The spellbook was specific: one hundred candles to draw and light the circle, less one for each sorceress. Fewer, and the plague would continue. Once fully lit, the circle could not be crossed. Back to back, the three worked quickly, coaxing flame from dry wick. The twins moved clockwise, junior apprentice Bella counterclockwise.
Finishing, Bella turned to see the twins step outside and place candles ninety eight and ninety nine, closing the circle. She ran to the center, her mouth a dark circle of shock, limbs beginning to grow numb.
Outside, the twins smirked, small sorrow in their eyes.
© Liz Husebye Hartmann (2020)
Carrot Ranch Prompt (05/21/2020): In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about 100 candles. What do they light, and why? Think about contrast or symbolism. Are the candles large, small, or stars in the night? Go where the prompt