Another new story for you guys to enjoy. This one is about a young girl who discovers your magical abilities. There will be several books made about this girl and her adventures. I already have about fourteen chapters written! Anyways, enjoy!
Chapter one of Book one:
Book 1: Beginnings
Once upon a time, in a kingdom where magic existed and fairytales were real, a mighty wizard accidentally created a girl child using the pale light of the crescent moon. The young girl turned out to possessed raw and powerful magic. The wizard took care of the young girl, becoming something like a guardian and teacher. The girl lived a happy life, playing with and caring for the magical creatures around her home, and spending quality time with the wizard when she wasn’t studying the art of spellcasting. After many centuries of trials and sacrifices, the girl became queen of the kingdom. All was well, until a war threatened the lives of her subjects. With her last breath, the queen made undoubtingly sure that nothing would threaten the wonder and beauty of her kingdom, ever again.
Chapter 1: Happy Birthday
Fiona was knocked back a few feet by the impact of the attack. Her petite body tumbled and rolled across the grass and finally landed on her stomach. Her dress was dirty with grass stains, however that was the least of her problems. Her body had suffered many cuts and bruises, her vision became hazy, and the fact that she was low on energy wasn’t helping. Her opponents were strolling towards her, the sickening noise of claws as they glided on the stone walls that surrounded the garden not far behind them. Fiona tried to pick herself up but was slapped on the face, sending her on the grass again, and landing on her side, red cuts across her cheek. She cried out in pain, holding her face with one hand and pushing off the ground with the other, while one of her opponents looks down at her.
“Pitiful,” said the harsh, feminine voice. “Too weak to fight back.” In the distance, Fiona can hear the angry growls of an animal. She looked up to find her beloved pet held down against his will and a burning fire of hatred lit up inside her. “Leave…Leave my friend alone…!” she said in a feeble voice. Her opponents giggled a girlish giggle, “Or what?” one of them questioned. “You gonna retaliate or something?” Fiona got on one knee, then slowly got on her feet, and looked her opponent squarely in the eyes. “You…don’t wanna know…what I…what I will do!”
Her opponent gave her shove and Fiona had her back on the ground. “You think you’re so tough,” said the harsh, feminine voice, “a force to be reckoned with. You wanna know the truth, little girl? You’re a freak.” Fiona murmured a bad word under her breathe as she rolls onto her stomach and got on her hands and knees. She loathed that word for always being aims at her, she loathed her opponents for being so heartless and cruel, but much of all, she loathed the events that led up to this. If she hasn’t been born the way she was, if she hasn’t gotten that book on her birthday, if it hasn’t for that one fateful night, none of this would be happening.
“I’m going to enjoy ending you.” That was the last thing Fiona heard before blacking out.
Two weeks earlier…
Golden rays of sunlight accompanied by the sounds of singing birds entered the bedroom of the Manhattan apartment. The soft purring of a cat registered in the mind of a sleeping Fiona. She opened her eyes to reveal an all-black cat with a green collar matching the animal’s large green eyes rubbing its face against her own face. The cat meowed when it noticed it master eye open.
“Good morning to you too, Jinx.” Said the girl with a smile. She sat up and patted her feline friend, shaking the silver bell that was attaches to the collar. The cat, Jinx, meowed before going to purr and rub against it master’s stomach.
The sunlight coming through the pink curtains of the window was filling the room with a light pink steam of light. It surrounded the large sofa circular bed with its pink and black sheets and pillows. It hit the pink walls that were decorated with the black silhouettes of butterflies. It covered the girl’s dark gray wardrobe and it bounced off the mirror of her black vanity. Books were littered around the room. Some potted vegetable plants were in different area of the room, some next to the window, some next to the vanity, but all of them were fully grown and ready to be harvest. A low wooden table was in the center of the room atop a round, black rug, littered with tools.
“Wanna help me make breakfast?” Fiona asked Jinx. Jinx meowed and Fiona took it as a ‘yes’.
“Come on boy.” Said Fiona as she lifted up the covers and jumped out of bed. Fiona ran some fingers through her insanely long black hair as she walked towards her bedroom door, Jinx closely following behind her. As she walks, her dark gray nightgown floated slightly above the floor while the long white lace of the sleeves concealed her hands as they reached to turn the doorknob.
When you stayed in Fiona’s bedroom for a while, you found it easy to forget about the modern world. Her bedroom was antiquated compared to the rest of the apartment. As Fiona walked down the stairs, she took note of the empty, gray couch. The glass table was clean and the DVDs were neatly placed on the selves of the TV stand. The flat screen TV on the wall above the stand was off. The greenish-gray walls with modern art hanging on them, embroidered rug that filled the space between the crouch and the TV, and the styled lights hanging from the celling were untouched. Fiona looked towards the balcony on her left, no one was outside and the door was closed. This could only mean one of two things: her father had left to go fetch the newspaper or he just hasn’t woken up yet. In case it was the latter, Fiona tiptoed to the kitchen.
The stove top, cabinets, oven, fridge, and island were all clean. The usual signs that her father has been in the kitchen was a sloppy plate with the remains of his breakfast in the sink and an opened newspaper laying on the table, but since was no plate or newspaper, Fiona deduced that her father was still asleep in his bed.
She picked up Jinx and placed his on one of the chairs around the island. “We better be quiet, kitty-cat.” Fiona told Jinx. Jinx meowed a soft meow, as if he actually understood what Fiona was saying and tried to stay as quiet as possible. Fiona went over to the fridge to gather the necessary ingredients. She would make something simple, maybe an omelet, but with no meat; Fiona was strictly vegetarian.
As Fiona set the frying pan on the stove top she hummed a cheerful tune, happily enjoying herself as she cooked. One more day, she thought to herself, just one day until Halloween…and my thirteenth birthday.
Thirteen years ago, late on Halloween night, Gabriel Greenberg and his wife, Patricia Greenberg, were overjoyed with the birth of bubbly baby girl, Fiona Carolyn Greenberg. The baby’s hair matched that of both her parents, straight and jet black. The freckles on the bridge of her nose were similar to the freckles on her mother’s nose. The baby shared her father’s ghostly pale skin, in obvious contract to her mother’s natural bronze skin. The baby’s eyes were a dark and mythical blue; as if they had some sort of otherworldly magic to them. And most curious of all, atop the baby’s forehead, there was the perfect image of a crescent moon in its waning phase.
Over time Fiona proved to be a mischievous child, playing innocent pranks on people and scaring them by jumping in front of them and making monster noises. It only gotten worse when she discovered that her birthday fell precisely on Halloween. Since then, she loved anything related to Halloween. She loved the orange and black decorations that were hung everywhere. She loved the yummy candy that was everywhere. But most of all, she loved that it was the one night that she didn’t feel out of place. If it weren’t for the fact she was busy with school matters and designing her costume for this year, she would had covered the apartment form ceiling to floor with jack-o-lanterns and cobwebs.
Fiona was also a clever child. She liked to sew, embroider, build, and invent things. By the time she was eleven, she taught herself how to use a screwdriver, how to cook a meal using the instructions from a cookbook, how to grow a vegetable garden in her bedroom, and how to create her own outfits. One day she told her father that she wanted to be a great inventor just like him and Gabriel was very pleased with his daughter’s drive and passion.
She loved just about everything in the city, however, there were a few things that Fiona didn’t like. Gore, violence, blood, raw and decaying meat, rogue animals, getting lost in a theme park, falling from the sky, trips to the hair cutter, all of these things either made her went to vomit, cry, or run away in fear.
As Fiona finished cooking her meatless omelet, she placed her breakfast on a square plate, and poured herself a tall glass of orange juice. She then opened a cabinet and pulled out a can of wet cat food. She opened the can and dumped the contains on another square plate. “Here you go, boy.” She said as she placed the plate on the island in front of Jinx, who leaned forward and began to eat the food, paws still on the seat.
Fiona often treated the cat as through it was human, letting it eat at the table like most people. She spoiled her pet; she played and cuddled with Jinx on a daily basis. She used her weekly allowance to buy him every kind of cat toy and only the finest of cat food. She would make small outfits for the cat, worrying if her friend got cold. She so did love her cute little kitty-cat, and Jinx loved her back. He followed her wherever she goes, slept by her bed every night, and welcomed the outfits that his owner had charitably made for him.
Taking her own plate, she sat next to Jinx and they ate their breakfast together. “When we’re done,” Fiona said, half to Jinx and half to herself, “I should start making daddy’s breakfast.”
Chapter 2: Friends for Life
The sounds of a door opening and footsteps on hard wood floor alarmed Fiona of her father’s awaking. She had already bathed and clothed herself; she was wearing a short sleeved black dress with a white collar, white knee-high socks, and a pair of old-fashioned black shoes. She also made him a breakfast of strawberry pancakes and coffee, his favorite.
Gabriel walked into the living room, still in his white tank top and boxers. His short hair draped over his forehead, which it usually looked before he combed it, and the hairs on his chin and above his upper lip were visible, meaning that he hadn’t shaved yet. He fiddled with his glasses before he saw Fiona. “Good morning, sleeping beauty.” She said in a way that sounded kind-hearted, eventhrough she technical just insulted him. He yawned and walked over to pat his daughter’s head. “Morning, my sweet.”
“I made your favorite breakfast: pancakes with strawberries. I also made you some coffee”
Gabriel smiled, bended over and kissed her forehead. “Thank you, darling.” He started walking towards the kitchen.
“Kay, I’m walking to school with my friend. Don’t work too hard.” She said.
“Remember to take the safe route.” Said her father.
“Alright, dad.” She replied as she grasped her black hooded cape from the coatrack.
“Also, your mother will be picking you up from school.” Gabriel said.
“Ok.” Fiona draped her cape over her shoulders and buttoned it.
“Come straight home today. There is something we need to discuss.”
“You bet.” She walked over to the front door of the apartment. Her backpack was laying against the wall next to the door; she opened the bag.
“And Fiona,” He loving voice turned serious. “You are to leave Jinx here.” He turned back to look at his daughter as she tried to stuff a black creature in her backpack.
“Daddy-” She began to say.
“Do not ‘Daddy’ me, Fiona. Your school have complained about you giving pets to school, and you know that pets aren’t allowed in the building.” He folded his arms and looked down at Fiona with his piercing green eyes.
“But he gets lonely whenever I’m away.” She protested, holding the creature in her arms.
“That does not mean you’re allowed to bring animals to school.” Gabriel rebutted.
Fiona sighed in defect. She set the creature down on the floor and placed her bag on her back. Gabriel smiled and his voice turned loving again. “Thanks for understanding, pumpkin, you’re a good girl.” He kissed her forehead again. “Be safe out there.” He then left for the kitchen.
Jinx popped his head out of Fiona’s backpack when Gabriel was out of the room. Fiona told him to go back inside and he obeyed. She ran out the front door of the apartment, leaving the black cat-shaped decoy which she had built for the sole purpose of fooling her father on the floor.
The first two periods were Fiona’s favorite because they were math and science classes, and those were the most important things a future inventor needs to learn. However, she enjoyed her free period the most because that was the time she could hang out with her bestest (an informal way of saying the very best) friend, Fox Lopez.
Fox and Fiona have known each other since kindergarten. They first met on the playground, a group of older kids were picking on Fiona as she played by herself on the swings. The older girls were making fun of her birthmark, compelling her to, unsuccessfully, hide it underneath her bangs later on. They laughed and pointed at her. Fox stood up to them, trying to defend Fiona. He was, however, awarded with a shove by one of the older boys. Fiona, to the surprise of the older kids and everyone else, got up from her swing and began to verbally abuse them…or at least tried it.
Pronouncing the horrifically vulgar words she had overheard the grown-ups around her say, was very difficult for the little kindergartener, who could only correctly pronoun a handful of words at the time. The older kids eventually backed off, and since then, the two were best friends for life.
Fox came from a Hispanic family. His red-orange hair was shoulder length and his gentle brown eyes made people feel welcome. His face was soft and free of pimples and freckles, unlike some of the other boys in their grade. He wore blue cotton shirt with a soccer ball on the right side of the chest and a pair of light brown shorts. Like everyone else in Fiona’s life, Fox surpassed her in height, but he didn’t treat her like an infant like so many others, instead he treated her as if she was his sister. He loves to play soccer; his lower body strength was impressive. However, what he really wanted was to be a spy, it was a dream of his since age seven.
They were in the hallway of their middle school, sitting on the floor with their backs against the lockers with Jinx, his head sticking out of the backpack, in-between them. Fox looked at the cat, then at Fiona with astonishment. “I can’t believe you faked out your dad like that.” Fox said.
“I’m able to fool him every now and again.” Fiona said with a joyful smile on her face. “So, are you’re excited for tomorrow night?” She asked, charging the subject.
Fox laughed. “Yeah, I’m excited for the Halloween Bash.” The middle school was hosting a Halloween party for the students and their families. Halloween fell on a Friday and the party started at 6 o’ clock, so it wasn’t hard for the students or the families to attend. Fiona nodded.
“Me too. You’re still coming right?”
“Of course I am.” Fox said. “My mom did offer to bake the food this year, so I have to help her with that.”
“Great, because I’m working on the most amazing costume and I can’t wait for you to see it.” Her smile widened. “Can you just image the looks on everyone’s faces when I came to the Bash with a one of a kind costume that I made? No one will treat me like a baby after that.” She said with a determined look in her eyes.
“Oh I don’t doubt that. But what your dad?” Fox asked. “Won’t he be there?”
“Nope.” She shook her head. “He told me yesterday that I’m old enough to go to places by myself.”
“Seriously? He’s actually letting you go to the Halloween Bash by myself?”
“I won’t be by myself.” She corrected. “You’re coming with me, aren’t you?”
“Still, I thought your dad was stiffer then my dad.”
“He is.” Her smile faded as her head turned away from her friend to stare down at the tiled floor of the hallway. She began to draw circles on the floor with her finger. “I love my dad but he is so overprotective sometimes. He never let me go anywhere on my own. He just has to know exactly where I am twenty-four seven.” She blew a puff of air into her bangs, sending them flying upward before falling back on her forehead. “I wish he would have more faith in me.” She stopped making circles on the floor and brought her hand over to Jinx. She looked at the cat somberly as she petted him. “I wish I didn’t look like a preschooler, then maybe everyone would treat me differently.”
“Come on, Fi-Fi.” Fox said in a reassuring voice. “You’re the most grown-up person I know; no matter what people think.” Fox was correct; Fiona was matured for her age. She was able to cook and clean. She grew her vegetables in her bedroom which she picked for her lunch. She can sew her own clothes and wash them on her own. She did all her homework herself without any help and was known to tutor Fox. Fiona was more than capable of taking care of herself. However, her childish pranks, habit of speaking to animals and plants as if they were people, small stature, love of wearing nothing but delicate dresses, and the innocent appearance of her eyes, made it tough for people to take her serious.
“Besides,” Fox continued. “Your parents are ok with you going out at night in spite of the increase risk of werewolves and zombies. That means they must have faith in you.” Fiona erupted with laughter. Fox always got Fiona laughing, no matter how sad or upset she was.
“Thanks, Foxy.” She said, facing him again and smiling. “I ready needed that.”
“Any time, Fi-Fi.” Fox said, using him pointer figure and thumb as an imaginary gun pointed at her.
The two of them talked until the bell rung and they went to their next classes. Fox knew that Fiona was fine on her own, and yet that didn’t stop him from doing anything for her. Likewise, Fiona knew in her heart that she could trust him with any secret. She knew that Fox will always be there for her, even if no one else was. Fox was one of the few people in her life that loved unconditionally and she was confident in knowing that nothing will come in the way of their friendship.
Chapter 3: Bullying Brothers
It was almost the end of the school day when Fiona suddenly heard loud whimpering coming from down a hallway. Fiona, her stomach filling with dread and anxiety, speed down the hall, following the whimpering. She turned a corner and spotted the three large bulky bodies of the three brothers that were held back for several years; they possibly should be in high school. They were surrounding the source of the crying, a fellow female middle schooler. With slight hesitation, Fiona shouted: “L-leave her alone!”
The brothers, Mike, Johnny, and Tank Armstrong, turned around. They were all muscular and tall, although Tank was the tallest and most muscular of the three. They all wore matching jerseys and shorts. They had short brown hair, save for Johnny whose hair was long and matted. They all had dead looking eyes underneath thick monobrows, and they were all with their younger sister, Izzy. She turned her head away from her victim, her hands on her hips. She was frowning at first, but once she saw Fiona, she grinned.
Izzy, short for Isabella, along with her three older brothers were the middle school’s bullies. She was different from her brothers. She was a fellow middle schooler; she didn’t get held back. She had long red hair, baby blue eyes, no monobrows, and skinny. She usually wore a leather jacket over a gray tank top and a pair of ripped jeans. She was nasty and ferocious just like her brothers. Rumor has it she was the only girl in her family and that she was essentially raised by her brothers. She strolled towards Fiona, still smiling and hand still on her hips. “Nice to see you, Fi.” She said once she stood in front of the small girl. “You’re looking as tiny as ever.”
The brothers, the girl they were terrorizing, and a dozens of other students stared at the two. They all began to gather around them, watching the two girls. This was what most of the student body was looking forward to: Fiona and Izzy fighting. Everyone knew of the hatred between Fiona and Izzy; the two would get into bitter argues on a daily basis, however no one ever alarmed a teacher or tried to break them up. The students enjoyed watching them fight. No one known what started this severe dislike, and none of them cared. They only cared about the entertaining fight.
Fiona shot daggers at the taller girl with her eyes. “At least I don’t use my strength as an excuse to bully innocent kids.” She said angrily.
“Why don’t you quit being a blubbering, little baby?” Izzy barked back.
“Don’t call me a baby.” Fiona scowled.
“Yeah, sis.” Said Tank from behind his younger sister. “She’s not a baby. She’s a freak!” All three brothers laughed. “Yeah, I saw her talking to a cat once. She even got one following her around.” The rest of the students started laughing. Fiona listened to her fellow classmates as they laughed at her, but she never took her eyes from of Izzy.
Izzy stood there, not laughing. She kept looking down at Fiona. “How about you run along to your mommy and daddy?” She said with a pout. “We all know you can’t survive in a fight.”
Fiona wondered why she would say that if the two of them had never gotten into physical fights. Did they assume that she wasn’t a good fighter because of her small figure? Thinking this made Fiona’s blood boil. “Well…” She began to say. “We all know that your brothers can’t pass middle school.”
Izzy’s eyes became wider. She quickly looked back at her brothers, whose faces were in grim expressions. Tank was about to talk up to the small girl who insulted them when Izzy put her hand up, stopping him. She looked back at Fiona. She was about to say something; however, Fiona speak up first. “Yeah, they’re the only people dumb enough to get left back for four years.” She said with a witty smile on her face. “Sounds pretty pitiful if you ask me. I almost feel bad for you, Izzy.”
Tank’s eyes filled with rage, his lips curled in anger and he was growling. Izzy was looking scared as she saw her eldest brother get visibly furious. She looked at Fiona one last time and said, “You shouldn’t be picking fights with us.” Then she ran over to Tank, took him bulky hand in her smaller hand, and attempted to soothe his anger. She somehow got them to leave, with them following behind her as she led the four of them down the hall. However, Tank looked back at the small girl for a brief moment, the rage still in his eyes.
The girl that was being bullied was gone, and so was the rest of the students. They were gossiping and giggling to themselves about what had transpired. Fiona swore she heard something along the lines of, “That freaky shrimp better watch her back” followed by, “She’s such a loud mouth. No wonder she has only one friend”.
There were no thanks for standing up for their classmate, there never was. Fiona didn’t expect them to honor or praise her, nor did she expect any of them to stand with her. She just wanted them to stop mocking her. Sometimes she felt she should let the Armstrong siblings terrorize the ungrateful students, she wouldn’t actually let the happen of course, but she did often found herself wondering why she bothered to protect people who didn’t acknowledge her kind and considerate attribute.
Fiona looked down at her backpack near her feet. Jinx’s head is sticking out of the bag, looking up at his owner. “At least you appreciate me, right Jinx?” Fiona asked her faithful feline friend. Jinx meowed, and Fiona took it as a ‘yes’.
Chapter 4: Mother-Daughter Time
“Are your classes going well?” Patricia asked her daughter as the two of them were walking along the busy city streets together. Patricia had waited for Fiona outside of the school building. She was easy to find in spite of the hoard of kids running out of the doors. Patricia was wearing her usually professional outfit: a gray jacket with a long gray skirt. She was wearing black high heels with gray stockings. Her nails were painted red and were cut to look pointy. Her large bust filled the jacket, revealing a bit of skin underneath the material.
Her clothes perfectly fit her curvy figure, feeling snug around her abdomen and chest area. Her black hair had waves that touches her shoulder blades. Patricia worked as a defense attorney, a very successful one at that; nearly undefeated. Not only was she undefeated, she was also very well off, collecting a large sum for every case she worked on.
“Yes, mom.” Fiona answered her. Fiona had Jinx in her arms; she through he needed some fresh air. When Patricia questioned why Jinx was in Fiona’s backpack, she told her mother that she assumed that her little feline friend was getting lonely in the apartment without her. Patricia just signed and said, “Alright, hon.”
“Are you coming inside? I want you to see my costume for tomorrow.” Fiona asked as she and Patricia were walking in front of the apartment building. Ordinarily, Fiona and her mother would spend more time together, however between school and her parents’ recent separation, she was spending less time with her mother. Ever since the separation, Patricia has avoided her husband at every chance she got.
She didn’t want to live with him, buying and living in her own house near her daughter’s middle school. They do not speak with each other, outside of brief greetings whenever Patricia came to pick up Fiona so she can spend the weekend at her mother’s house. Rarely do Patricia and Gabriel stay in the same room and when they do it is only for five minutes before Patricia left in a hurry.
When her mother didn’t answer her question, Fiona repeated herself, with more urgency. “Mom? You are coming up, aren’t you? I really want you to see my costume.” Patricia bit her lower lip anxiously and Fiona began to look depressed. She looked up at her mother with sad puppy-dog eyes. “Ah, mom, don’t tell me that you have to work.” Patricia gave a reassuming smile to her daughter. “No, no, dear. Just…” Patricia tracked off as her tried to find the words. Fiona stared at her in anticipating. “I shouldn’t get in the way of your time with your father.” Patricia finally said.
“Don’t worry about that. That way I can hung out with both of you.” Fiona said. She deeply wanted her parents to live together again. Her parents were separated for as long as she can remember; she can’t remember a time where they were both together for a whole minute. She never understood why her parents weren’t together.
She assumed the reason was something parents can’t tell their children because they think children were too naïve to understand or they’re afraid that the children will act out. Fiona was matured for her age, however, she understood things that most kids couldn’t until they were older. She felt that whatever caused her parents to separate, she would surly understand.
Patricia seemed more anxious then before. “Doesn’t…your father have to tell you something.” She seemed as though she wanted the conversation to end as quickly as possible, but her daughter wasn’t giving up so soon. “That’s ok, you can listen too.” Fiona said with stubborn determination. Patricia tried to remain level-headed. “I think it better if you two alone.” She patted her daughter’s shoulder. Fiona frowned. As a final effort, she looked her mother in the eye and said, “I made our favorite cookies. We can eat there together.” Patricia signed again and begrudgingly nodded.
It didn’t take long for Patricia to dig into the batch of homemade chocolate chip and caramel cookies that laid on a plate on the island in the kitchen. Like most people, she loved Fiona’s cooking, perhaps too much. Fiona giggled as she watched her mother from across the island, devouring delicious cookie after cookie. She wondered if her mother was even chewing.
Jinx laid on her lap. She petted him with one hand while sipping a glass of fresh milk with the other. Gabriel waited for his wife to finish eating before approaching his daughter from behind. He said there is something he needed to show her in the living room. Drinking the last of her milk, Fiona followed her father into the living room with Jinx still in her arms.
She sat on the couch. “What’s up?” She asked. Her father sat next to her. “Sweetie, I need for you to see something important. Something that I don’t think you’ll like.” He was hiding something behind his back. Fiona began to worry. Uh oh. Did he found out about the decoy? Her father removed hand and revealed a small black box in his palm. Fiona relaxed. Good. He didn’t found out.
“What is it?” She asked, then an idea appeared in her mind and she gasped in excitement. “Is this my birthday present?!”
Gabriel frowned. “Yes…in a way.”
“Can I open it?!” Without even waiting for a response, Fiona grasped the box from her father’s hand and hastily open it.
Chapter 5: The Ring
Her eyes went wide. Inside was a ring, but it wasn’t like any ring she saw before. It has an enormous red gem in the center and green vines that held the gem in place.
The vines curved around the gem as well as forming a small hoop for a person to put on their finger, sometimes tangling with each other. They looked like real vines, they even had tiny leaves growing out of there. She thought saw the vines grow in length as they appear to snake along the sides and stopping just shy of the roof of the gem. She directed her stare at the huge gem itself. Its shape was similar to that of a diamond. It was a deep red, a dark red, a morbid red. She thought saw something moved inside the gem; pulsating within the gem, like a heart.
“Honey? Are you alright?” The voice of her mother, who came to sit on the other side of her, made her shake her head in an attempt to shake away whatever trance she was is.
“Yeah.” She said to her mother. “Yeah, I’m fine.” She turned to face her father. “It’s a…pretty ring.” She wasn’t lying. The ring was beautiful, but also ominous; it made her insides tremble the longer she looked at it. “I…really like it.” Only half true; it was spooky enough for Halloween, which she liked, but even so, she wouldn’t wear it. It was too gaudy for her taste and too showy as well; she didn’t like the stares she already got from people on the streets and didn’t want to have more people staring at her for wearing a ring like this.
“Now Fiona,” said her father. “You don’t have to say that you like it just to please me. I realized that this isn’t something that you would usually wear.”
“No, no” Fiona rebutted. “I really do like it. But it looks very old, like an antique.” She glanced at the gem as she said this. “Are you sure you want me to have it.” She looked up at her father, who was nodding his head.
“This ring is a family heirloom.” He said. “It was given to me by my father when I turned thirteen and before that, it was given to him by my grandfather when he turned thirteen. To be given this ring symbolizes one’s thirteenth birthday and becoming a young adult.”
Fiona nodded slowly, understanding the importance of what her father was saying. For whatever reason, this awfully creepy ring was a symbol, a symbol of one becoming responsible young adult. He was giving her this ring was his way of telling her that he finally trusted her. She smiled at her father. “So,” She began. “You consider me as a young adult?”
Her father nodded again, and then glanced at her mother, who was eyeing him angrily. Fiona turned her head slightly towards her mother and she saw her mother suddenly wearing a wide smile. “Sweetheart,” Her father said to her. Fiona turned back to him. “Promise me that you’re never take the ring off. It’s very important that you always have this ring on you.”
He looked more concern then usually as he said this. There was something in Gabriel’s face that told Fiona that her father was deeply contemplating on this matter, as if there might be something wrong with giving his daughter the family heirloom. She saw something similar in Patricia’s sudden smile, which she knew was forced. Fiona saw that her mother had the same nervous expression as when they talked outside the building.
Her parents knew something she didn’t and for whatever reason, they didn’t inform their daughter of it. She wanted to question them, but then again, her father did trust her with this precious heirloom and done so with great generosity. If she questioned them, she would only seem rude and ungrateful. If she wanted her father’s trust, she would have to follow his requests without skepticism. However, she wasn’t entirely certain if she was able to keep a promise like that.
“Sure dad.” Fiona said with forced confident. “I promise.”
“Hey, princess,” Her mother interjected. “Didn’t you want to show me your costume?”
“Oh, I almost forgot!” Fiona leaped off of the crouch, startling the cat that was resting on her lap and making the creature jump to his feet. She quickly wrapped her arms around the black cat’s torso. She thanked her father for her gift before leading her mother upstairs. Patricia walked up the steps while Fiona ran up the steps. Fiona reaches the bedroom door first, and she threw it open. She yelled for her mother to hurry into her room. Patricia finally reaches the door her daughter’s room, she walked through the doorframe, and she froze in place.
“What do you think?” She asked standing in front of her mother, holding up a homemade dress in her hands, Jinx at her feet. “I’m not done with it yet, but isn’t it great?” She had a smile that went from ear to ear.
Fiona had made a witch costume. It was black with long sleeves with orange lace loosely sewed at the ends. Ruffles were around the waist of the dress arranged in a pattern, first orange, then green, then orange again. The collar was embroidered with black bats in mid-flight. A loose string was hanging from one ruffles, it gently swung back and forth. Patricia’s eyes shifted to Fiona’s bed, which had a typical witch’s hat on it, pointed and black with an orange sash around it.
Patricia’s auburn eyes went wide as she stared at her daughter’s half-finished costume. She saw the endless amounts of effects, the remarkable attention to detail, the whimsical spirt behind the dress. She felt a mixture of emotions stir inside of her until she wasn’t sure what she was feeling.
Fiona’s joyful smile turned into a nervous one. She waited patiently for her mother’s response. She tilted her head slightly to the side like a confused dog.
Patricia took in a deep breath through the nose and finally answered her daughter’s innocent question. “It’s beautiful, princess.” She said with a smile that Fiona found suspicious.
Chapter 6: A Dream or a Nightmare
There was a field, with nothing but green grass and dandelions puffs, the wind blowing the seeds from the flowers and sending them to faraway places. It was night, the moon was full and glowing a pale light. It was quiet, eerily quiet. The only sound was the wind.
A voice appeared, it sounded feminine. The voice didn’t have face, or a body, but it can be heard; it was as if it was coming from nowhere and everywhere. First, it was soft and barely understandable but then it slowly became loud and clear, it was singing. At first it was an angelic stream of ah’s, but it soon became a wave of musical lyrics. The voice was haunting, but also beautiful.
“Sleep my sweet children, close your tired eyes,
And enter my magical kingdom.
There you shall know true freedom,
As you dream to the sound of my lullaby”
A ring of white fire suddenly appeared in the field. The flames grow in height and they begin to spin in a circle until they turn into a towering flaming tornado of white fire. A soft, melodious whisper was coming the tornado, and it accompanied the singing.
“Rest little children, bid your sadness goodbye,
I shall lift your sorrows and fears,
My dearest children, you stall know happiness for the rest of your years,
As you feel safe as you hear my sweet lullaby.”
The tornado became thinner. Slowly it took the shape of a person. Frist the head appeared, then the arms took form above the head, then finally the torso formed. In a flash, the flames dissolve, becoming white embers, spinning around the person and flying away in the wind. The person birthed from the flame tornado was…who?
This woman was taller than Fiona, and her chest was larger as well. She was pale like Fiona, but she looked paler; paler then the full moon above her. Her hair was long enough to reach her waist just like Fiona, except this woman’s hair was silver. Her eyes were a beautiful crimson color. She was wearing a black gown that covered her feet, the long sleeves were lacey and there was a slit in the gown to reveal the woman’s right leg. She didn’t have bangs, freckles, or even a birthmark.
The moonlight shined on her like a spotlight, following her as she walked through the field. The dandelion seeds started to float around the woman, spinning in circles around the woman’s waist and arms. She gently catches one from the air and cupped it within her hands. With her fingers, she carefully stroked the seed before letting it fly away in the wind. She smiled as she sung.
“Sleep precious children, as I shall take you into the night,
Away from the pain and the suffering,
Rest now my children, you shall find this tune comforting,
Just follow the sounds of my magic lullaby.”
The dream became blurred as monochromatic colors of gray flash in Fiona’s vision. Purple dots appeared, then red dots, and then blue dots, until she could see nothing but purple, red, and blue dots on a gray surface. The beautiful singing faded away and was replaced by the ringing of Fiona’s ears.
Fiona felt a jolt of energy pass through her entire body. She began to involuntarily move in her bed. Her muscles felt like they were assaulted by electricity. Her eyelids squeezed and her eyebrows knitted. Her teeth bite down on her lower lip as her head felt like it was set on fire. She forced her eyes to open.
She stared at the ceiling of her room, her body felt cold and warm at the same time. She didn’t move at first; she was possibly paralyzed or was simply drained of energy. Eventually, she was able to move her head. She saw the blackness of night outside her window; tonight was a new moon. Once she felt she could move her whole body again, Fiona swung her legs to sit on the edge on her bed. Her blanket was suddenly thrown off of her lap as if she was afraid of it. She placed a hand to her pounding forehead. Was that a dream? She thought to herself. Or was that a nightmare?
Chapter 7: His Little Angel
Gabriel made certain not to wake his little sleeping angel as he slowly opened the door to his daughter’s room. In one hand was a serving tray, on the serving tray was plate with a small stack of chocolate pancakes, a glass of orange juice, and a napkin with fork and butter knife wrapped inside. Silently, he stepped into the room and began nearing the round bed. Saved for the gently rise and fall of her back, Fiona was immobile as she laid on her stomach, her face buried in her pillow. Strands of her hair draped her back and wrapped itself around her arms.
Fiona didn’t snore as she slept, which Gabriel found puzzling, as both he and Patricia snored while they slept. Jinx the cat also laid on the bed, sleeping soundly next to Fiona. Once he was beside the bed, Gabriel delicately nudged his daughter’s shoulder while whispering in her ear. “Fiona. Wake up, my darling.” She stirred in her sleep, making a soft moaning sound, before removing her face from the pillow and greeting her father with half opened eyes. “Happy Birthday, my love.” He said with a smile.
“Dad…?” Fiona uttered groggily. “What are you doing…?”
Gabriel presented the plate of pancakes to Fiona. “Your birthday, remember?” He said, certain that she was suffering from a lapse of concentration. “Don’t tell me that you forgot your birthday.”
Fiona’s eyes widened and she immediately sat up, smiling. “I haven’t forgotten, silly!” She said cheerfully. “I was just surprised is all.” She reached out and embraced her father by his waist. She broke away to look into his eyes. “Thanks for the breakfast in bed.” She said.
Gabriel handed the plate to Fiona. “Not a problem, my dear.” He said before planting a loving kiss her forehead. “Anything for my little angel on her birthday. Now, finish your meal so you can get ready for school.”
“Alright, dad.” Said Fiona as she placed the tray of food on her lap. She watched her father as he left her bedroom, waving goodbye and smiling. She began to unwrap the napkin and dug into the pancake stack with the knife and fork. Halfway into her meal, she gazed towards Jinx, who was still sleeping soundly on the bed beside her. He looked peaceful and content; so peaceful and content, that she felt bad about waking him up. She thought that, perhaps for once, she should leave her pet at home and let him sleep. He’s possibly having a nice dream. Unlike me.
Fiona, having awoken in the dead of night and hadn’t gone back to sleep until a little before the break of dawn, felt drained. Everything about her dream and/or nightmare from the night before troubled her deeply; from the tornado of pure white fire, to the unfamiliar woman that spawned from the frames, to the haunting song that she could still hear in her ears. She didn’t want to tell her father about it, less he might overreact and refuse to let her go to the Halloween Bash. Fiona knew very well that when her father said: “Anything for my little angel…”, he didn’t literal meant anything.
Until now, her father never let her to go anywhere by herself. He was particularly fearful of her going anywhere at night. Every birthday, he would come along with her as she trick-or-treated, and if something came up involving work, preventing him from coming along, he would get her mother to do it, and if she wasn’t available, he would get one of the neighbors. Yet tonight, she was finally allowed to go out alone at night. She just needed to wait for the sun to be completely set and the sky to turn dark blue, by that time, she would officially be thirteen years old.
Fiona did love her father, but she also envied him for being a grow up. She sometimes wished that she was a grow up, so she could do all the things that grow ups do, to know all the things that grow ups knew, but mostly, to escape from the shadows of her successful parents. It was supposed to be a metaphor of course, but for some reason, no matter what time of day, Fiona noticed that her father always had a dark shadow with him.
Chapter 8: A Warning
The school day came and went. She went to her classes, chatted with Fox during her free period, and did her classwork as per usual. During the day, some of her classmates wished her a happy birthday, in which she responded in halfhearted ‘thanks’. Earlier, she had asked Fox if he was still going to the party with her, to which he replied: “Sorry, Fi-Fi, but this ready pretty girl from my English class asked me to go with her. Could you be mad if I went with her instead?” He sounded sheepish as he asked the question, but Fiona assumed him that it was alright if he went with someone else. Fox needs a girlfriend anyways, she thought.
She sat at her deck in the corner of her last class for today, toying with the ring her father gave her. She long forsaken the belief that the vines were growing or that the gem was pulsating. She figured that the light was just playing tricks on her mind. Nevertheless, she still felt uneasy wearing it, even if she did promise her father. For some reason, the ring felt prickly; as if the vines had thorns and they were digging into the skin of her finger. She rejected the idea. Silly Fiona, she thought. The vines are just part of the design. They don’t have thorns. It’s all in your head, just like that dream. It’s not real. It’s all in my head. She mentally repeated this. All in my head.
She didn’t realize that class was over until the teacher called her name, snapping her back into reality. She saw that her classmates were long gone and she was the only one rest in the classroom save for the teacher. The teacher asked if she was alright; apparently, Fiona has been spacing out during class. She told him that she was fine and just needed some time alone to think to herself. The teacher suggested for her to visit the nurse but Fiona declined, claiming that she doesn’t need to see the nurse. The teacher shrugged, and sent Fiona on her way while wishing her a happy birthday. Fiona thanked him as she left.
She walked into the nearest girls’ bathroom so she can splash her face with water. She made it inside and hurried for one of the sinks. She was about to turn on the faucet when a hand grasped her wrist before she could touch the nob. She yelped and turned to find Izzy standing not an inch away from her. Where did she even come from? Was she hoping to find Fiona here and just waited for her? How did Fiona not notice her before?
“You shouldn’t have said what you said yesterday.” Izzy’s tone was deadly serious.
“Let go of me!” Fiona wisped her arm out of Izzy’s grip, however Izzy quickly lifted Fiona by the waist; she wasn’t that heavy.
“PUT ME DOWN!” Fiona yelled as loud as she could, hoping that someone might hear her and come running. No one did however.
Izzy careful placed Fiona in the corner of the bathroom. She stood in front of her as if trying block Fiona’s path; she didn’t want to let the small girl escape. “Do you any idea what you done?” She questioned.
Fiona stood her ground with a glare that portrayed bravery, rather than her inner nervousness. “I’m not in mood for your games, Izzy!” She said in an annoyed tone. “Whatever you want-”
“I want you to zip your lip.” Izzy cut her off, which made Fiona more annoyed.
“How completely rude!” She scolded. “Didn’t your parents ever tell you not to interrupt someone when their speaking?”
Izzy frowned. “Listen to me, you little shrimp!” Then she hammered the palms of her hands on the wall behind Fiona. She placed her hands beside Fiona’s head, casing shadows on the shorter girl’s face. Izzy’s face grew closer to Fiona’s, as she leaned against the wall with her hands, and stared into Fiona’s eyes. “Stay out of my brothers’ way, or you’re regret it.” Fiona saw something like concern in Izzy’s face, but she wasn’t sure because it was eclipsed with another emotion: pure fear.
“My brothers…” She began to say. “They do really bad things sometimes. They can go too far.” She took in a hazy breath before continuing. “Tank is the worst! He never went to stop! I think he likes it when people are hurt.” Izzy’s eyes drifted to the floor of the bathroom, she looked as though she was about to cry. Her hands fell from the wall and made their way to hug the tearful girl tightly. Her eyes were still on the floor. She sucked in a sob as pools of tears formed in the corners of her eyes.
“Izzy…?” Fiona’s voice became soft and her eyes narrowed, expressing sadness and worry. She took a small, wary step towards the strangely vulnerable bully. “Are you ok?”
Izzy looked at her again. “Fiona…” Her voice was shaking. “Promise me that you won’t go to the Halloween Bash alone tonight. Get your dad or your mom or some grow-up to go with you, ok? I’m afraid my brothers are going to do to you what they do to me.”
“What do they do to you?”
Izzy didn’t answer. She just stared at the floor hugging herself. “Izzy?” Fiona spoke her nickname again. Turning around, Izzy made her way to the bathroom door. “Izzy, wait!” Fiona shouted after her, she didn’t want to be left in the dark, especially when she had so many questions. “Don’t go! You gonna tell me more! What is this you’re doing and why are you doing it?” She asked one finally time.
Izzy opened the door halfway, and then looked back at Fiona. “This is a warning, Fiona.” She stepped through the door, closing it behind her.
Chapter 9: A Night to Remember…Forever
She wondered if she should be going outside as she sewed on the final touches to her costume. She still saw the tears swell in her eyes of her enemy as she expressed her warming with a shaky voice; Fiona found herself forcing more on Izzy’s tears than anything else. Poor Isabella-
She extinguished the line of thought before she could continue it. She reminded herself of what was important: her hatred toward Izzy Armstrong; everyone hated Izzy and her brothers. Then again, they hated her too.
She can still remember the times when she felt as sad that she almost cried while in school, and saved for Fox and a handful of teachers, no one really cared. Her classmates would say things like ‘don’t be sad, Fiona’ or ‘it will be ok’, but that didn’t make up for the thing they called her when they thought she wasn’t listening: freak. She couldn’t stand being called that.
“Ouch!” Distraction caused her sewing needle to go through the material of her costume and into your finger. Immediately, she drove her finger into her mouth, licking and sucking on the wounded finger. When she pulled the finger out, she was relived to find the finger not bleeding; it was still stinging though. Using a pair of sewing scissors, she cut the string and placed the needle along with the others in her sewing box, which was a wooden box in which she kept her sewing tools. She held her costume up in front of her and nodded. It was suitable for wearing.
Her hesitations faded away as her dressed herself in her homemade costume. This was a huge step for her. Not only was she going to a party with her own original costume, but she was eager to socialize with her fellow classmates without fear of them judging her choice of clothing, instead they would praise her for her beautifully crafted dress. She’ll be respected and accepted, they might even invite her to hang out with them. In addition, she wouldn’t have to worry about people teasing her about her birthmark, her witch’s hat was big enough to cover her forehead. She was positive that this was going to be the best birthday ever and that nothing was going to ruin it.
After waving goodbye to her father, who waved back from inside the car, Fiona stepped through the front doors of her school. She stood inside the hallway, shaking with anxiety. Despite being in the far side of the school, she was able to hear the loud music; it echoed through the walls and vibrated the floor underneath her feet. Of course she still couldn’t bring Jinx along with her, but that didn’t stop her from sneaking the cat in a wicker basket, which she prepared along with her costume. She couldn’t leave her beloved cat alone while she was out having fun, it wouldn’t be fair.
She peeled back the sheet covering the basket, revealing the black cat inside; curled in a cozy ball. “Ready Jinx?” Jinx looked at her with his deep green eyes and meowed. “Alright then, let’s go.” She said while placing the sheet back over basket. She inhaled deeply, feeling a little nervous, exhaled, and, once she was calm enough, strolled towards the gymnasium, where the Halloween Bash was taking place.
She felt something hard and blunt struck the back of her head. She cried out and fell to her knees, the basket with Jinx in it, falling to the floor in front her. The cat immediately got on his feet and ran to his owner, who was rubbing her sore head and weeping. Her witch’s hat, tore from her head, giving the throbbing wound, which felt like the burning of a hundred suns, air to breathe.
“Well, look at what we have here.” She heard a tough-sounding voice spoke behind her, followed by wicked chuckling. She looked up to find three figures surrounding her. Tank was standing over her, a steel bat in one hand. Mike and Johnny were standing behind her, both carrying rolls of duct tape.
Tank held the bat firmly in his hands as he spoke. “A witch and her cat.” Without taking his eyes off of Fiona, he spoke to his brothers. “You guys know the rule about witches, don’t ya men?”
Johnny smiled as he ripped a strand of tape from the roll. He nodded and said, “Anyone caught in the act of witchery…” The bat swung and it landed on Fiona’s shoulder, sending her on her side, shrieking in pain. She felt the bones beneath the skin snap and break. “…will be given to a trial…” Johnny took a piece of duct tape and placed it over Fiona’s mouth. She let out a series of muffled groans as he finished speaking, “…in which no one will be defending your case.”
“Arrest her.” Tank ordered. “Make sure she can’t move.” Jinx’s back arched, his tail shot upward, and his hissed and groaned at them, his fangs and claws prepared to attack. Tank gestured to the cat with the steel bat. “Arrest her cat- I mean, her demon partner too. Stuff it in the backpack.” The two brothers did what they were took. She could felt a pair of large, tough hands pin she to the floor. She saw a hand grab her feline friend by the back of his neck, making him groan and hiss louder, then the hand lifted Jinx and the groaning and hissing suddenly stopped as he was stuffed inside a backpack. She heard the sound of ripping of duct tape, followed by the sensation of sticky tape around her wrists.
She wanted to thrash her arms at them, but she had loss feeling in one arm and she couldn’t control the other, what with it being confined against her back. She began to frenziedly kick her legs, only to have them bounded together by duct tape. She yelled and screamed through the tape on her mouth, crying from the pain. She felt herself being lifted from the ground, and after what seemed to Fiona as an era of walking, she was inside an empty, dark room.
She was dropped onto the floor. She opened her tearful eyes to see a large metal cylinder radiating with heat. It didn’t take her long for Fiona to recognize the metal cylinder as a boiler. A tattered backpack with faded colors was dropped beside her, inside she could hear the meows of her pet. “Now,” Tank exclaimed. “To judge the accused. What is the jury’s verdict?”
“Guilty.” Mike and Johnny said in unison. Tank smiled proudly.
“Excellent.” He said. “Let the punishment begin.” That was when Fiona saw Tank pull out a lighter.
Chapter 10: Awaken
The other two brothers grabbed Fiona from under her arms and propped her against the boiler. She tried to quiver away from them and screamed wildly, the pain in her shoulder sent waves of agony throughout her whole body whenever she moved. She closed her eyes tight, wishing that her mother and father was here. If the sweat hadn’t soaked her outfit, the lighter fluid that Mike dumped all over her would have.
She heard Johnny chuckled. “Check this out.” He said, then some pressure on her right ring finger was removed. “Little witch got a freaky ring.” She opened her eyes and saw that Johnny was now wearing the ring that her father had given her. She wanted so desperately to get it back.
Tank gestured for Johnny and Mike to back away from their victim, which they did. He swung the top of the lighter open and lit it effortlessly. With his other hand, he took out a cigar. He lit the cigar, placed it in his mouth, inhaled, and blew out white smoke. He stepped in front of Fiona and kneeled down. She looked into his beady eyes. There were no signs of humanity or compassion in them, just a pure lust for torture. It made Fiona shiver.
“I want to hear you scream.” He said to her. “But I don’t want to risk anyone hearing you.” He shrugged. “I guess your tears will have to do.” Fiona stared wide eyed at the still burning lighter that was slowly approaching her arm. She was already in pain; why did they insist on making her feel more pain?
No, please. It’s hurts…It’s hurts so much.
“Burn, witch.” Growled Tank.
No…It’s hurts; can’t you see that?! Can’t you see I’m already in pain, you monster?!
Without the lighter even touching her, sparks of blue lightning exploded around Fiona like electricity on a tesla coil. Tank quickly jumped to his feet and ran to the other side of the room, his brother followed suit. The duct tape on her mouth and around her waists and ankles disintegrated and the once injured Fiona was now standing up as if nothing had happened.
Lightning began to orbit her, creating a sphere around her body. Her dark blue eyes were replaced with orbs of pure white, no irises or pupils. She stood before the three boys, her expression was emotionless. She just stood there, unmoving as hot plasma orbited her. The brothers wanted to run, but fear and shock had them frozen in place.
She lifted her arms and the lightning circling her disappeared. Then blue lightning escaped from her fingers rapidly. The boys screamed as the lightning bolts bounced off of the surrounded walls and the ground beneath their feet. Tank yelled for his brother to run for the door, but Fiona heard him, and she didn’t them to escape.
With a wave of her arm, the cement door leading to the school hallway was blocked by green, blossoming vines with red, twisted thorns. Tank grabbed the vine, but quickly pulled away as the sharp thorns pierced his hands.
Fiona lowered her arms to her side, her hands curled into fists, and dark storm clouds appeared to accompanied the lightening. Winds, strong enough to push the brother back and had them pressed against the pipes fixed to the walls, suddenly appeared. Tank looked at her, scowling.
Pushing against the winds, he detracted himself from the pipes, began to step toward her, raised his fist high, yelled “Freak!”, and aimed his fist at Fiona. Tank’s fist didn’t even make its mark, for a strange force was to levitating his body in midair. He gasped as he saw his feet on longer touching the ground below. He tried to move, but couldn’t; the strange force was holding him in that pose, his right arm outstretched and clasped fist in front of Fiona’s face. He looked at her, fear and shock evident in on face. Her eyes were still pure white. Her face still showed no sign of emotion.
Then, without warming, Tank was flung into the adjacent wall, following the direction of Fiona’s outstretched arm; her head turned slightly. Mike and Johnny watched in horror as their brother was tossed aside like a ragdoll. Johnny cried out Tank’s name before charging at Fiona, Mike followed his example.
She turned her head and watched the two try to run against the winds, until she made a gesture with one hand. Just like that, two separate bolts of lightning come from the clouds above her and struck the boys. They fall upon the ground. All three laid motionless, saved for a long, angry growl coming from a semi-conscious Tank, who was staring at Fiona from the ground. She calmly walked over to the bag Jinx was trapped inside of. She let the creature out and he looked immediately shocked at the sight of the room and at the sight of his master.
“You…” Tank’s voice, once boisterous and strong, was now just a mere breathless whisper. “You…I’ll…I’ll get you…you…freak…!” She stood up and slowly turned, her empty eyes staring right at him. Tank, still crimpled, began to crawl weakly, possibly in attempt to attack her. “No one…misses with…us…”
She had approached him before he had reached her. She stood before him, her head held high, her eyebrows knitted, and her fists closed tight. She looked down on him; regarding him as some inferior being. She snapped her fingers, and, as if she had cut the last strings that tied his mind to the physical world, Tank quickly loss consciousness and fell to the floor.
Silent fell in the boiler room as the winds calmed and the lightening subsided until the storm was completely gone. Even the vines that blocked the only entry, turned into stone and broke away. Her eyes had returned to their normal color of blue, her face and body relaxed, she fell onto her knees, and, in her usual soft, friendly, and playful voice, Fiona spoke. “Wha…What?!”
At first her sight was blurry and hazy, but soon her vision finally cleared up, and she grasped. Tank was in front of her, crimson liquid leaking from his nose. She turned her head to look behind her, and found Johnny and Mike in the center of the room, dark burns across their skin. What had happened? She couldn’t remember. The last few minutes for her were white and noiseless. All she could recall was a warm feeling in her chest; as if her heart was lit on fire.
She had the urge to check on them, to see if they were alive, but a wave of exhaustion quickly overtook her and she collapsed. The last thing she saw before curling into a ball and shutting her eyes, was her beloved cat racing to her side, his eyes staring into her own sleepy eyes and meowing loudly.
Chapter 11: The Truth about Our Family
When her eyes reopened, she was in the safely of her bedroom, laying in her bed, her head on a comfy pillow, a blanket wrapped over her body. She sat up and tossed the blanket to the side, surprising the black cat was resting beside her. Fiona yawned, rubbed her eyes, then brought her knees to her chest, and watched Jinx meow and move around wildly. “Good morning, Jinx.” She greeted him. He turned his back to her and continued to meow loudly toward the bedroom door. “Jinx? What’s the matter, kitty-cat?” She asked.
That was when she heard the sound of footsteps from down the down the hallway. Suddenly, Patricia, dressed in a pink nightgown and pink slippers, stepped though the half-opened door. Her hair was tied into braid and wrapped in a red scarf. She was rubbing her eyes with one hand and gripping the door handle with the other. “Jinx? What-?” Her words quickly become a gasp. “Princess!” She yelled out before running to her daughter and embracing her. Her arms wrapped around the small girl’s neck, cutting off her breathing.
Fiona let out a breathless cry. Patricia, realizing her mistake, released Fiona. The small girl took a long inhale. When she was done, she looked up at her mother with a puzzled expression while rubbing the back of her neck. “Mom, what are you doing here?” She asked.
Patricia’s eyes dotted darted to her nightgown and she smiled. “Oh, you must be confused.” Fiona nodded. “I came to send the night so I could help look after you.” Explained Patricia. Fiona’s heart lit up with hope at the words “came to send the night”. Sensing this, Patricia quickly added: “I’m staying in one of the guest rooms.” Fiona felt a little dejected upon hearing that.
Patricia nervously cleared her throat. “So, how are you doing, Princess?”
“I’m fine. Why?”
Patricia looked puzzled. “Why?!” She could barely keep herself from shouting. “Because you were asleep for over two days!”
Now Fiona was puzzled, shocked even. “When was I asleep?” She asked. She couldn’t remember falling asleep.
“You were asleep since Halloween night.” Replied her mother.
“You mean tonight?”
“No dear, Halloween was two nights ago.”
“It’s…what?” She couldn’t comprehend what she was hearing. “I don’t understand.”
“Princess, what’s the last thing you remember?”
“Uh…” The last time she remembered was being restricted by duct tape and having a can of lighter fluid poured on her. She looked down at her wrists, there was no tape on them, nor was there any lighter fluid. Her dress was also completely dry and unharmed. She briefly recalled some pain in her shoulder and her head, but she couldn’t feel any pain anymore. “I remember…Izzy’s brothers and…I think they were…trying to hurt me…” She paused before adding: “And I think…it feels like…I hurt them back…?”. She shook her head, wishing that she hasn’t said that.
When she looked back up at Patricia, she saw her mother’s eyes go wide. She quickly thought of things to say so that she wouldn’t become too worried, but then her mother took her by the hands and said: “I think…you’ll need to talk to your father.”
“Why?” Asked Fiona.
“Just…” Patricia was struggling to find the right words. “Just go talk to him.”
“Will you stay?”
Patricia smiled. “Sure, princess.”
“Fiona, what’s the last thing you remember?” Asked Gabriel. He was seated on Fiona’s bed, holding her by the shoulders and staring into her eyes. He was wearing a black t-shirt with a pair of matching black shorts. He had the look of both fury and concern in his eyes. Patricia was seated behind her daughter, rubbing her back tenderness. Jinx was laid out on Fiona’s lap, purring into her stomach.
“I…Like I took mom, I remember hurting Izzy’s brothers, but I didn’t mean to!” Answered Fiona. “At least, I don’t think I meant to…” She lifted a hand to her forehead; her head was suddenly hurting, trying to remember what happened. Gabriel’s eyes suddenly shifted to the hand that was on her forehead. He gasped.
“Fiona! Where is your ring!?” His voice was panicky.
She took a quick glance at her hand and gasped, remembering. “They…They took it! While I was tied up, they took it!” Her eyes began to tear up. “Oh, dad, I’m so sorry!”
“It’s ok, sweetheart.” He reassured.
“But, it was a family heirloom!” She protested.
“Forget it, Fiona! I don’t care about the ring, I only care about you.” He pulled her into a tight embrace. She wrapped her tiny arms around her father and hugged him back.
“Gabriel,” She heard her mother say in a stern voice. “I think it’s time…to tell your daughter the truth about our family, don’t you think?”
She broke the embrace to look at her mother. “What are you talking about?” She asked. Her mother didn’t answer; she just stared at her father with a calm coolness.
“Patricia, I-” Her father began sternly.
“No, Gabriel!” She barked at him. “We both feared this day would come, and it had! She needs to know!”
“Know what?!” Fiona was never more confused in her life. She had no clue what her parents were talking about. She gathered that they were contemplating whether to tell her something troubling, but what in the world was so troubling that they were considering not telling her. Her confusion turned into frustration and she stood to stand before them, holding Jinx in her arms. “No more secrets!” She shouted “I want the truth! Now!”
Gabriel and Patricia looked at each other for a moment, then Gabriel hung his head and signed. He raised his head, looked at Fiona and said: “First let make you something to eat, you haven’t eaten for days.”
The family was in the living room. Fiona and Jinx was sitting on the couch; Fiona had a bowl of cereal in her hands and Jinx was sitting beside her. Her parents stood in front of her, both looked nervous and fearful. There was a long silence in-between the three that was filled only with the sound of Fiona eating. Midway through her meal, Fiona finally spoke. “So, what is it you guys wanted to tell me?”
She watched her father place the thumbs of his hand on his lips, take in a long breath, and began to speak. “Fiona-”
“Your father is a warlock!”
Gabriel was interpreted by his wife, who had sensed that he was going to give some longwinded explanation and beaten his to the punch with her own shorter explanation.
“Patricia!” Shouted Gabriel with annoyance. “I was going to break it to her gently!”
“No,” Retorted Patricia. “You were just going to beat around the bush!”
Before the two could get into another argument, Fiona interjected with: “Mom, what do you mean by ‘dad is a warlock’?” The two stared at Fiona, then turned to stare at each other.
“Sweetheart,” Gabriel began as he came to kneel beside his daughter. “You recall those fairy tales that you used to hear in kindergarten?”
“Oh, yeah!” Fiona’s face lit up. “I loved listening to those! My favorite was Snow White; I love the idea of dwarfs and magic.”
“What if I told you that everything you heard in those fairy tales were real?”
Fiona, taken aback by her father’s words, stared back at Gabriel with a socked expression. “Then I’d say, that’s impossible.”
“To most humans, that is true. But to…how should I say…certain others, others like from my side of the family, it is very possible.”
“‘Like from your side of the family’… What are you talking about, Daddy?”
“What your father is trying to saying, Fiona…” Began Patricia as she took a step towards Fiona. “…is that his family is different from other families.”
“Aren’t all families different?” Asked Fiona.
“Yes, but your father’s family is very different.” Replied Patricia. “Which makes you different too.”
“Ok…” Began Fiona. “…so, we’re different because dad is a warlock?” Both of her parents slowly nodded in agreement. “And if dad’s a warlock, then that must mean I’m a witch?” They nodded again. She set the bowl of cereal on the glass coffee table in front of her and crossed her arms across her chest. She stared at her parents squarely in the eyes, a look of skepticism on her face, and said: “I want proof.”
“Proof?” Asked Gabriel.
“Yeah, I want proof that you’re a warlock.”
“Perhaps I can assist with that.” Said an unfamiliar voice.
Chapter 12: Magic is Real
The almost British sounding voice made Fiona jump off the couch the moment she heard it. She landed on the rug, shrieking at the top of her lungs. Her parents immediately came to her side, kneeling beside her, and trying to care her down. “Oh dear! I didn’t mean to frighten you, Mistress.” The voice spoke again. Fiona frantically scanned the room, but couldn’t locate the source of the voice. She screamed for the owner of the voice to reveal themselves. “I’m on the couch, Mistress.”
Fiona stood up and looked at the couch, but all she saw was her beloved pet cat, Jinx. He was staring at her with a certain look on his face; it almost resembled a smile. “J-Jinx?” She asked cautiously. “W-was that…you?”
The cat answered with: “Yes, Mistress, it was.”
Another bloodcurdling shriek echoed through the apartment as Fiona ran to hide behind her father, who had stood and turn around, placing a hand on his daughter’s head. “Fiona!” He shouted. “Calm down!”
“Yes, Mistress, do calm yourself so I can explain.” The cat said calmly.
Fiona began to scream, but it was silenced by her mother, who had rushed to place her hand over her daughter’s mouth. She began to hyperventilate into her mother hand, her eyes growing wide. She gripped the fabric of her father’s shirt with her shaking hands while he soothed her with tranquil tone as he petted her head. After a minute or two, Fiona inhaled and then exhaled through her nose. Her mother asked her if she was calm and Fiona nodded. Carefully, Patricia removed her hand from her daughter’s mouth while Gabriel gently removed Fiona’s gripped on his shirt. Her parents stood beside her, holding her by the shoulders in fear that she might fall again.
Fiona took a step toward the couch and with a shaky voice she asked: “Jinx, can you really talk?”
“Why, yes, Mistress, I can.” Said the cat.
It took all her willpower to stop herself from screaming. She sharply inhaled through the nose and continued speaking. “Could you always talk?” She asked.
“No, Mistress, not until tonight.” Answered the cat. “I did, however, had the ability to comprehend what was being said around me.”
“I wish I could comprehend what’s going on…” She said in a low murmur, as she placed a hand to her forehead and slowly sat herself on the floor, her father gently guiding her with his arms. She sat with her legs spread out in front of her. One hand was pressed against the hard floor while the other was pressed against her forehead. “How…how is this possible…”
“It is like your mother and father said, my Mistress.” Jinx said as he stood on all fours. He walked toward the edge of the couch and hopped onto the coffee table. He sat down on the small table, his slender, black tail waving in the air. “You are a witch, and I…” He lifted his left paw and placed it his furry chest, his head held high as if pride was coursing through his body. “…Am your faithful familiar.”
“What…on earth…is a familiar…?” Fiona asked, shock still evident in her voice. She felt a hand on her left shoulder and looked up to find her father looking back at her.
“I know that you have a lot of question, my dear.” Said Gabriel. “And I promise to answer them as best as I can, but first you must understand something.” He kneeled in front of her so that they were at eye level. He placed his other hand on her right shoulders, bringing her to face him. “I gave you that ring because it, too, was magical. It had the power to suppress the magical abilities within it wearer. In order words, wearing it would make you a normal human.”
“But…why?” It was the only thing she could think to say.
“Your mother and I decided that it would be best if you never discover your powers.” He continued. “We thought that your life would be easier if you never known you were a witch, but now that you know, I have to teach you the dangers of using magic.”
“But magic isn’t really real.” She protested. “I mean, all those tricks that magicians do are just tricks, right?” She looked from her father to her mother. Either of them said anything, instead they looked at her with sorry expressions. “There’s no such thing as magic, right?” She said in desperation. “Magic isn’t real, right?!” As she shouted, she threw one arm to the side in a frantic gesture. The moment she did that, the cereal bowl flew off the coffee table and smashed into the wall behind the TV. Milk spattered across the wall; some droplets of milk slid downward, leaving trails. Rectangular shreds were imbedded in the wall while other shreds fell onto the floor. Fiona held her hands against her mouth, her eyes wide in shock.
“Yes, it is.” Said Gabriel. He then raised one hand toward the mess on the wall. Suddenly, the shreds began to violently vibrate, as they did a sound that sounded like a slight hum was heard. Fiona watched as the shreds removed themselves from the wall and float toward them in midair. The shreds on the floor levitated upward and met with the shreds that were previously imbedded in the wall. The milk lifted off from the surfaces that it had stained, forming white oscillating spheres; some were large while other were small. The milky spheres came to levitate alongside the shreds. In a matter of seconds, the bowl mended itself back into its original form as the milk settled inside of it.
As Gabriel lowered his hand, so did the bowl with the milk. It gently floated down and landed lightly on the coffee table. Fiona, her eyes wide in disbelief, covered her mouth with both hands to keep herself from screaming. She had watched magic shows on the television before, she seen magicians lift things without touching them before, but what her father seemingly did was different from the usual tricks she saw before, though she didn’t know why it was different. It just felt different. There was a certain je ne sais quoi. She knew that no one could fake something like that with smoke and mirrors. She removed her hands from her mouth and looked back at her father. “So…magic is really real?” She asked. Her father nodded.
Fiona looked down at her hands. She stared at them as many thoughts ran though her head. She had just witnessed magic. She had just used magic. She was magic. A sudden sensation shook though her body like electricity. It started at her feet, then raced up her legs, to her stomach, until it finally reached her fingers. Minuscule sparks of electricity flickered on her fingertips, dancing on top of her nails before disappearing as fast as they appeared. Upon seeing the sparks, Fiona yelped and fell onto the floor once again, her knees close against her chest. She held her raven hair in her fists as she shook her head feverishly.
“Fiona?” Her father asked worriedly.
She didn’t acknowledge his voice, for she was preoccupied with repeating a silent mantra: “No way…no way…no way…no way…no way…no way…”
Both parents sighed defeatedly. It was clear that their daughter was not yet ready to accept this newfound knowledge. After a minute or two of silent, saved for Fiona’s chanting, Patricia approached her daughter, placed a hand on the young girl’s trembling shoulder, and spoke. “Listen, princess, you had a rough couple of days, plus it’s pass your bedtime.” Fiona stopped her chanting to look out the transparent glass door that led to the balcony. She saw that the sky was black and the windows of the nearby buildings were illuminated from inside. It was night, not morning as she had assumed earlier. “Why don’t you go back to bed?”
Fiona looked up at her mother. She then removed her fists from her hair and pushed herself off from the floor. “Ok.” She said, though it sounded like a whisper. She took a step toward, but her legs could no longer bare the weight of her body and she tumbled to her knees. Once again, her parents raced to her side.
“Fiona?!” Yelled her mother.
“Are you all right?!” Asked her father in a panicked voice.
“I’m fine.” Fiona said in a trembling voice. “I think I’ll need some help, though.”
Her father nodded, then, in one fluent motion, he lifted Fiona off the floor. Carrying the young teen in his arms, Gabriel walked up the steps to Fiona’s bedroom; Patricia and Jinx followed closely behind him.
Chapter 13: Familiars
She had changed into her nightclothes, properly brushed her teeth and her hair, and put her costume away in her closet, but still Fiona could not bring herself to sleep. She had been asleep for about two days and felt as though she had energy to spare. Her mind was a race of thoughts; she had received more information than she had liked, and she was having trouble processing all of it. In truth, she felt as if she was on the verge of another mental breakdown, and she willed herself to not loss control of herself. She resigned to simply laying in her bed with the blanket draped over her body. She stared blankly at the ceiling, which was pink and had black stars painted on it.
In a matter of minutes, her whole world and everything she thought she knew disintegrated into nothingness before her very eyes. Her dear father was a warlock and could secretly perform magic. Likewise, she was a witch and could also perform magic. Magic was real, and she had just seemed it with her own eyes. It explained many things, yet, at the same time, it explained nothing. How could magic be real? How could witches exist? Why did her parents waited so long to tell her all of this? More importantly, what, in the name of all that was holy, happened back in the school’s boiler room?
Fiona had always considered herself to be a woman of science. Her belief was that everything, no matter how mysteriously, could be explained by logic and physics. Yet, tonight, she was told that she was a witch and saw magic be performed. What did that mean? Did the laws of logic and physics no longer apply? Or, did they still apply, but not to her? Will she be able to bend the logic and reality to her will? What kind of power will come with this discovery? Why can’t she remember anything that had happened in the school’s boiler room?
Her mind kept going back to her time in the school’s boiler room without her wanting to. She didn’t want to recount those painful moments, terror raising within her. True, it had only been mere minutes, but for Fiona, it felt like hours. The whole ordeal was traumatizing, yes, but it was also strange. She couldn’t remember anything after the moment Tank turned on the lighter. Had she blacked-out from fright? If so, why did she awake to find the three brothers crumbled on the floor, looking like puppets who had been let loose of their strings? Was it she who did that to them? No! She thought to herself. That’s impossible. She would never bring harm to a living thing. Besides, she was unconscious at the time. Therefore, logic said that-
Wait… A thought occurred to her. Logic doesn’t apply to magic. If logic no longer applied, and if she was truly capable of doing anything, did that mean that she could had-
“No!” She had sat up in her bed, her hands gripping her hair, yelling at the top of her lungs.
Her yelling startled the sleeping feline beside her so much that he jumped and screeched. His back was arched, his tail was raised high, and his fur was standing upright. Once he saw that the sudden loud noise didn’t come from an invader, he relaxed his body and sat on the bed. The cat breathed a sigh of relief, then looked at his owner. In a calm voice, he asked: “Is all well, Mistress?” No matter how many times Jinx spoke to her, Fiona firmly believed that she would never get use to this new reality; a reality where her cat could talk. If the fact that he sounded like a character from one of the television shows that she watched wasn’t bad enough, but the way he sounded so calm and professional made her feel uncomfortable.
She took the edge of the blanket and brought it up to her face, covering the lower half of her face with it. She stared apprehensively at the cat, her fight-or-flight responses activating. Jinx saw the terror in his owner’s eyes and realization dawned on him. Looking down, he placed a paw on his chest. “I can tell that this is still a shock to you.” Fiona nodded. Jinx looked at her, an expression of concern on his face. “Would it ease your fears if I explain how I can speak?” Fiona feverishly nodded. What she needed was for someone, anyone, to explain to her what was going on. Even if just a little bit of it.
“Well, what would you like know first?” The cat asked her.
It took a moment for her to build up the courage and remove the sheet from her face. She asked in a timid voice: “How is it that you can talk?”
“Well,” Began the cat. “Like your father said, you are a witch. Each witch and warlock has a familiar. My ability to speak is merely an extension of your magic.”
“So…you can talk because of me?”
“In a sense, yes.”
“Can all animals talk?”
Jinx seemed to consider the question for a moment. After a minute, the cat answered with: “Yes, I believe they can. However, not all of them can be understood by humans. Our form of communication is like another language.”
“So…animals can talk.” Said Fiona. “They just can’t speak human language…?”
“Correct.” Said Jinx. “However, like I said before, animals who are the familiars of witches or warlocks can learn human language. We can learn many new things thanks to the bonds we form we with our masters and mistresses.”
“‘We’?” Asked Fiona.
“Yes. Every witch or warlock must have a familiar. It is an unspoken rule.”
“‘Every’? So, even my Dad has…?”
“A familiar? Why, yeas, he does. I would sense their presence, but you wouldn’t. Likely because your powers had yet to awaken. Nevertheless, he does have one. It was kept hidden as a shadow.”
“A-and you guys learn new things all the time?”
“Well, not ‘all the time’. Only when we need to. We pledge our unfaltering allegiance to our masters or mistresses, and in return, we are granted abilities that we otherwise wouldn’t have. In my own personal opinion, it’s truly a fair trade.” A sudden yawn escaped from the cat’s mouth. His eyes appeared to be weary. “I do apologize, Mistress Fiona, I am quite tired and I need some rest.”
Fiona nodded. “Right. Good night.”
The cat spun around in a circle before curling into a small ball. “Good night, Mistress Fiona.” He said before drifting to sleep.
‘Familiars’? ‘Shadow’? ‘Abilities that they otherwise wouldn’t have’?
The newfound information was overwhelming her mind, resulting in a minor headache. After a few minutes, she was able to finally grasp what the cat was saying. A familiar was an regular animal that is granted supernatural abilities, and in return they had pledged their undying devotion to their masters or mistresses. With enough practice, a witch or warlock can hide their familiar as a shadow. Every witch or warlock must have a familiar. Why? She didn’t know yet, but she suspected that a familiar was meant to help their master or mistress with magic.
Magic. She still wasn’t keen on the idea of magic being real. She still had a lot of questions that had yet to be answered. She looked down at the sleeping feline near her, sighed, and laid herself down. While there was a lot that she still didn’t fully understand, at least she knew that one thing was certain: Jinx was still her beloved pet cat, and he would always be at her side.
Chapter 14: Getting Back to Normality
On the morning of Monday, November 3rd, Fiona made herself a bowl of sugary cereal for breakfast. Ordinarily, she would had had herself an omelet or pancakes, today, however, she was too exhausted and she hoped that the sugar in the cereal would wake her up. After pouring the milk into the bowl, she got a can of wet cat food from one of the cabinets and dumped the contains on a square plate. It wasn’t long until she heard the pitter-patter of paws accompanied by the ringing of a small bell. Jinx entered the kitchen and hopped onto the chair nearest Fiona.
For the briefest of moments, Fiona thought that the events of the prior night was a merely a dream, and that they never really happened. She smiled as she placed the plate of cat food on the table next to Jinx. “Good morning, boy.” She said while patting the cat on the head. “You would not believe the dream I had last night.”
“What dream would that be, Mistress?” Asked Jinx.
Fiona paused and stared blankly at the cat. She then brought her fingers to her temples as she felt the familiar feeling of a headache. “Last night wasn’t a dream, was it?”
Jinx’s expression changed from one of cheerfulness to one of dismay. He had thought that his owner would be more accepting; he realized that he had thought wrong. He wanted to say something to comfort his mistress, but seeing as she appeared to be on the verge of yet another mental breakdown, he decided to wait until she calmed down.
The young teenager took a deep breath, then exhaled slowly. “It’s ok, Fiona.” She said to herself. “Just finish your breakfast, then get ready for school.”
“What?” Spoke a familiar voice.
She turned around and saw her mother standing in the doorway of the kitchen, still wearing her negligée and slippers. “Mom, you’re still here!” Exclaimed Fiona.
“Well, yes.” Said Patricia. “I had to keep an eye on you.” She swiftly approached her daughter, who watched her. “Princess,” She said as she placed both of her hands on the young girl’s shoulder. “I don’t think you should go to school today.”
“Dear, you had a stressful couple of days. I think it would be best if you stay home for a few days.”
“Don’t worry, Mom. I’ll be fine.”
“Still. What if-” Patricia stopped herself before she would say many more. There was a silent pause after. Patricia couldn’t bring herself to look her daughter in the eye.
Fiona broke the silence. “What if what?”
Patricia forced herself to look at her daughter. “The point is, your father and I aren’t comfortable with letting you out of our sight. It would be a good idea if we take a few days off so you can get used to everything.”
“If I stay home I’ll miss my classes.” Fiona pointed out. “I need to go to school.”
“Please, Mom, can I go?” Pleaded Fiona. “I promise that I’ll be fine.”
Patricia thought for a moment. Every fiber of her being was telling her to not let her daughter out of her sight. She had half a mind to force Fiona to stay home. Yet, there was an inkling in the back of her mind that told her that it wouldn’t work. After thirteen years of parenting, she learned that when Fiona had her mind set on something, nothing and no one was going to stop her from doing it. “Let me speak to your father. We’ll decide together.” She said, though she knew that it wouldn’t make a different what Gabriel thought. He knew as well as she did that Fiona was as stubborn as an ox when she made up her mind.
“Thanks, Mom.” Fiona said with a smile. Patricia smiled back at her, kissed her daughter’s forehead, then calmly exited the kitchen.
It was forty-five minutes after six and Fiona sat in front of her bottom locker at school. She was in the middle of absentmindedly pulling textbooks from her backpack and placing them in her locker. Her mind was filled with thoughts. She thought about her birthday, about her parents, about how she would be moving into the ninth grade soon, about her cat, Jinx-
She was snapped out of her thoughts by a British accent. She turned to Jinx, who was sitting beside her backpack and looking up at her. She didn’t know why she brought Jinx to school with her. She realized that, in hindsight, bringing a talking cat to a school wasn’t the best idea, but she felt that she needed to do something–anything–to bring herself back to normality. Bringing her cat to school was normal for her. However, she still wasn’t comfortable with the idea of his talking like a human. The school day hadn’t started yet, so the hallways were empty, but still she pushed a finger to her lips.
Jinx nodded understandingly. “Apologies.” He said in a whisper. “I just wanted to know if you were well.”
She didn’t answer at first; she was still registering this new reality. “I…honestly don’t know.” She finally said after a moment of silence. “I’m still not use to…everything that had happened.”
“Perhaps we should had stay home like your mother wanted.” Whispered Jinx.
“No.” Fiona replied quickly. “No, I’ll be fine.” Just need to get back to normal. She said that last sentence in her head.
Upon hearing her nickname, Fiona looked up and found Fox running down the hall, heading her way. “Fox.” She said as she stood up. She watched her friend race to her. By the time he reached her, he was out of breath and had to lend against the lockers with one hand for support. “Are you ok?” She asked, truly concerned.
“I’m…fine…” He said in between gasps for air. Once he had retrieved his breath, he strengthen himself. “More importantly, what’s up with you?” He asked.
“What do you mean ‘what’s up with me’?” Asked Fiona.
“I didn’t see you at all during the Halloween Bash. I tried to call you during the weekend, but no one answered the phone. I even tried going to your apartment, but no one answered the bell when I rang it. So, what’s up?”
Fiona mentally scorned herself. She completely forgot about Fox. It was no wonder that he was worried. What could she say to ease him? She doubted her parents would want to let anyone know the truth. “I’m sorry, Foxy.” She said with a forced smile. “There was kind of a family emergency. I wanted to tell you, but couldn’t find the time.” She wasn’t comfortable hiding the truth from her best friend, but saw no other choice.
“What kind of emergency?” Asked Fox.
Fiona panicked for a brief moment, but then calmed herself. “Mom got really sick all of a sudden, and me and Dad had to take care of her.”
“Oh! Is she alright?!” Fox asked, worry evident in his voice.
“She’s fine.” She answered quickly. “We took her to a doctor and he said it was just the flu. Dad’s with her now and he’s making sure she gets lots of rest.”
Fox breathed a sigh of relief. “That’s good.” He scratched the back of his head and smiled a sheepish smile. “Sorry for acting like I did, I just worry.”
“It’s ok, Foxy.” Fiona said reassuringly. I’m sorry too. She thought.
Chapter 15: Needed a Hug
It was the middle of the day and Fiona was walking down a crowded hallway. Saved for Jinx, who was hidden in her backpack, she walked alone. She was on her way to the cafeteria when the familiar sound of whimpering entered her ears. She groaned; the last thing she wanted was to find Izzy and her brothers harassing another defenseless student. Then, a thought occurred to her. Standing up to those bullies was normal for her. Maybe, this was the thing she needed to make her feel like her normal self again.
She followed the sound of crying to a particular hallway; the walls were lined with lockers and a rectangular window were at the end of the hallway. She spotted the figure of a young near the window. She seemed to be looking down at something. Fiona inhaled sharply and approached the figure. She was expecting to see Izzy, and was ready to get into a verbal fight with her. However, when she reached the figure, she realized that it wasn’t Izzy. The girl’s skin was light brown and her long hair was dark brown.
Makayla Wright was the thirteen-year-old niece of the mayor of New York, Thomas Wright. She soon became the most popular girl in the school. Every student and teacher admired her. She always had a crowd of friends that surrounded her. On Valentine’s Day, every boy in the school would give her a card. Every day, someone would compliment her lavish long hair, beautiful brown eyes, or her top-of-the-line clothes. Fox really liked her, but Fiona was suspicious of her. She could never place the reason why, but something in her mind and gut told her not to trust Makayla Wright.
Makayla turned around to face Fiona. She was surprised to see her, but her surprise quickly turned into cheerfulness. “Fi-fi!” She exclaimed. “I was hoping to see you.” She took a step toward Fiona, took her by the hand, and led her to the window. “I got something to show you.”
“What?” Fiona asked.
Makayla didn’t answer. She just smiled and said: “It’s going to really make your day!” Fiona was profoundly confused, but as she and Makayla approached the window, she saw what Makayla was talking about.
Izzy was seated underneath the window. She had her knees to her chest and her arms wrapped around her knees. Her head was facing downward, and her hair was obscuring her face. Whimpering and sobbing was being emitted from her. It soon occurred to Fiona that she was the source of the crying.
While Fiona was in shock, Makayla just smiled. “Hey, Izzy.” She said to the crying girl. “Looks who’s here.”
Izzy slowly lifted her head. Her eyes were red, and her lips were trembling. Her eyes locked with Fiona’s before removing to the floor. Fiona felt her heart break into two.
“We were just talking about how pathetic Izzy looks right now.” Said Makayla to Fiona before turning back to Izzy. “I mean just look at you, Izzy. You act so tough, but you’re really a coward, aren’t you?”
Izzy didn’t respond, instead she continued to stare at the floor. Tears fell from her eyes, staining her cheeks.
“You’re so pitiful.” Said Makayla. “You pick on kids because you want to hide your own insecurities.”
Fiona stared at Makayla angrily. Her hands balled into fists without her meaning to. She couldn’t believe that someone would be so uncaring toward a person who was clearly depressed. She wanted to yell at Makayla to leave Izzy alone. Then, an idea formed in her mind.
“And you know what’s else? You’re dumb and ugly and-”
“Makayla?” Fiona interrupted her before she could say anything else.
The brown-haired girl looked at Fiona questioningly. “Yeah? What is it?”
“The principal told me to tell you that he wanted to see you in his office. He said it was really important.”
“Oh. Well, ok. Thanks.” Makayla glanced at Izzy, before strolling down the hall.
Fiona watched her turn a corner and disappear. She sighed and turned to Izzy, who was still on the floor, crying. “Izzy?” She said nervously. “She’s gone. I got rid of her.”
Izzy looked up and realized that the girl who was tormenting her was, indeed, gone. She quickly wiped the tears from her face with both of her hands. “Thanks.” She said in a tone so quiet that it could had been a whisper.
Fiona sat down next to the red-haired girl, her knees against her chest. “No problem.” She said with a warm smile. “Now, tell me what’s wrong. Please?” Izzy didn’t answer. Instead, she continued to stare at the floor, unable to look at Fiona. She opened her mouth and Fiona thought that she was going to speak, but then she raised a hand and began to fiddle with something inside her mouth. “Are wearing a retainer?” Fiona asked.
“Uh-huh.” Izzy answered, still not looking at Fiona.
“I didn’t know you wore a retainer.”
“Somedays, I don’t wear it.”
“Oh.” There was a long silence after that, where Fiona was mentally debating what to say.
It was Izzy who broke the silence. Still at looking at Fiona, she said: “I’m sorry.”
“For what?” Fiona asked, genuinely confessed.
“For…” The red-haired girl paused for a brief moment before continuing. “Everything.”
Fiona became more confessed. “Why are you apologizing?” She didn’t think Izzy to be the kind of person who would apologize to anyone.
“Because…I hurt you…a lot.” Izzy answered. The smaller girl, one of her eyebrows raised, opened her mouth to speak. She was going to say something along the lines of, “You’re apologizing now?”. She wasn’t going to say the words with annoyance or anger, rather she was going to make a small joke out of it, in the hopes that it would make the other girl chuckle. However, Izzy beaten her to the punch. Finally lifting her head to look at the smaller girl with tear-filled eyes, she said: “My brothers are in the hospital.”
When she said this, Fiona felt a tidal wave of grief hit her so hard that she physical felt her heart ache. Somehow, she knew that she had put Izzy’s brothers in the hospital. She knew that Izzy was feeling dismay, and was possibly overcame with worry, over that fact. She knew that she was the one who cause this mess. “Izzy…” She began. “I’m so sorry.”
“Why are you apologizing?” Asked the red-haired girl. “It’s not your fault.”
If only you knew. Thought Fiona. “Still. I’m sorry.”
“Thanks.” Izzy said before turning to look at the floor again. “Do you mind if I tell you something?”
“If you want someone to talk to, then go ahead.” Said Fiona. “Tell me anything.”
Izzy wiped the tears from her eyes with her arm and turned to look at Fiona. “I been thinking about a lot of things.” She said.
“Like…well…” She turned her gaze to the floor once more, stammering. “You know the rumors about me and my family?”
Fiona had overheard some of the other students talking about Izzy’s family, but, half of the time, she didn’t pay any attention to what they were saying. All she knew was Izzy was the only girl in her family. She could had shared that fact, but she didn’t want to give Izzy the idea that she was prying, so she shook her head.
“My dad had gotten more and more of him time at the place where they sell the adult drinks.” Fiona gasped. She had heard stories about men and women who drink too much of those adult drinks. Izzy saw Fiona’s reaction and quickly added: “He doesn’t get violent or anything. He just laughs a lot and then falls asleep.”
Fiona breathed a sigh of relief. “Oh, ok.”
“But,” Began Izzy. “Whenever he does that, he forgets to do any chores, like cleaning or cooking. My brothers won’t do any of that stuff, so I get to. I don’t mind doing chores, but sometimes, I feel like Cinderella. And sometimes, I want my dad to get a real job” The red-haired girl brought her knees closer to her chest. “And sometimes, I wish that my mom was still alive.” Izzy had the last sentence as fresh tears threaten to flow from your eyes, which caused Fiona to warp an arm around the other girl’s shoulders. She wiped the moisture from your eyes and continued. “And I been thinking, why did I do all the things Tank told me to do? Tank is a jerk! But I still listened to all the things he told me! I did everything he wanted me to do! And for what?”
That was a good question. It made Fiona think as well. She recalled all the times Izzy bullied the other students. Everytime she bullied someone, her brothers would be beside her, encouraging her, especially Tank. He was always the one who told Izzy how to bully someone. He encouraged her to be mean toward the other students. He was the one who made Izzy into a bully, by first bullying her. He seemed to have done the same thing to Mike and Johnny, as they copied everything Tank did. That fact didn’t answer the question of why Izzy went along with it. Was she so upset over the loss of her mother that she wasn’t thinking clearly?
Fiona was feeling a menagerie of conflicting emotions. She felt frozen, unsure of what to do next. Fiona was raised to treat others with kindness and understanding. In fact, she wanted to become an inventor so she can build things that can help mankind just like her father. She didn’t like seeing people sad; seeing others sad made her sad as well, so when Izzy looked like she was about to cry at any moment, Fiona wanted to wrap her arms around the redheaded girl and pull her into a tight hug, however she remembered that Izzy was a ruthless bully, just like her brothers. Even if Izzy was on the verge of tears, she wasn’t allowed any kindness because of her nasty behavior. That was one of the rules of society; if one acts without kindness towards others, then justice demands them to live without kindness from others. It was common sense and everyone knew that.
But she did try to warm me. Thought Fiona. And Mom and Dad always told me that things were never as they seem.
She was reminded of the night below, and how her parents told her that magic was real. She always thought that her father was a simple inventor, but it turned out that he was a warlock. She had believed that Jinx was just a cat, but it turned out that he was a familiar. She assumed that she was a normal person, but it turned out that she was a witch. If her family wasn’t as they appear to be, then Izzy, like any other person on the planet, must be more complex as well. She shouldn’t be so thoughtless as to judge someone or something before learning more about them.
Besides, what had society done for her, saved for label her as a freak and treat her as though she was an outcast? Why should she follow the rules of society when the members of that same society had done nothing but hurt her, time and again? Just then, Fiona suddenly realized something outstanding. Izzy never called me a freak! Even when she was teasing me! The realization made her heart jumped. Yes, Izzy called her many names over the years, but never called her a freak. The person who bullied and teased her every day, was also the only other person who wouldn’t call her the one name that she loathed being called. She couldn’t help but smile.
Without any hesitation, the small girl warped her other arm around the taller girl and pulled her into a hug. She gently rubbed her back as she whispered in her ear: “If you want, we can find the answer together.” She didn’t know if what she was doing was the smart choice, she just knew that Izzy needed a hug.
Izzy allowed her tears to run freely down her face as she returned Fiona’s hug “Tank would tell me that it was better being feared then loved.” She said in between sniffles. “I think he was wrong.” She then added: “And I was wrong to believe him.”
Fiona, in a voice that was almost like a whisper, said: “Let not think about that now.”
To be continued in the next update.