So something you should know about Gwen is this; she don’t take shit off anyone and if you piss her off, HA, God help you. Well that’s if you’re an average day, run of the mill human person and if you’re a supernatural type of person, then she gets a little worse…and if you’re a Math witch…you’re fucked.
About two weeks had passed and things were…I was going to say back to normal, but that’s a fucking joke, you get what I mean though; things were normal for us.
I was working and hanging out with Gwen, occasionally seeing Cameron, talking to Harry in work and ignoring the dickwad on my patio, currently reading one of Bill Bryson’s books and nuzzling up to Gizmo.
With the first week of March came the obligatory Welsh Rain, for which Dorian adopted a golf umbrella to keep his book dry.
Dorian had returned to snarking at me and following me back and fore to work and everywhere else I went.
Gwen seemed to be getting a bit ansty, I thought probably ‘cause of the rain, but she seemed to grrr.
Then the one night, I was cwtched up watching Doctor Who, Dorian was deep in his book and then he seemed twitchy, anxious looking. I heard a knock and Cameron came strutting in,
”Wanna go for a drive?”
I was bored and I hadn’t been out with just Cam for ages, Dorian gave us a curious look as we headed out the door.
As soon as we were on the road Cam turned to me,
"So he’s gonna be running alongside us somewhere"
We stopped at traffic lights, I cocked my eyebrow,
"How’d you know that?"
“‘Cause he’s been running alongside us” he pointed out of the window, where Dorian was leant against the traffic lights.
I rolled my eyes, most of the time he was really annoying, but there were times creeping along that seemed to annoy me less and less, I was just so used to his constant stalking that I began to ignore it.
Cameron laughed as he pulled off,
"So how’s life?"
He knew my cousin well, the three of us had grown up together.
"Fine, still moseying along as usual"
Cameron headed out of town, towards Parc Seymour; a vast forest known to everyone as Wentwood.
We drove for a while, chatting and laughing, then pulled up in a little parking space, atop a hill that overlooked a resevoir.
I pulled my coat’s hood up around my ears. The waxing moon was shining down, reflected in the distant wate and the air was bitter due to the clear sky.
Cameron glanced at the moon, then looked off into the trees.
"Does it bother you?"
He turned to face me. I knew Cameron too well, the way he looked off to the trees was like he was trying to avoid the moon,
“When it’s waxing? I know sometimes when it’s waxing, people mistake it for being full, you always used to”.
He smiled that sweet smile, then turned, almost painfully, to look at the moon,
“It’s annoying, but it’s not really that, that bothers me, it’s the fact that when it waxes it’s a blinding reminder of tomorrow night”.
I nodded. I couldn’t possibly understand what it felt like to transform into a fluffy, delivery man munching hound, but I still felt sorry for him. He was like family to me and there wasn’t anything I could do to help him.
He was looking out to the tower on the resevoir, grinning,
He ran off in to the trees, leaving me next to the car, all I could think was “You cunt get back here now”. I looked out to the resevoir, it was some distance away, down past the hill and would’ve taken a good hour to get down to, but within a couple of minutes I could see a figure jumping up and down on top of the water tower, waving it’s hand, while it’s dreadlocked hair bounced about.
I burst out laughing and waved back. A couple of minutes later he was emerging from the trees, pointing and sweating.
“Nice” I laughed.
“And…” he grabbed me around the waist and with perfect wase lifted me above his head. Despite my size, he’d always been able to chuck me about, he was always freakishly strong, but he’d never been able to do it so easily before now.
He dropped me to my feet as a car pulled up and shut off it’s lights.
Cameron frowned as he looked over to their car, he tugged me towards his car and asked me to sit inside.
He slammed the door behind me, then jogged over to the other car, he was back in seconds. He sat down and locked the doors as the sound of the other car doors slammed shut.
Cameron slammed his foot on the accelerator and swirved towards the people outside of the car, they dived aside in time, just as we sped off through the hills and trees.
“Care to explain?!” I couldn’t help, but shout at him. I hadn’t had time to put my seatbelt on and had smashed my head on the windscreen.
"There’s always troublemakers up here, none that you’ve ever tried to fucking mow down dead before. Now, what’s going on?"
He sped over a hill so fast we both came off our seats,
"I’ll explain in a bit"
He swirved around corners like a Whacky Racer, until we were out of the wood and back on the main road.
There was a pub along the road, which Cameron pulled up to, once we were out of the car, he clamped my head like an iron vice and dragged me towards the pub,
“I do know how to walk, Cam”
He ignored me and didn’t let go until we were safely inside.
He chose a table not far from the bar, in the middle of the pub.
"Sorry about that, Sian"
”You better be”
I folded my arms and leant on the table,
“So what supernaturally unholy being were they then?”
I cocked my eyebrow,
"The opposite ones of Gwen?"
I hadn’t learnt much about Math witches, all I knew was that vampires could kill them, where wolves couldn’t and that Dorian had been engaged to one of them.
”So, what’s the problem then?”
"The problem is they shouldn’t be here" Dorian’s voice came from behind me. He’s obviously followed us the entire way. He pulled up a chair and sat down next to me. He wore a look of concern as he glanced at Cameron,
“Did you know they were coming?”
Cam raised his eyebrows, sarcastically,
“Yeh, they called ahead, that’s why we went up there, I thought it’s be nice to welcome them”
He sucked his teeth, causing Dorian to narrow his eyes. He turned his head towards me, his eyes quickly scouring me,
“Can I help?” I frowned.
He looked eyes with me,
“Not gonna get all friendly with them, are you?”
At the same time, Cam and me spoke in unison,
“You taking the piss?”
He leant back in his chair, scowling, he took out his mobile and began texting, I glanced at his phone,
“You better not be texting, Gwen”
He looked up at me,
“Sian, you haven’t got a clue what the prescence of a Math witch means, so keep quiet on this one”
He looked back at his phone, but before he could continue texting, I snatched it off him and shared it in to my bra,
”You’re not texting her, end of. Cam, take me to Gwen’s, you two can deal with the witchiness, I’ll deal with Gwen”.
Cam nodded as we stood up to leave. Dorian followed us out to the car, making plans with Cam to meet up with Harry. I was about to close the car door, when Dorian pushed it back open and held out his hand for his phone, I grinned,
”No, mate, I don’t think so”
He frowned as I slammed the door shut. Cam pulled away glancing back at Dorian, before we’d left the car park Dorian had disappeared,
“You know you’re only going to make things worse between you both”.
"He wants to eat me…it don’t get much worse than that".
Cam drove straight through Brynglas Bay and off, up to the valleys. Gwen lived in a village near Newbridge with her mum and dad. Thouugh most of the time her dad was away, on what she used to tell me was business, but actually tuend out to be some sort of witch freelance work, helping people out where ever he could, whilst her mum ran a crafting shop in Brynglas Bay, that required her to stay in town during the week. So, safe to say Gwen was alone.
“So, what do you think they want?” I asked Cam.
He was looking carefully at the road, as if one of them was about to appear.
“Fuck knows. No one ever knows what a Math witch wants, they can never manage to string a straight forward sentance together”,
We finally pulled up outside Gwen’s where Dorian and Harry were waiting. Harry looked a little uncomfortable. I walked straight to him,
“Everything okay, Har?”
He smiled, politely,
”I think it best, the three of us wait outside, you should go on in Sian”
Cam was about to consent, when the girl instinct of “something is wrong, I know it is” kicked in,
“Gwen’s mother is home”
I rolled my head and growled,
“Of course she fucking is”
I moved towards the gate, shoving Dorian aside,
“Get out the way”
I muttered to him.
I strolled in to the door at the side of the house, it led straight in to the kitchen where Linda, Gwen’s mum was sat, crafting something undeniably wonderful.
“Hiya” I beamed, in my cheeriest voice.
Linda looked up, smiling,
“Hiya love, haven’t seen you for a while. You alright?”
"Yeh, I’m fine. Is Gwen here?"
She gestured her head to the hallway. I winked and walked through to the living room, where Gwen was stretched out, watching Supernatural (of all fucking things).
Without moving a muscle in he body, she cocked an eyebrow,
"What the fuck are you doing here?"
I closed the door over,
"You need to get rid of your mum. Send her down Jess’s"
She chucked her head back,
"Oh for fuck…what? What now?"
She jumped up and beelined for the door, pushing me so much that I lost my balance and fell on the sofa, she popped her head back around the door,
“You’re shit” she disappeared agin.
"You’re shit!" I shouted out as I tolled to my side and eventually managed to get back to my feet.
After some mumbled voices I heard Linda resign and leave the house. A while later I could hear Gwen shouting outside, so I went to the side door, where Harry, Dorian and Cameron had entered the garden. Dorian was backed against the garden fence, with Gwen’s finger wagging in his face,
“Oooh, I swear down, mate, you ever look at my mam like that agai…” she snapped her fingers so close to Dorian’s eyelashes, he had to move his head,
“Don’t look at him, look at me. You ever look at my mam like that again and I swear, tomorrow night, I will personally fucking feed you to Cameron!”
Me and Harry glanced a look at each other, I nodded my head to the kitchen, Cam jumped inside and Harry had clearly been here before as he stepped over the threshold with ease.
I flicked the kettle on,
"You might as well sit down, if she’s on a rant, this could take a while"
Cam and Harry grinned and took a seat, whilst Gwen continued to bark at Dorian, that was until he finally got fed up, picked her up by the shoulders, placed her inside, then stepped in and slammed the door.
“Would you just shutup for 5 minutes?!”
Gwen’s eyebrows shot up, but Dorian got in there first,
“There are Math witches here, Gwen!”
Silence fell, save the boiling of the kettle. I made myself a cup of tea, then turned to the frozen room,
“So, what do we do scoobies?”
Cameron and Harry grinned, as Gwen threw me a dead face, which I met with a wink.
For a while there was an abundance of pacing and possible reasons for why Math witches might be in the area.
It wasn’t long before I got bored, there was an abundance of arguing going on, so I retreat to the living room, flicking through the tele, finally resting on Family Guy.
Now gents, don’t freak out, but I started to feel a vibrating against my boob, I was sorely confused as my phone was in my pocket, then I remembered I’d confiscated Dorian’s phone. I whipped it out of my bra and found a missed call from an unknown number.
I was about to shove it back in my bra when it began to ring again.
Dorian’s annoying accent was emanating in argument from the kitchen.
I doublechecked the door was closed and raised the phone to my ear, before I could speak, a man’s voice, spoke in a gruff North Welsh accent,
My eyes widened and I immediately went to the door, but before I could open it, he spoke again,
Instantly my feet were rooted to the spot and anytime I tried to move forward I felt sick,
”You have got to be fucking kidding me!” I moaned.
"Why don’t you take a seat, Sian"
I wasn’t stupid, I knew how this was going to work. If I didn’t do what he asked I’d be sick, I turned around and walked away from the door, but I was too anxious to sit down.
The man spoke again,
"Good to know, you’re not entirely susceptible. It makes things so much more fun"
”Well no guesses about who you are, then. What do you want?”
"Well firstly I can’t say I’m particularly pleased about your wolf friend trying to run us over, when all I wanted to do was say hello"
I rolled my eyes, he was trying his utter best to sound like some cliché, stupid Supernatural villain and it was just cringy.
“It does make me wonder, why an innocent keeps company with such strange beings. Allying yourself with a Gwydion witch will just bring death. Those who trust the Gwydion witches never last long”
"I suppose I should just hang out with some Math witches then so they can try and sacrifice me to kill my entire race, even when they’re on their deathbed".
There was an awkward silence, followed by a sigh,
"Oh you keep very bad company, Miss Morgan"
I was suprised he didn’t already know.
"How did you find this number?"
If he didn’t know about Dorian, how did he know about the phone.
"A simple tracking spell. Phone was in your chest pocket, wasn’t it?"
I was not going to tell him it was in my bra and all I could think was, well that shows how shit my phone is, wouldn’t even show up in a tracking spell.
At that moment Dorian entered the room, a frown on his face, when he saw the phone, I immediately put my finger to my lips and beckoned him over, he stood beside me, his ear sharing the phone.
The man spoke again,
"Now I’m not stupid enough to tell you to meet me, I know you will not and even if I Moved you to, I know your companions would follow. So, seeing as you’re my only way to get to the Gwydion bitch, I’m just going to have to curse you".
Me and Dorian glanced at each other,
"Starting now" the man hung up.
I handed Dorian the phone and was about to leave the room, when the sick feeling from my stomach seemed to explode and spread through out my body. It felt like sea sickness, swaying my limbs. My head became so light-headed that I felt it roll and the next thing I could feel my head spinning and then I was being held up under my arms.
Everything around me seemed to be washing together, like some trippy scene from Alice in Wonderland.
I could hear Dorian’s voice, so clearly as if he were speaking in my ear,
“Sian, listen to me. Sian, come on. Gwen! Get your arse in here!”
I could hear everything perfectly, but my head was spinning right out.
I could feel myself being lifted, someone had picked me up.
"Harry, put her on my mam and dad’s bed"
I felt a little odd that Harry was carrying me. My head fell back on the pillow and everything seemed to slow down a bit.
Harry’s face came in to focus above mine,
"Sian, are you alright?"
“No!” I spat, what a stupid fucking question to ask.
"One of the witches cursed her" Dorian’s voice floated from the door, at the foot of the bed.
”That’s impossible, you can’t just curse someone over the phone” Gwen screeched.
Harry turned around and went to comfort Gwenm she looked livid. He escorted her out of the room as she ranted and wailed in anger.
Cameron sat on my right and grabbed my hand,
"Sorry hun, I should’ve just taken you home"
My head was feeling twitchy so I just gave him the thumbs up.
He went to move, but suddenly felt wibbly and fell backwards on the bed, Dorian came forward to check him,
”What the…not you too!”
He ran out and dragged Gwen back. Over the next hour they sat fretting over how the curse could have been activated, Gwen didn’t seem to think it was a particularly strong curse until a crippling pain pinched my kidneys, minutes later the same pain attacked Cameron and his scream was horrendous, he almost howled out.
“Shit” Dorian laid Cameron out on the floor,
"He’s supposed to change tomorrow"
Gwen checked Cameron over,
"He won’t be going anywhere. We’ll tie him to the radiator in my room and make sure he’s comfortable. He won’t have the strength and after the transformation he’ll be even weaker, besides my dad’s got some wolfsbane that we can sedate him with".
Gwen had tucked me in to the bed and made up a bed on the floor for Cameron. She was using Dorian’s phone to attempty a re-tracing spell, but it wasn’t working, which only made her more irrate. Harry pulled out Gwen’s grimmoires and searched for anything that might help, but he wasn’t getting far. He then thought it might be best to visit Gwen’s nan, she was a much wiser witch and Gwen thought it best.
She gave Dorian some strict instructions, before her and Harry left. Cameron was asleep on the floor as Dorian swaggered in to the room. I could feel I was burning up and I had no doubt that the vivain in my blood would not be enough to ward him off when I was this weak.
He chucked his jacket on the end of the bed and sat beside me, there was a cloth and a bowl of water on the bedside table. Dorian checked my forehead and I already knew I was on fire, I felt like death, warmed up and the pain that panged occasionally was excrutitating.
Dorian soaked the cloth and started to dab my head, it made my skin crawl to have him touch me. I wanted to throttle him, whereas he looked confused. Confused and concerned. He started to dab my wrists with the cloth.
“Don’t…even” I gasped.
He frowned and picked up a glass of water to pour to me,
“You need to sleep, Sian. You” end up dead, if you don’t” he pulled the blanket up over me, then stood up and stared out of the window,
“Who was he?”
I frowned…as if I knew. He turned to face me,
“And what’s his problem with you?” he sauntered offended. As if he was the only one, who could have a vendetta against me.
I couldn’t be bothered to even acknoweledge him any more. My body was exhausted and I was not in the mood.
As though someone had simply flipped a switch, the moment I closed my eyes, I instantly fell asleep.
In sleep the curse seemed to prevail, eating out my dreams. I kept seeing images of those I loved falling to pain and all I could hear was the man’s voice, over and over in my head and then as though crawling to me through the dark I could hear that loathsome accent,
“Sian” Dorian said over and over again.
I suddenly wrenched my eyes open. Dorian was sat at my side. He was wearing different clothes and much to my shock so was I. Cameron was curled up on the floor, clutching his knees and shaking violently, it was like he was going through cold turkey.
“Sian, are you definitely awake this time?”
I frowned at him,
“What? Of course I’m awake, idiot”
He huffed. I turned and saw Harry at the end of the bed,
“I thought you were going to Gwen’s Nan’s?”
Harry placed a hand on my leg,
“We already went…two days ago”
I frowned. I couldn’t believe it, I’d fallen in to some sort of witchy coma. I lifted my hand to rub my head, but I suddenly froze. My skin was pale and I don’t mean me pale, I mean pale, pale. Like dead skin, pale. Every vein in my hand was visible and looked brusied beneath my flesh. I didn’t even want to know what my face looked like,
“Well then…what is it?”
Harry sidled up the bed, so that he was closer to me,
“Sian, what do you know about Math and Gwydion?”
Well, I knew what was in the Mabinogion, but that’s not what he meant,
"Harry, it’ll be dawn in an hour, you both need to leave"
Gwen’s Nan was stood in the doorway. Neither of them argued they just said goodbye and left.
Gwen’s Nan was a sweet old woman, she was quite short and stout, with large glasses and curly blond hair tied back with the smallest flecks of grey, through out it and big brown eyes. She smiled and strode over to the bed, she glanced sympathetically at Cameron, before sitting beside me,
“He only half transformed the other night. Ugly mess. Poor thing”
I was glad I hadn’t been awake to witness it.
Olwen was a kind woman, her son Andrew was Gwen’s father and she’d always been close to Gwen.
She sighed, the way old people do , before they tell you a story,
“Centuries ago, 10 of them, plus 71 years to be exact, there were two magicians, there was Math, son of Matholwch and there was his nephew Gwydion, son of Don. Now I know you’re a well read young girl, Sian, so you know all there is to know about them, but I trust you do not take it as gospel”
I shook my head.
"Good. Because it’s not. For a time Math took residence in a fort at Arfon, you will have read it as Caer Dathylin, but before that, before his powers were widely known, he lived in Maentwrog with his family. They lived quite, peaceful lives and then one day Gwydion, the son of Math’s brother Don, he began to show certain gifts, he could make a tree blossom in the frost and Math too shared these rare gifts, so he helped tutor the boy, but Gwydion noticed that Math seemed almost drunk with his power, whereas Gwydion only used his powers when it was needed.
Around that time, some distance away in the Nordic lands, there was a village cult, who were killing innocent people and drinking their blood, using it as an offering to their Gods, but their Gods were repulsed, they cursed the cult to need blood, to never die, but become monster’s of death. The original vampires; Tobinie Brenov was one of them, the famous Dragoul Hessian, otherwise known as Dracula was another” Yes, he’s real.
“Well a married couple, who were cursed, had heard of the power of the Druid’s on this Isle, they found the Druid’s power weak and went in search of true magic, they travelled to Maentwrog and begged the help of Math and Gwydion.
Gwydion tried to help, but the creatures were damned, when he refused, they slaughtered half the village. Math thought it would be wise to help them, but the village turned on him, his brother Don threatened to banish him if he aided them, so he refused them help.
One night after they had left, Gwydion was hunting in the woods and he found Math, he’d slaughtered a pack of wolves and had ordered the creatures to feed on their blood, beneath the full moon. The couple started to writhe in agony and the woman refused to drink anymore, but the man continued, he pushed through the pain and refusing to watch any more Gwydion stopped Math, but it was too late, the man had transformed, he was human again, but then all too quickly he shifted in to the shape of a wolf and so the first werewolf was born. He tried to kill Gwydion, but the woman saved him and took him back to the village, whilst the wolf found it couldn’t harm Math.
The woman begged forgiveness and Gwydion gave it her, she’d saved him, she then swore that no creature, such as herself would harm a descendant of his line again, thus making Gwydion witches protected against vampires.
When Math returned in the morning with the man, the villages turned on him, called him an abomination, a demon to nature’s way, so Math told them what he thought of nature. He burnt the wood to cinders and the village with it, Gwydion and his family escaped with the vampire and fled to Caerllion…that’s right; Caerleon. The descendants of both lines have spread through out the world, but their direct lines have remained. The Math witches roam the North of Wales and us Gwydion witches guard the South.”
I felt surges of pity and sympathy for all of them; Harry, Cameron and Gwen (Dorian did not cross my mind). I looked at Olwen,
“Why are you telling me this?”
"So, you can understand the hatred between us and because their were many times that Math set out against
Gwydion, and once, he almost succeeded in killing him. He placed a curse on an amulet, a curse that would drown all sense and strength from the weaver and fill their body with weakness and disease. A curse intended to kill, by casing utmost suffering. Luckily Gwydion’s daughter destroyed the amulet. It appears to be the same curse, consuming you, sweetheart”.
She rested her hand on my forehead,
"But I don’t have an amulet…and he couldn’t have cursed the phone because it’s Dorian’s"
"I know, sweetie, we’re trying to figure that out"
I glanced at Cameron,
"How is it effecting him?"
Olwen shook her head, as if she didn’t know.
She sat with me a while, until Gwen woke up and came to sit with me. She looked exhausted, but she was trying her best not to show it.
She rested her hand on my arm,
"I’m so sorry Sian"
“Shut your face, I might start believing you know how to try if you carry on”
She laughed and moved her arm, her hand slowly brushning my hand. She suddenly jumped up,
“What?” I looked confused.
Gwen stared at my right hand,
“Sian, did you hold the phone with this hand?”
I nodded. She quickly ran from the room, bringing Olwen back in,
“Nan, I think I’ve got it. Sian, I know this is going to be hard, but your ring”
On my right forefinger I wore a Celtic knotted ring, my own Nan had given it to me before she died and it was one of the dearest posessions I owned.
“No” I shook my head. Alright, in my right mind I would’ve felt bad, but handed it over straight away for her to destroy, but I wasn’t in my right mind, so I cried and begged her not to take it, but eventually Olwen took it.
Gwen held it carefully in her palm,
"Onflamé est llantis och fendel. Morantoris fothwethenel. Oltich onsendet ohl sanawayees"
The ring began to glow in her hand as she chanted and then like some sort of Horcrux, it dived on to the floor emanating a horrendous scream. With an orange glow in her eyes Gwen stared hard at the ring,
“Llantis fendol!” she shot her hand out and like some sort of Merlin shit, flames erupted from her hand, hitting the ring,
“Ondflamé sanawayees!” she shouted out, flames erupting from her other hand. The ring screamed and then clattered to the floor.
Suddenly I felt a surge like an electric shock, shooting up my spine, vertibrae by vertibrae, my whole body felt like it was having a fit and I could taste something foul in my mouth. I parted my lips to spit and a red mist emanated out, my whole body shook and I noticed red mist rising from the floor, as the same thing was happening to Cameron.
Finally the mist cleared and I was still…the pain was gone, the sickness too. I slowly sat up, my skin was clear and Cameron was on his knees, checking himself over.
Olwen bent down, then turned and handed me my ring,
"It’s safe now"
I took it from her, placed it on my finger, then stood up and cwtched Gwen,
"You crazy bitch"
“Cameron held your hand just after the curse hit, it must’ve still been working out of the ring, so it latched on to him”
Cameron gave Gwen a cwtch and thanked her.
”How did he curse my ring?”
Cameron smirked, I cocked my eyebrow at him,
“Really…after all that”
Yeh, he has a really dirty mind.
I turned back around as Olwen stood up,
"Did you ever take it off in work?"
"When I clean the bar"
Olwen nodded to Gwen,
“Someone must have been Moved to grab it for one of them, they cursed it and put it back before you noticed”
Oh yeh, Moved is kind of like how vampires can compel you, but they don’t need to look at you, like the guy on the phone Moved me.
Olwen put her hand on my shoulder,
“Yes! I’m getting withdrawal”
She smiled and went to the door, she turned to Gwen,
“You better text Harry, let him know she’s okay”
"Yeh Nan, I know"
Olwen left the room, with Cam in tow.
Me and Gwen sat on the bed as she tested Harry, she put her phone away, then looked up at me,
”Now we just need to find the cunt who cursed you, so I can kill the fucker”.
Like I said, you do not want to piss Gwen off.
Written by Mikayla K McCarthy