Stuff: No observations at the moment. So it’s all just stuff.
The next few bits are going up piecemeal. For anyone who’s followed my serials over the past two years, you might find some fun, familiar bits in the next few installments, because I figured, why not? When I go back to revise this the story is going to need a major overhaul anyway since it’s only been in the last 10-15,000 words that it’s started to come together.
Thanks again for all of you support. Without it, I probably would have thrown in the
typewriter … computer … towel.
Total word count: 44,185
You can read previous sections here.
The Troops Arrive
Leaves and twigs snap as footsteps approach quickly from the woods. Suddenly there’s a man almost as large as Anton standing in front of us wearing a black watchman’s cap, black jacket, black jeans, and a dark-eyed glare at Anton.
“Consorting with witches,” he yells, twisting around to see where Isla vanished into the darkness.
Consorting with witches? I feel like I’ve suddenly been tossed back to the seventeenth century, especially now that I’ve actually been put on fire. What’s next? I’m afraid to ask; scratch that question.
Anton sighs in a way that tells me he’s used to his brother’s drama. “Sophia, this is my younger, impetuous brother, Stefan. He’s short on good manners as well as common sense.”
Where Anton is blond and blue eyed, Stefan is dark haired with fierce dark eye brows that are lowered over glowering eyes. His dark eyes roll at his brother. His body seems like a ball of energy waiting to unleash itself.
“This is the moment. This is the one we’ve been warned about. Four red witches born who will take down the world, leave us in ruin and fire. I am prepared. I’ve been here for months while you’ve sat around eating apples or flirted with this witch. This is the same witch who poisons people with her soups. The one who ran after you on the street. The scourge. All of the red witches are dangerous. You are proving a detriment to our people.”
That was quite a lecture. Okay. I guess I must be one of those witches…as well as Rose and Amy. Isla? Well, she might just want to take the world down in ruin and fire.
I hold my hand out to Stefan because Gran taught me to always be polite. “Nice to meet you,” I say.
He glances at my hand, spits, and then is suddenly flying off the deck, sitting in the grass holding his chin. “You didn’t have to hit me,” he says to Anton, moving his chin back and forth.
Anton straightens to his full height and looks down imperiously at his younger brother. “You just spit at the woman I…I am bound to.”
Bound to? Bound to. I’m not sure what to make of those words especially when he says it tough and sexy like, but then the idea of being bound to anyone right now, presuming that means commitment, is more than a little off-putting. Yep, as soon as we have some downtime, there’s going to be a discussion regarding this “binding” bit.
Stefan’s eyes widen. “The Light Union. You’ve created the Light Union with a red witch.” Amazement pours through his words and his eyes.
There is so much I don’t know that everyone else seems to know about me and the things I’ve done or am about to do. Maybe I should go hang out in Gran’s library and read all of the forbidden texts Like Isla did rather than stand around ignorant while my fate’s being discussed..
Stefan looks at me and then stares at my abdomen and I feel like a creature is going to spill out like in Alien.
“Uh, what’s his deal?” I ask. “Why is he staring at my abdomen?”
“The Light Union, of course,” Anton says, nodding.
I nod along. “Okay. And this Light Union, I thought it was supposed to be for the greater good, right?”
And suddenly a bad feeling comes over me to replace all of the other bad feelings that this night has brought.
“Is there any way you could just give me the short version on what all of this means, or do I have to go to my Gran’s…”
I’m interrupted by my Mom’s voice: “Sophie? Isla?”
“Around back, Mom.”
Stefan pulls a sword from the sheath attached to his leg.
Anton rolls his eyes. “Put that away, moron. This is Sophie’s mother.”
“The mother of red witches.”
“Put it away or I will tell the counsel that you attempted to start an incident, which this is, by the way. You’re behaving incredibly stupidly.”
Petulantly, lower lip jutting outward, Stefan slides his sword back in its sheath. What a night, I think, what a night.
Mom runs toward me and hugs me. Her eyes move suspiciously to the witch slayers before she glances around. “Where’s Isla?”
“She set me on fire and then vanished.”
“Set you on fire? She can throw fireballs?”
“No. She can throw Southern Comfort into a firepit and set me on fire. She watched my jacket begin to burn and then just ran off into the wood.”
Mom brushes my hair back and then notices the streaks. “Holy hell, girl, what have you done to your hair…”
She looks from Anton to me and then throws back her head, a very low sound of misery pouring outward. “Please, please, please, tell me that you didn’t have sex with that guy.”
“I didn’t have sex with that guy.”
Her eyebrow arches. “What? Is that the truth?”
“You didn’t ask for the truth. You just wanted me to tell you I didn’t have sex with him.”
She drops her face into her palms. “This is the end of it all. The very utter end.”
“Oh, for crap’s sake, pull yourself together,” Gran says to Mom. “So, she sexed up the witch slayer and is probably going to have the most powerful child ever born—”
“What? Me? Are you saying that I’m…” And then I remember Stefan staring at my abdomen. I turn and glare at Anton. “You said nothing to me about this.”
“I did warn you that our union would come with consequences.”
“Not a nine month consequence, you didn’t.”
Blood pounds in my head as I realize what this means. Forget a little commitment between a man and a woman. This is something I didn’t know if I ever wanted, especially not when I’m 26 and haven’t really decided what to do with my life. I throw open the deck door, and it slaps back and bounces against the wall. When I turn around, I know my eyes are wild as well as filled with tears. I survey the lot of them. “I’m done, okay? I am officially done with you all. I just wanted a nice happy life making my incredibly delicious soups and enjoying nights out with my friends and then maybe some travel and then finding a nice stable guy to get married to and then in a few years, a few years, I would think about having kids. I didn’t expect to be an impregnated witch by some freaking witch slayer. And a powerful kid in my belly? Why didn’t one of you have the guts to inform me about the possibilities of this?”
I slam the deck door so hard behind me that it falls off the bottom hinge. Damn cheap deck door. Damn house. Damn everything, including my damn life. And then I think about the possibility of a baby and flop on the sofa, flabbergasted and teary-eyed and scared. I’m scared.
end of Day 25