Chapter 2: The Vision
After school Mark was up in his room lying on his bed. He was throwing a rubber ball against the wall, catching it with the other hand, then throwing it back with the other.
Sometimes he did this to help him think and other times he did it to relieve stress. Periodically Mark would pick up his notebook lying next to him, the one that Jeanie had written on earlier, and he studied her handwriting.
Mark wanted to call her right now. But Monday after school was a long time from the Saturday she told him to call, and he continuously talked himself out of it.
Mark would periodically keep checking to make sure her signature and number were still on his notebook thou, and not an illusion that would fade away and disappear like a mirage after so much time in-between glances.
Mark had already rewritten Jeanie’s number on a post-it, and put that on his cork-board, in-case anything happened to his notebook. Then Mark wrote down her name and number a third time and hid that piece of paper and stored that in a shoe box on top of his closet.
Mark constantly needed to prove to himself that everything that happened earlier wasn’t a dream, and that Jeanie was real, and he had her handwriting to prove it. Everything about Jeanie was sexy, even her signature, light, soft, and feminine.
He was still thinking about the images he saw about Jeanie, and he desperately wanted to know if any of it was true?
He closed his eyes and started rubbing them again to try and remember the flood of images that were pouring in. After Mark started to see enough of them, the images like pictures from a camera, or a single video frame from a filmstrip, and would start to formulate a story, like pieces of a puzzle that eventually completed a picture.
Now the images were repeating themselves again. Marks first impression(s) had been that Jeanie had involved herself with something taboo.
She was in a cult. No, she was a student of the occult. Wicca, she practiced witchcraft. Jeanie had belonged to a school, no a coven. She had a natural talent for Wicca. But something had happened. She was a novice, a very gifted student, but inexperienced and undisciplined.
Jeanie was “expelled” from the coven because as a student she practiced on her own, outside of any supervision, which was both dangerous and forbidden.
Suddenly Mark wondered it this tied in with her move, was this the real reason for her relocation. Was she banished?
Wicca was a religion, witchcraft were rituals. Every religion had rules, but the rules of Wicca were stricter than most. And Jeanie had disobeyed theirs.
Pop, Pop, Pop!!!
More Images went off like flashbulbs in his head.
There was an older student in her other school named Joe…John…Josh.
His name was Josh, and Jeanie became instantly infatuated. Josh was her first crush. He was older than Jeanie, but because of her intelligence Jeanie was mentally, if not emotionally, his equal.
The two of them even shared some of the same classes, Jeanie had advanced a grade, actually (two), because of how smart she was. But Josh never seemed to notice her, Jeanie was very attractive, but in a girlish way.
She was cute, not sexy, like a woman. Jeanie did not know why Josh was not interested in her. It was because she still looked “under-developed,” more like a child than a woman. And Josh was a breast-man.
Pop, Pop, Pop!!!
One-day Jeanie overheard Josh talking to one of his friends, he said that he needed to go to the Mall this weekend to buy some new shoes. Jeanie made plans to arrive at the mall first, so that she could “accidentally” run into him.
He didn’t say what time he was going to be there exactly, so Jeanie was going to get there when the Mall opened and wait for him all day if necessary. When she finally saw Josh walk in, Jeanie walked over and made up an excuse to talk to him.
Josh smiled, flirted, complimented her, and even laughed at her jokes, Jeanie was sure that Josh was going to ask her out.
But then just like a heart-breaking scene from a romantic comedy, a very well-endowed female walked past them, and this girl’s timing could not have been worse for Jeanie.
Like an electric magnet that had suddenly switched polarities, Josh’s attention immediately switched from Jeanie to the other girl in an instant.
Jeanie looked to see what suddenly captivated Josh’s attention and that’s when she saw the rival female. She was vaguely aware that she had seen this girl before, her name was Brenda, and she was also in the same class that she and Josh shared.
Suddenly, Josh made up some horrible, transparent excuse to leave so that he could catch up with the other girl before she got away. Jeanie had been outclassed, simple as that. Game, Set, and Match.
Josh’s reaction was so abrupt that it would have been comical under different circumstances, but the shock of his sudden abandonment was devastating, and the humiliation she felt in his absence was monumental.
Jeanie couldn’t even move at first, her body frozen; her mind refusing to accept what had just happened.
He left me for Brenda?
Yes, she was an older, mature, and more endowed, but certainly not prettier???
She looked like a whore with all that make-up on her face!!!
And Josh left her for Brenda right in the middle of the mall where everybody could see her humiliation. She might as well have been the lead actress in a tragedy instead of a comedy because that’s how she felt.
Her face suddenly turned red from embarrassment.
She could not stop it. And when it did, it brought out her freckles. She could even feel the heat coming off her body from her embarrassment.
Suddenly Jeanie wished she could turn invisible so that nobody could see her as she forced one foot in front of the other, feeling like a fool, trying to maintain her dignity, even holding her breath hoping that it might prevent her from bursting into tears, at least not until she made it to the bathroom.
Jeanie was in the stall for almost twenty minutes, just long enough to make sure she got it all out of her system. She wanted to make sure that she made it out of the mall and at home before she started crying again.
Josh was Jeanie’s first crush and he was devastating. She cried herself to sleep that night wondering what she did wrong, and why she wasn’t good enough for Josh.
For the rest of the week Jeanie was inconsolable, she wouldn’t eat, or sleep, or confide in anyone, she was becoming dangerously underweight, until she could no longer deny the truth.
Jeanie was determined to win Josh’s affection and at any cost. It was unfair what had happened to her. She felt like she had been setup. Why did that bitch have to walk past her at the exact moment Josh was about to ask her out?
Now she had heard that they were even dating, but this girl Brenda, had not won Josh, she had stolen him, and with an unfair advantage!!!
Jeanie was going to use a magical incantation that would emulate the body of this other woman, that way Josh would be as interested in Jeanie as he was this Brenda, and then Jeanie would be able to compete against this other woman on a level playing field.
Pop, Pop, Pop!!!
But this incantation was a very dangerous thing to attempt. First, Jeanie did not have the experience necessary to perform it, Second the spell was not a one-person ritual, and third, she did not have permission from the coven to perform it.
None of this mattered to Jeanie, she convinced herself she was doing the right thing. Besides she knew if she asked, that her request would be denied on principle alone. Jeanie didn’t even think she could bring herself to ask for a sexual endowment, it would be too humiliating. Childish, immature, unrealistic, and insane.
Josh was not her husband, and this was not a mating ritual. You could not rush or force nature. And those who tried were doomed. But no warning would deter Jeanie, she was a woman in love!!!
And a woman in love could move mountains, and God help the fool that stood in her way, they would be crushed underneath them.
Jeanie was a brilliant student of the Wiccan arts, a very gifted apprentice, but she was young, and she did not have the power, confidence or experience to complete such a complicated ritual.
Jeanie had performed the magic rite meticulously, and it had been effective, despite her inexperience, partly because Jeanie herself was still in puberty, and so her body quickly began to change, and the results were astonishing.
Her body began to grow into the same form and shape of Brenda, the other woman. But something went wrong. And that is why there is no substitution for experience in any field.
Some variation or deviation. Maybe something unnoticed or forgotten, Jeanie did not know what specifically. But something was left out, or overlooked, and as a result… the other woman died.
Pop, Pop, Pop!!!
When the elders found out what Jeanie had done; the Jane the mother superior, shook her head in both shock and amazement. She told Jeanie that she could not believe that she herself had not been killed during the incantation.
What she attempted, had never been tried before, which was a true testament of her abilities, and her potential. Jeanie was by far the most gifted student Janice had ever seen.
In time Jeanie, herself would have been the one to replace Janice, because of her ability. It was only natural for her to be the next to lead in succession, for Jeanie was the most capable, the most gifted. No one could deny her potential.
But now none of that would ever be possible. Janis was Jeanie’s mentor, and personal teacher, and she was unable to have children of her own. So, she loved Jeanie like her own daughter, and she was the most protective of Jeanie, especially with her being the youngest member of the coven.
But Jeanie had to be held accountable for her actions the same as everyone else. No one was above Wiccan Law.
Pop, Pop, Pop!!!
During the next full moon all thirteen members of the coven gathered outside the courtyard. Twelve in a circle and Jeanie in the middle. Every woman present was clothed only in a hooded robe, and crying miserable, and that included both Janice and Jeanie.
Another senior member of the council, Teresa, a beautiful blonde, seductive and alluring tried to speak in Jeanie’s defense, “Mother Janis, forgive this child, I beg thee, her intention was not malice.
“Yes, she was reckless. yes, she was foolish, but this folly was first loves sake, and who among us has not been deceived by love, or made a fool of by the same, not once but many times even afterwards.”
It suddenly started raining in large, cold and heavy drops. And every woman except for Jeanie, put the hood of their robes over their heads to keep their hair from getting wet.
Janice could not rule on intention, but on outcome alone. Jeanie could not have preferential treatment.
Janis spoke, “I did not make the laws, sister Teresa, and Jeanie was well aware of them from the onset, the laws are in place to prevent exactly what happened, from happening, now we all have blood on our hands.”
Another woman, Cassandra, now hooded, and her face hidden in the shadow of the moonlight spoke up, “She is but a child, Mother Superior, have mercy on her for she is young, she is young, and her heart is pure, she repeated.”
But Janice shook her head. “She was old enough, old enough to know better, yet she chose against the law, and now she must be held accountable because of it.”
Jeanie took off her robe even thou she was completely naked underneath, and threw herself on the ground, kneeling before Janice grabbing her from behind the knees, begging her for an alternate form of punishment. This was very bad form to beg forgiveness before the verdict was even given.
“I will take the lash until my back bleeds and scars, Jeanie said, Or the fire until it scorches and sears my flesh, they could even scrub her skin with steel wool, and salt water afterwards. That could be fatal.
The wind started to howl, and it carried Jeanie’s appeal to the heavens, but there was would be no latitude given from Janis, she alone would make the decision, and that decision would be final.
Janis spoke: “Jeanie you have caused the death of another, although unintentional, you were selfish, reckless, and dangerous. You knew the law, but ye broke it anyway. Had this other woman lived, another punishment may have been considered, but as it stands, the punishment will fit the crime.
Jeanie was already crying miserable, Janice had to raise her voice, so she could be heard above the wind, “Jeanie, you are now excommunicated from our sisterhood forever, and swear an oath upon your life that you will never practice Wicca again, either now or in the future, with or without assistance, and then Janis looked down on her, that is the judgement upon you,”
The group of women repeated their response in unison, “So mote it be.”
Jeanie looked up at the Janice and pleaded, “Please Mother, you are my only family, do not abandon me, I would rather you kill me, than banish me, death itself would be a kinder fate, but to live without my sisters, that is unbearable, Jeanie cried.”
“Some punishments in life are worse than death, Janis replied, and you more than anyone should know that, and they exchanged a knowing look between them.
“Swear the Oath or suffer the curse Janice warned.”
“Please you are the only mother I have truly ever known, Jeanie begged.”
Janice slapped Jeanie in her face hard, and Jeanie fell on her side and she fell into the mud, that covered one side of her face and body. Janice waited patiently for Jeanie to get up and then repeated her demand, “Swear the Oath or suffer the curse, Janice repeated.”
Jeanie did not see hatred in the eyes of Janis, pity, anger, but most of all disappointment.
“I will suffer…
“I will suffer the curse Jeanie said bravely.
Both woman we’re broken-heated.
And so, the mother superior announced what her fate was to be.
To never be loved!!!
And after Janice announced her judgement, she warned Jeanie, “Do not call me your mother, or these other women your sisters, for we are not your family anymore, nor shall we ever be again.
The lightning illuminated the sky as if for effect.
And then Janis walked away from Jeanie as the rain continued to come down, but now even harder. It was as if even Nature itself was washing its hands of Jeanie.
Now she was no longer kneeling, Jeanie fell into the fetal position, and screamed hysterically, “I am alone, I am alone, I am alone, I have no one, I have no one, I have no one, she screamed hysterically over and over.”
And each time she cried out, the lightning flickered, and the thunder sounded above to drown her out. Yet no member of the coven would stay to comfort Jeanie, help her up, cover her with her robe, or even look back to see if she would be okay.
The group silently followed Janis, back into their small concrete fortress that was the courtyard, and shut the iron gate behind them, which locked with a metallic rattle.
To be continued…
I created “Eros Macabre”
-Jason Gabriel Kondrath
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