Chapter 12 'Black Widow Curse & the Coven'
In chapter 12, big chapter here. Meridian is kidnapped, readers find out who Warrick is and the curse reveals itself through the Fairy Queen and the Nymphs.
Chapter 12 Black Widow Curse & The Coven (#2)
The next morning, there was no sign of Meridian. Tallulah knew better than to get the authorities involved and felt that it was for the best to see if the guides could locate her. She went downstairs to find Esmra talking with some of the coven members about the new plan.
“Has Meridian made it back?” Tallulah frantically asked.
“I know what happened, Luna told me. I am sure you are worried but stay calm. They will find her. Meridian will be okay. We need to get ready for tonight as though she will be there for us to perform the ritual,” Esmra said to Tallulah in hopes that her words were a calming factor during the madness.
Meanwhile, Luna and Talon led the rest of the guides out as they searched for Meridian. Relic was becoming upset as they started the hunt. His speech was rushed, and he was fidgeting with his jacket as he moved quickly through town. Ridge took more notice of Relic’s agitated state. Relic looked over to Ridge, “What! What are you looking at? Am I not allowed to be worried?”
“Well, hothead, use your common sense. If Warrick is behind this, and he has deals with the dark realm, ask yourself, who do the dark ones feed from?” Ridge asked.
“Oh, okay, Mr. Logical. So, where is she?” Relic popped off.
“Well, smartass, try the bar we were at yesterday.” Ridge was irritated with Relic as he stood with his hands on his hips and jiggled his legs.
“Why? There with the witches? Please,” Relic argued.
“Will you two quit. I agree. Esmra wants Raina, and she is dark. Let’s go.” Luna stormed off as she spoke and was not taking no for an answer.
Relic relaxed his composure, dropped his hands, and left his mouth hanging open as he took in Luna’s attitude. “Wow! I like this new you! All spunky and bossy. Where was this a while back?”
“Shut up! You are finally getting on my nerves, and we need to get this done,” Luna replied.
Relic walked behind the fired-up fairy and was snickering with a big smile. Ridge took notice to Relic’s reaction. “Marital trouble already? So, Mr. Hot pants, you think you can handle it?” Ridge laughed at Relic.
“Of course, I can. I mean the feistier, the better,” Relic replied laughing.
“Really, then why weren’t you interested in Cora?” Ridge asked.
“Who said I wasn’t, at one point?” Relic winked as he walked off and caught up to talk to Luna.
They strolled through Salem in an attempt to find Meridian before they reached Nevoc. As they walked, Kieren and Ridge were visiting about Talon. “I don’t understand. If demons and fallen draw their power from the ill-willed humans or from negativity, why does Talon become enraged when faced with the very thing he needs?” Kieren asked.
“You have a good question and point,” Ridge said as he watched Talon in front of him looking for Meridian. “Talon needs that, and he does get his life force and energy from it. I can’t be sure why he reacts to things, but I would guess that he still has some of his guide sentiments and has certain feelings about things. If you notice, he doesn’t become the hulk, as Relic calls him, unless it is out of protection for those he cares for. We know he has love for Aiden, and it appears he is quite protective of Meridian. I think he fights this curse that Warrick put on him,” Ridge explained. Kieren was quiet with intrigue to Ridge’s insight and gazed upon the fallen wonder with new-found respect.
The group made it back to the bar where they had been the day before with Meridian. Luna stood looking at the building and studied the name of the bar. She couldn’t tear her eyes away from the sign. Talon walked around the building examining the area and those around who were coming in and out of the bar. Kieren and Ridge were still catching up and were chatting away in the hope of helping Meridian. Relic watched his fairy wife, and with his growing curiosity about the fairy, he had to ask her questions - despite her irritation for him. “What is it?” he asked.
“The name of the bar. Didn’t anyone notice?” Luna pointed to the sign.
“What about it? Nevoc? Strange, but just a name,” Kieren stated.
“No, it’s not just a name of a bar. It is a reverse anagram. Take the word nevoc and spell it backwards spells - coven. It may be insignificant being that it is a bar ran by a witch, but I find it interesting that here we are in ‘Witch City’ and there is a bar here that is basically hiding a real coven in plain sight,” Luna explained.
“Don’t read too much into it,” Relic replied dismissively to Luna.
Luna ignored Relic’s snarky remark and tried to remain patient due to his rollercoaster of emotions since everything happened.
The group continued and walked into the bar where there was not much activity going on. The middle of the afternoon, after the big Halloween event, left Salem a quiet place. Tourists were on their way out of town, and some of the shops had already closed for the rest of the season.
Talon and Luna led the way back to Raina’s office where they could hear a muffled female voice talking. As they continued into the room, the group saw Raina talking on her cell phone.
“I don’t care what anyone says. She is not to be let out of your sight. We need to get her back here, and I will contact Esmra and tell her we found Meridian. That is all they need to know until further notice. Just get her here,” Raina said to the caller on the other end of the line.
“What in the hell is going on? So, Raina found Meridian?” Kieren questioned.
“No, I don’t think so. Something isn’t right. How would she have found her anyway?” Ridge questioned.
Raina got on the phone and began calling someone else. After a brief silence, she began speaking.
“Esmra, I found Meridian, and she is on her way here. I will explain later, but we need to get the ritual started. When Meridian gets here, I will bring her over to begin.” Raina finished talking and then hung up after a few moments of silence.
“Okay, this is getting strange. So, she is bringing Meridian back to Esmra? That easy? Who has her anyway?” Luna questioned.
Moments later the office door opened and there stood the man that grabbed Meridian the night before standing with Meridian. She looked disheveled, with her clothes dirty and tattered. Her hair was unkempt and hanging in her face that was flat and still.
“I did the job, and I expect to be paid. Will you require anything else of me?” the man asked.
Raina pulled some cash out of the same wooden box she kept her Tarot cards in.
Kieren threw his hands up and looked at the others. “What in the hell was that all about? Why does Meridian look like she is in some kind of trance? She is just sitting there on the couch staring into space. What in the hell!” Kieren shouted again.
Raina walked over to Meridian who was staring straight at the wall in front of her. She waved her hand in front of Meridian and snapped her fingers. Meridian did not blink or respond to anything. Raina began speaking straight to Meridian. “Meridian, it is time for you to wake up. Wake up, Meridian. On my count when I get to three, you will open your eyes and not remember a thing. One, two, three.” Raina snapped her fingers, and Meridian began to blink her eyes rapidly as she looked around in confusion rubbing her head.
“Raina? What happened? Why am I here?”
“Well, I found you. You were running around Salem last night, and you were lost. It was late, so I brought you here to rest up so I could return you safely to Tallulah.” Raina smiled and put on her act.
Kieren was pacing all around the room hollering. Relic was feeling it too, but he knew that getting upset wouldn’t solve anything. “Hush! We are all upset! We do not know what happened to Meridian but it seems Raina sure does.”
Everyone left and followed Meridian and the witch back to Esmra’s house where Tallulah stood anticipating her return. Inside, there were members of the coven waiting to assist. The room had been cleared out, and they stood in a circle together amongst several candles lit up and lining the circle. Tallulah saw Meridian and Raina coming up to the house, and she quickly approached the pair.
“I don’t want to know. The good thing is that you are all right. You look like hell, but you are all right,” Tallulah said as she shook her head at Meridian.
“I feel like hell and I am hungover. I don’t remember anything, except I left with a-”
“Hush! We do not have time to go into anything! We came here to get help, and that is exactly what we are going to do!” Tallulah shouted at Meridian.
The eleven other witches filed into the main area of the house; one by one they all came in and formed the circle while they waited for Raina and Esmra to join and make thirteen. Tallulah and Meridian were still discussing the prior evening’s events, and both appeared to be frustrated. Mainly because Meridian was being so irresponsible.
“I don’t want to hear it. Just go to the center of the circle so we can start.” Tallulah ushered Meridian to the center amongst all thirteen witches who were waiting. Luna approached Esmra.
“Esmra, I know that you need to begin, but I need to tell you something. Something strange is going on. Raina didn’t find Meridian by chance. When we arrived at her place she was on the phone, she told someone to bring Meridian. A strange man showed up, demanding to be paid and Meridian was in a trance-like state. Raina snapped her fingers, and Meridian came to. We think that Raina had something to do with what happened, and that Tallulah may be unjustly angry with Meridian, this time.” Luna stared at Raina who was in the center of the circle visiting with Meridian. Esmra nodded her head as she stared at Raina, but did not say anything to Luna, instead she moved to get things started.
“All right everyone, we need to get started. Everyone, take your places.” Esmra waved her hands at the witches to get started.
Each witch was holding a white candle that was lit up in one hand, and in the other hand, each witch held a glass bottle filled with lavender salt and lemon. Raina took her place amongst the witches and they began to chant. Meridian stood in the middle of the circle on top of a mirror with a salt circle around her for protection.
The spirit guides, though invisible to the humans, were very much present, and their energy was felt by several of the witches - including Esmra and Tallulah. Luna was still the only one who could be seen by Esmra. Luna and Esmra locked eyes and nodded to one another as the chanting took place.
“Does anyone else not think this is idiotic?” Relic asked.
“Do you have any better ideas? I mean why have you and Luna not taken Selena up on her proposal?” Ridge asked.
A familiar voice interrupted the intense discussion. She appeared with company that was not usual to be seen with. It was Selena with her trusted sidekick, Orion, and the fairy nymphs. “You took the words right out of my mouth, and that is not easy to do,” Selena stated.
Ridge, Relic, Kieren and Pramlee stood in awe at the rare sight of Selena on Earth - in Salem, at a witch’s house, accompanied by daunting and beautiful fairy nymphs. Slaten had walked in from outside after spotting the fairy group prior to entering Esmra’s home. The nymph fairies ruled all love and lust and had divine skills in seduction with their persona, their beauty and their skilled words.
Irresistible, they were the ultimate power against the demons. Their attire was representative of their element in color, and they wore thigh high stockings with a one shoulder mini dress and each fairy was adorned with her own elemental tattoos and other fairy markings.
“Yes, we were shocked to see them ourselves.” Slaten looked over to Relic who was usually not shy of his own one-liners. “Relic, you can close your mouth now.”
Ridge was smirking as he watched Relic. He could normally be counted on to point things out. As he walked toward Relic he said, “Relic, I think you have a little drool on your chin.”
Relic blinked his eyes and came back to reality. The elusive and shy water fairy, Lotus, had captured Relic’s eye. She stood quietly behind her sister, Echo. Both fairies were stunning to look at. However, Lotus was demure, shy and dainty. Just like her water element, she too was a little hard to pin down. It was in her aura, and this was something Relic was not accustomed to, which drew him in further as she flirted with him without a single word. She did not show any real sign of attraction to Relic, but she brushed him off with a sideways glance and a side smirk which drove him crazy. Echo, the ruler of Earth, giggled at the innocent exchange between the cocky guide and the one fairy who was notorious for stealing hearts of all she encountered and made no apologies for her ways. Echo looked at her sister and then looked back to Relic. “Good luck with that,” Echo stated as she walked past Relic and stood with Selena who was making contact with Esmra.
Siren, Venus and the powerful fairy, Karma, all stood speaking with Esmra. It was a sight indeed to watch the old witch converse with the fairies who had come to help Meridian in her time of need. Relic stopped staring long enough to notice that Luna was watching his lustful eyes fall on Lotus. Feeling awkward, he turned his attention back to Ridge.
“Well, Selena said she would turn the fallen back, and now, shockingly, she is here. I don’t think these witches are a match for Warrick, but with Selena and her group here, maybe there is hope,” Relic said.
The exchange between the fairies and Esmra had ended, and Esmra took her place among her coven. Selena walked to the center, invisible to everyone but Esmra and the guides. The elemental fairies took their places right inside the circle at the points on the pentagram. Karma was at the north side, Lotus stood to the East, Siren to the West, and Echo and Venus to the southern points.
Selena opened her fairy book and began to read in a voice that only the guides and fairies could hear and understand. As Selena read, the pages began to light up illuminating her face. As she continued to speak her words of the spell, she reached inside of the book and pulled the coveted Fairy Quartz from within the pages of the book. The light from the quartz was bright and was visible to all. As the witches’ chant became louder and faster, Selena’s words chimed in symphony, and the light from the quartz was so bright it was unbearable to look at directly. Selena’s eyes, that changed with her moods, lost their color and glowed platinum, hiding her cat-like pupils. The light within her eyes radiated throughout her, and four streams of light left her body and connected with the fairy nymphs who had extended their wings as if in flight. With their arms spread out and held in suspension, the streams of light from Selena connected to each fairy and were intensifying.
The room was dark with only the light traveling through the fairies. Echo took in Selena’s light and propelled an emerald green light across the pentagram to Lotus. From Lotus a gleam of aqua blue shot from her body back to Venus. Venus took in the steaming light full of power of water and with her air element blew the silver stream of light to Siren and with her fire she emended a shock of red light across to Echo. Now all fairies of the elements were connected with each another and Selena. The last and most important fairy stood and waited at the north part of the pentagram. With a loud thunderclap, Selena and the elemental fairies shot the largest and most powerful ray of light to Karma. A light descended from Selena engulfing the witches and the fairies. Selena raised the Fairy Quartz above her head as she continued to read from the book. The quartz continued to glow and shot out of Selena’s hand like a shooting star to float above every being in the room. Relic and the guides stood in awe of what their eyes took in, speechless to describe the feelings that overtook them. The chants continued with the witches, and the fairies began to sing in operatic voices. In moments, a bump of light pulsated through the four elemental fairies starting with Echo and Venus. The pulsing lights came on faster and brighter until the final moment Selena’s entire body was engulfed in light as she floated above Meridian who stood still on the mirror in the center of the circle. The inside of the coven’s house was blasting with heat and wind.
Raina was the one witch in the circle who stood next to Karma, and she knew that it was her time to step in and do her work as they were near the end of the magic. Raina walked to the center of the circle and stood on the mirror with Meridian who was clearly afraid at the sight around her. She took Meridian by the hands as they stood toe to toe, and Raina shouted over the roar of the wind into the mirror:
“Dark one’s curse appear to me,
Show your creator and set her free!”
Raina had held her head down with her eyes closed while she yelled out her chant. After a moment had passed, and she completed her words, she opened her eyes and looked into the mirror that she and Meridian stood over. In the mirror she saw Warrick’s face with his long grey beard and evil eyes on the night that he had cursed Meridian. The events of the night at Aiden’s prom began to play out in rapid motion within the mirror, and Raina now saw everything. She pushed Meridian off the mirror and picked it up over her head. Selena looked into the mirror and saw Warrick. In moments, Meridian collapsed to the floor and the lights from the fairies disconnected and disappeared. All twelve other witches were knocked to the ground as the Earth shook.
From the dust everyone looked at one another in silence waiting for some thought or explanation to come from Esmra. Once they realized that Meridian had collapsed, they rushed over to her to make sure that she was okay.
“So, did they break it?” Kieren shouted to Relic.
Selena overheard the question. “This was not meant to break the curse, but to expose not just the creator, but also who the creator truly is. I can say that it will be difficult to overcome this. I had my hunches as to who Warrick was, but now I know, and I can share my knowledge with Esmra. She can do the bidding.
Days passed, and Meridian had still not woken up. Selena and the nymphs abruptly left leaving Esmra with the secret to share. One that she would only share when Meridian was awake. Tallulah did not return back to her shop as she had planned. She never left Meridian’s side.
As Meridian awoke, everyone stood beside her waiting to see how she felt and for the secret to come out. As she fluttered her eyes open she struggled to focus on everyone around her. Her blurred vision only gave her hints as to what was in front of her. After a few more moments, her vision came more into view, and she sat up looking around.
“Meridian, how do you feel? Do you remember anything?” Raina asked.
Meridian sat up rubbing her head. “Well, I remember arguing with Tallulah.” Meridian looked over at Tallulah. As their eyes met, Tallulah looked down in disappointment.
“That isn’t what I am talking about; do you remember the ritual?” Raina asked.
Meridian was rubbing her eyes and looking in the direction of Relic. “Meridian, who are you looking at?” Tallulah asked.
“Well, I don’t know. He looks familiar,” Meridian stated as she looked over to Kieren. “Kieren!” Meridian shouted as she looked into the empty space that Esmra and Tallulah were looking at.
“You can see me!” Relic shouted.
“Well, of course, I can see you. Are you a friend of Esmra’s?” Meridian was confused.
“Meridian, this is Relic, he is a Spirit Guide. Can you see everyone else?” Luna questioned.
“Pramlee?” Meridian shouted as the tears streamed from her face. I remember. I can remember. Pramlee, you are my best friend!” Pramlee jumped to Meridian’s side and sat next to her. “Am I cured?” Meridian questioned.
“I don’t think so. We can still see you. You are still human. Your powerful gifts are taking over though and are shining through. Something must have begun to work. I need to tell you about your curse. Selena, she shared with me the secret behind who has cast it. You all already know it is Warrick. However, it was questionable what he truly is to be able to do such a thing,” Esmra stated.
With everyone at Meridian’s side, Esmra shared that not only was it Warrick who cursed her, but his true identity was revealed during the ritual - explaining why there was a big challenge behind breaking such a curse.
“Meridian, I know you understand that Warrick has cursed you. However, this curse a witch cannot break for you, and it cannot be broken by any spell from the fairies. They can assist you in the same manner, but with your powers, you are already showing signs that you can overcome this. The distinction is, it is only you that can overcome this. Warrick, I am sorry to tell all of you, is not of your world. He is not a true spirit guide, but he is of the high demon court.
Etheria was quietly invaded by the demons long ago, and he was simply put where he is to take over. He is there to keep humans at odds and the evil flourishing for the demons to feed on. I know that you are powerful, and I believe that your destiny is to take back Etheria and that the fairies will help you. The problem is that the fallen cannot be turned until after Warrick is taken out, and the guides cannot go and fight without you. Your twin soul is a secret that only the universe knows and will reveal to you. But it will not be revealed so easily. You must find your soul mate…your twin soul. It is only then you will be set free.”
Meridian sat and stared at Esmra for what seemed like an eternity but was, in fact, only a couple of minutes. The guides, Talon and Luna, along with Esmra, Tallulah and Raina, sat in silence to take measure of what Meridian’s response would bring. The only reaction that Meridian could give was a small token in the form of a solitary tear. She looked down at her hands as she fumbled with the white bedding on the bed in Esmra’s guest room. Meridian quietly sobbed, trying to withhold the immense emotion that flooded her body and sent her blood rushing through her veins. Her face became flushed and heated up her skin. Her tears mixed with the sweat that began to bubble across her forehead and trailed down her pale skin. Tallulah reached across the bedding with her hand and quietly held Meridian’s right hand as her left hand wiped the tears away from her own face.
“Meridian, we are all here for you. Some of them may seem like strangers to you, but I can assure you that, in all reality, these spirit guides are your friends, and it is a miracle that you can see them. You know that I am here for you too, and Esmra will do what she can for you. Please, as much as all of this is so much to take in, do not feel that this is something that cannot be overcome. We will help you, protect you and guide you, if you will let us,” Tallulah said.
Meridian sat for another moment, and then she pulled her feet out from under the covers and sat at the edge of the bed she had been sleeping in. She stared out the window and looked at the bright blue sky with just a shred of clouds moving with the north wind. She got out of the bed, hugged herself, and then walked over to the window where she continued to stare outside, looking downward. “So, this curse has been put on me by someone we thought was of my own realm, my home. The same one who stole my parents from me…my life.” Meridian looked to Relic, Kieren and Pramlee and then she looked back out the window not wanting to look at anyone for fear of losing control of her emotions. “This being is not even one of us, but a demon of the high court. He did this to me because he fears me and what I was to become. All of this for a sick need to control, to hurt…for power.” Meridian stopped speaking and she took a long, ragged breath as she reached within herself to regain her composure. “What I do not understand is why this curse can only be broken by a twin soul. How could something so evil cast something that can only be broken with love?” Meridian turned and looked to Esmra for answers.
The question was answered by Ridge who had stood quietly by at the back, away from Meridian. “Meridian, evil cannot be defeated with evil. It takes true love to conquer any evil in our world, and this is especially true here on Earth. Everything that has happened, has happened for a reason, and sometimes it is not meant for us to understand. Merely, we must embrace it and do the best we can. That is all anyone can do. You have been blessed with knowledge, and knowledge is power. Power that you can use for finding your way free.”
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