The GatheringFandom (is so, include details) or Non Fandom?:
Non Fandom (ie. Original)Chapter Number:
M (due to language & adult content... not entirely sure where this thing is going)Summary:
In 1692 a group of witches sacrificed their powers to prevent death. Almost 3.5 centuries later, these powers have befallen new generations. Those that would be heroes are lost. It is up to those who are left behind to save themselves & the world they're in.Author's Notes:
Definately starting to get somewhere.Chapter Eight
“That reeks! What is that?” Penny asked as a cloud of green smoke sprung from the large copper bowl on the table in front of Christian. He coughed, waving a hand in front of him to clear the air as he screwed up his nose and recapped the vial.
“Trust me. You don’t want to know,” he said.
He picked up a white quartz crystal, long and narrow and bound on all sides by a sturdy leather strap. Gripping the end of the cord, he lowered the crystal into the boiling water, face close by as he peered into the ripples.
“Are you going to see anything in there?” Penny inquired, placing her hands on the other side of the table as she peeked into the bowl herself.
“I’m just checking I’ve got the right person.”
“From the hair?”
“On your jacket.”
“Why would you have more than one? Do you always go around rubbing yourself against other people? What are you… a cat?”
Christian lifted his gaze to her, narrowing his eyes. “Very funny.”
“So is it right?”
Christian looked down again as the ripples stilled and spread to the boundaries of the bowl. Within the centre was an image of a man with dark hair and dark eyes, and a number of bruises around his neck.
“Yep, that’s him.”
“He’s kind of hot,” Penny observed. “In that… dangerous sort of way.”
Christian yanked the crystal from the water, the image quickly disappearing. He blew on it once and then held it over a map of the city. It circled slowly like a plane preparing to come in for landing, finally settling itself on the far reaches of the map.
“There’s nothing out there,” Penny noted. Christian peered closer.
“There could be. You never know what they bury out there.”
“Bury? You make it sound like someone’s dead.”
Christian shrugged. “Well, he could be on an assignment.”
“Not your assignment I hope.”
“No. Dad sent David back to the club. Apparently he did something last night that he’s got to apologise for.”
“I should call Rain; find out what’s going on.”
“Oh, no!” Christian said with enthusiasm, another idea coming to mind. “You should go to the skate park. I told Justin we’d be there, but with all the subduing the assassin thing I won’t have time.”
“Okay,” Penny agreed. “Are you sure you don’t need my help?”
“I can handle this alone,” Christian insisted.
Before she could say another word light surrounded him and he was gone. She sighed. Being the son of an angel had its advantages – a bright and easy way of teleporting yourself from one place to another. Being the daughter of a witch and a mortal just didn’t bring the same kind of magical benefits.
She dialed the club’s main line from her cell phone as she left the house. Surprisingly music was still pounding on the other end of the line when it was picked up. She was relieved to hear her best friend’s voice shouting down the line as she answered the phone.
“Valhalla, Rain speaking,” Rain said.
“Hey, it’s Penny.”
“Hey! How’s it going? Your cousin’s in here trying not to throw himself at my dad again.”
“Nathan! Hey! Whack attack! Can you turn that down, please? My brain is about to start bleeding out my ears.” Turning her attention back to the phone, Rain continued: “Sorry. These new deejays dad’s hired don’t know the definition of morning. We’re trying to improve clientele, not drive them away.”
“What are you doing?” Penny inquired.
“Cleaning,” Rain answered, wiping a dishcloth over the bar. “Got pretty messy last night. I hear David went off his rocker.”
“How did you hear that?”
“Through Jim. Or Tim. One of those guys. All those bartenders start looking the same after a while.” She could hear the smile in her voice. “Looks like dad and David are having a stare-off.”
“Well, at least he’s there…”
“What do you mean?”
“Nothing,” Penny said abruptly, stopping so short that the word could only be followed by an awkward silence.
“Penny? Is something going on other than the fact your bully of a cousin doesn’t like the new changes?”
“Changes to what?”
“Changes to the club. And you’re changing the subject.”
“I know. I’m sorry. Just… keep him there,” Penny pleaded.
“You want me to spend a whole morning hanging out with your mentally deranged cousin who, might I add, has a trillion more powers than I do?”
“Rain, you know you can hold him at bay if you have to.”
“Yeah, from attacking me maybe, but what about the fifty other people in the club?”
“Chris just needs some time.”
“Time? Time for what?” Rain questioned with bewilderment.
“I’ll talk to you later. I have to go.”
Penny hastily pressed the red button on her phone to end the call and pushed the cell into her back pocket. Staring up at the sign over the shop-front she’d stopped outside of, she made her way inside.* * *
Luxford Park was the largest natural reserve within Woodcroft. Located on the western side of town and taking up a good quarter of the precinct, developers and landscapers had taken advantage of the space to build government buildings, greenhouses, a large children’s playground, a Japanese Tea Garden, monuments of great historical figures and memorials of present heroes. On the north-eastern side of the park they had also built a skate park – perhaps the one greatest idea the city council had ever come up with. A number of teenagers and young adults gathered here, most notably the skaters.
Through the trees and over the hill the area was half nature and half concrete wasteland. The grass still grew around the area in vibrant shades of green, the trees providing shade and shelter to those who spent all their spare time there. To the left was a wide area dug out like a shallow pit, the circular shape providing quarter pipes, small inclines and three quarters of a bowl within it. Leading down to the area on one side was a set of stairs and a sloping path, divided by a rail to allow access to the bottom of the pit. This was where most kids spent their time – from beginners to the more advanced who wanted to show off their skills. To the right was a large half-pipe – a monster of masonite and plywood which rose high into the air and only challenged those who dare to ride on it.
The one person within the park who held no fear was Claire Hooper. She cared little for her own safety, indulging in the thrill of peril and initiating fright within others. She raced up the half-pipe staircase located at the back of one of its walls, skateboard under her arm. She didn’t care that nobody was watching. She didn’t care if she slipped and fell. Her board leaning heavily on the edge, she planted her feet on the deck and let herself fly, her pink streaked blonde hair catching the wind behind her and flying about her face. She went down the ramp almost blind, but once she coursed up the other side she could see everything – the sky, the birds, Seb Mitchell. He smiled as she caught the rim, hauling herself up and twisting to sit on the edge, expertly catching the graffiti pink skateboard between her hands.
“Yo,” she said.
“Nice trick,” he complimented.
“What trick?” she returned, giving him a shove as he sat down next to her. “Loser.”
“What do you call it? Twist and sit?”
“Better than standing around cause you’re too nancy to use your own board.”
“I don’t want to kill my creation,” Seb offered as an excuse.
“You’ve designed like fifty of those in the last three months. I’m sure you can damage one.”
“If I give it to you it might.”
Returning his witty comment with a look that could only be defined as unappreciative, Claire placed her board back under her sneakers and slid her way down the ramp. Reaching the flat at the bottom, she pushed all her weight onto the back and slid to a stop, turning around and looking back up at the young man.
“You know there’s no way down from there unless you hop it,” she called up to him. “How did you get up there, anyway?”
Placing his board against the edge, Seb positioned his feet on top of the deck and followed her down, forcing her to dash out of the way before he hit her as he coursed up one side then the other until he finally slowed to a stop in the centre.
“I’m not scared to use this one,” he finally answered her.
“Oh, boo. One less board to sell.”
“I need to skate with something.”
Wheels grinded over the cement rolling in a steady rhythm towards them. Seb glanced over to see Rob heading towards them on his own unusual creation – a modernized three part split board currently being coined as the battle axe. He came within inches of the pair before making a sudden turn, looking at them smugly over his shoulder as he proceeded to the alternative area. Seb raised his hand and waved. Rob was strictly a street skater and was the best at it, as had been proved at the finals the night before. The rest of their little group was more accustomed to small ground tricks and half-pipe skates with nowhere near the expertise that Rob demonstrated. Claire was probably the most skilled female in the park, no doubt due to her daredevil attitude. Ashley was better on the pipe, Justin a master of tricks on the ground. Seb was better at creating deck designs than actually skating on the boards themselves. And Christian, well, he really didn’t get it. He dabbled in this and that but for the most part used the park as a social opportunity to pick up girls. Unless his cousin was with him of course – that was the only time Seb had ever seen him make an effort to try and look good on a board. Fortunately Penny was with him more often than not, which gave them all a better chance of doing something they enjoyed together.
At the sound of high pitched yipping at his feet, Seb looked down and crouched to meet the young Labrador that raced towards him. The puppy lifted his front paws and placed them on Seb’s knee, pushing himself up as he licked Seb’s face. Seb laughed, running his hands over the dog’s fur and trying to pull him away before the dog could drown him with a tongue bath.
“Ew, that’s totally gross,” Claire commented. “How can you let him do that? You don’t know where that tongue’s been!”
“This dog loves me. Which is why I get to dog-sit and not you.”
“Gladly,” Claire remarked, holding her hands up and stepping back towards her skateboard. Placing her foot on the top, she pushed off and headed in the same path Rob had taken. Seb turned and saw Ashley and Shae were nearby. The other blonde looked over towards him, saw Claire coming their way and hastily made her way to Ashley’s side as quick as she could.
“Chase,” Justin admonished.
The Labrador sat, tail wagging as he turned his head back towards his owner. Seb brushed a hand over the dog’s back once more before standing and offering a fist to Justin in greeting. Once up, once down, and then in the centre their fists met.
“You missed a good show last night,” Seb said.
“Tell me about it,” Justin groaned.
“What’s this?” Seb asked, peering at his friend closer and indicating on his own forehead where he could see a small bump on Justin’s.
“Uh… hit my head. On the sink. In the bathroom,” Justin lied, knowing he could not provide his mortal friend with any knowledge of his magically-involved activities. He glanced down and spied the puppy still sitting between both of their feet. “Chase tripped me up.”
“Hmm… all the more reason for you to get him trained. He still thinks he rules your house. You can’t even catch him!”
“I could if I tried,” Justin said, though he knew he’d have to use one of his powers to do so.
“I could probably help you,” Penny said. Justin looked to the side, smiling shyly at her suggestion.
“I’m going to go,” Seb said, looking between the two and indicating over his shoulder. “Just let me know if you need a hand with him.”
His eyes lowering to the dog to illustrate who he was talking about, he gave one more secret glance between the pair before quickly making his exit.
Penny dug in her pocket and pulled out a blue collar, holding it out towards Justin. Increasingly aware of every motion and every second that passed, he took it into his hand and curled his fingers around it, the metal end ringing as it slapped into the back of his palm.
“I passed by a store on my way here and they were on sale. I noticed he didn’t have a collar last night. At least you’ll have something to grab now when he runs off,” she said, trying to make light of the situation. Justin stared at her, taking more note of the honesty in her eyes and the smatter of freckles across her nose than the words she was speaking. Her lips curved upwards as she reached towards him and took the collar back from his hand. “Don’t you know how to put one of these on?”
“Well, yeah, I think…” he stammered. She crouched down and fastened the collar around Chase’s neck, glancing back up towards him, her long hair falling back across her shoulder. “Like that.”
He laughed and she joined him, letting all the nervous tension out into the open air. Standing, she looked at him again before letting her gaze drift over the rest of the park as she shoved her hands into her back pockets.
“Everyone’s here,” she observed.
“Seems to be,” Justin concurred. “Where’s Chris?”
“Um… tracking down one of the assassins,” she replied. Justin’s eyebrows lifted in surprise. “It’s okay; he’s calling off the hit.”
“Chris went on his own to talk to someone who tried to kill us last night about not killing his brother? By himself? Without any weapons?”
“He’s got his powers.”
“But he doesn’t have us. Where is he?”
“I don’t know. Somewhere on the edge of town, in the middle of nowhere.”
Justin felt his pocket vibrate and pulled his phone out. Pressing a button to light up the screen he saw that a text message had come through.
“It’s Chris,” he said, pressing the button again to open up the message. He frowned as he read it out loud. “There is no other way to do this. I can’t kill him, but I can change him. I’m going to go back and stop whatever made him this way. I don’t know how long I’ll be gone. Look after Pen for me. And please don’t tell anyone where I am, they won’t be able to find me. Thanks, buddy.”
“What?” Penny cried out, grabbing the phone from Justin’s hand to read herself. “What’s he talking about? Where’s he going? He can’t just leave!”
Justin eased the phone back out of her hand. “I don’t know, but he’s going to help David. That’s what we all want. He’s going to fix this and I know – Chris can fix anything. He won’t be gone long.”
“I hope you’re right.”