The library was
quiet with the exception of the short and humming-to-herself library assistant
stacking the books left out or returned through-out the day. The girl was a
junior; she was sure of it. She had never talked to her; they had never orbited
the same solar system in the day-to-day endless galaxy of Mariner High School,
but that didn’t matter.
She could still
reach inside the girl’s mind whenever she wanted to, and explore everything she
kept hidden from the rest of the world. She could travel the fleshy terrain of
the girl’s brain and see her hopes and dreams, her fears, her loves, and her
She was able to
pick out that her name was Tammy. She was a studious girl with dirty blonde
curls that hung to her breasts, her skin milk-white and soft, her face delicate
and scattered with a dusting of freckles across the bridge of her small nose.
Her brown eyes were golden and looked over the spine of each book, scanning
their titles and looking up to each aisle to see where they belonged.
Blackmoore stood from the table where she had been discussing after graduation
party plans with her best friend Lila Sifuentes and with her boyfriend
Sheffield Burges, excited to finally walk and receive their diplomas and be
done with this place forever.
She was tall –
five feet and nine inches. Her lean body was dressed in a pink-and-white
pin-striped collared shirt, the sleeves rolled up to her elbows, the collar
popped and buttoned only to her full breasts.
pearl necklace glistened in the bright white fluorescents overhead, and her
thick shoulder-length feathered mane was a rich auburn that seemed to glow
around her like a halo.
She gathered her
books and began to make her way to the doors to begin the walk through campus
back to her home. Her long legs were encased in a khaki, knee-length Ralph
Lauren skirt with a slit up the left thigh and a tasseled and thin brown
leather belt was fastened loosely around her waist and rested on her hipbones.
Kathryn looked at her watch; it was 9:00 p.m. They had been put in charge of
the after-party by the entire student body – at least by the Golden Gods, as
the popular kids were called – and it was their job to deliver.
Somehow by some
cruel joke perpetrated by the universe, Kathryn had somehow become one of them.
That was a first for her family, and it was no surprise to her that this
ascension in the school’s hierarchy was achieved by her relationship with
Sheffield. He was one of the kindest and most popular guys at their elitist
school, and was a rock star on the Soccer field. It was the school’s claim to
greatness and claim to fame. Other schools had football, but Mariner was known
throughout the country for their school’s soccer team. In the eighteen years of
its existence – as long she had been alive – Mariner was a crowning achievement
and had only ever lost three games. Families from the country over, who dreamed
of soccer field futures for their children chose Mariner – a public high school
– over the best sports-driven private schools.
Mariner was a
dynasty of Bellingham Washington, and the rite of passage for the exclusive
children of South Hill, with their centuries-old Victorian, Tudor, Colonial,
and Craftsman mansions that stood on large plots of land between treacherous
and almost guard-like evergreens on every street, and sidewalks lined with
monstrous oaks and maples. Homes filled with inhabitants of both the living and
werethe Edgemoore kids. Nouveau riche. Most of them were native Californians
whose parents moved here in a great rush for cheap land when California’s real
estate began to climb higher and higher, and for the chance to get their kid on
the Mariner soccer team.
Here, on the
cliffs on the other side of Bellingham Bay, and staring back at the old genteel
mansions, were the castle-like and gaudy estates of Edgemoore.
These kids had
no respect for the history that still stood in the city, and the almost haunted
charm of Fairhaven, that filled the space along the water between these two
wealthy neighborhoods. Fairhaven was the last town to merge with the county of
Whatcom in 1903, finally forming the greater city of Bellingham. For the city,
and everyone in it, there was a difference between the South Hill neighborhood
and the rest of Bellingham itself, as if it were still its own town.
south to the north of Bellingham was the campus of Fairhaven University, which
in the 1890s had been the Washington State Normal School. Fairhaven University
was carved through the trees and made up of tall, red-orange brick buildings
and concrete bridges overpaved pathways in between the green. The city was not
unlike Bram Stoker’s description of Transylvania: a place wild and filled with
spirits, and fiercer things that lived in the mouth of the Carpathian Mountains
that surrounded it.
The city was
surrounded by cliffs and an endless army of evergreens.
snaked through all of this above the city, so that every exit dipped down into
it. Kathryn had grown up here, had been born here, into South Hill’s
superstition and paranoia and never-ending fears.
South Hill was
filled with the descendants of the founding families, and the majority had
worshiped at The Cathedral of the Sacred Heart.
The white wood
church with its gorgeous and detailed mammoth windows of stained glass was
crowned with a single black-slated roof and spire.
The first time
Kathryn had ever used her witchcraft against another was the priest who had
tried to take advantage of her when she was twelve. It had felt invigorating to
watch his body convulse and the blood begin to slip out of his mouth, eyes, and
nose – even his ears.
When he had hit
the floor, his brain fried, she had screamed and run out of the office as soon
as one of the nuns and another priest – Father
Malady – opened
the door, covering her tear-stained face.
It didn’t help
anything when she told them what he had been attempting to do when the aneurism
hit. She could hear the headmaster’s thoughts, as well as the two nuns and
Father Malady, who had sat with his arms folded, his angular and almost
rat-like face with his beady green eyes looking at her with a smug grin. They
knew she had somehow caused it. She was a Blackmoore, after all; she was a
witch and she had used her charms to seduce the priest. To bewitch him and
befuddle him and make him lose all of his sense and self-control. She had made
him weak on purpose so that she could kill him – to sacrifice him to Satan and
make another hit in their diabolical war with the Church.
She had said
nothing. She wanted to leave and go to Fairhaven Middle School. She was in her
last year of junior high and she didn’t
want to be in
this place any longer, with ruler hits and other obscene punishments. They were
more than happy to get her out. Her father,
had been the one to insist she go to Catholic School.
He feared the
Blackmoore name as much as anyone else, regardless of the fact that he had
married her mother, Annaline Blackmoore in 1961.
He had loved her
so much that he had wanted to save Annaline from what he saw as the Blackmoore
curse. He thought that she would be far from the devil’s reach if he could
marry her and make an honest woman out of her. A God-fearing woman who would go
to mass every
Sunday and keep
far from her family’s other practice, aside from Blackmoore World Corp. – a
multi-billion-dollar-a-year international company which handled almost all the
shipments of goods, most legal and some more questionable, of the entire world
– was running the Church of Light, the Spiritualist church that her
great-grandmother Aria had started in 1898, where she would commune with the
dead, read palm, tarot cards, and tea leaves.
It was a place
where for a hefty sum, Aria could be hired to work her witchcraft for others,
no matter the intention. The Church of Light was then run by Aria’s daughter
Fiona, and now her daughter Mabel, her mother’s older sister. Annaline had been
too adventurous for that anyways, and so Trevor’s plan meant nothing one way or
the other, as Annaline was too much of a wild child, concerned with music
festivals and poets and drinking while smoking pot and cigarettes.
This fact did
not stop Trevor Mayland from worrying about “his girls,” as he called his wife
and daughter, and sending Kathryn to boarding school, only a few blocks from
her actual home, to only visit on the weekends, was extremely easy for him.
Yes, she had had
enough at that point, and the death of the priest put a smile on her face – a
smile she had to fight back when they almost hesitantly told her that she was
finished and would be going back home.
witches; this was true, and Father Malady had known this. A man of forty-seven,
straight from Ireland – in Kilcommon,County Mayo – where the Blackmoores had
originated from, and where they still lived inside the great limestone citadel
known as Blackmoore Hall on the shores of Broadhaven Bay.
Everyone in that
part of Ireland knew of the Blackmoores. They believed them to be a family who
grew into their wealth because of a pact with the devil, and those who knew
them gained fortune or befell ruin simply for knowing them.
During the witch
hunts her ancestors had fled the Black Moor and built a rustic cottage with a
thatched roof along the cruel and wild sea, in hiding from both the evils of
Christian men and the even greater and ancient evil that had tormented the clan
of the Black Moor for centuries before finally escaping. He was a dark and
bloodthirsty God who had tried to make slaves of the clan and had forced them
to sacrifice the weak and the innocent to his altar.
They had finally
escaped him, turning their back on him and refusing to write his name down or
speak it from their lips. This went on for two hundred years, until all those
who had known him had died, and he had grown weak from being forgotten. They
left the moor in the year 1145 and journeyed northwest, as far from the wood
and that deity as possible. They were secluded and far from wealthy, and then
suddenly in 1845, they began to buy up nearly thirteen thousand acres of land
and built a great, almost castle-like home. They were all certain that the
family was finally reaping their rewards for the trade of their souls.
This had never
been the case. The reason for the wealth was far more mundane; Katy Blackmoore
of New Orleans – where the family
had moved to in
the 1780s – denounced the family and the many evils that served the Dark God of
the Wood who wished to wipe out the Blackmoores, and left for Spain. She
returned almost a year later married to Spanish royalty, and bequeathed a
fortune enough for a kingdom to her father Tristan, her brother Nicholas, and
her grandparents Sarafeene and Malachey, in exchange for being left alone by
them so that she could live a normal life.
She had lost her
mother to her family and their Legacy – the name of their great curse – and she
was certain that if she separated herself from her family and lived a good
Christian life, never summoning her witchcraft, then she would not lose her
husband, and her children would never suffer the loss of a parent, or the
feeling of knowing who you were and what you were would end up killing the one
had agreed and with that money, they made the family flourish. First in New
Orleans and Ireland, and then later, the family moved west and north, and all
points in between. Spreading out all across the United States, England, France,
Italy, and Ireland, in vesting in industry and especially shipping; and
acquiring and building fleets upon fleets of ships, until there was no one to
By the time the
family had arrived in Fairhaven to begin building their empire in the “Gateway of
Alaska,” as it had been known, the residents of the city were openly hostile –
being fueled by the legends and superstitions of immigrant priests and servants
who whispered about the dangerous and devilish Blackmoores of Kilcommon and
their mission to take over the Christian world and hand it to the devil and his
fallen angels, wrapped with a big bloodstained bow.
It was shit, but
superstition is slow to die, and even in 1979, the people of South Hill still
feared the Blackmoore name and what it meant if you talked to them. Kathryn had
suffered that for so long, and for the longest time, Lila Sifuentes – the only
Latina in the school –had been her only friend.
Her father had
always loved Kathryn, but up until his death a week after the incident – due to
the sudden brain tumor that claimed the lives of those who have unprotected sex
with a Blackmoore – he had always been slightly wary of her, as if he could see
the curse deep under her veins.
with a Blackmoore always seemed to kill seven to twelve years later, and always
of a severe seizure and hemorrhage caused by the tumor. Blood pooled from the
nose, mouth, and other parts of the face, and the body would convulse. They
would be biting their tongues so hard that often they bit the tip off completely.
Every witch in her family always hoped and often believed that they would be
the Blackmoore to survive the curse, that their lover would be strong enough to
beat it back.
died, and her father had been no different.
Kathryn had been
dangerously beautiful all her life, with a statuesque body and icy eyes – the
palest of blues – and soft olive skin with an always-perfectly-feathered auburn
mane lik ealion, and the latest fashions straight out of Vogueclothing her. She
had a husky whiskey voice, much like the actress Kim Novak. She had loved Bell,
Book, and Candle, so the comparison was flattering; besides, she thought Kim
Novak was a magnificent and stunning creature.