Holly Andrews was not your average witch, she had a direct line to God and Goddess.
Holly Andrews was a regular person until she found out she was the reincarnation of a Druidic High Priestess who had direct communication to a God very different from the Christian one she grew up with and a Goddess she had no clue existed.
Once called by Them she became Riom Mhathair and was forced to feel and understand every creature great and small on the planet. From there things went even more downhill when she found it was her fate to face off against the ultimate evil. All the world's darkest emotions had pooled together and become sentient. Holly's job is to try and defeat it.
Joined by an interesting crew of vampires, zombies, a werewolf, troll, Cheveyo (Spirit Warrior) and an empath, she starts a journey to destroy the evil one and create a bond between the people of the world and the Deities that watch over it.
Hi there. My name is Holly Andrews. I have a knack for getting myself into bad situations. My current position was something of a doozy. I was wondering exactly who I had pissed off in a former life to have wound up here; being threatened by an auburn haired jerk and his oaf of a friend.
“Give us what we want and we can give you your life back.” The thickly muscled jerk was circling around Victor’s back and looking at me with that sort of leer that no girl likes to see. Had he been human I’d have said he was undressing me with his eyes, being a vamp I’d have to say he was more likely de-veining me. Of course it could always be both. My body was vibrating with the need to run or fight and that need competed with the pull of the full moon.
“I will not join you.” Victor was adamant, and at over four hundred years old his adamance radiated throughout the room.
“We care not for you Victor. To us, you are meat and nothing more. It is your choice whether you are moving meat.” The icy blonde body builder spoke. His words were thickly laced with a trace of some Scandinavian accent, I was sure his name would be Olaf or something similar. At his words Victor’s bottle green eyes widened and he turned slightly to look at me, I wouldn’t have noticed if I hadn’t caught sight of his raven black hair swirling around his back. I looked into his square jawed face, saw his shock, and felt the first stirrings of terror. I had to control my emotions better.
“If not me, then surely you’re not here for this frail, little, human girl?” Victor chose his words carefully and delivered them disdainfully. In a predator’s world posturing can mean as much as bite strength; it depended on how much the adversary had to risk. I’d learned years ago that most predators will avoid a fight that is bound to be fruitless. It’s just not worth their time or energy. It surprised me to see that the natural world’s rules applied just as easily to the supernatural.
“Victor, you are as humorous as I had been told. This ‘girl’ is more dangerous than all three of us together and you know how violent Skagerrak can be.” His burnished curls swayed as he nodded towards the hulk. He pronounced it Ska-Jer-Ak and it flowed off his tongue easily enough. Well I was wrong about the name Olaf but right about the area he had come from.
“Holly Andrews, dangerous?” Victor laughed and I felt a little hurt by his laughter. Three pairs of eyes turned to me and I flushed. He was right of course; in this situation surrounded by three vampires who totaled probably close to eighteen hundred years of life I was as dangerous as a housefly.
“Ah, but a mere housefly can start a plague Miss Andrews.” Skagerrak said to me. I gasped and recovered as quickly as I could. I forgot the old ones could read minds. He turned those ice blue eyes full on me and all I could think was that they reminded me of a husky, how strange and beautiful such eyes were in that mountain of a man.
I stood by the window in the large craftsman style house. Framed by the beautiful walnut molding I noticed the moon seemed to burn brighter and sit higher in the sky than it had just a few moments before. When I turned towards the vamps the moon would be at my back, illuminating me to a perfect degree. It was the sort of lighting that an A-list star would pay millions for and here it was, all for me. Unfortunately I was not up for playing to it. I could feel the thrumming pulse of the moon’s gravity behind me and it startled me. I had never been able to feel the moon so strongly before. My family was Irish and we joked about seeming to have very strong ties to nature, but the moon filled me with a vibrating energy so strong that I fell to my knees. I could hardly breathe as the energy raced through my body filling me fully and completely.
“Shit! Gunter, she’s coming into full power! If we don’t take her now we won’t be able to.” Skagerrak shouted to the auburn assassin.
“What the fuck is going on?! Skagerrak, Gunter, tell me!” Victor’s voice was full of anger and a twinge of need.
“She’s Rion Mhathair Victor.” I didn’t know what a “Reen Maw-here” was but it didn’t sound like an ordinary insult to me. I wasn’t sure if I should be offended or grateful; I chose to ignore it and try to concentrate on the pain the excess energy was causing.
“The Queen Mother? Holly? It cannot be. She’s too innocent to bear the blood of the Mother.”
“Victor? What’s everybody talking about?” I hissed, not because I wanted to sound big and bad, just because I hurt like hellfire was engulfing me.
“Gunter just said that you are the rebirth of an ancient Druidic high priestess, known as Rion Mhathair. She’s the Queen Mother and it is her task to speak to the God and Goddess for the Druids and relay their wishes to humanity. The vampire council has decided that you are the high priestess reborn and as such you need to be neutralized. When you come into full power, which Skagerrak believes is now, you will be able to do things you’ve only dreamt of. Holly, if you are Rion Mhathair you could be incredibly dangerous to yourself and others.”
“You’re going to let them take me because I might be some mythical Druid priestess? I’m a Methodist for crying out loud. Hell I don’t even know any Wiccans, let alone Druids! Sure we joke in my family that we’re close to nature but we aren’t witches.” I was feeling freaked out, but with two ancient vamps wanting to take me prisoner (or worse) who could blame me? The moon still vibrated through me, but the energy had abated a little and it felt right somehow. That is I was enjoying it until a wave of energy crashed over me and I started being able to feel everything. I had a flash of feeling what every vampire, human, animal, tree, and plant in a five mile radius felt. I fell to my knees howling, with my fists pressed tightly to my ears as if somehow blocking out noise could keep out the feelings I was experiencing. There were more life-forms in five miles than I could have expected. Each clump of grass is its own life-form. That tells you how much feeling had passed through me. Oh and for goodness sakes, water your lawn!
“Shit! She can feel us. It’s too late.” Gunter looked terrified. Of me. Hell, at that moment I was scared of me too.
“Skagerrak, Gunter, leave her to me. I’ll fill her in and take her to the Consulate myself. She is a woman of pure heart and will not run. I give you my word, trust in me.”
“It isn’t up to us Victor.” Gunter managed to pull off looking apologetic and terrified at the same time. Not many people (alive or dead) can do that convincingly, you know. Victor tossed him a cell phone.
“Call them and tell them what I’ve said.” Victor widened his stance and looked at me. He was letting us all know that he would die for me.
I was still on my knees but had been able to push the power away somewhat. I could still feel it burning through me, as though molten lava had replaced my blood, but I was no longer a victim of it. It was more like background noise than anything. I took a deep breath and tried to calm down even more as Gunter dialed the vamp council. I saw a moth up near the light fixture at the same time I felt it. After some trial I realized I could pop a small piece of myself into the moth and see what it was seeing and feel what it was feeling. I gasped and tried the moth again. Once inside of it I could make it move right or left, I could make it do anything I wanted and it couldn’t stop me. I wondered what it would feel like to take over the vampires.
“Holly, stop it. We can feel you using the power. It crawls along our skin like ants. If you try to use it on one of them either Gunter or Skagerrak will kill you. Leave it with the moth.” I opened my mouth to ask him how he could feel it when he answered me. “We are magic ourselves, the dead who come back to life. We can feel magic as surely as a man in a bath can feel the water pressing against him.”
“Oh.” Yeah that was me, Miss Eloquence. Gunter began speaking what may have been German (I couldn’t hear it clearly) and he must have received a positive response from the other end because he ended the call with a simple
“Ja.” He hung up the phone, tossed it back to Victor and looked at me with a mixture of horror and fascination on his face. “They agreed. But you must bring her in before she comes into her second phase of power. Before the next midnight.”
“I give my word.” Victor was such a gentleman, if only everyone honored their word like that.
“Rion Mhathair, it was an honor and an affright to have made your acquaintance. Victor, do NOT let her use her powers any more than necessary, and she may not use them on any vamp or human in the area. They will allow her to play with the animals, however.” As soon as the last word was spoken Gunter left the room.
“I will see you again girl. You best behave until then or I will be your nightmare.” Skagerrak gave me an evil look. I tossed my own back at him and then sent my newfound power out to find him. His last look was one of fright as he ran out of the door.
“You shouldn’t have done that Holly. Skagerrak is a very powerful vamp and not a good enemy to have.”
“I get it Victor. I just don’t like someone I don’t know telling me to behave. It’s presumptuous and just plain rude.”
“I understand but Skagerrak is over two thousand years old. He is extremely barbarous and bloodthirsty. He conquered Britain with the Saxons, took over Russia with the Mongols and he led the raid that took over most of the Eurasian continent under the rule of the Genghis Khan.”
“Oh. Well I guess scaring him wasn’t the brightest move. On the other hand, he probably doesn’t get scared much so chances are pretty good he’ll avoid me rather than attack. Right?”
“I’ve never seen fear on his face before tonight. I have no clue how he’ll react, but for the most part hard-asses who don’t usually feel fear, tend to want to destroy the things that scare them.”
“Oh.” Of course he’d know better than me, he did have three hundred and seventy some years of experience more than I did. He stood over me and offered a hand, it was only then that I realized I was still kneeling on the old parquet floor. I accepted his hand and stood, brushing dust off my jeans. They were my favorite pair, a beautiful light blue that was just this side of white. They were also around five years old and uber-comfortable. I pulled a few strands of my blonde hair from my lips where it had become embedded in my chap-stick as I knelt. “What the hell is a Rion Mhathair? I get the whole druid priestess thing but what the hell is this power?”