Some of you may remember Haley’s Magic, a NaNo I wrote for a special little boy and his sister. It ended up being YA (12+) but that’s okay, there’s nothing in it they shouldn’t hear.
I am trying to edit it in time to be able to print and bind a copy to give to the real life Liam and Haley. In order to do the best possible job I gave the book to my daughter to read. She’s fourteen, loves to read and has fairly discerning taste for her age.
She read it in less than a day. I wasn’t home when she finished.
Apparently, I did a good job. I told her to pass it on to a couple friends. She’s still demanding an epilogue. However, if I let her push me into that then the story will never end. She will demand more and more and I am just not sure how to make it into a series.
She laughed, she got mad at me, she sighed happily and, at one point said, “I worry for your sanity.” When I asked her why she said it was because of this:
The adults left the room and all three kids, who had been meaning to stay up and talk, fell asleep. Not long after that, Haley began to dream. She was a little boy living in a big house, somewhere in Ireland, three hundred years ago…
“Thomas Whitney!” the large, slightly harried woman hissed the boy’s name. “Come back here. That drunkard father of your’s is on a rampage again. We must hide you.” She shook her head in exasperation as she hunted him down. The boy was seven years old, dark haired and dark eyed just like his mother had been before she died at his birth. Keera had been his wet nurse and she and her husband stayed on to look after him.
Thomas burst into the main hall, Keera hot on his heels, just as his father stumbled through the door, a prostitute on his arm; the same one who had been hanging around for the last several weeks. Thomas hated her. She always had this calculating gleam in her eye and she touched everything.
The woman spied Thomas and detached herself from his father. “Tommy! Come here baby boy.” She cooed the words. Thomas scrambled backwards until he could hide behind Keera’s skirts. His father’s companion sneered at the nurse as Keera’s husband came into the room. “You can hide behind your fake mommy all you want. It won’t help when the time comes.”
Keera scooped the boy up. He was light for his age, too skinny. He had gangly limbs, like if he was fed properly he’d have a major growth spurt. She hugged him tightly to her, eyes seeking out her husband. He nodded and she waited a moment, avoiding the prostitute’s eyes.
Stephen, Keera’s husband, spoke up loudly. “Master Conor! You are home for supper. Is there anything in particular you would like?”
Conor and the woman turned towards Stephen and Keera took the opportunity to slip back into the shadows with Thomas. “Come, Thomas,” she whispered. “We need to stay away from that woman. You’ll sleep with us tonight.” She took him to the kitchen to prepare supper.
Thomas didn’t like either his father or that woman who always seemed to be more naked than dressed. It made him think about his clothes all the time. He wore the same clothes his father threw at him last year. They were still too big but they were starting to get raggedy around the cuffs and hems, despite Keera’s best efforts.
Hours later, after Thomas had been fed and put to bed, after the house was dark and the fires banked, a great darkness rose. Conor looked at the woman. “Are you sure this will work, Tara?”
She cackled as she painted the last of the upside down pentacle. “Greater desires require greater rituals.” She stood and looked around. The twin points of the pentagram pointed north, rather than south; there were candelabras at each point filled with black beeswax candles. A short distance away rested a table much higher at one end than the other. There were straps attached at four points. A large bucket rested at the lowest end of the table with a long, sharp looking knife.
The blade was unusual. They had stumbled upon the thing the old smithy on the ranch. The blade was bent in the middle, a wide angle up, with one serrated edge. They didn’t know where it came from but it seemed right. Perfect for their purpose.
“Aye. Let’s go get ‘im.”
They headed to the servants quarters. It was a messy job dispatching with Stephen and Keera but they finally got it done and had Thomas strapped to the table, head down.
“Da! What are you doing? Da!” Thomas was struggling and crying. “Da! DA! Let me go! Da, please. I’ll be a good boy. Please. I’ll get a job. I’ll work. I’ll look after the sheep. Da!” Thomas was crying in earnest now. “Please please let me go Da. What did I do wrong?”
The drunken pair ignored him. They stood on either side of him and ignored his near hysterical babbling for freedom and forgiveness. They clasped hands over his head and lowered their own heads. “Lucifer come to us. Lucifer we beg of thee. Accept this sacrifice we give to thee. Give us what we ask. Lucifer come to us.”
Tara grabbed Thomas’s chin and cranked his head back as Conor grabbed the knife. With a swift move he sliced Thomas’s throat. Blood sprayed up and out, soaking them both in blood and scaring Tara. She shrieked a little in surprise then laughed as the spray died to a trickle. The blood began to pour into the bucket.
Tara took the knife from Conor who had had the opposite reaction to the blood. He stood stock still in shock and began to feel some regret. “Oh God, what have we done.”
“Freed ourselves!” Tara sawed at Thomas’s neck. The blade kept getting stuck in the vertebrae. She tugged and fought until the head came free. She picked it up by the hair and danced over to the inverted pentagram. “Is the blood all drained yet?”
“Ah…” Conor shook himself, reminding himself about the money they were going to get by doing this ritual. He looked at his son’s headless corpse and nodded. “Yes, it’s done. Done enough.”
“Great! Bring the bucket over here and put it in the middle.”
Unseen and unheard, Thomas was still begging his father for forgiveness. He didn’t realize he was stuck with them. Bound to them by the dagger they used to kill him. “Da! Please listen to me! Please! What did I do? Please forgive me. Please, Da!”
Conor put the bucket of Thomas’s blood in the center of the pentacle. Then the two stepped outside the Circle and chanted again. “Lucifer come to us. Lucifer we beg of thee. Accept this sacrifice we give to thee. Give us what we ask. Lucifer come to us. Come to us! Grant us our boon. Lucifer. Luc-i-fer. Luc-i-fer.”
Suddenly the blood began to boil. Tara gasped and danced around the Circle. “He’s coming! Conor, he heard us. Lucifer is coming.”
Lucifer did indeed arrive. He burst from the bucket of blood with a roar of pleasure. He could feel the terror in the blood. He rose in all his glory, coated in Thomas’s blood. “Ahh… a worthy sacrifice indeed. Frightened and,” he paused to lick his finger then he stilled, “innocent. Too innocent.” He looked around until he spotted Thomas’s head. Then he howled in fury.
“You dared to kill a child and expected me to be happy?” He looked around some more and spotted Thomas himself. He tilted his head as if he was listening and then he nodded. “Darling child, please remove yourself until I call you.” He waited a long moment then turned on Conor and Tara with a snarl. “You fools! You bound him to you by using that dagger.” A moment later he was in action, tearing them limb from limb.
By the time he stopped, blood, entrails and body parts littered the great hall. He cleaned himself with a thought then called for Thomas. He saw the boy’s spirit hiding in a corner. “Oh you poor boy. Come to me, I will do my best to keep you safe. Unfortunately, you will be forced to spend time in Purgatory because of those two, but only until I can undo the spell that binds you.”
Haley woke screaming, followed shortly by Liam and Kessie. In her thrashing she had grabbed both her bedmates and shared the dream with them.
She’s never read any of my work before, although she has helped develop some of the violence, so it’s not a surprise she was shocked.
I am pleased that she loves it. *grins*
Have a good Friday evening everyone! Tomorrow we are going to a vintage motorcycle show but I will try to get your photoblog up. The theme is elemental.