// WEASLIE HOUSE //
Friday Perkins has been quietly fighting depression since the revelation that they were likely the victims of a memory erasing charm. Lenard Trelaine and his associate Trente Gagarin had been curiously tight-lipped about who they thought might have been the perpetrator; though it had seemed as though they knew. They certainly had their suspicions. They’d mused about a friend of Myrtle Marscapone.
But the mysterious pair were not yet friendly enough for Weaslie and Perkins to simply ask.
Of the missing memories, Trente had stated:
That command had caused irritation in Friday, who desperately wanted to know what she’d lost. If only she could put a finger on it, that might fix her current funk. That would bring her back to the world of the living, wouldn’t it?
If only she knew who she was to seek revenge against.
She’s taken to using her days to scour the internet looking for clues. Perhaps a rogue society of mages that didn’t like the Magicademy?
But she’s started to think there’s nothing to find, leaving her with nothing but the seeping grief of loss.
DO YOU THINK IT’S TIME WE DID A DEEP CLEAN ON THE PLACE?
RUGS ARE LOOKING A LITTLE GREY.
The house was fairly tidy, or at least tidy enough for two cohabitating young adults, but admittedly it hadn’t been swept in –
I CAN’T REALLY STAND THE SOUND RIGHT NOW.
VACUUM’S TOO GODDAMN NOISY.
Even just thinking about it causes a psychosomatic cringe.
I CAN’T DISAGREE WITH YOU THERE.
I’LL USE THE BROOM.
He walks over to the wall where is affixed a holding rack for a broom and a seldom-used mop.
Once upon a time, it was she who’d been the neat one. Or, at least, that was one of the reputations she’d earned at the Magicademy. Always eager to assist the Matron with her chores, especially ones that involved cleaning. But that was a time and place far from here. A time she’d been one of Myrtle’s star pupils.
What had happened to her after that?
She’d gone to university, right? She’d recalled that’s what she’d wanted…but the memory is hazy. This empty place in her memory, several years just an irreconcilable blank, has been torturing her for uncountable weeks. …Months? Yes, months.
I’M SORRY, WEASLIE.
IT’S THE MEMORY CHARM.
IT’S STILL BOTHERING ME.
He says nothing. Has he truly mastered his own emotions and moved on so easily?
DOESN’T IT BOTHER YOU?
He pauses, considering.
I DON’T KNOW.
IT’S NOT THAT IT DOESN’T BOTHER ME, JUST THAT THERE’S NOTHING I CAN DO ABOUT IT.
I DON’T LIKE IT, BUT…
WHAT CAN SOMEONE LIKE ME DO?
THERE’S PLENTY YOU CAN DO.
YOUR MAGIC’S BEEN GETTING STRONGER.
He removes the broom from its hook and starts to push dirt around the room. Much of the floor is covered in rugs so it’s just a detail job.
MAYBE WE JUST NEED TO SPEND MORE TIME ON YOU.
IT DOESN’T REALLY MATTER TO ME.
IT’S BETTER TO LEARN WHEN YOU’RE YOUNG.
SO THEN I’M FUCKED.
She tries to resist the lure of his pessimism.
PEH. WE’RE BOTH STILL YOUNG.
I DON’T FEEL YOUNG.
SO WE’LL GO TO THE GYM MORE.
IF WE HAVE TO.
In a moment, she’s thankful for him. Thankful for the generosity he extended to her day after day. Thankful for how he made it seem effortless. She hadn’t been an easy housemate.
They spent near every waking moment in that house together. And yet, the two got along. The time was…pleasant.
YOU COULD ALWAYS LET ME USE YOUR WAND.
YOU KNOW IT DOESN’T WORK THAT WAY.
Friday’s wand had been a gift to her and only to her, many long years ago, on her ninth birthday.
‘Ninth month, ninth day, ninth year’.
‘And it’ll be a while until you make it to ninety-nine; even I haven’t made it there yet, if you can believe it.’
IT HELPS ME CONTROL MY INCANTATIONS.
PROVIDES A FOCAL POINT.
MAKES IT SO PEOPLE ARE LESS LIKELY TO GET HURT.
YOU DON’T SEEM TO NEED SUCH A HANDICAP.
BUT I COULD SURE USE A POWER INFUSION.
THERE’S NO TELLING WHAT WOULD HAPPEN.
BESIDES, IT’S ATTUNED FOR ME.
AND MAYBE WE HAVE THE SAME PRESCRIPTION.
WE NEVER KNOW UNTIL WE TRY.
Her wandering thoughts end abruptly when he raises his broom to a quiet corner of the room.
WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING?!
He stops and looks at her.
THERE’S A WEB IN THAT CORNER! AGAINST THE VASE.
SHOULDN’T A WEB BE A CUE THAT I SHOULD GO FOR IT?
IT’S JUST PROOF OF HOW LAZY WE ARE WITH THE CHORES…
He raises the broom and prepares to whisk away at the edges of the vase…
She stands up to force him to stop his action.
She hasn’t shown this kind of passion about anything in –
It gives him pause.
I GUESS THERE’S NOTHING THAT SAYS I HAVE TO KILL IT…
DESTROYING THE WEB DOESN’T KILL THE SPIDER.
IT JUST USUALLY MEANS THE LITTLE GUY HAS TO REBUILD THE WEB.
THEY’RE TERRITORIAL IN A WAY, LIKE THAT.
MOM MADE A GREAT DEAL OF WORK FOR SPIDERS, THEN.
IF SHE KNEW I WERE LETTING YOU KEEP A PET…
YEAH. SOUNDS LIKE YOU HAVE AN AFFECTION FOR THE THINGS.
(quietly) Myrtle never let us keep pets…
MAYBE THAT’S EXACTLY IT.
WE NEVER HAD CATS OR DOGS OR ANYTHING –
TOO MUCH WORK WHEN WE ALREADY HAD ENOUGH OUTSIDE.
I GUESS I UNDERSTAND THE PERSPECTIVE.
Friday walks over to inspect the web. The corners of the strands are clumped with particles of dust. In one of the corners is a small brown housespider. Friday points a finger toward it without touching it or the web.
YOUR LITTLE FRIEND?
Friday swears she sees the spider move its leg.
IS IT TRUE THAT ONLY FEMALE SPIDERS MAKE WEBS?
I DON’T KNOW. I DON’T THINK SO.
‘CAUSE I ALWAYS HAD THIS VISION OF THE UNKILLABLE SPIDER QUEEN OR SOMETHING.
I THINK YOU’RE THINKING OF BLACK WIDOW SPIDERS.
EITHER THAT OR…
She leaves her sentence hanging.
(wistfully) I DON’T KNOW.
MAYBE THOSE ONES THAT EAT THEIR MATE.
WHY WOULD THE MALES NEED TO BUILD A WEB IF THEY’RE JUST GONNA GET CHOMPED?
I GUESS NOT.
…MAYBE WE CAN MOVE THE WEB SOMEWHERE ELSE. IT IS KIND OF LARGE.
LARGE AND IN CHARGE.
She rolls her eyes.
A LONG TIME AGO, I COULD DO SUCH THINGS.
I HAVEN’T TRIED IN MANY YEARS.
I MIGHT HAVE HAD SOME NOTES IN MY SPELLBOOKS BUT I DON’T HAVE THOSE ANYMORE.
YOU MEAN YOU COULD MOVE SPIDERWEB?
I DID A FEW TIMES.
MY GRANDMOTHER DIDN’T KEEP A NEAT HOUSE.
NEVER SAW THEM AT THE MAGICADEMY.
SHOULD I GET A SCISSOR?
THEY’RE TOO DULL FOR THIS KIND OF WORK.
I WROTE A SPELL SPECIFICALLY FOR THIS.
I CALLED IT ‘WINDRAZER’.
IT CREATED TINY BLADES OF AIR TO SLICE THROUGH THE DELICATE WEB.
THEY CUT FIRMLY AND ASSERTIVELY, RATHER THAN DRAGGING LIKE A KNIFE.
I SUPPOSE A SCISSOR MIGHT HAVE BEEN OKAY BUT MY GRANDMOTHER NEVER LET ME HAVE SUCH THINGS. NOT WHEN I WAS A CHILD.
Weaslie seems a little bashful.
THE SECOND SPELL WAS CALLED ‘WHISPERLIFT’.
I COULD CARRY THE WEB ON A PILLOW OF AIR TO KEEP THE STRUCTURE INTACT.
I STILL HAD TO CARRY IT WITH MY HAND, YOU SEE, SO THAT WAS A BIT OF A LIMITATION. BUT IT WORKED OUT JUST FINE.
AND LASTLY, YOU WANT TO ADHERE THE WEB TO ITS NEW LOCATION.
THAT, I WASN’T TOO GOOD AT. NEVER CAME UP WITH A NAME FOR IT.
‘SUPERGLUE’ OR SOMETHING, WHO KNOWS. I WAS OBSESSED WITH SUPERGLUE.
They’ve been carrying out this entire conversation next to a completely oblivious spider not even capable of being aware of the fate being discussed.
CAN YOU STILL DO IT?
I DON’T KNOW.
I HAVEN’T TRIED IN YEARS.
I THINK YOU SHOULD TRY.
WHAT’S THE WORST THAT COULD HAPPEN?
SOME POOR SPIDER WILL BE OUT OF A HOME.
𝄞 SPIDER-BRO, SPIDER-BRO; DOES WHATEVER A SPIDER-BRO DOES… 𝄂
Friday kneels over the web and is quiet for a moment, seeming almost to be meditating. She makes several small jabbing motions toward the edges of the web, cutting the strands free of their affix. When the web starts to collapse, she uses her left hand to imply supporting structures. The web sags a little, but generally remains coherent.
Weaslie is standing behind, transfixed.
He opens his mouth to say something, but thinks better of it.
Friday walks over to her desk and moves the web toward the part of the corner not obscured by curtain. She presses the corners of the web firmly against the wall, destroying part of the design.
YOUR DESK?! REALLY?!
YOU ARE SO WEIRD.