As long as I’ve been using magic, I still consider my first spell to be the most important one. I was around six or seven years old. My grandmother had a library full of spell books and magical “how-to’s.” Anyone could’ve easily reached an ‘Arch’ rank before hitting their teenage years with the resources she had strewn about her cottage.
She wasn’t a witch. She’d often correct me when I used the term around her. She once broke down the terminology of magic folk, but truthfully it was way too much for me to retain at the time. She was something else. She would often use the word “kiinimacho,” to describe herself. The word made me laugh, so sometimes I would call her my “grand-witch” just to hear her say it.
But when I was six or seven, I went wandering around her library, alone. I wasn’t a very good reader, but a lot of the old magic books and scrolls were filled with colorful pictures, so reading wasn’t necessarily a requirement. While, exploring the many shelves and tables of the are I, somehow, found a book of summoning spells. It was written in another language, but my “kiinimacho-ma” later told me that it was titled “Calling, Naming, and Stating : Understanding Words of Power.” Needless to say, I didn’t know what any of those things meant at the time.
The spell took only seconds to cast. There wasn’t any pageantry to it. I didn’t have to draw any stars or light any candles. I just poorly pronounced a few lines of nearly illegible script that I forgot almost immediately, and my first summoning was complete. It was a lemon—an actual lemon. From the far reaches of an unknown space, I called forth a little yellow citrus fruit.
My grandmother ran in the room after the whole ordeal settled down. She looked at me, and then turned and grabbed the lemon, shoving it between the pages of one of her miscellaneous books. The book closed without issue—like magic.
She started yelling at me. I’d never heard her scream like that before. She was loud and scary. She berated me in multiple languages. My body started to feel hot all over. The books and papers began to rattled faster and faster with each word. She looked into my eyes and saw my fear, and then just fell silent, and walked away.
That was twenty years ago. My grandmother eventually told me that she wasn’t mad at me for casting the spell. She was merely casting a sanitation spell on me because she was worried about what I summoned, and sanitation spells have to be recited in an aggressive manner. “The tone is the elbow grease,” she’d say. And sanitation was necessary after I read that page.
The lemon that I called forth, never aged. After twenty years, its still sitting firm and yellow on the pages of my grandmother’s book. She says she still doesn’t know what I said to summon it, and it frightens her. It could be poisonous. It could be a weapon. It could be the egg of an “old one.” It’s only shaped like a lemon, because I called it that.