I’m going to keep this as short as I can and cut the frills. I’m feeling impatient, far to impatient for any kind of narrative.
I realized at some point after the wake that Sophie and Iph are witches. Like obviously, I’ve known that from the beginning what with them you know doing magic or whatever, but it took up until now to realize that these girls are the same girls from the house in Seattle where they told me that there was a creature in the woods.
That realization struck me like a bolt of lightning in the middle of the night. Tilly and I stopped at the Circem Street house before school. (Sophie was not excited about us getting her up at 7:15 in the morning, but Iph was already up).
I just asked them: “what is the creature in the woods?”
They looked at each other, hesitating. Then Iph said, “we don’t know.”
“But you have a guess though don’t you,” I said.
Iph winced. “Not exactly,” she said.
I just glowered at her until she finally explained what they know about this thing.
Apparently, this cult of ours got confused in their search for magic. I don’t really get how it all works, but according to Iphigenia all covens have a grimoire book, and the book has like stuff you’re supposed to do, and if you do that stuff then your coven will have magic. And like, apparently the longer someone has been doing those things in the book, the more powerful the coven is. I have no idea what’s in the books, so I don’t know what that means, but Iph says, “you know, just daily stuff.”
No Iph, I don’t know what “daily stuff” is for witches. But whatever. I think it might be private or something, because she was super shifty about it.
So anyways, book tells you to do stuff, and you do it and you get magic. But the problem is that according to Iph, the strength of a coven’s magic is somewhat dependent on other factors? Again, I’m not super certain what those factors are, but apparently the amount of magic a coven has access to waxes and wanes through different generations, and up until recently there hasn’t been much magic available. Which is where the cult’s confusion comes from.
They want more magic, and they think they should have access to more magic, but despite doing what’s in the book, there isn’t any magic available to them.
“So,” Iphigenia explained, “they decided that the magic must not come from the book, but from another source.”
“The creature in the woods?” I said.
Iphigenia nodded. “And the trouble is, they aren’t entirely wrong. Whatever is out there does seem to have some kind of aura of magic, that is somehow available for other people’s use. Which,” she said reproachfully, “is how you two nearly summoned goodness knows what to Black Lake and nearly got everyone killed.”
Lol oops (shrug)
But look, there’s still one pretty serious question here: What the fuck is the creature in the woods???????? And more importantly, how do I get rid of it? It’s too late to save Madelyn, yeah, but whatever that thing is it’s clearly dangerous. And we’re like really hunting monsters these days, right? I have an imp handprint scar to prove it.
So I’m gonna find that thing out there and I’m gonna deal with it and then there won’t be any extra magic and Sheriff “Cult Leader” Marlow won’t have any more magic.