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Authors: Patti Larsen

Tags: #paranormal, #witches, #paranormal abilities, #paranormal books, #ya paranormal, #paranormal humor, #teen witch, #paranormal family saga

Family Magic

BOOK: Family Magic
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Family Magic

Book One of the Hayle Coven Novels

 

Patti Larsen

 

 

Smashwords Edition

 

Copyright 2011 by Patti Larsen

 

 

Find out more about Patti Larsen at

http://www.pattilarsen.com/

http://www.pattilarsenbooks.blogspot.com/

 

 

Smashwords Edition, License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal
enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to
other people. If you would like to share this book with another
person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If
you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not
purchased for your use only, then please return to Smashwords.com
and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work
of this author.

 

***

 

Cover art (copyright) by Stephanie Mooney.
All rights reserved.

http://www.stephaniemooney.blogspot.com/

 

Edited by Annetta Ribken, freelance Goddess.
You can find her at
http://www.wordwebbing.com/

 

***

 

Dedication

It might be odd to dedicate a book to the
main character of a book, but so be it.

Syd, sweetie, thank you. I’m doing what I
love

because you told me it was okay.

 

***

 

Chapter One

 

I batted at the curl of smoke drifting off
the tip of my candle and tried not to sneeze. My heavy velvet cloak
fell in oppressive, suffocating folds in the closed space of the
ceremony chamber, the cowl trapping the annoying bits of puff I
missed. I hated the way my eyes burned and teared, an almost
constant distraction. Not that I didn’t welcome the distraction, to
be honest. Anything to take my mind from what went on around
me.

Being part of a demon raising is way less
exciting than it sounds.

The bodies of the gathered coven pressed
close, shrouded in the same black velvet, the physical weight of
their presence making it hard to breathe. I struggled to censor my
clichéd thoughts and focus on the task at hand. The glow of other
candle flames floated around me, barely lighting faces, enough for
a serious case of the creepies. A low hum sounded from every
throat, filling the room with an almost physical presence. I
participated half-heartedly, wishing I was anywhere but here,
knowing despite my personal preferences I had no choice
whatsoever.

The group swayed as one as the hum grew in
volume. The first hint of power made its way around the
half-circle. I felt my own power being drawn away, connected and
shared despite my reflexive attempt to pull free. As much as I
suppressed my magic from day to day and refused to use it at all,
the draw of the coven and my attachment to it made it impossible to
deny.

Totally crappy. Especially since anything to
do with magic always made me feel slightly nauseated and off
balance.

I wiped a smoke-laced tear from the corner of
my eye and blinked at the pentagram etched in the stone at my feet.
The lines of the star began to glow faintly blue, the candles at
each point flaring as though with the heartbeat of the whole, the
breath and life of each and every soul in the room. I wondered if
anyone ever checked to see if our hearts really did beat in sync.
Wouldn’t that be special?

I stifled a sigh as a tall,
elegant form flowed forward from the circle to the center of the
pentagram. She swept back the hood of her cloak, her long, thick
and perfect black hair a flawless halo around her gorgeous face.
Her eyes glowed with joy, cheeks flushed from the rush of energy
coming from the coven,
her
coven. Miriam Hayle was everything every woman
wanted to be. Beautiful, graceful, commanding, the perfect witch,
the perfect leader, the perfect everything.

My luck? She was my mother.

I blew on the smoke from my candle as subtly
as possible while barely managing to still the jiggle starting in
my left knee. Somehow I always ended up in exactly the spot where a
tiny little breeze pushed the white vapor the wrong way.
A part of me was sure it was somehow contrived
that way as an extra level of punishment piled on to my particular
little corner of hell. And forget the sacrilege of blowing the
candle out. It’s not a whole lot of fun being the center of the
displeasure of fifty-odd witches of varying power, so I
suffered.

Oh believe me, I suffered. Every day, every
moment, every breath. I, Sydlynn Hayle, sixteen-year-old
all-American girl, was a witch. My mom was a witch. My grandmother
was a witch, if a crazy one. My sister, my mom’s best friend and
every single other person in my life, much to my disappointment,
fell in that category, with a couple of exceptions. Lucky me.
Except I spent my entire life wanting nothing more than to be
normal, average, ordinary and just like everyone else.

Hard to do in a family like mine.

So there I was, another Saturday night, no
friends, no social life, just the stupid coven and another stupid
coven ritual. Could one girl’s life really suck that much?

I glanced down at my little sister as she
stared at our Mom, rapt in attention, beaming a smile. Meira
glanced up at me, red-tinted skin and amber gaze aglow as the power
in the room built, triggering her demon blood. In the ‘real world,’
Meira had to disguise her unusual coloring, her overlarge eyes and
cute little horns peeking out of her silky black curls. Within the
safety of the family she was free to be herself and I know she
loved it.

I always envied my eight-year-old sister her
eagerness to embrace her birthright while I simply did everything I
could to ignore it. Easier for me, I suppose, with my plain, dark
brown hair and ordinary blue eyes, my white skin and handful of
freckles. I did what I could not to look the part, to forget our
dad was a demon.

Meira grinned at me, her candle’s trail
curling perfectly upward toward the ceiling in an endless swirl. I
waved at my smoke again, the tickle in the back of my throat and
nose getting worse. Meira watched me struggle like she always did.
With laughter wrinkling her upturned nose, she waggled her fingers
at my candle. I felt her power reach out, the thin film of it
forming a delicate tube around the wick. My smoke immediately
behaved. She winked before turning back to Mom.

I felt stupid. So that’s how they did it…!
Sixteen years of this crap, and it took my little sister taking
pity on me to finally get the joke. Of course, if I ever paid
attention or agreed to do magic, maybe I’d have known about it a
long time ago. But the fact my suspicions were so dead on, that Mom
obviously instructed the others to let me figure it out on my own
or continue to suffer, made me grind my teeth in frustration. She
would do anything to get me to use my talent, short of putting me
in danger, and I even wondered about that.

I tried to focus on the stupid ceremony and
not my urge to throw the dumb candle in her flawless face.

Yeah, that would go over well.

Mom, either unaware or not caring about my
present state of mind, raised her arms, robe falling into a perfect
puddle at her feet, revealing her model’s figure in a black satin
gown, polished silver jewelry at wrists and throat. She positively
glowed with power, vivid blue eyes in rapture. How pathetically
stereotypical. I wanted to throw up.

I felt the strength flow out of me in a rush
and struggled as I always did to control the weakness in my knees
and the slow roll in my stomach. I tried to catch my breath as
secretly as possible, furious this always left me on the verge of
passing out. Of course, no one else showed any discomfort, just
little old me. I guess knowing how to use your magic and being
willing to share made the whole transfer easier. That’s me, fight
tooth and nail, even to the point of pain.

Sometimes I wondered why I was even
invited.

At least I had the diversion of being
responsible for my grandmother. She stood next to me, as usual,
about as into the whole thing as me, but for different reasons. She
hummed softly under her breath, her watery blue eyes crossing and
recrossing as she studied the tip of her protruding tongue. She
turned to me, wisps of white hair escaping from the edges of her
black cloak, fanning back and forth with a life of their own. Her
powder white skin fell in crumpled folds, but her expression was
pure childishness. She cackled, winning me a silent warning from my
mother. I rolled my eyes at Mom before sneaking a caramel out of my
pocket and slipping it to Gram. She made a face. Chocolate was her
favorite, but I hadn’t time to track some down. Okay, honestly, I
forgot and raided the candy dish on the way. I prayed the offering
would be sufficient.

Ethpeal Hayle had once been an influential
witch. When I was just a baby, an evil coven challenged our family.
She stood against them alone, cutting herself off to protect the
rest of us. The Purity coven fell thanks to her, but the fight
scrambled her sanity. So, I waited for the old woman to make up her
mind about the candy and tried to be patient. It wasn’t her fault
she was nuts.

I saw the flicker of rejection as her
wrinkled old mouth puckered and knew if I didn’t act right then the
scene she could create would probably level the house. The fight
with the Purities may have left her one fortune cookie short of a
combo plate but it did nothing to reduce her power. Knowing I only
had one chance, I curled my fingers and started to pull away.

Her hand shot out, dagger-like nails brushing
my palm as she snatched the sweet and stuffed it into her face. She
grinned at me, nose wrinkling, eyes full of mischief. I tried not
to react, knowing yet again we were saved by careful manipulation
of my crazy grandmother.

I returned my attention to Mom with some
relief as, oblivious to the disaster I averted, she turned slowly,
pivoting on manicured toes. I made a face at her fuchsia piggies,
just in time to catch her disapproving frown. I could practically
hear her whole body screaming at me to pay attention, the little
hairs on my arms vibrating from it. I flashed her a half-grimace,
half-smile so she would stop. Her expression softened. She turned
away. Thankfully. I wasn’t sure how long I could keep up the whole
fake happy thing without bursting into flames.

She faced the altar at the back of the room
and the life-sized stone effigy of an impossibly perfect and
handsome man with large muscles and tiny horns on his smooth
forehead. She pushed magical force toward it.

“Haralthazar,” she glided closer to the
statue, “we summon you this third night of Power, nine days and
nine nights from Samhain Eve, to tighten our bond with you and your
realm.” She knelt at the foot of the altar, the picture of the
submissive handmaiden. Could she be any more ridiculous? Seriously.
“My love, come and be welcome.”

The blinding flash leaping from her to the
statue continued to pour out of her in a deep blue rush of light. I
turned my head slightly to the side, squinting against the glare,
grateful for the edge of the cowl and the shadow it made. The whole
room started to thrum, the floor vibrating with condensed magic as
Mom used the energy we gave her to make the doorway permitting my
father through to this plane.

When it happened we all felt it rather than
seeing it. The power swirled around us, drawing us all closer,
forming us into one entity, one spirit, a seamless conduit to the
other dimension. I always hated this part, the total and utter lack
of self that came with the opening of the door. Every time I went
through it I tried to pull back, but my own demon blood wouldn’t
allow it. Even more so than the other witches in the room, my being
was tied completely and without choice to what was happening at the
altar. I was always helpless, tapped into, taken, and ended up on
my knees behind my mother, Meira at my side, as the effigy of my
father came to life.

The blue flared to gold and Haralthazar,
Demon Lord of the Seventh Plane of Demonicon, flushed and filled
out. Still with the properties of stone but the appearance of
flesh, he materialized from a burst of light as the gateway to his
plane slammed open. For a heartbeat he stood there, haloed in the
back glow of his dimension before the power propelled him the rest
of the way forward and he stepped through and into his statue.

 

***

 

Chapter Two

 

There was a certain presence to my father, a
weight, a physical feeling to being around him that always made me
uncomfortable, especially when the door first opened. I hated to
admit it, but I think it made me feel that way because I was afraid
it could be me someday traveling between worlds.

BOOK: Family Magic
8.83Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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