I think I just created a future complication for Elyse Crawford and her beau, Chad Crain to overcome in the future books of The Crawford witch Chronicles.
Here is a excerpt from 'Turning the Stone,' book two in The Blood Rites Trilogy.
With my friends, all gone off to school, it was just Chester and I. Elle and Crystal were on the road to becoming the area’s best lawyers. Marshal had dreams of being the best surgeon this side of the continent, and Marcus slipped into his father’s footsteps and was off to business school. Because of Chester’s great-great grandfather’s oath to always protect the Crawford High-Priestess in his lifetime and thereafter, the Crain family was limited. They never seemed to be put off by it. My family always felt as if they were a part of our family because of it. Therefore, they were recipients of my grandmother’s fortune. I guess you don’t like for more than a hundred years, and not have a fortune.
The Crain family were bred from strong, stubborn male genes. They never accepted more than the wages they earned working the farm. Mr. Crain claimed he did need to do much in the way of protecting, since mom never took the rite. Mr. Crain worked the farm, and until his wife passed away, she worked as a teacher at the local elementary school. At least that meant I still had one of my friends with me. Sure, we had the money for me to go off to an ivy league school, but I couldn’t for all the same reasons why I couldn’t live on campus, and why I’m hardly ever allowed to leave the house alone.
It was Saturday morning, and my mind was back on campus sitting across from Jr and a hot cup of coffee. The coffee in my hand was better, but the company wasn’t the same. My brothers were bickering back and forth over the lack of coffee left in the pot. My sister sat in the corner of the kitchen in a window nook with her journal and a pen. She looked like she was documenting everything that was being said. Her latest rebellion staring my parents in the face as my mother made breakfast and my father tried to concentrate on the paper in his hand. Two nights ago, Sabina took a pair of mother’s sheers and cut her hair till it was about an inch long. It made her small frame seem bigger in a way. I thought it was a good look on her, but mother cried and father was furious.
“I’m never going to be the high priestess, I don’t see the point in looking like everyone expects the priestess to look.” She said in her own defense. I had to admit she had a point, but my father is old fashioned. I doubt it had anything to do with being wiccan.
By lunch time I was itching to leave the house, but the farthest I could go was the property line. With a book in hand I headed to the cave. We kept it stocked with blankets and lanterns for anyone who might need to use it. My mother found a large box full of my grandmother’s old journals and left them in my room with directions to read up. It was not something I was looking forward to. I skipped over the first few of the leather-bound books and chose one at random. Thankful for the cool air in the cave, I snuggled down into the blanket bed and opened to the first page.
June 3, 1889
Seth has evaded me again. I thought I felt his presence for a moment while I practiced, but before the last note was struck he was gone. I tried to find him. Magnus insists he’s nowhere to be found, but I can’t stop looking. He and I are the same. Only he will understand the newest desires I’ve had to overcome. I still don’t know if I can at times. I wonder when the smooth exterior will crack, and when I will begin down the long traitorous spiral that Magnus keeps speaking of with the others. They think I cannot hear them, but they are so wrong. My abilities haven’t landed in that ring, just the immortality. I am keenly aware of all my senses. Just as Mildred said I would be. She was smart not to tell them what I would become. I just wish she hadn’t told me. Maybe I wouldn’t need him to come back to me as badly as I do. Had I not known what it was, I could just let him go.
June 8, 1889
I saw him. Just for a moment. My mind cleared, and I focused all my power on his face, and then I was there with him. He looked at me as if he saw me too. I lost hold of the vision when I tried to reach out. He pushed me away, but now he knows I’m looking. What’s more, he looked happy to see me. Not the entire time, but for a fraction of a second. I need him to come back. I want him back.
I did the math in my head. Seraphina would have been sixteen-years-old in 1889. After relieving her body of the immortal curse in 1886, my grandmother explained how the magic that altered her body, gave her back her true form. She was able to have a childhood. Her seat as priestess held by the woman who had helped her best the Council after they killed her husband. The ring I now wore was given to Mildred for safe keeping. What I didn’t understand was why Seraphina needed to have Seth back so earnestly. He’d betrayed her. Turned his back on her and the message they had worked together to deliver to the Council. Maybe she still loved him.
Mid-afternoon allowed the heat of August to pour into the mouth of the cave. I realized I’d spent the entire day looking over the journal. I found nothing more about Seth or what Seraphina thought she was becoming. I did find out that her relationship with Magnus became strained when he took a wife. They no longer spoke as friends. He began to treat her as nothing more than a ward. His responsibility to protect her and give her a normal childhood as possible, outweighed the feelings he once harbored for her. Seraphina slipped into a dark place that was only seen in the pages of her journal. She’d practiced magic that would have made her a traitor to the wiccan community. First giving Magnus’ wife a bad rash that covered her body and itched incomprehensibly. Then again when their first child was born, Seraphina made sure the young mother was unable to feed the child. Her breast dried up prematurely, and they were forced to give her artificial nourishment. The child grew weak, but eventually once it was old enough to eat solid food, he grew strong. Magnus’ wife tortured herself with blame for their child’s undernourishment. When she became pregnant again, the woman wept. Seraphina watched her for days.
She confronted Magnus’ bride and asked what she was crying for. The woman was afraid her child would not be as fortunate as her son, for she knew she was carrying a girl and she feared for the fairer sex. She worked magic on her own body to make sure she could produce milk for her daughter when she was born, but she knew she’d failed. She would give birth to a lifeless infant. She didn’t have the heart to tell Magnus, and thus she wept.
When the child was born, the woman let her own life slip away. Before she did, she tried to cast a spell using the same moon magic Seraphina was once able to use to save the life of those infected with the preternatural venom. Instead of helping her cause she enacted a curse. One only Seraphina recognized, but didn’t have the heart to explain to Magnus. It was a curse that would explain the loss of every woman who would take the name of Crain. No female child would be born into the Crain line, nor would any wife live long enough to see their sons grow to adulthood. She enacted a wicked curse that Seraphina vowed to break.
I didn’t have to read the rest of her journals to find out if she succeeded before her death. The fact that Chester’s mother died when he was five after giving birth to a still born little girl was proof enough that the curse remained in tack. It was also a secret that I would never divulge. I’d have to read the rest of her journals however, to find out how close she came to breaking the curse. I couldn’t imagine Chester going through the same loss as all the men in his family must have had to endure.
The sun was starting to set when I dried my eyes and ventured back to the house.
Please note this is unedited and the first draft of Turning the Stone, and might not make it into the final draft for publishing.