26 Stories

26 Stories: Morning Ritual

This one is very short, a day late, and kind of a cheat since I did post it to Facebook in early March. I wrote it during this period, though, so it counts. Right?

Morning Ritual
23rd Floor

The mystic circle was precise. The shape within touched it at three points; toward the three sacred spirits from which the ritual begged favor. One to the water of life, one to the eternal fire for energy and heat, one to the tree of the sacred fruits. At each intersection, a sympathetic item had been placed. A bowl of water, a lit candle, and a dried seed. The ritualist sat outside the circle, chanting in a Caribbean patois. His voice rose and the tempo accelerated. The curtains in the dirty hotel room swayed and rippled in the ensuing confluence of power. The ritualist shaped the energies with his voice and his will, channeling the great river of creation. Every preparation had been made to exacting standards. Each gesture had been carried out as laid down in hundreds of volumes of ancient tomes, compiled by thousands of years of mystical knowledge. Even a small error, a single miscalculation, would be disastrous. All of it, all of this power and energy, focused on the glass vessel at the ritual’s center.

A vessel that had been empty only moments ago, now spontaneously filled with a boiling elixir.

“Fucking finally,” Dominic muttered. He grabbed the carafe of hot coffee from the circle and poured it into a cracked, yellowed mug. It was a lot of effort for coffee, but the room’s coffee maker was broken, and he wasn’t about to tackle the day without it.

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