I sprinted out of the room, out of the apartment, past curious neighbors and into the stopped emergency elevator. Keisha’s screams followed me and for a moment I wanted to warn my neighbors to take cover, but I needed all the time I could get.
It wasn’t until the heavy doors slid shut that I noticed a small figure in the far corner of the elevator. The woman wore a simple cotton dress trimmed in colorful embroidery. Her hands were wrinkled and bent and her hair hung in a silvery sheet over her shoulders.
“Abuelita?!” I squealed, recognizing the beautiful silver jewelry she wore.
“Mija,” her voice was grave. She walked over to me and I knelt to receive her blessings.
“I have closed the way,” she said and took my face into her hands. I looked into her eyes and to my horror they were dark and empty save for strange figures flashing around her orbs.
“Why?” I mewled, but as I studied the images, I began to tremble. A parade of souls I’d hexed or double crossed culminated with Sara arranging Keisha’s body on the central altar in my apartment then falling, lifeless, to the ground.
The weight of their meaning crashed down me and I fell out of my grandmother’s grip. As I lay trembling on the floor, it became obvious who took Sara from Bothwa. I betrayed mi abuelita’s teachings and so she took back all that she had given me: every spirit, every power, and now, my life. When the doors opened, I did not resist the cops who rushed the elevator.