“A Moonlit Affair”

Everything was ready for the ritual. The old trunk had been replaced with an LV suitcase. It was important to behave like the rich people we lived around. Whoever said, money cannot buy happiness, hasn’t met my family. I am the embodiment of a fulfilled life. I go on vacations at the snap of my fingers buy jewelry and expensive art at a whim, to fill my enormous estate where I live by myself. Kindly do not misunderstand me. I am not lonely neither am I an introvert. I just love my own company and my loving pets or should I say my best friends. And at the risk of sounding repetitive, I will still say it, money can buy best friends as well. I treat my animals with love and care; and in turn, they love me back.

This 45-million-dollar worth estate belongs to me. My parents and siblings have their properties in their name. We live happily together, my staff of 45 along with my beloved companions. We grow our own vegetables and fruits, provide shelter to bruised and neglected horses. I love horses. They are my pride. And my dogs are my comfort. Now that you are jealous enough of my life, let us get back to the ritual.

Every year, when the woodlands are illuminated with full moonlight, my family and I gather to perform the annual ritual of offerings. I always provide the ingredients needed for the concoction. But only mom knows how much or when what goes into the cauldron. Yes, it is literally a black cauldron hung over a big flame of bones. It has to be human bones and nothing else. It is a task to light that bone fire, but dad has gotten quite good at it over the years. His grandfather taught him how to start the fire. Apparently, it was always burning since the beginning of time. We just needed to find the right kind of bones to keep it burning. And those bones are my sister’s responsibility. Well, working at a morgue makes it easier for her. Sometimes I feel she works there only to collect bones because clearly, we are too rich to bother putting our hands into dead people’s guts. I mean seriously, my sister is a millionaire. My brother is a billionaire, but we sisters are millionaire. We end up shopping and donating a lot. While he invests and donates to varied charities. As for the ritual, my brother and sister are responsible for the ghastly ingredients like human bones or blood from the pure one, etc. I always bring in herbs, plants, spices (never heard of). I do that for the year, so there is no suspicion drawn towards me. I am quite smart that way. And owning an estate can come in handy too. There is always a dead bird lying around to be repurposed as the wings of one that flew or a poisonous snake bothering the chickens that need to be rid of. I am quite efficient that way. I cannot stress it enough; it is so totally worth being rich.

After the ritual we all dance around the bone fire naked and drink the blood of the bison. We then throw the weakest family member into the fire to complete the ritual. Just kidding, no we don’t dance around naked, even though we all are in great shape, thanks to our personal trainers. We just dance and make wishes for the new year. All that we want. Last year I wished for 2 boyfriends, one who I get to hurt and the other that does not love me back. I needed a good crying year. The year before that had been all fun and happy, so I needed to create a balance. My grandma taught me the balancing act. This way you never become the envy of your acquaintances. They always look at your life as a normal regular life even though you are flying to exotic locations in your private jet. I miss grandma. She died 2 years ago, even though we all wished for her to live longer, she wished the opposite. Sweet grandma, always trying to create a balance.

It is a special night for all of us. Mostly because of the ritual, but also because we all get to be together without any of the worldly distractions. Everyone is attentive and present. Therefore, what I wear is extremely important. This year I am wearing a gray colored Victorian-style lace dress with brown ankle length boots. My hair will be braided on one side and wavy open on the other. My make-up will be subtly with a nude lip color. Last year I tried red, but it was too over-powering. This year I am going to keep it minimal and radiant like the moon.  For instance, last year, dad shared his short stories with us. The ones he had been writing for years to ease his anxiety. So this year I will be wishing for a calmer year for my dad. Hope he is talented enough to keep writing through his happy days. And then my sister shared about adopting a daughter and this year little Mehr will join us as well. She will be sleeping through the ritual though but will be with us. And that is what family is all about.

So, when the stars are taken over by the dark clouds and the moon is shinning brighter than the sun, my family will get together to perform the ceremony of our family. It has been passed down for generations and hopefully, baby Mehr and her cousins (who are not here yet) will take the tradition forward.

The sound of old grandfather clock bangs marking sundown. Seher is gonged into the present as she drags the very expensive LV suitcase into the car and drives away to her parent’s farm.

It was time for the ritual to begin. An act of balance to commence.

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