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sally writing

writers_muses 58.6 - Arcanum

Sally crept up the stairs with Gillian close behind, brandishing the spoon in front of them. As they turned the corner toward the library where the sound had come, Gillian bumped Sally in the nose, with the utensil, almost ramming it up Sally’s nose.

“Will you put that bloody thing down! Sally hissed grabbing the spoon from her sister, “Like that is really helping!”

“Sorry,” Gillian mumbled, the stair creaking as she moved a step back from her sister. She bit her lip and watched Sally move among the shadows, “Hey...What do we do if we see HIM?”

“Who HIM?" Sally murmured absently, then " Hey!!Ow!” Gillian slapped Sally’s shoulder, “What did you do that for?”

Gillian pursed her lips and looked down the mahogany paneled hallway. She caught her breath with a start as the large grandfather clock in the library dinged off a single chime marking the quarter hour. Shining in the moonlight, a single book lay strewn just outside the library doorway. The pages and spine upended as if it had been merely dropped by someone who had been carrying too much on their way back to their room.

Sally reached for the light switch. The yellowed light from the converted fixtures from the gaslight era flooded the hallway. Sally went to where the book was lying and picked up the leathern tome.

‘Le Morte d’Arthur’ by Thomas Mallory. It was one of Michael’s favorites. As she went to scoop the book back to its designated place on the shelf in the library, from within the book, what appeared to be a single piece of paper fluttered to the floor and landed face up.

Gillian stooped to pick up the object, blanched slightly and then slowly handed it to Sally, fingers trembling just a little bit as she held it out to her sister.

“I think you better see this.” she murmured.

“What is it?” Sally took the photograph, her breath caught in her throat as she saw what it was. The photograph was of Sally and Michael backstage at CBGB’s in New York, just a week after their wedding. It was one that Sally had kept in a photo album in her room and that she thumbed through almost daily. Since it was a Polaroid, there was only ever one copy of it. Tomorrow would have been their third wedding anniversary.

How did it get here?

Later in her room, Sally slipped the ring over her finger, the two bands of gold cleverly entwined, one smooth, one roughened and gnarled lay one upon the other surrounding the full carat diamond to form rose, vine and thorns.

The ring had been, Sally noted, very much like their marriage. On some days when she was particularly careless in the garden or around the house, the ‘thorns’ would bite into her finger, sometimes bloodying it. Other times it brought back sweet memories of loving under the rose arbor in moonlight.

Muse: Sally Owens
Fandom: ' Practical Magic'
Word Count: 497

Introduction: Sally Owens

Yes, I know the stories that the Aunts have told my sister Gilly and me, ever since we were little girls:

'For over two hundred years, we Owens women have been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong in this town..."

And after our parents died, Gilly and I and of course the Aunts, were always blamed for everything. We were always teased and taunted by our classmates. Aunt Jet used to simply explain that we Owens women always created a stir, and then she and Aunt Fanny and she would both in one form or another proceed to stir the pot in the community with their love spells that could be bought for a price. And always there was the strange assortment of animals that always lived in and around the huge Victorian house that we call home. Some said they were mythological beasts, when really the most exotic thing we ever had around here was a ferret that got lose from our classmate, Donnie Lanham because he kept lighting its tail on fire! I think for as long as I can remember, Gilly and I have always wanted to get free of this place, away from the called out taunts and the blame for every petty little natural occurrence that ever happens to anyone else. If codependency were a Country, Crescent Harbor would be its undisputed capital city. Gillian has been spending more and more time away from home with that swimming pool salesman. It looks and feels like it could be serious. Me, I think I am going to stick my nose back in a book and hopefully not have to think about it too much right now.

I better get to bed. Tomorrow I go to the bank to see if I can get a loan for my store, Verbena. If I am stuck in this place, I may as well make a go of it doing something I love.

Muse: Sally Owens
Fandom: Practical Magic
Word Count: 328
  • Current Mood
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Am I superstitious? What are superstions really? Is it a coincidence that if a broom falls, company is coming? Black cats are bad luck to some people, but not to a Witch. I think just about every cat every Owens woman has owned has been black. Maybe it's because we are a Witch family that this is the case. There is also the superstition that a frog brings good luck to the house that it enters. You could have fooled me when Jimmy Angelov was haunting us from the Spirit World. He always left frogs in his wake. We must have had hundreds of them in the house that we had to get rid of the night we sent his spirit back, and banished him from Gillian's body. I don't know how lucky that was. Maybe we were lucky that night, we won.

On the side of bad luck; a black dog was barking after Michael on the day that he was killed. That same dog howled three times the moment it happened. The Death Watch Beetle had been ticking for about three nights before that. Any Owens woman that hears that sound, she knows. She knows the sound and she knows no matter what she does, the man she loves is doomed to die. Well, I didn't believe in superstitions until that day really. Now I have to believe that there may be something more to some of those old wive's tales and Witchy-wisdom sayings of my Aunts, Fanny and Jet. Alot of those things have centuries of belief behind them, and if you are a Witch you know that thoughts are things, and a thought or idea that has held sway for centuries can pack quite a punch when it turns out to be true.

* There are a few things that I do know: Always throw spilled salt over your left shoulder. Keep rosemary by your garden gate. Add pepper to your mashed potatoes. Plant roses and lavender for luck, and fall in love whenever you can.

*From "Practical Magic" by Alice Hoffman. ( Not included in the word count, because they are not mine.)
Muse:Sally Owens
Fandom:'Practical Magic'novel by Alice Hoffman, Film by Warner Bros.
Word Count: 297
Crossposted to theatrical_muse

Who do you need to forgive?

A bit ago, I would have said that I had mostly to forgive my ancestor, Maria Owens.

Maria Owens was a beautiful woman. What is more she was a Witch. Never mind to the people of Crescent Harbour that she was a gifted healer, or could tell when things would go good or bad. The men of the Village found her beauty and her charms to be irresistible, and the fact that a good number of her lovers had wives on the hanging committee really didn't help matters any. So, they voted to hang her.

But she had a gift, and used that gift of power to escape the hangman's noose. She waited for her lover to come after she was banished to the island where our house now stands. But he never came. What is worse, she was carrying his child. When she realized that he was not going to come rescue her from her banishment, her anguish turned to despair which turned to bitter tears of remorse. She worked a spell that never again would she feel the pain of love. But what she really did is wove the curse of our family. The curse is that if any man dares to love an Owens woman, he was doomed to die. It happened over and over again. To all of us. To my Aunt Frances and Aunt Jet, to Gillian and to me when I was married to Michael. I hated Maria then, I cursed her name, and what she'd done.

What I didn't realize is that in cursing her, and not forgiving her, I turned it all again on myself. This is the way curses are perpetuated: unforgiveness.

I realized I had to forgive Maria, my family and most of all myself.

Muse: Sally Owens
Fandom: Practical Magic / novel & motion picture
Word Count: 294
Crossposted to theatrical_muse

Talk about a time you overcame serious self-doubt

Growing up in this small New England town you get to know everyone, and fortunately or unfortuantely, everyone gets to know you. For over four hundred years the name of Owens has had a sort of infamy here. It started with my ancestor, Maria, and continued on to this day. The aunts, Gilly and I and my girls have all had to deal with it. When my husband Michael was killed, I thought to myself, who was I trying to kid? Maybe if I had been better at being 'normal', he'd still be alive. Maybe if I were a stronger Witch, I could have countermanded what the Aunts said and worked the spell to bring Michael back. I was so upset I didn't speak again for a whole year - not to anyone.

Then Gillian got involved with Jimmy Angelov and I had to bring my sister back from a bad situation. Little did I suspect when trying to pull Gillian out of that situation it woudl take a turn for the worse. Whether it was the belladonna that we put in his tequila, or the pounding I gave Jimmy, it was me who ended up killing him....twice.

So Gillian and I did the spell and brought Jimmy back, only to have to hit him with a frying pan and kill him again. We thought burying him would do it, but no. He kept haunting us from the spirit world. I had to overcome the self doubt of actually being what I was, a Witch...and being true to myself, which was something I don't think I had ever done before. In spite of what my eyes, and my heart and experience were telling me, I put myself out there and I took a chance. If I failed, I would have lost my sister Gillian to Jimmy's spirit as he drug her toward the world of Shadow.

I succeeded. I overcame every bit of self doubt that day, and I found out that even a Witch can win if she has the power of love on her side.

Muse: Sally Owens
Famdom: Practical Magic, novel and movie
Word Count:348
crossposted to theatrical_muse
wish upon the moon


Have you ever experienced something you couldn't explain? Write down your brushes with the mysterious.

That all really depends on what you are open to, doesn't it? I mean, we Owens women always have been surrounded by what most folks would consider "mysterious", since we are Witches and all. Of course Nature is full of Mystery. The question is whether or not we can attune ourselves to the natural rhythms of Life and work with it. The real mystery to me is how people can treat those things like they are supernatural.

The only supernatural thing I ever saw was when against Aunt Jet's and Aunt Fanny's admonition, I let Gilly talk me into doing that spell to bring Jimmy Angelov back from the grave. Hell, I didn't want to go to prison! We had a situation and we handled it. Never mind that we handled it badly and it ended up being an incredible mess. Jimmy ended up showing his influence in the midnight margaritas, the endless bottle of tequila, no matter how much we drank, it never emptied. It didn't stop till I broke the thing in the sink, and then the spell was broken.

Then there was the rosebush, and the boots of Jimmy's that kept coming up out of the ground. In the end Gillian ended up getting possessed by Jimmy and we had to drive him out. Thank goodness I had Aunt Jet and Aunt Fanny and the women of Crescent Harbor to help out, otherwise the Mystery would have gone unsolved and I would have lost my sister.

The real and most powerful Mystery of all was the power of love. It was the power of love that reached back through time to heal the broken heart of Maria Owens, our ancestor who placed the family curse on the Owens women. It was the power of love that brought Gillian back from the brink of death where Jimmy's restless spirit held her. It's the Mystery of love and the power of that which kept us all going.

Muse:Sally Owens
Fandom: “Practical Magic” / film and novel by Alice Hoffman
Word Count: 344
crossosted to theatrical_muse

More Catching Up

When in your life did you feel the most alone?

The moment when I realized that I had killed Jimmy Angelov the first time. It was bad enough being a widow, but now I realized that I would lose my girls if I had to go to prison for Jimmy's death. Who was going to believe that my poisoning with Belladonna was an accident? In that one moment, I saw my family retreating into some distant otherwhere, from where I was standing I could not reach.

When I killed him the second time, I wasn't thinking about that. Just in survival. I knew at that moment I had my family around me and everything was possible.

Muse: Sally Owens
Fandom: Practical Magic
Word Count:106

Heart's Desire

Heart's Desire: Think about something you once wanted so badly but never acquired. Write about how you think your life would’ve been different if you had received what your heart desired.

The one thing I wanted more than anything else was my husband Michael to be returned to me when he was killed. The Death Watch Beetle had been calling for him. I knew I had heard it, every Owens woman knows that sound, and when they hear it, they know that the man they love is doomed to die. When it happened. When the Death Watch Bettle stopped ticking, I knew. My heart's desire was that it wasn't true. My life with Michael was everything that I ever wanted, my life was normal I had two beautiful little girls and a husband I loved more than any woman has a right to love a man.

The day of his death, I went over to Aunt Jet's and Aunt Fanny's house. They could help me make sense of it. Why? Why when Michael was the only thing that I had ever wanted. I didn't realize until that momemt that the Aunts had actually cast a spell so that Michael and I would fall in love. I felt betrayed. Was anything that I felt for my husband, now dead, ever real?

In a heated moment, I made my way into the conservatory, I knocked glass tintures onto the floors getting to the Book. The Book was that which the Owens women, all Witches had written down spells, notes, anything to do with the Craft. I remember having seen a spell in there to bring back someone from the dead. I saw it when Mommy and Daddy died, and I didn't understand why the Aunts never used it, and I most certainly did not understand why it would not be applicable now.

"You brought him into my life,"I slammed the Book onto the counter with a resounding thud, "Now you can bring him back. Bring him back!'

The Aunt's faces were pained, but they were steady, unmovable on that subject.

"We can't do that. We don't do that. And even if he did, he would be dark unnatrual, and not your Michael."

No matter how I tried, no matter how much I pleaded with the Aunts to please, please, please bring him back they wouldn't. Michael was dead. There was nothing I nor anyone else could or would do.

Looking back, the one time that my sister Gilly and I tried that very spell on Gilly's boyfriend Jimmy Angelov, it was bad news. We had a hell of a time getting rid of him when he turned into a spirit. He was very much dark and unnatrual. Even when we had actually brought Jimmy back from the dead, and I ended up killing him for the second time. In that instant I realized what it was that the aunts were talking about. It was dark and unnatural and completely uncontrolable. Inwardly, I shuddered to think what would have happened if the Aunts had agreed to my demands.

Sometimes I think it is better not to get your heart's desire - even when everything in you wishes that you could have it.

Muse: Sally Owens
Fandom:Practical Magic
Word Count: 510
Crossposted to theatrical_muse

At what moment in your life did you feel most proud?

I have had so many moments where I have felt very proud. I think the proudest moment of all was when all the women in Crescent Harbor helped Aunt Jet, Aunt Fanny and I pull Gillian back from the edge of the Abyss.

It was Gilly's and my fault that her boyfriend, Jimmy Angelov, ended up in such a powerful position in the first place. She got messed up with him, I was trying to defend her - I killed him. And then through that one spell that even the Aunts wouldn't do, I guess I was trying to defend all of us, especially my girls, Kylie and Antonia. Looking back, I am not proud of the choices I made in the situation, but in the end, there was a sense of accomplishment, a sense of pride that all of the women in our small New England town could come together, and through magic, through community and the power of love. Through those thing we were not only able to pull Gillly back from the real edge of the world, where the most insidious dragons really do live, but we showed that that there is a little Witch in every woman. There is a pride in that. There is also a pride that through the love of family, the bond between sisters - of all kinds, we could reach back in time and heal Maria's broken heart and break the Owens "family curse". It's quite a legacy to leave to my girls, for sure, knowing that their lives can be as "normal" as anyone else's in the world.

I would like to add that I am really proud of Gillian. She trusted and she stuck with me, she stuck with us and she didn't give up and let go even though everything around her, around all of us is a mess.

Yes, I think in that whole situation, that is the thing I am most proud of.

Muse: Sally Owens
Fandom: Practical Magic
Word Count: 325
Crossposted to theatrical_muse
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