Here’s a little treat for those who have read my novel Eternal Bonds.
I was born into a rich family. I was surrounded by privilege and anything I wanted was always within reach. I’ve heard that power and wealth can be corrupt, but I wasn’t one of them. I wasn’t corrupt. And neither was my family. There would always be opposition to us, to what we stood for. There was no pleasing everyone in the world. That was clear. I was taught in the United States, Louisiana to be more specific under Madame LaLaurie’s strict curriculum. Madame LaLaurie wasn’t our teacher, but we were brought up on the same education that she had had in her youth. Now, you may say she was a cruel and twisted woman, but those claims were unsubstantiated. For one, she was a decent human being like myself. Her only crime was learning a bit of magic. Witchcraft was forbidden and could be punished by burning the witch at stake, but she used her magic for good, as did I. I was taught the highest and most power type of magic. Some called it black magic, but it wasn’t. It just wasn’t the mainstream magic that everyone flocked to. I wasn’t a sheep and my magic reflected that. I wouldn’t say I forced anyone to do anything they didn’t want, but I just gave them a small suggestion, a slight persuasion to see my perspective and they often came around my way.
In 1940 I met a charming gentleman, his name was James Schaffer. He said he was a doctor. No not really of medicine, but he worked in a laboratory. He struck me as a lost little puppy with his big innocent eyes. And could he ever dance! He was one of the best dance partners I had the pleasure of knowing. And soon I found myself stepping out with him every Friday night. Though our family lived in Orion it was a short drive to Calgary. There was no nightlife in Orion, but Calgary, oh it was wonderful there. I mean, it wasn’t much compared to the parties of high society in Louisiana, but they were certainly better than Orion. Orion didn’t even know what it meant to have fun. As a matter of fact all the shops closed at 5pm, how boring! I didn’t even know why we lived all the way out here except that daddy inherited from a distant relative that partially gave his name to our home, the Carvell-Moore Manor.
It was in the summer of 1944 that James proposed to me. He was worried he’d never come back alive from the war, he had been conscripted into the war like many others and wanted to guarantee my hand in marriage. He created a very elaborate ruse to lead me out to the pavilion an acre away from our house. He had planted the entire acre with daffodils. I couldn’t believe it! I couldn’t believe his dedication, nor could I believe that I had never noticed that they had been planted there, destined to bloom for me on this special day. I wasn’t sure I loved him, but when I saw all this dedication, everything that he had done for me, the rings, how could I say no? He was going to die in the war; I had to give him some peace, to make him think that he had my eternal love. I accepted and my father offered the house to James as my dowry. James was given a quick tour of the house and stayed for a week before he returned to Calgary and headed off with the other young men heading off to the training camp in Winnipeg.
Life has a strange way of working. On the night James left I had a vision of a tortured man. He blamed me for his death, for the death of his brother and sister in law and his nephews and nieces. I had never seen him before and I didn’t understand. I tried to block him from my mind, from my dreams, but he was constantly there. I could feel his presence even if I couldn’t see him. I could hear his rasping breaths as if he was next to me. I wondered for days about who he was. I had no leads, no information. Perhaps it was just my imagination or perhaps it was a restless ghost in the house due to some act of injustice against him. Because of my magical inclinations I was able to communicate with the other side, but this also meant I was plagued with their problems. I created a protective barrier around me in hopes of warding him off, but he was powerful and easily shattered my defenses badgering until I could no longer bear it. I had to ask. I had to know who he was.
I asked my father who the Moores were. I could see the slight loss of control over my father’s perfect poker face before his answer that the Moores were a distant cousin of my mother’s side, something like the cousin of her great aunt. I knew he was lying so I asked for a name. It was William.
Now I wasn’t stupid. My upbringing and education had seen to that. I knew how to do my research and sweet talk the librarian’s assistant into allowing me access to the restricted records without the proper identification. William Moore had been a suitor to a woman name Catherine Beaumont who had met his tragic end in the first world war. Catherine was James’ mother. Perhaps this had been Catherine’s house? Or maybe it was William’s? Was William hoping that Catherine would come back for him? Was he unable to rest because he hadn’t been able to say his good bye? Would James come haunt me if he died in France? Or Russia? Or Germany? Or Italy?
If William couldn’t lay himself to rest, I would help him. He didn’t deserve to suffer for so long. I would lay him to rest forever, but first I had some shopping to do.
Performing magic wasn’t like in books or plays. It didn’t need a pentagram drawn on the ground or black candles. It just needed a few household supplies or things that could be easily procured from the supermarket. Most of the things I found at home, I only had to buy some bacon fat, extra matches and a small plastic soldier. I created an altar before my mirror and began to muster up the power from within me. I never expected him to show his horrible face in the moment I released my spell on the soldier. His crushed arm and severed throat caught me by surprise and I misfired, sending the spell into the mirror and causing it rebound and hit me. I felt my head spin and my heart sink. Then I stopped feeling. Then I felt everything. My soul floated away from my body, but it was still tethered there. I watched as people came and took me away. I sat through my own funeral knowing that one day I would get my revenge. I didn’t deserve to die. Death was for other people. I was supposed to have lived forever and I would.
I knew I had to be patient. If I rushed it, I wouldn’t have enough power to sustain myself and end up dying more permanently. I bided my time, watching James weep over my death. It was definitely unfair. How could he have survived the war when I had died because a spell rebounded off my mirror. I knew what to do. I knew how to come back and I would use James to do it. And he provided the perfect opportunity.
He naively asked whether I wanted to live again. He, like many others, had thought I had committed suicide upon discovering the actions of my family’s involvement in William’s death. I had not known that at the time of my misfire, but eventually learned about from my parents at my funeral about what they had done to William and the Moores. From what my father explained, it had been a job, he had been asked by his best friend, Edward Schaffer, to deal with William, a competitor for Catherine’s affections. Edward was an aristocrat that you didn’t refuse. And by the sounds of things, William never deserved Catherine anyways. His death had been a good thing. Edward had saved Catherine from eternal servitude by having William eliminated. I knew what to do, but I needed James to bring me something I could be carried away in as my body had now decayed. Something that had emotional significance to me. He brought me his engagement ring. Though I hadn’t loved James it had still caused me some happiness: to see the effort he had put into it and the number of daffodils he planted for me.
He brought me home and I slowly began to take over his life. He offered me a body. A beautiful young girl. I couldn’t be happier. To be reincarnated in such a lovely body. There had to be some changes made to the body of course. It wasn’t habitable without some tweaking to make it more like home. After all, I was going to be living in it forever. If I had to spend it with James, so be it. He would eventually die and I would continue to survive without him. It wasn’t going to be a burden.
However William had to ruin it like he did the first time and he taught the children to kill me forever. I wasn’t going to let that happen. I escaped and returned to my old room where I hid until one day in 2012 when a young boy moved into my room. I had never met anyone like him. He was well educated. That night he was reading a book in Latin, I was impressed. That night I approached him. He would be perfect. He would make an eternal rest easier. I would take him away from the world in the same way I had been taken away. He made me feel something that James could never have made me feel. He was special. I had finally found the love of my life. I could finally rest.