cover. It was divided into four sections. In the top left corner
were lines swirled together. Annie brushed her fingers across
the raised lines. “Wind,” she whispered. Then, she slid her
fingers over to the next corner, touching the raised flames, and
whispered, “Fire.” She continued, moving her hand to the
bottom right corner, resting her fingers briefly next symbol.
“Earth.” And finally, she moved to the final corner. “Water.”
The pages beneath the cover began to glow and Annie
pulled her hand away. When the glow faded, she once again
reached for the book. Her hand trembled as she opened it. The
handwriting on the yellowed pages was clean and crisp as if it
had been penned that very day. She read it out loud. “Book of
“Wow,” Drew said. “How did you do that?”
“I don’t know.” Annie looked up at the picture of Melinda.
The sadness was gone from her eyes and, for a second, Annie
was certain the beautiful witch nodded at her. She looked over
“Did you see that?” Drew asked.
Annie nodded and turned the page. To preserve fruit was
written at the top, followed by a list: cattail root, rosemary and
salt, and then written below it were five lines:
Fruit from the earth
Warmed by the sun,
Fed by the rain
Keep your flesh whole
For the lips of the man
The next page was titled To repel biting insects, followed once
again by a list and lines. Annie shivered when she saw the next
spell – to punish one’s enemies. She quickly turned to the next
Suddenly the pages of the book began to flip on their own
power. When the pages finally stopped, and she read the words:
To banish an evil spirit. She sank into the chair and buried her
face in her hands.
Drew dropped down on one knee and rested his hand on the
edge of her chair. “What’s the matter, Annie?”
Annie drew a shaky breath and let the events of the past
days tumble out. She told him everything. And not just the
ghost stuff. She told him about Harmony and Logan, and Mike
and Callie, and feeling like a fifth wheel. She watched his face as
she spoke, waiting for him to laugh. But he just listened, never
taking his eyes off her, and with the exception of the occasional
nod of understanding, he didn’t move. She had his undivided
When she finished, she took a shaky breath and wiped away
the single tear that trailed down her cheek. “You probably think
I’m crazy, don’t you?”
“I think you’ve upset a dangerous spirit.”
Annie breathed a sigh of relief. Drew believed her.
“It’s no accident that Melinda opened the book to this page,”
Drew said. “We need to copy this spell down.”
“I didn’t bring anything to write with,” Annie said. Before
she’d finished speaking, a piece of parchment, a quill pen and a
bottle of ink appeared on the table.
Annie jumped out of her chair and backed away from the
table until she reached the wall at the other side of the room.
“Where did that come from?” she cried.
Drew took a few steps toward her with his hand held out.
“It’s Melinda. She’s just trying to help you.”
Annie looked from Drew to the portrait. “But—but—the
paper—the pen--they just appeared—out of nowhere!”
Drew stayed where he was, still reaching out to her. “You
don’t have to write the spell down, Annie. Not if you don’t want
to. We can just leave right now.”
Annie shook her head. “No.” She took a deep breath and
stepped forward. “I need to do this.” Her legs shook as she
returned to the chair and tentatively reached for the pen. It was
smooth and solid. She dipped it into the ink and brought it to
the parchment, leaving a trail of black drops on the paper as she
silently copied the spell from the book. She didn’t dare read the
Annie glanced out the window. The sun was sinking below
the tops of the trees. Long shadows reached across the clearing.
Drew followed her gaze, then checked the ink to be sure it
was dry. He folded the parchment and tucked it into the pocket
of his jeans. “It’s going to be dark soon,” he said and headed
toward the door.
As Annie followed him across the room, the leaves that had
scattered across the floor earlier suddenly swirled up into a
miniature wind funnel and moved past her and out the door,
leaving the floor once again clean and neat. At the doorway she
turned back to the portrait. “Thank you, Melinda,” she
whispered. Then she shut the door and walked with Drew
along the stone path.
When they reached the little gate, Drew pushed it open and
stepped aside. Even after she passed through, he stood there
still holding the gate open, looking down at her. “I’m glad we
did this today,” he said.
Annie glanced down at her feet, then back up at him. “Me,
He closed the gate behind them. “I’d like to help you with
this ghost business.” He stepped closer to her. “If you’ll let me.”
Annie barely managed to nod. The world spun around her,
then faded away as she lost herself in his deep brown eyes. And
in that moment, all that mattered to her was Drew.
She lifted her face to him as he leaned closer, his eyes locked
with hers. But instead of kissing her, he brushed the back of his
hand against her face and whispered, “Promise you won’t do
anything without me.”
Annie’s skin tingled beneath his fingers. “I promise,” she
And then the spell was broken as Drew stepped away. “Well,
we better getting going,” he said and started across the field.