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?


15. Samhain

I was a mess when we got back.  I grabbed as many books as I could find to learn all about Samhain that I didn’t already know.  Rowanne really came through for me and helped me get more organized by making lists of what I needed to get from Riona’s magic store as I read them out of each book I’d read.  There were two very vital parts I still had to fulfil after buying all the goods I’d need from the magic store and the grocery store.  One, I still had to write the ritual for… well, the ritual.  Second, I still had to pick which ancestor(s) I wished to summon through the ritual.  Riona gave me the book filled with all our ancestors’ portraits in it once more to help me decide upon whose soul I should summon.  Any time I asked Riley for ideas he’d say, “It’s your ritual, your ancestor and your choice, my love.”


All day and all night I sat and wrote ritual after ritual till I came up with the perfect spell to go with it.  Everything was ready all I had left to do was get everyone here, prepare the altar and choose which ancestor to summon.

“How can I choose just one when there are so many to choose from?” I yelled frustrated in my empty dorm room.

“Who says you have to pick just one?” said a familiar voice from the bathroom.

I got up to investigate and when I pushed open the door I saw no one except my reflection staring back at me in the opposite mirror.  Of course the reflection wasn’t just mine but the ancestor who resurrected herself to become… me.

“Josephine, how long has it been?” I said leaning against the wall with my arms crossed.  “Not seen you in months.  I thought I was finally rid of you.”

Josephine laughed as if I had told a great joke.  “Oh, Billie, you know I can never truly leave.”

“Perhaps not.  But you wouldn’t just reappear now for no reason.  Why have you reawakened?”

“To help you with your first Samhain ritual.”

“Help me?  Help me how?” I asked.

“You don’t have to choose just one ancestor, Billie.  As long as it ties in well with the ritual then you can summon more than one soul.”

“But whose?”


Behind me the pages of the book turned as if caught in a wind.

“You already chose when you first saw this picture.” Josephine said as I walked back to the book of portraits.  A picture of Josephine looking barely ten years older than I am now sitting with her three children.  Simon, John and Aloise Black.  I felt something tug at me when I set eyes upon this picture, a feeling of longing to be with them.

“You feel the connection.” Josephine still spoke out from the mirror in the small bathroom.  “You… we were their mother.  You feel the longing to be with them, I know you do.”

“Simon, John and Aloise.” I said stroking their faces.

“You know their names.” she said surprised.

“Of course I do.  It’s in the book.” I said pointing to the caption beneath the picture.  ‘The Black family’ it read surprising me.  “But… that’s impossible.  How could I know their names if I hadn’t read them?”

“Like I said, you were their mother.  That kind of love doesn’t just die with you.  You could never forget them, never stop loving them even in death and rebirth.”

“I think this is the closest I’ve ever come to feel what this must be like for you.  But if I summon them, how could I ever let them go.  How could I let them go back to where they came from?”

“Because you must, because you love them.  Everyone has a time, Billie.  They’ve had theirs and ours will be over permanently when you’re gone, too.”

“So you’ll never rest until I’m gone too?” I asked upset.

“I’ve rested for centuries, Billie.  Besides we have things to do, you and me.  Innocents to save and evil to undo.  You and me, Billie, we’ve barely just begun.” she smiled.

I sighed.  “I guess I’m ready then.  I’d better get moving.” I said looking at my watch again.  “I’ve still got to carve four pumpkins.”

“Well, I won’t hold you back.  Do what you’ve got to do.” she said before my own true reflection stared back at me in shock.




The two days passed in a blur after I finally finished all my work and didn’t teleport all our guests in until I was absolutely certain of what I was doing.  There were more guests than usual, according to Riona.  Normally it was just the Black witches and a few close friends from the Sister Clan who would attend this ritual.  This year we had all the Blacks including Riley and his family, Ulric and his pack, Dulcie and Matilda, Chloe Foster from the Sister Clan and Sadie Blair.  Brian had been learning a lot about the magical world from Nana while I was here in Salem and I saw an overwhelming difference in my brother, again.  Every time I see him since our other grandmother dropped him off on our doorstep he has matured each and every day since.

“So what are these things for?” he asked pointing at the Jack ‘O Lanterns.

“Well, we carve them with scary faces to scare bad spirits away but the glow from within,” I said whilst lighting a small candle inside, “guides the welcome spirits to us.”

“And all this food?  We have a big table of food to come out, what’s all this for?” he asked pointing to the squash, corn, carrots, parsnips, gourds and leaves.

“Offerings to the spirits.”


As I set out all my altar tools, black candles and cloths he asked, “So have you decided upon whose spirit you’re going to summon?”

“I have.”

“Well?” he asked curiously.

“It’s a surprise.”

“I can’t believe they’ve been having all these gathering behind our backs.  I can’t believe this is my first one.”

“Yeah, this is my first one too and I am effing hosting it!  How do you think I feel?”

“Really nervous.  Sorry.”

“That’s ok.”

“So why did you decide to have it here on the beach?” he asked looking up at Riona’s house.

“Because I thought it would be nice and also because we are going to have a huge bonfire.”

“But what if people see?  What if the Preachers find out?”

“Riona’s taken care of it.  She already has the house protected and she has done the beach as well for me.  If anyone were to pass through they wouldn’t see or hear any of us.”

“What if they walk into the bonfire?”

“It’s taken care of, Brian.  You don’t need to worry about it.  Just relax and have a good time.”

“I’m surprised you’re not wiped out from all the teleporting you’ve had to do today.”

“Well, I’ve had about a half a dozen red bulls and three espresso’s so I’m definitely not going to pass out on the altar.”

“So when does it start?”

“When it’s dark enough.”

“Why dark?”

“Because that’s how I want it to be.  Now come on inside, it won’t be long I promise.”


The house was cramped with all the guests waiting to attend the festivities.  I’d set up tables for crystal ball, runes and tarot card readings as well as tables to keep the younger guests amused.  In the trees I’d hung ribbons and candle filled lanterns that barely moved in the evening breeze.  We had one long table in the centre of it all draped in sapphire and silver cloth where we would eat a feast fit for a king.  Behind the head of the table is where the altar had been set up.


As soon as the sun set and the moon rose high into the sky the dozens of guests poured out onto the beach to find their seat at the table.  Everyone was here, nobody wanted to miss my first Samhain ritual.  Nana, Brian, Riona, Rowanne, Ulric, Riley, Faith, Willem, Leonard, Dulcie, Matilda, Ralph, Daryna, Julianne, Marylou, Marcus, Alexa, Marlowe, Wynter, Torsten and all the werewolves.  But to my surprise there were three other guests wandering towards us on the beach that I had not been expecting.

“Lexie!?  What’s going on?” I asked staring back at Liv Rockwell and our friend Lee.

“You would not believe it but Liv begged me not to go back home to Arizona and asked me to help break the news to Lee that he’s a Witch!”

“Oh my god.” I looked back at Lee who was slowly taking in his surroundings when he came into the perimeter of the spell that had stopped him from seeing all the festivities around him moments before.  “How did he take it?”

“He’s still processing it.” Liv said stepping forth.

“So what changed your mind?”

“Our conversation.  After you left I considered what you said about him having to cope with his new found abilities when the spell breaks on my death.”

“It’s not just that.  You saw something didn’t you.”

She haughtily stared on, averting my eyes, as she said.  “If he does not come into his powers now he will not be able to defend himself in the days to come.”

“So I assume you’re here because you require my help also.”

“No, I just wanted him to see how much good magic can do first hand.”

“You weren’t invited.” I said hotly.

“I know, but I foresaw that you wouldn’t deny Lee the chance to see you perform the Samhain ritual if he agreed to come along with me.”

“Fine.  You may stay.  Lee?” I said and his eyes landed on me.  “Would you like to follow me please?  Let’s see if there’s room at the feast for you.” I said taking his hand.

“What’s going to happen?” he asked almost fearfully.

“You don’t have to be afraid.  This is all very new to me too.” I explained.

“She said that.” he said indicating his grandmother.  “Why did they raise us this way?”

“They have many different reasons, Lee, and I’m sure, at the time they made the decision to raise us such a way, they thought they were making the right choice.”

“He hasn’t come into his powers yet.” Liv spoke up.  “I unbound the spell but since our coven leader is dead and the Rockwell Craft perished with them then…”

“Then you thought that I could do it.”

“Yes.” she said cowed.

“I don’t know if it’s possible to do it for someone outside the family but if I succeed you realize he won’t be a Rockwell any longer.” I explained as I changed course and led them to the house.

“I understand.  I just want my grandson to be able to protect himself.”


Inside the house I asked Riona to stall the waiting crowd on the beach as I attempted to bring forth Lee’s powers.  Liv and Lexie stood to one side as I pulled out the brass stand and Black Craft.

“Is that your spell book?” he asked.

“This is my family legacy.  It has been passed down throughout the generations.  Your family would have had one too.”

“Does your family have this too?” Lee asked Lexie.

She nodded.  “The Woods Craft.”

After I gave a brief explanation to Lee of what he should expect he said, “This’ll change everything, won’t it?”

“Yes.” I said.  “But it’ll be a good change, I promise.  It’ll be hard at first but I’ll be here for you whenever you need me.”



When he placed his hands upon the book I started the ritual that would bring forth his powers.  It wasn’t like when I did with Rowanne.  It was with her, it felt right.  When I tried to connect with Lee I felt like I was forcing myself into a place I didn’t belong.  It felt intrusive but when I finally found his spark it was hard to uproot.  I gave it my all but it wouldn’t budge.  Then I remembered why.  He wasn’t a Black.  ‘He will be.’ I said to myself.  ‘I will love him like a Black, I will be there for him when he needs me.  I will show him the goodness the magic and the wondrous things he can achieve from magic’.  Finally, his spark came free and I was finally able to get a glimpse at Lee’s power.

“He’s a shape shifter.” I said coming back to myself after the ritual.

“It worked?” Liv Rockwell asked disbelievingly.

“Amazingly, yes.  He’s a Witch.”





After explaining to Lee what to expect he calmed down long enough to let his grandmother and I guided him to a chair at the table on the beach where my crowd of friends and family were waiting for me to start the Samhain ritual excitedly.  Once they were all in their seats I nervously took to my altar.

“Merry meet!” I called.

“Merry meet!” they called back.

“Thank you all for coming.  I appreciate and love you all and since I’m not so good at speeches,” the crowd laughed, “I think I’ll get on with it.”

My guests stayed silent as I lit the candles within the Jack ‘O Lanterns and the black candles upon my altar before beginning the ritual.

“In life and death we are still close, in life and death I’ll be your host.  Samhain is here, so here we are, we’ve travelled here from near and far.  They feast with me, they dance with me, my ancestors I call to thee!  Tonight our world’s veils are thin, come join us now my now dead kin.  With head held high and hand on heart it brings me pleasure when festivities start.  Tonight I’d like to welcome back Simon, John and Aloise Black!”


The crowd applauded as the ritual ended and they gasped when they saw the telltale signs of company joining us.  The faint sound of children’s laughter reached our ears and footprints in the sand quickened all around us.  The lanterns swung side to side as the spirit children jumped and knocked them playfully.

“The children Black have arrived indeed,” they said in unison standing in front of the altar, “we’re glad you called you’re all in need, of good times and laughter, we can assure, that’s what you’ll have on this sandy moor.  You’ll soon see we like to play, alas, all night we cannot stay.  So let’s make our time last, join the party we’ll have a blast!”


The crowd laughed and applauded the children they couldn’t see as they ran and skipped around the table causing havoc here and there.  They danced with us, sang with us and played pranks on us all night long while we enjoyed the food, the bon fire, the tarot readings and even just each other’s company.  Even Lee managed to enjoy himself although I was sure his troubles were far from over.  I didn’t want the night to end.  My first Samhain ritual went off without a hitch and I couldn’t have been prouder of myself and I felt certain my friends and family felt the same.  The tug I’d felt before when looking at their picture was still there whenever the children passed by me but it wasn’t a painful tug or a sad tug, but a happy and fulfilling feeling to know they’re with me for a while.


When the bon fire was almost out we all gathered around it to keep warm and make s’mores.  Riley wrapped his arms around me tightly while we sat with a blanket around us.  Just when I felt like I was dosing I felt the tug of three sets of arms upon me.

“Mother, come with us.” they pleaded.

“Alright, I’m coming.” I said getting up.

Following the footprints in the sand they left as they sped away in front of me I caught up with them closer to Riona’s house.

“We’re sad to say we’re leaving now.” they all spoke in unison again, “we wish you love and give a bow.  But know we’re always here for you just like you were for us once too.  But on its way to you soon, mother, is a choice from which you may just suffer.”

“What are you talking about?” I asked the invisible children.

“We cannot say.” Said Aloise.

“And we cannot stay.” Said John.

“But we’ll support you in every way.” Said Simon.

“Thank you.” I said.

“Good bye, mother.  We love you.” they said in unison.

“And I love you all too.” I said breaking into tears.

Only I knew they were really gone because I no longer felt their presence.  I still felt the connection, the love, the bond.  But no longer their presence.

“Billie, are you ok?” Riley asked behind me.  When he saw me turn to face him with a tear stained face he rushed to my side.  “What happened?”

“They just wanted to say goodbye.” I sobbed.

“Is she ok?” Torsten asked heaving the long table into the house with Kyle Reid, Willem and Brian helping him.

“The children are gone.” he explained.

“You ok, sis?” Brian asked.

“I’ll be fine in a minute.  Just leave the tables and go back to the fire.  I’ll deal with them in a little while.” I answered.

As Torsten, Kyle, Willem and Brian meandered back to the beach Riley took my left hand in his and kissed it.  “Do you want to go back or would you rather go to bed?” Riley asked.

“No.  When the fire’s out I’ll go to bed.”  He wrapped his arms more tightly around me.  “We’ve got a lot of work to do ahead of us so let’s just enjoy tonight while we have it.”

“You have a plan?” he asked.

“No but I have a plan to make a plan.” I said to which he laughed.  “We need to take good care of Lee also.  He needs to be around us a lot until he’s confident in his new life.”

“How did you manage to bring forth his powers without the use of a miracle?”

“I had to make him a Black.  He is family now, so we all must treat him so.  Do you understand?”



I giggled as Riley lifted me off my feet and carried me back to the fire where we sat under the blanket once more.

“So what now?” Riona asked and the others turned to face me.

“Now, we stop the Preachers.” I answered.

“How?” asked Rowanne.

“First we find out where Sophia and Vincent are and then find whomever it was that put them into false comas.”

“And how do we do that?” asked Nana.

“Well, it’s simple really.”

“It is?” Rowanne asked disbelievingly.  “What do we have to do?”

At this point I had absolutely everyone’s attention at the bonfire.  “We’re going to wake up Ruby.”

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