Author: Hooded Dreamer PM
Apparently there was more to her oddities that she had originally thought. Otherworldly kingdoms and their royals, family secrets and a twisted reality was quickly becoming her new normal - and she wasn't sure she was okay with that. She supposed that curiosity killed that cat, but did that mean it killed the witch as well?Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Supernatural - Chapters: 7 - Words: 77,331 - Updated: 01-19-13 - Published: 01-06-13 - id: 3089716
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The insanity was brought on by the suffocating silence. After years on end of hearing nothing but the sounds of war, the lack of it was beyond maddening. The chaos had become so familiar to him that without it around, he felt too much like a ghost, which only drove him further into the numbing state of shock he found himself in, surrounded by the darkness and heat of this hell he and his people had been sent to.
Though the flames on his fingertips flickered about as they usually did, kept alive by his whim, their halo of light failed to extend as far as it had before. Above him there was no sun, no moon, no stars. He shouted out for someone, but the sound of his voice was muffled, like he had cotton in his ears, though he obvious didn't. He wondered if he was in shock, if it wasn't his surrounding that had caused this, but an impact of sort.
He refused to consider that this was death. There was just simply no way he could have died just yet – he had accomplished many things, but nowhere near what he had planned. Time didn't seem to exist, where ever he was, but it felt as if eternity had already passed him as he stumbled around in the darkness. He continued screaming, angrily at first, and then desperately. What a pathetic sight he must have made, a full grown adult crying out for his brother.
If he had seen another act the way he did, he would have put them out of their misery. Horrified, he recalled that he had. There was no regret in the action, no grief over the loss of a life or the impact it would have on the person's loved ones. No. The reaction was based only on the cold fear in the heart of the fallen prince that this was retribution for his deeds in life. This was his punishment.
He hit the ground with his knees, and real horror hit him in rolling waves. The ground was saturated with water. Memories from his childhood came crashing down onto him like a lightning bolt – the fear of drowning, the grief over watching his mother disappear beneath the surface of the dark water. He was certain now that he was in hell. All his past sins were finally catching up with him after years of carelessness. He still didn't regret a thing though.
Just as in life, red hot fury banished the fear from his blood, and soon his whole body became engulfed in the flames he so affectionately controlled. He would allow his mind to slip into a familiar, protective cloud of rage that had so loyally allowed him to get his way each and every time before. He would fight this – whatever this was. Hell, purgatory. Something else. Everything he had done, he had done to avenge his mother. Nothing was going to stop him from doing that.
~"-makes it possible for two moons in the same month. Now, every nineteen years we have what is called a…"
Destiny sighed and continued to tap the eraser of her pencil against her notebook, anxiously awaiting class to let out. The emotions in her classroom were running high – anxiety, fear, worry, sorrow – they were suffocating her mind. Even though her teacher tried to play it cool and keep her students' spirits up, it was pointless. Everyone was freaking out.
Destiny's sleepy eyes slide over to the empty seat next to her, where her best friend Wendy Grimme usually sat; to her other side was the missing girl's brother, who currently looked ill. Gazing at his sullen face, Destiny felt an overwhelming sense of sorrow for the scared boy. She tore her gaze away and instead focused on her teacher, who was writing the weekend assignments on the whiteboard. She tried to push Wendy to the back of her mind. The cheeky little girl, one of her greatest friends, was going to be at her house after school. Just like before, she had gone exploring again and had lost track of time. Wendy was like that.
When the school bell rang, everyone immediately stood up and grabbed their school bags –
"I want those rough drafts on Monday morning." The teacher called, "And please," she waved goodbye to the children as they left, "be careful."
Destiny immediately bumped into another one of her friends, the infamously trouble making Lisa Tile, outside her classroom.
"Destiny!" Said girl froze at the sound of her name being called by the teacher. She exchanged a nervous glance with her companion before walking back to her teacher's desk. "It would seem Mr. Grimme has forgotten his binder again. If you would please give it to him…?" Destiny accepted it with a tense smile and left.
The two girls went in the opposite direction of the rapidly moving crowd of children, where another pair of girls waited at the side of the school, whispering and writing in their notebooks. Upon Lisa's call, the two younger girls put away their things and jogged over to them.
"About time," said the first one, Celia Tile, her voice empty of the usually sharp tone it held, instead sounding deflated. Beside her, Destiny's younger sister Elli fiddled with her hair nervously.
"Ya, well, our classes get out later than yours. Not much we can do about that." Lisa snapped back, hooking her arm with her younger cousin, who rolled her eyes, but otherwise gave no reply.
Destiny frowned, looking over her younger sister with a worried, critical gaze. "You okay?" She asked quietly. Her sister nodded. "You don't look okay." Elli blinked slowly at her, a sort of darkness over her eyes as she tried to find the right words that matched her erratic emotions. Destiny took her sister's hand, and immediately sensed her sister's turmoil. "I know, me to." Her little sister gave her a quick, small smile, before gripping Destiny's hand tightly.
Together the four girls walked to front of the school, where there were fewer students, most of which were in the process of finding their family. Lisa chatted idly about the weather, homework, the latest episode of her favorite show – anything she could think of.
Destiny, however, wasn't so easily distracted. She felt a sort of sinking feeling in her stomach as they walked out of the school ground together, few other children braving the sidewalks in group fewer than six. Wendy always walked between Lisa and Destiny, at the center of their group, her older brother, Jimmy, usually several steps behind. She didn't see him outside the school, and figured he must have already been picked up by his Mother. As they walked down the hill leading to the town, she observed the missing posters that were nailed to trees, some lying lifelessly on the ground, the streets. On each was Wendy's gleeful face, staring back at them unaware of what would become of her. It was a picture that had been taken a month back, during a picnic. Destiny felt her heart clench and throat constrict. After a brisk, twenty minute walk, the girls arrived at Destiny's grandmother's shop.
"Lorain!" Lisa called, jumping through the threshold like she was playing hopscotch – a rather childish act for a girl of thirteen. The other three followed closely behind her.
The old woman, far from frail, came out of the backroom, dressed in flowing fabrics of purple and wearing golden jewelry on each limb. "Girls, you're late." She said, her eyes sharp and searching – they immediately found Destiny's eyes, their forest green colors mirroring each other. She relaxed, sighed, but then crossed her arms over her chest. "Come, eat." The girls shuffled up the staircase in the back room to the living area above store, each taking a seat around the table by the window. They thanked the old woman and began to eat the plate of muffins Lorain had set in front of them. "You girls need to be more punctual -" she paused at the confused look on Lisa's round face, "That is, on time. One second can mean all the difference."
Lorain was an old woman whose knowledge seemed endless to the young girls that gathered around her kitchen table each evening after school. She was also very much into the supernatural – though, to Lorain and her two granddaughters, it was much less supernatural than it was natural. The Hill family had been gifted with abilities that the common man would quite literally kill to have – mindreading, heightened empathy, the third eye, to name a few.
Destiny had inherited her grandmother's unique abilities, though it seemed to have skipped their skeptical mother, and had yet to emerge within the hopeful Elli. Destiny's abilities had caused her a lot of grief – unwanted sights and visions – but because she had the encouragement and support of her loving grandmother, she had come to embrace their natural gifts.
However, there was very little of the supernatural world their grandmother let them experience outside of their little family unit.
The Tile cousins nodded, hiding their smiles at the silly old woman – a loud, male voice called their names from the shop downstairs, they immediately recognized it as Celia's dad and Lisa's uncle, Martin Tile, arriving right on time like he did every day after school. Lorain hurried the girls to the man waiting nervously downstairs. He thanked the old woman for watching the girls, expressed his regret that his work wouldn't let him off a half an hour earlier so he could pick up the girls himself, and then left with the two chatting cousins.
When Lorain reentered her kitchen, she took a seat at the kitchen table. In the chairs to her left, the remaining two girls held expression the opposite of their giggling counter parts.
"Do you think Wendy is okay, Grandma?" Elli asked quietly, fiddling with a loose strand of her long blonde hair. Next to her, her older sister sat heavily in her chair, arms crossed over her chest. "Can you see where she is?"
Lorain didn't respond right away, instead taking a long, slow sip of her tea. She eyed both her granddaughters, hesitating on her answer. "It would seem – Wendy has gotten herself into trouble." She said carefully. "She has gone to a place where…I can provide no assistance."
Destiny bit her lip, a wave of worry washing over her, making her stomach tighten uncomfortably. "So you think Wendy is dead." She asked, her voice cracking with emotion as she thought about the girl that she had grown up with – the one that loved to draw on the bottom of her shoes and kick soccer balls against the wall of the school. Her best friend. Her partner in crime.
Her Grandmother placed a hand on her Granddaughter's tense shoulder. "I don't think death has yet come to young miss Grimme…but she is on her own, wherever she is. Her disappearance was not caused by…conventional means."
Destiny took a deep breath at her Grandmother's usual, vague answer and pushed out of her chair, brushing off her grandmother's hand and ignoring her sister's worried look. "I need some air." She said in a flat tone. When her grandmother called for her to be careful, she waved over her shoulder dismissively. Once she was out of the kitchen, she jogged down the stairs to the shop and then straight into the backroom, leaving through the back door. She flopped down into one of the two chairs that sat against the wall in the ally way.
Destiny knew she was blessed with gifts, but at times like these, she wished that she was just like everyone else. Oblivious. Unaware of the otherworldly dangers. Simply hoping that whomever took the girl down the street would return her, unharmed, rather than know that she probably suffered a dark, grisly last few hours. The stories her grandmother told her were awful. Wendy couldn't be dead. There's no way. Wendy laughed in the face of danger and found a stick to chase it away. She was a fighter-
The backdoor to her grandmother's store opened. Destiny didn't have to look to know it was Lorain who took a seat in the plastic chair next to hers. The two sat in silence for a couple of minutes.
"Sometimes I wish I didn't know." Destiny said finally, staring at the brick wall in front of her.
Her grandmother waited a long minute before finally saying, "There is still much you don't know, my dear."
The child resisted the urge to shout back. "I've read every book you have, I've researched our kind of things on the internet. What else is there to know?" Destiny said bitterly, rubbing her hands together in her lap as she tried not to think about her best friend's unknown fate. Instead, she fixed her gaze on the wall in front of her.
Lorain saw something in her granddaughter there, something that reminded of herself in her youth. She sighed and reached down to hold her distraught granddaughter's hand. "So much. So very, very much I hope you will never have to learn about." She said gently. "I've taught you all about creature of the night, love…but it is the creatures that hunt during the day that I hope you will never have to learn about."
Destiny furrowed her brow and looked up at her grandmother, who smiled sadly down at her.
The old woman sighed and clapped her hands together, "Now dear, I need you to run something down to your Aunty. Come."
~Sarah Hill slowly moved a fresh hand towel over the surface of the flat slab of stone she sat in front of. "I'm worried about Mary," she said quietly to the stone, touching the name sketched into the surface, "I think something going on with her, but she won't talk to me about it. Do you know what it is, dear?"
"I bet you do." She said thoughtfully. "You were always so observant. She's just like you. Mary, I mean. Every time I look at her I see you your soul in her eyes."
When she approved of her finished work, she folded the towel in her hand and set it to the side, neatly placing her hand on top of the other before setting them on her lap. From her position on the ground, she looked up and examined a passing cloud with a sort of detached gaze. After several moments, she sighed and gently reached down to run her fingertips over the name engraved into the stone once more. She sensed her two nieces approaching, but made no effort to look up or even faintly acknowledge their presence, her attention far to focused on the stone in front of her.
Destiny kept her grip on Elli's hand tight and unrelenting as the pair entered the large plot of land that had been in their Grandfather's family for…many, many years. Now that their grandfather had died, their Aunt Sarah had been maintaining it, a job she devoted her life to since her husband's death some years ago. Her own two daughters showed less enthusiasm than their mother, but Elli, who had been extremely close to their Maternal Grandfather, had already taken to helping her Aunt.
The two girls knew the land like the back of their hand, as they had spent many of occasions placing flowers and assisting their grandmother and Aunt in maintenance, but Destiny always got a very uneasy feeling about the area. And it had nothing to do with the hundreds of decomposing bodies that rested several feet below. It was the same feeling she got whenever she helped go through her Grandfathers things – dread, she supposed. He had a knack for making the everyday, mundane items into powerful charm carriers.
Elli didn't understand why her older sister always took to biting her lip or humming nervously the farther they progressed through the graveyard, and if she ever asked why her sister wouldn't know what to say, as she herself didn't know why. However, she had a sneaky suspicion it had something to do with the overgrown area of the plot, where their grandparents refused to let anyone go near...where the flowers grew wild and tall, far above either of their heads. All they could see of it was the curious puffs of pink and blue flowers in the distance.
When they spotted their Aunt, she was sitting on the ground in-between two live oaks – a pair of peculiar trees that had been planted on the night of their Uncle's burial and had grown rapidly in the years since, their long limbs tangling together in a way that seemed almost agitated to Destiny.
Right behind their Aunt, the girls released each others hand; Elli walked over to one of the trees limbs that hung low on the ground and climbed on it, taking a seat there while Destiny stood over her Aunt.
"How's Uncle Collin?" Destiny asked, watching her aunt carefully. Sarah didn't reply. Destiny wasn't hurt though - her Aunt sometimes retreated into herself and got stuck there. Their Grandmother was always telling them stories of how Sarah would start perfectly still in thought for hours on end, forgetting about the world around her as she contemplated a problem. When she wasn't like that, she was a lovely person to be around.
"Looks nice." Elli piped in as she began climbing up the length of the tree limb, her sister keeping an eye on her protectively.
Destiny reached into her pocket and pulled out a package of seeds her Grandmother had instructed her to bring to her Aunt, bending down to place them in Sarah's lap. Her Aunt flinched back into awareness at the contact, but relaxed and sighed as took the seeds into her hands, "Thank you." She said quietly. "Collin always loved tiger lilies. Something about them made him smile. You'll like these, won't you sweetie?" The woman asked the flat stone.
Destiny exchanged a nervous look with her sister, who slid off the tree and came to stand beside her. While their Aunt chatted away with the grave marker, they briefly wondered how their Uncle would have felt if he saw their Aunt now. He had been so much in love with her. So attentive...
"Do you think he can hear her?" Elli whispered quietly to her sister.
"No." The pair jumped at their Aunt's voice, "He can't. He doesn't want to hear anything I have to say anymore."
~The trip to the Grimme residence took a while longer than Destiny would have liked; a sudden wind had picked up, and was currently showing its best efforts to try and knock the pair of girls down. They progressed though, slow and steadily to the polished house that sat at the end of a long row of equally polished houses. It was the upper class part of their town, a place that their Mother was desperate to move to. Their Father didn't seem to care either way, but it seemed a lot of their more heated arguments had to do with money and ways of obtaining "A home on Riverview Lane", as their mother put it.
Destiny knocked on the front door, the sound of a pair of heels clacking against wood floor sounding immediately before the front door was yanked open violently, revealing what had once been a very polished woman. Her entire being has since been morphed by grief and fear. "Good afternoon Mrs. Grimme." The two girls said in unison, clinging to each other against the cold wind. Mrs. Grimme, a tall, strikingly beautiful woman with sharp features and slick, dark hair that was almost a shade of blue, looked them over with a slow, searching gaze before she caught sight of her son's binder. She tilted her chin up before she looked away, then moving aside to allow them to enter.
"I brought Jimmy's folder. He left it in-"
Mrs. Grimme had already begun to stumble away, smelling similar to the whiskey bottle their grandmother kept on her bedside table, her pale hands reaching up to tug and pull at the pearl necklace that hung from her skinny neck. She came to stand in front of the fireplace in the living room, staring at the family portrait that hung above it. In particular, she searched the bright gaze of her only daughter, Wendy - a child that had been her spitting image, only with her Father's infectious smile and mirth filled eyes.
Destiny frowned and took her sister's small, cold hand to led her to the staircase, her sister following loyally, trusting in her instincts to take them where they need to go. Her sister's instincts where usually right. Usually. The walked up the staircase and to the second room on the right – the door firmly closed. Destiny knocked once, then twice. There was shuffling. The door opened, revealing a tall, older gentleman who eyed Destiny with plum colored irises like she was a rotten apple. Destiny lifted Jimmy's binder and offered it to the old man – he snatched it and closed the door in her face. She huffed and turned arou-
"If it isn't Liam's girls."
"Good afternoon Mr. Grimm." Both girls said in unison once more as a stocky man came out of another room, carrying what looked to be a sweater for his wife. He looked tired, though that came as no suprise.
The three exchanged pleasantries ("How's your daddy?" "Good.") before Mr. Grimme's blood shot eyes, the man having not slept since his daughter's disappearance three nights prior, moved over to fall on the door at the end of the hall. Wendy's room. He traced the bright stickers on it and held his breath, as if expecting her to pop up behind Destiny like she sometimes did. But when a moment passed and nothing happened, he slowly exhaled. "I have something for your Daddy… stay here." He flashed the girls an empty smile before taking the sweater downstairs, disappeared from view.
Mr. Grimm, Corey, and the girls' Father, Liam, had been teammates, best friends, and make-shift brothers since they were old enough to crawl. The relationship they had mirrored the one Destiny had with Wendy – a connection similar to the ones between siblings. When Liam had moved out of his family home after a particularly poisonous spat with his wife, it had been the Grimme residence that he had stayed at – much to the displeasure of the lady of the house. Since Wendy's disappearance, both men had been searching restlessly, only coming home this morning after they had a long chat with police.
Destiny sighed and squeezed her sister's hand, her feet and curiosity leading her to the door Mr. Grimme had just come out of, "Might as well run something to Dad. Been running around do things for everyone else." She said under her breath. Elli nodded loyally, staring up at her sister with admiration. From their position at the door, Destiny could see into a large office. Her eye immediately went to the paintings that hung on the wall.
Several mermaids lounging on rocks, arching their backs toward the sun as they tried to soak in the warmth, a forest with cynical looking trees and their bleeding roots, a ballroom floor filled with elegant looking puppet dancers circling around one smug looking puppeteer. What looked to be the liquid fire mouth of a stirring Volcano, devouring a city of white buildings. Very odd paintings.
"My wife's." Destiny jumped, turning to see Corey standing behind them. "Petra always had a knack for the…strange and unusual." He rubbed his chin as he stared with empty eyes at the painting of the Forest. "Wendy was the same way…Is. Is the same way." He corrected, closing his eyes and shaking his head with a troubled frown.
When Destiny arrived home, her older cousin and the second child of Sarah was sitting on her porch, scribbling flowers onto her notebook with a pink sharpie as she sang along with a song that played on the radio next door. The young woman was everything her two cousins longed to be. Pretty, popular.
When Elli called her name in greeting, the singing stopped abruptly. "Destiny! Eleanor!" The older teen squealed, springing to her as she hurriedly shoved her things into her backpack. As the two younger girls came over to her, she quickly slide her wedge shoes back on, throwing a glance up at the clouded sky and briefly worried about rain before stumbling over to her only cousins. "Are you girls excited for tonight!"
Destiny gave her older cousin a tense smile while she allowed the older teen, Crystal, to grab her younger sister and pick her up in a similar fashion that a child would a rag doll, cuddling the weary blonde and cooing affectionately. "Ya." She said tensely. "Of course. Even though I'll be one guest short."
Crystal paused in her fawning over the little blonde girl, trying to comb the child's long blonde hair with her fingers. "Did a guest cancel-" She bit her tongue and cleared her throat at her carelessness, "Oh. Right." She reached out to offer the brunet teen a comforting hug, but Destiny pulled away before she could, stalking up to the front door and proceeding to unlock it with her spare key.
"It's okay, Rys," Elli said in a pitying tone as her older cousin looked uncharacteristically sad. The other blonde looked down to her with a little smile, patting her head before leading her into the house.
By the time they entered, Destiny had already gone to her room and locked the door. Crystal frowned and went to the fridge to retrieve a fruit tray there, taking it over to the table for her youngest cousin to munch on. She thought to herself for a moment before she reached into the back pocket of her skinny jeans and retrieved her cell phone. Quickly, she pounded in her sister's phone number. Mary was her older sister, and was the person she always turned to first for everything. Her grandmother was great and all, but she just didn't get her like Mary did.
Her call was answer on the third ring with a threatening growl that was a customary welcome in Mary-talk. "What?"
"Mary, I did it again. I think I upset Destiny." Crystal said quietly into her phone, reaching up to twirl a strand of her hair around her finger and she rubbed her heavily glossed lips together in worry. "What do I do?" She said with a whine.
There was a shuffling sound, and then a long, drawn out sigh. "Give her space." There was another sound then, and Crystal recognized it as Mary clicking her nails together, something the older girl did when she was concentrating. "What's she pissed about?" There was just enough curiosity in her tone for Crystal to proceed to tell her. It took years of experience, trial and error, to understand the many intricate layers of Mary's complicated emotions.
Crystal hurried explained. "You need to watch what you say, Crystal!" Mary barked in irritation when her younger sister finished speaking, "And stop worrying." She said as an afterthought, her voice much calmer now. "She'll get over it." Suddenly, an idea struck Mary – she licked her lips and grinned wide, looking positively feral. "Isn't that one boy you yammer on about having a party tonight?"