Laurie, Allison, and Kaitlin leaned forward in their folding chairs. The fire only illuminated the trees immediately around their little camp, casting the tall oaks in orange unsteady light. Everything else beyond their circle was black.
The three girls didn’t look at one another. Laurie, unprepared for the evening chill, huddled in her sweatshirt. Kaitlin sipped her coffee and grimaced at the bitter taste, she’d wanted a pumpkin spice latte but Allison had insisted they drink black coffee. Allison ignored her friends’ discomfort and continued stripping the buds off a lavender sprig. Once bare, Allison tossed the sprig into the fire and the flames choked themselves, spitting olive smoke into the air.
Now they all looked to the center, mouths open and staring up at the plume. It reeked of lavender and the sweet chemical smell of cold medicine. Beneath the flames, and over the amethyst and tourmaline they’d laid, bits of an old dreamcatcher roasted away into ash. “So it’s anyone sleeping?” Laurie asked. “And we just get to tell them what to do?”
“Their bodies, yes. Get ready for it, it’s gonna be a ride.” Allison’s lips were tight, her nostrils wide. She closed her eyes, stretched her arms, and cracked her neck.
“What about people napping?” Kaitlin asked. Allison’s eyes snapped open and she glared across the fire.
“You’re so stupid,” Laurie said, looking at Allison for approval. “Who takes naps anymore except kids and old people?”
“I do,” Kaitlin said. Across the fire, Allison’s eyes rolled back into her head and their leader slumped. Laurie squeaked. Kaitlin didn’t notice and continue defending herself. “I took a nap in May.”
“Shut up Kaitli—.” Laurie started, her voice high with panic. The spell caught her mid-syllable, and she fell to the side over the flimsy armrest of her camp chair.
Kaitlin stared at her two collapsed friends, shrugged, and leaned back in her chair. She was ready when the smoke filled her nose and sent her consciousness spinning upwards into the night sky.
A theft, but perhaps, not a crime. This week I’ve stolen the line “I took a nap in May.” from Apprentice, Never Master for the Legal Theft Project.