The Witch Bridle

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Chapter 28

“The house is a mess,” KC proclaimed. “We’ll have to clear off this table for Thanksgiving.” For years the start of the school year witnessed the transformation of the dining room into a large, messy study hall for the kids. “Books and notebooks, paper and pens were everywhere. There were some permanent markers on the table and the floor. “Come on guys,” KC pleaded, “this house needs to be cleaned up.”

From the kitchen, Louis and Charley headed in the direction of the dining room. Thankful was preoccupied though, and had only heard her mother’s muffled voice as if she was calling her from a long tunnel.

I really didn’t mean to call on this lady. I wanted a friend not a scary ghost from so long ago.

Thankful moved like a zombie on to the chores that awaited her in the dining room. She felt the lady’s spirit rumble louder every day. But did anybody else feel it? Each day the dark lady’s color got richer and deeper. To Thankful, it seemed like the lady was ready to get loud. The girl was very afraid and had hardly slept. She wished she could just wish the whole thing away. She kept telling Mom and Oona and even her brothers, when they asked, that everything was fine. Thankful knew she had witches in her family, and maybe the dark lady was one of them. There was a lot of history that Daddy knew about Mommy’s side of the family, and the connections with those long-ago people in Salem. And Thankful was quietly terrified that she was already doomed to Krampus’ lair.

While KC increasingly had her doubts about Oona, she could not bear the thought of losing her help and companionship right now. Inspired by Thankful’s love of her father and of the holiday, KC took a deep breath and spoke directly and commandingly to Oona. She asked her to arrange still another séance. “Since the last séance, a few missing objects have turned up. Now, there are other things to set straight, and I hope our Group of Six will make the contact we need.”

Wildly intoxicated with life and driven by blind passions and pleasures, Oona agreed. Drained and tired, she had secretly set out to hire her own nanny, and the candidates were, so far, all quite lovely. This made matters only more complicated for her, and Oona struggled with whether to tell KC of her plans. There is just too much going on. For the moment, Oona ruled out any provocative action.

“Who are the six, ma chère?”

“You know it was his birthday a few days ago.” KC was taken away with mostly pleasant memories of Drew and his many birthdays with her at his side.

“Thankful and Alexi can be Fifth and Sixth, ma chère. “And with Charley, we shall have our Group of Six.”

“I don’t think so,” KC said soberly. How she had always prided herself with being direct with friends and accepting of those friends and their friends as well. But truth be told, Alexi was a weirdo. Pure and simple: weird.

“Do I detect a tone of jealousy, ma chère?” Oona smiled her smile, and winked playfully at KC.

“Hardly,” said KC. “And I’m in no mood for that visual!” I will not entertain that thought. “Oona: I want neither Alexi nor Thankful at the table. Both of them are out of the question! I will not have my young daughter as a party to such an event. Alexi: she’s just too weird.”

Oona could tell KC was in no mood for banter. With the holidays coming so quickly upon them, and the cruel normalcy of Drew Boehme’s passing, Oona knew these things had hit her friend hard. Now she needed to be gentle with KC.

“Yes, ma chère. So then, who are the Six?”

“Trixi should be arriving soon, and we can ask her. That is, if she makes it this time.”

“That is very fine with me.” Oona had all pleasant memories of Trixi, KC’s former baby sitter. “So then, you prefer to wait for Trixi?”

“Well, I suppose we could ask Frank and Cathy to join us. That’d actually be perfect,” KC said. “Their son Andrew can sit with Thankful and Stinkly.” And Andrew was especially close with KC’s son Charley. They were both close in age and interests. Andrew was a “young” fourteen. He got along fine with everyone, including Thankful.

“Yes, we shall have our Six one way or the other I suppose,” Oona acquiesced. She agreed that Frank and Cathy would fill the roster.

Thankful would make great use of her gentle giant, her “Little Andrew.” Unbeknownst to all, the child-witch by this time had fulfilled the wishes of the dark lady, when she discreetly snatched a dress from Oona’s apartment.

“Well, all right then,” KC concurred. “We have our six participants: you, me, Charley and Louis, and Frank and Cathy.”

Oona quietly recalled her time with Frank, back in New York when everyone was saving Anton from his earthly purgatory. Frank was picked up in Boston four years ago – rescued really – by Drew and his young sons, Charley and Louis. Then they traveled to Brooklyn and linked up with Oona. Together they set out to find his remains and reinter Anton in hallowed ground. And what an adventure it was! She and Frank, estranged from his wife at that time, had had great sex every moment when they were not recuing Anton. Oona smiled softly and conspicuously, briefly overwhelmed by the intensity of those passions. She had seen Frank recently and had also gotten to know his pretty wife from the Midwest – Cathy-Jo to be exact. Yes, Frank and his lovely wife!

“And the Six shall have their séance.” Oona proclaimed. She put on a brave face, though deep inside her Oona felt as though control of the next séance had already been ripped away. Oona waited for KC to say something more. She smiled a bit naughtily over to her, the hazel-eyed mother of three beautiful children. “Here is one conquest that never happened,” Oona reflected. She regarded KC was seated only a few feet away. She remained for Oona an as-yet unquenched desire. Paramount desire!

“Now, I want you to help me find Drew’s reason for going to DC,” KC stated in a business-like manner. She paused for a moment and then asked Oona, “Why was it such a big, incredible secret? Why’d he have to leave us in such a rush?” KC’s demeanor changed to anger and an ugly scowl overtook her normally friendly and balanced face.

Oona regarded her friend with abject wonder. “I do not know, ma chère, though we shall learn these things if it will help you heal.” And will another intrusion into the finality of death really help heal her? In truth, Oona did not know.

Oona generally retained strong telepathic powers. And though proficient in basic level mind reading, lately her vast array of extrasensory skills were difficult to muster. While Oona struggled to reach into KC’s mental state, she thirsted for her embrace.

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