The Return to Willow Lake - 2

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Chapter 22

“So, Banshee’s exist?” Emmett questioned as his head cocked to one side. We’d figured as we had to do the detection spell, it was best to inform them of the situation, just in case something went wrong.

“According to the books, yeah, and everything adds up.” I nodded as I looked at the map of Willow lake in front of me. “Unbeknown to us, a Banshee’s cry was recorded about three weeks before the attack. Sarah Williams had heard it, although she’d marked it down as a mere shrill of a lost hiker. However, we believe it may have well been a Banshee’s cry, given the timing.”

“And three weeks before is when our leader had set out to attack your coven.” Emmett’s head bobbed slowly. “Although we were only told last minute, didn’t learn the attack had been planned out for a while until long after.”

“I wish you’d told us before, Hallie.” Alicia’s voice came out tight, showing her clear annoyance.

“Mom, please. We didn’t tell you because we felt no reason to worry. Plus, you need to focus on the whole, making sure we don’t lose anyone else from town situation.”

“Let up, Alicia. They’re adults, and I’m sure they would have told us if they felt a genuine cause of concern.” Emmett defended, raising an eyebrow at Alicia. “Besides, it doesn’t hurt for them to handle things on their own sometimes. We don’t have to hover around them; we’re not helicopters.”

Alicia sighed and swayed her head slowly, “No, I suppose you’re right. So, what happens with this spell then?”

“Supposedly, Hallie will do her thing and sprinkle the Sage ash on the map. Once the spell itself is complete, the ash will gather in clumps where supernatural creatures are.” Zach explained as he busied himself, burning the sage over a small white bowl to create the ash.

“So our house here...” Masato continued, pointing to where our house sat on the map. “There would be a reasonably large section of ash because there are five of us here. The larger the clump, the more there are in that particular area.”

“I checked, Ms. Jameson, is at home,” Emmett spoke knowingly. “I whizzed by about five minutes ago. She was just in her lounge reading some book and listening to some boring radio station.”

“And her house is here.” My finger pointed to a small street on the outer part of town, near the west entrance of the forest.

“So, if she’s a Banshee, or well, anything other than human, the ash will gather there.” Zach hummed. “It won’t tell us what being she is, but yeah, if she is, Banshee is my bet.”

“Same.” Masato acknowledged, “I called my Ma earlier, and Dad is starting to slip. Ma is having to wheel him around all the time and help him out of bed in the mornings.”

Alicia placed a sympathetic hand on Masato’s shoulder. “I’m sorry, Masato. If you’d like, we’d be happy to fund for you to go over one more time.”

Masato shook his head, “It’s okay, I said my goodbyes when we went there last week. Dad doesn’t want me coming back over until Hallie and I are married. I don’t think he wants me to see him the way he is now. I’m talking to him daily, though.”

“All right, well, if you decide to defy your father, the offer is there, sweetheart.” Alicia gave Masato a small smile, which he returned.


“All right, that should be enough.” Zach handed over the small white ceramic pot containing the ash of the burned sage. “I don’t mind doing this one, Hale.”

“No, it’s okay, I got it.” I smiled as I took the pot from him. “Okay, I need everyone to be dead silent. It’s a reasonably simple spell, but it takes a whole heap of concentration and energy. So yeah, no one makes a peep, or I’ll zap you.”

I looked around the living room, and everyone stood quiet and unmoving.

I took a deep breath as my eyes closed, my hands seizing the small bowl as I began to build the energy inside me.

I silently willed my powers to enchant the ash to reveal all the negative energies wherever it touched, repeating my will three times for good measure.

I opened my eyes and sprayed the ash over the map, watching as it scattered over the paper between the border’s Zach had marked off.

I placed the bowl down gingerly and continued to will the ash to move towards the negative energies.

Grain by grain, the ash began to move. First, it shifted towards the forest, large clumps which revealed the location of the Vampire clans and the Wolf dens we were aware of.

Next, it gathered towards another area of the forest in the far south, and an area we didn’t often go due to the dirt track running through it.

Another clump formed over where our house was, just as we anticipated.

I studied the page carefully, watching the smallest fragments gravitate off from the center, toward the west. However, before the gains moved more than an inch, the entire document caught fire, causing me to jump and fall back in my chair.

“Shit, Hallie!” Masato held out his hand, keeping the chair gravitated before I landed on the hardwood floor underneath.

“What the fuck?!” Zach let out a burst of energy, instantly extinguishing the blaze as I recovered myself from the almost fall.

“What the hell happened?” Emmett’s eyes stared at the now charred paper that laid on the glass table.

“I have no idea.” I shook my head in skepticism. I’d done everything right, and it had been working until the paper caught fire.

“Well, while it’s a simple spell, it’s a tough one. You have to channel a whole heap of energy. Maybe it’s one that takes practice to get working properly.” Masato sighed as he shrugged his shoulders. “It did say in the book it was likely to happen. Hence why we laid down a fireproof matt underneath.”

“There is something in the south, though near the dirt track. I didn’t see anything to the west near Ms. Jameson’s house. Although, a couple of grains were slowly edging to the west before it went up in flames.”

Zach groaned as he ran his fingers through his hair, “Doesn’t say much, though. All the grains were moving in some form of direction and not in a straight line either.”

“I could try again? Maybe not right now, but in a few days, if I don’t let anything off and feed right before, I should have enough energy to pull it off.”

“Yeah, but you got exams starting Monday, you might be too exhausted.” Alicia hummed, “We’ll see how it goes.”

“I can always do it.” Masato offered, which caused me to whip my eyes to him in warning, “Sure, unlike these two, it will age me a little, but it should only zap a week or two, not much. We can decrease the border down too to just the west, which means less power and energy is needed.”

My head shook in protest, “And that’s a week or two less I get with you. I’ll do it or Zach can, I’m sure it will be fine. We’ll constrict the border as you said, and we’ll do it on the weekend if I’m too tired during the week.”

“All right, well, that was...eventful.” Emmett chuckled as he picked up the matt and swept the charred paper into the small wastebasket. “Who’s hungry?”

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