The Dark Path

So much time had passed since the night Rachel had done the banishing spell, a whole lifetime. She never regretted that choice. She had a wonderful life with Josh and had built a successful herb business while he ran the local bookstore. She still lived in the cottage her great-aunt and namesake had willed to her and loved the solitude it provided her out beyond the edge of town. She had loved the peacefulness but since Josh had passed she felt it a bit too lonely. Maybe that was why thoughts of Ebon filled her head during the Full Moon. It was definitely a case of ‘be careful what you wish for’. The next full moon Ebon was back in her dreams. His lovemaking skills were undiminished.

“I knew you would not be able to live without me for very long.”

“Not very long? It has been many years since you came to me.”

“Time has little meaning for me. I exist in eternities.”

“Don’t think I will summon you again from the dream world into the real world.”

“I can be patient Rachel. I have all the time in the world.”

Rachel was losing her will to resist him. She knew she had to take action soon or be lost to him forever.Then something happened that shocked her out of her complacency. She was working in her garden when she heard a rustle of leaves along the path to her house. She looked up to see Mabel Marsh walking toward her.

“Hi, Mabel. I don’t have your order of chamomile ready yet, but give me a few minutes and I can get it for you.”

“I’m not here about the chamomile, Rachel. I came to warn you about the killer.”

“Killer? What are you talking about Mabel?”

“Lucy Green was found this morning. She had been stabbed and someone had messed with her too. They found a thorn apple blossom in her hand.”

Thorn apple is also known as devil’s snare. Oh God, it’s happening again. Rachel’s mind traveled back to the time before, of the devil’s snare and murder. There had been several women killed the last time Ebon had been around.

“I thought of you living out here all by yourself. You gotta get yourself a good guard dog, Rachel,” Mabel went on talking as Rachel’s attention returned to the present.

“I know Mabel, you are right. Thank you for warning me. I will be careful. Let me get your order ready.”

Rachel finished with Mabel and waved her off. She knew what she must do now. There was only one person who could help her, Great-aunt Rachel. Her great-aunt was no longer among the living but had visited her on several occasions and been indispensable in the banishing of Ebon.

“I feel responsible for bringing him back after we banished him. What can we do now?”

“He is an old and powerful demon, dear. We will need additional help to complete this task. I am calling for two of my friends from the old coven. They are two of the most talented of my group. Ebon will not be able to overcome our magic.”

Rachel spent the next week gathering all the supplies her great-aunt had requested. She checked the basket to make sure she had everything. There was horehound, birch oil, salt, a black candle, asafetida powder, angelica, a ceremonial knife, and two golden incense burners.

It was the night of the full moon. As the sun set, Rachel began to assemble all that her great-aunt had requested on the dining room table. She was busy sorting through it when she felt a stirring in the air. She looked up to see Great-aunt Rachel and two other women appear at the other end of the room.

“We’re all here, my dear. Let me introduce you to my companions. This is Ravyn Ruthistle and Rosewillow Riverdale, two of the most talented women of my acquaintance.”

“Thank you all for coming. I know I could not do this without you.”

“It is our pleasure to be of assistance,” Ravyn replied. Rosewillow nodded her head in agreement.

“The moon is rising, we’d better begin,” Rachel’s namesake stated as she took charge of the little group.

“Sprinkle the horehound in the corners of the room Ravyn. Fill the incense burners with angelica and light them, Rosewillow.” She quickly took up the knife and began carving the black candle. The inscription was in Gaelic,Β Toirmeasc orainn tΓΊ go ifreann, with a sigil.

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She noticed her niece looking at the candle. It says, ” We banish you to the depths of hell, Ebon,” she informed Rachel.

“I think we are ready. Everyone gather together. Rachel pore the salt in a circle around us. Now sprinkle the candle with birch oil and asafetida powder. Light the candle as we begin our chant.” All the women spoke in unison.

“We call you here, Ebon. Come to us this night. Come to us now!”

A ghostly image began to materialize in the room. As the women chanted the image became corporeal.

“I see you have a group of whores with you tonight, Rachel. What do you think you are doing? You have no power over me.”

“Ignore what he says and continue the spell,” shouted the great-aunt.

The group continued to chant.

“We banish you from our world forever, Ebon. We banish you back to your demon hell the place from whence you came.”

Ebon growled and hissed but the women’s words held him in place. “You will never get rid of me,” he snarled.

Ravyn reached into a pouch and threw a handful of asafetida powder at the demon. Rosewillow did the same. Ebon let out a howl as his image began to fade. Within seconds he was gone.

Rachel was exhausted from the effort. Her great-aunt and friends laughed and embraced.

“Don’t let yourself give into the dark side from loneliness, Rachel.”

Rachel awoke with a start. Was it all just a dream?


This flash fiction piece was created for the WEP Write…Edit…Publish April Challenge–Road Less Traveled. Sigil image via Wikimedia, ‘candle, lamp, room’ image by borkia via Pixabay.com

Word count: 1001

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41 thoughts on “The Dark Path

  1. Denise Covey

    Wow, Deborah. Deliciously devilish and dark response to the prompt. I must admit I was disappointed that it was only a dream as it seemed so realistic when I was reading it. I was wondering who I could use these spells on, just kidding!

    Love your use of the ‘Rs’ for the names of the women. Also love the naming of specific herbs. Made it more realistic to me.

    An excellent entry for the WEP Road Less Traveled prompt! Thanks Deborah!

    Denise

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  2. Nilanjana Bose

    I hope she can keep Ebon out of her paths. Such a clever metaphor for the demon of loneliness! The description of the seance was gripping with its details and I love ambiguous endings. A great flash for WEP – well done!

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      I hope the coven’s spell is successful and Rachel is no longer tempted to call on Ebon. I am really happy that my description of the banishing spell was effective and rang true. Thank you very much, Nilanjana. ❀

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    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      It was fun doing some of the research. I realized I could get into much more about spells and herbs. I am so glad it came together for the reader. Thank you very much, Michael. πŸ™‚

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    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      Yes this fiction comes off of a longer piece about Rachel and the demon. I needed to figure out how to make a shorter story about these characters and ended up adding a few more. I decided to make it later in her life as she calls the demon back again because she is alone. The ending seemed a good fit. Thank you very much, Renee. ❀

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  3. tyreanmartinson

    Excellently written and the “dream” part worked because she was fighting a demon in her dream. I really liked the way that wove together. My only slightly concern is that I think a few pieces of dialogue could be shortened to tighten the tension – it may be that I noticed that because I’m struggling with dialogue in my own work. The line I noticed it the most was this one: β€œI know Mabel, you are right. Thank you for warning me. I will be careful. Let me get your order ready.”
    It works, but I think it could be tighter with something shorter. But, that’s just a little quibble. Please give mine a full review, too! πŸ™‚

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  4. patgarcia

    That evil exists is something that many never think about. It was quite natural in some period of times to have seances and banished or bind the demon. I like the way you wrapped this theme around a story. Excellent job.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Patricia

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    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      I do like ‘good’ witches and to have them empowered to fight the bad guys. Real evil scares me. It feels safer making up stories about this battle. I had written a longer story and wanted to use it. I did change it and worked it into the theme. Thank you very much, Pat. ❀

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  5. Pat Hatt

    Loneliness can sure drive one down a path that they never would have considered otherwise. Releasing a demon is a bit crazy though lol Hopefully she now opts for the dog. Great entry indeed.

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    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      There was a prequel to this story. I recently wrote a short story about Rachel and the demon. She did not call him the first time but he came to her dreams. She had banished him once already but after many years and finding herself alone her mind went back to those nights with him. He was then drawn back to her. She quickly realized her mistake. I hope she will seek out human contact now. Thank you very much, Pat. πŸ™‚

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  6. ellis moore

    The evil of life
    And death within
    My stepfather would
    Have been Ebon friend

    Wicked of heart
    Solace it seems
    More evil than
    Most people seen

    If there that evil
    Why bring it around
    He almost put me
    In the ground

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      Rachel had a relationship with Ebon when she was younger. He came to her in dreams and she was seduced by him. Now, later in life, she finds herself alone and she is tempted by the memories of his lovemaking. Her desires draw him back. I don’t think she purposely summoned him but he is able to take advantage of her need. Then when he kills someone she knows that he is really on the loose again and must be stopped for good.

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      1. desk49

        I wrote this about my stepfather
        to give you a better insight.

        Father:

        My father picked me up
        until I could see his eyes.
        I knew from that look
        I wished I could die.
        He removed his belt
        from around his pants.
        “OK now” he would say
        “lets see if you can dance”?
        Then I would feel it,
        across my back so small.
        Harder he would hit me,
        all the way down the hall.
        Over my screams you could hear
        as the belt tore through my skin.
        “Whatever I did Daddy please…
        I will not do it again”.

        Β©2002 Ellis W. Moore

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      I could imagine her having sexual desires and her mind drifting back to Ebon. I did some research on magic. I am happy that these scenes played well. Thank you, Kalpana. πŸ™‚

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