“And remember. . . ” Milnore pointed a long, bony finger at Josh. “Be careful with this spell. Love is a very powerful emotion. It isn’t to be used without good cause.”
Josh raised his eyebrows. “What is a good cause?”
Milnore tipped his pointed hat back and scratched his forehead. “When it is in the best interest of all parties to do so.”
“And how will I know that?”
Milnore huffed. “Use the thought reading spell.”
Josh wrinkled his forehead. “I don’t think you’ve taught me that one yet.”
Milnore’s eyes grew wide. “I haven’t, have I?” A smile cracked across his face. “I suppose you are right. But one spell at a time. Avoid using this one until I teach you that one, then.”
Milnore raised a finger. He closed his eyes and murmured a spell. His eyes flashed open. “No one is around or listening in. Here is the spell to cause someone to love you.”
Milnore leaned in and Josh tilted his ear to him.
“You obtain an item of the one to make love another. Hold it in your hand, and recite the following words after you initialize for a spell: Eros love comes from above, from within, from the heart, instill it in thee for me.”
Josh recited the words a couple times.
Milnore nodded. “Good. Keep practicing. I have a meeting to attend. When I return, I’ll see if you can use it.”
Josh smiled. “If I can’t use it on anyone, how can I practice using it?”
Milnore opened the front door to the house and paused. “Insects and animals.” He turned and exited the door, shutting it behind him.
Josh grimaced. “I’ll not be using that on mosquitoes.” He pulled out a chair at the kitchen table and recited the words of the spell several times between gulps of water. After the tenth time, he yawned.
A knock echoed from the front door. Josh leaped up and answered it. His best friend, Sisko, stood in the doorway. “Hi. Come on in.”
Sisko stepped inside the house. “Thought I’d come by and see how your training is going.”
Josh smiled. “I learned a new spell today.”
Sisko’s eyes snapped wide. “Huh…I just remembered my mother had some errands for me to run.” He wheeled around on his heels and headed for the door.
Josh mumbled the kinetic spell, and the front door slammed shut. “Not so fast! I’m not going to use the spell on you.”
Sisko put his hands on his hips. “That’s what you said the last time. You about killed both of us with those flying axes.”
Josh held up his hands. “I know, I know. I blew it that time.”
“And then there was the incident with the dentist.”
Josh closed his eyes. “Okay, so I’ve blown it a few times. But this spell is easy. So easy, it is foolproof.”
Sisko seated himself on the living room sofa. “So what is this spell?”
“A love spell.”
Sisko rubbed his chin. “A love spell, eh? To make people fall in love with…?”
Sisko smiled. “So someone would fall in love with you? Not me?”
“If there is a spell for that, Milnore hasn’t taught it to me yet.”
Sisko sat up. “I’ll bet you can’t make Sarah fall in love with you.”
Josh gulped. “Sarah? Are you crazy? She’s the last person I want falling in love with me.” The crazy girl taunted Josh every chance she could.
Sisko pointed a finger at Josh. “That’s just it. We both know she hates your guts. If she can be made to love you, you’ll know the spell is working.”
“It would be a test. But Milnore said not to use it yet.”
“I’ll do a chore for you.”
“Really?” Milnore did expect him to haul wood in and chop it for the fireplace. The spell was simple enough. “Okay. Deal.”
Sisko stood. “I believe she is at the market. Let’s go.”
What had he gotten himself into this time. Why did Sisko want to see this so bad?
Sisko pointed down the isle of vegetables. “There she is. With her sister Lori.”
Sarah held a brush, combing it through her hair every once in a while. Josh breathed deep and stepped toward them. Sarah glanced his direction as he approached, and then fixed her eyes on him. “What do you want, goofy.”
Josh grinned. “Your love.”
She gritted her teeth. “In your dreams, wizard want-a-be.”
Josh laughed, and then stuck his tongue out at her. The action had the desired effect. She launched the brush at Josh. He ducked, but not quick enough. A thud resonated inside his skull.
“Ouch!” He rubbed his forehead as the brush landed at his feet. He glanced at Sisko, who covered his mouth in a controlled laughter as he approached. He began to think Sisko wanted to see him squirm.
Sarah laughed. “Now, give me the brush back, or I’ll beat you up myself.”
Josh picked the brush up and then mumbled the love spell. He focused on Sarah to see what she would do or say. Instead, Lori ran his direction.
Sisko patted Josh on the shoulder. “Looks like you nailed the wrong girl.”
Josh glanced at the brush in his hand. “This must be Lori’s brush.” Josh braced himself as Lori raced toward him, a crazed look in her eyes.
Lori flew past Josh and landed on Sisko, sending him sprawling into the dirt. Her lips locked onto Sisko’s, as he stared wide eyed at Josh and flailed about on the ground.
Lori moved to kissing his face and neck. Sisko gasped. “Josh, do something!”
Josh snickered. He must have said “thee” twice instead of “me.” But this wasn’t innocent fun. Lori had started unbuttoning Sisko’s vest. She’d have him naked in the middle of town if he didn’t do something.
A hand grabbed Josh’s shoulder and spun him around. Sarah bared her teeth. “What did you do to my sister, you perverted spell-caster?”
“Nothing really. I…” Sarah’s fist landed across his face. Blood trickled from his nose as he staggered back, cradling his jaw in his palm.
Sarah reared her fist back again as she gritted her teeth. “Now fix her, or I’ll knock your teeth out.”
Josh blinked at the hovering knuckles. He could only think of one solution. He grabbed her arm and said the love spell under his breath.
Sarah’s face relaxed. She jerked her head around to see Lori spread Sisko’s shirt open, revealing his chest. Her kisses worked their way toward his stomach.
Sarah shoved Josh away and raced toward Sisko and Lori. “You can’t have him. He’s mine!” She banged into Lori, rolling her to the side. Then she caressed Sisko’s bare chest. She closed her eyes and smiled into the sky.
Sisko tried to push her away. “Josh! I’m not doing your chore!”
Lori rose to her feet and plowed into Sarah. “He loves me! Get off him!” The two girls rolled off Sisko and into the dirt road.
Sisko scrambled to his feet. “Now what?”
Josh scratched his head. “I don’t know.”
A voice behind Josh said, “That’s the first sensible thing you’ve said so far.”
Josh spun around. “Master! Am I glad to see you.”
Milnore lips tightened. “I thought I told you not to use the spell yet?”
Sisko raised his hand. “My fault. I encouraged him. I should have known better.” Sisko glanced at the two girls clawing at each other.
Milnore frowned and shook his head. He mumbled a spell and cast his hand at the two women. “Never mess with a woman’s emotions. Way too unpredictable.”
Sarah and Lori stopped fighting. They paused for a moment as they stared at each other. Then Sarah rose and dusted herself off. She stalked toward Josh.
Josh ran behind Milnore and peaked out from behind him.
She pointed at him. “You better hide, numb-face. I’ll get you back for this humiliation.” She growled before turning on her heals.
She paused to look at Sisko, his shirt and vest hanging open. She wiped her mouth with her arm and spat on the ground. “In your dreams, scrawny.” Then she stomped away with Lori in tow.
Sisko shrugged his shoulders. “What did I do?”
Milnore cracked a smile. “I do have a spell for turning people into toads.”
Josh stood by his side. “Really?” That certainly sounded appealing.
Milnore cleared his throat. “But now would not be a good time to teach it to you. However, I hope you have learned your lesson today.”
Josh nodded. “Yes. Don’t let friends convince you to use a spell before you know how to reverse it.”
Milnore nodded. “Good, but not what I was thinking of.”
Josh stared up at him. “Then what?”
Milnore stroked his beard. “Eros love is not a tame mistress. Treat her with respect, and a good dose of agape love to balance it.”
“I didn’t know about that.”
Milnore patted Josh’s head. “That, my apprentice, is why I told you to wait. I hadn’t told you the whole spell yet.”
Josh groaned. Would he ever learn?
Read more stories about Sisko and Josh in Reality’s Dawn!