I prepared my bag to leave my apartment. My usually orderly alter was always broken down every month on the full moon. My coven always did a spell together every full moon so we could worship the Goddess together. With the recent death of our High Priestess we wanted to honor her as much as the Goddess. With my bag packed I rushed out of the door and to the stairs. The single elevator in my building hadn't worked for six months and, with the rest of the building being as run down as it is, the landlord couldn't afford to fix it. He lived here himself since the place made so little money he couldn't afford to live anywhere else. If I was right it had been in his family 3 generations and had been declining in the last two.
As I walked toward the door I waved goodbye to the doorman, he'd helped me bring up my fresh magical supplies on multiple occasions though I'm sure he wasn't sure what most of it was for. Most people didn't in this building since many could barely afford to buy food none the less religious supplies that so many in the Wiccan religion used on a semi regular or regular basis. I'm sure the same doorman was wondering why I even lived here. I'm the daughter of a rich oil tycoon that had passed away recently and had inherited the entire business and its entire profits from both past and future years. The company hadn't been run from my father in a number of years so I hadn't had to learn how to run everything, the CEO's did everything for me. I just got a check in the mail every month.
I looked at my watch as I walked up the street. I was already running late, the circle started in a few minutes and I wouldn't be able to join if I got there late. We're all very picky about breaking the circle for a member of the coven that decided to appear late which is why our membership had quickly dwindled over the years. So many people expected to be late every time we had a meeting that they were just as surprised that they were kicked out. The few who had their majickal supplies with the High Priest and Priestess had them returned in a sack during their last meeting.
I got to the alley we conducted our meetings in and paused. I wanted to make sure no one was watching before I walked into the alleyway. The one time someone forgot to check got the police called on us. They check the old alley for us all the time now and post someone there at the full moon. Considering the High Priest wanted the uttermost secrecy for the home he had shared with the High Priestess while she was still alive. This alley had been in use before the last one. They called the police off of it six months ago when they figured we weren't going to return there. Once I was sure no one was looking at me and wouldn't call the police to report my actions I ducked into the alleyway. About halfway into the alley I stopped at a trashcan located next to a shoot going up to the top floor.
No one else in the coven had shown up yet and according to my watch I was right on time. This seemed odd to me considering I was the one that was right on time every time we had a meeting. Everyone else was usually here long before I got here. I decided to sit down and wait near the trash can for everyone else to appear. After twenty minutes of waiting one other person had decided to show.
"I'm here Raven, has something happened to the rest of the coven?"
"That's what I would like to know. I got an email a week ago saying we would all be appearing at a later time than usual and I never got a new email saying what time we were supposed to be here."
This explained why I hadn't seen anyone else. I had a prepaid cell phone that I rarely used and Raven was supposed to send me a text message telling me any changes in times. Since I hadn't received a text saying nothing had changed I should have known something was going wrong.
"Are you sure the High Priest hasn't died this time?"
"That's what worries me. He's my grandfather, I know where he lives but haven't had a key since he had a break in and got new keys. I sent the police to do a wellness check on him and am waiting for them to call me to let me know if he's okay. I'm assuming the rest of the coven isn't here because their waiting for the same email I was."
"Whatever's going on I'm sure the police will be able to get to the bottom of it. Would you mind waiting here so I'm not the only person in the coven?"
"Sure. Of all the people in the coven I'm the closest to you. I think I'd feel a little better being near someone I trusted anyway."
We waited there for another ten minutes before the police called her back. The High Priest was found dead in his living room when they got there. Their best guess was that he had died sometime that afternoon while watching television. They said there was a single email open with the word midnight in it that he had planned on sending to ten people, the exact number of people in the coven excluding me. The officer at the scene asked if she wanted him to do anything with the email. She asked him to send it and to remove the body to the house. He even gave him her home address so a copy of the key could be mailed to her when the police decided they were done making sure it was a natural death instead of a murder.
"The house he lived in never got paid off. Social security was paying for the entire thing. It cost him and my grandmother one thousand dollars a month to pay off the mortgage. They were 3 payments away from owning the place. I only have enough saved to make one payment or I would buy the thing myself. I'm his only living family member so I know it's in my name. If only I'd finished law school like he'd wanted me to, I may have the option of finishing my grandfathers dream."
"Would you mind having a roommate then?"
Raven gave me a look like I was talking crazy.
"Remember that oil tycoon that died awhile back?"
"Yes, he was always looking for a way to make his gasoline and natural gas greener and to find new green technologies. The CEO's are still working on that today according to the regular news reports. Why?"
"I'm his daughter. I make a lot of money off of that company since I was his only living child. My brother would have gotten money too but he died in Iraq at the start of the war. If you don't mind a roommate I could help you pay things off. I could use a better place than my current apartment, anyway. The roach problem is getting a little too bad for the state to handle. They may be closing it down soon and I'll need a new home since the street doesn't keep earning me the small amount of money I need to keep up my religious practice."
"You'd really pay all that money to live in a house where two people have now died? With how sensitive you are to the spirit world?"
"My apartment building is in the middle of a gang infested area. Many of the people join the gangs because so many places are barely paying enough for them to pay their bills and definitely don't pay enough for them to get their children into a good school and get their children the kind of education they deserve. Maybe I should have gotten out of here a long time ago."
"Alright, thanks for that. I could really use a place that's a lot cheaper than my apartment…well, cheaper after you pay everything off and even cheaper when I feel it's fair for me to split bills with you."
We both smiled. I checked my watch again, it was ten to midnight. Everyone should be here very soon. Once everyone was there we announced the news that the High Priest had died, something that also announced the end of our coven, the end of something that had gotten us all through a lot of hard times. We did our last circle in honor of our late Priest and Priestess and split up. Within two weeks I had moved in with Raven and we lived together and joined a new coven that seemed to fit both of us well. With an ending like this, we wouldn't have had it any other way.