Hannah Anne had a difficult time carrying the Bowl of Winds upstairs. Nearly two feet wide and incredibly heavy, it was a cumbersome climb. Bridget made it no easier as she continuously bumped Hannah from behind, bleating encouragement.
After setting the bowl down in the living room, Hannah let Bridget out into the backyard. She went upstairs, took a long shower, crawled into bed, fell asleep and immediately began to dream.
Thirteen women formed a circle around the bowl. Joining hands, they began to channel power into it, forming the energy into a four pointed star. The bowl glowed blue, like a summer sky and the clouds within the crystal began to swirl. The star became five points and the color of the bowl changed. Six points. Seven. Each time the bowl’s color changed and the clouds swirled in different patterns. When their power formed a nine pointed star, an immense beam of energy shot straight up into the sky. The women then directed their power at the beam, altering it to affect the change they needed.
Hannah awoke with a start. It was always like this. Sleeping after casting a Need spell brought a dream which showed her how to use the item she had summoned.
But thirteen women? And so much power! I think I may have made a mistake, she thought.
Sitting up in bed, she noticed she had been sweating. It was so hot in the house. The clock informed her that she had been asleep for a little over six hours and that it was mid-afternoon. None of the fans were on and it was sweltering.
“Bridget!” Hannah leaped from bed, ran downstairs and threw open the back door. Bridget was an Irish goat, with long white hair that Hannah never sheared. Bridget was proud of her hair and got fussy the first, and only, time Hannah tried to cut it off. Hannah scanned the yard. “Bridget!” The nanny was nowhere to be seen.
Hannah began to circuit the yard, dead, brown grass crunching under her bare feet. Bare feet? Hannah looked down and realized she was naked, stalking around her yard like some kind of animal. She had never dressed after taking her shower. With a yelp, she ran back inside, hoping the neighbors hadn’t seen.
As she ran through the living room heading for the stairs, she heard an inquisitive bleat behind her. Surprised, Hannah tried to turn around while also still running for the stairs and succeeded only in falling on her face, looking back the way she had come. Standing over the Bowl of Winds was Bridget, staring at Hannah. The goat bleated again and nodded down to the bowl.
Grunting in frustration, Hannah got up and ran up the stairs, calling over her shoulder, “I need to get dressed first!” Bridget bleated angrily in response. I’ll shear her yet, Hannah thought, see if I don’t. She threw on a skirt and blouse, No time for anything else according to Bossy Bridget.
When she got back downstairs, Bridget was gone. Hannah grabbed the bowl and found Bridget standing by the back door, looking over her shoulder at Hannah. “I don’t see how you can get into the house on your own, but I always have to let you out,” Hannah mused to Bridget. “Care to share that with me?” Bridget bleated short and sharp in response. Hannah grunted. “Yeah, I didn’t think so.” Opening the door, Bridget stepped aside so Hannah could go first. “C’mon, ya nanny. Let’s see if we can get this thing to work.”
Hannah set the bowl down on the lawn in an open space just past the vegetable garden. She knelt down beside it, Bridget taking a position opposite her. “I’m not sure how I’m going to do this, Bridget,” Hannah furrowed her brow. “In the book it took thirteen women to get it to work.” Bridget bleated softly, nodding her head. “Ok, I’ll try.”
Closing her eyes, Hannah slowed her breath and calmed her body and mind. She cleared away her frustrations, her hunger, and her stress about the upcoming garage sale. Taking one last deep breath, she opened her eyes, stared into the center of the bowl and thought about rain.
She thought about the cool wetness of a gentle summer rain, the ground soaking the moisture. She thought of the clean smell of wet earth. How rain sounds like bacon frying as the drops hit the tree leaves. How salty bacon tastes. By the Three, I’m hungry. Bacon and eggs sounds good. Wait! No! Concentrate, fool woman!
The mid-afternoon sun beat on her back and Hannah was sweating. Please, this needs to work!
She thought about the cool wetness of a gentle summer rain, the ground soaking the moisture. She thought of the clean smell of wet earth. How the rain sounds as it hits the tree leaves. The vibrancy of color just after the rain stops. I should really paint the living room a billiard green. That would look nice. Argh! No!
Sighing, Hannah leaned over the bowl to see if there had been any change. She saw none, and as she began to lean back, a drop of sweat fell from her nose and hit the bowl. The bowl flashed blue and the drop of sweat disappeared.
“Bridget, did you see…?” Bridget stood up and bleated excitedly. Not knowing what else to do, Hannah wiped her forehead with her hand, and flung the moisture into the bowl. The bowl flashed blue again, but it lasted just a bit longer.
“Bridget, I think we got it!” Something fell from the sky, hitting Bridget in the nose. The nanny stepped back in surprise, trying to look down her short snout. “Bridget! That was a rain drop!” Hannah looked to the sky, but there was not a cloud in sight and no more rain.
“We need more water!” Leaping up, Hannah ran for the garden hose and turned on the spigot. Turning the hose on, she aimed it at the bowl.
The Bowl of Winds exploded in color, nearly blinding Hannah. She dropped the hose, rubbing her eyes. Bridget had retreated to the safety of the hole she had dug under the porch where she would lay during hot afternoons. A bright beam of light shot up from the center of the bowl, lasting only a few seconds. The bowl quieted, all the water Hannah had shot into it was gone.
Hannah waited. Only the June beetles were making any noise.
Hannah scanned the sky, but saw nothing.
A sound invaded her ears, and she realized she had been hearing it without knowing it. The sound of distant thunder.
As the thunder grew in volume, the sun darkened as black clouds hurried across the sky.
The rain was coming.