You’d think being 27 years old, I’d learn a thing or two about bad days, no, not me! Nope, I wake up in a new world every day. Now thirty days on my feet, seven years in recovery, it took almost three years to learn how to walk again, and my skin still looks like I have never used lotion in my life! Being turned into a Damned gecko has its down points! After all these years, you’d think I would move pass some things, forgive, keep it moving; but then the draw backs of being bitter has its benefits too! I feel like a bird in a gilded cage. Having to be retaught, learning how to walk, casting spells, even transporting; hell, I couldn’t even practice magic for almost a year! I got to do my first spell on my own a few weeks ago, and even then, Pokka was watching every move I made, just like a watchdog! Thinking about the day that I face Regina again, ruling the day! Even though that day, may never come.
I need change, I could take a vacation, disappear, they would just come looking for me; I can’t get away, ever! I could denounce my craft, become human like; cut myself off, what a thought Raven! It’s not that dam bad! Note to self: stop talking to self. I’ll stick to reality, and try to make up for this wet, dark and un-magical day. What a day! Standing in the rain trying to figure out which way to go; if I take the train home I’ll be there in no time flat, I can pack and run away. Go where no one knows me or can find me, change this mug of mine. But if I take a cab, I can stop by the pub where I know all my ratty friends are. Now having made my choice, like a wimp, I’m sitting at the bar, reflecting on the week that I had, and trying to move on from it, turning up my wine glass for the third time, and nibbling on my cheese and crackers platter.
All of a sudden it happens, the wine kicks in, I guzzled the glasses of wine so fast, it’s no wonder. I look at the bar tender and owner of my favorite pub, I’m here after work every day with a smile to say oh yeah, I’m still alive Pokka, one more should do it. Pokka replaces my wine glass with what appears to be white wine, he looks at me as he slides the glass in front of me, he takes his bar towel and whips it over his shoulder, leans over and says to me, “well Raven, another week and we made it through looking real fine too. Then he turns to look at the clock, it’s early yet, I want to show you something in my office Raven, will you follow me? Chimer? Cover me completely! We’re going in, he says to his assistant bartender, as he grabs my glass and walks from behind the bar.
You know Raven, seven years to this day you fell into my care. Yes, seven years to this day Pokka I agreed, following him to what I thought was his office all these years, once in his office, he looked at me and handed me the glass of wine, instructing me not to drink it yet. Raven, I want you to know something about me he said as he turned to lock his office door. Now, I am tipsy, but not out of my mind, so I walked over to the desk in his office and put my purse down, then freed my hands of the glass, because I think, “I’m going to have to kick Pokka’s ass or try.” I take a deep breath, and then looked at him; he has a sad look on his face. You don’t trust me Raven he says, you haven’t given me reason not to but, you better tell me what’s up because you are freaking me out Pokka! Oh wow, I bet I am, he said laughing and shaking his head.
There is no way to tell you, I will have to show you he said, pressing a button underneath his desk, then stepping to one side. The bookshelf behind the desk, opened up like a vault, the air that released from the pressure of the tightly closed door smelled like ginger and vanilla. I looked at him. I have a meet and greet area for our family only, and hereto you haven’t been able to partake. Grab your glass and purse Raven and follow me, he said. I did as he asked. All this time, it looked like a bookshelf to me, I’ve been in Pokka’s office numerous times; all this time’ I never would have guessed that Pokka held a secret room, behind the bookshelf! I let down my guard, and followed Pokka. Entering the hidden room, stepping through the door, the room opened up and branched out into three large areas, each uniquely decorated to give each area a personality of its own. As I followed Pokka, I couldn’t help but take the opportunity to peer into each area, taking a quick glance here and there. Every room was filled with beautifully dressed and well-groomed people, witches and warlocks everywhere.
Drinks were being served as well as food, it was like a three tear restaurant only going downward, the foundation seemed forced, tunneled in, giving yield to the architect’s goal for this hidden treasure. I developed a smile that wouldn’t go away, and everyone else had the same smile on their faces too. Pokka turned into one of the rooms; I followed. I was amazed at the amount of people that had gathered behind the bookshelf, Pokka laughed at me, he grabbed my arm and pulled me closed to him, like a girlfriend that hadn’t seen me in forever, snuggling his shoulder into mine. The good thing is there’s one way in without powers he said looking back towards the door with two sides, leading to his office. I knew you would love it, and, that now was time for you to meet some of your people, Pokka said kissing me on my cheek. I looked at him, then took a look around at all the beauty in the room, people sitting, talking, being served; some at the bar chatting, and being served at the bar as well. Very refreshing atmosphere, I felt at home. We walked farther into the parlor and to a table that was reserved for a party, people were already seated at the table, and as I grew nearer, I recognized many at the table from our realm and the pub, AND MY COUSIN, MALCOM! I hadn’t seen Malcom in forever! Everyone smiling and chatting, hugging one another in greetings, my neighbor Satiro was also there, I am happy. I heard someone say, there she is.
As everyone looked up from their seats, hugs came flooding in and kisses, oh my goodness, tight lovable hugs, and full lipped kisses, I could feel the love. We all greeted one another, and then took our seats, still laughing and chatting as we did. Everyone began reaching simultaneously under the table, pulling out small boxes, the boxes resembled one another; I reached under the table in front of my seat too, Pokka laughed, you have more than a box coming Raven, he said as we both sat up, trying not to laugh hysterically.
It’s been seven years to this day; here’s to an ending and a new beginning, my neighbor Satiro said raising his glass. I’ still having the glass that Pokka had given me, raised my glass with everyone else; everyone turned their glass up and drank every drop, I turned my glass up too, now having a taste of peach and lavender left in my mouth. A waiter came over and removed the glasses from the table. I looked at Pokka, because this wasn’t wine in my glass, it tasted like the drink that mother would give me whenever I did something good, and she was about to reward me.
The moment we’ve all been waiting for, Pokka said. Everyone took the lid from their box, each box laminated a mist that formed, and then joined the other mists from the other boxes.
Everyone sat, longing for the opportunity to have the mist brush them or touch them in some way, as it formed with the other mists to become one. I now understood what was happening, a welcoming spell!
A welcoming party YES, This means, no more watchdog! Not that I don’t love Pokka, but I need privacy. Not all of my friends are witches and warlocks but the few that are like Pokka, and me, we keep our traditions and our practices alive, though practical, at best.
Seven years to this day, okay, let me take you back to the day I came to Cordianville. I had turned 21 years old when I landed it was on my birthday. Old enough to be on my own, given one transportation token, which never expires by the way; a transportation disk that collapses to the size of a coin, and expands to the size of a small platter. I could travel anywhere “P-D-Q,” acronym, meaning, “pretty damn quick,” and enough money to open my own business; that’s if I found a place where the people would accept me.
I’d better back up more, and tell you that I am 27 now, when I turned 21, I was given my adult package, see the world, meet people, start a business, and be popular. A real box of joy’ but, I haven’t told how I got to Cordianville, or how I know Pokka, really know him, and all of my blood friends, that are my friends now, I should say. And, that the first month on my own was the worse month of my life! The other months, I had become numb and robotic, so getting through a day, was just that, getting through the day, then locking myself in my house. Getting to know one of the best inventions since the transportation disk, my tablet and cell phone, which became my best friends; or should I say all of my friends were in my devices.
The biggest lesson I learned is, that people are often afraid of what they don’t understand, and in part, I think that’s why it was hard for me to make friends. Once word gets out you’re a witch or have some type of power, it can get ugly real fast, and it did, for the most part. I always try to keep my cool, think before I respond, and I’m known for my slow response. I’ve been laughed at because I respond so slowly. I want to give a positive response, not thinking about your answer or what you’re saying, can cause much conflict. Being a witch, you’d think that I can make people fall in love with me, or make them treat me like a queen, if I wanted that I guess I could make a potion to manipulate if I were a naughty witch. No, I’m more of a control freak, make you almost come near death so that I can save you, or cause chaos in one’s life, so that I have opportunity to make it all better, I come to the rescue then, I’ll be loved a long time. And “whomever my victim is,” will want me forever, that’s how I was, and that’s how I was going to be out on my own, with no one to tell me what to do, or how to act.
That’s how I thought I was going to be, a partial pagan but, that was before I came to Cordianville, before I almost lost those that I love, before I got to see firsthand how powers in the wrong hands can be devastating, and before I met my real true friends. When I arrived, coming from the compound, where everything and everyone’s related in some way or another, generation after generation, my family a colony of witches and warlocks, and known throughout the lands; whenever one of our own would feel the need to leave the colony, and join the mortal world at the age of 21, like me.
I always wanted to leave home though, travel around the globe; the parents honored this, encouraged the separation actually, we were no surprise to anyone, just not liked very much, because some of my ancestors were very naughty, from the tales that I’ve heard. My first town to visit was Pleasantville, charming, my first day in Pleasantville, I landed in front of what appeared to be a candle shop and when I landed, I brushed up against one of the displays outside the shop, knocking the display over.
The owner came out of the shop and looked at me up and down taking a deep breath as if I smelled bad or something, and she didn’t know whether she liked it or not. Putting her hands on her hips, she said, “too good to walk through town, I suppose you don’t have to walk anywhere huh Miss Thing rushing about.” But, you do have to watch where you’re zooming about in this city! Even if you don’t think so she said to me looking at me up and down.
I apologize, but my name is Miss Nivens, not Miss Thing, and I was looking around enjoying your fair city, I wasn’t watching where I was going, again, please forgive me, and allow me to restore your display. I freed my hands and put together the display like new, then I extended my hand to the shop owner but she just looked at my hand like it was dirty or something; Pointing to the sign that hug outside her shop and saying, “Can you read?” I can do more than that, I said, Regina’s Emporium, candles, bath oils, and love potions, I read aloud. Love potions, I said amazed, what kind of love potions, I asked Regina? She became so angry that her face turned red as a beet.
Are you stupid! She must be stupid she said looking around and pointing at me. You will do good to stay away from me and this store Regina told me, she turned her back to me and walked back into her shop. Rude as Hell’ I never, nerve, she’s got allot of nerve! After I put her display back together and better than it was too! Regina, enemy already; mother will be disappointed. And, she has the nerve to sell potions! Well, I tell you what, now this will be my quest, to build my business here, and move yours out, “Regina.” Then there’s me, look out Regina, we’re going to be good friends I can tell, I thought as I walked the sidewalk path, smiling on the outside as if nothing had happened at all. I thought it would be fun to destroy another.
Regina left me standing there, looking like a weak fool; people passing by stopped long enough, to see Regina giving me the business, putting me in my place, like I was a five-year-old. All I could do was smile and shrug my shoulders like a dummy, acting like I didn’t understand why this woman, a stranger to a new comer, came down so hard on me; Inside I was dying, hoping someone would have sympathy on me.
You all right I heard someone say, my name is Shilla she said helping me collect my things from the ground. Thank you, my name is Raven I’m new to your city I said. Regina’s not so bad, she just had some bad experiences with witches she said covering her mouth.
Bad experiences, what kind of bad experience’s I asked. I can’t stand here all day explaining things to you, I have to get back to work, I tell you what, here’s my card, call me later, I have to go now, welcome to Pleasantville she said as she rushed off. I looked at the card, “Realty Compound,” Shilla Patton Realtor, YOUR HOME OR BUSINESS IS A PHONE CALL AWAY, the card read. How convenient, at least I don’t have to look for a realtor now. I looked around to see what my new city held, Its lunchtime, I’m both famished and parched, so, I head to the local café that I spotted for a bite to eat and some drink, what a way to start in a new city.
I‘ll eat, then contact Shilla so she can help me locate a house and business space. As I walked the sidewalk, winding my way to the café, I notice some of the shops owners peering from their window. Oh that’s great, alert the media, “there’s a new witch in town,” I smiled and waved as I passed each shop, I have to be on my best behavior. I’m now thinking that Regina called up the other shop owners to make them aware of my presence, and that she has enlightened them about my being whatever she has made me out to be. I’ll have to change that, smile and wave, then meet and greet, first food and drink. As I crossed the street, heading for the café, I observed my surroundings more, many shops, all-different, dress shops, hat shops, coffee shops, a shop for all ones needs, and then, there’s Regina’s shop. The shop that offers restorations for the mind, soul, and body, which I’m doubting anyone’s experienced in that shop. I’m eager to find out though; But how? Regina all but banned me verbally, I can’t visit her shop now, waltz in there like I’m that naive as to her warning me not to come near her shop then, BAM! Here I am. Can I just pop in the shop like that? Of course I can and I will.
Regina has no clue how persistent I am; I guess I’ll just have to show her. The café, let’s see what waits. I entered the café; the shops and café were brownstone and built well, right in the heart of downtown, our Pleasantville. Looking around the café, I could tell that no one their cared about anything but eating, then returning back to whatever tasks they’d left to eat, in the first place. The server came over to greet me. Hello there, a new face and just in time too welcome, my name is Serenity, and I will be your server this afternoon, she said. Hello there Serenity, what a name I chimed smiling and wondering if she carried her name well.
Follow me please she said planting me at a nearby table near a window. I was happy to have a view of the outside, I sat down, adjusted myself to enjoy this beautiful café with my perfect view. We have mushroom soup, and watercress salad as a starter, our entrée is eggplant primavera, that is our lunch special, she offered placing menus in front of me; will you need more time to decide? Serenity asked me.
No, I’m certain that what you have for lunch is perfect for me, I would love a cup of tea though I said, looking at the teacups turned upside down on the table. Sure, what kind of tea would you like she asked me taking a small menu from her pocket, and placing it in front of me, our best seller is the gray with bergamot oil she suggested waving her hand in the air, then pointing to my table. Another winner, sounds good to me I said handing her the menus back. Thank you, I’ll return with your food, enjoy your tea, she said stepping to one side so that the person that she summoned could pour my tea, I was very impressed. This café was running like a well-oiled machine. I sat enjoying my tea, looking out of the window; I could see everything from this seat. I took another sip of my tea, and then looked to the left of the café just in time to see Regina, taking down the display and putting up a brand new one.
I guess the way that I put it back together disturbed her. A server placed in front of me the soup, it smelled and looked wonderful, and the company of hot herb bread and honey butter that filled a basket just for me was placed on my table too, and then the salad was placed off to the side to marry this delight, I am in heaven. This is definitely my place to eat while I’m here, or longer if I can find a place without drama. After I took my last bite of salad Serenity came over and removed the empty plates, then another server placed my Entrée in front of me. Serenity didn’t miss a beat, she appeared after I took my first bite to check and see if everything was to my liking. Serenity, my first visit of many I said with a smile.
I’ll never get tired of hearing that she replied, I’ll check back soon, or, if you need me just press the button just there, she said pointing to what I thought was a defect in the wood. Some people think that the button is a defect in the wood, we wanted to keep the natural look of the wood, my family owns this café and the trees to make these tables came from our land. This cafés been in my family for generations, we also own several properties around here as well Serenity revealed. I’ll make sure you have a city map, help you find this and that, she said winking.
Thank you Serenity, I would like that, and everything has been fabulous I told her. No problem, I’ll check back soon she said as she walked away. I’m delighted, outside of Regina, for a minute, I thought I would have to call some of my naughty relatives, turn Pleasantville, into Waste ‘Ville. Thinking Regina would turn everyone against me at the drop of a hat, boy was I paranoid, but you never know how much influence a person might have; good to know that Regina’s only influence, is over her own little world, as mysterious as it is. After finishing my meal and paying my check, Serenity gave me a key map outlining the entire city, and a card with a mint tied to it. She thanked me for the tip, welcomed me to the city once again and invited me back to dine.
Present that card on your next visit, and dessert is on me she said as she hurried to tend to her other customers. I nodded thinking I’ll have to take her up on that dessert, as I looked at the; I made my way to the door to exit the café. I’m confident, that this will be a journey to remember. What luck too, meeting a realtor that seems nice and sincere, meeting the owner of property all in the same day, I only hope that Shilla Patton manages Serenity’s properties I thought as I headed to Shilla office.
As I walked, I thought about what kind of space I wanted, my space had to be perfectly connected with the business bottom half and the living quarters top half, with a private entrance so no customers can go snooping around. I’m impressed with the shops and appearance of the city. I think I’ll like it here after all. Regina, thank moon light, so far, is the only roadblock I foresee. I have to be careful not to make it easy for her to make me seem evil to others, yes, time for a meet and greet ASAP.
Raven! Raven! I hear my name, looking around to target the voice, I see Shilla Patton crossing the street waiving her hand in the air. I waived and returned a hello back to her. As she approached me, she looked eager to say something to me. I stopped to allow her to catch-up with me. I’m glad I caught you Raven She said.
Actually, I was coming to see you Shilla, I said interrupting her. I was hoping you could help me settle into a place today. I know this is short notice, and you need a few days to find me something, however, I’m here with no room or board and I don’t want night to catch me that way I said. We seem to be on the same page Raven, when you told me that you’d just arrived, I was hoping that you would allow me, to find you a place, and a space.
I took liberties Raven, if you’re ready to see some areas now, I’ve a few picked out and I’m ready to show you Shilla offered. I’m ready I said excited about her enthusiasm. I tell you what Raven, I’ll unlock my office and you can put your things inside, lighten your load she said looking at my baggage. Thank you Shilla, I appreciate that I accepted gladly. After placing my things inside Shillas office, we headed to our first showing.
What do you have in mind Raven, Shilla asked me while we walked the beautifully crafted pea stone sidewalk. I want a loft living quarters that sits over my business, all I have to do is walk out my door to my business, and I want the entrance to be private. I need the business space to be open’ where my displays can stand throughout the space, with hardwood floors, I have my own rugs, you understand. In addition, I want an open view, glass pane windows, oh and I would like to purchase the property Shilla, I plan to invest in a few properties in the near future as well; I’m not interested in renting anything, I hope you understand me, I said firmly.
I’m delighted to have a customer of your degree’ Shilla said clapping her hands and smiling profusely. I do have this property here coming up on the left, I told you I took liberties, and picked a few properties out in advance Raven. I have to let you know something she confessed. I looked at her. I’m probably the only realtor in Pleasantville that will work with witches and warlocks Raven, as far as selling or trading goes that is, many will help you, on a short-term bases, if, you know what I mean Shilla confided. You mean visit, but don’t stay to long bases, I said laughing at my own joke. Exactly, Shilla confirmed. Well then, good thing I knocked over Regina’s display isn’t it, I said laughing as we stopped, Shilla pointed upward. I glanced up; oh, my, what a treasure, a split-level Brownstone office space, Shilla walked up the steps that rounded outward, and as we walked upward, the steps got smaller, to meet the size of the entry door.
There were two huge plants filling the lost space on either side of the entrance door. The door was made of solid oak, with carvings of trees and nature throughout, it held one glass pane shaped like a leaf, so that anyone on the outside of the door could see inside the shop and an open/closed door sign hug, full glass windows that covered the front of the building top to bottom. Shilla opened the door and allowed me to enter first. I stepped into an open space; maple hardwood floors, with a beautiful desk shaped like a horseshoe and the customers could sit and drink tea and try products, or get advice. There was a sitting area for those waiting for a free spot to open at the desk, where I would operate all points. I looked at Shilla with so much appreciation.
I told you, I’ve been doing this a long time, I knew what you would like, if you’re anything like your kin that is, she said clearing her throat. I laughed, you get no argument from me, I said looking up at the glass balcony that seem to give the illusion that there was something up stairs that was off limits to all below. The entrance to the loft is behind the building Raven, you can look down from top, and can only be seen if you stand by that glass balcony just there, Shilla said pointing up; that’s as deep in view that one’s eyes can see from down here. I’ve decorated both upstairs and downstairs, I brought in displays for you to fill to your liking she said pointing to them placed throughout the shop, and many things that you would need to get going she revealed. I have cards with numbers from vendors that I thought you would like to do business with, but most important, that would want to do business with you, she continued to say.
You mean that this is a package deal, I said continuing my tour of the business space. Land home/business package, everything that you see here comes with the purchase Raven. The only thing to ask is, if you like the décor, and want to take the package, or, simply purchase the space, and go find your own furniture and such. I will not be offended, trust me, you’ll not be the first. I decorate all of my properties, they seem to sell better for some reason’ Shilla said smiling at me. I love the space, how the entrance door is on one side, and the exit back door not lining up with the front door, a wet bar, perfect size kitchen area, and a 2 stall bathroom, his and hers, this is everything that I need. And yes, I love the package idea, more appealing with the décor, I confirmed.
Good, in that case lets go upward shall we Shilla said with excitement in her voice. The building sat at the end of a cul-de-sac that had two more buildings equal in size however, both were different in design. One building had a dress shop on the top and a coffee shop on the bottom. The other building held a hair salon on top, and a nail shop on bottom. This is the only building this side of Pleasantville Raven, with living quarters attached, and that’s in town too. I have others, you’ll have to commute at least thirty minutes to get to town, but in your case, I’m certain that you can cut that time down, Shilla said laughing.
We walked out of the building and down the sidewalk that continued the entire perimeter of the building, circling, and surrounded a parking lot for all three buildings customers to park.
Once behind the building, I noticed a small driveway, just off the sidewalks path, big enough for one car, there was a small fenced in lawn, the area opened up and had two decks attached to the building, that seemed to only have entry from the inside of the loft. The entry door had no windows beside it, and set beside another door, which lead to the shop. The decks seem to float above both sides of the doors; Shilla opened the door, when I entered the door, there were steps with walls that seemed to go on forever and pictures filled the walls. The steps led up to another door, Shilla unlocked the door and allowed me to enter first.
I stepped inside to an open living area that allowed you to see every area of the loft, just to the left there was a long glass top wall table decorated beautifully. Shilla brushed past me, and placed her purse on the wall table, she then put her keys in a huge shallow wooded bowl that had the word “KEYS” engraved on the side and then she plugged in her device, right there, a device charging station, mounted just above the table. To the right of the table, there was a disappearing door that slid into the wall to give the illusion of there not being a door at all. That doorway led into an office with a half bathroom, the office and the bathroom fully decorated with towels, washcloths, soaps and lotions, the bathroom only needed a body, preferably mine.
I have to say, this was exactly what I wanted, and Shilla, has excellent taste in home décor. The office also had another entrance that once open, I could gain access to the office from the front door entrance, or from the living room. I love the way the office has two doors Shilla, I said excited to see more. Yes, that is one of the strong points of this unit, Shilla responded, that, and the sunken living area; watch your step, Shilla said stepping from the small office down into the living area. I love it I shouted stepping down into the living area spinning around with excitement.
The deck on the left side of the building belonged to the living area, to the right there was the kitchen that had an island in the middle of it, and a bar that separated the living area from the kitchen, stools for guess to sit and talk without being in the kitchen surrounded the bar area. I could see the glass balcony just to the left of the living area that when downstairs looking up, seemed to be all that one could see from below. However, inside the loft, Shilla had decorated the space, turning it into a reading area or just a groovy relaxing station.
The colors where warm, and inviting, and just off the kitchen, there were two doors that opened against each other, and slid into the wall giving an oriental feel. I stepped up into the coziest bedroom on the planet. The Master bedroom had a huge walk-in closet with a dressing area that had two dressing chairs and built in chest of drawers that surrounded the entire closet. There was a shoe rack covering one side of the wall that could hold fifty pairs of shoes easily; the bathroom held a sunken tub on one side, and a marble shower that had marble seats, making it easy to shave my legs, or just sit under the warm running water that poured down like a stream, I’m beside myself.
Shilla looked at me, enjoying my every emotion. Just off the master bedroom there was another disappearing wall door that opened to a guest bedroom and that bedroom had two doors, one door that led to the living area and the other to the master bedroom, however, if I wanted, I could simply separate the guest bedroom from my bedroom with no problem. In addition, the second deck was off the master bedroom, very private, I could lay out naked if I wanted. I walked the unit once more, ending up in the living area. Shilla had this land home/business package stocked; everything a girl would need starting out. I wanted for nothing; I didn’t have to do anything but settle in with what luggage I had and few other items that I carried.
I looked at Shilla as she stepped down into the living area and sat down on the oversized double stuffed couch. I love everything about this place, and actually, all I have to do is unload my arms, I confessed laughing. I want this to be as easy as possible Raven. I’m glad that you like this place, and I have two others just in case you didn’t like it however, I was hoping that you would like it she admitted, standing then walking over to the wall table at the front door and grabbing her purse that was the size of a small briefcase.