Zen completed the circle of candles around the two of them. She held up the candelabra with the white, red and black candles in front of Allie. She offered Allie the lighter in her other hand. “Would you like to do the honors, oh daughter of Brigid, goddess of fire?”
Allie nodded her head graciously and took the lighter. She lit the white candle as she composed an impromptu prayer. “Oh Brigid, our mother, goddess of fire, we dedicate this sacred feast of Imbolc to you. At this dark and gloomy time of year, when it seems winter will never end, we know the days are actually getting longer and warmer, and spring is coming soon, thanks to you. Care for us, mother, and do not neglect to give us your light and your heat so we may live. Give your light and your heat to the earth so the springtime crops grow so we may have food to sustain ourselves and our children. Let the young be birthed and plants renewed so that fresh breath is given to life. So let it be.”
“So let it be,” Zen echoed her. She set the lighter aside and placed the candelabra in the circle. She used its black candle to light the candle next to it, and then used that candle to light the next, until she had gone all the way around the circle. As she did, she added her own prayer. “Goddess, if it is your will for Allie’s son to be born today, on your sacred day, then please grant that she and the baby be safe in childbirth. And please don’t let us fall asleep and burn the house down. So let it be.”
“So let it be,” Allie said. “Now, what do you want to watch?”
“Since it’s just the two of us, how about Thelma and Louise?"
Allie shook her head. “How about something a little less tragic?”
“How about Romeo and Juliet, the Leonardo and Claire version?”
“Zen, that movie is tragic in every sense of the word. Since you want to be all Shakespearean, how about A Midsummer Night's Dream, the Rupert and Michelle version? There’s nothing like Midsummer to get your mind off a long winter’s night.”
“Good call. Romance, magic, fairies, and a young Christian Bale. Yummy.”
“Down, girl!” Allie laughed. “Is it possible my pregnancy estrogen is screwing with your brain?”
“It’s almost certain, and yet knowing this does nothing to diminish Christian Bale's deliciousness."
She gave Allie a satisfied smile, then went to the entertainment center and looked through her sister’s movie collection until she found the right disc. The costumed fantasy, with its star-crossed lovers and mischievous fairies, distracted them from Allie’s discomfort. When the movie ended, they started it up again.
The candle light aided the mood, and soon Zen almost forgot they were waiting for Kameko and Melissa. The headlights of Melissa’s ancient, battered Volkswagen outside of Allie’s house snapped Zen back to reality. She got up and opened the door for them.
Midsummer Night by Erin O'Riordan, new January 2010 from eXcessica Publishing. In print, e-book and for Kindle.