THE GHOST CLUB: Hemlock Jones & the Mystery of the Purloined Bones (Part Five – The Final Spell)
( PART FIVE – The Final Spell )
So now it was, for many miles at sea, the ocean put behind to travel through the eventide and night for just the two. And with a new day spread across their backs, Hemlock and Toxin could already see, the towers, castle’s crowded parapets of people waving flags and banners high. The wind unfurling, skirling in their ears, as Witch and Warlock hurdled through the sky, till came the time to bank and head for land as cannons gave salute, all twenty-five.
While once they settled in to cheers and bands, they were surrounded by their friends and folk, and eager yet to hear what were the plans. The nearest ones leaned in to catch them up about the Harbinger and clan of crows. ‘Twas how the Reggieness, to fetch the soul who’s head and bones had finally been restored, was guiding one Cleaver, so, that he would load remains and haul them back, by oxen, to the village square before too long, before the trial would start.
Hemlock and Toxin, grateful for the news, now asked to have a rest and also food. The crowd was slowly drifting to their homes, for later on that day, a big event. A few who lingered near would gather where, there was a trough to wash, and wishing well. A gathering, a trio of old crones; all venerated, wise and known to talk. Their love of knowledge, legend, myth and lore was worthy of a legend all its own.
The three dear gossip-mongers looked about as each of them would try to figure out the reasons what and why and even who, by end of day they even had a clue. Was Lizbeth, Mary Belle and Anna Lee:
“Can ye believe our sister did the crime,
‘tis in our bylaws, everybody knows.
What was she thinking after all this time?
No death by magic and no killing crows.”
“Aye, Beth that’s true, ye canna kill for sport;
to take a life it must be sanctified.
And to the one who kills, outside the court
shall sentence swiftly be the one to die.
“And Anna, have ye heard about the trial;
our High Chief Justice Grace has made a trip.
She knows a solemn thing that’s worth her while;
with even hand, the scales of Justice tip.”
“I do, dear Mary Belle, I know it well,
I hear they’ll ask to try and raise the dead.
It canna be our sister, you can tell,
there’s not enough of her to bind with thread.”
There came a sound of turning wooden wheels from up the cobbled street. All turned to see a wooden two-wheel cart drawn by two spotted oxen. And lo, the driver with grey flowing beard and small round specs – was Cleaver, the livestock breeder – come to bring remains complete of poor soul deceased.
‘Twas then the sister crones raised eyes and saw a chimney belching smoke from courthouse rooftop – it was a sign, the signal that the trial would soon commence – so citizenry, come one, come all with haste, no time to waste! And so, all the people of every shade and walk of farmer, seamstress, bottle-washer, servant, maid & cook, and conjurer came in hopes to get a seat inside to hear and view historic case by such a famous judge: the Honorable, High Chief Justice Grace.
( The Trial )
From rafters high above to the floor below before the judge’s bench set on high to overlook the audience and those to be heard at trial. The clock tower outside was heard a-tolling the hour, it was time! With that, there came a rustling of unrest in the rafters; the public was stirring. Then sudden through the ceiling, drifting down, numbering in dozens, appeared diaphanous visions of spirits, ghostly creatures in flowing images as if were angels with wings extending out. And with them came the very much alive and solid Chief Justice Grace – her lovely face framed by her black hair kept in place by a golden skullcap. The air was filled with gasps of awe and delight, at the honor of seeing such personage as one did not often get to see in their lifetime.
Everyone settled down once the spirits faded out as High Chief Justice Grace took her place at the mahogany “bench” where many at the front had to lean back in their seats, so high up did the judge sit observing. She cleared her throat to speak:
"The ones who come today to ask of me
what I may grant once I hear their request,
will kindly please step forward and be heard.”
A little rattled trying to be stout, the Warlock and the Witch approached the bench. They nervous both did try respectfully, to keep clear-headed, free of any doubt. But Toxin leaned to Hemlock, whispered:
“I never knew a judge so beautiful.”
But Hemlock raised her eyes as if to moan
“I beg your pardon, miss?” said Justice Grace.
The comely Witch with shifting feet began:
”I hope Your Grace will understand my nerves.
I’ll come directly to the point and say
The reason for our presence here today:
To have an expert do a ritual,
to raise a victim, killed, back from the dead.”
The rafters shuddered with a single gasp. Chief Justice Grace rose up an arm to gentle wave for calm. She slowly panned the audience below and up above:
“I’m well aware that justice must be served.
And so it has; now recompense is paid.
The victim in this trial will soon be spared.”
Chief Justice Grace reached to consult her Book of Shadows, looking for a spell of assemblage. The courtroom fell dead quiet, a pin drop could be heard, as pages from the thousand-year-old Tome were slowly turned. And all who sat before the judge on that day, watching as the Witch and Warlock mouthed the words to pray, would ne’er forget the verdict that the judge was soon to say.
( The Raising )
As the courthouse emptied out with eager, excited conjuring folk, the day was already dimming into dusk. Hemlock and Toxin ran down to the shore with all the able body folk could join. And at the upper beach they gathered there, between the dunes of sea grass stood to wait. The crowd became a horseshoe round the cove, where some were chanting shanties from the pubs.
There came an otherworldly siren’s call, to cause the rowdy singers to go mute. The sound of rushing breakers were no more, the stars up in the night had disappeared. The crowd began to part just like the sea, to open up a path through shells and sand. And then appeared a woman slim and small, her raven’s hair blew back from off her arms. Her eyes were flashing orbs of darkest gems, reflections of the bonfires on the beach.
She walked barefoot, a robe of zodiac; her skin was like the light from off the moon. She comes to where a woven rug is spread, where in the center lies the soul’s remains. She pauses for a moment deep in thought, then turns to face the people who await. She speaks:
“Come near. I am the Priestess of the Orb.
It’s this poor soul who’s summoned for me here.
I want you all to listen and absorb,
For once the spell is cast; is never more, will disappear.”
The Priestess turns once more to face the sea, immersed in total darkness, blessed be. She raises forth her arms imploringly. Her voice, detached, while standing on the quay:
”O radiant Sol, I humbly ask for your rays
to bring light to this underworld.
You are the bringer of life on Earth;
from the proud lion, to the delicate pearl.
Bring forth your golden rays, and rise from the East,
And offer to the grateful flora an abundant feast,
So that they may become food for the hungry herbivores,
Who in turn became prey for the intelligent carnivores.
Your light is reflected on Earth’s loyal companion,
Sweet Luna, as mysterious and respectable as the legendary dragons.
Thus, as Luna’s child, I humbly ask for her to rise from the West,
Where even in the darkness, travelers will always feel blessed.
As a faithful servant of the cosmos, I ask for your healing light
To bring this unfortunate victim back to life!”
And as the Priestess keeps her arms outspread, the darkness of the night begins to wane. And to the East there comes a brighter light, while to the West, reflection from the Moon. As all the people round the cove look on, the rising of the Sun and Moon appear. All fall upon their knees in thankful prayer, then comes a smaller voice that wasn’t there.
Hemlock runs to the woven rug and halts, for there before her is a man she knows! It is her Uncle Shek who’d disappeared while gone to visit family on their boat. And now he sits upon the rug, alive!
And so the sun and moon greet the new day, as happy villagers dance through the streets. There is a mighty feast there on the beach, with some of Cleaver’s swine for bar-be-que, and jugs of berry wine for everyone!
AND SO DEAR READER, PART FIVE, AND THUS THE SERIES, IS NOW ENDED.
<><><><><>CAST of DUP Members<><><><><>
Hemlock Jones (a Tiger & shape-shifting Witch) = Jade Pandora (Part 1 thru 5)
(Doctor) Toxin (a Cat & shape-shifting Warlock) = Hepcat61 (Part 1 thru 5)
High Priestess of the Orb, Luna’s Child = LunasChild8 (Part 5)
Honorable High Chief Justice Grace = Shadow Guardian Grace (Part 5)
Kendrake, Master Forger of Weaponry = Ken (Part 3 & 4)
Trouble, The Warlock Summoner = Trouble-Loves-Me (Part 2)
Regginess, a Harbinger Crow = ReggiePoet (Reggie) (Part 2, 4, 5)
Uncle Shek, the headless/boneless soul = Limowreck (Part 1 thru 5)
Witch Zazzles = Zazzles (Broom) (Part 4)
Marybelle, a wise Crone 1 = Allyzone (Part 5)
Annalee, a wise Crone 2 = seekingkate (Part 5)
Lizbeth, a wise Crone 3 = LilDragonFly (Part 5)
Cleaver, livestock breeder, blade artist = composedWITHrazors (Part 5)
This has been a Roll-Playing Fiction of the Black Arts, for the DUP Competition “THE GHOST CLUB”, hosted by the inimitable HadesRising.
Written by Jade-Pandora
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