Alicia didn’t plan to use magic to solve her problems at first, but by the time Nina suggested a visit to her grandmother, Alicia was desperate for any kind of help she could get. Alicia knew the old woman was a healer for the original tribe that lived on the Mission lands.
“Big trouble, Masagawa help.” Nina shared her plan. “We go village, see Masagawa.” Nina’s grandmother had the strangest name.
“I know you want to help, but this is serious business. How can your grandma’s magical cures help?” Alicia resisted the idea at first. Plus, she remembered her mother’s warnings about Nina’s tribal village; she said it had dark magic. Nina’s grandmother and brothers clung to the old ways.
Then again, Alicia envied Nina’s skills and confidence, her ability to see how Harris brought trouble to the house. She seemed to possess the knowledge of a grown woman. How could they be the same age? After all, Nina was just their household helper. The title to the rancho was at stake, and Alicia needed official help.
“Remember, we get good medicine for your Mama?” Nina referred to the times when they were younger. Alicia and Nina once hid healing tokens around the Ortega house for minor problems—for good spirits and protection. Masagawa’s herbal mixtures often found a way into Mama’s teas, stews, and even Papa’s liquor bottles.
“Good for cough,” Nina once instructed Alicia. “This one for courage, this to bring sleep.” On many past occasions Nina secretly sprinkled, stirred, and sometimes splashed magic potions over the Ortega family home. Mama never tasted the special healing herbs.
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