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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19. Prom

“Well, you can’t argue that the school has spirit.” Faith said as we approached the entrance.

“If you think this is bad just wait till Graduation Day.” Said Dulcie.

“If we make it through tonight that is.” I said in a hushed voice.

Riley grabbed my hand.  “You can do this, Billie.  I believe in you.”

I smiled up at him.  “You always say the right words.”

 

Brian and Faith made some snorting and disgusted noises as Riley bent down to kiss me.

“Oh, suck it up!” I said smacking Brian’s shoulder.  “You think I liked watching Astrid play footsie with you?” I asked him.

 

Riley and I led the way through the door.  The committee had carried on decorating after Dulcie and I left in the afternoon.  The inside of the school was decked with more of the school’s colours and the football team’s mascot the Panther.  The corridors leading towards the gymnasium where the dance was being held were decorated with ribbons, balloons and paper roses.

The only thing different about the gym, since I was last in it, was the table of food and fruit punch.  Of course when I approached the table one of the bowls of punch had already been spiked.  I was surprised none of the authoritative figures hadn’t noticed the lingering aroma of vodka evading the punch bowl.  I would’ve opted for the liquor free bowl if it wasn’t for the floating cigarette butts.

“Lovely.” I said to myself turning and almost colliding with Christian.

 

Normally, Christian dressed to impress and always looked very neat and handsome but tonight he looked as if he had dressed in the dark and ran his hair through a bush.  The unkempt look was startling to all of his fellow female classmates as they were so used to his polished and urbane look.

“Where’s your brother?” Christian asked taking hold of my arm.

“He’s over there.” I said nodding in Brian’s direction.

“Hey, get your greasy fingers of my girlfriend, Hart!” Riley said threateningly.  Christian turned away from me to see Riley towering over him.  He quickly sidestepped Riley and made his way over to my brother.

“Hey, Black, where is my sister?  I haven’t seen her since yesterday and I can’t find her.” Christian said getting up in Brian’s personal space.

 

Before any of us could act Dulcie stepped in and answered Christian.

“Look, Brian broke up with Astrid yesterday and I had to kick her off the team for some very strange behaviour on her part.”

“Yeah,” Brian started lamely, “She got upset and ran off.  I’m sorry, I haven’t heard from her since yesterday.”

“Fine.  Listen,” Christian said starting to get agitated, “if you see her will you please tell her to come to me.  I’m really worried about her.”

“Of course, we’ll pass the message on if we see her.” Dulcie said.

“Thanks.” Christian said before tearing his way through the crowd towards the exit.

“So, Desiree hasn’t told him yet.” I said as Riley and I joined the others.

“Apparently not.” Willem noted.

“I can’t say I’m not pleased that she hasn’t.” Said Faith.

“What shall we do now?” Dulcie asked.

“Mingle, dance and have fun.” I said determined for them still to have a prom.  “When I want you to go home I’ll signal you.”

“What’s your signal?” Asked Brian.

“It’s the same signal for Riley and his family to follow me.”

When they all looked blankly at me Riley added, “Billie will signal you all by slapping me, really hard.” he added in an after thought.

“That will draw everyone’s attention.” Dulcie said shocked.

“That’s the idea, to get the crowds’ attention and Desiree’s also.  That way she’ll see me leaving the school all on my lonesome.”

“I’m not sure I like this plan of yours.” Brian said to me.

“Oh, shut up, there isn’t any other way.”

“Let’s go for a dance.” Riley interrupted.

 

Riley slid his arm around my waist and pulled me over towards the dance floor.  Half way through our second song I was about to speak when he bent down to kiss me once more.

“You know , we’re supposed to stage a fight in a little while but you’re making it awfully hard to be believable.” I said smiling once our mouths parted.

“Sorry, couldn’t help myself.” he said softly laughing leading us over to an empty table.

“What will you do after graduation?” I asked him.  “Will you move on to another school?”

“No.  We only came here to support Leonard when he got this job as Principal.  Trust me spending my time in a building full of adolescents isn’t my idea of a good time.” he said.

“Oh, really?” I said insulted.

“Oh, Billie, I don’t think of you as an adolescent.”

“So what will you do?” I said avoiding the subject.

“What will you do?” he asked pointedly.

“If I make it through tonight, you mean?”

“Billie…”

“Hypothetically speaking, I’d like to go to Salem State College.  It’s somewhere I wanted to go even before I found out I was a witch.”

“You want to study photography.” he said.

“Yes.  But I’d also like to learn more about my family and Josephine.  It’s also the same school my Dad went to after he Graduated high school.”

“Can’t Josephine give you the answers you seek?”

“Not all of them, she says.  Some things I have to find out for myself.” I said as I saw Matilda approaching our table.

 

She was dressed in a low cut lilac dress with high heels, a white corsage on one wrist, a sparkling silver bracelet on the other and the hair clips that had once belonged to my mother fastened neatly atop her curly ‘do.

“I’ll go with you.  I figured you’d go to college after school but I didn’t know which college you’d go to so I spoke to your Nana.”

“You applied for Salem State College?” I asked surprised.

“Yes.”

“What would you study?  I mean you’ve been around for over a century, you’re bound to have learned everything already.” I whispered.

Riley laughed.  “Not quite everything.” he said.

“For example?”

“Horticulture.”

“Really?  I never thought of you as a green thumb.”

“Oh, you’ve still got a lot to learn about me, Billie.” he winked.  “If we get accepted to Salem State then you’ll have plenty of time to get to know me better.”

“Hey, Matilda!” I said as she ditched her date to come talk to us.  “What’s up?”

“I was just wondering…” she said bashfully.

“What?” I asked.

“I know you probably hate me,” she began addressing Riley, “but senior year is almost over and I wanted to apologise for all the hard times I’ve given you and your family while I had the chance.”

“I appreciate that.” Riley said pleasantly surprised.

“I see you with Billie and you’re doing good by her and I’ve never seen her so into any guy before.  It would mean a lot if you could leave the past behind us and have a dance with me?” she asked nervously.

“I’d love to.” Riley said standing and taking Matilda’s arm.  “Bill, do you mind?”

“Not at all.” I said beaming at Matilda.

 

As Riley escorted Matilda to the dance floor Dulcie sneaked over and took a couple of snap shots of them on her camera before joining me at my empty table.

“Wow, has she had some sort of personality transplant?” she asked excitedly.

“I know it’s really nice of her, though.”

“Yeah, it’s nice to finish high school off on a high, right?”

“Right.” I agreed.  “So did you get any other pictures?”

“Yeah, I got a few nice snaps of you and Riley dancing, Riley and Matilda and even Brian and Faith.” she said clicking away at the buttons on her camera to let me have a look.

“Where’s your date?” I asked her.

“Oh, Will’s away getting us some non-violated sodas.”

“Non-violated?” I said giggling at her remark.

“Shut up!” she said giggling with me.

“It’s nice to see you in such high spirits.  Normally, most folks’ moods put you in a real bummer.”

“It’s intoxicating in here.” she said gazing around the room.  “Everyone is either enjoying the music, the spiked punch or each other.” she said staring pointedly at me.

“Well, what do you mean by that, DC?”

“I mean how incredibly turned on you and Riley were on the dance floor.”

“WHAT!?” I laughed nervously.

“C’mon it doesn’t take an empath to have seen the heat waves rolling of you two out there.” she said indicating the dance floor.

“Okay, hold your horses, Dulcie.  Riley and I are having a great time together so far but we haven’t really gone that deep into our relationship yet.”

“Well, you’re already calling it a relationship so he obviously means a lot to you.”

I sighed embarrassed.

“Come on, get with the smoochies!  How else am I supposed to live vicariously through you?” she teased.

“Well, look here comes Willem.  So you get with the smoochies and I’ll live vicariously through you.”

“May be I will.” she said before darting off to meet him half way.  She took their sodas off him, placed them next to me then dragged him down the dark and deserted corridor with a devilish smile on her face.

 

As the song ended I saw Riley gentlemanly kiss Matilda’s hand before they parted ways.

“Well?” I asked him as he sat down next to me.

“Well, she’s surely changed a lot lately.” he said.  “I thought I saw Dulcie sitting with you.”

“She was here for a minute and then she dragged Willem away to make out with him.”

“Oh, that sounds nice… for them.” he said blushing.

 

I leaned over a little and placed my hand on his thigh.

“May be we should go get some privacy too.” I said meeting his eyes.

“Billie…”

“We don’t have much time left, Riley.” I said kissing him for good measure.

“Okay.” he said standing and helping me up.

He froze with his hands in mine staring over my shoulder.

“What’s wrong?” I asked concerned.

“I’m sorry, Billie, it’s time for our performance.  Desiree is standing just ten feet behind you.”

His words sent a shiver down my spine and it felt like my blood had turned to ice.

“Leonard should have the car waiting outside for Faith, Willem and I.” he said.

I let out a long breath to steady myself.

“Are you ready?” he asked.

“I don’t know.”

“Just give it all you’ve got.” he said handing me a small pot full of eucalyptus oil.

 

I rubbed the oil under my eyes while nobody was looking.  As the cool stinging aroma of the oil began to water my eyes I handed Riley back the small pot.  I began to sniff and sob as I caught Riley a little of guard with my slap.  Riley staggered and almost fell over as we caught the desired attention from the crowd.  Whilst still sniffing and sobbing I turned on my heel and ran for the furthest exit that led to the empty side of the school near the parking lot.

 

The streets outside were deserted and the only sounds I could hear was the music escaping the gymnasium.  As I strode out of the parking lot I saw the car that Leonard had procured and planned to use to follow me once Desiree took the bait.  I tried not to stare at is as I walked on by, if I did I might draw attention to it.  I kept on striding passed the walled in parking lot and heard the car’s engine start up before I heard the faint clicking of heels on the sidewalk.

“Do you need a handkerchief, Billie?” Desiree said surprising me.

 

I turned to see her pulling out a small handkerchief from her little black purse.  The expression on Desiree’s face was one of pity and sympathy not anger or hatred.  Either I was very wrong about her or she was an incredible actress.

“Oh, yeah… thanks.” I said sniffing.  I raised the white cotton square to my nose and smelt something peculiar there.  “What is that scent?” I asked her.

“Chloroform.” Desiree said casually.

 

Before I could do anything Desiree pushed the tissue to my nose and held it there to make me breathe in the chloroform.  She held me tight to her body as I struggled to put up a fight.

“You made that too easy for me.” She whispered viciously in my ear.  “Now, I’m going to make you pay for killing my sister.”

 

I felt her dragging me away from the streetlights on the sidewalk before I gave into the darkness.

 

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

 

I didn’t know how long I’d been out but I could feel someone sitting on my legs as the drowsiness began to leave my foggy mind.  I was jerked awake with a slap on the face.

“Wake up, witch!  Time to rise and shine!” I heard Desiree’s manic voice say.

“Kiss my ass.”

This time she back handed me.  “I said get up.” she stood and kicked my feet.

My heavy lids flew open, Desiree was no longer in her emerald green dress she had worn the night before.  Instead she was wearing black jeans and a scarlet sweater.

“It’s time for the awakening and you’re my little present, Sabrina.”

“Oh, witch jokes.  Hilarious, see my sides are splitting.”

 

Desiree moved in to slap me once more but I telekinetically made her slap herself.

“Bitch!  You do that again you’re gonna regret it!”  Desiree said pulling me up off the floor and snapping some old fashioned looking handcuffs on my wrists then attached a long chain to them.  When she pulled me, using the chain, I saw that I was in their fancy trophy room with the grand piano.

“Move it, Hermione!  The quicker you move, the quicker you die!”

“Well, that’s not much incentive to encourage me.” I said and pulled on the chains to slow her down.

 

Desiree gave one hard yank and I was being dragged along on my stomach.  She pulled me all the way in chains into the living room that she redecorated into an altar.  The room was mostly in darkness apart from the odd candle burning here and there.  It must be daylight outside because all the window shutters were closed and the curtains were drawn for extra security.  I’d left the prom after less than half an hour when I’d arrived at eight o’clock with Riley and his family.  Desiree had removed my watch when she’d handcuffed me and so there was no way for telling the time.  When I got closer to the front of the altar I saw Christian chained to the marble table just like I’d seen in the crystal ball.  I could see that he had attempted to put up a fight at least, there were raised dark patches of skin all over his body.  Desiree had stripped his shirt off and had chained him up so that his arms and legs were splayed-out in the shape of a star.  By the look on Christian’s face I knew I wasn’t looking so hot either.

“Let her go, Des!  You don’t want to do this.”

“Oh, yes, I do.  I hadn’t planned on doing it so soon but our little friend here killed our sister and then I thought ‘The sooner, the better’.”

“You killed Astrid?” he said as Desiree tied me to the table at his feet.

“I’m sorry, Christian, she was going to turn my brother.”

“How can you even know how to kill one of us?”

“I’m a witch.”

“And soon you’ll be a very dead witch.” Desiree cackled.

“Listen, I can stop her too.  But you’ve got to stay calm.”

“She may be bat-shit crazy, Billie, but she’s still my sister.”

“She’s not crazy, Christian!  She’s been planning this for month’s.  Desiree is responsible for Eve’s death!”

“That’s not true.” he argued.

“It is.” I shouted at Christian.  “I’m sorry but Desiree is an Eve-Walker now and Astrid was planning on turning herself and Brian also.”

“Silence!” Desiree shouted before back handing me once more.  “The ritual begins.”  she said gleefully.

 

From the corners of the darkened room more vampires came to fill the altar chairs.  The Eve-Walkers, dressed in black robes, silently slid into the fold out chairs as another came down the aisle that Desiree had previously dragged me down.  The vampire was dressed in a velvet dark blue robe and Desiree had donned a robe the colour of ruby red.  The blue robed vamp had an ugly looking book that looked as old as The Black Craft when I had first stumbled across it.  He held the book tightly under his arm for I could see there were many loose pages and in his other hand he carried a ceremonial knife.  The silver was tarnished but the blade was sharp and deadly looking and the hilt held large opals and red stones.

 

The vampire bowed deeply to Desiree as he handed her the knife and book before retreating to the chairs.  Christian began to struggle in his chains once more as his sister moved towards him with the knife and book.  Desiree set the book down next to his feet and stood with the knife raised over his chest.

 

Although she hadn’t touched any wall switches the room had gotten darker.  This didn’t seem to concern Desiree or anyone else in her vampire audience.  I scanned the crowds before I saw him.  A pair of sparkling grey eyes gazed at me from under a black robe.  Riley!  He was sitting in the crowd with Leonard, Faith and Willem sitting close by.  I was grateful for the fact that everyone’s attention was now focused on Desiree and Christian as Riley caught my attention once more and winked.

 

As Desiree said a few words in a language I didn’t understand, as silently as I could, I telekinetically unlocked my handcuffs.  I let my hands rest in my lap with the pile of chains and handcuffs resting on top so that I still appeared to be in bondage. 

 

Whatever language Desiree had been chanting had an effect on Christian.  He was no longer struggling in his bonds, no longer shouting at his sister or uttering profanities at his audience.  Desiree had subdued him but Christian’s body still jerked and every now and then his eyelids fluttered as he murmured quiet threats.

 

Desiree slashed over Christian’s bare chest and began to chant in English, “We call the spirit,” slash, “we call the ghost, my brother I sacrifice,” slash, “his body your host.  Please come now Great Father,” slash, slash, “please come now the first.”  Desiree moved over to me and grabbed my right hand.

 

As infuriated as she was to see I was no longer handcuffed she continued to slash the knife across my palm.  Walking back to the head of her brother she opened his mouth and said, “We have your doomed killer, to quench your great thirst.”  To which she slid the knife to his mouth and let my blood stain his lips.

 

She moved back to her brother’s chest, using the knife she carved his skin in a circular motion whilst once more chanting.  When I half stood I saw that she had carved a pentagram onto his chest.  Desiree stood back to let the audience have a good look at her brother’s bloody chest.

 

I was about perform the spell I’d found in The Black Craft when I saw Christian’s tongue dart out to lick his lips.

“Mm, so young and so powerful.” he said in a raspy voice.  His eyes flicked open and they were bloodshot although not the normal kind of bloodshot.  The bloody red lines of his eyes were much thicker than those of a human’s which could only mean he was an Eve-Walker now.

“Josephine.” he said trying to lunge at me though still bound in chains.

“Hugo Moon, I presume.” I said, then telekinetically slamming his back to the marble table with one hand while I sent the approaching Desiree flying with the other.

“It’s been a long time my dear.”

“I’m not Josephine and I’m not your dear.”

 

I heard the snapping of wood as I turned to see Riley and his family tearing the legs of wooden chairs to use as stakes.  As Riley dispatched some of his closest vampires he shucked his robe and joined me at the marble table.

“Hold her, don’t let her escape.” I said pointing at Desiree’s retreating back.

“I think it’s time for your spell.” Leonard shouted at me as he pounced on two vampires moving towards me.

“You think a silly little spell can stop me?” Christian/Hugo said angrily trying to free himself.

“Let’s see shall we?  Good friends I’ve lost to evil’s plot, no more I’ll take this witch they’ve crossed.  They’ll pay their debt their work undone, this vampire threat will face the sun.”

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