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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20. Heartless

At once all the curtains flew back as the window shutters outside snapped open to let the sunlight come pouring in.  Willem pulled a curtain off it’s railing and threw it over Christian/Hugo before he turned to ash as the other Eve-Walker’s did.  Riley jumped on Desiree, pinning her to the ground as he filled the room with shadow now that the other Eve-Walker’s were dead.

 

Riley struggled to stand upright whilst still keeping a firm hold on Desiree.

“She’s getting stronger already.” he said to the room at large.  “I wasn’t expecting it to take effect so soon.”

“Time to get some answers.” Said Leonard as he helped Riley tie Desiree to a chair.

“Are there any more Hugo Moon followers waiting to take over should you fail?” I asked jumping right in.

“No.  You killed the last of them by letting the sun in.” Desiree said as Willem and Faith went around closing the curtains and window shutters.

“Why would you want to resurrect Hugo Moon?” Asked Riley.

“Our family have been waiting for the opportunity for years!” She spat.  “My father was created by Hugo Moon, his name was Dermot Hart.  He sought out an evil witch, one that knew of ways to bring back dead Eve-Walkers but, of course, he had to pay a price for her assistance.”

“What did he have to do?” Leonard asked impassively.

“Children.  She wanted children to carry on her legacy of black witchcraft, The Hart Craft we called it.  Evil witches are rare to come by and she wanted to make sure her legacy lived on forever.”

“So the evil witch was your mother and your father was created by the first vampire.  What happened to them?  Why aren’t they here helping you?”  Willem asked as he and Faith joined our circle.

“Mother may have been powerful but she was still human, idiot.  She raised us for twenty years before she passed away.  Father was killed by a witch twenty six years ago, she had only just come into her powers just weeks beforehand.  Another Black witch.” she said meeting my eyes.

“That must be Riona.”  I said to the Smiths.  “Riona is forty-four now so she would’ve come of age twenty six years ago.”

Desiree hissed.  “So, you were the one left to carry out Daddy dearest’s dirty deeds after he died?” Leonard asked.  “Neither of your siblings knew?”

“I informed Astrid of our father’s plan before we moved to Penn Gate.  Father had always planned to use Christian as our sacrifice so I saw no reason in telling him.”

“How could you do that to your own brother?” I asked disgusted.

“It is a blessing.”  she shouted.  “But now he is empty, I removed his soul so that Great Father’s spirit could take hold of his body.”

“He’s not empty.  My spell should have undone all your evil doings.” I explained.

“Magic can’t bring back the dead, Billie.” Leonard said.  “No matter how powerful you are.”

“But he’s not technically dead.  Is he?”

“Only one way to find out.” Willem said before whipping off the curtain he’d used to protect Christian’s body from the sunlight.  “Yo, Hart!  You in there, man?” he said poking his arm.

 

Christian stirred at Willem’s touch before opening his eyes.  “Where am I?  What happened?” he croaked.

“You’re alright, apparently.  Billie reversed the ritual.” Leonard said resting a reassuring hand on Christian’s shoulder.

“What happened to the others?” he asked.

“Don’t worry, I took care of them too.”

“Desiree.” He groaned.

 

We turned in time to see her slip free of her bonds prior to pouncing on me like an animal.  Her feral face smiled as my head collided with the hard marble table.  I watched her fighting Riley and his family, saw her sending them soaring across the room as my world began to crumble until all that was left was darkness.

 

****************************

 

The sound of screeching tyres brought me back to life, I had hoped that Riley and his family had disposed of Desiree and were now driving me to the nearest hospital.  Of course my hopes were in vain.  When I opened my eyes I was buckled into the front passenger seat of Desiree’s sports car.  Through the tinted windows I could see there was still some daylight left outside and that I was still in Penn Gate.  I hoped I’d only been out for a few minutes but the looming dark clouds told me otherwise.

As Desiree turned on to Lemon Street she said, “You’ve brought this on yourself.”  When she saw I was awake.

“Where are you taking me?”

“Somewhere far away from here.”

“What did you do to the others?”

“Relax, they’re not dead.”  She said her hair whipping as she turned to face me.  “I want them to see you suffer.”

 

As she extended her fangs I saw the school up ahead next to some newly dug road works.  Desiree was just about to take a bite at my arm when I swung my arm out, grazing my elbow on her fangs, and telekinetically spun the wheel around.  It was the distraction I needed to get out.  Still controlling the wheel with my left hand, I used my right hand to flatten the accelerator to the floor as the car headed toward the ditch in the road works.  I blinked hard and found myself in front of the main doors as Desiree’s sports car went flying into the ditch.  The front doors were bolted shut, I could’ve easily used my powers to unlock them but that would make it easy for Desiree to catch up with me.  Instead I teleported in and ran down the corridors till I reached Leonard’s office.  The corridors were still decorated from the prom, the committee would have a lot to clean up by the looks of things.  In his office Leonard’s telephone had his cell phone number programmed into one of the speed dial buttons.  I punched the button hard and listened to the ringing tone for a few seconds.

“Leonard, it’s Billie.  I’m at the school.” I said when he finally answered.

“Where’s Desiree?”

“I sent her flying into the ditch in the road works.  It’s still quite light out so it might take her a few minutes before she works her way through the shaded areas.”

“You don’t think the crash could’ve killed her then?” he asked.

“I don’t know.  I seriously doubt it.”

 

In Leonard’s tiny office I could hear thudding near the front of the school followed by an enormous crash.

“Bitch!  Where are you?” I heard Desiree shout.

“Oh, god, she’s in and by the sounds of it she’s broken down the front doors.”

“She’s getting stronger.  Can’t you just teleport out?”

“No, I’m weak and tired after she smacked my head of the marble table.  I can barely teleport more than ten feet.  You lot better get here fast ‘cause I can’t hold her off forever.”

“We’re already on our way now but you might have to fight her yourself, Billie.”

“I’ll try.” I said before hanging up.

 

Desiree’s echoing footsteps were getting closer to the office so I teleported out and found myself in the long creepy art corridor.  Desiree’s footsteps began to pick up in pace so I ran in the direction of the gym.  Only seconds later she was at the end of the art corridor where I’d started and soon only several feet behind.

“I’m gonna get you!” she shouted gleefully as her snarling face smiled.  “Your fear makes the blood beneath your flesh boil so sweetly.” she said sniffing the air.

“You’ll have to catch me first.”

 

She lunged at me with her right hand reaching towards my hair, I jerked to the left out of her reach as she collided with a major face plant into the nearest set of lockers.  She hit the floor hard leaving a large dent in it whilst I ran off toward the gym once more.  Any other time I would’ve found Desiree’s face plant hilarious but whilst running for my life I wasn’t in a humorous mood.

 

Reaching the gym I had to stop to catch my breath.  I kneeled over with my hands on my thighs when I noticed a small vial dangling from a chain around my neck.  It was the holy water Nana had given to me before Prom!  I yanked the chain off and chugged down the entire vial of holy water.  In my gut I knew she would eventually catch up with me and bite me, no amount of running could stop that but if she bit me now the holy water wouldn’t have had it’s chance to work it’s way around my body yet.  I had to find a way of delaying the inevitable.  I threw the vial into a trash can in the teacher’s office when Desiree came crashing through the doors.

“Look at you, you’re a pathetic little human.  Do you really think you can out run me?” Desiree said approaching me in a casual walk.

 

Teleporting was no longer an option as I could practically feel my magic telling me ‘No, sorry, we’re out of service’.  Of course it could never fully leave me because the magic is a part of me so I always felt its presence no matter what condition I may be in.

 

I ran out the nearest door using up the last of my energy, I ran as fast as my sore feet could carry me from Desiree and found myself in the maths corridor.  All the running had given me an adrenaline rush which had kindled a spark of magic for me to use.

 

Desiree was striding down the corridor towards me, I threw my arms out and gave all I had to send Desiree away from me.  She barely stumbled, the spark wasn’t enough.  I’d need a roaring fire to fight her off by myself.  Turning away from her advance I began to run yet again but my attempts were feeble, Desiree had gotten faster.  Winning the upper hand she came up another corridor without my noticing and stuck her foot out as I almost ran right past her.

 

Hitting the floor hard, I started to slide along it until I smashed into the opposing wall.  Yelping as I crushed my wrist and smacked my head of the nearest locker.  I cried in pain and as I tried to right myself Desiree took a handful of my hair from behind and dragged me upwards.

“This is for my sister.” She hissed in my ear before sinking her fangs into my throat.

 

I gasped at the sting of her fangs, the sucking of my blood and the tight grip she had of my throat.  Her arms held me tight in position and she kept one hand over my mouth to muffle my screams.  After two minutes of unendurable pain her body shuddered and then her fangs retracted.  I escaped her grasp as her arms loosened and fell to her sides.

“What have you done?” she said her voice quavering.

“Holy water.  I drank it in the gym, I had to give it a chance to circulate my blood, so ran away to try and hold you off.”

“I’m dying.” she said slumping against the lockers.

“You deserve it.” I said hobbling away from her.

 

I heard the screeching of tyres once more as I began to drift in and out of consciousness.  When I opened my eyes Riley was by my side whilst Willem drove a stake through Desiree’s heart.  When he pulled the stake from her chest Desiree’s eyes rolled up into her head and her body turned to ash.

“How did you - ?” Riley began.

“I spiked my blood with holy water.”

“Oh, Billie…” Leonard began as he and Faith joined us.

“It was all I could do, I tried to fight her but I wasn’t strong enough.  Letting her drink the holy water through my blood was the only thing I could think of that didn’t involve using my powers.” I explained.

“We’ve got to get her to a hospital fast.  She’s lost a lot of blood.” Riley said as he scooped me up into his arms.

 

********************************

 

I couldn’t remember passing out when Riley carried me, all I was aware of was movement around me when the whispers began.

“Do you think she’s coming to?”

“Looks like it.” Said another.

“Should I get the doctor?” a third whispered.

The more aware I became, the better I recognised the voices.  The first voice was Riley, the second Dulcie and the third was my brother, Brian.  I opened my eyes but they were so heavy that I’d barely made slits.  I could feel something in my hand, another hand.  Oh, yes!  Of course with that distinct hospital smell I knew where I was and what I had seen in the crystal ball several weeks ago told me that it would be Riley holding my hand.  I could hear the buzzing of machinery and see the bright lights above me as the whispers subsided.  The lights above me was suddenly reduced as several silhouettes stood beneath them peering down at me.  My vision was still skewered so I couldn’t see who they all were when the hand in mine gave me a squeeze.

“Billie, are you awake, love?” Riley’s voice asked.  I squeezed his hand back in answer.  He chuckled lightly.

“Switch that light off.” said someone standing opposite Riley on my right side.

 

I heard the quick light steps move over a linoleum floor before the lights above blinked off.  I forced my eyes open more fully so I could take in my surroundings better.  All around the room were flowers and balloons but around my bed were my family and friends.  Nana, Brian, Riona, Rowanne, Riley, Dulcie, Faith, Willem, Matilda and Leonard.

“Are you awake, Billie dear?” Nana asked.

I cleared my throat.  “Yes.” I said clearly.  “How’s Christian?” I asked Leonard.

“He’s got a long way ahead of him, and he’s grieving for his sisters, but hopefully with a little help I think he’ll be alright.”

“You two got home safe, then?” I asked Brian and Dulcie.

“Yeah, shame we couldn’t say the same for you.” Brian said.

Dulcie looked around at Matilda and the Smiths and said, “Perhaps we should give Billie some time alone with her family.” Looking pointedly at Matilda’s back.

 

Leonard and the others eventually caught on to Dulcie’s drift that we shouldn’t be having this conversation with Matilda present.

“Yes, good idea, Miss Cortes.  Who wants coffee?  It’s all on me.” Leonard said retreating from the room.

“So how long have I been out?” I asked once Matilda was out of earshot.

“Three days.” Said aunt Riona.

“They said they will have to keep you in for a day or two, to keep an eye on you, but they promised you’d be out in time for graduation.” Nana explained.

I groaned.  “You’re lucky to be alive, you know.” Riona said crossly.

“Mom, leave her alone.  She stopped the big bad evil and saved that Christian guy.”

“What about the others?” I asked.  “Miss Berry and the kids who went missing, did they find them?”

 

They gazed each other silently willing each other to speak up.

“When Riley and his family returned to Desiree’s home,” Nana spoke up, “they found your teacher and your classmates in the basement.”

“Miss Berry was already dead, they said she’d been drained of blood.  They called for an ambulance but the other two didn’t make it.  We saw the doctor pronounce them dead when the ambulance arrived.” Riona explained.

“I didn’t save them?  All of that was for nothing?” I said tears stinging the corners of my eyes.

“No, Billie, they could have done much worse.  You stopped them from killing everyone.  It wasn’t for nothing.” Rowanne said in an attempt to comfort me.

“Visiting time will be over in a few minutes, folks.” Said a young ebony skinned nurse poking her head through the door.  “You might want to say your goodbyes.  Your girl here needs some rest.”

“Could you get Riley, please?” I asked Rowanne.  “I want to see him before you all have to leave.”

“Of course, cousin.” She said giving my unwounded hand a squeeze.  “I’ll be right back.”

 

Riona, Nana and Brian each gave me a hug or kiss before saying goodbye and leaving me alone with the nurse.

“Good evening, Miss Black.  I’m Alexa Cain, I’ll be taking care of you while you’re here.”

“Thanks.  So what is wrong with me?” I asked her.

“Well, you lost a lot of blood and you broke your right wrist.  The rest is mainly nasty bumps and bruises.” Alexa said approaching my right side.  “Is there anything we’ve missed?” she asked concerned.

“No, may be a bit of a migraine.”

 

Alexa took a step toward me where I got a better look at her now that my vision wasn’t quite as blurred.  She wore pale blue scrubs with a name tag clipped to her chest pocket and black sneakers.  Her hair had dreadlocks but they were all tied neatly at the nape of her neck.  Her eyes were brown with a hint of green to them that gave an earthy effect when you looked into them.  She was really young and possibly not ten years older than myself.

“Would you like something to eat?” she asked sweetly.

“Yes, please.” I said as my stomach gave a grumble.

“Okay.” she said smiling.  “I’ll be right back.  Would you care for some orange juice?” she said moving towards the door.

“That would be great thanks.”

“No problem-o.  Give me five minutes.” she said disappearing through the door.

 

Before the door had a chance to swing shut Riley stepped back into the room.

“How are you?” he said as he sat by my bedside again.

“I feel like crap but I’ll live.  How come Willem didn’t just heal me?” I asked.

“He did as much as he could but you had lost a lot of blood and we have to be careful not to rouse suspicion if you recover at an alarming rate.” he explained.

“Oh, yeah, now I see.”

“Is there anything I can get for you?”

“No, Nurse Cain is going to get some food and orange juice.”

“Okay, anything I can bring in for you?  You might be laid up in here for a couple of days, would you like something to read?”

“Actually, if there’s any letters from colleges I applied to could you bring them in?”

“Of course.” he said smiling.  “Anything else?”

“Could you may be bring in a puzzle book or something?”

“Yes, absolutely.” he said kissing my forehead and then my mouth.

“Uh, sorry to interrupt but visiting hours are over now.” Alexa said side stepping back into the room with a stack of toast in one hand and a jug of orange juice in the other.

“That’s okay.  I’ll see you tomorrow.” he said before planting another kiss on me and walking out the door.

“I’m sorry about bursting in like that.  I didn’t see your boyfriend return.” Alexa humbly apologised.

“That’s okay.  Thanks.” I said when Alexa handed me the toast.

“Well, it looks like he’s put some colour back in your cheeks anyway.” she said genially.

I laughed.  “Yeah, I guess he did.” I answered, feeling the heat radiating in my face.

 

I’d forgotten about my injured wrist when I raised my hand to feel my burning cheeks.

“Ouch.” I yelped as I twisted it.

“Careful now, we just got you on the mend. You don’t want to go back to square one again, do you?”

“No, ma’am.”

“Here, let me have a look.” she said peeling back the Velcro straps and removing my sling.  “Wow, you’re really hot.  But not to worry, I’ve got the remedy right here.” She said placing her cold hands on my broken wrist.

 

I felt the cooling sensation of her fingers soothe the heat away whilst I felt a familiar little spark that quickly sent the pain away.  I was used to the little spark of my own magic gave by now but it was another thing when another person’s magic took me by surprise.  My eyes wandered all over the young nurse, while she soothed my wrist with her ability to heal, I searched for the Witches Mark.  There, on the back of her left hand, was the mark of the crescent moon and three stars.  When my shocked gaze met hers she asked, “What’s wrong?”

In answer to her question I raised my left arm with my palm facing her so she could see the same Mark there on my left forearm.

“Um, I hope you feel better, Miss Black.  I’ll check on you later, I’ve got a lot of work to do.” She said dropping my wrist and heading to the door.

“Oh no you don’t.” I said flicking my good wrist and slamming the door closed telekinetically prior to flicking my fingers to twist the lock.  “Why are you running away from me?  I’m a witch, too!”

“Shh!  Please, keep you voice down.” She begged desperately.  “I already knew you were a witch.”

“Then why are you trying to hide from me?” I asked reasonably.

“The Preacher’s, they’re surfacing again.”  She said trying to pull the door open.

“What do you mean the Preacher’s are surfacing and who are they?”

“They are mortal religious men who know that witches still exist and they won’t be satisfied until they crucify us all.” She said sending shivers down my spine.  “They killed my grandmother, my uncle and my brother.  Our family scattered soon after their deaths.”

“Why?”

“They find it easier to track us in groups, we don’t know how they do it.” Alexa said tears rolling down her cheeks as she clung to the locked door.  “We had a sister coven and my sister advised them to do the same but they chose to stay together and they were massacred.”

“Oh, my god, I’m so sorry.”

“They’ve already killed others.  Your friend, Dulcie Cortes, her parents were witches and the Preacher’s killed them also.”

“Has this been going on since the Salem Witch Trials?”

“No, that ended.  Similar but not the same.  These men’s intentions are cruel and bestial, you best hope you never ever meet them.”

“I’ve always thought my family were hiding things from me.  Always the feeling irked me that there was something they had been keeping from me.” I said stepping out of bed.   “Did they kill my parents?” I asked moving closer to her.

“I don’t think I should -”

“Did they kill my parents?” I pronounced each word with perfect clarity.

 

Alexa had done with trying to pull open the door and turned to meet my terrified gaze.

“Yes.  You’re parents’ deaths was not accidental.”

I gulped.  “What about my aunt Sophia and her son Vincent?  They went missing.”

“I’m sorry.” she cried.  “I only know of your parents.  You should be asking your family these questions, not me.  I’m sorry.  Please, let me go.”

I let loose my magical hold of the door.  Rather than let Alexa run out right away I caught hold of her arm.

“I need you to make sure nobody comes into this room for a while.”

“Why?” she asked.

“I need a few words with my family.” I explained.

“How will you get out of here without security stopping you?”

“I’m a teleporter.”

“I thought you were telekinetic.” she said nodding at the door I had previously shut without laying a finger on.

“I’m the first born of my generation.”

“Oh, I see.” she said wiping away her tears.  “You have one other power than the rest of your generation.”

“Yes, and I’m going to use it to get me home.”

“Okay, I’ll cover for you.  But if you’re not back in bed in ten minutes I’m going to report you missing.”

“Fair enough.  See you in ten minutes.  I need to have a chat with my family.”

 

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