The Black Craft

How can I fear the end when I know that where I am
headed is to a new destiny?
Being a reincarnated Witch isn't easy. 18-year-old Billie
is struggling with coming to these terms. On the eve before her
eighteenth birthday she discovers she and her family are Witches,
her best friend is an Empath and the school Principal is a
Vampire.

The first eighteen years of her life she's been kept in
the dark all so that she and her brother could have a normal
childhood. But her fathers' choices has led to disastrous
consequences. Billie must learn to conrtol her powers and gain
strength as the first Vampire is reborn in the small town of Penn
Gate.

A lot of questions surround the new kids, Astrid, Christian and
Desiree. Billie doesn't trust them and likes it even less
when her own brother, Brian, begins to date one of them. But
what can she do about it when she has to keep her own secrets
safe?

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18. Brian's 100 Questions

“Blanket.” I said, with a wave of my hand the back door opened and the blanket in the kitchen cupboard came zooming out after a wiggle from my fingers.

“Do you want me to carry her to her room?” Riley asked.

“No.  I got her.”

 

I wrapped the fleecy blanket all around her before raising my arms and telekinetically levitating Dulcie off the ground.  The blankets spilled all around her and her dark hair, drawn high upon her head, began to shimmy from side to side as I moved her towards the house.

“Whoa, I didn’t know you could use your powers on people, also.” Faith said.

“Yeah, something I just learned today myself.” I responded.

 

When I made my way into the house and through the hall to the bottom of the stairs Brian followed me up.

“What are you doing?” he asked.

“Telekinesis is one of my powers.  I’m just using it to carry Dulcie upstairs.”

“Is Dulcie a witch too?”

“No, Dulcie is an empath.  She can feel emotions of all those around her and sometimes, very rarely, she can use her gifts to remove certain emotions.”

“Is that what she did to me?  Removed my emotions?”

“Well, she doesn’t exactly remove them.  She can either pacify you or get you all keyed up before taking your prior feelings into herself.  That’s what she did to you.  You were angry, she soothed you and took the anger into herself.”

He sighed.  “This is a lot to take in.” he said.  “What happened to Astrid, Bill?”

“I sort of had to vanquish her.  She was crazy and she was going to kill us, Brian.  I swear I wouldn’t have done it if I felt I had another choice.”

“I knew there was something going on that she wasn’t telling me.  She was really nice when I first met her but over the last couple of weeks she was just  plain crazy.”

 

When we reached Dulcie’s room I settled her on her bed and wrapped her blanket more tightly around her.

“I still don’t understand.”  Brian began as I led him out of Dulcie’s room.  “What does Nana mean when she said you’re reincarnated.”

“In my past life I cast a spell to be reborn again.”

“You can remember it?” he asked shocked.

“No.  Josephine told me so herself.”

“Why would she cast such a spell?”

“She said she foresaw an ungodly evil being resurrected but she wouldn’t tell me who, I had to find out by myself.  She’s given me a couple of memories from my past life back but casting that spell isn’t amongst them.”

“How did you know you were reincarnated though?”

“Riona told me they thought I was a reincarnation of one of our ancestors and then she showed me this.”

 

Once inside my room I pulled out the old photo album my aunt had shown me several weeks ago.  Opening the album to the page with the picture of Josephine on it Brian gasped.

“Yeah, kind of eery isn’t it?” I said.

“She looks exactly like you.”

“Other way around, Brian, I look exactly like her.”

“What else is there?” he asked excitedly.

“There’s also The Black Craft.” I said pulling out our family spell book.  “The Black Craft is our families spell book.”

“It’s black magic?”

“No, ‘Black’ doesn’t mean black magic, its our family name.  It’s our family craft.”

“You’ve been a witch since your birthday, right?”

“Yeah, Nana’s been teaching all sorts of things.”

“Like what?”

“Like how to use my powers, how to cast spells, make potions and charms.  Even the smaller things like tea leaf, runes and tarot card reading.”

“You have more than one power?”

“Yes.  It’s a long story.”

“I’ve got nothing but time.” he said shrugging and leaning back on my cushions.

“According to Nana, every witch in our family is born with three powers.  Every witch can astral project, you saw that yourself, and levitate.”

“Levitate, you mean fly?”

“No its not really flying but more like floating or hovering.”

“Show me!” he said excitedly.

“I’m still learning, Brian.  I’ve only been doing this for a couple of months, remember?”

“Can’t you try?  Please?”

 

I sighed defeated and closed my eyes.  I waited for the sensation of the non-existent wind that had swept me off my feet before.  I crossed my legs and placed my hands idly on my ankles and still no such sensation occurred.  I thought about the magical spark within me and pictured in my mind it spreading through my body and lifting me up.  When I was about to give up I heard Brian’s whispered, “Whoa!”

Opening my eyes and looking around me I saw I was levitating as a real witch could.  No more rush of wind, I was levitating higher through my own control with the help of my magical spark.  I moved around the room and Brian’s awed gaze followed me.

“The other power, what about the other power?” he asked as I hovered above my bed.

“Well, a normal witch would have a third power unique to all those in their family.” I explained.

“Normal?  You mean there are abnormal witches?”

“Well, not exactly abnormal.  Witches like myself, Riona and Nana.  We’re the first born our generations and we each have a fourth power.”

“What makes you different from anyone else in the family other than being the first born?” he asked almost enviously.

“Since I’ve just come into my powers I will become coven leader, once I’m ready and willing to take my chair amongst our family coven.”

“We have a coven?”

“Yes.  Nana was made coven leader when she turned eighteen and when Riona turned eighteen she took over from Nana.”

“So that means you’ll take over from Riona?”

“Yes.”

“Is it just the women in the family that are witches?” he asked curiously.

“No.  There are male witches, also.”

“Was Dad a witch?”

“Yes, he was.”

 

His session of twenty questions had somewhat lapsed into silence at the mention of our father.  I couldn’t think of a way to change the topic of conversation to a lighter subject.  Instead we continued to talk about more miseries our family had endured.

“If Vincent was still around he’d be turning eighteen next year, too.”

“So would Ruby.” I added Vincent’s comatose twin sister.

“Has their deaths, disappearances and coma’s got anything to do with us being witches?” he astutely asked.

“I don’t know.  There’s still a lot I have to learn, Brian, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there were any more secrets our family is hiding from us.”

“What do you mean?”

“It’s just a feeling I get sometimes.”

“What makes you think they would keep secrets?”

“They kept the fact that our whole family are made up of witches, with the exception of relatives through marriage, our whole lives.  I think that’s enough reason to believe there is more they aren’t telling us.”

“Yeah, you got me there.” he agreed frowning.  “I’m kind of glad,” he said looking up at me once more, “even though it feels so cruel, that you were raised the same way I was, too.  I think I’d feel utterly betrayed if it was just myself left in the dark.”

“Trust me I was plenty pissed when I found out that we were the only two to be raised that way.”

“You’re kidding, right?  I just assumed our whole family were raised with a normal childhood until a certain age.” Brian said angrily.

“No, I’m not kidding, they all had a magical childhood.  Do me a favour though, Brian, and try to keep your emotions in check.  Dulcie went from living with only one other person’s emotions, other than her own, to the three of us.  It’s not easy on her so let’s try and make it less difficult, okay?”

“I’ll try.” he promised.  “So there are witches, empaths and vampires.” he began again, “anything else?”

“Well, yeah, there are also werewolves.  If there’s anything else I am currently unaware of them.” I said moving to the door.

“Where are you going?”

“I have to go see my vampire boyfriend.”

“You’re boyfriend is a vampire?” he asked shocked.

“Yeah, his whole family are vampires.  Don’t worry, they’re the good kind.”

“The Sun-Walkers?” he asked unsure.

“Right.”

“Wow, Bill, just how Bella Swan are you?” he joked.

“Shut up, witch.  I like me some Edward Cullen but I am no Bella Swan.”

“Yeah, how does Riley like the R-Patz poster on your wall?” Brian laughed.

“I’m going to treat that with the contempt it deserves.”

“What he hasn’t noticed?” he roared with laughter.

 

I levitated over to the poster and, regretfully, took it off my wall.

“He won’t now.”

“Wait.”

“What?” I asked annoyed as I moved towards the door once more, pleased that I seemed to be getting the hang of levitation.

“You never told me what your fourth power was.”

“I used it to get all of us out of the changing rooms earlier.”

Brian gazed back at me blankly.

“Teleportation.” I sighed.  “I think of where I want to go, blink and hey presto!  I’m there.”

“Really?” he smirked up at me.

 

I shot him a scornful look, blinked and found myself levitating above the bed.  But of course, since this was the first time I’d teleported whilst levitating, I fell.  As  Brian fell around laughing I stood up and shook myself off.

“Well, if you’re finished with the hilarities I’ve got to fight of an evil bitch of a vampire.  Otherwise she’ll kill me then sacrifice her brother to bring about the first ever vampire and turn the whole damn place to hell.  So if you’ll do me a favour, stay inside at night and don’t roam the town alone.”

 

When I left Brian in my bedroom I made my way downstairs to the kitchen where Riley and Faith were waiting.  With a soundless nod I led them out into the garden.

“So what’s the plan?” Faith asked abruptly.

“Keep your voice down, will you?  I don’t want my Nana to hear us.”

“What?  You do have a plan?” Riley asked surprised.

“I’ve been thinking of ways to stop Desiree but I don’t have a plan.  So let’s think, she’s quite clearly been here for months before they officially moved in.”

“Of course, that football player went missing before they moved in.” Faith air quoted the words ‘moved in’.

“Yes, so, I think that she may be the master mind behind it all but I don’t think she’s done it all by herself.  I think she’ll have someone helping her.”

“But you already got rid of Astrid.”

“Yeah, but they’ve cast a spell around their gates also in the crystal ball I saw them chanting a spell.  So I think it’s safe to say that Desiree has had some help.”

“How many do you think there are?” Faith asked frowning.

“I honestly don’t know.”

“What do you suggest?” Willem asked as he and Leonard walked into my back yard.

“Desiree surely knows by now that Astrid is gone and if she has someone to perform magic or can even do it herself she’s bound to know that it was me who killed her sister.”

“Absolutely.” Leonard agreed.

“I think she’ll be out for revenge.” I said silently.

“Well, yeah, but she already plans on killing you anyway.” Faith added casually.

“Well, what if there is only a certain time she can perform the resurrection?  She won’t be willing to wait to kill me now.”

“What are you getting at?” Riley asked impatiently.

“We set a trap and use me as bait.”

“WHAT!?” they all shouted in unison.

“Listen to me, this can work.  Tomorrow at prom Riley and I’ll pretend to have fallen out after a fight and I’ll walk home alone.”

“You want her to grab you?” Faith snapped.  “That’s crazy.”

“No, just listen!  When I leave the school I want you guys to follow me and wait for Desiree to attack.”

“Whose to say she won’t just kill you there and then?” Leonard asked appalled.

“She won’t!  She needs me for the ritual, remember?  So this is the plan, I leave, she jumps and you follow her.”

“Then what?” Faith asked.

“There’s a few spells in The Black Craft that can help and I’ve even wrote a few of my own.”

“When do we move in?” Faith said reasonably.

“Are you out of your mind?” Riley shouted at his sister.  “She could get killed! Are you really that cruel?”

“Look, I know I’m no Little Miss Sunshine and I haven’t been best buds with your girlfriend but I can’t honestly think of anything better.  Can you?”

 

Riley walked away from Faith shaking his head.  I reached out for him and he stopped in his tracks.

“There isn’t any other way.”

“And what do you expect us to do once she’s got you?  Watch you die?”

 

His great grey eyes shone with tears of anguish, I couldn’t stand to see him look at me like this.  I had no idea he felt so much for me.  I placed my right hand on his cheek as he kissed my palm.  I couldn’t bare to cause him more pain but I had to go on and make him see reason.

“No, Riley, I want you to follow her.  When she starts the ritual I want you to come in and distract her long enough so I can cast the spell that will undo the ritual.”

“I hope you’re not risking your life just to save Hart, Billie.  I’ll be very angry if it’s all for him.”

“No, I’m risking my life for Penn Gate, Riley.  Not just Penn Gate, in fact, but for the world.  Because, although, I can’t remember, Josephine keeps whispering to me how bad it all will be if he gets to live again.”

“Josephine is dead.” he said angrily.  He turned his back to us and sat down on the bench at the back of the garden.

“Can you guys give me a minute alone with him?” I asked his family.

“Yes, but while we give you privacy we’ll be thinking of a better way to stop her.” Leonard replied.

“There isn’t another way and you know it!” I shouted to Leonard’s back.

 

I walked over to the bench that Riley sat on and lowered myself down next to him.  He was sitting in the same posture as he had when I found him in front of his house a few weeks previous.  Head down, elbows on his knees and hands on his neck.

“Please, don’t be mad at me.” I said placing a finger under his chin, lifting his head to meet his eyes.  They were red rimmed and pooling with tears.  Riley grabbed my hand and kissed my palm once more.

“I’ll be mad at you if you get yourself killed.” he said pulling me close to his side.

“I won’t get killed if you follow me.  I know this is the right thing to do, Riley, I can feel it in my bones.”

“I don’t think I can stand to lose you.  I just got you, Billie.”

“Riley, Riley, Riley.  You are not going to lose me.”

“Are you absolutely certain you can stop the ritual?”

“No, I can’t stop it.  But I can reverse it.”

“Okay, let’s go over this with them.  One more time.”

 

Riley and I left a worried Nana at my house and we made our way over to Declan Street where Riley lived.  Once inside we began to fight with his family again over the plan but when they’d concluded they couldn’t think of anything better to do they agreed with me.  Leonard dug out an old map of the school and surrounding areas to find the perfect hiding place in wait of Desiree to make her move.  Temper’s were rising high near the end of the night and it was only when they saw just how worried I was, myself, that they stopped arguing and agreed not to fight anymore.

 

Riley came back to my house with me, this time I asked Nana to let him stay over.  She didn’t argue, evidently she could tell something was about to happen that she wasn’t going to like.  Riley and I curled up together in my bed and it took us forever to fall asleep.  The impending journey into the lion’s cage was on our minds all day.  Faith accompanied Dulcie and I into the school late on Saturday morning to help the prom committee decorate the gym hall.  Even without her gifts I was certain Dulcie knew there was something on our minds.

 

Every now and then I felt a familiar nudge from Josephine and every time I thought of Hugo Moon her voice lingered in my head and with it came the words ‘sinister’, ‘archaic’, ‘deleterious’ and ‘apocalyptic’.  Over and over again I heard her voice say those chilling words.  Faith had pointed out a few times, when I seemed to be in a world of my own, I had even said the words aloud.  Normally, Leonard was always interested when I said I could feel Josephine but when I told him of her forebodings he turned into a dark and silent mood.

 

On my return home I saw Brian sitting on the roof of the porch outside my bedroom window.  When I got up to my room I practically dragged him in through the open window.

“Are you insane!?  Do you know how easy it would be for Desiree to grab you?”

“Chill, Bill.” He said defensively.

“Do not tell me to chill and do not be so reckless in future.” I growled at him.

 

Nana had said he’d been more open to the truth of our family since Dulcie removed his anger the night before.  His open mindedness had been annoying her all day long because he was non-stop questioning her all the while I was at school.  I hadn’t bothered going dress shopping to Manhattan with Dulcie and her aunt Laura during the week so I decided to wear the dress that Brian gave me for my birthday.

 

I tried to look pleased to see Riley when I opened the door to him in his tuxedo.  Willem and Faith were right behind him in flattering evening wear themselves.  Apparently, Brian had asked Faith to the dance and Willem had asked Dulcie.  They had all been collaborating behind my back so that when Willem and Faith left to join Riley and Leonard, Brian and Dulcie would leave the prom to go home together.

“Wow!  You look amazing.” he said leaning in for a kiss.

“Thanks, you don’t look too bad yourself.” I said as he slipped a corsage on my wrist.

“You look pretty, Faith.” Said Brian, in an attempt to be nice.

“And you look like a penguin.” she said brashly.

“Enough.” Said Leonard stepping in behind them.  “Didn’t we promise no more fighting?”

“Yes, Leonard.” they said in unison.

 

Leonard’s suit was as impeccable as ever.  A neat, jet black suit tonight with a clean white handkerchief folded neatly in his breast pocket.  I felt a familiar little nudge from Josephine that made me approach Leonard to give him a small peck on the cheek.

“She thinks you look nice tonight.” I said in explanation.

“Oh.” he said clearly surprised.  “You look very nice yourself, Billie.”

“Hey, she’s my girlfriend, remember?” Riley said.  “Go find your own.” he said playfully.

“How about it, Josie?  Fancy joining us for a dance?” Leonard asked Nana.

“Oh, no, I’m an old woman now.” she said.

“I don’t know about that, Mrs B.  You’re as young as you feel my Dad always said.” Dulcie said descending the stairs.

 

When she came to Willem’s side he looked completely stunned.  Dulcie was wearing a knee length, strapless dress in a bronze colour that was only a couple of shades darker than her skin.

“Um… hi… um…” Willem muttered.

“Hello, I can’t believe you cut your hair.” Dulcie said beaming at him whilst giving a playful little tug at his newly cropped hair.

“I did it for you.”

“To be honest I kind of liked it long.” As Dulcie said this Willem’s face went white as a sheet.  “But I like it short too!” she added reassuringly.

“Oh, thank god!” Willem said putting a hand over his heart.

“Shall we get this show on the road?” Riley asked.

“Yes, lets.” Leonard said leading the way out.

“Good night.  I hope you all have a lovely time.” Nana said then pulled me aside.  “Here, put this around your neck.” She said handing me a small vial on a chain, similar to Riley’s but filled with clear liquid.

“What is it?” I asked her.

“It’s holy water.  I don’t know what you’re planning on doing tonight but I’m pretty certain I have an idea.” She said rapidly.  “One of the many weaknesses an Eve-Walker has is holy water.  Should you think she will attack you or bite you, drink this, once it’s in her system it will kill her almost instantly.

“Thanks, Nana.” I said kissing her cheek.

“I hope you don’t have to use it.  I’ll do my best from here to protect you.” she said.  “Make sure you have fun at prom beforehand, though.  It is a rite of passage after all.”

 

When I ran to the door Riley was waiting for me on the front porch steps.

“Can’t be too safe.” He simply said.

“Thanks.” I said letting him take my hand to help me into the awaiting black limo.  “Shouldn’t you be at the school?” I asked Leonard as Riley climbed in next to me.

“I thought it would be best if we all stuck together.” he explained.

“Yes, but it’s going to look incredibly suspicious to Desiree if the Principal arrives with us.”

“What do you suggest?” he asked.

“I think we should drop you off at the school parking lot before the rest of us arrive at the main entrance.”

“Fair enough.” Leonard said submissively.

 

Willem notified the driver to make a stop at the parking lot before turning around to stop at the front of the school.  Leonard leapt out of the car and soundlessly closed the door behind him.

 

At the brightly lit entrance there was a banner hung just under the school’s sign.  On a black glittering canvas in big bold red letters it read ‘Senior Prom 2010’.

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