The GatheringFandom (is so, include details) or Non Fandom?:
Non Fandom (ie. Original)Chapter Number:
Chapter Twenty-OneWord Count:
2,734 Words Rating:
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:
Probably another 5-6 chapters to go on this.Chapter Twenty-One
Pressing her foot down onto the brake of the brand new jeep wrangler as she rolled into the double garage of her home and shifted the gear into park, Rain switched the phone to her other ear, cradling it against her shoulder as she shut off the ignition.
“No, I still haven’t heard from her,” she said. There was a pause as she listened to the voice on the other end of the line. “Of course I’m worried about her! Our major exam is in like two days and she’s not returning my phone calls or—” She stopped again. “Oh, okay, she didn’t tell me he’d smashed her phone. Maybe she’s gone to a women’s shelter or—” She stopped as she was interrupted again. “Well that’s a horrible thing to make everyone believe. There’s no way Penny would hurt herself! You don’t think he did something to her, do you? Last I saw her was when she left us at the wake. I couldn’t find her to say goodbye, though I did find him. And I did see him earlier at the club tonight trying to get plastered again.” She sighed dramatically as she listened to him again, opening and sliding out the side door then closing and locking the red car from the driver’s side. “Look, Justin, it’s four in the morning and I’ve been working all night and I am seriously tired. Can we take this up at a later time? Preferably when I’m awake again?”
Allowing the keys to fall across her palm as she single-handedly tried to find the key for the side access into the house, Rain raised the correct key to the lock as she looked down to end the call on her phone. A dark shadow jumped down beside her, startling her.
“Bella Belle, what are you still doing out here?” Rain said, brushing her hand over the back of the Desert Lynx cat. Her eyes lifted to the roller doors on the garage and she realized she’d left it open. She slapped her palm against the button outside the side access door and heard the whir of the wheel as the door lowered to the ground. Unlocking the door into the house, Rain pushed it open. Bella Belle dashed inside ahead of her. She felt against the edge of the wall and flicked on the light switch with no result. The house remained in darkness. She thought she heard her mother’s voice in the other room which was odd as she hadn’t expected anyone to be up at this hour.
“Mom?” she called.
Dropping her keys on the kitchen counter and her bag on a chair, she moved towards the family room that led out onto the back decking. Moonlight streamed through the window, allowing enough light for Rain to see two figures in two chairs, looking out through the glass sliding doors and watching the waters of the Cyron flow by.
“Mom? Dad? What are you guys doing up?” she queried. “I told you I could handle the place on my own.”
Her father’s voice sounded muffled, her mother’s like she were whimpering, and Rain watched them inquisitively as she entered the room and began to circle them.
“Hello, Rain,” David said. She glanced to her left and saw him emerge from the shadows within the corner. The chill around her body was not just from the skimpy clothes she was wearing now, but also from the dark tone in his voice. “Welcome home. We’ve been waiting for you.”
Rain looked behind her as Mercy advanced from the other side of the room. She was caught between the two intruders just as her parents were.
“Rain, honey, run!” Greta shouted. Rain looked at her mother in disbelief but did not heed her words. All she could do was stare in bewilderment at her parents – both tied to chairs, her father’s mouth gagged, and there was another cloth wrapped around his hand which only came into view as David lifted and twisted his fingers, spinning her mother’s chair around.
“So… who wants to die first?” David inquired.
“Are you fucking kidding me?” Rain exclaimed. “What is this? David, go home.”
“You don’t think I’m serious,” David observed. He looked past her to Mercy. “She doesn’t think I’m serious.”
Lifting his hand, he flicked his wrist towards the sliding doors. Rain’s feet left the ground, propelling her towards the glass, her body smashing right through it and falling into the pile of shards on the deck. Her face stung where the glass had cracked and sliced through her cheek. Pieces of glass dug into her hands as she tried to sit up. She silently cursed her father for not installing tempered glass as he’d been advised to do, simply going for the cheapest option to save on cost and lavishing the profit on other areas of the house.
“Was that supposed to do that?” Mercy questioned.
“She’s probably heavier than she looks,” David returned. “But she’s given me an idea.”
Stepping around Gregor, David looked down at his injured left hand, already missing the last two fingers from the torture he had inflicted earlier. Mercy had already gathered his blood from that little incident; the rest was merely for fun. He had broken the remainder of his hand, shattered his kneecap. Now he leaned towards Gregor until they were eye level, carefully removing the older man’s glasses. He snapped them between his fingers, removing the broken glass from the frame and holding the pointed edge towards him.
“Did I ever tell you how much your intrusion in my life has scarred me?” David asked. He trailed the piece down Gregor’s face as his former employer tried to draw away. His hand stopped, hovering over the open section of his shirt that revealed his hairy chest. “It’s a pain equivalent to ripping out my heart.”
“No!” Greta shrieked.
“Shut up!” David shouted towards her. He directed Mercy with his eyes to take care of her.
Cloth still wedged into his mouth, Gregor was unable to retaliate. He wrestled within his chair, shouting a spate of words which only emerged in a series of muffled grunts. David looked upon him with pity, then dug the tip of the shard into his skin and began to engrave the word fraud on his chest. Gregor threw his head back, crying out in agony, the motion only serving to force the glass in deeper.
Boots crunching over broken shards, Rain stepped back into the room, fingers brushing over and dislodging the small fragments of glass in her palms. She pressed her bloody hands to her jeans, trying to compress the bleeding.
“Stop it! Now!” she demanded.
David raised a hand and waved it back at her, as if dismissing her. This time she was ready for him, her brown eyes lightening to a shade of orange as she returned the power. David propelled forward, knocking Gregor over and plunging the shard into his chest as he rolled headfirst over the man and onto the floor behind him. Mercy took one step towards him then retraced her path as she realized she could not leave the mother. The conjured dagger within her hand took a firmer place against Greta’s throat as she stood behind her, daring someone to make a move.
As he lay on his back staring at the ceiling David blinked once. Suddenly becoming aware he was not in the same position he immediately righted himself. Kicking Gregor’s chair back up to a sitting position, he stood behind him and glared at Rain.
“You always were a feisty one,” David remarked.
“Get out of here!” Rain yelled, pointing towards the nearest exit.
“But we were having such a good time,” David said mockingly.
“You’re freaking torturing my family!” she cried. She shook her head defiantly as his amused expression disappeared. “Don’t even think about it. You know I’ll give you twice as much back.”
“What’s she talking about?” Mercy hissed.
“The daughter of my former employer has a rather sportsman like ability. You throw a power at her, she hits it back. As long as she’s paying attention,” David explained. “Makes her rather effective at magical baseball.”
“Well then she has no defence against me,” Mercy said, drawing her dagger away. David raised a finger towards her, indicating she should stop.
“She has one weakness. She acts without thinking. And reacts without thinking. As you can see.”
“C’mon, big-shot. I know you’ve had a few too many and that’s gotta put you off your game,” Rain taunted. She stepped closer towards her father. “You couldn’t hurt me if you tried.”
David lifted a balled hand and opened his fingers. A mound of dirty white powder revealed itself on his flattened palm. He blew against it gently, the wispy powdery mist floating towards Rain. With a look of confusion, her eyes lightened again as she turned it back towards him. It rolled in a gathering circle in front of her face before floating back in his direction. She was a little perturbed at his weakness in attack and did not realize what he had blown towards her until the moment the mist hit her father, David easily maneuvering behind him to enable the man to obstruct the path. Gregor’s face hardened, his mouth gaping as the rest of his body paled to grey and stiffened. The bandage unraveled from his hand and fell to the floor, not a drop of blood in sight as his human appearance became stone. Pulling a driver from the golf bag that sat propped up against the display unit, David fixed his grip on the handle and took an almighty swing at Gregor’s head. It snapped from his neck, shattering to the floor at Greta’s feet in a pile of rubble. She screamed.
Mercy looked around her uncomfortably as her surroundings changed. She could see herself reflected again and again from all different angles, the dagger still poised at Greta’s throat, the stone remains of Gregor’s head still at her feet. Outside of that was nothing but the same scene. For all that was within her vision they looked entirely alone.
“David?” Mercy called uneasily. “Are you still here?”
“Relax, Mercy. She’s trying to fool you,” she heard him say.
“I can’t see you,” she said.
“Now you know where Rain inherited her reflective powers from,” he said.
“I feel like I’m in a funhouse,” Mercy complained.
“That’s the idea. She throws up a hall of mirrors when she’s agitated to confuse those she’s in company of. Unfortunately for her, she now can’t see what I’m doing to Rain. Throw your weapon”
She was reluctant to do so, not knowing what would happen, but trusted him enough and had followed orders enough to do as he directed. She cast the dagger in a straight line towards his voice. As David had obviously counted on, the thought of harm coming to her daughter while she shielded herself away was too much for Greta to bear and she ceased using her powers. Rain flinched as the dagger suddenly appeared right before her eyes, giving her only seconds to respond and rebound the action. It happened all too fast as the dagger flipped back in Greta and Mercy’s direction and plunged straight into her mother’s heart. Rain dropped to her news, surveying what was left of her mother and father. David had effectively made her kill them both. She silently swore she would never use her powers again.
Mercy fidgeted around her mother’s body as David came to stand before her. Rain lifted her gaze to the man towering over her, expecting her doomed fate to be next. Her mascara ran as tears slipped down her face.
“Are you going to do to me what you did to Penny? To Chris?” she challenged. He leant down towards her.
“I didn’t do anything to them. I did this for them,” he said. He drew back. “Besides, it was about time that your family suffered at our hands as we’ve had to suffer at yours. I’ll let you clean up your mess.”
“You’re a fucking cruel prick, you know that?” she cried. “How could you make me kill my own family?”
Mercy looked down at the girl as she stepped in behind David, an innocent reflection of herself bloodied and broken on the floor. Rain was in the same mental state she had been years earlier, only she had performed the same parental sacrifice under David’s influence as she had within the same week. Mercy’s gaze crossed to his as he took her hand and pulled her away, light surrounding them and causing them to vanish as they walked through the doorway, leaving Rain on her own.* * *
Sitting at the kitchen table, Max stared at the screen of the open laptop before him. An accumulation of numbers filled all the cells within the spreadsheet he had open, but not one of them seemed to make sense that morning. He knew this was now a major priority but lacked motivation to do anything about it, his thoughts fixated on the events surrounding his current task.
“Max?” Alisha questioned, spying him through the kitchen doorway as she closed the front door. She headed up the hallway, stopping just inside the room. He didn’t look up. “Max, what are you still doing here? Didn’t you go to work today?”
“I did. And then I came straight back home,” he confirmed. “I couldn’t stay there. I couldn’t deal with this knowing… something might be happening here.”
He looked down at the keyboard, his hands lethargically spread over the surface of the keys. Alisha pulled out the wooden chair from the side of the table and took a seat beside him, comfortingly placing her hand over his.
“What’s going on, Max? What did you think was happening here?” she inquired. He lifted his gaze towards her.
“I got a call from Stephen this morning,” he began. Stopping to catch another breath, he raised his free hand and rubbed it against his temple. “I need to rework the Mendel’s financials. They’re dead.”
Alisha sighed. “Honey, I know you were worried about Aston Slate taking your clients and –”
“No, Lish. The Mendels are dead. They were slaughtered this morning in their house, in their family room. Their daughter was in the middle of it all, completely inconsolable. They’ve taken her to the hospital in protective custody while they inspect the house for evidence. She’s saying she did it but it was David that made her do it. They’re saying she’s in shock, that she’s traumatized, that she’s not telling the right story. The thing is, Lish, they can’t accept the true story. Where magic is concerned…” He shook his head. “Most of Gregor’s money already went to Aston Slate. I’ve only got to straighten out the club. But if something like that can happen to them, what does this mean for us?”
“I don’t know,” Alisha admitted. For once, she wasn’t looking at him. He knew it was a sign she was keeping something from him.
“What aren’t you telling me?” he asked.
“You weren’t wondering why I was home in the middle of the day?” she returned.
“Are you…?” Max didn’t know what he wanted to ask. He was concerned about her welfare, but didn’t want to jump to any conclusion over what had brought her home.
“They’ve closed off the school. Ms Pinlay, the teacher that Charlotte told us gave David such a hard time in first grade about being ‘special’, and criticized her and Michael’s parenting ability? They found her body hanging in the second floor staff room. Tendons had been cut at the back of her legs so she couldn’t get away,” Alisha said. “I know he did it. I saw what happened the moment I touched the staff room door. He used his magic to get what he wanted, and the girl he was with did all the slicing. I couldn’t say anything.”
Max turned his hand and curled his fingers around hers with a gentle squeeze. It was obvious David had become far more volatile than they’d ever expected. He was a danger to everyone around him now.
“We need to get Justin and we need to get out as soon as we can,” Max said.