leather seemed to glow in the dim light of the dusty clubhouse. We were getting a little too old for the clubhouse, but it was still the best place to go for privacy in Sam’s house. Her parents were nice enough, but they could be a little over-bearing at times.
“It was in a garage sale that my parents took me to,” Opi said, leaning over the book. “I found it in a stack of lame romance novels.”
“But what is it?” I asked, grabbing at the leather book. There was an golden ribbon tied around the book and knotted near the front. I tugged the ribbon open and the book bounced up in my hands, barely held shut by the weight of the cover.
Opi shrugged. “I dunno Mary, I hadn’t opened it yet. I was waiting until I could show you guys.”
“So you don’t even know what’s inside?” I teased. “What if it turns out to be like, some dumb romance story with a fancy cover?”
“That could be cool too!” Syra said. “It might be like, ‘Avery grabbed Henry’s throbbing member, stroking it gently…’”
“Eww, Syra, why is that where your brain goes?” Sam said, cutting her off. Her face had gone so pink her freckles had nearly vanished.
Syra shrugged, “I just think it’d be funny if it was all porn.”
“Well, no luck for that,” I said, peeking inside the cover. “Opi was right, this book is cool.”
Sam leaned closer to me. “What’d he find?”
I spread the book wide on the floor of the clubhouse. “It looks like a book of magic spells.”
“What?” Sam said, craning her head around to look at the page. “Be serious, Mary.”
“No really, I think it’s a spell book!” I said, pointing out the runes on the page. “Like, read this bit. Locust of air. To cast this spell, you will need 5 wings of the mayfly, 7 maple keys, and the breath of a sleeping cat. You will also need to connect to a leyline of air.”
“That just sounds like gibberish,” Syra said, pushing aside her long, blonde hair, but Opi was leaning over now as well.
“I knew this book was going to be awesome,” he said, a smile creeping across his face to reveal crooked teeth and braced. I smiled back at him shyly.
Sam pulled the book towards herself, flipping back the pages. “What’s the first spell? Maybe we can try these.”
“Do you really believe these are spells?” Syra frowned. “It’s probably all nonsense and fairy tales.”
Sam gave her a sheepish look. “Maybe? If they don’t work, then no harm, right?”
I flipped through to the beginning. “The first spell says it’s some sort of initiation?”
Opi practically pushed me out of the way to look. “Seriously?”
“Yeah,” I said, moving back a bit to give him more room.
Opi started to read the book out loud. “One of the first things any new sorcerer should do is perform an initiation ritual. Such a ritual will allow them to see beyond the mortal veil and into the leylines that cross the globe. This initiation process is crucial to learning any further spells within this book.”
“Okay, that’s the spell we should try,” I declared.
“I don’t believe you’re taking this seriously,” Syra scoffed.
I stuck out my tongue. “If you don’t think it’s real, you don’t have to do it.”
“If she doesn’t think it’s real, it won’t really matter, will it?” Opi said. “We’ll just do it and nothing will happen and she’ll be able to tell us ‘I told you so.’”
“See, Opi speaks my language,” Syra said, leaning in towards the book.
“So, are we all doing this?” Sam asked, crowding around the book. I pushed my way into the circle as well.
“We should all do this,” I said firmly. “Otherwise, someone can just lie and say it worked and we can’t prove it.”
“That’s a really dumb reason,” Syra said, but it wasn’t a real protest.
“Are we all in?” I pressed.
“Yeah,” Opi said. Syra and Sam nodded as well.
“Cool. Let’s see what we need,” I said, looking for the steps.