RIVER MAGIC takes place in the mid 2000s, before COVID-19, but I decided it would be fun to imagine how my characters would handle this whole situation.
LACEY knew this was coming. She experienced repeating dreams of suffocating isolation since December. Her hours at the cafe are reduced, and the magic shop is closed. She’s stressed about money, but throws herself into sewing masks to help as needed. She misses her druid grove, but she participates with remote healing rituals by sharing the prayers she writes. When she senses despondency setting in, she drives to a trail and takes a solitary walk. The mermaid who haunted her dreams is suddenly very quiet. Is she gone?
CIAN mostly works from home, but he continues going out to the field to gather data and monitor the fish population. He wears the masks Lacey sent him through the mail, but he ignores her advice to wash them first because he enjoys her scent. Naturally an introvert, he feels strangely calm about everything, but he misses spending time with Lacey. He makes sure to visit the cafe when she’s working, even if he can only see her for a moment.
LIDIA, so used to her independence, becomes depressed which worries Lacey. Lidia misses working in The Crystal Cauldron. She misses weekend visits to the wine lounge. Most of all, she misses her girlfriend. With Lacey’s encouragement, Lidia and Jan begin hosting magical workshops and tarot readings over Zoom.
ANTHONY continues to work in the cafe kitchen, though business is slow. His side catering has dried up now that people can’t have parties. He grows anxious about money. He and his brother, Vince, quarrel frequently. Vince seems to ignore social distancing guidelines. He vanishes for hours and sometimes days at a time. Anthony is glad to see Lacey at the cafe from time to time. She even sewed him some masks.
RIVER MAGIC will be published in autumn 2020 by Shadow Spark Publishing. Don’t worry – in Lacey’s time, nothing is closed. You’ll get to experience The Willow Tree Cafe, The Crystal Cauldron, and River Otter Grove in all their glory. This magical realism story featuring contemporary Pagans should be ready for you to enjoy by Samhain!