Magic, Mystery, a little Whisky, and a Cat

A Cold Spring–Episode 8: Hijinks at the Castle

Week 2 of the Fabulous #AtoZChallenge. 


If you are just discovering the story, here is a pdf of THE STORY SO FAR.

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Download it HERE.

Episode 8: Hijinks at the Castle


Hideous cold and blinding flashes of icy blue light blur into one when I try to recall what happened the night Lucia divided the long history of the Darkmore and La Croix families into two parts: The Time Before and The Time After.


I couldn’t sleep. Noise from the party below, rose to the bedrooms and I resented being sent to bed so early. When I heard Maddock and several of the older boys creeping through the upper hallway, I supposed they were up to something interesting. I pulled on my stockings and purloined the shawl of my sleeping nanny. The young conspirators didn’t hear me follow them to the very edge of the stairway overlooking the foyer.


The marriage of Lucia Darkmore and Avery La Croix had been magnificent and the festivities would continue for days but children weren’t allowed out of the upper portion of the castle without an attendant. Below us, the dinner bell rang and guests filtered across the foyer into the dining room for a late supper. Scents of roast beef and succulent ducks started my stomach grumbling though I’d stuffed myself at the children’s meal earlier.


Maddock and his fellows snickered nearby and I crept closer. From Maddock’s outstretched fingers a green spark kindled. With a flick of his finger, he sent it spinning toward the crowd below. I peeped over the edge of the banister and was as delighted as the boys to see the spark alight in fusty Aunt Beatrix’s ornate hairstyle.  It smoldered at the very top of a mound of blue- tinted hair. A snap of Maddock’s fingers extinguished the spark leaving a spiral of smoke twirling from the unsuspecting head. The boys dissolved in muffled giggles and so did I.


Maddock twisted to face me and put his finger to his lips.


“Be quiet, Darkmore child,” he whispered. “Go back to bed.”


Needless to say, I had no intention of abandoning such an interesting enterprise. I shook my head and made a face at him.


“If you must stay, be quiet or we’ll all be in for it,” he warned, his eyebrows knitted ferociously above piercing blue eyes.


He turned back to his friends. I sidled closer and dangled my bare feet over the edge, enjoying the entertainment. So intense was our concentration on the scene below and the hapless victims of Maddock’s masterful prank that we didn’t hear Aunt Clarissa approach. She descended on us like an avenging goddess.

See you tomorrow for Episode 9: Icy Curses

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