Before we go any further, I would like to introduce myself, I am Bramble Thorne, supernatural being of, as yet, indeterminate species. I was found by a trio of sisters when I was barely a few months old, asleep in a bramble of thorns, along the eastern shore of Loch Morar. They had been in Scotland on a working holiday learning new spells from the ancient druid who lived within the Sgurr na Cirche.  My aunts had been following a group of distressed kelpie mares who led them to me. They were there for another 2 months during which time they tried to find my family to no avail. So, after consulting with the closet coven my aunts brought me home with them to New York City, where I spent the first 21 years of my life. As I grew, they started trying to figure out what/who I am. So far, they’ve found a general ability to manipulate elements without the use of a spell, strongest with water. When I turned 13, they discovered overnight I was part Lykae, after I had wrecked the living room, and when I turned 21, I grew large almost translucent wings when I accidentally slipped whilst climbing up some cliffs in Canada. I left home to study medicine at Oxford after which I travelled and worked for a few years. Last year on a whim I threw a dart at a map and it landed on Porlezza on the shores of Lago di Lugano. So here I am.

My solarium is one of my favourite places in the world. A large, deep oval pool is carved from the palest lapis lazuli is sunk into the ground is the centre. The sides are asymmetrical, the furthest side curves up and towards the glass where I have built a small open fireplace. The closest edge starts at my ribs with driftwood stairs leading up and a large driftwood step inside the tub. The step doubles as a bench when I feel like it. I can float in the middle of the tub without touching sides, and I am 5’11”, to give you an idea of the size. A rain shower head hangs separately suspended from the ceiling. The water for my bathing chamber is drawn directly from the lake next to me, with a special heating and filtration plumbing system designed and installed by me. I wanted no one else in my home, knowing any details of my sanctuary. Closing my eyes, I reached out to connect with each of the living things around me. To the brambles bathing my home in perfume, beauty and unassuming security. Day and night, they guard my home; a barrier of thorns and quiet strength. Sensing no breaches, and no one else in my territory I momentarily allow the delight of being bathed in the morning sunlight to drift down the connection. Satisfied that all was well I turned the water on with a flicker of thought and begin my morning stretches.

 

I moved here 3 months ago and spent that time renovating the cottage. I had received a few job offers through the medical temp agency and had gone on a few interviews. I had been to one small local practice and had felt an instant connection. The owners were an older couple who were wanting to semi-retiree in order to help their daughter and her husband their two little girls. The eldest was 13 months and the little sister was barely 2 months old and their daughter was struggling, So I would pick up half of each of their work loads and had bought a third of the practice.  I had spent the last decade of my life working 6 – 7 days a week and had saved up enough to slow down a little. Today was my first day at work.

I had laid out an outfit last night, red cotton circle dress, black suspender belt embroidered with delicate rambling roses and thorns and red matching semi corset bra and panties. I completed the outfits with white slip on vans to cycle there in and a denim jacket. I had packed 2 pairs of heels to leave at the office, a beige pair and a black pair, with three new crisp white lab coats for work. Each had a unique trio of matching buttons with pressed flowers: alyssum from Aunt Enid (the eldest), forget-me-not from Aunt Beatrix (the middle) and heather from Aunt Charlotte/Loulou (the youngest). Each was spelled to enhance their innate qualities, my Aunt’s were all primarily Earth and Spirit witches, but each were also gifted with one of the other elements, fire, water and air respectively. Born in the late 1800s in Spain they were still considered barely past their teenage years by the rest of our coven. It had been a bit of scandal when they had brought me home with them, however the maternal instinct runs strong in most Earth witches, so I was soon accepted as the newest family member. To be honest I was spoilt rotten and showered with so much love I never felt out of place. They had sensed a low hum of magic coming from me as a babe, which is why they had not handed me over to a human orphanage.  By the time I was one I could call things to me a 50-year-old witch would still be learning. There is a solid streak of white through Aunt Enid’s hair that is lovingly attributed to my terrible twos. Nothing they tried could bind my magic to hold off the need to train me until I at least understood mine vs not mine, so they began my magic lessons a few weeks after I started walking.

Grinning to myself at the thought of my Aunts’ upcoming visit in 6months I grabbed my clothes and satchel and headed downstairs. Placing the satchel on the counter my jacket over the back of a bar stool and my sneakers beneath said chair, I popped my head into the solarium to hang my dress just inside on the clothes peg in the dressing area. Turning back, I turned my coffee machine on. I beautiful brass vintage Bezzera my Grandparents had sent me as a housewarming. My Aunt’s parents had welcomed me with open arms and my Abuela probably coddled me more than the rest of my family combined. I guess to her 800years I was barely past infancy, although at 33 chronological years I was financially stable I was still sent a stipend from the family’s trust as I was the first to have a human-style career and earn money independently. With their blessing I sent that money on to a children’s home in the Scottish village near Loch Morar where I was found. But I still got monthly care packages which ranged from books to bicycles. Said bicycle was just inside the front entrance, white paint polished and gleaming, complete with straw basket. My Deda had sent it the week before. Like I said spoilt.

I made two cups of coffee, one for my bath and one in a travel mug for the ride into town. I grabbed the first and headed into the solarium and the glorious steaming heat that awaited me. I wake up an hour early every day to allow time for a full soak. My new family realised soon after discovering me on the banks of that loch that I needed a minimum of 1.5 hours immersed in water everyday or else I become listless and weakened. I do an hour in the morning and an hour at night before bed to build up a reserve of water-time in case something happens. I stripped and stepped up to the edge of my bathing pool. I placed my coffee on the edge and dove in. That feeling of being completely surrounded by water is one of the most comforting feelings in the world.

One of the benefits of being a doctor of different origin was the ability to identify and deal with non-human issues which required a combination of human and non-human medical knowledge. As different as all supernatural beings are, at the core we are still descendants of humans. To be precise we are technically Nephilim, the result of human and angelic relations. Different abilities coming from the type and rank of angle that sired the line. Witches are technically the healers of the supernatural world, but as they do with humans, politics have interfered with this and trust in witches and their doctoring has been degrading over the last 100 years. As I am not specifically wiccan but have learnt under them, I have treated many whose fear or ignorance had stopped them from seeking their help.