The Witch Bridle

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Chapter 44

Then the first gruesome murder was committed in early February. It didn’t look like a murder but it was one; something tore his head right off his body. The cops were perplexed. How could it have happened? A small truck jumped the curb and hit Mr. Smithson just as he walked home. He lived almost 50 miles away from Westbridge and it showed Oona how Lucia’s reach had expanded.

And on Valentine’s Day, a social event at the parish center turned into a circus when people began to vomit strange objects onto the floor of the recreation hall. Weird stuff came out of their throats: feathers, long and short pins – both rusty and clean – and buttons of all sizes. There were small stones about the floor and even a live mouse. The horror set in and some looked to be in shock. Many left quietly. No one could avail themselves to the good pastor right then. Numbly people returned to their cars.

Oona carried on at home about the night’s events, and mindful that Lucia demonstrated once again she could freely affect their environment. Still life went on and both women steadfastly defended their home turf against the Dark Witch. Thankful’s sixth birthday passed with no plans to celebrate.

One mild Saturday morning in February, KC picked up an old chair at a yard sale. It seemed to be an authentic piece of colonial era furniture. KC bought the chair for $35 and left it near the driveway when she got home. While she figured out next steps, the chair burst into flames and left scorch marks on the winter grass. KC thought of its obvious connection to Lucia. As with the death of Mr. Smithson and the parish fiasco, KC grew increasingly agitated.

“That the old chair could have a history tied to those in Lucia’s past,” Oona offered.

There followed a serious and heartfelt discussion, after which KC agreed to pull names from the phone directories. The women agreed they should contact the authorities with great care. They first plotted an on-site visit to the State Police where Oona would use her charms and beauty to her advantage and, if necessary, do the same with other official-sounding people.

Then KC ruled the whole thing out. “Oona, I advise against the beauty and charm approach. I can see it in your own eyes, and it’s just not there.” Though tired and drained, Oona remained undeniably beautiful: with her wild black tresses with matching eyes, her smooth contours.

Oona was presently unable to multitask or work anything of significant magic, which required great strength and concentration, to perform in the full spectrum of her attributes. KC was right. Oona knew it and, instead, used her powers to preserve a defensive barrier around her Gran Liv.

The Evil One’s dark rites of magic and her corresponding dark acts were having great effect upon things. Oona fatigued easily and acted self-obsessed. Oona unexpectedly decided to take a cab ride to the State Police barracks. She decided to warn the state police of those families she believed to be at greatest risk of Lucia’s revenge; those who must be protected.

Inside Oona sounded un-sharp and at times thick-tongued, and was quickly discredited as a “drunk-driver.” The cab idled outside. Oona even seemed tipsy and unsure to herself, though she hadn’t been drinking. She awkwardly mentioned her research; it did not help her make a case. Her normally cool, moist skin was sweaty with nerves. The woman who lost her driver’s license in November, and who clung to one very large Michael Kors handbag (which contained Gran Liv), could not convince the police she had anything of importance to say.

“I seek extra eyes of protection for certain descendants of the First Period colonial families.”

“First Period?” the officer asked, as if to confirm.

“Yes, that is the time from 1625 until 1725, but you need not be concerned for the whole period, only the 1690s.”

“All right miss. We’ll get right on it,” he smiled. He drank up the woman’s attractiveness, even if she was a crazy.

“Those familiar ones as well as some lesser known families,” she more potently ended. Then Oona felt she had been sent to the police totally unprepared and flat-footed, with nothing other than slurry words. She had been taken completely off guard. Oona knew through the haze which surrounded her judgment that this too was Lucia’s doing, that she had been lured there to make a mockery of criminal acts which had not yet happened.

“Drunk,” he muttered, strong enough for Oona to hear.

Oona drew in a long breath. Her words had fallen completely on deaf ears. She gathered her composure and what little strength which remained within her. “I was never convicted. I pled ‘no contest’,” she finally stammered. She said, “Good day” and lumbered out of the police barracks and back into her cab.

On the way back home, Oona felt everything had closed in on her with such force as to create a sullen panic in her spirit. She was essentially helpless and hopelessly reactive to the Great Witch whose spirit could descend upon innocent people at will or, like red lights on a map, those whose ancestors placed great wrongs on her and inflicted horrendous cruelties. And here she was, Oona Neeci, renowned metaphysicist and ontologist, witch, sorceress and enchantress, who had just sought help from the police to protect those who would now pay the price for offenses committed over three hundred years ago! Future victims of past deeds.

And as spring approached, there occurred randomly though quite deliberately freak accidents, an oddly executed suicide, and more than one serious house fire. Rumors surfaced which suggested a coordinated cult conspiracy. The police could never connect the dots as “No one person could commit such crimes.” And events, horrific as they were, were generally treated as a broken string of unrelated incidents. Oona dared not change that opinion now for fear of being implicated in any of it! She might have named names, and one was right there on the front page of the morning’s Globe! Oona was thoroughly and helplessly amazed. Lucia’s dark spirit gathered strength from the blood she drew. “Her words had indeed brought her back to this time. And though she was not yet in a final, physical, and a most treacherous state, her gathering strength was clearly visible.”

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