Two things happening this Sunday.
- Get ready for the big finale of “A Cold Spring.” I’ll have the entire story in a nice, neat pdf to make it easy to read.
- Vote for Zoraida Grey and the Family Stones in the Long Paranormal category at InDtale Magazine . You will need to register but it’s a free and easy process.
Episode 23: Xenogenesis
She sits on the ground beside a bonfire of driftwood, holding her hands out to the leaping flames. Early morning sunlight glitters from the crystal and gossamer gown. A cloud of golden hair floats about her head.
I only saw Lucia Darkmore one time before, long ago. She’s watching us across the fire, though I can’t say exactly when I become aware or her. The flickering reflection in her green eyes sends a shiver rippling along my spine.
“Hello, Clarissa. Good morning, Aurora.” She smiles and beckons us to join her. “You both look like warmed over cabbage. Time’s a funny thing isn’t it?”
The sounds of merriment dull and cease. Slowly but inexorably Darkmores and La Croixs set aside their plates and glasses, their instruments and diversions. They form a protective circle, intent on the scene playing out in its center. Lucia notes it too and the color of her eyes deepens to a dark, sea green.
Mayebelle trembles like a leaf and Aurora wraps her arms around the frightened, scarred woman. I take the baby from her and stand beside Maddock. Clarissa closes the distance between herself and her sister, her voice as measured as her steps. The spell plaited in her words conjures calm and clarity.
“Lucia, you must stop. A thousand years is long enough.”
“Has it been a thousand years?” Lucia scans the faces of Darkmores and La Croixs now is a solid ring, hands clasped together, eyes watchful. Her composure wavers and her voice loses its strident tone. “A thousand years. How strange.”
“You have no reason to continue this madness.” Clarissa takes another small step toward Lucia.
“Reason?” Lucia’s eyes narrow. “We all have our reasons. Avery had reasons to murder father and I had reasons to …..kill Avery. You have reasons to want me dead and I have reasons to wish the same for all of you. A plague of witches—that’s what we are. It would be madness to allow us to multiply.”
Her cold gaze shifts to the squirming child in my arms. I clutch little April, May, or June close, but I meet Lucia’s eyes with a cold stare of my own.
“I remember you,” she says. “Luck has been on your side twice, hasn’t it, my dear? But you know what they say: ‘Third time’s the charm.’”
As graceful as a swan she rises. Amidst a swirl of white gauze and golden hair, her arm traces an arc in the cold spring air. A cloud of crystals spill from her outstretched fingers. Thirteen glittering, tumbling stones, sparking with morning sunlight, suspended in space and time drift across the cobalt sky like wayward stars.
“Time Crystals,” gasps Maddock, his arm tight around me.
“Don’t break the circle,” hisses Clarissa.
Tomorrow– Episode 25: Yesterday, Tomorrow, Never