A Prayer for Brother William

A story inspired by an old family legend…about love letters that never reached their destination.

After he loses his parents, William Cahill retreats into a world of his own, but his life would have spiraled out of control if it had not been for Aunt Augusta. She drags him back from the brink and transforms his life and that of his siblings. Augusta Cahill is no ordinary woman. She might be dreadfully wealthy and a pathetic old socialite, but she can be a force to be reckoned with. This is a story about life, death, and suffering on the home front, a place that can be as perilous as a battlefield.








‘As to William’s problem, I could not find out anything much in the existing literature,’ Aunt Augusta says. ‘I did my best, but I eventually had to consult a priest that specialises in exorcism.’

‘You’re not serious, are you?’ Mary-Ann says.

‘I’m afraid I am, my dear. Father O’Shea knows more about demonic possession than anyone in Sydney. He has spent most of his life exorcising demons.’

‘They are always waiting in the wings, but they do their best work when someone is at an all-time low, especially after an accident or a life-threatening illness.’

‘But William didn’t have an accident,’ Dora says.

‘Oh, but he did Dora. He lost two of the most important people in his life.’

‘William was the one who had to identify your father’s mangled body. And he was the one who fished your mother out of the river.’

‘That was devastating Dora. That experience seeped into his soul and left him in a very vulnerable situation.’

‘And you know what happened to him after that, don’t you?’

‘Yes, we do,’ she says.

‘So, what can we do?’ Florrie says.

‘We fight back, my dear. We do everything in our power to help William battle those demons.’

‘That’s what I did. It took several days but I did it. I showed William how to battle those things, and after about the tenth time, it worked.’

‘Is it possible to do it again?’ Thomas says.

‘It is. It takes its toll. But it does work.’

‘However, I wasn’t really sure what William’s problem was, not until tonight, that is. And not until I heard it for myself.’

‘And what is it?’ Thomas says.

‘Your brother is afraid of losing his family. Apparently, you promised your mother to stay together as a family.’

‘That explains his reaction this evening.’

‘He cannot live with the thought that one day you girls will get married and he will be alone for the rest of his life.’

‘Oh, my God,’ Dora says. ‘Mary-Ann and I are planning to do just that. But our boyfriends are in Egypt at the moment.’

‘I am very pleased to know that, my dear. And I would love to hear all about them, but not just now.’

‘Before anything else happens, you have to learn how to help William fight off his demons.’

‘And how are we supposed to do that?’ says a dumbfounded Thomas.

‘Father O’Shea gave me some very good advice. His first suggestion was that I should say a prayer for William as often as possible.’

‘His second was that I should sprinkle holy water around during an attack. And his third was that I should practice the art of demonic warfare.’

‘Demonic warfare,’ says a horrified Thomas. ‘What’s that?’

To his way of thinking, this situation is getting worse with every passing minute.

‘It’s not as bad as it sounds, my boy. But it is an effective way of fighting demons.’

‘I have developed a few strategies, one of which is a prayer and another is a homemade spell.’

‘A spell?’ says a suddenly worried Florrie.

‘Well, it’s more of a hex. you could say. Words of power, but I will show you what it is.’

She removes a folder from the drawer of a writing desk and places it on the table.

‘Now, this is the prayer. One for each of you.’

‘It’s called A Prayer for Brother William.’

Aunt Augusta really has gone to a lot of effort. The prayer looks just like a Catholic holy picture with beautifully written words embossed in gold and printed on a pearlescent blue background.

“Dear and beloved God. Please guide our Brother William out of the darkness and into the light. Take him to your heart, embrace him in your love and allow the light that encompasses all to love and comfort him.”

‘Oh, that is so beautiful,’ Dora says.

‘I am delighted that you approve, my dear.’

‘I put a lot of thought into that. Please do your best to memorise it.’

‘But I would never have known how to phrase a curse if it had not been for a book I found in a secondhand bookshop.’

‘It has a very unassuming cover, but the contents are invaluable, purely as a resource, of course.’

‘Enchantments, Charms and Curses,’ says a horrified Mary-Ann.

‘Yes, my dear, it’s a book of spells for everyday usage.’

‘But it taught me how to use words as a weapon, you could say.’

About vgilvarry

Vincent Gilvarry was selected as a finalist in the 2019 Book Excellence Award for his novel...Kashmira: The Snake Charmer's Wife....and in 2020 he received another Book Excellence award for his novel Desperados.

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