Many thanks to Sadje for keeping this challenge going. It has become one of my regular favourites, so long may she continue to do so.
( For the visually challenged reader, the image shows a table set with six teacups, a teapot and a glass beaker. The wall at the back is adorned with oriental art and a flower arrangement)
She hoped she’d laid everything out correctly.
It was imperative that the cups were placed an exact distance apart, the handles all facing the same way, the teapot and jug just so.
The flowers were dried samples from her garden but in keeping with the ritual.
One false step, and the wrong forces would come to her calling instead of those she sorely sought.
The table started to shake as she incited the ancient words.
The shadows on the wall deepened and started to mass together.
The room started to vibrate as her voice grew stronger.
She began to close her eyes as she felt a power begin to enter her body, and in doing so caught a glimpse of the pictures on the wall, snapping her eyes wide open. Too late she realised she should have removed one to grant access to the spirits she was heralding.
She slumped to the floor in defeat, the cups flying from the table in outrage.
Next time, she vowed. Next time I shall get it completely right.