Please enjoy this segment from the 3rd segment of my Witches of the Forest series. The Forest Has Ears and One More Forever are available now.
“I think I may have found what I need to finish off a good nights drink. Which one of you ladies wishes to be my bed mate for the night? I promise you will walk away, let’s say, better educated.”
They both looked at the man standing in front of them. He leaned on their table for support, waiting for one of them to answer. Rachel shook her head and spoke.
“I prefer my men to be able to stand up on their own. If you can’t make your legs stand straight without support, I doubt then, sir that anything else on you will stand up on its own either.”
The men sitting at his table laughed loudly at her comment. His face turned red and suddenly there was anger in his eyes. He moved around the table to where Rachel was seated. The slap came quick and hard, knocking Rachel from her chair. She placed her hand on the stinging cheek he had struck.
“Speak to me as if I am a commoner, will you, wench? I’ll have you tonight and you will enjoy it! Pick yourself up and come with me! That slap was just a sample of what I will do to you should you say no!”
Sarah was already standing when Rachel picked herself up from the floor. As Sarah reached to help her, Rachel pushed her hand away.
“I need no help to educate this man in how to treat a lady.” Rachel walked over to the man and smiled her face still red and stinging from his hand. “Sir, I would be glad to go with you tonight. Let us leave this place and find somewhere more, shall we say, private.”
“Rachel, what are you doing?!? You cannot go with this man anywhere!”
“Go back to the cabin and I will meet you there later. This gentleman and I have somewhere we need to go. Trust me dear Sarah, I am a big girl and can take care of myself.”
Sarah shook her head and moved near to Rachel. Leaning forward she whispered. “Whatever your plan is, please be careful. This is not our era and we certainly do not want to draw attention to us.”
“We have already done that, dear, but I will use caution tonight.”
With that said, Rachel took the man’s arm and walked out the door. Sarah, staying back out of sight, followed them. They walked towards the forest.
“Where is it you take me to, wench?”
“I like the feel of the night air on me when I am taken by a stallion. You won’t deprive a woman her pleasures, will you, good sir?”
Without an answer from him, they entered the forest. Sarah stayed as close as she dared without being seen. She watched as Rachel stopped in a small clearing. She kissed the man deep, disgusting Sarah as she watched. The man stood, frozen by her kiss. Rachel began to undress him, one button at a time, kissing his chest as she did. Suddenly, the man’s eyes opened wide. There was a look of pleasure and pain in his stare. He tried to push Rachel away from him without success. Fear replaced the pleasure in his eyes.
“Witch, I should have known you were one of them by your enchantment. You lured me to your table just to kill me!”
“Ahhhh, you are very wrong there, sir. You in fact, are the one that came to my table and pushed yourself on me. That was the biggest mistake of your pathetic life. I am merely protecting myself from what we call in my time, a predator.”
“Your time, you say? You speak as if you are not from here. What means of witchcraft is this that I stand beside?”
“The kind you are going to wish you had never approached, you bastard.”
His voice rose as he again tried to pry himself apart from Rachel’s hold. “I have the authority to hang you, witch; you and your friend. I shall enjoy seeing you swing from the end of a rope. Perhaps we will burn you alive, just so that I can enjoy your death more!”
Rachel laughed and moved her hand over his chest. “You sir, have no authority at all. You hang people that are not even witches because you fear us. Now you can see what a real witch can do.”
The man screamed out in pain. It echoed through the forest. Sarah feared the scream would be heard in the village. She lunged forward to stop Rachel for hurting the man but was suddenly aware of the branches that had wrapped around her feet. She could not move her legs no matter how hard she pulled. Moving her hand over the branches, she tried to pull them apart using her magic. The branches did not give.
“What the hell is going on here? Release me at once tree or I shall have to use deeper magic. I do not wish to hurt you but I must silence that man.”
A very bass voice came from the tree Sarah stood beside. “We know what you wish to do, little witch, but have trust in the forest. We are young and still learning our place, but our strength is still present. We can keep his screams from leaving the forest.”
Sarah watched as the trees, half the size that the forest was in her time, folded together, closing out the entire outside world. Rachel and the man she held tightly to also saw the trees bending to form a canopy. As the trees sealed the three inside, Rachel could not help but notice bare trees spread throughout the forest. The branches, stripped of all of their leaves, stood above the trees reaching towards one another. She loosened her grip on the man, just enough for him to cease his yelling for a moment.
“Rachel, the trees are speaking to me. Can you hear their words?”
“I thought you might follow me here, Sarah. I do hear them speak but I don’t understand why there are so many bare trees standing.”
The bass voice rang out again. “Each of those trees was our brothers, our sisters and our seedlings. We are just beginning to learn to bond together as one forest but in days long ago, each tree held the soul of a witch within itself. When a witch is killed, the tree that kept watch over the soul dies with her. Our strengths, though growing as time passes and we learn of our abilities, have not been enough to keep our brothers alive after the passing of a witch. What you see before you is the number of witches that have been killed here.”
“My holy saints, there are so many trees that have died.”
“Yes Sarah, more than we wish had died. One day, we will be a strong forest; a fortress that will protect witches and their families. We will not die as individuals but will rather, aide in each other’s ability and need to survive. This is what we believe to be true.”
“It is true, exactly as you speak it, Guardian. This forest, in our time, you and your companions, save my coven from an extremely powerful witch and her followers. You will expand and surround where our cabin is in our own timeline. We owe our very lives to you and your forest.”
“Then it is good that we meet now and learn all we can from your time here. Finish what you have come here to do so that we may stand tall again. There will be no sounds outside of our branches.”
Rachel began scratching the man’s chest again. She moved her nails up and down, causing blood to erupt from his skin. The man’s faced turned ashen grey and Rachel could feel his body trembling. Sarah moved closer now, the branches unwrapping themselves from her legs.
“Rachel, we are not killers. Please don’t do this or it may come back on us. There is no fight in him and I think he understands what he must do. Resign from his post and leave Salem forever. Do you hear me, witch killer? I am trying to save your life.”
Rachel raked harder, her hand trailing downward. She reached his inner thigh and began to squeeze his skin. The man’s heart could be heard pounding in his chest.
“Do as she says, and you might even live to breed with some poor, desperate wench again. Tell me no… and you will be a worthless gelding the rest of your miserable days. Do not take too long to answer me.”
The man looked at Rachel and Sarah, the fear slowly replaced with anger again. He spit into Rachel’s face as he tried to pull away from her. “You, witch, will be hung above a fire so that I can slowly watch you both hang and burn to death. Then this forest will burn until it is all consumed! You have made a costly mistake, wench! As for your little friend, who apparently can do nothing, I shall enjoy her first and then hang her beside your burning corpse!”
Sarah smiled as the man began to push the tree boughs aside. He had not gone far when a huge branch reached down and knocked him to the ground. The branch pressed its weight fully against the man’s chest.
“What would you have me do to him, my queen?”
Rachel looked at the man and then at Sarah. “He is yours to do with as you wish, Sarah. I am finished with this pig.”
Sarah walked over to the man and reached out to touch him. “The only thing that would extinguish the fires you speak of would be water. I think I will give to you that water.” Sarah reached inside her dress and pulled her wand out. Making circles around the man, a wall of water began to encircle him. It filled inside with the overflow and began to cover his body. “You will not hang another witch, ever again. Hold him there until he is finished drinking. Then dispose of him in any way you wish, good tree. I too am finished with him.”
As the trees opened for the ladies to leave, the man’s screams were barely audible. “Curse you dirty whores! I will see you in Hell!”
The trees closed and his voice was silenced forever. The two women walked to their cabin in silence. They ate a small amount of food and then slept until morning.