Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Episode 2: Arcane Aprons

When Andrew thought about who Lara had been when she'd first started working for him last winter, he had to smile. Her transformation had been no less miraculous than the presence of the giant ash tree which spread its boughs out over the interior of Magik Beans. She was still the goth poster girl, to be sure; jet black hair, blood red lips, and skin so alabaster you'd guess she wore sunblock at night. She still wore the knee high boots that laced all the way up with thigh-high fishnet stockings underneath a black PVC skirt trimmed with black and white lace, complete with what she had confirmed were D-rings, which she hung her key ring from. She'd designed the "Magik Beans" aprons to go with her wardrobe; today she was wearing the black one over a pink top with mesh sleeves. At least she pulled her hair into a ponytail. And he liked the aprons, right down to the five pointed star within a perfect circle on each of them.

"You know I'm a Christian by background," he told her when she'd shown him the design.

"They're protective wards," she replied. "I'm stitching protective spells into our workwear so we won't have a repeat of that incident with the banshee."

"I wasn't the one who forgot to make that latte half fat," Andrew chided with a grin. He realized he was sticking a finger in his ear in memory of how they'd all lost their hearing for a good week. He took the finger out of his ear and rotated his hand indicating for Lara to continue.

"Besides," Lara went on, "one of the earliest historical occurrences of the pentangle is in the Christian catacombs. They used it to indicate the five wounds of Christ."

"And Sir Gawain had one on his shield," John said from across the room where he was smoking his pipe. John was one of three mysterious men who the Tree had commissioned to educate Andrew in his work as a guardian of the Tree. They were exceedingly piecemeal in this education, and Andrew was forever wishing they'd offer a course on the subject at the University.

"Careful what you wish for," Jack, another of the three men while Charles laughed into his tea. They'd said no more on the subject, save that he ought to be thankful they were his teachers, "not some crackpot like that madman Dali," as John had put it.

He was thankful for their teaching. And for Lara's protective magic. Not only did the aprons protect them from magic, but they acted as a warning beacon for dark magic. The aprons turned cold when in the proximity of evil. The week before they'd been prepared for an attack on the Tree, only to discover that their aprons turned cold every time Nickelback came on over the P.A.

No, it wasn't Lara's look, nor her taste in music that had changed. It was the way her smile reached her eyes.


the philosopher one said...

I'll only forgive the Dali jibe because I hate Nickleback so passionately.

Anonymous said...

Happy Easter!

Hope you and your family are well.

Matt L.