It’s the Sunday Writing Prompt 5 x 5 at Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie!

The writing prompts are orrery, helix, ash grey, burning sage, and tissue.

The first thing Annika did was unpack her smudge stick and light it up. As she walked slowly from room to room, she inhaled the pleasant aroma of burning sage. Every so often a small flame would sputter, indicating the eradication of bad juju left by previous tenants.

Despite the trail of grey ash left in its wake, the smudging ritual was Annika’s favorite part of moving in to a new apartment. Once finished, it made her feel safe and confident about making a fresh start, and the smell was divine.

At 10:06, the doorbell rang. She had to stand on her tiptoes to peer out the peek hole.

“Oh, good!” she exclaimed opening the door. “You’re early.” Annika stepped aside to give the delivery man enough room to bring in the coffee table. She watched him put it together and knew she’d made the right choice.

“You sure this is what you wanted Ma’am?” The delivery man removed his cap and scratched his head.

“It’s perfect! I’ve always wanted a Lucite helix coffee table,” Annika replied.

“To each his own…” he shrugged and handed her the receipt.

Annika locked the door behind him as he left.

Next, she unpacked her grandmother’s orrery. As a psychic medium, it was her livelihood as well as a treasured family heirloom. Annika’s grandmother, Astrid, had been blessed with The Gift and as soon as it became apparent that Annika was also blessed, Astrid put it in writing to whom the orrery would go.

Annika lit a stick of patchouli incense and sat down on her sofa to consult the orrery. It would tell her how the planets were aligned so she could accurately plan her day.

“Humph!” Annika mumbled. Something wasn’t right. The orrery made no sense to her.

She rummaged through some boxes and found her crystal ball, but it wouldn’t cooperate either. Annika couldn’t seem to scry past the cloudiness. She felt like a beginner, for cripe sakes!

Next she tried the Runes and Tarot cards: no dice. As a last resort she tried to read tea leaves, but even they ceased all communication.

What the crap? Have I lost my touch?

Just then the doorbell rang. Annika looked through the peek hole and could barely make out the figures of an elderly man and woman.

Assuming they were harmless, she opened the door. “May I help you?” They looked vaguely familiar, but she couldn’t place them. Probably she’d seen them on the street or grocery store.

“Hello dear,” the woman began. We’re the Wickersham’s. This was our apartment before you moved in.”

“We seemed to have left something behind,” the man interjected. “May we please retrieve it?”

“Uh, well sure,” Annika replied. “Just tell me where & what it is, and I’d be happy to get it for you.”

“Oh, I’m afraid we can’t do that,” Mrs. Wickersham replied. “It will only take a minute, dear.”

With that, the couple brushed past Annika and headed for the back bedroom. They moved with remarkable speed and agility, Annika noticed, despite their age. They almost seemed to fly!

When she caught up with them, they were coming back down the hallway. Mr. Wickersham carried a small glass box haphazardly wrapped in tissue.

Where did that come from? How could I have missed it?

“We found it, dear.” Mrs. Wickersham smiled. “You should be much more comfortable living here now.”

“Yes, things will go back to normal soon,” the elderly man said. “We apologize for any inconvenience.”

And the couple left.

Sure enough, when Annika sat down in front of her crystal ball, it was clear. When she consulted the orrery again, it made perfect sense.

She made a mental note to be more thorough when smudging in the future.




SusanWritesPrecise/ Susan Marie Shuman
Sage Smudge Stick.

17 thoughts

  1. We used four out of the same five words!

    Now though you have us all guessing as to what that couple left that would upset the balance of things so. 😉 But I suppose it could have been anything, even if it wasn’t completely bad Juju.

    Liked by 1 person

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