Magic, Mystery, a little Whisky, and a Cat

A Cold Spring–Episode 5: Everything Changed

Welcome to Sorchia’s Universe—A-Z Blog Edition.

This year, my offering is a serial story—a Gothic fantasy featuring vengeful witches, disappearing castles, betrayal, and romance (PG only for this one.) Remember to Join Sorchia’s Universe to be eligible for the giveaway at the end of April.

Have you missed an episode? Never fear! Here are links to the story so far.

Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3

Episode 4

If you enjoy this story, take a look at the Books link to see what else I write.


A Cold Spring

Episode 5: Everything Changed


Everything changed on that night nearly eight months ago.


We intended the formal dinner to celebrate Maddock’s and my marriage to be a first step toward healing the rifts between our two families. Time, we hoped, had eroded their ancient fears. Intoxicated by our own joy, we invited everyone: La Croixs and Darkmores, those who survived the atrocity that fractured our families centuries before and the young ones who knew of such things only in legend.


My stately Celtic Darkmore relatives mixed with Maddock’s New World La Croix family in an oddly familiar blend. I was only a child when Lucia blew our alliance apart, but I remember peeping over the banister from the upper level of the old castle on a throng much like this one many years ago when the world turned topsy-turvy.


New Castle Highmoor, erected on the ruins of the old castle, was a symbol of a new beginning. Nearly a thousand guests overflowed from the sumptuous drawing room of New Castle Highmoor to the elegant ballroom to the spacious veranda even spilled out into the verdant gardens. In the foyer, Maddock and I greeted each and every one.


Giggling cousins in brightly colored gowns cascaded down the steps into the garden, a bubbling tributary from the main concourse of matronly aunts wearing their finest brocades and portly uncles whose interests lay closer to the Scotch bottles and comfortable chairs in the drawing room. All afternoon and into the evening, they came.


Some drove modern cars or opted for traditional horse drawn carriages—equally impressive to manage in this secluded region. Others dispensed with pretense and materialized from dramatically boiling clouds of smoke or, more festive, alighted from gauzy spheres of purple magic.


Many extended a blessing for an abundance of children to their greetings and a private smile passed between Maddock and me. Our secret would be common knowledge soon enough but for now it was a sweet and intimate bond only we shared.


On that night months ago, I listened to a thousand versions of “may you have a long life and much happiness”, grasped a thousand hands in welcome, noted fear flickering behind a thousand smiles. A millennium had not erased the terror associated with this valley.


In our families, old habits die hard.


Don’t miss Episode 6: Fashionably Late


This story is supposed to have a kind of timeless feeling about it since time moves differently for these magical characters. It’s set in modern day, but hops around with visions and flashbacks. I tried not to be too heavy handed with those and to signal clearly where and when each episode takes place. What do you think? So far; so good? Leave a comment or use the Contact Sorchia button at the top of the page.


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