“Something I was given many years ago, when I was about your age. I don’t know why my great-grandmother gave it to me, but she told me to keep it. She said there would be a time when it was needed I would know what to do. I always thought she was a little wacko. She was a spiritualist or mystic. You’d call it a New Age freak.” She smiled.
Brian laughed nervously. He knew there was more that she wasn’t saying. He hoped she would tell him. His mother handed him the chain. It was made of dark iron rings laced with glittering brass. The double chain was heavy in his hands. It should have felt like cold, but it was warm. His skin tingled when he touched it.
“The amulet goes on the chain—but you have to have to do it. My great-grandmother was very adamant on that point. I was never to wear it or put it on the chain. In fact, except for putting it in this box seventeen years ago, I haven’t touched it until today.”
Brian took the amulet in his left hand, the chain in his right. He couldn’t tell how to put them together. There was no link or clasp on either item. He stared at them a long time until his vision blurred. He saw his hands drift together as if pulled by a magnet. The lodestone touched the the iron with a snap. The stones and brass rings glowed for a moment and the crystal in the middle flashed.
Brian gasped. “Freaky!” He described what had happened to his mother.
“Put it on against your skin,” she murmured. “Never take it off. Not even to bathe and sleep. It will help you.”
“Help me with what?”
His mother shrugged, shaking her head. “I just know.”
Brian picked up the necklace and put it over his head. It should have been heavy, but it was weightless. Brian slipped it under his shirt. It throbbed a moment, matching its rhythm to his heart. A glowing warmth radiated from the necklace, flowing from head to foot.
“Thank you.” He gave his mother a kiss.
“You be careful. Understand?”
“I do. Don’t worry about me.”
“But I do worry, Brian. Your dad left and I lost my sight. I can’t protect you. I have to rely on you to help fix dinner and do so many things I used to do by myself. I can’t even drive anymore.” She burst into tears. “I feel so helpless. And now all this! I know things are changing, coming to a head, and I can’t to a thing to stop it.”
“What things? What are you talking about, Mom? Why do I need protection?”
Brian tried to get answers but his mother wouldn’t tell him any more. Wiping her tears, she went to her room with her jewelry box. Brian reached out to take the paper and throw it out. It fell to the floor. Leaning over to pick it up, he noticed writing on the paper. The ink was faded, but the script was bold and strong. He unfolded it carefully, smoothing it on the table.
This will keep you safe. The hematite, lodestone, obsidian and onyx help with protection. Amber, amethyst, citrine and lapis lazuli will aid in healing. For psychic abilities, the aqua aura and azurite will assist you. Love, Grand-mère
~ For more information, seek the Encyclopedia Magicka
Brian couldn’t help wondering if the book still existed. He knew his parents had inherited the house and its contents from his mother’s family. His father had used the original study for his office. He hadn’t been in the room since his father left. The memories of his father were too painful. But if he was going to find the book, that was the place to start.
The door moved stiffly, creaking slightly as he pushed it open. The air smelled damp and stale and Brian knew his mother hadn’t been in there either. The lights glared in the ancient brass fixture, illuminating the room in a golden light. There must be hundreds of books here. Except for the name, he knew nothing about the Encyclopedia Magicka.
Maybe he could find an image online. His father’s laptop lay on the old, faded, green desk blotter. He walked boldly over to it and sat in the antique oak desk chair. He almost felt guilty about using his dad’s computer, since he’d rarely been allowed to use it before. His hand trembling, Brian pressed the on button.
The computer hummed quietly, the screen flashed and the desktop appeared. The picture brought tears to Brian’s eyes—a photo of him with both parents. It was Brian’s fifteenth birthday in May. His father grinned at the camera, his arms around Brian’s and Maribelle’s necks. His mother’s eyes glittered and sparked with happiness. The blindness had overcome her only weeks after the picture was taken.
Brian searched for the browser icon. His father had always set up his desktop strangely, grouping the icons instead of listing them alphabetically. Brian clicked the arrange icons tab and put them in alphabetical order. He was about to click on the Google Chrome icon when another one caught his eye. It looked like the emblem his mother had just given him. Odder still was the title—Encyclopedia Magicka.
© 2016 Dellani Oakes