By Tim Jones

Behind coded invitations,

long night journeys,

country house gatherings

of like-minded men—

behind the fear of women,

banishment of servants,

locked doors, shuttered windows,

guards to ward off spies—

behind cloaks, hoods,

symbols scrawled on vellum,

books of lore and learning,

circles of protection—

behind scrying-glass,

crystal, speculum,

the lighting of a candle

and the speaking of a name—

you never know.

That is the truth of every incantation.

You never know

what will come to the flame.

Tim Jones lives in Wellington, New Zealand. His short fiction and poetry have appeared in magazines and anthologies in New Zealand, the U.K., the U.S.A., Australia, Canada, and Vietnam. His stories "When She Came Walking" and "Homestay" have previously appeared in Strange Horizons. You can see more of Tim's work on his website.