Supernatural Fiction posted January 19, 2015 Chapters:  ...8 9 -10- 11... 


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The Berwick Witches Series: Book One

A chapter in the book Dark Covenant

The Bewitching Hour

by amahra




Background
New Berwick, Illinois--a mystic place where witches rule under the watchful eyes of the Dominions.
RECAP from previous chapters

(Jewel has discovered a moon cure; although the cure won't stop the werewolves from turning, it will, however, prevent them from turning every full moon. The biggest gift the spell yields is…  no more baby-killings. Just one problem: the cure is illegal because it comes from a spell book that is off limits to Covenant witches. Meanwhile, Beatrice blabbed to Naomi, a high ranking witch, about the spell book, and now she and Jewel fear they may be in trouble with the High Council of witches.  The penalty is permanent loss of magic and, at the sole discretion of the council...could also mean death.) 

(In this partial-chapter, Jewel and Beatrice have been called to a mysterious meeting by the local council.)

The room was dim with only a few sticks of furniture—the basics: a couple of chairs, a sofa, lamps and end tables with a water cooler in the far corner. The shades were drawn and the white painted walls were bare save one large framed picture of the council leaders. Their shadowy faces and haunting eyes appeared to follow Beatrice wherever she stood. She stared at the portrait as if those liefless stares bore stark evidence of things to come.

“Why haven’t we heard anything? Why are they torturing us?” Beatrice blurted. She seemed unable to tear her eyes away from the portrait.

Jewel  frowned.  “Worrying isn’t going to help, Bea,” she said. "Just sit down."

The room was nicknamed the White Room. Some said it was used like the White Throne of Judgment that’s talked about in the Bible; for witches were summoned there to be judged fit to remain in the Covenantcy.

Jewel and Beatrice had sat for two hours—wringing their hands, eyes darting, and jumping at the least bit of noise outside the room. Before leaving her house, Beatrice had tried to reach Naomi numerous times; but she never picked up or returned Beatrice’s calls.

Events couldn’t have been worst for the duo. And the weather outside began to match their obvious doom. River, Dex and Jan begged to come along and help with their defense, but Jewel told them that she and Beatrice would face whatever they had coming—that she didn’t regret one bit trying to free all of the men from the dreadful moon curse. Still, River’s mind raced as he waited breathlessly near his phone for word of the council’s decision.

In the long hours of their waiting, only one person had come to see about them; the woman said nothing, just stared at them and talked quietly into her cell phone and left. She did this twice.  Each time, Beatrice would sink a little more in her seat, while Jewel sat calm but quickened whenever the door opened.

“I wish they would just get it over with,” Beatrice said getting up from her seat and walking over to the water cooler.  “Great!” her voice rose, throwing up her hands. “More torture. My throat is dry and no damn cups.”

“Bea relax. Upsetting yourself isn’t good for either one of us.”

“How can you be so calm?” She said, moping back and flopping down next to her.

“We’ll make our case—and hope for the best.”

“I sure wish I had your confidence.”

 Another hour ticked by. Jewel closed her eyes and sat quietly, resting her head back against the wall. Beatrice paced back and forth and cursed the no cup water cooler under her breath. Suddenly the door swung opened for a third time. Jewel looked up, her eyebrows lifted when she gazed upon the murky faces of two men. One was short and stocky, the other, medium-height and thin. Beatrice rushed over and stood next to Jewel who had now jumped to her feet. The men walked around and faced the women. And with not a word spoken, grabbed Jewel and Beatrice and wrestled them to the floor.  

“Take your hands off me, you bastard,” Beatrice screamed, her foot nailing his groin.

The thin man cupped his crotch and fell to his knees; agony spread across his face.  “You bitch!"  he forced through clenched teeth. He backhanded Beatrice across the face. Blood spewed from her mouth as one side of her face smacked the floor.

“Bea, don’t fight!" Jewel pleaded.

Beatrice bit her bottom lip, but heeded the warning--allowing the man to flip her over face down.  She stiffened while he straddled her buttocks and pulled her hands behind her back. A tiny string of blood connected the bottom of her chin to the floor. After both were gagged and tied up, they were taken to an underground garage and forced onto the back floor of a truck that quickly sped away.  Lying back-to-back, Jewel used her fingers to comfort Beatrice during the long and jerky ride.

***
After what seemed like an endless journey, the car rounded a mountain three times. Each completed round took them a level higher until they nearly reached the top of it. The wheels spat gravel for several yards before coming to a complete stop. The women were taken from the car and hustled through the mouth of a cave where they were made to stumble blindfolded up a flight of stone stairs and into a deeper part of the cave. There, they were shoved onto the hard grey surface and left to shiver from the cold. Beatrice began moaning loudly through her gag until someone came and pinched her nose, cutting off her air.

***

Night turned into morning but not inside of the cave—it remained one huge shadow that hung over the women as they lay.

“Bea…Bea,” Jewel whispered while shaking her. Beatrice’s eyelids fluttered opened and her squinted eyes fell on Jewel’s naked body that was no longer bound.  Beatrice sat up—she grabbed her head. "My head is pounding," she said. Then with a look of confusion, examined her own nakedness. "Who untied me?  Where’s our clothes. Oh Jewel! What are they going to do to us?”

“I don’t know. Just try to stay calm.”

“Will you stop saying that? Aren’t you scared? I am.”

“Of course I’m scared: The very thought of never seeing my girls or River again terrifies me. But, Bea, I’ve got to stay hopeful. I've got to believe that the council will listen to reason." She sighed heavily. "Poor River; he must be beside himself by now."
 
“Nobody's worried about me. My daughter and just about everyone I know thinks I’m a crazy old coot anyway. They're probably saying...good riddance.

“Don’t say that, your daughter loves you—and what about Kayla? She thinks the world of her grandmother.”

“Well, maybe, Kayla.” Then suddenly Beatrice's forehead wrinkled as if she'd remembered something important. ”Wait a minute," she blurted. "You know they nearly killed me last night. Someone held my nose until I blacked out. I thought I was a goner.”

“You were making quite a ruckus; I guess they just wanted to shut you up.  Anyway, after they’d left, I crawled over to you and heard you were still breathing.”

“Oh, thank you, Jewel,” was all Beatrice could say before bursting into tears. 

Jewel reached and pulled Beatrice against her chest and held her.  “Now don’t. We’ll get out of this, somehow.”

"I’m so sorry. This is all my fault,” her voice trembled.

“Shush,” Jewel said, “we’re in this together.” She rocked Beatrice. One-by-one Beatrice’s tears rolled off her chin and raced down Jewel’s bare back.
 
 




 



Recognized


New Berwick, Illinois is comprised of four regions: Falcon Haven, Northern and Southern Greyscott Falls, Sheerfield City and Ironforge.

Main Characters

Northern Greyscott Falls:

River Porter....... Main Character
Jewel Porter....... River's wife
Their daughters....Chelsea, Abby, Dria, and Becca

Southern Greyscott Falls:

Dex Porter.........River's brother
Matthew (Matt) Porter... Dex's son
Jan Porter ....Dex's wife and Jewel's cousin/sister-in-law


Falcon Haven:

Beatrice ....... Jewel's best friend
Kayla Morrison.. Beatrice's granddaughter

Sheerfield City:

Wayne Tilbert....... Sheriff of Sheerfield City
Rose Tilbert....... Wayne's wife
Veronica (Ronnie) Tilbert...Wayne daughter/Kayla's BFF
Christopher (Chris) Tilbert.........Wayne and Rose's son
Christa......................Veronica and Kayla's BFF
Bob Wilson..................Sheerfield City Coroner

Ironforge:

Corina Brewer...............Sorcerer
Hollie Brewer...............Corina's sister/Sorcerer
Gunner Lenox................Sorcerer
Amber Moore.................Sorcerer

Supporting Cast

New Berwick residents


Art Work: Her Eyes by Diane Azdamar at dianae.cgsociety.org
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