"Ugh" complained holly for the hundredth time. "Tell me again why we couldn't just do this in your backyard?"
"Yeah" chimed in Rae, swatting at the air around her and rubbing her arms. "I hate the outdoors, too many bugs"
"I already told you, the atmosphere in my backyard just doesn't work, we need to be out here where we're free to use our magic without restraint." I was so tired of those two always complaining.
"Do you even know where we're going?" Sneered Holly
"Are we lost?" That was the first time I'd heard Ashton speak since we picked her up earlier. She was always so quiet around the four of us. All though, I can't really blame her. She had just started hanging out with us a few weeks ago.
I had first met Ash, in English this semester. She walked in everyday with a book in one hand while the other constantly pushed up her glasses. She sat between me and the wall, never talked to anyone, and was always reading. She certainly didn't seem like anything special. Until one day during a test her pencil rolled off the desk and got wedged between its legs and the wall. If she hadn't sworn I would have never looked over but when I did, I saw the pencil lift into the air and into her waiting hand.
I watched her for 2 weeks after and began to notice small things that she did, unlocking her locker without turning the dial, opening class room doors without actually touching them. I cornered her in the halls at the first chance I got.
"Ashton! Ashton, wait up!" I jogged up next to her, catching my breath.
"Hey" I smiled brightly at her.
"Uh - hey" I'd never talked to this girl before and we'd had several classes together since kindergarten. It was obvious why she was skeptical about this sudden encounter.
"How are you? Have you finished that paper for Mueller's class yet? His class is such a drag." I chuckled.
"Yeah I finished it" She was being short with me, but no worries.
"Cool. So I was wondering if maybe you'd like to have lunch with me and my friends today."
"Why? She deadpanned.
"Why not?" I asked "We've had classes together for years why not start getting to know each other?" I flashed her another bright, innocent smile.
"Exactly we've had classes for years, why now?"
We had stopped, just outside the cafeteria doors.
"Okay Ashton, I'm going to lay my cards on the table here, I saw what you did in class the other day, and with your locker every day, and with the doors while you're reading."
She opened her mouth to object but I lifted my hand to stop her.
"Don't try to deny it, I know what you are, denial is futile. Met me and the rest of the girls at the benches out by the pond once you've grabbed your food."
With that I turned on my heel and headed to my own locker to grab my lunch, leaving Ashton, with her jaw on the floor.
"Why would you tell her we knew!?" Screeched Rae
"If I hadn't she would never had agreed to come sit with us"
"But she didn't even agree! You left her with no choice, what if she doesn't show!?"
Just then a shadow appeared on the table, turning around I saw it was Ash.
"Hello Ashton, welcome" I greeted, tossing Rae a wolfish smile "Take a seat and I'll introduce you"
She circled around and separated Rae and Holly, sitting directly across from me.
"How do you know?" I rolled my eyes, again with the abruptness.
"Now, now Ash" I tutted at her "Good things come to those who wait. On to introduction! To your left is Rae Hanley and to your right is Holly Blake. Next to me is Amber Duchant, and obviously I'm Coraline Bradigan." I gestured to everyone around the table, but never taking my eyes off of Ashton.
"Ladies, meet Miss Ashton Morgan"
"How. Do. You. Know?" Ashton's jaw was taunt and her tone was meant to be threatening, but her eyes were swimming with fear.
"It was easy really, you ought to be more careful."
"Because I'm a witch too" I smirked at her "We all are."
Her jaw dropped for the second time that day and her eyebrows shot up to her hair line. I thought for sure she would get stuck that way, till she put on her poker face, conveying no emotion. Crossing her arms and leaning forward on the table so eyed me with disbelief.
"Prove it." Was she really challenging me?
I narrowed my eyes at her then looked at the girls; "Apple anyone?"
With that I stuck out my hand just as an apple dropped from the tree above us. Taking I bite I offered it to Ashton; "Want a bite"
"Lucky coincidence, I'm not impressed."
"Look at the tree and tell me, do cherry blossom trees produce apples?"
She was one of us from there on out. As soon as we found out fifth member I wanted to bind our circle immediately, but my grandmother, rowan, told us we couldn't until we made sure Ashton could complete the 7 wonders, proving she was a full-fledged witch. The rest of us had taken the test on the first full moon following our 16th birthdays.
We trained her for weeks and when it finally came down to the test she passed all but one, divination, with flying colors. She tried over and over again until finally she told me where we were hiding Holly. And that was good enough for me, I wanted to do the binding that night. But again, rowan convinced me to wait, claiming that the girl had not yet fully matured.
After 3 more weeks of waiting and testing we got it down to just 3 tries on divination. I decided it was perfect timing and we could wait no longer. There was going to be a full moon that Friday night, we would do it then
We had reached the clearing after 10 minutes of walking. In the middle was a bonfire pit my family used when we camped out here. Turning to the girls I gave them instructions to help prepare.
"Rae, get the sage and purify the area, we don't want any negative energy creating an imbalance. Help her will you Ashton?" she nodded at me a quietly scurried after Rae.
"Holly, you and Amber start a fire, I'm going to look around and make sure no one is nearby"
We split up and set to work, tonight was important, we needed everything to be perfect.
"Alright ladies stand around the fire. After you prick you hand, let a drop of blood fall into the fire then link up with the person who went before you" I looked at them all feeling nervous for the first time that night, when my eyes passed over Ashton, I got a heavy feeling in my stomach but quickly dismissed it. I need to focus.
After pricking my hand and watching my blood drip into the fire, I watched as the knife traveled around the group and as we linked hands. Taking in a deep breath I began.
"Fire, Earth, Metal, Air, Water, and Blood. By these elements, we bind the circle, and follow in the steps of our ancestors; who pledged themselves to fight against the forces of darkness. When evil assails us, when fear weakens us, when descent threatens us, in the circle we will find our power. We come to this place alone, but leave bound as one. With this oath, our journey begins together. Do you accept the circle?"
My words hung in the air waiting and together, as one, we spoke; "I accept", with resonance.
The air around us thickened and my body was electrified. There in that moment, my mind was on a different plane. I became connected to my sisters in a whole other way. I could feel an energy of infinite capacity flowing through my body, the world around me looked golden, like the sun. And then it was gone, just as quickly as it had come.
"That's it?" questioned Rae.
"No" I whispered in disbelief. "There has to be more, that can't be it! Did you guys concentrate and focus you energy like Rowan showed us!?"
I looked at the other girls with accusing eyes, till they fell on Ashton. She was laying in the grass, unmoving.
"Ashton?" I asked. No answer.
I crept towards the girl.
"Ashton this isn't funny, get up now!" I tried to speak with force but my voice gave way to a quiver at the end. And that's when I noticed it, the blood, trickling out of her mouth and down the side of her face. Her eyes were glossed over and empty, soulless. Rowan's words rang clear in my thoughts: "I do not believe that the girl is ready Coraline. You must put off your binding till she has matured. You are putting her life in danger by being so hasty." So this is what she had meant.
"What's wrong with her Cora?" asked Holly.
There was a long pause, we all knew what I was about to say but we had just hoped it wasn't true.
We stayed like that, standing over Ash's body, for quite some time. Finally it was Amber who spoke up, always one to take charge when I was at loss.
"We need to help her cross Cor."
"I know." I responded. "Holly, get the matches and sage from my bag please."
I had yet to take my eyes off of Ash. I had done this. My impatience and selfishness had killed her.
I vaguely noticed Holly standing next to me, handing me the sage. I took it from her and watched her light the match and hold it to the plant. As it started to glow orange, I blew out the flames and let the smoke billow in the air. After wafting it over Ashton's body, I set it in a bowl Holly had brought, next to her head. Stepping back I reached for my friend's hands.
"Together girls." I cleared throat and we began.
"A time for everything and everything in its place, May the Angel of Destiny guide you beyond this impasse. Traverse in peace on the other side of the veil, My blessings, so mote it be."
A slight breeze floated around us and carried the rest of the smoke off into the night. We had done what we could to ensure her crossing to the other world, now we needed to deal with her in this world.
"Rae, call the police. Amber help me put out the fire, Holly and, hide the knife in the trees."
Hey guys! So I hoped you liked it, if you did or didn't make sure to comment below. If you want to see pictures of the characters you can check out my pinterest. My usermane is savannuuuhh_x . Thanks for reading!