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Part One

The Witching Hour 

The witching hour arrived on a moonlit night at the lake. I had finished preparing my nails for generous applications of clear base coats to fill in the ridges and dents.

Thoughts of you imbue my lucid days and nightly dreamscapes with your infectious giggles and mischievous smiles, weaving a storyline that makes me blush for you, totally decked out in tall black boots, a long black pleated skirt, and lace blouse with a plunging neckline and ruffled cuffs, and incredibly flaming red nails with crystal tips. Your waist-long, curly red hair was colored like red licorice ropes, while your turquoise eyes were framed with the most subtle gradients of smokey black mascara as if it were airbrushed on.

You traverse my mind during these times of great loss of our kind as we battle the deceptive machinations of ruthless oppressors fueled by their ignorance and hatred. They will never relent until they’ve exterminated all of us.

I lost you to the turning, after which I migrated with our remaining sisters to the Pacific Northwest to seek out a new clan. I’ve tried conjuring you, short of hiring a specialist. Yet, I’d reach the same disappointing outcomes of not seeing you manifest. I continue to feel your presence, but I yearn for your warm embrace.

You’ve gone to the other side Judith, and your death has eluded me for decades. When I’m gliding across the floor, is that you that I feel gazing upon my cadence and slow hip-swinging strides? You mentored me in becoming a woman of substance and high value. Is that you making the candle flames dance when the lake sleeps?

Wherever you are, I hope you’re grooving on every issue of Heavy Metal. Maybe, I need to rewatch the movie tonight. I remember gazing upon your breasts heave and relax when the woman warrior flew into battle to save her tribe of sisters. “Damn, Kendra, that’s what being a woman warrior is all about, right there,” you’d say, pulling my face in for a lingering kiss.

I want you at my side when I am turned, holding my hand, scratching my back with your fiery red nails as they leave their mark. Chain my demons and take me through the window for a flight into the moonlit clouds over the lake tonight.

You brought me into the sisterhood. I will forever be thankful to you for mentoring me and shaping me into the woman I am today. The woodland fae that visits me must have been summoned by you, for their presence is mighty and provocative.

I continue my struggle to heal from your absence. Why does the tension between my shoulder blades tell me that you’ve passed on your legacy to me? You are the most amazing woman I’ve ever met. When my sisters and I dance under the moonlight inside the fire ring, I feel as if you’re dancing at my side.

Do you travel with the deer families, Judith? I thought I saw you the other morning when the ravens were perched on the deck railing. Indeed, we’ve found a new home among the thirteenth clan inhabiting the northwest coastal range. The Valkyries—descendants of an ancient tribe of the indigenous fae—adopted our sisterhood en masse, including the Sisters of Hawkspur.

I might be distracted by your whereabouts, Judith, but when I paint my nails, I hear our girlish giggles from back in the day. When you are in flight, fly wildly, my dearest; take it all in as your authentic self; it’s your right to claim. Show me sometime what you see. That hint of fragrance is Nina Ricci. What can I say, I’m high maintenance, and you taught me well.

Fly, Judith, fly. Soar into the moonlit clouds, sweetie. Come home to me.



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