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Connie Rainey

Author of Keep Sake

     

The Day the Music Ended

 

Mary’s great, great, grandmother, Bell, was the most powerful witch ever known to her lineage. She married at age twenty one to a fine warlock named Thomas. Although his powers were much less than hers, he was strong and very handsome.

Five years after their vows, Bell discovered her feeling for Thomas had been impulsive, not true love.  Bell left the Witchery to walk among humans and think things over. She thought humans, being without powers, could have no influence on her mind. However, a chance meeting with William Bly proved otherwise. They fell in love and Bell conceived.

Thomas refused to grant her a divorce and in his rage killed William. His powers were not strong enough to harm Bell or her unborn child. But Bell knew that after the birthing the baby would be vulnerable. She decided to flee the Witchery and live a quiet life among the humans. Wasting no time she flung her belongings into a tote and fled.

Thomas, fearing Bell’s powers and still wanting to kill her child, joined with his two warlock brothers and cast an evil spell on Bell and her descendants. Neither Thomas nor his brothers were able to get close to Bell.  They created a vessel to carry the curse and had it slipped into her tote with the aid of a charmed owl.

Upon entering the human realm Bell cast a small spell on an elderly woman. The kind lady then took Bell into her home as a companion. Bell was given a room and there she unpacked her bag to discover a wooden box wrapped in black velvet.

The box was oak and finely carved around with images of birds and rabbits. As she opened the box a tiny lady dressed in a white rose up on a spindle and began to twirl and dip to the tinkling of music emitted by the box. A note inside read, ‘to the one I will never forget, pass this token of my emotions on through the years.’ Bell cried and held the box thinking it was a gift from her lover William.

Back in the witchery Thomas and his brothers smiled as the tinkle of the box echoed in their ears. Once the music started the curse had begun. Bell would never love again. She would be left with such loneliness that at age thirty she would take her own life. This was the curse to be passed on to her decedents. They would look for love, conceive one child, a girl, and then kill themselves at age thirty. The box would be handed down from mother to child. With each suicide the box would trap their souls.

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Mary remembered the first time she was allowed to open the music box her mother had so deeply cherished. It was her thirteenth birthday and the box was a gift. Her mother committed suicide that same year at age thirty.

Mary, age ninety, and too frail for the work of a nun, spends most of her time in prayer or in her room overlooking the cemetery. On this day, she held the box in her shaky hands and gently eased it open. The music began and the dancing lady, Mary named Elizabeth, began to twirl.

Mary’s eyes grew heavy and her sight blurred. The image of Elizabeth began to change. Mary thought she saw Elizabeth slip off her spindle and step out of the box. The pressure of her tiny feet gently crossed Mary’s bare hand; climb up her arm and across her shoulder. Mary’s eyes closed as she felt Elizabeth lovingly kiss her upon the cheek and heard her whisper. “Rest my dearest, you have chosen not to love man nor warlock but church and God. The curse is lifted. This is the day the music ends and we are free.”

Mary was buried in the church cemetery and the box was never seen again.

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