The Werewolf's SabbatbyRiver_willow76©
"Cynthia, come on!" Her mother said in an exasperated voice. "Get your shoes on or you'll be late for school." Marie quickly finished the last of the dishes, placing them in the draining rack before drying her hands and grabbing the hair brush from the counter. She turned to her five year old daughter and hurriedly began the task of untangling the long messy dark mane on top of her head.
"Ouch mommy, you're pulling!" Cynthia protested with a squeal.
"I'm sorry Cindy but you need to hold still. This hair of yours is a mess." Marie went back to the unruly mane, unable to keep her eyes off the clock. After finishing with her daughter's hair, Marie helped slip on Cynthia's jacket before pulling on her own. She grabbed the girl's book bag, slid it over her shoulders and they headed out the front door.
It was a beautiful spring day; the early morning sky was a clear blue, not a cloud in sight. Marie breathed in deeply, the scent of fresh mowed grass filling her senses. Who in their right mind would be mowing their lawn this early in the morning was beyond her, but she didn't care. She loved the spring. Everything blooming, the trees around her taking on a deep green color, it was probably her favorite season.
Marie hated feeling rushed. She glanced at her watch and let a frown cover her face, thinking about her hectic morning and what was to come. Usually she was much more organized than this, ready to go at the drop of a hat. She'd had to be for so long; she couldn't remember being any other way. Yet, in the past few years, Maria had found she was growing more and more comfortable and relaxed in her everyday life. Long gone were the days of keeping a 'go bag' in the closet, or in the trunk of the car in case she needed to run again. She hadn't even had a nightmare in over two years. Of course, she hadn't told her husband Bill much about her. At least not much that was true. As far as he knew, her name was Marie Stephenson and she hailed from Maryland, which was just fine by her. She'd always wanted to go to Maryland. The guilt she felt for lying to the one man she has ever loved was unbearable at times. She tolerated the guilt because it was necessary. This was how things had to be if she and her daughter were to be safe from her past.
She had only recently moved to Minneapolis St. Paul, Minnesota, when Marie had met Bill Spencer as she was catering a wedding five and a half years ago. He was the best man at the ceremony, tall and handsome with his short blonde hair and electric blue eyes. She fell for him the minute he looked at her with that winning smile of his. Of course, his flawless firm body didn't hurt either. It was a whirlwind relationship, everything happened so fast. He somehow obtained her phone number, apparently from a coworker at the catering company she worked for at the time, he called her for a date and they were married six months later. Despite the lies she felt forced to tell him, their relationship was wonderful. Marie had never been happier and she would do anything for her husband.
Their fifth anniversary was the coming Monday. Five years seams a long time to some people but for Marie, it had been but a flash before her eyes. The most beautiful flash she had ever seen, but a flash never the less.
Marie sighed impatiently when her daughter stopped to pluck a stray caterpillar from the sidewalk. Cynthia had always been a curious little soul, stopping to examine everything she came across. Any other day Marie would have loved to take the time to explore with the girl, taking every opportunity to nurture her interests and talents. However, this particular morning she had bigger things on her mind than silly little caterpillars. The doctor's appointment she was running late for had her nerves on edge and she couldn't focus on much more than getting her kid to school and heading straight to Dr. Brooks office.
Marie had been so caught up in her own thoughts that she hadn't noticed that her daughter was no longer walking beside her. She turned to find Cynthia almost half a block behind her staring strangely at something. With an irritated sigh she turned on her heel. This had better not be another damn caterpillar, she thought.
"Cynthia Leanne Spencer, will you please hurry? You know we are running late." Feeling her patience wearing thin, she quickly walked over to her daughter, intent on grabbing her by the hand and dragging her to school, caterpillar or not. Marie instantly noticed the strange look on her daughter's face, and slowly knelt down in front of her putting them at eye level. "What's wrong sweetie?"
"Mommy, I don't like that car."
Marie looked in the direction of the girl's disturbed gaze and noticed a blue Ford parked at the curb across the street. She raised an eyebrow in confusion. "What would make you say a silly thing like that?" She laughed. "I happen to think it's a perfectly fine car." Marie found herself wishing she had taken her own car this morning, instead of insisting on walking everywhere. Maybe then they wouldn't be running so late. She looked back to her daughter and immediately became worried when she noticed a tear streaming down the girl's face.
"That's the car that hurts you and daddy."
"What?" Marie blinked slowly, trying to maintain a calm expression. She reached up and wiped the tear from her child's cheek. "Cindy, why would you say something like that?"
"I dreamed it, mommy. Two days ago I was sleeping, and then I was standing in the street and I saw daddy's car get hit by that blue one over there." She said, pointing across the street.
Marie hugged her little girl and then held her small face in the palms of her hands. "Cindy, honey, mommy and daddy are going to be just fine. Nothing is going to happen to us. What you saw was just a dream. We all have strange dreams from time to time. Now let's get going okay?" She stood and taking her daughter's hand once more they headed down the street before Cynthia stopped again.
"But mommy, Gramma and aunt Beff said I should always listen to my dreams. They said my dreams can tell me a lot of stuff."
Marie rolled her eyes and shook her head, looking down at her daughter. "Do you always listen to what Gramma and Aunt Beth tells you?"
Cynthia paused a moment as if to consider her mother's question. "Well, yes. I love them and we have so much fun. Yesterday, they were showing me things about different plants and insects and little animals... and also we go and sing around the place where they make the fire in the yard. And also they showed me how to make a house around my body. They said it was called a shield."
Cynthia seemed so excited that Marie couldn't bring herself to burst her bubble so instead she made a mental note to go and have a long heart felt talk with her mother and aunt. She had made it quite clear that she didn't want her daughter brought up this way. She wanted her to have nothing but a normal childhood, not one full of spells, chanting and magical mumbo jumbo. Marie had been told that she was a witch when she was a child. The different chants, spells and energy work, along with the celebrations around the fire all became a normal part of her everyday life. She hadn't known that she was different from other children her age. One day, when Marie was nine years old, she told her best friend, Alicia, about some of the things her family did. Alicia had gone and told several other kids in her class and they had all made fun of her, one boy even physically hurt her when he pushed her down in the school hallway. The principal had heard about what was going on and threatened to call the authorities and have Marie removed from her home, claiming it was an unsafe environment. The torment and ridicule that she had gone through had been traumatizing, to say the least, and she had decided never to practice any form of magic again. She most certainly didn't want Cynthia being taught those things. She couldn't imagine what she would do if her daughter had to go through that kind of hell. She had made her wishes clear to her mother and aunt and it angered her that they would do anything behind her back.
She walked Cynthia the rest of the way to the school entrance before giving her another big hug. "Mommy and daddy love you very much, you know that, right? Now I want you to go and try to have a good day and I will be right here waiting when you get out."
"Okay, I love you too, mommy." She waved as she turned and ran up to the school door.
Marie tried to sound as reassuring as possible to her daughter, but found that she wasn't feeling so sure of herself. As far as she knew, her daughter hadn't had any previous dreams. It was likely that she was making a big deal out of nothing, yet she wasn't able to shake the tinge of fear suddenly seeping into her heart. All the women on her mother's side of the family had a unique ability, if not several. However, Cynthia had yet to display such talents. Could it be that her particular talents lie within her dreams? Marie suddenly had an unsettling feeling sweep over her, as though she was being watched. She quickly looked around for the source of the feeling but didn't see anyone. She scanned her surroundings once more and then hastily walked in the direction of the doctor's office with a distinct feeling of uneasiness in her stomach.
"He's found us. We have to do something." Bethany said to her twin while pacing nervously across the living room. "Anne, there has to be something we can do."
"Don't you think I know this, Beth? Don't you think I have thought this through? There's nothing we can do." Anne regarded her sister with a frown marring her face. "I've looked at this from every possible angle. It must be that this is supposed to happen because there's nothing we can do to stop it." Anne was finding it difficult to keep her composure and her voice shook slightly. "Beth, the last thing in the world that I want to do is to lose my only daughter, but I can't find any way around it. I've seen it over and over again, like a replay of a bad film in my mind every night for the past week."
"I understand that." Beth said in a low voice. "I've seen it too, but we can't just sit back and let this happen."
"We are not just sitting back." She spat with a glare in her eyes. "We are taking the only action we have available to us." Anne sighed, giving her sister an apologetic look. "I'm sorry for being so short with you. We have a lot of work to do and a short time to do it in." Anne knew this day was coming but didn't think it would arrive so soon. She didn't know how to handle the anguish and guilt pulling at her heart. Anguish for the loss of her daughter and guilt for not having protected her better.
"You said that you recognized the location in your vision, but how can you know for certain that it will happen tonight?"
The twins hugged each other for a moment, both on the verge of tears. "Let's just call it a gut feeling. I don't know how else to explain it. I can feel it in my bones. We need to get started with preparations." Anne gave Bethany a wad of cash along with a list of needed supplies. "You go collect the things on the list and I will get started here."
Bethany stuffed the cash into her pocket and grabbed her jacket from the hook on the wall. "I'll be back as soon as I can." She hugged her sister once more before walking out the door towards the black pick up in the drive way.
Anne watched her sister drive away before turning and walking up the stairs leading to the attic. Using a flat head screwdriver, she knelt down and pried up a loose floor board. Reaching in, she began removing plastic ziplock bags containing all of the cash they had saved over the past five years, along with several pieces of identification and social security cards. She placed the items in a small duffel bag, replaced the floor board and descended the stairs to a closet on the main floor where she retrieved three pre-packed suitcases. Anne took the money filled duffel bag and added whatever small keepsakes she felt she couldn't part with including several pictures of her daughter and granddaughter. She made one last sweep of the room, assured that she hadn't overlooked anything; she went to the kitchen in search of her mortar and pestle.
"Mrs. Spencer, you can get dressed now. Dr. Brooks will be with you shortly." The nurse drew the privacy curtain closed before leaving her alone in the room. Marie hadn't thought about having another child, she and Bill had never even discussed it before, but the second she realized she had missed two menstrual cycles, and what that might mean, she instantly made an appointment for a check up. The unexpected excitement bubbling up at the possibility of being pregnant took her by surprise. Was she even ready for this? How would her husband react when she told him? If she was indeed pregnant, Marie decided she would break the news to Bill on their upcoming anniversary. She let out a long sigh in an effort to calm her nerves when she heard a knock at the door. Marie's tummy flipped when the doctor entered the room holding a clipboard in one hand, a prescription slip in the other, and a wide toothy grin on his face.
"Mrs. Spencer, I have what I'm hoping is good news for you."
Marie looked at him, a big smile of her own slowly creeping across her face. "I'm pregnant, aren't I?"
Dr. Brooks let out a low chuckle, handing her the prescription slip. "You're due in approximately seven months. Now, we won't know an exact due date until we can get you in for a sonogram. The script I just gave you is for prenatal vitamins. I want you to start taking them as soon as you can get it filled. I'm also giving you a few pamphlets concerning the Lamaze classes we have available and here's one on breast feeding. Do you plan on breast feeding, Mrs. Spencer?"
Marie sat there stunned. "I don't know, Dr. Brooks. This wasn't exactly planned." She didn't know what to think. Her mind was in a whirl of confusion. There was so much to do, so much to think about.
"I understand." Dr. Brooks stood, handing Marie the packet of pamphlets and other paper work. "Well, unless you have any questions, I believe you are free to go. Head down to the reception desk and Sara will help you set your next appointment. I'll see you in a month." The doctor reached out to shake Marie's hand with a smile before walking out the door and moving on to his next patient.
Marie sat there a moment longer, wide eyed and grinning like a fool, before grabbing her purse and heading towards the reception area. She made her next appointment for the following month, along with a separate appointment for a complete sonogram and then headed out the door practically skipping towards her mother's house.
"Mama!" Marie burst through the front door to her mother's house barely able to contain her excitement. "Mama?" She wandered through the living room and into the dining room finally finding her mother sitting at the kitchen table earnestly grinding some herb or another. She and her aunt Beth were always making things, weather it be incense, candles, or soap, they were always busy with some project or another. Marie loved her mother more than anything, even though there was a certain flare of crazy to her. That was just one of the attributes that made her that much more lovable.
"Mama, what concoction are you making now?" Marie rolled her eyes at her mother. She turned to pour herself a cup of coffee. Remembering her doctor's warning against too much caffeine in her delicate condition, she returned the cup to the cabinet and opted for a glass of water instead. She leaned against the counter sipping from her glass and watched as her mother combined the ground herbs with what looked to be something akin to Vaseline or lard. Marie grimaced, wrinkling her nose. "What on earth is that?"
"I'm making a healing salve, dear" Anne smiled at her daughter then carefully spooned the mixture into a small jar and screwed the lid on tightly.
"And just who do you plan on healing with that disgusting mess?" Marie knew that her mother and aunt liked to make things for others in exchange for money to help supplement their income, but she found their witchy behavior quite ridiculous at times.
Anne wiped her hands on a dishtowel. "I'm making it for... a friend." She said before turning away, unable to hide the pain in her eyes.
"Mom, are you okay?" Marie didn't think she had said anything hurtful to her. She stepped closer to her mother and gently placed a hand on her shoulder. "Mama, you always get so carried away and emotional when doing things like this. Why don't you take a break and sit on the sun porch with me. It's a beautiful day out, and besides, I have some news I want to share with you. Marie was practically dragging her mother to the porch giggling.
"Marie, what has gotten into you?" her mother asked with a small grin on her face.
"Well, if you must know, I've been feeling a bit out of sorts lately so I went to the doctor this morning." She said rubbing her tummy.
It didn't take her mother long before she put two and two together. Her face split into a wide grin and she grabbed her daughter's shoulders. "Marie, you're pregnant?" She beamed, pulling her into a tight embrace.
"I just found out today. Apparently, I'm due in about seven months, but we won't know the actual due date until my sonogram which is scheduled two weeks from now."
"What did Bill have to say about it?" she asked, unable to let go of her daughter.
"I haven't told him yet. I wanted it to be a surprise and so I have decided to wait until our anniversary dinner this coming Monday night. Although, I don't know how I will be able to keep it quiet for that long." Marie felt that all too familiar nervous twinge come back to her when she thought about what her husband's reaction would be.
The cheerful look slowly fell from her mother's face as she narrowed her gaze on her daughter. "Marie, you have to tell him today." She said worriedly.
"Mama?" she said in a low whisper. "What's going on?"
"Don't you worry, just trust me. You have to tell him today as soon as he gets home from work. Promise me you will, Marie."
Her mother's strange behavior only increased Marie's nervousness. "Ok mama, I promise. We were planning on going out to dinner tonight, maybe I will tell him then."
"Marie, I know that you don't accept the witch in you, you never have. But do your old mother a favor. Humor me just this once and stay home tonight. Please. I need you to do this for me."
"Okay, enough of this. What's this all about exactly?" Marie folded her arms across her chest, awaiting her mother's answer.
Anne took a deep breath. "I had a vision, Marie. It wasn't a good one. Just do this one thing for me. Stay home." Another one of her so called visions, I should have known, Marie thought to herself. She shook her head in defeat. "Okay. I'll stay home. If that's what will make you happy then I'll do it."
Anne placed her hand gently on her daughter's tummy and smiled when she sensed the little life growing inside. Looking up into her face, tears shining in her eyes, she once again wrapped Marie in a warm, tight embrace. "Do you know how much I love you?"
Marie hugged her back, taking in the scent of her mother's hair. "I love you too, mama. I have to go. Lots to do yet, you know."
Anne gave her a quick kiss on the cheek, and one last quick hug walking her to the door. "Now get on out of here." She said with a giggle. "Give little Cynthia a big ole hug for me."
She watched her daughter walk down the sidewalk in the direction of her house, finally allowing a single tear to roll down her cheek. She walked back into the house and slowly closed the door.
Marie walked a couple blocks when she suddenly remembered the incident with Cynthia on the way to school. She stopped and looked back at her mother's house, wondering if she should go back and talk to her about it. After a moment's consideration, she thought better of it and continued on her way.