Forstbitten Heart

October 27, 2017
By Ghost-of-a-Rose50, Aurora, Colorado
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Ghost-of-a-Rose50, Aurora, Colorado
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Author's note:

I wrote this piece because a friend of mine had moved away and sometimes it feels as though she had died. We might still be friends but just not as close as we used to be. 

Everything is changed now. Nothing is ever going to be the same after this. Not after what I think. Not after what happened to her. I am not going to stop next time. Next time I am going to finish what I want to do. This, this thing is too powerful to even try to hold back once more. I am the only one who can hold it back though. I have to. All I see is fury red behind my eyes. I feel nothing and everything. I feel my hands wet and smell the iron coming from it. I have blood on my hands. I reach up and try to wipe away the slow trickle of blood off my chin but I can only seem to make it worse. I can't undo what I have done no matter how much I wish I could. I wish that I could turn back time and somehow change what has happened to her. The memories are the worse part. I see them even through the fury. I see the blood, her blood covering me. I can hear the cars rushing past on the highway not seeing the black street that I and my friend's body are on. I can feel wet tears streaming from my eyes as I cry and cry not able to stop from feeling the pain that I feel.

          What I want most in the world at the moment is to find him and rip him to piece. I want to taste his blood on my tongue. I want to see his blood on my hands. I want to take his life to make things better. I want him dead. He is making my eyes hurt and he is making my throat sound more like a toad. I can feel my mouth open and close. I know that I am doing something I just can't get past the hazy that is blocking my ears from hearing anything. I can feel myself saying something but I just can't hear what I am saying. I close my mouth and make it stay close as I see the fury in my eyes slowly crawl back so I can see my friend's dead body in my hands. I am holding her close to my chest only thinking about her. Thinking about what school will be like without her. I can only think about her. About what my life was and what all had just been taken away from me in the matter of a second. We had been so happy walking back to my house until we had been hit. Until that stupid drunk came out of nowhere and hit us. Slamming his truck into first her body and then my head. I got the less damage done to me whereas she had lost her life that night.

          Even night for a month I was thinking only about killing him. Only about ending his life like he had ended hers. I had been outside every night for a month feeling the cold biting into my skin as the winter was turning into spring. I howled every night for a month at the moon in every phase it had been in. Others howled with me. I heard others take part in the sad song that I had sung for a month. I could hear the tears and the pain in that howl and so could everyone else. It seemed every dog on the street mourned with me. Even my own would sit outside in the grass with me and howl at the dark sky with stars glistening like tears caught with the sun. Every night for a month I would come into the house and be forced to wear a warm blanket and drink hot cocoa and sit in bed while tears made their way quietly from my eyes. It seemed even when I could not speak my cries had still been heard. My mother and father had called over the family priest and he sat making me talk to him about what was wrong. I would sometimes end up running and not even talking to him. I would run to my room and let out a long painful howl like I was with my friend once more. After that month though I couldn't howl. My throat would not allow me and I wouldn't be able to walk outside and sit in the grass. I would not be able to look past the door to even see the stars. Something would not let me. It was like I was being forced to back down. Like I could not go outside and like I had to eat because something bad was going to happen. At least the priest stoped coming.

          I would find myself up late at night just rocking back and forth slowly listening to haunting music that only I could hear. I would always feel tears in my eyes and I would be up well into the day. I would still go to school but I would sleep. No matter how many people seem to tell me that I need to move on from her the only person that matters is myself. Once I can say move on from her I will be able to. Since her death, I feel like people are trying to take my shell and turn it into something else. Something like a better daughter for my mother and father. They seem to want to have me make more friends. They seem to think that making more friends will take the pain away from me about losing the only friend that I thought mattered to me. I can't call her and I can't message her. She is dead and I have to tell myself that every time I look at her number on my screen in the almost pitch black room. Sometimes my dreams are about finding out the drunk's name and ripping into his flesh and just seeing how he likes the feeling of every bone in his body being broken just like hers were. Sometimes I like to imagine that he got what he deserves. The amount of guilt will tell him to do things to himself. Tell him and turn him against himself. Sometimes I like to think that his own mind is close to me and that his mind is the one telling me to hurt myself.

          Sometimes I even feel like I have lost my mind. My skin started to bounce when she died and the only thing I can think is just jumping out the window and running. Running to the woods to a safe place where I can hide and never come back out until I feel like everything is better. I can only think about death, fire, and blood since she was killed. I only want to find the person, every time her name slips itself into my head, and kill him slowly.

          I shot up out of my bed and onto the floor like a bullet at the thought of hurting someone. Since I was little I had it pounded in my head that I should not hurt anyone, even myself. The thought of hurting myself had bee non-excitons in my head before her death. And when she was gone all I could think about was her. The friendship that I had lost because of death. All that I could ever think about was taking my life and giving it to death or even slicing my wrist to feel something other than this haunting sadness. I thought about my dream for a moment. 'Wait why am I having bloodthirsty dreams?' I asked myself revolted with the answer to shocking to even think of. I closed my eyes and leaned back on my pillows slowly. 'Deep breath Lauren, deep breaths' I thought to myself just like my therapist had told me to do. I liked my therapist she knew that I was the only grieving and tells my mom and dad that I am fine every time she sees me. But I don't tell her everything. She doesn't know about the dreams, more like nightmares, but she doesn't know about them and I can't tell her about them. I was doing it for my own safety. I would go more insane if I knew I couldn't go to school and be around kids that would talk around me but not to me. My only fear from her is that she would deem me not sane to go to school and off to a padded cell I would go.

          Thinking about school I open my eyes and stare at the blank ceiling. I liked going to school a lot. It helped get my mind off of things that I never liked to think about, but I can't stay at school and work all the time. At home, my mind was clouded with haunting thoughts and memories that I never liked to even see but it seemed at some points that I was lost in my own little forest of hell showing me every memory that I had loved so much when she had been with me. At school thought she seemed to go away as my head was filled with math problems and projects that I had to finish. I put a hand on my heart feeling my heart and telling myself that I was alive and that was what I should be happy for, thankful for, it but I was not happy or thankful that I was alive. I was thinking about her as tears of silence rolled to the corenrs of my eyes and side down onto my pillows. I forced myself to move and get dressed but could not stop the tears from rolling down my face and making it very clear that I was not going to have fun if I was cring while walking to school today. I just didn't want today to end. After school, I was going to have to go to my therapist. She is nice but I don't like seeing her every other day, which is what my mother makes me do.

          I tugged off my pants that I wore last night to bed as I opened up my drawers to get some clean ones. I pulled out black yoga pants and slipped them on. They were soft like silk and touched the ground, meaning I would know if they got the hem wet. I closed that drawer and slipped on a long sleeve black shirt that was sung on my arms. My mother hated when I wear these during the summer telling me that I would get a heat stroke or something like that. I never listened to her. I would wear bright if I wanted and right now I felt like a dark color got my mood across. It could be 90 degrees or something but I could be caught in black. Grabbing my comb from off my dresser I make a stop to the bathroom to use it and brush my teeth. I was slowly brushing all of the sleep out of my red unkempt hair as I was walking out of the bathroom my sister rushed past me giggling and looking like she had not slept at all. I heard the shower turn on and knew that she was not going to be out of that until someone yelled at her. Yawning I walked down the stairs to get some milk.

         I saw that my mother and father had put out some milk and were now sitting at the table waiting for me to join them. I looked at them confused for a moment before taking my seat and grabbing my milk. Looking over at my father first I saw that he wore worry around his eyes like scars. In his brown eyes, I could see axioty looking at me. It was like a demon that took him over. I looked over at my mother to that tha she wore panic on her face that showed in the worry lines above her eyebrows. I saw horrid looking bags of a sleepless night under her eyes. While her eyes showed love and consere looking back at me. I sat my glass down and looked at my hands knowing that they were going to tell me something that I did not want to hear. "Sweetheart? You're not in trouble. We just need to talk. It is very important. can you listen to us for a few moments?" I heard my mothers soft voice speak as she laid a hand on my own. I drew my hand away from hers like it had burned me. I knew that I had made her upset by doing that small movement but I just did not want to be touched right now. I didn't look up at her but I didn't run away either. She sighed and went to talk again softly as though she was trying not to scare away a rabbit, "You're father and I think... think that it would be best if you take a break from school. Rest and get yourself back together. You have been a bit distance for a while and we only want what is best for you. Please, would you take a break Ya know, go easy on yourself?" My head shot up as I stared at her. No way was I going to do that. I was not going to stop going to school. I was not going to do that just because she was worried I was overworking myself. I stared at her until she shifted uncomfortably before I shot up from my chair and stomped to the front door. I heard my mother gasp and come after me and knew that my father would be after her. I forgot about my homework that I had left on my desk for my math and science classes and just left the house with a beat up old backpack slung over my back. I didn't care what they said I was going to school until the school year ended. Walking out the front door I slammed it behind me and heard it open right after I had shut it. I knew that the people around us were watching but I didn't care.

          Nothing anyone said or did was going to make me not go to school. The school was the only place I had left that I could run to. I couldn't run to my favorite park. She and I had walked up tot hat park some many times and that was where she had been killed. I couldn't go to the woods. She and I would go there all the time and play. We had so much fun almost everywhere in this big city. The only place that I found safe enough to go was to school. There I had no good and found thoughts of us. We met there and that was it. Going to the same school was where it started but we did not have fun there. We had all the same classes at the same times but nothing about that was fun. From the fit that I was throwing on not going to school. I knew that none of my teachers were going to like me today. They might be a little worried, but since she was killed they had all pulled me aside and asked why I had picked up my grades.  I gave them very vague answers while not really even seeing them. I held it together long enough to turn the corner and get on the city bus to take me to my school. I hated taking the school bus so I always took the city bus to get to school. The school that I went to was about an hour walks away. About a 15 minute drive. But ten minutes by bus if you got on the right one. I looked straight ahead and knew that a few people had gotten creeped out by it until my stop. I got off and walked into the school holding back tears and angry. My mother and father thought that they could stop me from doing something that was keeping me very sane for the time being. Since my friend had lost her life I could not think about eating or drinking water. It was like my mind had made a flip to turn off everything that might have worked and kept me alive. I was the only thing keeping myself in check. Making sure that I had something to eat with me at all times making myself a water bottle on days I couldn't stomach food.

I got off the bus and walked to the school building only a few feet away from me. It was a big school but only a few hundred kids in each grade level. From ninth grade all the way to 13th grade. It could be better but I am getting more noticed by teachers because of the fact that I am working much harder than I used to, but I think that they see through the little act I know that I play. I am only working harder to get my mind off things, and they can see it. I walk into my first class, math with Mr. Snurmen. He smiled at me as I walked into his classroom that was empty for all but him and me. "Do you need some more help, Lauren Hunter?" He asked me watching me as I walked farther into the classroom to take my seat. I nodded my head and got my notes and math notebook out of my backpack that I had gotten out of my locker. He smiled and got up to sit right next to me.

          "What I am getting confused on is this right here. I know that we went over Binomials but the more times I read my notes the more I get confused about them," I told him. He smiled and looked over my homework smiling at it. I could tell that he was looking for something that I could try and do better, but he had taught me every single trick in his book that he knew how to do. He smiled at it and handed it back to me.

          "You do understand binomials but what you need to work on is quadratics. You don't seem to understand it. Here let me help you out a bit more. I am going to advise that you ask questions in class more, Lauren. I am not going to be here tomorrow morning so you will have a sub and she is not going to help you in the morning. I have told her to not help you in the morning or after school if you were thinking about staying a little while longer to get some help that you don't really need. You are doing just fine in math and all of your other classes from what I hear. Anyway, this is the formally you will have to know," He wrote down the factored form to help me try and find the vertex of the problem. I was more thinking about the fact that he was not going to be here tomorrow and I wasn't going to get help. I wasn't going to come to school if my mom and dad had their way. I was about to tell him that when the bell rang and the class filled with people. I pulled all of my things closer to me and watched as everyone came in and took their seats, and the class started.

          I was hardly listening when the role was called and my name was skipped over because he already knew that I was here. I snapped out of it the moment I heard him start to teach the class about the x-intercepts and began to write down the notes of everything he was saying and writing on the board. You would be amazed by how many times I look up in the class from my notes. It was why I liked his class, because he said everything that he wrote down on the board because he knew that people would be too busy to look up from their notebooks to see it, and he told everyone in perfect detail. Math wasn't my strong point but I was trying to get much better at it, mostly because it was helping me stay at the top of the class and it was going to get me into a good place. I was already in a great place. Top of all my classes, with A's from the second half of the year and on. That was when she had gone away. I heard the bell ring after an hour and got everything packed up and was out the door and onto my next class all the way across the school.

          I was going to the science hall on the other side of the school, walking faster than most people with my head down and hearing everything that was said around me. I made it to the classroom in a minute because of how fast I was walking. This was Ms. Phillips room and I was going to need to talk to her about getting some more help on my school work. The moment I walked in she had the same worried look on her face as my mom and dad had when I ran out of the house. "Lauren, your mom called me this morning right after you left your home in a hurry. You left your homework there, so I will expect to get it tomorrow before my class starts," She told me, "She also mention that you will not be coming to school anymore after today." I saw her hesitate slightly as she watched me put my things down under my desk. She walked over to me and took my hand, "Lauren listen to me. We all know you have been going through something and it is okay if you want to talk or leave early. It is okay. I want you to know that we, teachers, do know something has been up with you working a lot harder than you normally do. Tell me, Lauren, what is going on?" She asked me still holding my hand. I yanked it away from her like she burned me.

          "Nothing. I was having a problem on the homework last night and now I forgot it so I can't get your help on it. Dang it well, do you have a spare homework sheet? I still really need help on this problem," I told her changing the topic as fast as I could. She shook her head at me and pulled out a spare homework sheet. I looked through it and point at the one with how much air would it take to make a hot air balloon rise and fall. She shook her head slightly at me and leaned over it to see it more clearly. She had just started to explain how it was done when a very loud group of students step into the room followed by more and more and just then the bell rang. She gave me a sorry look and walked to the front of the classroom. I was going to need to do these after school and during lunch more than just in the morning.

          I had to avoid looking at the teacher or anyone in the room for the rest of my science class. The teacher would always come back and look at me just like my mother and then I would see other people in the classroom follow where she was looking and see me with my head in my notebook taking notes. I was very unfortunate because halfway through the class she said that everyone had to work in a group of three and no one had wanted to work with me so I ended up being in a group of four with little if anyone in the group who was really focused on doing work. Halfway through the class, I had to get up and go to the restroom just to not be started at anymore. I went back to the class when it was almost done and saw that she had let the class out early. I grabbed my stuff and started to stuff it in my bag and go to my next class, but was stopped and held back. "Do you feel better now? And your group got a two because of you," She told me thoughtfully. I looked up at her in shock.

          "I know that you always say take responsibly if it was your fault but this was not my fault. It was theirs. They kept staring at me like I had grown a second head! ... Oh well, fine I guess I can't talk you out of getting me a good grade so what can I do to improve on my grade?" I asked her looking back down at the floor. When she didn't answer for a minute I looked up at her and saw that she was frowning at me. I shook my head and went to grab up the rest of my stuff. If she wasn't going to tell me then I wasn't going to stay behind and wait till she told me. I finished stuff in my notebook and papers back into my backpack before she answered.

          "Nothing. You are top of the class, missing only one thing, and there is nothing I can do to make you look up from the notebook you are always looking in. I haven't even seen you read a book in a month. And your grades have been spot on the dot since then. Are you still reading? Everytime you read I see something different in you. Like you're ... not here. I don't see that now and now is when you need it the most. Please just read a book again, or at least try to for your mother. If not for her then do it because you need it for your own health," She told me looking at me very seriously. I shrugged her off and almost ran out of her classroom to my next one.

          The last class before lunch that I had was English VIII. I liked writing the most so I had more of it in my day than most. These were the only classes that I never had to stay after to even try to get a better grade in. I had one notebook just for one script that I was making in another class. I walked in and sat down while I pulled out my notebook with the short story I was working on for this class. The project for the week was to make a short story using everything that we know and to turn it in on Friday with nothing misspelled or the short story, not complete. It had to look like someone had gone through it and scrubbed out everything and polished it to make it seem like a class full of high school students had not been forced to write a short story and have it turn out bad. The teacher looked up from his desk. I liked this teacher the most out of any of my teachers. He understood things and could read people better than they could read themselves.

          "I see that you do not even give yourself a free second," Mr. Sculks told me coming over and reading over my shoulder at my story. I moved my hands to hid it and heard him chuckled slightly. "Why do you hide your work? You are much better than you think, and besides, I am going to read it at some point. I do have to grade this," He said and walked to stand right in front of me. He looked about 80 but he was really only 60 years old. I sighed and uncovered my work and held it out for him to see. He shook his head with a smile, but took it and looked it over. I could see that he was enjoying reading my story. He had given us all the same thing to write about. The prompt of it was that it had to be about a teen girl going through something really life to change. I knew that at the time he was thinking about me when he gave that out to read. "I like how you are using this prompt. It seems that you are putting more into this than the rest. Would you like to have a day to just read someone else's story?" He asked me and handed me back my notebook. I shook my head and looked up as I heard him start to laugh and lean on the back of the chair in front of me.

          He was still there when people started to come in, "Are you sure? I can see that a lot of people in this class would like to see and hear what you have written. If you are sure then mind if I read a bit of it out to the class?" He asked looking at everyone as they came in through the open door and made their way to their seats. No one in this class was a Junior, but me. I was in 10th grade. I knew that if I said no to this he was just going to call me out and have me read it myself. I looked down at my notebook and held it out to him without saying anything and without a moment of warning, I felt it leave my hands. I did not look up when he started to call people for the role. Most of my teachers just skip over me in the role because I am there before everyone else and they know that I am there, and he did skip over me like normal. I looked up as I heard him call my name out and he smiled something that he meant to be reassuring. "Now that I have EVERYONE's attention. Shall I begin reading out this story that one of your classmates has agreed to let me read?" Everyone nodded knowing who he was about to read from.

          "Well, you might not know much about me but I am in your class. I know that many of you have gone through much more in life than me but something has been on my mind and I haven't been able to get it out in the open. My best friend died to a drunk driver a couple of months back. She was the only friend that I really had, and her death did change me. I don't know if you have been through worse, but I have not been through life as much as some people who much worse things happen to. So this is my life changing story.

          "It began on a nice day. It was a weekend of course, and my friend and I were walking to the biggest park in town. Some of you might know it as the upside down park. We like it so much because of how big the park is. The one part of the park we go and play in is the wooded area. She was Wolfe, as I called her. And I was Vampy, as she called me. We would play a game that we made up. It is called the Vampire Werewolf game of tag. It is where one was the vampire and the other the werewolf would run around in the little-wooded area and we would chase each other around. It was a nice day and we were playing the game until the moon started to rise in the sky. I hadn't even seen that the sun was setting. The best part about the moon rising was that every time she saw the moon she would howl up at it and I would join her and we always sounded like a pack of wolves making a time and place for a secret meeting. I heard her howl and howled right back to her laughing. I looked up and howled back this time in warning because we were going to have to go back to my house soon and she howled an answer and we went outside the woods, as I called them. She was smiling and laughing and I was too.

          "If we had been paying closer attention to the road we would have seen him. But we weren't and then she wasn't there. I had stood far enough away from the road where as she loved to walk almost in the middle. 'Wolfe? Hey, I-' was as far as I got in my question. She wasn't standing next to me anymore. She was laying on the ground a few feet behind me as I saw the driver keep going. I looked up and down the road trying to find her in the dark but could see hardly anything. I had to get my phone before I saw her. When I saw the mangled body of what used to be my best friend I don't know how to explain this. I was in shock and that she was just hurt and not killed. I tried to wake her up by telling her that she would be fine. I tried to push her to wake up. I tried almost everything I could until I felt my eyes heavy with tears.

          "The next thought in my mind was 'please don't let Wolfe be dead' I ran over to..."

          " It is said, Wolfie. Not just Wolfe, " I muttered under my breath. The teacher looked over at me and smiled.

          Starting the story again," Her and felt for her pulse and when I found none I screamed for help and looked around in the moonlight to see if anyone saw what had happened. No one had seen what had happened. I felt my face burn red hot and tears wet my eyes as I heard a small little howl come from somewhere. It sounded like it was in pain. I raised my head to answer it and out came a long painful howling cry from me. I closed my eyes as the howl went on and on and on. After a moment I felt myself slump to the ground right next to her, and then nothing. I felt nothing after that. If someone had told me at the start of the day that she would be killed I would have laughed at them, but at that moment the only thing I could even think was 'I am going to get him back. I am going to hurt him.' I had a plan in my head about this drunk driver that took her from me. I was lucky that the next time I opened my eyes I was in the backseat of a car all by myself. Someone was driving the car I felt that it was moving. I raised my head a little to see-" The bell that made him stop and look up at the class with tears in his eyes made him stop reading and close the book. He waved everyone away and when everyone was gone he gave me my notebook back. I took it slowly and gave him a tissue. He waved me away as well.

          "I am sorry to hear about that," He snuffled. "Not- not many can make me- me cry like this," He whispered. I looked at him for a moment and when he regained himself I left the room with little thought at all. Now the class knew part of what I had gone through, and it wasn't even lunchtime. I had made a teacher cry, one teacher worry, and another just flat out tell me that something was wrong, all before lunch.

I walked to my next class as fast as I could. I normally skipped out on lunch most of the time now. If my stomach was being good then I ate something but I just haven't been hungry lately which was making it much easier for me to completely zone into my work. My next class was screenwriting. Ms. Flower was a nice teacher but she did tend to hover over me a lot. Even more so since she heard about what had happened. Lucky for me she was in her class waiting for me. I didn't knock on the door, instead, I just walked right in and made myself a cup of her tea. It was some kind of herbal mix that really worked. It always seemed to spread through you and warm you from the inside and make you just so focused. She once told me the name of it but I forgot about it. She smiled and looked up at me as I took my seat and got out a few of my things. "Do you even eat anymore?" She asked me. I shook my head knowing that she would tell my mother, but not caring if she did. "Does the tea taste any different to you? Some have said that it did," She told me watching me just like how I would image an eagle watching a mouse up in the air. I looked back at her and shook my head again and took another sip of tea noticing that it did taste slightly different. When she saw this I thought I saw a small smile on her face. "Can you tell me something dear?" She asked me as I puzzled over the different taste. "Can you tell me why you don't eat anymore?" She asked getting closer and sitting next to me in a chair.

           "Because I miss her," I answered not really thinking. I looked up at her shocked that I had told her such a thing. I hadn't been talking at school very much. I could see the shock on her face as well.

          "You miss your friend?" She asked quietly. I nodded my head and felt myself get tense. I took another sip of the tea thinking that it would calm me down, but all it did was make me tenser. When she saw this she changed the topic. "I have another question for you. How has your screenplay been coming?" She asked me smiling. I looked over at her beaming at me. For some reason I wanted, no I had a feeling, that I shouldn't trust her, but I pulled out my notebook with my script and gave it to her. She beamed at me once more and flipped through the pages. "You have gotten far in this. And I see that it is about you lost a friend. Are you going to call it that? My Lost Friend?" I shook my head and turned to the first page and pointed at the top of the page where it read The Misson Of Finding. That was what I had named the play because I thought that it seemed to fit better than anything. It was of me trying to find myself a new place. I had been on one path and then noticed that I had gone backward and was at the start of it once more without someone to walk by. She got the idea and gave the notebook back to me. "I have not heard that lovely voice of your in a long while, Launer, Why? Is it because you miss her? You seem to do a lot of things because of grief. I nodded and put my head on the table. I knew that if she didn't stop talking soon that I was going to start crying again.

          I felt a hand on my back rub in a weird pattern before it left and then she stood up and moved away from me. I looked up and saw that she was waiting for me. It seemed she wanted me to go somewhere with her. I stood up and looked at my things before I felt her hand grab mine and tug me towards her front desk. She let go and knelt down in her weird dress to unlock the last drawer. I felt like I was going to have to back up, but when she looked up at me I didn't want to move. She pulled out four bowls and a candle with a small lighter. I saw her pull out a few bags of things and a few of those sticks that I saw a movie a while back. I think they called them fireworks, but I wasn't sure what she was doing with them. It was a little early to have fireworks, and they are illegal in Colorado. The weirdest thing I saw her pull out of her drawer was a bag full of dirt. I looked towards the door thinking that I could maybe go and get another teacher or something when it suddenly closed itself. I looked over at Ms. Flower to see her smiling at me and standing straight before me. "Help me will you not?" She asked and handed me the bag of dirt.

          "What do you-"

          "I am a witch. Today is Litha, also known as Midsummer. I should be doing this outside and I normally would alone but you need a friend at the moment and I want you to help me cast my circle. It will make you feel slightly better. Please, will you help me?" She asked quietly. I looked at her for a moment as she watched me waiting for what I would say. I nodded my head slowly before she told me what to do. "I want you to fill this bowl with water. This bowl with dirt. I want you to leave one empty. And I have a candle somewhere that is red. I want you to find that and light it with this," She gave me the lighter before she paused and asked, "You know how to use you don't you?" I nodded my head and showed her. She smiled and went away to move things. I poured some of the bags of dirt into a bowl first. I then left the room to go and fill up the other bowl with water. I went to the girl's bathroom and filled it with cold water. When I went back to the room all the desks were moved and the fire already was laying on the floor. I saw her standing in a nice robe colored emerald green. I gave her the bowls one by one as she stuck the little firework things in all of them but the candle that I had hunted down for her. I found it on top of one of the lockers right outside the girl's bathroom. She placed them all in a circle that I saw was fading slightly on the floor. She smiled and raised a finger to her lips. She walked the outside of the circle clockwise saying, "AS I sweep, may the besom chase away all negativity and chaotic energies from this circle that it may be cleared and made ready for my work." She carefully bent over and lit each of the little firework things in the bowls still going clockwise around the circle. It was at that moment I saw that she had left an inch of the circle not touching. Meaning that the circle she drew was not a circle just yet. I looked over at her with my head tilted. She ignored me as she went on. I saw that she closed her eyes every time she lit the little firework, and every time it shot up in the air and stayed there.

          The moment each was done she came over to me and turned me towards what I thought was north and stood next to me saying, "I call upon thee Elemental Earth! As we are kith and kin, come and meet with me as I prepare my Circle. Secure and guard the boundary of the North! So mote it be!" She ended and took my hand to move me towards the other bowls. We stopped in front of the red candle and this time I saw her close her eyes as she took my hand and raised it up in the air while turning us south," I call upon thee Elemental Fire! As we are kith and kin, come and meet with us as I prepare my circle. Secure and guard the boundary of the South! So mote it be!" She said and I could have sworn the flame jumped higher in the air. She lowers my hand and walked me to the empty bowl. She turned me east and raised my hand with hers again while I felt the urge to chant with her. I opened my mouth as she started we both chanted the same words," I call upon thee Elemental Air! As we are kith and kin, come and meet with us as we prepare our circle. Secure and guard the East. So mote it be!" We ended and walked to the last bowl that we hadn't stood in front of. She held my hand as I raised mine up and she faced us west. I spoke the words all by myself this time without her to help," I call upon thee Elemental Water! As we are kith and kin, come and meet with me as I prepare my circle. Secure and guard the boundary of the West. So mote it be!" I looked over at Ms. Flower as she smiled at me and went to get a stick. She pulled me to the center of the circle and we faced North with her touching the stick above her head. She spoke with her eyes closed, "The Circle is cast as a circle of Power; anchored by the Elementals and blessed from above and below; inside and outside; around and about me. So mote it be!" She and lowering the wand and walking with me this time clockwise around the circle. I could almost see animals standing outside of the circle looking and when we passed the small little gap that had been in the circle it was gone. I could see a light softly coming from the ground in the middle of the circle. I saw a bull in front of the bowl of dirt. An eagle above the empty bowl. A lion in front of the candle. And a dolphin leaping up from the ground near water.

          "You see them too?" She asked me in a whisper. I nodded not looking away from the lion, it was watching me like I was food and I just did not trust it but somehow I knew that it was not going to hurt me. "What I am going to do for you is a cleansing spell. I believe that you need it," She said and I felt the power in the air change. It was like it knew what she had said as well. "It does know. It can hear me as well," she said when I looked over at her. She was smiling brightly and held a small bundle of what looked like burnt paper tied with string. She saw me looking and told me," It is only going to help. It is called a sage spell. I thought that your mother might not like if I did a spell on you right here and now without her knowing about it. And no she doesn't know about me. You and my coven are the only ones who do know. Now stand right in the middle of the circle and do not move unless I tell you to move," She told me and pushed me into the center facing me towards the South. I didn't know why but she choice too. She began to chant something under her breath as she waved around the sage thing. I saw that her eyes were closed. I held my arm out and she waved the sage around my arm. She was waving the sage all around me. When she had gone over all of me with her sage she stopped chanting and opened her eyes smiling. "How do you feel?" She asked me looking more like a mother to me than my real one at the moment. I smiled a real smile for the first time in a while. She looked at me for another moment before she went back to cleaning up the circle. She opened the circle, from what I could tell and moved everything back the way it was. I sat back down at my desk right as the lunch bell rang and everyone made their way into the class. Like most of my English classes, I was the only 10th grade in them.

          The teacher smiled at me once more and then began to tell the class when the screenplay was due. She also said that it had to be more than six pages front and back and asked me to show mine to everyone. I grabbed my notebook and opened the page to where I left off and everyone looked at me amazed, most of the notebook was completely filled with words of this screenplay. "The class is almost over you know. I know that you only had three weeks, but it is almost over and she is the one with the most work done on her script than anyone else," She said in her normal teaching voice. "Come on and bump up the work guys. I know that you can. And see you tomorrow," She called as the bell rang and everyone grabbed up their things and left the room. I was the last one to leave the room and wished her the best of the luck on what she was going to be doing on this day. I walked out of the room with my head bowed to the ground. Watching the floor and feet around me than anyone else. I was just about to enter the classroom when I heard, "Lauren Hunter. Please come to the front office. Lauren Hunter, please come to the front office." I looked at the teacher who had just seen me while he smiled and waved me to go. I sighed and went to the front office. Walking much slower than I had been before, I was going against crowds of people on their way to class knowing that not one of them was really seeing me. I slowly weaved my way to the front office where I saw my mother and father standing there looking worried with the principle behind them looking more worried about me than anyone else in the room. I followed quietly behind everyone as we were lead to the conference area.

          It took a moment for someone to speak and when someone did it was the principle and not my mom and dad. "I heard that you ran from your home this morning, Lauren. Are you causing trouble?" He asked me with his loud voice. I shrunk into myself and shook my head. "Well, that is good to hear. Now tell me why you ran away this morning and came here of all places," He told me. I looked down at the table knowing that I was not going to answer him. I had been mute at school for a month, but I had gotten most of my grades turned all the way around. I had been at a D- now I was at an A. "Lauren, it is going to be helpful if you talk to us," He said getting out of his chair and coming to sit right next to me. My mother and father grabbed each other's hands and looked at each other very worriedly. I wanted to see and almost scream at them. They were acting like... like... like worried parents and I didn't like it. I growled at him when he reached for my hand. He looked at me strangely before I felt this weird feeling in my head. It felt like someone was in my head. He nodded slightly and looked over to my mother and father, "She will be alright. I am just going to talk to her alone in my office. I want to tell her something that she needs to know." I looked up in surprise at him. He was smiling very slightly and I had a thought that it wasn't for my parents. They looked a little more happy and unworried by his words and got up from the table handing me some of the homework that I had left at home. I got up from my chair and followed the principle into his office and watched as he shut and locked the door behind him. I watched him put blanks under the door to keep people from listening to the conversation. I was getting scared that he was going to do something to me. He took a deep breath and let it out. Looking over at me he smiled a gentle smile that calmed me somehow.

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