“Don’t worry, sis. I’ll make it in time” Rachel Young’s voice echoed across the car as if it were the only one for miles. “Love you too. Bye” She added while clapping her cell phone closed. She adjusted her seatbelt and look at the driver. She took a look at his black expressionless eyes which were fixed on the road, at his wavy browned hair flying just above his forehead and how his arm was carelessly resting in top of the window. “Are we really not talking?”
He turned to her and in that precise moment she understood how grave the situation was and that knew that he’ll never see her the way he used to. It had been a long road since their dear friend Katty had introduced them, since they instantly clicked and decided to live together, starting their new lives as a couple. All those memories vanished as soon as she realized those joyful eyes she loved were even farther away than she had thought.
“Tell me, How is everything supposed to be ok?” He asked back. “I proposed to you Rach. Twice. And you said “No” both times. Am I supposed to ignore that you nabasically told me: “I don’t know if I want to spend the rest of my life with you” ?”
“You need to stop right there, Douglas” Rach said abruptly, her hands were all over the place now. “I’m not saying no. I’m saying not now.”
“Like that’s any different.”
“We could have work things out if you hadn’t just walked away-“
“What was I supposed to do?” His voice had risen to become the loudest sound in the whole desert. “You turned me down, Rach. I couldn’t just stay home and see your face every day like I did before.”
“And disappearing was such a great idea? You could have at least left me a note.” Rach got distracted for a second by a horse which was running really fast in the background. She turned to him and sighed. “I had to wake up at three a.m. to find the door was opened and you were gone.”
“It was a fresh wound. I needed to get away.” He answered rapidly without taking his eyes off of the road.
“I think two months were long enough. I had to hire detective to help me find you in that dread ass town you were working at” More sighing.
“And pretty little Rach had to come all the way down her and blow me off again, huh?” Rach could see his grip around the steering wheel tightening.
“I didn’t exactly blow you off. It just took me by surprise. It wasn’t in my plans to look back and see you, on your knees, asking me to marry you again.” Her eyes were watery and even though she had considered the possibility of his heart not wanting him for life, she knew the situation was spinning out of control.
“If you loved me, you would have said yes”
“I love you, Douglas” Rach shouted at the top of her lungs, she was so benched on the seat the seatbelt looked like it was about to pop open. “The fact that you want me to marry you doesn’t mean that you love more.”
“If you loved me, Rach--” he said while looking at her with those same puppy eyes which had gotten him away with murder quite some times.
“Watch out!” Rached yelled and they both turned ahead to see how the fast paced horse get right in front of the car. Douglas’ foot couldn’t push the breaks any harder or else he could have prevented the car from flying away the way it did. The first spin dented the capot and sprayed the car’s black painting vertically all over the pavement across the fields. The second spin threw Rachel so far out of the car that she could feel each and every bone crack.
She woke up afterwards, to a scenario she wouldn’t have picture in the morning when woke up for the first time. Her head pounded, she had all kinds of bruises and scratches all over her legs and arms, her dressed was torn apart and even her hands wouldn’t stop shaking. She could see the car turned upside down across the field and more important, the smoke and fire clouding her sight. Douglas’ green shirt was the only visible thing inside the car.
She could feel how every little sound matter, the fire spreading, the wind blowing strong and then it all stopped.
The car exploded.
Rachel’s legs gave in and the only word in her mouth was left unspoken.
“Claire de Lune” started playing.
“That’s probably Rach, Rach.” Lily smiled at her friend who was basically wrapped up in a wedding dress so big and beautiful that would have made any girl in the world gorgeous. “I never realized how weird it sounds to call you both Rach” She said after giggling.
“Has Rick arrived yet?” Rach asked as she looked in the mirror to fix the bangs flying above her face. She had turned her hair a little blonder for the occasion and her fionce had yet to see it.
“Don’t worry, Bridezilla, he’s here” she told the bride-to-be while reaching for her phone. Rach could hear a second later how the person at the other side of the line said “Woodsbury Police Dept, ma’am.”
They were both sharing the phone. Lilly was still listening to the policeman when Rachel Stevens opened the two doors of the Church to find the crowd out therehad turned out to be even greater than she could have imagined. The little Church had turned out to be a good decision, or at least it could have been if it hadn’t been so remote.
Rick was the first one to see her and the stepes became a million as he tried reaching for The steps the ending of the porch to see why the gloomy face on Rach.
“It’s Rach Young.” She said as she hugged her future husband so tight as if wanting to squeeze out all the love out of him. He firmly looked back and said the words which were needed.
“The wedding is canceled, folks.” He grabbed Rach by the hand and followed by Lilly got into one of the cars. The gang followed.
Not a dash of hope. Not an explanation was left to be understood by the guests.
The wedding was cancelled.
2 MONTHS LATER…
“You need to leave this place, hun.” Lily whispered in her little sister’s ear. A shiver ran down her spin. Her eyes were blank, as they had been for the last two months but they suddenly regain sensitivity.
“The doctors said he can wake up any minute now. I want to be me the first thing he sees.” Rach Y. added while running her fingers through her untaken care of hair.
“I know, sweetie.” Her sister said as she tried to push her away from the gurney her once boyfriend was lying still, unconscious, heavily helped by a breather and a dozen different artifacts. “It’s been hard for you, too but you have to get some rest..” Rach looked at Lily lifting both eyebrowns.
“You can always stay with us” Lily said as she pointed the blond haired lady standing by the door. “Lo and I would be thrilled to have you there. I can’t stand the idea of you here or at your apartament all alone.”
Lo uncrossed her arms and started walking towards their direction. The difference between the three of them was huge. Lo was wearing her blackened jeans and some very new converse shoes and had a red cardigan on top that made every single fiber of her blue eyes sparkle, and on the other hand, Rachel Y. looked like a train had ran her over. Her hair was all tangled up and she was wearing what looked like a blue rope which hided a pretty old dressed she probably just reached out of the wardrobe without even looking.
It was that moment she knew the sisterly talk had ended.
One sister had the joy while the other one had the sorrow.
“WOODSBURY MALL” The sign on top of the entrance read.
Hannah and Thomas were strolling around, holding hands like they once used to next to the entrance where the best coffee place in the world for her “The Java Joint” was.
Once they had caffeine in their hands they set their way among the crow and into the pool of shops.
“I missed this” Hannah said and looked at Thomas and his greenish almost chattery eyes which were set on her in one of those moments when everything stops and no one stares, no one walks, nobody exists. Hannah knew in that moment she had everything she wanted: she had her husband back, she had a 3 year old baby named Tiffany waiting at home, she had her friends to top it all, and whatever they had done months ago, had work. Something she had get used to for the last 10 years seemed to have vanished completely.
The baddest of them all. Sometimes a demon, sometimes a wizard. He was gone for good. What was left to do was to focus on the present day. Nothing could spoil this day for her, plain yet excellent. And no one would either.
“If it isn’t the golden couple?” a female voice trailed off shortly afterwards. Both Hannah and Thomas unlocked eyes and looked away to put a face on the voice. Hannah’s hand instantly separated from his.
“I wasn’t just joking about your pretty little blonde hairs, I meant “Happy Couple”” a woman was driving a baby-car and heading on their way.
“Amy” Hannah yelled and jumped on her. Hannah lowered her eyes and saw the baby’s chubby legs coming out of the car. She reached for him and hold him in her arms. “How’s little Brad doing?”
“Good” a manly voice from behind her replied.
“Kaya” Thomas said rapidly and stretched his hand warmly. Hannah smiled the fonniest of the smiles at him and kept talking to Amy until they eventually set on their ways, opposite ways.
“I could tell you like him, Hannah” Thomas said and broke the silence.
“What?” Hannah asked and then he got proof. She wasn’t as surprised as she ought to be.
“I can feel it. Last time I checked, you two were friends and now you don’t talk to him anymore and act all weird around him.” Hannah opened her mouth but he immediately stopped her. “I get it, being away for the last four years, I would have wanted you to move on, but I just want to know everything. No secrets.”
Hannah breathed in and looked at him in the exact same way they had looked at each other 10 minutes ago. “A lot happened,Thomas. But it’s not like you have to worry about it.”
“I’m never going to stop worrying about you, I care about you” He said and hugged her. She could feel his heart beating fast when he pressed her ears on top of his chest.“And then Amy came along?”
“Amy was always around. They’ve always liked each other, then one night Brad happened out of nowhere and a story ended.”
“I’m glad it did.” Thomas said. “Because I love you, you know that?”
“Like I know we’re meant to be” Hannah said and jumped into his arms. If it had ever been the most intentional, kindest and most meaningful kiss of them all, this was it. “Always.” She said to herself.
The door clasped behind her and Hannah felt how quickly a bunch of books feel from the shelf.
“Is anybody home?” Hannah yelled.
A girl came down running through the stairs. She was running so fast the ponytail was more on the front hitting her face than on the back, the flowerish dress running behind her trail.
“Katty?” Hannah asked as she reached for the lights and turned them on. She was pleased to see it was her friend she was talking to.
“Han” Katty said as she walked her to the sofa in the living room. “We need to talk” Hannah sat down even though she didn’t know whether she was prepared or not.
“I thought you were at your apartment-”
“Shut up” Katty said. “Sorry” she giggled. “This book-“ Katty gave Hannah an old dusty book cover she had in her hands, even the leather didn’t smell like leather anymore. “This book was at my place. I had never seen it before.”
“There’s probably tons of books you don’t remember you ever had. You’re braniac”. Hannah joked.
“Shut up” Katty repeated “This books is magic. The words are coming out of nowhere and ever since yesterday its blank pages are being filled.” Hannah took the book in her hands and noticed the first page. She could read “The book of L’eah.”
“What does this mean, Katty?”
“I just started reading it. It belonged to a witch like myself”
“Do you think it has anything to do with Mike?” she asked.
“I don’t know but I don’t think it’s a coincidence it appeared now that he’s out of the picture.”
They both looked at each other for a minute. Speechless.
“Did you get the book already?”a strong raspy voice said and echoed right across the cave.
“No” and elderly woman said. “But we’ll have it by tonight; I promise, sir.”
“I hope so, L’eah” the man said as he came out of the shadows, uncovering some jeans, a belt and a france blue shirt that made this fifty year old mean man look thirty. “Azarus” the man pointed out at the long haired blonde man in the corner. “You know what to do”
“Yes, sir” He nodded. “They are on their way.”
Hannah and Katty were sharing a tea when Thomas stormed into the house.
“We have a problem” He yelled.
“Problems, I may say” Hannah joked and stopped quickly after she realized Thomas wasn’t laughing. She reached for a bottle of water and gave it to him.
“I was just running in the park when I saw a couple of vampire getting inside some type of cave right beneath the bridge by the lake.”
“Define a couple of vampires?” Hannah asked ignoring Katty and setting him aside.
“Twenty of them.” Thomas said and as the words came out of his mouth he knew Hannah would be as fired up as she was.
“We’ve got to call Amy, Kaya and Lily” Hannah said and clasped her hands together “This is going to be fun. I missed this.” She took a bag out of the coatroom and stuffed it with all kinds of weapons.
Thirty minutes later and two miles away, they were all set and ready for action in the park. The trees were moving slowly as they usually do in early fall, the leaves were falling all over the place and not a sound was to be heard. It didn’t look like anything out place could be happening inside.
“They’re inside” Thomas said and lead the way into the pound lake.
Katty took the book out of her bag and took a look at it. She could feel stranged from the world when she read it, she found it fascinating how this woman described her life in what look like the 1500’s, so . Everything was so real, everything this woman felt, everything she discovered about magic, everything was so real. As real as the vampire standing right in front of her.
The big muscular and quite disgusting creature grabbed her by the hands and she was forced to snap out of it. The gang was fighting a dozen other vampires all across the park. Rach, being the quickest was in charge of two of the largest ones with Rick while Amy, pretty confident in herself was trying to help Paul get rid of the vampire chick that was hanging from his back.
Hannah had an axe in her hands and was ready to slice some when in the blink of an eye, she realized her witch friend was in trouble.
The vampire lifted her and shook her like a maraca. The book fell out of her hands and into the elderly woman’s feet. Katty backed up to take a look at the scenario. The woman took the book in her hands and went through the pages like a mad person. Between the elder and the long hard man was the person she feared the most.
“Mike” she shouted.
“Do it now L’eah” he said almost immediately and the woman began chanting what sounded like some sort of spell she didn’t had time to see. As L’eah lifted her arms, some sort of orangy blast came out out of Katty’s body and headed towards at L’eah’s right arm. It was as if a rush of wind had been released her other arm. A flame dazzled out of her hand and headed towards the end of one of the tunnels of the cave, lighting the entire cave along the way. Katty tried backing up from this but it was as if she were paralyzed. Then Hannah came inside of the cave, took her in her arms, grabbed the book from the floor, all the lights and a minute later all lights were off.
Next flash, she was at home in her bed.
2 DAYS LATER…
“Wake up, you lazy ass” a man in an uniform said. But it wasn’t a regular uniform; he was holding a broom in his hand and wore that “I hate you” look on his face. Rick looked at him and then looked back trying to hold everything that was happening in. His clothes look as dirty enough, they were the same he had wore the day of the fight, his head was pounding like he had never felt it before but most of important he was thirsty as hell.
“I let you sleep here the first day but now, sleeping out in a cemetery is sick, dude.” The man yelled and pushed him with the broom.
He managed to get on his feet and get himself into the park. Everything was weird all of a sudden. He looked like a homeless guy, with his hair all messed up but everyone looked different at him now and veryone looked different to him. His skin as clean as someone who spent two days sleeping in a ground could be but the girls seemed to dig it.
And then he felt it..
It wasn’t the girls per se what called to him, it was something in particular.
“I think I finally found it, Hannah.” Katty shouted from her room and it took her no more than two seconds to get there. “I still can’t believe this book belongs to that awful lady working with Mike. It is supposed to belong to a good witch.”
“The end is still unwritten.. Let’s not guess anything out of this book, ok?.”
“She channeled my power.”Katty added and closed the book abruptly. “She was trying to open up something but I can’t quite figure out what it was. It looks like someone had something to hide and used a really powerful spell to hide it.”
“And why did she do that spell on you?” Hannah asked.
“Because I’m a fire witch and whatever is hidden inside.. it’s fire.” Katty answered and as they both heard the door, they went downstairs.
Even though it was still early the day had gotten dark soon.
“Any words from Rick yet?” Hannah asked. Rach shook her head.
“We’ll find him, I promise” Katty comforted her but the door bell rang made the three of them jump abruptly. Rach headed for the door, ignoring the fact that Rick was standing on the other side, unfourtunately? The bloodstains on his clothe and the blood in his hand weren’t a good sign.
She opened the door and her first reaction was to freeze. No jumping all over him, no kissing. Maybe it was all too well? Maybe it was all too wrong?
“What’s wrong, Rach?” He asked. “Aren’t you going to let me in Rach?”
Silence took over the night.
Step after step the man shoes ran through the ground of the cave. Mike grabbed both gates of the cage and opened them wide.
“Off you go” he said and watched as the beastly creature made its way out of the dark. It was enormous and had twisted horns for ears. . His body was all light brown but it had all kinds of cracks in it that show his fluored fire orange meat underneath it. Both eyes had a rectangular shape and pointy at the edges“Go get them, tiger…”