When she pulled the magic, it was like drawing a thread from a spool: slow, steady, friction warming everything. Pippa gripped the spell’s silver coil and grazed her finger over the surface of her own power. Technically, the world could wait for the enchantment. But for how long?
A rustle sounded in a dark corner of the vacant motel room.
“Quiet, you,” she shouted to the nothingness behind her. Her hair bobbed in front of her face, red ringlets corkscrewing into her vision.
She sidestepped to the window and glanced across the parking lot. Rain tossed itself about in waves, falling into shallow cigarette-littered puddles like pennies in a fountain. The candlelight flickered. The storm’s heart wasn’t far off.
The shuffling came again. A deep whispered voice followed by a hush. “What’s she doing?” it said.
Pippa slid her feet along the baseboards, marking the parameters of the dark, empty room, feeling for the creature her eyes couldn’t see. “None of your damn business, that’s what.” Her fingers went to work, toying with the spell coil again. Once she released the fibers a sequence of events would begin. Sorcerers should calm. Warlocks still. Witches would reign supreme.
“Don’t toy with it,” a growl came from the darkness. “Don’t play with us.”
“Shut up.” Pippa tugged her leather jacket around her shoulders and zipped it tight. “I’ll do as I desire.” She inspected the silver shimmer in her palm. The magic called to be used like a dog holding a leash between his teeth. “It doesn’t control me.”
Grating giggles ripped from the corner before twisting into a gravely hiss. “Then do it.” Panting followed rapid footsteps. “Spellcast. Let us out.”
Only because I want to, she thought. Pippa threw the coil into the air and ran from the abandoned room into the downpour. She slammed the door behind her and snatched the knob to keep it closed.
Vibrations shook the entire structure. Flashes of light exploded outward from inside the tiny room. The knob heated.
“No,” she screamed. Her skin pricked with pain as the metal grew orange. “Stay back.”
High laughter stung her ears. A bang knocked her backward. Her fingers slipped. Nursing her hands, Pippa watched the knob turn. The door squealed open. They were free.