May 8, 2008
By Charlene Toomey, Canton, NY

Darkness, it was all around her. She had been to the Dark Market before, but never had she been so terrified. The atmosphere was making Sara dizzy. The evil and feel of cruelty was a little too much for her. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath, trying to will away her thoughts of fear. Kilagan had already left her, so all she could hear was the dripping of water, and the sound of her own breathing. When she opened her eyes, she looked to her right. An unlit torch was above her, hanging on a metal hook. She had no matches, or lighter, so she had to do the next best thing.
She reached into the leather pouch around her waist and pulled from it a sprig of Hellebore. She then took a small red vial from it. Standing on her toes, Sara dropped the sprig onto the small mat of straw in the torch. She then took out the cork of the vial and put two drops of the substance over the Hellebore. With a small smile on her face, she watched as a flame sprang to life, illuminating the area of the cave around her. Before taking the torch down, she reached behind her and pulled the hood to her black cloak over her head. Since she was in “The Underworld”, it was what the evil Witches called a long line of caves, she had to dress the part, or stick out like a sore thumb. Now ready, she took the torch off its hook on the wall, and began to walk. This was always her least favorite part. You could never tell if some evil Witch was going to pop out at you from a dark corner. She had to shake the negative thoughts from her head, replacing them with courage. But it was difficult when you were a young Witch of Sara’s status; you always had to watch your back.
Sara began to move swiftly through the darkness, the torch guiding her path. The cloak she wore flapped around her feet as she walked, making a light rustling sound. Soon, the sound of the cloak was joined by voices, deep, dark, eerie voices, most likely hundreds of them. The Dark Market was well known after all. It attracted almost every With, good or bad, in the small Ireland town.
Small lights began to shine ahead of her, giving off more light, along with her torch. Without sound, she moved to the wall closest to her and began searching it for a hook. She soon found one and gently placed her torch inside it. Quickly, she began to move further down the cave path, the lights growing brighter, the voices growing louder.
At long last, Sara entered the spacious cavern that was the Dark Market. It was crowded. People and shops and booths were scattered everywhere, making it difficult to find who she was looking for. She began to look around, she knew who Krates was, she had met him before. He was the one who left with her father…He used to be good, but that was all in the past. She scanned the area more, no sight of the male Witch. She was about to give up when she heard a tall black man talking to a shorter one. “You need to take this order to Krates, he’ll be sellin’ it pretty soon.” The smaller black man nodded and took off. This was Sara’s golden opportunity. She took off after the short man, making sure not to get lost in the crowd. Only after a few minutes of walking, they came across a large, crimson, tent. The black man went into it, and Sara followed.
As she entered, it seemed that the world had gone silent. Everyone in the tent turned to look at her, they didn’t know who she was though, they thought she was just another Dark Witch, coming to buy some stolen goods. With a small smirk to herself, she made her way to the counter. Standing behind it was a tall, dark haired man. His hair was short, and spiked, matching the spiked collar around his neck. He wore a black, leather vest along with matching pants. He hadn’t changed a bit.
Sara rested her elbows on the counter. “Good to see you again…Karson.” She had a hint of arrogance in her voice. Krates had been a normal, good Witch. Until that day at least. He had been Karson Goodwin, but when he turned, he became plain old Krates.
At his actual name, Krates looked over the counter at the girl. He knew her voice, he remembered it from those years ago at school. “Sara…” He stood up straight, Sara doing the same thing. “What are you doing here? You’ll get yourself killed.” His voice was calm, but you could hear the under laced worry in it.
“I’ll be fine, I came prepared. Anyways, I’m here for Kilagan’s order.” She hated when he did that. When he tried to be all sweet with her. He left for three years, just after Sara’s 14th birthday, and didn’t come back until Sara turned 17. That was four months ago.
Krates nodded, knowing what order she meant. Pushing himself away from the table, Krates walked into the small out cove in the back of the tent. As he did, Sara took this time to look around the tent once more. There were more Dark Witches in there than she had thought. It was a good thing none of them could see her face. Krates came back only moments later, holing a large box-shaped object wrapped in a piece of leather. “There you are. No charge.” He said with a nod and slid the parcel across the counter. Sara looked around more after placing the parcel in her bag. As she looked back up, she froze.
Did I just see…? No. It couldn’t be... She looked up to Krates, shock written all over her face. “Krates…Has my father returned yet?” Her voice was quivering slightly.
Krates shook his head. “No, not that I know of. Why?” His face was no longer stern, but worry etched it once more.
She turned her head back to the dark-haired man. “I swear I just saw him walk out of your tent…”

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