HABITS AND VICE
HABITS AND VICE
It took a while, but I finally found the entrance to the Cave of Secrets. The crystal lined walls sparkled as if alive with fire embers sifting through the shadows creating a dim glow within. Mira was slipping away from me. I couldn’t let that happen. It’s the reason I agreed to meet Cyrus.
“You made your decision?” Cyrus asked. He was a tall man with sharp features.
“Yes, teach me.”
“Fin, you understand this is not just shadow magic, but you are entering the realm of the dark.”
“My twin has forsaken all that is magical. She doesn’t understand what she is doing. She is blinded by her grief, and just like our parents, she has abandoned me.”
“Once you commit there is a price to be paid.” The shadows on the cave walls grew like sentries gathering for a council meeting.
“I have nothing else to lose.”
Cyrus smiled. “There is always something else to lose. Let’s get started.”
We traveled deeper into the chambers of the Cave of Secrets. With each step my dread grew, but it didn’t change my mind. I pulled out the bag of devil dust I had purchased, and took a deep sniff. It eased my cares and my fears. I was an addict. I thought I had kicked the habit, but the defection of my sister pushed me once more to my old vice. We were probably three miles deep into the earth when we stopped. The cascade of water from the walls of this level rumbled creating a base hum within the sublevels. It was a sort of symphony to the ears, not painful, but relaxing.
“You have the lock of your sister’s hair?”
I handed Cyrus the plastic baggy containing the hair, yet my fingers failed to release it. “This will bind her to me?” A brief trepidation skirted the outer edges of my mind, and then it was gone.
I watched as he placed the hair in a stone bowl with several different colored powders.
“This is blood magic. It requires your blood for activation.”
I held my hand out, allowing him to make the needed cuts. I watched my blood fall one drip at a time into the bowl. Once Cyrus determined there was enough, he slapped a poultice on my hand.
“I call upon the dark force. I beseech the power of the Lei that lies beneath imbue this ritual through your flow. Let this circle be unmade, and the severed soul of the Gemini entwined with mine. “ He repeated the words twice more.
In that moment of realization, horror consumed me. The ground shook. Lightning crackled as electricity filled the cave, and an unimaginable pain rent my soul. “Noooooooo!” I screamed.
It’s unclear how long I was unconscious. When I awoke, I could no longer feel my twin bond. My sister was beyond me, even in a cerebral sense. Broken, I cried. What had I done? Betrayal lashed me, and it was mine. I couldn’t bear what I had done. I scrambled to get the bag of Devil Dust out of my pocket. I inhaled the entire bag, but I knew it would not be enough. Cyrus was right, I still had something to lose.