Read Spellbound: The Awakening of Aislin Collins Online

Authors: Margeaux Laurent

Tags: #vampires, #magic, #witchcraft, #magic fanasy low fantasy historical fantasy folklore, #occult thriller, #magik, #occult fiction, #occult paranormal

Spellbound: The Awakening of Aislin Collins

BOOK: Spellbound: The Awakening of Aislin Collins
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Spellbound

 

Spellbound

The Awakening of Aislin Collins

 

By,

Margeaux Laurent

 

 

SMASHWORDS EDITION

 

 

* * * * *

 

 

PUBLISHED BY:

Margeaux Laurent at Smashwords.com

 

Spellbound: The Awakening of Aislin
Collins

Copyright (c) 2010 by Margeaux Laurent

All rights reserved. This publication, or
parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form nor transmitted in
any manner (printed or electronic) without prior written permission
from the author.

 

This book is a work of fiction. Names,
characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the
author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to
actual persons, alive or dead, businesses, organizations, events,
or locals is completely coincidental.

 

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 person you
share it with. 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.

 

********************

 

For my family

Who fill my life with magic.

 

********************

 

About the Author:

 

Margeaux Laurent lives in the United States
with her family.

*************

Connect with Margeaux Laurent

Twitter

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MargeauxLaurent.com

 

*************

CHAPTER ONE

Burlington, New Jersey
October 14, 1734

 

I sat by the fire reading a book my father
had given to me. It was about a castaway named Robinson Crusoe and
his adventures with pirates. My mother sat in the chair next to me
working on her needlepoint and occasionally muttering words of
frustration under her breath, her Irish brogue betraying her
attempt at an English accent.

Our serenity was soon broken by a banging on
the kitchen door. My mother cursed to herself and carefully laid
down her sewing. I did not bother to look up as I brushed a strand
of my silky, long dark hair behind my shoulder. Her tall, thin
frame cast a shadow on my page as she passed me, and I could hear
her dress ruffling as she made her way through the back parlor and
to the door. I did not want to be bothered. I loved the time I was
able to spend reading. I relished in being swept into a world far
beyond the one I knew, where adventure waited at every turn, and
people were allowed to be themselves. I did not live in that kind
of world. My world was full of restrictions and requirements, and
worse still, expectations. Expectations that I felt I could not
possibly live up to, nor did I have any desire to do so. I found no
interest in being a lady. I found no desire to marry a man twice my
age and be expected to push out babies until I was too old, and my
body too fragile to bear the burden any longer. I watched women of
this type. Mrs. Leeds for example, who on a rare occasion came to
town and resembled a mother duck with her gaggle of children
crowded around her. She waddled like a duck too. She was pregnant
again and was always in an ill-tempered mood. Of course, having as
many children as does Mrs. Leeds is indeed rare, but there is no
guarantee that another husband would not ask his young wife to do
the same. I will not be such a wife. In fact, I prefer not to marry
at all.

I could hear two voices in the kitchen, one
raised and the other calm.

“It’s an emergency,” the young woman
insisted.

“Abigail, everything to you is an
emergency,” my mother replied.

“Please ma’am, let Aislin help me. I need
her.”

I heard my mother sigh and call my name. I
had already placed a ribbon between the pages of my book to mark my
place. As I stood, I smoothed out the skirt of my sapphire blue
gown, which had become slightly wrinkled from my time curled up
reading.

“I am coming.”

I found my shoes by the hearth and placed
them on my feet, and I grabbed my forest green cloak. As I swung it
over my shoulders, I caught a glimpse of my reflection in the
sitting-room mirror. My eyes had been blurry from reading, so I
leaned into my reflection and rubbed them. I examined them to see
if they appeared tired or bloodshot, but luckily, they only
reflected back to me as crystal blue. My hair reached the small of
my back and I quickly pulled it forward so that it was no longer
lumped underneath my cloak. I then moved from the mirror and rushed
to meet Abigail and my mother in the kitchen.

As I passed my mother she reached out her
hand, “Don’t let her keep you out late,” she whispered as she
reached back and tied her thick auburn hair into a knot. I gave her
a little nod, and turned my attention to my friend.

Abigail looked
frantic.
Her green eyes were opened wide as she nervously
twirled a strand of carrot colored hair around her spindle-like
finger. In her anxiousness, she was turning as pink as her silken
gown.

“What is it?” I asked as I followed her out
the back door.

“Benjamin is missing,” she said, as we
sprinted down the dirt street, our cotton dresses flowing off our
legs like bellowing flags as we made our way to Abigail’s home.

Abigail was quite a bit
taller than I was, and I found it difficult to keep up with her as
she rushed ahead. She had incredibly long legs and the mean natured
girls in town often teased her, calling her
gangly
. Growing up, I had spent many
hours comforting Abigail as she wept in response to the girls’
taunting. At times, she would complain that she wanted to be petite
like me, but I thought she was beautiful the way she
was.

She was almost seventeen years old now, but
in many ways Abigail still behaved as she did when we first met. I
am two years older than she is and have always looked after
Abigail, who is subsequently always finding new ways to get into
trouble.

Abigail’s home was south of town, nestled
deep in the woods. It was a long distance from here, but at the
pace we were running, the journey seemed to take no time at all. We
turned down a street surrounded by giant oak trees and trimmed with
great
evergreen pines, and we passed many houses
on the side streets of town, with their white picket fences and
spotless front yards. Some of the houses stood taller and larger
than others did, some were made of brick, and others were made of
wood, painted in crisp shades of white or gray. Many had columns
out front, while others were plainer and smaller; each home
reflecting the income and status of their occupants. We turned
right on the corner and passed Saint Mary’s Church on our left. The
Minister yelled at us to slow down as we took the road that turned
south, toward the forest.

The woods seemed to
envelop the long, narrow, path that led to their estate. Tall
imposing pines and oak trees swayed in the wind as we hurried down
the road. Finally, the outline of the manor appeared before
us,
standing in stark contrast to the darkness of the
surrounding woods stood an enormous two story white house.

I followed Abigail as she flew through the
white wooden gate that led to her backyard. The yard was perfectly
gardened with a little shed and rabbit hutch near the back. The
garden opened up into the deep, thick, Pine Barren woods. I noticed
that the door to the rabbit hutch lay wide open and that no animal
could be found inside.

Weeks earlier, Abigail had convinced her
father to let her take one of the baby bunnies that he had found
scavenging in her mother’s garden. Her mother had protested, but
Mr. Marthaler had thought it to be a good idea and that this animal
would teach Abigail responsibility. Mrs. Marthaler insisted that it
was something that the servants would do, but her husband ignored
her and built Abigail’s pet a hutch.

Now, the cage lay wide open and Abigail ran
screaming through the backyard and into the woods in search of her
little rabbit. I looked back at the house, and saw the tall and
imposing figure of Mrs. Marthaler staring out the window at us. A
smirk was plastered across her cold face; her dirty-blonde hair was
pulled back into a tight bun, making her harsh features even more
unbecoming. I ignored her glares and made my way behind the shed,
out of her line of view. The sky was growing darker and it would
soon be twilight.

When I was certain that Abigail was far away
and that no one else could see me, I sat down on the cold October
ground. With the crimson and golden leaves crunching under the
weight of my body, I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. Then I
called Benjamin to me with my mind. I searched for him and probed
for him until I was certain of his location. He was hiding behind
the woodpile, only a few yards from where I sat. I remained in the
same spot with my eyes shut tight, my face feeling the cool air,
until finally I felt a soft muzzle against my fingertips. Benjamin
had hopped over to me. I thanked him for listening to me and
carefully picked up the little brown bunny, and kissed him on his
head. Benjamin twitched his little nose. He was hungry and cold. It
was time to go back into his hutch. After I had placed him gently
back into his home, I placed some carrots and fresh water in his
bowls, shut the door, and then called for Abigail.

She came running over with a look of
disbelief plastered on her face.

“Where was he?”

“He was over there, behind the woodpile,” I
said, watching Abigail’s eyes follow my outstretched fingertip
toward the firewood.

“How did you find him? I have been looking
for hours!” she huffed, as she struggled to catch her breath.

I felt a slight panic well up inside me, but
it subsided quickly. I knew that it was not difficult to convince
Abigail of anything.

“I just sat still and listened for him. Then
I heard him nibbling on the wood.”

Abigail seemed convinced and wiped the sweat
off her freckle-covered cheeks.

“Thank you Aislin. I was so worried about
him. I thought that the wolves or owls might have taken him.”

Just then, we heard the distinctive
clunking
sound of her little brother Mathew and his favorite
wooden toy working their way toward us. The child dragged his
wooden duck behind him, tugging on the rope that connected his
plump little fingers to the battered toy. As he approached, he
placed his free hand on his left hip and scowled at us. He looked
very much like his mother, with the same harsh features and sandy
colored hair, fashioning the same sour expression.

“Mother wants you in the house,” he
squawked. He sounded much more like a catty little girl than the
son of a hard-handed politician. “You have been asked to leave,” he
spat in my direction.

I patted Abigail on the shoulder and looked
up at the sky. “It’s getting dark. I should go home,” I said, as I
turned toward the wooden gate.

“Would you like company for the walk?”

“No, Abigail. Thank you, but you would be
walking home in the dark.”

Abigail nodded her head and turned her
attention back to Benjamin’s hutch. We both gave a friendly wave
and I watched as she followed her little brother back into their
house. I noticed that she gave the trailing wooden duck a couple of
well-placed kicks as she went.

As I walked in the direction of my home, my
thoughts wandered. Mrs. Marthaler’s contempt for me had prompted my
mind to drift. She did not approve of the friendship Abigail and I
shared. We had met in Dame school when we were young children. We
learned our alphabet, how to sew and paint, and we always stuck
together. I had always been different from the other children. I
never quite fit in, and Mrs. Marthaler saw this. Although I could
carry on a conversation with all the young women of our community
and could perform the same tasks, I was somehow always different,
always on the outskirts of our social circles. Perhaps it all
started when our schooling was over. Abigail spent the time helping
her mother, all the while learning how to be a proper wife. I spent
time with my father at his print shop, where he taught me to read
and write. He also taught me how to count and do mathematics in the
back of his shop so I could help with his daily tasks. It was never
a problem until Mrs. Marthaler found out about my further education
and started spreading rumors through town.

“Ladies were not meant to be educated in
such ways,” she told my father one day after church. “It is
unbecoming, and you will never find a man to marry a girl who
engages in such masculine activities,” the Governor’s wife insisted
as she and Mrs. Marthaler ambushed our family when we were making
our way home.

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