Apple picking in New Hampshire--Corb, his mom, her boyfriend, the kids, and I
"Dad, do you believe in witchcraft?" Ashes asked me on a Saturday. I guess it's the season, and also, I suppose, something that all teenagers inevitably develop a fascination with.
I grinned. "I guess that I do." I smiled and moved to sit next down to her, on her bed. "Actually, I have a book of witchcraft, somewhere. It was given to me by a friend that I worked with at Cumberland Farms, during college."
Ashes eyes grew wide. "You do?"
"Yeah. I could be wrong, but I think it's in a bookshelf somewhere in the apartment...maybe even that one, right next to you."
It took her seconds to start digging through the bookshelf.
Witchcraft. I hadn't thought about that book in years, to be honest. Still, I found myself returning to the subject later that day, after Josie had stopped by to pick the kids up, and before Corb came home from work. It was the time I had set aside to pay a few bills, and I suddenly found myself remembering one short incantation from the book, which seemed to fit perfectly with the mood I was in. Grinning, I found myself muttering under my breath, just for the heck of it:
Money money, come to me
As I will it, so mote it be.
Or something like that. Upon reflection, that seems strangely incomplete...as if it's a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, only missing the middle section that makes it more than just two slices of bread. Be that as it may, that's what I said, a few times, before I moved on to other things.
A few hours later, after Corb had arrived home and changed, we decided to go out for Chinese food at our favorite restaurant in North Edldredge.
When we reached the restaurant, I opened my door and suddenly, noticed something on the ground beside me.
"Corb, come over here," I said. "Look at this."
It was a pocketbook, all shiny and glowing in the moonlight. Corb came over to my side and picked it up.
"What should we do?" I asked. "I mean, I guess we could look around for some kind of identification, but I'm kind of afraid to open it."
"Let's bring it into the restaurant," said Corb. "See if anyone owns it."
Which we tried to do, honestly. Corb went into the restaurant and started questioning people at the bar, but they were too drunk to even answer him. Finally, we went to the cash register and handed the pocketbook to the lady behind the counter. We asked her to keep it safe, in case someone dropped in asking for it.
All through our soup, I kept looking around the restaurant. "I wonder if someone here lost the pocketbook," I said, "I wonder if they're going to realize it while we're here."
"I doubt it," said Corb, splashing his spoon into his chicken wonton. "But maybe we should ask them to call the police and hand it over to them."
About ten minutes later, as we were about to go to the buffet, I looked to my left, and saw the cashier headed our way. "These are the two!" she said, pointing to us. In a matter of seconds, she was passed by a middle aged lady clutching the errant handbag.
"Thank you so much!" the lady said, a huge smile on her face. "We were going to eat here and then changed our mind, and I realized when we arrived in Wrentham that my purse was missing. I was worried sick about the whole thing, but my daughter--" And she pointed to the girl next to her, who was about nineteen. "My daughter said to think positive, that there are a lot of nice people out there, and guess what? There are!"
And with that, she opened up her pocketbook and took out all the money that she had--$22--and dropped it on our table.
"Oh no, we can't accept that," said Corb.
"Yes you can," she said. "It's the least I can do."
After that, her husband came over, to shake our hand. I have to say, it was a pretty nice feeling. Made me feel kind of like we were heroes. And, we discovered that he worked right next door to Corb, which is sort of weird, since Corb works about an hour away.
Anyway, I can't definitely link the incantation with the pocketbook incident, of course. However, it is strange that a few hours after sending out a message like that, money is suddenly thrown into our laps...enough to pay for dinner that night. It's just funny how the universe works, I guess.
Maybe it's because I like to fancy that I'm a writer, but I truly do believe that there is a power to be found in words, both spoken and written. A power that goes beyond just the mere act of communication. Words reverberate, you see. They echo, they're heard. Call it witchcraft, if you will, call it will to power. However you want to slice it, sometimes a conversation begun alone is later answered in the most unlikeliest of ways.
PS: I just checked the book, and turns out, there was a missing line: "Money, come to me today." Personally, I think I like it better as a couplet...