Copyright©Sept. 2014 Suzy Stewart Dubot
Published at Shakespir
An Anglo/American who has been living in France for over 30 years, she began writing as soon as she retired. It is a passion discovered late in life, but lived to its fullest. With her daughters, she is a vegetarian and a supporter of animal rights. She uses words when she’s not protesting in the street. She is also an admirer of the British abolitionist, William Wilberforce, who was also a founding member of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (S.P.C.A.).
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead is entirely coincidental.
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Cover design: Suzy Stewart Dubot
The movie had an ‘R’ rating on it, meaning that it was not suitable for young people under seventeen. They needed to be accompanied by an adult. As the movie hadn’t been all that successful, it had gone to the DVD version quicker than most.
Emily was only fifteen, but she got to see it without an adult anyway. One of the girls at school had loaned her the DVD saying that it was ‘scary but cool!’ and, as all the other girls were talking about it, Emily was anxious to be ‘in the know’ too.
She was a bright student with an open and receptive mind that absorbed knowledge much like the proverbial sponge. That capacity, however, left her more susceptible and impressionable. Days after visioning the film, the story and its images kept coming back to her. She had initially been troubled by all that happened in the film, but then she became intrigued enough to want to delve into the subject and its potential. The story was fiction (she knew the actresses who played in it), but perhaps it was based on actual happenings?
‘The Craft’ was a story about juvenile witchcraft. There had been other films before it which had told stories of super-natural goings-on provoked by adolescents, so this one somehow added to the real possibility of using witchcraft as the means to an end.
She got books on the subject out of the library. She went on the internet and read all she could find. The snowball effect began to take place so that all her spare time was directed to learning more and more. Although she scared herself sometimes, it didn’t prevent her from continuing her searches and the accumulation of knowledge.
Without telling anyone, she began spending her pocket money on the accessories that her research suggested were necessary for any serious involvement in ‘the craft.’ She bought calendars with dates showing when alignments with the moon, stars and other planets favoured any spells she might try.
It wasn’t easy to hide what she was doing from her parents.
Her mother had noticed how private she had become and how rarely she asked to go out with friends or have friends visit. As she worried, she asked her daughter on several occasions if she were feeling well, or if she was having problems at school or anything else that she, as her mother, could help with. Each time, Emily smiled and reassured her mom that it was just that exams were approaching and she wanted to do well.
Emily was very excited about the next solstice, which also happened to have a full moon. There were other dates which were perhaps stronger for practicing any sort of sorcery, but Emily, being fifteen, tended to be a bit impatient.
The night she planned for her first attempt, coincided with her parents going out to dinner with friends. That, to her, was a positive sign that everything was going in her favor.
She had decided at the last minute to use the basement for the ritual as the laundry room had a concrete floor. It would be easier to clean after she had finished.
As soon as her parents left (her mother had told her that her dinner was in the fridge), Emily went down into the basement with her all her accessories—candles, incense, stones, diagrams, chalk and written invocations, etc..
It took her a good while to prepare everything to her satisfaction.
Looking at the pentacle that she’d drawn on the floor, the lit candles, the stones positioned in critical places and all the other elements, she suddenly felt worried.
She realised that she had only been playing with the idea of witchcraft, and that she didn’t really believe in it. At the bottom of her heart, it had all been a game about which she wanted to brag about to the girls at school.
Silly to have spent months in the ceremony’s preparation and then to abandon it at the last minute, she thought.
She smiled as she remembered the internet sites that were made to look professional. They were only interested in selling their products for a profit. Of course, it was only a game.
With the lights out in the house and the candles throwing shadows around the laundry room, she began the ceremony with a lighter heart. She was going to have fun telling the others all about it, especially if she exaggerated the results.
She looked at the washing machine, thinking that it had been on a timer. No, there was nothing in it or in the dryer to cause the floor to vibrate and the candles to waver. A cold chill traced the length of her spine as she realised that she had maybe set something into motion that she would regret. Out of the blue, she remembered that she was a virgin and they were highly valued for sacrifices.
She would have liked to scream, but she went up in a puff of smoke before a sound could escape her.
There are reasons that films are rated.
Perhaps she should have watched it with one of her parents after all…