Tale of the Cursed Witch
Chapter 1: The Accident
The city of Ontario is one of Canada's largest cities and people flock here for various reasons stemming from work to school and other reasons. In the city's residential areas sits several neighborhoods of people who can speak both English and French as a chosen language. In a home on the south side of town resides the Davidson family consisting of Linda, the mother, Bailey, the father and their daughters: 14 year-old Lila and her 11-year-old younger sister Olivia. The family, however, isn't your typical family as they harbor a secret that will change the lives of both daughters forever.
(From here on, I'll write this story from the perspective of the characters as things unfold.)
I lazily drag myself into the living room where my sister is eating breakfast and my parents prepare to head out on their daily missives. My mom is a businesswoman and my dad is a freelance journalist (at least, that's what they tell me). Both my sister and I have a mark just below our right palms on our wrist. It looks like a clover but I know there's more to it but neither of them will tell us.
"You guys remember my talent show this evening?" I remind them about not being late knowing that's always been their modus operandi.
"Don't worry, we remember," my father responds from the kitchen before rushing toward the front door.
"It starts at eight, right?" my mother asks me rummaging through the fridge for a coke.
"Yeah and I want you guys to see me this time," I tell them as they rush out the door to their respective jobs.
"Have a good day and I'll see you tonight." My dad yells from the car as they pull off.
"Alright Olivia, it's time we got going as well." I tell her and she grabs her books rushing over. She looks up to me for guidance for some unknown reason so I try to be a good influence (although I'm anything but). We walk out on our way to her school since it's closer than mine is.
I finally make it onto my school's campus. It's nothing spectacular compared to schools in some of the other cities but hey, Ontario isn't that bad. Walking through the courtyard, I immediately spot my friends hanging under the canopy by the band entrance.
"Hey girl," my best friend Serena Yeldon yells back. She's a lot like me with blonde hair with red and blue highlights which is unlike my blonde hair with green and blue headlights. Some say we look like twins but they're way off.
"Hey yourself," I hug her and turn to my other friends. Andy Grainger stands as the tallest in our group at 6'1" along with his brother Ernie. Both of them are on the football team and wear those letterman jackets. Serena's friend Jasmine is about our height and has dark skin along with her braided hair. "What's going on?"
"We're just chilling waiting on this boring day to get started – what else?" Ernie retorts in a deep, fake French accent. He always had a disdain for school and anything that doesn't involve sports. "Yet we're here so we have to learn stuff that we'll never use in life."
Serena glares at him in disgust overhearing the first bell ringing starting the day. "You never know you over-glorified jock. Now, let's get to lit class before Mr. Maldeau throws another tantrum at us."
I follow Serena and Ernie into our literature class and take our seats in the middle of the room. Personally, I like Mr. Maldeau as he's one of my favorite teachers and for some reason, I've always taken a shine to him – not that I like him or anything (that's gross) – but I seem to get the way he teaches. I hear the bell ring again starting class and notice a female enter the room, one I hadn't seen on campus before, and sit in the desk behind me (little did I know that this would be the last moment my life would forever be . . . normal). She's taller than me and Serena dressed in a deep violet dress with bright purple flowers, jet-black hair and eyes so brightly green they could shoot lasers.
"Alright class," Mr. Maldeau starts the class turning on an overhead projector, "today we're reading "Legend of the Phoenix," a story about a young person overcoming huge odds to become someone of the highest standing in our world." As he says this, he stares at me and I swear his eyes flash a bright, fiery red sending shivers up my spine. "This story might relate to some of you. I want you all to read the story and raise your hand when you finish so we can discuss it."
I open my textbook to the story in question and begin reading. I glance over to Serena giving me a sly smile before turning to her textbook. I read the first few paragraphs diving myself into the text of the story. Turning the page, I notice the words start spinning in my lights slowly go out.
I notice Lila grab her head as the lights dim in the room snapping everyone out of their train of thought. I turn to the back of the room in a state of confusion. "Mr. Maldeau, what's happening?" I question our teacher staring deftly ahead of him like he ignored my question. Turning my head in Ernie's direction, I see he's already fallen asleep. "Typical," I mutter under my breath shaking my head. Turning around, I see the girl sitting behind Lila raise her left hand and this strange black light shines around her hand extending into a long dark blade. "Lila!" I yell getting her attention, "watch out!" I point behind her. The girl swings her hand but luckily Lila dodges the odd light.
"What is that?" I question Mr. Maldeau watching the girl step in Lila's direction. Not watching anymore, I step in front of my best friend as the rest of our class crowds the back of the room in sheer terror. "I don't know who you are but you better back off – otherwise you'll face the consequences."
The girl scoffs at my comment making me angrier. "So you're the protector? Don't make me laugh." I have no idea what she's talking about nor did I even care. My best friend is in trouble and I'm not letting her get hurt. "You goody-goodies don't stand a chance against me – novice."
"Novice," I grow incensed over the comment. Clenching my hands, a greenish-orange orb forms in my left hand, "now I'm mad." I step to the stranger growing in anger. "I'll tell you again: leave my friend alone."
"You think you can talk to me like that then you're as good as dead," she snaps at me swinging her makeshift blade. Raising my clenched fist, I open my hand releasing the energy encasing myself and Lila in an orb. "Fortunate for you, my friend here comes first." I peek at Lila gathering herself next to me. "You ok?"
"What the hell is going on girl?" she questions me unsure of the unfolding display. She looks around at the orb I've just conjured. "You did this?"
"Not now Lila; I'll explain everything later."
"Explain what? How are you doing this?"
The girl in front of me glares at Lila with, what I call total disgust, before turning in my direction. "You're seriously defending someone who doesn't know their magical heritage? Damn, this will be easier than I thought," she wings her hand shattering my protective barrier knocking me back into Lila. "You're weak."
"Enough!" Mr. Maldeau calls out directing everyone's attention. "You will not harm the future of the netherworld!" He stares directly at me with this look I'm well familiar with. "Get her out of here Miss Yeldon!"
"Yes sir," I reach for Lila when I hear a loud thud directing my attention. The girl had our teacher pinned against his desk. "Mr. Maldeau," I run toward him only to be pushed back against the whiteboard next to the door. "Let me go."
"Sorry little protector," the girl snickers back at me cocking her head, "but you've failed. This girl must die." I struggle to try and free myself from the whiteboard. "No use trying to free yourself, my spell has you pinned and you can forget saving your little friend."
I continue to listen to the bantering between Lila and this girl trying to kill me. "Who are you and why are you doing this?" I jump in front of Serena to keep her safe.
"Who I am is not important," the woman forms a long blade out of what appears to be nothing, "but I'm under orders to end you and now I get to do just that," she jams her blade into my chest causing me to scream in extreme pain.
"Lila," Serena calls my name breaking free of her restraints. I suddenly feel the heat rising in the room. Looking down, I see my arms burning. "My arms," I see my body burn but the fire doesn't hurt. The girl in front of me steps back in fear. The room brightens as I let out a loud scream heard through the entire building as I lose all sense of presence.
5 Days Later:
I barely crack my eyes squinting at the brightness of the lights. Moving my head, I get a glimpse of the room I'm now in. "How I'd get to the hospital?" I think before glancing over seeing my sister sitting next to me playing on my phone. "Hey," I gargle out snapping my sister out of her train of thought, "I thought I told you not to mess with my phone." Olivia wraps her hands around me causing me to cringe a bit. "Easy," I struggle to move but wince against the pain through my whole body, "I'm stiff."
"Sorry," she releases her grip turning to the door. Two doctors, none of whom I recognize, walk in and notice my head turn. "She's awake," she tells the doctors before stepping back letting them examine me.
The first doctor, a guy, looks me over grabbing my left arm. I wince in pain as he checks out the smoothness of my skin. "I see you're healing nicely young lady," he speaks in a sweet, easing tone (for a guy) that lets me relax for a bit. "You were a mess when you arrived here."
"What do you mean?" I question him still lost over my current situation. I try to sit up through the pain still racking my body. "And why do I feel so heavy?"
The second doctor, an older woman wearing a greenish-white lab coat, pulls a strange device from her coat pocket. "Turning into a full-blown phoenix will do that to you," she cracks a smile at me scanning my body, "but you're recovering nicely."
The male doctor nudges his coworker getting her attention. "She just woke up," he reminds her, "so we should let her mother explain that."
"Explain what? What are you talking about?" I hear the door open and in walks my mom of all people with a worried look on her face. "Mom," I turn in her direction with intense pain, "what are they talking about?"
My mom turns to the doctors as they finish their examination. "I need some time with my girls," she excuses the doctors from the room. She stares at Olivia and me cracking a nervous smile. "Girls, we need to talk."
"You think?" I retort aggravated over the decreasing pain in my body. "At least I'm feeling better. Now what did that doctor say about me changing into some phoenix?"
My mom hung her head slightly sitting between me and my sister. I can tell whatever this secret is, it's heavy. "Well, let me start by saying that our family is not like other families. I'm sure you two have noticed that you have certain abilities that those around you don't."
"I know I have," Olivia reacts to the statement much more strongly than I did. With her being younger, it's no surprise that she picked up on whatever is going on. On the other hand, I'm more consumed with the track team than anything else. "I can levitate small things when I clean my room."
"That's because our family is from a long line of warlocks and witches." I stare at my mom in disbelief.
"You can't be serious?" I snap at her growing in disbelief. "That explains why that girl tried to kill me in my class. Then again," I flashback to Serena using some kind of barrier to protect me, "I think Serena is definitely a witch."
"I hate to tell you this, girls, but our family is cursed. The birthmark on your wrist is a curse mark placed on our family because of our power to shapeshift."
Olivia looks at our mother with growing intrigue only an innocent preteen can muster. "We can shapeshift?"
"We sure can and that's why you two have to be protected. Your father and I tried our best to keep you from learning about our family's history but that's no longer possible."
"There are people who want to kill us – your sister specifically. I'm not going to tell you why because it's something you'll discover for yourselves – at your new school."
I let that statement register in my mind for a second. "Wait, what this about going to a new school? I have track tryouts next week."
"I'm sorry Lila but my decision is final. Once you're cleared to leave here, you'll go to the place I went to when I was your age – the Institute of Magical Entities – or IME. You two have to stay safe while your father and I find out why you were attacked."
My thoughts suddenly change to my friends and wondering if they're okay. "Mom," I stretch in my bed feeling much better then when I first woke up, "do you know what happened with Serena?"
"Your friend is fine and so are your other friends; unfortunately, your former school was so heavily damaged the district rendered it unusable." That would explain why I'm changing schools on that front.
"How did that happen?"
Olivia rummages through my phone selecting a video. "You might want to look at this," she hands me my phone as I watch the video of what happened to . . . me. "I remember the first part of what happened," I fast-forward the video to a fire. I stare at myself being engulfed in flames changing into a fiery bird. "I did this?" I shake my head not believing what I'm seeing. "Mom, am I responsible for what happened to the school?"
"I'm afraid so darling," my mother nods confirming my worse suspicion, "but you didn't know you could shapeshift which is what I have to talk to both of you about now."
"What do you mean?"
"In regards to your birthmark, it also allows you two to shapeshift but our family's creature is that of a phoenix – the symbol of rebirth. You, Lila, have the gift of healing with your phoenix powers which is how you're recovering so quickly."
I have a hard time getting my head around the fact that I'm a witch moreover that I'm something called a shapeshifter. "I guess," is all I can mutter at that second. I grab my cell phone dialing Serena's number. "I need to talk to Serena about some of this." My mom takes my cell phone from my hands right before I press call. "What Gives Mom?"
"You'll have plenty of time to talk to your friend when you get to IME. I'm still talking to both of you about what's coming next."
"You already said we're both going to this IME place. What more is there?"
"Your father and I have some serious questions about the woman running the place. We're not entirely positive about sending you two there but you've already been registered by the one in charge." My mother turns to my sister hanging on her every word. "You will start tomorrow Olivia at the primary school and your sister will start in three days."
"I can't wait to start learning more about what we can do."
"You'll do that and then some my dear." My mom looks at me looking less than thrilled to say the least. "What's wrong Lila?"
I shrug my shoulders growing more confused. "Just learning about is making my head spin and not in a bad way. I guess going to IME wouldn't hurt anything since I apparently messed up the school."
"I know you're feeling bad but you had no idea that you could do something like that." I can easily tell my mom is talking in circles around something serious. "Why don't you rest? I think you'll be released tomorrow and then we'll get you packed?" She turns to my sister leaning on my hospital bed. "Olivia, we have to get you ready to go."
My sister jumps up hugging her mother. "Yay," she rushes out the room in a full sprint.
I chuckle slightly watching my sister's happy-go-lucky attitude. "At least someone's excited about this," I shake my head cracking a slight smile. "I seriously need to download with Serena on what happened."
"You will sweetheart. Just know if you need anything or want to talk, you can come to me. I have a feeling that you're in for quite a time."
"What makes you say that?"
My mother walks to the door cracking a smile. "Call it mother's intuition." She leaves the room as a nurse enters with a plate of food.