After stumbling around in the house’s shadowed recesses, she finally came across one of the lanterns. Sylvia doubted she would successfully locate a match and decided this was a perfect opportunity to practice her skills. Resting both knees on the wooden floor, she set the lantern in front of her and waved her right hand slowly over the wick inside the vase-shaped glass. Sylvia closed her eyes and carefully recited words she remembered reading in a spell book given to her by a traveling magician.
“My path before me, light show the mark. This I command thee with a tiny spark.”
The lantern’s wick remained untouched and for a moment, Sylvia wondered if she should try saying the spell again. However, a faint light seeming to fade on and off overhead gave way to the realization that she hadn’t failed entirely.
“You’re not exactly the spark I meant,” said Sylvia, frowning at the lightning bug flitting about above her. She felt a tug at her sleeve and glanced down to find Obmuj holding up a match.
“It would probably work if I try it again, you know.” Sylvia crossed her arms, still looking at the monkey.
Obmuj seemed to raise his furry brow while tilting his face toward the bug over their heads. He then moved closer to her, sticking his match between the fingers of one of her folded hands.
Sylvia rolled her eyes and let out a groan. “Fine. Some vote of confidence you’re deciding to be.” She lit the lantern and eased herself off the floor. Searching the house for some sign of her family proved fruitless until coming into the kitchen. The cutting board sat in its usual spot on the counter, with a half-cut pepper resting next a small hen breast waiting its turn to be made into dinner. On the small wooden table Sylvia and her family would have eaten the meal at, she found a note written in her mother’s handwriting.