Home > A Bit of Hocus Pocus

A Bit of Hocus Pocus
Author: Kelly Elliott



Before we begin, I need you to know a little something first.

There are witches in my family.

Ever since I was a little girl, my Aunt Lucy has told the same story to me and my sister, Sarah, of how we are from a long-descended line of witches. The most famous one being our eleventh great-grandmother, Sarah Wildes, who was hung in Salem, Massachusetts, during the Salem witch trials. And the best part of the story was how Sarah was named after that famous witch. Okay, that was the best part for my sister, not for me. And that wasn’t even true. Every first-born female on my mother’s side of the family has been named Sarah, but, hey, I never argued with my aunt or sister on that little detail. Don’t worry—my mother gave my father dibs on naming the second born. Me! Thank goodness my father named me after his grandmother, Hollie. Who I might add, was not a witch. At least, I don’t think she was.

Back to the story.

My favorite part of my aunt’s story had always been that our mother married a man with the last name of Craft. According to my Aunt Lucy, it had been fate that the two of them met and fell in love. What a perfect last name for my mother. Elaine Craft. Get it? With my mother coming from a long line of witches… Hello, destiny! I’d like to introduce you to fate. I should mention, my aunt has yet to find any history of witches on my father’s side of the family. But with a name like Craft, there had to be at least one, right? At least, that was her way of thinking as well as that of my sisters. My father, Mike Craft, likes to tease that there are indeed witches in the family because everyone has a little bit of magick in them.

According to Aunt Lucy, it was meant to be that my parents met and fell in love in high school. That their love stayed strong while both went off to college, even though Aunt Lucy swears it was because my mother put a love spell on my father—which my mother has not denied, I might add, nor has she confirmed this part of the story. My father says one day, while walking down the hall on his way to first period, he spotted my mother and felt like someone sucker-punched him. He was in love from that moment on. It was a sweet gesture, and one that I had wanted to happen to me, that I believed would happen to me. Well, until I grew up and realized that events like that were few and far between.

Anyhoo, they fell in love, and today, they are the parents of three kids. The oldest, Sarah, who is thirty-three. Next, me, Hollie, twenty-nine, and last, my brother, Nathan, who just turned twenty-five. All of whom my aunt Lucy has declared as witches. Sarah is totally on board. Nathan, he’s on the fence about it all. I really think it depends on his mood. And me…well…let’s just say I stopped believing in all that hocus pocus when I realized the world wasn’t such a nice place.

But back to the witches in the family.

Let me give you a bit of history on the family. Hang with me for just a bit; I know you’re excited to hear about my little journey.

My mother’s family immigrated from Chipping Norton, a small market town west of Oxfordshire, England. Where, according to both my mother and aunt, the women of the family were rumored to hold special powers. They were healers, and if someone was sick or suffering from an ailment, they went to their herb garden and worked their…magick. Once they came to the US, they continued to be one with the earth, but this time, they wouldn’t be called healers like they had been back in England.

My father’s family was from a small seaside town called Laugharne in Dyfed. They come from a long line of fishermen. Nothing really exciting to report on Dad’s side of the family. My father is still a fisherman to this day and a damn good one. He takes people out on fishing charters and has won numerous fishing championships. We’re all proud of him, especially my mother. She adores my father, just as he does her.

Both towns are on my list of places to visit one day. My mother and Aunt Lucy have gone back to England to meet with relatives. Rumor has it, we’re related to the queen. Sixth cousins, seventh-removed, or something like that? What does that even mean? Removed from what? All I know is, it hasn’t done me a bit of good. It’s not like I can say, “Hey…let me plan the next royal wedding because we’re sixth cousins removed over half a dozen times!” Oh, I haven’t mentioned I’m a party planner. A darn good one at that, if I do say so myself.

I’m sorry…. I digressed a bit.

My sister, Sarah, loved the stories of our witch lineage growing up, and I did as well, until I…well, until I grew up, like I said. Then they simply became silly stories that I no longer had time to entertain. Okay, I will admit it might have something to do with the silly curse I tried to put on Lucas Dayton in first grade after he called me a crybaby. It didn’t work at all, and my heart had been broken. If I was a witch, I sucked at it.

Aunt Lucy would say I was so much like my mother, whereas Sarah was more like Aunt Lucy. Sarah would go and spend time at my aunt’s store nearly every day, perfecting her “craft.” I, on the other hand, spent countless hours with my nose in books. Not the kind of books Sarah and Aunt Lucy studied. I was passionate about reading, just not books about magickal spells. I will admit that every now and then, you’d find me reading a book about witches, but the fictional kind. On my nightstand growing up was Harry Potter. On Sarah’s, The History of Paganism or A Guide to Magical Herbs and Spells. Once or twice, I even caught her and my mother in Mom’s greenhouse with their heads bent over some herb and my mother telling her all the wonderful things that it was used for. I never really got Mom’s obsession with herbs; she hated to cook.

Back to the differences between me and Sarah. I lit candles from Bath & Body Works. Sarah lights white sage and lavender smudge sticks. Whatever floats your boat, I say. I love my sister and aunt dearly, but witches? Nah.

Let’s fast-forward to present day, shall we? I run a successful party planning business in our hometown of Salem. Yes, our family still lives in Salem, and yes, we were forced to go to the Salem Witch Museum every year for a school trip. I mean, if you asked me, I would have rather gone to Boston and seen the art museums, or cool things like that. Oh, and lunch at Legal Sea Foods. Have you had their Bang Bang Cauliflower? It’s amazing. I’m going off-track again. Like I said, I own a party planning company called Holidaze in Salem. Cute, huh? Sarah works at Aunt Lucy’s store. The Covens Magick Cottage. And no, magick is not spelled wrong. If you were a witch, you’d know that that is the way witches spell magick—with a “k” to differentiate it from stage magic. You’re welcome for that bit of information!

You may be wondering why I’m telling you all of this. You’re going to need this info in a bit, once you read all about me standing in a living room with my best friend, Kristin Mills, a spell book in her hands and me holding a Halloween bat. It will make sense, I promise. I should mention, we’re both drunk. I know…I know…. But I’m not a witch, you say! Well, I was pushed to the brink by, of all things…a man. Yes, a man. I’m about to let my best friend talk me into putting a spell on him. Lucas Dayton. I know, I went down this road before in first grade, remember? It didn’t work out so well then either.

Lucas has been a thorn in my side for as long as I can remember. First grade, to be exact. A man whom I love to hate and am secretly in love with. The problem is…Lucas doesn’t like me very much. So, in my drunken state, I was talked into putting what I thought was a spell on him to make him like me just enough to stop making my life miserable, with the constant bickering we do back and forth. Instead, the spell we put on him was… You know what? I’ll just let you read the story. You’ll soon find out how this little adventure veers off in a direction I never thought it would. We’re not starting in my living room with me drunk; let’s take it back to earlier in the day.

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