Song in the Woods Chapter One

I’ve been editing this story that I’ve written. I let my imagination run wild with it and it has gone so far from where I originally intended for it to go. So I am going to start from the beginning and rewrite the whole thing. I will try my hand at actually plotting it out to help me stay on track for what it is that I actually want. But I allowed this story to take forms that I honestly am not sure where they came from. However, I am fond of this mess of a book that I wrote. So I am going to in a way publish it here. I will post a chapter a week and hopefully someone out there will enjoy it. Shall we begin?

 

It was a dark and stormy night, which is how you might think this story would begin. But it may very well be how it ends.

1
February

It was an unusually warm evening in early February. Jacy pulled her olive green ’65 Mustang into the driveway. The house sat at the edge of town, surrounded by forest. A slender woman with gray hair waved from the front porch.
“Miss Horne! Welcome! I wanted to be here in case you needed anything.”
“Oh, Rose! Please call me Jacy”
Jacy beamed as she reached for Rose’s hand, and Rose pulled her into a hug. She followed Rose into the foyer of the large brick house. Rose was the caretaker of the home, Jacy’s grandmother had lived in the house since she was a little girl, with her passing Jacy was now the owner of the Horne Estate. She remembered when she was younger playing on the old wooden staircase and in the greenhouse in the back. Her grandmother spent many hours in the greenhouse and Jacy was always by her side watching her grandmother plant and trim and harvest all the herbs and plants that were kept there.
“Well, welcome to Honeywick. I haven’t seen you since you were just a little girl. You sure have grown up!” Rose exclaimed. A fluffy calico cat followed Jacy from the car and into the house.
“Ah Fay, there you are, what do you think of our new home?” She said as she leaned down to pet her furry friend. Fay rubbed against the open-door jam and made an approving meow. Rose helped Jacy unpack her car and move the few boxes and suitcases into the dining room.
“Thank you so much for the help Rose, but I think I can take it from here.” She smiled at the older woman.
“Of course, you have my number so call if you need anything and I’ll see you in the morning! Have a good night.” She waved and gave Fay a little scratch under her chin as she left. With her hands on her hips Jacy looked around the room and sighed.
“Well Fay, feels like we have a bit of work to do, will you help me find the sage?” Fay licked her paws and ignored Jacy for a few moments before she jumped down and rubbed on a box under the dining table. Jacy opened it and pulled out a red wooden box. She grabbed out a wrapped sage bundle and a polished abalone shell. She lit the sage  with a match and walked around the dining room wafting the smoke up to the corners and around the windows. She continued throughout the house with Fay at her heals. Chanting under her breath.

“Smoke of air,
and fire of Earth
cleanse and bless this home and hearth.
Drive away all harm and fear, only good may enter here.”

She finished at the front door, directing the sage smoke around the doorframe and the stained-glass windows that sat on both sides of the entrance. She was sure that her grandmother’s house had good energy, but after her grandmother’s tumble down the stairs that led to her death, she felt she couldn’t be too careful.
“That should do it for tonight, tomorrow we’ll wash the floors and unpack”. Fay followed Jacy upstairs to the master bedroom. Rose had laundered and made the bed for her. She heaved her suitcase onto the bed and unpacked her bedroom and bathroom essentials. She placed a copper bowl on the nightstand and arranged some crystals in the bowl, amethyst, rose quartz, smoky quartz and howlite. She put on some black sweat pants and baggy gray sweater, Fay followed her back downstairs to the kitchen. She put the kettle on the stove and opened the cupboard. She was surprised she remembered where her grandmother kept her teas. She stared into the cupboard until she found the blend she was looking for, her grandmother’s blend for respite, it had been a long drive to Honeywick and she was a little fatigued by the move. She scooped out two tablespoons of tea into the tea pot and waited for the kettle to boil. Her cell rang while she was looked around the kitchen.
“Abra!” Jacy said when she answered. “How’s the house?” The familiar voice answered back. Jacy and Abra had met in college, the only witches they knew, and spent many hours studying and practicing their craft together. The kettle whistled as they talked, Jacy steeped the tea while they chatted about events of the day.
“I just don’t know what I am going to do in this big house all alone.” Jacy sighed and Fay meowed as though she was insulted. She pet the top of Fay’s head and whispered, “Well, not ALL alone.” With promises of visits and miss you’s the friends ended their call. She poured the tea into one of her grandmother’s tea cups and went to sit at the breakfast nook, looking out the window she gazed at the forest edge that began a few yards from the back of the house.
When she would come to visit her grandmother warned her not to go into the woods, to stay in the yard. Thinking about it now, she assumed that her grandmother was just worried about her getting lost. Sipping the tea and petting Fay, she noticed movement out of the corner of her eye by the tree line. She looked, and nothing was there. She kept watching. A deer came out of the tree shadows and wandered into the backyard. She laughed at herself for being so silly.
“What do you think Fay? Maybe we should go on an adventure after everything else is settled.” Fay meowed and nudged Jacy’s hand with her head. She finished her tea and the two of them headed up to bed.

“Goddess above, queen of the night
help me sleep in your healing light.
Restful sleep come to me, relax my body and let my mind be free.
Grant me calm and peace tonight and let me wake in the Gods golden light.”

Jacy slept better than she thought she would. The sun began to light up behind the curtains. Fay was curled up by her feet still sleep. She tried to slip out of bed without waking her but had no such luck. The cat bounced up and off the bed and followed her to the bathroom. Jacy washed her face and brushed her teeth. As she was getting dressed she heard a loud crash downstairs. She pulled a black maxi dress on and rushed down the stairs to find Rose and man picking up glass pieces from what looked like a vase. Water and flowers strewn over the hardwood floors. Jacy giggled and went to help. She picked up a daisy that was laying by the last step.
“I am so sorry! I ordered flowers to brighten up the place a little and clumsy me dropped them.” Rose gasped as she noticed Jacy.
“We’ll get it cleaned up.” Jacy reassured her. She helped them pick up the glass pieces and mop up the water. She gathered the flowers and went to find another vase for them. Rose and the man followed her into the kitchen where Jacy was arranging the flowers into a smooth yellow vase.
“Oh! Where are my manners! Jacy, this is Ezra Penwater, he owns the bookstore next to the flower shop. He was nice enough to deliver the flowers for me.” Rose smiled to Jacy. Ezra looked to be about Jacy’s age.
“Hello, I’m Jacy.” She said as she stuck her hand out to shake his.
“You must be Mildred’s granddaughter, we’ve heard you were coming.” Ezra smiled at her.
“Who has heard?” She asked.
“Honeywick is a small town dear.” Rose laughed. “Everyone knew Mildred, and everyone heard you were coming.”
“Well I better be getting back to open the shop, it was nice to meet you Jacy and stop in sometime and say hi. It’s Penwater Books, easy to remember.” Ezra smiled and waved as he left. Rose made the coffee and they sat down together. Rose looked out the window and sighed.
“I see the deer have gotten to the rose bushes again. They never bothered them with your grandma around, but they have just been eating them up since she passed.”
“How did she keep them away?” Jacy questioned.
“I’m not sure, she didn’t teach me all her tricks.” Rose giggled while she sipped her coffee. “I have some errands to run, but I’ll be back this afternoon, call me if you need anything, ok dear?”
“Of course, thank you for the flowers, they’re beautiful, and that yellow vase suits them much better I think.” Jacy smiled at Rose as she left.
“I guess with Rose gone, we should better get to unpacking.” She said to herself.  She walked into the dining room where her boxes and the rest of her suitcases were, she didn’t have much to bring with her, so she knew it wouldn’t take long to unpack everything. After the unpacking she decided to wash the floor.
“Just for a little extra positive energy for the house.” She told Fay. She mixed rosemary and frankincense into a bucket of water and used it to mop the floors. Once she finished she went back into the kitchen to find some jasmine tea. She brewed the tea and sat down at the breakfast nook with her tarot cards. She shuffled and thought of the house. She pulled two cards after cutting the deck.
“Of course.” She said out loud rolling her eyes. The six of cups and The two of cups.
“Interesting” She squinted at the two of cups.
“Outlook good I suppose Fay.” The cat was sunbathing in the window.
“I see you found a spot for yourself.” She pet Fay’s back and puts her cards away. “You look comfy, I think I’m going to venture into town and explore.”
She walked to downtown, a bustling streak of old buildings and lampposts. She ventured into the only coffee shop and ordered a soy latte. Armed with her coffee she headed down the sidewalk to find Penwater Books. A little bell rang over the door as she entered the shop. Books were stacked-on shelves up the ceiling, tables full of new bestsellers and older books. The shop had that old book smell and she loved it. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath, delighting in the scent.
“Hello again.” She opened her eyes to see Ezra standing in front of her, he was rearranging books on one of the shelves.
“Hi, I was just walking around downtown and thought I’d stop in, since you mentioned it.” She blushed.
“I was hoping you would. It’s nice someone is finally living in that old house again. Things just aren’t quite the same since Mildred died.” A line of sadness crossed his face.
“Did you know my grandma well?” She asked.
“My dad knew her better than I did. He opened the bookstore when I was still a baby, after my mother died. But even after he passed, Mildred would still come into the shop about once a week and have me order all sorts of books for her.”
“I’m sorry about your parents. My parents died 2 years ago. Car accident.”
“I’m sorry to hear that. Go ahead and have a look around.” He moved behind her and went to greet a couple that walked through the door.

Jacy went into the flower shop next door, a strong rose smell guided her over to where there were a few new bushes ready for planting. She bought the roses, figuring she’d replace the ones in the backyard. Hoping she could figure out how her grandmother kept the deer away.
“We normally don’t have these, usually just cut flowers but these were delivered by mistake. It’s too early for them too.” The short stout shop owner said. Jacy smiled and paid for the roses. Happy she brought a big basket with her on her walk. Perfect for carrying the bushes back to the house.
She went through the house and put the roses down in the greenhouse. She hadn’t been in here yet and decided to look around and see what needed to be done. Everything looked perfect. Her grandmother’s herbs looked healthy and the other plants were doing well.
“I suppose Rose has kept them going.” She found Fay still in the window, even though the sun had moved off her.
“Fay, should we go around the house and find a spot for my altar?” Fay looked up from her comfortable spot and jumped down to Jacy’s feet. They ventured into all the rooms downstairs, and then headed up the wooden staircase to the second floor. Jacy stopped in the middle of the hallway and tilted her towards the door at the end of the hall. The door was painted a deep purple, and she wondered how she missed it before. Fay followed her through the door. Inside was a narrow staircase, she climbed the stairs.
“I don’t remember this.” She found herself in the doorway to the attic. The room was dusty, and everything was covered in sheets. There was a table by the stained-glass round window at the end of the attic. She carefully removed the sheet from the table. A small cauldron, candles, a few crystals, and very old book sat on the table.
“Fay, it’s an altar!” Jacy gazed at the table in shock. “Grandma was a witch?” She said it louder than she meant to.
“Yes, she was.” Rose answered from the doorway.

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Mom, wife, artist, writer and witchy woman

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