Oct. 12th, Year 1 of the Vow
Well, I was bound for a remote village in Turkey, until, through prayer, the Lord revealed to father and to mother I was not to go. Instead, I was asked to stay in the States.
We packed up our base of operations in Colorado, and we set up shop in the Big Apple. I was excited to return to city life again. The solitude and isolation of the great, vast outdoors was nice for a short getaway, but not for something permanent.
Then mother shared what she discovered about my ex, Celeste Vallmond. She has eight known aliases. Arianna Solano, Khelsea Callaway, Zoe Shust, Hailey Bengle, Jillian Bilas, Beatrice Halifax, Celeste Vallmond, and Terrabella DeLuna. The latter seemed to be the original person, until mother came across a missing 13 year old girl from 12 years ago. That girl was Caitlin Gustin.
Caitlin’s parents weren’t together. Her mother was a drug addict and Caitlin was in and out of the foster care system. Her father was always in and out of jail for a long list of gang affiliated reasons. She had a little sister named Fiona, 12 years younger than her, and the child was still in her mother’s care when Caitlin disappeared.
Caitlin’s mother, Breda Coates, was a witch who was excommunicated from the Vampira Coven. Mother couldn’t dig up why Breda got kicked out of the elite class of witches, but that was rare. The only way out was usually through death. Mother thought Breda’s life was spared because she was pregnant with Caitlin when she left and generations matter to the Vampira Coven.
From a newly recruited Vampira witch, not only does she pledge her life, but she promises her bloodline up until the fourth generation. Though the fifth generation would be born free of obligation to pledge to the coven, the fifth generations usually do choose to keep their families’ legacies alive. Every fifty years, the Vampira recruit fresh blood from solo practicing witches that impress them.
Breda was a second generation Vampira witch. Breda’s mother, Evelyn, was the first generation whose mother was possibly a freeborn fifth gen.
The Vampira Coven was matriarchal, led by a mother witch endowed with the most power and authority. Very rarely were the witches ever male. Men were typically servants, handlers for the alters of the witches, and/or willing human sacrifices for the coven’s rituals.
Yes, alters… the one thing I learned in New Mexico was that the aliases of a Vampira Witch weren’t just other identities, but they were other personalities. The Coven created the alters in their members to exert power and control over the members. Each alter fragmented the witch further from the original person she was, and unless under the mind control of the mother witch or their handler, the witch would be confused and on the brink of psychosis.
Although, Ari– Celly? I guess, Caitlin, revealed to me in New Mexico that she was gaining control of her mind and becoming more her “real” self, whoever that woman was.
Each alter was given an assignment. For Celeste Vallmond, becoming my girlfriend was the assignment.
I’m the first Nazarite kid to be targeted by the Vampira Coven and mother hasn’t uncovered why yet. We all get that end-of-the-world type vibe. I mean, we’ve read the Bible, and we know most of Hollywood had it wrong on the birth of the Antichrist.
Like God would allow a child to be endued with evil from birth? Please! Plus, Satan isn’t that powerful to reincarnate himself in human form. He can only possess a participating vessel. The Antichrist will be a full grown man who allows the Devil to possess him and rule on the earth. Don’t believe me, read the Bible. It’s not as clear as day, but between Revelation and the Book of Daniel and a really good Bible Teacher and the Holy Spirit, it can be figured out. I think. I’ve never read that personally, that is just what mother and father taught me about the Antichrist… I guess I should study so for myself… okay, whoever reads this in the future… double check everything I just said here, because I’m not even sure…
Anyhow, the Vampira Coven was teaming up with other dark orders and covens. The Skinwalkers weren’t the only ones they were teaming up with for some global movement of diabolical intentions. Crooners, Banshees, the Illuminati, the Freemasons, Druids, Irish Pagans, and so many other groups of witches, warlocks, and secret societies I had never heard of before. Surprisingly, the only ones not on the list were the Temple of Satan folks; turns out, they don’t really believe in Satan or God, Satan is just a symbolic figurehead.
Mother said witches usually didn’t pledge to the Vampira Coven until they were 16, or 18 at the latest. Celly– Caitlin– clearly ran away from her mother to join the Coven at age 13. Three years earlier than she needed to.
Breda, Celly’s– Caitlin’s mother, uniquely joined the Coven at age 14.
Those factors were puzzle pieces mother couldn’t put together, yet.
Celly never seemed like a witch. She didn’t show any super strength like Ari. She was just this stunning, free-spirited woman who had me smitten and I know I’m insane for this, but I still miss her. Being with her was intoxicating… which, apparently, that feeling was the side effect of being hexed by her. Or is it vexed? I really don’t know the difference. But some intense spell placed on me made me attracted to her. The wine-like stain on my arm proves I was hexed/vexed/whatever. The only way to get rid of it is to break the soul tie. To do that, I had to meet up with the alter that cast the love magic, get her to write down that she releases me, and burn the paper up.
Yes, I constantly question why this thing can’t be prayed away by the mighty name of the LORD, but if that worked, I would be freed already.
Mother and father agreed, I wasn’t to track down Celly to get her to do this alone. I needed to wait until we could all face her together.
As they went away to Turkey and I was left to let this info swirl around in my mind, I was supposed to be unpacking and arranging things in our new loft.
I wasn’t sure metal doors, bars on the windows, and brick interior walls were an upgrade from the log cabin in the woods. The ridiculous high ceiling made it seem like we could build a small space rocket in here. In the living room, from the floor to the ceiling were the only windows without bars to overlook the city.
I really couldn’t think straight. I just found out the love of my life, not only faked who she was when she was with me, but there was a real chance zero part of her ever really loved me. She was assigned to me, for a reason we have no idea why yet… Somehow, this just makes me feel like crap– sorry– cow dung.
Playing the guitar couldn’t even melt these blues away. And I definitely didn’t feel like unpacking boxes and arranging furniture to make the place effortlessly functional.
For the first few days, I just sat around, eating junk food I bought from the Korean-Owned Convenience Store, while streaming TV shows from Jordan Jaye’s Webflix account. I knew when my parents returned frustrated I sat around and did nothing, I could pull the depression card and get a little slack. Sure I would get the “prayer and bible study” lecture and “it” can rid all ailments, but I could tolerate that.
Then, one night, at 11 pm, a knock on the door presented me with a chance to do something my parents would not approve of. But I was at the angry part of my grieving stage, over the love of my life, and the chance to be rid of the final reminder of her I had seared to my arm was AMAZING!
Nike didn’t stay in the hallway once I opened the door. She barged in dressed like she was ready for a night on the town. A silver, sequence dress, with a short hemline mid thigh. Her makeup on point, making her look like a glistening goddess. I think she had glitter lightly spritzed over her red clay-colored body.
She didn’t ask me but somehow she figured out which room was mine. She started rummaging through my boxes and bags that had clothes inside and she created an appropriate nightlife outfit for me out of the rags I had.
“It’s not perfect but it will do. Get dressed.” She said as she closed my room door behind her.
I learned from New Mexico that Nike was a strong-willed person. If I didn’t play by her rules, I wasn’t going to get any info from her. If I asked questions first, she would more likely ditch me and never fill me in… Okay, I didn’t know that, but I feared that would be the case. Plus, she looked hot and I wanted to impress her. If I could get a lesbian to genuinely be in to me, I would officially reach epic status as a man! Well, former lesbian, right? She hasn’t clarified yet. Like I know she isn’t practicing but is that purely by choice or because of the Vow?
I slipped into a ratty old pair of faded jeans that had holes in them because of intense combat training, but they look like I bought them that way. I put on the long, white sleeve under shirt and tossed on my brown leather airplane pilot jacket. I wondered what shoes to put on.
She knocked on my door and asked, “Are you dressed yet?”
“Yeah,” I said.
She burst open the door and nearly stumbled on her shimmery skinny high heels, but she caught herself to stay on her feet. I tried not to laugh but I couldn’t help it. She hit me in the arm with her black hand clutch. She used Nazarite power so it stung a bit.
“Ouch.” I winced.
“You need to woman up.” She barked.
“Isn’t the phrase ‘Man Up’?” I was confused.
“I changed it. Women have a higher threshold for pain, plus we give birth to watermelons. Men seem tougher but women are because we aren’t afraid to share how we feel all the time. So… Woman up.” She explained searching for what I assumed were shoes for me, as she looked amongst my vast shoe collection. I kept every box that all my shoes came in.
“But I expressed how I was feeling, with ‘Ouch’… I think I was plenty woman enough at that moment.” I reasoned.
She stopped looking only to glare at me unamused. Her face looked disturbed by my defense. She rolled her eyes and sighed as she resumed her shoe search.
“I was wrong… you need to grow up.” She said, eyeing a pair of my limited edition Speedster FlyGordons. They were red with a blue flame design on the outer rim of the soles of the shoes. She placed the lid back on the black and gold box and she shoved the shoe box onto my chest, forcing me to take it like a football fresh off the snap of a play in motion. “These will do.”
“Maybe I act like a kid because no one lets me do what I want or choose for myself.” I snapped really offended by her remark. She thinks I’m childish like Raphael said back in New Mexico.
Staring at me, clearly annoyed, “Fine, choose your own shoes. Change your whole outfit if you want. Just don’t take forever.”
She stormed out of my room and slammed the door shut.
I didn’t really want to change my clothes, I like what she picked, but the jacket was kind of a weird pick. I really liked the FlyGordons she picked out, but I had to change at least one thing to prove I could make my own choices.
My hair grew out enough to rock a man-bun. I decided to wear my orange construction boots and put my hair up in a messy bun. I walked out of my room and she wasn’t in the hallway.
I heard the sound of a box rummaging again, but this time in the living room.
“Why are you going through boxes like you have some claim on them?” I hounded. I finally had enough.
“Sorry, I was just wondering if you had a journal on banshees. I’ve never come across one and we might tonight. My dad said your family line literally has faced every dark foe under the sun times a thousand. No enemy is new to you guys.” She explained combing her hair back, out of her face with her fingers.
She really needs to stop doing seductive moves like that.
“Wow, can you try to lust a little less? I’m nearly catching what you’re feeling.” Nike huffed agitatedly.
“Sorry.” I apologized and then I asked, “Where are we going?”
“I’m getting my soul tie broken tonight and there is a chance you might have the opportunity to become stain free too.”
“Really, how?” I wondered.
“Brynn, my ex, has been living here for the past year. Right now, she is on hiatus to focus on her mental health. The past few nights, she’s been appearing at clubs and getting paid to be there to draw a big crowd. I know which club hired her tonight and I am going to ask her to break the soul tie between us.” She shared.
“And how will that help me?” I asked.
“Celeste Vallmond, Brynn’s oldest friend, is visiting with her for a bit. Celeste is also the new girlfriend of Dead Life’s frontman: Edgar Quinton, and Dead Life is playing live at this club tonight. Celly will definitely be there.” Nike said.
I was curious why Celeste was hanging around with Brynn still. And she said the alters of each coven member are made in sets. From each set members are paired in connections to help build a more realistic life. Also, Nike didn’t understand how, but a psychic hive mind could be connected through the alters of paired sets.
For example, Celeste and Brynn could partake in the same hive mind, but Ari and Brynn couldn’t because those alters weren’t created in the same set. I didn’t get it at all. The world of witches baffled me.
“Yeah, my father repeatedly battled banshees.” I told her.
Irish folklore said they were fairy women that appeared to people, of a particular bloodline, and wailed when someone died or was about to die.
That was partly true. Banshees started in Ireland, but they weren’t fairies. They were the spirits of women who signed their souls over to Satan to spare a family member from dying. The reason they became predictors of death was because of the superstition that comes with them. They come wailing to their own family when they realize their deal didn’t work and the family member still died. They appear throughout generations to family members trying to warn them not to follow any path of darkness. But they can only create a wailing sound to the normal human ear. When their family members fear death is coming for someone in the family they seek out the Occult or Darkness to evade the death. Some families sell their daughters to the Enemy to spare a son or a more loved daughter from an early death.
It was one of the scummiest ploys the Enemy ever conjured up.
About 200 years ago, Satan changed banshee soul contracts. He lets them take on human form, at will, to assist witch covens. The real kicker is, they can turn into banshee form and wail loud enough to burst eardrums. When battling Nazarites, witches like to use them as distractions to create time to get away.
Father blocked out the wailing by listening to Bach on a walkman on blast. Music played in certain keys neutralized the frequency of the banshee wail, fighting sound with sound so-to-speak.
Nike added Bach’s most famous piece to her streaming playlist and then we were off.
We bypassed the line. We held hands, with our fingers intertwined, and Nike said, “He’s with me to the bouncer-gate-keeper.”
He unlatched the rope to let us through the door. As we passed him, he commented, “I didn’t think men were your type.”
“He’s my brother.” She giggled.
Okay… Nike was just a puzzle impossible to be solved. Why would our cover story be brother and sister? Or is she just messing with the bouncer?
Whatever, it felt nice to hold hands with her and I was picking up that she enjoyed it too.
Quickly we spot Brynn in the VIP section, in her own golden tent with her entourage. It was hard to tell if Celly was with her or not, but most likely Celly was wherever the band was hanging out before their time slot.
I suggested we divide and conquer, but Nike demanded we stay united. I thought we would approach Brynn right away. Instead, we waited at the bar, sipping on drinks. Nike freakishly stared at Brynn making no conversation with me. Of course, our drinks were non-alcoholic, which was lame, but we vowed not to drink… so…
Brynn got up with two girls from her she-pack and went for the ladies room. Nike took my hand and we followed them. Before lunging into the massive unisex bathroom, Nike turned the Bach on repeat and blasted it from her smartphone and we cautiously treaded into the bathroom together.
The three ladies stood in fighting position, Brynn knew we followed her and the bathroom was conveniently cleared of other people. Brynn looked the same from when I first met her, except her hair was long past her shoulders. She was blonde too, maybe it was last time, I don’t know. Pencil thin like back then too, and sort of not my type, but very attractive. She was for sure an 8, maybe a 9 to most men, more like a 6 on my scale though.The accompanying ladies were either biracial or perhaps of Hispanic descent. It was hard to tell, but they were hot. They nearly looked alike, I’m guessing they’re sisters. Maybe even twins. The two bombshells on each side of Brynn faded into ghost shells of themselves. Their mouths opened wide dislodging their jaws out of place and they wailed like the banshees they were. But the music did help. I think. We still heard them screaming but our eardrums weren’t exploding.
Brynn literally starts working jiu jitsu moves on Nike, and Nike countered each move. When Brynn tried to kick Nike in the face, Nike crossed her arms fast enough in front of her own face for protection. When Brynn tried to sweep Nike’s legs, she jumped rocket high to avoid the attack. Nike didn’t really fight back though.
The banshee chicks took human form and decided to twin matrix me. I swear they were hovering off the floor and using kung fu on me while floating circles around me. My krav maga was rusty and I’m pretty sure they broke some of my ribs.
But the mad skill of Nike got the witch pinned to the floor after a solid 5ish minutes of nonstop fighting. I took care of the banshees.
I witnessed Nike psychotic level scream for Brynn to break the soul tie between them, and Brynn just started laughing. For real, Nike was sitting on slender Brynn, using her forearm to keep Brynn pinned down by the neck. I held the banshee twins in a double headlock crouched over. I continuously rustled to keep them bound up to me, but I needed the exercise.
“I can’t help you. I’m not Brynn.”
“Yes, you are, Brynn’s the model.” Nike stated.
“She is, but tonight I’m Isabella DeLuna. We had a feeling you would be coming.” The woman laughed sinisterly. “Without Brynn being present, you can’t break the soul tie.”
Frustrated, Nike hollered as she got up, off one of the world’s biggest supermodels. Brynn stood up and the banshees I wrangled faded into ghost-like creatures and phased out of my double grasp. If they could always do that, why didn’t they do that earlier?
Brynn– Isabella– supermodel chick spoke in a language I don’t think any earthling could translate and the banshee twins straightened out their outfits and primped their hair, and left the bathroom.
“Come near Brynn again, and you won’t walk away after the fight.” Isabella said to Nike. As she approached the bathroom entry point, the supermodel chick glanced at me, “And Celeste isn’t here, Ari is out on assignment tonight.”
Angrily, Nike threw her clutch at the furthest wall down by the end stalls.
“Months, years really, I’ve been waiting for this moment and it’s gotten me nothing!”
“Hey, it’s not like the marks interfere with our work. Do we even need to really get rid of them?”
Nike rushed over to the sinks. Leaning on her palms on the counter, she started crying. I could feel the swirl of anger, sorrow, grief, shame, and guilt bottled up in her.
“I need it gone,” she cried.
Desperately wanting her pain to end, I hurried over to her and started rubbing her back hoping that would comfort her. She surprisingly didn’t reject my touch, instead, she moved from the sink counter and clung to me and we slipped into each other’s embrace.
Continuing to cry, she explained, “Every day I wake up, and I look at my arm, and I am haunted by my past. An ugly past where I ran from my problems instead of facing them. My past where I gave into my flesh and I looked for intimacy in the wrong places. My past that was plagued with demonic torment and sinful choices. And even worse, it makes me think of her, or the Brynn I loved. And missing her isn’t the worst part, but knowing that she didn’t really love me back… It just makes me believe that I’m unworthy of being loved. I know it isn’t true but I feel that way.”
She squeezed me tighter and I gently began to sway side to side. It just felt right.
Slowly, peace overtook everything she was feeling. She let go of me to wipe her tears with her bare hands. I grabbed some paper towels and offered them to her.
She accepted the rough paper cloths from me, “Thank you.”
“No problem,” I said.
After she used water to rinse her face and teary eyes, she made herself comfortable nestling under my left arm. I hold her by the shoulder and we finally leave the bathroom.
Death Life was on stage playing some weird grunge techno. Their light show was sick though. The frontman, Edgar, was not a pretty man, and he had a gnarly batch of demons attached to him. I almost felt sorry Celeste was forced to date that, but then again, I wasn’t sorry for her.
Back at the loft, I let Nike barrow one of my shirts and a pair of sweats, and we hung out on the living room floor binge watching a show about teen drama in a small southern town, with two half-brothers that played basketball and kept swapping girlfriends every season. The displaced couch was what we leaned our backs against when we got tired of slouching. We ate ice cream, cookies, chips and candy… everything unhealthy. I take that back, we had some veggie chips.
She fell asleep first, leaning her head on my shoulder. I think it was safe to think that she was sort of into me.
Definitely, future Mrs. Jude Priestly.
*Edited by Kristen Wenneborg