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Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Contest · #2174927
An ancient initiation must be performed to awaken the family magic powers.
Uncle Wilburn smiled as I opened the ancient book he handed me. “Did you know that this book has been with this family for over five hundred years?”
I shook my head, I did not know that. “So, why are you showing me this now?”
“It’s time you learn the truth about your family history.” I was stunned, “What are you talking about?” I turned to Aunt Helen who was unusually silent, “What is Uncle Wilburn talking about?” Aunt Helen’s smile was weak, “Listen to your uncle. He’ll tell you the whole story.”
I pulled out the chair and sat, I suddenly needed it as my knees buckled. “OK, tell me…”
“Our last name is not Jones, …its McRaven.”
I laughed, “Oh, I get it, It’s approaching Halloween and you guys want to scare me in advance…”
“No Susan, what we are about to tell you is the truth, not a Halloween prank.” Uncle Wilburn replied.
I turned to Aunt Helen who shifted her gaze to Snuggles, our family cat as she lifted her head as though she wanted to be part of this conversation.
“McRaven, Susan McRaven…” I whispered the unfamiliar name, my name. “This is ridiculous! What will I tell my friends? That my family has lied to me all this time, and that at eighteen I am being told that I am not Susan Jones!”
“There’s more,” Uncle Wilburn said.
The sharp words I wanted to spit froze on my lips. There’s more? What more is there that is worse than we are not who everyone thinks we are?
“It’s time for your initiation. It’s our family tradition.” Uncle said.
I couldn’t believe my ears what initiation is this?
Aunt Helen took my hands, “It’s true Suzie, now that you are eighteen, you need to know the truth about your heritage and the initiation you must go through on the night of the full moon.”
“This is creeping me out.” I cried, “What initiation? Why now?”
Uncle Wilburn rose to his feet and the evening air felt suddenly chilly.
“For more than five hundred years, the McRaven family has kept its tradition of passing on the ancient book to the next in line.”
I almost forgot the book I had opened and at that moment, I glanced at its ancient calligraphy which I could not understand.
“This ancient book of powerful spells was first held by your great great great great great grandmother Helga McRaven and ever since then has been passed down to any girl born in the family with the mark.” Aunt Helen’s grip tightened, and I wanted to scream. “You have the mark Susan.”
I was about to protest when it hit me, my birthmark!
I have always wondered about my birthmark, a dark, irregular patch on my back that was like a scar on my pale skin. I hated that mark and when I was little, I wanted to rub it off (of course I couldn’t reach around to do it anyway.)
“In two days, the full moon will be at its brightest and your initiation into the coven of the black witches must be performed.” Uncle Wilburn intoned. I could hear my heart pounding, this is unreal. I wanted all this to be a dream.
“Do I have to go through with this?” I asked “Surely, there must be other ways. What about Christie, why not her?” Even as I said those words, I felt ashamed that I was willing to sacrifice my younger sister to an initiation I didn’t want to endure.
Aunt Helen shook her head, “You are the chosen one dear. Only you have that mark.”
Uncle Wilburn took the book and turned the parchment pages until he stopped somewhere in the center. “For your initiation, you must practice this spell of preparation. This spell must be perfected by the time the full moon hits its peak in two days. Should you fail, your magic powers will not be granted, and you will not be allowed to take your place among the family line of black witches.”
I smiled, this should be simple enough. I’ll just fail the initiation and lose the chance to become a black witch. I couldn’t believe that in this modern day and age people believe this rubbish.
“You have to do it Susan” Snuggles hissed.
I almost fell from the chair in shock and disbelief. “Sh-sh-she s-s-spoke!”
Uncle Wilburn and Aunt Helen looked at the family cat, sadness etched in their faces.
“Yes Alicia, we know you are suffering but it’s all your fault for not doing what you were instructed for your initiation.” Uncle Wilburn whispered. The cat wailed, “I’m sorry. How was I to know this would have happened to me?”
I trembled. “Uncle Wilburn, Aunt Helen Isn’t there something you guys could do? Aren’t there other ways to get around this? I really don’t want to do this. Please?”
Three pairs of eyes turned to me as I shivered in my seat. “There is no other way. It must be done” they intoned.

Word count: 844.
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