The Turning of Enoch Balthazar Wilde

By: Corey A. Burkes

This historical fiction novel takes place in 18th century Colonial America and follows Enoch Balthazar Wilde, a warlock wrestling with embracing his magical lineage or living as a devout Christian. After a devastating personal tragedy, Enoch turns to the dark arts, sparking a bloody war with the witch coven his family belongs to, called the "BloodUnai." Enoch and the BloodUnai witch Queen Lavinia engage in epic supernatural duels. Aided by a trio of modern-day witches mysteriously summoned through time - Damara, Mildred and Lilura - Lavinia attempts to thwart Enoch's rampage and his sinister plan to rid the new world of

The following passage is excerpted from the opening chapters of the historical fantasy novel “The Turning of Enoch Balthazar Wilde” – The story before the short film, Predawn.

Set against the backdrop of rising political tensions in Colonial America, this scene offers but a glimpse into the immense supernatural forces beginning to upset the fragile balance of power in the New World. While French and British forces clash along the frontiers in the foreground, behind the scenes lurks our tortured protagonist Enoch Wilde, thought to have forsaken his magical lineage long ago but newly reawakened. Join us now as our tale takes its next ominous turn…


Early March 1755 – Danvers, Massachusetts


When first Master Enoch embarked upon tutelage of Mister Whitewood, ’twas with ambivalence, mayhap even a mote of disdain, at acquiring an unbidden student when his aim was to quit the mystic arts entirely.

Yet fate, in its curios ways, saw fit to bless Archibald Whitewood with fathomless promise.

They began with simple feats – grasping the wellspring of power and means to channel it. Expanding one’s perspective of truths both false and genuine. Then conjuring desire itself by plucking at the ethereal threads binding cosmos to man – eliciting a snowfall within the study, whilst the hearth roared against the chill.

Enoch made clear those of BloodUnai bore innate affinity, navigating such arts with ease compared to the uninitiated. At the outset he cautioned to temper expectations, for magic flowed not so freely in unfamiliar blood.

Yet, in a mere fortnight, Archibald conjured a snowstorm of staggering magnitude. The aftermath was so startling, they were compelled to concoct a plausible tale for Nurse Brackett regarding the unshuttered windows, embellished with scholarly jargon linking peculiar climatic shifts, all to befuddle her as they cleared the snow from within.

Their mirth echoed that of two roguish lads in their mischief.

As Enoch’s hands trembled with each toss of snow, he felt a profound kinship with Archibald. As for Archibald, though a man of years, he was reborn with childlike wonder and an insatiable thirst for knowledge.

Upon concluding their exertions, the gentlemen retreated to their customary refuge at the Matterhorn Tavern, ensconced in their familiar nook, partaking of their habitual tea, reflecting upon the day’s extraordinary events.

“You are altered, esteemed Whitewood,” Enoch remarked. “Upon our introduction, you were but a simple townsman, the unassuming Doctor Archibald Whitewood of Scottish lineage and royal tutelage, tending to the ailing and impoverished. But now…”

“Now, I perceive,” Archibald sighed. “I am in your debt, dear Enoch. Now, I truly see.”

“In our circle, there exists a proverb concerning the enlightenment that follows the lifting of the veil. It escapes me, though it is true.”

“May we converse candidly?”

“When have we ever refrained, sir?” Enoch, clasping Archibald’s hand, responded, “Speak your mind, dear brother.”

“How dost thou reconcile thy Christian faith with the arcane? Thou approached me as a man of the Christ.”

“I remain so, good Doctor Whitewood.”

“The scriptures have incited the fanatics. The trials of the witches, and the like.”

With a sip of his tea, Enoch expressed his discontent. “Those times were not favorable to our kind. Many of our brethren met their untimely demise in those dark days.”

Archibald nodded gravely. “I mourn deeply, brother Enoch. With my newfound understanding—that this force is a gift from the Divine for our use.”

“Precisely!” Enoch exclaimed. “That is where many, professing Christianity in name alone, have lost their way. If we are all God’s children, what is not ours to command, save the forbidden tree and its fruit? All was bequeathed unto us.”

“Yet, playing the role of the sceptic, man was granted the cudgel and the blade…”

“Aye, and Cain did slay Abel. A tale as old as time. Arm a man, and observe him harm his kin. Such is the shared plight of BloodUnai and common folk. Every soul, if it draws breath, has the potential for violence. ‘Tis our inherited curse.

“To address thy query, I believe, as thou dost, that this energy we manipulate is part of God’s design. When used for good, it aligns with His grand plan. Just as the knife, a tool birthed by man through God’s will, is essential for our daily tasks. ‘Tis only when we wield it against our brethren that we incur His wrath.”

“Indeed,” Whitewood concurred. “Words of profound truth.”

“The scriptures do caution against the use of magic.”


“Aye, and Exodus, Leviticus, and the like,” Enoch lamented. “For man is flawed. Knowing mankind as thou dost—wouldst thou impart any of this arcane knowledge to, say, the French monarch?”

Whitewood nearly choked on his drink. “By the heavens, a resounding nay! Even in jest, such a notion is madness. Not even to the English king. No ruler, commander, envoy, or commoner. We would be in chains ere the morrow!”

Raising his cup, Enoch mused, “Such bondage might be our just punishment for the sin of enslaving others.” Preparing to depart, he continued, “Dear Doctor Whitewood, I must return to my wife. I fear I have neglected her in favor of our pursuits. I sense her growing curiosity.”

“Dost thou confide in her?” Archibald inquired. “Dost thou reveal what thou art imparting unto me?”

Enoch hesitated, donning his coat with a look of unease. Recognizing this, Archibald nodded in understanding.


“Art thou bereft of reason?”

The fury in Faith’s countenance was plain, and Enoch felt its searing intensity. ‘Twas a challenge to discern whether Faith was wielding her arcane arts against him or if it was merely his own remorse.

She paced vehemently within the confines of their modest lodgings at the Traveler’s Inn, where they had resided these past months. Enoch had claimed to be in town under the tutelage of Doctor Archibald Whitewood. Yet, it appeared he was the one imparting forbidden knowledge unto the doctor.

She reiterated, “Hast thou taken leave of thy senses?”

“The good Doctor Whitewood possesses potential. As you did many years henceforth.”

Faith halted abruptly, extending her hand and thrusting the very air before her. A surge of energy bridged the gap between them, propelling Enoch with force into a chair that conveniently slid to catch him.

The sensation was far from gentle. He felt the full brunt of her power. She had no intent to end his life, nor to grievously harm him, but she wished him to feel her ire.

For the first time, Enoch regarded his wife with trepidation.

“Dost thou recall whence we came? Our reasons for departure? The life we left behind?” She demanded, advancing upon him.

Enoch, visibly shaken, clutched the chair, stammering, “My love…”

“Had I desired to persist in this life of witchery, risking our eternal souls for such unholy practices, we would have remained in the mountains! Pray, assure me thou hast not introduced this infernal craft to the unsuspecting denizens of Massachusetts!”

“The very same craft thou just employed against me?”

Faith, with a mere gesture, constricted Enoch’s throat with an unseen force. Her intent was clear: to cause pain.

Yet, almost as swiftly as she acted, she relented. Enoch coughed, struggling for breath. “Faith!”

“Seest thou how quickly anger can wield this power? Thou hast endangered us by instructing a layman, devoid of restraint. Need I remind thee of our sacred vow—to each other, to the Almighty—to forsake magic forevermore?”

“He seeks to employ his newfound knowledge for benevolent purposes!”

Faith’s laughter rang out, tinged with bitterness. “Thou art truly deranged! The loss of our son has clouded thy judgment.”

Enoch rose.

Darkness engulfed the room. Every source of light—be it from the hearth, candle, or moon—was extinguished, plunging them into an abyss.

Faith had overstepped.

She fell to her knees, reaching out to Enoch. The atmosphere around him was stifling, reminiscent of the peak of summer. “I beg thee, Enoch! My words were ill-chosen in a moment of wrath! I deeply regret them! Pray, forgive me!”

Enoch towered over her, consumed by his anger.

With a mere thought, I could end her.

Their daughter’s cries pierced the tension. The oppressive atmosphere had not gone unnoticed by the child. Her distress pulled Enoch from his dark reverie. Light returned, and the room resumed its former state as he moved to console his daughter.

Cradling her, he soothed her without sparing Faith a glance. “I shall instruct whom I please. Shouldst thou ever act against me again—or invoke our son’s memory in such a vile manner…”

He left the threat unspoken, allowing Faith’s imagination to conjure the dire consequences. Her imagination did not fail her, and she wept throughout the night.

Thus began the unravelling of Faith and Enoch.




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