It had warmed up a little, but not enough to melt any of the snow. It was a cool sunny day, Jacy and Abra were driving into Merribrook to do some shopping. They walked through the Christmas decorated mall, buying little presents for their friends. Jacy was watching a window Christmas village display in one of the store windows. She glanced at her reflection in the window, behind her she saw Aria’s reflection. She turned around but if Aria was there, she was gone now.
“I thought I just saw Aria.” She said Abra. Abra looked around the crowded mall, but couldn’t see anyone that looked like Aria.
“It’s ridiculous, isn’t it? She’s not my mother. We’ve seen some weird stuff, but that is just too much.” Jacy said. Abra nodded in agreement. They finished their shopping and headed out to Abra’s car in the parking lot. A flock of crows were perched on the ground surrounding her car.
“Not more crows.” Jacy said and ran toward them. They quickly flew away, cawing and disappeared into the sky. Abra laughed and they got into the car to head back to Honeywick.
They got back to the house, it had been very quiet without Rose around. Rose had been sentenced for manslaughter and withholding information from authorities. There was a part of Jacy that thought she didn’t really deserve it but she was happy that justice had finally been served for her grandma, and hoped that her grandmother could rest peacefully. They wrapped up the presents they had bought and put them under their Yule tree in the living room.
“What should we do with the sphere?” Abra asked, Jacy stood back and examined the tree.
“I know Ellie said she wanted to destroy it, but I think I have a better idea for it.” Jacy said. Ellie had left town after her sister was sentenced. She had given Jacy the instructions to what she thought would destroy the sphere, but Jacy didn’t think it was necessary. A crash came from the kitchen, Jacy and Abra ran to see what had happened. Fay was on the counter looking down at a broken jar and a pot on the floor.
“Fay, did you do that?” Jacy asked bending down to pick up the broken glass. Fay meowed, looked up at the corner of the kitchen and hissed. Abra and Jacy followed her sight and saw a crow sitting on top of the cabinets. It stared down at them. Jacy slowly reached over for the broom that leaning against the counter.
“How did it get in here?” Abra whispered. Abra felt a breeze coming from the greenhouse and noticed the door was open. She nodded her head toward the door to alert Jacy. Jacy held the broom with both hands and swung the bristled end toward the crow. It cawed but didn’t move.
“Get out!” She shouted. The crow cocked its head and looked at her.
“Do you smell smoke?” Abra said. Jacy sniffed, it was smoke. They rushed into the dinning room to see the curtains on fire. Jacy quickly ran to the hallway closet and pulled out a small fire extinguisher. She ran back into the dining room and spray the curtains with it. The fire went out, the curtains were ruined.
“What the heck just happened?” Abra screamed. They headed back to the kitchen, and stopped in the doorway. Aria was standing there, petting the crow that was now sitting on the island.
“Sorry about the curtains, they were rather ugly anyway.” Aria said.
“What do you want?” Jacy demanded.
“I want to die, I have lived long enough.” She said
“I don’t understand. Who are you?” Jacy asked, her brows furrowed. Aria let out sigh.
“My name is Abigale.” She said. Jacy remembered the witch from Oliver’s journal, her name was Abigale.
“You can’t be.” Jacy started and took a big breath.
“I am.” She said. She moved slowly toward them. Abra grabbed Jacy’s hand.
“Why are you doing all this?” Abra asked. Abigale stopped and stood in front of them. She looked back and forth between them and chuckled.
“You are the last one. I need to make sure it stays that way.” She said.
“What does that mean?” Jacy asked getting irritated with Abigale’s vagueness.
“The spell cannot be used again. When Mildred refused to use it, I thought I could finally rest. But them your mother came along. Each time the spell is used, I am brought back.” Abigale hissed. Jacy noticed the necklace around her neck, the one that looked just like her mother’s.
“Is that my mother’s necklace?” She asked. Abigale reached up and touched the necklace, tears began to form in her eyes.
“Yes. She wasn’t suppose to die. I tried to pull her from the crash, but all I got out was her necklace.” Abigale hung her head. Jacy squeezed Abra’s hand.
“Let us help you.” Jacy said. Abigale looked at her. She sighed and nodded accepting the offer.
Abra and Jacy went up to the attic, while Abigale waited for them in the living room.
“Maybe if we destroy the sphere.” Abra suggested.
“No, I think we do that, it will destroy her completely. She bound to the sphere somehow. Maybe we can unbind her.” Jacy said and began searching through the stack of grimoires.
“Here, I think I found something.” She said. They read the spell and went downstairs to tell Abigale. She was sitting on the couch, the crow sat by her head and Fay sat in her lap.
“Glad to see we’re all friends now.” Jacy said. And handed the book over to Abigale.
“You girls are so smart. I think this will work.” She said and handed it back to Jacy.
Abra and Jacy gathered the ingredients for the spell. They went into the greenhouse to set up. Abra ground herbs with a mortar and pestle, Jacy collected and arranged candles around Abigale. Abra mixed the ground herbs with red wine and poured it into a glass, and handed it to Abigale. She drank the wine and took a deep breath. Jacy stood in front of her and Abra stood behind. Jacy held the sphere in her hands.
We break the power Abigale
We break the force the binds you Abigale
We break the control over you Abigale
You are free
A light began to glow around Abigale, slowly her true image appeared. She was old, with long white hair. She looked up at Jacy, her dark brown eyes bright. The sphere glowed in Jacy’s hands. Abigale smiled and mouthed thank you before fading away. The light disappeared with her, the sphere turned black.
“I need a drink.” Abra said and Jacy laughed and went to follow her into the kitchen. She looked down, and her mother’s necklace was laying on the stone floor. She picked it up and put it around it neck.
Jacy woke up before Abra, she went down to the kitchen to make coffee. Fay was sleeping on the bench of the breakfast nook, and woke when Jacy came into the kitchen.
“Good morning.” She said to Fay patting her on the back. She made coffee and sat down at the breakfast nook. She pulled her cards out. She pulled three cards as usual. The Ten of Cups, The Six of Swords and The World. She laughed and went to pour herself a cup of coffee.
“Nothing can be that funny this early in the morning.” Abra said coming into the kitchen. Jacy poured her a cup of coffee and handed it to her. They sat down, Abra looked over at the card Jacy had pulled and let out a little giggle. They got dressed and went to meet Ezra and Liam for coffee.
“So we have news.” Ezra said. The couple looked at each other and smiled.
“We’re getting married!” They both shouted at the same time. Jacy and Abra squealed and they all exchanged hugs. After the excitement, Jacy told them what had happened with Aria, or Abigale as they now called her.
“That is just wild.” Liam said with his mouth agape.
“She was the one trying to scare me out of the house, she feared that I would use the sphere spell.” Jacy said.
“Time to go open. I’ll see you later.” Ezra said giving Liam a kiss.
“Thank you, everything was perfect.” Liam said to Jacy. Abra looked at them both confused.
“I helped him set everything up to propose to Ezra.” Jacy said.
“And you didn’t tell me?” Abra pretended to be shocked. They laughed and said their good byes. Jacy and Abra went to open The Merry Broom.
“Do you think everything will be like normal now?” Abra asked after ringing up a customer.
“Well, I don’t think we’ll have to worry as much.” Jacy said placing crystals on the shelf.
“What I don’t understand is that if Aria, Abigale, is a powerful enough witch to create a spell like that, why would she use those messed up hexes on you?” Abra asked. Jacy stopped and thought to herself for a moment.
“Maybe those spells, or hexes, whatever weren’t Abigale?” She finally said.
“Then who?” Abra asked under her breath. Jacy shrugged her shoulders.
Jacy and Abra sat down in the dining room, they made fettuccine and a salad for dinner. They sat next to each other at the dining table and made a list of people who could have possibly cast the spells that backfired.
“Well I’m pretty sure Elenor is more powerful than that.” Jacy said crossing her name off the list.
“And I’ve seen what Ezra and Liam can do, I know it’s not them.” Abra stated.
“Elsie?” Jacy said, unsure. Abra shook her head no.
“And I know it’s not Chase, he’s very against this sort of thing.” Abra said crossing his name off the list.
“What about Elsie’s wife? Lily?” Abra said.
“I don’t know, I would think she probably could pull a hex off and why would she use one against us?” Jacy said, chewing on the end of her pen.
“Maybe it’s not someone we know, maybe it’s someone Millie knew.” Jacy said and got up to go find her grandmother’s address book. She put the book on the table and started a new list. Abra grabbed the little red book and flipped through it.
“What are these letters next to the names? Look” She showed Jacy.
“TC, GW, OL, here! Erza Penwater WC.” Jacy read aloud.
“Covens? WC could stand for Willow Coven.” She said. Abra nodded her head.
“Well maybe we can figure out the rest of them.” Abra said and handed the book back to Jacy.
They were able to figure out that any of the letters with a C on the end meant coven. W on the end meant witch and just a NM meant non magical person. They decided to finish it later, they were both tried from the day and decided to go to bed. Fay came into the room while Jacy got into bed. She jumped onto Jacy’s feet and curled in between her legs.
What are you doing?
Why are you in here?
You can’t be in here!
Jacy sat straight up in bed. Breathing heavily, her throat felt sore as though she had actually been screaming. Fay looked up at her and then laid back down. She checked her phone to see what time it was, she still had thirty minutes before her alarm went off, but decided to get up anyway. She went into the bathroom and turned the shower on. She stepped over the edge of the tub and stood under the hot water. She got out of the shower, wrapped her hair in a towel and got dressed.
Abra was up and in the kitchen. She was still in her robe and pouring herself a cup of coffee.
“Was I screaming in my sleep?” Jacy asked rubbing her throat.
“Well, good morning to you too. And no, not that I heard.” Abra said walking over to the breakfast nook. Jacy poured coffee and joined Abra.
“Another dream?” Abra asked.
“Yeah, there was someone in the attic, they were going through all the steam trunks, throwing things around. And I was screaming at them, and they didn’t notice me until I yelled get out and then they looked at me and charged at me. Then I woke up.” Jacy said. Abra lifted her index finger and got up to go get the address book and the list they made.
“Ok, man or woman?” Abra asked, ready to write.
“Man, I think.” Jacy answered. Abra went through the list and crossed off all the women.
“Did you catch any details about him?” She asked.
“Not really, just that he was close to my height.” Jacy shrugged
“Well that’s helpful, I mean that rules out all the guys over five four.” Abra giggled. Jacy mocked a fake laugh.
The door bell rang, Ezra and Liam were standing on the front porch with a basket full of cakes, wine and other goodies.
“Happy Yule!” They both shouted. Jacy smiled and invited them in, kisses on the cheek were exchanged. They hung their coats and followed Jacy into the dining room. Liam put the basket one the table and Jacy offered them both wine, which they immediately accepted. The table was decorate with candles and treats. Abra was in the kitchen rolling out a pie dough. She stopped for a moment to greet Ezra and Liam and then continued with her rolling pin. Jacy opened a bottle of wine and poured four glasses. Jacy gave Abra a kiss on the cheek and then guided Ezra to the living room. Liam stayed in the kitchen to help Abra. Ezra stood in the living and admired the Yule tree that Jacy and Abra had put up.
“Beautiful.” He said under his breath. And then joined Jacy on the couch. The clinked wine glasses and both took long sips.
“How are you holding up with everything that’s happened?” Ezra asked swirling the wine in his glass.
“I’m ok, I never expected any of this, but I’ve made it through so far.” She replied, looking down into her wine. Ezra nodded his head in agreement.
“You are one hard cookie, Miss Jacy.” He said smiling. She smiled back at him and they relaxed into the couch.
“So how’s everything, now that all of that is over?” Ezra asked while flouring the island to roll out more dough.
“It’s ok. It’s a little quieter, which is weird, I sort of got use to all the hubbub.” Abra said pouring filling into one of the pie crusts.
“I had never seen magic used in such ways before. It has defiantly been a crazy ride.” Liam said. The doorbell rang again. Jacy greeted Elsie and Chase. Chase went into the kitchen and traded places with Liam. Chase kissed Abra on the forehead.
“So what are we making?” He said, smiling at her.
“Persimmon and apple pies.” She said putting one of the pies into the oven. Liam joined the others in the living room. He sat on the arm of the couch next to Ezra. They all sat for a few moments in silence.
“So where are we with the whodunit?” Elsie asked. Jacy told them about her dream, but that she wasn’t sure how accurate it was.
“It’s at least something to go on.” Ezra said, rubbing his hand over his chin. Jacy nodded and got up to get the list they had made from her grandmother’s address book.
“So we made a list, and then after my dream crossed all the women off. We just don’t know all these people so maybe you guys can help us narrow it down?” Jacy then handing the list to Liam. Elsie got up and sat on the couch to peer at the list over Ezra’s shoulder. They went down list and conferred with each other over each name. Jacy decided to let them be and went into to the kitchen to see how things were going. Abra was showing Chase how to roll out the pie dough.
“How many pies are you making?” Jacy asked coming into the messy kitchen.
“This is the last one, so that makes four.” Abra laughed, and sprinkled more flour on the dough. Jacy checked the pie that was in the oven. She took the rest of the prepared food into the dining room.
“Food is ready when you guys are.” She yelled from the dining room. Ezra came into the dining room.
“We’ve narrowed it down to three people.” Ezra announced. Jacy looked up at him just as she popped a piece of cheese in her mouth.
“Really?” She said with her hand over mouth chewing. Ezra nodded and moved to the table to stack a plate with food.
“There’s Adam Thompson, he’s the head Librarian. He and Millie had many arguments about the censoring of books dealing the occult. Thomas Sherman, he owns Sherman’s, the little grocery store. He and Millie use to argue about the way he kept his fresh herbs. And then There’s Michael Morrison, he owns the flower shop. He’s been after Millie’s gardening secrets for as long as I can remember” He said as he took some of each dish of food. Jacy thought to herself quietly.
“All three practice witchcraft.” She asked. Ezra shook his head with a shoulder shrug.
“I don’t think any of the practice witchcraft, but they all have an extended knowledge of it.” He said and dipped a carrot in the dill sauce Jacy had made for the raw vegetables. She raised her eyebrows and went into the kitchen to get more wine. Abra just put the last in the oven and recruited Chase to help her clean up. She smiled at Jacy and Jacy winked back at her. They cleaned up the kitchen and joined everyone in the living room.
“I think it’s time.” Abra said clasping her hands together. Jacy put a large log into the fireplace and lit. The fire crackled and blazed in the fireplace. Abra lit candles and turned the light off. The Yule tree glowed from the light of the fire. Jacy reached under the tree and handed out the presents. They all exchanged gifts. Jacy and Abra had made everyone witch balls for prosperity. The oven dinged and Abra got up to get the pie out of the oven. Chase helped her bring the pies into the dining room where everyone had gathered to get food. They each got a plate of food and sat in a circle on the living room floor. They ate, drank, laughed and sung the darkest night of the year away.