Kennedy finally learns the truth...
“And that’s what happened!” Darius exclaimed angrily. “I walked in to tell Kennedy about what happened, and I saw them ... like that! And then her boyfriend just fell out the window!”
“Will you guys forget the fact that we had sex?” I snapped. “The main problem is that Alexander is a Witch Hunter! Can you believe it?”
“No.” Darius snapped. “But a human male disappeared. We’re fearful for his life.”
“Who is it?” I asked, shocked. “Was this the male that was supposed to be close to me?”
I burst out into tears.
“Jessie!” I cried over the phone. “You gotta help me!”
“Does it involve Alexander?”
“Yes!” I sobbed.
“Then no. I’m not going anywhere near that psycho freak.”
“Jay, you gotta listen. Chris’s in trouble! They’re in California!”
Jessie sighed heavily. “I would really like to help you, Kay, but there’s just too many memories. I swore I would never go back to him again.”
I got mad. “Jessie, what do you care about more? Your personal needs or the fact that our best guy friend is in danger, and may be dead by now?”
Jessie didn’t respond for a long time. “Fine, I’ll help. But I just can’t go to California in the middle of the school year, my parents will never let me!”
“Jessie, you’ve already missed the last two weeks of school, what difference does it make?”
Jessie laughed, hastily. “The difference in being able to create a good excuse.” She at least still had her humor.
I laughed with her. “I’m going to convince Alexa to leave tonight at midnight.”
“Jessie, I need the time to get ready. You can sleep in the car. And if we leave at 12:00, we’ll be there by dawn.”
“Sounds cool to me.”
The real reason why I wanted to leave so late (or early in that matter) was because if Jessie was sleeping we could use magic to get us there faster. In these parts, you could go miles before seeing another car.
“Okay, meet me at the front door tonight.” I hung up, and went to make my preparations.
“Alexa, we need to go to California at midnight. If we d’ain't, the Witch Hunters might kill Chris!” Or he might already be dead, but I didn’t want to think of that possibility.
Alexa sat with her eyes closed. Then she called all of the boys into the living room. What was she doing? Wyatt Caufohey and Kinrey Wade followed behind them.
“Boys, we’re going to California.”
“Yay!” Kemi exclaimed. “California!”
I laughed. “No, Kemi, you’re not going to California. Alexa, Jessie, and I are going to California.”
Alexa shook her head. “No, Kennedy, your brothers are coming with us. California is home to some of the most powerful Witch Hunters in the world; including the deadliest, Shea. You can’t go alone, or with just three people, one being human.”
“But the risk is too great!”
“Kennedy,” Wade said, “You may be one of the strongest witches in Wisconsin, but three powerful Witch Hunters will always defeat one strong witch. Shea, Elizaidor, and Sofista are not ordinary Witch Hunters. They are part of the Carfefe Cabezi, a Witch Hunting-cult, sometimes associated with the Italian mafia. This cult was started in Italy in A.D. 1200. And as if being part of the CC wasn’t bad enough, they’re also part of the Yamosuki Azaki, the Japanese version of the Carfefe Cabezi. To be part of either of these cults must mean that you are part of the most elite WH’s in the world. They’ve got every bet on their side.”
“And you having sex with this Witch Hunter just made things worse. You’ve lost a little of your power.” Caufohey chirped in. My cheeks flushed red in embarrassment. I didn’t want my brothers to find out about that little incident, and speaking of which, how in the world did Caufohey find out?
“You had sex with Alexander?” Narrien asked, surprised. “I thought you were the good girl in this family!”
“I’m the only girl in this family.” I snarled. “So shut up!”
“Once we solve this dealio, you’re gonna be in a hell of a lotta trouble, Kennedy,” Mo’Quen said. My brothers were enjoying themselves.
“I am not!” I yelled.
“Oh yes you are, Kennedy.” Alexa said. “Which reminds me –”
“Can we forget about me and what I did with Alexander?” I asked loudly, quieting down everyone, “and focus what happened to Chris?”
“Kennedy, are you positive that Chris is the one? He might not even be in California!” Laurence said seriously.
“Larry,” I began. Whoa, when was the last time I called Laurence Larry? “Alexander murdered all of his victims in California. And when Jessie said that when she was dating Alexander, he kept a journal on whom he was dating and whom he was going to kill. And I found a piece of paper on his pants on the ground saying ‘32 Cummins Road.’”
“Did you find this while you were doing it?” Narrien asked, very immaturely.
“No.” I snapped back. This was getting out of hand. “After he left.” I couldn’t believe I was saying this much about my morning with Alexander to my entire family.
“He left his pants upstairs? Wow, you were really getting screw–”
“Narrien, enough.” Alexa growled. Zeke, in her lap, hissed at him also. Zeke hated Narrien. Well, despised. “Family, Kennedy trusts Jessie, and we must trust her. We’ve got a pretty big crew. The eight of us, plus Caufohey and Wade, plus Jessie Chakoroson. Eleven people. However, we’re going to need some extra magical help.”
I thought for a second. “What about Stella Blackstone?”
Alexa and Darius both looked at each other, and then at me. “Kennedy, Stella Blackstone’s dead.”
“I meant her daughter.”
“Oh, oh, good idea” Alexa said. “I’m going to call her right now.”
“What about Grandpa Julian?” Kemi asked.
“Julian! I almost forgot!” Darius exclaimed.
Alexa came back into the kitchen. “She and Ambrose are coming.”
“Who’s Ambrose?” I asked.
“Her husband.” Alexa said. Funny, I don’t remember Stella II mentioning an ‘Ambrose.’ “Who’s Darius calling?”
“Grandpa!” Kemi exclaimed excitedly. “He was my idea!” Alexa patted the boy on the head.
“Good thinking, Kemi.”
“I could get my wife, Sierra, to help out.” Wade said. She’s eight weeks pregnant, but she’s a strong woman. She’ll be able to do anything.”
At the mention of ‘pregnant’, Alexa turned and gave me a look. “If you’re pregnant, Kennedy...” Words couldn’t even describe the fury that was building up inside Alexa’s head.
“And my Rebecca’d be thrilled.” Caufohey added.
“Good, good, we need all the help we can get.”
While the adults made arrangements and urgent phone calls and the boys suggested ideas, I snuck out to the garage. Looming behind Darius’s Ford F-150 and Alexa’s Sports Utility Vehicle was Darius’s rifle. I grabbed the rifle along with two pistols and a revolver. Why Darius needed so many guns, I didn’t know. He wasn’t a hunter or a paid assassin. I grabbed a pack of special force-field chewing gum (which never seemed to work, but it was worth a shot).
I went to the refrigerator in the kitchen, and loaded a bag full of carrots and fruit, chips, soda, and sandwiches. It was going to be a long night.
Midnight finally came, along with several witches. Alexa, Laurence, and I climbed into the Ford F-150. Wade, Sierra, Caufohey, and Rebecca took their own car. Darius, Mo’Quen, Josef, Narrien, Kemi, and my grandfather Julian piled into the seven-person SUV. The only people who hadn’t made it yet were Ambrose and Stella Blackstone II. Their lateness was making me a little mad, because we had to pick up Jessie and get to California before six, which was dawn. I didn’t have the time to wait.
A shiny black Corvette pulled into the driveway. The driver was not who I expected it to be. A gorgeous, Megan Fox look-alike was driving, and an equally gorgeous man was sitting next to her. I stopped gawking at the guy and looked at the time on my cell phone. 12:17!
“I’m sorry I’m late.” The woman said. Her voice was tinted with a foreign accent, pretty much like everyone else I knew. If she wasn’t Stella Blackstone, then who was she? “Ambrose and I had business to do.”
“Was it the same business that Kennedy and Alexander had to do?” Narrien asked, and I kicked him, hard.
The woman was in her late twenties, had tanned skin, and was wearing a white tank top and dark skinny jeans. Gorgeous Ambrose was wearing a jacket, a muscle shirt, and baggy jeans. The woman and Ambrose were perfectly made for each other!
“Who are you?” I asked, confused.
“Rachel Blackstone.” The woman said.
I looked over at Ambrose. He walked up to me. “Ambrose Keenan Pierce, Rachel’s husband. Glad to meet you.” He shook my hand. I was extremely confused.
“Wait, Rachel’s husband? I thought you were Stella’s husband!”
Rachel and Ambrose looked at each other. “Stella’s dead.” They said simultaneously.
“No, I mean Stella Blackstone II, the late Stella Blackstone’s daughter...” I trailed off, realizing I had made a huge mistake – Stella Blackstone didn’t have a daughter with the same name, Stella II was a fraud! No wonder Caufohey, Wade, and the newspapers didn’t mention anything about her! But who was she then? And I had told her I was a witch, my biggest secret!
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m Stella’s only daughter.”
“Omigod, omigod...” I muttered, walking away from Rachel and Ambrose. What had I done?
“Okay,” Darius announced. “We’ve got to get to San Diego before dawn, and we’ve got to get to 32 Cummins Rd. before six in the morning, or it’s too late to save him. Everybody knows who they’re driving with, and everybody knows the designated drivers, okay? Alexa, myself, Mr. Wyatt Caufohey, and Mrs. Rachel Blackstone. Everyone’s going straight too California no stopping, except for Alexa’s group, who’s going to pick up Jessika Chakoroson. Any questions?”
Grandpa Julian had a question. “I have a question. Darius, son, why again are we brining a human?”
The entire party erupted into yelling and shouting. “We’re bringing a human?!”
“She’s going to get killed!”
“What are you talking about? Witch Hunters hunt witches not humans!”
Darius stood on top of the Ford, and with a deafening crack, a bolt of electricity shot from his palms into the midnight air. Everybody jumped. He got down from the car. “Now that I have your attention, let’s get outta here before the police show up!”
The witches ran to their assigned cars, and then drove off, just as police sirens faintly echoed over busy Marentone Avenue, about ten blocks over. We were the last to leave, and drove off in the other direction to Jessie’s house.
I knocked three times on Jessie’s front door. She answered, wearing pajama pants, a sweatshirt, and a backpack. She got into the backseat of the Ford between me and Laurence. Unlike my family, she looked sleepy. On most nights, I don’t go to bed until 2 in the morning. Midnight was early for me. If I could stop time, I would sleep forever, and not miss a second. Too bad I can’t stop time.
I took a package of tic-tacs out of my purse, and handed Jessie one. She took it from me, probably not even realizing it, and popped it in her mouth. A second later, she passed out, unconscious, her head on Laurence’s shoulder.
“What the hell was in that tic-tac?” Laurence asked, astonished.
“They’re not tic-tacs. They’re knockout pills in a tic-tac container.”
“Talking about pills,” Alexa said, turning around. She didn’t need to look at the road to drive – her foresight would guide her. But Alexa took the precautionary measures of looking while driving. The future could always change, even though it hadn’t yet. “When we get back to Wisconsin, you’re going on The Pill. I don’t want you getting pregnant and having a half-witch, half-Witch Hunter baby.”
I am so glad that Jessie was sound asleep. I never even had the time to tell her what I did with Alexander yesterday morning.
“Alexa, he was protected!”
“I don’t care if you was protected or not. You’re still going to take birth control pills.”
I was humiliated. I had sex one time, and it was passed around my family like the sports section of the Sunday newspaper. Well, that was the disadvantage of living with seven other people. Note to self: Never have sex again.
Two hours passed, and the anticipation was killing me. Questions filled my mind. Was Chris okay? We’re we going to the right place, or was 32 Cummins Road a trap or decoy? Would we be okay? Would we even make it out alive? On top of that, who was Stella Blackstone II, and why was she pretending to be the dead Stella’s daughter? Did she know I was coming to her house that day? She had to, because there would be no other reason for her to be at the Blackstone mansion. Where were the other Blackstones? I had to tell Rachel what had happened.
I told Stella II that I was a witch, and I knew that others knew it too. I made a mental list of all the people, not counting my family, who knew what I was. “Stella II”. Dan Debrenski. Alexander. I wondered if anyone else knew. Alexander probably told his mother, Sharron Temmero. I added her to my list.
The silence and all the wondering I couldn’t bear any more. I popped one of the knockout tic-tacs into my mouth, and drifted into a nice, long sleep.
The sun was peaking over the mountains when I came to. I checked my cell phone. 5:40 am. We had twenty minutes to get to 32 Cummins Road, and I had no idea where we even were.
“Where are we?” I groaned.
“California.” Alexa said. She didn’t sound the least bit tired.
“I had to dive at 150 mph for almost an hour and a half,” Alexa said, “but we made it. The others are here also.”
I was suddenly mad I had forced myself to go to sleep. I wanted to see what driving at 150 mph was like. Luckily, I was glad that no one had crashed or were stopped by the police. Thinking about it, I realized we were witches. Most likely no human could stop us.
“Okay,” I said, “It’s 5:40 am. We have to get to 32 Cummins before six.” I handed Laurence a GPS system. “Can you program this for me?”
“Whatever.” He muttered, taking the GPS. It was at that moment that I realized that Jessie was still sleeping.
“Laurence, did you give Jessie another pill?”
“The tic-tacs? No.”
“Then why’s she still asleep?”
“What is that supposed to mean?!” I asked.
“KO pills only work for 5 hours on witches. I don’t know why you woke up, because you took yours at two, so you were asleep for about three and a half hours. They last for nine hours on humans.”
“Nine hours!” I yelled. “Why didn’t you tell me before I gave her it? We can’t have her sleeping the entire time!”
“I dunno. Like I said before, I thought they were tic-tacs.”
I glared at Laurence, and tried to revive Jessie. I looked at the empty bag of KO pills that I snuck into the car. The ones that were in the real bag, not the tic-tac container. I only put them in the container because I didn’t want anyone getting suspicious.
“18 milliamps?” I yelled. Normal knockout pills were about 5 milliamps, and lasted 1 to 2 hours. I had given way to much of an overdose! She could die!
“Help me revive her.” I snarled at Laurence.
“There’s nothing you can do.” Alexa said. “She’s either gonna make it, or she’s gonna die.” Jessie’s eyes suddenly opened.
“Jessie?” I asked her. Her eyes rolled back into her head. I put her head down. Jessie couldn’t die! If I had been careless and accidentally OD’d Jessie, and I couldn’t get to Chris on time, both of my best friends would end up dying.
“Rachel Blackstone and Sierra Wade have extraordinary healing powers. Bring Jessie to her once we get to San Diego.” Alexa instructed.
“Yes ma’am.” I said. Tears were running down my cheeks. I wasn’t going to let my best friend die, and then my other best friend die!
We reached San Diego in less than ten minutes. Alexa had run every red light, really pissing off Californians that decided that they’d like to go out at 5 in the morning.
Finally the GPS beeped. One mile to 32 Cummins Road.
Cummins Road was an older road. Palm trees swayed in the early morning May air, and water glistened off of a nearby lake. Suburban San Diego was beautiful. But I couldn’t think about the beauty of it now.
It wasn’t even six in the morning, but it was about 80 degrees out. When I opened the car door, I admired the sudden blast of warmth, glad for the for the fact that I was wearing shorts. I took off my black hoodie and the other cars pulled up. I looked at my cell phone. It was 5:55! We had five minutes! I thought that Rachel’s car would be the last to pull up onto the road, but it was actually Darius’s. I ran up to Rachel’s black Corvette, and told her about my predicament with Jessie, and she looked worried. Well, I wouldn’t blame her. She and Sierra were the only ones with healing power, and because Sierra was pregnant, Rachel’s power was much stronger.
We quickly decided that Sierra would be our lookout and would stay with Jessie in the Ford F-150. Rachel would be the nurse on attendance. After making our decision, we ran.
It took us less than 20 seconds to reach 32 Cummins Road, which was a school less than 100 feet away. It took me less than ten seconds to find it. At that speed, I should be on the Olympic track team!
From the look of the school, I figured that it was still in use. The grass was freshly cut, and the playground was freshly painted. The door, however, was locked.
I was the strongest out of everyone, and I was going to kick the door in, when suddenly a loud ringing blasted through the silence. I screamed, and dropped to the ground covering my head before I realized what the sound was. The bell. Everyone was staring at me, and I laughed - embarrassed at my stupidity.
Instead of me kicking the door in, Kinrey Wade picked the lock. It was quieter and more efficient.
We decided to not have all sixteen of us sneak into the school. Jessie and Sierra stayed by the car, and Rebecca Caufohey stayed at the front door of the school. The other thirteen tiptoed inside, brandishing weapons of some sort. The hallways were quiet and strung with lockers and cubbies. The school seemed to be an elementary school, as there were paintings of flowers and a mural of kids holding hands and skipping under a rainbow. Underneath the rainbow, a wonderful title announced happily “Welcome to San Diego South Elementary!”
I held my revolver, Darius the rifle, Josef and Mo’Quen the pistols. Alexa held a Magnum and the force field chewing gum, which would give us about one minute of protection. My grandpa Julian also had a gun of his own. The others all had .22 calibers and walky-talkies. We crept around like FBI agents, slowly opening classroom doors.
Our party had split up into three sects of three, with two sects of two. Alexa and I happened to be in our own sect. The groups were assigned special areas of the school to investigate, and the main thing that we had to follow was to be quiet. Ironic as it was, it was I that found the door.
“Guys!” I whispered into my walky-talky. Darius, Narrien, and Kemi’s group was the first group over, followed by Rachel and Ambrose; Mo’Quen, Grandpa Julian, and Laurence, and lastly Wade, Caufohey, and Josef. The other twelve stared at me, trying to figure out what in the world was I talking about.
We all stared up at the door.
Third Grade, Room 20. Mrs. Temmero.
“What does that have anything to do with anything?” Narrien finally asked, breaking the silence.
I realize why none of them shared my excitement. None of them knew who Sharron Temmero was!
“Sharron Temmero! She’s Alexander’s mother!” I whispered excitedly.
“Okay,” Darius said, “Alexa and Kennedy will investigate this room, and we’ll keep searching.”
The others left, and Alexa put her hand on my shoulder. “I’m so proud of you Kennedy, I really am. I’m glad that I trusted you.”
I began crying into her shoulder. “Thank you Alexa, I wouldn’t have made this without you. But it isn’t over yet.”
She hugged me, and both of us entered Mrs. Temmero’s room. It was a normal third grade classroom. There were desks and chairs, a chalkboard, and student work taped on the walls. A clock ticked over the chalkboard. Was it a clock or was it a bomb? I really wanted to believe it was a clock.
“He has to be around here somewhere!” I groaned in frustration.
“Don’t worry. Look for trap doors and the kind.”
I peeked my head under Mrs. Temmero’s desk, and in ridicule, popped it back up. “Alexa,” I called over. She was pressing her brown hands against the back wall, looking for something that might indicate a trap door.
“One sec, Kennedy.”
“Alexa, stop. Come over here and look what I found.”
She came over, and peeked under the desk. Sure enough there was a trap door.
“They just make it too easy these days.” I said.
“Don’t get too cocky, Kennedy.” Alexa warned.
I tried at the knob of the trap door. It wouldn’t budge. Alexa took a screw driver out of her purse, and undid the screws locking the door in place. I looked at her in amazement. Not for her simplicity in removing the bolts, or the quietness in the manner in which she did. All I was amazed at was why in the world did she have a screw driver on her?
Alexa and I crouched down, and lifted the wooden board, and I put it on top of Sharron Temmero’s desk. I looked down the shaft. A musty cold air breezed in my face. A stone staircase led down, but I couldn’t see any farther than that.
I looked up at my mother. “Alexa, I know the last couple of weeks we’ve been biting at each other’s throats, and I’ve broken a few rules, but this is an emergency. Can we us magic in pubic?”
Alexa smiled at me, knowing that that was something that I would definitely ask. “I’ll make sure whatever magic used down there stays down there.”
I gripped my gun tightly. “So, who’s going to go first?”
Alexa smiled coldly. “As a mother, it’s basically my duty.”
I held my breath as Alexa took her first step into the deep, grungy, shaft. Once she disappeared, I followed after her.
What I thought was one big room was actually a section of smaller, empty, rooms, with a large room in the middle. There were no long passages leading to nowhere, it actually just looked like somebody’s house.
The stairwell exited into a room no larger than a standard size closet. Each room had a door frame, but no door. There were no windows, and most of the basement was dark. Suddenly a flickering from the central room – the only source of light, caught my attention.
The entire floor seemed deserted and ghostly, but I knew better. I was shaking and the creepiness of the empty, dark interior was doing nothing to help. Slowly, Alexa and I snuck into the room closest to the central room and peeked inside.
A fire flickered in the center of the room, and shackled to the wall was a bloody, stringy, teenager. It was Chris. His hair was matted bloodily to his face, and his clothes were ripped. He was chained in between the broken forms of two defenseless skeletons.
There were piles of skulls in the corners, and the bloody outline of a six-pointed star with a circle in the middle was illuminated on the stony-brick wall. The symbol of Idira!
A woman with dark, long, red hair, and a long black dress faced the wall. Two others crouched at her feet, as if they were bowing down to her. I gasped loudly when I recognized one of the people crouching down. It was Alexander! I realized my mistake! I took a sharp intake of my breath, hoping that no one heard me gasp, but it was too late.
“I know that you’re here, Alexa, I was waiting for this minute. Come out of hiding.” The redheaded woman said. Her voice was cold and seductive. I recognized that voice. It was the voice that I had heard so many times before!
“Shea,” Alexa said. “You’ve never stopped to fool me. But we’re going to stop you now. Hand over the boy now, or none of you or your Witch-Hunting crannies get hurt.”
“You don’t scare me, Alexa, you never did.” Shea growled. She turned around suddenly, and I gasped, again. She wasn’t Shea, the Witch Hunter, she was also Stella Blackstone II and Sharron Temmero! That’s why Sharron had looked so familiar to me!
Alexander and the other Witch Hunter rose from their positions on the floor.
“Sara?” Alexa suddenly asked. “You’re Sara Richardson, Sofista!”
“Not anymore!” Sofista cackled, her blonde curls bobbing. “I’m Sofista now!”
Alexa looked at the three Witch Hunters in despair. I looked sadly at Alexander. He was still hot even though he was a psychotic Witch Hunter and his “mother” was an evil mastermind.
“Why?” I asked. “Why have you been doing this to me?”
He laughed. “You think that you came all the way here to save him? We could care less about him. We only care about you.”
I figured that wasn’t a compliment.
“Elizaidor, shush.” Shea somberly snarled.
“Elizaidor? Is that your real name?” I spat at him.
“No.” He said. “Alexander is.”
I looked at Alexander, and then Alexa, who shrugged, and then back at Alexander.
“Come in here, Alexa.” Shea/Stella/Sharron whispered. Alexa took a step into the room.
“Alexa, no!” I shouted, running in after her.
“Kennedy, stay back.” Alexa instructed, not turning around to face me. If you're a witch and you’re faced with a room of Witch Hunters, the last thing you’d ever do would to turn your back on them.
“Unhand the boy.” Alexa snarled, her tone of voice intimidating.
Shea sniveled sarcastically – she was the least bit scared of Alexa, which frightened me. If she wasn’t scared of Alexa, then what was she scared of? I pretty much figured failure.
I hadn’t seen Alexa this pissed in a long time. She furiously shot a blast of dark magic at Shea. I’d never seen her use dark magic before, as it was the most deadly kind, with all kinds of negative side effects. However, instead of infiltrating Shea’s body, the magic bounced right off of her skin. I took a step backwards in shock.
Smiling evilly, Shea held her palm out and blasted a ray of dark magic back at Alexa. It hit her square in the chest, and she flew backwards, hitting the back wall hard.
“Alexa!” I screamed, running over to help my mother. . I grabbed the chewing gum out of Alexa’s pocket. A grayish-blue bubble began to form around me. It got bigger, and bigger – and then it popped. I whipped my revolver out and aimed it straight at Shea, but before I could pull the trigger, another blast of dark magic erupted from Shea’s hands knocking the gun right out of mine. It discharged as it flew across the room, blasting a hole right through the ceiling
It was at that moment when I realized that Shea was unstoppable. She wasn’t just a Witch Hunter, she was half Witch Hunter, half Other one. She was far more dangerous than I ever expected her to be. If I was pregnant, that’s what my baby would turn out to be! Ew!
I crept back into the shadows of the corner, trembling. There was no way out. I couldn’t shoot her, she’d kill me. I had failed, Shea, Alexander, and Sofista were going to win. I knew there was no use but my fingers reached for the gun anyways. It had skittered across the floor just a few inches from me. I realized that if Shea killed me, Chris was practically a goner.
Shea smiled evilly at me. “I guess you’re the only one left, McCarron. I’m sorry that we’ve met this way and are going to have to say goodbye this way. It’s truly devastating.” She pointed her palm at me. A growing black ball of energy formed at her fingertips. It was the orb of death.
Suddenly a knock pounded on the wall, and the rest of my party entered. I was saved!
“Ahem.” Wyatt Caufohey said.
The orb of death disappeared from Shea’s hands. Darius smiled. “Not if we can help it, Shea.”
Shea whipped around to face the new arrivals. I grabbed the gun, and got back the courage to stand up.
“And who do you think you are?” She thundered.
“The rest of Alexa and Kennedy’s company.” Darius announced. Rachel Blackstone had managed to make her way to front of the group, and she laid her eyes on Sofista. Her eyes flooded with tears.
Sofista saw her niece and walked over.
“What do you think you are –” Shea started, but Sofista held up a finger, silencing her.
“What? What did you – ? What happened to –? Why did you –?” Rachel sobbed, looking at her half-aunt in shame and amazement.
Sofista reached out to hug her half-niece. Everyone looked at the two in amazement. Blonde, girlish Sara looked nothing like gorgeous, brunette, Rachel. Rachel hugged Sara back.
“I’ve missed you, Auntie Sara.” Rachel sobbed.
“I’m going to miss you too, Rachel.” Sofista said. Suddenly, one of her hands reached the back of Rachel’s neck. The other grabbed her head by the chin, snapping it backwards. Rachel Blackstone’s glossy eyes were filled with anguish and her face twisted with horror as her lifeless body fell limp to the floor.
Everyone stared Rachel’s body for a minute, but suddenly realization flooded over them, and her murder started a frenzy of war. Enrage, Ambrose Pierce shot a bolt of electricity at Sofista, but missed, stunning Shea. Sofista fired back at him, and the war went on. I participated as much as I could, witch vs. witch hunter, gun vs. shield when suddenly two hands grabbed my face pulling me back. I didn’t have time to even scream.
The room was dark – as there were no windows, and this room, the only room with a door, was closed, but I already knew that Alexander (or Elizaidor) was my attacker.
“Alexander, what do you want from me?” I growled.
He laughed coldly. “You didn’t ask me how I did it.”
“Did what?!” I yelled, exasperatedly.
“Figured out how you were a witch.”
I actually hadn’t even thought of that in all the commotion. “I already know how. Shea told you. And that’s beside the point. Why did you–?”
He interrupted me. “It’s not that simple, Kennedy. I found out way before Shea told me, the day that we met in the plaza. And even then, I was trying to protect you.”
“Protect me?” I asked. “How?”
He ignored me again. “Remember the day we skipped school and went to Taco Bell? That was the day I found out you were a witch. When we were in the library, remember how I went up to the librarian?”
“Your aunt –” I said, realization washing over me.
“Yeah. Sophie Kane.”
“Her name isn’t Sophie Kane, it’s Mrs. Crandon.” I argued.
“Yeah, and my name isn’t Elizaidor, it’s Alexander. Remember how I said that my mother was a great actress? Her name isn’t Sharron Temmero, and it isn’t Stella Blackstone II.” He had a point. “Shea isn't even my mother. Mine died long ago. Sophie Kane is much younger than Mrs. Crandon. Actually, the real Marlene Crandon we tied up and sent on a boarding plane to Cambodia. My real mother, Kelena Johansson Margon, was about ten years older than her sister, Sophie Johansson Kane. Sophie’s only in her thirties, the same as Rachel Blackstone’s half-aunt, Sara Richardson –”
I interrupted him. “Alexander, you’re getting off track. Again.”
He glared at me through the darkness. “Well, Sophie Kane is a big part of my story!” I rolled my eyes. He continued. “Well, I asked her to give me a record of every site that you had gone on, and I found the article on Stella Blackstone’s death. I also found a website that you had looked at on Witch Hunters. I needed to find a way to keep you out school for a little bit so Sophie could do her work, and I could work my charms and learn about you. You’re mysterious, you know, Kennedy. My plan worked.” Even through the darkness, I could see his smile. I was getting used to the dark. He stroked my chin lovingly. “You’re the first girl that I’ve been with that’s been a witch. You would have been dead by now if it wasn’t for the fact that I fell so deeply in love with you. Love as in you don’t understand. I don’t fall in love, the emotion is dead to me. I use it to see if I can persuade girls into telling me that they’re witches so I can kill them. But you were different, much more different.”
I felt bad for him for a second, but last two sentences disgusted me. “So you really did love me.”
“Yes, and that’s why I got so intimate with you on the side of the highway, the first time we really kissed. After I got you back to school, I called Shea, instructing her to go to Stella Blackstone’s mansion. It was hard work – Shea doesn’t like taking orders. She, however, gave in, pretending to be Stella Blackstone II, hoping that you would fall for it and confess what you are. Which you did. Kennedy, you’re not a witch. You’re a horrid demon.”
“But I’m not demon. Whatever Shea is, that’s a demon! She’s half-witch herself!”
“Don’t you dare talk that way about Shea!” Alexander roared, slapping me in the face, hard.
I began to boil with extreme rage. “Don’t you ever hit me again, Alexander Margon!”
Alexander didn’t say anything, but reached into his pants pocket and withdrew something awkwardly. It didn’t take my half-adjusted eyes to realize what it was – a shiny, glistening knife.
Shocked, I took a step backwards.
Alexander’s voice was alarmingly cold. “You’re a demon, Kennedy, and for that you must go.”
He took a plunge at me, driving the knife straight into my left shoulder. With my right arm, I involuntarily punched Alexander in the face. I heard a crack – he had underestimated my strength. Alexander let go of the knife, and his hands flew to his bloody face.
I blindly ran as far as I could away from Alexander. I was terrified, the knife was still deep in my shoulder, the blood staining my shirt scarlet. I ran through blasts and deflects of magic, into a corner of another empty room.
I collapsed on the floor near the stairs, feeling dizzy and lightheaded, but I pulled with extreme amounts of pain, the knife out of the space between my arm and my shoulder blade. I screamed in pain, and as I rolled to my side, my revolver fell out of its holster. I gripped it, trying to ignore the sharp jolts of pain in my arm as much as possible. Our only nurse was dead, and Sierra was tending Jessie. I didn’t even know if Alexa was okay.
Suddenly a shadowy figure appeared in the doorway. It was Alexander. He was dripping with both his and my blood, smiling maniacally, holding the knife. I spun around, and grabbed the revolver off the floor. I shot him three times – twice in the leg, once in the torso. He dropped to the ground.
The pain in my arm was excruciating, and I was receiving massive amounts of blood loss. The lightheadedness finally got to me. I passed out unconscious on the ground.
I awoke subconsciously in a hospital bed. My arm was wrapped tightly in bandage, and rested in a sling. I don’t know what happened, but it felt much better. I was afraid that the doctors had OD’d me on morphine.
I looked across the room, and saw that Chris was in a bed across me. Feeling no pain, I got up from my bed to go talk to him when a skinny brunette nurse entered. I flinched for a second, thinking that she was Rachel.
“And where do you think you’re going?” She asked, lightheartedly. “My name’s Penelope, I’m your nurse. You and your friend, Chris here, got into a little car accident. You should be okay soon.” She nodded at my arm. “Do you know who stabbed you?”
“My boy- ex-boyfriend.” I said.
A pretty black nurse entered, and gave Chris another shot of morphine. Penelope looked at her, and back at me. “That’s Chris’s nurse, Erika.” Penelope instructed me to lay back down on the bed. I did what she told me to do, and she gratefully issued me another shot of morphine. My arm was starting to twinge.
“Thank you, Penelope.” I said wearily, and she left the room. I looked over at Chris. His body was covered head-to-toe in scars, burn marks, and bruises.
“Hey buddy.” I said. “How’d we get outta there?”
He smiled, but didn’t answer me. “You’re a witch.”
I smiled back and blushed. “What they do to you? Beat you senselessly?”
He frowned. “They tried to turn me into one of you.”
I wasn’t expecting to hear that, but I figured it would be true. Witch Hunters only killed witches, not humans. Well, Alexander was an exception.
“They failed, and they were going to “dispose” of me, but you luckily showed up.”
I nervously laughed. If we’d been five minutes late, Chris would have been dead.
Alexa rolled into the hospital room in a wheelchair. She smiled at both Chris and I.
“Alexa, you look so cute in one of those hospital ‘chairs.”
She smiled sadly at me. “This is mine, Kay. I’m paralyzed from the waist down.”
I gasped loudly, and froze, paralyzed in shock. Alexa rolled her chair over to me, and I hugged her. Alexa was my beautiful, strong, mother. How could have this have happened to her? Her out of all people? I was furious. Shea didn’t have the right to confine Alexa to a wheelchair for the rest of her life. She still had so much to live for...
“Shea’s gonna pay, Alexa, I’m going to kill her!” I yelled.
Alexa frowned at me. “No killing, Kennedy. This entire deal is my fault. I acted impulsively and I deserved this.”
It killed me to hear Alexa talk like that. She was giving up! “Alexa, no you didn’t.” I cried. “Alexa, what happened in there?”
“All of us finally got enough dark magic stored up to stun Shea at once. I saw that you had taken out Alexander, and Sofista had fled the premises the minute she had killed her niece.”
I cringed when I remembered Rachel’s wrongful death. Ambrose must have been devastated to lose a woman like Rachel.
“When we left,” Alexa continued, “we acted cowardly. We saved Chris and left, all pretending that Shea was dead, even though we all knew she wasn’t –”
“Wait,” I interrupted. “Shea isn't dead?”
“No, she’s not. We bolted down the trapdoor, and moved Shea’s desk on top of it. Once we were sure that everyone was secure and Shea and Alexander were locked in the basement, we called about every police department in San Diego, reporting the murder of Rachel Blackstone in the basement of the school. We realized our mistake of moving the desk, because we had to remove it once the police arrived. We used magic to protect the police officers. The last thing we needed was another wrongful death, Witch or Human.”
“There’s one thing I don’t understand.” I said. “Why did Nurse Penelope say that I had gotten into a car crash?”
Alexa laughed. “Because you did, honey. You don’t remember the ambulance skidding off the road, and crashed. Well, of course you probably don’t remember. You were sleeping.”
“God, I’m a heavy sleeper.” I muttered. “But is the driver alright?”
“He’s fine.” Alexa said. “I was just talking to him out in the lobby. He’s paying us $100,000 in compensation.”
It wasn’t like we didn’t need the money, we were already pretty stinking rich.
As I thought about everything that had happened today, and all the other days since Alexander’s arrival to South Rivera, I realized that all the pieces of the puzzle fit together perfectly except for one.
“Alexa, where’s Jessie!?”
“Right here.” A black head popped in the doorway. She rushed over and I hugged my best friend.
“Jessie, you’re alive!”
She scowled. “Yeah, I’m alive, and I missed everything. Except seeing the ambulance crash into a tree.”
“Jessie, I’m so sorry that I almost OD’d you. I’m so sorry that I gave you that knock out pill.”
“Knock out pill?”
“Tic-tac. When did you wake up?”
“About an hour ago. I was in the hospital, and there was a black woman sitting with me. Black – not Jamaican like you, and she wasn’t Erika.”
“Sierra Wade.” I said.
“Yeah. I asked her when we were getting to San Diego. She said we were already there, and were on the way back, but we had to stop at the hospital because of injuries. What happened to you?”
I began crying in happiness. “I’m so glad that you’re okay, Jessie. I thought that I had killed you. Alexander stabbed me in the shoulder.”
“Oh my gosh! That’s so cruel!”
“Yeah, and Alexa’s paralyzed.”
“That’s the worse of the injuries, I hope.”
“Well of the injuries, yes. Rachel Blackstone ended up dying.”
Jessie’s hands flew to her mouth in shock.
“And Chris sustained some injuries too.”
“Chris, omigod, I didn’t even realize that he was even in here!” She ran over to console Chris, and I took the opportunity to talk to Alexa.
“Alexa, why do you think that Alexander left the note saying 32 Cummins Road?” I asked. For the first time, I noticed how close Alexa and Alexander were in names.
“I don’t know, Kay. Maybe it was an accident. Maybe he wanted you there because he felt bad or didn’t have a challenge.” She paused. “Or maybe he wanted to kill you.”
“Is Alexander dead?” Jessie asked, returning to Alexa and me.
“I don’t really know.” I replied. “I shot him, but they weren’t really fatal shots, though I did shoot him in his six-pack. I doubt Alexander’s dead. He didn’t seem willing to die. He was a fighter. I’m sure we’ll see him again sometime in the future.”
Alexa changed the channel on the small TV above my bed to Channel 6 News.
The news reporter, Kiki Avery, was a California sun-tanned woman with hair so blonde it looked almost white. “Hi, I’m Kiki Avery, and I’m reporting from San Diego South Elementary school, where a murder and a vicious assault and kidnapping has taken place. In the basement of this school house, a Wisconsin woman, Rachel Blackstone has been found dead, her neck snapped. This basement has been the society for a cult organization, from the looks of it, many years...”
A photo of the bloody symbol of Idira and the fire in the center of the room appeared on the screen. So did the skeletons, the skulls, and the bloody stains on the wall where Chris had been chained.
“... Though the investigation shows that Mrs. Blackstone’s death took place around 6:15 this morning, and DNA prints show that the only person found at the crime scene, third grade teacher Sharron Temmero was not the murderer. However, Mrs. Temmero will be tried for third-degree assault and kidnapping. Mrs. Temmero’s victims are currently located at Summit Valley Hospital. Christopher Wheeler, who disappeared from South Rivera, Wisconsin, earlier this week was found in this cult basement...”
There was something about the news report that bothered me, and I couldn’t finger it. Suddenly, it hit me. Kiki Avery said that Shea was the only person left at the crime scene. Where was Alexander?
Chris made a gargled noise, and Jessie and I looked at him. He smiled at me. “You’re a witch.” He said again.
“YOU’RE A WITCH?!” Jessie yelled shocked, and I laughed, shushing her.
She laughed in disbelief.
“I’m sorry.” I said, and all three of us started laughing.
“Why didn’t you tell us before?” Jessie asked. “That you’re a witch. You can trust us.”
“It’s kinda against the rules.” I said, smiling at my friends. “You saw what happened with Alexander.”
“I’m sure Alexander’s still out there.” Chris said. “I saw Sofista escape and Shea be locked out and led out by police, but I’m not sure what exactly happened to Alexander, but I am sure he died when you shot him. Nice shooting, by the way.”
I laughed. “That’s what I’m here for.”
Chris smiled and twiddled his thumbs. “Hey, since Alexander is a murderous psycho who tried to kill you, then now will you be my girlfriend?”
“We’ll see, Chris Wheeler.”
“I love you, Kennedy McCarron. I’ve always loved you. Since third grade.”
I was touched. I’ve been told that I’ve been loved before, but love doesn’t seem to work out for me in the end. Dan Debrenski loved me. Alexander Margon loved me. Chris Wheeler loves me. I smiled back at Chris, not knowing what to say.