Relic gets a taste of his own sarcastic medicine and Pramlee helps Ridge identify what Meridian's tattoo means. Talon comes to Esmra and Tallulah's defense against a demon driven Raina.
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Pramlee accompanied by her support group made their way back to Meridian finished with her shift and went home. The pair were doing their usual nightly routine. Relic had a lofty grin upon his face, beaming with the thoughts of seeing Meridian. Pramlee’s excitement dwindled as she slapped Relic.
“Ow! What was that for? Geez, you are turning into Meridian. She was always slapping me!”
Pramlee was shuffling her hands together back and forth as though she completed a dirty job, slapping the grunge off. “Well, apparently she didn’t do it enough, you are still a jackass.” She smugly walked past Kieren who stood in amusement with the scene.
“Yep, can’t lie. I sure enjoy someone else knocking you back into place.” Kieren was laughing as the group walked into Raina’s home. It was decorated in black and white throughout, like the bathroom. The smell of the burning incense came on strong from the living area. The light flickering from the candles burning lightened up the bottles of her collection of essential oils that rested on the windowsill of the kitchen. Magazines, books and papers cluttered her shelves, leaving the kitchen ill-equipped for cooking, not a typical kitchen of a human at all. Her counter-top had one plant, an ivy that had been setting a while. The vine had made its way across the countertop to the light that shone through the window in the mornings.
Her cupboards were full of glass bottles, and inside the bottles were an array of herbs and other spell casting assistants such as salt and lavender.
“This place gives me the creeps. It feels like an institution.” Relic spouted off as he rubbed his own arms up and down as if he were cold.
“Yes, and you certainly would know what an institution would feel like, yeah?” Talon had reemerged from the spare room speaking to Relic as he dashed across the hall. He made sure to turn his head and directly face Relic as he spoke. He disappeared again.
“What the hell is he doing? Now all of a sudden, he goes from serious to ‘Mr. Light and Fluffy.’ Please.” Relic shrugged his shoulders with the cutting sarcasm that left his lips as though he was entitled to dish it out.
Ridge shook his head and hissed a little. “Oh, Relic. Calm down. You are still head peacock of the dumb ass peacock society. By the way the head peacock called, he wants his swagger back.” Ridge disappeared through the wall as he spoke his last word. There stood Relic alone and all he could hear were Pramlee’s giggles coming from behind him.
“Aren’t we here to see Meridian get naked?” Relic was pissy.
“Oh, chill out, pissy pants. You won’t be getting your peep show tonight. Girls only. Get out and wait outside. No walking through the walls either! I am going into the bedroom. I can hear Raina and Meridian talking.” Pramlee gave Relic one more slap as she walked by.
Relic was rubbing his head and frowning at the petite powerhouse. “How is it you are that short and manage to hit me in the head?”
Pramlee made no response as she hummed to herself a song that sounded as though it came from another time. I’m confessing that I love you, was the song she sang.” She moved with a pep in her step and her own swagger as her mind echoed the thoughts to the guides all around that she was content. It had been a long time since she and her best friend were of the same realm, on the same page and Pramlee was overjoyed to find Meridian on her way back home, or so Pramlee believed.
The boys of the group, as Pramlee referred stepped back into the living room as Pramlee went into Raina’s room. There Raina sat on the edge of the bed, quiet as Meridian was digging through the dresser drawer for a change of clothes.
“What gives?” Meridian said as she shoved the tidbits of clothes back into the drawer. She had a red T-shirt in her hand and she sat next to Raina.
“What? Oh, nothing, I am tired.” Raina was trying to pass it off. “I have some things I need to take care of this evening. Nothing major, I just need to get paid on an account that is past due. It is frustrating.”
Meridian left the bed side and undressed. Pramlee was perched on the chair next to the bed watching the pair have their discussion. “So how long will you be?”
Raina stood up from the bed and pulled open a drawer in the nightstand. She fumbled around a bit before she stopped and put something into her purse that was sitting on the floor in front of the nightstand. “Oh, an hour maybe?” Raina returned to give Meridian and gave her a kiss. “I’ll be back soon.” Raina left.
Meridian took off her shirt and Pramlee got as close as she could to examine her left side. There from below her arm pit down her side was a large and different looking tattoo. Pramlee struggled to put together what it was, but she would make notes in her head so the others would read her thoughts and pick up on what she was seeing.
It was a tattoo in the shape of a circle with letters at the four points of the circle. I P O S. Inside the circle was another circle. The lines ran very close to the outside line. On the inside two lines ran north and south and across from one another. Toward the top the lines appeared to get closer together. At the top of each line the shape appeared to be a backwards letter, B. From the top to the bottom of the two lines were five lines that ran down and as they descended, they grew shorter in length. The top line had two circles at the top and the remaining lines ended with a short line that ran north and south. Inside and at the center another smaller circle that sat atop of a singular line that ran through the middle. Pramlee studied the marking but could not understand what it meant.
Meridian continued to dress and get ready for bed. Pramlee left the room and went outside to find the others with glum faces. “What, why the sad faces?” Pramlee was confused.
Ridge was shaking his head as he stared at Pramlee. “Pramlee, that is not a tattoo really. It is a demon sigil. It is the sigil of a very powerful demon, Ipos. He rules many legions and he can foretell the future and he knows the past and how to find treasure,” Talon explained with doubt in his own voice. “Why would she go and get a tattoo of a sigil? Ipos of all demons?”
Ridge’s face furrowed, “I do not know. This is a question for Selena. It must have been during a time we were not around Meridian.”
Meridian walked into the bathroom to brush her teeth. She was thinking about the dream she had. When she finished brushing, she had turned the water off in time to hear a noise. It was a loud beeping coming from the bedroom. It beeped a couple of times and stopped. Meridian stood still in thought trying to piece together the familiar tone. She scratched her head and made her way into the bedroom toward the closet where Raina kept her things. She heard the beeping again. She pulled a shoe box out and opened it and there was a phone. Meridian’s phone. Meridian was even more confused.
I thought that I left my phone in my purse? Why would it be in here? I don’t remember leaving my phone in a shoe box, and it needs to be charged.
There were a few messages she didn’t recall receiving and one text message that had just come through. One text was from Esmra from earlier that day. It read,
“Meridian, I have been calling you and texting. What has happened?”
The next text was from Aiden, this text was a few days old. Meridian stared at her phone, then she surveyed the room and once again back to her phone.
“Meridian, I hope you are doing ok. I think of you a lot. I am home and it makes it worse. I miss you.”
Meridian was struggling to put things together. Things that Raina saw fit to keep from her. Meridian stumbled backwards to the bed and sat down. She could not always remember people, places and things. It was becoming obvious there were pieces to her day she couldn’t recall and even worse, she couldn’t understand why she never thought about why. Her heart was racing, and her breathing was ragged. Reading Aiden’s message was a wake-up call to her. An awakening she had not known she was missing. After all these months he was contacting her to say that he was at home with his grandparents. Little did she know that he was getting close to Esmra’s house on his trip with Tallulah.
Meridian got up off the bed and put on clothes and set out on foot to Esmra’s house to discover what was going on. She flew out of the front door with her phone in her hand and she jogged frantically toward Esmra’s house.
What is going on? Aiden, Aiden, Aiden.
Her mind was swimming in his name and as she ran down the street, she thought of their first encounter at the bar. She stopped for air and then proceeded at a slow pace and her mind was going back to the day she left Aiden at the bus stop. As she drew closer to Esmra’s house, she saw the lights on and Raina’s car parked out front. Next to Raina’s car, there sat Tallulah’s car. It sat empty with the driver’s and passenger’s doors open. She picked up her pace and ran toward the house and she stopped in her tracks when she heard screaming. Then, with little time, Raina came flying through the front door of the house, in suspension through the air and something flung her into a tree and dropped to the ground.
Tallulah came running outside, “What in the hell was that? Esmra what on Earth have you been communing with? I thought you practiced only white magic!”
Esmra came busting through and ran out to Raina where she lay barely breathing. The guides swarmed the scene in shock. Except for Relic.
“I love it when he does that! Talon, can you do that again!” Relic was running around Esmra’s house in the dark looking for Talon who was in hiding as he struggled to calm himself.
The last human to stumble through the doorway and stood frozen on the porch away from the grotesque scene. Certainly a sight for Meridian’s sore eyes. With only the moonlight from the sky to give a hint to who he was, the slight breeze in the air danced through his hair. His silhouette moved as he pushed wisps of hair from his face and stood with one hand on his hip. He then rubbed the back of his neck looking around in confusion.
Meridian immediately recognized him. “Aiden!” she yelled and ran as fast as she could down Esmra’s driveway.
He jerked his head back toward the road and squinted his eyes to the girl running toward him in the dark. “Meridian?” He took off running from the porch and the pair continued to run toward one another, until they made contact and a long overdue embrace they both needed and had been denied for so long.
Pramlee showed up still with a pep in her step, as she slid past Relic who had been out in the yard searching for Talon. She breezed by as she bumped into Relic still singing to herself as she watched Aiden and Meridian hugging.
Relic was glaring at Pramlee. “What the hell are you singing, you are so annoying!”
Pramlee stopped and smiled smugly. “Well, just because you live as though you left your last life in the time of 80s hair doesn’t mean the rest of us don’t know a thing or two about music! One human I watched over many years ago, listened to the song ‘I’m confessing that I love you.’ I loved that song and that time. It was so fun to watch the glamour in the women, the hair, the clothes.” Pramlee was nostalgic.
Relic stood with a smirk on his face. He never thought to ever ask Pramlee about her days watching over humans. She had such a youthful approach to things; it was hard to accept her as a guide that far into her guide years. She continued to sing to herself as she pranced up the stairs leaving the mess for the humans and everyone else to deal with. As she pranced and examined her perfect nails, she hummed the words to her favorite song.
Kieren and Ridge walked over toward Relic who was still hunting Talon. “What gives? Is she out of touch or what? Every time things get crazy, she always has this air of don’t care about her, or oblivious,” Ridge said as he watched Pramlee.
Kieren said, “Maybe she doesn’t care, but in the worst of times she seems to always have an answer and never lets too much get to her.”
Talon reemerged from behind the house. “Oh, I think it’s because of the two humans we care about,” he said as he nodded to Meridian and Aiden walking toward Esmra and Tallulah as they stood over Raina who was still passed out.