Kennedy thought being a witch was easy. But it's much harder than it seems
My brothers did not care about whatever Alexa had said about being careful. Laurence, Narrien, Kemi, and Mo’Quen were playing “tag” in the house. That means, once you “tag” someone, they have to suspend themselves in midair until the three other brothers shocked them. They were also flying. They thought it was fun. I thought it looked painful. Narrien liked to play pranks, and refused to set Kemi free by not shocking him. But then, Laurence tagged him, and he was stuck, because Kemi was stuck and couldn’t shock him back, so neither brother could get down. Alexa was at work. Darius was at work. Josef was in Jamaica. Zeke was freaking out. It was the one day that he decided to stay at home instead of going to Jamaica Outskirts, the business that Alexa owned. Alexa missed living in Jamaica. I could tell.
Alexa had asked me to make dinner, so I was trying to make pork chops the human way – no magic. Finally, after burning two of them – how do normal humans cook? I concentrated hard on cooking, and blasted the pans with magic from my hands. I finally got the pork chops to cook themselves.
I went into the living room, and gasped. Alexa’s chair was falling apart. The TV was cracked, the windows were broken, the lamp was on fire. There were dents in the walls, scuff marks on the floor. The end table was tipped over, magazines, important papers, scattered all over the room. I heard a loud yelp and a crash as Kemi came tumbling down the stairs. I guess they had figured out a way to get him down. Narrien suddenly slid down the stairs with a fire blower in his hands, aiming it at Kemi! Kemi ran (he wasn’t good at flying yet) tripping over another table in the hallway, sending more papers flying. Narrien blasted the fire blower, accidentally catching the table, the papers, and Kemi’s shirt on fire.
“NARRIEN!” I roared. He turned around quickly, aiming the fire blower at me. I flinched horribly. Kemi started screaming, and I concentrated on water, and used my powers. A jet of water erupted from my hand, drenching Kemi. Kemi ran into the kitchen, Narrien ignoring me and running after him.
Narrien ducked, yelped and laughed as a black object came flying through the door, and hit the wall. Narrien flew into the kitchen, as another black mass came sailing through the door.
I took a closer look at the masses, and groaned. They were my pork chops!
“KEMI!” I yelled, running into the kitchen, holding the burned pork chops. I froze, dead in my tracks. Alexa was standing in the door. Fuming. My brothers had disappeared into another room.
Without a hello, Alexa exploded on me. “Just what do you think you are doing?” She snarled.
I looked at the pork chop in my hand. “Cooking dinner.”
Alexa nodded over to the pot of boiling gravy floating above the stove. “Did you listen to a word I said? No magic until we learn more about the Witch Hunters!”
“But b-but!” I stammered.
“No buts! And why are you holding that pork chop?!”
“Because! Kemi –”
Suddenly Zeke limped into the room. He was missing half his fur, and the fur that was left was sticking up in the air in all directions. It somewhat reminded me of Alexander’s hair.
“Zeke!” Alexa cried, dropping to her knees, scooping up the cat. “What happened, baby?” Yes! Zeke would tell Alexa the truth.
The cat coughed, not being able to speak. Damn Zeke.
Alexa looked up at me, aghast. “You caught the cat on fire! How could you, Kennedy? I trusted you!”
“I didn’t catch the cat on fire!” I complained. “Narrien did!”
“And how exactly did Narrien catch Zeke on fire?”
“He had a fire blower, and he caught the living room on fire and –”
“Oh sure, Narrien has a fire-blower. And what else hap¬pened?” Alexa said sarcastically.
Kemi walked in the room, dripping wet.
“Kemi, why are you all wet, baby?” Alexa snapped.
“It’s Kenny’s fault! She sprayed me with water power!” He left, running back upstairs.
This was just looking worse for me. I officially hate ten-year-olds.
Alexa looked back at me. “Why did you do that?”
“Because he was on fire!” I cried. “Narrien caught him on fire!”
“If Narrien supposedly caught everything on fire, where is all the damage?”
I hadn’t even realized that. I looked around, noticing that everything was back to normal. The tables were fixed, the papers organized. I walked slowly into the living room. It was perfect, as if nothing had happened. Alexa’s chair was fixed. The windows were back to normal. The TV had no crack across the middle of it. There were no dents in the walls.
“Alexa!” I groaned. “The boys were playing tag, and shocking each other and catching everything on fire. Not me!”
Alexa completely ignored me. “Kennedy, go get dressed nicely. Mr. Caufohey and Mr. Wade should be here any minute. As I sulked upstairs, I heard Alexa mutter to herself, “that’s the last time I let that girl do me any favors.”
Narrien was sitting at the top of the railing. As I walked by, I shoved him hard with my shoulder, causing him to fall backwards onto the floor.
“What was that for?” He snapped.
“Everything.” I snarled back.
I was wearing a yellow floral dress and a bohemian head band which was supposed to keep my wild hair under control, but was doing a pretty miserable job at it. Angry at my hair, I looked in a mirror, and used magic to turn my hair into cornrows. A stream of a sparkly, purple, powder-like substance ejected from my fingers, and wisped around my head, calming down my hair, and quickly turning the curls into braids. Alexa would be mad, but I didn’t care anymore. Most of my brothers dressed nicely – pinstriped blue and white dress shirts that blended nicely with their latté skin and short, curly, hair. Even Josef was dressed nicely. He wasn’t here yet – he was in a cab right outside our door, just come back from Jamaica. Mo’Quen, however, was wearing a black t-shirt, a studded belt, and black skinny jeans. They looked like the ones I was wearing before I changed. He also had dreadlocks, and having a ten second vision, I could see Alexa yelling at him for not changing. I was getting better at visions.
By the time I had gone downstairs, my vision was right. Well, it was always right, it’s never wrong. I had missed the actual argument, and watched as Mo’Quen grumpily stomped up the stairs past me. Alexa looked at my cornrows and scowled. She was really having a bad day.
“When Mr. Caufohey and Mr. Wade get here at 6:04,” she growled. Everyone looked up. The door opened, and Josef walked in. “Josef, get over here! I want you all on your best behavior. And I mean best behavior. If anyone is short of 110 percent, you will deal with the consequences.”
“But 110 percent is impossible.” Narrien said. Everyone stared amazed at him. Right now was not the time to get on Alexa’s bad side.
“You’re witches. Do it.” Alexa snarled.
Wyatt Caufohey and Kinrey Wade were right on time at 6:04 pm. Why the :04 was a mystery to me, but I figured I better not say anything about it.
Wyatt Caufohey was a bald, white man with a reddish-brown goatee. He was in his mid fifties, and wore a tuxedo. Kinrey Wade was a lot younger than Caufohey. He was in his thirties, maybe, was black, had a head of curly black hair, and had a wonderful smile. He was wearing a semiformal shirt and black dress pants. I still didn’t even know what the occasion was for the men to be at my house.
“Hello, hello.” Alexa said, greeting Caufohey and Wade, leading them to the dining room. Both Caufohey and Wade kissed my mother on her cheeks, and hung their jackets on the back of their chairs. Mo’Quen finally came down stairs. He was scowling, wearing a polo shirt and khakis. Close enough.
“Moko! How are ya?” Caufohey said, punching Mo’Quen lightly in the shoulder.
Mo’Quen glared at him. “Terrible.” He said, using the Spanish pronunciation.
I swear, I saw Alexa’s eyes flash red.
“And let’s not forget JoJo, should we?” Kinrey Wade said, laughing, and shook Josef’s hand. “I haven’t seen you since you were about what, four years old? How old are ya now, Josef?”
“Twenty-one.” Josef said.
Caufohey turned to Alexa. “Who’s the next in line, Kennedy?”
“Laurence.” Alexa said. “Then Kennedy.”
“Ah, little Larry. You were maybe two when I first met you. I’m guessing you’re nineteen now?” Caufohey said. Laurence nodded. “And Kennedy, you were only a little baby. Are you eighteen?”
“Seventeen.” I said. “I’m turning eighteen in December.”
“So, are you a junior?” He asked, confused.
“I’ma senior.” I said.
“A young senior.” Caufohey clarified. I already was starting to dislike him.
Wade looked at the younger boys. “So these must be the Narrien and Kemi you’ve been talking about, right?”
Alexa smiled proudly. “Yep. Narrien’s thirteen and in eighth grade, Kemi’s ten and in fourth grade”
“Someone’s missing.” Wade said. “Where’s Darius?”
“Working. He’ll be back at 7.” Alexa turned to us. “How about you six wash up, and I’ll get the table set.” She looked at the men. “Now you two help me.”
As the three adults started to get the pork chops ready and the table set, I heard one of them whisper to Alexa, “Alexa, did you hear that Stella Blackstone was killed by Witch Hunters?”
Wyatt Caufohey and Kinrey Wade were witches! I was absolutely amazed, and excited. I should have known that, but it still amazed me.
Darius had came back from work, and nothing was mentioned about me “catching Zeke on fire.” The frigging cat still wasn’t talking.
“I wonder what the hell happened to Stella.” Caufohey said. “It wasn’t like she was an Other one.”
“Who’s Stella?” Kemi asked. We all looked at Alexa.
She sighed. “Stella was one of the four most powerful witch families in Wisconsin. There are several hundred witch families, but there were only four long-lasting great ones. Us, the McCarron family, The Caufohey family, the Wade family, and the Blackstone family. Stella Blackstone is the first person in a powerful witch family to have been killed by a Witch Hunter in a hundred years. I’m not trying to scare you, but this means that Witch Hunters are at large, and we have to be more careful than ever.”
“Will we die?” Kemi asked. He was scared.
“Didn’t you just hear Alexa, you dumbass? She said be careful!” Narrien snapped, in a form of denial.
“Narrien McCarron, is that how we speak in front of the adults?” Alexa snarled. “Don’t you ever let me hear you say that again!” She whacked his hand – hard. Tears welled in the corners of his eyes, but Narrien refused to let them fall.
“How old was Stella Blackstone?” I asked, thinking about the unusualness of her name. She had an unusual name? My brother’s name was Mo’Quen for God’s sake!
“She was in her early sixties.” Caufohey said. “The Black¬stones were the first witches in Wisconsin. They’d come over from England in 1884. Elizabeth Blackstone had been contempt against the Church of England, and moved here so she could practice her witchcraft undisturbed. We all know how much of a mistake that’d been. Edwina Blackstone, one of Elizabeth’s nine daughters, had been hanged. Stella Blackstone was Elizabeth’s great-granddaughter. Most of the Blackstone girls never married – they had become pregnant with daughters themselves, but never married the father. When Stella married, she kept her own name for Blackstone sake.”
“Did she have kids?” I asked.
“Yes, two or three. One of them is a little older than Josef and Mo’Quen. Sandra, no – um Sa – um –”
“Sara.” Wade said quietly. It was the first thing he had said since they had brought the issue up.
“The other daughter, Rachel, is much older, she’s in her thirties I think.” Caufohey continued. “And I think that she had one other daughter, Elyse, but I can’t remember if Elyse was her daughter or her niece.”
“Why’d the Blackstone’s keep their last name?” I asked. However, Alexa interrupted me.
“Kennedy, how about you calm down about the Blackstone family, and let the men eat. It’s been a long day for them.”
“We don’t mind.” Caufohey said, but a warning glare from Alexa caused him to shovel pork chops into his mouth.
“How was work, honey?” Darius asked, with potatoes in his mouth.
“Don’t eat with your mouth full, honey.” Alexa snapped back, mocking him. She sighed. “I’m sorry Darius, today was terrible. First off, it was a slow day. Barely no one came in. Well, maybe five or six people. But none of them bought anything. I got so bored that I closed early. But the worst part was that I had to use magic – in public!” Alexa almost broke down crying.
“What happened, Alexa?” I asked, startled.
“The Director of Ordinance and Accountancy came by. He insulted the fact that Jamaica Outskirts has been going downhill in federal funds ... and I kinda haven’t been paying bills for the last month or so. He threatened to close me down, force me to declare bankruptcy, and that I was acting in defiance to the WWA, em, the White Workers Association, for not hiring any white workers, when the only people who actually work at Jamaica Outskirts are ... Jamaicans! I had to do it. I had to catch his van on fire.”
My brothers all burst out laughing. It was funny, I had to admit, so I burst out laughing too.
“Jeez, Alexa, there’s something called talking things out!” Narrien snorted, and we all kept on laughing. Alexa was enraged. It was very hard to get Alexa mad, but when she was, she was a stick of dynamite, and Narrien had just set the fuse.
“Narrien McCarron! I am sick of you today! Go to your room!”
“TO YOUR ROOM! NOW!”
“My God, my God,” Narrien muttered as he climbed the stairs.
Alexa gave us all an evil look. “And for the rest of you, NO DESSERT!”
Life wasn’t fair.
It had been the fourth day that Jessie hadn’t been in school, and I was starting to worry about my best friend. I had tried calling her, but she never answered her phone, I tried texting her, but she never replied to any of my messages, and I even drove over to her house, but she wasn’t home.
Chris and Alexander were no help. Every time I asked Chris, and asked him to make sure that he didn’t know what was up with Jessie, he said, “I dunno.” Typical Chris.
Alexander, I tried everything with him. I asked him about his relationship with Jessie, he said he’d never been in any relationship with the girl before. I tried talking to him about why she got so upset when I mentioned his name at lunch, but like Chris, he said he didn’t know. (At least he was a little more sophisticated than “I dunno”, and I did not tell him that I told Jessie that I thought that he was cute.)
It seemed hopeless. Jessie probably wouldn’t be back for a while. In the meantime, I wanted to find out as much information on the Blackstone family as possible. There was something about Stella’s untimely death that worried me. Caufohey and Wade were still at my house, but it seemed like Alexa would get mad whenever I went up to talk them about Stella Blackstone. It was almost like she was hiding a secret ... a secret that she didn’t want me or my five brothers finding out about. And that secret was probably what was bothering me.
I skipped lunch, and sat in the school library. I knew better than to check out a book on witchcraft, because the librarians could be Witch Hunters for all I knew. Instead, I sat in a darker corner of the library, reading from Witches: The Dark Souls. Finally, I got so fed up and discriminated against by the prejudice book, I threw it somewhere in the corner, and didn’t even bother to pick it up. I traveled to the other side of the library, to the computers. Maybe I would be able to find something more helpful.
In Google, I searched: The Blackstone Family 1884-2009. That was a bad idea. About every Blackstone in the universe scrolled up. After searching three pages, and only finding the poet Walter Blackstone, I gave up. but I was suddenly struck with a brilliant idea.
I went to a periodical site, that held almost every newspaper since 1910. I found exactly what I was looking for.
MYSTERIOUS MURDER OF BLACKSTONE, MAY 2009.
May 15, 2009, widow millionaire Stella E. Blackstone, 64, was found dead in her mansion home at 49 Lake Ontario Court, Rivera, Wisconsin. Ms. Blackstone was reported to own several islands in all of the Great Lakes. Severely questioned were the sister and half-sister of Ms. Blackstone, Elyse Blackstone and Sara Richardson, who refuse to speak to authorities.
I realized that I was making a rational mistake. The newspaper wouldn’t report anything of Stella being a witch. I ex’d out of the site, and typed in: Witches and Witch Hunters in Wisconsin. I rapidly scrolled through the search engine, when I found something that may have been useful.
Recent Incidents Involving WH’s. I wrote down the site address in my notebook, and started scrolling through the site when suddenly I felt a hand placed on my shoulder.
“What are you doing?”
I jumped, and nearly screamed. I turned around facing my attacker.
“Alexander!” I could barely breathe. “You scared the shit out of me!”
“I’m sorry.” Alexander said. “You weren’t at lunch, so I went looking for you. I gave up, and saw you sitting by yourself in here. What are you doing?”
I quickly minimized out of the screen and turned off the monitor so he couldn’t see what I was doing.
“None of your business. I was doing a science project.”
“Okay.” Alexander said. “I’ll leave you alone.” He turned to leave.
“No!” I snapped suddenly. I needed to calm down. I was still jolted from the shock of Alexander scaring me. “I mean, no, don’t leave me.”
“Okay.” Alexander said, unsurely. “I just have to get my stuff from the cafeteria. Don’t leave me.”
“I won’t.” I said, smiling. “I won’t.”
“I believe you.”
Alexander left the library, and all I could think about was did he see what I was actually doing?
I needed to find out more information on everything. I needed to know what had really happened to Stella Blackstone, and I needed to know why Alexa didn’t want me to know what had happened to her. I needed to know why the daughters of Stella Blackstone weren’t saying anything about what had happened. I also needed to know what had happened to Jessie, and what was with her reaction to me saying that I liked Alexander. Maybe Jessie had liked Alexander herself, but there was no way that the girl would have given that big of a reaction because of that. Knowing Jessie, she’d probably just be happy for me.
I couldn’t find out anything I needed to know in school. I also couldn’t find anything that I needed at home. There were too many witnesses, and I wanted to do everything I could without Alexander getting suspicious. I just needed to catch my breath.
And I realized what I had to do. I looked around. Alexander wasn’t back yet. The librarians were facing away from me, talking and eating yogurt. I quickly turned on the computer, reopened the periodical site, and reread the end of the first sentence: Lake Ontario Court. I was going to go to Stella Blackstone’s mansion.
I clicked on the PRINT button on my computer, and I heard the printer on the other side of the library whirring. I quickly got up and grabbed the article before anyone else printed something and saw it. I stapled the three-page article, and was walking back to the computers when Alexander walked back in. Thankfully, I had closed out of the screen before I had gotten up to grab the papers from the printer. I opened a random notebook in my backpack, and shoved the article into it.
Alexander smiled at me, and walked over to the librarians. One of them, a woman with curly white hair, her name was Ms. Crandon, smiled warmly at Alexander, and they began talking. Ms. Crandon patted Alexander on the head and ruffled his hair, and he walked back over to me.
“She’s my aunt.” He explained.
I smiled at him. “She’s a very nice woman.”
“She is. She’ll do anything for you.” He looked at the black computer screen. “Are you done?”
“Oh, yeah.” I said, laughing.
“Do you want me to walk you back to lunch?” Alexander asked.
“There’s only like ten minutes left of lunch” I said. Our lunch periods were a half-hour. “But I am starving.”
I didn’t say a word, I was just so psyched to be walking around with a very cute boy, until Alexander came to a door in an empty hallway, looked around, and opened it for me.
“Alex, we’re not going to ... skip, are we?”
“Just for a few minutes.” He said, giving me that warm, little-boy smile that made my heart melt. “We’ll be back before you know it.”
Without giving me a chance to complain/argue/whatever, he pulled me quickly out the door, and into the parking lot. He opened the passenger door to his car, a black Mustang.
“T-this a nice car.” I stumbled, admiring the black velvety seats.
“I know it is.” Alexander said, getting into the front seat himself. He turned on the ignition, switched into reverse, and pulled out of the parking lot without a sound. I was holding my breath and squeezing my eyes shut, petrified we were going to get caught. But before I knew it, we were on the highway.
“Alexander, please answer me.” I pleaded. “Where the hell are we going?”
I was so entranced in his accent that I couldn’t complain. Instead I smiled at him, happy to be with him.
We turned onto the first exit, and into a Taco Bell drive-thru. I should have known we were going to somewhere simple like Taco Bell, but for some reason I wasn’t feeling a vision. I knew most of them were random, but it seemed as if Alexander’s presence were blocking my foretelling ...
We both ordered Double Cheese Melts and diet Cokes.
“Funny.” Alexander said, taking a bite out of his wrap. “I’m surprised that they have Coke at a Mexican restaurant.”
I gave him an “Are you serious?” smile. “Alexander, they have Coke and Pepsi products all over the world.”
“Really? I just expected it to be an American thing.”
Suddenly, I wasn’t hungry, I was just cold. And I wanted to get back to school before I got in big trouble. I began picking at the tortilla.
Alexander looked at me. I expected him to say something Dad-ish like “If you’re not going to eat it, why’d you order it?” but instead, he stroked my arm, and said, “What’s wrong, Kay?”
“Nothing really, Alex,” I paused. Why’d it feel so wrong calling him Alex? “I just want to get back to school before we get in trouble.”
Alex suddenly swerved over to the side of the road, and almost into a tree. He stopped short, and leaned over, pulling me close to him, and pressed his lips to mine. Surprised, I closed my eyes and kissed him back, tasting the warm cheese on his lips. After about seven seconds of pure delight, he released his lips from mine, and stroked my face. “Honey, we’re not going to be late.”
“I believe you.”
He put his foot on the gas pedal, weaving in out of cars, going about ten miles per hour over the speed limit, which was 55 on the highway.
“Alexander, slow down!” I cried, but he ignored me. I looked at my watch. It was 12:46. Class started back up again at 12:50. We had four minutes to get back to class! Alexander’s speed rose to seventy, but he lowered back down to forty once we got off the highway.
I glared at him.
“I didn’t want you to be late to class, honey.”
“You was lucky.”
He laughed at my improper use of the English language (thanks to my Jamaican heritage), and we walked back to the door on the side of the school. I was still holding my burrito/wrap-thingy, and the grease was dripping through the paper, and onto my notebook, but I could care less. It was 12:49. We had made it.
The bell rang for last period, but I didn’t care. I went to my locker, and stuffed my wrap inside. The sad thing was that my locker probably contained more food than books and notebooks and stuff. I had like three or four diet cokes, a banana, a box of fudge, a bag of popcorn, two brownies, a bag chips, a bag of wheat thins, a baggie full of cheese cubes, a water bottle, a moldy sandwich (that I really needed to get rid of), a box of cereal (don’t ask why), one of my shish-kabobs from last week, a container of potato salad, an orange, a cupcake in a sealed baggie, a bunch of candy bars and a bunch of candy bar wrappers, and now my wrap. I know, I’m ridiculous, and I’m surprised that I don’t weigh a million pounds. That’s right, I’m a witch. I have an extremely high metabolism. Most of the weight that I’ve gained (I’m 120 lbs), is just from getting older.
I walked to Mr. Kaleise’s class with Alexander. I noticed that the entire time he was trying to stifle his laughter, which was from seeing the enormous mess in my locker, but I simply ignored him, and I didn’t care.
Mr. Kaleise didn’t even notice that I walked in three minutes late with Alexander to Trig. He just nodded at me, and I sat in my seat, and Alexander sat in his.
Wendy Bates tapped me on the shoulder. “Where were you two?” She asked deviously, smiling.
“Taco Bell.” I said, nonchalantly.
Wendy burst out laughing, and Mr. Kaleise whipped around from the board, dropping the chalk, and looking at all of us. Fortunately, he didn’t say anything, just grunted in Gúönian.
Mr. Kaleise picked up the chalk that was on the floor, and I started copying the equation that he had written on the board into my notebook when a folded piece of paper fluttered out. I picked it up and opened it. It was the article on Stella Blackstone. I had forgotten all about it.
I figured it would probably be better if I didn’t say anything to Alexa when I got home from school. Instead, I said hi to Mr. Caufohey and Mr. Wade, (I still hadn’t figured out why they were at my house yet), and went up to my room.
I sat cross-legged on my floor, and took out a highlighter. I opened the folded article in my Trigonometry notebook, and highlighted the address of Ms. Blackstone’s home, 49 Lake Ontario Court.
I took another look at the article. I hadn’t even read the entire thing yet.
MYSTERIOUS MURDER OF BLACKSTONE, May 2009.
May 15, 2009, widow millionaire Stella E. Blackstone, 64, was found dead in her mansion home at 49 Lake Ontario Court, Rivera, Wisconsin. Ms. Blackstone was reported to own several islands in all of the Great Lakes. Severely questioned was the sister and half-sister of Ms. Blackstone, Elyse Blackstone and Sara Richardson, who refuse to speak openly to authorities about their sister’s death.
“My sister was a very cultured woman, and was always seeming to invest in private matters.” Elyse Blackstone, 59, says. “I would want the matter regarding her unfortunate demise to be private also.”
33-year-old Sara Richardson, Stella’s much younger half-sister, wishes for the Blackstone family to mourn without others. Both the wake and the funeral of Stella Edwina Blackstone are both confined to the immediate family, including Richardson.
“Death in our family is something that we take very seriously,” Richardson says, “And no reporter deserves to break our family tradition. We not exactly sure how Stella died, but we know that she was murdered. Unbelievingly, we don’t want to know who killed her and how they did it. All that we want is the murderer behind bars, and his identity a secret. Knowing the identity will lead to infuriating revenge, which is best served cold. My family does not want revenge, they just want the best for Stella, and remembrance of her life on Earth.”
Due to the security and respect of certain families, no more names will be mentioned. However, the investigation will continue at full pace...
I was shocked at what I had just read. Someone had lied, either Caufohey and Wade, or the newspaper. Mr. Caufohey said that Sara and Elyse were Stella’s daughters. But the newspaper reported that the women were her sisters. And in the newsprint they had admitted to being Stella’s sisters. There was only one way to find out. I had to ask the women themselves.
The Blackstone mansion was gigantic. I had imagined it as being old-fashioned and unforgiving, made out stone and masonry, with a heavy wooden door and a Gothic black iron fence with gargoyles. I was wrong. It was very modern with two stories, lots of wide open spaces, walls completely glass, a tennis court, two swimming pools, a volleyball court, and a garden with a gazebo. There was also a large basement with a bowling alley. In the front yard there was sandstone driveway with dark summer grass and topiaries of animals. The sandstone driveway made a round-about which in the center was a fountain. The fountain was so peaceful that I almost forgot why I was here. I shuddered when I remembered that Stella Blackstone was dead. I had to get a grip on myself!
I held my breath and knocked on the mahogany door. I suddenly wished that nobody would answer, and I could leave and forget about the entire thing. But I knew that was impossible. I had to go through with it.
Suddenly, the door opened a crack, and a woman with skin so white that she could be a ghost, except for the fact that her hair was a deep, deep, red, all piled up on top of her head. She was wearing a long gown, and looked tired.
“You’re not a reporter, are you?” She growled.
“No.” I said, “My name’s Kennedy McCarron. And I am here to ask you about Stella Blackstone.” Why the hell did I just say that? The woman could be the maid for all I knew. I closed my eyes briefly, expecting the woman to slam the door in my face. When I heard no slamming, I glanced up to see the woman staring blankly into my eyes.
“Why,” she whispered, “I’m Stella Blackstone.”
“But you’re, you’re supposed to be dead!” I blurted out, shocked. The woman laughed. “Step inside, I’ll explain.”
I walked into the Blackstone mansion, and my jaw dropped. The place was expansive, with a grand staircase leading up to the upper story. I was amazed at how magnificent the place was. There were draperies and bookshelves filled with books, and huge, ornate, chandeliers. However, what amazed me was how modern the Blackstone mansion was.
I took a seat on a leather couch facing a flat screen TV with an intricate Japanese coffee table on an ancient oriental rug. The woman disappeared for a moment, and came back with mugs of tea. She handed me one of the mugs, and I thankfully took it from her, occasionally sipping at it.
“My name is Stella Blackstone,” the woman began, “but the Stella Blackstone you’re probably looking is my mother, who, as you know, died earlier this week.”
I was relieved. I couldn’t believe that I had mistaken a young woman for a ghost. But then again, neither the newspapers or Mr. Caufohey and Mr. Wade had said that Stella Blackstone had a daughter named Stella Blackstone. I better play it safe.
“I’m just interested in how a woman so magnificent as Stella Blackstone died so strangely. Do you know how she died?”
“No.” Stella II said. “As it was reported, my mother was found dead in our home this week, and no one knows how she died.”
“You live here?” I asked, surprised. Stella Blackstone II was young, pretty, and should definitely not have been living in her mother’s home, even if it was a million-dollar mansion.
“My mother could not possibly live here all by herself, you know. It’s too big of a house. Besides, I’m not the only one who lives here, not including the many housekeepers, gardeners, cooks, sculleries, et cetera, my two aunts, Sara and Elyse, and my sister, Rachel live here too.” Stella II said. The newspaper was right! Why would Caufohey and Wade lie to me, though? Maybe they had made an honest mistake, and said “daughter” instead of “sister”. Or maybe they were keeping a secret of their own from me...
“My ex-husband John, he used to live here too.” Stella II continued. “But my mother and my two aunts drove him crazy. And he just wasn’t ready to have a child with me. He disliked children. I don’t know why.” She laughed, but it was a cold laugh, and that didn’t surprise me. If it was an ordinary laugh, I would have been surprised. Stella Blackstone II didn’t seem like the type of woman to laugh over a matter like that.
“You say that Sara Richardson and Elyse were your aunts?” I asked.
“They still are.” Stella said simply.
“Huh?” I asked. I sounded like a moron.
“You said “were”. They still are.” Stella clarified for me.
“Oh.” I said. I hadn’t even realized that. “Well, they’re your aunts, right?”
“Why wouldn’t they be?” She was confused.
“My mother’s friends, Wyatt Caufohey and –”
“Kinrey Wade.” Stella finished for me. I stared at her. She smiled. “Wyatt and Rebecca Caufohey, and Kinrey and Sierra Wade. They’re always together, you know. The four best friends.” She smiled evilly. I didn’t even know that Caufohey and Wade were married. Stella II continued. “They’re witches you know. Stay away from them.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. Stella was a witch.” I said sharply.
Stella Blackstone II smiled at me. “What makes you say that, hon?”
“I know that you’re a witch.” I took a deep breath. “Because I’m a witch too.” I shut my eyes tightly. I had just broken about the biggest rule regarding witch safety. “You’ve been lying to me this entire time, haven’t you, and don’t deny it. I know that you know that Stella Blackstone was killed by Witch Hunters, and I know that you know how she died and who killed her.” I was breathless, and I couldn’t believe that I had the nerve to straightforwardly accuse Stella Blackstone’s daughter, a woman whom I’ve never met before, of lying to me. But I had a weird feeling that I was completely right in what I was saying.
“Congratulations, Miss McCarron.” Stella Blackstone II said, leading me to the door. “I think it is time for you to go home.” She gently patted me on the head, and pushed me outside.
“But –” I started to complain, but Stella closed the great mahogany doors in my face for real.
By the time I got home, it was raining. I needed to calm down right now more than ever, and calming down in a house full of five brothers was nearly impossible, if not it. I opened the front door to my house, and was blasted by the intense sound of ... nothing. The silence was intimidating, and I had no idea where my family was. I found them right away, along with Caufohey and Wade, staring intently at the television. The news was on, Channel 6. A man by the name of Carson Riles was found dead in his basement. Carson Riles was a witch.
Now I knew that there was something wrong. First Stella Blackstone I was found dead, and she was a witch. Now Carson Riles? Suddenly a knock on my front door caused me to jump and to nearly pee my pants. I got up and ran to it, knowing my family wouldn’t move from the TV. I opened the door and gasped. It was Alexander, and he was drenched. He looked different with his spiky black hair plastered to his neck and shoulders.
“Hey Alexander.” I said, surprised. “Come in.” I walked Alexander over to the bathroom to let him towel-dry his hair to the point that it looked somewhat like his signature spiky do. I brought him into the living room to meet my family.
“Alexa, Darius, this is my friend, Alexander.” I said.
“I’m her boyfriend.” Alexander added in, smiling.
“He was at the –”
“I thought you were going out with Dan.” Narrien rudely interrupted.
“No, Narrien, I’m not going out with Dan, so don’t interrupt. Like I was saying, Alexander was at the door.” I groaned. Why did Alexander have to say that? I wasn’t going out with him, well at least not yet.
“What are you guys watching?” Alexander asked.
“The news.” I snapped. I was mad at him. Alexander and I snuck upstairs to my bedroom. I wasn’t typically allowed to have guys in my room, unless they were my brothers, who I don’t allow in my room, but Alexa and Darius were glued to the television, and they didn’t even notice that Alexander and I had left.
I sat on my bed, and Alexander sat on a bean bag chair on my floor. His hair had begun to dry off, and I went into Laurence’s room to get him a shirt and jeans that he could change into. Hopefully, Laurence wouldn’t mind.
I sat in my room watching Alexander change. He definitely had been working out for some time – he had a nice, defined six pack. For the first time, I noticed that he had cut his hair – it wasn’t long and uptight, it was short, spiky and to the point. His new hairstyle matched his soft Greco features which gave him an airy feeling of handsomeness and danger. But I burst out laughing when he removed his pants, and I saw his boxers. They were blue with snow bunnies on them. Alexander took it the wrong way. He glared at me. “I’m not that small.”
I laughed. “No, no, you’re not at all. I was laughing at your boxers.” He stared at me in awkward disbelief, and I had to laugh. “They have bunnies on them. They’re cute!”
Alexander shook his head, looked down at his boxers, and back at me. “You think I’m useless.”
I smacked him.
Alexander finished getting dressed, and we stared at each other in awkward silence for a long time. Finally, I had to say something. The silence was killing me.
“So, why are you here?”
“I was wondering when you were going to ask that. I was wondering if you wanted to study for the exam tomorrow with me. We could be SBs.”
SBs? The first thing I thought of was Stella Blackstone.
“SBs?” I asked.
“Study Buddies.” Alexander explained, and I laughed... nervously.
I had forgotten about the exam, but I didn’t need to study. I could ace the test without even looking at the paper. But I did look at the paper on tests, and I even would occasionally purposely get a question wrong just so I wouldn’t get suspicion checks by teachers. The last thing I needed was for a teacher to take my phone and flip through it to see if I was cheating. Or worse, find out if I was a witch.
“Sure.” I said, taking out my chemistry notebook. We studied together for a couple of minutes, when suddenly I thought of a question.
“You say you’re from Washington.” Well, it wasn’t a question, but I asked it questioningly.
“Yes, I am.” Alexander said. “I was born there. My mother’s from England, though.”
That explains his accent! “Have you ever been to England?”
“Yes, I’ve been there a couple of times, when my mother was acting. But she hasn’t acted in ten years. The last time I went to England was when I was nine years old.” He smiled at me. “I’m going to be nineteen in seven months.”
I thought about what he said. It was May. He was turning nineteen in December! The same month as me! “What day?”
“My birthday’s December 17th too!” I exclaimed happily. We had the same birthday!
“But I’m turning nineteen. You’re turning eighteen.”
“Yes, I know that.” I hated when people mentioned my age.
“Awfully young to be a senior.”
Alexander smiled. “Have you ever been to Jamaica?”
“Yes. Several times.”
“I am not!”
“Yes you are. I know you are.”
I laughed. “Fine. I’ve been three times. The last time I’ve been to Jamaica was actually when I was fifteen. It was my older brother Josef’s second year of college, and I was a sophomore.”
He nodded at me. “What were you doing in the library during lunch yesterday?”
His question surprised me. “Nothing! None of your business.”
“I thought you were doing a science project. If you were really only doing a science project, why wouldn’t you let me see what you were doing? And remember Kay, I’m in your science class.”
Shit! Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit!
Fortunately, I thought of a good excuse. “You misunderstood me. I said I was doing a research paper on science. It’s for my English class.” I only said English because Alexander was British. Wow.
“I don’t understand.”
“And I don’t feel like explaining.”
“Someone’s being a stubborn little Kennedy.”
“My entire life you aren’t living, Alexander Margon.” I snarled. “You don’t need to know every freaking detail!”
“You don’t seem like that type.”
“What type?!” I was getting exasperated.
“The swearing type.”
“And I ain't, but you are really pissing me off!”
Alexander and I sat together in awkward silence, until I finally felt bad and apologized. “I’m sorry, Alexander. I shouldn’t have said that.”
He didn’t smile. “It’s okay.”
“I wonder what Mrs. Gonzales is going to put on the test.”
Being the smart-ass that I am, I tried to have a vision and see myself what was going to be on the test, but once again Alexander’s presence seemed to be blocking my visions. It was very strange.
I climbed off my bed and onto the floor and sat on a bean bag chair next to Alexander. (Yes, I have four of them in my room).
“It’s on chemistry.” Alexander said flatly.
“Yeah, I know that.” I started. “But what –”
“This type of chemistry.” Alexander said, and suddenly kissed me hard. Harder and more passionate than on the side of the highway. Surprised, I moved my legs onto his, putting both of ourselves into a more intimate position. Alexander’s lips were soft and marshmallow-like, and his kiss exploded with a fiery passion inside of me, like hundreds of flowers blooming at once, and all of my problems melted away like butter in the hot sun.
Alexander rolled backwards off of the bean bag chairs, and I was suddenly on top of him, making out with him as if I didn’t have a single care in the world. And right now, I didn’t have a single care in the world. I was making out with the hottest kid in school! My wild hair, which must have been annoying him, kept falling into his eyes, so he rolled me over once more, moving his lips from mine and to my neck, his hands caressing my shoulders. He was in a sweet, intimate, pleasure, thinking about what could be more. He was back at my mouth, and I was tasting more of his tongue than his lips. And suddenly, it was over. My body tingled with warmth and sensual sensations, and the near-sexual pleasure that I was experienced gradually lowered. I was out of breath, and he was breathing heavily too.
He smiled at me, leaned over, and whispered into my ear, “I bet that you didn’t expect that, did you, Kennedy McCarron?”
He meant it warm and lovingly, but to me it felt cold and mockingly. Was Alexander referring to the fact that he surprised me with our make out session, or the fact that I couldn’t have a vision when I was with him? I didn’t know, and once again, I needed to find out.