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, pepper, 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, Toirmeasc orainn tú go ifreann, with a sigil.
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