The Hangman's Noose

Billie Black and her friends are closer than ever before to rescuing their loved ones whom were stolen from them years ago. A journey around the country proves perilous when the coven and their allies come face to face with their greatest enemies.

A band of men hell bent on killing all that is unnatural to them - Witches, Vampires, Werewolves and many other Supernaturals flee from their path or die at their hands.

Billie can't rest till she knows her lost loves are safe but new knowledge shows they are defenseless. Learning all they can about these men they seek a weakness a chink in their chain of command and only one man may show them mercy in spite of his beliefs.

Now Billie must lead them all to safety or perish in the Hangman's Noose...


8. Saviour

My head hurt, my back hurt but nothing more so than my neck.  I was lying in a field.  Tall grass waved around me in the warm breeze.  It was dusk, the sky was tinted pink and there was barely a cloud above me.  There was nothing around me for miles except a small cottage surrounded by a low stone wall and a short wooden gate.


And then there he was.  Dad.  Walking towards me all unkempt hair, awkward square glasses and those ridiculous corduroy grey pants he often wore.


“You’re close.”


“So close, but it’s not time yet.”

“I don’t understand.”

“You will, soon enough.”


He smiled a slow sad smile and a solitary tear glistened in the corner of his left eye.  He waved and turned from me; that’s when I woke up and the pain in my neck became far worse.

“Billie?” Riley whispered.

“Uh, yes, I’m awake.”

“Are you okay?”

“I’m sore.  What happened?”

“Rowanne bit Leonard.”

“Oh, yes.” I sighed.

“Then Leonard bit you.”

“Anything else?”

“He broke your neck.  Willem healed you though.”

“I figured as much.”

“I’m so sorry, Bill.”

“I’m okay, Riley.  Honest.  Where is Leonard?”

“Willem and Faith took him home before he hurt anyone else.  He’s back to his own sense of mind now.”

“And Rowanne?”

“Her mother has given her a good talking to.  Which is generous of her, considering Riona is no fan of Leonard.”


“Doesn’t remember giving up your aunt’s location let alone being attacked by a vampire.  He pissed himself though.”


Riley smirked.

“How about you?”

“Me?” he asked disbelievingly.

“Yeah, you.”

“I’ve been worrying about you.  You were talking in your sleep.”


“You know what I mean.”

“What did I say?”

“You kept calling out for your Dad.”

“Yeah, I dreamt about him.”

“Lee got in touch with his grandmother.  She told us more about that vision she’s been having lately.”

“What did she say?”

“I don’t really know.  She was very cryptic.  She asked me to give you a message though.”


“Do the right thing.  You’re family needs you.”

“Riley, she more or less told me I was going to die.”

“Yes, more or less.  Doesn’t mean you will.”

“We should get ready to retrieve Sophia.”

“Actually there’s something you need to do first.”

“What’s that?”

“The twins’ ritual.”

“Oh, god, I completely forgot!”


Everyone was gathered in the living room – everyone except the other Smiths.  Nana and Riona had already brought down the brass stand and Black Craft, positioned in the centre of the room.  Ruby and Vincent, sat on the love seat near the steps to the dining room.  They both looked so well, so happy.  Vincent had shaved the stubble around his jaw and had someone clip his hair into a more tidy, dark copper mop like we all remembered him to have.  I turned my gaze upon my own younger brother to find him smiling warmly at me.

“So how do you want to do this?” Ruby asked.  “Where do you want us?  Do we do it together or separately?”

“Easy, Rubes.  Chill.” Vincent said calmly.  “Go on, Bill.”

“I’ve never had twins before.  Let’s just do this alphabetically, yeah?”

“Me first?” Ruby asked.

“Yes, come on.”


I moved to face the book and Ruby stood behind the brass stand, watching me warily as I took her hands in mine.  I’d only done this a couple times but I knew exactly what to do.  Taking Ruby’s open hands, I closed my own around them and let my spark flow through our connection, digging deeply into my cousin’s soul to find a spark of her own.


Ruby paled as she felt it warming her inside and out, making her stronger, powerful, unique.  When my own spark returned, I placed her hands flat out on top of the Black Craft, connecting her to our families’ ancient Spell book.  Then I got a glimpse of her power – water surrounded her, she was controlling it and then she became it – falling in a puddle around my feet.

“Oh, Ruby!  Are you okay?”


Growing out from the puddle, appeared Ruby’s head, followed by the rest of her.  She took a deep breath and laughed.

“I’m good.  Real good.” She promised.

“Now you, Vincent.”


Ruby returned to her seat, watching as her hand transformed to water then back to flesh.  Fascinated by her new born skills.  Vincent rose from the love seat, his jaw was set but he smiled at me a determined looking strained smile.

“Breathe.” I laughed.

He laughed, breathing in and out.  “This won’t hurt.  It’ll feel good, I promise.”

“You promise?”

“Yes.  Now give me your hands.”


He offered them out to me, just like Ruby had.  My spark easily flew through our bond in search of Vincent’s.  This was getting easier to do.  When the sparks came to us, I rested Vincent’s hands upon the book and my own upon his as the sparks flew through us, connecting and fulfilling their duty.  Bringing my cousin his powers and I was blasted off my feet.


I landed hard on my ass, shocks of an electric current still buzzed around me, leaving my hair on end and my entire body static.  The others crowded around me, including a frantic Vincent.

“Whoa!  Talk about spark-age.” I laughed.

“Are you all right?” Riley asked concerned.

“I’m good.  Give me a hand up.”


Riley and Rowanne pulled me to my feet as Ruby and Vincent stood side-by-side.

“Well done, you two.  You’re Witches now.  Welcome to the coven.”

They laughed, “Thank you.”

“Merry meet.”

“Merry meet, Billie.” They chimed.

“Now, let’s go find your mother.”



“She’s in Kansas City?  Do we know what hospital she’s in?”

“Yeah, I got the info right here, Bill.” Brian said, placing his laptop down in front of me.  “I’ve got a map of it on the other page, the address… everything.”

“That’s great, thanks.”

“We’re coming with you, right?” Vincent asked.

“Only if you feel up for it.  Otherwise, you stay here with Nana.”

“Who else are you taking?” Riona asked.

“Pretty much everyone.  We have some pretty powerful Witches, I’m going to need them should the Preachers show their ugly faces.”

“Then I’m coming with.” Brian said, arms crossed at his chest.

“Brian, you don’t turn eighteen for almost another year.  You stay behind.”

“You saw what I did to Leonard.  I almost knocked him on his ass.”

“Witches often show their powers early, but they don’t have any control over them, dear.” Nana reasoned.  “You will be more of a hindrance than help should the Preachers show up.”

“She’s right, Brian.  So no arguments.  Riley, do you want to call your brother to see if he’s up for joining us.”

“On it.”

“Lexi, how are you feeling?”

“Ready to kick some Preacher ass if necessary.”

“Good, you and Lee are coming.  Ruby and Vincent, if you’re up for it…?”

“We’re up for it.” They chimed.

“Good, you’re with me.  Rowanne and Torsten, you’re with me too.  Dulcie and Matilda, stay here with Nana and Riona.”

“Is it safe?” she asked.

“It’s either that or you hang out with Faith.”

“No thanks, I’m good here.” She smiled.

“What’s the plan?” Rowanne asked.

“There’s no time for planning, Row.  We go in, we take Sophia and we leave.”

“What about the hospital staff?” asked Riona.

“We can’t dilly dally around them any longer.  If they get in our way we can hold them down and Rowanne will wipe their memories.  We take Sophia and we leave.  Understood?”

“Understood.” They all answered.

“Okay, form a circle around me.  Brian, have you got a map of exactly where the hospital is in Kansas City?”

“Right here, Bill.” He said, propping it up for me to inspect it.

“Great, that’s enough, thanks.  Everyone ready?  Good.  Now, if the Preachers do show up, defend yourselves and protect Sophia.”

“What shall we do whilst you’re gone?” Nana asked, as the others gathered around me.

“We won’t be long, hopefully.  Just sit tight.  Make room for another hospital bed.  All ready?”



Blinking I found ourselves in the foyer of the Smith residence where Willem was already waiting for us, placing his hand on his brothers shoulder.  I blinked again and found myself on unfamiliar territory – at least we’d landed just outside the hospital.


It was getting dark out and there was hardly anybody coming in and out of the main entrance.  The ten of us – wait, ten?

“Brian!” I shouted at my brother, trying to hide at the back of the crowd.  “What the hell are you doing here?”

“I want to help.”

“Were you not listening to Nana?”

“It’s all right, Bill.  We’ll keep an eye on him.” Rowanne said, pulling Brian behind her.

I sighed, “Let’s just find Sophia and get out of here.”


Leading the way, I consulted the hospital directory one more time before taking the stairs to the third floor.  There was nothing out of the ordinary here.  Nurses and doctors were going about their business, tending patients or working at their desks.  Hardly any of them had the time to spare a glance for the group of seemingly normal teenagers that had just set foot on their ward.

“Excuse me?” I turned to a nurse walking past.  “Could you tell me which room Sophia Black is in?”

“Sophia Black?  Oh, you must mean Dr Kerr’s wife.  Sophia Kerr.”


“Third room on your right.”

“Thank you very much.”

“You’re welcome.”

“Rowanne,” I said, grabbing the nurse’s wrist before she could leave, “wipe her.”

“Will do.”


The others followed me as Rowanne and Brian stayed behind to wipe the nurse’s memory of us.  Four beds sat in each corner of the room, ‘third on the right’.  Sophia was barely recognisable in the bed nearest the window.  The only reason I knew this woman was my aunt is because of the long flaming locks that matched my cousins.  Vincent and Ruby were the first at their mothers’ side.

“Guys,” I turned to Lexi, Lee and Torsten, “could you watch the door.  Just give us a second here.”

“Sure, don’t take too long though.” Lee said, as the others made for the door.

“We won’t.”


Sophia still looked so young.  Too young to have two eighteen-year-old kids at least.  May be it was the lack of sun or the fact that she’s been inactive for two years now.  May be it was the sleep – the induced coma.  But as I studied my aunt’s pale features, I could tell she was well.  No Preachers had paid her an unfortunate visit.

“Can we take her home, Bill?” Ruby asked.

“Yes, let’s start unhooking her from everything.”



A crow flew over my head and out the window whilst Lexi pinned Torsten to the ceiling behind her.  Rowanne’s keen wolf senses picked up something I couldn’t and she dropped to the floor on all furry fours before rolling under Sophia’s bed.  Ruby dropped into a puddle beside our cousin whilst Vincent shot out the lights in the room and levitated to the ceiling with Brian behind him, just like Lexi and Torsten, and left me by myself next to Sophia.  I won’t hide.  Not anymore.


There were only four Preachers, Quinn De Witt was amongst them.  Two others looked younger than Quinn and the third looked old enough to be my grandfather.  Except for Quinn, I hadn’t seen them before.  As I stepped out from behind the curtain, shielding my aunt, they stood stock still, watching me as if I was some wild animal about to pounce.

“Get out.” I uttered.


The two young ones smirked as Lexi and Torsten came down to block the door.  Torsten pointed his shot gun at the Preachers whilst Lexi lit up like a torch.  Rowanne rolled out from the bed to come to my side, growling menacingly as Ruby took my other side and Vincent and Brian took up our flanks when Lee flew in the other window transforming into a great black bear while Willem and Riley bared their fangs.

“As you can see,” I said calmly, “you’re outnumbered and outmatched.  Leave while you still can.”

“This doesn’t have to get messy.” Said Quinn.

“I sure hope it doesn’t, but we will defend our own to the end.  If that means taking on you and your little posse, well, so be it.”

“Just step aside and you won’t get hurt.”

“Are you kidding me?  You’d still come after us any way, not that I would let you near her.”

“Kid, listen, you don’t know what you’re dealing with.  Whether you let us go or not, it won’t make a dent in the armada.”

“Armada?  Did you just refer to yourselves as an armada?”

“There are dozens of us.” Quinn argued.

“Yeah?  Well, there are thousands of us, all over the world.  No matter how many you take down, more will rise.  Not just the Witches, though.  The vampires, werewolves, Pagans, and many, many more will come at you.  Whether I live or die doesn’t matter.  None of you will survive much longer, take that back to your leader.  Tell him that Billie Black will be there, standing in his way no matter where he turns, who he moves upon, who he tries to strike down.  We have something that none of you have.”


Everyone moved back to Sophia’s bed, holding onto her or the metal headboard whilst Rowanne stayed by my side.

“What exactly would that be?”

“Something to fight for.”


Taking hold of my werewolf cousin, I put one hand on the bottom rail running along the bed and took us all home.


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