“Shit, what happened?” I yelled, throwing myself away from the black wall. There was parts of it that still glowed red and other bits that were white and ashy. The various colours seemed to form patterns on the wall.
“The candles just went crazy,” Rou said, with a voice filled with awe. “As soon as you started up, the candles sort of flared up.”
“And then these little fireballs started jumping around!” Syra added.
“There was a lot of things jumping around,” Opi said. “Like when Sam did it, only not just water this time. There was fire too.”
“And flowers!” Syra added. She was grinning from ear to ear. I wondered if she was waiting her turn.
“Flowers?” I asked, looking around the room. After I stopped staring at the scorched wall, I noticed some other things were odd in the room. The left wall was wet, while the one in front of me where everyone sat was covered in tiny dark buds. If they were flowers, they’d already shrivelled and died.
“They all died when I yelled your name,” Sam said. “Sorry.”
“Don’t apologize,” Rou said. “We were worried you were going to burn everything down.”
“I wasn’t sure if you were done though,” Sam added. “I didn’t want to interrupt you.”
She looked at me questioningly and I shrugged. “I guess I’m done now?”
“She has to be done,” Opi said. “The ring vanished.”
“What?!” Rou yelled, falling to her knees to look at the glass dish at her feet. “That was my ring!”
“Sorry Rou,” I whispered. “I didn’t mean to do any of that.”
“Wait!” Syra sounded panicked. “How am I going to do it then?”
I shared a glance with Sam, Opi and Rou. “I don’t have another tourmaline,” Rou said. “I bought that ring with my own money!”
“There is no way I can borrow my mom’s jewelry if it might disappear,” Sam said. “She would kill me. And I don’t own a tourmaline.”
I nodded. I didn’t even think my mom owned a tourmaline. Definitely not in that colour.
Opi frowned. “Well I definitely don’t have one.”
“How am I going to do it?” Syra whined.
“We’ll figure something out,” I promised, racking my brain for how to make it happen.
“Maybe I could buy another one,” Rou said, sighing.
“You shouldn’t have to pay for it alone,” Sam said.
“We can all chip in,” Opi said. “It doesn’t look like the components always vanish.” He pointed at the milkweed as an example. The other three dishes were empty.
I nodded at Rou. “Yeah, we can chip in. And then Syra can do it too.”
Rou ran her hand through her hair. “I guess that would be okay. But it was like, $200.”
“That’s only $50 if we all chip,” Sam said. “And it’s our fault it vanished…”
Rou sighed. “I’d appreciate it. Broke university student and all.”
“Yeah, don’t worry about it,” Opi said. “We can replace it.”
She nodded. “I’ll order another one.”
Syra sighed a long suffering sigh. “How long is that going to come in? Cause now all you guys have cool magic and I’m stuck waiting.”
Rou gave her sister an apologetic look. “It took a month or two last time…”
Syra looked disappointed. “So I have to sit around and wait a whole month before I get to do this?”
“At least,” Rou said. “But at least school will be out?”
“Maybe for you,” Syra grumbled, pouting in the corner.
“Hey, cheer up,” I said. “At least you’re still invited to the Fairy ball.”
Sam glowered at me. “Which I still think is a bad idea.”
“Wait, back up,” Rou said. “Fairy ball? Explain please.”
I tuned out as Sam and Syra tried to explain the ball, tripping over themselves to explain why it was a good or bad idea. The back wall scared me. No one else had impacted the room around them quite so much. What if I’d hurt someone while using this magic? Could I be trusted with it?
“The fairies attacked us!” Sam said angrily.
“They were just excited!” Syra retaliated.
I sighed, looking at the ground. Opi had said he saw a leyline on the ground here, but I didn’t see anything when I looked at the spot. I didn’t see anything inside the clubhouse except for the still smouldering wall and the tiny flowers that crumbled when I touched them.
“What do you think, Mary?” Syra asked. I looked up to notice everyone was staring at me now.
“Uhh…” I could only imagine they were all expecting my opinion on visiting the fairies. “I want to go.”
“Did you even ask your parents?” Sam challenged. “Cause you know they’ll say no.”
“You don’t know that,” I said, though I really did know.
“Did you ask yours?” Syra countered. “Did they say no? Is that why you’re so against this?”
“No,” Sam said evasively.
Syra gasped. “That’s totally it, you don’t want to go because you aren’t allowed to!”
Sam looked down at the ground. “No, I just… didn’t ask yet.”
“Why not?” Opi asked.
“They’ll say no,” Sam said. “But it’s okay, I don’t want to go anyways.”
“What if I offer to chaperone?” Rou asked. “Maybe they’ll let you go out for a night with me.”
“I doubt it.” Sam sounded defeated.
“Do you really not want to go?” I asked. “Or do you not want us to go without you?”
“Bit of both,” she said stubbornly. “It still might a bad idea. They did attack us.”
“Look, I have to go do homework soon,” Opi said. “So let’s make a plan. Rou, you and Sam go inside and ask if you can go. Mary, you ask your parents tonight. And I’ll try to see if the book says anything about fairies tonight. Then tomorrow we meet here again and discuss it. Agreed?”
He looked at everyone and was met with sullen glares, gleeful smiles and undecided shrugs. He sighed. “That looks like a consensus. Sam, go talk to your mom.”
Sam and Rou left the clubhouse together, Sam quietly talking to the older girl.
“I have to go,” Opi said, standing up. “Do you want me to walk you home, Mary?”
My heart skipped a beat. Syra’s face was frozen in an excited mask.
“Uhh… I should say goodbye,” I said desperately reaching for an excuse.
“I can tell Sam where you went!” Syra said, a little too enthusiastically. “I need to wait for Rou anyways.”
“Uhh…” I articulated.
“Go on,” Syra said grinning, “You have homework too.”
“You’re right,” I said, flustered. “We should go, Opi.”
I hoped he didn’t notice my blushing face as I stumbled out of the clubhouse and into the sunlight.