Good morrow everyone!
I’m stuck at work today, but thankfully the mornings around here are fairly quiet, so I’ve spent some time writing. I’ve been working on this idea for a short story (or a series) for a while now, but finally sat down to put it to paper a couple of days ago. The story follows a practicing Wiccan and witch who does consultation work for the local PD when they have cases with an alternative spirituality/occult/weird feel to them—so pretty much anytime negative magick is worked in a criminal fashion, she’s brought in. Which would be one thing… if her ex-lover and the guy she’s still in love with were not a detective also working the same scenes.
I wanted to share the rough draft and see what you each thought, especially as there’s not a lot out there yet in terms of Wiccan fiction. Next post I’m planning on putting up an animal protection spell that’s also been a work in progress. Just waiting on a few more supplies for it.
Brightest Blessings )O(
“Ms. Arrow,” the cop on line duty greeted her with a nod and the faintest hint of a smile, his thick Southern drawl turning the s into a z. It would have been poor taste to offer a warmer greeting on the scene of a homicide, but they always smiled at each other, even when a case as apparently gruesome as this one brought them together.
“Kevin,” she greeted, then provided her name and purpose on the scene for the record. “Renee Arrow, special operations consultant.”
He added her to the list and raised the yellow tape so she could sneak under it. “Be careful with this one, Arrow,” he said over his shoulder. “Some bad mojo goin’ on in there and I ain’t even physic.”
She paused a second to take in his words, and at the same time began to widen her senses now that she was close to the scene. A great act of violence, or several successive acts, had taken place here, and recently. The air still hummed with the energy and a sinking feeling filled the pit of her stomach. Renee nodded, “Thanks for the heads up.”
The thing that never failed to amaze her about crime scenes was how mundane they always were, minus the blood and guts, and how destroyed they always were after them. Parks, lakes, office, cars; homes were the worst. Someone slept there, came back there to crash after a long day, and raised their children there. She had yet to find a cleansing spell strong enough to remove all traces.
This one was a home, a country style house with the edge of a forest preserve off to the north and barren corn fields to the west and south. The closest neighbor was a mile and a half up the road. It was situated off the road at the end of a snaking gravel driveway in desperate need of repair. The shrubs around the side of the house and along the porch were kept, if bare, and the leafless shape of an old maple tree graced the front yard, a makeshift rope swing hanging from one of the taller branches. Renee wondered what kind of things that tree had witnessed.
The half dozen police cars in the driveway, all their lights going, threw everything into a weird contrast. She approached the front steps and pulled up short. Kevin hadn’t been kidding. A witch had definitely been inside, and she’d had several hours and good supplies to work with. The protection spell was strong, set to ward off people who were even slightly attuned to the energies and auras of the world. She suspected animals could pass through, but instinct would direct them away and humans who didn’t know any better would wander in and have the off feeling of itchy skin and someone watching them.
Back-tracking a couple of steps, she raised her hand, and like a mime, traced the invisible barrier. It had weakened some, likely from so many people moving through it over the past hour. She followed the barrier to the damp ground, parting the blades of grass to find the line of salt, extending in either direction, broken to one side where the earth had been dug up a little. Carefully, she sifted through the loose soil. The onyx stone wasn’t buried deeply, just enough that it extended the barrier into a spherical shape as opposed to just a circle along the ground. Protection from above and below.
She did not want to pick the stone up. It was throwing off a lot of old, negative energy. Resentment and anger and hurt held onto for a long time, newer frustrations piled on one after the other. Onyx was traditionally a stone of memory and healing, but this one was charged in a darker way. No wonder she had felt threatened when she stepped across the threshold of the circle.
“Arrow,” the deep, masculine voice called from the porch. His sultry voice crawled over her like it always did. Like the honey he had once so enjoyed, dappling it over every inch of her. Her physical reaction to him was one she had never been able to squelch, and even though her waking mind told her that she needed to learn, a secret part of her enjoyed the sensations.
Detective Matthew Easton came down the porch steps in a quick one-two-one step and knelt in front of her on the opposite side of the salt line. His dark green eyes bore into hers with their usual attentiveness and his favorite old spice scent filled her nose. His hair was damp and slicked back; he must have been on call today and drawn the short stick. He looked sharp as always, but she didn’t miss the haggard air he carried, or the lines around his eyes and mouth. He was no witch, but he was more in tune with world around him than most, so she knew he felt the oppression of the magick worked here.
She indicated the white line in the grass, “Salt.”
He reached out and plucked the black stone from the dirt. Latex gloves hid his long fingers. “And onyx,” he observed, though he hadn’t winced as she had. “This one wasn’t messing around.” He pulled an evidence bag from his pocket, and plopped the stone inside.
She drew her attention from the detective to the house with an effort. Pressing through the wall of the circle to the other side helped to keep her focused as well. There was nothing like the darker magicks for a buzz kill. “How bad it is inside?” she stood.
“Bad,” he grumbled, “Boss is here. Called everybody in. There’s three bodies all laid out in their own chalk pentacles. Skulls, Ague root and lots of black candles.”
Ague root? That was an odd herb choice, and not one that your everyday person, or even everyday witch, would have just laying around. In terms of magickal properties it could be sprinkled around a home to keep evil spirits at bay, but given the nature of things so far, she doubted it had been used for such a pristine purpose.
She chose though to ignore the root for the time being until she could see how it had been used, and the last item on his list had allowed for a jibe she couldn’t let pass. “You and I both know black candles can be used for anything.”
“Yeah,” he agreed, not in the same tone, “but blood can’t.”