《Ramblings of the Mad Woman - Book One》Chapter Fifteen Three Troublesome Witches


Chapter Fifteen

Three Troublesome Witches


Kolo’s Throne room, an hour until Sunset, 28th, October

Kolo peer down upon Darciana in her crypt, her eyes went wide at his charred appearance, “You look ghastly.” He said as he lifted her out of the tomb, “I actually prefer this terrifying look.” Now Darciana’s eyes went wider as she recognized him gasping, “Oh. It is you!” He sneered, “Yes, circumstances require I be myself until healed.” He placed her in the heavy wooden chair, fastening a belt at her waist, behind the chair’s back.

Darciana’s mind was racing as Kolo placed her wrist in the metal cuff on the armrest. She babbled, “I had not realized you had another image, how is this possible?” Kolo smugly laughed as he fastened her other wrist, “Not too good at being a clairvoyant are you. At least you are good at hexes, charms, and curses; I might need another before the day is out.” Her head spun as he now latched her ankle in a cuff on the chair leg.

Darciana gasped, “Yet I should have realized it was the damn mad woman’s fault the moment you entered bringing Samala here!” Now Samala’s superior tone was heard from the other room, coming from her open tomb, “What have I to do with your capture, cousin.” Kolo left Darciana to fume as he went to get Samala. Now she choked out at the sight of him, “What has happened to your face and hands!”

Kolo growled down into her face, “Your fucking husband’s damn barrier that is what happened!” Samala sneered, “It is your own fault for breaking your promised to leave my children alone.” Kolo lifted her out of the Greek tomb, carrying her to the waiting chair next to Darciana, and he said bitterly, “Did you keep your end of that bargain?” She hissed, “No.” Kolo sneered, “Then you should accept that there are punishments!”

Samala gave a smug sigh, “I guess I am not as good at faking things the way others are.” Now examining him, her sight still blurred she blinked looking at him again and now gasped in horror, “Oh my Hell, I know you!” Kolo sat her in the chair as Darciana mocked, “You are slow to admit it.” He strapped the stunned Samala in as she replied, “I had not seen his true image for nearly a decade before he captured me!”

Kolo clasped her wrists in, as Samala demanded of them both, “What has Darciana to do with my capture?” Kolo smirked, “A lot. She charmed my jewelry so no one could read my thoughts. Then she hexed the necklace I tricked Sidonia into buying for you, so that you lost your gift. Then a bracelet I convinced Sidonia she needed to give you, so I could learn where you were and capture you at the sanitarium.”

Darciana defended her actions, “I admit I saw no harm in charming his jewelry so others did not know his thoughts. When he came back wanting a hex the necklace to block a Witch’s gift. I said no.” Samala hissed, “Then what the hell am I doing here dear betrayer!” Kolo laughed as he finished clamping Samala’s ankles in.” Darciana hissed, “Guess. Father saw the money and insisted.”

Kolo left them to go retrieve his third witch, as Darciana admitted, “I realized he was trying to harm you when he gave me your hair, and I refused to have any part of it.” Father hurt me, and threatened to shun me.” So good at blaming others Samala scoffed, “And you could not find a way around it or even thought to warn me?” Kolo gleefully called back to answer for the reluctant Darciana, “Oh she tried!”


Samala sneered, “Yet here I am!” Kolo added, “You have yourself to blame for that. Darciana got very close to ruining everything! Poor girl was at the front gate of your Blackstone Castle, and while attempting to convince them that she had an important message for you, I captured her! That is what you get for never admitting your Rambler past.” Samala hissed, “What has my past got to do with anything?”

Now Darciana vented, “The guards did not care for the look of me, father had beaten me for refusing and when I said I was your cousin they called me a liar, saying you had no family. Had they known they would have let me in. Instead, Kolo rolled up claiming I was his runaway slave, and they did nothing as he took me! I doubt they even told you.” Samala mocked, “If you are so innocent, why did you still do the bracelet?”

Darciana taunted, “I was already captured by him!” Kolo added, “Oh Samala, you have been far more compliant that she. In fact, Darciana held out through days and nights of torture, still saying no, before giving in to my demands. You know I always get my way eventually.” Samala only gave a dismissive sniff. Kolo now brought the third Witch, an Egyptian, over to the table, and put her across from the angry cousins.

Unlike the other two, Kolo only cuff one of her ankles, which linked to a lengthy heavy chain, and then attached to the leg of her chair. Wobbling she stood to peer into the bowl. Now Kolo said as he limped out of the Craftroom, “Behave, and rest up. I have something important to do, and when I get back you had all better be ready to do as I ask!”


Princess Sidonia woke to a familiar voice seething at her, “So you would really leave without even saying goodbye?” Fear had Sidonia lifting her hood from her sight to look up into Rorik’s brown eyes, with a slight moss green mist to them. He said through clenched teeth, “Hello sister.” She was startled at his anger and afraid as she gasped, “How-?”

He cut her off with his usual wicked smile of annoyance, “While we had different father’s we do share an Oracle as our mother.” Sidonia shook her head looking about, “Is Father with you?” Rorik leaned against the side rail trailing his fingers in the water, wanting to close his heart off from her, as he lazily replied, “No, I am alone. Do you want him here?”

Sidonia shook her head with guilt and humiliation. Rorik glanced at her seeing only disappointment and relief. Now he lied, “I was at the Rambler Camp last night and had just fallen asleep, when I woke to a dream vision of you fleeing the castle in fear-.” Her gasp cut him off, “I only left this morning at dawn!”

Rorik nodded, enjoying her amazement at his power, even if it was untrue. He would have loved to see her face if she knew what really woke him up. He finished coldly, “I assumed it was a warning, and it has taken all night to get to the gateway and half of today to catch up with you.” Now he wanted to put her in fear, “So just how much trouble are you in?”

She hissed at him, “You must leave while we are at the dock, and please lower your voice.” She glanced at the passengers. Then she added, “I cannot have anyone hear you nor remember me. His men are looking for me!” He mocked her avoidance, “Why are we on a ferry? Since you are running away, why not pick a good horse, Father has plenty.”


Princess Sidonia sighed, “I am safer on the water. Also, I am not running away; as much as I am leading him away, from all of you. So trust me that your life is in danger if you stay and it is safer if I do this alone. Hurry and get off before the ferry leaves.” Being an older brother Rorik naturally did the opposite, as he stood up from leaning on the rail. He hesitated a moment enjoying the hope in her eyes.

Although he did hate that he had been ordered to be there. Still he relished watching her hope be snuff out as he defiantly sat down. Sidonia groaned and Rorik asked in a slow drawl, “So who is he and exactly how much danger are we in?” He already suspected that her involvement with this Kolo was a love affair, yet he wanted to hear her say it, first. His hand instinctively fingered the hilt of his nearest dagger.

Sidonia saw this hoping he felt the danger they were in. She glared trying to hear his thoughts, then saw the chain about his neck as his open shirt moved to reveal it. She stopped trying, ever since he started wearing it, she could no longer hear his thoughts. It had her suspicious then, and worried it was for darker reasons now. Rorik asked again, “Who is he?” The princess clenched her jaw, determined to remain silent.

Rorik tried to make light of it with a grin, “Let me guess then, he is an immortal!” The wide-eyed look of shock, as well as distrust that Sidonia gave him was priceless, and made him feel she earned and deserved every bad thing that was coming for her.


The Egyptian gave them a snide grin. The two knew she was just trying to rub salt in their wounds, and flaunt her extra freedom. Yet it was short lived as Nepathi collapsed back into her seat. The three sat there weak, angry, and glaring at each other as they waited to find out what Kolo wanted from them this time. Darciana looked about and wondered where Lola was, then asked the Egyptian, “What is in the bowl?”

Nepathi now sneered at them both, “None of your business.” As Kolo entered, they saw he carried blank paper, and a key. He went to stand before a locked bookshelf put the key in and then opened it. Now, gazing at the rows of grimoires, he occasionally took one down to thumb through it, and then put it back. As he found one of use, Kolo would put it on a small table, and continue looking. The three witches lost interest.

Samala said to her cousin, “I think the Egyptian has no clue as to what is in the bowl.” Darciana nodded in agreement and Nepathi hissed, “I do so. In fact, I knew all about how you two caused each other’s capture and wondered which of you would finally realize the hand you both played in getting each of you here.” Samala said in a bored tone, “Oh good for you, for being an insignificant fly on the wall.”

While Darciana huffed, “That makes you the superior bitch.” Nepathi felt anger at this still she gave them a smug smile, until Darciana added, “Yet, clearly you are not the smartest witch here, or Kolo could have simply used you to charm and hex his fucking jewelry! Then there would have been no need for him to come find me!” Samala enjoyed seeing her cousin was more furious with the Egyptian than her.


Prince Rorik would have laughed. However, the knowledge that she had betrayed them all again, made causing the terror in her eyes feel justified, and still not enough of a punishment. It did have him a little hesitant of what he had come here to do. He still secretly hoped that this was the day, she would finally lead him to the January Man.

Sidonia gave him the most vicious glare she could, hoping it would shut him up and send him off the ferry. She was foolishly trying to save him, never suspecting he wanted revenge. He leaned in stating, “Hate me all you want, I cannot leave when I do not know where you are going nor how you will defend yourself. What would M-Father think if I did?”

Princess Sidonia hissed under her breath, “This is not about a lost puppy. You cannot help me just leave now. Stay and you are likely to die.” It was too late as the ferry came away from the dock; she grabbed his wrist trying to yank him up. Rorik grinned at her look of doom, easily resisting. As he wanted to believe that she was willingly involved, he was surprised that she would dare face this alone, and try so hard to save him.

It had him feeling ashamed, as he could not say he would do the same for her. She looked frightened as she gasped, “What are you thinking! Why would you want to risk your life?” Her earnestness gave him guilt at not revealing his reasons. Rorik shrugged saying, “Perhaps I am bored enough that I would never forgive myself for missing this adventure, so accept that we are stuck together now.”

This angered Princess Sidonia more so she said, “For someone who is eight years older you are acting like you are only eight! This is not a fun little bit of mischief. Father will never be able to forgive me if you die, so promise to leave at the next dock, before I cause your death too.” Rorik was relieved she stopped glaring, yet became deadly serious as he lowered his voice, “Too? Who is dead?”

She shook her head and was silent. Rorik asked with true worry, “Tell me the truth. What have you gotten yourself into Sid?”


Kolo came back with his stack of books, placing them near Nepathi. Bringing the top one to her, Kolo opened it to the page he had marked, and pointed at the spell as he said, “I think this one might be best for our situation.” Nepathi ran her finger down the needed items, nodding as she read the instructions, and then said, “Yes it will do for our first try.” Kolo sighed with relief getting himself a blood drink.

She went to the shelves slowly, dragging her chain along the stone floor. Finding a small cauldron, then the oil burner, and stone mortar with its pestle, Nepathi brought them to the table. Kolo came to sit at the head of the table, in a chair equally as beautiful as his throne. Glancing up occasionally, he made notes on the paper, taking a drink as he remembered all Lola told him of bringing him to life, and then wrote about their ordeal.

Still he watched Nepathi as she accumulated the needed things. Next, she came back with two cages. Then she sat for a moment getting her breath as she reviewed the list. Standing back up Nepathi took a basket, using it to collect two bat wings, a live caterpillar, and she scooped two human eyes from a jar, then came back sitting down heavily informing him, “I do not see a large knife anywhere.” Kolo went to unlock a drawer.

Samala huffed, “Finally. I thought if I had to endure the noise of that chain another second I might scream.” The Egyptian hissed, “Imagine it about your throat, I would pay to hear that scream.” Kolo hesitantly sat the knife down by her, as Nepathi stared at the book. Samala watched the insect inch out of the basket and now giggled, “Your maggot is attempting to escape.” Nepathi reacted by bringing down the knife, spiking it.

Then the Egyptian sneered, “It is hardly mine when I have been collecting them from between your legs each night.” Samala was deeply offended, “You are a Liar, and very crude.” Kolo scolded, “That was overly vulgar, and Samala was being helpful.” The Egyptian replied, “Oh yes, protect your bloody queen. Honestly, do you really expect me to be pleasant, while I do you a favor, when I am suffering a rebirth?”

Darciana rolled her eyes, “It is not a maggot, it is a bloody caterpillar-?” She was instantly silent as she looked at the items with suspicion. Kolo frowned, and then agreed with Nepathi, still he mocked, “No I do not expect joy. Yet it would be nice if you could keep the insults out of the realm of disgusting.” Darciana now leaned over the table as far as her bindings allowed to look passed the items and see the book.

After another sip, Kolo noticed Nepathi was mumbling rather than starting. He impatiently demanded, “Well, do you have everything?” She shook her head saying with uncertainty, “I did not see the rest. Ah, do you have graveyard dirt, and these last things you will not have and it will be very difficult to get.” He snorted, “Why what are they?” Nepathi tried then said, “I-I cannot pronounce. I think these items are very rare poisons.”

That comment had Darciana sitting back in her chair as she huffed darkly, “I thought so.” Kolo went to see the final items, reading it he gasped with glee, “So it is, how perfect.” Two of the three Witches found his happiness odd, since he would not have it. Kolo grabbed her basket as he said with dark glee, “It just so happens that I pride myself in being an expert on poisons and so I have cultivated an outstanding selection.”

Samala glared, “Well that does not come as a surprise to me.” Darciana looked at her with curiosity as her cousin finished, “Not since I just realized you poisoned my first husband!” Kolo giggled like a mischievous little boy, “So I did. How fun it is to see your horror! Thank you for that golden look at a long ago sweetly dark memory.”


Sidonia refused to say who died, knowing Rorik would never leave. He scoffed, ‘Just another lie.’ He looked at their fellow passengers, knowing he needed her alone, so Rorik offered, “If it is that bad, get off at the next dock with me, and we can go to Witch Island. They can always help you.” It was not just the response; it was the hardness in Sidonia’s tone, “No!” It was adamant, and Rorik’s mouth dropped open.

It had hit him, causing a worried surprise, which filled him with disbelief that she finally stood up to him, he felt a little proud of her, and glad no one had died. Then Rorik remembered he was supposed to kill her and felt sick. He covered by saying, “I was just half kidding about needing the Witches! Sid what did you do to be so ashamed you cannot tell me about it, nor go for help to the Witches when they are our family?”

He now wished he thought through his plan first, as she seemed hell bent on remaining silent, and turned from him to look up river. It seemed to him, she half expected to see Kolo in a boat, during daylight. Rorik thought on it a while, as his sister took a deep breath. The princess was trying to calm herself, so she could get a vision on how to avoid revealing all of her deepest fears.

Rorik had always had a way of getting them from her. Prince Rorik now chuckled nervously, as he saw her panicking, “You were giving me the death stare, and that always means I have hit the nail on the head.” She coldly replied, “Yes. Do be proud of yourself for nailing me in my coffin.” Her comment could not have been more prophetic. He frowned wondering why she would say that and worried she knew why he was here.

As he changed to an innocent teasing tone, “Come on it cannot be that bad, surely Romina could help.” She turned looking at him as she pled, “It only will be bad if you stay.” Sidonia was angry that she had not laughed him off or ignored him all together then he might have left. Now she felt doomed into fulfilling another of her Mother’s prophecies.


Kolo joyfully added, “You do realize it was your own fault for leading me on.” He dumped out the basket and wandered to a wall, as Samala gasped, “I never cared for you, let alone pretended! It was a job and I acted professionally.” They heard a click, as Kolo unlatched the panel’s release; he grabbed a lamp and went inside the hidden room. Samala and Darciana were struggling to see over their left shoulder.

He came back with the items, saying, “I brought both forms of the Destroying Angel, a fresh and a powdered, which do you think we should use?” Looking at them both Nepathi tapped the powdered form. He nodded, “I agree.” He took it back and returned with the basket half-full, and locked the panel as he said, “Mushrooms love it down here. I have Autumn Skullcap and Webcap for you.” He set a closed basket before her.

Kolo added, “The flowers, Angel’s Trumpet, and Devil’s Pulpit are naturally in their dried form. Is there anything else?” She hesitated then shook her head and he questioned, “Why are you so uncertain?” She cautiously replied, “This is not in my language, so I am translating it. And since it is for her, I am being overly careful.” He nodded yet looked suspiciously at her, then gasped, “I forgot the graveyard dirt.”

He hobbled off down the catacombs Darciana and Samala had a meaningful glance between them as Samala mouthed, ‘Her?’ Darciana mouthed her reply, ‘Lola.’ Samala’s eyes went wide as she looked about and then nodded. Darciana nodded to the bowl and whispered, “That is Lola, right?” Nepathi only nodded her head, as they heard him coming back. He set a burlap bag of dirt before her, and then went to sit down.


Sidonia bit her lip as she looked back the way they had come, and then at the sky, noting the placement of the sun, as she unintentionally said aloud, “If he has the power of fire, why would he avoid the sun?” Rorik felt confused, “I thought he was immortal?” She said nothing, and her half brother started to worry she was here about a different problem. He scoffed, “Fire? So he must be a Witch or is he a Wizard?”

She hoped he could not guess how bad it was, and did not reply. Rorik huffed, “Why did you ask about the sun burning him? Is he a vampire or not?” She was silent, Rorik felt he had to pry, “Tell all and do not leave anything out!” He was annoyed with himself for needing it to be the January Man so badly. Still, if he did kill her and Kolo did not come it would be damning himself for nothing plus he would never get his mother.

Sidonia finally hissed, “I cannot tell you, it would only put you in more danger. It may cause the worst of Mother’s visions to come true. I cannot bear that.” Rorik gasped, “You never call her Mother it is always Samala!” The full power of his protective instincts kicked in and now Rorik felt deeply uncomfortable due to her eerie plea, as it also excited him. He knew talking of their mother always broke Sidonia’s defenses.

He skillfully used it, “You know our mother was not right in the head, as much as I still love her, she was and likely still is a mad woman-.” Sidonia mocked, “And it is why she ran off and died in a ditch somewhere.” This angered Rorik, “Could you be any crueler? I come to help you and this is the thanks I get.” He asked in a dark whisper, “Sid, please tell me what you have done to be here!”

She ignored him only saying, “I was just repeating what the other Witches say. I could have said worse.” Rorik huffed, “How can it be worse than dead in a ditch?” She kept her lips tight as she shook her head, and he saw the fear in her eyes, it gave him hope it was about Kolo.


After a few moments, Kolo barked at Nepathi, “Well, get on with it!” She took the goat from its cage, and slit its throat over the ashes in the bowl. Now she tossed it and sent its cage tumbling after it. Next, she unlatched the basket and brought out a snake. Nepathi slit the snake by its jaws found its poison pouches, and removed them placing them in the bowl. Then she tossed the dead snake at Samala who screamed.

The Egyptian mocked her scream as she pushed the snake’s basket off the table. Kolo snickered at her vile mood; while she grumbled stirring it into the ashes as she chanted, “Accept this goat, take this poison, open your grip, and release this Shade.” Then she took the rooster, and slit its throat pouring the blood into her cauldron, when finished she tossed its carcass and did the same with its cage. Darciana started to snicker.

Nepathi said a curse in her tongue, sending dark green mist in the shape of a scorpion towards her. Darciana made a sign with her fist and fingers, even with abound wrist. Then she spit and her own light moss green mist and runes flew with it hitting the white scorpion. It dissolved the scorpion, blocking Nepathi’s hex. Kolo groaned, “Please do not distract yourselves from the job at hand, or I will retaliate.”

Nodding Nepathi put two dried bat wings in a stone bowl, and ground them with the pestle then dumped it in the cauldron. Darciana now mocked, “I think you better light your caldron dear, otherwise you might as well used the bowl for everything.” Nepathi did not look up as she tossed the knife impaling it in the chair next to Darciana's neck, and then begrudgingly lit the cauldron sneering, “Thank you.”

Whispering a hex Darciana then said, “You are welcome.” The Egyptian glared at her, and lifted the burner, threatening to throw it at her. Kolo sneered, “Tsk. You are three troublesome Witches.” They glared at him and then at each other. Then Kolo added with a dark chuckle, “While your hex is entertaining do not do something that causes me to see you regret it! I will enjoy it too much.” His giggle made the three cringe.

Darciana replied, “You force me to just watch, and it is a torment because she is spilling on my bloody Grimoire and mucking up my spell!” Kolo nearly clapped his hands with glee, at the last second he remembered how painful they still were. Instead he only giggled, “Imagine that, I forgot that book was yours.”


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