Chapter XXIX

AIt was clear that Mr. Stokes was uncomfortable not being the one in control of our plan and actions to bring return Aunt Rachel to her body, but since he seemed to be lost with how to handle it all and I had become the one who was focused, it seemed logical, at least to me, that I take the leadership role. I was determined that nothing was going to stop me from accomplishing the goal of returning my aunt to us.

As I had sat in silence after communicating with my aunt it felt as if I had wiped the grime from an old window and was finally allowing the light of the late morning sun to illuminate the interior of my mind and the obvious solution, as if each piece of the puzzle had easily fallen into its rightful place bringing me the revelation I required. It felt simple and obvious and I wondered why I hadn’t been aware of the solution before since it seemed as if I had been in possession of the knowledge and skill all along.

I walked into the library searching for my bag and once I located it on the floor by my favorite chair, I plunged my hand into its depths and retrieved the wooden box I had purchased from the occult shop last month.

“I have a plan and I can execute it myself, but I could use your help, Mr. Stokes. Would you to be my anchor?” I asked him, confident that he would be willing since I could see that there was something between the two of them.

He nodded without hesitation. “Yes, of course, but Angie, how do you know what needs to be done? As you can see for yourself our previous attempt to boost her energetic vibration seems to have failed. How can you be certain that what you have planned will work?”

“It didn’t completely fail,” I said, retracing my steps back to the living room with the box in my hands. I glanced from Mr. Stokes, who walked beside me to the object. “And I can’t explain it, I just know.”

He didn’t seem convinced, but didn’t outwardly challenge me. I gestured to the sofa. “We need to bring her body back into the foyer. I will only be able to reopen an existing portal and her vessel needs to be nearby so that her doyens can reunite with it.”

Mr. Stokes carefully bent over, lifted her body and cradled it in his arms as he carried her into the foyer. He gently placed her onto the cold tiled floor where she had fallen the previous night once I had freed her from the vortex. He took a few steps back closer to my position and looked to me, waiting for whatever was going to happen next.

“Let’s bring her home.”

***

As I stood barefoot in the middle of the foyer, I closed my eyes and exhaled, clearing my mind of all extraneous thoughts and focused solely on Aunt Rachel, summoning forth the numerous memories of her that I held within me, allowing them to seep into my mind bathing me with their warm, soothing emotional liquid, causing me to smile as I re-experienced each one. I allowed them to evolve and even though I was tempted to rush the process along, I knew it was more beneficial to allow it to proceed organically. I carefully sorted through the pages of our shared history in search of the nexus, the shared mere of power, and once I located it, I delved into its murky waters with my consciousness, drowning within it and drinking in the inessential energy from the rest of my being. I was filling myself with the energy and spindling it. I intuitively knew that this vibrant and living energy would be required to power the reopening of the vortex.

“Aunt Rachel? Aunt Rachel? It’s me, it’s Angie.”

There was silence. With my eyes still closed, I inhaled deeply and exhaled, repeating this action a few times as I allowed the energy to wash over and through me.

“Aunt Rachel,” I called, in the quietness of the house, my voice sounded louder to me that it probably was. Mr. Stokes stood beside me, his irregular breathing audible to only me.

“She’s being restrained,” I explained.

I had located Aunt Rachel’s vibrational energy signature that was concealed within the sounds that constantly swirled around everything on the earth, but hers was not freely flowing as it had been just hours ago. It was being restrained by other energetic entities, entities that I was intimately familiar with.

“I can hear them,” I informed Mr. Stokes, who was unable to hear the organic musical sounds as I did. “They’re attempting to keep her from me. They are aware that I am going to reopen the vortex and bring her home.”

“Who? Who is restraining her?” he demanded.

I inhaled and exhaled slowly before responding, distancing myself from his agitation and maintaining my internal focus on Aunt Rachel and the cocoon of energy that embraced me. “The Ancestors.”

“Who?” he paused. “What? Why are they restraining her? Why would they do that?” distraught, he screamed at the unseen accompanying us in the foyer. “Release her!”

If they truly were our ancestors, I understood that they had some motivation for wanting her to remain, but their reason, their purpose for keeping her with them was unknown to me. Only Aunt Rachel would be able to provide him with the answer. But frankly, my friends, between you and I, I didn’t care what the Ancestors’ motive was or what justification they had to keep her with them, I rejected it.

“I don’t know.”

I felt their looming presence, surrounding me in an attempt to create a barrier between Aunt Rachel’s essence and my own. I wasn’t sure if in her current condition she was strong enough to break free of their grasp and breech the wall, but I hoped that our earlier attempt to boost her energetic vibration with our own had not been in vain. I felt sweat bead across my brow and even though I had my physical eyes closed it was so bright within the recesses of my mind.

“Rachel!” he screamed, unable to keep a meditative focus. “Rachel! Can you hear us, Rachel?”

Moments passed with no response. The energy barrier, invisible to the human eye, swirled around me as I endeavored to reach beyond it with my essence, searching for a way to psychically connect with my aunt. It seemed as if Mr. Stokes’ patience had dissolved and he had lost hope, which only fortified my determination and focus. I heard him drop to the floor behind me and weep.

“Gerald?” her whisper surrounded us. “Is that you?”

My tutor jumped to his feet. “Yes! Yes it is.”

“Where are you? Why can’t  … “ her voice faded into murmurs.

“Rachel!” he yelled at the nothingness.

“Aunt Rachel … focus on my voice. Find my vibration,” I instructed. “I’m here. I am right here.”

“They are … all … around …”

The sound of the murmurs that were once shrouded within the air current grew, becoming louder and more forceful. They reached entrainment with more than one vibrational frequency including that of the physical plane. The chorus of haunting moans, high pitched screeches, and myriad of peculiar organic sounds pushed at our human bodies.

Mr. Stokes furrowed his brow. “What the hell is that sound?”

“That,” I clarified, “Is the Ancestors.”

If Aunt Rachel listened and followed their instructions, she would fall into resonance with them and never to return to her body. Their whispers cajoled and persuaded her to push me from her mind, to create a gap of frequency between us, but I was counting on the power of our shared memories and her energetic vibration to empower her resistance.

“Don’t listen to them,” I encouraged. “Listen to me, Aunt Rachel, hear only my voice. My sound. Block them out. Focus on me. On my voice speaking to you, connecting to you. Focus on our memories, focus on us, on our bond.”

“Angie … Angie, oh, Angie,” she whispered, her voice becoming stronger. “… you have always … always been … a … a special girl.”

Out of the pocket of my sweater I removed the box I had retrieved from the library and opened it. I had studied the runes that were skillfully etched into the wood weeks after I had purchased the item and hadn’t been able to discern their meaning until a few hours ago while I sat alone in the living room. Othilia, Dagaz, Laguz, and Ansuz were the four Elder Futhark runes that were carved inside the lid hundreds of years prior to my current birth date, as a personal message and warning meant for me:

Your inheritance: the ability to transform (alter) the planes of reality, create portals between the planes. Be warned: do not exceed that which you have the ability to do, for if you do, you shall summon Loki, god of chaos.

The sphere’s loud humming that previous customers complained about, that I had not heard for myself until that moment, filled the foyer, overpowering the odd energetic sound of the Ancestors. I felt the vibration not only from the hum, but also from the physical sphere itself, shifting my own energetic frequency just as music could. With my eyes still closed I handed the empty box to Mr. Stokes who obediently took it from me.

Chapter XXVIII

I sat in the Queen Anne chair with my legs bent, feet resting on the seat and chin on my folded arms, staring at the unconscious body of Aunt Rachel laying on the sofa where she had been for the past eighteen hours. In the stillness of the living room I tried in earnest to wrap my mind around the previous night’s events, but I became more muddled with each thought I spent time contemplating. Nothing made any sense to me. I couldn’t find any distinguishable pattern or logical reason for what transpired; instead I was left to ponder more frustrating questions that surfaced because of what I had experienced. Unfortunately the two individuals who held information that could in some way bring clarity to the situation were unavailable at the moment. Aunt Rachel lay unconscious and possibility lost in another dimensional realm and Mr. Stokes was sleeping upstairs in one of the family’s vacant beds.

Mr. Stokes. The more time I spent in his company, the more I was made aware that he was a complete mystery to me, which even though I was frustrated that I was unable to dissect him, I did appreciate the challenge he presented. He was the only private tutor that my parents hired that was able to endure my abnormal and often times morbid behaviors while still managing to teach me. Regardless, I was suspicious and had a strong feeling that he knew more about our current predicament that he volunteered. I mean, why else was he so annoyed when we first encountered Aunt Rachel in the foyer? And why did he respond in the way he did when we were preparing to boost her vibrational frequency? There was something between the two of them, something I hadn’t been aware of, which meant that he was holding back information from me and that had to stop. It was entirely possible that he knew more about the vortex, who or what created it and why. Maybe he was even able to explain why the ancestors wanted Aunt Rachel beyond the Astral Plane. This was information that I needed to know and if he had ideas beyond his “best guess” then he needed to share it with me.

It was obvious to me that Aunt Rachel would know what was happening since she was the individual that the ancestors were targeting, but she was unable to share any information with me while she was absent from her body. I was earnestly worried about her well-being and couldn’t comprehend why Syn instructed me to abandon the one person in my family who treated me as someone worthy of love and attention. My aunt had always been attentive of me, treating me with kindness and compassion. I couldn’t with a clear conscious send her somewhere from which she might never return and I couldn’t imagine that Syn ever thought that I would have been able to. Where was Aunt Rachel now? Was she trapped on the Elemental Plane without a way to return to her life here on the Physical? Had my impulsive actions inadvertently trapped her there? Would I be able to help her return or had I unintentionally aided Syn?

I sighed. None of this made any sense to me, and honestly, I began doubting my own perception of reality. Perhaps I was not as well as I imagined myself to be. The medications that Dr. Worth prescribed for my paranoid schizophrenia might have failed or maybe I missed a dose … or two. I couldn’t remember. Was any of this really happening or was it all just one colossal hallucination my fucked up brain created? Had my perceptiveness become so distorted and my thoughts completely fragmented that I could only perceive bits or pieces and not the whole of reality? Had my broken mind filled in the empty spaces with fantastical possibilities? Maybe I was no longer able to distinguish between real and make-believe and with my parents in the Bahamas; unable to guide me, ground me, and encourage me to focus on what was real, I had become lost in my own morbid illusions.

I rested my forehead on my arms and closed my eyes; the ticking of the antique clock that hung on the wall noted the passing of each second. I was mentally exhausted and just wanted this all to be sorted out so I could return to my normal peculiar life.

“Angie …”

I jerked my head up at the sound of the familiar whisper and peered over at Aunt Rachel’s body that still appeared motionless on the sofa. I scampered over to her and knelt on the floor beside the couch, my knees cushioned by the Oriental rug that Mother had methodically positioned on the floor years ago. I grasped her unmoving hand with my own, searching her face for some indication that her doyens had been rejoined with her body, but found her face as expressionless as I had beheld it earlier. I could detect no sign of her presence.

“Angie … is that you?”

I gasped. Where was the voice originating if not from Aunt Rachel? I swerved my head around, searching the living room for the source, but found no visible sign of any other presence. I gently rested Aunt Rachel’s hand on her torso and stood.

“Yes, Aunt Rachel,” I addressed the disembodied voice. “I’m here. Where are you?”

“I … I don’t know,” she responded barely audible, but unmistakably distraught. “Something is not right, Angie. Something is … is very, very … wrong.”

“I know, but we can fix it,” I tried to sound more convincing than I currently felt. Being able to audibly communicate with her gave me hope that Mr. Stokes and I had made some progress in rejoining her doyens with her body, but I knew that I required more information about where she was located so that we could determine our next step. “What do you see?”

She didn’t respond. The clock ticked by the minutes. I was concerned that she was no longer able to communicate with me or I had done something to shift the connection.

“Aunt Rachel?”

“Nothing … I see nothing. Just darkness,” she said. “I can’t feel my body … Is this a dream, Angie? Are you visiting me in my dream, like your Dad used to when we were kids?”

“No, I don’t think so. As far as I can tell, I’m awake,” I explained, “But honestly I’m not sure. I question my own sanity quite often even when I take my medication.”

“Angie …,” her whisper was barely audible to me. “I’m scared.”

“I know.”

I felt as if the time to find Aunt Rachel’s severed parts of her being and reunite them with her body was running out and I speculated with some certainty that the consequences of remaining separated were less than desirable for her overall well-being. Perhaps her body would cease living and shut down leaving her severed parts trapped on the Elemental Plane, or her body could remain in its current coma-like state while her lost doyens began the death transition, fading from existence and leading to her next incarnation, but I was certain that there were other possibilities that I hadn’t considered. I didn’t like any of them and just wanted my aunt returned to me, as the woman I knew yesterday.

As the late morning sunlight steadily streamed through the French doors, brightening the interior of the living room, I heard Mr. Stokes descend the stairs before I could see him. An hour had passed since the last brief exchange with Aunt Rachel. Our short conversation yielded no new information about where she was or what her condition, but consisted mostly of my reassuring her that I would find a way to make everything “right”. It took only moments for my tutor to join me in the living room. He paused momentarily at the threshold, his hands buried in his trouser pockets, appearing just as exhausted as he was when he retired hours ago. With a glance, anyone observing him could easily determine that he had slept in the clothes he was currently wearing. As he passed me on his way to Aunt Rachel’s body, he silently nodded in my direction without really seeing me. After checking her pulse and examining her for a few moments, he approached the empty chair beside me, removed his glasses and wiped his face with the palm of his left hand. Even after resting, I was aware that he was at a loss with how to proceed.

“Aunt Rachel is here,” I stated, as he settled into the chair beside me. “She’s in the house.”

He raised an eyebrow as he glanced over to the sofa then back to me.

I growled in frustration at him before pushing myself up from the seat and stomping out of the living room and into the foyer. He knew how to infuriate me. Well, fuck him! I didn’t need him. I could carry out the plan I had formulated within the last hour myself, but I had to do it quickly and I had to do it now. Instinctively I knew that the longer we, or rather I, waited, the more difficult it would be to rejoin Aunt Rachel with her body without the possibility of losing parts of her essence. Even though I was aggravated with him, I hoped that Mr. Stokes would mentally catch up with me once he was fully awake and alert, because even though I could execute the plan on my own, I would feel better if he helped.

“Please clarify what you meant when you said, ‘She’s in the house’,” my tutor requested. He had followed me into the foyer.

“I spoke with her,” I said, glaring at him. The wrinkles around his eyes and brow were more defined this morning than I had ever seen them. I immediately felt badly for him. He was just as scared and anxious as I was. “She’s here, but not here.”

“Right,” he nodded, studying my face.

“Seriously?” I couldn’t believe he was doing it again. Looking at me in that creepy mad scientist way. “Mr. Stokes, stop looking at me like that.”

“Well Angie, what is it you’re planning to do?”

“Bring Aunt Rachel home,” I responded.

Chapter XXVII

 

I closed my eyes as I firmly clasped Aunt Rachel’s bare ankles with my hands. As my palms touched her warm skin my mind sprang alive with a calliope of childhood memories. The images flashed in my head with a speed that prevented me from comprehending them, like a video being played on fast forward, but the emotions associated with each moment poured over me like a warm sticky liquid; filling me, overwhelming me, and spilling out from me. I sorted through the tangle of emotions, searching for the center of my power, the fount from where this profusion of emotions sprang from. Once I located it, I coiled my mind around it; a serpent, lithe and cunning, before siphoning the energy from the rest of my being, drawing into that center all that was not currently being used for my body’s vital functions. I spindled the living energy into a sparking and vibrating mass that I intuitively knew I would be able to easily guide through my own vessel and forcibly push out of me and into Aunt Rachel, even though I had never read nor practiced the process before. It felt simple and natural, as if I had always possessed the skill and knowledge, that somehow the shared memories between my aunt and I, which had previously flashed through my brain, triggered some ancient hidden ability.

I directed the glowing energy into her body and willed it to strengthen her weakened energetic vibration, hoping that by doing so her lost doyens would realign with the others and bring her entire essence back into the denser range of the Physical Plane of existence. Once I was able to feel the continuous flow of energy between us, I slowly opened my eyes. There was a visible evanescent radiance that enveloped the three of us, which started as a dark indigo and faded into a bright electric blue that lingered closely around Aunt Rachel’s physical body. Clearly this was the energetic beacon that Mr. Stokes said would ripple through the planes, attract her missing doyens, and pull her essence back to her physical body, back to me. I watched the pulsating aura with fascination, mesmerized by the sensations that accompanied it; the warmth of its luminosity, the tingle of its vibration, the sound of its hum, and the ethereal images that I could see within its brilliance.

I had become seduced and was unaware when Mr. Stokes had moved from his place at Aunt Rachel’s head to stand beside me. It was only the contrast in temperature between the warmth of his hand and the cool flesh of my forearm that caused me to involuntarily jerk my hands from her ankles, jolting me back into the reality of the living room.

“What? Why did you stop me?” I scowled, as I blinked my eyes, attempting to bring my surroundings into focus.

“It’s time to stop,” he explained, as he dropped himself in the same Queen Anne chair he had occupied earlier that evening. “Now we wait to see if our efforts were successful.”

I sat on the floor not moving from the place I had been kneeling while attending to Aunt Rachel. I disliked the idea of just waiting. It felt too much like quitting to me and I had the gnawing instinct to do something. Anything. I felt tense and restless, like I had consumed an entire pot of coffee and was pumped with caffeine. “Are we really just going to idly sit here, wasting time? Isn’t there something we could be doing?”

“Sleeping,” my tutor yawned, rubbing his eyes, as he rested his elbows on his knees then his head in his hands.

“Are you serious?” I shook my head vigorously and stood, searching the room for something to occupy myself with. “There is no way I can sleep now. I’m too wired.”

Mr. Stokes raised his head slowly to glance at me. I returned his look with an exaggerated frown.

“Damn. You look like shit,” I commented able to clearly see for the first time at how haggard he appeared. “Maybe you should get some rest. You can go upstairs and sleep if you want. I’ll grab a book and sit here with Aunt Rachel. I promise that I will wake you if anything changes.”

After briefly rubbing his eyes and pinching the bridge of his nose, Mr. Stokes removed his glasses from the front pocket of his light blue, and much wrinkled, button up shirt and put them on. He sluggishly stood from his chair and approached me with squinted eyes. I could tell that he was visually scrutinizing me, searching for something, but I wasn’t sure what that something was.

“Why are you looking at me like that?” I was annoyed. I hated when he did shit like this. I felt like a Guinea pig or some lab rat being studied by a mad scientist with hidden agendas. I’d much rather if he were just honest about what had him interested instead of being so mysterious and fucking creepy about it. I swatted at the air in his direction “Stop it!”

“I don –. You’re not exhausted?” he asked with a raised eyebrow. “You don’t want to sleep? Just for a few hours?”

I scoffed, “No, I’m not tired. I don’t want to sleep. What I do want is to help Aunt Rachel, but if you need to rest then you should. Can I just run up to my room and grab a book first?” I gestured towards the foyer where the stairs were located. “Then you can go sleep in the guest room or Daniel’s old room or even my parents’ bedroom if you’d like, it has the bigger bed.”

He nodded, as he stumbled back to the chair he had recently vacated and clumsily sat down almost causing it to flip over. He caught himself and sighed heavily. I was concerned that he might pass out before I returned from retrieving my copy of Sacred Magick and reconsidered leaving him alone, but I was excited to search the index for information on energy channeling. I wanted to read more about it, to know more about it so that I could see what other applications it possessed. It greatly intrigued me. My hunger for knowledge overshadowed my concern for Mr. Stokes and I walked toward the door, intending to be as quick as I could, but stopped mid-step when I noticed that Mr. Stokes was analyzing me again, this time from his chair.

“What?” I asked, pointedly. “Why are you looking at me that way?”

“Angie,” he cleared his throat. “Can you describe to me what was happening to you when we were working on your aunt?”

“Oh.” Not the response I was expecting from him. “Yeah, sure,” I said, as I walked over to the empty chair beside him. Conversing about the topic wasn’t as good as doing my own research, but I wasn’t going to object to discussing it with him. And maybe he would share what information he knew, which could almost be as educational as reading old text about it, plus I would get a vague idea about the depth of his knowledge regarding such matters. “It was intense. I saw the energy flowing from me and joining with yours, creating sort of a force field around Aunt Rachel.”

He nodded. “Can you describe the energy field?”

“It glowed … and hummed like florescent lights sometimes do,” I paused, considering if I wanted to share any more with him.

“And …?” he prompted.

“Well … and when I looked into the energy I could see things … moving.”

He frowned while stifling a yawn. “Moving? What do you mean?”

“I don’t know how to really describe it,” I shrugged. “But it seemed that when I looked at Aunt Rachel, but didn’t exactly focus on her, I could see things in the energy that surrounded her.”

He grunted.

“What were they? Those things?”

He absently raised his left hand to his forehead; his finger instinctively found the mysterious scar and massaged it for a few moments before responding.

 “Well, honestly I’m not entirely sure what you saw, Angie. Frankly, I’m bewildered, which is something that rarely, if ever, occurs for me at my age,” he paused. I watched him slowly blink his eyes twice; the last time his eyes closed they remained so for thirty seconds before they reopened. It was clear he was fighting to stay awake. “I want to continue this conversation, but I can barely concentrate on your words and forming my own cohesive sentences is becoming increasingly difficult. So, I will find my way to an empty bed and sleep for at least a few hours, if you don’t mind.”

“Not at all. Would you like me to help you upstairs?” I asked, worried that in his current sleep depraved condition he would trip and hurt himself before he was able to climb into a bed.

He waved me off as he staggered out of the living room calling behind him, “I’m good. Thank you.”

As I listened to him noisily climb the stairs, I studied Aunt Rachel, her chest rhythmically rose and fell. I was anxious about leaving her alone, but I was not going to sit there with nothing to do until morning, which I estimated by the time that had passed, wasn’t for at least another nine hours. I considered running to the library and grabbing a book from there instead of attempting to venture up to my bedroom. I remembered that I had at least one sitting on the desk that I would be content with reading for a few hours, and it was entirely possible that by the time I was bored with it, Aunt Rachel would have regained consciousness or Mr. Stokes would be rested enough to return to the living room so that we might continue our discussion. I had committed myself to the idea of retrieving the book from the library, when it occurred to me that the room had become bright enough so that there was no longer a need for the end table lights to be on. I stood and slowly approached each lamp turning their switch so that the bulb clicked off. Standing behind the sofa, facing the French doors that opened up to the small patio, where during the warmer months Mother held her morning ritual of coffee and contemplation, I could clearly see the brightness of the sun illuminating the sky, transforming it from a dishwater gray to a clear light blue. I frantically glanced behind me at the antique Gustav Becker clock that hung on the wall. The hour hand seemed to move in slow motion, clicking as it reached the twelve and gaily disturbing the silence of the house with its hourly chimes. How the hell was it seven o’clock already?

 

Chapter XXVI

The light in the house was quickly fading, causing Mother’s precious antiques to cast looming shapes around the still living room. I was suspicious of each dark corner and unusual shadow I spied. One might assume that it was my diagnosed paranoid schizophrenia that caused me to feel and think this way, but I would adamantly argue that it was the events of that afternoon that sparked my fear. The atmosphere in the house was oppressive and made breathing strenuous as the sinister presence lurking in the shadows observed, evaluated, and waited for the current situation in the house to change, but what then? What would transpire? I knew that I was the sole party at fault; that it was I alone that had shifted the outcome of events, and because of my actions there would be dire consequences experienced by all, but I had no glimmer of understanding of what those might be. I was certain that the answer could be found within the stillness of the lingering shadows.

It had been close to three hours since I had pulled Aunt Rachel from the energetic cyclone that had entrapped her, a vortex to another plane of existence, I suspected. However she had not yet regained consciousness, which was concerning. She lay motionless where Mr. Stokes and I had placed her on the sofa in the same room where six months prior the local police detectives had questioned me about my hospital visit with Josh Keyes. I currently sat in the Queen Anne chair that had been occupied by Detective Moore, while next to me Mr. Stokes sat in the matching chair where Detective Walker sat. Both of us were staring at Aunt Rachel, waiting for her to awaken, just as our accompanying shadows were.

I was feeling tense and restless. There must be something I could do, some action to be taken to alleviate the feeling of anxiety I was experiencing. I considered taking an additional dose of my prescription or having a healthy portion of my father’s whiskey, but decided that being alert in case Aunt Rachel regained consciousness was the best option. I glanced over at my tutor and studied his silhouette; his protruding nose and jutting chin gave him the appearance of nobility, while his slouch contradicted the suggestion.

I had so many questions for him that demanded immediate answers, but I wasn’t certain where to begin and how to approach him with most of them. I was annoyed with him for possessing more occult knowledge than I assumed and for his refusal to share with me when I was clear about my desire to learn about it. I coveted the knowledge he possessed, but recognized that my usual sarcastic approach to anything of significance that I deserved to have needed to be tempered in order to convince him that it was a benefit to share this secret knowledge with me.

As I silently contemplated my tactic, Mr. Stokes pushed up his sleeve so he had a clear view of his wristwatch. He slowly inhaled through his nose and exaggerated his exhale as he stood from his seat.

 “It appears that we are going to have to do something about Rachel,” he explained, as he glanced from her body back to me. “It doesn’t seem as if she is able to return to us on her own.”

I watched him without saying a word.

“I think,” he clasped his hands in front of him as he spoke. His voice was flat and without emotion as if he was presenting me with a lesson. “That it would be prudent for us to first boost her energetic vibration with our own, which should strengthen it and simultaneously act as a beacon drawing her back to the physical plane.”

I approached the sofa and scrutinized Aunt Rachel’s face. There was no indicator of pain, but there was no sign of peace either. There was an absence of expression in her gentle feminine features. I saw nothing. It was as if she were hollow, that her body was an empty husk lying on the sofa even though her chest rhythmically rose and fell. I was confused and though I didn’t want to admit it to Mr. Stokes or to myself – I was fucking scared.

“I don’t understand. I don’t know how to boost her vibration with my own,” I confessed, feeling foolish and helpless. “I don’t know what you expect me to do.”

“Of course you don’t,” he spat, glaring at me. His demeanor had shifted abruptly; my words had flipped a switch inside of him. “You’re impulsive and undisciplined, Angie. You think you know so much, but in reality you know very little.” He pointed his index finger at my chest, “And it is your ignorance and bravado that may have cost your Aunt Rachel her life.”

His words stung.

Maybe Aunt Rachel’s death was the consequence of my actions, the cost that Syn said I would have to pay for what she perceived as my “grave mistake”, but was what I saw as a necessary action. If there had been a chance that I could have saved my aunt then I was obligated to take it and I would find a way to bring her back to us. I cannot believe that I was meant to do nothing and if I were in the same situation I would do something again. Did Syn believe that I would just allow Aunt Rachel to be sucked into the Astral Realm like Ryan, or Josh, or Mr. Morrell had been? While those men, those tormentors deserved to be punished, Aunt Rachel did not deserve that same fate. She was kind and supportive; nothing like them.

I stood silently. I had no response for Mr. Stokes who smugly glared at me as I stifled the urge to scream and scratch his eyes out.

“I warned you that you had no idea what you were getting involved with, and that this,” he spread his arms out wide, “was beyond you, but as usual, you shrugged it off without any genuine consideration.” He kneeled next to the sofa and gently smoothed back the few stray strands of Aunt Rachel’s hair with the fingers of his left hand.  He continued without looking at me. “You think that you know better than I do, but Angie, you simply don’t. You’re young and immature, as I once was.” He stood to face me, placed a hand upon each of my shoulders, and gazed directly into my eyes as he spoke. “Please understand that these are not personal judgments I have about you, they are simple facts. You’ve not seen and experienced the things that I have; things that are beyond the capability of mere words, and because of your lack of experience you don’t possess the same wisdom as I. And until then,” he dropped his arms. “I urge you to listen and heed my warnings. After all,” he smiled with a shrug. “That’s why I am here.”

I frowned. Bullshit. He didn’t know me. He didn’t know me at all. No one did. Lack of experience? Whatever. He didn’t know what kind of experiences I’ve had during my lifetime. In physical years I might be only sixteen, but I was more experienced than he realized. He may have impressive knowledge of the occult, but I found it difficult to believe that he ever trapped someone on the Astral Plane as I had and it was clear that he wasn’t a human agent, a Valkyrie of Syn here, in Midgard, as I was, nor did he hear the same voices of the ancestors that I did, the women of my bloodline, the bloodline that Abigail Williams, the infamous witch of Salem begat back hundreds of years ago. He didn’t realize how powerful I was. He wasn’t aware of the maturity of my power or what I was capable of. He couldn’t, because I hadn’t revealed it to anyone; well, anyone who was still around to share with him what they knew about me. I would listen to his warnings as he suggested because I realize now that he had more knowledge than I first believed, but I would heed his warnings when I believed they were practical, otherwise I’d follow my own intuition.

I walked over to stand closer to the sofa. “So, how do we boost her energetic vibration? Why would that help her?”

He motioned for me to stand at her feet as he stood near her head. “We are going to place our hands on her shoulders and ankles and channel our own energy into her body. As we do this our energy should force her vibrational frequency back to a denser range allowing the layers of her being to rejoin. The power of that shift should send out a burst of energy that will ripple through the planes, creating a flare of sorts, and allowing her layers to realign and become denser and more physical.”

“Her layers?” My mind grabbed on to the information I had read just months ago in Sacred Magick. What he was explaining made sense to me. “Are you referring to doyens?”

“Yes,” he nodded. “Good. You’re familiar with the concept.”

“I am.”

“Your Aunt Rachel has become separated. Her doyens were unnaturally severed, so now, laying here on the sofa,” he gestured to her body. “Are her first, second, and third layers, while her others are elsewhere.”

“How can you be sure?” I asked. I was concerned that a part of her spirit was gone and we wouldn’t be able to rejoin it, leaving her lost.

“I’m not sure, but since the fourth doyen is considered a being’s desire and she seems to possess none of it, I’d say that layer of her being is absent. Wouldn’t you?”

I nodded. “Are the missing parts of her spirit trapped on the Astral Plane? Is that where the vortex led?”

“It did lead to the Astral Plane, but I don’t think that’s where her doyens are,” he explained. “When you stepped into the portal to pull her out, you distorted the frequency and disrupted the transition process. I don’t believe her spirit ever made it to the Astral.”

“So where is she? Where did the other parts of her spirit go?” I inhaled deeply, hoping to calm the panic I felt rising inside of me. I briefly considered what I learned reading from Sacred Magick about the occult realms of existence. If Aunt Rachel wasn’t on the Astral Plane, then where was she? What were the possibilities? Then the answer occurred to me. “She’s on the Elemental Plane.”

“Yes, that would be my best guess.”

“Best guess?” The man was infuriating. With all his occult knowledge he was making guesses about the location of my aunt’s missing layers of her spirit? “This really isn’t a time for guesses, Mr. Stokes. We need answers, not guesses.”

“Yes, I agree, but it was you,” he pointed his index finger at me. “Who decided to get involved in something beyond your understanding so here we are, relying on best guesses instead of solid answers.”

I didn’t want to admit it, but he was right. Aunt Rachel’s present condition was a direct result of my actions, but at least her body was here and we had something of a chance, even if it was slight, to rejoin her doyens. If I hadn’t intervened, nothing of her would have remained. She would have been gone completely; spirit, mind, and body.

Chapter XXV

 

All matter is composed of energetic geometric shapes. The earth has been identified as a dodecahedron; a polyhedron with twelve flat pentagonal faces with three meeting at each vertex. It has twenty vertices, thirty edges, and one hundred sixty diagonals. The edges or ley lines that comprise the earth dodecahedron creates the same geometric pattern of energy that has existed since the time the earth was created; this energy field is known as the World Energy Grid. It is due to the natural energetic correspondences between the earth and all other matter which manifests the energetic interchange at specific prominent points of the earth dodecahedron. It is at the intersecting points of the ley lines that hold powerful electro-magnetic forces and where natural portals appear around the globe. Ancient structures that humanity has built in numerous places on the earth were erected at these specific locations to amplify the earth’s energy field, and by creating specific shapes such as mounds, henges, megaliths, obelisks, and pyramids, humanity has the ability to magnify, channel, and manipulate that natural power, allowing for the creation of portals that may not have been already present.

According to the multiverse theory of Quantum Mechanics, whenever there is an energy emission from a higher plane of existence to a lower plane, that energy emission would create a vortex or portal, or as suggested by Theoretical and Particle Physics, a wormhole, that could be used to connect the two separate points in space-time, or one plane of existence to another. This bridge could connect extremely long distances such as a million light years or a short distance such as a few miles; it could even connect different points in time. These portals would act like a tunnel with two ends, each at separate points in space-time. The signs that such a portal is present on earth are numerous: strange vapors, unusual cloud materializations, odd rock formations, mutated animals, strange electromagnetic phenomenon such as: disrupted cellphone services, radio frequency failure, and compass malfunction.

As I stood in the foyer of our house, I exhaled, pushing all extraneous concerns from my mind and eased into the vibration of the sounds hidden within the air current that was swirling around our bodies. It was an exercise that I was familiar with as I had done it numerous times before. While maintaining the physical connection I had established earlier with Aunt Rachel, by holding her hands in my own, I reached out to her and sought to energetically connect with her; I reached out for her with my own spirit, the essence of who I was and easily found resonance with her as well as the eccentric melody that was vibrationally present and became acutely aware of the murmurs shrouded within the sound. The familiar whispers became clear to me. Usually when I heard them, they were a comfort with their unwavering encouragement and support as I forced and trapped the energetic vibrations of my tormentors like Ryan, Josh, and Peter Morrell, to The Astral Plane, but in this moment the voices brought me only fear. It was concerning to me that those whom I had come to know as my kin were now bringing me distress.

If Aunt Rachel was hearing and listening to these voices, those whom were whispering within the usual melody of sound, and if she followed what they were instructing her to do, she would become one without a corporeal form and would no longer be anchored to the physical plane. She would be an easy thing to be manipulated and possessed by any stronger energetic vibration. These whispers were attempting to coax Aunt Rachel’s essence to move in unison with the flow of the peculiar sounds originating from the air current that surrounded us. Our ancestors, if that is who they truly were, wanted her to fall into entrainment with a plane of existence beyond the Physical, beyond the Astral, somewhere I did not recognize from my experiences or studies. I couldn’t allow this to happen. I needed Aunt Rachel in my life. I wanted her here with me not trapped in some other dimensional plane. What the fuck was going on here?

I gently and cautiously, energetically pulled at her, but encountered a slight resistance. They wouldn’t let her go. They wanted her with them, but I was determined to change that. I would stop them, if I could. Aunt Rachel didn’t belong with them. She wasn’t dead. It wasn’t her time. I didn’t understand why they were doing this and honestly it didn’t matter to me. I intuitively believed that the living blood bond I had with my aunt, a connection that these disembodied ancestors didn’t have with her, must hold some sort of power that I could use to tether her to me and ultimately the Physical Plane. I carefully crawled my hands up her arms, never physically letting her go in fear that they would snatch her away, until I had drawn her body against mine. When she was close enough to me, I kissed her lips, licking the blood that had covered them. Her nose bleed hadn’t stopped and continuously leaked onto her blouse and skirt creating a morbid crimson pattern that looked like a Rorschach inkblot. I kissed her chin, taking more of her copper tasting blood into my mouth to be sure that I had consumed enough to strengthen the blood bond we shared. My mind flashed with an image of my cousin, Christian, as a profound feeling of sorrow weighed upon me. This was something important for my Aunt Rachel, something that lead to this current situation she was experiencing, but I didn’t have the time to contemplate it. I cleared my thoughts of the visions and energetically yanked at Aunt Rachel, but the resistance I initially felt had become stronger. The haunting voices continued to caress my psyche persuading me to release the psychic embrace, promising me an influx of power if I did. The easily distinguishable voice of Syn rose above the chorus of the others and gently, but sternly, encouraged me to cease my continuing efforts to free Aunt Rachel from the grasp of the dissonant melody.

I was confused. Why would Syn instruct me to abandon the one person in my family who respected me? I didn’t understand, but I didn’t have the luxury of time to consider her reasons. I could feel and see that Aunt Rachel’s body was vibrating in unity with the sound of the dissonant melody of the air current that surrounded us. Her body slowly rose from the floor and she levitated a foot above the tile. I psychically called her name as I pulled at her essence, hoping that at any moment she would be freed. I felt the slightest yielding in the resistance, which encouraged me to yank harder. The more I worked at freeing Aunt Rachel the more adamant Syn became with her demands of me to heed her bidding, and when I ignored her, she began to berate and reprimand me, but I refused to relent, and instead, harnessed the power I held within my own veins, the same power that Syn herself had bestowed upon my family bloodline.

I reached within myself finding the center of my power and fused my own essence with my aunt’s, binding us, making us one person, one energetic entity so that instead of having to pull Aunt Rachel free, I could force us free. Since I was already in resonance with the curious melody that encompassed our physical bodies, I began siphoning and spindling its energy within me. The energy was living; it tingled like electricity and vibrated like the strings of a cello when stroked with a bow. It was warm like the rays of the August sun and moved through me like a shot of my Dad’s favorite brandy. The more energy I drew into me, the more hold the ancestor’s had on Aunt Rachel diminished and the force of the whirlwind surrounding us steadily decreased. The whispers and vibration faded until there were gone. I carefully severed Aunt Rachel’s essence from my own, allowing her energetic vibration to become stronger, less ethereal and more physical as her feet came to rest upon the tiles of the foyer. Her eyes closed as the weight of her body caused both her and I to collapse onto the floor.

I heard Mr. Stokes calling my name and his face appeared in front of me as I closed my eyes, the blackness slithered around me, enveloping me uncomfortably so that I could not respond to him.

A loud screech pierced my brain as I heard her voice echo, “You’ve made a grave mistake, my young Valkyrie, and you will pay dearly.”

 

Chapter XXIV

My mind was pleasantly overloaded with an overwhelming amount of intriguing information that I felt as if I was intellectually lost within an intricate symphony. Just like the opening sonata, my questions formed, shifted, and then faded only to be immediately replaced by a more complicated movement. I was lost in the wondrous implications that hummed in my imagination, but was unable to be sustained within relative reality, so remained purely fantasy. Perhaps the diaries that Mr. Stokes had mentioned earlier that afternoon would provide me with the necessary data required to resolve this personal dilemma. He had assured me that after my parents had returned from their trip, he would bring me to meet the woman who was currently in possession of the diaries and that I would be able to read the documented accounts pertaining to Abigail Williams, my ancestor, myself. The prospect of such an experience excited me to such a point that I could barely contain my enthusiasm. I barely was able to focus the rest of the afternoon as we finished our weekly lessons. If I had been able, I would have found a way to see the diaries that very evening and it frustrated me that I was behooved to someone else’s will, and that because of him, I was required to wait.

Following our usual routine I watched my tutor pack his textbook and iPad into his leather messenger bag as he explained my weekend homework assignment. I acknowledged him with a nod, promising that I would have the assignment done, as I casually walked around the table to join him on the opposite side before escorting him to the front door. We had only taken a few steps into the foyer when I became aware of my Aunt Rachel’s presence; she was standing silently in the middle of the foyer, her overnight bags laid abandoned by front door, which stood agape. She stood facing us, but looked beyond us; her eyes focused on something unseen by Mr. Stokes and me. Her jaw hung opened, as if she had just been surprised by what she had observed, but the rest of her facial expression did not confirm the same conclusion, instead it suggested that she was curious by what she saw. Though the air was usually still in the house, her long floral skirt danced around her ankles while the sleeves of her bohemian style blouse fluttered around her wrists and her wavy, chestnut colored hair moved around her head and shoulders as if she were floating in a pool of water though she stood firmly on the tiles of the foyer.

I had difficultly comprehending the image my eyes were conveying to my brain; the scene was surreal. I glanced over to Mr. Stokes who was standing beside me, hoping for some practical explanation as he was usually realistic and logical about weird or unusual things, but he, too, was seemingly mesmerized by the strange scene before us. Though, I must admit that his expression was confusing to me; he seemed to be troubled and irate. What was making him angry? If I had been more prepared, more focused on the moment and less preoccupied by the idea of reading the diaries, I would have seen the portent for what it was, but in my distracted state I was oblivious and would later experience the consequences of my temporary ignorance. My curiosity was peaked even further as I watched a trickle of blood flow from my aunt’s right nostril onto the pristine foyer floor. I took few tentative steps toward her not knowing what else to do, but feeling as if something should be done.

“Aunt Rachel?” I called as I reached out my hands, intending to grasp hers, which hung limply by her sides. This was seriously freaky. This whole situation felt like something out of a horror movie.

Mr. Stokes roughly grabbed my left arm, causing me to stumble backward. “Angie, don’t!”

“Are you kidding me?” I asked, scowling at him then glancing back to the only woman in my family who actually acknowledged and valued me as an individual with unique ideas and thoughts. “I have to do something. She’s my aunt. I can’t just stand here staring at her.”

“You have no idea what you are getting involved with here. That, right there,” he said, pointing to my aunt with his free hand, while glaring at me, clearly hoping to convey how serious the situation was with not only his words but his facial expression, “is a power vastly beyond you, beyond anything you might have inadvertently experienced.” He paused before he continued. “It isn’t simple telepathy, Angie. It’s beyond those immature abilities. Don’t fuck with it. Leave it alone. Let this play out as it should.”

“What?!” I snapped. I felt as if my brain was going to explode. What was Mr. Stokes saying? Power beyond me, beyond what I might have inadvertently experienced?  Really? If he only knew what I was capable of, what I had already done in my relatively short lifetime.  And how did he know what was happening here with Aunt Rachel? Obviously there was more to him than he was offering. Did he possess something as unique as I did, is that how he was able to know what I was thinking just hours ago? Was he implying that it had been telepathy that we had experienced? I would have to question him about these things at a more opportune time, now wasn’t that time. Now I had to do something about Aunt Rachel. I yanked my arm away from him, turned, and approached her.

 “Aunt Ra –, ” my words were jerked out of my throat as my entire body was sucked towards her as if she was a vacuum hose and I was dirt to be cleaned from the carpet. I reached for her hands and held them in my own. The air around us slowly spiraled creating the breeze that I had seen flirting with her clothing and hair; it was now doing the same with my own. I looked for the origin of this whirlwind, but saw that the environment outside our immediate area had become distorted as if I was looking at it under water. I quickly abandoned the search for the source of the air current and focused on my aunt, whose eyes remained fixated on something beyond the strange barrier. I was concerned that she was already somewhere beyond my reach, that perhaps Mr. Stokes’ warning was accurate, but I had to at least try to do something, she was my aunt and I loved her.

The air swirled around us constantly moving, disorientating me.

Round and round.

Encircling the two of us.

Separating us from the rest of the world.

Whirling faster and faster.

Continuously spiraling.

Creating a rhythmic air current that vibrated.

I inhaled deeply, centering myself as I looked into Aunt Rachel’s eyes, intent on communicating with her, but though I tried to speak I was unable to make a sound. As soon as I pushed a word from my larynx it was snatched from my throat by some unseen force. I easily imagined that I was Ariel and that it was Ursula’s glowing magickal hand that had invaded my throat and stolen my voice. And that’s when I heard them … the calliope of sounds … similar to music, but organic in nature, melodic though distinctively different from any music I had ever previously heard.

Wait.

Something about this experience felt vaguely familiar. Was it a dream I had? Or déjà vu?

No, neither of those, but something … something …

And it was at that moment when my understanding of the situation became clear. Raw fear ripped through my entire body as my mind screamed the word my mouth was unable to utter.

NO!

 

Chapter XXIII

Telepathy, as coined by the French psychical researcher Fredric W. H. Myers, is the innate psychic phenomena by which communication occurs between minds of humans, without the use of the usual sensory channels of communication such as speech or body language. It is the direct transference of thoughts, ideas, feelings, sensations, and mental images from one individual (the sender) to another (the receiver). Telepathy is considered a form of extra-sensory perception (ESP) and is often connected to other various paranormal phenomena such as precognition, clairvoyance, and empathy, but it is often difficult to determine whether information is communicated through telepathy or clairvoyance as they are the same psychic function manifested in different ways.

Telepathy is about energetic frequency and the ability to recognize and align with another person’s frequency. Although this is an innate ability all human beings possess it is not usually developed in everyone because as humans were created for life in the physical realm or the third dimension where we attain information through physical senses such as: touch, taste, smell, sight, and sound then is translated by the mind. Though the human mind is a physical organ it is more than that, it is an evolved physical matrix for a psychic entity of electrical and quantum impulses. This entity has the innate ability to receive and influence the temporary changes in the energy from other minds, therefore it is understood that telepathy is a natural function of the mind as it is energetically or psychically connected to all other minds which transcends our perceived concepts of time and space.

My parents left for their weeklong vacation on a Friday morning while I was sitting at the desk in the library listening to Mr. Stokes give me a lecture on the historical events that took place in Massachusetts in 1692. They created such a commotion in the foyer with their Louis Vuitton luggage that Mr. Stokes was forced to stop talking. He and I watched them through the opened library door. My Dad casually waved at us as he slung the strap of the duffle bag over his shoulder and with his other hand grabbed the handle of the biggest upright, rolling it behind him as he walked towards the front door. Mother blew me a kiss as she clutched her cosmetic satchel and the smaller upright. I returned their farewells, noting to myself their annoyance and aggravation only slightly hidden beneath the phony smiles they presented to us. A trip to the Bahamas was going to “fix” this? I shook my head in complete disbelief. My parents were clearly in serious denial about the state of their relationship.

With the sound of the front door closing, I redirected my attention back to my tutor who had removed his glasses and was carefully slipping them into the front pocket of his light blue button up shirt. The middle finger of his left hand had instinctively found the scar on his forehead and began massaging it. I was curious about his scar the moment I first saw it, but refrained from questioning him, but now, as I sat there gazing at him, waiting for him to continue with his lecture I pondered the circumstances surrounding it’s appearance on his face. How long ago had he acquired the injury? Did it still caused him pain?

“Perhaps someday I will share that story with you,” he smirked, as he sat on the edge of the desk. His hand now joined his other as they clasped and rested on his right thigh.

How did he know I was contemplating his scar? Was I so blatantly staring at it or did he attain the knowledge of my inquiry by some other means? These silent questions must have been readable in my expression because he chuckled with a slight nod.

“As entertaining as that story is, I must redirect your inquest back to the historical events of 1692. I find that it is pertinent to share some information with you that not only pertains to the events I’ve been discussing, but to your own family as well, specifically your father’s ancestors,” he explained in a tone that I had not heard prior from him. It was solemn with a hint of … was that fear?

My ancestors? This was wonderful! This was the type of information I was craving ever since I had purchased the books from that pagan shop in Bridgeboro, but how much information would he be able to share with me since he was not of my family bloodline? Was this going to be accurate material or pure speculation and conjecture? How had he attained this information? Did he read it in books? If so, what ones? Were there even any books about my family? How had he gathered this information?

He cleared his throat before he began. “You must understand that some of what I am going to tell you may be difficult for you to believe, but I am asking you to listen with an open mind and take time to contemplate even the slightest possibility that there is some truth to the stories. These are stories and rumor; nothing can be verified as there are no factual records to consult when it comes to your family history.”

I nodded. His words were becoming more intriguing as he spoke. To be honest with you though, I couldn’t have imagined anything that he might have told me that would have been difficult for me to believe. I had personally experienced the unbelievable for most of my childhood and because of those peculiar events that no one else dared believed to be true, I was ultimately diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and earned myself prescriptions for Cymbalta and Klonopin. I was excited with the consideration that he had stories of events that were more fantastical than what I had experienced firsthand.

“Your father’s family has a historical reputation that many people are still, to this very day, greatly influenced by,” Mr. Stokes explained. He pursed his lips and tilted his head, as he continued, “And not necessarily influenced in a positive or productive way.”

“Really?” I was impressed. “Dad always tells me that our family bloodline carries clout,” I said, recalling my father’s claim, one which I dismissed because it really had no bearing on my teenaged life.

Mr. Stokes agreed. “It does, but it holds much more than influence, Angie.” He paused as he leaned closer to me. He seemed to be studying my response or lack thereof, staring me directly in the eye, searching for something, perhaps some silent understanding of the words he left unspoken. I held his gaze without blinking, determined not to give away any hint of my own unusual experiences until after he had finished with what he had to share with me. He pulled himself back, adjusting his posture so that he was straight once more as he continued, “There were strange events that transpired in Salem Village during the years 1691 to 1697, many of which were not recorded in court documents because they were not submitted as evidence during the trails, however they were written about in the rare personal diaries of those who were educated at that time. Other accounts were passed on orally from generation to generation as cautionary tales about the Williams family.”

“Are you suggesting that my father is right? That our family is descended from the Williams of Salem?”

“I’m not just suggesting it, Angie. I am confirming it.”

Huh. I assumed that my father was just boasting, trying to impress the important people of the community and state that he and Mother invited to the parties that they hosted around the holidays. I never considered that his words could be truth, but I was beginning to think that this information would be useful to me or at least would illuminate some things about who my ancestors were and what they and Syn may want from me.

“Why did the people feel it was necessary to warn others about my family? I don’t understand,” I paused for a moment trying to comprehend the motives behind the actions. Was it possible that my ancestor’s powers were truly that intimating?  “Did it have anything to do with what was going on with the witch trails or was there something else going on at that time in the village?”

“They believed that it was Abigail Williams who caused the unpleasant events and circumstances that befell Salem, that it wasn’t the people she accused that were witches,” he emphatically explained. “It was her. She was the problem. She was the one that bewitched herself, her cousin, Betty Parris, Ann Putnam, Mary Walcott, Mercy Lewis, and the other afflicted girls; that she was the cause for the failing crops, the stillbirths and conjured the spirits. The families of the condemned were justifiably concerned of outright accusing her in fear of the retribution she would bring upon them. You must understand that they witnessed their own kin being imprisoned, tortured, and executed all due to the simple point of her index finger in their direction.”

I was in awe. I had never once considered that it was the infamous Abigail Williams that was my direct ancestor from Salem. I had assumed that the women of my bloodline that spoke to me from the darkness and verified the claims that I, along with the other females of my family, who had acknowledged and accepted their birthright as human agents of Syn were humble, unassuming pagan folk who had been the falsely accused by the Puritans. Oh, I had visited Salem once when I was younger. Our elementary school class had gone on a field trip and I recalled thinking that it was amusing that Abigail had the same surname as I did, but then Williams is not an uncommon name in New England; I had met other students with the same last name who were not of my family. This connection with Abigail, such a pivotal individual in the historical events of Salem, Massachusetts, well, this was a significant revelation.

“Was it witchcraft?”

Mr. Stokes frowned and shook his head with a shrug. “The accounts recorded in the diaries and orally passed down insist it was; that Abigail was an authentic witch who had made a blood pact with The Devil in order to gain extraordinary powers, but historical essays deny such a claim and instead portray her as a simple repressed young girl who suffered from child abuse, epilepsy, mental illness or a disease brought on by eating fungus infected rye.”

I sat in silence for a moment, overwhelmed with the amount of information Mr. Stokes had shared with me and what implications it had. I felt kindred with Abigail Williams that I hadn’t before and hadn’t felt with anyone else including my family in my life until that very moment. I wanted to know more about her. I needed to know more, but would Mr. Stokes be able to provide me with anything more?

“The diaries, do you have them?”

“I do not,” he deliberately stood from his perch on the desk and walked to the bay windows gazing out at Mother’s garden.

I was profoundly disappointed. “Oh, well that just sucks.”

“But,” Mr. Stokes continued with his back towards me. “I know the woman who does.”

Instead of feeling elation with the prospect of reading the diaries for myself, I was earnestly annoyed with my tutor. Was he intentionally baiting me? What was his deal? Was he getting off on taunting me like this with the diaries? Any other day I would have enjoyed this verbal parlay, but not today. The information he had just shared with me was momentous and the accounts in those diaries were far too significant to banter about. I stared intently at his back, feeling my annoyance shift into anger. I felt my blood pumping within my heart and flowing through the veins and arteries in my body, becoming imbued with the melody of my frustration and anger. Once he turned around my gaze would fix upon his, allowing the malicious fascination which had reached a crescendo seep into his soul.

Mr. Stokes slowly turned from the windows to face me; his expression held only considerable remorse. He had bowed his head slightly as not to look me in the eyes as he spoke, “Forgive me, Angie. I apologize. I shouldn’t have baited you with the diaries. I have no hidden agenda, no ulterior motive, and I don’t find any sort of pleasure in taunting you with such significant information. You are absolutely correct; the information I just shared with you is momentous and the accounts in those diaries are far too significant to banter about.”

What the fuck?!