M. R. Sellars
Mi•ran•da [mi-ran-duh] – noun: Invented by Shakespeare for the heroine of The Tempest (1611). It represents the feminine form of the Latin gerundive mirandus 'admirable', 'lovely', from mirari 'to wonder at', 'admire'; cf. Amanda.
Blanque, MIRANDA: A perverse and sadistic murderess of early and middle 1800’s New Orleans, Louisiana, who is rumored to have derived autoerotic gratification from the intense suffering of her victims. Sister of Delphine LaLaurie, it has been theorized that the siblings were jointly responsible for the torture and subsequent deaths of numerous household slaves as reported in the New Orleans Bee, 1834. [See also Mistress Miranda; Devereaux, Annalise; LaLaurie, Delphine; paraphilia; sexual homicide; sadism; spirit possession, Voodoo]
– Excerpted from Hell Hath No Fury: A Comprehensive Study of Women Who Kill
Luettecke, Seitz, amp; Witt – BCM Press
Revised Third Edition, March 2006
Excerpted from Rowan Gant’s Personal Book of Shadows:
7/13 – 3:30 AM:
I can’t sleep. I need to but I can’t.
We have a really long day tomorrow. Almost 20 hours of sitting in airports and on airplanes, not to mention Ireland is 6 hours ahead of us, so that’s going to screw me up too.
But, here I am wide-awake. I suppose I could blame it on excitement, but I know damn well that’s not why. It’s that time of the year. The anniversary of Ariel’s murder is coming back around soon, and this is just par for the course. Hard to believe it’s been less than a decade now. Not even a full ten years since her death turned my life into this unending nightmare. But, knowing that doesn’t change a thing. It still seems like it all happened forever ago. Maybe it’s because of this surreal existence of mine. Maybe it’s because I wish it would just go away. I want to forget all of it. The horror, the pain, the images… But I can’t. The nightmares never fade, and it doesn’t matter if I’m asleep or awake. They’re always there. I have a feeling they will be until I die. I guess that’s what I get for being a Witch.
Of course, I’m not really a normal Witch now, am I? Hell, even other neo-Pagans think I’m more than a little out there. They go bang on drums and dance around a fire. Me, I have conversations with dead people. All things being equal, I’d much rather join them around the fire.
In retrospect I don’t suppose I should have been shocked when the dead started talking to me. After all, I really brought it all upon myself when I purposely used WitchCraft to make a connection with their world in order to help solve Ariel’s murder. Although, lately I’ve found myself wondering if my ethereal insight is truly borne of my practice of The Craft or if this would be happening to me even if I weren’t a Witch. Maybe there’s something wrong with me. Like that movie about the guy who turned into a supergenius because of a brain tumor. Maybe I’ve got one too. Who the hell knows? Maybe I’m just plain abnormal. Of course, I suppose it doesn’t really matter. WitchCraft is where it all started, so it’s what got me here in the first place. Whether I’m abnormal or not, the rest is really just a moot point I guess.
If only Ben hadn’t noticed that I was wearing a pentacle around my neck. If only he hadn’t asked for my help. If only, if only… It just never ends. I guess what it comes down to is that I should have stayed out of it. Just answered his questions and left it at that. If I’d been smart, that’s what I would’ve done. Then I would never have opened the door that led me down this path. But I couldn’t stay out of it. The victim was Ariel. She was my friend. In my mind I didn’t have a choice.
Of course, like they say, hindsight is 20/20. There’s nothing I can do about it now, other than drive myself crazy with all of the “if onlys” and second-guessing. The door between the world of the living and the realm of the dead is open for me now, whether I like it or not.
Live and learn, I guess… That’s something else they say, whoever the hell “they” is.
I guess I’m just cursed. The dead are my personal bad pennies that keep turning up. I close my eyes and they’re there. I open my eyes and they’re there. Day, night, sleep, wake… It doesn’t matter, they just won’t go away. Ignoring them doesn’t work either. I’ve tried. Gods how I’ve tried. And listening to them… Well, that just gets me into trouble. Everyone around me too. That’s the worst part. I’m damned if I do, damned if I don’t. Why Felicity puts up with it I don’t know. Her life would be so much easier if she’d never even met me. But, if we’d never met I’d probably already be dead. Morbid, I know, but somehow she keeps me sane and alive. Somebody has to.
I’m just rambling now. I guess that’s no surprise either. I really need to get some sleep.
Sunday, December 24
Saint Louis, Missouri
“C’mere and tell me what ya’ think.” Ben called out over his shoulder then stood back and cocked his head to the side in order to inspect his handiwork.
Constance wandered in from the kitchen and stood next to him, hands resting on her hips. “What I think about what?”
At six-foot-six, Ben stood at least a head taller than her, so as she spoke, she glanced up at him then followed his obviously preoccupied gaze to the end of the living room.
“Whaddaya mean, about what?” he said as he gestured. “About that. So does it look better or not?”
She gazed quietly at the rank and file for several seconds, scanning back and forth with her eyes. Finally, she replied, “It looks like all you did was move the tall one.”
“That’s Big Ben.”
“Big Ben? You’re kidding, right?”
“Well, why not? He’s as tall as I am, ain’t he?”
“So there ya’ go.”
“Okay…” She paused then scrunched her brow as incredulity crept into her voice. “But you named them?”
“Not all of ‘em. Just some of ‘em.”
“I worry about you sometimes.”
“Yeah, whatever. Look again. I did more’n just move Big Ben,” he said, pointing at the mantle. “I swapped the two on the ends, and moved Sparky…”
“So, anyway, then I rearranged all those small guys in the middle too. See?”
“Oh…” she said, a not quite hidden chuckle in her voice. “Well, I hate to say it, but other than the tall… I