Historical Fiction Romance Fantasy


This had been her family’s land since the moment they’d snuck aboard the boats for the new ground and hid away from the religious zealots. They had made friends with the Indigenous people since they were both outcasts from the colonizers. It was their place where mother earth spoke to them and where their magic was free. She’d come from a long line of hereditary witches and was proud to bring into the world one more. 

She rubbed her growing belly under her skirts and watched as the men she’d hired built the sweeping victorian house that she’d always dreamed about.  Cora Blacksmith-Doogan was one lucky young woman, not simply for the magic that came through blood, but because she’d been blessed to be beautiful enough to entice the wealthiest man in town---Jack Doogan. Jack had taken one look at Cora and demanded that she be his. He was a rough man, but Cora was foolish enough only to see the positives about Jack. 

The way he commanded a room from the moment he walked into it or the way he threw money at Cora for whatever struck her fancy. Diamonds, furs, the best horses, and most delicate dresses---it was heaven. 

At fifteen, Cora had been raised as a wise witch and herbalist---an outcast. The townspeople only sought out the Blacksmiths when they had an ailment or needed a love tonic. But Jack was different. He took one look at Cora and gave her parents a high dowry for her. Cora’s mother was firmly against Jack Doogan, but her father couldn’t turn down money of that magnitude. 

Cora didn’t mind. Jack Doogan was a fine-looking man, although three times her age, and he didn’t give her the shudders as some older men did. 

“Is it what you're expecting, darling Cora?” Jack came up behind her and wrapped his arms around her growing body. 

“Yes, Sir. I was thinking how much this land needed a grand house such as this. This babe and I will feel much at home here.” 

“I am glad you are happy, my dearest.” 



“I’m sorry for your loss, Ms. Lawson, but I wanted to let you know that you are the sole inheritor of the Blacksmith’s estate.”

Lauren tucked her hair behind her ear and took the paper that Mr. Dawson held out to her. She’d been raised on the myths and legends of the Blacksmith’s and the curse that’d followed that line of men since the early 1800s. “I don’t remember it being this big. It seems like an awful lot of land for being in the middle of the city. Is this really all mine?” 

“Yes, Ma’am. It has been in your family since the early 1700s, and they’ve never sold an acre. The city grew around them. It’s worth hundreds of millions if you parcel it off in today's market. You’re a fortunate woman.”

Lucky. Lauren knew the lawyer meant well, but lucky is something a Blacksmith woman had ever been. Her father had passed away when she was only a baby. At twenty, she was in a car accident with her unborn son, her mother, and older sister---she’d been the sole-survivor. Now her last remaining blood family member was in the ground, and she was again the sole-survivor. 

“Thank you, Mr. Dawson.” She’d been left with 10 acres in the middle of a bustling city, a hundred thousand in life insurance, and her great-grandmother's ancient Cadillac.

Driving from the lawyer's office towards the Blacksmith estate, she thought maybe it would be best to sell it. God knows she needed the money, and millions would set her up for life. She’d known that the land and the houses held a special place in her Grandma’s heart, and she, herself, had spent many summers running in the back yard or flirting with the help, but the house needs serious repairs---she’d have to decide if it was worth the time and money. 

She pulled into the long driveway and parked next to a decaying red pickup truck. Frowning, she climbed out of the car and walked towards her grandmother’s house. She remembered running in and out of the side door, chasing her sister, and being yelled at by her mother. Her grandmother pulled magic from her fingertips on the fourth of July and created something more beautiful than all the fireworks in the world. 

“Hey! What do you want?” A deep voice pulled her from her memories. 

She turned toward a man in his late thirties with salt in his pepper hair and a deep tan of a man who spent his days tolling in the sun. “I want to go into the house I own. Who are you?” 

“You own? Pauline Cora Blacksmith owns this house.” He folded his arms across his chest and eyed the newcomer. She was pretty in a nonconventional way. Her hair was the same color as her lipstick---pitch black. She had on a long black skirt with a black blouse and a huge black sun hat. Her arms, chest, and neck had colorful tattoos painted on her skin. 

“My grandmother has passed the house onto me. I’ll ask again. Who are you?” 

“Storm Steel. I worked for Ms. Pauline. I had no idea that she had passed or that she had any living family.” 

“Yeah. Well. She does. What did she pay you for?”

“Maintenance and upkeep.” 

Lauren picked at the peeling paint on the side of the house. “You are doing a shitty job of it.” She left the random man outside as she walked into the place where she spent her childhood learning magic at the knee of her great-grandmother. 

She ran her hand over the counter-top where her grandmother used to make jams and jellies with the berries she and her sister had picked—or cooked a complete feast on Samhain in celebration for their ancestors. She held a picture of her mother, sister, and grandmother when Storm stepped into the kitchen. 

She looked sad, he’d give her that much, but he had questions and decided he’d deserved answers. For as long as he’d watched out for and took care of Pauline and her estate, he’d never seen this woman, over twenty years, now. This woman had to be in her mid to late thirties, and therefore he couldn’t see a single excuse not to visit her elderly grandparent. 

“She didn’t want to see me,” Lauren murmured. 


“You were wondering why I wouldn’t have taken care of her.” Lauren set the picture down and faced Storm. “She didn’t want to see me. I disobeyed her, and my mother, sister, and son ended up paying the price. She told me it was my fault. I agreed. And no. I don’t know why she left me all her stuff, other than I am the last living Blacksmith.”

“I didn’t ask that.”

“Yes, you did. You were thinking, why does this random woman get this boon of landfall when I was the one who took such great care of Pauline in her final years.”

“You can read minds?”

“Blacksmith. Remember. If you spent much time with my Grandmother, then you are aware she was full of magic. It’s a dying bloodline---one I am the last.”

“Do you eat pizza?”


“I’m hungry and could use some pizza. You want to have dinner with me?”

Lauren frowned but couldn’t think of a single reason to say no, nor did she want to be alone in this giant, haunted house just yet. “Okay. I’ll eat pizza. Do you live on the grounds?”

Storm looked up from his phone. “Yes. I am a live-in caretaker. I was living in the one-bedroom near the south end of the plot, but in the last ten years, I moved into the main house.”

Lauren nodded as she continued to wander around the living room. Zero pictures of herself; either they were ones she wasn’t in, or she’d been cut out of and burned if she’d had to guess. “Did she ever speak of me, Lauren?”

“Ah, Lauren? No. She spoke of Elenora and Lacy.” 

Lauren rubbed her chest where her heart ached but simply nodded. She spent the rest of the time walking through her memories as she slowly made her way through the vast aging mansion. 



She stood over the grave of her murdered daughter and bounced the bastard child on her hip. Jack Doogan had murdered her daughter as she warned them he would. The child that Cora had borne that devil was lucky enough to have inherited the Blacksmith magic; otherwise, Sarah would have left the halfbreed with an orphanage or, worse, her father. 

Even now, Jack was moving another young woman into the house that Cora had built on their family land. He thought he and his big-money lawmen were enough to get away with killing her firstborn child and stealing their land---he didn’t know with whom he was messing. Like a raging storm, Sarah stepped onto the ground that sang in her blood, and with magic on a thin chain of control, she stalked towards the house. 

“Sarah, I’ve already told you that you can’t come here anymore.” Jack stood hipshot with his thumb hooked in his pocket. “And I told you a girl ain’t no good for me. If Cora had born a son, I’d gladly be taken him.”

“You’ve taken enough from my family, Jack Doogan. But don’t worry, I am here to repair that and ensure it never happens again.”

Sarah only smiled as blood began to trickle from Jack’s eyes, and he panicked as his breath was stolen. 



“So, you wanna tell me why your grandma disowned you? Or is that none of my business?”  Storm poured another beer for Lauren as they sat at the kitchen table eating the pizza. 

“How much do you know about my grandmother?”


Lauren sipped and eyed him over the rim. “Okay. The Blacksmiths come from a long line of magic. And it’s rumored that this land, this house, and our lives are protected as long as we only love and breed with other magical beings. I knew of the curse---was raised with the knowledge of it, but my teenage heart didn’t care.”

“Yes. I am aware of the magic and the curse.”

She nodded. “Well, while away at college, I made the mistake of falling in love with a normy. He was tall, dark, and handsome but what appealed was he believed nothing of the occult. We married against my family's wishes, and I got pregnant. My mother, sister, and I were on our way to the hospital when I was in labor when the truck strayed too far into our lane. In a second, my mother, sister, and my soon-to-be newborn son were all dead. I was unlucky to have lived through it. 

“While I was in the hospital, my grandma came to see me and told me that it was all my fault. I had brought the curse down on my mother and sister, and I should have been the one who’d suffered the consequences. She told me to never speak of her again, and she suspended my magic as punishment.”

“That was horrible of her, especially since it sounds like you were the one who suffered. Where is your normy husband now?”

Lauren let the bitterness roll off of her. It had been years. “Three months after the loss of my child and my family. He left me for another woman---I was too depressed to be enjoyable anymore.”

“Wow. That’s nasty.”

Lauren needed to change the subject. She forced a smile. “Was a long time ago. So how did you talk my grandmother into letting you care for her?”

“I’m a magical being. Half Fae/Half Witch. So, we understood each other. What are you going to do with this house now?”

“Sell it?” She ignored how the thought hurt her soul. 

Storm placed his hand on hers, pulling her attention to his deep, stunning eyes. She could almost see the magic swirl within them. He gave her a kind smile. “How about you stay awhile? Maybe it will change your mind. This is a magical place. You need to remember. Will you trust me a little?’

He stood and held a hand out. Lauren took it, and he pulled her to stand. “Let’s take an evening stroll around the lake and feel the best kind of magic---mother nature.” 

The crickets chirped as the moon took its place in the sky, and the magic sang. And the elderly woman stood the others as they watched them walk the lake. 

“I’d hoped she’d forgive me enough to return home.” Pauline smiled sadly. “I wish I’d told her I loved her.” 

“She knows, great-granddaughter. The magic connects us all.” Cora folded her hands over her permit stomach. 

“They’ve finally found each other.” Lacy smiled as she placed a hand on her mother's shoulder.  

Elenora sighed. “It will be lovely to watch love---the most powerful magic---grow between them. And the beautiful, magical beings they bring into this world. She will no longer be alone.”

The women faded into dust as the moonbeams danced around them.

March 16, 2021 00:31

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Barbara L
01:38 Mar 25, 2021

Love how this story cuts between the now and then. Great job telling it. Very enjoyable!


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Corbin Sage
21:02 Mar 24, 2021



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