"Sinister Summoning" by Shelbie Kellum
They cross the river, their feet dipping into the warm water before finding purchase on the steep bank. The only light to guide them is the full moon overhead.
“You think she’s here?” Willow whispers, afraid that some monstrous creature will spring forward if she speaks up.
“She wouldn’t invite us if she wasn’t here,” her older sister says in a scolding voice.
As if sensing their doubt, a light at the front of the old cabin flickers to life. The door opens with a creak and Aunt Bel steps onto the porch.
“Come on in!” she bellows. Willow can’t help but giggle and both girls break out in a full run.
The cabin is one big room on the inside with a kitchen, sitting area, and a cramped loft. The décor is rustic but imbued with magic, alternating between old tools and dusty bottles of herbs. They gather around the rickety table, the girls bubbling with excitement and Aunt Bel smiling at their enthusiasm.
A collection of rocks, animal bones, and rose petals are piled in the middle of the table. Once the girls settle down, they eye the centerpiece with suspicion.
“We aren’t doing anything scary, are we?” Willow asks.
Aunt Bel chuckles. “Oh yes,” she says.
The girls exchange a worried glance. Aunt Bel runs both hands through the air, making them dance in the dim light of the cabin. After a tense moment, a spark of magic appears between her palms. The girls gasp.
Aunt Bel flings the drop of magic onto the dark stones with a flare and a wink. Willow and her sister scoot their chairs back and almost bolt away, but what appears stops them. It’s a large bowl teeming with…
“Ice cream!” They shout in unison.
Aunt Bel cackles.