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

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

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


2. School Affairs

As I stood there in the quiet corridor, I got another fright when somebody walked into me.  Principal Smith’s head was down as he came wandering down behind me.  We both shrieked and lost some composure before the Principal smoothed out his face and said to me in a casual tone, “Miss Black, shouldn’t you be in class?” he looked almost amused.

“Yes, sir.  Sorry, sir.”


Geography was only three doors down, upon entering the classroom I stopped short of the teacher’s desk which I realised was empty.  Principal Smith bumped into me once more as he followed me into the room.

“Miss Black, to your seat, please.” He said with a definite edge of humour to his voice.


Settling in my seat, my face flushed with embarrassment, everyone had turned to glare at me.  Only my friend, Dulcie Cortes, offered me a warm and welcoming smile.

“Preferential treatment again, Billie?” she joked to chide the glaring students.

“Hey, Dulcie.”

“Why does he always act so weird around you?” she asked in a whisper.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I said, squirming uncomfortably in my seat.

“Liar, liar, pants on fire.” She sing-songed.

“Dulcie, I don’t want to talk about it here.”


Mr Smith cleared his throat at the front of the class and all eyes turned to him.

“If I could briefly have a moment of your undivided attention before you return to your studies.  Unfortunately, Miss Berry has not been able to make it in today and we’re in short supply of substitute teachers so I shall be taking this class today or at least until further notice.”


Picking up a folder from the teacher’s desk he flipped open and spoke to the class with his head bent down.

“According to Miss Berry’s study plan, you’ve all been studying from these books.” He added, pointing to several stacks of books on the desk behind him.  He gave a stack to each person in the front row to pass down to the people behind them, before saying, “If you could pass this down, thank you very much.  When you each have a copy, please turn to page seventy and read to ninety-five.  Take note of your homework assignment already on the board behind me.”


The sound of the class opening their books to the right page filled the room until silence ensued only broken by the quick flick of a page as everyone read the text.

“Feel free to take notes,” Mr Smith said roaming around the room aimlessly, “everything in the text book will be in your written exam in a couple weeks’ time.”


The Principal meandered back to the front of the room where he remained there the rest of class.  He had an air about him that let everyone know that he was the man in charge; yet, at the same time he sometimes appeared to not know what the hell was going on.


He dressed in suits every day, never failing.  Crisp and pressed with a smart tie and handkerchief in his breast pocket, he looked the part of the man in charge.  Many women admired him with his high hollow cheeks and well groomed beard, his sharp grey eyes framed by black, square spectacles.

“Any questions?” he asked at the end of class.


Only two other hands shot up preceding my own.  Mr Smith turned his head in my direction.

“Yes, Miss Black?” he choked.

“I was just wondering when we’d receive the timetables for our exams?”

“Oh,” he seemed relieved, smiling he answered, “Monday morning.  Anyone else?”

Dulcie’s hand shot up again.  “Miss Cortes?”

“What time do the exams finish?  Will they intervene with any of the schools clubs or such?”

“No, the examinations will end at 3:30pm so you’ll be able to make it to cheerleading practice in time should one of your examinations take place in the afternoon.”


Just then the bell rang.  “If you could leave the text books over on the book shelf as you leave, I’d be most grateful.” He said, indicating the small shelf by the door.  “Miss Black, if you could please stay behind.” He added, not looking at me as I almost left with Dulcie.

“I’ll be by your locker.” She said, glancing at the Principal curiously.

“Yes, sir?” I asked as the last students departed.


Digging briefly through his case he soon extracted a sheet of paper.

“You didn’t complete the form for your Graduation robes.” Mr Smith said handing me the form I had filled out.

“Yes, I did, sir.”

“Oh, no you forgot to sign it.  Here,” he offered me his pen, “if you could be so kind.”


Leaning against the board I signed the last line on the form, B. J. Black.

“What does the J stand for?” my Principal asked.


He blanched.

“I was named after my grandparents.” I explained.  “My grandfather’s name was Billy and my grandmother is Josephine.  Billie Josephine Black.  Though, my other grandmother will insist upon calling me Wilhelmina.”

“I used to know a woman known as Josephine.” He said, snapping his case shut.

“You did?” I asked, pretending to sound interested as I edged my way closer to the door.

“Hell of a woman.  But you’d never want to cross her; you’d pay dearly if you did.”

“Did you?”

He blanched again.  “Several times, actually, and I’ve never stopped paying for it yet.”




“What did he want?” Dulcie asked when I found her leaning against my locker.

“I forgot to sign the order form for my Graduation robes, is all.”

“Oh, I was worried you were in trouble or something.”

“No, I’m fine.” I waved her worries off.  “I wonder what’s wrong with Miss Berry.”

“Nobody knows.  I overheard Mr Smith’s secretary talking to the school nurse.  She didn’t call in this morning.”

“Family emergency?”

“May be.” Dulcie answered, but I don’t think she believed it to be true.  “They were wondering if she was one of the other disappearances.”

“What?” I asked shocked.  “There have been disappearances in Penn Gate?”

“Yes, you haven’t heard?”  I shook my head.  “Lois Carson went missing three days ago and Mal Taylor’s parents reported him missing just the other day, also.”

“Why haven’t I heard about this?”

“I only just found out about it this morning.  My aunt Laura heard from Lois’ parents last night ‘cause Lois had been working in her shop on Saturdays.  Laura told me this morning.” She finished in hushed tones as some of Lois’ friends walked by looking upset.


Dulcie, like me, had tragically lost her parents a few years previous.  They died in a house fire when she was spending the night over at Tilly’s with Eve.  She reacted pretty much the same way I did, but she was smarter.  She got out of school and got herself help.  Since then she’s been living with her aunt Laura.

“I can’t believe this is happening here in Penn Gate.”

Dulcie nodded.  “I know exactly what you mean.”


We remained quiet for a short spell as we passed by Malcolm’s fellow footballers just outside the guys’ locker room with Josh Hutcheson amongst them.

“So, that means you’re short a cheerleader, right?” I asked, walking towards the gym.

She sighed.  “Yeah, I’ll have to put up some flyers to fill the, hopefully, temporary space on my squad.”

“Did you see any hopefuls at your last try-out’s?”

“No.  I was thinking… never mind.” she said, shaking her head.


“I was thinking of asking Faith Smith.” When my head snapped round to look at her in surprise, she rushed on, “She’s agile, athletic and aerobically dynamic.”

Dulcie blushed when I erupted into a fit of giggles.

“I’m sorry, I couldn’t help myself.  But you’ve got to get serious.  Do you really think Faith Smith would join the cheer squad?  No, scratch that.  Do you think she’d be welcomed by them?”


Spurred on by my negative reaction, she silenced me with a finger to her lips.

“You’ll never know until you ask.” Dulcie said, nodding her head in Faith’s direction.

“Oh, this ought to be good.” I said, leaning against a nearby locker.  “Go on then, if you dare.” I darkly joked.


Dulcie rolled her eyes, shook herself down and marched over to Faith where she was filling her locker with some books she’d had in her bag, which was now resting at her feet.

“Morning.” I heard Dulcie start, friendlily.  “I don’t know if you’ve heard about poor Lois…”

“Yeah, I’ve heard.” Faith abruptly stopped Dulcie short.

“Oh,” said Dulcie, a little choked.  “Well, we’re, temporarily, down a girl and I was wondering if you’d like to join our try-outs this afternoon.”

“Not interested.” she insisted, slamming the locker shut, before walking away from Dulcie.

“Oh, well, at least think about it.” Dulcie said, trying to keep up with her.


Faith looked around her to make sure there was nobody around, not noticing me; she whirled round to face Dulcie.  Dulcie’s body shivered at her gaze, she backed away from her threatening stance while Faith whispered something only she could hear.


I wouldn’t have known she was whispering.  Her lips were so stiff they hardly looked like they were moving; all I could hear was the snake like hiss of her voice that made Dulcie shudder so violently.

“Hey!” I called, rushing to Dulcie’s terrified side.  “Stay the hell away from her.”

“She approached me.” Faith hissed angrily.

“Yeah, well, she’s leaving you now, isn’t she?” I replied, turning in time to catch Dulcie’s slumping form.


Her natural tan skin was paling, her eyes rolled upwards and she fell right into me, fainting as Faith left me to catch my friend before she hit the hard floor.  Dulcie’s eyes fluttered momentarily when I laid her gently down on the floor.


Dulcie’s eyes were peculiar in shape, as subtle as it was, they gave the impression to all those around her that she may have some Korean blood running through her veins.  Although everybody knew Dulcie’s family were all from Hispanic origin, it still didn’t explain the gentle shape of her eye.

“Help!” I finally shouted after failing to rouse my friend.  “Somebody help me!”


The sound of footsteps came thundering down behind me and I turned to see a man, whom served food in the canteen at lunch, running up to me in his white overall.

“What happened?  Is she okay?” he asked in an unfamiliar accent.

“I think she fainted.  We’ll need to take her to the nurse’s office.”

“Lead the way.” He said, lifting Dulcie into his arms.


He was tall, thin and dishevelled looking.  His long arms wrapped around Dulcie’s legs and back while her head rested against his right shoulder.  When he straightened up, I begun to lead him to Nurse Fern’s office three corridors over.

“Oh, my goodness!” Nurse Fern cried as we entered her small office.


She was a round plump woman, with short, stumpy legs and red, splotched cheeks.  Springing from her chair, where she’d been reading magazines and eating cookies, she rushed to clear the bed for Dulcie.

“Thank you, Kyle.  I’ll take it from here.” She said after the tall, thin man laid Dulcie on the white bed.


Kyle nodded silently to each of us before turning on his heel and heading out towards the kitchen.  While the nurse moved about getting a cold compress for Dulcie, I pulled a chair up by her bedside.

“What happened?” she asked, fussing over the smallest things.

“I don’t really know.  One minute she was fine, she was talking to Faith Smith, started to shake and then she fainted.” I explained.

“That girl!” she said crossly.  “Just because she’s the Principals niece she thinks she can do anything.”

“She’s whose niece!?” I asked, surprised.

“The Principal’s niece.”

“I don’t believe it.”

“You can go to class now.” The Nurse said sternly, leaving a cold cup of water and some tablets on a tray next to Dulcie’s bed.

“No, I’m not leaving her side.”


“I’m not leaving her.” I argued.

“Very well then.” She answered, her neck turning red.  “You can make yourself useful at least and fold these.” She suggested, giving me a bag full of clean bed sheets.


Luckily, I was saved from that duty when Dulcie awoke.  Pushing herself up on her elbows, she managed to get herself into a sitting position.

“What happened?” she gasped.

“Just lay down a minute, Miss Cortes.  Let me examine you.” The nurse said, gently pushing Dulcie back down again.

“So what happened?” Dulcie asked again, as Nurse Fern finished her examination.

“You fainted.” I responded.

Dulcie sighed.  Rolling her eyes, she asked, “Can I go home, Nurse Fern?”

“I was just about to advise you to do so.  Here, take these, dear,” she said holding the tray up to Dulcie, “then go get some rest.”

“Thanks, ma’am.  Could you have Billie excused from class for a few minutes?  I don’t think I’m fit to drive myself home.”

“I’ll see what I can do.  You two stay here, I’ll be right back.” Nurse Fern answered, scuttling from the room.

“What the hell did Faith do to you?” I pounced the moment I was alone with Dulcie.

“Nothing.  She just… scared me.”

“Into fainting?” I asked disbelievingly.

“I freaked out, okay?” Dulcie answered exasperatedly.

“Over what!?”

“Uh, hello!  Didn’t you see the way she was looking at me?”

“Yes, that’s why I came over.  She looked like she was going to pound on you.”

“Or worse.” Dulcie spoke the words that lingered on my lips.


The sound of Nurse Fern’s muttering reached us before her squat form appeared at the office door.

“Right, you can give Miss Cortes a ride home, Miss Black.  But the Principal wants you back in time for next lesson.  Can you manage that?” she asked as Dulcie swallowed the aspirin.

“Yeah, Dulcie’s aunts house is over on Willow Street.  Not far from here.”

“Whenever you’re ready, Miss Cortes, you may leave.”

“Ready when you are.” Dulcie said after gulping down the rest of the water.


In the car, Dulcie fell asleep, quickly, after I pulled out of the school’s parking lot.  Her aunts’ home was a small, pale lemon coloured house nestled amongst many similar houses on Willow Street with their ivy covered walls.   Dulcie’s aunt owned a small gallery on Main Street which she had sold after buying a larger one in the city.


Laura had also bought an apartment for the two of them and she had planned to move there before Dulcie finished senior year.  It was unfair on Dulcie to transfer so close to Graduation that she had had a few arguments with her aunt about it.  Nana came up with a solution; Dulcie would move in with us until after Graduation, otherwise she’d start charging rent.


“Dulcie.” I whispered, after pulling up outside her house.

Her eyes snapped open.  Sighing she said, “Thanks, Bill.”

“No problem.  Are you going to tell me what happened with Faith, now?”

She smiled sadly and rolled her eyes.  “Not today.”

I walked her up to her house where her aunt was working frantically to get a tape dispenser to work.

“Stupid piece of crap.” We heard her mutter darkly, as her ebony locks fell round her pretty face.  “Dulcie,” she said, looking up.  ”What are you doing out of school?”

“She passed out.  The nurse had her excused to come home.” I explained.


Looking around, I could see Laura had already started beginning to pack.  There were some full boxes taped up, some sitting empty and she was currently working at building up some more.  Her hair was messily placed in a bun atop her head which was escaping in glossy black ribbons while she was dressed in an old sweater, shorts and sneakers with bits of tape and labels stuck on various parts of her clothing.

“Are you okay?” she asked, getting up and feeling Dulcie’s forehead.


She was a little darker in colour than Dulcie, but that was because Laura and Dulcie’s mother were adopted and not blood relatives.  Dulcie slightly cringed away from Laura’s touch as I heard her say, “I’m fine, I’ll explain inside.”


A slight twang of resentment coiled inside me as I wondered why she wouldn’t tell me the reason for passing out like that.  As if she could hear my thoughts, she turned, rolled her eyes and said, “I’ll tell you later.  Thanks, Bill.  Drive safe now.”

“Oh, Billie, could you ask your grandmother if it’ll be all right for Dulcie to start bringing her things along tonight?” Laura stopped me on the way back to the car.”

“Sure, no problem.”

“Thanks sweetie.”

A little hesitantly, I waved back before getting back in the beaten old car.


All along Willow Road, people were tending to their lawns, washing their car or just relaxing in the welcome spring warmth.  The engine of my car started with a great roar that disturbed the mostly silent street when I turned the key in its ignition.  But instead of turning off onto Marshall Boulevard and onwards to Lemon Street, where the High School was located, I performed a U-turn and headed for Garths Jump-N-Go on the corner of Small Street and Sydney Boulevard.


The surly looking attendant behind the cashiers’ desk eyed me suspiciously as I entered the store.  “M-Morning.”  I greeted her, pushing back my hair and throwing out my chest in an attempt to appear older than school age.


The sullen faced girl nodded and watched me as I headed to the fridges for a soda.  I returned with a bottle of Mountain Dew and a couple of magazines tucked under my arm before unloading them onto the desk.  Whilst the cashier started to ring the items upon the till before her, I perused the cork notice board pinned up on the wall behind her.


Normally it was full of signs of bikes for sale or old cars and such.  Sometimes there were advertisements for litters of kittens on sale or used household appliances or furniture.  But amongst the usual array of notices was a newspaper clipping.


Malcolm Jay Taylor, 17, went missing two days ago; last seen near his home on Baldwin Boulevard in Penn Gate.  Police are requesting that all residents of Penn Gate and neighbouring towns to report if they have seen Malcolm Jay Taylor, also known by his friends as Mal.  Mr Taylor is 6’ 2” tall, with broad shoulders, pale skin and blonde hair.


Also missing in the Penn Gate area is fellow Penn Gate High School student, Lois Carson.  Cheerleader and captain of the girls’ lacrosse team, 17-year-old Lois, whom also went missing the same day as Mr Taylor, is described as tall, athletically built with short red hair and a birthmark on her neck.  Miss Carson was last seen near her home in Emerald Court just off Baldwin Boulevard.


“That’ll be $5.80, please.” The cashier announced in a harsh, raspy voice.

Averting my eyes from the clipping, I paid for my purchases and said, “What is the world coming too?”

Looking at the clipping behind her, she shrugged her shoulders disinterestedly.

She watched me till I reached my car before coming out from behind the desk to flip the door sign from ‘Open’ to ‘Be back in 5’.  Exiting the store, she locked it before pulling out a small box of cigarettes from her breast pocket and disappeared round the back of the building.


Down Holman Boulevard was the Jewel State Road, which took you out of town, but nearby was a small ‘forest’ of sorts that we called the Penn Peaks.  There weren’t any actual mountains there but a few hills and small lakes that we called the Penn Ponds.  A couple miles east of the Jewel State Road was a passage in the thick, overgrowth of trees allowing a car or two to drive through.


In the summer, the residents of Penn Gate came here with their BBQ’s and picnics and from time to time they’d take a dip in the lake if it were hot out.  But in the winter, when the lakes often froze over, if it were safe to use they’d turn it into an ice rink of sorts.


The day was not particularly warm or cool so the main clearing in the forest was empty except for the sound of my old car chugging down the gravel lane.  Birds overhead sang their songs as squirrels foraged for food in the shrubs and trees.


In the back of my car, I always kept a blanket which I spread out on the grass a few feet in front of the old banger.  The sunlight was seeping through a thicket of branches to spill spindly shaped silhouettes on the forest floor.  I gave an involuntary sigh after taking a deep drink from my soda bottle before screwing the lid back on and turning to the magazines spread out on the blanket before me.  Just as I started flipping through the glossy pages, my cell, tucked away in my back jeans pocket, rang out reverberating around my green surroundings.


Tilly’s name and picture flashed across the screen and I was half tempted to hang up on her.  Instead I answered, “Yes?”


“Where the freak are you?” she yelled.


“Dulcie wasn’t feeling very well so I took her home.”


“I didn’t ask where Dulcie was, I asked where you are.”


A little hesitantly I eventually answered, “I’m not feeling to good either, and I’m on my way home.”


“Liar!  You still owe Eve and me an explanation.”


“For what?” I asked, indignantly.


“For the whole Josh situation.  He’s really upset.”


“I’ll bet he is.”


“You don’t sound remotely sick, Bill.”


“Yes, I am.  I have a migraine.”


“I’m sure you do.”


“So who filled Lois’ shoes?”


“No one, you were supposed to be here for try-outs.”


“I don’t wanna be a cheerleader, Tilly.”


“Why not?  You’re three best friends are cheerleaders, Bill.”


“Yeah, well, cheerleading and I don’t mix, Till.  You know I’ll only make a fool of myself and embarrass you three.”


She sighed.  “Did you hear about Mal Taylor?”


“The jock that went missing the other night?  Yeah, it’s in today’s paper.  Didn’t you date him last year for like a week?”


“Yeah, he was really sweet to me.”


“So why did you break up with him?”


“Because he was also really sweet to Lana Brady.”


“Oh, sorry.”


“Yeah, yeah, whatever.  Look, have a nice birthday tomorrow and we’ll give you your present on Monday.”


“You guys can swing round my place anytime, you know.  18 Horseshoe Crescent, it’s just five minutes from where you live.”



I wasn’t surprised when the call ended with a non-committal, ‘Yeah, I’ll try but my aunt Sharon is coming round this weekend so I might not see you till Monday.”


“What about Eve?”


I knew the answer before Tilly spoke the words, “She’s found a new obsession, Bill.  The new kid that moved down the street from her, Christian something or other.”


“Okay, then, I guess, I’ll see you Monday.”


“Yup, have a good birthday.”




For several minutes I lay there staring at the pages of the magazine, not really taking in the writing on the pages before me.


I was used to the residents of Penn Gate whispering slurs, strangely behaving and passing dark looks to my Nana and her house all the while giving each a wide berth too.  Yes, I was used to this but it stung all the more when it was my best friends whom were taking part too.


Small towns bring in big business for gossip mongering and Penn Gate was but a blip on the map of the continental US.  Here, rumours would fly around town so quick that they’d burn out almost as fast.


Tossing the magazines and blanket into the back seat, I climbed back into the beaten, old car and turned back down the gravel lane, through the trees and out onto Ivy Row.  Less than five minutes later, I had pulled up outside and looked out to see my grandmother frowning at my arrival from the window.  She gave me a shrewd, scrutinising glance before turning away from the window.

“Why are you home so early, Billie?” she asked, when I came in through the front door.

“I just had to take Dulcie home for sickness and Laura asked me to ask you if Dulcie could move her things in tonight?” I rushed my answer.

“And this couldn’t wait till after school?” she asked, slightly amused.

“I suppose.  But I’m about to head back there right now.” I lied.  “I just had to come and say because, let’s face it, by the time I get back and do my class assignment with Riley Smith, I wouldn’t be giving you much notice before Dulcie turned up on your doorstep.”


Throwing her head back, laughing, she said, “What are we going to do with you, dear?”

Shrugging my shoulders, she rolled her eyes and strolled back to the living room to pick up her mug and head for the kitchen to wash it.  Following her, I noticed something odd on the wall next to the fireplace.  There was a small crack with a golden light spilling through.  It looked almost like a really thin door without a handle from a certain angle.

“Nan, what happened to the wall?”  I called.


There was a great chinking, crash from the kitchen and Nana scurried back through to where I stood by the fire.

“Oh, that wall.  It’s been doing that a lot lately.”  She said in an attempt to sound casually indifferent.  She pushed the wall back and with a small ‘pop’ it seemed to click back into place.


Taking a few steps back, it looked as though the wall was just a wall.

“Could you give me a ride, dear?” Nana suddenly burst through my inner reverie.

“A ride?  To where?”

“I’m playing poker with old Rose, remember?”

“Yeah.”  I said, still glancing at the wall that Nana was now trying to block.


Glancing over her shoulder at it, she turned back to me and said, “Don’t worry about it, Billie.  I’ll call someone tomorrow to come fix it.”

“Will anyone come out on a Saturday though?”

“Yes, of course they will.” She said, now grabbing my hand and pulling me to the door.  “Come along, dear, I’m late.”


In the car, Nana was on her cell a lot, talking to my aunt Riona whom would arrive the next again morning along with my cousin, Rowanne.  Most of the time she spoke in hush tones so I couldn’t hear their conversation although the rain that started to pour down covered up most of the call.

“Is there something I need to know?” I asked, pulling up outside Rose Nelson’s house.

“Pardon, dear?”

“It just feels… like you’re hiding something from me.

“Don’t be absurd.”  She laughed with a slight edge.

“I know you, Nan.  We don’t keep secrets from each other.  What aren’t you telling me?”

“I’m really late, I must go.” She said, turning to open the door.

“What’s the fuss over a stupid wall?”

“Just leave it, Billie.”

“I saw a light, Nana.  I saw a light in the… crack.”

“Don’t go near it, don’t touch it.” She warned, “We don’t want the ceiling coming down on us.”

“Please, Nana, don’t lie to me.”  I begged on the verge of tears.

“Just stay away from it.”


She began rifling through her purse and soon produced a page from her notebook.  “Do me a favour, before you have your study date.  Could you please go pick these up from the shop for me?” she asked, the first time she looked me in the eye the whole journey.

“Fine.” I said, snatching the paper from her grasp.

“Thank you, Billie.”  Tenderly, she placed a hand upon my shoulder.

“Just go play poker.” I shrugged from her touch.


As soon as she closed the door behind her, I ploughed down old Rose’s street and zipped throughout the rest of town before I reached the small grocery store on Main Street.  All my life, Nana and I rarely fought or hid secrets from one another.  We shared everything with each other.  It stung that she would act so secretively with me over a stupid wall.

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