Chapter One

FREAK!

The word stung, bright red paint garishly 3D on her blue door, the paint was still wet she realised as she reached out, her fingers brushing against the edge of the word.

Spinning around she looked out to the street in a vain attempt at discovering who'd done it; her eyes darkened when she realises that the graffiti artist has already run away.

Shoving the key into the lock she storms inside, swearing when she realises she's left the ice cream melting on the front step. Going out to recover her melting goodies she paused, two kids on skateboards slowly rolling by her front yard, their heads turned in her direction.

"Freak!" one of them yelled.

It hadn't always been like this, only a few months ago nobody outside her family and her best friend, Mercy, knew about her gift, Lucy could see spirits, echoes of the dead who hadn't quite passed on, and animals too sometimes.

But then, some idiot had an idea, everyone who had an ability, everyone who could do something no one else could do. Everyone who was Magical; would come out of the shadows.

She hadn't wanted this.

That was the thought revolving in her mind as she scrubbed at the red paint. She didn't want to have to write her name down on a register like some criminal, she wasn't a criminal. She was just Lucy... and she could see ghosts.

Her pill bottle rattled in her pocket as she shifted, she didn't want to be known for her talent. She didn't want those stares, the little old ladies crossing themselves before crossing the street to avoid her... she didn't want mothers pulling their children away and whispering about her being an evil being.

She wasn't evil. She wasn't something to be feared. She-

"Lucy?"

Lucy's heart dropped as the scrubbing brush fell from her fingers, Gabriel Jones... Gabriel Jones. The reason she barely spoke to her best friend, the orphaned witch that had become obsessed with her abilities that had brought her near death, that had terrified her.

"What do you want Gabriel?" she choked out, keeping her eyes on the door, the feeling of his leather belt constricting around her neck as it had those years ago resurfacing the way it did when she woke screaming from her nightmares.

"Can we talk?"

"I told you a long time ago, we have nothing to talk about."

"Lucy-"

"You tried to kill me!" she snarled, whirring around to face him, "You would have succeeded if your sister hadn't hit you over the head with the pepper grinder!"

"Mercy's missing."

The words cut her like a knife, "What do you mean missing?"

"Gone. I tried calling her but, she's just not here."

"Maybe she doesn't-"

"She's not like you." He spat back, "She didn't abandon me when I made a mistake!"

"You're calling attempted murder-"

"I... I didn't mean to hurt you. I just.... I wanted to talk to mum."

Her eyes narrowed, "Look where that got you. Now, Mercy?"

"She's been out of contact, for a week. I went round to her place and she wasn't there. Her phone was on the nightstand and she... it was like she'd been taken."

Taken.

"What am I supposed to do?" she asked, "Have you called the police?"

"The police won't help us Lu. You know that."

"You don't know that." She pressed, "Call them."

"We're on the Registry too. Freaks don't get help from anyone. We're on our own Luce," he reached for her hand, trying to make her see, "we're all each other has. Benji's not talking to me-"

"Someone has some sense then." She bit out.

"You loved us once."

"You tried to kill me once." She countered, her back pressed against the wall.

"She's not changed her lock at the flat." He said pressing a key into her hand, "Just go, take a look, you might see something I didn't."

She took the key, not making any promises and watched him walk back down the garden path, he stopped at the little iron gate, turned and waved his hand before winking and walking out of her yard.

When Lucy turned to go back inside, her whole body shaking with fear, anger and trepidation, the sight of her front door made her pause the door stood before her, navy blue and wholly untouched.

She made up her mind then and there, she'd go to Mercy's house tomorrow.