Vree’s Journal Entry 5 [fiction]

Luminaries:

A white crow who says his name is Luken, speaks to me telepathically. He calls me a Luminary because I glow with an aura of white light when my emotions are high, especially when I’m very upset or angry. He says the light is a manifestation of my magic, but I’d rather keep it hidden from people. I don’t want them thinking I’m a freak of nature.

I like that Luken calls me a Luminary instead of witch and psychic, though he says Luminaries are both.

Luken:

He is a mysterious white crow with a black beak and eyes.

He can transport from one place to another in a blink of an eye, which seems to be the only magical thing he can do besides speaking telepathically. His visits are rare, which is good since they have been to warn me of danger so far. Unfortunately, though, his warnings are sketchy on information about what the danger is.

However, one of his visits revealed that he knows my maternal family tree. He said my powers came from my ancestors and were unlocked when lightning struck me. I wrote down his information for future reference.

My Maternal Family Tree, at a glance:

Joseph and Hendrika Groot
(My maternal great-great-great-great-great-grandparents)
begat 2 children

Daughter Mina
(My great-great-great-great-grandmother)
married to Baltisar Andersson
begat 7 children

Daughter Ruth
(My great-great-great-grandmother)
married to Jonathan Kaufmann
begat 2 children (sons)

Youngest son Joseph
(My great-great-grandfather)
married Helen Baker
begat 5 children (daughters)

Daughter Verawenda
(My great-grandmother)
married to Benjamin Myers
begat 1 child: Evelyn

Daughter Evelyn
(My grandmother)

lived with Trevor Bettencourt
begat 1 child: son, Quinn Bettencourt

married to Jonathan “Jack” Lybrook
begat 3 children

Daughter Karrie
(My mother)
married to Charles Erickson
begat 1 child: me

Brief Family History:

Mina Groot Andersson and her husband Baltasar had seven children. They lived in Ridgewood and were influential members of the community before Baltasar killed a man and went to prison. After their youngest child was old enough, Mina left home for a nunnery. She stayed there until her death. Mina had telepathic powers. She prophesized her husband’s act of murder, along with other prophesies, including the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and the sinking of the Titanic. Her daughter Ruth could also see future events. Ruth’s son Walter was a vaudeville magician who could move objects with his mind. His brother Joseph claimed to see and speak to spirits. Psychic abilities in my family stopped with Walter and Joseph until lightning triggered them in Grandma Evelyn. But she suppressed them and let them die. Then lightning struck me and triggered them in me.

Journal Entry 6

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Vree’s Journal Entry 4 [fiction]

Lenny Burkhart:

Lenny Burkhart is my next-door neighbor and best friend.

Lenny

He’s handsome, with dreamy dark brown eyes and hair. He stands around 5’ 7” tall and says he weighs 130 pounds. He is 15, born July 5. He believes in the supernatural and has shelves of books about it. He has never seen a ghost, but I don’t tease him. Seeing the spirits of dead people isn’t glamorous. Mostly, it’s creepy and often frightening.

He owns a book written by Trevor Bettencourt about the history of Ridgewood. In it is a story about Mara Dekownik, the woman who once lived in my house. Bettencourt claims in his book that she committed suicide after my great-grandfather accidentally killed her father while hunting small game. Ghosts tell me otherwise.

Mara Dekownik:

My maternal great-grandfather, Benjamin Myers, and Mara’s father, Ludwick Dekownik, were neighbors on Myers Ridge and best friends. They hunted together until Benjamin accidentally shot and killed Ludwick while hunting in the woods behind Ludwick’s house. Ludwick’s only daughter Mara Dekownik was a witch who swore vengeance for her father’s death.

Mara

She conjured magic that killed Benjamin and his wife Verawenda. I have met both ghosts.

According to them, a witch’s agency called The Fifth Council House of Magic sentenced Mara to a 1,000-year incarceration called Yalendora, but she escaped custody, stole a valuable spell book from the Council, and used a powerful spell to fight them. The Council called on other councils and obtained enough magic to capture her. They added another thousand years to her incarceration for 2,000 years.

Yalendora isn’t a place, but a thing in which Mara is imprisoned by magic inside her portrait painted by another witch. Trevor Bettencourt owns the portrait and keeps it in the mansion that once belonged to Benjamin and Verawenda. My grandma sold it to Bettencourt and moved to Alice Lake when she married my grandpa.

The Bettencourts:

Trevor Bettencourt lives at the old Myers Mansion with his wife, Ademia, and his son and daughter-in-law, Quinn and Laila Bettencourt. Both Trevor and Ademia are reclusive writers and book authors. Quinn is our town’s leading doctor and surgeon, and Laila is a dentist and orthodontist (which I thought were the same profession, but the latter requires additional schooling and comes with a saying: “All orthodontists are dentists, but most dentists are not orthodontists”).

The Grimoire:

The ghosts of my ancestors, Benjamin and Kate Myers, led me to the stolen spell book, which Mara hid beneath the floorboards of her father’s bedroom. I found the book after my release from the hospital and can read some of the spells, which ae written in a strange language. One of the spells can release Mara from her imprisonment. That spell scares me.

The dusty black spell book is called a grimoire, but it has no title on its hard leather cover or on the title page inside. Its pages are askew and filled with numbers and strange figures, like secret code, which are bits of history written as poems, spells written as songs, and some strange recipes that I’m sure no one would want to eat. I’m the only one who can read the book, when it reveals itself to me. When it doesn’t, the pages are riddled with numbers and strange figures. Having the book has been a blessing and a curse.

Some of My Psychic Powers:

Lightning struck me and, IMHO, unlocked strong psychic abilities in me. I believe everyone has degrees of psychic powers in them, but some people are more “gifted” (or cursed) than others, the same way some of us are naturally inclined towards music or mathematics, for example. The lightning changed me and made me aware of these abilities in me.

Psychic abilities are also known as extrasensory perception (ESP) and sixth sense. There are many kinds and I am slowly discovering and developing new ones.

For now, I can see past events when I touch people (or they touch me). It isn’t something I do purposely … it just happens. Doctors of ESP science call this Retro-cognition or Post-Cognition.

I can also sometimes see events in flashes of detailed insight before they happen. The moments are short and they “announce” themselves with buzzing sounds that only I can hear. Doctors call this Precognition or Premonition.

And

I See Ghosts and Spirits!

Mediumship or Channeling is the ability to see and talk to ghosts and spirits. The difference between ghosts and spirits is who is stuck on Earth and who has crossed the astral plane. Ghosts are stuck here for whatever reason, and spirits have left our earthly plane and travel the spirit world. Some spirits return to Earth from time to time, but not often because it’s a difficult process.

Having ghosts and spirits pop in and out is something I cannot control. And I cannot beckon them to appear. I always thought psychics channeled on purpose to earn money from customers who wished to speak to their dearly departed. This isn’t so … in my case anyway. It’s unnerving when they appear unannounced. And it creeps me out every time.

Journal Entry 5

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Vree’s Journal Entry 3 [fiction]

More about My Maternal Grandmother:

“I was nine years old, down on the backside of Alice Lake, fishing with my dad one summer day,” Grandma Lybrook told me when I found out that lightning had struck her too. We sat side by side at my mom’s kitchen table, drinking herbal tea. “I never knew what happened until after I awoke in my dad’s arms,” she said. “He was crying, and he nearly broke me in half when he hugged me.” Grandma tightened her embrace around my shoulders. “I still remember my confusion and the pain after I was struck. The lightning had burned my back where it hit me. I was numb and couldn’t walk, so my dad carried me to his truck and drove me home. For several weeks, I had strange dreams and I thought I saw ghosts. I even saw a strange-looking dog prowling the grounds.”

“Was it big and black with red eyes and knobby horns above its eyes?”

Grandma loosened her embrace. “You too, huh? Well, I’d always thought it was a vision caused by my brain healing from the lightning. I stopped seeing it a few weeks later. I stopped seeing ghosts and having strange dreams too.”

“Don’t you find it odd that we were both struck by lightning and started seeing them?” I asked.

“It’s all part of the healing process.” Grandma said.

Later, a white crow who says his name is Luken, appeared to me. I began seeing Luken not long after lightning struck me. He speaks to me telepathically. He claims to know things about my grandma, Evelyn Lybrook. He told me the following:

There Are Witches In Ridgewood:

Once upon a time, a warlock named Trevor Bettencourt lost his magic. Most witches of the Allegheny clans that Trevor was born to, begin to lose their magic at around the age of 50 and are usually powerless when they reach their sixties. Trevor, however, was only 33 when his magic died after diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome (also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis), a debilitating fatigue that made his daily tasks impossible. After regaining some physical and mental strength, he settled in New Cambridge and operated a bookstore near the university campus. One day, he met my grandma, who was a freshman college student, and saw magic in her but did not approach her about it and spoke little about it to her. Fear and anxiety shrouded her magic, which he dared not activate.

Grandma Evelyn moved off campus and lived with Trevor at his apartment above his bookstore where she worked. At 19, she gave birth to a son—Quinn Bettencourt. Three years later, she graduated New Cambridge University with a degree in primary teaching. That same year, her parents stopped answering her phone calls. She and Trevor found her dad’s body in his mansion, frozen to death, and her mom’s body at the bottom of cliffs behind the mansion. Trevor pretended to call the police because he knew someone had used magic to kill my grandma’s parents. He called the local witch’s council then took my distraught grandma to the apartment to rest.

That evening, Quinn broke a lamp while running through the apartment after my grandma told him not to. When she sent him to his room as punishment, Quinn struck back with uncontrolled magic that almost killed her. During her recuperation at the hospital, Trevor called on Phoebe, his eldest daughter from a prior marriage, to cast a spell that erased my grandma’s memory of the incident, her love for him, and everything about Quinn. Phoebe also erased her memory of finding her parents dead. She planted a false memory of them vacationing in the Bahamas. When they didn’t return from vacation, Grandma Evelyn called the authorities who presumed they had perished in a plane accident at sea.

Trevor sent Quinn to France to reside with Phoebe, sold his store, and bought my grandma’s mansion on Myers Ridge, which became headquarters for a short time while he and the witch’s council hunted for a murderer. Meanwhile, my grandma met a young architect named Jack Lybrook and fell in love. She was 22.

Since then, Trevor became an author on local history. He, married local artist and author Ademia Savakis, and took in his son Quinn who has become Ridgewood’s leading doctor and surgeon at Ridgewood Mercy Hospital.

I was startled to find this out, and I’m upset that I have no one to talk to about it. I wonder if my secret uncle remembers his mother. I wonder what trouble I would stir up if I visited Trevor and Quinn and told them what I know.

Journal Entry 4

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