The Sow, and Other Stories
By Turquoise Ann Turner
Copyright © Turquoise Ann Turner, 2017
All Rights Reserved
First Shakespir Edition
Shakespir Edition, License Notes
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to your favorite ebook retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Table of Contents
A woman jumps on the top of a black casket with silver trim that sits in the front of the room. Inside rests a husband, son, brother, uncle, and father.
My father. My hero.
Looking down a drop of water hits a picture of his smiling face printed on a thick, blue pamphlet. Then another. The water droplets rapidly fall until the picture is as unrecognizable as the face in the casket. Ironically, drowning in a puddle of water after a heat stroke warped his face causing this “action packed” event.
My grandmother attempts to pull the woman off of the casket as I stand up.
“I need to get out of here,” I repeatedly whisper as I walk over to the closest exit. I refuse for my last memory of my father to be filled with chaos. Children are not meant to see these things.
The woman’s scream echoes as I exit the church. My mother never knew how to say goodbye the proper way.
“Bury me with him,” my mother said as I sat on the church steps. Looking up to the sky I prayed that God would not fulfill her request.
Hour one: Seek.
Sebastian watches as the woman waters the bright orange and yellow flowers outside of a small cottage. He zooms in on the slender woman’s hips as she sways and dances.
Sebastian leaned back in his chair as he takes a bite of his ham and potato soup. He curses his cook as the soup burns his tongue. He tells her time after time to make sure his food is room temperature before serving it to him. Before he has a chance to call her into his safe room, he is distracted as a sleek black car pulls into the woman’s driveway.
Sebastian groans at the site of the car. It’s him again. The man that does not appreciate the life that he is blessed with. The man who stays out past midnight and comes home drunk with glitter smeared all over his suits at least four times out of the week. Sebastian is willing to give anything to have a woman like Jaime in his life. Maybe her name isn’t Jamie, he is not entirely sure but it matches her perfectly. From her heart shaped face, chubby cheeks, brown skin, and short brown curls that entice him. He hates seeing Jamie with another man, especially a man much like himself. He envisions the man’s lust for power, and how he is just as money hungry as himself. He reminisced on how those things caused this painful void in his life. Whenever he walks around his paradise and looks at the lifestyle he built, he cannot ignore the empty feeling that makes his insides ache.
He recalls seeing Jamie for the first time and how it changed his feeling of solitude. She was on the side of the road attempting to change her tire. He was too shy to help, but he pulled into a parking lot to watch as “the man” came to her rescue. He followed them home and kept watch from that day forward. That day he vowed to come to her rescue if she ever was in trouble again.
Hour three: Admire.
Jaime sat at her vanity in her white robe with her purple turban tied tightly around her head. She began to examine herself in the mirror. She started to carefully place thick white cotton pads underneath her eyes making sure not to disturb the purple facial masque. Sebastian imagined her pointing out each and every flaw on her body and his rebuttals. Thinking about his olive, muscular hands touching her smooth brown skin made him bite his lip.
He praised God that he thought to add additional cameras near her bedroom windows. Then he asked for forgiveness. He looked up at the steel ceiling expecting to be struck by lightning. When he looked back at the screen it was black.
Sebastian’s voice trembled as he cursed himself.
Hours four: Pursuit.
As the cameras went black one by one, Sebastian attempted to relax. One or two cameras went out on occasion, but never all at once. Sebastian’s fingers went numb from constantly restarting his security systems. He sighed and gave up after one last attempt.
He sat for ten more minutes staring at the black screen. Sebastian grabbed a small black photo album from underneath the desk. The album included photos he collected of Jaime from the previous weeks.
He began to shift through he favorite ones. Jaime’s smile was her best feature yet she rarely smiled due to that man who sucked away every bit of happiness that her soul ever produced. He let his finger glide over the picture of her plump lips. During times like this he felt like he might be going crazy. He decided that if he stayed in control of his emotions that he did not fit into that category. People do the same with celebrities all of the time, and they weren’t considered crazy. They were considered fans.
He was just a fan. He was her biggest fan.
Hour five: Capture.
The cameras still had not come back on. Sebastian checked the weather to make sure that no storms caused them to shut down. He never could tell how much time passed when he was in his safe room. He could spend days in the room and not even notice. The red lights that lined the perimeter of the room began to flash. Sebastian installed this security feature himself. The lights alerted him whenever someone was in five hundred feet of his home. He built this paradise to stay away from others. This was the first time they had ever come on.
Sebastian turned on the cameras that surround his home. He didn’t see anyone. He was studying the screen so intensely that he jumped when he heard a loud knock on the door.
Sebastian gasped as he opened the door.
The man that he had hated for the pass couple of months stood in front of him.
It was seriously cold out there. Casey, Alyssa, and I had stood outside of the coven’s house dressed in all white dresses. I wrapped my arms around my shoulders and wished that the head Dahlias had warned us about the weather before we picked out these dresses. The thin lace was not thick enough to protect us from a spring breeze let alone the autumn wind.
Casey, the leader of the Dahlia Belles, was chanting a protection spell. The Dahlia Belles were a small but elite group of young women whose families came from a long line of powerful witches and healers. All of the Dahlia’s were wealthy and powerful, because of their collective magic. It granted them powers to live the pleasure-filled lives they desired without having to work hard for them.
Casey’s long brown curls swayed only inches away from the ground. After a few moments, Alyssa and I began to chant along with her.
I took a deep breath and smiled as the colorful leaves that covered the ground began to ruffle. The water that filled the gold chalices we held whipped from side to side sloshing out onto our hands and dresses.
No one seemed to care as the chant grew louder. The Sow ritual was performed for every set of Dahlia Belles to induct them into the legacy. The Sow represented the innocent and bare soul of a girl and her transformation into a woman. Each Dahlia planted a seed on the first day of autumn and if the flower could bare the cold days ahead the Belle would be a full member of the society.
The Sow also was performed so that nature could choose the most deserving and powerful leader for each class of Dahlia Belles. Casey was the descendant of the leader of the original five Dahlia coven members making her the leader by default. There was only one class in the history of the Dahlia’s that held a leader that was not in Casey’s family. Lisa Quinn’s, my great grandmother, seed had grown into the biggest and most beautiful Dahlia in the history of Dahlias causing a division in the society. Even as we stood together that night, I could feel Casey’s aura full of hatred and distrust.
The memory faded as the sound of Miss Katherine’s voice entered the room. She was telling one of the servants to bring in some of the seven-layer dip she liked. Her tall heels pounded against the floor demanding the attention of everyone in the dining area.
The Big Hat brunch was another tradition that went along with The Sow. It was the formal and public part of the society that was simply a way to flaunt the wealth of the members as journalist snapped pictures and asked about upcoming events. The Dahlia Belles were required to wear the same white dresses that were worn last autumn during the ritual. It dawned on me that this was the reason they had us pick thin lace due to the humid Alabama weather. I was thankful as I dabbed my napkin against my wet forehead.
“Sit up and stop looking so dang pitiful, ” said Miss Katherine as she slapped her hand against each of our backs. She stops in front of Casey and holds her face with both gloved hands.
“Especially you. Today is your day,” she paused. “Enjoy your innocence.”
Miss Katherine walked away in a daze. Alyssa and I lock eyes causing goose bumps to cover my entire body.
After two hours and several interviews, the house was empty. Rose, a servant, led us Dahlia Belles to the garden. Casey pushed past me and raced towards the plot that held our freshly bloomed flowers.
Her flower had grown the biggest. I let out a breath that I didn’t know I was holding in. I was relieved. I smiled as we hugged Casey and congratulated her. I was genuinely happy for her.
Miss Katherine’s face didn’t falter from her normal bland expression, but her eyes flashed with sorrow. They glistened as she walked over to the plot and plucked Casey’s flower. Casey protested and grabbed Miss Katherine’s hand.
“You said bad things would happen if the flowers were picked,” Casey squeaked.
“Everything has a price and someone has to bare it.”
Miss Katherine crushed the flower into Casey’s hand and placed a small red bag on top before holding her hand closed. Casey shrieked so loud both Alyssa and I dropped to the ground covering our ears.
“Be happy. You hold the strength to carry the burden that allows the Dahlias to live such privileged lives.”
I turned and run, but I didn’t get far. Rose grabbed me by the shoulders and held me still.
I closed my eyes, as Casey’s screams grew louder.
When she stopped after what seemed like ages, I opened my eyes to see a different version of the Casey I knew.
Her brown curls had turned a dusty blonde color and her eyes were as black as coals. Her hips and bust seemed to her grown while her waist did the opposite. She was beautiful but scary. Her dark aura rippled through me. I felt the same uneasiness I did whenever her mother was around.
Miss Katherine was sewing the red bag into the inside of Casey’s dress. That was the tradition that concluded The Sow. We were now Dahlias and Casey held the burden of our future success.
Thank you for reading my collection of short stories and flash fiction. If you enjoyed it, won’t you please take a moment to leave me a review?
With love and blessings,
Turquoise Ann Turner
About the Author
Turquoise Ann Turner is a writer of romance and fantasy fiction living in Atlanta, Georgia. She is earning a BFA in Creative Writing at Full Sail University and is working on a collection of time travel and past life themed short stories for young adults. She can be reached at or [+Google++].
"Last Memory" is a story about a young girl who is dealing with the death of her father as well as the emotions of the family members around her. "Darkest Paradise" tells the story of a wealthy man who is in love with a stranger and stalks her until his secret is brought to light. "The Sow" highlights the induction ceremony of the magically elite group of women known as the Dahlia Belles.