Chapter 10 'Black Widow Curse & the Coven'
In chapter 10, A lot going on here. Tallulah finds her motherly instincts and admonishes Meridian for her ways with men. Selena the fairy queen realizes that her daughter has had enough of her ways and she will have to make changes to win Luna's trust. Meridian also meets Esmra in this life for the first time and the connection is made that Esrma knows Meridian from when she was a spirit guide.
Next week chapter 11- Relic and Selena have words when she arrives in Salem.
Chapter 10 Black Widow Curse & The Coven (#2)
Selena was not handling her daughter walking out on her well. She had hoped that Luna would soon change her mind and return home with a change of heart. As time passed, it was evident that she more than likely would not be seeing Luna very soon at all. The other fairies were taking notice of her unsettled mood, and this was not something common for them to see in their queen.
Selena had a handful of interesting cousins - the elemental fairies and one powerful fairy named Karma. The fairy nymphs were the ones who were giving Chance a hard time when the guides initially approached Selena for help with Caius. Most times they kept to themselves only coming out to play with their own kind or any other being that their charms had an effect on.
“Selena, we have watched this situation growing with despair. What can we do?” Siren asked.
Selena gave a sly smile as she looked at the red-headed fairy. “I know exactly what you all can do.” Selena laughed. Orion knew what was in her mind as he watched the exchange but felt the need to speak up.
“Selena, you know what you need to do in order to make it right with Luna. She is in love with Relic, and she feels by you forcing him to be with her that she has lost any real chance with him long-term. You know he will not stay with her like this. He is a loner anyway,” Orion said to the upset fairy. “You have to keep your word to the guides. They put themselves in so much danger to gain your support, and in the end, you betrayed them. Getting their trust now will be difficult, but I believe if you do this, Luna will come around again.” Orion’s words stopped the Fairy Queen in her tracks.
After a long pause, Selena broke her silence. “Orion, Etheria is a mess and has been since Warrick took over, and I know that there is more to Warrick than meets the eye. Meridian would have been powerful, but she never got the chance to realize it.” Selena stared at her fairy book as she thought of Meridian and what she went through for Kieren… her kind. “We must go to Salem and find them. If Meridian is truly the chosen one, this may change everything about Etheria.”
Back on Earth, Relic watched Meridian sleep through the night, and Luna watched Relic as she pondered what was to become of their relationship. “I am going back to Etheria. I need to find Chance and see if there is anything going on that could be useful to us in saving her.” Relic nodded toward Meridian as he spoke to Luna. “Are you coming with me?” Relic ironically asked.
“You want me to go back with you? Why now?” Luna inquired.
“I know that you are better than your mother, and I am sorry for the judgement. This all has been an adjustment for me...our nuptials, and I know that it has been hard on you to watch all of this where I am concerned. Let’s just get through this, all of us together on the same team. Deal?” Relic smiled.
The sun was rising in the quaint town of Salem, and it was the day before Halloween. Pramlee and Slaten never left Meridian’s side, and Talon had disappeared, nowhere to be found.
Meridian and Tallulah woke late next morning. Tallulah had been up a while sitting in the room watching Meridian sleep. She stirred her black coffee with her spoon with one hand, and she had her face resting on her free hand as she stared in a mixture of disgust and concern for Meridian.
Meridian began to wake, and she scooted to the end of the bed looking down at her toes and chipped blue nail polish. She put her hands over her makeup-smeared face and groaned. “I have the worst headache!” Meridian fell back, laying on the bed and staring at the ceiling.
“Really! A headache!” Tallulah marched over to the bed and began shouting at Meridian. “What in the hell was all that about last night? What have I told you? You should have seen yourself! Underwear down to your knees, and so drunk you could barely stand. I am willing to bet you have no recollection of what happened do you?” Tallulah stood over Meridian with her arms crossed and her nostrils large enough to drive quarters through.
“Why are you yelling at me? I like John; I like a lot of guys. What is it to you?” Meridian got off the bed, stomped off to the bathroom, and sat on the toilet with the door wide open.
Tallulah followed and stood in the doorway as Meridian used the restroom, paying no mind to Meridian rolling her eyes at her. “I am yelling at you because I have told you the dangers of acting in the manner that you do! I have tried hard to be patient with you and explain things, but I can’t take this anymore! Several nights a week, you disappear with a new guy! One of these days you are going to run into a man who will hurt you!” Tallulah turned away and was frantically packing up things they would need to shop that day. She took a deep breath and sighed as she tried to collect herself. Meridian had come out of the bathroom and sat back down on the bed looking squeamish. “Meridian, I know this is all new for you, in so many ways you are still a child. When I look at you I see a grown woman, but I cannot allow you to stay with me, and me try to help you, if you are going to continue to act in this way. I am not a prude by any means. However, I want you to be more careful. No running off with anymore strange men. Do you understand?” Tallulah was not taking no for an answer.
Meridian did not say anything. She looked down at her lap with a stoop and nodded her head in agreement. The pair dressed and headed out for the day to hit some of Salem’s shops. Tallulah always made sure she had a shopping spree for Wiccan and Witch items when she visited the town.
The women found a café serving late breakfast. Meridian sat quietly waiting for Tallulah to speak again. Meridian had been too upset and afraid to say anything earlier. After the waiter came and took their orders, Tallulah looked at Meridian’s lost puppy dog eyes and broke her silence.
“Meridian, look you are your own person, and I am not your mother. You are free to do as you wish. I told you when I found you that I wanted to help you, and that is part of the reason I brought you here. I know you have been through a great deal, and I do not want to put more on you by telling you what to do. I just need you to slow down. My friends told us that we could come by their place tonight, and I think that they may be able to help you. We need to visit them today; they will be busy the next few days after,” Tallulah finished and continued to look at the menu.
“Busy with what?” Meridian’s curiosity was perking up.
“You will find out soon enough,” Tallulah answered with a hint of pleasure in keeping up the suspense.
Meridian put her menu down. “Tallulah, I am very sorry. There is no excuse, and I know that you have tried to help me. I just feel better when I am with a man - even if I do not know him that well. I don’t always know that it is wrong.” Meridian reached her hand across the table and touched Tallulah’s arm.
Tallulah looked into Meridian’s lost eyes, and she could see that the former spirit guide was in so many ways the child she was acting like. Once again, she found the patience to see through with helping Meridian. “Okay, look for now, let’s drop this and not have a terrible trip. If you meet a guy and know him longer than five minutes maybe I wouldn’t be too upset.” Tallulah winked at Meridian. “But this jezebel behavior has to slow down.” Tallulah let her command be known as she looked at Meridian with her eyes peering over her cup of coffee as she took a long sip of coffee.
Not too far away, Talon stood where John’s body had been picked up and taken by the ambulance. He looked around at the area and wondered if the guides or Luna knew what came of him after he passed on. The ghost at the club had disappeared, and Talon remembered Luna’s words as she described what the ghost was hanging around for. The dark ones had come to take John, and he was thankful that he wasn’t present to witness it for himself. The streets began to fill with all those who had traveled in to celebrate, and the scene was just as it was the year prior - except without Meridian to talk to.
The guides that remained had left Tallulah and Meridian’s side to check out the rest of the town to see how things were going with all the people who had traveled in.
“Pramlee, you sure would fit in here,” Slaten said.
“Of course, I would I fit in anywhere,” Pramlee said as her face lit up. “Have you seen Talon? What happened to Relic and Luna? And where is Kieren?” she asked.
“I have no idea, and who cares about Kieren? He was getting on my nerves, and he really needs a distraction of his own,” Slaten said.
Meridian and Tallulah finished up shopping for the day, so the pair jumped in the car and made their way over to Tallulah’s friend’s house that she was set to visit. As they drove across town, the scenery started to look more familiar to Meridian, and to the guides and Talon who were in tow. She stared out of her window as they continued to drive to the outskirts of town. They turned down a quiet road and slowed down as the house emerged before them. It was an old house, and as they drew closer, Meridian became overwhelmed as memories flashed through her mind.
Pramlee was excited. “We are at Esmra’s place. It all makes sense now. Luna’s mother didn’t send us on a wild goose chase. She knew that Tallulah knew these people and that they were witches. All this time we thought that Selena was just trying to make it that much more difficult. Now Luna and Relic are nowhere to be seen. Where are they?”
“Well, if I know Relic, he is probably going to do something really stupid and dangerous. With Luna being so deeply in love, we can only guess that she is right on his heels,” Ridge said. “So, ask yourselves what the worst thing would be that any of us could do?” he added sarcastically.
“No, surely he isn’t that dumb,” Slaten stated.
“Yes, I think he is that dumb,” Pramlee snapped.
“We can’t just let him go back to Etheria. We need him here; we need Luna. She can talk to Esmra. This is it, this is what we were looking for, and Tallulah led us right to the answer. We have to get them back now!” Kieren yelled.
“Meridian, what is it?” Tallulah asked.
“I know this place!” she said in shock.
“How?” Tallulah asked.
“I don’t know, but this has to have something to do with me being a spirit guide, like we suspect. I just can’t remember why or how I know this place.” Meridian frowned as she scratched her head.
They continued up the driveway and parked the car. As they were exiting the car, the front door of the house opened and there stood Esmra, the main witch of the house and coven. She made her way down the stairs and stopped very suddenly before looking around.
“Tallulah, I am so glad you made it. Did you bring anyone else with you?” Esmra asked.
“Yes, this is a friend of mine that I wanted you to meet,” Tallulah replied.
Esmra walked toward the women as they made their way up the stairs to the porch. She paused and looked deeply into Meridian’s eyes.
“Have we met before?” Meridian asked.
“I was just going to ask you the same thing. I know you, but I can’t recall how,” Esmra said as she was distracted looking around.
“Tallulah, have you done any readings recently?” Esmra paused and looked over to Meridian.
“No, not in the past few days, why?” Tallulah asked.
“You have brought spirits with you. I can feel them. I can sense them. How can you not?” Esmra began walking back toward the house.
“That is part of the reason I am here. I do feel them, but it’s different. I don’t get them through a reading, but I can feel them around me a lot - especially since Meridian has come into my life.” Tallulah followed and motioned Meridian to follow her up the stairs to the porch.
“Meridian? That is your name?” Esmra reached out to Meridian and took her by the hand.
“Yes, I am Meridian, and you are?”
“Forgive my manners, Meridian this is Esmra.” Tallulah made a part of the introductions.
Meridian’s mind was overflowing with memories from the prior year when she came with her father and the other guides for Esmra’s assistance in getting the fairy quartz.
“The fairy quartz, it was you.” At least a part of Meridian’s memory was returning.
“How do you know about the fairy quartz? What do you know?” Esmra stated as her eyes lit up with recognition.
“Tallulah, she is a spirit guide. I do recognize her. Meridian was one of the names of the guides that came here a year ago looking for the quartz,” Esmra said.
“This is crazy. I can’t believe it. Then it is true, Meridian. You were indeed a guide.” Tallulah seemed relieved to hear someone else connect with what she had assumed.
“How on Earth have you managed to be here among us?” Esmra asked as she locked eyes with Meridian.
Esmra motioned them inside the house for a little privacy. The guides followed right into the house after Tallulah and Meridian in hopes of a clue to help them with the situation. As the pair walked in, Meridian’s familiarity was growing, and her mind was firing off more than she could process. Esmra noticed and pulled a chair out for Meridian to sit in. Small talk slowly grew into a deeper conversation where Tallulah explained how she had met Meridian and what Tallulah saw when she did her first reading.
“Esmra, I don’t understand why I can’t read any further than just the day these spirits came into my shop,” Tallulah said. “I have never had a problem getting a read on anyone, and when it comes to Meridian she confounds me.
“Meridian, I have the same feelings about you as Tallulah does, and I know that I know you. Do you know Luna?”
“Luna? I don’t know. The name sounds familiar, but I can’t be sure. I only remember the names Aiden and Talon so far.” Meridian stopped and allowed Esmra to continue.
“Luna is a fairy that was here with you a year ago, to help your kind from your realm’s leader. Luna’s mother sent for the stone, and you were on a mission to go to the dark realm for the fairy book,” Esmra said as she watched Meridian very closely.
“Can you show me the stone? Do you still have it?” Meridian asked.
“Well, I do not have that stone, but I do have a stone that is very similar. It is just smaller than the one that was given. We kept the stone for generations, and we have passed down the knowledge throughout the years,” Esmra said as she motioned for the women to follow her up the stairs where she used to keep the large stone. “I also feel the others. They are here with you, Meridian,” Esmra whispered as she pointed out to the empty space in front of Meridian.
“What is she talking about?” Kieren shouted out to the guides who would listen. He threw his hands up in frustration, forgetting that this situation wasn’t just about professing his love for Meridian.
“Shut up. She does know we are here,” Pramlee said as she pushed Kieren.
Slaten scratched his head as he watched Pramlee put Kieren in line. He pondered the prior year with Tallulah. “Well, why can’t she hear us like she could last year?”
“I don’t know.” Pramlee shrugged her shoulders non-committal-like, and then she pranced off without a care. “I am just glad to know that someone else can sense our presence.”
Meridian and Tallulah followed the witch upstairs to take a look at the stone in hopes of getting a clue as to what her past was, and a true link to the spirits Esmra spoke of.
“Esmra, can you do a reading on Meridian?” Tallulah pointed over to Meridian who was studying all the books on Esmra’s shelf.
“I can, yes, of course, but if you are struggling to get a read, I probably will too. I have others in the coven that I can reach out to for assistance. It may be uncomfortable to endure, though. Meridian, is this something you would approve of? You both can stay here with us, and we can take care of things, but first, we would need to pay another witch a visit,” Esmra stated.
“Sure, I am willing to do whatever I must to find out who I am and get some answers.” Meridian perked up as she spoke to the old witch.
They made it upstairs and, just like the year before, Esmra opened up the box that once held the coveted fairy quartz, but inside now was a smaller version. Meridian gasped as she took sight of the stone.
“What is it, Meridian?” Tallulah asked.
“I remember this! I remember the stone and a name. Who is Kieren?” Meridian inquired.
Before Tallulah had the chance to respond the guides were stirred up at Meridian’s memory.
“She remembers! This is great!” Pramlee was jumping around hugging Slaten.
“Can she feel me?” Kieren asked.
The two psychic friends looked around the room, and their senses were running away with them faster than they could process what they felt. Talon who had stood quietly was brimming with his own questions.
“Wow, there is a lot of energy around you, Meridian. You have sparked something,” Esmra stated.
“Who is Kieren?” Tallulah asked Meridian.
Meridian took pause to the question and stared down at the floor. Her mind again was running away with memories. She had flashbacks to when she and Kieren shared their first kiss, and how alive he made her feel. She closed her eyes, and she could see herself with the Fairy Quartz, and she could also see herself sitting next to Kieren as he lay in the fairy slumber that Luna had put him in. She opened her eyes and perked up.
“Kieren! The stone! I remember. He is the one! Kieren is the one!” Meridian shouted.
“This is good; she is remembering. Whatever this is that has a hold on Meridian maybe strong, but she is showing her own strength. Whomever Kieren is, we need to find him as well. Let me gather up some things, and we will go and see what else we can accomplish,” Esmra said.
Ridge looked to Pramlee and said, “We need to get Luna back. She is the only one of us who can talk to Esmra and pass the message along. It very well could be Kieren who could save her from all of this.”