Crescent Calling: The Crescent Witch Chronicles - Book One
The Crescent Witch Chronicles - Book One
Nicole R. Taylor
The Crescent Witch Chronicles
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Crescent Calling (The Crescent Witch Chronicles - Book One) by Nicole R. Taylor
Copyright © 2017-20 by Nicole R. Taylor
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Cover Design: Rebecca Frank Art
Standing in the shadow of the ancient hawthorn tree, my grip tightened around the dagger.
I wished I’d opened my eyes sooner because it would’ve saved a lot of heartache, but it was always the way. Hindsight was a terrible thing in the aftermath of life-altering events. The past can’t be changed, no matter how hard you wish it to be.
Sometimes, a coincidence is just that. Other times, the signs just keep piling up one after the other until there’s no denying it. This was real. All of it.
Magic, witches, fae, shapeshifters. They no longer resided on the pages of a storybook. They lived in my backyard, clawing at my door, thirsting for the magic that ran through my veins.
Staring up at the hawthorn tree, the silver rays of the full moon trickled through the branches, dusting the clearing with an eerie glow. Under different circumstances, it might’ve been beautiful, but I wasn’t waiting for a lover to come and sweep me off my feet. I was waiting for a monster.
The ritual was complete, the trap was set, and now all that was left to do was to wait for destiny to come and claim me.
The sound of something moving through the woods echoed all around, and I spun, my heart leaping into my throat. Catching sight of the russet-colored fur of a fox melting through the forest, I sighed in relief. It was just him.
He stepped into the clearing and came to join me in the shadow of the hawthorn, a comforting companion in the dark of night.
“Do you think they’d be proud?” I asked my friend. “Are you sure we’re doing the right thing?”
The fox yipped softly.
“My first test as the last Crescent Witch,” I murmured, holding the dagger flush against my chest. “No turning back now.”
It was my duty to protect the last whisper of magic from the darkness that threatened to take it. It didn’t matter what I wanted. Not anymore. I was the only thing standing in the way of its extinction. Me. Skye Williams.
But my story didn’t start here. It began on the beaches of southern Australia, an entire world away from the forests of Ireland, and the day I found out my mother had died.
The day the Crescents called me home.
* * *
The ocean was calm today.
Usually, the wind chopped up the water and hurled it at the cliffs down the coast, making it treacherous for the cargo ships leaving the bay. Passing between the headlands required the help of specialized pilots who zoomed out in their bright orange speedboat at all hours of the day and night, but today, the water was flat, and the wind hardly blew at all.
The sky was clear, though storm clouds brewed on the horizon, and the whole world seemed balanced on a knife’s edge. Something was in the air, and it tickled up and down my spine like I was full of static electricity. The next time I touched something metal, I was going to get one hell of a shock.
It was the first of April, and there I was sitting on the deck of my dead father’s beach house on the wild and windy coast of southern Victoria, Australia, like the April fool I was. Last night had culminated with a horrid confession from my boyfriend, Alex, rather than the passionate kiss I’d been expecting when the clock ticked over at midnight. Things had been great between us, and there I was thinking he was going to offer me a diamond ring. Fat chance.
He’d said it. It. The thing every woman dreads when she’s expecting the complete opposite. The five words that resembled the ultimate cop-out when breaking up with someone. It’s not you, it’s me.
My grip tightened around the glass of ‘water’ in my hands, and the ice clinked. Bastard.
Pair that with being handed a redundancy package from my job the month before and I was onto a winner. Pulling my feet up onto the deck chair, I curled in on myself. Bad things always went for the trifecta. What was number three going to be? It felt like the universe was aligning for the ultimate slap in the face, and it was aimed right at me.
If Dad were here, he would know what to do. He always knew the right thing to say. Buck up, kiddo. He just wasn’t as good as your old man. There are plenty of other fish in the sea.
Dad was gone now—he passed away from brain cancer, four months after his diagnosis—but his house was still here. He’d left it to me in his will, and I’d been too attached to it to even think about selling up. Good thing for me since I was broke and alone. I needed a place to crash until I could work out what I was going to do. So, I’d legged it from that awful party, passed Alex’s place to pack my things, and had driven from Melbourne straight to Ocean Grove. I’d driven home.
The sound of screeching tires echoed through the stillness, and the glint of sun hitting metal glistened between the scraggly windswept scrub. A silver car appeared over the rise and weaved along the unkempt driveway toward my little beach house. I watched as it finally stopped, coming to rest next to my little