Bang, bang, bang! Three gunshots take off, tearing through the air. Micah crumbles to the ground. With my heart in my throat, I crawl over to him. Rocks and uneven ground tear into my skin but I don’t let it slow me down.
“Hurry Luna, he’s been shot,” Gabriella shout-whispers. Of course, I already know that. What else would I be crawling over their way for? “I’m trying,” I shout-whisper back.
Micah should have never joined the plagues, I warned him a thousand times that the gang was a terrible idea. There’s no sense in fretting over it now. Now that it’s too late. I huff as I finally make it over to him. He’s been shot in the chest on his right side. “Do you think you can save him?” Gabriella asks frantically.
“I don’t know. I’ve only healed scrapes and bruises.” It’s the truth my bisabuela believed in magic and swore we descended from witches. She wasn’t a liar and that was enough to make me listen to her. She taught me everything she knew before she passed. Well, almost everything.
For healing powers, I was to take a moon bath in my birthday suit during a full moon. Then I cut myself and let blood flow down my arm. Using the silver-encrusted crystal chalice, she gave me. I press it against my arm letting the blood gather. Already at the bottom of the chalice is pot marigold oil. As I drink it, I say the spell I was taught to say. I’m not allowed to waste my blood, so I have to rub the rest into my skin. To keep the healing power stronger, I have to repeat that ritual every six months.
Gabriella digs into Micah’s pocket with her tongue out. “Here,” she says, passing me a knife with shaking hands. “This won’t get the bullet out,” I explain to her. Nervous that this won’t work. Taking the tip of the knife, I press down hard breaking open the skin on my forearm. Speaking in the tongue I was taught for the spell, my blood drips into Micah’s mouth. It’s hard to tell if it’s working because Micah isn’t dead. He’s groaning in pain. Gabriella and I stare at him as my blood continues to trickle into his mouth.
It feels like a lifetime when at the ten-minute mark—Micah sits up. “Gracias, bruja.” Thank you, witch. Micah says taking a deep breath. Sweat is matting his black curly hair down to his forehead. With my back resting against the graffitied overpass that reads—cock sucker—in neon pink, I think about how out of hand this night has gotten. “An ambulance is on the way.” Gabriella grimaces as she clutches onto Micah. They’ve been in love since second grade, and we are going to be seniors this year.
The streetlight casts a soft buttery glow down on us as we stare off in shock. Micah looks like he wants to argue with Gabriella, but he doesn’t. “Just tell them you were hanging out on the bridge. It’s believable because this is a hang-out spot.” I say trying to soothe his worry, but I mean he has been shot and he isn’t stupid, he doesn’t need me telling him what to do.
“I’m telling you, Luna, you got magic running through them veins. It’s not just the rituals. I don’t even feel like I’ve been shot.” Micah flashes me a wide grin. “My friend is magia.” Magic. He throws up jazz hands.
“Well let’s keep this our secret, okay? I don’t want to be the next Bernadette.” My abuela made us watch that old movie when we were younger. Man was it boring. They chuckle but I’m serious, it’s not that I mind sharing my magic, but it drains me.
“I’ll call Hosea and have him take you home.” Micah fishes his phone out.
It makes me feel pathetic to go home instead of to the hospital with him, but I’m exhausted, and I know he sees it. He won’t be alone; I know Gabriella won’t be leaving his side. I nod as he taps on his phone screen. Micah reaches out and grabs my hand planting a kiss on it. “I’m sorry that I brought them here. If one of you would have gotten shot...” Micah hangs his head. It is dangerous being his friend now, but it’s done and we’re fine. He’s been through enough tonight.
“We don’t even have a scratch on us.” I try to lighten the mood, but it doesn’t work. Not even a fraction.