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The Lumous Chronicles
I plopped on the bed and it sounded with a loud creak. I put my head on a pillow while I ran my fingers gently over the bed feeling cold but soft sheets. The sun's rays defiantly came through my blinds destroying their purpose of keeping it out. Most days I would mind and make a fuss about fixing it but today I was too tired and to entranced in the way the rays made the wooden floor in my bedroom glow. I was a vegetable after coming home from work and night school but I had to deal with it like anything else. I needed to take a nap before I had to go to my second job in four hours.
I shut my eyes but there was a soft glow from my eyelids that left me unable to fall asleep; the sunlight. I opened my eyes and groaned. The universe really wanted to do this to me NOW? I turned on my side causing my small bed once again making it creak and stared at the wall till I could sleep. I stayed like that for about a half an hour on the border line of sleep and consciousness till there was total blackness. I was in pure bliss until I was awaken when I heard a large crash and beeping sound.
I woke up disoriented and dizzy. My eyes were droopy and I had a headache and the beeping sound didn’t help with it either. I propped myself on my hands and whispered to myself "S***". I grabbed the covers with my hands in fists and lifted them from my tense body. I got out of the bed and ran down the hallway of my family’s small apartment. I followed the sound into the kitchen where the beeping was coming from. I saw my sister, Lydia, in the kitchen with a burnt omelet in a pan with smoke coming out of it and trying to hit the fire alarm with the broom with her other arm. If this had been on other circumstances I would have died laughing. But this was the circumstance that if we had too many noise complaints we get kicked out of the building. When she saw me a relief swept over her face but so did horror because she knew what I was going to do to her after I fixed the problem. I shoved her out of the way and took a chair to stand up on it. I lifted the lid of the fire alarm and took the batteries out of it. I turned to her to give her an agitated stare. But she returned that stare with a dumbfounded look. She realized she could have done that from the start but as usual she wasn’t a practical thinker.
"What are you doing? I told you our stove is broken! If you turn it on this will happen!" I said pointing at her burnt egg and pan to emphasize my point.
"But if you fixed it this wouldn't be a problem; besides you never said anything about it! How am I supposed to know? I'm not a freaking fortuneteller!" She screamed flailing the broom in her hand almost hitting me.
I grabbed the broom from her hand before she could poke my eye and cause me to go blind. I took it and set it down far away before I could cause her to go blind on purpose.
"Listen I'm not made out of money! I'm already at two jobs to pay for that stupid phone of yours which might I add you are on it constantly and therefore didn't listen to me when I told you about it. And this isn't the only time when you've almost destroyed this house! And did you even think? We could get a complaint from the neighbors about this noise and get kicked out and live on the streets! Tell me do you want that?" I yelled and I looked at her with an annoyed glance.
She looked like she might cry. Her big blue eyes were watery and her jaw was shaking slightly. She didn't look 16 anymore she looked more like 5 years old which made my guilt go up. Ugh, I hate when she does that. I didn't mean it; it was the lack of sleep and food, and dehydration that was talking. My sister knew our circumstances but I never really talked about it with her. She's always seen me as a super sister that never gets tired. I was a force to be reckoned with but when I do have these occasional explosions she's shocked right back to the real world and to our situation. But she really had to grow up and take responsibility. Not all responsibility but some. Like listening to me when I told her the stove was broken and not to use it.
I took a deep breath and stepped off the chair. I didn’t need fights to end my week. It was already crappy with the two jobs and the night school the last thing I wanted was to make an enemy of my sister. I took a deep breath to calm myself, "Listen I'm sorry. I'm just really tired. I didn't mean it."
She nodded but she was already silently crying. I sighed and hugged her even though she tried to rub me off. She knows she can't get away from me even though she tries. I'm a good foot taller than she is and I weigh more than her so it's hard to get away from my grip.
"I'm sorry" she said sobbing quietly into my shirt. I knew she really wasn’t sobbing over me yelling at her over the stove, she was better then that. But she was crying for our crappy situation overall. Our father was dead when they were young, when I was just eleven. Our mother has been taking care of us but she was diagnosed with cancer three years ago so she can’t do much. It was up to me to provide for the family and I did the best that any person could do.
I smiled while petting her straight brown hair. I gave her a kiss on the forehead. "It's alright it was the lack of sleep talking."
My brother walked in rubbing his eyes and yawning. He looked at us and said "What is with this PMS fest?"
I turned around looking my brother, Luke, straight in the eye (he and I were the same height but he was only sixteen, the twin of my sister) and gave him a good-hearted smack on the back of his head.
“Ow” He said rubbing his head. “It was only a joke.”
"Good morning to you too Justin Beiber."
"I told you man it's copy right. I've had this hair style way before that poser." He said running his hand through his Justin Beiber-esk hair. It was light brown and straight like his twin's.
"Honestly Luke how the hell did you sleep all through that?" Lydia asked.
He looked at her funny. "Sleep through what?"
She rolled her eyes at him.
He suddenly became aware of his surroundings. “Ugh. What is that nasty smell?” he said giving Lydia a vomit face.
“You. Who else?” She said while rolling her eyes at him again and turned around to get cereal from the cabinets.
“Ouch that hurt sis.” He said grabbing his heart dramatically.
I just silently laughed at the two of them bickering.
I took the pan from my sister's hand and told the both of them to go and eat cereal for now. I cleaned up the mess and went into my room so I could go back to sleep. When I plopped on the soft bed I looked at the clock and it was a half an hour till my next job. Ugh. So much for eight hours of sleep. I suppose I could go with only two hours of sleep. I forced myself out of bed and I quickly dressed up putting on jeans, a t-shirt, and some boots. I didn't bother to do anything with my unruly curly hair or put on any makeup because I didn’t have time. I’d rather keep the job than look semi-decent jobless. I grabbed my jacket and purse. But before I left I went into the room at the end of the hallway.
I opened the door and creaked. Inside the room was dark and musty. It smelled of vomit and death. I dreaded going into this room because it scares me every time I stepped into it but I had to see her. I looked on the bed. It was mom. She was thin and fragile looking. Respirators and machines that I didn’t understand were hooked to her. Yet she sat there reading seeming perfectly content being locked in this room all day.
“Mom?” I said when she heard me she looked up and smiled. How can she be happy? I thought to myself.
“Hi honey, come in.” She said to me. Her kind blue eyes were starring at me and they crinkled slightly when they smiled. Her straight black hair was frizzy and pulled up into a messy bun.
I stepped in the room and went over to her.
“Good morning mom.” I said grabbing her hand. It was so thin and cold. Only skin and bones…
She squeezed my hand. “Good Morning.” She said and looked at the clock. “You’re going to be late for work.”
“I’m going right now but I just wanted to see how you were doing.” I said
“I’m doing fine.” She said. She lied.
We looked at each other silently because we both knew she wasn’t doing well but she had to stay positive for the twins. She was on her death bed. Only a few weeks left the doctors said. She didn’t respond to the Chemotherapy well and we’ve tried everything. But it couldn’t be prevented. Most days she’s out of it; sitting and sleeping in her bed mumbling things. Usually at night I hear her moans coming from her room but I don’t dare open the door during those times. I can’t and she wouldn’t want me to. She doesn’t want me to see her like this and neither do I. Mother was the strong one in the family. She kept this family together when dad died. She was the one to care for us for as long as I could remember. When she had her lucid moments like this it gave me hope until I would hear her moans through the walls again.
“Mom we don’t have to do this you know if we went to—”
“Honey go to your work you’ll be late.” She said abruptly.
“Tell me how Olivia is will you? And remember to give the twins lunch money.”
I nodded and kissed her clammy forehead. “Love you mom.”
“Love you too honey.” She smiled and I smiled at her before left.
When I opened the door I found myself starring down at an old plump Asian woman who was giving me an evil pissed of stare. This was my land lady, Cindy.
“Where is your rent money this month Elita?” She yelled at me.
“I’m working on it. I’ll have it for you at the end of the week.” I said.
“That’s what you told me last week.” She said. I didn’t want to have to tell her that I used that money to buy my mothers new medication.
“No excuses. That sorry mother of yours and your entire family haven’t been paying and you’ve been disturbing my paying tenants. This was your last chance. You’ll move out by the end of this month.” She said.
“No you can’t do this.” I said pleading with her.
“Yes I can.” She said turning around but I grabbed her by the shoulder quickly.
“I said I would give you it this week and I will. So you will not kick us out.” I said and stared at her intently by squinting my eyes slightly. I could feel a slight spark in the air.
Suddenly her eyes widened and got all misty and clouded and she stuttered when she talked. “Oh…oh…okay.” She said and she turned around and walked away. Her limbs looked like that of an automation as she awkwardly marched away.
“What was that?” I heard a voice behind me.
I turned around and it was Luke.
A panic shot up me afraid he saw that but I kept cool. I didn’t try to muster up a smile or anything because I knew that would raise suspicion in his eyes. “Nothing it was just Cindy asking for the rent. Now go and get dressed for school.” I said. Something in his face told me he didn’t believe it but he said nothing and walked down the hallway to his room.
I breathed something of a sigh of relief and walked out the door.
While I was making my daily commute to the subway and on my way to work in Manhattan I couldn’t stop thinking. There was a cure for mom’s cancer and I knew it. But she wouldn’t go for it. Did she want to die? I was angry at her for not saying yes. How can she be so stupid? If she wanted to be here for the twins and to be a real mother she would have done it and saved her life. But I had to respect her wishes. We couldn’t get involved with that dark business like my father had been; it cost his life. After that Mom was adamant about me never ever taking my father’s place and never to tell my siblings about it.
When I got to the coffee shop I worked at I quickly walked into the employee room and punched my card in. When I turned around to go hang my coat I saw Olivia. She was leaning against the wall with her arms folded causally and a killer smile on her face. Her wavy light red hair was running down her back and her green eyes glinted with happiness. Oh god…
I rolled my eyes at her. “You didn’t…” I said exasperated.
She pushed off the wall and ran to me and grabbed my arms with her hands squeezing them. “I did!” She squealed.
Olivia she was my best-friend and she worked here too. We’ve known each other since we were little kids. Her father is in the same business mine was. That was the only part of that life I was able to keep when my mother ostracized the family. She knew my family’s standing on the business so she never mentioned me going into it or even mentioned it at all.
“You always do this! You break up with Clyde because he cheated on you and said you’ll find another man. And then you do find another man. Then Clyde gets jealous and all romantic and asks you to come back and that he’ll never cheat on you again and you take him back.” I said
Her eyes get sad and a bit angry. “I believe in him this time. I saw him. He didn’t shave, eat, or sleep for days. He couldn’t live without me and he was all broken and sad and you’re just jealous because—”
I gently take her hands away from my arms and say “I don’t want to do this Ollie. I just had a break down in my house this morning. You date him if you want to.”
She gave me an understanding look. “Okay, I’m sorry.” Like I said she knows my whole situation.
I give her a slight smile and say “Okay. So tell me about what he did this time.”
She smiles and starts talking while I hang my coat and put on my apron. I walk into the front of the shop and start taking inventory while she blabbers on this ridiculous story about how Clyde sent her a message to come to the roof top and how there was a romantic dinner set up and an airplane wrote out in the sky “I was an idiot forgive me”. She really is a sucker to romance I thought to myself. I kept this thin smile and nodded at her even though I wanted to burst out laughing at the cheesiness of it all.
“Oh and I want you to come out with me tonight with Clyde.” She said smiling.
I gave her a look. “No way, I will NOT be a third wheel.”
“No you won’t. I mean a double date.” She said
“But I don’t have a…oh no you didn’t” I said giving her a dirty look.
She rubbed it off and pleaded “Please. One of Clyde’s friends is visiting town and he’s looking to meet someone.”
“Do you even know what he’s like?” I asked.
“Um…not really. I’ve never met him. All I’ve heard is that he works closely with Clyde’s family and they’re…childhood friends.” She said trying to word it right but I understood the true meaning she tried to cover up.
“I told you I do not associate myself with those kinds of people.” I said. I was washing dishes and was trying to restrain myself from splashing her with soap.
“May I remind you that you are one of those people and that having one date with someone your kind doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be thrusted back into that world.” She said.
Damn. She got me there. She might not show it but Olivia can be smart when she wants too and when she is it annoys the hell out of me. “I don’t want to go.” I said.
“Please” she said in a really small childish voice while giving me the puppy glance.
I sighed furiously and said yes which caused her to jump up and down squealing at which that point everyone in the shop was starring at us and I wanted to go into a ditch and die.
My boss, Mike walked over and eyed the both of us. “You can’t yell like that in the store! Is there a problem here?”
Olivia batted her eyes and said “I’m sorry Mike it was me.”
Mike had a huge crush on her and if he didn’t she would have been out of this job a long time ago. She used him to her advantage getting more breaks and days off and occasionally helped me get extra days off to go to doctor’s office with my mother. She wasn’t totally useless.
His tanned face lightly turned pink and his eyes were glowing with admiration but he couldn’t let his crush on Olivia turn him into a softy so he said sternly “Okay I’ll forgive you this time but don’t let it happen again.”
“I won’t.” She said smiling at him and walked away to go man the cash register.
I looked over at Mike. “Why don’t you just ask her out?”
Mike was handsome with tanned skin and muscle. He had wavy black hair and gorgeous hazel eyes. He was a bit older than us but then again Clyde was five years older than Olivia. He was smart, kind, and very understanding. Mike was perfect for her but she was too caught up with the beast (which I call Clyde occasionally) to really see that he was the perfect guy.
He gave me a hopeless look. “Elita, you know I’ve tried but she keeps running to that bastard of a boyfriend.”
I nod at him. “At least you don’t have to be forced to go on double dates with them.” I said darkly; I was thinking about how tonight’s is going to go.
He laughs and said “I’ll take the dishes from here you go man the cash register.”
I thanked him. At least when I get to interact with customers it will get everything out of my head for a couple of hours.
The rest of the day I took orders and made coffee. I looked at the clock. Yes! It’s only five minutes away till my lunch break. The things I hate about working at a coffee shop is that you smell like coffee beans even if you shower a million times and that there are people that come in and order their coffee really fast speaking coffee language and think they are superior than you. I looked at my next costumer and knew he was going to be one of those people. He had dark sun glasses even though it was dark and rainy outside. He wore a pea coat and had leather Italian shoes with nice dress pants (probably like $100 or more). He had good looks like a model. He had high cheek bones with messy long brown hair. His hair looked tousled but in the European model sort of way. I saw all the girls, even the geeky girls who’ve been on their computer all day look at him and gawk at his beauty. I immediately noticed he was really tall. Taller than me considering I was five feet and ten inches and he was about a foot taller than me which caused me to crane my neck when I looked at him.
“Hello sir what would you like to order?” I said and faked my best politician smile.
He took off his glasses and I had to stop myself from gasping when I saw his eyes. A thousand memories flooded my brain causing a sharp pain to enter in my stomach. I felt my eyes getting hot and my fists start to clench at my sides. I was going to throw up or start crying in the store. They were the darkest and the brightest shade of green ever like tree leaves in the summer. They were the same shade of green like my father...like them…
“I’ll take a vanilla cappuccino. Make it a large and put an extra shot of caffeine with foam.” He said. His voice was running your hands on silk; smooth and beautiful and regal. He had a slight French accent which added to its demeanor.
I punched it in the cashier while trying to reduce the shaking of my hands. I looked at him and I could tell by the look of his eyes he knew what I knew about him. He sized me up taking in everything about me. I was going to tell him knock it off but I didn’t want to say anything. I was just going to take his order and that would be the end of it. I quickly went to the coffee machine and started making his order. I was happy that the coffee machine was placed in the store were I could have my back turned to the costumer.
I gave him his drink and faked the best politician smile I could muster up with my emotional state right now. “Here you go sir that will be $3.75”
He smile at me and gave me a ten. “Keep the change.”
I took the bill. I looked at it and a small message popped out of it glowing a defiant green on the bill.
Meet me at Cleopatra’s needle during your break.
“What do you want?” I asked whispering.
He gave me a slight smile. “You’ll see.”
“How do I know you’re not a cereal killer or a rapist?”
“Now that I can’t tell you. Just go with your instincts Elita.” He said with a wink and turned and walked away.
“Oh my god! Who was that hot guy that just ordered from you? He seems mysterious in a tall dark and handsome sort of way.” She said
Yeah. He was mysterious. A mysterious jackass. But I didn’t say anything I just nodded and walked with her to one of the tables in the coffee shop. Usually we’d sit outside but it was freezing in New York mid-February.
I took out my lunch quietly and started eating my turkey sandwich shaken to what I’ve just seen. Olivia looked at me and she had a worried look. Her eyes got serious and her face was alert. She knew something was up.
“What happened? Did he hurt you?” she whispered.
“He…he had the same eyes as my father...the same eyes as them.” I said. My words shocked me. I mean I knew it but saying it made it seem more real.
Olivia’s eyes grew wide. “Are you sure?”
I nodded, I wasn’t more sure of anything in my life.
“I know you wouldn’t have been that shaken up by that. A lot of people have green eyes. Are you sure?” She said trying to rationalize the situation for my sake. But I knew it was useless.
“Yes. I am. He knew who I was. He even gave me a note saying to meet him now at the Park.”
“Go and meet him.” She said as a matter-of-a-fact.
I gave her a look. “What? Are you nuts? He could be a rapist for all I know.” I knew he wasn’t. I was trying to find an excuse to not go. My mother didn’t want me to meet any of them and neither did I.
“But he’s not. You just said he was one of them” She said so surely.
I looked down at the table and grasped my warm coffee cup letting my fingers run over the cardboard cup holder and the warmth seeping in to my numb fingers. I was trying to avoid her glare by being focused on the tiniest of details because I knew she was right. I knew he’s not but I was just trying to make an excuse. Any excuse. I didn’t want to have to face that world again. It caused too much pain and sorrow. I would never forgive myself if anything happened to my family again… I squeezed the coffee cup trying to calm myself.
I heard her sigh in an annoyed and angry way; a sound I rarely ever heard from her.
“You have to face this sometime. You can’t keep hiding.” She said.
I didn’t answer I just kept running my fingers over the coffee cup.
“I know you don’t like to hear politics of the Lumous provinces but there is talk of a war between the dominions. Seems that the Magus people have been trying to pick up the pieces after your father got assassinated and they're starting to regain strength but there is no King to lead them. And the other dominions that weren’t exactly friendly with your father’s kingdom want to take over. You know what this means. They need you.” She said in a needy voice.
There is a world parallel to ours which is the Lumous provinces. Whoever dictates those controls parts of the real world. If there is prosperity in Lumous there is prosperity on earth. If there is war in the Lumous there is war on earth. The heads of the Lumous provinces (also called dominions) not only control Lumous but actual empires in the real world. Since there are no more empires in modern times they control the business industries which have the real power over politics. The provinces are split with the five major supernatural: the Magus, Vampires, Therianthropes, the Fay, and the Ghouls. My father was the king of the Magus people. A magus is basically a warlock/witch. The Magus province is the most powerful of all provinces which make them the most sought after to be destroyed. My father knew this but he still had to become King anyway and he controlled the Magus province which gave him good territory in the real world. He owned several big industries in the real world like technology makers and big brand food companies in the US. He made many radical changes to the political system in Lumous which gave the people more power and took away the power of the royals. This caused tension with him and the elite but he didn’t care. His radical policies gave peace and prosperity so no one complained until his scandal which pushed him over the edge in the eyes of the royals. He married a human; my mother. People didn’t think it was serious until they had me, a half-human runt. Royals couldn’t take it anymore because their magi superiority views. They were slowly loosing power because of my father’s policies and now their future Queen was some half-human. Terrorist groups formed and they started attacking high officials of the other dominions. The other dominions thought it was my father’s doing. This set high tensions between the dominions and my father managed to make peace once again. But once he got it settled and under control someone assassinated him in cold blood once they realized the only way was to come to that. That’s the reason mother didn’t want me to go into the business. It meant ultimately death to me because I was half-human.
Her words shook me. “They need you.” But I didn’t know how to react to it. Why? Why now? They were pathetic. I didn’t care if they needed me. They never bothered to contact me or my family over all these years. After father died they shunned us from their society. They refused to give our mother the inheritance or any financial support so we’ve been living the way we’ve been living. Now they decide to choose me as a last resort?
“They don’t need me for anything. They have their powers. They have their money. They don’t need some half-human.” I said angrily. They took my father away from me and I didn’t take that lightly. They were just a bunch of selfish bastards only looking out for themselves.
Her voice got soft. “I never said you had to give them anything or lead the Magus, just hear him out that’s all. It’s your choice to make.”
I smiled bitterly still not looking at her. “If only that was true…” I said, something crazy snapped inside of me. I got up.
I stared at her from across the table and she looked surprised. “Come on. Lets go.” She looked surprised but didn’t question it and followed me.
I opened the door and a rush of wind from outside immediately went onto my face. It made my cheeks sting and my eyes water. I didn’t care though I quickly went onto the side walk with Olivia trying to weave my way to the stoplight. I was focused on one mission and that was to get there as discrepant and quickly as possible. I looked down and pushed my hands in my pockets trying to keep my cold fingertips warm. I tried focusing on the side walk and distracting myself so I don’t talk myself out of the going. Since it was the city there wasn’t really much to look at on the side walk except these little dark spots that used to be gum I tried humming a song. I looked up and found Olivia looking at me while we crossed the street to the park. She didn’t want to say anything because she could see how on the edge I was and I gave her a look thank you and she slightly nodded.
We finally arrived at Cleopatra’s needle and the sidewalk was damp with the melted snow. The sky was cloudy cast a dark ominous shadow across the whole city. It was depressing. I felt like it was a bad omen but coming from a person like me I didn’t know what to believe in anymore. I climbed up the stairs passing the two fake metal lions that guarded it. I wasn’t going to look for him so I folded my arms and leaned on a lion. I looked around and there was no one here. Me and Olivia waited for five minutes starring at each other.
“Maybe he’s just late.” She said looking at me hopefully.
“Maybe it’s just a set up or maybe he’s just a rude pompous jerk.” I said huffing. This was a total waste of my lunch break.
“Yes that’s exactly what I am.” He said stepping from behind the needle.
I didn’t turn around to look at him. I looked at Olivia and she seemed embarrassed for me that he heard me say that but I didn’t care. I waited until he came to face me. He looked as handsome as he had an hour ago and maybe even better…But no! I couldn’t let thoughts of that go into my head. This was business. He had a hint of a smile on his face and his sunglasses were off so I could see those eyes. Seeing them again, I thought, it would be better because I’ve seen them before but it hurt as much as the first time. But I was well prepared and the shock didn’t register in my face.
“At least you know it.” I said back at him still with my arms folded. I may not have been in the family business but I knew how to act like it. To make people feel inferior.
His amused expression didn’t change. “You are you’re father’s daughter. I wouldn’t have expected it of course you being raised in the humdrum world.”
“And I wouldn’t have expected your humdrum personality being raised in Lumous.” I shot right back at him.
He smiled. “You have such a sharp tongue. It’s almost admirable.”
I felt uncomfortable in his appreciatory gaze at me. I wasn’t used to men like him or any man at that giving me this sort of attention. I shifted my weight on my right leg and cleared my throat.
“Enough of the chit-chat. You’re wasting my time. What do you want?” I asked.
“It’s not what I want. It’s what your family wants. It’s what your people want.” He said. Those words were so simple but they carried such a weight.
“They’re not my people. The magus made it very clear that they aren’t our people when they killed my father. My quote on quote family took all the money that we were promised when my father died and left my family just above the poverty line.” I said with anger in my voice but I didn’t let it crack.
His eyes softened for a split second before going back to their usual amused and stand-offish look. “The people that assassinated your father are executed and some banished. The radicals took over government that’s why you were denied your money. But the people managed to have a civil war and so peace was restored a few years ago. They wish for the you to return.”
I looked at him shocked. If they restored the government why didn’t they contact us years ago? Why now? I didn’t know if I should trust him.
“They want me the ‘half-human runt’ to return. I may not have known it was not the true magus people who denied me my money and killed my father. But I know what they said about me. They hated me and my family. And if you think once that I will ever have compassion on people that hated me and my family then you sir have mistaken me for a saint.”
He said nothing but looked at me as if I was a child having a tantrum and he was waiting patiently for me to be finished. “Well I never said they needed you specifically to continue the Plantagenet regime. I have proposition and it involves you getting your money back.”
My eyes shot up after he said that. “Fine. Go on…”
“As you know all of the head of the regime was murdered not only your father. In order to continue the line you need royal blood. The only royal blood left is the offspring of those men and they have been officials who have been ruling areas of the magi kingdom ever since the civil war. They need everyone to be present because for the first time we shall vote for the monarch ever since your father died. We need you. You are the only Plantagenet left and we need you to represent your father and your family. This summit will take six months and after the vote you are able to leave and you will be granted your inheritance.”
I listened to him and a million things rushed through my head. First of all he's black mailing me. He could just give me the money now and get it over with. He's such an ass. Second returning to Lumous, how am I supposed to do that? How would I explain it to my brother and sister. They don’t even know Lumous exists. They were too young to understand what happened with dad. They think he died in a car accident. And mom…She’s on her death bed. What if I go and she goes before I come back? He was just asking to leave everything I know and built up from the ashes of my father’s death to go and throw it away. But the money I’ll get for it…it could solve all our problems. We wouldn’t have to worry about anything. I could go to a good college and send the twins too. I could fix the stove and even buy us a new apartment. We could have the comfortable life we always wanted. But how comfortable will it really be with Lumous in our lives again?
His eyes shifted over my face slowly trying to read my expression and from the upset look in his eyes failing at it. I was taught from a young age to never show any bit of emotion when making a deal. If you look too eager they can take advantage or if you look too proud they might back on a deal. We stayed a few minutes like that starring at each other without saying a single word. In my peripheral vision I could see Olivia shifting uncomfortably as she watched us with impatience.
“Couldn’t you just give me the money?” I asked with a cool face.
“No. Because the people need to know you’re a true Plantagenet and being in the public eye and representing your family would prove it. We could just give it to you but that would be complicated first of all because the people would be upset if we in their eyes just gave it to some ‘mortal’ and you cannot according to the will receive the money till you participate in the government.” He said.
Damn he got me there. I stood a couple of more minutes starring and contemplating.
“I’ll have to think about it.” I said finally breaking the silence.
“You can bring your family if that is what you wish and any other people.” He said giving a brief glance at Olivia.
That statement just made it more complicated because knowing the twins they wouldn’t object and I wouldn’t let them go. Plus my mother would refuse to go back to Lumous. Seeing my silence he knew that his extra offer didn’t work.
“You can think about it if you wish. We do not need the answer till this Sunday.” He said.
I nodded. Suddenly the air shifted around me and a strong wind blew. It was a warm wind like the summer air but it was winter. I could feel my body becoming lighter. A strange murky mist blew into my eyes and made them hurt. I didn’t scream or cry. It wasn’t painful but wasn’t pleasant either. I rubbed my eyes and looked up. A gasp slipped my lips suddenly remembering what I just did. I acknowledged my birthright of Lumous to this man. I gave a decision therefore by saying that I am of Lumous decent and must decide to go there or not. It gave me back my vision. The vision was being able to see the creatures of Lumous in the human world. It gave you extra vision. I lost it when my father died because I lost contact with the Lumous people. Because of that people just knew me as Elita Pearson not Elita Plantagenet.
The only person that knows is Olivia but she never mentioned me as a royal of the magus. Now as I looked at my surroundings I was startled. Olivia had huge pointy ears and I looked straight at her. Of course she did. I knew it because she was a fey. But I haven’t seen her ears since I lost my sight. They’ve always looked plain and normal. But now I was able to see their true form.
Olivia put her hands on her ears. “Listen I know you just got back your vision but stop starring! You know how self-conscious I feel about them.” She hissed.
I gave her a genuine smile because for one she looked like an idiot and I was happy that I could see. It felt like a dark fog had been lifted over my eyes. I looked over to the man not surprised that he looked the same. The magus people are the closest thing to human beings. But he had a smug look on his face. He intended this to happen.
“You are a real prick you know that?” I said at him.
“I don’t know what on Earth you mean.” He said. But he knew perfectly well just by the smug look on his face.
I was about to say something when I realized I didn’t even get his name. I didn’t even know who he was.
“Who did you say you were?” I asked.
“Ryker Terfal.” He said.
I knew the last name well. His father was my father’s most trusted friend and ally; Everett Terfal. They were in the senate together and he was my father’s advisor. Those were the most targeted men in the whole government because they always agreed to my father’s propositions on what are considered “Radical Bills.” They were all assassinated and not just my father in fear that they would take the government and continue to do the same even after my father died. An image flitted in my mind.
It was the funeral. It was in Lumous. The sky was gray and there was thunder on the horizon. The air was slightly moist and misty and smelled of ocean water. This weather was strange for me. It was always sunny in Lumous except on special occasions like funerals but during that time there wasn’t much death until the great massacre when my father died. The Faeries were able to change weather as they pleased with faerie glamour. They had manipulated weather that day and caused it to rain to fit our moods. I stood in a simple black dress and a single white rose clutched in my gloved hands. My mother came leaving the twins (at that time about four) at home being babysat by our neighbor. She gently took my shoulders and pushed me up the line to go to each grave and we were about to approach my father's when I saw a twelve year old boy at the funeral. At that time his hair was cropped and his big green eyes were filled with tears and he was quietly crying without making noise. He had his hands together as he bowed over his father's grave. I could see the agony and terror rip him up as did all of us. I felt something protective over him. I wanted to go and hug him and tell him it was all right. But I lost sight of him as my mom pushed me forward as we made a final stop in front of my father's grave.
I was suddenly snapped back from that image by Olivia awkwardly coughing to try to wake me up from my little memory.
I focused on him again. “So I presume you’ll be running for king.” I said.
Something in his face changed. His eyes got dark and stormy. It was very hostile and angry and it registered on his face with the slight straining of his jaw. “No my brother will.” He said trying to keep his voice calm.
From the looks of it he didn’t like his brother very much. I didn’t know how to respond so I just kept my mouth shut. I looked at my watch and we were going to be late for our last shift. I nodded toward Olivia.
“I’m sorry but I’ll have to leave for work. I’ll have to have time to think about it. How should I contact you?” I asked
His face relaxed a bit and he slightly smiled. “I’ll find you.”
Something about the way he said that made my blood curdle a bit but in a good way. I didn’t know how to respond or say goodbye so I just nodded and walked down the steps toward Olivia. When I turned around he was still there watching us with his vigilant eyes as we quickly made our way to work.
I worked through the rest of the day robotically while my mind wandered with questions and doubt. Olivia kept trying to keep me cheerful but nothing worked. I just smiled and nodded my head for her sake. I was deep in trouble. I didn’t know what to do except just waiting till five when I could go out of this place. Time seemed to tick slower as a realization daunted me. Once you were born of Lumous decent they own you. You are one of them and can never leave. It wasn’t like a religion where you could just switch to what ever fancies your needs; it was a cult. They owned me.
“Ellie!” Olivia said. Her nickname for me when she was feeling particularly annoyed.
Her voice caused me to pop out of my little bubble of thought and worry. “Yes?” I said, while trying to put the cover on the cup for my last customer of the day.
“You’ve been really out of it since our meeting with that Ryker kid.” She said with worry in her voice.
I gave the cup to the customer. “Here you go sir.” I said with a big smile on my face. The customer looked annoyed because I took a long time with it apparently; two more minutes than he expected. He took it out of my hand and just left the store in a hurry.
I turned around to let Jake take over the cash register while I made my way to the employee room to grab my stuff. Once we were out of the public eye I could finally talk to Olivia. I sat down on one of the chairs and looked at her wearily while she got her stuff ready.
“It’s just a lot to take in you know? This guy expects me to just up and leave my life for politics. They practically excommunicated us and left us on the streets and now they want us back. It’s a pretty shady move if you ask me.” I said venting out my problems.
“Well you know you could go bring your family. Get a tutor over there so the twin’s wouldn’t be left behind in school. And if you bring your mother you know the magical properties there would extend her life. It’s a win-win situation. The magi get their fancy political soiree and you would get the money and a lavish lifestyle and get to spend more time with your family instead of having to work.” Olivia said as a matter-of-a-fact.
Like I said when Olivia wants to be practical she can be. I guess it’s expected when your one of the daughters of the Fay king. Even though she got cut off she still managed to work and make a living.
“I guess but you know my mom she wouldn’t go for it.” I said.
“I don’t know how to solve everything Ellie. You’ll have to go home and talk to your mother. But not before our double date!” She squealed.
I completely forgot about that in all of this. At this point I didn’t want to go. I just wanted to take a nice warm shower and sleep and forget this day never happened. I looked at Olivia and I could see the eagerness in her eyes but she could see the doubtfulness in mine.
“Please you promised! We could stop by at my place and you could borrow one of my dresses!” she said.
I looked at her size zero body frame and looked at my size ten frame skeptically.
“You know it wouldn’t fit.” I said crossing my arms.
She crossed her arms mimicking me. “You know with a little Fay magic anything could happen.” She said wiggling her eyebrows.
I sighed and that was a sign of submission. She clapped her hands happily and dragged me to her apartment only a block away.
“Here try this on.” She said handing me a dress. If that’s what you would call it. I starred at the black fabric in horror. It was practically a shirt. I was about to complain but one look from Olivia silenced me forever.
I sighed and went into the bathroom and put it on. I didn’t even look in the mirror. I didn’t want to see how awful I looked.
“Come out! I want to see it on you.” She said with a hint of eagerness in her voice.
I sighed and mumbled how I am being such a good friend and she owes me big time for this. I stepped out of the bathroom and saw Olivia’s eyes go wide.
“You…you look amazing.” She said very impressed.
I turned to look at the mirror just curious to how I would look. The dress was a black strapless dress. It reached just bellow my knees. It had a tight bodice and once it reached my waist it slowly fell down my hips in layers of ruffles. It made my body look curvy and sexy. My legs looked long and graceful and I could hardly believe it was me. My curly hair surrounded my face and went down my back giving me an exotic look.
“Wow.” I said looking at the mirror. It was a totally different person in the mirror. It had to be. She was so graceful and tall and I was so…so plain. It couldn’t be me. Could it?
Olivia went behind me and looked at herself in mirror. She was beautiful too. We looked like total opposites though. Her wavy hair was pulled into a soft bun on the nape of her neck. She was wearing a silver dress that clung to her thin body perfectly outlining the little curves she had. Her fair hair and skin contrasted with my dark thick curly hair and tanned body. The gold eye shadow she put highlighted her green eyes and made them pop. The green eye shadow I put made my hazel eyes look more orange and brown than ever. We looked like goddesses if I do say so myself.
“We look hot.” Olivia said while applying just a bit of gloss with the tip of her finger.
I couldn’t help but agreeing with her for once.
We made it in front of the Japanese restaurant to find that the guys were already there. I couldn’t have been happier because if I had to wait in the frigid air with my legs bare I would have left. The two men standing in front of us greeted us.
Clyde opened his arms to Olivia and she ran to them. I had to agree with her that Clyde was hot but he was a Jerk. He was half-Asian half-French. He had golden Asian eyes with dark hair that fell over his face perfectly. He was ripped and muscled which did over well with Olivia. He was also a Therianthrope or a shape shifter. Each Therianthrope shifted into a different animal. Some could change into wolves which are known in the human world as werewolves but those are rare to find. Clyde could shift into a Jaguar.
The man that was my date was standing in front of me. He was tall and imposing which was strange because of I’m usually the tall one even with guys like Clyde. He had short dark brown hair. He had stubble on his face. Normally I wouldn’t go for facial hair on a man but on him it looked attractive. He had bright blue eyes which were hypnotizing. But something about him was familiar. His height, the way he stood, and his facial structure; the high cheek bones and square of the chin.
I could see the appreciation in his eyes as he looked over my body. He gave me a slight smile.
He held is hand out and I and took it and shook it. “It’s a pleasure to meet you Elita. You look beautiful.” He said. His deep voice had a thick accent that sounded something like a cross between a British accent and a French accent.
I smiled slightly and blushed a bit at his compliment. “Um it’s a pleasure to meet you too…” I said
His eyes widened for just a bit. “Sorry how rude of me. I’m Kai Terfal.”
He looked at me almost offended but worried at the same time but it only showed in his eyes. “Is there something wrong?” He said.
“Nothing I just realized I met your brother earlier today.” I said without any hint in emotion.
“I see. He’s spreading rumors about me I guess.” He said jokingly but there was an undertone of tension just like with his other brother.
“Not really. He just mentioned he had a brother.” I said. And it was true he did mention he had a brother. Not specific things. I felt like I had to make my point straight because I don’t want to get involved in this war between brothers. To me life was too short to be angry at your siblings and they took it for granted but whatever.
He gave me a blank stare and went back to his charming smile. “Well then let’s go inside shall we. I mean you must be freezing.”
I nodded and gave him a grateful look happy to be getting out of the cold.
Once we were all settled in the restaurant Olivia made it a priority to talk so I wasn’t left to talk with Kai alone and I was grateful for that. But as soon as we were half-way through the meal they total ignored us and sat together talking, laughing, flirting, and touching each other. That made it really awkward for me and Kai who sat next to each other and watched them. I sat by the window and he sat on the outside. When we sat, the seat was too small. The whole time my legs touched his; which ran along from our thighs to shin. It felt like an electric current was running through me. Even though the touch wasn’t really intimate it felt that way for me because I couldn’t remember the last time a guy touched me. This thought made me blush furiously but I thanked god for my dark skin so you really couldn’t tell. Since Olivia and Clyde were in their own little world it forced me to talk with Kai. I mean the guy seems nice but he’s only said a handful of comments during the whole date.
“So how’s life?” I said not really knowing what to ask.
He gave me a little smile; something between a cross of amusement and looking down on me like I was a little kid. Which I didn’t like. “I’m fine. But if you do not have to talk to me if you don’t want to.”
I wasn’t surprised he knew what I was thinking. He was a runner up for the Magus Monarch title so I assumed he had to learn to read peoples faces. I didn’t bother to hide my facial expressions because it wasn’t like I cared about him or enjoyed this; this was a forced date.
I gave him a tired expression. “It’s either talking to you or—” I pointed towards Olivia and Clyde who were so oblivious of us. “watch them sucking each other’s face off and I would rather talk to you. So deal with it.” I said taking my coke and taking a long sip of it.
He didn’t stop smiling but the smile became more genuine. “It’s nice to know you’d rather talk to me than look at their PDA.”
I simply nodded and said nothing.
He couldn’t think up a response and we stared at each other awkwardly until he broke the silence. “But what about if someone offered you coldstone would you rather eat coldstone than talk to me?”
I pondered over it for a second. “Hmm…I guess it would be Coldstone.” I said.
He gave me a fake insulted expression and put a hand on his chest. “I’m hurt really.”
I laughed. “Sorry but ice cream always comes first.” I said putting both my hands over my heart in a dramatic motion.
He smiled. “I like it when you smile and laugh. It looks good on you.”
I felt myself blushing even more. Why did this dude have that effect on me? I didn’t know what to do or what to say. It was dangerous to get to know him or even flirt. I couldn’t get into this.
“Thanks.” I said embarrassed a bit.
His eyes showed desire. The same desire he had in his eyes when he saw me in this dress. But the desire had somewhat tenderness to it. “You know you aren’t what I expected at all.” He said.
“What do you mean?” I said with a defensive undertone to my voice.
“Well I didn’t know what to expect honestly but not someone so sure of herself and with this strong self-conviction.”
“And you’re exactly what I expected.” I said.
“What do you mean?” he said curiously.
“For one thing you’re a monarch to be so I see you have impeccable dinning skills while I tore up my chicken teriyaki like a mad man.”
“Well you’re a very cute mad man when you eat.”
I ignored the flirtatious comment. “And you are very well at giving ignoring peoples intentions.”
He gave me a puzzled. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Liar.
“Are you kidding me? When the waitress was here earlier she kept giving you flirtatious glances and slipped you her number. You said nothing to her and while she wasn’t looking you slipped her number back. I saw you.” I said looking at him incredulously.
“Well first of all I was am on a date so I didn’t want to be rude. And that girl wasn’t my type.” He said so sure of himself.
I starred at him and took a long drawn out sip of my coke and set it on the table in a dramatic way. “Okay. But you admit you did it.”
He said nothing but give me a knowing smile and a wink. I raised my eyebrow and started to laugh again and so did he. It was nice even though I knew I had no future with him. I couldn’t date him. But it was okay. Throughout the whole thing we were talking and laughing and having a good time. He was charming and funny and I liked that about him. He made me happy for once. Normal for once. And I liked that. Once we were done with dinner we walked out of the restaurant leaving Olivia and Clyde to say their good byes.
“That was actually fun.” I said with a bit of a smile.
He gave me a gentle smile. “Well I’m glad you liked it.”
He took my hand which sent electricity running through my finger tips and my whole body. He stepped closer. I suddenly became aware of him. His strong arms wrapped around my waist pushing me towards him. My heart was beating faster. I didn’t know if I wanted to do this. A part of me did but I was afraid to push my feeling farther about him. He leaned in closer so I could feel the warmth radiating off of those soft perfect lips. When he tried to kiss me on the lips I turned my head so his lips just softly brushed my cheek. I looked up and he seemed disappointed. “I’m sorry.”
He nodded. “I’m sorry for being so forward.”
I gave him a smile and kissed his cheek which seemed to cheer him up.
I realized he still had his hands on my hips. He lowered his head again to my face and his lips came into my ear. “I had at great time.”
“Me too. But like I said I would have rather had cold stone." I said jokingly and left from his embrace. I ripped Olivia from Clyde as they tried (not very hard) to let go of each other. While Olivia was complaining next to me how I ripped her away from her “True Love” I looked back at Kai when we were walking away and I found that his eyes never left me and there was a half-smile on his face. I smiled slightly and turned around feeling happier and more confused than I’ve ever been.
During the whole time walking I was vexed about how should I come across Kai. I couldn’t develop feelings for him but it clearly was seen that he had developed some sort of feeling for me. I couldn’t date someone that was Magi. Could I? But let’s say I did date him and we got close. The custom for the Magi was within one year of coronation the King has to find a Queen. It wasn’t like I was going to marry him but if we were dating I would either be forced to break up with him or say yes. If I did say yes it would mean I’m catapulted back in the world I’m trying so hard to get away from. God, I’m getting too far ahead of myself. I just have to relax and forget about this. My problem wasn’t with Kai it was with the government. They said I needed to represent my family in the summit to be there when they vote. But six months…that was such a long time.
Olivia must have saw how detached I was from her while we were walking home. She stopped her rant about how perfect Clyde and she were and became quiet. This was strange because she usually talks on and on even though I don’t answer back. She knew I have times when I don’t talk much and she would fill in the void of silence and she and I were perfectly content with that. I don’t have to talk and she has someone that would listen.
I turned my head from the sidewalk and focused on Olivia. Olivia stared at me with those light green eyes questioning me which bothered the hell out of me.
“What?” I said looking at her straight in the eye.
She seemed to flinch at my look. “Sorry but you look worried.”
“Thanks for noticing.” I said coldly.
“You know you don’t have to be so mean.” She mumbled.
“I’m sorry.” I said.
She nodded but didn’t look at me. She was mad at me but also at the same time forgiving. She understands what’s going on with me but it’s my fault that I’ve been too cold and detached from her and life in general.
“You know today I saw you smile for the first time in ages.” She said suddenly.
I didn’t know how to answer so I just nodded.
“Don’t act so coy. I saw the way you looked at him and the way he looked at you. You guys would make a cute couple.” She said all dreamy and carefree.
“Slow your roll. It was just a first date.” I said holding my hand up to her.
“Fine. Just stating my opinion.” She said and we stopped in front my building.
I could tell something was off as soon as I stood in front of it. My sight allowed me to see auras and something was off in the apartment. I squinted my eyes and saw a dark swirling aura. It wasn’t even an aura more of a consuming black void. There was a foul stench radiating from the building. It smelt like death. It was upstairs. With my family. Olivia gave me and urgent look and I quickly went inside and went up the stairs. My head was ringing and my palms were sweaty. I felt like I couldn’t get there faster enough. I could hear Olivia’s steps behind me as I finally got to the third floor and slammed the door opened. I heard screams.
I took off my heels and threw them aside and ran down the hallway following the aura. I dreadfully stopped in front of the door it was coming from. It was in my mother’s room. I braced myself and pushed the door opened with all the force that I have. It was dark and my eyes probed inside. I saw smashed up glass on the floor and my eyes trailed upward. I saw my mother writhing on the bed. Her machines surrounding her made such loud beeping noises and fluctuations.
Her veins were showing on her unusual transparent skin like green spider webs. She sat up and looked at me. Her eyes were completely black orbs even the irises. Her hair was floating around her face. She was snarling. Her regular human teeth were replaced by sharp black incisors. She was no longer my mother. She was possessed by a ghoul. I knew because father dealt with a lot of possession cases.
I looked over to the side of her bed in the corner of the room and saw the twins. Their eyes full of fear and their bodies pressed together cowering. The looked at me hopelessly trying to make sense.
The ghoul starred at me and started to laugh. I almost had to cover my ears. It was like nails on a chalkboard. He doubled the size of my mother’s mouth while laughing and red mucus (blood?) was coming out of its mouth. This creature was completely revolting. He was using my weak mother as a vessel.
“What do you want?” I screamed at him. I tried to keep my voice from cracking but all I felt like to do was cry.
“The all mighty powerful Elita Plantagenet! Ha! You’re just a weakling like this mother of yours.” He said. When he talked it was worse. There was a rasp in his voice and the undertone of his voice was like screams of a thousand souls in hell. It made my ears throb slightly. My head was pounding and my eye lids were heavy as I stared him down.
“I didn’t ask for your opinion ghoul I said what do you want?” I said.
“I want you dead.” He said.
I looked panicky at my siblings in the corner and then right back to the ghoul. I had to save them so I had to kill him. I had to kill him but that would mean killing his vessel; my mother. But at this point my mother was dead. She was no longer here and he was taking the place. I had to keep at least her body sacred. I would kill him and burry my mother. That’s it I thought to myself she’s gone. I tried to keep my face straight but this was hitting me too hard. I felt my eyes getting hotter about to cry but I had to keep composure for my siblings.
“Funny. I kind of want the same thing for you.” I said trying to sound not so fazed like all the heroines in movies and books being smart-ass to the villains but it sounded more broken and scared. I sounded weak for the first time ever in my life in front of an enemy.
He laughed and I was frozen. This was going to get me no were.
Suddenly a mirror on my mother’s night stand flew and aimed for my face. I reacted quickly by dodging and doing a face dive onto the carpet. As I landed the rough carpet scrapped my hands and knees which made them throb and become slightly pink. Shortly after I heard a scream behind me and looked. I looked where the mirror had landed. It was the same corner my brother and sister where huddled in. The mirror shards scattered everywhere but a majority of them went onto their skin scraped them and drew blood. Tears and blood were streaming down their faces and they looked completely terrified as they clung to each other. They looked helpless. I had an epiphany right then and there because I realized this wasn’t just some game. I was fighting for my life and not only mine but others. The people that I loved were in danger. I had the weight of life on my shoulders and that was no easy burden to bear.
I looked down on the carpet, my body was shaking and I dug my nails onto the floor almost breaking my nails and drawing blood. I heard its maniacal laugh. I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to use my power. The power that surpassed anyone’s including my father. The power that I was forced to hide. One power that in the end would ultimately destroy me. But it was a small price to pay to save innocent lives from vermin and vile things like this ghoul. I drew everything I had from inside me and I felt it coming alive in me. I tiny pulse started in the center of my body growing with force and having a life of its own. It had its own pulse and its own life inside of me but I was its master and I wielded it. I felt my body humming with power over my skin as if I’ve been constantly electrocuted but there wasn’t really a pain to it; it was pleasant. My hair which was once dangling on my face floated up into the air and around my face because of my power. My body was glowing a blue; it was as if someone put a flashing light in their mouth and their cheeks were glowing red but the difference is mine were glowing blue and the glow was all over my body. As I stood up to face the ghoul I saw for a second my reflection in one of the glass shards on the floor. I looked like the demon at that point. My eyes had an eerie blue neon glow and my hair floated around my face as if there was a fan being held up directly to it.
I could see the fear in the ghoul’s eyes for a split second and then he was smiling. “You are just like your father. Maybe even more powerful. It will be fun when you are taken down just he was.”
He said when you are taken down not when I take you down. He knew he was going to die. He just wanted to test my power to see if I really had it. And now it was out in the open. Magi could spot my energy flow for miles. They wanted to kill me. But why? I didn’t do anything? Did they think of me as a threat? Now they were going to try to kill me.
I closed my eyes trying to remember how to kill a ghoul’s vessel. I searched through the vague memories of childhood. Suddenly I remembered.
There was a drawing room. Two dead bodies were on a fancy Persian Rug. Their faces were pale and washed away. Knives were stuck in their chests. Blood was crusted around their mouths. Officers pranced around the room examining the bodies and any evidence of the kill. I was terrified but I couldn’t show it. I was next in the line for the crown and this was my first day of training. I could feel my father behind me as he steered my shoulders with his hands. His mouth came to my ear and his breath smelling faintly of peppermint and cigars.
“It was ghoul possession. Don’t worry. They didn’t suffer much. If it’s a clean kill I say they probably didn’t suffer at all.” He said. He was just trying to comfort me and I took that comfort gladly. In an instant I swallowed my fear and I came touched on of the knives on the evidence table. A pain instantly shot up my finger and I remembered the feeling. It was the spell still there. Once you come in contact with a spell if your power is strong enough it will be forever imprinted inside your magic; almost like a childhood memory.
I chanted the spell’s verses over and over again almost like a prayer. I willed the knife from the kitchen cabinet to go into my hands. I cupped my empty hands and a few seconds later found that I was clutching the hard cold wooden handle of the knife. I opened my eyes to find the knife glowing blue and I smiled. I looked at the demon and aimed.
The knife went right through my mother’s heart and the handle stuck out of her chest. Suddenly it was convulsing and twitching. The blue neon grow grew outwards onto its body like spider webs or veins. I consumed her whole body was rapped in a cocoon of light. Its eyes were emitting a white light. The ghoul was being destroyed inside the body. I heard its thrashing screams but felt no sympathy for it and I only smiled at his pain. Finally the convulsions stopped and the body landed with a thud on the bed.
I let my power go and pushed it deep into the recesses of my body. The tingling sensation on my skin was over and my eyes turned back to normal. My hair landed in a mess around my face. I felt absolutely exhausted but in a good way like if you exercise and your limbs hurt but you feel lighter.
I looked over and saw my siblings that were covered in blood. They looked frightened and scared and confused. I walked towards them and kneeled down to their level. Lydia stared at me with her wide big blue eyes which were red and her cheeks were tear stained. Luke, who rarely ever cried, was bawling like a baby not like I could blame him. Their clothing were torn and there were gashes on them that the mirror didn’t cause which means the ghoul must have struck them and they tried to fight back.
“I’m sorry.” I said. I didn’t know what else to say.
“What the hell was that?” He screamed tears running down his face.
“It was a ghoul.” I said not able to look at the pain in eyes.
“And mom?” He said.
“She’s dead.” I said numbly not wanted to believe it myself.
Lydia put her hand over her mouth and Luke was starring at me with tear filled eyes. His eyes held raw agony and I couldn’t bear to make eye contact with him. A few seconds of staring at each other passed until realization seemed to dawn on him.
“What are you?” He said almost scared of me.
“I’m what you guys are.” I said painfully closing my eyes and stayed like that for a couple of seconds.
Luke was quiet trying to understand everything.
“What exactly are we?” He said almost afraid to ask.
His voice disrupted my thoughts. I opened my eyes to answer and to answer truthfully. “Warlocks.” I said.
Lydia gasped and Luke stared at me as if I were crazy. He didn’t want to believe and for a moment I didn’t either.
But I thought back a second ago and shivered. I wasn’t me. I was some monster. I had to kill my mother. But it was to save her. But that was it. She was gone. I was alone. Tears stung in my eyes but they were unable to fall. I was unable to cry which left me making strange sounds in my throat. I guess that was my breaking point. I hugged my siblings. At that point I didn’t know if I was comforting them or if it was them comforting me.
We finally let go of our hug and they just stared at me. I heard a sound behind me. My ears started to ring and my blood started to pump faster getting ready for another attack. I turned defensively to see that it wasn’t the monster but it was Ryker with Olivia standing in the back with a couple of other men I recognized as Magi officials.
I realized that Olivia didn’t call them they were attracted by the energy I was emitting. But that made me realized that they couldn’t be the only ones. The ghoul set a trap for me and I fell right into it. Now my enemies knew I was alive and they were going to do anything to get me just like they got my father.
I wiped the sweat off my face with the back of my hand and stood up to face them. I brushed off my dress and waved for Luke and Lydia to go wait with Olivia. They gladly agreed and Olivia took them by the hand and escorted them out of the room. But before she went out of the door she looked at me sorrowfully. I gave her a painful look and she nodded. Tell them everything. I said in that one look. She nodded and left.
The other officials came by the bed and looked at my mother’s body. The knife was still in her chest but the glow of it had faded. Her eyes were open and her mouth was slightly parted but they were normal again. This made my heart leap out of my chest. She looked ordinary.
She was my mother and I killed her. My life with her flashed before my eyes. After all the months of chemo and doctor’s visits and telling each other it was going to be all right. The nights were I cuddled up with her thin body drinking hot cocoa and watching cartoons; all of that that was cut off by a single kitchen blade. I wanted to cry but I couldn’t. I stood still looking at her lifeless body. She looked like a puppet.
A burly man no older than thirty five with curly blonde hair came close to her and touched the knife. His hand instantly detached from the knife as if he’d been shocked. He gasped and said “Suus exorcismum incantatores.” He looked at me with surprised brown eyes.
I took enough Latin as a child to know that he said exorcism spell. And I knew the spell well enough to know only the most powerful Magi can do this spell and do it successfully alone. I didn’t say anything or give him any affirmation to what I did. I looked over at Ryker and he gave me one of the saddest pain stricken faces ever.
“I'm sorry.” He said and stepped closer to me as if to comfort me but he didn't dare touch me.
“Thanks.” I said a little bit too detached.
A few moments passed by when I was lost in thought. I have no future in the human world since my mother died. I had to build a new one as I am. As Elita Plantagenet. I would go to the summit and collect money and I would use that money to start a new life with my siblings.
“Yes.” I said.
“Yes for what?” He said confused.
“I’ll go to the palace and I’ll represent my family. But on two conditions; Olivia and the twins will come with me to live in the palace and will be given full protection at all times. And my mother will be given a proper funeral and be buried with my father.” I said.
He nodded. “As you wish princess.”
I didn’t try to fight about him calling me princess. I didn’t have the will to do it. I just focused on my mother. I walked up to her bed and looked at her face. Her eyes were opened and they were lifeless which scared me. As a vessel she was conscious but she didn’t have any control of her body. She could feel everything and see everything but could do nothing about it. Only a little blood splattered on her chest which said it was a clean and fast kill which gave me some sense of security to know that she didn’t die a long drawn out painful death. I stretched out my hand to her and found that they were shaking violently and I wasn’t surprised. I felt like a wreck inside and it must have been showing in the slightest of body movements.
I put my hands over her eyelids and pulled them down to her eyes. Surprisingly her skin was warm; not clammy and cold like I thought they would be. That’s how my father’s skin was when I found him dead. It must be from the aftermath of the spell. I thought I would get used to this by now I thought bitterly to myself. I looked at her now with her eyelids down. She looked peaceful like she was sleeping. Didn’t all dead people? But this was different because the spells energy was still left inside of her so her skin hadn’t gone all pale. It was still a warm pink like she was feverish. Like I could almost shake her just a bit and she would awake. But the shock of it all was that was a lie. She would never wake up…
No one said a word while I looked at her body. They couldn’t. They bowed for a couple of seconds as a sign of respect. It took everything in me not to laugh at their faces and blast them to smithereens. They never respected us since father died. They left us on the street not caring where the human and the half-bloods go and now years later they bow to their dead ex-queen who was a human.
Before my thoughts could turn murderous as I stared down at my mother I felt a touch on my shoulder and turned around. It was Ryker. Before I could say or do anything he immediately took me by the hand and pulled me out of the room into the hall way and pulled me into an embrace. At first my body was rigid but as the reality came crashing down I started to cry onto his shoulder. He brought his hand on the small of my back pushing me closer to him and the other hand he soothingly stroked my hair as I sobbed. My hands grabbed his jacket pulling him closer. We stayed like that for what felt like hours as my sobs transformed into hiccups. I lifted my head up and looked at him. He gave me a look filled with gentleness and sorrow. His green eyes seemed to have a kindness that he usually held back.
His thumb brushed over my cheek bone to wipe the tear.
"You know chocolate-face I'm glad you're here." I said remembering one of his old nicknames.
"What did you call me?" He said and his voice sounded murderous.
"Don't think I'm that stupid. I remember you. We were friends. Just shut up take a compliment for once." I said placing my head back on his chest.
"I've always hated that name. You would do well to refrain from saying it." He threatened. But his murderous tone seemed to be contradicted on how he was soothingly stroking the small of my back.
"I make no promises." I said. My voice sounded muffled in his chest.
He chuckled darkly which caused my head to shake lightly from the vibration of his chest. But he stayed like that comforting me which was all I needed.
Suddenly the same burly man stepped out of the room and gave me and Ryker a heavy look. “What should I do with the body?” He said with a Spanish accent.
I stared at Ryker surprised that he made me forget the events that occurred for one split-second but it came back. I somehow felt better now with handling it because I had someone to share it with. To come and cry to but the it didn’t mean that it still didn’t hurt badly.
Ryker looked at the man. “Bring the body to the morgue in the palace John and be careful with her.”
John nodded and gave us a slight bow before going in the room. I heard him shouting to the other men in Latin orders probably how to carry the body out. I gave Ryker a thankful look.
“Thanks. I needed that. Oh and I’m sorry about staining your fancy coat.” I said looking at his tear-stained coat.
He shrugged and said “It’s just a coat. I’m just glad you’re fine.”
That’s the moment I realized he was still holding me in the embrace. We awkwardly broke apart and I felt myself blushing and I caught a hint of a blush on his face before his head bobbed down and his long hair covered his face.
I looked at the floor and hugged myself. I hadn’t realized how cold this apartment was but I was still wearing my coat. Or maybe it was just how cold I was. How was I going to do this now? Take care of my brother and sister? We’d practically lived on food stamps ever since my mom was diagnosed with cancer. It took too much income out of us to pay for hospital bills even with the insurance. Now that my mother was gone I had no further hospital bills to pay for but I still owed the hospital quite a bit even with the insurance covering a lot of it. I was in debt with two children to take care of. My mom was their guardian before but now according to the will my mom made up I was theirs now. But I don’t have money and I’m afraid social services would take them away from me. Because what income salary from working at a coffee shop and as a secretary could provide for a family of three with a considerable amount of debt? Add on the fact that the ghoul knew where I was from and knew the power I had. If whoever did this to my mother imagine what they could do with me or worse: my siblings.
“Yes.” I said immediately out of the blue.
“Yes what?” He said and he seemed like he was breaking out of some sort of trance.
“I’ll go to the summit.” I said but before he could answer I heard the footsteps coming out of my mother's room. I looked over for a second to see a black plastic body bag being carried out: my mother. I turned around quickly to avoid the sight and heard the door slam. I took everything out of me to not go and chase after them.
“We can leave as soon as you’re ready.” He said breaking my dark thoughts.
I looked at him. "Why are they listening to you?” I said. I was curious. All these officers of the court act almost as police men inquiring about events and collecting evidence in criminal circumstances. There was a code of law to follow mostly about dark magic. According to the law I was supposed to be interrogated but I wasn’t. Or maybe I was…
“You’ll be interrogated later and as for me I’m the head of the Officer’s. I guess I’m almost like a police chief in human terms.” He said.
Of course I’ll be interrogated later. But he was kind enough that it would be later. I wouldn’t want to re-live the events that happened just a second ago. I was also surprised he was as put in “human terms” police chief. I guess it made sense because he seemed very confidential and closed-off. But he seemed too cocky and didn’t take things seriously and he acted like an ass when I first met him so I was bit skeptical.
Suddenly something dawned on me. "What about my jobs?" I asked.
"We'll take care of it. A couple of calls and it'll be straightened out. We can continue you're education online if that's what you want also." He said.
I didn't ask him how he knew I was going to school. Knowing him he probably had officials following me for months. I was so stupid. How couldn’t I have noticed?
I looked around the room for a second taking it all in. I thought of all these years living here. All the memories. Pushing the twin's on swings in central park. Going out with Olivia for ice cream during her latest break up with Clyde. Staying up all night with my mom watching Disney movies. My ties to my home for eight years would be cut that easily with a couple of phone calls.
"And the twin's they need to finish school." I said emotionless.
I guess that's that. I nodded and thanked him and left to go see my siblings in their room.
I saw Lydia looking horrified but saying nothing and Luke looked angry. He was arguing everything Olivia was saying. He was denying who he was. He was going against his nature and that could be a deadly thing. Just look were that got us now. When I came in Olivia stopped talking and all eyes were on me.
“I guess I should take it from here.” I said stepping into the room.
Olivia patted my shoulder and gave me a thankful look as she rushed out of the room as fast as she could.
“I’m sorry.” I said because I could think of no other thing to say.
“What the hell do you mean sorry? You killed mom.” Luke shouted.
I gave him an angry look. “I didn’t kill her! I saved her. Once a ghoul takes over your body you have no control of it whatsoever. It takes up most of your body so you have no room for your soul. You feel like your suffocating but you can’t die and get over the pain. Most people try to crawl out of their own bodies but the ghoul prevents them because they need a soul to make the vessel live. It’s like a living nightmare. What I did was give her peace from that hell!” I shouted.
With each word his face grew somber. “Are you even our sister?” He said.
“Yes that much is true. I assume Olivia told you about Lumous.” I said.
The both nodded simultaneously like robots. I looked at them for the first time. Their faces were pale and their eyes held agony which is something I’ve never seen in them before. They were forced to grow up which was a traumatizing experience that I had to go through when father died. They looked lost. A loss of an important life can dehumanize even the most animated and happy of people. It hurts at first then you heal but that scar will always be a reminder.
"Our Dad, he really didn't die in a car crash. Did he?" Lydia said for the first time this incident happened.
I shook my head.
Her eyes looked at me for an answer.
"Assassinated." I said.
They were too stunned to say anything. After a couple of seconds Luke talked.
“What about mom why didn’t she tell us anything? Why didn’t you tell us anything?” He said and sounded painful. I’ve never seen him so weak and hurt. I wanted to get near him and give him a hug but I knew he would hate it. He was pissed off at me right now.
“It was mom’s decision that I would never tell you. She didn’t want us to end up like dad so we moved out of the palace and lived here in the human world ever since.” I said.
“Well that didn’t work to well did it?” He said bitterly to himself and said nothing else.
I stared down at them. They looked tired and worn out like they needed a hot shower and a warm bed. They still had cuts and scraps on them and they were profusely bleeding. I stepped closer to them and closely looked at their injuries which were very serious gashes. I grabbed Luke’s arm which had a huge bleeding gash from his forearm all the way to his hand. Most of the blood was dried up on his arm. He flinched when I grabbed him but didn’t resist. I put my hands over him and chanted a healing spell I remembered long ago. The energy was back in my body but not my whole body just my hands. I closed my eyes and said the spell over and over again. I could feel my energy flowing out of me. When I opened my eyes I was surprised to find that not only Luke’s gash was healed but so was the rest of him and also Lydia’s injuries were healed as well. It was way over board. I had to be more careful with my power. It’s been a while since I’ve used it and I think it’s growing stronger. It’s not a bad thing that I healed both of them but what if it was some dangerous spell on an enemy and if I couldn’t control it they’d be dead or worse.
Luke and Lydia gasped. I guess even after they saw me kill the demon they were still getting used to it.
I heard footsteps and I turned to find the officials, Ryker, and surprisingly Kai who must have come just now all starring at me with awe. I wondered what they were all starring at. I did nothing special. All royals had an extraordinary amount of power.
“What is it?” I said raising my eyebrows.
All of them were trying to get their words out but they couldn’t. I looked at myself and realized that my power had let out and was in my whole body so I must have looked they way I did when I was facing the ghoul. My hair was suddenly back up and floating around my face. Then I felt a disturbance in the air behind me and I looked around to see my siblings. I gasped at their glowing figures and floating hair. Something in my magic must of started something with theirs because they looked exactly like me except they were radiating a sort of orange glow. I looked back up at them and found that the officials bowing at me. At us.
“You are truly a Plantagenet.” A skinny bald man said and the others agreed with nods. I recognized him somewhere but couldn’t put my finger on it. He wasn’t an official because he didn’t have the same red uniforms with the court’s phoenix seal on it. But he was wearing fancy clothing like a butler almost.
Kai stared at me and said “How are you doing that?”
I gave him a questioning look. “Doing what?”
Ryker looked at me. “How are you staying in your power for that long after you did such an advanced exorcism spell and healed your siblings and awakened their power?”
“What do you mean?”
“Turn around even you’re siblings who were just awakened have lost their glow.” Ryker said.
I turned around to find them normal. I looked at my skin again and it was still glowing as fiercely as it had did a moment ago. I closed my eyes and sucked in my power pulling it back in my body once again. I opened my eyes once again to find them giving me awed expressions.
“Will you go now? I wish to at least prepare bags before we go.” I said and they obeyed and left except for Kai who gave some sort of weird expression a mix between sorrow and jealousy.
“Where are we going to?” Lydia said finally speaking for the first time.
“To the palace in Lumous,” I said. “you’d better start packing we only have about a half-hour.” I walked towards their closet and pulled out to suitcases a red and a black one.
“We’re going to leave just like that?” Luke said.
I gave him his black suitcase. “Yes, it’s no longer safe here now whoever is trying to kill us knows where we live.”
“Wait we’re going to the palace? Was dad like really a king?” Lydia said in awe.
I gave her a nod. “Yep.”
She took the suitcase from my hand and stood up and started to pack. I knew were she was coming from. She was scared today and I could see some of the life slip away from her face. She’s faced enough adult trouble and doesn’t want to start acting like one by questioning this choice to move. She went along with it and honestly I was grateful. But look still sat at the bed and looked at me with a disapproving glare but I ignored it and went to my room to pack.
I packed my room taking clothing, makeup, and old photos. The whole time Olivia was in my room gave me a sad look but said nothing and I was grateful. I monotonously packed my bag in complete silence focusing on fabric and texture of each item of clothing and reminiscing about when I bought each particular item when I was younger. These little things kept me in check; kept me focusing on something other than my mother’s death and other dark views. I finally broke the silence when I realized something.
“Olivia aren’t you going to pack?” I asked.
She waved her hand. “I’ll buy some new clothes when we get to Lumous.”
I gave her an exasperated sigh while I closed my suitcase. I was finally done packing and it was time to go to Lumous.
Olivia stood up and followed me as I went to the hallway to find Luke and Lydia there. I also found Lydia gawking at Kai and Ryker and it made me smile. She was such a teenager.
“Well is it time to go?” I said.
“Whenever you’re ready princess.” Ryker said.
“You know I hate when you said that.” I said rolling my eyes.
“I know.” He said with a little smile.
Kai seemed to be annoyed about our little exchange but said nothing but glare which made Ryker smile even more. I ignored the both of them and asked the bald man to escort me to Lumous.
“Of course your majesty. By the way my name is Sir Chauncey Hugo but you may just call me Hugo if you wish.” He said.
I smiled at him and said “You were my father’s head servant. You practically ran the staff.” I was glad to recognize him because I’m going to need a lot of memory to sort everyone out after seven years of absence.
He smiled and blushed. “I’m so honored that you remembered me your majesty.” He said with a smile.
“Hugo?” I said.
“Yes your majesty.” He said.
“Don’t call me your majesty. Elita will suffice.” I said.
He nodded and escorted me out with the rest of them following.
We came outside in the street which virtually no one was there. The street lights were on emitting a yellow glow but there was still an eerie darkness. The cars were lined up on the side of the road and the apartment buildings look untouched and unfazed even after what events just took place.
Kai and Ryker went into the middle of the road and raised their hands simultaneously and willed the power to themselves. Kai’s power was red and Ryker’s was a brilliant green. I suddenly felt a strong attraction to the both of them. It was a animalistic sexual attraction. I remembered suddenly just as peacocks were attracted to other peacocks with bigger and brighter feathers that it was the same for warlocks except instead of feathers it was their power. This little shocker reminded me that this is what separated us from the humans. This animalistic tendency; instead of showing off muscles they show off magic. I blushed furiously suddenly remembering my magic showing. Did they feel an attraction to me? I wiped that thought out of my head as I watched them. They grabbed the thin air and ripped it like paper to reveal a road. It was a portal almost but not quite. Like I said Lumous is a world parallel with ours so anywhere a human lives is a place in Lumous parallel to them and vice versa. I stepped in front of the rip of dimensions.