The Warlock's Curse (STB #17)
It was Halloween and Sophy was having a hard time breathing properly as she stared at the ghost in her apartment.
"Yer troubled face doth cast a shadow, lass. This business with us Warwicks will be settled when ye find my Fowler's resting place," the ghost said, frowning at Sophy's sad face.
Could all these be a trick? Everything the ghost told her added up to explain the mystery surrounding her life. It was like the universe was against Sophy Warwick. Her one desire to get married seemed to elude her and she was not getting younger. It was one heartbreak after another.
Her first love died in his sleep a day before their wedding. It was a tragedy. Then she met Patrick and they fell in love. Sophy was happy again. He too died a few months later in a car accident after he proposed to her.
Sophy's mother remained unmarried because her father died on their wedding day. She knew her family was cursed.
The last straw was when Sophy fell in love with Robert DeLaremore. He proposed to her in front of her apartment and asked for her answer the following morning. Sophy visited him to explain that it would be impossible because of her past only to learn he was ill and taken to the hospital.
She saw Robert in the hospital and turned down his proposal which left them both heartbroken. "It's for the best, Robert. I love you too much to lose you," she said and hurried out of the hospital room in tears.
Nursing her pain at home, a ghost appeared and introduced herself as Sophia Warwick, one of her ancestors in the 17th century. Sophy was shocked to learn that Sophia's fiancé, Fowler, was murdered by a warlock who poisoned his coffee because he wanted Sophia for himself.
When Fowler died, Sophia refused to marry the warlock. In anger, the warlock cursed that no man would marry any female from Sophia Warwick's bloodline until she was rejoined with Fowler in death.
"I waited for ye to come to this knowledge and now, I can wait no more. Help me find my Fowler so ye can be wed to yer Robert," said Sophia.
Sophy looked through her family tree book containing names of her ancestors and where they were buried. "Uh, one Wren Goldsworthy is buried next to you at the crypt. Could it be your Fowler?" She asked the ghost who suggested they visit the family crypt.
The two ladies, one a human being, the other a ghost, set out at midnight for the crypt close to the village chapel. Sophy worked up a sweat pushing the heavy concrete door open. Some of the coffins were dusty and old. The one closest to Sophia Warwick's coffin bore the gold-plated name, Wren F. Goldsworthy.
The ghost slipped through the wall and hovered beside Sophy with a melancholic smile. "'Tis him alright. My Fowler."
"But you are buried close to each other. How are you not together in the afterlife?"
Sophia shook her head. "Because the warlock lives, lass."
"Oh, so how do we get rid of him?"
"Fowler git something to weaken the warlock before he died. Yer have to find it."
Sophy forced open the concrete top of the coffin. Inside laid a skeleton with a knife lodged in its chest where the heart would be. Sophia gasped. "He killed my Fowler with a knife!"
"You did not know this?" Sophy asked.
"Na-a! His kin dinna let me see him before he be buried." Sophia sobbed like the incident was a fresh one. Sophy became depressed both for the ghost and for herself.
Then she noticed a satin bag with strange markings clutched to Fowler's side. She forced the bones of the hand apart and pulled out the bag. Scots Gaelic words were written on it to mean:
The secret to a warlock's end
"Do you know what this means?" Sophy asked the ghost.
Sophia gasped. "Fowler muster wrote me a lettre to say he find a powder drink that breaks the warlock's curse but ye must drink it."
As Sophy came out of the crypt, a whirlwind blew at her and she almost lost her balance. She saw a horrendous-looking man hovering in the swirl of the wind. He held a wand in his hand and had an evil look on his face. The warlock!
"Ye blood of the Warwicks. Ye have no business here. Hand over that bag. It is mine." He roared into the wind, his voice painful to her ears. But Sophia whispered into her heart, "run, lassie! Go home and drink the powder. Run!"
Sophy ran, avoiding different stumbling blocks that the warlock raised in her path until she got home. She ran into her kitchen, opened the bag and sniffed it. It smelled like freshly roasted ground coffee beans! But how was that possible after all the centuries the bag had been buried with Fowler Goldsworthy?
Her electricity blinked erratically as she heated some water, made a mug of coffee and gulped it down. Sophia appeared through the wall and screamed. "Vanquish him, lass! Vanquish him."
Suddenly the warlock appeared in the apartment. Sophy instinctively screamed with all her heart, fueled by the pain of the heartbreaks and loss of her loved ones, "I vanquish you this evil, mean man!"
She watched as the warlock's eyes widened in fear. The ground split open revealing fire roaring in the depths. The wind pushed the warlock in and the ground closed up.
TWO MONTHS LATER….
Sophy Warwick smiled with love at her groom, Robert, as family and friends cheered and sprinkled rice and rose petals at them.
She heard a whisper and glanced beside her to see Sophia, her ancestor, holding a tall man's hand and they both waved at her before disappearing into thin air.