The starting point was the pearls. And she didn’t even know…
Maddie have seen them before. Of course she did. She owned that portion of the pedestal. She opened and closed it several times everyday during work. Those two pearls, looking like any other pearls, sat side by side. Untouched. Lightly coated with dust. Maddie was perplexed the first time she saw them but she was in such a hurry (and when wasn’t she in a hurry where work was concerned?) that she simply shrugged it off, thinking that Tara, her officemate who shared the pedestal with her, probably left it there.
But now Maddie actually had the time to stand still and notice — really notice — those pearls. She frowned then, trying hard to remember if they used pearls for office decors before. Or if Tara had said anything about leaving pearls in their pedestal.
(Miles away, with eyes shut tight, she saw the girl staring at the tools she had planted weeks ago. Acquiring the pearls was easy. Wrapping them with the right spell was a challenge but not impossible. Now the time had come for her efforts to pay off. Finally.)
Maddie sighed and picked up the pearls with one swoop. She knew what pearls were and that someone once told her that single women should avoid wearing pearls, for they symbolized tears. Misfortune in the romance department. Maddie had to laugh out loud as she remembered that one. Judging from her string of relationships, she didn’t need pearls to muck up her love life. Maddie let the pearls drop on the other side, where Tara’s things were. Amidst the papers, punchers, sign pens, and more papers, the pearls looked lost. Something made Maddie hesitate as she was about to close the pedestal. What it was, she could not tell. It was just a feeling, a distinct feeling of… something. Something heavy. Something dark. Maddie, without even realizing what she was doing, reached out her hand and let her fingers brush against the pearls. As she did so, she felt a faint frisson shoot up from her fingertips all the way up to her arm.
(She felt a jolt and she knew now that her plan had worked. That girl may not have known it but by simply touching those pearls, she had transferred some of her energy — albeit just a few of it — to her. And now she could proceed. She would know what was protecting that girl. She must be aware of her power, if not craft. No one was that lucky to get away, nearly unscathed, from the mishaps in life. No one could be so… so saved without something supernatural. And she was hell bent on figuring out. And she would eventually piece things together or else her name was not Leticia Brown.)
Maddie pulled back her arm in such a rush that she scraped her wrist against the top of the pedestal drawer. She barely noticed the pain, though. It won’t be until later that she would see the gash on that spot. She was too busy staring at those pearls, surprised that they expended such force. She was tempted to touch them once more, to find out what those pearls were about but then intuition made her stop. And she didn’t know why, but she blew on the pearls. Blew the light coating of dust off them, making them bump softly against each other. Out of habit, she snapped her fingers twice, as she often did even as a child. She did not know why but she did this every time she had the feeling that something was not quite right. Something that was not of this realm.
(The candles suddenly died. The energy vibrating, thrumming all around her that was starting to pick up speed and force, had vanished just as suddenly as the candles died. Leticia let out a silent scream. NO! Not again!)