Darkness revealed in the.., p.1
Darkness Revealed: In the World of the Federal Witch, page 1
by TS Paul
Copyright © 2017 T. S. Paul, All Rights Reserved.
Reproduction of any kind is strictly prohibited unless written permission granted by the editor of the anthology and the individual author.
The scenes, characters, and places included in this story are works of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
Darkness Revealed, Copyright © 2017 T. S. Paul, All Rights Reserved.
Camilla’s Obsession, Copyright © 2017 T. S. Paul, All Rights Reserved.
Special thanks to my wife Heather who keeps me grounded and to Merlin the Cat, we are his minions.
Table of Contents
Introduction - Camilla's Obsession
Author - T.S. Paul
The last thing I remember was a fireball coming straight for me. Set saved me, I think. Rubbing my head, I jerked my hand away in shock! “Where is my hair?”
Hair, hair, hair. The sound of my voice echoed all around me. Sitting up I could see I was in a barely lit room, rock walls with just a cot to sleep upon. Gone was my dress and even my expensive Louboutin shoes. I was in a rough wool robe barefoot. Rubbing my arms, I could feel numerous cuts and barely healed scratches. What happened to me?
Concentrating I tried one of the very few charms I remembered from my childhood. Like a whirlwind, much of the past few days came back to me. Agatha Blackmore! Her return to Briarwood is what started it all! In my mind, I could see my spell of desperation and the way she blocked it. It was her! She is who did this to me!
“Arrrgh!” I screamed to the heavens and blasted the door with the strongest fireball I could summon. The wood was already blackened from flame and took the hit without a shudder. Already breathing heavy I blasted it again. And again.
“Why!” Disregarding the hot surface, I pounded on the door continuing to scream.
Collapsing to the floor in despair I gazed at my bruised and battered hands. Blood dripped onto the floor leaving little smears every time I shifted my body.
The redness of the blood drew my eye. In the dim light, it was a deep red that sucked you down into what felt like the depths of hell. In that hell, I remembered more of the past. Horrible and horrendous things. Peter. He needed to learn his place. He was a puppet. Someone to see to my wishes and be there as support. He wasn’t allowed to think or reason. That is what memory charms and spells were for. To bend and twist those who disagreed with you. Even your children.
Children. I wondered how my two girls are. Winter is most likely sucking up to that bitch of a niece at this very moment I bet! Fire appeared again at my fingertips, and I threw another fireball. This one hit the cot, destroying it.
Why is the whole world against me! The memories continued to lash my brain.
I saw myself destroying the house one chunk of furniture at a time. Piece by piece by piece I smashed and tore at the things that filled the house I no longer wanted and the town I could no longer control. Peter was just another one of those things. Only Henry mattered, and he was long gone.
Another memory clawed its way to the surface at the mention of Henry. “No! I buried you! I will not remember that! NO!”
Grabbing my head, I moaned as the long-hidden memory broke through.
“I’m sorry Mrs. Fredricks, but he didn’t survive. The crash was too sudden. Henry was thrown from the boat into the lake. He wasn’t wearing a life preserver, and due to his inebriated state was either unaware or unable to swim to shore.” Captain Jenkins, the State Patrol representative, bowed his head.
“No. He can’t be dead! The promises he made to our children and to me.”
“I am sorry, Ma’am.” The State patrolman stepped back a pace.
Shaking my head, no, I grabbed the policeman’s arm. “I need to see his body! Where is he?”
“The morgue I believe.”
“Take me there! Right now.” My only thought was my husband.
Dropping the girls with a neighbor, I followed the police to the county morgue. The building was a dark, imposing concrete structure I didn’t know even existed in our part of the State. Ignorance can be bliss. Captain Jenkins then passed me off to one of the administrators at the main desk.
“Name?” The bored civil servant barely looked up at me.
“Camilla Fredricks. My husband is supposed to be here.” I looked around the room in desperation. He just couldn’t be dead!
“Sign here please.” The man laid a sheet of paper in front of me.
“A receipt for your husband's personal effects.”
“No! He can’t be dead! Show me his body. Right now.” I demanded as I threw the paper back at the man.
“Mrs. Fredricks the coroner isn’t finished with him yet. I can schedule a time…” He never finished his statement for he stood frozen staring at me in surprise. I barely remember casting the spell.
My fingers still tingling, I walked through the door that read ‘Law Enforcement Only.’ Henry made promises to me. It had to be a mistake.
The morgue contained only two operating rooms and a very large cooler. A lone white-clad man stood over a still form laying on a table. Medical instruments lay on the table next to him. “The subject is approximately six feet in height with black hair. Slight contusions can be seen along the skull as well as upper body. Incident reports indicate trauma occurred when the subject was thrown clear of the boat he was…”
“Is that him? Is that my husband?” I pointed to the still form.
“Ma’am you can’t be in here! You need to leave.” The doctor, if that is what he was, turned toward me and pointed at the door.
Waving my hand and muttering the spell I froze him to the floor. My only thought was on Henry.
“What have they done to you, sweetheart?” His body was cut open from chest to navel. Henry’s once strong face was crushed and misshapen. A faint odor of alcohol hung over him.
I slapped what was once my husband across the face. “Bastard! You promised me. No more drinking you said. Lies! Was it all lies? Damn you to hell!”
Shaking my head, I cried out in pain. “NO! I will not remember this part. It’s forbidden.” The memories paid me no heed and continued to batter my soul.
As if watching a television program, I could see myself place both hands on my dearly departed Henry and make a plea to my patron God.
“Mighty Set! You promised me I would have companionship. I can’t live without him. It isn’t possible that he’s dead,” I cried out in my grief. In my mind’s eye, I watched as I laid both hands upon my husband's broken body and willed life back into him.
Marcella, my mother, taught me very little Magick before I shunned her ways. But she did instill in me some of the most important rules. Never change the unwilling. Never tamper with nature. And never ever tamper with the dead. Necromancers and those that follow the so-called left-hand path were considered outlaws by the Witches Council. That name carried with it a death sentence. So, the shocked look on my past self’s
“No, no, no!” I pushed the body on the table back down as it tried to sit up. Henry’s bruised and battered face stared at me as a faint moan escaped his lips. I thought for a moment that he was asking why.
My past self shook her head and looked around. The only two witnesses were frozen in place and unmoving or seeing. Henry struggled to stand up. His body wobbled here and there as his animated corpse tried to gain traction on the floor. Unlike the zombie movies that mundanes were so obsessed with, he didn’t desire brains or human flesh. It would be almost comical if he didn’t represent my death. He couldn’t stay here, and our house would be the first place law enforcement looked. I remember seeing a sign that read cremation room.
Dragging a two-hundred-pound man even twenty feet would have been a chore. Having him walk under his own power was almost worse. Zombies don’t navigate all that well.
“Left!” I shouted yet again. Not wanting to touch Henry’s cold body I was pushing him along with a couple of tools that might have come out of my kitchen. The spatula looking thing was useless as a prod but seemed to work to wave him in like I was landing something. The ladle worked to prod him. I didn’t want to even imagine what it was used for here. Fortunately for me, it was dark outside. Only the Coroner and the State Police Captain were in the building. The crematorium looked a bit like an industrial smoker. Put the body in on one end and pull out the ashes at the other.
“Get in the hole. Henry! Get. In. The. Hole.” I pushed and prodded my dead husband to the entrance. He moaned and waved his arms at me. Henry’s motor functions were getting better as he gained more strength. It had to be the Magick’s fault I had to get rid of him soon, or he would be far too strong to do this too.
There was a flat sliding tray that extended out of the hole. Giving the switch a push it slid out on its own. One hard push and Henry was sprawled out upon it. “Sorry Henry. I hate you for leaving the girls and me, but you can’t be seen. Who would take care of the Winter and Autumn when the Council kills me?”
One push of the button and it was all over. I ignored the muffled moans as the purifying flames destroyed everything. The County had yet to install cameras in here, so I was safe. Memory charms were some of the very first spells I learned how to do from my teachers and the two frozen officials never knew what hit them.
There was an investigation. I expected that. My neighbors and everyone else for two blocks had no memory of that night. I left nothing to chance, burying it under memories of my children. Even my mother suspected nothing. It was a perfect crime. Except I never actually committed a crime. I just used Gods-given-magick. Shuddering, I tried to cram the memory of what happened to Henry back into my brain. Stupid memory charms! Over and over, husband after husband I continued to see them. Their proposals. Their betrayals. Everything. They all had to die. It was that simple. Finding someone to do the dirty work is harder than you think it is. And of course, the stupid memory charm let me watch it happen again in vivid color.
The ad said “Get rid of the pests that plague your life. Results guaranteed.” According to my few contacts in the local underworld that ad was how you got rid of the competition or anything else you needed to be killed. How I got contacts in the underworld wasn’t that much of a secret. Henry’s former job was that of an attorney. More than a few of his former clients searched me out after the funeral wanting information or items Henry had stored for them. Illegal items. It turns out my sweet and gentle husband was something of a criminal. You just can’t trust anyone anymore. So, went my belief in human nature, which is what brought me to a deserted parking lot at two in the morning.
It gets cold in Maine at night, especially in winter. My luxury sedan wasn’t used to running the heater this much. It was my custom to call taxis or have things delivered instead of driving… Actually driving there. I could hardly see out of the car’s view-screen. Heat from the vents blew warm air at full blast into my face making my eyes tear up. Peering through the glass, I could see headlights. Two dark-colored cars pulled into the lot. The larger of the two dropped dark figures off at intervals at each of the entrances. The smaller of the two stopped in front of my car, this scared me. A woman, alone, at night, in an isolated location, was the stuff of nightmares and serial killer movies. Grabbing my purse, I opened the car door.
Frigid, bitter air ran up and down the exposed skin of my neck and arms leaving frost trails. It gave me the shivers. Carefully I leaned up against the car. The freezing wind could be felt through my parka. Trust me to buy something for how it looks rather than how effective it was. My hands started to hurt, I was clutching my purse so hard. I nearly got back into the car, but the lure of my goal kept me outside. To get everything that I wanted, I needed help. Outside help. Briarwood isn’t exactly the crime capital of the world, and there are too many busybodies around. My breath froze the moment it left my mouth making it appear as if I was smoking. For just a moment I thought of my girls. This would be like a game to them playing in the freezing snow.
“Are you the Witch?” The guttural voice of a man broke me from my thoughts. Standing in front of me were two snow-covered men. Their white outfits blended into the night hiding them from view.
I blew out a frosty white breath and replied. “I am.”
The taller of the two looked at me. Only his eyes were visible to me. “We have rules. Follow them and survive, don’t and die. For pest removal or extermination contact our associates at this number.” He handed me a white card with a number on it.
“In the future, you will be instructed to leave information about the job at a secure location. Tell no one of us. Give no one that number. Ask no questions of us. If we wish you to know something we will tell you. Do you understand?” Both men now stared at me. For just a moment their eyes flashed green. I remember thinking at the time that it was a trick of the light.
This was the moment of truth for me. To get what I truly wanted I would have to eliminate the competition, permanently. I nodded my assent to the men.
“Excellent. What is the assignment?”
Both men twitched as I reached into my coat. The icy air froze my already cold body as the wind blew my coat open. Shakily I removed the envelope and passed it over. The smaller man took it, giving it to someone or something in the car. “How much do I pay you?”
The tall man shook his head. “No. If we require payment, you will be contacted. Not before. Welcome to the Missionaries of Death.”
Both men turned and climbed back into the car. All the windows were tinted denying me any clue of who they truly were.
Driving home my mind was awhirl with possibilities and doom. Who were they and what could they do? The gains from this sort of deal could be endless. My contacts in the Boston underworld spoke of the men I had just met with whispers. They had tried to prevent me from contacting them. Too much of a risk, my contacts all said. But I wanted the best of the best to do the dirty work I needed to be done. Besides, I was a Witch. I had the power to cloud their minds if I needed to.
When will it end! My overactive mind is battered by these thoughts. I want it to end! Please, Lord Set let it end. I wasn’t proud of the trick I played on my husband’s former partners.
Henry wasn’t alone in his practice, but he was in charge. Pretty good for a young lawyer. I just didn’t know how good. At least not at that time. The others, of course, came at me. A young widow is an easy victim, isn’t she?
Lawyers. By Set I hate lawyers. It doesn’t matter that Henry was a lawyer or that his death had brought about my new fortune. I stood in Henry’s office looking at the books and community awards on the walls.
One of his partners stepped into the room without knocking first. “Ah, Camilla. Thank you for coming.”
I looked up and frowned. Zacharia MacDonald was the definition of a slimeball lawyer. Henry may have been crooked, but at least he wasn’t a perver
Zack paused and turned toward the door. He laughed. “This is my firm now. Why would I knock in my own office?”
There it was. I shook my head. Now I see why they wanted me here. “Your office? Was there a board meeting that I was unaware of? I was under the impression that you were the junior partner here.”
My stressing the word ‘junior’ made Zack frown at me. “I’m the one next in line. That puts me in charge. That’s why we asked you here. To inform you of that fact. It’s been six months. Time to move on.”
“Why don’t we have this conversation in front of that board. That way it’s all legal like since you are supposed to be lawyers.” Grabbing my purse off Henry’s desk, I slung it over my shoulder. Pushing past the slimeball, I left the room.
Henry’s building was three floors. Henry didn’t like sharing all that much, and the entire upper floor was his. It held a conference room and secret vault. I doubted very few knew about the vault. Below us on the second floor was the boardroom and junior partner offices. The main floor was where all the work took place. I took the elevator down to the second floor accompanied by Zack.
“We just want to talk. Everything is set up in the boardroom.” Zack led the way out of the elevator. He had a smile on his face.
“Let’s just get this over with.”
The room was filled, which surprised me. The partners went all out for this one. The board was a general partnership originally made up of Henry and the other four partners. Those men were here along with what looked like every associate and assistant employed here. Sitting in the corner was Henry’s former assistant Lori Lokitty. It was she that gave me the means to deal with these greedy men. I winked at her when she caught my eye.
“If you would take a seat, Mrs. Frederick, we can begin.” While I knew who Zack was, I didn’t know the other partners except by name.
by T S Paul / Science Fiction / Gay and Lesbian / Young Adult have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes