The Crone Of Lake Cowichan – I Smell A Rat

Corrie Taylor studied her image in the bathroom mirror. For an old broad half way through her sixties she didn’t think she look that bad. Her complexion was still creamy with only a few wrinkles around her eyes and mouth. Her eyes were still sharp and clear but her hair, well after being in the sun all summer long and being several months past a good cut it was beginning to make her look like a …. well like an old crone.

Well I’ve actually gone and done it she thought, I’ve become what Hollywood portrays crones as; old, haggy with scraggy limp grey hair. All I need now is a wart or two on my nose to complete the look. That gave her a laugh before she shuttered with disgust at how she had let her hair get away on her this summer.

The Crone of Lake Cowichan’s neighbour, Jack Fortin had invited her to a swanky party hosted by his old law firm in Vancouver that was being held at some country club for the cities elite. She was no stranger to events like this having once been involved with Victoria’s successful business leaders through her late husband’s construction company so she knew what was required, and at this moment what was required was an emergency trip to her favourite hair stylist.

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Corrie sat in the plush leather salon chair enjoying an afternoon of pampering. Chantel was one of the best stylists in Victoria and was working magic on the Crone’s hair.

“So I heard through the witchy gossip wire that you found yourself a dead witch.”

Chantel’s magical skills extended past her hair styling abilities. She was also a card carrying white witch which meant she vowed to do no harm through her practice of magick.

Trying her best to look casual and not show shock that the news of her and Jack’s discovery of Evelyn O’Connor’s body had made it down to Victoria and was running around the gossip mills, ” I’m surprised you heard about it here. It’s not that strange to find a very old women dead in her own home. People die of old age everyday. What makes this news so special?”

Chantel stilled her scissor hands and gawked at Corrie like she had two heads, “Evelyn O’Connor wasn’t just some old lady that died alone in her home, she was a hereditary witch of a very old coven that can be dated back to the early 1800’s. She was one of the last of her line and very powerful. When she went missing over a decade ago most in the witch community thought she met with foul play, but when her spell book was discovered missing as well, well that’s when the gossip and speculation really began. Her nephew is the only heir left to that hereditary line but also to that book and all it contains.” The stylist shrugged then continued to cut as she continued, “Some say he has been looking for that spell book ever since and now to find out she wasn’t dead for all these years but  hiding out in Lake Cowichan…… that is what makes your news so special.”

The blood drained from Corrie’s face, she had felt the strong wards of protection around the old women’s house but had no idea who she really was.  What have I gotten myself into, I have her cat living with me now for Christ sake. Then she thought about the man and the red corvette with the custom license plate “LGL MGC ” that she saw outside Evelyn’s house. That must have been her nephew, maybe he found what he was looking for but the dread that was knotting up her intestines told her probably not.

” Evelyn O’Connor’s nephew isn’t a lawyer by any chance?”

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Studying herself in her bathroom mirror again, Corrie felt and looked like a new women. It’s amazing what a few hours in a salon chair and a couple of hundred bucks can do, she chuckled to herself, this is more like it, a much more modern and styling crone if I do say so myself. Chantel had cut Corrie’s hair shoulder length with longer tousled layers and dyed it a honey brown with golden blonde hi-lights.

The Crone heard Jack call out to her from the sundeck below. She hurried down to the main floor of her cottage and rounded the corner to greet her neighbour through the open French doors, ” Eeeeeew, what is that smell!”

Jack turned around from looking out onto the lake, raised his hands in surrender and exclaimed, “Hey, it’s not me.” Then stopped dead in his tracks and took in Corrie and her new look, “You are stunning, I love your hair.”

Blushing like a school girl, Corrie averted her gaze from Jack, “Thank you, I’m glad you like it.” As she looked towards the right corner of the deck , the crone screwed up her face in disgust, “I think I smell a rat.”

“Honest Corrie, I really do like your new hairdo, I wouldn’t lie about something like that!”

Corrie burst out laughing, ” No Jack, I really do smell a rat, that must be what I smelt.” Pointing to the corner of the deck, “Look over there, I know it wasn’t you and I’m pretty sure I do know who brought that little gift for me and more importantly I think I know what message he’s trying to tell me with that dead rat.”

After what Chantel, her witchy hair stylist told her about Evelyn O’Connor and the missing spell book, the Crone knew Two Toes, her omen spewing raven was warning her to keep an eye out for danger. There is a rat out there sniffing around for a spell book and she was sure she was going to meet up with him real soon.

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To follow the story line and Corrie Taylor’s adventures click on the “The Crone of Lake Cowichan” under Topics on the side bar.

 

 

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