Part 11 – It’s fun to steal

The day before the power outage, the Fresno Superior Courthouse was closed because of a water main leak.  There was a crew out working on it when the power outage began and as a result, there’s an area on the west side where the work crews left several doors unlocked because the power outage started and they wandered off.  This is how Grace and Sanaa get inside and make their way to the Law Library to undo another one of the anchoring spells.  Afterwards they’re sitting outside by the now-dry fountain eating some biscotti that Grace stole out of someone’s desk drawer while she tries to think up a spell that will turn the bag of Café Vita Queen City Blend she also stole into something she can drink.

Grace suddenly snorts “Wouldn’t it be funny if you were crazy and all this stuff we’re doing is for nothing.”

Sanaa doesn’t answer for a moment “You saw me do magic.”

“Doesn’t mean you’re not crazy.” Grace glances back at the courthouse “Why do you think they did part of the ritual here?  Do you think one of the people helping Eterno is a lawyer?” Sanaa shrugs “You know you don’t seem very interested in who’s behind this.  Doesn’t your mentor spirit want to know what’s going on?”

“It’s not my place to question.” 

“That doesn’t seem like a very good system.  I thought you were all about being anti-authority and bringing down the Man.”

“There’s nothing wrong with authority in the right hands.”

Grace grimaces and looks at the package of the biscotti “I never knew cookies could taste so bad.  Must be why they call them anus.”

Sanaa shakes her head “Its ah-nus, not aye-nus.”

“It’s gross whatever it is, I’m thinking about chewing on these coffee grounds instead.”

 “Anise is a really good carminative, it’s great for leucorrhea too.  Everyone should learn more about herbal remedies so they can help themselves.  Medicine, even what people like to call ‘eastern medicine’ is a business like any other business.  And what do businesses need?  Customers.  And what do you do with customers?  You try and sell them your most expensive drugs.  And you think they want those drugs to make you feel better?  It’s in their best interest that you remain sick, just like car companies sell cars that break down and machines that stop working.  You’re not a patient, you’re a consumer.” 

Grace leans forward to look at a plaque “The blue-tiled fountain serves as a metaphor in stone and water, incorporating the Sierra mountain range, San Joaquin Valley floor, and local legacy of growth and harvest in a contemporary sculpture.  Sounds like your kind of thing Sanaa.”

She wrinkles her nose “Why would an artificial representation of nature appeal to me?  That’s like making a statue of a man in prison and saying that they’re free.  You see, what I’m saying is that you know your body better than anyone, so who else can heal it besides you?  When you feel ill, what’s happening is there’s an imbalance in your body most likely caused by the very society that you’re turning to to cure it.  The key to living a healthy life is . . .”

Grace stands up wearily and brushes biscotti crumbs off her hands “I don’t go to the doctor so it’s not really a problem.”

Sanaa blinks “You don’t?”

“No, I don’t have any money or insurance so why would I ever go to a doctor?  If you can’t pay, you get a Band-Aid and a boot in the ass.  I’m not sure why you’re preaching at me like I’m some kind of pillar of mainstream capitalist culture.  I live in my car for fuck’s sake.  I literally only have the clothes on my back right now.  All that camping shit you packed in my car is more than I own in the world.” 

“Oh . . . I just thought that . . .”

“Look, how many more of these anchoring spells are there that we need to undo?  We may need to leave the city and come back if there’s a lot more, I’m running on fumes.”

“There’s only one more, and none of them have been guarded.”

Grace laughs humorlessly “I got stabbed like an hour ago!”

Sanaa shrugs “I think that was a coincidence, anyway this last place should be fine.”

“And then?  You’ll help me find Eterno and put an end to all this?”

Sanaa doesn’t answer right away “What do you mean by end it?”

“I told you, I know a spell that will cast out the spirit possessing him.  I don’t plan on hurting him, I just need to incapacitate him so I can cast the spell.”

Sanaa is silent again for a moment “What if he’s still up at that ranch?  With all those armed men?”

Grace is silent for an even longer period of time “I’ll come up with something . . .”

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