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Jodi Lee

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Member Since: Nov, 2004

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Excerpt from Samhain's Call
By Jodi Lee
Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Rated "R" by the Author.

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Samhain's Call is expected to be released in spring/summer of 2005. It began as another project - however I've lost touch with that project manager. I'm continuing with the novel.

Samhain's Call
By Jodi Wetherup
Special inclusion to the anthology - excerpt from an upcoming novel release.

Part Five - The Ritual

Morri woke with a start, and at first she was unaware of where she was, and it took a moment to remember that she'd come to the loft early in the morning, wanting to spend time in the ritual space before she got to work. The rhyme she'd heard in her dream still echoed in her memory, and she rushed to the counter to grab the pen and paper.

"I bind you now, forever burn
together you will live and learn
no one to care, but one to the other
for what you have done to your little brother."

She stared at the words she'd put on the paper. Now this, this was a curse. Jon's brother and the woman he lived with, the woman who had at one time been Jon's girlfriend...they had been a large part of the pain he'd suffered before he left. The woman, using tears and lies, convinced Jon's brother that Jon had stolen money from her. He and two friends of his got Jon into a car that night, and beat him up. Morri had been with him later on, and she could see the pain he was in, and not just physically. The hurt was more from being treated like that by his own brother. And not for the first time, but she did hope it would be the last.

Obviously Morrighan thought it was time to make sure they didn't cause any more pain. She quickly dug the supplies out of the bottom drawer of the altar - two tiny scraps of cotton, Dragon's Blood ink, and black thread. If she'd thought about it, put too much thought into it, she'd end up backing out, and she couldn't do that. These two needed to learn. These two...after everything they had done to Jon, and with Morrighan's help, she'd make them pay. The other's wouldn't have any idea until that point in the ritual, but she was sure they wouldn't mind. They'd already heard the story. She carefully wrote each name on a slip of material, using the Dragon's Blood ink and the quill left on the altar top. Placing them together, with the names facing each other, she folded the little bundle as tight as she could, and then wound black thread around it, seven times one way, and seven times the other. With each twist of the thread, she repeated the curse. Then, to complete the spell, she tied seven knots, again repeating the curse with each knot. She set the bundle on the altar, where it would stay until it was time for the ritual.

Next, she went to her bag, and pulled out the other supplies she'd need. A small spell bottle, the box that contained the original spell she'd tried, to keep Jon from leaving in the first place. This time, inside, was a poppet. Although she'd written his name in her blood, and used Dove's Blood ink to create a heart on the chest, with her own blood again to write her name, she wouldn't actually name the little doll until it was needed in the ritual.

Sitting at the dining table, she placed the supplies in front of her. Yarrow, wild-crafted by she and Jon early in the summer, Lavender flowers purchased for bath sachets for the two of them were placed beside a pair of oil vials. One was a citrus blend that she used in the massage and bath oils she and Jon used over the summer. It was her own special blend of two different fragrance oils, and she called it their Love Oil. The other was Patchouli oil, her signature scent, and part of his cologne. She laughed softly when this brought back a memory of him asking how she knew that, without looking at the bottle. This was when he found out she did more than work online, she played with creating new scents and lotions and bath accessories. The stones would remain in the box until ritual time - five amethyst crystals, for the healing; two rose quartz and a shaped Hematite heart. Dragon's Blood ink joined the rest of the items, and then she looked through her bag a second time to ensure she'd taken everything she'd need. She found the red thread at the bottom, and pulled it out - noting the needle was tucked into the wrapper.

And then she set about the task at hand. Taking the tiny blade they used for the blood exchanges, she cut a small hole into the back of the poppet. Into this she tucked a piece of paper that had his full name in his own writing scrawled on it. Then she broke a flower head off the Yarrow stalk, and added it. Gently pushing in a few Lavender buds, she then dropped one drop of Love Oil, and one of Patchouli. Taking a deep breath, she again picked up the tiny blade, and closing her eyes, quickly jammed it into her index finger. Having gone deeper than she meant to, the blood literally poured out, so she had plenty to seal the back, as well as place a drop on the Dove's Blood heart on the front. Wrapping a tiny piece of tissue around the tip of her finger, she thread the needle with the red thread, and sewed the back of the poppet closed, using seven long stitches. After each stitch, she tied a love knot as her grandmother had shown her so many years ago. She was pouring her energy into the doll, capturing those last memories of Jon and pushing them into the doll as well. Finally, it was ready, so she set it aside, back into the little box.

Now she picked up the spell bottle. The tiny cork was hard to grasp, but finally she wiggled it out. Removing the tissue from her finger, she gently squeezed, putting just enough pressure on it to get it bleeding again. Seven drops of blood, into the bottle. Seven drops of Love Oil, seven drops of Patchouli - and then she remembered. She'd forgotten the Dragon's Blood oil at home. Frustrated with herself, she dug through the bottom drawer of the altar - and found the tiny vial left to bless candles with - hoping it was indeed the Dragon's Blood oil they'd used at Dragon's Moon. Yes!

Rushing back to the table, she added seven drops of the oil to the spell bottle. One tiny Yarrow flower, one tiny Lavender bud. And then three drops of Dove's Blood ink. When the bottle was complete, she replaced the cork, and held it in her hands for ten minutes, focusing on Jon's return. Finally, she made sure everything was lined up so it would be easy to grab during the ritual, putting everything in the correct order.

She felt she could relax again. She sat on the couch, and tried to remain calm, but her nerves kept jumping and at last she just couldn't sit still. Morri tried to meditate, tried to force her body into relaxation -all to no avail. Two hours passed as she tried to settle her nerves, and her stomach. The cramping was bad - she'd decided late the night before that she would fast until the solid food. Taking a glance at the clock, she saw she had an hour before the others would arrive, so she made a dash for the door. Chocolate milk sounded really good at that point. Caffeine and protein, all in one.

And it was liquid.

The others hadn't arrived yet, when she returned. She felt this was a good thing, she needed a further few moments to ground her energy, otherwise the group would be likely to change their minds. If her energy were whipping around as it was now, they'd surely feel it.

Just as she'd pulled her energy to her center, she heard the door open and close, and even though she knew the others would be arriving any time, she was startled. As though she were untrained and a complete newbie rather than someone who'd followed her path for most of her life, she let go of the control, and felt the energy swing outside of her, sending little ripples in the space between where she was seated, and where the others stood at the door.

Fox smirked. Gwyn smiled and Demeter gave a motherly look of concern.

"Did we interrupt something?" Fox called out as he tossed the jackets onto a chair at the door.

"Yes, smart-ass, as a matter of fact, you did. I was trying to center and ground - I've been all over the place for the last while, and I didn't think you all would appreciate it during the ritual. I know I wouldn't." Morri grinned as she stood and walked into the kitchenette. She'd brought sweets for after the ritual - Apple Strudel and Butter Tarts. She'd also brought a large bottle of regular pop - sugar, for her, was very grounding after a ritual.

She and Gwyn sorted out food and beverage for after ritual while everyone chatted about the week they'd had; work, school and volunteering - all made Morri think how great it was to have a chosen family to work with now, rather than spend ritual evenings alone. She felt a little silly standing there with a grin on her face, but the others seemed to understand. They knew she preferred time with her chosen family, over her real family.

As she reached into Gwyn's bag, she discovered yet again, just why she loved these people. Inside, she found a container holding steaks that were obviously well marinated, a bottle each of red and white wines, foil wrapped potatoes, onions, mushrooms - all the fixings for one heck of a steak dinner afterwards.

"Of course, you'll be wanting your steak rare and bleeding right?" Gwyn joked with her. Morri laughed, and moo'd back. Getting everything set up for quick meal prep afterwards, the two then tidied the area, and shooed the other two over into the ritual space. Fox set up their cauldron - a stereotypical, smallish, cast iron pot-bellied deal that worked wonderfully for indoor fires. He filled the bottom with sand, and then set small pieces of wood over this. The fire wouldn't last long, but it would serve its purpose.

Demeter was setting up the seating mats while Morri walked the circle space and sprinkled salt. Gwyn filled the chalice with water, and lit the incense.

All was ready - Morri stepped back and dimmed the lights, and Fox lit the fire. Giving it a moment to gain life from the oxygen and fuel, Morri waited, taking deep, calming breaths through her nose, and exhaling through her mouth. The others then took their seats, and Morri began. She picked up the candle and the papers, and walked the circle.

"I call the guardians of the West - water, love and longing. Dwyn, as god of Love, I call you to join us!

I call the guardians of the North - earth, love and peace. Morrighan, as my Matron, I call you to join us!

I call the guardians of the East - air, love and happiness. Dagda, as my Patron, I call you to join us!

I call the guardians of the South - fire, love and pain. Brighid, as goddess of healing, I call you to join us!"

She came back around to the table, and set the candle down. From here, she would read the words in the dark, if necessary, but she required both hands. Taking the poppet from the box, she set it on the table, along with the blade. She pulled out the amethyst crystals as well, and gave one to each of her group. The fourth she placed in the fire as she asked the others to hold those crystals, and think of Jon, think of the illness fleeing his body. Visualize the healing energy flow into him. Morri gazed into the fire - knowing the goddess of health and hearth would approve.

Now it was time to begin.

"My heart has been torn in two.
One resides to the west, one resides in my chest.
By my blood I call him to me.
By our blood I call to thee!"

With those words, she grasped the blade, and again, pierced the tip of her finger, only this time, she chose the ring finger. He'd once promised to put a ring on that finger. Shaking, she pushed the memory back - now was not the time to become emotional. She picked up the poppet, and added yet another drop to the heart on it's chest.

"Little one, I made you
and now I give you life
I name you Jon.
His body is your body
His breath is your breath
His passion is your passion
His blood is your blood
Though separate you were
Now you are one."

She set the poppet back into the box, only this time the little face was in such a position as to watch the rest of the ritual. She gathered the remaining items, and carefully placed them along her arm, so she could grab them as needed, with her other hand. She looked into each of the three pairs of eyes watching her, and she could see that thus far, they were supporting her. Silently, with her eyes, she begged them to continue in their support. Each one nodded, just as silently. She continued.

"The one I love is in need of healing
the layers of his soul are pealing
fading away and sadness takes over
he needs to know we are his cover
To bright Brighid I beg
Heal his mind, his heart and soul
take the pain and ease the call
Home to me, home to family."

Morri moved to the west quarter of the circle. Facing that distant shore than she knew Jon was on, she called out.

"I call you back to me
by our blood and power of three
three times love
three times heal
three times I call
three times, don't fall
I call you now, hear my plea
by our blood, and power of three."

Turning again, she faced the fire. Gazing deep into the flames, she called on her inner spirit.

"By this spell Jon I do bind
Body and Soul, Heart and Mind
Mine in love, and mine for healing
By his heart, his will I'm not stealing
Our lives are one, never again the same
As two white moths, guided by flame.
If his heart will remain as it now lies
Healing on friendship's wings will fly."

Walking clock-wise around the circle, she worked her way again to the west, this time visualizing Jon's face, and his smile. Lip trembling, she continued.

"I call you back to me
by our blood and power of three
three times love
three times heal
three times I call
three times, don't fall
I call you now, hear my plea
by our blood, and power of three."

Visibly shaking, she could feel her focus slipping as her energy began to drain. She wasn't grounded quite enough. Taking another deep breath, Morri grasped the crystal in her pocket...and held on for dear life. She had to keep going, she had the spell bottle and the herbs to do. Once again, she faced the fire. First Yarrow, then the contents of the spell bottle, which sizzled and popped on the wood in the flames. Then, she grasped the handful of Lavender buds, and squeezed them tight in her fist, sending her love, her hopes, and her dream into them. She watched as they burned on the fire.

"I burn the Yarrow our souls did find
I add the blood to heal your mind
Dragon's life to this I add
You will know, and not be mad
Our oil of love will find its way
And mark your path home, today.
By Lavender you will feel
and your heart will surely heal.
Come, be where you want to be,
Come, forever home with me."

Strength was returning - the worst of the ritual was over, she needed only to repeat the final round of the base call. Suddenly, warm hands were on her shoulders, and she was gazing into the eyes of a beautiful, youthful man, dark in appearance, standing just on the edges of the circle, in the west. She looked to her left and right, and saw Morrighan and Brighid standing with her. Glancing over her shoulder, she could just barely see the Dagda in the shadows, but he gave her the knowing wink and grin. To her, no one else was in the circle but the deities and herself. The others had faded away. Or was it she who had faded away? Never mind, she must go on, just the last call…

"I call you back to me
by our blood and power of three
three times love
three times heal
three times I call
three times, don't fall
I call you now, hear my plea
by our blood, and power of three."

She turned again, and faced her group. She could see them sitting there, looking at her with strangely confused, and somewhat angry eyes. That they had supported her, and lent her ritual energy, she had no doubt, but Morri could see they were not pleased with the wording.

Pouring water over the flames, she called out, just once:

"My ritual is complete. Thank you Dwyn, Morrighan, Brighid and Dagda for your support and presence here. I release you - go if you must, stay if you will. The circle is broken, but unbroken. So Mote It Be!"

With that, she staggered backwards, landing on one of the hard, wooden chairs surrounding this side of the table. Demeter rose and came to sit across from Morri, grasping her hand. Gwyn and Fox tidied the ritual area, Fox taking the cauldron outside to dump the fire's remains into the snow. Gwyn then headed into the kitchenette, where she began preparing the feast. She knew her mother wanted to be alone with Morri for a few moments.

Morri let the tears slide down her face unchecked. They were silent, no sobs tore through her body this night. She could no longer push the memories from her mind, and in her state, they were taking over. The happy ones, the sad ones - it didn't matter. They were coming from all sides, and it was too much to bear.

       Web Site: 3Sides Publishing

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Reviewed by Janrae Frank 5/7/2008
Intense read. Good work, Jodi.

Oh, and hi little nicky. *waves* It's me.
Reviewed by Nickolaus Pacione 5/3/2008
I didn't enjoy this one. Put your pen down and give up as a writer and as an editor. If you don't acknowledge the importance of what Christian horror writers did for the horror genre, you will realize it will end up becoming a parody of itself. You are contributing to that parody of itself.

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