This will most likely be my last snippet from this, as I'm getting pretty far into the story. I haven't finished it yet, but when I do, I'd be thrilled if anyone wanted to read the completed draft. I hope you like it.
Here is the list of characters:
Grace- witch Caitlin-shapeshifter(aka Shadow)
Caerwyn- Caitlin's twin(aka Smoky) Laura- Grace's Teacher
Dr. John- also Grace's teacher (married to Laura)
Bronwyn and Brychan- Caitlin and Caerwyn's parents
Angharad- Caitlin's sister
Ellen and Cordelia- owners of the Bell and Candle Bookshop
“Okay, let’s get started. For this, why don’t you lie back down on your little nest in the kitchen? Owen, if you could close the drapes in the dining room? Before you lie down though, I need you to take your clothes off. You can put on this robe here.”
“Okay, here goes.” And stepping out of my clothes, I pulled the robe on, tying it shut before lying back on the stack of cushions Owen had brought down for me.
“Now what?” Owen asked, sitting beside me and letting me lean against him.
“Now I check for booby traps. And hopefully counteract any that are there.” Opening her bag, Ellen pulled out several candles in a variety of colors: red for health, strength, and courage; orange for attraction, adaptability, and encouragement; yellow for protection; green for healing; light blue for health, patience, tranquility, and understanding; violet for healing, peace, and spirituality; and one white candle by itself because it was Monday. Owen and I both sat and watched as Ellen walked around the room setting up the candles and then lighting them.
“I’m going to start by drawing off any negativity around you,” Ellen explained, sitting down next to me on the other side from Owen. “If you could open your robe?” I did, and she sat forward shaking her hands as she did so and started the ritual. Taking several deep breaths, she placed both her hands on the side of my head and ran them down the sides of my body all the way down to my feet, just barely touching my skin as she did so. Reaching my feet, she took another deep, cleansing breath, shook out her hands and started again. Seven times, she did this. After the seventh time, she sat back on her heels, shaking her hands out and smiling.
“Somehow, healing others always makes me feel like I’m healing myself. Now, let’s look for booby traps.” Reaching into her bag, she pulled out a small wooden cup, a small bottle, as well as a baggie full of rosemary stems. Filling the cup from the cup, gathered the rosemary into a small bundle and dipped the tips into the water. She then shook the sprigs so the water sprinkled over me.
“I’m working with a lot of supposition here.” She explained what she was doing as she did it, repeatedly dipping the sprigs into the wooden cup to replenish the water. “I haven’t dealt with too many curses or booby traps. I figured whoever had set the booby traps did not have your best interests at heart, and in that case the holy water might react to the presence of any ill intent.” Sprinkling the water on the top of my head had no effect. Neither did sprinkling it on my face, or my throat, but then we didn’t think there would have been as Ellen hadn’t found any booby traps the other day.
Sprinkling the water over my heart produced a single rune: an inverted pertho. Ellen took one look and jumped back, sitting on the bare floor and giving a whole body shake ending with a vigorous shake of her hands. “Well, I’d say we found some definite ill will. An inverted pertho. If this were a reading, every interpretation I’ve ever read says if you pull an inverted pertho to stop immediately, that fate is preparing to deal a crushing blow. I’d say dying would have been a crushing blow. Now, let’s check the remaining chakra.”
“Which ones are left?” Okay, so I was ignorant. Sue me. I wanted to know, and asking seemed easiest.
“There is one at the solar plexus, the sacral chakra, and the base or root chakra. May I?” Sprinkling water on solar plexus, and the chakra between my legs didn’t reveal anything, but some of the water had dripped onto my stomach revealing patches of runes. Sprinkled with water my stomach was covered with inverted runes. “Let’s see what we have here: this one is Uruz which inverted means rough times ahead, the thorn is Thurisaz which inverted means danger such as malicious and determined enemies…”
“No. You don’t say.”
“Sarcasm will get you nowhere, young lady. Let me finish. Inverted Ansuz, Kaunaz, and Tiwaz mean in order losing the ability to communicate, the fading of the light of enlightenment, and lastly betrayal by a man.”
“All very interesting but I’d like to know what they were supposed to do.”
“I think I can answer that one.” Ellen sat back, rubbing her hands down her arms all the way to her fingertips, as if washing off some remnant of my problems. “Somehow it has tied the lower three chakra together and interrupted the energy flow as well as the chakra’s primary functions.”
“Which are?” Owen asked that one, drawing designs on my arms with a fingertip, sending lovely shivers up and down my body.
“The solar plexus controls mental functioning, power, control, and the freedom to be yourself.”
“I can see that, it’d be hard to think it someone knocked the wind out of you.” Owen smiled, tickling my ribs.
“So the sacrum would control, I’m just guessing here, sexual energy?”
“Doh,” Ellen laughed, sticking her tongue out at me. “Not only that, but also emotion and creativity.”
“And the root chakra?”
“Security, survival, and instinct.”
“And what would interrupting those functions do.”
“Well, I think we saw a good example yesterday. I’d say that your mental functioning as well as your instinct for survival were seriously impaired. Wouldn’t you?”
“I wonder what else they were planning on using this for.” Owen had wrapped me in his arms, both of us feeling seriously wigged by the severity of what we’d discovered. “They must have had more than one plan.”
“Maybe something that combined control and emotion with sexual energy?” Ellen shrugged apologetically. “I could come up with dozens of possibilities here, but it would all be pure speculation.”
“That’s just scary.” I shuddered, holding onto Owen’s arms as if he were my favorite teddy bear. Oh wait, he had been. “So how do we get rid of it?”
“I wish we could find out how they got painted on your stomach, don’t you?” Owen leaned into me, resting his head on top of my own.
“Hell yes, but right now I’m more interested in getting them off.”
“Okay, here’s my plan,” she began, rooting around in her bag and pulling out a variety of small bottles and jars. As she explained her plan, she also showed us which jar and bottle we needed at each step. “First, we’ll wash the affected areas with holy water,” she held up a small clear glass bottle with a moon and star on the front of it, “then rub anointing oil on them. I’ve made this myself but you might want to start making your own.” The bottle she held up was a delicate hand-blown shell shaped bottle of a deep cobalt blue. “Lastly for good measure, I’ll give you a mixture of cinnamon, geranium, peppermint, and rosemary.”
“I’ll not only be safe, I’ll smell like a bakery.”
“You’ll be safe, that’s the important thing.” She was serious when she said that, but I was happy to see the smile flitting around the edges of her mouth. If I could make her smile I knew we could get through this.
“So do we do this now?”
“Actually, I’m going to leave all of that to you two.” Ellen handed the necessary bottles to Owen. “Performing this kind of healing has an effect on both the healer and the one receiving the healing.” She smiled shyly and blushed as she said that. “So I’m going to be a good wench and go help Cordelia open the shop. Take your time, Owen. We can handle things for a while.” And packing her back, she gave me a hug and a kiss before following Owen out of the kitchen and to the door.
“So now what, do you want to go upstairs and do this? Or stay down here.” Owen was back, looking at the bottles and jars Ellen had left us.
“Let’s just stay here, and get these off of me, so I can take a nap?” I was still tired from the day before.
“Certainly,” Owen smiled; pulling open the robe that I’d tied shut. Reaching out, he slowly rubbed his hands up and down my arms, making me revel in his touch. I don’t think either Cormac or mum was aware of this, but growing up I’d known his body almost as well as I knew my own, even before we were lovers.
The nice relaxing stroll down memory lane was shattered by the icy cold water splashing across my stomach, which started burning where the inverted runes had been drawn. “Let me know when the burning starts to fade.” Owen handed me two dish towels to keep the water dripping down my sides from soaking the robe. The runes started itching, then burning, and then felt like they were on fire they were so hot. They were even hot to the touch (so I know it wasn’t all in my mind).
The next bottle of holy water felt hot, as if the heat from the runes had warmed it. The third bottle, however, had me gasping in shock. It felt like it had just come out of the freezer. As soon as he heard me gasp, Owen stopped pouring the water over me, after making sure that both areas had the same reaction, and instead handed me a warm towel to dry off.
“That was the hardest part, according to Ellen,” Owen sighed, sitting back and resting his head in his hands. Watching me writhe in pain had not been easy for him. None of this had been easy for him: for either of us really. But he chose to stay, and I was very grateful.
Struggling out of the cushions until I was sitting up, I put my hands on his shoulders and pulled myself forward until I was sitting in his lap and wrapped my arms around his neck, whispering into that soft sweet-smelling spot just below his ear, “Thank you for helping me with all of this, I couldn’t have gone through any of this without you.”
“So you don’t think I’m the man that’s going to betray you?”
“What? You? Not only no, but I’d say hell no.”
“But I’m sitting with you, and I keep thinking about Caerwyn…”
“And I’m sitting with you, and thinking about Caitlin, and Caerwyn. How mixed up is that? All I know is that we’re ass deep in some really weird shit, and I need you to see me through.”
“And I don’t think I could make it without you either.”
“So we get through this weird shit, break the curse so we both can see Caitlin and Caerwyn, and then figure this whole thing out.”
“Who knows? They might tell us we’re both daft and that they have decided to run away with the milkman.”
“We’re good?” I smiled as Owen nodded, then shook his head in wonderment. “Now, let’s get this thing done so I can take my nap and you can get to work. Sound like a plan?”
Lying down once more on the cushions, which I later found out belonged on the garden furniture, I settled myself, watching Owen as he took the bottle of anointing oil in his hands and rubbed the bottle slowly back and forth, letting the glass bottle absorb his body heat. Pouring the oil into his hands he rubbed them together before rubbing the oil on my stomach, slowly and gently. As with the holy water, he didn’t just rub the spots that had had the runes drawn on them, but instead rubbed the oil over my entire torso. He even rubbed my shoulders, my neck, and under my arms.
Feeling his hands on my skin, knowing it was my sweet Owen doing it, was amazing. The oil was warm. His hands were gentle and soft. And the massage was sensual, and relaxing, and soothing, and calming, and tranquil, and peaceful, and comforting, and restful, and…
I heard Owen’s gentle chuckle, and felt him bend down to kiss my forehead as he whispered, “Sweet dreams.”
1 day ago