The Salem Mystique

High school is over and so is summer. It's
time for Billie and her friends to go to college.
As intended, Billie attends Salem Community
College with Riley and what secrets is Salem
hiding behind closed doors?
As Billie prepares for her first Samhain Ritual, she is
distracted by more than homework and family feuds. Two
mysterious German brothers show up in Salem, armed to the teeth.
Even with every faithful Witches eye upon them, she cannot rest
until she finds out their reason for being there.

A time for action is called as a small child is hurt and her
cousin, Rowanne, goes missing. Are the brothers to blame? And
why do these terrible things happen on and around the full moon?

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9. Kidnapped

The dream began again, another change this time.  It was still light from the sunshine pouring in but now the hospital was clean looking, still a mess but everything looked a lot cleaner.  I sprinted down the corridor and then up to the coma ward, again my parent’s bodies were on the floor of the corridor on the right, the linoleum under me tried to trip me and pull me down.  I ran down the left corridor before arriving at the coma ward where I heard the whispers again, getting louder all the time.  The black wolf returned and faced down the Moon sisters with me once more before returning our attention to Ruby.

 

I froze at the sight of the noose in the Reapers hand, the wolf jumped up and with his jaws took hold of the noose then ran away with the Reaper chasing after him.  Ruby’s eyes were open and the black smoke around her bed grew darker as I stepped inside the open door.  There was a broom leaning against the wall next to me, using it I swatted at the darkness in the room.  While swatting at the darkness I knocked off the clipboard hanging on the end of Ruby’s bed.  Lifting it off the ground a sheet came free from the pages within with a list of medicines on which were mostly scored out except for one ‘Sodium Thiopental’ with a scribbled signature next to it that I barely made out due to the looming darkness coming around Ruby’s bed again.  Swatting, I heard the wolf yelp as the Reaper returned with the noose in hand.

“Oh, we are not doing this tonight.” I said before grabbing the noose myself as the wolf and I ran back to jump out the broken window into the welcome sunlight.

 

When I woke I found myself still in Riley’s arms and was scared still when I found I was clutching onto the noose I’d taken from the Reaper in my dream.  Getting out of bed I took the noose with me to see Riona, I couldn’t wait till morning I was trying so hard not to freak out.  How could a noose I’d dreamed about manifest in my own hands?

 

Before I made it to the stairs however a pining and scratching noise from the kitchen caught my attention.  Noose still in hand I silently walked to the kitchen where the door to the basement rattled as something behind it tried to force its way out.  Ready to avoid being attacked I started to levitate so if any unknown beasty tried to get me I’d just float to the ceiling unharmed.  My hand shook as I placed it upon the door handle and the door no longer took a beating from whatever was locked inside.  The creature, obviously sensing my presence, stilled as I flung open the door and then just as quickly levitated to the ceiling.  The black wolf from my dream stared up at me.

“Am I still dreaming?  It can’t be it feels to real.” the wolf barked at me.

 

Slowly I floated down to the kitchen table then the wolf went to the back door which led out to Riona’s patio and garden.  He scratched at the door just like he’d done at the basement door until I came down next to him.

“You bite me I’m going to knock you out with this torch.” I said reaching for the thick chunky torch Riona kept near her back door and then reaching for an Athame from her magic cupboard.

The wolf stared up at me patiently like a dog waiting to be walked until I swung the door open and the wolf bounded out into the garden, dancing in the moonlight.  Stepping out into the garden I raised my head to the heavens and saw the full moon in all its glory shining down upon us.  I left the noose on the kitchen table and grabbed my broomstick as the wolf ran down towards the beach.  Taking to the air I followed the wolf as it ran, howled and leapt towards Winter Island.  Near here was where the young girl and man were attacked, allegedly, by a black wolf and where the foreign man had claimed he’d chased a wolf out of his tent.  It was so late and dark out that I didn’t need to worry about being seen on my broomstick so I flew alongside the bounding wolf and tried to lead him away from Winter Island.  The wolf delighted in my chase after him and I watched the glistening moon shine upon his raven fur.  As I flew above the trees I saw the wolf come closer to the campers and try as I might I couldn’t turn the wolf around.

 

I could see the Kohler brothers’ tent nearby but no sign of the brothers themselves.  The wolf sniffed around their tent before heading off further into the trees, away from the innocent and unknowing campers.  I stayed in the trees as the wolf continued to sniff the ground at his feet some more before sprinting off into the darkness, hitting the ground hard I attempted to call him back to me with no avail.

“Who are you?” asked a man in a foreign accent.

I turned to see the younger brother.  “I could ask you the same thing.”

“Were you just flying that thing?” he asked fearfully pointing at my broom.  Quick as a fox I pinned him to a tree, Athame at his throat and hand over his mouth.

“You are going to tell me everything.  Why are you here?” I said removing my hand from his mouth.

“Please, don’t kill me.  This was my brothers’ idea, not mine.” he said hastily.

“Tell me who you are and what you want.” I said pressing the blade of the Athame to his throat.

“My name is Tortsten, my brother is Dietrich.” he said in a rapid German accent.  “Please!  It wasn’t my idea!”

“What are you talking about?  What wasn’t your idea?”  In the distance I heard the wolf howl.  In an instant I was on my broom and swooped over the highest trees till I found the distressed wolf.  I landed hard to find the older brother using a taser gun on the black wolf.  The howls changed from the cries of an animal to a human.  Although the wolf’s body was still the fur began to shed and left behind bare human flesh, his body contorted and warped until the limbs were human, the snout was a button nose and the only hair left was the long raven hair that spilled down over her shoulders.

“Rowanne!” I called to my cousin.  Her eyes opened a miniscule before she passed out.

“You bring me father, I give you daughter.” The older brother said covering my cousin’s body with a blanket.

“You let her go right now!” I yelled.

“Father for daughter.” he said.

 

He turned his back on me and I ran towards him to attack but he turned in time and shot me down the same way he did Rowanne.  Electric sparks ran through my body shocking me until I couldn’t take it anymore.

“Halten Sie an! Sie ist nicht einer von ihnen.” shouted Torsten.

“Sie ist eine Missbildung, gerade wie sie.”

“Was würde unser Bruder sagen, ob er Sie sah junge Mädchen wie sie foltern, egal was sie sind?”

“Verteidigen Sie, Torsten? Sie sind Ungeheuer.”

“Es nimmt, um ein, Bruder zu wissen.” was the last I heard from Torsten before my eyes closed tight till morning.

 

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

 

The dappled sunlight broke through the trees and poured down upon me in waves of heat.  The German brothers were gone and so was Rowanne.  Rowanne!  My theories about her were right all along, my cousin is a werewolf.  I sat up straight to reach for my broom and Athame lying on the ground nearby.  I couldn’t submerge from the trees with a broomstick and dagger in hand, people would freak out for sure.  Instead I teleported back to Riona’s home where I was sure there would be people worried once they’d noticed I’d disappeared.  I’d have a lot to answer for but so would my aunt Riona.

 

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

 

Everyone was at Riona’s, they looked like they were about to start a search party.  Riona, Riley, Willem, Samuel, Marylou, Julianne and Chloe were all in the garden going over anything that could help them find both myself and Rowanne.  I was surprised to hear Faith’s voice nearby also.

“I saw Christian last night.” I heard her say.  “He didn’t look too happy to see me, to say the least.”

“Do you think he could’ve taken them?” asked Riley’s worried voice.

“May be, Billie, but I don’t see why he would take Rowanne.”

“He didn’t.” I said walking into the circle of worried faces.

 

The voices turned from worried to angry in a nanosecond.

“If you’d let me explain I’ll tell you what happened.” I said then they all fell silent.  “I’m guessing you all saw the noose on the kitchen table?”

A round of ‘yes’ answered me.  “At the end of the dream I grabbed the noose and ran out to the sunlight, when I woke up it was in my hands.  I came to speak to Riona about it but I got distracted with the werewolf locked in the basement.”

“What werewolf?” asked Samuel.

“Why did you have a werewolf locked in the basement, Riona?” Julianne asked.

“I followed the wolf out to Winter Island and was confronted by the German brothers camping out there.  As it so turns out, Rowanne is a werewolf.”

 

Everyone turned to Riona, shamefacedly she confirmed that her daughter was indeed a werewolf.

“It was an accident.  Ulric attacked her when she was a child, he couldn’t stop himself.  He left after that, couldn’t bear to look at what he’d done to her afterwards.”

“You’ve raised a werewolf all by yourself, Riona?  Why didn’t you tell us?” Julianne asked.

“I couldn’t… I wasn’t alone, the other pack members would come at the full moon cycle and teach her about being a werewolf until she could do it without being babysat.”

“Why didn’t you tell us?” I asked her.

“I was scared, I didn’t know what to do.  I was the coven leader, people already looked down on me for marrying a werewolf.  What would you say about my daughter?”

“We wouldn’t have said anything!” I cried.  “I love Rowanne so much, I couldn’t care less if she turned into a troll once a month, she’s family and family stand by one another.”

“What about the attacks?” Samuel asked.

“When she came into her powers she lost it for a day or two.  She attacked the man, it was an accident.  He scared her she didn’t mean to attack.”

“What about the girl?” Chloe asked.

“She didn’t do it!” Riona said her head in her hands as she cried.

“The Germans have got her now.  They want to trade Ulric for Rowanne.” I said to them as Faith guided Riona back inside.

“Why would they take her?” Riley asked.

“I don’t know.  I tried to get her back after she turned back to her normal self but the moron that had her attacked me with a taser gun.”

“How do we get in touch with her father?” Willem asked.

“Ulric is very rarely in the country.” Julianne answered.

“But Ralph and Daryna are always in Boston.” Marylou chirped in.

“Do you think he’d come to help her?” Riley asked.

“Of course he would.” Riona said stepping back outside as Faith tried to drag her back in.  “She’s his daughter, regardless of their history he’d come and save her.”

“Okay, someone try and call them.  I’m going to Penn Gate to gather more troops.” I said.

“Is that really a good idea, Billie?” asked Julianne.

“The more help we get the sooner we find Rowanne.”

 

Nobody argued further with me before I went to my home in Penn Gate.  Dulcie’s aunt Laura was there along with Leonard, Alexa Cain and her siblings Marlowe, Wynter, AnnDee and Gracen, were all grieving over the loss of Rosemary Nelson.

“Billie, dear, what are you doing here so soon?” Asked Nana.

“I’m sorry to interrupt but we have an emergency on our hands and I need all the help I can get.” I said to the crowded room that also consisted of Brian, Dulcie and Matilda.

“What’s wrong?” Brian asked.

“Rowanne’s been abducted by a couple of German bounty hunters.  They want to trade her for Ulric.”

“Why would they take her?” Matilda asked.

“I don’t know but I think it’s got something to do with the fact that Rowanne is a werewolf.”

“What!?” Said Nana, Brian, Dulcie and Matilda in unison.

“No time to explain.  Whomever can come help I’d appreciate it.”

“We’ll come.” said Dulcie and Matilda.

“So will I.” Nana said bravely.  “I’m not about to lose someone else.”

“Me too.” Brian said standing.

“No, Brian, you need to stay here.  You and the Cain’s will look after Ruby in our absence.  Agreed?” Nana turned to them.

“So unfair.” Brian muttered under his breath.

 

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

 

After hours of Nana and Riona rowing about Rowanne’s true nature we settled down to devise a plan.  Nobody could get in touch with Ralph Howell or his wife Daryna.  The last time anyone heard from them they were staying in the Liberty Hotel on Charles Street in Boston.  In the evening I’d teleport to the hotel with Chloe, Marylou and Faith while Leonard, Riley, Willem, Samuel and Marcus would search the woods for her as Riona, Nana and Julianne would work their magic with the help of Dulcie and Matilda.

 

At night we arrived in a parking lot across the road from their hotel in between the trees.  Nobody was around or nearby at least to see us suddenly appear in the parking lot.  Once safely across the road we entered the hotels main entrance and made our way to the reception desk.

“Wow!  Impressive.” said Faith behind me as we took in the luxurious interiors.

 

After speaking to the polite lady on reception she wasn’t going to disclose the whereabouts of Ralph and Daryna until Faith imparted upon her that we were in a life or death situation.  The couple were on the fourth floor of the fabulous hotel.  After two knocks Ralph answered the door with only a towel tied around his waist.

“Billie!?  What are you doing here.” he asked surprised.

“Can we come in to talk in private?” I asked.

“Of course, come in.” he said opening the door wide enough for us all to enter.  “What brings you here?”

“Where is Daryna?”

“I’m here.  Ralph, what is going on?” Ralph’s Ukrainian wife asked wearing nothing but a towel also.

“I was just asking that myself.”

“We need Ulric.” I explained.

“What?  Why would you need Ulric?”

“We know about Rowanne.” Marylou chimed in.  “We’re all sort of cousins, except Faith, and Billie just discovered Rowanne’s true nature last night.”

“Is she hurt?” Daryna asked.

“No, she’s been kidnapped by two German brothers.” I answered.

“Why would they take her?” Ralph asked.

“I don’t know but they said to me ‘Father for daughter’.”

“They want to trade?” Daryna said.

“I’ll call him right now.  Do you know if the men who took her were werewolves?”

“I doubt it.  They don’t seem too keen on them.”

“If you can take me to where she was taken maybe I can track her down.”

“We’ve got three vampires, a Witch and a Pagan doing the same thing as we speak.” Faith added.

“Still it would be best if Daryna and I try also.  We are more attuned to Rowanne’s scent.  Give me a few minutes to get dressed and make some calls then we’ll come with you to Salem.  How does that sound?” he said frantically moving about the room.

“Sounds good to me.  We’ll meet you in the parking lot across the road.” I pointed out the window with the amazing Boston views.

“Great, see you in a few.” he said disappearing into his bedroom.

 

Ten minutes later Ralph and Daryna found us in the parking lot fully dressed and ready to go.

“I called Ulric, he’s in England.  He’ll get the next flight over as soon as possible.” Ralph said.

“We’ve also called the pack members.” Daryna added.

“Yes, should neither myself, Daryna or Ulric find her we will go out in a collective to hunt her captors down.”

“Good, the more the better I think.”

 

We first teleported to Riona’s house for an update then I left again with Ralph, Daryna, Faith and Riona to advance the search.  The search was tiring and we constantly questioned why the brothers would want to kidnap a werewolf.

 

All night we searched fruitlessly, I returned my friends and family to Penn Gate and teleported Ralph and Daryna to my dorm room so that we weren’t all gathered under one roof.  It would be too much ammunition for the Preachers if we’d stayed together.  Another coven wiped out of existence because of sheer recklessness.

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