The Curse: Prologue
A/N: Prologue expanded as I realized the plot didn't really make sense later in the story the way the prologue was currently written. Hope this clarifies a few things.
It happened at sundown. Hazel and Consuela were discussing her plans. She was telling them about Finigan. Candita frowned at her. She'd been at Elise's house earlier that day. Finigan hadn't seemed to be in a good mood. He'd snarled at Elise for walking too slowly in front of him. Candy had turned around in time to see him watching HER. It scared her whenever she caught him looking at her. He didn't even mind her catching him. He'd actually smile at her, pull her close, ruffle her hair and walk away. He'd never attempted anything more than that. But it worried her just the same. 'What was so special about HER?'
She turned her attention back to her sister. 'What was she talking about?' Never, in all the time she'd been going to Elise's, had she ever heard her or her family mention seeing or meeting Consuela. 'Why would she make it sound like she'd been there many times?'
Their only warning was the sound of horses snorting and hooves trampling around the yard. Then the door burst open ad a group of men came bursting in. The man in front was very familiar to them. It was Mayor O'Malley and several of his closest friends. They grabbed her and her mother and sister. "What's going on here? What are you doing? Let us go!" Hazel snapped.
"A miscarriage of justice has happened. We're here to fix it. I don't know how its done in other places, but out here there are hard consequences for trying to force a marriage onto someone!" O'Malley snapped back.
Hazel flicked her eyes towards the back wall. The curtain was still drawn and there was no stirring from behind it. "All right. We'll go outside to discuss this 'miscarriage of justice'." she had a bad feeling something was going to happen and she didn't want it waking up the baby. She had only just gotten her down for the night.
The bad feeling grew worse as she caught sight of the three stakes, standing in her yard with wood piled around the base. "What are those for?"
"Oh, I think it's perfectly obvious what those are for, my dear. Salem isn't the only town that burns witches. "He sneered at Hazel.
"Wait! Wait! What are you talking about, forcing a marriage on someone? What-? Consuela, is this true? You're trying to force Fin to marry you? Why?" Hazel asked her oldest daughter.
"I don't know what he's talking about, mama! I thought Fin wanted to marry me!" Consuela tried to keep the fear out of her voice. 'Why, oh why had she told them Fin's name?'
"She lies! She tried to put an enchantment onto my son. She tried to bewitch him into marrying her! She told him lies!" Mayor O'Malley told Hazel flatly.
Just then, Candy started screaming as the men began hitting her and roughing her up. Consuela jumped towards them, only to relieve the same treatment.
"You animals! Get away from them! Leave her alone! She's just a baby! Get away from her!" Hazel screamed desperately. She didn't care if they hurt her. She was strong enough to deal with the pain and the horror. But her girls! She would take all the humiliation in the world to keep her girls from seeing the dark side of life. Alas, it wasn't meant to be.
She thought of her youngest girl. 'Please, please let Hermione sleep through this!' Their home was right on a common route so SOMEONE would be through tomorrow. Maybe they would hear the baby crying. 'Please dear god, someone keep her youngest baby safe from these animals! Please don't let her die!'
In front of her, the men laughed as they continued to assault her girls. Both of her older babies had been accused. They weren't the witches, she was the only witch in the family. They would regret making her girls suffer!
Off to the side stood Finigan O'Malley, the young bastard who had caused this to happen. He was tipping up a bottle of whiskey as he kept a close eye on Candy. He and his friends laughed as his father made the witch and her daughters regret ever moving to this town. The hussy of a daughter had tried to bewitch him into setting down. He was nowhere near ready to settle into married life, much less having kids, god forbid!
Consuela cried as she realized the mistake she'd made. She'd loved him deeply and thought he loved her, too. He'd told her he was ready to settle down and start a family. Then he'd left and she used Fin to fill up the hole he'd left behind. It had been easy enough to make it look like she and Fin had slept together. After all, he'd been falling down drunk every time they had seen each other. Then she found out about the baby. She'd tried to tell Fin it was his child. She'd not counted on his knowledge that they'd never slept together. Now her mother and sister were paying the price of her own stupidity. 'Why, god, why had she ever shown any interest in him, much less allowed herself to dream of a family and future with him?'
Candita, little baby Candy, was screaming in pain and fear as the men surrounded her, ripping her dress off and slapping her around. Then they threw her to the ground.
"No!" Now Connie and Hazel both were screaming at the men. Anything to get them away from Candy! Her little sister was entirely too young to have to go through this ordeal.
Now HE joined in on the fun. He was the first one on top of her little sister. He leaned his head down and seemed to whisper into Candy's ear. As he took her, she whimpered in pain, tears leaking down her face. His friends began chanting and cheering him on. He almost seemed reluctant to finish and kept stopping, almost as if he was waiting for Candy to catch up and start enjoying the act with him. They could only watch in helpless anger and confusion as he stayed connected to Candy. His friends turned their attention onto Consuela and Hazel.
When they were done, they dragged them over to the tall stakes, driven into the ground. As she was tied, Hazel laughed harshly. "You bastards! You will regret your actions this day! A curse! A curse on your town, your families! Your daughters will all die on their 11th birthday, never knowing the joy of growing up. Your unmarried sons will all perish on their 21st birthday."
She looked at the mayor and his son, the instigators of this whole horrifying situation. "Your descendants, in particular, will die a horrific death until they find true love." She laughed wildly at the thought of them scrambling around tryimg to find someone who was descended from her. Little did they know that their salvation was right there already. They didn't know that she'd borne a third child. She had taken great pains to make sure and hide her third pregnancy from the town. "They may fall in love. They may even marry. But if she isn't descended from me, your sons will still die!"
The two men shuddered involuntarily at the stiff wind that seemed to hit them. They stared at the witch and tried to pretend that her words didn't cause them an ounce of fear. The mayor, Bronson O'Malley, took a torch, lit it up and tossed it onto the wood surrounding Hazel.. One of the other men lit up Consuela's stack of wood. Fin stared at Candy longingly. She gazed at him beseechingly. It was clearly obvious that he wanted to keep her. Mayor O'Malley pulled the burning torch from his hand and lit the girl up. There could be no witnesses to what had occurred here today. They backed away and watched in horrified fascination as the girls screamed until they passed out. The mother, though, laughed and cursed them until she slumped over dead.