by Cherie Ann Turpin #2 (Thirty Stories in Thirty Days)
People just don’t carry around pens anymore, much less pencils, thought Sandy, as she ran her hand through loose paper, envelopes, and markers covered in a fine mist of dust at the bottom of her desk drawer. After a few false tries, she pulled out a No. 2 pencil, though it seemed a bit dull at the end.
She took an eyebrow pencil sharpener and twisted the yellowish pencil into a fine point, blowing away the loose wood into the bathroom sink. Walking back into her living room, Sandy sat down at her desk and stared at the square strip of brown paper bag in front of her. The air in the silent room seemed to hum as she remembered the instructions from the cashier at the Botanica shop who sold her a white candle and a saint card to be kept in her wallet.
Nevertheless, this was just one step, one attempt to stop her ex-turned-stalker. The trabajo del espejo was a bit heavier, the next step after seven days if he returned to her door, attempted to reach her by phone, or emailed her. Sandy decided to wait and see if this trabajo would work before turning to hard magic.
Indeed, she felt her hands tremble slightly as she reasoned her logic in waiting to use more direct means. She wrote his full name on the strip, folded it in threes, and wrapped it in red string. After sealing it in hot wax she dropped it in a plastic jar filled with water and placed it in the back of her freezer. Her hands stopped trembling, and the air felt light, porous. She turned on her computer and clicked through some YouTube videos to take her mind from the ritual she just completed, feeling a sense of relief for the moment.
Meanwhile, her ex-fiance turned stalker Brian was seen in his neighborhood running and screaming at the car thieves who were now speeding down the street in his 2008 Honda Accord with his cameras, laptop and cellphone locked in the trunk. He would not be reimbursed by his car insurance–liability only. Cheapskate.
For now, he was frozen.