Something In the Water
Prologue – What Makes a Warlock
April 27, 1637
A/N – I apologize for the lack of historically accurate language. If anyone reading this knows how to make the language sound more like the 1630s in colonial New England, please contact me.
The rain dripped down from the sky in a drizzle that barely justified taking cover. Rebecca Warren didn't bother trying. She cradled her baby son, Samuel, in her arms as she wept over a newly dug grave. A wooden cross with crudely etched letters was the only thing marking the grave of her beloved husband. It held only the barest info, her husband's name and the years he lived. Thirty two years was all the time Patrick Aaron Warren had been given before he was falsely accused and convicted of theft.
This new land, this America, was supposed to be a land of opportunity, but two weeks off the boat and she had seen nothing but heartache. Their three-year-old daughter, Caroline, had died on the boat and their older son, David, had been blinded in an accident only two days after they had arrived.
Now, it was Patrick who lay dead. Someone had accused him of stealing a bolt of cloth from Goody Westmont, a widow who made a living as a seamstress for the rest of the village. The cloth had been found in their home, but Rebecca could not believe Patrick had been responsible. The townsfolk had been far too eager to lay blame on the new comer though. In time they would learn that Patrick had not been the one responsible for this crime, but it would come far too late for her beloved.
When Samuel began to protest the uncomfortable position that Rebecca had him in, she finally stood and began the walk back to town. She needed to pick up David from one of the few neighbors who hadn't turned their back on her after Patrick had been accused. David enjoyed playing with their two children, Franklyn and Anne.
Rebecca hadn't gone very far when she heard voices on the other side of some bushes. She would have continued, but one word caught her attention. Since she had arrived, she had gotten the impression that someone was using magic to alter events, but they hadn't been directed at any one person.
She cradled Samuel close to her chest as she walked over to where the sound came from. In a clearing Goody Richmond addressed her family. Her three daughters, two sons, and seven grandchildren surrounded a platform of some type on which Goody Richmond stood.
"'Tis time to begin," Goody Richmond announced to her children. "She has arrived on her own."
Rebecca gulped. It was time to leave. Her sons needed a mother. She hadn't gotten more than two steps, when she was knocked to the ground by an invisible force. After taking a second to make sure Samuel was unharmed, she scrambled to her feet. She started running, but was quickly knocked from her feet, again.
"'Tis such a shame," Louisa Chambers told her brother, William Richmond. "I was hoping for more of a struggle.
Rebecca looked down at Samuel and placed him on the ground. Placing one hand on the ground in front of her she glared up at the siblings.
The ground began to tremble. A wall of dirt built up in front of Louisa and William. As they began trying to get around the dirt wall, Rebecca put her other hand down on the ground between her and Samuel. The ground began to shake and a river of dirt began moving her son toward town and hopefully safety. She continued battling the siblings as she pushed her son farther and farther away. If she got up her power would cease to work, so little bit by little bit she scooted backward. Hopefully by the time she was forced to drop the wall of dirt she would have put enough space between her and Goody Richmond's offspring.
She was getting close to the edge of town when it was brought home rather forcefully that Louisa and William weren't the only members of their family. Ice shot out from George Richmond's hands hitting Rebecca with an ice spray and quickly enveloping her in ice.
Elisa Richmond, the youngest of Goody Richmond's children, watched her older brother with an amused look. "Well done, George. Now, she dies."
George put a hand on her shoulder and shook his head. "Mother needs her for the spell."
Elisa looked at the frozen woman in front of her. She scowled. "Louisa, George says we have to bring her to mother. Do the honors, please?"
As soon as Rebecca had been frozen, Louisa and William had followed her trail and now stood a few feet away. Louisa waved her arm and sent the frozen Rebecca sliding back toward the clearing were their family waited. The four siblings walked back to the clearing.
Elisa conjured a knife and ran her finger along the blade as she walked up to the platform her mother was on. She looked down at the small body of a little girl on the platform. "Why could she die, but 'twas not allowed for her mother to die?"
"The blood of the child needn't be fresh," Willamina Richmond told her youngest. "It only needs to be magical and unfortunately the two boys don't seem to have any magic in them. They are the first witches to cross our paths in over a decade. If we want this, we cannot let this opportunity pass."
"Still," Marie Michaels, Willamina's oldest daughter, complained, "'twas rather bothersome to have to locate the body of the dead child and fish her out of the ocean. Whoever thought to bury the dead at sea should be cursed."
"They are likely long dead themselves," Willamina reminded her. "Stay focused, dear."
"Where's the baby?" William asked looking at the frozen form of Rebecca.
George shrugged. "We have no need of him. He's not magical, so he'll die soon enough."
Louisa sprinkled a powder around the outline of Caroline Warren's dead body. Once she was satisfied that there were no escape routes she stepped away from the altar.
Elisa rubbed her finger along her knife as she eyed the child eagerly.
Marie walked over to where her three children and the four belonging to the older three of her siblings stood. She took a basket of dead flowers from her older daughter. As she placed flowers around the child an inch apart, careful to make sure that the petals touched the powder, she spoke to her younger sister. "Elisa, patience. Mother's spell will give us immortality."
"'Twill strip us of the petty morality that plagues normal witches," Louisa added.
"I know," Elisa scowled. "I just want to use my knife."
"You will," William assured her.
"What if mother's wrong?" Elisa commented, looking her mother in the eye. "I want to be a warlock as much as the next witch, but they've been an extinct breed for a thousand years."
"'Tis very clear," Willamina assured her youngest. "Clearly the witches in that time have been pathetic excuses of evil."
"'Tis unlikely that there have been no warlocks in that time," George commented.
"If there were they made no mark on the world," William shot back. "We've no evidence of them."
"Likely that is because they have been oppressed and no one has explained to them the true power of being a warlock," Marie informed her brothers. "We'll make our mark on the world. We will lead in a new era."
"And what of my vision?" William asked. "I don't imagine these things."
"It does seem rather unlikely," Marie shook her head. "After all, a woman in breeches. 'Tis scandalous."
"I think I'd like that," Elisa commented. "Men get . . . very distracted . . . when they see too much of a lady."
"You're no lady," George scoffed.
"I wouldn't expect thee to understand," Elisa replied.
Marie put down the last flower and stepped away from the altar. "William? George?"
Her brothers took Rebecca's frozen body and moved it onto the altar next to her daughter's dead body. George held out his hands and the ice returned to them as William with the help of Marie's son, Oliver Michaels, held Rebecca in place. They straightened out the struggling woman and George held out his hands again. He froze Rebecca again, but this time he left her head unfrozen.
"Silence her tongue," Louisa directed her son, Charles Chambers.
Charles waved his hand at Rebecca and her mouth and tongue stopped moving. Sounds emitted from her throat, but no discernible words.
Louisa smiled. "Thank thee, Charles."
"Begin," Willamina directed her offspring.
In one voice the thirteen evil witches chanted, "Blood of the offspring flows as a flood."
Elisa took her knife and ran it down Caroline's body starting at her throat. The blood had long since ceased to flow, but the spell seemed to call at it and the blood flowed out of her body saturating the powder surrounding her small body.
"Death begins anew, cloaked within a hood."
The dead flowers touching the powder turned from brown to a brilliant red.
"Water drinkable only by the magical few."
A thin red liquid spread out from the stems of the flowers and flowed toward the edge of the altar. Much of it ran into Rebecca and flowed around her as the sounds of horrified screams came out of her mouth.
"Death's cold lips kiss the untrue. Time flows on and the poison spread."
The red liquid seeped into the ground looking for a water source.
"Until the whole mortal world lies dead."
A purple smoke emitted from a nearby well bringing a smile to Willamina's lips.
"This offering I give as my appeal. With a witch's death seal this deal."
Elisa took her knife and plunged it through the ice into Rebecca's heart. A serene look crossed her face as she brought the knife up to her nose and took in a deep breath. "I could get used to this."
Nothing ever said that Melinda Warren's magic came from her mother. Yes, magic is supposed to only be in the women of their line, and I have kept that. David and Samuel have no magical abilities. They also have the same immunities of other witches. Good witches cannot use their powers on them. And if something doesn't affect the magical, they are safe. Charlotte said that Melinda was the first Warren born in America. So I made sure none of the children from this family were born on American soil.