by Santino Prinzi
So far this morning I’ve crossed paths with three black cats, dropped a mirror, walked under a ladder and walked over three drain coverings. That’s why it’s raining. That’s definitely five bad luck spells; I told the guy in the shop not to sweep up the mirror pieces until it has been seven hours, otherwise that’ll be seven years instead of seven hours for the both of us. He mumbled something about health and safety. I’ll class the broken mirror as a sixth to be on the safe side.
People are so superstitious. They talk about these omens of bad luck but they don’t realise that they can simply reverse any bad luck curses they trigger. All you need is some salt, incense sticks and some black tourmaline — always have black tourmaline handy as it gives you extra luck. Light the incense sticks, draw a circle of salt and, meanwhile, hold the black tourmaline stone in your right hand over your heart, stand in the middle of the salt circle and spin seven times for every bad luck spell you’ve fallen victim to — that’s what Grandma taught me. If you can do it outside, then even better. You don’t even need to light candles. Easy; I don’t know why more people don’t do it.
I always go to my favourite place to do it: the Green. It’s a little patch of nature off one of the street’s side paths. If you can ignore the drunks it’s quiet and pleasant. I find a spot near the willow tree and poke five incense sticks into the ground in the shape of a pentagon, then with the salt I shake a circle outline thick enough to make it look as if it has snowed; I don’t want the rain to dissolve it. Wisps of smoke scented with rose and lavender from the sticks are cradled by the wind and tickle my nose. I stand in the middle and take a deep breath. I’m ready.
I begin to spin. Forty-two revolutions needed.
“Oi witchy, witchy, woo hoo!”
Scraggy beard, dirty clothes, slurred words and a bottle of Special Brew less than a third full. Another ignorant drunk, ignore him — twenty-three — I’ve started the ritual, can’t stop — twenty-four — don’t want to break the cycle otherwise I will need to start again.
“Hey, witchy, bitch-witch. I’m talking to you!”
Thirty-six — I can smell the tramp juice permeate my rose and — thirty-seven — lavender incense. My fingertips start to — thirty-eight — tingle.
Thirty-nine. Ignore him.
“Crazy spinnin’ like a yo-yo. Witch.”
My — forty — fingers are burning. Don’t — forty-one — let him annoy you.
“I’ll make ya stop spinnin, love.”
I stop spinning. He steps into my salt circle and tries to grab me. I push the drunk away and my fingertips roar. Emerald flashes. The rain is calming down. Silence. I smile at the dumbfounded black rat and chuckle to myself. Not much he’ll be able to do to change his luck.
Santino Prinzi is currently an English Literature with Creative Writing student at Bath Spa University. He was awarded the 2014/15 Bath Spa University Flash Fiction Prize, and his flash fiction and prose poetry have been published, or are forthcoming, in various places including Litro Online, Flash Frontier, the 2014 and 2015 National Flash Fiction Day (UK) anthologies, and Unbroken Literary Journal. His work was also selected for The Best of Vine Leaves Journal 2015. He can be found at https://tinoprinzi.wordpress.com/ and on Twitter @tinoprinzi.