Sunday, July 12, 2009

Chapter 9

It was Friday night, October third. The night of the Fall Ball and, as luck would have it, there was a full moon too. Faith walked into their circle in the woods. With everything that was going on lately, she needed a punch of power; she was going to draw down the moon. She cast her own circle and chanted her spell, drawing her athame before her she waited for that burst of power. It spilled into her like light into a dark room. She could feel it from her toes to her fingertips. It was wonderful.
She ended the spell and closed the circle. She felt energized and much more prepared to help her cousin should he need it.

Faith walked gingerly out of the woods, making sure that her dress didn’t catch on any branches. Her mother had made the trek to drop the dress off and Faith didn’t want to ruin it before she even got the chance to get some use out of it.

When her mother had brought the dress up last weekend, Alex and had been out with Aunt Libby visiting Uncle Matthew in the hospital, so Faith took the time to talk with her mother about what was going on in New Jerusalem.

“Mom, why did you really send me up here? Something strange is going on, I can feel it.”
“The reason is still the same. I sent you up here to help your cousin, it’s just that he is going to need you more than I had initially thought.”
“What is this thing?”
“It is the origin of their dark gifts. It was this power who bestowed the dark magic onto their families and now he wants it back, and he won’t stop until every magical member of their families has been destroyed, starting with your cousin and his friends.”
“What am I supposed to do, mom?”
“When it is time, you will know. You can handle this, Faith,” Diana said, giving her daughter a hug. “I know you can. You have more power than any natural witch that I have ever known.”
Still hugging her mother Faith said, “I’ll try to help them mom. I’ll do whatever I can.”
Diana pressed a kiss onto her daughter’s hair, “That’s all we can hope for sweetie.”

Faith continued heading toward the house and just as she was walking into the garden, Alex came rushing out of the kitchen door with a worried look on his face, “What was that?”
“What was what?”
“What just happened in the woods? I thought I saw something…Why were you back there? What were you doing?”
“I wasn’t doing anything. I thought I heard a kitten back there and just went to go and make sure it was ok, but it was just a bird,” she hated lying to Alex, but now was not the time to tell him about her power. She had a dance to go to.
“Don’t go into the woods alone again, ok? Ok?” He demanded looking nervously back toward the woods.
“Yeah. Sure. I won’t. I promise.”
“Good. Everyone is here. Let’s go.”
By everyone Alex meant his date, Chase, Nick, their dates, and Reese.
“Hey Faith. These are for you.”
“Thanks Reese.” She sniffed the elegant roses and then handed them over to her Aunt who was busily taking pictures of everyone.
“We have to go mom.”
“Just one more with Faith and Reese…there, everyone say, ‘Cheese!’”
“Perfect! Now you can go. Bye! Hope you have fun!”

Chase sat at his table. His date, what was her name again?, had long since abandoned him due to his lack of interest in her. He hated going to these stupid things, but if Nick and Alex were going to go, that meant he had to, especially with this Dark Power skulking around town. Lounging back into his chair he surveyed the dance floor. Despite the groups of brightly dressed girls, his eyes landed on the one girl that seemed to stand out from the others, Faith. Her golden dress complemented her sun-kissed skin and she had pulled her lustrous brown hair up into a riot of curls instead of her usual ponytail.
Lustrous brown hair? Riot of curls? What was he thinking! Chase scowled and continued to watch her reluctantly. She was dancing with a group of girls, laughing as Reese came up behind her to join in.
What did she see in that guy anyway? Not that it was any of his business.
Hoping to distract himself, he got up from the table to find his date.

“This dance is lame,” commented Luke as he looked around at the crepe paper and streamer covered gym. “We should head out of here and go down to the cove. Right Reese?”
“Definitely. C’mon Faith, let’s get out of here.”
Faith nervously searched out her cousin. He had told Aunt Libby that they wouldn’t go down to the cove; but she couldn’t just say no, she had a plan to stick to.
“Faith, you’ll love the cove, everyone usually ends up there after the dance anyhow. Come on.”
There! She found Alex.
“Let me just tell my cousin. I’ll be right back.”
“You can call him from my cell. Let’s just get out of here.”
Giving Alex a worried look and a jerk of her head she left with Reese. This would be her last night with him anyhow. She had found plenty of other people to be friends with and couldn’t wait to be rid of Reese after tonight. She looked behind her to see if Alex was following them, but all she could see were the lights of the school gym fading into darkness.

She had to give Reese credit. The cove was very lovely. Even at night she could tell that this would be a great place for Reese and his friends to seduce potential conquests. The cove was a small inlet off the river that formed a pretty good sized lake. There were picnic tables randomly placed along the water’s edge and there was a dock that led about 150 feet out into that water. The water itself was pitch black with only the moon reflecting off of the water as it lapped at the shores.

“Over here Faith,” Reese said as he and his friends sat down at one of the tables. Layla, Luke’s girlfriend, had a long thin box that she was carrying and she placed on the bench next to where she sat.
“What’s that?” asked Faith.
“We’re going to play with a Ouija board. It’s a full moon tonight so we should be able to talk with someone.”
“I can’t believe that you buy into that crap,” Reese said disdainfully.
“I don’t think we should play with that thing,” Faith said pointing at the board game.
“Don’t tell me you believe in that junk too.”
“I just don’t want to...disturb anything. That’s all.”
“Fine, you two don’t have to play. The rest of us will,” Layla huffed.
Layla and Luke placed their hands on the planchette as the others watched.
“Is anyone out there?” Layla asked and sat silent for a minute.
The planchette remained still.
“Hey, is there anyone out there or not?” Luke asked forcefully.
The planchette moved to ‘yes.’
“You guys are moving that!” Reese accused.
“I swear to God we’re not!” Luke answered back.
“What is your name?” Layla asked next.
The planchette moved from letter to letter slowly spelling out: N-A-M-E-L-E-S-S.
“What are you?” Luke asked the nameless entity.
“Unknown? What is that supposed to mean?” Reese said outloud.
“Shh!” Layla admonished Reese.
“What should we ask next?” one of the other girls queried nervously.
“I know! Where are you?” asked Layla.
R-I-G-H-T B-E-H-I-N-D Y-O-U.

“We have to find Faith. Now!” Chase yelled.
“I know! She looked at me before she left like she wanted to tell me something… I just couldn’t figure out what.”
“Do you have any idea where she went?” asked Nick.
“I told you! No. She just left with that idiot. That’s it.”
“Something’s not right. I can feel it. We have to get to her,” Chase insisted.
“I’d love to Chase, but I need to know where we should go first,” Alex roared.
“The cove! They’re at the cove!” Chase yelled as he yanked on the steering wheel in Alex’s hands. Alex hit the brakes and the car whipped around to face the opposite direction.
“The cove? How can you be sure?” Nick asked Chase.
“I just know. Now drive!”
Alex slammed on the gas pedal.

“Wh-What was that?” Layla stammered.
“Everybody get back to the cars. We’re leaving,” Faith started packing the Ouija board back up. She had to get these people out of here. The Dark Power wasn’t waiting until The Three’s birthdays, it was waiting for the full moon. He could draw power from it just like she could.
“Reese, where is your cell phone?” Faith asked.
“It’s in my car.”
“Damn. Get to the car Reese and make sure that everyone gets out of here.”
“You want me to leave you here? Hell no. You’re coming with us.”
“No. It might follow. Someone needs to stay here and distract it. Now go.”
“I’m not leaving. You are. I’ll stay and distract it.”
“FAITH!” Alex yelled as he jumped out of his car with a look of rage in his eyes. He was glaring at Reese.
“Alex, get them out of here! It’s here!”
“What? What’s here?” confused, Alex looked around and then looked back at Faith. Nick and Chase came running and stood next to Alex.
“Are you ok?” Chase asked searching Faith’s eyes.
“I’m fine, for now. But we have to get everyone out of here. The power. He’s here. They were playing with a Ouija board and he said he was right here,” Faith said quickly scanning the area in search of anything suspicious.
“Wait. What power? What are you talking about?” Reese said becoming more alarmed as the seconds passed.
“It’s not for you to worry about. We can handle this.” Alex surveyed the situation and started to bark out orders, “Nick, you and Faith make sure Reese and his pals get out of here. Chase, you take my car and meet Nick and Faith at the circle. I’m staying here.”
Nick and Reese sprinted to the cars.
“Shit! My car won’t start!” Reese cried out.
“Change of plans, Alex.” Faith said. “Alex, you need to get them out of here. Nick,” she yelled, “make sure their car starts up.” Nick nodded his head and his eyes began to glow with power. “Alex, he’s after you and you’re safer in the circle. Once Nick finishes with Reese’s car, you two go and head back to the house. Chase and I will distract him long enough so that Reese and his crew can get out safely. We’ll meet you back at the circle, ok?”
“How do you plan on getting back? Flying?” Alex raged.
“We’ll manage. Now go!”
“I’ll take care of her Alex.”
Clearly frustrated, Alex went back to where the cars were to get Nick and head out of there.

The cars pulled out of the gravel parking lot, kicking up rocks as the drivers swerved erratically in an effort to get away from the cove as fast as they could.
“Looks like it’s you and me, Faith. What did you have in mind?” Chase asked glancing around the cove.
“I’m not sure…” Her voice trailed off as she saw a man cloaked entirely in black come out of the woods.
“I’ve been waiting for you, Faith. I saw you draw down the moon tonight. Won’t you be a tasty little snack before I go and destroy your cousin?” his voice was low and smooth as silk.
“And what have we here? One of The Three? I think I’ll save you for later…say around October 31st?”
“Let her go. She has nothing to do with this,” Chase seethed.
“Nothing to do with this? You ignorant boy. She has something I want and I’m going to get it. So why don’t you just leave.” As the cloaked man finished his sentence he made a flicking-motion with his hand and Chase went flying backwards into a tree.
“Chase!” Faith yelled walking backwards towards Chase’s limp body.
The cloaked man stayed where he was.
“What do you want anyway?” Faith screamed.
“What anyone wants, my dear. POWER.”
“Yeah, well, you’re not going to get any from me!”
“That’s what you think. Unlike your clueless trio, I know you for what you are. I can see the power glowing inside of you. Ready and ripe for the taking.”
Faith looked around frantically, quickly trying to think of a way to stall the Dark Power and give Chase time to wake back up.
“Why didn’t you come and fight us on Alex’s birthday? Too weak?” Faith taunted.
“My power knows no weakness,” the Dark Power lied. “Your silly little circle can’t keep the likes of me out! I AM that circle! It was I who bestowed the power. It is mine, and I shall have it back!”
“Please, even you can’t break the circle!” Faith sneered trying to hide her desperation. What else could she use to distract him? Think!
“You can’t break our circle because you have to wait until the full moon to show yourself! You’re pathetic.” Then inspiration hit her, “You’re probably the one who assaulted that poor homeless man they found down here!”
The cloaked figure laughed derisively. “That bumbling fool, how unlucky for him that he stumbled upon something he shouldn’t have seen on the night of the last full moon. I couldn’t have him running off and alerting you and your pitiful witch friends of my presence now could I? But he is now nothing, which is what you’ll soon be,” he said taking a few small steps forward.
“Do you really think I would have been sent up here if I couldn’t handle you?” Faith said defiantly.
“Your poor thoughtless mother. Now, she was a tasty treat!”
“NOOO!!!” Faith screamed in anguish, rousing Chase from the fog of unconsciousness.
“Don’t grieve little Faith. I assure you her death was quick and painless.”
“Stay away from us!” Faith knelt down next to Chase and shook his shoulder gently, all the while keeping her eyes on the cloaked man. Chase moaned in reply and Faith tried to steal a glance at his face.
Seeing his opportunity to strike the cloaked figure threw up both of his hand in front of him and hurled dark energy at them.
Reacting on pure instinct Faith conjured a shield that glowed blue as the dark energy ricocheted back at the cloaked figure.
“Your puny shield is nothing compared to my power, witch!”
“Chase, wake up!! I need your help! I can’t hold this for long! Chase!”
“Faith? What the… Jesus!” Chase looked up and saw the blue shield with the cloaked man in the distance.
“Chase, we need to get out of here! What can you do? What are your powers?”
“We can sort of, um, teleport, you know, blink out; but I can’t move us that far on my own… I’d need Nick and Alex to help…”
“It’s just the two of us, so that’s going to have to be enough.” Faith grabbed Chase’s hand, “On the count of three, you’re going to get us out of here. We need to get back to the circle. Ok?”
“I told you, I need Nick and Alex. I’m sorry Faith.”
“Shut up Chase. You three aren’t the only witches in New Jerusalem. I’m going to give you my power. Nick and Alex aren’t here to help, but I am. Get us out of here on the count of three, got it?”
“You two aren’t thinking of leaving the party so soon, are you? Don’t go. The fun has only just begun!” The cloaked figure laughed maniacally and started to gather his power for a final blow.
“One, two..”
“Faith! Are you sure this is gonna...”
A sonic boom emanated from the cloaked figure. Chase grabbed Faith and closed his eyes. When he reopened them, he was in the circle with Nick and Alex. Faith lay motionless in his arms. Her hand still tucked into his.

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