Filling the kettle and placing it on the stove, Karen recalled the meeting with the group, when their plans had been placed into motion. She had mentioned Sarah’s birthmark to Ninia before, pointing out how it looked so much like a swirling spirituality symbol. However, it wasn’t until Genevieve had gotten wind of the oddity that any real interest had stirred within the crowd, and they had asked her to bring Sarah in to meet them.
“You aren’t going to hurt her, are you?” Karen had asked hesitantly.
“Of course not!” Genevieve had soothed. “We want to set her free!” The young woman’s lips had parted into a small grin as she spoke, exposing her straight white teeth.
Karen stared at her pan with large brown orbs, her mind trapped in that moment. “It won’t be easy,” she had replied, “She hasn’t believed in any of this stuff in years.” She shuddered and adjusted the fire before her.
“That’s ok,” Morcant had cut in, stepping up to her and allowing his fingers to trace her jaw. “We’ll convince her; no need to worry about that.” Leaning closer, his mouth had covered hers in a soft kiss.
Drawn to the older man, Karen had felt as if his spirit mingled with hers. Deepening the kiss, she had moaned and pressed her body against him for a long moment before he pulled away.
“See?” his nose nuzzled her cheek, “This is a warm and safe place…” he had paused, extracting himself from her grasp, “Bring your friend; allow her to experience the feel of the coven and to be wrapped in its power.”
The sound of the boiling water drew her back to the present, and Karen cut off the flame. She poured the hot liquid into her waiting cup, adding a few cubes of sugar before she took a seat at the kitchen table and stared out the tiny window that overlooked a small grassy patch behind the house; 'you shouldn’t let him do that to you.'
Several times over the last year, she had been in such a situation with the group; a point where she felt trepidation and fear at what lay before her. Each time, it had been Morcant who had spurred her onward. 'His touch is intoxicating,' she admitted quietly to herself. 'His fingers caress with the feel of magic,' and the kiss had put her over the edge.
'Of course it’s magic;' her mood shifted to angry, 'they’re witches, after all!' But this had gotten out of hand. At some point, it had become too real, and she no longer wanted to be a part of it. However, she could not escape. It felt as if Morcant had her in his grasp, under some dark spell, and she would do his bidding.
Taking another tentative sip, she cut her eyes up at the ceiling above her, as if she could see her friend in her tiny room on the third floor. 'I wonder what they really want with her.' She hadn’t dared to ask, and had done her best to convince Sarah to attend a meeting with her of her own free will. In the end, the girl had refused, and put them on their current path; 'they’re going to have her, willing or not.'
It had taken all Karen’s strength to complete her task today, and remember not to touch the shiny medallion that Morcant had presented to her. He had cursed it somehow, and she had noticed that he took great care when he placed it in the bag for Sarah. 'A powerful amulet, he said.'
Dragging her gaze back to the glass and the sunshine beyond, she tried not to think about what would happen next.
Names like “Cat’s Paw” or “Maiden Hair” often written as ingredients of spells or potions are code words used in place of plants. It was a common practice among farming people to disguise the names of herbs and other such plants so that others wouldn’t know what their different recipes and potions actually contained. Some are actually the proper names for certain herbs. There really are plants called “Serpent’s Tongue”, “Bird’s Foot”, and “Mouse’s Ear.”