Mother Lilura – Flashback
After twenty minutes of arguing, Grandmother Clarissa had finally convinced Mother Lilura that it was best for her and Kendall to stay there while she and the Daughters of Hecate went to help Shay.
Kendall had remained in her room the entire time, and she was still there.
She had seemed so upset by Grandmother Clarissa’s news, and though Mother Lilura herself was upset, too, she wanted to do something to help cheer Kendall up.
And that’s what led to Mother Lilura being up to her elbows in frozen blackberries.
Nothing soothed heartache like homemade berry cobbler and vanilla ice cream, at least, that’s what her own mother had taught her.
She rinsed the blackberries and patted them dry with a paper towel. She mixed them in a bowl with sugar and set it aside on the counter for the syrup to form. While she waited for that, she started on the batter.
She spread it spread it into an ungreased pan, drizzled the berry and syrup mixture over top, and then popped it into the preheated oven.
A copy of Pride and Prejudice sat on the living room couch, open with the spine bent to the page she’d left off on. She sat and read as the cobbler baked.
If she was being honest with herself, Mother Lilura didn’t really care about how Kendall felt at the moment. She was just trying to distract herself so she wouldn’t worry too much about Shay.
Though Southern desserts and the dreamy young Mr. Darcy could not completely steer her mind away from thoughts of her former apprentice.
The oven timer dinged an hour later, and Mother Lilura rose to take the golden brown cobbler out. She had to wait a few minutes for it to cool a bit, and then she cut off a large slice for Kendall.
She scooped out a dollop of ice cream to add to plate, added a spoon to the side, and then went to deliver it to Kendall.
The door was still closed when she arrived at Kendall’s bedroom, and there was no answer when she knocked. Finally, she set the plate down in front of it.
“Kendall, dear, there is some berry cobbler and ice cream here for you.” She had hoped the temptation would be able to draw Kendall out, but there was still no reply. “Please eat it before the ice cream melts all over.”
She climbed back up the stairs to the living room and continued on with her reading.
Some time later—although she wasn’t really sure how long because that’s how well she’d succeeded in distracting herself for the time being—the phone rang once again. She answered it herself this time.
“Lilura, it’s Clarissa. The girls and I have taken a boat and are almost at the coordinates that the map has shown us. I sense a lot of darkness. I don’t know what will happen, but the girls will do their best to preserve Shay’s well being. We’ll keep her safe, Lilura.”
A fit of static took over the line before Mother Lilura was able to thank Grandmother Clarissa and the girls once more.
She was walking back out to the living room when the earthquake came.
It wasn’t particularly violent, but Mother Lilura had never experienced an earthquake before and was unprepared. She lost her balance, stumbled, and fell against the wall.
There was a crash and a scream from the basement.
Mother Lilura made her way across the wall and into the living room over to the basement stairs. She clung to the railing as if it were a life preserver as she staggered down the trembling steps.
A shrill humming echoed through the house.
Kendall was anxiously flipping through the pages of a spell book that sat on the podium as items rained down from the shelves around her. Mother Lilura’s spell book lay on the ground, thrown aside with the pages bent beneath the cover. The spell book before Kendall was one that Mother Lilura had only seen once before because she’d taken it and hidden it away.
A glass bottle shattered on the floor and a book fell, landing on the plate of cobbler. Dark berries oozed out from beneath it.
Kendall’s fingers froze on the weathered pages filled with black magic, and the wide, frightened blue eyes lifted to look at Mother Lilura.
“I don’t know what to do! This isn’t supposed to happen! There’s nothing in here that says what to do!” Kendall shouted hysterically. “I don’t know—!”
The ringing hum was more prominent there, and Mother Lilura was able to identify its source. A large crystal sat on a table in the far corner. She’d noticed it before, but she’d never thought anything of it. Now . . . It looked grotesque. From where it sat, it was almost taller than her. It was translucent, but rainbow colors flashed from within. It seemed to have grown since the last time she had seen it; smaller crystals sprouted in every direction from the parent. She’d never seen anything that looked more unnatural.
The ringing was becoming louder, sounding like piercing angry wind chimes. The crystal shook and vibrated, coming closer and closer to the edge of the table.
“Kendall, what did you do?”
“You couldn’t have two apprentices!” Kendall screamed. Her voice was betrayed and accusing. Tears squeezed out of her eyes and streamed relentlessly down her flushed, infuriated cheeks. “And you would have picked her! So I took her powers and sent her back to wherever the hell she came from! I stored them in that!”
She pointed a finger and Mother Lilura followed it to the crystal.
“We were going to finish training! We wouldn’t have had to worry about that b**** interfering anymore! But Grandmother Clarissa had to go and have a vision, and you just had to track Shay down! Poor, innocent little Shay! Does anyone ever care about Kendall?”
“You worked black magic. That was no one’s fault but your own. And now you’ll also know what it’s like to have your powers taken. This must be taken to the Witch Elders.”
“There is too much dark energy within you, I should have sensed it before. For that I apologize. I should have stopped this before it could get this far, but now that it has, I cannot overlook it.”
“You selfish old bat! You think you know everything! You can’t stop me, and when they bring Shay back, I’ll—”
She never finished her threat because at that moment, the crystal fell from the table to the floor, smashing into a thousand sparkling shards. There was an explosion of light like a supernova, and a burst of energy that knocked Mother Lilura backwards. She landed numbly on her back.
When the light faded, darkness settled over her mind and she didn’t fight it.
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Author’s Note: So some changes have been made. Mother Lilura lives in South Carolina now instead of Massachusetts (it’s not really significant at the moment, but it makes more sense in the changes in Duskville: The Hunt) and Shay’s powers were stored in that big ugly crystal instead of her talisman. And we can’t forget one of the best changes! The new cover! I hope you guys like it! Tell me what you think!