Charity’s Ball
By Daisy Jones
Date: June 23, 2016
Ch. 1313

“So he is actually dead then?” Charity pressed the point to the tip of its cutting edge. “Josiah is in another dimension that is not defined by life or death. He just is. His reality exists on a different plane that makes your world and mine inaccessible for him. His decision to enter a realm of existence that spans multiple dimensions closed the door on this world forever. He actually hinted that could be the outcome the night before his disappearance. That was his conscious choice and you and I lived with the results. I can’t undo history, but at least now you know the truth and I hope you can forgive my lack of empathy for your feelings regarding Josiah. Maybe now, you can make peace with this and move forward claiming your own life.”

“Mother, I can’t fault you for his actions. I forgive your lack of information regarding father, because I believe that was your way of preserving a positive image of him in my mind. By not allowing me to know the details of that day, I was able to keep our last moments and fond memories intact and they sustained me for many years. When I found father’s journals, I took that as a sign that I should continue his unfinished work. I wanted to start with the cider because I could document so many variables while having access to valuable research, and achieve it all in one magical night. I realize now how perverse that really is. I don’t have the right to inflict unsolicited conditions on anyone,” stated Charity in her ethereal, yet clear-headed state.

“However, I have to ask if I’ve done any permanent damage? What will become of these people at midnight? Even Uncle Jesse and his new wife are casualties of the cider."

“They will return to themselves for the most part, and probably not remember much of the night’s details. However, there may be some lingering residual effects, depending on how much they actually drank. Some of the effects may be permanent, if they need to be. Only time will tell. And I would appreciate it if you tell Uncle Jesse that I forgive him. And what of you, Charity? What will become of you after the magic cider’s affects wear off?”

“I guess I need to rethink a few things. I see now that I can’t change these people, and that I shouldn’t want to. They are who they are and only they can change that.”

“Charity, you‘ve been given many gifts….more than most. You need to focus on the proper use of them. Tonight proved you have much to learn. The repercussions of this event may take months, or even years to surface. Practicing magic on unsuspecting subjects is not something you should pursue. I realize my departure from you was abrupt and didn‘t allow the proper time for mentoring your skills. Soon you can move forward with new insights. The universe can forgive ignorance perhaps once, but should there be a next time, I may not be able to intercede.”

“I understand. It won’t happen again.”
“See that it doesn’t,” the invisible voice began to fade out, hinting her mother’s imminent departure.
“Mother, please stay. I still need you. I have so many questions.”

“And you must find the answers. You have all the ingredients now, Charity. It’s within your power to perfect the recipe. I love you, child and will always watch over you.”

“I love you, Mother.” Charity slid back into her body while sadly staring up at the ceiling. The clock magically slipped past 11:50 as she found a quiet corner and patiently observed the lingering effects of her cider. As predicted, peace was restored at the stroke of midnight. Confused parents collected their sleepy children and returned home in orderly fashion. Jesse instantly lost his fangs and his lust for blood and demonstrated impeccable manners while escorting his bride to their horse-drawn carriage waiting outside.


Charity stayed behind until nothing remained but the memories and paper decorations dangling from the rafters. Snuffed candle wicked scents mixed with the thickened midnight air, as she recalled the enigmatic visit with her mother and all the subsequent revelations. As she slowly made her way back home, the empty streets glimmered from the light of the full golden moon. Order was restored, and for the first time, Charity took comfort in the predictable symmetry of empty rocking chairs lining the porches of every home and business along the way. She smiled while imagining the people who would be sitting in them tomorrow afternoon. Charity entered her cottage and shut the door on all things October.

The first day of November was ushered in with a properly bright sun. Charity woke with a gnawing desire to re-visit the scene of her crime. She coyly approached Main Street, scanning for signs of normal life. There was none to be found. Instead, she heard the uncustomary sounds of loud animated voices originating from every visible direction. Gregarious laughter and glee were contagious symptoms displayed by everyone she encountered. She wondered if the town forgot that it was the 1st of November.

“Morning, Miss Charity. That was some Monster Ball last night,” Mr. Stewart exclaimed while tipping his hat toward her. He displayed a distinct bounce in his otherwise sanguine stature.

“Yes, it most certainly was,” Charity cautiously replied as she maintained a brisk walk through the center of town.

“Wonderful apple cider, Charity,” Mrs. Lark commented as she strolled toward a few other ladies standing nearby that weren’t known for their social skills. “Yes, it was particularly tasty this year,” another lady added.

“Thank you, ladies. It was a little different this time,” Charity meekly responded as she spotted Uncle Jesse approaching from the café, arm in arm with his new wife. He was displaying a full smile, instead of his trademark grin. He embraced Charity with a loving hug and kiss on the cheek; something he never did without her coaxing. Charity was receptive, yet contained her enthusiasm for the sake of objective research.

“I just have to say how wonderful your cider was last night, Charity, and ask when your dear Uncle Jesse can get more of the same?” he blared with an overly-loud, grammatically eloquent and exaggerated tone, totally uncharacteristic of his predictable calm, down-home demeanor.

“Well Uncle Jesse, there’s not a drop to be had on the planet. It was consumed faster than I could have ever imagined. But I’m glad you both enjoyed it. Now where are our manners? I don’t believe your lovely wife and I have been properly introduced yet,” Charity responded with an objective and somewhat analytical tone in her voice as she extended her hand in friendship to the lovely brunette woman who was clearly smitten with Jesse’s newfound charm.

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