Title: The Witches' Secret of Sirius
By: Ally
Summary: Egypt's hidden ancient mystery is unlocked and four teens discover not only their past but also their destinies. Will they succeed in preventing the destruction of all living things?
Feedback: Feedback is not just definitely wanted but appreciated *G*. I like criticism, not to mention comments on needed areas of improvement (scene, dialogue, characters, etc.), or praise. So, send them... send them now!!! *G*

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The Witches' Secret of Sirius

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Chapter Three: The Road Now Taken

The business that came in on weekends was always slow, especially during weekend mornings. Customers always either came in during late weekday nights or in the weekday afternoons during the typical lunch hour.

There wasn't much a small town bookstore could do to gain more business, as most people preferred Borders or Barnes and Noble; where all the books lived alongside comfy chairs and café shops. Corey, being a bookworm herself, always visited those stores when she got the chance... much to the dismay of her boss. She already deterred his disapproval by telling him that young people didn't really enjoy his collections. He didn't have much, practically none, in stock of novels such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Charmed, Harry Potter, Roswell, Angel, or even Anne Rice stories. And what really dropped the bomb on the argument was when Corey brought up the lack of a new age section.

Corey tried to point out that if he got books on those subjects, his business would be blooming. But, of course, being a Christian stopped him from buying books other than the Semitic genre. He ignored his liberal side in that area and it wasn't just that but he also didn't want to loose customers... not that there were many flocking to his store anyway.

Stellard's Book Shop was mostly visited for three primary reasons; it was close by to the neighborhood, they had at least come decent collections for adults and senior citizens, and people on their lunch break wanted a store that was closer to their offices and homes.

Corey liked working on weekend mornings because of the fact that she didn't have to deal with many customers and her primary job for six hours was stocking shelves and filing books orders. It wasn't a very difficult job to do and her boss Larry, of course, secluded himself in the back break room for the duration of Corey's hours anyway. Her and Vincent had the morning hours on weekends to work and Tommy and Kim had the afternoon and night hours to work. To be truthful, it wasn't that bad from Corey's standpoint. She got out at noon and had the whole night to herself, meaning that she was open to either going to the movies with her family or hanging out with her friends.

"It's not here, ma'am, I'm sorry." Corey gazed at the elderly woman, their first customer of the morning, with an apologetic look. "You could buy it at Borders or at the mall. Sadly we are a store with limited collections," she explained.

The woman nodded solemnly. "Oh, well, thank you. It is just our anniversary tomorrow and it is a gift that I have been meaning to get for him."

"I'm sorry."

"It's alright, Dear. Thank you very much for your help."

"You're welcome."

Corey watched in silence as the woman walked, seemingly with physical strain, toward the shop's double doors. She felt kind of bad about the blatant disappointment written on the woman's face. She really seemed to have wanted that book desperately.

"You know what I'm wandering," a familiar voice spoke out from the back storage closet.

Corey shrugged, opening the register to check the cash inside. She wasn't a mind reader. "What?"

"Where are all the customers?"

Corey's eyes moved to the closet at the far left of her. "They're probably out grocery shopping with the rest of the Mount Holly community. It's a Saturday morning, Vince."

The reply that Corey got was a muffled murmur. What was he doing back there? Then again, maybe it was better to remain in ignorance because she honestly didn't want to know. Shrugging dismissively, Corey continued counting. She didn't need to do an imitation of her mother's shocked screech and get her nerves all up in a troubled whirl of stress. If he screwed up, Corey could just point and say that it was all him; things just worked out better that way.

After completing her task of money counting, Corey closed the register. The store had a very calm silence to it and as she waited for Vincent to finish up his work in the storage closet, Corey leaned on her elbows over the front desk counter, her hands moving restlessly through the dark tangled locks of her hair.

The sound of pages ruffling reached her ears and Corey purposely ignored it. Instead, she shifted her weight back to her feet and approached the opposite side of the room. The store wasn't large and expansive like others and Corey figured that she would at least keep herself occupied whilst being in the vicinity of Vincent's clumsiness.

They really needed to add some more spunk to the place because it felt like she was working at a morgue or something. The carpets were a soft darkish purple and the long mahogany bookshelves made Corey feel like she was back in the southern home of her grandparents. The only positive side with the bookshelves was that they went up to her collarbone and she didn't have to reach or use a latter in order to stock them. Yes, being short definitely had some disadvantages and anyone who was around Corey's height range could probably understand that.

As she rounded past the first bookshelf, Corey noticed that a previous customer had left her a little present behind to clean up. Two books were strewn thoughtlessly upon the floor and the first to reach her feet had the book's pages split wide open in full view. Corey just gave out an exasperated sigh, her body bending down to reach for the first discarded item. Was it that difficult to return books from where you had taken them?

In this place it was obviously a difficult chore to take the time to perform.

The images that struck her eyes from the page made her hesitate. The big bold letters of the title and the half broken piece of a demonic mask nearly made her fingers grow cold. There was something frighteningly familiar about that particular picture and the name in a much smaller print seem to increase some inward panic that Corey found herself suddenly trying to push away.

Why would the Epic of Gilgamesh possibly make a person's heart stop?

Well, Corey had some weird things happen throughout her life but this was just ridiculous, or as Dominic would say, just incredibly gay.

At that thought, her eyes met the image again with a more skeptical attitude. It wasn't even that scary for a Babylonian mask; it looked like it was practically decaying. And who names a scary guy like this Humbaba, anyway?

Corey didn't bother wondering any further. She was just slipping and it was obviously beginning to show. She closed the first book and picked it up with a tight frown. It was what she realized to be a world mythology book. Dismissing any reservations she had on the topic, Corey then reached for the second one on the floor.

"A Harlequin romance novel, huh? People have some strange reading habits," Corey mused aloud, her lips quirking into a brief smile of amusement. A loud crash broke her out of her musings and Corey couldn't help but scowl at the sound. Vincent was raising hell back there and what got her further agitated was when she heard him yell, "Corey, get Larry for me!"

* * * *

The movie had been long, but actually pretty descent in the opinion of both boys. Upon getting up in the afternoon, both Ian and Patrick agreed on going out to see a movie. The night for them had been long and the idea of staying indoors for the duration of the day did not bode well for either of them. The need for socializing had hit and the entertainment of a film sounded pretty good to both boys.

Now, three hours later, they were going back into Patrick's home, the primary reason for return being to smoke and chill together before Ian had to leave.

"Hi mom," Patrick greeted, moving through the narrow screen door with Ian in tow. It didn't surprise him that his mom was still at home, and in the same position on the large tan armchair in the living room.

Madeline Jacobs looked up from the television set to the door, her eyes gazing at them curiously. "Where were you at?"

Patrick frowned at the question. His mom always wanted him to check in every couple of hours and when he did, she often forgot where he was and if he even checked in at all. "We went to the movies mom."

"Oh." Madeline's surprise faded as she recalled the last conversation she had with her son before his late afternoon departure. "I heard a bunch of noise upstairs not too long ago and I figured it was the two of you," she recalled, "It might have just been Tessa and one of her girlfriends because I forgot the two of you even left."

"Yeah, it might have been," Patrick replied impassively, sharing a dark look with Ian over his mom's head. They both knew that Tessa had left the house to go to Cathy's soccer game. She wasn't upstairs and neither was Patrick's stepfather.

"Yeah. Did you boys get something to eat yet?"

Patrick nodded. "Yeah, Mom."

Madeline grinned, taking a cigarette in between her chubby fingers from the coffee table situated at her knees. "Good. I don't have to cook anything tonight then."

"I guess not," Patrick agreed, pushing his hands silently into his jean pockets. He couldn't stop himself from looking in the direction of the stairway. He had a feeling about this whole thing and the inside of his house practically radiated with a very distinct and negative vibe. His old house near Whitehall, that had all kinds of vicious ghosts roaming within it, had not come close to having the chilling sensation that resided here. It was a presence that likely scared even the ghosts themselves away.

"Uh, mom, Ian has to leave in a few hours and we'll be upstairs for awhile, okay?"

Madeline waved her hand dismissively. "Yeah, go ahead. I don't really care what you boys do."

Patrick and Ian shared a worried look as his mom turned her attention back to the television set. Both seemed to move swiftly in silence toward the direction of his room, anxiously wondering what had gone wrong.

After climbing nervously up the narrow flight of stairs, both stopped to look on in shocked silence through the open doorway of Patrick's bedroom.

Something had gone very wrong last night and what confirmed it further was not only the open door that they had closed previously before leaving, but the fact that the room inside was completely trashed.

* * * *

The silence of the room was pierced by the brief beeping of the alarm and Corey sat up from the living room loveseat to glance up at the door. Her mom was home right on time.

She smiled thinly at her, tucking back the loose wisps of short brown hair behind her ears. "Hey. How was work?" Kalee asked, placing her jacket in the closet at the far left wall.

Corey sighed, setting her novel down on the coffee table. "Same shit, different day," she grumbled.

"It's a good thing that you don't work at a law firm then."

Corey nodded in agreement. She didn't have to deal with snooty lawyers and she definitely didn't have to deal with whiny clients of a small law firm. Her mom actually had it worse than she did.

Kalee Dawson fortunately had the gift of being able to bite her tongue when she needed to. It was a gift that Corey hadn't been blessed with and out of anything in the world she hated ignorant people.

"So, did you get the supplies for your room?"

"No," Kalee answered, striding across the floor to pick up the newspaper on the sofa. "I couldn't find the color I wanted."

"Are you going to take out the carpet and stuff?"

"Yep. I wasn't planning on buying paint that matched the nasty carpet color I got now."

Obviously. Corey still needed to get hers changed because revolting dull orange was definitely not a good color for her own room. "Why did our house have to look like the inside of a papaya when we bought it?"

Kalee chucked. "It was the style in the 60s," she answered, unfolding the newspaper and frowning in disappointment.

"Yeah, well, it was an ugly style," Corey scoffed.

The phone in the kitchen suddenly rang out and Corey gave out a mumbled, "I'll get it," before moving past her mother's frozen and shocked form. Her mom was obviously too engrossed in her sports section to even bother acknowledging the screaming machine in the other room. The woman got into hockey and football a little too much...

She walked past the basement corridor without a second thought and crossed the kitchen to grab the phone hanging on the wall. "Hello?"

"Oh my God! Corey, tell me why-" The voice on the other line was a very familiar one and Corey grinned as she started spitting out words a mile per minute. She might want to take this one upstairs...

"Corey, who's on the phone?" Her mom yelled curiously.

"It's Astrid, Mom," Corey answered, "I'm going upstairs."

She moved out of the kitchen doorway to the first flight of stairs inside the living room. If she was going to listen to Astrid rant on about Patrick's stupidity then she was at least going to listen to it in her own room.

"What were you saying?" Corey asked, shutting the door quietly.

"He's screwing up yet again, Corey," Astrid gushed irritably. "He makes plans with Ian after we agreed to have another date, a real non-messed-up date, and then he hangs up on me after I tried getting it through his thick head that we haven't ever had a first date."

"He hung up on you?" Corey asked. She couldn't help but cringe at the boy's choice of ending the conversation. That was a bad move on Patrick's part.

"Yeah. He told me that he didn't have time to listen to this argument, he was tired, and then he just hung up!"

Corey sighed heavily. She was beginning to feel like a marriage counselor. It seemed that there was a new issue or a new argument every week and with every situation that appeared out of nowhere, Corey found herself pulled unwillingly into the middle of it. It was also difficult to choose sides with two people who were a couple and your friends.

It was a good thing Taye and Dominic weren't as bad as these two or Corey knew she would more than likely loose her sanity.

"I'm sure he didn't mean it. Just try to talk to him after he's cooled down," Corey advised, turning on the small television set at the opposite wall before moving to sit on the twin bed.

Corey's advice was always somewhat neutral as possible and for some very serious reasons. The only part of the story she knew she would only hear was Astrid's. It wasn't that she didn't believe Astrid's arguments because Corey was absolutely positive that they were real. Astrid tended to take things too much to heart and she over-compensated in drama where only Patrick was concerned... but, of course, Patrick tended to do the same thing from time to time. The guy tended not to think before he acts or speaks and it was this fault that Corey took quick notice of.

The second reason was that Astrid was a very emotional person and refused to break up with Patrick because she loved him and was too emotionally attached to him.

Corey wasn't going to over-step her boundaries. Every relationship had its problems and her responses had to be logical, sympathizing, and carefully spoken out. She didn't have the whole story... and she was merely just the mediator, not the judge, jury, and executioner.

Quite honestly, if she were as frustrated over a guy like the way Astrid was with Patrick, Corey would have dumped him in a heartbeat. A guy, in Corey's opinion, is just not worth that amount of stress.

Then again, Corey couldn't see herself being dependant in relationships in the first place. Astrid and Patrick were both wanting to have control, both were very emotional people, and each of them also came up with what Kenneth and everyone else deemed to be stupid things to argue over.

In the end, however, Corey thought they not only deserved each other but were also meant to be a couple from day one. The good news was that when arguments like these arose, all Corey had to do was talk to Kenneth or Dominic and then she would understand perfectly what had transpired and each person's perspective of it and why. Kenneth, Dominic, and even Patrick had commented on Corey's way of thinking things out.

Apparently, Corey mused, she had a typical personality of a girl and yet lacked what they like to call "stupid feminine logic". It seemed almost hypocritical because Kenneth often liked to call Corey a feminist. Which, of course, wasn't the case and Corey didn't really hate men. She just didn't like the bad apples. She had her share of dating jerks and it didn't take her long to figure out that being smarter than the enemy was better. To know the game they played, you had to know people and know how to analyze them.

Afterwards, Corey realized that guys in Mount Holly didn't really like independent girls and they especially didn't like girls that were smarter than them because they found that to be intimidating.

Men, Corey thought, go figure...

Astrid sighed, exhaling all the pent up frustration that she possessed. "I'll try," she replied. She was still angry and it wasn't lost on Corey because as her best friend, she understood her moods.

"Good," Corey encouraged, slowly coaxing toward a change in subject. They would eventually work things out on their own. "So, are you going to the mall?"

"No. How was work with Vincent?"

"Hell," Corey answered, "is murder always a crime?"

Astrid chuckled. "You really want to kill him that much, huh?"

Corey smiled thinly. "It's getting to that point, yeah. Gods, I'm tired as hell."

"Yeah, me too."

"Well, at least you don't have a job," Corey reminded with a yawn, "not to mention with an addition of annoying co-workers."

"Hey, I'm trying to get one," Astrid replied with a laugh, "and I don't see how stocking bookshelves could possibly cause exhaustion."

Corey played silently with the bedspread below her feet, wandering if telling her anything would be wise. She didn't want to come off as sounding like a nutcase. "It isn't really from stocking shelves or work. I've just been getting bad nightmares and weird dreams."

"What kind of weird dreams?"

* * * *

It was like watching a movie, only without the theatre and comfortable seats. She found herself suddenly looking down from a bird's eye view at a breath-taking countryside below her.

The land was beautiful, a calming sight of rippling green hills and rocky mountaintops. It was a familiar sight that spawned an eerie calm within her and left her wanting to seek answers. A powerful energy existed within this place and Corey felt an overwhelming pull to it. It was a connection that seemed to overpower every sense within her and it was a vision of beauty that left her wandering how she knew this place, this land, and why she instantly thought of it as home.

She saw nothing of city life and for some reason; the lack of modern buildings and transportation didn't surprise her. The future and present had no part here.

It was the past. It was her past...

The hills suddenly began to move, or perhaps, it was she that was moving?

Focus went on movement within the glorious highlands and Corey found herself intently watching a twirling head of flowing auburn hair.

All motion stopped when the dream went from looking above the woman to in front of her. All motion seemed to cease except for the woman that was twirling among the hills with her arms and fingers outstretched toward the sky.

It was like looking at a redheaded version of herself. It shook her to the core because Corey realized that it was her past, herself that she was watching.

What was happening...?

She was spinning in circles amongst the grassy mounds, her hair tumbling down to her knees, following along with the graceful movements of her body.

It was the past...

The gown she wore was of an early century, what looked to be a tan laundress dress that came down past her ankles to the luscious grass at her feet.

There was a still silence in the air and the woman stopped, seeming to sense eyes on her. "Tha an doras fosgailte. Cum ort air rathad seo," she spoke, her index finger suddenly pointing at a newly formed dirt path before her.

"Tha an doras fosgailte. Cum ort air rathad seo."

* * * *

There was a brief moment of silence.

"What does that mean?" Astrid finally asked.

"The door is open, carry on this road," Corey answered, her eyes focusing on her feet. How did she know that?