October 31, 1688
Eleanor ‘Lenore’ Amelia McLeod lived a rather normal life for a girl of sixteen years of age. She lived with her mother and father, Margaret and Angus McLeod above her father’s tailor shop in the small downtown area of the village of Liberton, just several miles from the bustling city of Edinburgh. She had four older brothers, Fergus, Edgar, Ennis, and Blane, that were, respectively, eleven, nine, eight, and six years older than her. Fergus, as the eldest son, had apprenticed with their father and now worked in the shop downstairs alongside with him. Edgar and Ennis were shoemakers in Edinburgh and Blane had traveled to England for work long ago. Father often muttered under his breath how his youngest son was also the most foolish and likely drunken in a ditch in seedy London somewhere, but none of them knew how Blane truly fared because he had not sent a letter in five years.
Each morning Lenore cleaned her father’s shop and spent her afternoons working in her second cousin’s herb garden. Her cousin, Elspeth, was like a second mother to her and once she had noticed Lenore’s keen skill in coaxing even the most troublesome plants to grow, she had quickly enlisted Lenore to work for her. Her mother was quite wary in the beginning and had ordered her not to get involved in witchcraft like Elspeth, but it wasn’t quite like that for her. Lenore simply wanted to spend time in Elspeth’s garden because it brought her a great deal of happiness – to her there was nothing better than working in the dirt and seeing life being created in front of her very eyes.
…Of course, she did enjoy being in the presence of her cousin’s magic as well.
“Lenore!” her mother called from the front room where she was laying out samhnag on the window sills. “Have ya finished carving that turnip? We need at least one more samhnag for the back windows.”
She waved her completed candle lantern in the air. “Yes, Ma. Can I go to Cousin Elspeth’s now? She wanted me to harvest some items for tonight.”
Her mother turned away from the window and focused her calculating blue eyes on Lenore. “Darlin’, you know I love my cousin like she was my sister, but I don’t know if I want you to be at her house today, of all days – as I’ve told you already.”
Lenore rolled eyes. “Ma, you know I don’t have any interest in that.” Which was a lie. Lenore had secretly spied on her cousin doing spells with her coven many times. There was just something about the feeling of the magic…it called to her. If her mother hadn’t raised her as a staunch Christian then Lenore would have succumbed long ago; only fear of her wrathful Lord prevented her from doing so.
However, the temptation had been getting greater as of late and was becoming quite difficult to ignore.
There was a moment of silence as her mother observed her closely. Finally, once she had passed inspection, her mother sighed. “Alright Lenore, I believe you. Just do me a favor and stay in the garden today. I don’t want you getting caught up in any of Elspeth’s Samhain rituals.”
Since Samhain was the day when the veil between the living world and the otherworld was thinnest, it was common knowledge that the holiday was the premier day to perform magical ceremonies.
“Of course, Mother,” Lenore promised sweetly as she gave her mother a quick peck on the cheek and skipped out the door.
Little did her mother know that Lenore had her fingers crossed behind her back.
Samhain was an important day in their community. On a positive note, today they celebrated the harvest and gave thanks to God. However, lore said that Samhain was an ancient holiday that also marked the thinning of the veil and the power of the otherworld, so many precautions had to be taken. Candle lanterns were placed in windows to ward off evil spirits, people wore masks to copy the evil spirits in order to hide from them or placate them (depending on the spirit), and at night a great bonfire would be lit and the entire village would participate.
However, what Lenore was most interested in this year was witnessing one of her cousin’s spells. Previously, she had been unable to spy on the Samhain ceremonies or acts of divination, but this year she was determined to watch. She was powerfully drawn to the magic that she felt in Elspeth’s home and it reminded her of something that she couldn’t quite put her finger on…something that whispered of a past long forgotten but Lenore could not decipher that idea. Like smoke, it would yield nothing when she attempted to grab onto it.
As she approached the back door of Elspeth’s home, she heard raised voices coming from the kitchen. The smell of something sour tinted the air and she wrinkled her nose in disgust. Curiosity led her to place her back against the wall and her ear near the window in order to discern what was going on.
“Cousin, I’ve been studying with you for years and I think that I am more than capable of handling this summoning.”
Lenore’s eyes widened in shock. Her brother Fergus was an affable man but she had always thought he had secrets about him. However, it wasn’t until this moment that she realized that his secrets must have to do with witchcraft.
“A bloody crossroads demon, are you mad? The only folks who need to be summoning one of those are fools blinded by greed and gluttony,” Elspeth’s terse voice vibrated with anger.
“Dammit Elspeth! Do not worry about me – I can handle myself. But I need the spell. It’s important.”
There was a moment of silence and Lenore was afraid that maybe they knew she was eavesdropping.
“My answer is no Fergus. Now go make yourself useful and gather the herbs for tonight. I don’t know if Maggie will be allowin’ Lenore to stop by today.”
“Fine,” Fergus answered harshly as Lenore scrambled past the weeping willow tree and began harvesting the rosemary.
The door banged open loudly as Lenore nonchalantly filled up a cloth bag with rosemary. She glanced up and smiled at her brother, although inwardly she was wondering why on god’s green earth was her brother trying to summon a demon, of all things.
“Lenore! I didn’t think you were coming by,” Fergus grinned at her as he walked down the porch and came to hug her. “How is my favorite baby sister doing today?”
She rolled her eyes and mock-glared at him. “I’m your only baby sister, Fergus.”
Fergus nodded thoughtfully. “I know. You’re lucky there’s no competition,” he teased with a slight smirk as he ruffled her dark blond hair. “Who knows how you’d fare otherwise?”
She punched his arm lightly. “You’re mean,” she stated matter-of-factly as she stuck her tongue out at him.
Her twenty-seven year old brother raised his eyebrows at her juvenile behavior. “Goodness, Len, with that sort of lady-like behavior it is a wonder you’re not married yet,” he sarcastically observed.
Glaring at him, she folded her arms against her chest. “What have I said about calling me ‘Len’? It sounds bloody awful.” Fergus had been calling that for as long as she could remember and she found it annoying. However, Fergus was the only one allowed to call her that since he was her favorite brother. Although he was much older than her, since he worked at the tailor shop she had still spent her entire childhood with him. Plus, Fergus was the only one in her family besides Elspeth who didn’t treat her like an incompetent child. Not to mention, his sarcastic humor never failed to amuse her.
Fergus snatched her hand and playfully smacked it. “Language, Len,” he scolded with a quirked lips as she let out a mighty huff of frustration.
“Anyways,” he added, “what are you doing here? I thought mother was saying that she wasn’t going to let you over on Samhain.”
“She wasn’t,” Lenore grinned. “But I gave her many reasonable explanations since last night as to why I should visit Elspeth and she finally agreed.”
“I am not surprised,” Fergus smiled fondly. “You are quite the saleswoman, you know.”
“I know,” she smiled happily. Between her quality education that Elspeth had given her – her widowed cousin was firm in the belief that it was unwise to fully depend upon your husband’s intellect – and selling tailoring services for her father in the town square, Lenore was quite good with words.
“Well,” he said as he glanced over the garden, “since you’re here I’ll be leaving so I can take care of a few things. I’ll see you tonight at the bonfire, okay?”
“Can’t you stay?” Lenore asked with her perfected pout; one that had suited her well in her role as the youngest child. “I don’t want to do this all by myself.” Truth of the matter was, she loved working in the garden by herself. However, she was hoping if she spent more time with Fergus maybe she could figure out what his conversation with Elspeth was about.
Of course, she also enjoyed spending time with him – there weren’t enough opportunities for that as far as she was concerned. With few village youth her age Lenore could get greatly lonely sometimes.
Fergus took a long look at her and sighed heavily, even as his eyes shone with amusement. “Oh fine. I bloody hate it when you look at me like that, you know.”
She gave him a wide smile and pecked him lightly on the cheek. “Oh, I know!” she sing-songed happily.
The day passed quickly and unfortunately Lenore was never able to tactfully figure out a way to ask her brother why he wanted to summon a demon – a ‘crossroads demon’ to be specific. Instead they just discussed his wife Molly and his nine-year old son Gavin; apparently Gavin had been as troublesome as always lately and Fergus was noticeably annoyed with the child. Lenore thought her brother was an interesting man – he was always warm and loving with her but she had noted on many occasions his inability to show the same consideration to others. Idly, she wondered if it had anything to do with his interest in witchcraft; except that Elspeth was one of the kindest souls in the entire village.
Eventually Fergus departed and Lenore was left canning and shelving herbs in Elspeth’s cellar. By the time she had finished, her cousin was entertaining two townswomen who were asking for their fortunes to be told. Lenore had seen this type of activity before – sometimes Elspeth dropped egg whites into a glass of water to see how many children the woman would have or peel an apple to predict the first letter of the name of their future husband.
Once Elspeth was finished she glanced quickly to the side and spied Lenore watching from the kitchen doorway. “Child, you do realize that while you have attempted many times to move like a ghost in this house, I do know you’re there, right?” she said with an amused smile.
Lenore bit her lip and felt her cheeks coloring. Oh god, had Elspeth known how Lenore secretly watched her all these years? “W-well, I-I d-didn’t m-mean t-to l-listen,” she stuttered; an unfortunate tick that always seemed to arise when she was very nervous.
Elspeth sighed, closed her eyes, and shook her head. “Yes you did, lass. You know better than to lie to me.”
Her voice was edged with disappointment and something else that Lenore could not decipher. It stung her and she became suddenly afraid that she was in trouble and would never be allowed over again. Without her work on Elspeth’s garden Lenore would be stuck with dreadfully boring tasks at her father’s shop and being under her father’s eye more often would remind him that it was time for her to marry – something that she did not desire at all. No one in the village interested her and when Lenore dreamed of her future mate she always saw the bare back of a faceless being with shoulder-length red hair and porcelain skin – there was a part of Lenore that knew she was meant for that person and she refused to settle for anyone less.
“Are you going to tell my mother?” Lenore asked in a small voice; her eyes focused on a fading rug floor that sat under her feet.
Elspeth’s footsteps sounded towards her but Lenore was too distressed to look up. There was a soft sigh and then Elspeth cradled Lenore’s chin in her hands and forced her to look up. “Lass, I won’t be tellin’ your mother. If she knew I know she would never allow me to see you again – ‘tis only the fact that, after her own mum died, that she lived with me growing up that allows her to let me be close to you. I know she disapproves of my choices and would be horrified to know that you share my interests.”
Lenore shifted uncomfortably under her cousin’s heavy stare. “I know it is wrong for me to be so interested, but it calls to me – for as long as I remember. I-I feel like magic feels familiar to me, even though I don’t know why.”
Placing her hand on Lenore’s shoulder, her cousin gave her a gentle squeeze. “Did your mother ever tell you that I knew she would give birth to a daughter?” she asked softly, in an almost testing, cautious way.
“No,” Lenore shook her head, puzzled by the question. “How did you know?”
“I did a spell to discover the sex of Maggie’s babe. You know, your mother wanted a daughter so fiercely that I just had to ask the spirits to give me some sort of news. During a card reading I discovered the sex of my cousin’s babe…but also much more,” she finished in a hushed whisper.
Lenore’s back stiffened. The spirits had told her cousin something about her? “Was the reading positive?” she asked in a quiet voice as her mind rushed to process the statement. At the same time, her gut clenched at the realization that she should not even give the mystical reading any of her time. Their priest notably said that God forbade any sort of magical mischief and that to do so was to walk down a path into darkness.
Elspeth gnawed her lip and her forehead scrunched in deep contemplation. “I shouldn’t be tellin’ you this…but I also feel as if it is important for you to know.”
Lenore stayed silent and waited for her wavering cousin to make a decision. Finally, she grabbed Lenore’s hand and let her to the cellar. “Where are we going?” Lenore asked in bewilderment.
“You always wanted to know my secrets, lass. I suppose ‘tis about time for you to learn them,” Elspeth replied as she placed an open palm on the cellar wall, a stone that was seventh high on the western wall.
“Domus,” she spoke in power-drenched voice and the stone began to shine with an inner white light, soft at first but soon it expanded to a blinding light and with a rush of air the wall slid aside to reveal a large underground room. Tapestries depicting druids, gods, and goddesses covered each inch of the wall, a plush black rug showcasing silver, shining stars laid unfurled on the floor, and seven candelabras flickered to life on the walls.
Yet, those were not the first things that Lenore noticed about the room. What she first felt was a rush of primal power that soaked into her lungs with her first breath and inflamed her veins. It engulfed her like the smallest flame onto a jar of oil and she felt like she was going to explode. A sharp resounding cry cracked through her lips and reverberated within the walls of this mystical room. She fell to her knees shaking and for a moment she glimpsed that red-haired lover – only this time the person turned to face Lenore and she realized it was a woman, a beautiful woman with green eyes that sparkled brighter than Dog Star, sweet lips that simultaneously seemed capable of whispering sweet nothings and speaking words of power, and a lithe frame that promised it was stronger than it appeared.
“Lenore! Lenore!” Elspeth shouted frantically as she shook her violently. The image of the red-haired woman faded and Lenore realized that her throat ached with a burning pain (did she really scream that much?) and that she was lying backside on the push rug.
“Elspeth, I’m fine,” she reassured her in a scratchy voice that sounded like the polar opposite of her statement. Slowly she sat up and squeezed her cousin’s hand. “I’m fine,” she repeated, her voice slightly stronger this time around.
“Dear god, child! What happened? This room has never had such an effect on a person before.” Elspeth’s eyebrows were furrowed in confusion and her mouth was taut with worry.
“I’m not sure…the power in this room overwhelmed me,” she answered in a thoughtful voice. However, she did not mention the red-haired woman. After all, Lenore knew that witchcraft was forbidden by the church but even worse was to feel such deep attraction for a person of the same sex!
“You feel the power of this room?” her cousin asked curiously as she helped Lenore’s limp body sit in a dark oak chair that sat at a wide circular table.
“Yes,” Lenore nodded, her voice still a bit shaky. The surprise affect of the room had worn off but she could still feel its power pulsing in the air; effectively causing her arms to break out into goosepimples.
Elspeth cradled her cheek in her hand and inspected her thoroughly. “I always knew that you had magic within you, lass, but I never realized how much until now.”
“What do you mean?” Lenore asked, feeling suddenly afraid. Yes, she had always been drawn to magic and curious about it but after experiencing its power she was unsure if using it was a good idea. This power, while it was enticing, scared her at the same time.
“Prayhaps I should be startin’ at the beginning,” Elspeth mused. “As I said, before you were born I did a reading with the cards – these cards, actually,” she added as she got up and retrieved an old tarot card deck from a cabinet. Shuffling the cards, she found the one she was looking for and laid it down face-up.
“This was the first one – the Queen of Swords. I knew that Maggie would be havin’ a girl then, but this card demonstrates quite a bit more. With her sword raised in her hands, this woman is a person of great power, yet her crown of butterflies indicates her sharp intellect and freedom of thought – this is a woman who knows when to use her weapons and when to refrain. The white clouds behind her indicate her clarity of thought and keen knowledge of her own mind, yet the dark clouds hovering in the corner threaten to disrupt all of that.”
Lenore blinked; she had no idea one card could tell so much. Yet, at the same time she did not consider herself a person of great power and certainly no one as great as this grave-looking queen. “I don’t understand what that means, Elspeth.”
“You are young now, but your experience just now indicates that your spirit is deeply attuned to the mystical forces, lass. I would think in time, and with practice, you could become quite powerful indeed,” her cousin sagely informed her.
“But why? Why me?” Lenore asked in sudden stomach-squeaming rush of nervousness. “I don’t want to be powerful.” She knew that power led to evil, without proper moderation and observation. In fact, the village minister was a powerful man in the community and, while no one ever discussed it, it was known that he took advantage of people for his own purposes.
“I cannot answer that question lass; it is hidden even from my keen eye.”
“Is there more?”
Her cousin nodded and shuffled through the cards and laid a terrifying image over the Queen of Swords. “This card, the Devil, covers you.”
“Covers me?” Lenore squeaked out at the terrifying prospect. If tarot cards involved the Devil, then perhaps her mother was right about magic being a dark art!
Elspeth nodded grimly. “It represents the obstacles that you will face; the temptation to do evil. See how the two naked human-looking demons are chained to his throne? You will someday face a demonic force that will seek to enslave you in a similar manner.”
Her voice was soft as she told Lenore this, but it in no way softened the blow. Lenore’s fingers tightly grasped the fabric of her dress and she felt a coldness seep into her heart as her chest tightened. “What else?” she asked, almost going mad from a desire to learn more.
Giving her a pitying look, Elspeth laid a new card to the right of the Devil and the Queen of Swords. “The next card – which indicates your distant past – that I drew for you sixteen years ago was Death.” Off her frightened look, Elspeth explained further. “However, it is not as simple as indicating death itself. This card represents a number of things, but in this case I believe it means rebirth, which is represented by Death’s black banner of the mystic rose that he carries.”
Elspeth smiled at her fondly and took her hand. “When I delivered ye from your mother’s womb, I looked into your eyes and saw an old soul looking out. Many believe in the act of reincarnation, lass, and I’ve always believed that this isn’t your first life. Perhaps you carried your magical abilities from a previous life.”
Eyes widened in fright, Lenore shook her head violently. This was becoming too real, too fast. “No, I don’t believe it,” she vehemently declared. “That isn’t possible. Everyone knows that after death your destination is either heaven or hell.”
Elspeth released her hand and shrugged casually. “Perhaps. Perhaps not. Death is a mystery to all, even your precious Minister O’Neil.” The scorn was evident in her voice at the mention of the man; Lenore knew that her cousin only attended Sunday services because it was expected of her, but she had no respect for the duplicitous man.
Lenore stilled and took a deep breath as her mind tried to understand this all. “You said the cards told you a great deal – was there anything more?” she finally asked.
Elspeth laid a new card to the left of the Devil and stated that the card represented her future. On it was an angel christened with luxurious blond hair that was blowing a golden trumpet. Below the angel were grey-skinned deceased-looking humans standing in crypts with their arms raised up while a massive wave threatened to topple over them.
“This is the Judgment card, which features the archangel Gabriel, the Messenger of God. This card indicates that a heavy judgment lies in your future. It is often used as a reminder that Judgment Day may arrive at any moment and that one should live their life as if it may end tomorrow. However – and I think since this card represents your future and its known that all beings will receive judgment at the end of their life in the future – this card can also be interpreted to herald the coming of individuals from your past.”
“Like who?” Lenore asked curiously in a hushed whisper.
Elspeth simply shrugged. “My interpretation, after considering this reading for the last sixteen years, is that people from your past life may meet you in this one.”
“But how? Would they be reborn like I was?” Lenore inquired, thinking of the mysterious red-haired woman as she did so.
“I can only assume so, unless they are still alive,” her cousin stated thoughtfully.
Then she laid out a card underneath the Devil card, and the Queen of Swords that the Devil card covered. This card depicted yet another angel who stood with one foot on land and the other foot in a pool of water, and he was shown pouring water from one goblet into another. “This card depicts your strengths and assets in the battle against your obstacle, and is named Temperance. Within the tarot deck, this card stands between Death and the Devil and is thought to guide the souls of the dead to judgment – however, since the Devil is your obstacle I am inclined to believe that this represents a being who will help you stand against your demon. In addition, this card tells me that your strengths will lie in your ability to be in two worlds at once, as indicated by the angel’s footing, and that you will posses the ability to bring balance to the world.”
Lenore let out a choked laugh. “Elspeth, this is madness! How can you tell so much from one little card? Not to mention, this all sounds unbelievable!”
In a swift movement Elspeth captured Lenore’s jaw with one hand and held her firmly as she caught her eyes. Dark brown eyes bore into hers and a thrill went down Lenore’s back as she recognized the power that her cousin held within her. “My child, I have contemplated this reading for sixteen years. On several occasions I have even done different readings for you, but the cards have always stayed the same. I know this may be hard to believe, but you were the one to request the truth. There is great power within you, lass, and I’ve recognized it since the beginning. After all, it was my motivation for getting you to work in my gardens – so that I could educate you in reading, writing, and someday, magic.”
Elspeth released her then and Lenore gaped at her in surprise, suddenly seeing her in a new light. The forty-year old woman always appeared rather mousy with dark brown hair, mud-colored eyes, and a slouched appearance with a lopsided smile that only lent to the off-hand observation that the woman’s features were asymmetrical. But now Lenore saw sheer magical energy pulsing within her and an aura appeared over her that was lit with brilliant shades of pinks, blues, and greens. Her hair seemed fuller and her eyes shone with intellect and beauty. All at once Lenore was frightened by her cousin’s impressive presence, yet also frozen in sheer admiration.
“A-all a-along…all along you wanted me t-to spend time w-with you because of your c-card reading?” she stuttered in awe.
Elspeth smiled and her aura dimmed, revealing the mousy-looking woman that Lenore had grown up knowing. “Lenore, my darling, I love you as if you were my own daughter,” she said in a painfully tight voice. Long ago, during travel to Edinburgh, Elspeth’s husband and twin daughters were murdered in a robbery and she knew that her cousin Margaret’s children were the closest thing to children that Elspeth had left.
Elspeth continued, her voice less pained at this point. “I wanted you here so I could watch over you, to see if my reading held any truth. As time went on I noticed how your aura brightened when the scent of magic was in the air or when you were ‘secretly’ watching me do spellwork. It became clear to me that I had to ensure you were educated – I knew that your father never saw your education as important since he thought you needed to work on your womanly duties. However, education is very important in the art of magic – one must be able to read and write in order to do spells and understand them.”
Letting out a shaky sigh, Lenore gave her cousin a long look. “I have many questions, but this one is first – what do all these cards mean? What is my ultimate fortune?”
With a sigh, Elspeth laid down one more card above the Devil card. It featured a lightning-struck tower cast in flames with two people leaping fearfully off of it. Lenore gasped at the image and instinctively knew that it was a card of crisis. “Dear god, Elspeth, what does this mean?”
Biting her lip and frowning, Elspeth gestured to the card. “The Tower is a card of chaos and change. It represents revelation and ruin, either one or the other, or both. The lightning indicates a sign from God, a powerful message of truth descending from the heavens. Flames represent aggressive change and ruin – for nothing can live after a blazing fire. Finally, the two falling figures stand for conflicting thoughts and actions that ultimately lead to an eruption.”
Lenore gulped. “So you are saying that the only thing in my future is the presence of failure?”
“No,” Elspeth stated strongly. “The cards give us a glimpse, but the future is ever-changing. You are young, my dear, and I suspect that is why the readings have never given you different cards before. The time of decision-making has not yet arrived; however, once it does you are able to take this reading into account.”
“Into account?” Lenore repeated critically. “By Elspeth, by this reading I am supposedly a reborn individual capable of great power who will face against a demon, meet people from my past life, be assisted by some unknown stranger, all to have my life result in ruin, mostly likely from this demon. How am I supposed to face that? That is, if this is even accurate?” she added skeptically.
Elspeth let out a heavy sigh as she listened to the frustrated and scared teenager’s words. “The future is ever-changing, lass. Nothing lies in stone. All of this may come to pass, only some of it, or none of it at all. The purpose of the cards is to give one insight; the rest is up to you.”
Lenore buried her face in her hands. “I regret telling you that I wanted to know the truth,” she stated forlornly, her voice muffled against her skin.
A comforting hand rubbed her shoulders. “I know, my darling. Knowledge is often an unwanted gift.”
“So what does this mean, now?” Lenore finally asked after a long period of contemplative silence. “Am I to study magic with you and Fergus now?”
Her cousin’s eyes flashed – was that anger? Or fear? – and she quickly shook her head. “Do not do magic with your brother, Lenore. You may study with me, if you decide to go down this path, but never with him.”
Lenore’s eyes widened in surprise. “Why not with Fergus? I know he practices magic with you…um, I overheard you two this morning,” she admitted guiltily.
Elspeth’s eyes narrowed and she took in a deep breath of air. “Did you hear what he requested to learn from me?” she asked cautiously, her piercing eyes scanning Lenore’s expression.
“Y-yes…H-he wanted to summon a crossroads demon,” Lenore stated. “But, but he didn’t really mean it, did he? Fergus isn’t bad, is he?” she asked in a small voice, like a little girl who was afraid of her false illusions shattering into shards of piercing truth.
Elspeth’s jaw tightened and she looked away from Lenore’s pained expression. “Fergus has been studying with me for several years, but as of late his interest has turned to the darker nature of our craft – one that I do not participate in – and he worries me. His interests grow increasingly selfish and I am afraid of where it may lead. That is why, my dear, you must not practice with him – he will be a bad influence on your instruction. In fact, it would be better if he, nor anyone else, knows that you will be practicing with me. Agreed?”
Lenore desperately wanted to ask more questions about Fergus but by judging Elspeth’s tone, she knew that was not allowable at the moment. Instead, she just nodded. “Agreed, cousin.”
Her decision was not made lightly – she feared greatly that by learning witchcraft she was going against her Lord and Savior, but after her card reading the desire to learn what this all meant was too strong to ignore.
“Good,” Elspeth declared as she stood up and gently kissed Lenore’s forehead. “You shall start your studies today; Samhain is an excellent day to begin learning the craft.”
As Elspeth pulled a thick, leather-bound book off a bookcase shelf Lenore realized that her life had dramatically changed today – and she wasn’t sure if it was for better or worse.