It was raining. Not hard like it usually did in the small town of Salem, Massachusetts, but rain was falling nevertheless. In the midst of the rain stood a house that looked as if no one had lived it in for years. Half of the windows were broken and everything from the inside out was covered in dust and cobwebs. The yard was overgrown with plants and weeds and the three brooms, which were said to belong to the last people who lived in the house, still sat on the wall opposite the front door. Many legends surrounded the old house including the claim that it was haunted by three witches. The Sanderson sisters.

Their names were Winifred, Sarah, and Mary Sanderson. It was said that in 1693 the three sisters were hung for the being suspected as witches after the murder of Emily Binx and the disappearance of Thackery Binx. Indeed, though, they were guilty of both crimes. They fed poor Emily Binx a potion and sucked her life force from her and when her brother, Thackery, tried to save her they turned him into a cat. That was three hundred years ago. Three hundred years ago that Winifred Sanderson cursed him to live as a cat.

So Thackery lived, as a black tom, guarding the Sanderson house. Day after day, week after week he sat there. Rarely did he leave the house, even to go out in the yard, and when he did leave it was always in the summertime when it was safe. Autumn was never safe. Autumn was when a virgin might light the black flame candle and bring the sisters back. Thackery could not let that happen

Currently, the black tom sat in the rafters, watching, waiting. He seldom ventured down, even to catch a mouse. He did not necessarily need to eat. He was, after all, immortal. Winifred Sanderson had made him immortal and he hated it. Oh, how he hated it. He missed his family. His mother and father and, most importantly, his younger sister Emily.

Thackery Binx was so absorbed in his thoughts that he did not notice that the rain had stopped but he did hear something else. A slight scratching at the door of The Sanderson house. He leapt down from his perch and stalked towards the door. Years of living in this place had helped Thackery Binx to learn a few very helpful tricks. As he neared the door he stopped, crouching down. The black tom waggled his haunches before pouncing at the door, pawing at the handle. The door swung open to reveal another black tom staring at Thackery Binx.

"Who are you?" Thackery mewed in a raspy voice that had been unused for centuries. He had forgotten that not all cats could talk like he could.

The newcomer was silent so the two toms stared at each much like if someone was staring into their reflection in a mirror. Thackery Binx was thin and lithe and the black tom outside was slight larger in height but had almost the same lithe build as Thackery Binx.

"My name is Salem. Salem Saberhagen".