Welcome to Manhattan. With so many corporate towers here, it's hard to believe that most of the people are either socialist or anarchist.
Here, many white men work. They arrive, flirt with receptionists, ascend to their offices, and spend all day there. They often work overtime. By the time they come downstairs to end the day...IF they do...the receptionists are long gone.
Some of the men are so important, all they've got to do is take an express elevator home. Up there, they live the high life. They've all worked hard to be up there. Either that, or they were born to someone who did, and they adapted so well to their predecessors' tutelage, that it's almost as if they had no ego before they were taught how to get rich.
They have no idea how lucky they are, to be born to people who they're practically an exact clone of.
Alas, some parts of Manhattan are worse off. Harlem and Hell's Kitchen are chronic examples of this.
There aren't many Latinas in Manhattan, but they do exist. A few are from Nevis. A few are from Dominica. A few are from Nicaragua. A few are from Campeche. A few, still, are from Delta Amacuro...
Mostly, though, they're more likely from Veracruz, Portuguesa, or Cuba. Many of the Cubans, alas, are part of Manhattan's right-wing crowd...so much, in fact, that they've got Puerto Rican fathers, brothers, and sons in high places.
This story takes place nowhere near that...although it just might be powerful enough to do so...or even to put it out of business entirely.
This is a greenhouse. Here and there, now and then, some of the herbs move.
Feminine Latina hands collect some of them, and drop them in a gathering basket. They're very ring-clad...but not a single one of those rings is a wedding one, or even an engagement one.
That's hard for a lot of locals to understand. The Latina who collects these herbs is a real head-turner. Her family is from Delta Amacuro. She's hardly a celebrity out here, but she's sure glad to be living in Manhattan now.
Often times, she misses the Orinoco Delta. She's been back a few times...but never long enough to settle. Makes sense. River water only settles in the ocean...and Ms. Losada is no mermaid.
She takes several of her freshly-picked herbs into her bath. She sets the basket down, extends her arm over the pool, and chants a spell. From the culvert at the bottom, hot bath water is conjured, and fills the pool.
With another spell, Ms. Losada banishes the herbs into the pool. She takes off her remaining clothes, and leaves them at the entry arch. She casts a spell on the arch, sealing it, and making it a part of the wall.
Now, she descends into the pool. Parts of the pool change color, as she does.
She dives in, and starts swimming. All around her, it looks like the shallows of the Caribbean. There's coral, and there are shoals of colorful fish. In the nude, she swims here and there, like an underwater angel.
In the background, Enya's "Caribbean Blue" plays. It's a little trick that Ms. Losada's programmed some of the combined herbs to do.
Upstairs, Ms. Losada's pubescent daughter couldn't be in a cheaper state. Her pubescent state makes her feel small a lot, these days. She IS small. She dreads that guys don't notice her.
Meet Esa Rey. Unlike her mother, she's not a witch...yet. That may change any day now, though. Part of her mother hopes it doesn't...
But she need not worry. Esa may yet become VERY low maintenance, if she does become a witch...
Esa doesn't know her mother's a witch. Most men don't...and most men who've found out by accident have since suddenly, shall we say, fallen victim to a stray memory charm. And naturally, Ms. Losada will never confirm nor deny having bewitched her ex-favorite men's memories.
Over Manhattan, the sun sets. The moon rises...
In her bedroom, Esa shivers. Night has always been the hardest part of the day for her to get through. She's always been more of a noon person. And now the moon is up. And what's worse, it's full.
The full moon does something to her. She can't explain it, but it sure is scary...
Far below, her mother swims around in her own magical illusion, blissfully unaware of the danger her daughter's about to be thrust in...
Somehow, the streets of Manhattan are near-empty. The few muggles who are out and about are briefly deluded, into thinking they see a normal silver full moon up there.
For five very short minutes, the moon turns yellow. Far below, from outside Ms. Losada's flat, a yellow light shines through the window to Esa's room.
All at once, Esa feels dizzy. Her eyes shine, with yellow light...the same yellow light as the moon. She yawns, belches, and lies down in her bedding. It's usually left unmade.
All around her, the lights dim. High above, outside, the moon changes back to its normal silvery color. The night-outing public blinks, and starts seeing things as they are again. In the park, a pack of dogs rear, bark, and howl at the full moon...just like their ancestors would, back before this city existed.
In bed, near nude, Esa snores. She won't snore half as loud when she wakes...IF she wakes...