Martha Sket looked over her wide yard with a wary glance. Seven of the seventeen apparent children who were currently living here were watching her from the corner of their eyes. Apparent children because only four of them were under the age of eighteen, one being well over four hundred, and another in his sixties.
“Lyk, Luk, Mark, Mazz, Tallk, Trip, Zan!” She barked out. “Come here right now!” All save one scattered. Mazz walked up to her with a bored expression. His pale gray wolf eyes were focused past her as John came to the door, holding a broken fishing rod. “At least one of you has some sense. Who broke the jar on the mantle?” “Tallk, by accident.” His voice showed that he was bored.
Martha wasn’t surprised that it had been Tallk. The witch was always breaking things. “Why did the rest run then?” Mazz smiled before ticking off the names on the list. “Lyk drank the last of the milk, Luk chewed up John’s rod, Mark pulled Lacey’s hair, Trip is just scared, and Zan broke a window on the third floor last night.” She stored the information away for future scolding. Mazz, the completely loyal werewolf, headed inside, presumably to find lunch. “Anything else I need to know?” “Drae took off again.” She sighed; the girl was always taking off.
“I’ll go get her.” Martha turned around to see the relatively quiet demon, Dominic. He was standing at the foot of the stairs, and somehow managed to look even more bored than Mazz. She nodded to him. “Try and have her back by nightfall. The house meeting starts at ten.” He nodded and headed off in the direction of the garage. Lyk, a Fae, followed after him. Between the two of them they’d have Drae back soon enough.
Martha headed back into the house calling for the rest of the children. “Lacey, max, Jason, Demetria, Roy, Jessica, Tabor, and Zebediah, time for chores!” Mazz came out of the kitchen holding a broom before she could yell for him. “Luk, Mark, Tallk, Trip, Zan that includes you all as well!”
Drae watched the scene play out from where she was lazily gliding on the currents over the ranch and forest. The Sket’s owned a lot of land. It would seem like a normal family to outsiders, but not a single resident was entirely human or even human at all. She was currently a falcon and headed into the city over the mountain range.
She’d carefully avoided any of the others finding where she’d been heading the last few weeks. She let the current carry her over the mountain. She was heading to the home of a demon who had been teaching her to control her magic which had started to get out of control. He was nearly a thousand years old but barely looked twenty. Drae was almost two hundred and fifty-seven years old, and he had nick-named her ‘Kid.’ She was hoping Trek would give it up, but no such luck.
She landed behind a dumpster outside of an old building. Trek was sitting on the fire escape and watching her with a curious expression. He always did when she shifted. It was the only time she allowed her true appearance to show through. Her skin was pale with a hint of tan and covered in scrawling glyphs in changing colors, of which she didn’t know the meaning. The markings were faint and barely noticeable. Her hair was black with red and blue streaks, an off-shoot of her mixed heritage. She was half-demon, half-Fae.
The oddest thing about her appearance was her eyes. One was light amber, almost like honey, and the other was a pale blue with no pupil at all, only a dark blue swirl pattern that shot through the iris. Her true appearance faded into tan skin with black hair and emerald green eyes.
Trek sighed. “You should let your normal appearance show, the eyes are odd, but you’re kind of cute.” “Nice coming from someone who could be my great-grandfather.” He laughed. “I doubt that, but it’s always possible. We’re going on a trip today. I’m seeing how well your shields hold up in a battle of magical wills.” She tilted her head to the side with an inquiring look. “No, I’m not telling you where we’re going. All you need to know is that it’s safe.”
They walked to an out of the way bar. From the outside it looked rundown, but once you went inside you realized it was only camouflage. The interior was well lit as it was still daylight, and the furniture was nice though stacked against the wall. The bartender looked up from the book he was reading behind the counter. “We’re closed for the morning. I was about to put up the sign.” Trek smiled. “Really, I could have sworn this place was open twenty-four-seven.”
The bartender smiled as Trek let his own appearance show through. He had dark brown hair with amber eyes, and pale skin. The bartender’s own eyes shifted to amber but his burgundy colored hair remained the same. “You’re early Trek; you should visit more often.” He turned to see Drae. “So, you must be that student he was telling me about. There’s a rule here that you can’t use glamour when no one else is.” He was staring at her pointedly.
She let go of the image she was holding with a sigh. He nodded in thought when he caught sight of her eyes. “Nice. Can’t say I’ve seen that combination in awhile. Name’s Kaden by the way.” He reached over the bar and she shook his hand. “Nice to meet you.” The words left her lips without thought. She’d had manners pounded into her since she had been taken in by the Sket’s, courtesy of Martha. The vampiress was known for her propriety. Her husband wasn’t much different.
Kaden set his book down on the bar and came around. “So, what’s your main ability?” “What do you mean?” He sighed. “Trek never does cover the basics first. Alright, go to the end of the room so there’s no interference.” She walked over to the stage stiffly. She didn’t like being ordered around, especially by someone she didn’t know. “Make your aura visible.” With a slight jerk on her metaphysical shield her aura became visible. It was defined by a swirling pattern of gold, silver, and orange. There were black streaks throughout and her aura was overlaid with wide red streaks. Kaden studied the pattern in shock. “How did you manage to get that much red in you aura with how young you are?” She just shrugged. “I don’t think that that is any of your business. So I suggest you let it go.”
He nodded. “What is your shield made of?” Her aura flickered before being hidden behind a wall of shifting ice. He actually sent out a line of energy to see if it was as cold as it looked. He shivered when it made contact. “Your aura is too mixed to tell what your main strength is. What are you best with, magic wise?”
She dipped her head in thought. “Movement, through lines and such as well as shifting, and elemental magic.” He nodded. “This suggests that you’re highly oriented with nature in some form or another. Though the strength in movement is an odd one as elementals are normally very bad with transformational magic as well as magic focused around physical movement. That could be your genetics showing through though.”
He nodded to himself. “We’ll take it that those are your strengths. Today I’m just going to test your shields. Put them up to full level and keep them visible.” She did as he asked and immediately felt pressure on the ‘wall.’ “Don’t drop them; I’m going to try to get past them.”