CHAPTER 1

I woke up in a pool of sunlight, sleepily opening my eyes, I watched as the beams of light played across the old stone walls of my bedroom. Soft birdsong and waves gently lapping against the shore combine to form the best wake up soundtrack a woman could ask for.

I live in a spacious stone cottage; the closest village is 30kms away and boasts a delightfully small population of 8000. My closest neighbour is a decent 10minute walk away. I am surrounded by vibrant greenery on three sides and the last frames the crystal-clear blue waters of a large inland saltwater lake.

My home is nestled in a beautiful sheltered cove. A petite white sand beach lies a few steps from the eastern corner stone of the cottage.  The cove is a beautiful swimming spot during the warm seasons and the lake is good for fishing all year round.

A newly refurbished greenhouse on the right opens up onto my rambling semi-wild garden. In both the greenhouse and the garden I‘ve planted  a small army’s worth of vegetables, flowers and herbs for medicinal, recreational and gourmet purposes. My semi-organised garden effortlessly flows into an old orchard which in turn merges quietly into the large cedars, hemlocks, pines, firs and oaks of the ancient woods. The verdant forest covering the surrounding mountains spans out for hundreds of acres beyond.

Brambles of blackberries and raspberries and various wild roses grace my home in a riot of colour, and my pantry with a rich stock of jams and preserves. I converted the attic into my bedroom and added a large solarium style bathing chamber on the side closest to the lake. The house proper is large and airy and holds a large open plan living area and kitchen. On the opposite side of the cottage to the solarium I added a large library. The library and solarium are the same size and shape of each other on the outside, both being constructed of reinforced glass, although the solarium is 80% glass whilst the library is only 50% glass. The perfect balance of natural light without overexposing the 1000s of books to sunlight and inadvertently damaging them.

The walls were built with bare river stone and mortar. The floors are laid with reclaimed oak floorboards I found in a shop in the village which sells old building materials that still have use left in them. The thick boards were worn smooth from wear and feel simply wonderful on bare feet.



My bedroom is furnished simply; a large king bed, bright floral linens and an old French style padded headboard and side table set. I stripped the op-shop score down to bare wood, which I painted warm-white. I replaced the headboard’s padding and covered it with simple hemp fabric which I also used to cover buttons to complete the look. The ceiling on either side slopes down from the roof apex, creating a triangle-shaped room. I installed a pair of French doors and a small balcony giving me a view out over both the forest and a sliver of the lake to open the space up.  A large fireplace sits to the left of my bed between the French doors and the wall.


A large chest rests at the end of my bed which holds my extra linen and a thick knitted blue blanket I’ve had since I was 5. The wool used is half as thick as my forearm, the weight adds an extra layer of comfort during winter. An added bonus: the abstractly large size makes my soul snuggly(er).


My clothes, shoes and assorted paraphernalia are arranged along the right-hand side of my room. The clothes racks are made from reclaimed industrial steel pipes, secured to the ceiling with thick sailing rope (thank you Pinterest). My clothes were hung up coordinated by colour beginning with white on the left, through to red on the right. I built shelves to store my shoes and bags with a similar colour system although after taking note I seem to have a definite preference for old brown leather bags.


A simple wooden staircase leads down to the living area. It is partially obscured by balustrading across the room from the bed. Trailing vines of jasmine wind around the framework from the potted plants downstairs. Their gentle fragrance delicately spreading through the room.


Rolling out of bed was hard. The warm blanket nest I had created in my sleep, fit me perfectly. However, the thought of a hot coffee overcame the inclination to sleep in.


Before we go any further I would like to introduce myself, I am Bramble Thorne, supernatural being of, as yet, indeterminate species.

What now you may ask? How can one be “supernatural” without knowing which flavour? Fun story, settle in.

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.... Just kidding, just over 30 years ago in Scotland I was found by a trio of sisters on the shores of Loch Morar, a screaming babe barely 6 months old (they were guestimating). The sisters had been in Scotland on a working holiday learning new spells from the ancient druid who lived within the Sgurr na Cirche. 

The three witches had been following a group of distressed kelpie mares who led them to me. A tiny sleeping bundle of pure joy (kidding, chaos is a more accurate description). The three sisters stayed in Scotland for several more months trying to locate my family. Noone came forward so, after consulting with the closet coven the sisters adopted me and became my aunts. My beautiful, wonderful, warm hearted (if slightly sinister at mostly appropriate times) aunts brought me home with them to New York City. I spent the first 21 years of my life in the crazy crowded, loud, packed full of noisy, oblivious humans and thankfully very few other “supes”. The din and close living quarters are often overwhelming to human sense. Now imagine if those 5 senses were heightened tenfold, and then another twofold. That is what a non-human supe deals with. Witches are supernatural but they are genetically human at their core, but unlike most humans whose bloodlines forgot magic existed or chose to believe it was "evil" witch bloodlines never forgot and never turned their backs. Thus they retained their natural connection to the magicks.

As I grew up we started trying to figure out what/who I am. So far we’ve found a general ability to manipulate elements without the use of a spell, with a stong affinty to water. 


When I turned 13 they discovered overnight I was part Lykae, after I had wrecked the living room during my first turn, it also explained why I suffered severe headaches from the noise of an overpopulated metropolis.


When I turned 21 I grew translucent wings , twice my size, which slipped out I lost my grip whilst climbing up some cliffs in Canada.


I left home at 18 to study medicine in England after which I traveled and worked for a few years. On my 26 birthday, I woke up in a dragon form. SO that was fun. We had been staying with family friends (same coven) in Portofino. I accidentally knocked out a wall. Oh and yes the concept of accidents and I are closely intertwined.


Last year on a whim I threw a dart at a map and it landed on coordinates of where my little cottage is. So here I am. On the exact spot where a random dart throw led me.

 

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