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It was wet and rainy, in another word, the usual. Wherever you went the island was quiet, too quiet. There was nothing, no screams, no cries of pain, nothing. Yet something slinked around the corners, hid in the shadows and muffled the screams. From the looks of it, it was a dog, a black dog. For the dog, if you could even call it one, was known all over the island.
Its name was Alvy. She was filled to the brim with dark powers. Whenever she felt like it, she would find herself human, and rather pretty one at that. The inhabitants of the island referred to her a Nightmare Hood. With a black dress and long silky black hair topped with a golden crown, she was by far the fairest of them all.
Atop her shoulders, was her most prized possession, a cape made of pure nightmares. For if you looked at it, you would be paralyzed with fear. Although it had no effect on Alvy, or so she said.
Although Alvy walked the streets all the time, today was different. Once a year, not being totally heartless, she let the Island relax and celebrate. On this day, she undid all curses, spells, and enchantments of all kind, they called it Freedom Day. The Islanders, she called them minors, were allowed to swim, run, jump and play! Well, they did. One year on Freedom Day, a long time ago, and a simple word was said to Alvy. That word changed everything!
Alvy walked down the street that day with a destination in mind, a crummy, broken down old shack at the end Cona Street. Nothing more than weeds and dead grass in the front yard. Yet, Alvy had been to this house more times than any other house on the island.
The steps creaked as Alvy walked up them. Nothing moved inside the house, the inhabitants were frozen. Alvy stood on the porch staring at the door, she only visited once a year because of the pain. The memories of this little shack were great and scarred her deeply.
She knocked once, nothing. She knocked again, nothing. “Open or be no more” she called. The door clicked and slowly opened. Alvy sauntered in and looked around. “What a pathetic little hut,” she said. Two small beds were pushed up into the corner and a small table and chairs were next to the wall. A dirty rug was underneath a tree. The tree itself was small and had barely any green, it was decorated with pinecones wrapped with scraps of fabric.
On one bed sat a small girl, with golden curls and big green eyes. Alvy and the child looked at each other. The bond between them was greater than anybody could ever know. Alvy closed her eyes and looked towards the other bed. In it laid a woman. The woman looked nothing like the girl. She had the same large green eyes, but her face was pale and white. She was dead.
“Why didn’t you come to me?” Alvy asked. Alvy looked at the thin, starving child, “Abela, come here, you need to eat” Alvy said while walking towards the table. Abela followed and sat. She knew that a visit from Alvy meant food, real food, a lot of food. Eat while I help your mother.”
With that Alvy pulled a long golden wand out of her cape, the table began to sag with the weight of all the food. Abela began to down the food, for she had not had a proper meal since Alvy’s visit last year. Alvy looked sadly at the child, she deserves better than this. Memories of the past flooded back into her mind, and she dismissed all those thoughts. She was here on a promise, and nothing more.
She walked over to the bed and whispered the life spell under her breath. The woman coughed and woke. “Eat” was all Alvy said, as she pointed towards the table that was still covered with food. “Thank you Alvy, I was too weak by the time I knew I should come, and Abela is too young to go all the way to the castle, ” the woman said. “Next time come when it is early, or else Abela will be on her own, and you would not want that now would you Clare” replied Alvy. “No, we wouldn’t” she agreed, as she sat down and ate. “No, we wouldn’t.”
Clare and Abela ate in silence for a while. “Abela, I will watch your mother, go and run to the waterfront” called Alvy. Abela, happy to get some time to herself, left quickly. After she was gone, Alvy and Clare sat uncomfortably for a while. Alvy broke the silence with slow, thoughtful words, “I want you and Abela to move to the castle. You can’t live here.” Clare looked at Alvy with surprise. “And why, might I ask, can we not live here?” Alvy hesitated, “Enemies of the mainland want to come, and by that I mean they want to kill everybody and use my powers against Abela.” Clare was quiet, Alvy looked at her and said, “The Corbis Clan” Clare recognized the name, they were a family on the mainland, determined to kill Alvy. Clare gathered Abela while Alvy gathered their little belongings. Stepping outside, she whistled and then stepped into the carriage that appeared. Clare and Abela sat across from her as the black draft horses started to pull. Alvy smiled slightly at the look on their faces as they watched the horses, who like Alvy were not normal. They were made of water with tails and manes of ice. After settling down, Abela asked the question that had been nagging at her for a while, ever since her mother had picked her up and ran back to the house with her. “Where are we going?” she asked, eyeing all of their belongings. “There,” said Alvy, pointing to the castle on the cliff overlooking the island. “Your new home.”
Turrets of blue ivory started growing larger as the carriage neared the castle. The gardens of jade vines and strawberries were in full bloom. Abela new not to touch the vines. Alvy grew the vines to protect herself. The strawberry’s, on the other hand, were edible. Abela turned from the window to study Alvy. Alvy was not around often, she mostly communicated through letters. Alvy’s hair was golden like always, but it looked different, It was almost always down, it was strange to see it braided. Abela looked into her eyes. They were blue with green stripes. Golden dots here and there. Alvy glanced at Abela, and slowly started talking. “What would you do if you had the power to stop gravity, turn off the sun, view the world through someone else's eyes? It only takes a spell, I have them all.” Abela understood the spellbook, Alvy’s spell book. The carriage lurched to a stop in front of the castle’s marble steps. But there was already another carriage there, bearing the crest of The Corbis Clan.