tagIncest/TabooThe Chamberlain Coven Ch. 01-02

The Chamberlain Coven Ch. 01-02


"How much longer will we have to wait, Claire?"

Claire Chamberlain looked at her sister, then glanced around the table in the back of the occult bookstore which she and Sybil ran in Des Moines.

"We will wait as long as we have to wait, Sybil," she replied. "We have waited sixteen years, what is another few weeks or months?"

"But the power, Aunt Claire! It is getting out of control," said her oldest niece, Sybil's daughter Hilda. "I don't know how much longer we can ground it without consequences. I fried my microwave heating up a burrito on Tuesday. It just keeps building and building."

Claire sighed, and with a shrug conceded the point. When they had agreed to the course of action which was, hopefully, drawing to an end, none of them had thought they would have to wait this long to close the ritual.

Damn, Chad, anyway, she thought. May the Dark One take his pretty-boy soul. If he hadn't panicked and fled, we could have kept the status quo indefinitely.

But Chad had left his wife, her sister, after fathering two daughters. And there was no place for the energy to disperse. And with five witches of bearing age, the overflow was reaching dangerous proportions. If Chad had stayed...

Or if Mark had not died six months later,she thought sadly. She missed her departed husband every day. No man of great power, he, but a calm and steady presence which had grounded the coven as surely as oak roots held the mighty tree they supported in the earth. Mark had been a ranger with the park service, but when he was killed in a landslide, she and Sybil had left the Tetons and settled in Iowa.

Flat, boring, unmagical, stupid Iowa.

In truth, she had to admit Des Moines was not a bad place to live and raise a family. The schools were good, and there was an unexpected progressive vibe which ran through the larger cities in Iowa, especially Des Moines and Iowa City. Even she had been shocked when the state supreme court had legalized gay marriage in Iowa. If only there was some way of neutralizing the appallingly unpleasant fundamentalist streak which poisoned so many of the smaller towns and villages in the state.

Sighing again, she looked around the five-sided table at her coven. A large one, by the standards of this day and age, and one which held practices at which even some other covens would look askance. One which was strong in number and power, but which had been but one breath from extinction from the time of Mark's death.

Five sides to the table. Five elements of power which brought them together. Five women bound by blood and love.

Her sister Sybil held the place of Water to her left. A tall, slim woman with brown hair which she wore long, she resembled their mother, gone these twenty-five years, killed in a fire which had baffled the police and fire department alike. But not Sybil and Claire. They knew the hand the Dark One had played in Maureen Chamberlain's death, and when the time came, the debt would be paid in full.

Sybil wore a long, loose flower print dress, somewhat of a throwback to the 1960s, in keeping with the expectations members of the public had when visiting an occult bookstore. Her eyes were as sharp as her mind. When not minding the store, she taught yoga, and her body was as fit as a woman half her age, which was forty-one.

Widdershins around the table was Sybil's younger daughter, Agatha. She held the position of air. Slim like her mother, she was much smaller, and kept her blonde hair (a gift from her ne'er do well father) short. Having just finished her junior year at Drake University in Des Moines, she wore a sweatshirt and heavy skirt that hid her curves from the ever-ravenous men in her engineering classes. Her goal was to get into NASA's engineering program, and perhaps to go into space on the ISS.

Next to her was Claire's own daughter, Eleanor, holding down the position of spirit. Older by two years than her cousin Hilda, she was a soft dreamy woman with milk white skin set off spectacularly by her pitch-black hair, which wove gently down to her shoulders. The joke in the inner circle was that of them all, Eleanor was the one most at risk of being burned as a witch, as she most resembled the ancient archetype. However, with her gentle voice, kind touch, and sweet disposition, she resembled nothing more than what she was, which was a kindergarten teacher at one of the elementary schools in Des Moines. Both students and parents adored "Miss Ellie". It was a mistake however, to mistake Eleanor's kindness for weakness. When the occasion demanded, she was as strong and as implacable as the Mississippi River.

Lastly was Sybil's older daughter, Hilda, covering the position of fire. Never had a position and holder been more compatible, for Hilda's hair was as red as the glowing coals of a campfire on a November night. Of medium height, she had a bearing and presence which drew all eyes to her. Her ripe curves guaranteed a never-ending procession of men to job as a physical trainer. And if she chose to work some of them out in other ways, who was there to disapprove?

Hilda, she thought, would bear watching. All the Chamberlain women were drawn to power. The stronger the power, the greater the attraction. And it was their job to ground it until the two members of their family who were not in the coven came of age.

And there was only one way for a male to come of age in the Chamberlain family coven.

Clair looked down at the table, carved with the sigil for her own element, earth. She was the oldest of the group, at forty-four. Her hair, although frosted with gray, was still mostly brown like her sister's, and curled pleasantly half-way down her back. And if she did not have the D-cup breasts that Hilda and Agatha did, her own were still high, proud, and firm. Uncomfortable with the way her hips and rear had spread in the years since she had started running the store, she had recently taken up a vigorous walking program which, coupled with strong opinions on a suitable diet, had dropped her weight and waist size down to what they had been when she married Mark. She was now, to quote her niece Agatha, "festively plump".

She shifted uncomfortably in the chair. If only there was some way to safely ground the power! The bleed-off from five women, four of them sexually active, three in their prime bearing years and the other two at their sexual peak, was immense. They needed a man, properly bound and bonded to the coven, to disperse it properly. In a city the size of Des Moines, that would ordinarily be no problem. A proper dispersal would keep the innocent citizens happy, healthy, and horny. And a more fertile landscape would mean nothing but good for the farmers of Iowa, who needed all the help they could get.

But they did not have a man. A few boyfriends had (without their knowledge) been discreetly auditioned over the years, but none had the combination of power and an open mind which was demanded of them. So they had decided to keep to the plan which Sybil and Claire had devised so many years ago. To wait for John and Susanna.

She shook herself free from the distracting thoughts and looked at her niece, "I know the secondary effects are troubling, Hilda. But the bright side is that with such a build-up, I think we can expect the cross-over to happen soon."

"That's what you said last September at the equinox," Eleanor's voice held an unusual note of impatience. "And at Halloween. And at the winter solstice. And at their birthdays in January. And at the spring equinox six weeks ago. By the Goddess, Aunt Claire, we are past Beltane! John and Susanna leave for college in Champaign in less than four months. What do we do if the ritual is unperformed? We can't have a couple of unbound witches on a college campus. We have managed to keep Susanna virgin, and John with her. If they are unbound when they cross, who knows what the consequences would be?"

"An orgy of truly epic proportions?" suggested Hilda with a grin. Across from her, Agatha muffled a snort of dark amusement.

"That," said Sybil firmly, "is NOT going to happen. If we have to tie John to his bed and witch all the doors and windows in his bedroom shut, we will. But he is not leaving until the ritual is performed."

Hilda's eyes gleamed. "Tell me more, mother. I am finding the prospect of John being tied to his bed...fascinating." Under the clothes which she wore for her training sessions, her bra-less nipples peaked, and her tongue came out and briefly touched her upper lip.

Sybil snorted. "You're incorrigible."

Hilda laughed. "I certainly hope so. None of these pale, flabby men can hold my attention any more. I need something with a little more...spice. A bit of power. Some danger to make the nights interesting." Claire raised her brows. Even by the standards of a professional personal trainer, none of the men that Claire had ever seen Hilda with could be called pale, let alone flabby. Her patience must be running shorter than she realized.

"Careful, Hilda. Keep on that road and you'll start to cackle. And once a witch starts to cackle, it is only a matter of time before you're talking about gingerbread houses and ovens," said Claire.

"And stakes. Ponds. Stones. Fires. Be very careful, cousin," said Eleanor. She pulled off her sweater, revealing a torso, that, while less curved than her cousin's, was sweetly sculpted nonetheless. Her Iowa State t-shirt was damp with sweat. "Too damn hot in here," she muttered.

"Don't worry. I know that if I even glance at Cousin John sideways these days, Aunt Claire will hex me the way she has the poor boys who have come sniffing around Susanna. How many is it now, Auntie Claire? Six?"

"Six," Claire nodded, "I pray to the Goddess that I don't have to do it to a seventh. Seven is a number of power. It may make things backfire. And honestly," she continued, "I am not sure how many more coincidences I can come up with before people get suspicious. Or Susanna. I have hexed cars, arranged for parents to move to other states, caused a case of hiccups which lasted for three weeks, and in the most recent case, a rather severe case of erectile disfunction."

"Larry Zopf," nodded Agatha, "I met him last month at your barbecue. Didn't like him. He couldn't keep his eyes off of Eleanor. I thought he looked a little rapey."

Claire nodded, her eyes grim. "I did as well. That boy's mind was a sewer. I am the last to condemn a little healthy lust..."

"Or a lot," chimed in Sybil, with a wide grin.

"...but I would dump him a a shallow grave before I let him lay a hand on my daughter. He could only think of her as an object. Something to own," she said in disgust.

Sybil rose and paced the floor, "So you have locked Susanna up tight, metaphorically speaking. What about John?"

"Yes, Aunt Claire. What about John?" asked Agatha. "I know that Hilda can hardly wait to get her hands on him and do unspeakable things to his innocent body, but we all have an equal claim." The look she shot Hilda was almost jealous, unusual for Agatha, who was almost as sweet tempered as Eleanor. Claire squirmed uncomfortably in her seat.

"Nothing about John, at least right now. Despite the baseball team and the swimming team, that boy is not a jock at heart. He enjoys his books too much. And between baseball practice and school and his books, no girl has had a chance to get close to him since Sandy last year."

"Good," growled Agatha, "No high-school strumpet is going to cause this coven to fail." Her hands idly ran up her thighs, then dipped under her skirt, closer to her panties. She blinked for a moment, then put her hands on the table, blushing slightly.

"Well, I think we have chewed the meat off of this bone. It seems we have no choice to keep waiting. Where are the wonder twins this afternoon, Mother?" asked Eleanor.

Claire sent her mind out, seeking the charms she had placed on her twin daughter and son the day they were born, so they would never be beyond her mind's reach. What she saw comforted her, for her children were right where she expected them.

"John's at his baseball game..."

"On the bench again?" asked Hilda sadly. She had been a softball star at North High School several years ago, and had taught John most of what he knew about the game.

"Sadly, yes. It seems the coach thinks anyone with a GPA over 3 can't actually play sports. And I am not going to charm him to get John playing time. He has to earn it. And Susanna is at home doing her homework."

"Good enough. No way anything is going to happen at a boring baseball game," said Agatha, with a sideways grin at her older sister. "Aunt Claire, can you tell me what John is reading these days? I have caught up in Weber's Safehold series and I need something new."

Agatha was almost as voracious a reader as John. As Claire led the coven out of the back room and back into the closed store, she said, "Well, I believe he has found a new author named Sharon Lee..."

Chapter 2

John Chamberlain sat on the bench, watching North High School take on Roosevelt. The game was meaningless, for both teams were far down in the conference standings and had no chance to make regionals, let alone sectionals or state. He sighed impatiently. He loved baseball, but he found watching bad baseball in a game he knew he wouldn't play in extremely frustrating. At least when the game ended he could go home and watch the Cardinals play, if his sister wasn't hogging the TV watching a nature show on Animal Planet. John loved animals as much as anyone in his family, but how many documentaries on meerkats could one person watch?

Plus, he and Susanna had been uncomfortable around each other lately. It seemed like every conversation turned into a spat. John loved his sister dearly, but he was beginning to think they had made a mistake in agreeing to go to the U of I together. It had sounded great when they talked about getting out of Iowa, and maybe making some friends from real cities, like Chicago or St Louis. But he had been around family his whole life. Did he really want to have someone at his college who would be able to tell his new friends about the time he ate so much cotton candy at the state fair he had blown chunks on the tilt-a-whirl?

Besides, John admitted uncomfortably to himself, he had not been able to ignore his sister's body lately. Susanna had taken to wearing less and less around the house. As the mid-May weather warmed up, she was wearing clothes which would get her thrown out of any store or restaurant in town. Cut-off shorts, tight tops, skimpy nighties. And when he pointed out how inappropriate her clothing was, she just laughed at him! She pointed out that their sister, mother, and other female relatives wore the same sort of clothes, and that he didn't seem to have a problem with that, so why did he have a problem with her?

She was right, he admitted. Mom did have a hot body for an older woman. So did Aunt Sybil. And his cousins. And his sister Eleanor. But he thought that Susanna was the most beautiful of all his relatives. She had long blonde hair that fell in ringlets past her shoulders, a sweet face, and the most amazing blue eyes, just like Eleanor. A corn-fed Iowa beauty, he had heard one fellow call her when they were walking in the grocery store together. And her body! He had heard another senior bragging about getting her shirt off a few months ago and knew that Susanna was a C-cup. Not that her breasts were important. Or the way her thighs, perfectly sculpted, merged with her ass. Or the sweet, soft skin of her belly. Or the graceful curve of her spine, leading up to her neck, right where he would like to...

Mike Davidson punched him in the arm, and he started violently. "For God's sake, Chamberlain, will you quit knocking the bat against the damn dugout floor? If I wanted to drill to China, I would move to fucking Texas."

"Sorry," muttered John, cheeks flaming. He couldn't believe he had been fantasizing about his own sister! He gingerly adjusted his cup. Fortunately, the plastic covering over his crotch kept him from sporting a full erection. Unfortunately, his dick seemed determined to do it anyway. He tried to keep from tapping the bat, but he was so bored and full of nervous energy he could hardly concentrate on the game.

As the sun set and the ballpark lights came on, North High was down to Roosevelt four to two in the top of the fifth. There were two out and a runner on first. Jim Harris, the pitcher, fired one home. The Roosevelt batter swung and hit a slow chopper to short. Andy Shephard grabbed the grounder and flipped the ball to Tom Anderson at second. The play was close, and the runner slid in hard and high. The umpire signaled the out to end the inning, but Tom was laying on the ground. The base umpire signaled to North's bench, and Coach Markovitz and the trainer ran out onto the field.

"That dirty SOB," said Mike, "He spiked Tom on purpose."

Andy North, a relief pitcher who had a sore arm, spit a sunflower seed husk into the pile of discarded dixie cups and gum wrappers that littered the dugout floor, "Should have expected it coming from him."

"You know him?" asked John.

"Yes. The prick is a safety on Roosevelt's football team," said Mike, who was a back-up wide receiver. "He's never happy to hit you hard when he can hit you hard and dirty. His name's Joey Coker. Looks like he just knocked Tom out of the game."

It certainly looked like it. Tom was limping off the field, his arms slung over the shoulders of Coach Markovitz and the trainer. They got him to the bench and removed his left shoe.

"Yup. Broken toe. Just like I thought. We'll get some ice on it now and take him to the hospital when the game is over," said Doc Stubbins.

"Well, what are the rest of you guys looking at? We have a game to win. Cooney. You lead off. Barrows is on deck, Flynn in the hole," yelled Coach.

But Cooney popped out to second. And Barrows grounded out to third. Then Flynn, who hadn't had a loud foul all day, ripped a single up the middle. And Blake crushed a drive to left. The bench rose up shouting, but the wind knocked it down at the track. It still one-hopped the fence, and Blake waltzed into second with a ground-rule double and Flynn was perched at third. But Tom Anderson was due up, and his toe was the size of a summer sausage.

Muttering, Coach Markovitz surveyed the sad remnants of his bench. "Three kids out sick, and a damned Jesus freak at a revival meeting in Visalia," he grunted. He had already used his best pinch-hitter to get a run in the fourth. He was down to the scrubs. He sighed. No matter who he used as a pinch-hitter for Anderson, he was going to need an infielder, and Chamberlain was the only one he had left.

"Chamberlain! Grab a bat and hit for Anderson"

Chamberlain, number 42, batting for Anderson, number 7, the loudspeaker droned as John walked to the plate.

Unseen and unnoticed, hidden by clouds, the full moon rose in the east.

John settled into his stance. His nervous energy peeled away, and he felt calmer than he had in weeks. The pitcher wound up. Even before the ball was released he could tell it was a curve, and from the angle it would be low. He stood by as the catcher blocked it for ball one. The pitcher wound again. All sounds and thoughts faded away, and as the low fastball darted for the outside corner his left foot strode forward, his left shoulder dipped, and aluminum met horsehide with crushing force.


A screaming bullet, the ball whipped by, five feet over the second baseman's glove, shot into the outfield, and drove to the fence with long, bounding hops. Whooping with glee, Flynn and Blake trotted home, while John took a big turn and then held at second base as Roosevelt frantically got the ball back to the infield.

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