One week before Kelly arrives in Wales
There was no response after knocking on my mother’s door. Opening it, I softly called out “Jolene?”
The master bedroom in the villa was light, airy, and spacious. A four poster bed sat on one wall and a sitting area with a little coffee table on the other side near an en-suite. A dresser that was obviously David’s sat at the far side of the room, and I halted at the sight. This was my first time in their room, and it hadn’t seemed to occur to me that they might share a bed. Have sex every night with Jolene enjoying David whispering forced sweet things to her. The thought made me shudder.
I couldn’t get his shriek out of my head. It was to the point now that every time I saw him, or we exchanged words and he smiled at me with compelled love, I would see a twitch in his face and I imagined that was the real him trying to signal to me that he needed out. He was crying for help and no one could hear him.
Running water splashed from out of the ensuite, my mother must have been half way through a shower. I turned to leave her to it when a book on the table caught my eye.
My mother’s calendar diary. She carried that book everywhere around the house. Sporadically writing in it, or checking dates.
I gave a big yawn and sat down on her loveseat. I had just woken up and was still recovering from Jolene’s sleeping draft that kept me more or less in a dreamless, shiver-less sleep for the three days of the full moon. Remembering the first two I was nearly fully conscious for, I was all for keeping me knocked out to avoid the fire that ran through my veins during the period. The she-wolf inside was rapping at the door and I did not know how long I would be able to stay sane if I was conscious for the whole time. Stretching out, I sat down on her chair and looked down at the book.
Before the house fire, I had a vague memory of my mother being a control freak, and the book confirmed it. Times, dates, abbreviations, and acronyms I didn’t understand were everywhere. Red pen, black pen, circles, arrows, unintelligible writing to anyone viewing it. It was a stark contrast to the sophisticated woman with a closet of designer clothes. Fortunately, I had inherited my mother’s awful handwriting and was soon looking through the pages, studying the ‘events’ she felt were important enough to write down.
There was a lot here. Lots to do with JJ International, meetings, people, but one stood out like a neon sign given my train of thought about David not two minutes earlier. I bit my lip. My mother and I had somehow avoided all of our hard conversations, the ones that I wanted to get down to the root of, for nearly a month. Whether she deliberately circumnavigated my questions by showing me some new piece of magic, or if I had just wanted to let our easy truce to continue for the little time we still had, I didn’t know and I sure as shit wasn’t going to find out at this stage.
But this was different, I knew the truth about David, and while I may be in the wrong to interfere in my mother’s love life, it seemed to be the one thing I could do. Making my choice, I picked up the pen and made the changes to my mother’s diary.
When my mother arrived from the bathroom five minutes later, I was by the bedroom window, looking down at Giuseppe and David studying a large oak tree that had finally fallen yesterday.
I turned towards her, with an easy smile.
“And ready to get on with it. Three days is a long time to waste with my flight out soon. But honestly, can I have a break from butcher duty, if I have to kill another Henrietta, I’m going to just let them go and turn Vegan.”
She smiled, nodded at my request, and studied me, ending up at my now ratty blonde hair. The roots were now and truly out and the red glinted in the sunlight behind me. Bleached honey hair with red roots, it was a look.
She motioned to it now,
“You ready to get rid of that bad decision on your head?”
I frowned at my mother,
“Chad, wasn’t it? The reason for that box bleach? I’m sure it served a purpose, but now, it would be better if you went to Wales with your natural color.”
I picked a lock up from my bangs and frowned at it. I hadn’t thought about douchebag for so long, but yes, she was right. Time to cut another version of Kelly away. If I was going to Wales to play a part, every femme fatale I had ever heard of usually had a disguise. Maybe the ‘real’ Kelly would be mine.
“Well, if you can set up an appointment, I’m willing.”
Jolene swung open the door to her ensuite with a playful smile I rarely saw.
“Lucky for you, I have an opening right now.”
Intrigued, I grinned and followed her into the bathroom where she pulled up a seat to the sink. From a drawer, a pair of electric clippers emerged and she turned them on, a little concern now showing in my face.
“Trust me. I know hair.” I eyed her chestnut coiff and hesitantly nodded. She proceeded to shave off my shoulder length bleached hair, right to the scalp. I watched in horror and excitement. Shaving my head was something I had only dreamed about but never had the guts. When she was done, I rubbed my hand over it, softly saying in wonder, “I love it.” And I did, I looked more like a fighter and the ‘hard Kelly’ I had been trying for these last few months.
Above me, Jolene shook her own head, “Don’t get used to it, we need that red to shine through.”
Positioning herself behind, her hands spread over my scalp and she closed her eyes, muttering to me, “This will tingle.” I nodded unsure of what she was going to do but watched with fascination. After a few moments, my scalp did begin to tingle, like I had experienced when energy was passing my hand. Abruptly, a fine fuzz of my natural hair began to grow all over my head. Jolene kept a stern focus on her hands and didn’t break it as the hair began to grow longer.
Amazed, I continued to feel the tingling sensation and watch the hair grow, my natural hair emerging and growing longer than I had ever known. There was a slight wave that came out with it once it reached past my shoulders. After a minute, the dark red hair was half way down my back, and Jolene lifted her hands and looked pleased with herself, but stilled when she saw my amazed expression.
She knelt down beside me with a serious look and held me by my shoulders.
“Kelly, I know you’re book smart, but I need you to be thinking bigger. Think outside the box, you know? This amateur stuff we have been doing is fine, but it’s something any witch can do, its small bones.”
I must have seemed perplexed, cause she huffed at me, “Kelly, Wardwell’s can manipulate energy. Energy! Everything, every little atom, has some amount of energy. You yourself have unconsciously summoned lightning just because you were mad!”
She gave a long sigh in frustration,
“Look, you’ve done well this last month with the basics, but I need you to think...just bigger.”
“Okay...how much bigger?”
Standing, she took my hand and we walked out of the room, downstairs and out into the yard.
Walking out to the outer courtyard, Jolene led us to the new fallen oak tree, where her husband had now gotten out a chainsaw and finished cutting off the top branches, leaving the trunk. Seeing us approach, he straightened up and gave an endearing smile and she waved him away, indicating he should move away from the tree.
Turning to me now, she simply stated. “Move the tree out to the driveway, please.”
I wavered in my steps to the tree and looked between her and it.
“Big,” she finished. “I know.”
She came behind me to face it and held my shoulders.
“Just remember the incantations that we learned last week and most of all, that Wardwell’s can do pretty much anything.”
Signaling over to David and Giuseppe, she called out to him,
“Come on, darling, Kelly is going to take care of this. Let’s take a break and I’ll make some of my famous blood orange mimosas, yes?”
I nodded to her and watched while the men and my mother went inside for her signature cocktail that I myself had been enjoying more than not lately.
I looked at the thirty foot long trunk and huffed. Bastard was thick. More than the falling leaves I had been using to hold up in the air last week. I had just been making an air cushion of sorts with them, but this, this actually needed to go ‘up’. Atmospheric distortion. I needed a freaking tornado to lift this bad boy.
Jolene’s notations on her personal books were helpful, but shit, this was a bit much for a first time.
Okay, I was still a rookie, I still had to use my hands to visualize it happening. I breathed in and out, happy to not have an audience. I needed warm air, I needed the electrons in the air to move around, a lot of them actually, and I needed Jolene’s incantation.
I muttered her words and slowly began to pull my hands up, like I was twisting an invisible rope out from the ground, heaving a large exhale. Wind, I needed fast air, faster than force it would take to lift that bastard tree.
My new long hair whipped annoyingly around my face, but I kept my intent of the damn tree. The atoms moved easily enough, and the incantation gave me reach, but it felt too much against my brain, like I could physically feel that weight. A crunch of leaves lifting sounded in my ears and I flashed my eyes open, just in time to see the tree fall a foot back to the ground as I lost my concentration, the fast air quickly dissipating.
“Fuuuuuuck.” I moaned. Still a foot off the ground didn’t seem like a bad start, and that sixty year old tree had to weigh at least a ton, literally. Resigned, that this was a matter of practice, I started the process again, each time, lifting it a little higher, using my hands a little less, the wind more localized. About half an hour later, I was satisfied, exhausted, and just fucking done.
I had moved that dead trunk approximately twenty meters to the long driveway, only five short of where Jolene had asked. I sat on the ground and leaned up against an olive tree. Just in time for David and Jolene to return with half filled champagne flutes. David handed me a full one, and Jolene surveyed my work, clearing frowning.
“Not the ‘bigger’ I was imagining, but it still got the job done, I guess.”
I took a sip, nearly choking at her words.
“You do realize I just used a mini tornado to do your garden work and move a tree. What the hell could be bigger than that?”
As her habit, Jolene pursed her lips at my sass and handed David her flute in a ‘hold-my-beer’ motion. Turning her attention to the tree, she shook out her hands, and said something under her breath. Her hands came up in front of her, acting like she was lifting and all one ton of the old oak tree silently lifted off the ground. She turned her arms and the trunk moved the remaining five meters to where I should have deposited it.
I was dumbfounded, rendered speechless. More than Giuseppe’s fall, or when she seamlessly transferred energy, my mother levitated a ton of wood like she was lifting it between her arms.
She came back to me and kneeled down, blocking my view, a stern but worried look on her face.
“Kelly, I need you to step it up. You’re going to be alone there, I can’t be there to help you, they know our faces. But honey, nothing is out of your reach if you can think it through.”
I blinked through my stunned and hazy brain at what my mother just revealed she could do,
“What are you saying? What does that even mean?”
Jolene looked down at my half drunk champagne and then up to meet my eyes,
“If you see the chance, that all the pieces are on the board, laid out flat….destroy it. Kill them all.”