Supernatural Fiction posted February 24, 2015 Chapters:  ...10 11 -12- 13... 


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The Berwick Witches Series: Book One

A chapter in the book Dark Covenant

A Race with the Moon

by amahra




Background
New Berwick, Illinois-a mystic place where witches rule under the watchful eye of the Dominions.

(Recap)
Jewel and Beatrice have been missing for several days. In the last chapter, the women thought their possession of the Grimoire (forbidden spell book) had gotten them into deep trouble with the Witches Council. Kidnapped, beaten, then magically healed, the women found that their secret was safe, but that the ritual beating was a part of their elevation to witch queens. Jewel's love ones (particularly her husband River) are frantic not knowing what's become of her. In the meantime, River and his brother Dex have their own problem to deal with as the Northern and Southern packs face-off for Civil War due to one of the southern packs' young werewolves killing a teenage girl. A war (the southern pack fears) will expose them all and bring the wrath of the Dominions down upon them.


Gunshots echoed across the south eastern sky of Greyscott Falls as Dex, Matthew and members of the southern pack hid behind barricades with rifles blasting.

"Give it up, Dex!" shouted one of the northern men. "You haven't a cunt's chance in dicksville."

"Let's talk about this, Crane," Dex shouted.

Crane answered with a shot gun blast that whisked past Dex's head. Dex ducked down as the blast ripped through a near-by tree. Hundreds of rounds thundered from both sides. One of the southern men was hit in the shoulder. The man cried out. With bullets flying, Dex was unable to help his man who lay unprotected half outside the barricade.

"Wait!” Dex yelled. “There's no need for this. Let's talk, I beg you."

"Nothing to talk about. Give us the boy and we'll go."

Dex took advantage of the sudden halt; he ducked out and grabbed the wounded man by his boots and pulled him to safety. The man growled in pain as blood poured from his shoulder and dripped off his hand. Another pack member grabbed a rock, wrapped it in his pocket handkerchief and put pressure on the wound.

"Killing each other isn't the answer," Dex yelled.  "There's no reason to harm the boy either. He won't do it again. I've been trying to tell you, there's a moon cure."

"Don't know nothing 'bout no moon cure! Accept Raymond is the one who killed that Winters girl!"

"Killing the boy is useless," Dex shouted.

"Dex is right, Crane!"

"River...is that you?"

"Yeah!"

"I know he's your brother, but you better pick a side! You can't have it both ways!"

"Can't let you shoot my brother and nephew, Crane. Besides, the Sheriff already knows it was a werewolf that killed the girl! There's talk up in Sheerfield City about summoning the Shadow Hunters!"

The very sound of that name made hairs stand up on the back of Crane's neck.

"We're no match for Hunters, you know that," Dex yelled.

Crane's mouth suddenly went dry; he could hardly speak. He lowered his rifle and looked around at his men who stood frozen. They lowered their firearms and began to grumble among themselves. Crane eased out from behind his truck with the barrel of his gun pointed down at the ground.  Dex waved to his men, who also lowered their rifles, but stayed behind the barricades. Four of Crane's men joined him as Dex, Matt and River came out to meet them in the neutral zone.

"Why didn't you tell us about this so-called moon cure and especially about the Shadow Hunters?" Crane demanded of River.

"You didn't give me much of a chance. Jewel only discovered the cure a few weeks ago."

"That was plenty of time to tell us," snarled one of Crane's men.

"How was I to know you had planned a damn war? Before I could tell you about the cure, my wife's use of Black Magic was discovered and she could be in a lot of trouble as we speak."

"Have you heard from aunt Jewel, Uncle River?"

"No. It's been three days. And she's not answering her phone."

"What's this about your wife missing?" Crane blurted.

"I don't have time to explain--it's some bullshit witch thing. If Jewel hadn't been called to some council meeting, she would have used the spell by now, and there would be no way anyone could find out about us. But the way it stands now, all the Dominions have to do is wait for the next full moon and track where we'll be chained down. Then they'll have all the evidence they'll need to come down on us...all of us," River warned.

"So, you see if we start killing each other, there won't be enough of us left to defend ourselves against the Hunters," Dex said.

"What about that Raymond kid?"

"I'll see to the boy personally," Dex said. "I promise. I'll chain him myself until Jewel comes back with the spell."

Crane spit a mouth of tobacco and looked around at his men. Their once hard battle faces were now stunned with fear after hearing the name Shadow Hunters. Crane turned his attention back to Dex.

"All right." Crane said, his eyes blazing. "You make sure that kid is chained. If another one of your spoiled brats do something like this again...no one," his eyes zeroed in on River, "and I do mean no one," he looked back at Dex, "will talk us out of coming back here and finishing the job. I hope I make myself clear," he said looking over at Dex's men.

Dex stepped forward. "We don't take too kindly to threats, Crane," he said.

Crane stared at Dex. "You don't seem to understand the seriousness of what Raymond did."

"I know all right; but you don't seem to understand the devastation it will cause if you take the boy. It will start a war and expose all of us."

Crane spit another mouth of tobacco and wiped his lips on his sleeve. He looked as if he were in deep thought. He said nothing, then turned and motioned his men to leave. River watched Crane and the four men walk quietly back to the group. The group spoke among themselves for a few moments then all got into their trucks and sped off.

"Whew! That was close," Dex said, turning to River.

River slapped a hand on Dex's shoulder. "Damn close. But we did it, Bro."

The southern pack appeared relieved as they all moved from behind the barricades. They looked kindly towards River and nodded. He had sided with them and his brother against his own northern pack. One by one they climbed into their vehicles. Dex and River waved them off.

"Thanks, River," Dex said. "This could have gotten pretty ugly. I appreciate you stepping in."

"You don't have to thank me. We're brothers, and no one or nothing will ever come between us again."

Dex lowered his head like a little boy, and Matthew who hadn't seen his father and uncle this friendly in years, was lapping it up with a smile as wide as his face.

"Let us know if you hear from Jewel," Dex said before climbing into his truck.

"I will."

*****
River returned home to a worried Chelsey who had allowed little sister Abby to go out on her first date, and now she couldn't reach her by phone.

"I'm sure she's fine. I'm going up to take a shower. Has your mother called?"

"No. Dad, where can Mom be?"

"I'm certain both Mom and Abby will be home soon," River said, trying not to let on he was worried too. He turned to her after reaching the top of the stairs. "Call me when you hear from them."

"Okay."

The dark outline of the clouds blazed against the sky with every lightning flash. The rain beat down heavily upon the window pane. Chelsey paced the floor. Abby had called an hour ago saying she was on her way home. Chelsey debated with Dria if she should drive out looking for her. Just then, a car rolled up; it was not Abby but Benjamin Casey.

"What on earth is he doing here," she wondered out loud. Before Ben could knock, Chelsey opened the door.  Benjamin stepped inside. His brows were raised and his eyes unblinking as their intensity fixed on hers.

"Chelsey, I've got to speak to your Dad."

"Is it mom?" she asked. Her breathing quickened.

"No, Honey--this isn't about your mom. I'm sorry."

"Go get Dad," she ordered Dria. Dria hurried up the staircase. Chelsey stood looking at Ben, as if to read his face. Ben seemed careful to stand on the mat as water dripped from his shiny rain coat. Chelsey struggled to make small-talk until her father came down.

"Ben?" River said frowning as he hit the last step. "Let's go in here," he said, leading Ben to the den. Chelsey watched the door close. She tried Abby's cell phone again and continued watching for her at the window.

"River, I know I should have called, but I was in the vincinity, so I decided to stop in," Ben said.
 
River handed him a glass of scotch. "Here, this will warm you up." Ben took a big gulp of it and continued.

"The Dominions are planning a raid on us during the next full moon."

River gestured. "Sit."

"No. I don't want to get your sofa wet," Ben said taking another gulp.

"How do you know this?"

"I was shooting pool with a couple of them over at Renzo's,  and tonight I heard them talking."

"What the hell are you doing friendly with Dominions? That's dangerous, Ben."

"They don't know I'm a wolf. And someone has to make friends with outsiders. How else are we going to know what they're up to?"

"That makes sense," he said pulling on his jaw. "We've got three days before the full moon to find a more secure place to chain down."

"Have you heard from Jewel?"

"No. Nothing."

"But where are we going to find a place that can hold all of us?" Ben asked.

"I don't know. Damn! I wish Jewel were here. She'd know what to do."

"What about the other witches? They might help."

"I doubt it. Right now they're pretty pissed at Jewel for having that damn spell book."

"Then it's hopeless."

"Nothing is hopeless; look, we still have three days," he said putting a hand on Ben's shoulder. "I'll think of something."

"I sure hope so, River," Ben said shaking his head.

River walked Ben to the door, then stood in the doorway and watched him scurry through the pouring rain to his car.

*****
Just a few minutes later, Abby entered the house and big sister Chelsey was all over her.

River stepped between the girls. "All right you two settle down. Why didn't you answer your phone? Your sister was worried sick."

"I forgot to turn it on," she lied. "I'm not a baby," Abby said, rolling her eyes at Chelsey.

Younger sister, Becca, came down stairs to see what all the fuss was about. Then a great thrill came upon River and the girls when Jewel walked through the door. There was a considerable amount of confusing chatter among them as they all hugged her and tried to talk to her at the same time. River finally managed to quiet the girls in order for Jewel to explain her strange disappearing act for the past few days.

On the long travel back, Beatrice had helped Jewel manufacture a story for the girls. Satisfied with their mom safely at home, the girls went to their rooms. Overjoyed, however, was an understatement when River learned that Jewel had been elevated to a Witch Queen and in-line someday to have her own coven. The elevations had made Jewel more powerful. Being elevated also meant more freedom and independence from having to check in with the council about everything she did.

With only a few days left before the full moon and the Dominions' plan to raid the pack, Jewel couldn't be sure if this was enough time to prepare the moon cure. There was only one ingredient missing,  the blood of the little Sooner boy.






 



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.
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