Best Witches Issue 18
The previous issues can be found on my author page.
The Society of the Pen and the Sword has been around since the witch trials. In the past 100 years, they have done, well, not much at all really. The society had dwindled to just a few remaining heirs of family lines that had not died off. The meetings had turned into dust-covered Rolodex cards hidden in cabinets, kitchens, and dens. The bearers of the titles had taken on more of the role of a storyteller than protector.
Until they heard of the witch’s descendant from the Thornbridge line. The first one, Edna, causing a whole host of trouble. Enough trouble that the rest of the members from the Americas got together to take care of it. Now another one not only got both the book and the dagger but had disappeared with it off to cause who knows what kind of trouble.
When the first, Edna, had gotten her hands on the book and the dagger she raised alarm bells with her deeds. Now, a new person had acquired the dagger and book. Someone who called to the very essence of every one of the members of the Society. Each member sat up in bed or stopped in the middle of whatever they were doing, at precisely the same moment all over the globe. The phone trees started to ring. The psychics began to gossip. The Americans group created plans to head to the cave where they had hidden the dagger. The young ones, as this their first event not told to them over campfires or at bedtime, wondered what it could mean. The older ones wondering as well.
They could feel something thrumming through their veins, calling them to action. Their magic itself felt like it was coming alive. The book and dagger were created for a sole purpose to rid the world of great evil by Anastacia Thornbridge, one of the most powerful witches to ever live. Once that evil had been destroyed the book and dagger had to be kept apart. They drove the wielder to kill any and all that could even be considered as evil. This normally ended in the wielder going crazy with blood-lust.
None of the society knew what this meant. None alive had felt this call. The one thing for sure was this wasn’t going to be good. Whatever it was.
A young witch who had lived her whole life in Venice could feel a tug of her magic. She descended the stairs that connected her flat to the shop she owned below. She felt in a trance, with an overwhelming power that was taking control. She let it, interested to see what would come of it. She did not resist as she unlocked the store, wound her way to the back of the shop and grabbing her violin. She started to play and couldn’t stop. She let her magic flow through the instrument, the bow, and the music itself. Winding its way out of the shop and through the alleys of Venice. It was one of the most potent feelings she had ever encountered. That music, and the knowledge that something predestined seemed to spill from her hands.
Before long, someone darkened the doorway. As the girl played, she watched the newcomer. As she slowly picked her way through the shop as the song ended.
“Hello, Riley,” The woman said as she slowly sat down her instrument. She had never met this new woman, seen her, but was sure of her name. This was Riley. She could feel her blood pulse in time with the woman’s footsteps. She could feel her magic tugging towards the girl still holding a trinket of the shop in her hand. This was the girl her magic, all of their magic was singing for. This girl was important.
“How do you know my name?” Riley asked.
The woman, Vera, smiled and spun around. Slowly lifting the hair from the nape of her neck. Showing off her tattoo of an open book with a dagger splitting the spine. Riley tensed as she saw it.
“Who are you?” Riley asked.
“I am one of many. Part of the Society of the Pen and the Sword. I believe someone or something wishes us to meet.” With a rush the door to the shop slammed shut, locking, and the blinds drawing. Riley raised her hands, the swirling tattoos on her arms visible. “Tea?” Vera asked before heading up the stairs to her flat to put the kettle on.
Thank you, Sean Eike, for the image this week.