And this is what I like to call chapter 3…

uChapter Three/u

Nearby these three young witches were four teenagers the same age, two females and two males. All of them were generally lying around in branches of old, gnarled trees. Kell, a girl with dark, short brown hair and brown eyes, sat up and raised her eyebrows.

"There are people coming this way," She said darkly. Meliese, the female with short strawberry blonde hair and blue eyes, jumped down and grinned evilly. Both of the girls were rather tall for their age.

"Good. I'm bored. But not hungry," She added before the others could speak. Landau, a boy with extremely white hair, rubbed two sticks together vigorously. The other boy, Torric, with darkish red hair in partial spikes, didn't notice this and slid off of his branch onto the ground. He listened intently and nodded.

"Sounds like about 3 of them, and at least two of them are female. All of them are about our age," He told them. Landau looked at Torric, impressed.

"How can you tell if they're girls or not?" He asked. Torric smirked slyly.

"They're talking a lot," He explained. Both boys cracked up. Kell opened her mouth in a wide, protesting grin. Meliese narrowed her eyes, amused.

"Very funny. Just remember, I can whup both your asses," She warned. Kell's grin became even wider.

Their laughter was cut short when voices rang through the trees, sounding close.

"Are you sure you heard maniacal laughter? It could've been those other personalities you keep in there..." Was caught from a male sounding voice. It seemed doubtful.

"They don't laugh like that. Maybe it was those bats that kept watching you," interjected another voice, this time feminine, although it was a bit deep. Torric, holding his breath, held out one finger and grinned.

"Shut up! They were watching me!" The first voice objected.

"Yeah, with their evil, paranormal powers. It was probably just the wind, Nettle. You must have heard it weird," Another female voice put in. Torric held up two fingers and smirked smugly.

"Didn't know the wind could laugh..." The apparent Nettle muttered, but didn't disagree.

Suddenly, standing in front of Kell, Meliese, Landau, and Torric were two girls and one boy, all about their age, dressed in unusual clothing. Meliese grinned at them.

"Well, now. What have we here?" She asked gleefully, rubbing her hands together. The girl clothed in dark green perked up.

"We're the icy grip of death that no one escapes. We're the chill people feel on cold nights. We're the laughter that haunts your every step. We're- Ow!" She winced as the boy elbowed her sharply. He looked up at them.

"Don't mind her. She's insane. Like most of us," He explained apologetically. Landau nodded slowly.

"We noticed...Why aren't you dressed in the usual town outfit? Some kind of fashion rebellion?" He snorted. Kell snickered.

"What are you talking about? I'm dressed in black. Besides, we fit right in with the rest of our group!" The black clothed girl frowned. The boy sighed.

"Loxima..." He muttered in a tired voice. Kell raised an eyebrow.

"Haven't seen that group. Is it new or something?" She asked, intrigued.

The three looked at each other.

"Not really...In fact, it's kind of an old tradition...Anyway, you're dressed in red. Why are you questioning us?" The boy pursed his lips.

The four in front of him smiled. Both Kell and Landau jumped down at the same time.

"We have a good reason to wear red. For one thing, it's the color of what we drink..." Torric hinted. The green clothed girl blinked.

"You drink red wine? Ow!" She winced as the other two both elbowed her this time.

"Nettle, they drink blood. The liquid that oozes out if your skin is punctured? Nitwit," Loxima sighed. The boy with them shrugged.

"Although, my own blood is somewhat of a dark greenish color..." He stopped and mentally beat himself with an iron crowbar. Nettle perked up.

"That's right! It's hard to tell with me, because it matches my clothing! Don't hit me!" She added as an afterthought. Torric grinned at her.

"They don't have any reason to. The damage is already done," He chuckled deeply. Nettle scowled and stepped away from her friends anyway. This probably wasn't the best tactic, considering the vampires were in front of her.

"Aeric and Loxima don't need a reason. I'm just a portable punching bag to them..." She muttered darkly, glancing from her friends back to the vampires nervously.

Meliese sighed impatiently and stepped forward, grabbing Nettle by the arm.

"Would you like to see my collection of corpses?" She hissed menacingly. She paused and released Nettle's arm to inspect her own hand. There were cobwebs connected to it. Wincing, Meliese wiped them off on Kell’s clothing and glared at Nettle.

"Why are there spider webs on your dress?" She demanded. Loxima snickered.

"I told you it was idiotic. Just because you like spiders isn't a reason to let them crawl all over you," She shuddered. Aeric slowly smiled.

"Some of those spiders would be male, right?" He asked Nettle, who blinked.

"Yeah, probably. So?" Her response made Aeric's grin even wider.

"So, you let guys inspect and crawl all over your body!" He cackled. Nettle's face became an expression of horror as even the vampires snickered.

"That was good, Aeric!" Loxima complimented him, giving Nettle a slight shove. She didn't move.

The vampires looked at the horrified Nettle, who hadn't moved a single muscle since Aeric's comment. Landau glanced at him.

"I think you scared your friend there. You might want to get her out of that trance," He gestured to the entranced Nettle. Loxima took the hint and began to push Nettle. Kell shrugged.

"Vampires don't scare you; instead, you scare each other. Are you sure you're humans?" She sounded doubtful as she ran her tongue over her sharp canine teeth.

Loxima stopped trying to push Nettle over and looked up at Kell, surprised.

"Vampires? Should've guessed that, I suppose. By the teeth and pasty features and drinking blood thing. I really didn't think such existed," She tilted her head, looking thoughtful.

Torric snarled and finally snapped his fingers in front of Nettle's face. She collapsed on the ground for a moment, then got up, dusting herself off. Meliese rolled her eyes.

"Wouldn't want those cobwebs to be dirty. That'd just be terrible," Was heard from her general direction. Torric took a moment to grin at that, then frowned.

"So, you know we're vampires. But what are you? You bleed dark green blood, you dress in freaky clothes," he glanced momentarily at Nettle and Aeric, "You allow spiders to crawl all over your body, and you're more scared of yourselves than you are of us! Well, perhaps I don't blame you for that last part..." He added. Loxima nodded.

"Nettle alone could scare Adolf Hitler."

"That comment wasn't necessary, nor truthful," Nettle pouted gloomily. Aeric smiled slightly.

"That's disputable..." He put in before continuing.

"We might once have been humans, but I can't remember when if we were. What we are now are witches. Plain as day. We don't wear hats because we're often encouraged to go into the town for practicing spells that we've already memorized ten times over. Including ones that aren't likely to help us if we're burned at the stake," Aeric smiled ruefully. Landau nodded to himself.

"I suppose that makes sense. Why witches don't think vampires could exist is beyond me. I'm assuming there's more of you?" He asked. Nettle answered his question with a simple, pouty nod. Meliese rolled her eyes.

"Are you still pouting over that guys crawling all over you comment?" Meliese questioned. Nettle shook her head.

"I could not scare Adolf Hitler...For one thing, he's dead..." She pouted. Loxima grinned.

"Presumably dead," She corrected.

"Hopefully dead," Kell put in helpfully.

"Maybe for you..." Loxima cackled to herself and began examining the quarter-moon.

"Well, who knows whether you'd scare him or not? At any rate, stop pouting. Your face will freeze and stay that way," Torric warned Nettle, giving Loxima and Kell an odd look. Nettle brightened up.

"Really?" She urged him hopefully, receiving one of his odd looks in return.

Aeric snickered softly and threw a stick at Nettle, who ducked.

"It's too late, anyway. You'll just have to keep your old face, as ugly as it may be," He laughed as he dodged a certain stick thrown in his general direction.

Nettle glowered at him.

"I know I'm hideous, but you don't have to crush my last hope, you jack ass!" She scowled at him and marched down the path again.

Meliese looked up from the ground and stared after her, bemused.

"What's with her? Cobwebs getting moldy, needs to replace them?" She commented mildly, receiving in turn one of Torric's famous looks.

"Why are you giving everyone weird looks today?" Landau asked him, amused. Torric turned to give him the mentioned look, then stopped.

"Sorry. Got carried away," He explained sheepishly. Landau laughed and climbed up into his tree.

Loxima sighed and grabbed Aeric's arm.

"We had probably better leave. Our ‘friends’ are going to torture us for showing up so late," Aeric winced at the unexaggeration in her statement and went along unresisting when Loxima, still having hold of him, began to run.

"Bye..." Kell muttered, waving slightly at the retreating figures.

"Let's follow them," Landau suggested. The other vampires all gave him odd looks this time.

"Why?" Meliese asked suspiciously. He shrugged.

"Why not? There's nothing else to do, and the others don't want us lying around the house. This is probably our only chance of having anything interesting to do before we're summoned back. That could be months."

Torric nodded and jumped into the tree next to Landau's.

"Shall we be leaving?" He inquired, preparing to anyway.