Tuesday, February 14, 2017
The Dark Heart ~ Part 33
By the time Jackson got back to The Shack the sun was beginning to rise. His legs felt like lead and all he wanted to do was to fall down into his bed and sleep for a week. Unfortunately, he knew he needed to go to the shop. He couldn’t remember if he had locked the door when he followed the paramedics out with Genna and he knew there was a lot of medical paraphernalia lying around from where they had stopped her wrist from bleeding. He wanted to get that cleaned up before Nora came in. He didn’t want anyone else to have to see the carnage.
He pushed slightly on the door and wasn’t surprised when it opened easily. As he stepped inside he sucked in a breath and took a quick step back as a figure stood in the shadows of the darkened store.
Jackson wondered if the knife that Genna used was close by as something he could grab as a weapon to use against the intruder, but then remembered the police had taken it with them as evidence.
He squared his shoulders, ready for the confrontation when the sun peaked over the horizon and cast its rays over the person as she turned to face him.
“Emberlyn?” Jackson furrowed his brows.
Her hand was covering her mouth as tears streamed down her cheeks. “I’m so sorry, Jackson. I never meant for any of this to happen.”
She gestured around to all the bloody bandages strewn across the floor and then hugged herself.
Jackson bowed his head, feeling the full weight of the night before. “Neither of us did, but it wasn’t our fault, Emberlyn. I don’t know why Genna became so obsessed with me. It doesn’t make sense at all.” He shook his head. “None of that matters now. She’s getting the help she needs and she’ll be okay.”
“But it is my fault,” cried Emberlyn. “I made her that way.”
“No,” Jackson whispered. “We didn’t do anything wrong. Genna and I were never a couple. I wanted to be once, but she wasn’t interested. Then all of a sudden she was jealous because I was seeing you. It doesn’t make sense, but that still doesn’t mean we did anything wrong.”
“I did this to her!” shouted Emberlyn.
Jackson hurried over to Emberlyn and wrapped her in a hug as she wept into his shoulder. He gently caressed her back and let his own tears flow. His heart ached for both Emberlyn and Genna.
As Emberlyn’s crying slowed, Jackson took a small step back and wiped his own eyes. “Genna had a crazy moment, that is all. She wasn’t thinking straight. You can’t blame yourself, Emberlyn.”
“I put a love spell on Genna,” stated Emberlyn. “At my party, the first night we met. I never meant for her to get hurt. I just wanted to give her a taste of her own medicine. I wanted her to feel for you, what you had been feeling for her, is all. I wanted her to see what she was missing.”
Jackson ran his hand through his hair. “What is with the women in my life today? Why is everyone acting so crazy? What do you mean you put a love spell on Genna? That doesn’t even make sense.”
“I’m a witch, Jackson.”
Jackson let out a sarcastic laugh. “Right, and I’m the Pied Piper.”
“I’m serious,” said Emberlyn.
“Okay,” said Jackson, holding up his hands. “I’ve already said I have no problem with alternative lifestyles, but I have to draw the line at a love spell. There’s no such thing as magic. You can’t control another person’s emotions or actions.”
Emberlyn waved her hand through the air and the store, that had once been lighted by the morning sun, grew darker than night. She snapped her fingers and stars started to twinkle where The Shack’s ceiling had once been. Jackson reached up to touch one and it chimed like a small bell.
“Wow, this is some amazing trick,” said Jackson. “How long did it take you to set this all up?”
“It’s not a trick, Jackson,” Emberlyn said in a low voice. Then she started to mumble, but Jackson couldn’t understand the words. Soon the Emberlyn’s starlit sky started to light up with the streaks of a thousand falling stars.
Jackson didn’t know if he should laugh at how spectacular it was or be furious. Genna was lying in a hospital bed and Emberlyn and used that unfortunate time to set up an extravagant light show.
Thunder roared in the distance and Jackson looked outside to see if a storm was rolling in. To his surprise all he saw was the sun and beautiful blue skies. A flash of lightning brought Jacksons attention back to Emberlyn. She was still mumbling words, but Jackson couldn’t hear them due to the thunder and wind that now blew through his store.
Shirts were ripped off hangers and a line of surf boards, which had once been secured against the wall, crashed to the floor. Jackson put his arm up to protect his face, certain a hanger or sunglasses or some other surf item would soon hit him in the head. He tried to focus on Emberlyn, who was still chanting.
“Emberlyn,” he screamed, “stop this. You’re going to rip the place to pieces!”
Emberlyn looked up, her cheeks wet with tears, said three final words then snapped her fingers again.
Jackson blinked hard as The Shack filled with sunlight from the windows. As his eyes adjusted to the light, he expected to see his store in chaos, but everything was right back where it belonged, except for all the bloody bandages from the paramedics, those were gone.
Jackson looked to around his store, then to Emberlyn. His thoughts were traveling in a million different directions.
“Magic is real?” he whispered. “And you’re a witch? You made Genna cut herself over me?”
“No, Jackson, the love spell wasn’t supposed to go that far. It was supposed to be a crush, not an infatuation. I never meant for that to happen. You have to believe …”
Jackson held his hand up and shook his head. “I can’t ... I need to think.”
Then he turned and walked out into the morning.