Newest part of The Cruden Tale – Annabel

The newest instalment of my weekly series – The Cruden Tale.
Diary of a 3000 Year Old Witch!

Seated in the dark corner of the vast room, Leyanne looked over Annabelle thoroughly. She had the same flawless perfection of her mother, yet there was a hint of her father in the eyes. A deeper shade of colour in human form. 
  ‘Tell me about her…Please’ The girl’s eyes raked Leyanne’s face which was almost pleading. She wondered if she knew anything at all about her mother. 
What had the woman Deborah known? What had she told her?
‘Annabelle. First I need you to tell me how you came to be part of this coven? How you got here? Last I knew, you were with your mother and then she was gone and there was no trace of you. That was seventeen years ago.’ Leyanne studied the eager face for any hint of an answer.
‘If you want that kind of information, then you are best to ask me!’ Deborah’s voice slid in and she deposited herself in a seat beside the girl, grabbing her hand. She had obviously decided Leyanne was someone to be reckoned with, maybe even trusted. Cora slid in next to Leyanne at the round table, a cosy brood about to discover an important past.
‘Go ahead, I’m all ears.’ Leyanne nodded towards the woman.
‘She was brought here under a cloak of darkness by the woman herself. This coven has been here since long before my birth, my own mother was a white witch.  Eleanor knew her, trusted her. She came here with Annabel who was only weeks old and begged us to protect her. She was afraid of being found out, afraid that her own kind would destroy the girl.’ Deborah looked down at Annabel with a sad smile. The girl’s eyes wide yet unsurprised, she knew this much of the story.
‘You knew she was elvish?’ Leyanne pressed, watching for any hint of a lie.
‘No. My mother told me that I was better not knowing. That the secret was to die with Eleanor. She looked human, I couldn’t tell what she was.’
‘Her cloaking spell.’ Leyanne clasped her hands ‘The same one I bestowed on Annabel at her birth.’
The girl gasped, leaning forward towards Leyanne in shock.
‘What do you mean? A cloaking spell? What does that do to me?’ Her eyes had almost doubled in size. Deborah shifted uneasily in her chair and Cora watched with interest but no hint of emotion.
‘Shields all eyes from your true form. This…’ Leyanne pulled a small glass vial on a chain from around her neck that had been concealed under her bodice.  ‘As long as I carry this on me it feeds from my power and you remain cloaked. It was used by both of you to walk freely in this world.’ The small glass bottle was filled with an amber liquid and small sparkling flecks floating freely inside. A powerful spell she had protected and cherished knowing that out there somewhere this child needed it.
‘I want to see’ The girl almost shouted in a mixture of excitement and fear.
‘No…Stay this way’ Deborah snapped, that open faced terror running across her face. She was afraid to see what her child really looked like.
‘If I break the spell Annabel then I cannot make another one while here, I need my potions and ingredients. I need my things to conjure a new one. You would be stuck in true form until then.’
‘I don’t care. Do it, I can stay indoors, wear my hood until you can make a new one.’ The girl was childish when excited, bumping in her chair as though she could not sit still.
‘No. Don’t be….’ Deborah snapped, grabbing at the girl’s arm to pull her back into her seat.
‘Hush now’ Leyanne cut in before Deborah could finish. ‘That is a discussion for later. Right now there are more important things.’ This seemed to quiet both women into submission. Cora tapped the table as if to agree.
‘Your mother was elvish but your father was a Warlock. You have been gifted with sight, from her, and god knows what else from him. We need your sight to find someone.’  Leyanne cut to the chase.
‘I don’t know how. Sometimes I have dreams, about people I don’t know, sometimes I see things inside my head I don’t understand. But I don’t know how to do it on request.’ She was almost pouting, a sheer look of despair on her face.
‘That’s why I’m here. I can guide you. This man we are trying to find, he’s important to all of us. You have a gift that’s very rare, you can delve into the past, present and future, anywhere in the realms. You can see things and hear things as though you are present at the exact time it’s happening. That makes you just as important.’ Leyanne soothed.
Both Annabel and Deborah blinked at her in speculation. Neither knew what a real gift this girl had, neither had the skill to hone it. She needed a mentor, a teacher to bring it out in her. She needed Leyanne. Now that fate had brought them on a path to her, more would follow. Her skill was like gold dust among the supernaturals and many would not stop at anything to have her.
The girl’s birth mother had run from her own realm to be with a forbidden lover and she had died for the sin, leaving her child in the care of those she trusted to protect her from her own kind. This half Elf, half Warlock child. Leyanne owed it to Eleanor to make sure this child would still be safe. The Elves would never let her live if they knew she existed.
‘How?’ Annabel swallowed hard, fear evident on her face.
‘Give me your hands’ Leyanne reached for her and clasped them as they were given. Small delicate hands of an Elvin girl, a natural guardian of the earth and so much power contained within. ‘Close your eyes and breathe slowly and deeply. Focus on the power you feel surging through me, pick it out.’
There was a brief pause before a smile widened over her delicate face.
‘I feel it’ She breathed ‘Wow, you’re like coursing with tingles.’ She grinned, opening one eye to look at Leyanne with admiration.
‘Now pull it into your palms from me, mentally draw from it and suck it up right into your head. Feel it travel up within you. Focus on what I want, focus on the memory you find in there, of a man with a sun symbol blazing on his back.’ Leyanne focused on pushing her memory towards Annabel in the way Eleanor had once shown her. Had once guided her on how to prompt a Seers skill to find what you wanted.
‘I see him……. he’s turning to me.’ She swallowed hard and tilted her head as though watching someone walk away, then a stillness came over her and a stop of breath indicating she had been pulled into her vision. Seer’s had the ability to leave the body and drift far, follow the memory in spirit and leave their own form in a state of trance behind. Deborah began to look panicked but Cora merely held out a hand over hers and shook her head. You could not interrupt a Seer when scoping, it would kill the vision. They sat that way for long minutes before the girl coughed back to life and blinked her eyes open.
‘Oh, my god! I did it, mum, I really did it!’ She squealed in excitement, throwing her arms around the other woman who couldn’t help but smile in response. Genuine pride.
‘What did you see?’ Leyanne pushed. This is why they were here after all.
‘He’s hot! Like really hot in a totally jaw dropping way. A bit older than my type, I’d say maybe, late twenties, maybe even thirties. He was working out in a gym a with a coach. Boxing and kicking a bag and they were calling him ‘Tay’.’ She wooshed it all out in one breath then had to stop to catch air.
‘Go on’
‘He was talking about a fight in Newark in two weeks time, some charity fight.’ She shrugged, looking to Leyanne to see if any of this was helping.
‘So! We found the right guy?’ Cora cuts in and nudges Leyanne for the poster she had shown her. Leyanne slid it out of her bag, opening it and laying it on the table before them to show the girl.
‘Yes. That’s him. Oh, isn’t he dreamy? Those muscles are impressive.’ Both Deborah and Leyanne frowned at Annabel and shook heads. ‘What? I’m almost eighteen, I can appreciate a hot guy when he looks like that!’
‘Was there anything else? More than this fight?’ Leyanne pressed.
‘I’m sorry, No. I got so excited at being in there and seeing it that I broke my own trance by mistake.’ Her face flushed with heat and embarrassment.
‘You did really well, with guidance you would be amazing at this. You’re a natural’ Leyanne rarely praised anyone but deep down she knew this one had promise. Her mother’s daughter after all.
‘So is that it? You leave, now you have what you wanted?’ Deborah’s snooty tone was back, not that Leyanne could blame her. She didn’t want Leyanne influencing her adopted child any more than she had. SHe didn’t want the child to change.
‘No mum, she has to show me what I really look like.’ Annabel stomped her foot. Leyanne stilled the tantrum with a raise of her hand.
‘Annabel, it’s far too dangerous to uncloak you when I cannot put it back. I will, in time, when I have a spell ready to replace it. For now, I must speak to your mother alone. Please.’ She gave the girl a commanding eyebrow lift and saw no argument. Even young and impetuous the girl could sense Leyanne was someone you obeyed. Pity her mother did not have that sense. She got up, kissing her mother’s cheek and saying goodbyes to the other two women before walking off. Proud of herself.
‘When I leave here Deborah, I need her to come with me.’ Leyanne did not believe in mincing her words or taking time on idle small talk. To the point, like always.
‘Over my dead body…. You can’t walk in here taking over and demanding my child!’ Deborah stood, knocking her chair backwards, shaking with rage.
‘Yes, I can. She’s in danger here. The fact we found her means others will too and this is only the beginning of her finding her skills. She will be like a beacon in the dark and every creature on earth will flock to her. Can you protect her the way I can?’ Leyanne challenged.
‘Yes!’ Deborah snapped ‘Yes, I bloody well can.’
‘Really?’ Leyanne’s voice was laced with danger and Cora physically moved away.
‘Deborah….I really don’t think you should fight her on this, you have no idea…’ Cora butted in, her voice trembling a little.
‘Stop. Just stop and get out’ Deborah cut in with rage. Cora tried again but was hushed with an angry glare. Cora’s eyes growing huge with alarm as Leyanne stood up, temper beginning to fray.
‘I’m not someone you disobey Deborah. I can do a lot more to protect her than you could ever dream of.’ She warned.
‘Screw you…Get out…Get out and don’t come back!’
That was enough for Cora, she knew Leyanne’s rage, she knew that inner part of the witch that could not tolerate defiance and she got out of her chair and far from that table in the blink of an eye. Not too soon as it happens as Leyanne threw her palms up sending the table, the chairs, the surrounding candles and the entire altar flying back past Deborah to the wall behind her in a gust of magic and rage. Everything smashing and clambering in an almighty heap of chaos. Deborah physically slumped, shaking in terror at the show of power, cradling her head in her arms, silenced by fear.
‘I will come for her when the time is right. There will be no argument. Spend your time with her until then, but this is decided!’ Leyanne glared, her tone tight. Walking forward in the now clear space to the woman crouching on the floor. ‘I have only good intentions for her Deborah, those who would follow will not. ‘ Without another word Leyanne moved off and headed towards the exit, Cora scrambling after her with only a look of apology at the cowering woman.
Today was not the day she would take the girl, but she would. When she returned home with the Hunter in tow, she would come back for Eleanor’s daughter. Her God child!

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