Angela Zimmerman


The decision to do magick in the library had been a bad one.

Thea understood now that she had made a huge fucking mistake.

It was now huddled under a wooden table that Thea recalled every word the lady at the Esoteric Apothecary told her.

“You will need perfect solitude and an open space. I highly recommend you NOT do this at all. But your path is your path, girl. You’ll only make this mistake once.”

At the time, Thea was full of confidence and was floating on the waves of her ego. She thought the boring looking lady behind the counter was just full of it. How could she have had any idea about this spell? She was just some dumpy looking shopkeeper who probably couldn’t even cast a circle.

Thea realized there under the table with the rough carpet imprinting on her knees, that shopkeeper was right. She really shouldn’t have tried this spell. Not at all.

There was screaming coming from the other parts of the library. From her spot on the floor, Thea could see hundreds of feet making a rush for the front door. The smoke alarms were flashing their lights as they sang the song of their people to the frantic masses. It would have been comical, the hustle of old people and young children, if Thea wasn’t scared beyond her wits.

The smoke that was quickly filling the small town library was dark and thick. It was scentless but left oily smears on the ceiling where it gathered. Unlike the smoke from a fire, it was expanding from inside itself. It reminded Thea of those pills full of dinosaur shaped sponges. It kept unfolding and expanding, a swollen nimbus cloud of fear.

When she could see no more feet heading out the door, Thea pooled her will and climbed out from under the table. Standing in the room was an effort. The dark smoke was quickly devouring the oxygen in the room. It stung her eyes and pulled thorns through her lungs and nose.

Standing there, struggling for air, Thea saw the first words appear.

They took shape like a bas-relief in motion. One letter after the other appeared colored slightly lighter than the smoke cloud surrounding it. The letters were a perfect slab serif typeface that no one would have trouble reading.

Thea blinked the tears out of her eyes and read the last four words of her life.


 A great wind blew the contents of Thea’s makeshift altar off the table, creating shrapnel out of her crystals. It was then the windows exploded. A rain of broken glass peppered Thea, cutting her face and arms. The smoke seemed to be energized by the appearance of blood. It shifted into a column of smoke and started to rotate rapidly until it was a fully formed tornado.

The lights began flickering frantically as Thea turned and started running towards the emergency exit. The tornado stuttered, then expanded as if taking in a breath and rushed forward.

It broke the table in half with its force and sent the nearby copy machine flying. It spun harder, ripping carpet as it moved, straight for Thea who had found the exit through the rubble.

It was there in a moment of doubt that Thea turned around to face the wrath she had called forward.

And it was then that the smoke tornado was upon her and swallowed Thea whole.

In the Esoteric Apothecary shop across town, Ingrid stopped stirring her coffee. She brought the stirring stick to her mouth and cleaned it of the remaining liquid. With one flick of her wrist, she tossed it into the trash can under her desk.

“Bitch should have listened.” She said to herself, shifting in her seat and reaching for the next page of invoices.



Angela Zimmerman is a lover of oddities and mismatched socks. She lives in the South Eastern United States with her family. She is never far away from coffee, a book and an air conditioner.