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Gothic Monologue


The Money-Spell

By: Suz Winspear




“Oh we must have that holiday!” cried Samantha. “Look at it! Twin room in a five star hotel, two weeks full board with flights and connections in an exclusive tropical resort – sunshine, blue skies, and just look at that swimming pool – all for just 1000! Five hundred each – it’s a bargain!”

            “We haven’t got five hundred pounds each,” I said as I opened another bottle of Pinot Grigio.

            “But if we did – oh if only we did! There must be some way of getting it!”

            “There isn’t,” I said, re-filling the glasses. “Close that website. Looking at it will only make us unhappy. It’s back to work for both of us on Monday.”

            “But there must be some way!” said Samantha, opening another tab and beginning a search for money-making ideas. Half a bottle later, she suddenly shrieked. “That’s it! That really is it! We must do a spell.”

“A spell? You mean, like witchcraft?”

“Yes, there’s one here on this website – a money-making spell! I’ll just print it off, and we can do a money-spell!”

            “Oh that sort of thing’s all nonsense,” I said.

            “It might not be. It’s worth trying, anyway . . . Here it is, here are the instructions . . . What phase of the moon is it now?”

            “No idea,” I said. “Does it matter?”

            “I don’t know. It says we must invoke the goddess on a waxing moon, whatever that is . . . No, perhaps it doesn’t matter . . . Have we got any candles?”

            “I think we’ve got some of those cinnamon ones left over from Christmas. You know, the ones we got from the Pound Shop. They smelled peculiar.”

            “I’m sure they’ll do . . . Oh, it says we need incense as well . . .”

 

            “There’s a plug-in room odorizer. We can try that. It’s not as if it matters. There aren’t any gods, there aren’t any goddesses; there aren’t any spirits, so it’s all pointless anyway.”

            “We can still have a go.”

“We don’t have to sacrifice anything, do we? I mean, like a chicken or a goat?”

“It doesn’t say anything about that . . .  But I suppose we could do – not a real chicken I mean, but the mug your Aunty Edna sent you has chickens on it. We can sacrifice that . . . You don’t mind, do you?”

“No, I’ve always hated that mug.”

            A couple of glasses of Pinot Grigio further on, we had pulled back the sofa in our shared flat, rolled back the rug, and Samantha was on her knees with a diagram in one hand, trying to draw an unsteady circle on the laminate floor with a pale blue make-up pencil.

“This looks about right, doesn’t it?” she said.

“I suppose so.”

“Which way is North?”

“Well the sun comes in through the windows in the morning, so that must be East over there . . .”

“So is North up there or down there?”

“More wine?”

“We need to save some for the ritual . . . Oh, and it says we need cakes.”

“There’s half a box of fondant fancies in the kitchen.”

“And we need to wear robes, it says here.”

“Robes?”

“Well it says we either wear robes or do it sky clad, whatever that is . . . Hold on, there’s a note down here . . . Oh . . . No . . . Sky clad means naked.”

“I’ll go and get the dressing-gowns.”

“And salt. It says we need to put salt at the North . . . Where did we say North was? . . . And if you can find one of the candles, it has to go at the South. A glass of water on the side opposite the windows, and if we can get the plug-in odorizer near the windows somewhere . . . That’ll do.”

“More wine?” I said.

“Why not?”

“So what god or goddess are we supposed to be doing this to anyway?”

“Er . . . hold on, pass me the wine . . . Oh yes, here it is . . . It says ‘choose your Parthenon’.”

Parthenon?”

“Oh no . . . That’s pantheon . . . What’s that?”

“Not sure . . . Let’s just say ‘Goddess of Money’. There’s bound to be one.”

“OK, well I think we’re ready. Here are your words . . . Just remember to say that we desperately need a thousand pounds tonight, and that it’s really urgent . . . Oh no! It says here we need wands!”

“Well we’ve got knitting-needles.”

“Oh, they’ll be perfect!”

A few minutes later, wearing our dressing-gowns, with a knitting needle in one hand and the script in the other, we began our money-spell. It went as well as could be expected. We giggled a lot, messed up the words, tripped over one another a couple of times, forgot where North and South were, but we did manage to beseech the Goddess of Money for an urgent thousand pounds for our holiday, and we sacrificed the mug by smashing it on the floor. Then we sat down in the centre of the circle and finished-off the wine and the half-box of fondant fancies.

“What happens next?” I asked.

“It says to close down the circle . . . Not sure what that means . . . Oh, let’s just clear the stuff away and put the rug back.”

“It’s a bit messy, and there are all those bits of broken china everywhere.”

“I’m sure the landlord won’t notice anything, not with the rug on top . . .”

“So when are we getting this money?” I said as we re-assembled the room and tried to hide the candle-wax spots that were all over the floor.

“We said tonight, didn’t we?”

“Well it isn’t here.”

“Perhaps we’ve got to wait for it to be delivered. Maybe an owl will bring it, like in ‘Harry Potter’.”

“You didn’t really expect this to work, did you?”

“Well, it was a laugh . . . It was a laugh, wasn’t it?”

“Yes, especially the bit when you dropped your knitting needle and knocked over the water.”

“At least it wasn’t the wine . . . Oh, I think I need more wine!”

“We’ve drunk it all.”

“The all-night garage will still be open. Come on, let’s go and get some! The money might be here when we get back . . .”

We took off the dressing-gowns and headed out for more wine. As we staggered home, I saw something that made me stop.

“Look!” I said. I was so surprised that I almost dropped the bottle.

There in front of us, blowing about in the gutter, were banknotes, piles and piles of crisp new banknotes. We gathered them, up, and by the glow of the streetlights we counted them out. . . One thousand pounds precisely.

“I don’t believe this,” I said.

Samantha started to cry.

“We should have been more respectful!” she said between sobs. “Sorry, Goddess of Money! We should have taken it more seriously! . . . We’ll never get our holiday now, will we?”

Out of a clear starry sky there came a sudden flash of lightning, a rumble of thunder, and a sharp heavy downpour that soaked us through until our hair was streaming. Samantha opened up her hands and we watched as one-by-one, the notes of Monopoly money flowed away along the gutter and down the nearest drain.


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