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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12. Inquisition

“Faith, go see if Mr Reid is still in the kitchen.  If he’s not, go to the main office and ask for his address, please.” Leonard said through frigid lips.

Faith got to her feet and bolted from the room.  “Willem, go check on your brother and let him know what we’ve discovered.”

“What can I do?” I asked as Willem left the office.

“Can you do a tracker spell?” Leonard asked.  “Just in case he’s tried to run off.”

“I don’t know any, if there’s any it would be in my book and that’s back home…”

“No.” He cut me off, “We haven’t got time.  Could you write one yourself?”

“I can try.”

As I began to write dozens of variations of spells Faith returned with a file in her hand.

“Kyle Stewart Reid lives on Ivy Row in apartment 14G.” Faith said flicking through the papers of his file.

“Hm, makes sense it’s right next to the woods.” Willem said appearing behind Faith with Riley in tow.

“Is the spell ready, Billie?” Leonard asked stealing my gaze from Riley.

“Almost but I’m also going to need a map and a picture of him.” I said.

 

Leonard dug through one of his desk drawers before producing a map and Faith removed a staff picture from Kyle’s file.

“Do you have a stapler or some tape?” I asked.

I spread the map out on the floor of Leonard’s small boxy office and placed the picture of Kyle where the school would be on the map.  Riley tore a piece of tape from Leonard’s tape dispenser and handed it to me to tape the picture to the map.

“This is only the second spell I’ve written so I’ll apologise in advance if it doesn’t work.” With those words Willem and Faith took two steps back and left Riley and Leonard standing at either side of me.

“Over land and sea, Where’er he be, Follow the running man Reid, This my spell does decreed, Map his quest, Map his tracks, Lest his feet relax.”

 

Over Kyle’s picture a small glowing bead appeared.  It shot across the map to main street and hovered there, vibrating.

“I think that’s where Tony’s is.” Willem said, “The pizza place.”

The glowing bead started moving slowly down the street and stopped once more before moving much faster.

“He’s in a car?” Faith thought out loud.

“It looks like it.” I replied.

The bead wound itself around town making stops at places we knew public crossings were and eventually came to a stop at Ivy Row.

“Ivy Row is his address according to school records.” Faith said.

“Come on,” Leonard began making a move for the door, “We’re going to have us a little chat with Mr Reid.” Leonard said grimly.

 

Riley helped me to my feet as I picked up the map and placed it in my pocket.  As we walked through the school corridors I noticed that the students were back in class.  Leonard led us to the side exit of the building where the walled in school car park was.  He kept striding passed all the cars and headed onto Lemon Street, further on passed Holman Boulevard.

“Okay, we’re out of the way of the school cameras now it’s safe for Billie to teleport us.”  Leonard said shocking me.

“I’m not sure I can take all of you at the same time.” I added.

“Please try, I know you can do it.”

“Okay, everyone take hold of me.”

Willem and Faith stood behind me grasping my upper arms while Riley took my right hand and Leonard took my left.  A familiar feeling passed over me when his hand took mine.  Not something in this lifetime but quite possibly in the past.

“What?” Riley asked.

“This feels familiar.” I said looking up at Leonard.

He gave me a crinkly eyed smile and said “Very familiar.”

I tore my gaze from him to look over my shoulders at Willem and Faith.  “Okay, I’m going to turn on the spot once I’ve counted to three so be prepared to turn with me.”

 

I got an “Okay” from Willem and a grunt from Faith in acquiescence.

“One… two… three.” I said then turned on the spot.

Just like my last teleport with Leonard, they all bent over panting for breath.  Once they’d caught their breath and straightened up, we walked down Ivy Row looking for apartment block 14.  There were a few down this street and they all looked the same.  Slate coloured bricks, teal coloured roof and barely bigger than the school.  At the front of each, next to a glass panelled door, was large brass numbers and buttons to contact each apartment in the building.  When we finally found number 14 Willem walked up to it and tried to open it.

“Locked and there’s an inner door also.” He said peering through it.

“I’m guessing that will have a lock on it also.” Riley said.

“I can get inside and unlock them for you.” I said, teleporting before they could argue.

 

I unlocked the first door and turned once more appearing behind the inner door and opening that one also.  When they had all filed in I waved my hand and the bolts on the doors snapped into lock.  When I walked to the first step I felt a burning sensation in my pocket.  Pulling the map out, the little glowing bead flew off the page and hovered a few inches from where I stood.  It was beginning to blaze red and I could feel heat rolling off it in waves.

“Lead the way.” I said and the bead floated up the stairs hovering now and then until we caught up.  Upon the fifth floor was apartment G, the door was painted a teal green and a silver G was screwed on just beneath the peep hole.  The glowing bead disappeared once Leonard took a hesitant step forward to knock on the door.

“Who is it?” Kyle asked in that unfamiliar accent.

“It’s Leonard Smith.”

Kyle unbolted the lock and opened the door slightly, “What do you want?”

“We just want to talk.” I said gently.  “Can we come in?”

He sighed in resignation and said “Okay, come on in.”

 

The apartment was neat and clean yet the rooms were small but inviting.  Kyle led the way into his sitting room before taking a brown leather chair near the window.  Willem and Faith stood solitary by the door to the apartment while Riley, Leonard and I sat on Kyle’s leather sofa.

“What is it you wanted to talk to me about?” Kyle asked.

“Oh, I think you know, Kyle.”  Leonard said menacingly.

“No I don’t know.  So why don’t you get to the point.”  Kyle said rapidly in a lilting accent.

Leonard opened his mouth to speak once more but I stopped him by holding my hand up.

“Where are you from, Kyle?”  I asked conversationally.

“Aberlady in Scotland.”

“Why did you come here?” I spoke still conversationally.

“My mum and da’ split up when I was sixteen,” Kyle began looking away, “when the divorce was final she moved to New York and took my sister, Ashley, and me with her.  We haven’t seen our father since 1987.”

“Where is your sister and mother now?” I said whilst Leonard fidgeted uncomfortably on my left.

“My sister lives in New Jersey, she’s married with kids and my Mum is a hospital in Yonkers.  She’s being treated for cancer.”

“Why aren’t you with her?” Riley spoke up.

“She isn’t insured, I work three jobs to help pay for the medicine and Ashley gives when she can but she’s got two bairns and a third one on the way so I’ve been doing my best to help pay the bills.”

“Where else do you work?” I asked.

“At Tony’s on Main and that little tackle shop at the end of the street.”

“I’m sorry.”  I said genuinely.  “We’re here because we saw you on the school security cameras today, Kyle, you were spitting into four bottles that belong to my friends here.  Can you please tell us why?”

Kyle almost smirked.  “I was approached about a month ago by a girl, she seemed rich.”  he said nonchalant.  “She said that if I played part in a prank for her she’d pay my mother’s medicine bills for a year.”

“Why would she do that?” Riley asked.

“She’d heard that I’d been attacked a couple of nights before and that I’d lost money from taking time of work to convalesce.”

“You were attacked?” Leonard asked.

“I was fishing with a colleague from the tackle shop and we were out most of the day.  When we rowed back to shore it was dark.  When we got back to my car the engine wouldn’t start so Tom ran off to get help and I was left alone in the woods.  He was only gone five minutes when a wolf leapt out of some bushes next to my car and jumped me.”  He paused.  “He bit my leg and my shoulder.  Doctor said I should’ve taken a lot longer to heal because my leg broke but it healed in less than three weeks.”

“Sun set isn’t far away, Leonard.” Willem spoke up from the background.  “We won’t be safe if we stay here.”

“Where were you these last two nights, Kyle?” Leonard asked in a rush.

Kyle looked Leonard in the eye.  “I don’t know but the last couple of mornings I’ve woken up naked and covered in dirt.”

“He’s a werewolf?” I whispered to Leonard and he nodded.

“What was that?” Kyle asked his eyes meeting mine.

“Kyle, there isn’t an easy way to say this but…” I looked at Riley and Leonard and they nodded me on, “you’re a werewolf.”

He laughed.

“I’m not kidding, Kyle.  You’re a werewolf.”

“I suppose that makes you the tooth fairy, then?” Kyle laughed making his accent flutter.

“No.” I said blinking and then appearing behind Kyle.  I placed my hands on his shoulders, “That makes me a witch.”

 

Kyle launched out of his chair.  I waved my hand and the sofa Riley and Leonard were sitting in swung forward knocking Kyle’s feet out under him.

“The thing is, Kyle.” Leonard began.  “My family and I are Sun-Walkers AKA Vampires and your saliva is poisonous to us.  It was only on Miss Black’s fast thinking that saved Riley’s life.” Leonard nodded to Riley.  “So we are very angry with you.” Leonard said revealing his fangs.

“I didn’t know, I swear.”  Kyle said jumping from the sofa.

“Too little, too late.”

 

Leonard pounced in such a terrifying yet graceful movement.  Kyle hit Leonard hard in the chest and sent him flying.  It was only then I noticed how much the sky had darkened.  Kyle began to convulse, hitting the floor hard.  His legs and arms elongated and changed at the joints making a grotesque image.  His short clipped hair began to grow by the second until it was thick and dense, soon fur was growing all over his body and his eyes changed colour.  His torso thickened and burst out of his clothes, with a sickening snorting noise his face twisted into something more canine.

“Out!  Everybody out!” Leonard shouted still showing fang.

The wolf leapt to his feet, shook himself and turned his gaze on us.  The rumbling in his canine throat was the first warning before his attack.  The sandy furred wolf leapt toward me first but missed as some invisible wind lifted me upwards.  “Billie, over here.” Riley shouted panicking near the door.

“I can’t.  I don’t know how, I’m still learning.” I said.

There was another sickening growl only this time it wasn’t from the wolf.  Leonard sprang across the sofa and pinned the wolf to the floor.

“Leonard, don’t hurt him!  He didn’t ask for any of this.”

“Don’t tell me what to do, Josephine!” he shouted back at me.

The shock of him shouting at me and calling me by my old name sent me falling to the ground.  Riley, timely, kicked the sofa towards the small fire so I wouldn’t fall on the floor.

“Get out, I’ll be there in a second.  If he attacks you his venom might kill you this time.”

“And his teeth and claws might kill you.” He protested.

“Go!”

Riley walked out the door but didn’t leave while I clambered over the couch to Leonard who still had the wolf pinned.  The wolf was scrambling trying to free himself of Leonard’s clutches and snapping at his throat often.  I saw a black leather belt hanging over another leather chair and waved my hand.  The belt soared into the air and came around the wolf’s jaws closing them shut.  Leonard was looking less like a man and more like a monster.

“Leonard, do not hurt him.” he growled.  “Look at me.” He turned, his eyes looked bloodshot but ten times worse.  The red lines on his eyes were thicker and darkened the grey of his iris’.  he turned away still fighting with the dog.

‘Help me, Josephine, give me words to stop him.’ I silently prayed.

 

Leonard, my dear friend, come away. I said as we stood in a filthy alley in the pouring rain.

He attacked you! he hissed at me.  He must pay.

How do you expect to turn your back on darkness and lead a life in the light if all that you see is in fact darkness?

You will teach me.

I have been teaching you but look at what you are doing.

The boy Leonard had pinned to the ground was scrambling beneath Leonards iron grasp.  True he was trespassing and when I caught him raiding my kitchen cupboards he attacked but Leonard knew full well that I was more capable of protecting myself than he realised.

Leonard, there are other ways of punishing him.  Take him to the police, let them deal with him.  Hes merely a thief.  A hungry homeless thief.  Do you expect any better?

You are a Lady he said it as if it were a title, and you are my friend.  You deserve better treatment. He said choking the boy.

These are dark and desperate days, Leonard, but I care not if some boy steals a loaf from me.  You are so close now to walking in the sun.  Isnt that what you want?

Yes, more than anything. he said softening.

Then come, my dear friend, you are much better than him.

Leonard let the boy go and followed me home.

 

Leonard now had his hands around the wolf’s throat and Josephine had given me words.

“Come Leonard,” Leonard gasped and his grasp loosened, “come, my dear friend, you are much better than him.”

“Oh, Josephine.” Leonard let the wolf go.

The wolf was too weak to fight us so he just let us tie his paws and carry him out of his apartment.  We took the wolf Kyle back to Riley’s house and locked him in the basement, removing his bondages once we had made a comfortable space for him after much urging from me.  Leonard hadn’t said a word to me since leaving the apartment and it made an uncomfortable evening for us all.  Not until we were alone together in their sitting room did he speak.

“You have your memories?” he said.

“No, she shows me them when I need to remember.” I explained.

“How did she know to show you this evening?”

“I asked her to.”

“How does she feel, when you remember me?” he asked tentatively.

“I think I was very fond of you.”

He left his chair to sit next to me.

“I think I was very fond of you, before I met my husband.”

“Very fond.” He said.

“Fond like the way I am about your son now.”

Leonard blinked.  “Riley is my nephew.”

“Please, Leonard, you can fool them but you can’t fool me.  The way you fought for them is more than the love of an uncle.”

He sighed.  “They can’t ever know”

“Don’t you think they deserve the truth?”

“Yes, but they deserve a better father, also.  I was a monster for the better part of my life, I did terrible things.”

“I’m sure they’d understand.”

“Would they?” he asked looking away.  “For almost two hundred years they have believed that I am their uncle and once I told that lie I just couldn’t take it back.”

“Leonard, if you don’t tell them then I will.”

He gasped.  “Give me time, Billie.  At least until we’ve ridden the town of these ungodly evils.”

“Not good enough.  You have to face the truth that some of us might not make it.”  Leonard hung his head in defeat.  “I’ll make you a deal.  I don’t know what Riley, Willem and Faith intend on doing after graduation but if you haven’t told them before I go off to college then I will.”

“That’s the best deal you have to offer?”

“Yep.”

“Deal.”  He said and shook on it.

 

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