Author: TheSnarkKnight PM
Genre savvy Mackenzie Kenison is far too curious for her own good. Once she gets the idea in her head that the supernatural might be something very real, she searches obsessively for answers. But Mackenzie is finding out that knowing of the supernatural world is far less glamorous than anything the media would have you believe.Rated: Fiction T - English - Supernatural/Friendship - Chapters: 8 - Words: 17,128 - Reviews: 2 - Follows: 2 - Updated: 08-20-12 - Published: 08-15-12 - id: 3050706
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Decisions are life. So making too many wrong ones, is obviously not a good thing. It can even end up defining you. Mackenzie Kenison learned this the hard way during the summer before her senior year. Her life and the lives of those around her went to hell. And it all started with one stupid decision she made in the local book shop.
"Tony, do you have the last Vampire Diaries book before they all went to shit?" Mackenzie yelled as she traced the closest book shelf with her index finger. It was the beginning of summer break after junior year, so she was searching for new reads in the teen section. This was an annual tradition for her and her best friend Allison, and they'd been doing it since seventh grade. Tony was a high school friend of Mackenzie's mom Ella, so he'd always allowed them to roam his store during his lunch break and after it was closed. They mostly did it out of tradition now, as both of them had graduated into worlds of classic literature and more adult books, but it was still a fun way to spend one of the first days of the summer.
"First of all, I've never read one of those books in my life. You'll have to give more of an explanation. And second, quit cussing around me. I've been cool about it, but eventually I'm going to feel obligated to tell your mom that her daughter has the mouth of a truck driver," Tony said, sneaking up on her from the back of the shelf.
"She means the fourth book," Allison explained, coming from the opposite direction. She bent down, mouthing the letter 's' until she found Smith. She pushed her curly blonde hair out of her face and tapped each book in the row.
"Dark Visions, Forbidden Game, Night World.." Allison muttered, then stopped, "Here, Vampire Diaries."
"Now was that so hard?" Tony asked, patting Allison on the back while looking at Mackenzie reproachfully. Mackenzie shrugged and took the book from Allison.
"I just enjoy bothering you," She stated, sarcasm nearly written on her face. Tony rolled his eyes and left the two girls to their book search, going to the front of the store.
"So are you getting that?" Allison asked as her light blue eyes examined the cover. Mackenzie flipped through the last couple pages, not worried about spoilers. She had read them all already.
"Wait, is this the one with the ghost soldiers?" She asked with distaste.
"Uh, yeah," Sophia said, reading the back, "I think it is."
"Then I think I'll pass," Mackenzie said, bending down and placing the book back on the shelf. "That one's too Bonnie heavy for my liking."
"Why do you hate the redheads Mack?" Allison asked with a joking smile.
"No matter how often you make them, jokes about my hair color will never be funny," She replied, bunching up a handful of her own bright red hair. Between that, the pale skin tone, and the Scottish ancestors, Mackenzie should have loved Bonnie for their similarities. But the differences were much more pronounced. It wasn't just physical appearance, though Mackenzie did have hazel eyes and more height to her, but she felt Bonnie lacked fire.
Allison picked a book off the shelf, examining it. "I remember liking this."
"You did when you borrowed it from me two years ago," Mackenzie said, also turning her attention back to the books. She looked at a mystery book for a second, considering getting it, but then set it back down. She could never read straight through a mystery, she always skipped to the end in order to find out the outcome. All the waiting and build up killed her. Just as she was about to join Allison on the floor, Tony walked up to them, feet scraping across old carpeting.
"I'm going to go get a bag of chips from the gas station down the street, want anything?" He asked.
"Get me a six pack," Mackenzie said, slouching and rubbing her abdomen idiotically.
"Of Pepsi," Allison finished. Mackenzie raised an eyebrow at her and she shrugged. Tony smiled and started towards the front exit.
"I'll be back in ten, don't break anything," He yelled on the way out.
"No promises," Mackenzie yelled back, shooting a sly grin at Allison, who shrugged. She went further towards the back, where there was a room that Tony like to say was full of cookbooks. Mackenzie had wondered what was really in their since childhood, but had never been alone in the store long enough to figure out. She walked back there, scooting past Allison carefully. She debated for a second whether going in was a bad idea or not. On the one had, Tony had never gave them access to it or even mentioned the possibility of her entering the room. On the other hand, Mackenzie just had the overwhelming urge to know what the room contained.
She let her curiosity get the better of her, as it often did, and put her hand on the door handle decidedly.
"What are you doing?" Allison asked, getting out of her crouched position by the second to bottom shelf and walking to Mackenzie.
"I wanna know what's in here," Mackenzie said, "You won't tell on me, will you?"
She knew the answer before Allison said it. "Of course not."
"Okay, then lets see what's behind door number three," Mackenzie quipped, twisting the doorknob. She swung the large wooden door open with a thrust, and was met with darkness. She felt the walls until she found a light switch, and with a flip the room lit up.
"There's only books," Mackenzie said, scrunching her face in disappointment. The room had four shelves, each with a display of books that looked rather old. There was an odd musty smell to it, and the lighting was dimmed.
"Except over there," Allison pointed to a table in the corner with bags of different colored substances and bottles of odd liquids. Mackenzie walked over to further examine them.
"Is Tony selling drugs?" Allison asked, her tone more worried than curious. Mackenzie shook her head.
"I don't think these are drugs Ali," She said, "I think they're herbs."
"But why would he keep herbs hidden in the back room of his book store?" She asked. Mackenzie felt a bag of green flakes that had the texture of dead flower petals. "I don't know."
She dropped the bag and scooted over to one of the book shelves. "These look pretty old to be cookbooks," She commented.
"Yeah," Allison said, reading the cover of one that was leaning on other books on the top shelf, "I think this is in Latin."
Mackenzie pulled out a book that had a title in English on it's spine. "Beginning incantations."
She flipped through it as Allison watched from over her back. There was a new entry on each page, written in clear cursive. Every one held a passage of words that almost seemed like poetry, and some included ingredients. The pages of the book were fragile, brown, and crinkled. Mackenzie flipped through it carefully, completely fascinated.
"Is this some kind of New Age stuff?" Allison asked. Mackenzie shot her a look that she hoped read "You're kidding, right?". Allison shrugged, obviously thinking it was a valid question.
"I think it's... magic," Mackenzie said. It was Allison's turn to shoot her that look.
Mackenzie ignored her, and put the book back on the shelf. She went over the the next shelf, which held books with titles such as History of TM and Guidelines of Treaties. She grabbed on that read Encyclopedia of Supernatural Beings: Bound to the Masquerade. Mackenzie read the table of contents, finding out the book contained sections on vampires, werewolves, and spellcasters. There were others, but those were by far the largest. She looked over at Allison who was staring at the book, eyebrows furrowed and mouth set in a straight line.
"Do you have your bag?" Mackenzie asked urgently. Allison looked startled.
"Yeah, why?" She said, going to grab it off the floor by the YA shelf. She brought it back, grasping the top of it. Mackenzie snatched it out of her hands and put the encyclopedia in it hastily.
"Really?"Allison asked disapprovingly. Mackenzie nodded and did a once over of the room, making sure nothing looked too different than it had when they'd first entered. When she was sure everything other than the spot of the missing book seemed unharmed, she exited the room. Allison followed, turning off the light and shutting the door behind her.
"Yes, really," Mackenzie said, "Did you see what was in there Ali? That was-"
She stopped short as she heard the front door to the shop opening. Her and Allison each looked at each other in a panic, and Mackenzie clumsily grabbed a book off the bottom of the shelf nearest to them. Allison did the same, and closed the flap on her messenger bag. Tony showed up from around the corner, a big bottle of Pepsi in each hand.
"I didn't want you guys carrying a six pack home tonight," He explained, handing them each their drink, "Did you find something?"
"Yeah, I think I'm going to buy this," Mackenzie said, holding out the Night World book she had picked out in a rush. It worked out fine because she didn't own it, she'd only borrowed it from Allison years ago. Tony took it from her and Allison handed him what looked like the third Pretty Little Liars book. Mackenzie had started to look track of the names and numbers of the sequels once the sixth book came out. They both followed him up to the front where they paid for their books and he offered them a ride home.
"No thanks, we're good to walk," Allison said, almost opening her bag to put the book in. She then seemed to remember that there was a stolen item in her possession and instead hugged the book against her chest. Mackenzie went and opened the door for her. Tony smiled.
"Hey, tell your mom I said hi," He said, "And be careful out there. It's pretty late."
"This town is consistently unexciting, I think we're safe," Mackenzie replied, feigning a yawn.
"I wouldn't be too sure about that," Tony said. His tone was teasing, but there was a secret meaning in his eyes that Mackenzie might have only caught because of her discoveries in the back room. She nodded, not letting any amount of understanding on her face, and backed out of the store. The door shut behind her with a clap, and she started down the street. It was a warm night, and clouds covered the moon in the sky. Allison and her walked side by side on the sidewalk, their path lit by ugly orange street lights. Once they were a good block away from the book store, Mackenzie asked Allison for the book.
"You don't seriously think this is real?" Allison asked, handing the book over with slight hesitation. Mackenzie took it out of her hands and looked it over once again.
"Don't tell me you've never thought of the possibility," Mackenzie replied. Allison looked lost for a second. "I mean, you're the biggest fan of this shit that I know. You can even sit through every Twilight movie without needing a swift bullet to the brain."
"Uh yeah, but I'm a fan of it because it isn't real," Allison finally replied, "If like, vampires and werewolves were real, they would be dangerous."
"We don't know that," Mackenzie said, "We wouldn't know anything about them. If there's really such a thing as supernatural creatures in real life, wouldn't you want to know more?"
Allison shook her head, her mouth hanging open while she found her words, "Uh, probably not. I'd like to live past the age of 17, thank you very much."
Mackenzie smiled as they came up on the street where they went their separate ways. "Well, I think you can either hide from the bad parts of the world or embrace everything it has to offer. And I'll take option number two."
"Curiosity killed the cat, Mack," Allison said, smiling faintly as they came to the corner that served as the meeting point between their houses.
"It's a good thing I'm not a fucking cat then," Mackenzie claimed, tilting her head slightly. Allison sighed in exasperation. Suddenly all the joking left her face.
"Hey, I really don't want to get in trouble for that book," Allison said, staring at her shoes for a moment. Mackenzie shook her head.
"You won't. If Tony asks, I did it all by myself," Mackenzie stated. Allison smiled and rocked back on her heels.
"Thanks Mack," She said. Mackenzie waved it off and they said their goodbyes quickly. Mackenzie held the two books in her arms carefully the whole walk home,
An hour later, Mackenzie lounged on her front porch with the "encyclopedia" and large bottle of soda. It was late night and the light from her front hallway was the only thing allowing her to make out the words in the worn out book. She liked
Just as Mackenzie flipped a page, her phone buzzed. She sighed and sat up, grabbing her phone and checking the message. It was from her best friend Allison, asking if she had figured out any grand conspiracies yet. Mackenzie ignored the message and continued reading, about vampires. Apparently they had been around since the dawn of time, just like spellcasters and werewolves, and had been under the rule of The Masquerade since the early 1700's. They were more likely to come out at night, though-
And just like that, the words disappeared.
Well, not really. The didn't just disappear in a poof. It was like when you turned on lights in a large room and they all went on slowly, one by one starting and getting brighter. One line, faded then the next, and so on. Mackenzie sat up straight, flipping through the pages as every bit of information left it and cursed loud enough to wake the neighborhood. If there was any doubt in her mind that the contents of that book were real before, there definitely wasn't now. She threw the book down, and walked to the porch.
Whatever happened with the book had to be caused by some sort of spell. Whether it was automatically there, or if Tony had found out about their adventures tonight, Mackenzie was sure it meant nothing good.
She heard her phone vibrate again from behind her but didn't even turn around this time. She turned her attention from the sky and the almost full moon to her small street and jumped. There was someone walking two houses down, hands in their pockets. Mackenzie rolled her eyes at herself for getting scared; people walked down Orchard Street every day when she was out on her porch. While that was usually during daytime hours, she had no reason to freak out because someone was outside at night during the summer. It's not like they were walking towards her house.
Except, of course, they started walking towards her porch. Mackenzie turned and scooped up her phone and the book, then started towards her door when a voice called after her.
"Wait," A male voice pleaded. Mackenzie paused at her screen door and looked at the boy who stood a few yards from her porch.
He looked to be about 17 or 18, so about to her age. He wore a leather jacket and dark pants, a strange ensemble for a summer night, and seemed to be pretty lean. He had tousled blonde hair and a handsome, yet endearingly childish, face. Mackenzie's first thought was that a fucking Salvatore brother just showed up in front of her house. Her second thought was "Holy shit, this hot guy's going to murder me."
"I'm sorry for scaring you, my name's Julian," He said. Mackenzie waited for further explanation but all she received was an expectant look. She realized he was waiting for an introduction from her.
"Um, I'm Mackenzie," She said cautiously, "Why the hell are you here?"
He laughed at her bluntness. "The other day I moved in with my grandma at the house down the street. I saw you out here every night and thought I'd introduce myself."
"This is certainly the best time to do that," Mackenzie mumbled. She wasn't entirely sure what time it was, but it had to be past ten.
"Well I was going to come earlier but something came up with my little sister. I was going to ask if you'd like to show me around the neighborhood sometime," Julian said with a smile. Mackenzie raised an eyebrow at him.
"Sure," She said, "As long as you promise not to murder me."
He laughed again. "I promise. So should I stop by around two on Thursday?"
"Yeah, that would work," She said with more obvious cautiousness. She caught him eying the book in her hand, and retreated a little farther into her doorway.
"Sounds good. Goodnight Mackenzie," He said, retreating into the darkness.
"Goodnight Julian," She murmured, so softly he couldn't have heard. Mackenzie grabbed her soda and went into her house, locking the door. She watched Julian through the window as he walked to the end of the street and entered Mrs. Addison's house. She exhaled loudly and retreated to her bedroom. She didn't get much sleep that night, as she spent a long while just looking over the blank pages of the stolen book.