The Charm – Chapter 27


Traci kneels at the bundle of smelly clothes totally unaware of the shovel being swung at her head.

She reaches for the battered old Akubra that lay before her, waiting for Jemma to speak and soothe her hurt feelings. She isn’t prepared for the rotting head beneath the hat. The eyeless sockets stare at her accusingly. She screams and lunges backwards into Jemma’s legs, narrowly avoiding the shovel blade that cleaves the air in front of her face. She rolls away from Jemma, and stares uncomprehendingly at the shovel in her hands.

“Did you try to bash me with that?”

The head waits impartially for Jemma to reply. Traci gives another uncertain scream when Jemma unclamps her hands from the shovel and sways on shaky legs.

There is nothing left for the beast to draw on after this failed attempt at murder. Jemma drives it back into the Charm with a sledgehammer blow of mental effort.


Her skin twitches as hyper-sensitive nerve endings react to yet another change of ownership.

“You tried to hit me! Why? Why would you do that?”

Traci crawls slowly backwards on her butt, blubbering and terrified. Her streaming eyes flick from the severed head to Jemma.

Jemma shivers uncontrollably willing herself to stay awake.

“I-I’m all r-right now. I’m b-back. I’ve got its nuh-number. We have to get rid of this thing while it’s weak.”

Jemma feels the cord shrink even as she grips it, ensuring she can’t get it over her head. She takes the necklace in both hands and wrenches hard. It cuts into the skin on the nape of her neck but won’t break.

Traci is one step behind.

“Yeah, yeah? We have to toss that Charm thingy. I told you to get rid of it. Here let me help.”

“Traci, NO!”

It’s too late. Traci touches the Charm and lets out a shriek when sparks fly from her fingers. A golden glow lights the air around them. Jemma feels a weight all from her mind and neck at the same time. Her freedom comes at a price.

Traci now holds the evil, shining disc.

Without the presence in her mind to stop them, Jemma’s memories are allowed to crash into place. She struggles to reorder them.

“Throw it away, Traci.”

Traci stands transfixed while the presence sniffs at its new hosts’ mind. Jemma remembers what had happened to the old woman. Touching the Charm while it is in someone else possession isn’t recommended. She picks up the shovel lying at her feet and once more swings it at Traci, this time aiming at the glowing disc. Breaking Traci’s fingers would be preferable to letting it suck her dry as it had done to her. Even as she swung, the Charm moves to protect its new owner. A hard white light flashes, lifting Jemma off the ground and throwing her several metres away. She lands hard.

Traci slips the cord over her head.

“Oh, no. You shouldn’t have done that, Trace”

“Oooh, it’s warm. It’s getting really hot. What do I do with it?”

“YOU don’t do anything with it. IT does stuff to you. Try to take it off.”

“No! I won’t!”

(Chapter 28)

Published in: on Saturday, 13 December, 2008 at 12:29 pm  Leave a Comment  
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