Click to read Chapter One
Click to read Chapter Two
Click to read Chapter Three
Click to read Chapter Four
Click to read Chapter Five
Click to read Chapter Six
Click to read Chapter Seven
Click to read Chapter Eight
Click to read Chapter Nine
It was 1972 and Roberta Flack was all over the radio, The Godfather was a box office smash and mini-skirts were everywhere.
It was 1972 and Lucinda Lancer was 18 years old and on top of the world. She was getting married!
Finally, a way out of this hick town, a way to break free from the rules and restrictions imposed by her family, family…that’s rich, they were a coven, she was surrounded by women all day every day, mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters. All of them so controlled, so boring, so weak. They could do so much more, have so much more if they just bent a few rules, or preferably just threw the rules out the window and took a risk. How bad could it be?
Well she was going to find out, her and Raymond, Raymond Garcia, her fiancé. Not that she had a ring, or that there would be a proper wedding, Raymond had explained that the ring was a patriarchal invention to show ownership. And she wouldn’t want to perpetuate that would she?
As for the wedding they would have a ceremony within nature, surrounded by the energy and beauty of true power. Wouldn’t she rather be married under the stars, surrounded by trees and wildflowers, the moonlight blessing their union? Doesn’t that sound better than standing in a brick building with a false god supposedly smiling down on them as they spoke words written by men in another attempt to establish their ownership and control over the female power?
Raymond knew so much, much more than those sad women that called themselves her family, with Raymond to teach and guide her she would finally be able to access her gifts. Her family knew she was the strongest, that’s why they imposed so many rules, they were afraid of what she could do if given the proper training.
Meeting Raymond had been pure chance, he rarely came into town and Lucinda definitely wasn’t a regular at the library but she’d been instructed by her mother to escort her younger sister, thank the goddess she hadn’t just dumped the kid at the front door, but instead she’d gone inside to see if it was true that the librarian had a copy of the new magazine called Cosmopolitan.
When she first saw Raymond he took her breath away, he was beautiful, tall and slender with wavy shoulder length dark hair and pale green eyes. Even though the magazines all showed guys with facial hair he was clean shaven and his sideburns were shorter than the current fashion. He was older, but really, what did age matter anyway, so what if he was twenty-eight? It just meant he was mature, not a boy.
Lucinda couldn’t believe that someone like Raymond, older, so clever and worldly, so gorgeous, would be interested in her, but he was. He asked her questions, and actually listened to her, he didn’t tell her what to do or think. It only took Raymond three weeks to tell Lucinda that he loved her. He explained that time was a self imposed concept that means nothing. They loved each other and wanted the same thing, they should be together. Didn’t Lucinda agree? Of course Lucinda agreed. She saw a new future, a future of freedom and chaos, no more rules, she saw power.
The wedding was in two days, when the moon would be full and the sky clear. She had two days to secretly move more of her possessions into Raymonds van. The family mustn’t suspect that she was leaving, they didn’t know about Raymond, and if they somehow found out they’d do everything they could to prevent her from leaving.
Two days later Lucinda and Raymond drove out of town to the site of the wedding, the sun was setting behind the mountains and the moon would be visible soon. As they arrived Lucinda grew more excited, sure the wedding wasn’t technically legal, but so what, they were creating a new world for themselves, a world without rules, a world of exploration and power.
Getting out of the van they were surrounded by Raymonds friends. There were three young women in white flowing dresses carrying a flower garland, they approached Lucinda and placed the garland on her hair and kissed both her cheeks. Wine was flowing and a glass was placed in her hand with a smile and an instruction to drink.
As the moon rose the area was bathed in white light, the stars flickered and Lucinda could smell something sweet, flowery.
The ceremony was conducted by an older man, Lucinda didn’t remember being introduced but thought he might be Raymonds uncle. There were a few words about the power of nature and the gratitude they all should feel to be part of this new world, a world they were creating together. Then one of the women handed Raymond a slender silver knife, the moonlight caught the blade and it shimmered. Taking Lucindas hand he drove the blade through her palm, there was no pain, Lucinda smiled as blood seeped from the wound and Raymond handed her the knife. She placed the tip in the centre of his palm and slowly pushed, the knife slid into his flesh and she pushed harder, enjoying the feeling of resistance until the tip slipped passed a bone and pierced the back of his hand.
Removing the knife Lucinda dropped it to the ground and placed her bleeding hand against Raymonds, standing palm to palm, blood slowly flowing to their wrists and dripping, they chanted.
We call to what is hidden,
The payment has been made,
For power to do our bidding,
Lifeblood has been paid,
Together each one stronger,
The dark our source of power,
Together we reign longer,
At this the moon lit hour,
Shine your darkness down,
We will wear the crown.
The moon dimmed and a low hum sounded from the trees, slowly growing louder. The scream was like a sonnet to Lucinda, the beautiful sound of payment being accepted. The wedding guests laughed and clapped as the youngest of the women was pushed into the trees by an invisible force, her white dress quickly drenched in blood, her voice cut off mid-scream. The hum faded away.
The moon shone bright once again and standing with Raymond in the midst of laughter, and with blood soaking the ground, Lucinda felt powerful, free.
This was what she had been looking for and it was just the beginning.
To be continued.