Ancestors, they sometimes like to show up and cause trouble no matter how long ago they were born, but for most they are just skeletons in the closet.
But not in my case, mine is a fully fleshed, living and breathing ancestor. I’m sorry, I am still reeling from hearing the news that the vixen is Lettie, a great, great aunt way down my family tree, one of the roots you might say. Things suddenly became all at once very clear and at the same time, complicated. I imagine you can just about put yourself in my shoes right now. She is 279 years old and a fox. I mean that quite literally as I have no idea of how pretty or attractive she might have been before she was cursed into this form. All I can say is her genetics are quite far removed from mine, I am no foxy lady, I am rather plain and a little too thick around the waist to be honest. Not the sort of female that has men falling over themselves to be with, unlike the fox, who, as you know, has quite a sordid little back story. Well, quite thick around the waist. Agnes’ cooking though wholesome does not do very much for my waistline when for the past few months I have been sitting around researching this or that or the other. I’m almost to the point of being a couch potato. Yes, I am distracting myself from the point. Well, wouldn’t you?
Ok, so here we are with a big problem on our hands. My auntie has turned up seeking help from a pre-destined triumvirate to turn her from being a fox back into being herself and my auntie again, not sure how this will work and even less clue how this could be explained to any authorities that might catch on that there’s a walking Methuselah in town. Right now all I want to do is pinch myself and wake from this bizarre dream and find myself poring over dusty old church records in a chapel somewhere still trying to figure out my ancestry. Too much has happened for me to even think twice about that being a possibility. I’ve been stuck in a polymorph spell since discovering my grandmother’s Book of Shadows, met Joe and Agnes who figured out how to change me back, formed a triumvirate of occult practitioners, been surprised to find a fox that I could understand and then listened to her for a full night and day about her life before being set on her quest to find us 180 years ago not to mention researching polymorphing for the last two weeks. No, this isn’t a dream. I shake myself to pull myself out of my reverie and start talking.
Couldn’t this be broken by Joe simply breaking the spell by using the word and his power? Couldn’t any of us three do this? The vixen, I can’t quite yet call her Aunt Lettie, sighs heavily and explains to us that the witch who cast the spell would be long dead, that particular line of power gone so a new one had to break the spell, and what is cast by one must be undone by three. I remember now her telling us this in the last part of her story, the words the druid man , Joe’s ancestor (they get around a bit don’t they, these ancestor folk,) had said to her. I sigh and berate myself for not remembering that part but I guess it is understandable all things considered. I ask her if she has any idea what must be done to break the spell then? She says it is beyond her scope of things, that all she did was focus on herbs and medicines, her sister, Prudence, was the one who worked with magick. Another name flies in front of my eyes as I see the name Prudence written on my family tree in my own handwriting. I begin to imagine that she is also around somewhere, images of various creatures running through my head. I feel like I am losing my sanity. But then I see my family tree again, this time looking at the bottom and there is just me there, little Arin stuck at the bottom with no parents around and no cousins, no brothers or sisters, no husband and no children. It is then that I feel, very strongly, the pull of blood between me and Aunt Lettie. This is what I had been sent to do when I was guided to the Book, I had been sent on a journey to discover the reality of my bloodline, not just the cold printouts of microfiched documents or the heart ripping sadness of my parents’ death certificates. I had been sent to discover that life cannot be quenched, blood ties can never be broken, that we are all bound to similar fates and we all travel the circle of life in completeness. Yet my bloodline had an eccentric circle attached to it, one that went outside of nature’s intent. I had to put it right. I had a horrible feeling about this, wondering if by breaking the spell we would kill her and end her circle of life. I hoped that nature would not be so cruel and would be somewhat forgiving as this hand had been dealt by fate and karma together, giving odds which no mere mortal could hope to beat. Odds which we might not be able to beat if they were stacked against us also.
We had to try though so we huddled together throwing ideas around. We talked of us joining hands around Aunt Lettie and focusing the power, but we were not sure our power would match what we had been set against so we looked at incorporating other things to increase the power. We decided we must use a circle as I had told them of my insights and that all things were circular, a concept strange to most men who think along lines and despite Joe’s own practises he had struggled with the concept too, though that might have been in part due to him reeling a little like me in discovering an ancestral hand in the matter. We talked long into the evening until finally realising the time when our stomachs all at once decided to add their voices to the matter by telling us we should eat. I was running very short on ideas so I offered to help Agnes prepare supper for us all. She was looking quite taut around the face and a break from the discussions and help to cook was apparently very welcome. We leave Joe and Lettie to hog the internet, a wonder of this modern age that has left Lettie feeling quite astonished and intrigued and eager to see what could be found. Agnes and I go back to the kitchen and set about bringing food from the larder and refrigerator, choosing carefully foods that will give us an energy and stamina boost as well as replenishing the vital minerals for thinking. We make a tuna and whole-wheat pasta casserole which we decorate with pieces of smoked mackerel and various herbs, with a tuna steak and more mackerel for Lettie.
After supper we again look at working on a solution. We have a ritual worked out within an hour but the moon phase is not right for us to perform the ritual tonight, it will have to wait for the full moon, being the representation of the goddess in her middle form, that of the mother, the phase of the moon linked to the most power. I am sure you will join us again for the ritual, until then we’re going to catch up on our sleep and start our preparations over the next week or so. I also want to take some time apart to get to know my Aunt better, I want to cement our relationship even though I feel already close to her because of the pull our blood is exerting on us. I think I also want to understand better how she came to be in this situation, what drove her to her lifestyle. So good night for now, the full moon will be upon us in no time at all.