Casting The Curse

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I curse you.

May your blood boil and fill you with rage. May you destroy all you love. Let the rage consume you and spill into the earth.

Let poison be in your cup and you drink deeply. The poison shall course through your veins, turn your blood black. Let your body be sealed. No blade can open you skin, you shall not be cut.

Stitch your mouth and eyes closed. Burn your fingers so you can’t feel. Let only you ears hear the screams.

Boil, boil, boil. Rage, rage, rage. Burn, burn, burn. Flow, flow, flow.

I cast this curse on you.

Xylophile (Part 1) #AtoZChallenge

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Xylophile; Someone who loves forests.

I was born in this forest, like most of the coven members. It’s a centuries old tradition for babies to arrive out here. It’s said to be the most natural channel of magic in the area and also gives a connection to life, death and rebirth just like the cycle of the forest.

My love for the forest and it’s magic comes from that moment. I’m in tune with the nature around and can use that energy to create magic. But these are not the fantasy or supernatural magics of books and movies, this is a neutral magic that can be used in help me or others or to cause negativity towards others.

Nature’s magic doesn’t always work though and we can only ask so much of it. I guess that’s why so many people have stopped believing in it. They have turned to the world of technology and forgot how to ask the different energies to help them.

A few years back, magic users got away with saying they didn’t have phones, computers or TVs but now the world relays on all of those so much, we can’t avoid them. I don’t spent a lot of time with technology, I’d rather be reading books or walking in the forest.

My mother called me Ela which means earth. She never told me who my father was and the coven members don’t know either. My story is that my mother desperate for a daughter ask Mother Nature to give her one. My mother created a spell which involved swallowing an acorn – the seed- to make her pregnant. I’ve always believed it to be a true story.

And this story isn’t going to be about my search for truth to that tale because I’m happy with that knowledge. Today, I want to tell you about my current situation. Things haven’t been great for me lately, lots of stuff has gone wrong in my life all at once. It’s the normal young adult stuff; the struggling to find a job, the break up with the boyfriend, the falling out of the best friend. You know, the normal life problems.

So, I’ve been spending a lot of time in the forest, getting away from all of that and trying to use the magic to fix things. There’s a favourite spot of mine which I always go to and spend a good few hours there. It’s next to the river and a rushing waterfall. There was lots of rocks around which the water has to make its way over or around. These rocks make good places to sit and dip my bare feet into the cool water.

I let the water take the negativity away and draw from it clean energy to help me get through things. The sound of the water calms me and adds to the wind shaking the trees and the animals playing about.

Dear, Nature I draw energy from you. Today, I wish to make magic to help my life and others around me. Please, give me the energy I need to cast those spells.

I call upon the elements to aid me. Water, I take energy from you to help cleanse and heal me. Air, I take energy to speak my spell and to cast it out. Fire, I take energy for heat and passion. Earth, I take the energy of life force you give us all.

Mother Nature, hear my request and grant me what I need.

 

To Be Continued…

 

 

Caim #atozchallenge #writephoto

Caim; sanctuary; an invisible circle of protection, drawn around the body with the hand to remind one of being safe and loved, even in the darkest times. 

I watched the sun rising from my window. It had been another sleepless night. Too many thoughts in my head and nothing to settle me. I pressed my cheek to the cold, wet glass as the clouds began to light up.

A story, told by one of my childhood’s nannies, came into my head. It was about a boy who got lost in a dark forest where an evil witch lived. The boy wanted to protect himself but carrying nothing, could only use a spell his mother had given him. Using the air, he drew a circle around himself with his hand, whilst at the same time recalling a memory of being safe and loved.

The boy walked further into the forest and happened upon the evil witch. She tried to capture him, so she could eat him, but the evil witch’s spell bounced off the boy. The witch tried again and again, chasing the boy through the forest as he tried to get away. Finally, the boy made it out of the forest and back to his village. The evil witch could do nothing but hover on her broomstick at the edge of the trees, cursing the boy.

The boy ran into this house and was greeted by a happy and tearful family, for they had all thought he’d never return. The boy told of how he had cast the Caim spell his mother had taught him and when the evil witch tried to capture him, it was that spell that had saved him.

I sighed and moved my head away from the window. I had long given up believing in fairy stories. The idea of casting that spell stuck with me though. Getting out of the window box, I stepped into a patch of dawn light laying on the bare floor. Shutting my eyes, I thought about the best time I had felt safe and loved. I drew a circle around myself in the air.

A touch of warm brushed my skin, opening my eyes and looking out of the window, I saw the valley below full of sunlight. I wasn’t sure if the spell had worked or not but I felt a lot better that day for the first time in weeks. And that night, I slept well.

 

(Photo prompt from; https://scvincent.com/2018/03/29/thursday-photo-prompt-valley-writephoto/ with thanks).

Postcard #34

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Dear Aggie,

It was such a shame that you couldn’t make it to the ritual the other night. Everyone missed seeing you. However, I guess that’s the price you pay for summoning a vengeful demon. You’ll have to tell me all about it when you can. Nothing much happened at the gathering. We did send you a spell of blessing though but I’m not sure if it worked because that new girl got the words mixed up. She really needs some more training – naturally gifted, my ‘donkey’!

Anyway, I hope everything works out for you soon, love Lettie.

Cooking Up A Storm (Part 2)

Midnight was meowing behind the front door when I got back. I unlocked and opened it to scoop him up. Burying my face in his warm black fur, I tried to hold my tears in. I closed the door with my foot and sat on the sofa. I rubbed the cat against my cheeks and made soft meowing noises back. Midnight, strangely a big fan of cuddles for a young male cat, demand more.

‘Did you miss me? Yeah, you did. You eat all your food? Good kitty,’ I baby talked.

He gave me a string of meows then fell into purring and curling into ball in my lap. I stroked him and watched him dozing off. The warm and content feelings jostled with my sad ones and I did wipe the corners of my eyes.

‘He just had to bring her up,’ I told Midnight, ‘I know I shouldn’t complain. It’s still important to talk about her, but today? No. I don’t want to think about it.’

My phone ring and I scrambled to find it in my bag whilst trying not to disturb Midnight.

‘Hello?’

‘Becks, hey! Is your car okay? When you coming over?’ Dawn’s excited and rushed voice shouted in my ear.

‘Car’s fine. What time did I say? Five or six?’ I answered.

‘It’s quarter to now,’ Dawn responded then began speaking to someone else in the background.

‘It is? Oh. I still need to ice the gingerbreads. Everything else is ready though. So, six then.’

‘Can’t you come now, please?’

I petted Midnight as a long hum escaped my pursed lips.

‘We need to set up the table then get ready and that’s going to take a while. I need to wash my hair still and Amber just found out she can’t get into her costume.’

‘It’s baby weight!’ Amber’s voice yelled back followed by bursting girly laughter.

‘I can’t,’ Becks pressed, ‘if you want them to look right, I just can’t. And there’s no way I’d want to rush them after all my hard work.’

Dawn signed heavily down the phone then whispered to someone else, ‘she can’t get here for another hour.’

‘Look. I’m about to do them now, so I’ll just set the table when I get there. Okay?’

‘All right, please try to hurry though,’ Dawn said back unable to hide the disappointed tone.

‘I’ll try. Bye.

‘Bye, Becks. She says an hour. I’m going to wash my hair…’

I hung up, then moving Midnight off my lap, went into the kitchen. The heavy smell of ginger, cinnamon and toffee blasted all other smells away. I checked the toffee apples and finding them set, moved them on to the table with the collection of other things. Then I put all the gingerbread shapes on one plate and prepared the icing.

‘It’s too silent, I mumbled.

Finishing off the icing, I went and turned the TV on. Midnight jumped up on the coffee table, tail swinging and watched me channel flicking. There wasn’t much on, so I put the news on and went back to the kitchen. Feeling better, I sorted out the icing for colouring, then got piping the designs on the biscuits.

I didn’t need any inspiration or drawings, I had been making these gingerbreads for the last five weeks. With the news reporters droning on in the background, my hands worked by themselves and I began thinking again. My dad had been right about my mum. Tonight had been her favourite out of the whole year, just like it was mine. She would spend the whole of October planning and preparing. Sometimes, especially as I got older, she’d call me in to help make cakes or muffins or something that involved pumpkins.

I felt my chest get a little tight, but instead of stopping I thought it best just to go on thinking about her. She was never a ‘normal’ mother or wife, being a white witch saw to that and yet, she manged to embrace everything and make it happen. That’s what my dad was talking about before.

Almost an hour later, I was done with the forty gingerbreads. Leaving them to officially set, I wrapped up each toffee apple in black Halloween foil finished with a bit of ribbon and put them in a carry bag. Digging out my notebook, I ticked them and the biscuits off.

‘So, now I get it all into the car, grab my suitcase, put food down for Midnight then it’s party time!’

Midnight meowed at his name, but didn’t appear, which meant something on the TV had his attention. I put some more food in his bowl, topped up his water, then picking up my notebook again, ran through the list once more; ‘pumpkin pie, pumpkin cream cheese muffins, Halloween cookies, lemon cheese cake spider web, Halloween cupcakes, Graveyard mud moose pie, toffee apples and gingerbreads. Yep, all done. Okay, to the car.’

I grabbed a large bag from the table, which had the cookies, cheese cake and muffins carefully boxed up inside and headed to the front door. I got my keys from my handbag on the way and went out to the car. I spent a good few minutes, carrying stuff out and storing it as carefully as possible in the boot and backseat.

Midnight tore himself away from the TV to watch me. Finally sorted, I locked the car and hurried upstairs. Taking my small suitcase -thankful I packed my clothes and personal stuff last night- from the corner and going back down again. I nudged Midnight out the door and hurried to the car. Ignoring his howl of unhappiness, I put my suitcase on the passenger seat.

‘Done. Everything. Good. Front door. Midnight, what are doing? Are you in or out, kitty? Aww, I’m sorry.’

I picked him up and Midnight tried to climb on to my shoulders.

‘I’m sorry you can’t come. Oh! The TV.’

I darted back inside, putting Midnight on the sofa and turned it off. Then remembering, I hadn’t closed any curtains or checked the windows or the back door, ran around the house doing that.

‘I’m good now. Bye, Midnight.’

He gave me a long mournful meow, like a toddler who didn’t want to be left. I waved good bye to him all the same and locked the front door. Getting into Herbs was like stepping back into the kitchen. The car smelt of warm spices, pumpkin and other sweet delights. I checked the time and then my phone. Dawn’s house was half an hour away and it was five past six.

I texted her then drove off, the excitement of the party finally hitting me.

To Be Continued…

Confidence

You enter the shop and a heavy waft of cinnamon and sandalwood hits you. For a few seconds you debate backing away and closing the door, but you’d look foolish. So, sheepishly you finish climbing the step and go inside. A collection of small bells sings your entrance then clash together as the door closes.

You look around, feeling like you shouldn’t be here. For some reason, you are painfully aware that this is someone’s house. Yes, it’s a shop, but someone has converted the lower floor to make it so. In front of you is a staircase with a baby gate locked across the bottom. A white signs reads; staff only. To the right of you all the walls that had divided the small terrace house living room and kitchen have left a large space. Well, it would have been a large space, but it’s cramped full of bookcases, shelving units and large objects.

Deciding that you’ve changed your mind you go to leave, but as you turn a voice calls out. You turn back, hoping that voice wasn’t directed at you, but knowing it was. There’s a woman behind a large counter. She looks to be in her thirties or forties, a lot younger then you were expecting. She is wearing a black gothic style dress with lot of bead work and lace.

You think of witches and vampires, wondering if she was possible one or the other or either.

She beckons you over and you have no choice. Your feet pad across the floor and when you arrive before her, you can see her many facial piercing and thick makeup. As she begins to make enquiries into what you want, you tried hard to come up with something.

You could be honest and say you were just curious. That you are on holiday here and that due to the wet weather, you came inside for cover. Or you could just lie. You could just make up a story, say you need a present for a friend who’s big into witchcraft. Or say you’re thinking about getting into it yourself?

No, you think. Not that. The truth then? No, that’s really not a good excuse. You could have gone into any shops or café’s along this road or the next. Why did you walk into here?

The woman looks at you, questionability. You looked to the left, across the counter top in search of inspiration. There you see an incense stick burning and a cardboard tray of small glass bottles.

You turn back and tell her you’d like some incense. Which is the one she is burning?

She tells you it’s sandalwood and that there’s an offer on this week. Buy two incense packs and get one free.

You nodded your head and move down to study the line-up of packets. You choose; sandalwood, sage and jasmine. Holding the packets, you can feel the paper pressing against your skin. The faint scents of each catch your nose for a moment. You inspect the bottles. They are spell bottles. Each has a tiny cork stopper, a scroll of paper and an instruction sheet.

The woman asks you if you are looking for anything in particular?

You reply no.

Then because she seems a little put out and you have become more comfortable here, you tell her that you have just been put in charge of planning a large meeting. You explain that your boss has asked you to invite the bosses and co-persons of some smaller companies over. You also have to do a presentation and a few other things. You are nervous. You believe that if you get anything right you might get a promotion. And you badly want a promotion.

The woman nods and tells you that the self-confidence and self-esteem spell bottle is what you want.

You find it and pick it up. Inside you can see dried plants, they are purple and pink. Juggling the incense sticks, you studied the label and see that the plants are lavender and roses. A few more ingredients are listed but you don’t recognise them. There’s also instructions to cast the spell. Spotting the price sticker, you decided you can afford it.

You place everything down on the counter and watch the woman tills up. For something to say, you talk about the weather.

She tells you she has been trying out a new spell to bring the sun back.

You almost make a joke about weather forecasters, but think about it. You pay on your card and she hands you a small plastic bag.

You thank her and leave, your eyes wondered around the shelves as you do so. Outside the rain is still falling. You start walking back to the hotel and decided that you will give the spell bottle ago. What could go wrong? You ponder.

Church (Chapter 2, Part 2)

Continued from Church chapter 2, part 1 and also the first chapter of Church in the November archive. https://thestoryfiles.wordpress.com/2014/11/19/church-part-1/

I stepped from under the archway and into a paradise garden. Five long stone steps led down to a rolling landscape covered in a carpet of lush emerald grass, sprinkled with brightly coloured English meadow flowers. A few small red and yellow acre trees were spread out, creating another level of colour at the eye line.

Cutting its way through the centre, a babbling stream twisted like a serpent with the water rushing over or around shiny stones. The stream came close to the steps, then turned a sharp right and rushed off to the side. Also dotted about where large moss rocks, which I quickly realised were actually fallen and displaced parts of the cathedral.

Glancing up, I saw shafts yellow sunlight flooding through the high arched empty window frames. Above them, the roof stretched up in classic gothic ribbed vaults, which were painted to look like a summer day’s sky. Further along to the right side was a balcony, which seemed to run the length of the room. On the other side, I could see empty niches and towering columns.

My other senses became assaulted too, as I suddenly noticed that the garden was teeming with life. Small birds, butterflies and bees roamed the air, their voices and wings rang in my ears alongside the stream’s bubbling. The wondrous scents of midnight jasmine and lavender filled my nose, mingling with other flowers and fresh air. I just couldn’t take it all in and yet…the more I looked the more it seemed to be unrealistic.

I stepped down into the soft grass and swept my fingers over the top of the blades. They felt real enough to me. Moving to the stream, I did the same and dipped my fingers into the clear water. They came back wet and I pressed them to my lips and tasted a few drops of cool sweet water. I walked slowly through it all and found Rain waiting for me on a small wooden bridge going over the stream.

‘Is all this real?’ I asked as I joined her and waved my arm around.

‘Yes and no,’ she replied with a little smile darting on her lips, ‘we are on a different plane and I created this area, but it’s not truly real.’

‘But it seems it,’ I replied.

She nodded, ‘because I will it to be so.’

I looked around again and watched two brown rabbits appear from behind a rock and start nibbling at the grass. I felt oddly relaxed and calm, all my worries had slipped away and I had this faint recall of being back home. I turned to Rain and found her removing her black mask.

‘I’m going to get changed. There are rooms up there,’ she said, pointing to the balcony.

From this angle, I could now see four white doors and as Rain moved off, I followed her to an almost hidden staircase which was joined to the wall.

‘So, the ruins of the cathedral are not real?’ I questioned.

‘They are real. I wouldn’t have been able to make it so stable otherwise. Tourists sometimes stubble on here, but they normally can’t see any of this. I made it well protect from everything and only those I let in with me can stepped through the portal.’

We had climbed the stairs and come to the top. I looked out and saw an even better view then before. Rain turned her back on it and indicated to each of the doors as she told me what lay behind them.

‘The first is my room, the second is the bathroom, the third can be yours’ for now if you want and the four is locked. So, you can’t go in there and don’t ask what’s there because if you thought all this was a bit mind blowing, well!’

Rain tossed her hair over her shoulder and smirked. I nodded, never having been one to probe further into such matters. Rain straightened from her slight lean on the railing and walked to the first door.

‘Do whatever you like and we’ll talk whenever you want. Time is permanently frozen here,’ she called over shoulder as she opened the door and stepped in.

I nodded as it closed behind her and stealing a last look at the view, I walked to the third door and stepped inside. The room was large, with bare stone walls, dim lighting from a small modern chandelier and no windows. A double bed was before me, freshly made and there was a desk opposite with a wardrobe beside that. I walked over, opened the doors and saw an array of clothing neatly hung up.  I pulled out a simple, long white cotton robe and got changed into it.

Leaving my other clothes, armour and my sword on the bed, I inspect the bedroom more closely, but there was nothing else. Leaving, I went into the bathroom and found it very modern with its bright white and sliver sink, toilet and shower. I ran the sink tap and water gushed out. I drink deeply, before turning it off and drying my hands and face on a soft white towel. The idea that none of this could be real was far from my mind.

Walking out, I went and looked over the rail. Resting my arms across the cool marble, I tried to get my mind thinking about Rain. I really wanted to know who and what she was. However, I didn’t seem able to grasp or follow any trains of thought. It seemed that every few moments, no matter what I had been thinking, my mind went blank and the paradise garden filled my thoughts. Shaking my head, I wondered if she was a powerful witch, or else something along those lines that I’d just not heard about before. That didn’t feel right though and as I struggle to think deeper, the garden rolled across it and I couldn’t help but admire it again.

I went down the staircase and wondered through the area. The beauty of the flowers and animals was beyond description as well as the aromas, which were sometimes different in certain areas due to the clustering of the flowers. I have no idea how much time passed before I saw Rain again, but as I walked up a spiral staircase at the far end, I came on to a platform and there she was.

She was sat in a large chair that had been shaped inside the trunk of a living oak tree and there was another one opposite. A table gently shaped into that form from a very low oak lay between them, with a large basket of fruit on it, which Rain was eating strawberries from. She indicted to me with her head and hand to help myself and I gladly selected a red apple. I sunk into the other tree chair, finding it soft and cosy, then began eating.

‘How is everything?’ Rain broke into conversation and it seemed to dispel my constant thought problems.

‘Fine, thank you,’ I replied.

‘There’s a spell on the garden. I forgot to tell you before, though you’ve probably been feeling the effects all ready.’

I nodded and bid her to carry on.

‘It doesn’t affect inside the rooms or in this spot. I come here to clean my mind and soul, so part of the spell so to stop thoughts and memories from developing,’ Rain explained, she rubbed her left wrist on the edge of the table, ‘this is the only place I can find peace now,’ she sighed softly.

‘What?’ I asked.

‘No. I want to hear your story first.’

‘My story?’

‘Yes. Who are you and want are you doing here?’

‘Well…I’m Blaze,’ I answered then stopped, realising she hadn’t known my name this whole time, ‘I probably should have told you that before.’

‘You were districted and sometimes withholding your name is a good thing. Your enemies could use it against you,’ Rain said, pointing a watermelon slice at me, ‘it’s nice to meet you Blaze. I’m Rain,’ she added and held her hand out.

I went to give her mine then realised the table was too long for our hands to meet and shake. Rain laughed and threw a grape at me. It struck my chest and bounced on the floor. I looked down in shock at where it had hit and then back at her.

‘Saving your life makes us best friends,’ she responded in-between giggles.

‘The Demigod bear,’ I muttered as it all came back to me.

Rain fell silent and nodded.

‘I don’t think I thanked you probably for that…’

‘It’s fine. Go on, I really do want to hear all about you.’

‘All right,’ I replied and finished off the apple in a few quick bites, ‘I guess we should start at the beginning.’

To Be Continued…

Wishing Well

The Wishing Well

 

Lost Princess Ashling Glamourlance, Sovereign of the Twilight Swamps beheld Ravens Wishing Well. She breathed a sigh of relief and pushed the last of the tree branches away. Stepping into the small clearing, she brushed down her body covering black dress. Autumn leaves, twigs and dirt clung to the frilly layers of the skirt and patches of dried blood stained the bodice. Her knee length boots were also mud splattered.

A soft, almost worried neighing came from behind her. Turning, she encouraged the Midnight Stallion, Thorn, to come forward. The mighty horse shied away, stamping the soft soil and shaking his head. Ashling stopped and debated going over to him. However, it didn’t seem worth using up the last of her energy to force the stallion onwards.

‘Stay there,’ she called to him.

Thorn lowered his head and fall silent. Ashling turned back and walked over to the Wishing Well. The circle of grey stones was moss covered and the water rising to the brim lapped against the sides, seemingly by its own force, as there was no wind in the clearing. Ashling peered into those depths. A single red leaf floated on the surface, creating small ripples. She put her hands on the cold stone and leant in further, but she could not see anything.

A twittering noise and flipping of wings caused her to look up. A small regal finch had landed opposite. It regarded her black eyes and then looked into the water. She looked down again and started to recite the spell she had memorized.

‘Oh, Wishing Well of Ravens old, listen to my tale upon this moonlit eve. Save me from this haunting fate that I desire no more. Take away this curse, so cruelly cast at birth and let me survive this dying light.’

The leaf bobbed and caused larger ripples. Ashling held her breath and kept her eyes on the water. Nothing else seemed to happen. Her fingers grabbed the stone tightly, going numb. At last she let go of the breath and gulp down cold air. Tears prickled at the corners of her eyes, but she kept them on the water.

‘Please,’ she whispered, ‘I do not want to die this night. My people need me still and there is no one left to protect them. How can this be the will of the Gods? I’ve done everything that was asked of me. Please, grant me this one wish.’

Thorn neighed loudly in a definite warning and clopped over to her. He nuzzled her shoulder and went to put his nose into the water. Ashling caught him and pulled him back.

‘No. None must drink from the Enchanted Well,’ she told him.

He whined and pressed his head into her chest. She patted him and casting a longing look at the Well, mounted him. The sense of hopeless filled her and she knew nothing would unseal her fate.