The Witch Bridle

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Chapter 20

There were airbrushed images of KC which danced before her, on her, under her. Dream like. But it was Alexi who was with Oona now. Hopelessly drunk on her lust for KC, and beholden of all her emotions, Oona stingily allowed Alexi do her work uninterrupted. Lexi’s lovemaking was always so luscious, so rich, and yet so totally void of meaning. And lovemaking was totally right for the moment and right for the evening. And while Oona’s body responded fully and deliciously, her mind was elsewhere, hopelessly cluttered with distractions of KC. Oona rolled to one side and grasped a pillow with both her hands. Lexi’s head rested between Oona’s thighs; her legs were positioned against Lexi’s shoulders and which she held firmly to keep Oona’s sex close to her face. Lexi pulled back from time to time only to tease. Oona’s mind was clouded with drink and with pleasure of Lexi’s cozy Cambridge apartment. Alexi, still a moody bohemian, though, at the moment, a very successful auteur. And when she could hold it no longer, she came in waves of uncontrollable spasms.

It was nearly midnight. Harvest time. For the moment, Oona had thoroughly purged her body of all life’s challenges. There was KC of course, also Oona’s own mother alone in New Orleans, over a thousand miles away. Just as quickly Oona’s mind returned to her recent relocation of herself and her ontology practice, to the stresses of dealing with children and of nannying in particular.

Samhain ushers in the cold season.

Oona knew she had relocated impetuously with the underlying hope and expectation of moving in and rather quickly sweeping KC off her feet. Drew, or what was left of him, was still hardly cold in his grave, and KC, even if she were amenable, was clearly not ready for any new relationship, and especially not of the kind Oona fancied. There was no need to compete with Drew yet, and she still felt driven more often than not to discredit him. Her failures, real and perceived, had shaken her usual self-confidence, and there were things about herself she noticed which she did not quite understand. Oona’s transition had surely played many tricks on her mind. And since her libido was more than fully engaged, Oona was not inhibited to go out and enjoy herself and fulfill her carnal needs.

Once KC returned from work, Oona was free to live her life each night anywhere she wished. She could take days off whenever she wanted, and was free on weekends as well, if she so desired. Her comings and goings were far more than flexible; and KC could almost always ‘cover.’ For now anyway, Oona and KC were a good working couple; theirs was an effective partnership, or so it seemed to Oona, which she judged from the last two weeks or so, still without the benefits of their mutual embrace.

On the brighter side, and aside from KC, Oona was quite comfortable at home with the family and drawn into it with a genuine sense of belonging. Oona refused any pay for her services; she did not need money and, after all, she had a no-rent suite in a beautiful house in a beautiful town. KC refused to take any payment, and both women shared freely. With a start-up practice strengthened by past and long held relationships in Boston and Cambridge, such as those she developed ten years ago: Amazing personal, academic, and professional relationships bloomed. She met Alexi back then.

Thankful rose up, then slowly and carefully opened the unlocked trunk. She observed that it looked even more like a coffin inside the chest. And the dim light of the bedroom cloaked the various objects neatly arranged inside the coffin-like box. Still the child-witch was not afraid. She strained to see what looked like some articles of clothing: a cloak or a robe, towels and sheets or blankets – she couldn’t tell what everything was. Underneath there were a few small bottles of something – they all seemed to have the same liquid – and containers, some of which resembled velvety jewelry boxes. There was also a gold-headed cane and an old-looking book, The Poems of Sappho. The girl only looked so far and would not touch a thing. She wanted to make sure to carefully cover all her tracks and not disturb or misplace a single thing. She spied another book. Another book. Finally, and very deliberately, Thankful reached down and gently lifted up the red cloak. There was nothing beneath it but the bottom wood of the chest. Next she did the same with a quilt-like blanket. She spied a small book, Herland, Gilman, 1915, and then moved another, larger book under which she saw the dull, red glow. She was certain The Book was there and she proceeded with great caution to remove all items between herself and the Great Book. And there it was.

There it pulsed as if it were alive, bound with strange brown leather that resembled a dark person’s skin, and with blood-red words, Pi Gran Liv Maji, tattooed across its cover. Thankful’s eyes widened as she lifted the Great Book.

Lucia’s demagogic rhetoric disguised her evil from the girl, under a cloak of goodness. The guiding voice from centuries past coupled now with the mythological Pi Gran Liv Maji, priceless legend though very real to the practitioners of the Caribbean.

Every witch knew of it – and now the greatest book of spells and magic drew Lucia irresistibly closer to it. Yes, with the young maid’s dabbling in its proximity, the Great Book has finally found Lucia. The Great Book was folkloric to her years before her cruel enslavement, when in the freedom of her youth, she enjoyed the rainforests and beaches of her native St. Lucia as only a happy child could enjoy. How she dreamed then of The Great Book of Spells and Magic. And as it shall soon be for the young maid. The attraction to the Great Book was too powerful to refuse. Revered by all who knew of its existence.

In the throes of ecstasy, Oona suddenly exchanged sustained sighs with a desperate scream: “Gran Liv!” Quickly she cast Lexi aside, as if her partner were a piece of paper, and she rose from their soft, warm bed. She frantically gathered up her clothes.

“What is it, love?” asked Lexi. “What is wrong?”

Oona said not a word and was out the door in an instant. “My Gran Liv! My Gran Liv!” she cried as she flew down the stairs and passed breathlessly out into the street. It was as if she were struck with a hot iron. Oona desperately needed to gather up her wits and senses.

Thankful carefully lifted the Great Book out of its sheltering chest. It was as if she held a living thing; it pulsed though it no longer glowed. Only a witch may touch me, she heard. The girl respectfully placed the treasure upon an old leather-top table a few feet away. Gran Liv flew open to page number 666 accompanied by deep rumblings about the room.

The unseen hand of Lucia played with the child-witch. She could plainly see her now; the servant girl who would open the portal through which she, Lucia would pass; a true revenant in substance and in form.

Thankful was not afraid. Midnight of the First of November approached. She sat erect at the small table and strange words began to flow freely now from her young mouth; from a voice which was not her own and yet passed easily from her lips. At times there were soft and repetitive chants then a strange melody of song, all recited in unknown tongues.

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