The Witch Bridle

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Chapter 31

With whatever had just happened, it seemed to Oona that her powers were fully intact. With vivid memories airbrushed by time, the witch recalled those past successes and finely crafted spells she conjured to enter the realms of the dead.

About the table, however, reactions were a mixture of shock and revulsion. KC felt ill as she regarded her nanny and dear friend, Oona. Could she possibly have had something do to with his death?

Oona did not sense any of this. Instead she was overtaken with a renewed desire to become a part of this, her adopted family, to help the children now and transform into the full time companion of their mother. Oona had no idea at that moment that her outward expressions implicated her in the death of KC’s husband Andrew. Her semi-dream-like state continued for all to notice, and she slowly moved her head about. Still the Chain remained linked, though hands were wet with anxiety.

“But what is real and what is not?” Oona, with a tired smile, finally said. “His presence is past.” She collapsed on the table. The Chain broke and the candles died. All went dim and a great puff of wind entered the room. Then the electric lighting came on, as if by her command, and the Group’s other members’ feelings of horror and loss were as if a great weight descended upon them. There was a muted impact on Charley, and the rest were left with some seeds of suspicion; doubt as to what Oona knew about Drew’s death that day.

An already troubled KC needed Oona to explain herself and tell her what she knew about Drew’s death. Maybe she just saw it coming and did nothing to stop it. KC did not want to believe such a thing but the feeling now was very real. Was there any culpability? Most troubling was the undeniable plausibility of it all.

Lucia had helped to implicate Oona in the death of KCs husband. There had been signs of strange behavior, vivid dreams of her, weird, and odd and assuming questions from Thankful. In any event, KC believed suspicions over Oona’s possible role in her husband’s demise poisoned trust and good will and, if true, would destroy their relationship forever. For how could such a “monster” remain close to the same family from which she took their titular head of household?

Oona retired to her bedroom with the assistance of Frank and Cathy. Visibly exhausted, she was with a cloudy spirit. Oona felt detached from the rest of the Group, and especially her “family” which ascended the stairs to the main floor. There had been no words, not even farewells.

Oona sought comfort by Pi Gran Liv, which she removed from her chest as soon as Frank and Cathy left her room. She shared not one word of thanks to those who helped her. And for Oona it seemed as though nothing was wrong. As she collected her wits, she grew conflicted and confounded. “To what extent have I ever loved you, Pi Gran Liv? And to what extent have you ever loved me?”

In ways she had never known, Oona Neeci felt she was used by the very book she was sworn to protect. She had guarded Gran Liv all the years since it was left to her by her beloved Mamie. That esoteric collection of magical spells gave Oona a sense of supremacy and control. In the tradition of the great Haitian mystery schools which strengthened Oona with magic and spells, it had, most importantly, taken her this long to appreciate its fullness.

Right?

Or was Pi Gran Liv now just a sociological treasure, little more than a cultural expression of past and primitive times? And to what extent had Oona even used Gran Liv since the day last month when she placed it in the back of her Porsche for the long drive north to Massachusetts?

Had Oona simply taken Gran Liv for granted, stuffed it in an old trunk and forgot about it, so she could just be a nanny for her would-be forty-something lover? Lately though, when inspired to consult the Book, she was paralyzed by dreamlike images of KC, before she could stir into any action.

Maybe someone or something will be a better master than I have been these years.

KC was inexplicably the challenge of Oona’s twenty eight year old life. She was the one. KC is the one. Oona wanted the beautiful, blonde haired beauty of middle years; she wanted her as she wanted no other. KC was in the prime of her life, vulnerable, yet a strong mother of three. How for all these years, Oona had secretly wanted to find her other half. Then when she finally thought she had, she found only failure. Now more than at any time ever, Oona wanted to be captured by her true love and be smothered in her control. She wanted KC to rule over her. Love and lust, and for Oona there was a difference here so unlike any of the others who came and served her. Now Oona was ready for a strong tongue and a guiding hand. She was tired of being the leader, the strong one. She wanted now to enjoy and serve an artful mistress. To be led.

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