The Lady of Porthcawl

My writing buddy Craig over at Entertaining Stories and I decided to write a story together. He took one part and I the other, then we switched and made sure the story fit together. It did, and I have to say it’s pretty awesome. Each story stands alone, but it’s so much better if you read them both. I would prefer you read Craig’s side first Macabre Macaroni, The Hunter then come back and read mine.

The Lady of Porthcawl

I tire of the Old Crusader’s antics, the game of cat and mouse he continues to play. He’ll make a move today or tomorrow, he may have forgotten but I haven’t. I’ve watched as he prepared, I’ve seduced information from those who’ve assisted him.

Glancing into the sky, the sun is closer to the western horizon. I’ve taken his elder into my bed, planting my wishes in his head as I fulfill his desires. He gives me any capricious wants with a flutter of my eye, or a pout of my lips. Poor Old Crusader, the fool can’t understand why they betrayed him. The giggles shake within my bodice.

Bending down I whisper an enchantment to the blooming bush. “You and I are the same,” I coo, “both the most powerful women in Porthcawl.” La Belladonna nods, giving her permission. “He killed Nell, and the babe in her womb.” I whisper taking a thin stem into my hands, “it’s the eve of her death make him pay for his transgressions to the Braddock’s.” The bush shivers, three leaves shimmer in the sunlight, I pluck them from the stem. One leaf is enough to kill a grown man. Three will not only kill the Crusader, they’ll suck the life from him.

“Did you rest well my beautiful, Bleiddian?” His large paws crush the fallen twigs. The massive wolf tips his head to the right. “Yes, we end the Crusader tonight.” His silver eyes sparkle within the darkness of his black fur. I pull my skirts up and tuck the leaves into my garter. Straightening my skirts, I turn my back on the Beast of Porthcawl.

Holding my hands out towards La Bella, I feel the residue from her leaves lift from my hands. I bow, and offer a few words of gratitude. Bleiddian closes the space between us, pressing his large head into my side. Scratching between his ears, I pull him with me as I sit on the bare patch of dirt. He lays his head in my lap. “You’ve been a good boy, striking terror in their hearts. Devouring the ones that refuse to call me Lady of Porthcawl.” He growls, as I laugh. “They fear you, and they disrespect me. Poor fools.”

Sliding my hand over his strong shoulders, I separate clumps of his black fur tipped in silver. My familiar is as beautiful as the full moon on the blackest of nights. It’s only reasonable for the strongest witch to have such a beautiful animal as her assistant.

Bleiddian raises his head from my lap, and looks to the east. “Let us go, there’s much to prepare before tonight. I place my left hand at the back of the large wolf’s head as we walk home in silence. Listening to the trees and air, energy tingles near the lines. Bleiddian stops walking and cocks his head in that direction. “Come, beautiful. I’ll explain at home.”

Our small home rests nestled among the trees. Bleiddian runs from my side, he lopes around the wooden cottage and stops at the door. I reach over the wolf and twist the knob, opening the door. Bleiddian bursts into the kitchen and lies down near the hearth. Pulling up my skirt, I remove the three leaves tucked into my garter. My tools wait in a tidy line taking the mortar and pestle I begin to grind the leaves. “He’s set a trap for me.” I say as I pulverize the leaves. Bleiddian looks up; a growl pulls his lips back exposing his fangs. “At the lines. Yes, where the three elements meet.”

Without looking, I know the black wolf has tipped his head to the right, questioning me. “Old Crusader paid a youngun to do his manly work. Poor male child, digging a hole at the center of the lines. He has a wooden cross there.” I pull the dagger from the garter on my right thigh. “He plans to burn me at the stake, creating the four elements.” Bleiddian moans. I turn in time to see him cover his eyes with his massive paws.

“We still have a trick or two. Are you prepared for this?” I ask knowing he’s always ready for tricks. He sits up alert, waiting for my orders. “Bring me some death roots.” Bleiddian drops to the floor and whines. “What do you suggest?” I ask placing my hands on my hips. He springs to the far cupboard places his paws on the counter and points to the top shelve with his nose.

The Crusader would never expect it. “But first,” I say pulling his attention from the corked bottle. I take a small wooden box down from the second shelf. “We’ll leave Porthcawl without leaders. You and I will be Lord and Lady,” placing my hand on his head, I start laughing.

I light a black candle and chant. Taking a scrape of cloth with dried blood, I touch its tip to the flame, “As this blood burns to ash so you shall turn to ash. As I will it shall be.” I remove the piece of cloth I’ve kept from the Magistrate and burn it, another from the Elder, the Abbot, other members of the brotherhood, the blacksmith. I continue cursing until the box is empty.

Removing a tiny vial from a drawer I fill it with the crushed Belladonna leaves, I tuck it into the garter on my left thigh. Bleiddian watches, as I replaced the poisoned dagger to its place at my right thigh. Raising my skirts, I stretch my left leg towards the large wolf. “Mix this into the water pitcher, after one sip the Crusader won’t see the sunrise.” I twist my right thigh just enough for Bleiddian to see the dagger, “In case of an emergency. Aim for the heart.”

I know he understands, reaching for the corked bottle I spill some of the contents on him making him growl. I rub the ointment into the fur on his head and down his spine. Pouring some on my palm I mix it into my hair, rub the excess down my neck and over my cleavage. I pour more into my hand and pat it down my skirts. “Witch and familiar. Familiar and witch. One or the other. Which is which.” I begin to chant.

The air around us heats and cools. Wind blows tiny twisters around us. My voice gets deeper as Bleiddian enters my body. Go, I’ll finish the Crusader, I speak into Bleiddian’s mind.

Beast of Le Gevaudan Part 2

Dragoon Captain Jacques Duhamel laughed saying werewolves were wife’s tales and stories from superstitions, but Portefaix hand carried a petition from the villagers to King Louis IX at Versailles.

The King order the dragoons to search the surrounding mountains. After the soldiers left, the beast began a murderous rampage during the years of 1765-1767. These years are called “the time of death” in the mountains.
Parish records show daily attacks, Housewives and children were the preferred victims.

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A posse of several hundred armed men were assembled by The Marquis D’Apcher. They tracked the monster for days before they surrounded the werewolf in a grove of trees lay Le Serge D’Auvert. The monster charged the armed men after dusk. Jean Chastel said he’d moved from the group to read his prayer book. He glanced up and saw the beast coming at him.

Chastel said he’d prepared according to ancient traditions. His double-barreled musket was loaded with bullets made from a silver chalice that had been blessed by a priest. The first bullet hit the monster in the chest; he let out a howl and charged his attacker. Chastel aimed the next shot at the beast’s heart.

The werewolf dropped dead with the silver bullet in its heart.

The debate about what the beast of Le Gevaudan since the day it was killed. Some researchers think it might have been a rare leopard, others think it was a large wild boar with deadly tusks and dark, tough bristles. Chastel says of his trophy kill, it had peculiar feet, pointy ears and covered with hair. Others in the hunting party claim it was a true werewolf, half man and half wolf.

The carcass of a large wolf was paraded through some villages as proof of the beast’s death. This is known for certain. Abbe Pourcher of St. Martin de Bourchauz parish recorded statements from survivors, and interviewed members of the hunting posse. In his final report he wrote he remains mystified by the true identity of the beast of Le Gevaudan. He also noted that certain rumor had a large wolf was paraded through the village streets because the actual carcass was too terrifying to display.

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If you’re interested: tourists can still see Abbe Pourcher’s records and view the double-barreled musket that finally killed the beast. You can also view cemetery and municipal records that attest to hundreds of deaths by the monster’s hands.

**This month’s Full Moon is called Corn Moon.**

Beast of Le Gevaudan Part 1

Le Gevaudan is a barren stretch of hills and valleys in a rugged mountain range along the Auvergne palteavin southern France. Neighboring cities Lyons an Toulouse are populous, but Le Gevaudan is sparsely settled. In the 1760’s resident were terrorized by a werewolf. Allegedly hundreds of people were killed during the beast’s 3 year bloody reign.

The screams “Loup-garou!” could be heard throughout the 75 mile stretch of area that was Le Gevaudan. As peasants abandoned the small villages on the out skirts of the beast kept moving towards larger villages while hunting. The creature was described as a hairy -covered in dark bristly hair- beast that walked on two legs.

It was sworn that its face was like satans. Those who were able to escape always mentioned its “evil smell.” Deep claw marks on the victims indicated the monster sucked blood from the corpses.

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On Jun 13,1765 during the night a blizzard raged through the mountains. Pierre Chaiteauneuf lit torch and went in search of his son who hadn’t returned from watching the flock of sheep. He discovered the son’s mutilated body near the flock. He carried his son’s body back down the slope and laid the body on the plank wood floor and covered him with a quilt. He sat down and grieved. Later he’d tell the authorities that he saw the beast staring at him through the window.

The werewolf’s eyes were glassy, like a wild animal, its dark face was covered with hair. The angry farmer dashed to the opposite wall lowered the hanging musket and fired point black at the monster. The beast ducked in time to not be hit and ran away.

Chaiteauneuf reloaded and searched for the beast outside. He saw it run towards his orchard. It looked like a man covered in animal skin running away. The farmer reluctantly returned home knowing following the monster would be certain death.

Shortly after Farmer Chaiteauneuf’s son died, Jean-Pierre Pourcher told authorities that he’d been out hunting rabbits when the beast appeared from a nearby thicket, Pourcher said he’d fired at the monster but was shaking so badly he hadn’t been a good shot . He also stated the Beast of Gevaudan could run on all fours, or upright like a human.

Within the week another episode was reported. This time several children were playing hide and seek in a field outside the village of camaleilles Little Jean Pana Fieux ran into some brush to hide. He found himself face to face with the beast. Jean’s cries as feeble as they were with the beast’s hands wrapped around Jean’s neck, were able to alert his companions who ran to the village for help.

Andre Portefaix stabbed at the beast viciously with a pitchfork he’d grabbed other men with clubs and stone joined Portefaix. Together they were able to force the werewolf into the surrounding hills.

To Be Continued… 08/10/2014

**This month’s Full Moon is Called Summer Moon. **