fiction

The Transformation Of Amy Lunaro: Chapter Twenty Three. {fiction}

Amy was surprised to hear a knock at the door.

She was perched in front of the fire in the living room, with the printed out chapters of her stories in her lap. But she found she could barely look at them again, it had been like unanesthetized surgery to pull them out of her body the first time. Her eyes kept glazing over to Practical Magic, muted on the TV.

She had been waiting for Sandra Bullock to kiss the hot cop. Then, she had told herself, she’d turn it off for good and get focused.

Leanne had gone out to Al’s to fetch fettuccine for dinner and more tea. It was their last night before she left Amy’s and moved back into her home. So, tonight they were celebrating, with carbs and kava. Or so Amy thought.

“Hello?” she called out to the front door.

The knock persisted.

“Hellloooo,” she called louder.

It’s Danny!” Danny called from the porch.

“Oh!” shouted Amy. “Come in!”

“I brought a few peeps,” Danny said as she came in, that big wicker basket of hers dangling off her elbow, “I hope that’s okay.”

Amy’s face fell and she felt her walls go up, she was not in the mood for meeting anyone new, which she realized wasn’t a healthy habit. But she figured herself in transition mode; it was okay to be half-alive.

She was promising herself she wouldn’t let that isolation pattern stick, she would be careful about becoming agoraphobic like Kim Basinger. “I look gross,” she hissed up at Danny,  curling a greasy strand of hair behind her ear. “I can’t meet people like this.”

Amy peered around Danny and saw a triad of unfamiliar women standing in twilight’s fuzzy lavender light on the porch.

But then she caught herself. She had read you should  break a pattern as soon as it arises,  not tomorrow. The whole point was that the only place you had any real power was now.

“No, I don’t,” she corrected herself to Danny, and faux-haughtily tossed her hair over her shoulder. “I’m fabulous, darling,” she said, “and I’m happy to meet your friends. Thank you for bringing them over.”

Danny laughed. “Good work,” she said, “how boring is fear and self-loathing, anyway?” She rolled her eyes. “Leanne told my mom you’ve been evolving butterfly-style in this cocoon of yours.”

“Hope so,” Amy said.

Danny gently patted Amy’s foot, which was now bare, cast-free. Both of them were.

“So, how did it go?” she asked.

“Easy,” said Amy, smoothing the black blanket over her legs. “I got a nice nurse, she sawed them open with this round little buzz saw. Pretty weird. But I can’t even show you my legs right now; they’re hideous. Like white light emaciated twigs. So tiny and pale. You’d go blind if I showed you.”

“Got it,” Danny said. “Got the visual.”

“But I’m practicing walking. I hobbled like a baby fawn from the car to the house this morning when we got back. Leanne’s out getting dinner. I’m… looking at those journals I’ve been working on.”

Danny glanced down at Amy’s lap. “Oh, you finished those?” she asked.

“I guess so, I mean, I can’t actually physically look at them anymore, so I guess that means I’ve finished them.”

“Damn,” Danny said, running a finger through them. “That’s like three hundred pages. What are you gonna do with them?” she asked.

Amy shrugged. ““Nothing, I think. It was mostly a self-healing exercise. To be able to look at my life honestly and take responsibility for what was mine, and move on. Grow up.”

“Well, you should do something with them,” Danny said.

“I can’t even think about that right now,” Amy said. “I’m pretty exhausted with…” she looked around at her gilded cage of the last three months, “… stuff,” she said.

Well, that’s why I brought the girls. We brought you a door-to-door moon circle! I figured you weren’t going to ever come to me, so I brought it to you.”

“Ladies,” Danny called to the porch, “come meet Amy.”

They bustled in laughing and shivering from the cold in a cloud of silk and velvet. Danny gestured to a long-haired brunette in a red velvet kimono.

“This is Alice,” she said. Alice smiled big at Amy. Her lipstick was blood red and she wore colossal turquoise earrings that skimmed her collarbones.

“And Sam,” she pointed to a woman with wild, scraggly long blond hair, and a light freckled face in a blue silk kimono. Sam shone her green eyes down at Amy and flashed her the peace sign.

“And Kelly.” She gestured toward a woman with short brown bobbed hair in a black fringed velvet kimono. “Aloha,” Kelly said.

“Haha, we’re not in Hawaii,” Danny said.

“A girl can manifest,” Kelly quipped.

Amy took them in from her nest on the couch: they each wore kimonos, like modern day witch’s capes, and didn’t use brushes, it was more like their hair had been brushed with tree branches, and they were draped in crystal jewelry, big hunks of turquoise, slabs of ruby and clear quartz. They were like mini-Leannes.

“Ladies,” Danny said, “this is Amy.”

“Hi Amy,” they chorused, and then the three of them leaned over the back of the couch to one by one shake hands with her. When they stood back up, they folded their arms across their kimonos, and looked down at her, empathetically, under her black blanket. Amy smiled back, feeling like a newborn foal in a manger.

“I would get up,” Amy said.

“No!” they protested.

“We’re here to help you,” Sam said. ‘This is a healing circle.” 

“Wow, this is so nice of you,” Amy said.

“Nice movie,” said Kelly, pointing at the screen with an index finger wrapped in a massive gold moon phases ring.

“The best,” Amy agreed shyly, jabbing the power button on the remote just as Danny switched off the lights and pulled candles out of her basket.

“Mmm, romantic,” Kelly teased, as Danny lit them in the dusky grey light of the front room.

“Just how She likes it,” Danny smiled.

Amy kept stealing glances at the girls while she thought they weren’t looking. There was a warmness to them, and old soul familiarity. They all looked her in the eye. There was no immediate other-women-weirdness, as Amy had been used to from the city.

There she had been friends with a woman until a man, a job, or a place on a guest list came between you. Then one of you was road kill.

“Okay,” said Danny, “you girls wanna go ahead and sit?” She nodded toward Amy on the couch. Sam and Kelly took the floor, and Alice sat on Amy’s right, leaving her other side for Danny. Danny walked a slow path around them, drawing a circle with her index finger. Then she sunk in next to Amy and smiled softly at her.

“See,” she said, “This is perfect,” she looked around the circle. “Five pointed pentagram. Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Spirit. Perfect.” Three months ago, Amy wouldn’t have had any idea what Danny was talking about. Now, she felt, she could speak the language.

“Yes,” she said. “Perfect.”

“Okay, ladies, let’s start the engine so the Goddess can drive it. Amy,” she patted Amy’s arm, “You be North.” 

“No!” Sam chirped. “She should be South! The fire! We need her fire back in those legs, it’s time to move, girl.”

Danny nodded. “Totally, what was I thinking, North? You don’t need to be any more grounded than you’ve already been for the last three months.” She winked at Amy. “Duh, sorry. Dumb Witch moment.”

Amy smiled. Witch humor. She was in her first moon circle and she loved it. Sam reached for Amy’s right hand and Danny took her left. They gave her welcoming squeezes and inviting smiles when their eyes met. She hadn’t held another woman’s hand since her mother’s.

She hoped hers weren’t slick with sweat and she wondered if they could feel her heart beat, banging loudly through her palms.

Sam and Alice took Danny and Kelly’s hands, and then the circle was complete.

Danny closed her eyes, and Amy and the girls followed her lead. “Wait, Amy,” she whispered, “do you know what to do? I had almost forgotten you were new.”

Amy kept her eyes closed and whispered back, “Yes, I think I do. I almost, don’t feel new.”

“Okay, great,” Danny whispered back.

Alice started: “To the powers of the East, of air, of breath, of wind, of truth, we ask you to be with us now. Bring us positive healing thoughts and the power to stand in our truth. To the powers of the east, hail, and welcome.”

Alice gave Amy’s hand a little your turn squeeze. Amy cleared her throat.

“To the powers of the South,” she said, even as her voice trembled a bit. “To the powers of the South: fire, desire, purification… and, Change,” she pressed, “bring us your primal passion and your call to action. Powers of the south, be with us now, hail and welcome.”

Danny called in the West. “To the powers of the West, of water, of intuition, of healing, of blood, we ask you to be with us now. Bring us your soft strong courage, your powers of emotion, the wisdom in our blood. To the powers of the west, hail, and welcome.”

Kelly and Sam called in North and Spirit, and when they were finished calling in the elements and directions, Danny spoke again.

“Mother Goddess,” she said, “thank you for being with us. We’ve gathered tonight on this under the healing light of the Pisces Full Moon to ask for the healing of our sister Amy’s legs. As you know, she spent a long winter in casts and is ready to move again. We’d like her to get her strength back as soon as she can.”

She gave Amy’s hand a little shake. “Right, Amy?” Danny asked.

“Um,” Amy said, “Yes, Mother Goddess,” and even though she had thought she might, she didn’t feel silly, speaking this way in front of the girls. It really felt like there was an energy with them, a similar powerful feminine energy that had been out at her nightgown bonfire, and similar to the fire that had building in her bones all winter.

“I would love, Goddess, to be healed so I could move my body again. But thank you for the lessons of my rest, of my brokenness, I see how I broke so I could heal. Thank you for my time to stop to change direction, thank you for what feels like, an awakening.”

That was the first time Amy had said it out loud. It felt weird, but it felt true, too. She finally understood presence, and felt as if her consciousness had expanded. She was beginning to believe that everything was energy, that Love ran the universe, within which, every little thing was connected.

Then they put one hand on their hearts and one hand on the earth, and Amy followed suit.

“Mother Earth,” said Danny, “we send you all the loving healing energy from our hearts, and ask that you fill our hands with the power to heal ourselves, each other, and you.” They repeated the mantra nine times and then they moved their hands onto Amy’s legs.

They hummed and chanted healing mantras over them and Amy felt a light sparkle move through their hands into her legs, like an electric current. She jumped a little and her eyes opened. They were all smiling so sweetly down at her, like a gaggle of angels.

They sat back in circle and re-held hands, and Alice started to sing a call and response song about feeling the Mother under her feet. Alice would sing a verse, and then the girls would sing her one back. Amy felt like she was back at summer camp and she was thrilled. She hadn’t sung in public since she was wasted at a Jimmy show.

This was different, this was sacred, and it didn’t matter how they sounded, just that they meant it. And because they meant it, they sounded beautiful, and they kept singing.

Amy closed her eyes as the song filled her head and she felt lost in its rhythmic chanting. Eventually, she realized the girls had raised her up off the couch and she was standing there, on her own two legs, swaying on the floor, eyes closed like in a trance.

Suddenly the door swung open.

“Well, would you look at that?” Leanne said, stopped in the threshold holding two paper bags.

“Downright seance.”

Amy stared at Leanne blankly, like her mother had broken up a sleepover.

“Well, well, well! Standing up like a real live human!”

Amy fell back down into the couch, suddenly exhausted again.

“Girls,” asked Leanne, “how much longer you all gonna be? I like to eat before seven for my digestive tract and such.”

“We got what we needed done,” Danny said, looking over at Amy.

“But we didn’t do council,” Alice said.

“It’s okay,” Danny said. “Let’s let them eat.”

“Thanks, kiddos,” Leanne said.  “Best release those powers and hop up on your brooms.” Amy shot her a look. It was her first social interaction — besides their nightly spiritual readings which hardly counted — in three months. She’d have thought, or hoped, Leanne would be supportive of healthy social time.

They took hands, creating the circle again, and closed their eyes. This time they went counterclockwise, releasing the elements one by one, like, “And to the powers of the North: Earth, structure, sustainability, manifestation, thank you for being with us tonight, we release you with love. Go in peace.”

As soon as they closed circle, they leapt up and left in a flurry of swinging crystal necklaces and fringe and double cheek kisses.

“Bye!” Amy called to her coven as they fluttered down the driveway. “See you soon!”

Leanne closed the door silently behind them and moved into the kitchen to unpack the groceries.

Amy stared at Leanne’s back as she sat the blue speckled pasta pot under the faucet.

She had liked them a lot. She hadn’t felt they were sizing her up, no one was holding back kindness, or being cold, just to make Amy uncomfortable, to put her in her place, as an outsider. She didn’t feel the old judgment and competition she was used to with women from back in the scene.

She didn’t think they would take digs at her and then pretend they hadn’t meant to, sorry if it hurt. They didn’t seem eager to say something to box Amy out, to remind her she was just on probation by making some inside joke. They didn’t seem to want to ignore her or hurt her. In fact, they genuinely seemed to like her, too.

“I feel those beady things on me,” Leanne said, not turning around. “What?”

“Well, you could have been nicer,” Amy said.

“Oh please, I was fine,” Leanne said, watching the water rise in the pot.

“Well, you weren’t June Cleaver.”

“I told you, I’m not your mother,” Leanne shot back.

Amy sighed. “I know,” she said.

“But I’m not… I’m not blind to hostility. It’s an energy, you can feel it. It almost really doesn’t matter what you say, it’s more how you are. What you do.”

“Fuck, I created a monster,” Leanne huffed.

Amy was quiet. Leanne turned and ripped the pasta box open.

“Leanne?” she asked.

“What? I gotta make dinner.”

“Well,” she asked gently, “is it possible you’re getting a little… attached, maybe even a little overly protective?” 

“Hogwash,” Leanne sputtered. “Can’t wait to get back in my own bed. I just hate when people don’t call ahead. It’s rude. What was that anyway, a flash mob moon circle?”

“Haha,” Amy said flatly, onto her.

“How did that go, anyway?” Leanne asked, her curiosity winning.

“Fine,” Amy said.

“Did they act like they knew what they were doin’?”

“Yes, very much so,” Amy said. “I mean, they did. They did know what they were doing.”

“Well, what else have you been doin’ since I left?” she asked. “I mean, before the cast of The Craft came over.”

“I was trying to go through those stories of mine you printed out,” Amy told her, as she started fumbling for them on the couch.

“And?” Leanne said. “How’d you do?”

Amy came up empty-handed under the cushions and was now looking down around her feet. Nothing. She slid herself up the back of the couch, and hung over its spine to peer behind it.

“Well, it’s so weird,” she said, craning her neck to look at Leanne, “but they’re gone.”

This is an ongoing series from a forthcoming fiction novel by Sarah Durham Wilson of DOITGIRL.
Tune in weekly for the next chapter in ‘The Transformation of Amy Lunaro’.

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Sarah Durham Wilson
Sarah Durham Wilson is a woman in the world who writes about being a woman in the world. She teaches workshops, courses, and retreats on awakening to one’s inner Divine Feminine nature. You can find her on Facebook and her blog.
Sarah Durham Wilson