Chapter 12: Candi...
I’m sitting in shock, waiting for this woman to elaborate. Finally, she asks, “What do you need to know?”
I whisper, “Everything.”
She nods, “I’ll tell you all I know.”
Chris walks up and asks, “Hey, everything ok?”
I turn to him, “Yes. Can you give me a minute?”
The woman says, “No. He should hear this too. You won’t be able to handle this on your own. Best he sits down.”
Just as Chris sits down beside me, a confused look on his face, another lady says from behind us, “Granny, don’t start scaring people now.”
She ignores her, though, and starts talking, “Now, remember, I don’t know firsthand, as I wasn’t there. I wasn’t born yet. But, my own great grandmother was part of the coven that put him down.”
Chris clears his throat, “I’m sorry, but I’m lost.”
She heaves a breath, “Very well. Let’s start with the entire sordid tale then. Almost 200 years ago, a local girl, Isabella, fell in love with a dashing young man named Kieran. He was new to the area and she had caught his eye as well. Now, Isabella was from a prominent family and was adored by everyone that met her. She was kind and beautiful. She was also a member of the local coven of wiccans and was a known healer. Kieran spent a couple of months courting Isabella and then asked for her hand in marriage. She agreed and the wedding proceeded. I don’t know exactly what happened behind closed doors, but it became obvious to those close to her that he was hurting her. He was never faithful and it was revealed that he had nearly killed a woman that he was using as mistress. He was one of those men that enjoys inflicting pain and he went too far. The woman left town but not before trying to get help. Unfortunately, back then, men held all the power. She was brushed off as a woman of loose morals and told that she got what she deserved for daring to have relations with another woman’s husband. The local magistrate made it clear to her that she would be punished severely if she had the temerity to try and spread her accusations to anyone else. She left that night and was never heard from again around here. Life went on, but women had become cautious. No other woman would go near him, for fear of ending up like her. The preacher started turning his sermons to adultery and how women were temptresses and made it sound like men were just the poor innocents that got caught in their webs. He preached that men needed to keep closer eyes on their women and to withstand temptation.”
The woman from behind the counter comes around and sits down beside her grandmother, putting her arm around her. She’s probably in her 40’s, with long dark hair and pale skin. She’s a bit on the plump side… not overly so… more like someone who doesn’t get a whole lot of exercise while sitting behind a desk all day.
“Granny, don’t get yourself upset.” She looks over at us, “Please ignore this. She has these moments where she rants about things supernatural.”
“Teresa, you need to let me tell my story.” That said, she dismisses ‘Teresa’ and continues, “Now, where was I? Oh yes… Isabella’s coven sisters were concerned about her and then it all came to a head. I don’t know why or what happened but he ended up killing her. He took her up to the waterfall and was burying her when they found him. They did a spell to kill him, but something went wrong. No one had realized that he was sleeping with one of them.”
She reaches down and pulls her purse from beneath the couch. “This is the coven.” She hands me a small metal picture, “There was a man traveling through that took their picture. Photography was still new then and they were all excited to be able to have their likeness done without sitting for a portrait.”
I look down at the tin and suck in a breath. “They were in my dream.”
Chris leans over, “Which dream?”
“The last one that you woke me up from. The one about him killing her.” I point down at a beautiful dark haired girl, “This is her. This is Isabella.”
The old woman nods, “Yes, that’s her. But she wasn’t there.”
“Huh? But she’s right there.”
“I know child, but look closer.” I look back down at the picture, trying to see what she means and she says, “Everyone else has a shadow in that picture. She doesn’t.”
Oh my God! She’s right. “So she was a ghost?”
“That’s what we’ve all believed. She wanted to be there with her sisters. Look at her face and where she’s looking.”
I look back down again and see that everyone is looking at the camera… except Isabella. Their faces, of course, are solemn. It was difficult to hold a smile for pictures back then, as it took a while for them to be done. So, you didn’t usually find people smiling in them. Isabella, however, is looking at one of the other ladies. She’s standing to the side and kind of to the back of them, staring at a blonde with a look of sorrow on her face.
“Who is she?” I ask, running my finger across the blonde’s face.
“That’s Marie. She was Kieran’s only remaining mistress. She was also the woman who messed up the entire spell and made what he is now doing possible.”
“All except for her wanted to bring Isabella back. In order to do that, they had to use magic to kill him. It had to be a balance, you see. Everything in nature must have balance, including magic. It went wrong somehow and Joanna knew it immediately. She knew that he would be given 200 years of roaming this earth, wreaking havoc, before Isabella would be brought back. At the time, she had no idea that Marie was tampering with the spell… working against the coven. According to my mother, she changed it just enough that he can be corporeal for short bursts of time. He uses the spirits that are on that land to recharge himself. Of course, he can’t leave the land, so it HAS to be the ones surrounding him. Over the years, he’s built of quite a font of power with those he’s murdered.”
“What happens when his 200 years are up?”
“Well, my dear, that’s the problem. He will cease to exist. However, Marie made it to where he can impregnate a woman. If he manages that, then he’ll be reincarnated in that child. Isabella can ONLY come back if he’s completely gone, so that poor girl will still be stuck in an in between state until he dies that second life that he’ll be given.”
Chris clears his throat, “So, he’s just going around trying to knock up women?”
“Yes. But he has a temper. Every time he fails, he gets angry and reacts like a spoiled child, breaking his toys. That 200 years will soon be up, so he’s getting desperate now. He’ll do everything he can to fulfill his goal and get that child. You can NOT go back there. If you do, you’ll destroy us all.”
“How? I mean,” I pause, searching for what I want to say, “If he can’t leave, then how will he destroy everyone?”
“Oh, he’ll be able to leave then. He’ll be a normal human.”
“Okaaayyyy. Then why the fear? If he’s a normal human, he can’t be that scary.”
She lets out a little laugh, “Are serial killers not scary to you?”
“Of course,” I shrug, “But he’ll still have to grow up. Maybe he’ll be a different person by then. Maybe it was something in his first childhood that caused him to be the way he was.”
“No,” she shakes her head, “He is inherently evil. He had a blessed childhood, actually. But something was wrong with him from the start. His parents, from what I’ve been told, were actually very good to him. And, besides all that, he will remember his previous life at some point. It may not be immediate. Hell, it may not be before he hits adulthood, but one thing that was made very clear is that he WILL remember.”
“Yes, but he’ll be human. He can’t destroy everyone. Especially with the way the law works now. He’ll eventually get caught. And won’t someone know about all this and have someone watching him?”
She sighs, “Of course, child. But you’re missing the point. He was basically saved by black magic. Do you really think he’s been idle all this time? I mean… yes, he’s been killing people… but there’s not been as many people as you think in that house. There’s been years in between at times. He’s had almost two centuries to learn the magic and I guarantee you he’ll use it. My assumption has always been that he’ll go after that coven with everything he has. When he learns they’re all dead now, he’ll go after their descendants. I have a family, as do most of the children that were born of those women. I don’t want my family harmed by an evil narcissist throwing a tantrum.”
“I understand.” I stand up, turning back to her, “Thank you for telling us this. We’ll be sure to stay away. Can you tell me how much longer we need to wait?”
“He still has ten years left.”
My eyes grow impossibly wide, “There’s no way we can do that.”
“What? Why not?”
“If I abandon my house, like the others are rumored to have done, they’ll just resell it. Another woman will end up living there and this cycle will start all over again. We have to figure something else out.”
She grabs my hand, her grip much tighter than it should be for a woman her age, “You listen to me, girl. DO NOT go back there! You are dooming this entire town and then some if you do. You think you’re strong enough, but you’re not. You’re just a scared little girl that is easily influenced. DO NOT do this to us!”
Chris steps forward, pulling me free, “Ok, that’s enough. Thank you for the information. We’ll do what we can. For now, we need to get some rest.” He starts walking towards the door, pulling me along with him, muttering “crazy old lady” the whole way.
Once we’re in our room, I grab some clothes and head in the bathroom. I really need to wash off this day. It’s gotten to be a bit too much for me.
This is all getting way out of control. We’ve went from nightmares to rapist ghosts, psychotic witches, and hidden skeletons. I’m almost afraid to see what’s coming next. I never thought I’d believe in the supernatural, but I saw how she changed as soon as that son of a bitch was standing in front of her. It was like a fucking switch flipped. She was a completely different person, acting like he was her everything. What the hell do I do to fix this?
And to make everything worse, Cam still isn’t answering his damn phone. I don’t even want to consider how she’s gonna react if we don’t hear from him soon. So far, their freaky twin connection has kept her from panicking. But that obviously won’t last for long. Not that I don’t care. Of course, I’m concerned about him. But he can take care of himself. She can’t.
Stripping down to my boxer briefs, I get in bed. That’s where she finds me when she comes out of the shower. And can I just say… HOLY SHIT! That pajama set is definitely Chris approved. Tight pink tank top and short pink cotton shorts don’t leave much to the imagination. I hate that she got her hair changed for that fucker but I have to admit I definitely wanna grab both hands full of it.
She stands at the end of my bed, twisting the bottom of her shirt and biting her lip, just staring at the floor, so I ask, “What’s wrong? I mean… other than the obvious.”
She takes a deep breath and finally looks up at me, “Will you kiss me?”
“Huh?” No way did I hear that right.
“I just…” She turns around and starts pacing the room, “I want to forget. And I know it’s wrong to use you like that, but there’s a pull back to Kieran. But, it disappears when you touch me. It’s like he doesn’t exist when your hands are on me.”
I stand up quietly and catch her around the waist before she turns to make the rounds back by the end of the bed. She sucks in a breath and freezes, “Candi, you NEVER have to give an excuse to get me to touch you.” I turn her to face me, pulling her arms up around my neck and moving mine back down to her waist, “It’s all I think about.” I lean down and lightly touch my lips to hers, “All the time, I want my hands on you.”
With that, I give in and press my lips to hers fully. When she gasps, I slide my tongue into her mouth. This girl has no idea how much I want her. I have since I met her. I was content to be friend zoned back then because she was in a serious relationship. Now, though? Now I’m not having that shit. I can’t sit by anymore while she gets in one bad relationship after another. She’s mine. And she’ll stay that way.