The Witch Bridle

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Chapter 22

After more than three centuries, the defiant spirit of Lucia stirred broadly from her invisible tomb. She unleashed a fiendish laugh which terrified young Thankful to the bone. From her coal-black eyes Lucia saw her young helper in the light of the dim room. The girl’s steely nerve had now suitably given way; the child-witch was collapsed on the floor, motionless and paralyzed. It was midnight.

There were odd stuffs such as she had never beheld, and her spirit approached them relentlessly as if through the distance of a long, dark tunnel. An instant later, Lucia soundlessly erupted through the floor, and from a simmering stew she spouted light and life. The lamps in the room brightened, and then flickered, and a stunning caramel colored beauty fully emerged. All the colors of the Caribbean lived in the shadows of her dark eyes. Upon her infinite merits, she wore a brilliant aigrette of gems and pearls on her head. She smiled like an angel, and smoothly glided to Thankful where she extended a hand, as if in love and friendship.

“I have answered thy call, my dear,” she said. “Rise up child and tell me what thou seest?”

The lady spoke in an old fashion way– the way people used to speak in the old black and white movies. Thankful dared not budge, and she kept her head burrowed in her arms. The young girl would not look up, and then, for no apparent reason, she shook her head rapidly.

“Dost thou understandest not?” Lucia gently inquired.

Thankful slowly emerged from her burrow and looked sheepishly into the face of the dark lady. Unknowingly Thankful saw the soft jaw and full rich lips of a West African, mixed with the lighter skin of the indigenous Caribs of St. Lucia.

The dark lady calmly regarded the child and then, as if to recalibrate herself, spoke without words. Lucia now stood before Thankful and assured the girl there was no need for fear, and that her arrival now was foretold by her own loving ancestors. “You hail from a fine family child.”

Celebrated Healer of Lynn.

The child-witch who answered the dark lady’s’ call, Thankful slowly rose and looked directly into her face.

The woman smiled down adoringly at the young girl, her hair plaited in a diadem filled with glittering objects. “The time for me, Lucia, the Great Witch, has finally come, as I now shall enter the living and breathing material world.”

“What is the year, child?” Lucia gently asked Thankful.

“Twenty Ten,” Thankful said without hesitation.

The dark spirit considered the answer for a moment, then asked in amazement, “You say Two Thousand and Ten is the year of your calendar?”

“I think so,” Thankful answered.

“As with three hundred winters since?”

“Uh,” she started. “I guess.”

“And in order for me to achieve the noble aims of my sacred mission, I needest thine assistance.”

“Okay.”

“And thine promise never to disclose what thee hast done or what thyself wilt do for thine righteous mistress.” The lady stood straight and glowered now at Thankful. “Swear now, my child, that you will never disclose our secrets, not to a one. Not to anyone.”

Even as the girl’s inner-self shrieked in horror at the manner from which the dark lady arose, the quiet terror helped the girl now to swear to complete secrecy. She grew calmer in the presence of the lady. Her courage returned when, completely deceived by the evil nature of the spirit, the girl plainly observed the full effects of the dark lady. Her presence was beyond words for the young girl to describe, but clearly the dark woman was remarkable in all her enticing beauty.

“The consequences of failure will cause all that is good and great to fail as well.” Lucia smiled stiffly. “Rise up now in amazement, child, for great surprises are in store for you and yours.”

The young girl was incapable of knowing such evil.

“And if you should ever refuse me, all those you love will perish.”

Thankful knew what the lady meant, and shivered. In spite of the bad language, she still clung to the belief that the dark lady was neither evil nor real.

Then, like a whirlwind, Lucia’s form evaporated into a glittery nothingness and it flew off into the darkness.

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