Holding her left hand out in front of her, palm upright, Aplaxa focussed on the space just above. She muttered something that sounded gibberish to me, and a tiny storm cloud appeared, complete with bolts of tiny lightning. Torrential rain fell from this tiny cloud, and as Aplaxa lowered her hand, the raindrops started to form a solid shape. Another bolt of lightning then struck this shape, instantly altering its form into a candle. Then, the cloud curled itself down into the wick, similar to the smoke that appears when a candle is blown out – only in reverse. As the cloud disappeared, the candle became increasingly red.

I was impressed, I don’t mind saying.

‘Now you have twelve’ Aplaxa said, handing me the candle.

‘If you can do that,’ I asked, ‘can’t you do something to the Bathroom?’

Aplaxa glared at me. ‘You are one of the original elements that caused the spell to go wrong in the first place. You must cast the reversal spell; you must undo what has been done.

Fear not,’ she went on, after a second or two deliberations, ‘I will be here to assist, should things go wrong. Which, of course, they will not.’

I literally gulped as she said that. Did she know she was talking to me?

‘Confidence.’ She said. I’d forgotten that she could read my mind.

Aplaxa pointed to the scroll, and gestured with her upheld right hand this time the space where I needed to stand to begin the spell.

The instructions said I had to stand within the circle of twelve red candles. I started to place them around me, trying to make the distance between each one the same, and the circle around me as perfect in shape as I could. I had to keep moving them, as the circle wasn’t going to my satisfaction.

‘Enough!’ Aplaxa bellowed. She brought both of her palms together in front of her, muttered something again, and then thrust something from out of them, toward me. A blizzard! A tiny blizzard swirled around me, and the candles. The candles were caught up within this swirling snowstorm, but as the snow settled, the candles also landed around me, in the most perfect circle.

‘Time is of the essence, you know. We have to be done by midnight.’


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