Glory Night | McKenzie Richardson

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There are things that go bump in the night. And then there are things that go SMACK, CRASH, BOOM.

Unfortunately, I am the latter of the two.

That was the sound of me reaching into a dumpster, losing my footing, and flying head-first into a disgusting pile of trash.

My life is so glamorous.

My name is Glory Night and I'm a witch. Not like a term for a really nasty person. Like "double, double toil and trouble" and all that.

I am currently in the dumpster outside the apothecary, because I need some cheap ingredients for a spell. Then I'll show everyone at Ceridwen School of Witchcraft that I am the real deal. They think I'm a joke, but I'm about to prove them all wrong.

With the Summer Solstice just days away, I only have one more ingredient to get for my spell: a leaf from canarium luzonicum. Sounds simple, but finding it has proven difficult.

I halfheartedly take one more glance around the dumpster for what I know I will not find. Then carefully, I climb from the trash pile, letting out a sigh as my feet hit the ground.

A gentle chuckle behind me makes me spin around. Standing there with a patronizing grin on his aged face is a man.

"Hello, Glory. My name is Hazen." His voice sounds like gravel.

"Where did you come from?" I demand, only one of the millions of questions floating around in my head right now.

"Is that really important?"

I thought it was pretty important, but his next words make my mouth hang open uselessly. "I have what you're looking for," he says, reaching into his pocket and pulling out a small envelop.

I take it suspiciously from his outstretched hand, then inhale sharply at what's inside. A canarium luzonicum leaf. But how did he know? And where did he get it?

As if reading my mind, Hazen lifts his hand to stop me from speaking. "There is no time for questions now. But I will admit, I cannot give this to you for free."

Well, that's not creepy.

"I need a favor in return."

"What's the favor?" I ask, raising my eyebrows skeptically.

"Now is not the time to reveal that to you. But I can assure you that what you currently hold in your hand will make you more powerful than you have ever dreamed. More powerful even than your mother."

My heart stops. How does he know about my mother?

"The Solstice is fast approaching. It will enhance the power of your spell and ensure your success." A smile spreads across his face. "Do we have a deal?"

I hesitate. There's too much about this that doesn't make sense. My gut tells me to walk away.

But my heart, my heart yearns for power.

I nod, clenching the envelop tighter in my grip. "Deal."

Whatever he wants, it's worth it. I need to prove myself, to become all-powerful. I need to show them all.

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