Candace Meredith earned her Bachelor of Science degree in English Creative Writing from Frostburg State University in the spring of 2008. Her works of poetry, photography and fiction have appeared in literary journals Bittersweet, Backbone Mountain Review, Anthology 17, Greensilk Journal, Saltfront and The Broadkill Review. She currently works as a Freelance Editor for an online publishing company and has earned her Master of Science degree in Integrated Marketing and Communications (IMC) from West Virginia University.
Here is an excerpt from Candace’s New Book The Crone
Hanna wakes from the sofa of her grandmother’s cottage, nestled deep in the forest of Virginia. She grapples at the base of her neck and gasps slightly.
“Your energy centers are aligning,” her grandmother says, seated on a nearby chair relaxing with a cup of tea.
“Jace,” Hanna says. “He is the dark Lord, and—”
“Yes, I know. The telepathy is strong between Jace and me. I could see him in my mind’s eye.”
“And the witch…?”
“We are all witches, darling.”
“How long has it been, how long have I been out?”
“Long enough,” Grandmother says. “Your body double has been channeling energy to me. That witch you were just remembering is an old Crone…set in her ways of dark magic.”
“Do not let her inside you; keep your wits about you.”
Hanna stands from the sofa feeling dizzy and grasps for a nearby chair.
“Lucas and Aly, are they…?”
“Your children are with your husband. It’s likely that you fainted and returned to your body; but this is good—you are becoming an adept witch.”
“How do I find the dark witches now?”
“Surely you remember the majestic City of Light.”
“Then you are aware that your children are its royalty. The Pagans plan to rejoice in this at the start of the Summer Solstice. They will help you figure out what to do. You should prepare to leave here and join them.”
“But won’t you come?”
“I am an old woman.”
“What is it the witch, the old Crone, wants?”
“It is not truly understood.”
“What is it that you think?”
“Well there is one thing for certain: An old Crone—and one of dark magic—wants an heir for her coven.”
“Coven? What coven?”
“There is much still that I have not told you, but we do not have the time now.”
“I must know something.”
They are jolted by a knock on the door. It opens, and Hanna throws herself into her husband’s arms.
“Lucius,” she says.
“You know you can use a portal,” Grandmother says.
“Yes,” Lucius says, smiling radiantly. “This is a good day. You were able to use bi-location against an adept in dark magic.”
“The children?” Hanna asks him.
“The Sisters preside over them. No worries. They are fine.”
In that moment, a vortex appears in the kitchen, sending a fog throughout the room. Sydney enters the living room, followed by her three sisters, Amber, Paisley, and Priscilla. Sydney is holding Hanna’s daughter, Aly, and Hanna runs to them, reaching for Aly and kissing the one-year-old upon her head. She then takes her infant son, Lucas, into her arms and kisses him gingerly, noticing his birthmark. She peers at the outline of a crescent with a half-staff running down the center—outlined in blood as if it has been carved with a knife. Hanna wipes the blood away, as Lucius takes Aly and turns over the baby girl’s wrist.
“The mark of protection is bleeding,” he says, and Hanna notices that the mark is vanishing beneath the blood.
Continued in book . . .
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