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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17. My First Kill

I was getting better and better at writing spells all the time and, by the time I’d filled a whole notebook with all kinds of spells I could think of to keep my impending doom away, I began working on enchanting protective charms.  My first practice batch was disastrous, instead of protecting me, all they did was make my hair stand on end.  I got the enchantments perfected on my fourth practice batch and then begun to charm some jewellery to protect others as well as myself.

 

The next school day I saw Tilly standing with her back to her locker staring into space.

“Tilly, honey, are you alright?” I asked placing a tentative hand on her shoulder.

Her gaze met mine as she snapped out of a daze.  “Yeah, Bill, sorry.  I was just thinking of Eve.” Tilly turned away and I saw that she wasn’t staring at nothing but at a school poster for prom.  “She was supposed to go to prom with Pete Holmes.” she said.

“Yeah, I heard he’d asked her out.”

“Pete’s real down.  I think he really liked her.” she said looking down the corridor to where Pete stood alone.

“I’ve got something for you.” I said.  “Would you like a present?” I said in an attempt to cheer her up.

“A present?” she said facing me.

“Here.” I said handing her a box with pretty hair clips I’d enchanted.  “They were my Mom’s but I want you to have them.  I think they’d look real nice with the dress you picked for prom.”

“Oh, Bill, that’s real sweet but you shouldn’t be giving me your Mom’s jewellery.” Tilly said.

“Of course I can.  Besides, they’re her lucky hair clips.”

“I’m not sure if I’m even gonna go to prom, though.”

“Why not?”

“Because she’s not here and I’m not sure I want to go without her.” she said, tears pooling in her big brown eyes.

“I don’t think she’d be very happy with you if you missed prom, Tilly.  I think she’d be having a few words with you right now if she could.”

“You’re probably right.” Tilly said attempting a smile.

“You know I’m right.  I’ll see you in algebra, Till.”

“Matilda.” she said as I turned away.

“Huh?”

“Matilda.  I think Tilly is just a bit juvenile, now.  Do you think you can call me Matilda?”

“Of course.” I said turning back and hugging her.  “I’ll see you in algebra, Matilda.”

“Thanks.” she said clearing away her tears then smiling.

 

As I walked away I turned back once to see her sliding the hair clips into her hair and checking herself out in her compact mirror.  I gave Pete a small wave as I crossed his path and said ‘Hi’ but I wasn’t sure if he even knew I was there.  He must’ve had a thing for Eve for a while now but then I soon found out that the whole school was upset with Eve’s death, even those who hadn’t known her that well or those who didn’t even like her.  The topic for all the conversations were either about Eve’s death or Mal, Lois or Miss Berry’s disappearance’s.  Brian was still avoiding Astrid and had started to avoid me also when he discovered I was keeping a close eye on him and following him whenever he was alone.

“Why are you following me, Billie?” he said catching me by surprise that afternoon when I lost track of him.

“I’m sorry, I was worried about Astrid’s behaviour and I was afraid she might harm you.”

“What could she possibly do to me, really?  Key my car?”

“Here.” I said, changing the subject by handing him a blue velvet box.  “I think you should have this.”

 

Brian opened up the box to remove a chunky gold men’s bracelet.  “Uh, it’s hideous.” he said.

“It was Dad’s.  Mom gave it to him on their first anniversary.”  I said, making Brian feel guilty.

“It’s Dad’s?  Seriously?”

“Yes.”  I didn’t really want to give it to him but it was the only piece of male jewellery that I could find to enchant.

 

Brian put the box in his book bag before putting on the bracelet and shoving it up his sweater sleeve.  When I looked at him questioningly he said, “I do have standards, you know. I don’t want anyone seeing me wear something that was popular in the 70’s.”

“As much as I love you, Brian, you can be a real brat sometimes.”

He scoffed.  “Oh, thanks.”

I sighed.  “Are you still seeing Astrid?”

“I’m trying not too.”

“Just break up with her already!”

“It’s not that easy.”

Brian turned away from me and put his hands behind his head.  “Talk to me.” I urged him turning him to face me again.  “Brian, you rarely leave the house other than to go to school.  You never hang out with your friends.”

“That’s because none of them like Astrid and she never let’s me go out with them without her.”

“You’re not her pet, Brian.  She can’t stop you from going out with your friends.”

“But she does, Billie.  And she hates the fact that Dulcie lives with us.”

“Look, why don’t we go out?  Hm?  Me, you, Riley, Faith and your friends we could go to the next Panthers and Eagles game on Friday night.  Yes?  Then we could all go to Lorna’s Coffee Loft afterwards.  How does that sound?”

“No Astrid?  How do we get around that?”

“We just won’t tell her.” I said winking.

 

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

 

When we arrived at the football stadium on Friday night I saw that Dulcie had, regretfully, planted her cheerleaders right in front of the bleachers we were sitting in.  When Astrid caught sight of Brian, whom was sandwiched between Faith and a girl from his own year called Kimmy Ross, she had a face like thunder.  But of course all the time the cheerleaders cheered Brian only had eyes for Dulcie, something else to piss Astrid off.  But for once in a long time our team, the Penn Gate Panthers, were on form in their red and black uniforms embossed with the large black panther on their chests.  The cheerleaders continued to cheer on the school spirit and whilst watching them I noticed Matilda was wearing Eve’s shell top instead of her own.  The name ‘Montgomery’ was on Matilda’s back instead of her own ‘Stanley’ shirt.  According to Dulcie, Matilda was donning Eve’s top in commemoration of her friend.  Although Eve had been slimmer in the bust department it still fitted Matilda well.

 

During half time Astrid approached the bleachers, where our group was lounging, and asked Brian for a word in private.  I had written almost a full notebook of spells for destroying them and I had stashed a couple of them in my jeans pocket before leaving for the game.  Astrid led Brian down to the back of the bleachers where there was a water cooler for the footballers and cheerleaders.  I climbed to the top of the stairs and peered over the edge to get a better look at what was going on.

“You said you liked me.” I heard Astrid say.

“I do but all this talk of running away together sort of freaks me out, Astrid.  I just think you’re moving too fast.”

“What are you saying?  Are you breaking up with me!?” she asked hysterically.

“I didn’t say that.” Brian said defensively.

“You might as well.  I saw you watching Dulcie, you were practically drooling all over her.”

“Now you’re just being paranoid.”

“Yeah, right.” I whispered to myself.

 

My whisper had carried down to them as they looked up to see my head peering over the edge.  Astrid grunted, grabbed Brian’s hand and led him through the doors to the girls’ changing rooms.

“Where are you going?” Faith asked as I sprinted down to the bottom of the steps.

“She’s taken him into the changing rooms where I can’t see him.”

Neither Faith nor Riley followed me as I ran through the same doors Astrid and Brian had disappeared through.  I slowed my pace once I heard Astrid’s whiney voice complaining about Brian ogling Dulcie in her skimpy uniform.  They were in the front area of the changing rooms where a load of wooden stalls kept us divided and out of each others’ sight.  I silently slid along the coat racks to get a little closer in case things got out of hand.

“Astrid, we don’t have to break up if you would just listen to me.” Brian said desperately.

“I want to be with you, Brian, forever.  I won’t let anyone else get in our way.  I’ll kill them if I have to.” Astrid said frantically.

“Astrid, you’re acting crazy.  Just calm down.”

“DON’T TELL ME TO CALM DOWN!” Astrid roared revealing her fangs.

“What the -?” Brian began.

“You’ll see, Brian.  We will be together, forever.”

 

As she advanced on him I jumped out from my hiding place and placed myself between them.

“Over my dead body, bitch!” I shouted at Astrid.

“That can be arranged.” she said smiling her terrifying toothy smile.

 

I flung my arm out and she moved, not with the force of my smack but the force of the flow of sparks I used to move things telekinetically.  I hadn’t known I could move people, also.  Astrid got to her feet, clumsily, and made her attack again.  Once again I felt the pull of magic like I had felt when I had astral projected outside of Astrid’s gate and gained the double vision again.  My astral projection found herself behind Astrid and yanked a handful of her hair.  She spun Astrid around before letting her go to collide with the wall.  My astral-self met my gaze and said, “I’ll keep her busy, you say the spell.”

 

Even though Astrid was much stronger than myself she quite clearly had never been taught how to throw a punch which I guessed was most likely because she was afraid to break a nail.  During the fight it was my astral-self that took the blows that came her way but I still felt them as she received them.  As they both sparred I flattened a stunned Brian up against the nearest wall and spoke my new incantation aloud after rummaging around in my pocket to retrieve it.

 

“In darkness, In light

My magic does fight

The evil, The beast,

The damned and deceased.

Your blood and your gore

Shall be no more

As I end this spell

And send you to hell.”

 

My astral form grabbed Astrid’s hair, once more, and moved in for another punch as Astrid herself sucked in air and belted out one long shrill scream before bursting into flames.  Once the flames subsided all that was left of Astrid was a large pile of ash and one of her hair extensions in astral Billie’s hand.

 

The boost of adrenaline I’d received made my astral projection and I join together once more.  Once my vision had completely returned to normal I heard footsteps and turned in time to see Riley and Faith speedily approaching.

“Get out of here.”  Faith said staring at the pile of ash on the floor.  “Everyone heard a scream now they’re on their way.”

“Take my hand.  I’ve got to get Brian home and somehow erase his memory.”

 

I placed one hand under Brian’s arm, as he stood still frozen, and Faith and Riley took my other arm.  After a blink we found ourselves in my own living room where Nana was sitting watching television and drinking herbal tea with Midnight in her lap.

“What the hell - ?” Brian began as he noticed the change of his surroundings.

“Nana, do you have a spell or something to erase someone’s memories?” I asked her.

“What!?” she said choking on her tea.

“I performed magic in front of Brian.  Astrid took him out of my sight, I followed and I saw Astrid advance on Brian.”

“What do you mean by advance?” Faith asked.

“She moved in for an attack.  She was going to turn him into an Eve-Walker.”

“So where is Astrid now?” Riley asked.

“Well, I had to kill her.  She was going to turn Brian, if I hadn’t stepped in her way, and then me.”

“You killed her?  With what?” Faith asked disbelievingly.

“With a spell.”  I said handing them the paper with the spell.  “I also sort of astral projected and my astral form kept Astrid busy while I cast the spell.”

Riley and Faith stared at me gob smacked.

“So,” I said turning to Nana, “can you cast a spell on Brian to make him forget?”

“Well, the human mind is a very tricky object to cast a spell over.  Only witches born with some power of mind control can do it safely.” she explained.

“Are you saying you can’t do it?”

“No, it’s just too risky.”

“Well, then, I guess we’re going to have to tell him the truth.” I said meeting her gaze.

Nana sighed.  “Mr Smith, Miss Smith, could you please give my grandchildren and I some privacy.  There are turkey sandwiches in the kitchen along with some chocolate cake so please feel free to help yourselves.  I daresay, once we’re done here, Billie will want a word with you.”

“Do you think Desiree knows yet?” Riley asked still lingering.

“Hell yeah she does.” Said Dulcie, shocking us, as she came through the front door.  “We all ran to the changing rooms to find out what the heck all the screaming was about but Desiree got there ahead of us.  She’s pissed, I mean seriously whacked out crazy pissed. I can still feel her.” She said shivering.  “I mean look I’ve got goose bumps for crying out loud.” Dulcie said holding her arms out for inspection.

“Dulcie, could you please show Riley and Faith to the kitchen?” Nana cut in.

“Oh, sure.”

 

Dulcie escorted Riley and Faith out of sight until the door swung shut behind her.  Brian was still in shock and had been sitting on the couch in silence.  There were no tears pooling in his eye but his face was white as a sheet.

“Brian?” I said as Nana and I stood in front of him.  “Say something.”

He met our gaze.  “What are you?”

We are witches, as are you.” Nana said eloquently.

“Witches?  Is that why Grandma Preston didn’t want me anymore?” he asked.

“Grandma Preston is a bitter old woman whom isn’t worthy of your love.” I said angrily.

“So, I’m right?”

“We believe so.” Nana sighed irascibly.

“What happened to Astrid?”

“Astrid was a vampire.  She started off as a good one but her sister convinced her to try and turn herself into the bad kind of vampire.” I explained.

“Good kind?  Bad kind?”

“The good kind call themselves Sun-Walkers.” I said.

“And the bad kind call themselves Eve-Walkers.” Nana added.

“Desiree had turned herself into an Eve-Walker by killing my friend Eve.  Astrid was planning to turn herself, by killing and turning you if I hadn’t stepped in.”

“Is that why you’ve been following me everywhere?”

“I was trying to protect you from Astrid.”

“Why have they gone bad?” Brian asked crossing his arms over his chest defensively.

“Desiree has been planning, for some time now, to raise the first ever evil vampire and put him in her brother’s body.” I answered.

“So what did you do to Astrid?  I saw some sort of replica of you fighting her as the real you pushed me up against the wall.”

“Before I tell you, just promise you’ll remember that Astrid was going to kill us both if I hadn’t acted so swiftly.” I pleaded.

“What did you do?” he repeated austerely.

“The replica of me was in fact my Astral Projection.  She kept Astrid busy as I invoked a spell to kill her.”

“Spell?”

“Yes, we’re witches, Brian, and witches cast spells.”

 

Brian sighed heavily as his face flushed red.  He quickly leapt off the sofa and began to pace up and down.  “Is it just you guys?” he asked through tight lips.

“No.  Our whole family have been witches for centuries.” Nana explained.

“So we really did have relatives killed in the Salem Witch Trials?” he asked.  “I thought all this was just old woman crazy-ness.” he laughed maliciously indicating the framed articles, certificates and pictures.

“It’s all real.  In fact your sister is a reincarnation of one of them.” Nana said to Brian, cajolingly.

She crossed the room to him and put an arm around his shoulder which he shrugged off and moved further away from us.

“Brian, I didn’t know about any of this, either.  I just found out a few weeks ago on the night before my eighteenth birthday.”

“It’s true.”  Nana said.  “Your father wished to give you a normal childhood until you both came of age.”

“And I begged Nana and Riona to tell you the truth when I found out.”

“You seem to be handling it rather well.” he brusquely said.

“No I’m not.  I reacted the same way you’re reacting now and trust me it’s going to be a lot easier for you than it has been for me.”

“Easy!?” he humourlessly laughed.  “You think this is EASY!?”

“Of course I don’t.  Almost every time I look in the mirror my past life is staring back at me.  My past life destroyed lots of evil beings and now one of them is about to be raised from the damned to kill me.”

 

I stopped talking when I felt someone place their hand on my shoulder.

“You’re just making him angrier.” I heard Dulcie whisper in my ear.  She moved over to Brian, still in her cheerleading uniform, and then put her hands on either side of Brian’s face before saying, “Brian, don’t be afraid.  You’re with those who love you most and they’d never let anything harm you.  It’s okay, I know.”

Brian’s heavy breathing  slowed to his normal rate and his flushed face returned to his normal olive tone.

“Just let it go.” Whispered Dulcie.  “Give me all your anger and strife.  Let it wash out of you.”

When Dulcie let Brian go he heavily sat down on the couch once more.

“Dulcie?” I said apprehensively.

“Just give me a minute, Billie.” She said before storming out through the kitchen door.  Only seconds later I heard her in the back garden roaring and kicking plant pots.

 

When I ran out behind Riley and Faith I saw her attacking the garden bench at the rear of the garden.

“Dulcie, stop!” I yelled running to her side.

“I can’t!  I’m just so angry!” She said, mascara filled tears running down her bronze cheeks.

“Listen to me, this is not you!  You’ve already channeled Desiree’s anger and now you’ve taken on Brian’s.  You have to let it go.” I pleaded placing my hands comfortingly on her shoulders.

She batted my arms away as if they too were causing her great pain.  She sunk to her knees in the grass and stuck her hands over her ears.

“Why does it have to hurt so much!?  Why can’t they just leave me alone?”

“Dulcie, let the anger go!”

“I don’t know how.” She sobbingly shouted, still on her knees.

“Stop fighting it and let it go.”  she finally looked up at me with red rimmed eyes.  “You can do it, Dulcie.  I believe in you.”

 

She sat panting heavily a while before removing her hands from her ears.

“Sorry… for… yelling.” She said before passing out.

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