A SHADE OF WITCH
Heather can trust no one - not even the boy she loves.
Love's first kiss broke the curse, but Kieran will stop at nothing to get Heather back - even summon Katherine from the dead.
Katherine altered the fabric of the universe when she cursed Heather, Jayden and Kieran at the Salem Witch Trials.
Read Chapter One
I wailed as I begged the guard standing in front of the jail house, “I need to speak to her, please Liam. I will be so quick.” Michaila was standing behind me, my skirts were clutched in a bundle in her fist. She kept pulling me backwards, afraid for my safety, but I had to see Jayden’s mother.
I should never have listened to Jayden when he convinced me to blame his mother. I was afraid when the Magistrate asked me, “Who inflicted you?” His eyes were shining like eyes I imagined full of demons. He licked his tongue over his lips as if he was a hungry lizard. “Heather. Speak up, child. Who has you dancing in the forest, speaking nonsense, and worshipping the devil? Who may it be?”
I kept my eyes on the ground, following the groove in the wood of the plank floor.
“Look at me,” he screamed.
I cringed at the sound of his voice, but without looking up, I shook my head.
My father’s shoes stepped closer. I knew his shoes well. It was my chore to make sure his shoes always shined so bright he could see his reflection in them.
They whispered something, and then my father’s hand wrapped around my upper arm, pulling me up from the wooden chair I had been pushed into this morning. I really needed to use the lavatory and I really needed a drink of water. When I thought either thought, one or the other of my urgent needs became even more urgent.
I kept my head lowered and my shoulders slumped as my father led me down the aisle, past people I had known my whole life, who were now looking at me as if I was guilty. They thought I was a witch who had to be burned alive. Burned so that my soul could be purified.
When we walked out into the bright sunlight, out of the church, which was being used as the Court House, my dad murmured just loud enough for me to hear, “Heather, the Magistrate is going to put you in the pulley. He believes you to be a witch, and, dearest child, we cannot have people paying us any more attention than they do. Especially in these times.”
I looked up at him with fear in my eyes. My actions had caused my whole family to be in danger.
He continued, his lips hardly moved as he spoke, “Just blame someone. Anyone. It matters not.”
Jayden came running across the dry dust of the village square. His hands wrapped around my upper arms, and my dad let me go. I wanted so badly to move closer to him so that he could wrap me in his arms. In his arms, I could disappear. He could hide me with his body, take my pain and take my fear.
Jayden bent down until his face was level with mine, and urged me with a muted voice, “Tell them it was Katherine.”
I looked up at him with shock. How did he know?
His expression remained afraid. He looked scared to lose me, I could tell. I did not want to lose him either. How did everything change so quickly?
“It will be fine; you can say it was her. She will be fine, trust me,” he insisted.
Did he know?
Did he know it was Katherine who sought me out, even before he asked my father for my hand in marriage, long before we were betrothed? She came to me, and she knew our family secret. Knew we were born into magic, magic flowed through our veins. We barely escaped the old country, and my parents made Michaila and me swear we will never, ever practise magic, but Katherine made promises too. Told us, no-one will ever know.
Now I must make the choice to either have my limbs pulled from their sockets or, as Jayden said, I should tell the Magistrate it was Katherine Fitzgerald who made me do all those things. Jayden did not even know how true his accusation was. As far as I knew, Jayden did not know my secret.
“Do it.” Jayden pushed his face closer to mine. “I cannot… You and I are supposed to...” He begged, “Please do not do this to us. Please do not die.”
I felt fear coil in my stomach when I nodded my agreement.
“Take her home, lad,” my dad told Jayden. “I will take it from here.”
At the door of our thatched roofed cottage, Jayden held me by the arms. It was forbidden to publicly display affection, especially since we were still unwed.
“Stay here. I must find Kieran,” he told me. “Meet me at the old Oak tree when the sun touches the spire.”
My eyes glanced at the church and then at the position of the sun in the sky. It was still a long way off. I nodded obediently.
As soon as I saw him hurry around the corner, I called, “Michaila. Make haste.”
Michaila, my sister, was two years younger than me, and I could not help smiling when I saw her young, round face peek around the corner of the cottage. She had an insolent look on her face. “I’m feeding the chickens. What do you want?” Then she remembered and rushed to me. “What happened.” Her blue eyes grew bigger in her round face. “Did they find out?” Her eyes darted to the pathway in front of our cottage. “Do they know?”
I shook my head. “No, but I must speak with Mistress Fitzgerald. Will you come with me?”
When we got to the jail house and I saw it was Liam guarding the prisoners, I was glad to see him. We grew up together, floated leaves on the river, played in the Salem Woods, and I knew he would let me see Katherine.
However, when I asked him, he was adamant not to let me pass. He crossed his arms over his broad chest, flicking his shoulder-length brown hair over his shoulder by moving his head. For a short while, we did a strange side-step dance, but he kept blocking me.
“Please, Liam. You know she was going to be my mother-in-law. Can you imagine my anguish?”
I heard Michaila take a deep breath before she let go of my skirt and stepped past me. She smiled up at Liam. “She’ll be only a second. If you let her go in, I’ll meet you at the Oak tree, two nights from tonight.”
Liam had liked Michaila since we were young, and I had a feeling in two years he would ask my dad for her hand in marriage. I shook my head. “No, Michaila. You cannot. You are not yet of age.”
Liam stepped aside and Michaila followed him.
I knew she liked him too, and often we whispered in the darkness of our room about how our lives would be once I was married to Jayden and then when she married Liam, all our dreams would come true.
I rushed past them and saw Katherine immediately where she stood in the corner of the dank cell. The other women, men, and children with her were dirty and dressed in dull colours. Katherine was beautiful, her black dress was still bright.
My hands held onto the bars and I could feel the cold metal, thick and unbreakable in my fists.
Katherine smirked as she stepped closer to me, and she looked at me as if she already knew I had betrayed her.
Without saying a word, she held her hand out to me, palm up.
My fingers cramped when I pulled them away from the rusted metal bar, and I reached for her.
She looked at me for a second and then gripped my fingers between hers.
With fright, I pulled my hand away from her, and she held onto my ring. I felt it slip off my finger and there was nothing I could do about it.
Without a word, she turned away from me and walked back to the place she was standing when I entered.
“I am so sorry,” I cried. “Please forgive me.”
Michaila grabbed me by the hand and pulled me away from the metal bars and the prisoners who were all staring at me now as if they were indeed witches, or maybe they had just accepted their fate. She hissed, “Don’t say you’re sorry. Have you lost your mind?”
What readers are saying...
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Excellent
Loved this sequel and really enjoyed learning more about the curse. Seems it's not just about love when a power hungry character comes into play, great ending the next book should be very interesting. j harvey on 2 November 2017
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ I LOVED IT!!!
Here is another home run from amazing Indie author Lynette Ferreira!!! As the headline says, I LOVED IT!!! I enjoyed the first book so much that I could not wait for this one and bought it the first day it was available. It did not disappoint! The book has everything I look for in a great book, tremendous creativity with an interesting and exciting plot, plenty of action and suspense, so much descriptiveness that you feel like you are there, and characters that you really get attached to and that have you emotionally invested. I highly recommend this book and this author, as I have read a number of her books and they have all been excellent! Kindle Customer on October 10, 2017
Genres:Young Adult Fiction / Magical RealismYoung Adult Fiction / Romance / Clean & Wholesome