The Witch Bridle

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Chapter 18

With great effort, torn with emotions and uncertain of which way to proceed, Oona struggled most with her carnal passions. While she was obliged to help her dear friend KC connect with her former spouse, Oona was at the same time competing with Andrew for KC’s love. Her erotic desire drove her to discredit him as she did, in front of his wife. And though Oona could see the great pain it had caused KC, she felt at times it was beyond her control. Oona’s internal struggle subsided once she conjured the man well known for his kindness, respectful of others, living and dead, and a man who, quirky as he was, was generally kind. She had finally managed to change course, though with considerable difficulty.

Now the Three conjured the mirror’s images which faded to a soft nothingness, and Oona heralded, “Hear me now, Andrew. Hear me now. We Three implore thee, in your peace and compassion, and by your love and devotion, to disclose to us now, the nature and the true purpose of your final journey on Earth.”

A few seconds passed in complete silence.

“Great loss of life occurred for which we have no meaning. We beg you now, Andrew (KC softly whispered, ‘Drew’), to reveal now your reason for travel. Your death has brought great suffering upon us, without significance of purpose.” With all her strength and concentration the witch pushed to unlock secrets which Andrew took to his grave.

A few seconds passed in complete silence which reigned in the dim lit room. Still there was nothing.

“Hear us now Andrew Gerhard Boehme!” Oona cried. “Show His mercy on us, on issues of great prominence to your beloved wife.” Oona’s voice deepened. “Hear me now! I command thee to heed my call, to follow my subtle command!” The crystal ball went lively with a reddish glow as Oona’s serious stare grew glassy and eventually hopeless. Oona turned her eyes imploringly to Louis, and in a soft voice, the boy spoke:

“Dad? Are you listening? Can you hear me?” he asked. “Opa? Can you hear me?” Louis gave it a long moment, took a breath and then added, “Can either of you hear me?” Undeterred, the boy repeated his calls, and then looked to Oona, then over to his mother. Without words, everyone encouraged young Louis to keep trying.

“I – we need your help, Dad. Mom’s looking for the checkbook. It’s driving her crazy. Well, you know.” Louis took a quick breath.

Drew and Anton contemplated their known challenges alongside the dissimilar, perpetual sunniness of the Hereafter. Then Anton suddenly reacted to some unknown prompt and, as if he had picked up a barely audible sound or some unexpected noise. Opa cocked his eyebrow and nodded to Drew. With a gentle squeeze, Anton motioned for Drew to rise from the rich green grass and move in the direction of his office. Their moment had arrived.

They walked the short distance back to his office, and Anton continued to listen to something. Once they returned, the two men took seats behind Opa’s desk. Anton listened intently while he adjusted his position in his chair. A little longer and Anton looked more seriously over to his charge.

“What is a checkbook?” Anton asked.

“What?” Drew asked scornfully. After all the anticipation of some major revelation, Drew was otherwise speechless.

“Your son Louis says that your wife is looking for ‘the checkbook’. Do you know where she may find this checkbook?”

“So you are hearing from my son!” Drew felt an overwhelming joy at that moment of certainty.

Anton nodded. “Yes, Lieb.” He stoked his pipe “Do you know where this checkbook is?”

“Uh…” Drew was paralyzed with emotion. His joy was tempered. How he longed for his loved ones. Then the words came to him and in a more familiar manner and he responded, “Umm, tell Louis I brought it on the trip with me to DC.” Then, Drew collapsed onto his knees and wept.

Anton stooped from his seat and lent a hand on Drew’s shoulder.

Mindful of past interruptions which had broken the Chain, there was a restrained silence on the parts of Oona and Louis’ mother, and his brother who sat frozen on the couch. Everyone waited for the boy to continue, their hands on the table, palms faced up. Oona forced herself to react in an unfamiliar way when she handed Louis free reign. No time to probe the boy’s mind.

“I miss you Dad,” Louis proclaimed. “And Thankful is acting strange.” He paused and sniffled. “Dad – Opa – anybody: there’s something strange going on here and I don’t mean these séances. I’m not sure what it is.”

Anton’s broad smile vanished beneath his bushy gray moustache.

“Tell Mom to get a new checkbook,” Drew wailed. “I brought it to balance on the plane, to give me something productive to do…in flight. I was coming right home…that same day.”

Anton squeezed his shoulder. “Lieb: I believe your son wants us in more ways than one.”

“I didn’t think KC would need it,” he sobbed.

Louis turned to his mother, and softly said, “Dad took it with him.”

KC collapsed onto the table and the Chain was broken.

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