A/N: I wrote this for Km2's fantasy contest…I have never written a short story, nor have I written anything in the fantasy genre. This was really hard for me to write, so please, be brutally honest. I understand if you hate it, but PLEASE tell me if you do. It's NOT my usual writing, so I completely understand if you think it sucks. I PROMISE it won't hurt my feelings :D
With those words and a quick flick of her wrist, the candle in front of Adelina became inflamed, illuminating the circle of small children surrounding her.
"Grandmother when will you teach us that spell?" the oldest of the bunch, asked. Her name was Adela, named loosely for her grandmother. At her birth, her mother, Adelina's daughter, knew the child would be like the older woman, full of spunk, and eagerness to learn. And she had been right.
Adelina only smiled. "Eventually, Adela."
Adela replied with a groan. "Well, when is eventually?"
Adelina chuckled. Adela was only nine. She'd begin her training when she was thirteen. When she started, though, Adelina had a feeling she would change her mind about being so eager.
"Do you all want to hear the story, or not?" Adelina asked the group.
They all responded with eagerly nodding heads, so she smiled, and she opened the old book. "Everyone be quiet, then, and we'll start the story."
50 years earlier
The year 2013
"Adelina Ionesco, I do hope you're paying attention."
I raised my head, and met my English teacher's fiery eyes as they burned into me. I nodded. "Yes, ma'am. I am." And then I yawned. That probably didn't help one bit.
She glared harder. I thought she was going to kill me for sleeping through the reading of the Crucible, but honestly, the Salem Witch Trials? It was pretty safe to say I knew all about them.
Before she could say another word, the final bell of the day rang, and I quickly gathered my things and bolted from the classroom.
I turned when I heard the familiar call of my best friend, Carla. She wasn't the only one who called me 'A' instead of my given name, 'Adelina' since it was 'foreign.' But she had started it when I moved to Oakhurst, Maine, from Romania back in the seventh grade.
"Wait up!" Carla called, catching up with me. "We're all going for pizza. Want to come?"
"Now?" I asked.
She nodded. "Yes."
I sighed regretfully, thinking of what had to be done when I got home. Lessons with Dumitru for three hours, then I still had homework to do.
"I can't," I said. "I, uh, promised my mom I'd get my room cleaned before I went out."
She nodded, seeming disappointed. "Oh, well. Lex asked about you."
Now I was really regretting not being able to go. Lex was only the hottest guy in school. We'd been subtly flirting for a couple of weeks now, but Dumitru would never understand that. Silly mortal things like dating and going out with friends was nothing compared to preparing myself for when the Syianis would strike.
"The humans would thank us if they only knew what we were protecting them from," he would snap at me, his Romanian accent thick and snarling. "I'm sure they will care nothing about pizza and boys then, will they now?"
Just thinking about going home to another lesson with Dumitru made my skin crawl. I couldn't help it. I was who I was, and I couldn't change that, but that didn't mean I had to like it. It didn't mean I didn't crave normalcy. But I could never be normal.
I, Adelina Ionesco, was a witch.
I knew something was wrong when Carla dropped me off in front of my house later. Everything looked normal, nothing out of place, but I could feel something brewing. Something inside the house. I had a sense about things and they weren't usually wrong. Yes, something was definitely wrong.
"Tell everyone I'm sorry I couldn't make it," I said quickly as I got out of the car. I waved, shut the door, and hurried inside.
My suspicions were confirmed.
"Mother?" I called when I saw that the house was empty. Not just empty of people, but empty of everything. Furniture was gone, pictures from the walls. The house was bare in every way possible.
What could have happened?
I rushed around, finding every room of the old mansion the same. Bare and empty. And my family was nowhere to be seen.
"Mother?" I shouted again. "Dumitru?"
No answer. Then I remembered the lair. Of course. They must have all been there. Nothing like this could have happened, just for me to be left behind. Not unless it was something even more horrible than I thought it was.
I looked up, and saw her leaning over the banister, her hair as white-blond as mine, framing her face as she looked down at me.
"Amalia!" I shouted back, starting up the stairs. "What's happened?"
When I reached the top of the stairs, I found my sister's face as white as a ghost. Her blue eyes filled with horror. "She took the book."
I didn't have to ask. I knew what that meant.
Immediately my heart filled with panic. Ecaterina, the queen of the Syianis, had been here, and she'd stolen my family's book of spells.
Amalia and I entered the lair. Since she was only eleven and not yet in training, I was the one to wave my hand over the door, reciting the word.
"Volvere," I said. And just like that the tall, wooden door creaked open on its own.
"Come on, Amalia," I told my sister.
We could hear the fretful voices as we neared the group of adults sitting around the table. I knew I would be in trouble for interrupting my mother, but I had to know what the plans were to get the book back from Ecaterina.
"We are doomed!" This was from Dumitru. Funny, I thought. In training, he was always on about what I needed to learn in case of an event like this. He always seemed so in charge, so put together. Now, he sounded like he was tears.
"Ecaterina has the book of spells. Every secret to this family is in that book!" he continued. "What is going to happen to us? She will use our own powers against us. She will kill us all, and not to mention the humans! The humans are at the biggest risk of all!"
"Dumitru relax," came my mother's calming voice. "We're going to get that book back. She may have the book, but she can't unlock it. She can't read it, and she can't use it against us without the key."
I felt myself relax at my mother's calming voice. She wasn't the head of the Witch's Council for nothing. If she said we would get the book back, then we would get the book back.
"Where is the key, Elena?" I knew that deep voice. Dragos. If Dragos was here, then it had to be serious.
"Protected," my mother replied. "In Romania. My sister has it, hidden deep within the Arunian Forest. Only I know the spell to bring it out."
"Regardless of this key being protected, it is imperative that we get the book back," came the voice of Fane, Dragos' right-hand man. "If she was able to get to the book, who says she can't get the key. I thought the book was protected, Elena."
I felt defensive at the way Fane was talking down on my mother. Whatever happened, however Ecaterina had gotten to the book, I knew it wasn't my mother's fault, and I hated her taking the heat for it.
"The room where the book was locked away was protected by a spell and an enchantment, Fane," my mother asked. "How she was able to get in is beyond me. But I can assure you. We will get it back, and we won't let it happen again."
"What's next, Elena?" Dragos asked.
"We're all packed," my mother replied. "I'm getting my daughters, I'm calling the witch's council, and we're going after Ecaterina. In Romania."
I gulped. We were going to Romania? "No."
At that moment, they all turned to look at me and Amalia. I hadn't meant to say that out loud.
"Adelina!" Dumitru said, standing. "Amalia. This is not meant for your ears!"
"Dumitru, it's fine," my mother said. "They need to understand." She turned to the two of us. "Girls. Come on inside."
We did as our mother asked, and once we were inside, I could see Dumitru's look of disgust. Not that he was disgusted with us, but he didn't want us involved.
"Mother, we're sorry for eavesdropping," I said quickly. "But Amalia said the book was stolen, and I was concerned, so-"
My mother shook her head. "Adelina, you don't need to apologize. You and Amalia need to hear this."
Dumitru cleared his throat uncomfortably. "Elena, really, I don't think the children-"
"Dumitru," my mother interrupted. "In case you've forgotten, Adelina is not a child. She is seventeen. She is almost finished with training, and if we have to fight, she is ready to fight with us."
I felt myself gasp. "Fight?"
My mother nodded somberly. "Yes, Adelina. Fight. Ecaterina will have her Army protecting her, if her spells aren't. Getting that book back won't be easy, but it must be done."
I nodded my understanding. We'd been told our whole lives as long as Ecaterina and the Syianis are in Melcavia, running things how they pleased the possibility of another war was strong. And I'd accepted once I was a full witch, finished with training, I'd be expected to fight when time came.
"Adelina, take Amalia and both of you pack your rooms," my mother said. "We'll be leaving in ten minutes for Romania."
I just didn't know I'd be expected to fight so soon, before I was even ready.
I hadn't been to Romania since I was eleven. We'd left after the first war with the Syianis, and would never return. Or so I'd thought. Now we were back, and it was to prevent yet another war from breaking out. This one that was going to be the end of life as we all knew it if Ecaterina got her hands on that key.
We'd been walking for what felt like hours. I knew where we were going, but it had been so long since I'd been there, I couldn't remember the way. We trekked over hills in the countryside, no one around to see the lot of us and question the strangeness of it. I knew we looked like quite the bunch, my sister and I following the pack, Dumitru, Dragos and Fane in the middle, all of us following my mother as she lead the way.
We finally made it to the edge of the woods.
"Is this the Arunian Forest?" Amalia asked me in a whisper.
I shook my head. "No, the Arunian Forest is in Melcavia."
Melcavia was our destination. This I knew. It was where I was born. Amalia, too. It was the only city in the world where witches and wizards could be free to practice magic freely without the worry of humans finding us out. But since the war, it was practically in ruins. I was curious to see what it would look like now after all this time.
We pushed through the thick woods, branches slapping me in my face, spider webs tangling in my hair. One common misconception about witches? We were not cool with that.
The entrance to Melcavia was hidden in a stone wall, behind a waterfall, and accessible only by spell. Only someone with full powers, like my mother could open it. When she did, and we walked through, I was astonished at what I saw.
Standing at the top of a tall hill, I looked down at Melcavia.
This wasn't the home I once knew. The rolling hills that were once covered in thick, lush grass were now brown, the grass long-since dead. Castles were broken down, pieces of stone missing, windows broken, some altogether fallen down. The sky was cloudy and grey, as if it was crying for the demise of the land below.
"Ecaterina has done this," my mother said knowingly. "And with our book, she will only do worse damage. We have to get that book back." Then she turned to me. "Adelina. You take Amalia. It is too dangerous for the two of you to go into town. I want you to go to your Aunt Lavinia's. Do you remember the way?"
I shook my head. "No. But I thought we were going to help you fight."
"Silly child, how?" Dumitru demanded. "You can't fight! You do not have all your powers!"
"You will be helping in the biggest way possible!" my mother assured me. "We need that key, Adelina. Lavinia knows where it is. Go to my sister. She will help you. But be careful, my loves. Please! It won't be long before Ecaterina knows we're here, and she will send someone after you both."
I gulped, and I could feel Amalia tremble as she grabbed my hand.
"It'll be OK," my mother assured us both. "You will both be alright. Adelina, remember your training. You know enough."
I nodded, and knowing the job I was given was important gave me a boost of confidence and bravery. I had to be brave now. My family needed me.
"Run to the woods, Adelina," my mother said. "You'll find your Aunt Lavinia. You'll just know. I promise you, dear. Now go."
So I did. I took my mother's word for it, and went, knowing without direction, Amalia and I would find our aunt's house without a problem, using our witches innate sense of direction, and being blood, she would know we were coming, and she would draw us to her.
OK, so besides the wars and the evil, being a witch did have its perks sometimes.
So we ran. Amalia and I ran faster than either of us had ever run before. We ran through the woods, and though I didn't know where I was going, I felt it. I felt the pulling, like my body knew where to lead us. Turn after turn through paths I'd never seen before, with Amalia yelling for me to slow down.
"I can't!" I'd yell back.
Finally, we saw it. A cottage, nestled between these two huge tree trunks. Trunks thick enough to be houses themselves. The cottage looked like something out of a storybook, like Hansel and Gretel. This, I knew, was our destination. I could feel it.
"This is it," Amalia said. I nodded. She could feel it, too. I wondered if our aunt knew we were coming. I was sure she did, if she was the one drawing us there. She must have known the book was stolen by now.
"Let's go," I told my sister. Then slowly, we began to walk toward the cottage.
Our Aunt Lavinia looked a lot like our mother, which meant she looked a lot like Amalia and I. With the same big blue eyes and pale blond hair, she was beautiful, and often men fell for her hard. She needed no spells to make that happen.
As suspected, Lavinia already knew what was going on, and she had been expecting Amalia and I, so she ushered us in, but not without the usual pinching cheeks and 'look how big you've gotten!'
"Look at you both!" she squealed as she hugged each of us. "I hardly recognize you! Amalia! You are turning into such a gorgeous little girl!" She turned to me, then. "And Adelina! You are a grown woman, now, aren't you?"
I smiled. "Not quite."
"Do you have your full powers, yet?"
I shook my head. "No, not yet."
She looked worried. "Your mother must be very confident."
I was beginning to feel the same way. "She says we're supposed to find the key."
"Yes. I know."
Of course, she did.
"I'm going with you," Aunt Lavinia said.
"You are?" I was surprised, but pleasantly so. The idea that Ecaterina would be coming for us when she found out we were looking for the key was frightening enough but the idea of facing it alone? That was almost unbearable.
"No full powers?" Adelina asked. "There's no way I would let the two of you out in the Arunian Forest alone. Not with Ecaterina on the loose. She will no doubt have someone looking for whoever my sister has sent to find the key, and someone else will be looking for the key."
"But I thought only mother and you knew where they key was," I said.
"That doesn't mean they aren't looking."
I nodded my understanding. I wouldn't argue, because I was grateful I would have Aunt Lavinia with us.
After determining Amalia and I must have been hungry after such a long journey, Aunt Lavinia fed us. We ate wonderfully. I had broth and bread and it was the most delicious I'd ever tasted. Though I'd grown accustomed to human, American food, like pizza and burgers, I was so hungry, I was grateful for this. I could tell Amalia was, too.
Once we'd finished eating, we left. Our journey had begun, and I wondered what fates we would meet along the way.
The ground was soft and moist as I followed Aunt Lavinia through the Arunian Forest. It rained a lot in the forest. I remember being told that when I was younger. But I'd never been too deep inside it.
The forest was dangerous, my mother would tell me. It was full of creatures a witch of my age and skill couldn't handle, nor control. Things only in little kids' storybooks, and some nightmares. I'd heard stories of things that lived in this forest, things with fangs, things with claws. Winged creatures that craved the blood of a witch. Even dragons were known to roam the Arunian Forest. But I'd never seen anything like that. I hoped to keep it that way, too.
"Aunt Lavinia, how far is it?" I asked as the sun began to set. The darkness in this forest was a frightening thought.
She opened her mouth to answer me, but suddenly, a ball of fire singed the tree line above us, followed by a loud screeching.
I looked up, pierced by fear, and saw the outline of the huge, winged creature in the sky. I already knew.
"A dragon!" Amalia squealed.
"Run, girls!" Aunt Lavinia shouted. "Run for your lives!"
So we ran. All around us, burning branches fell from the sky. The dragon continued to scorch the trees, its spiked tail ripping through the limps and tearing them apart.
I screamed as a burning limb fell right in front of me.
I heard the screech of the dragon. He was right behind me.
I was frozen. I couldn't move a muscle. Then out of nowhere, my Aunt ran over, shouted a series of spells, waving her hands at the dragon. An orb emitted from her palms, shooting straight for the beast, and sent him backwards with such forced he cracked the mountain-side behind him.
"Out cold," Aunt Lavinia said, seeing that the beast was, indeed, past out. "Let's get out of here before he comes to."
So we did. We continued to move through the woods. We heard more sounds. Sounds from creatures I had never heard before, but according to Aunt Lavinia were perfectly normal.
"Ecaterina sent that dragon," said Aunt Lavinia. "I know she did. Who knows what else she has waiting for us. We have to find Hamlin."
"Hamlin. He will shelter us for the night. Then tomorrow, we will continue on our way for the key."
I wondered who this Hamlin was, but didn't say anything else. They rest of the walk through the woods was quiet and uneventful. I was glad to say we had no more run-ins with mythical beasts. But I was worried about my mother and the others. Aunt Lavinia must have sensed it, too, because she put her arms around Amalia and I.
"You girls don't worry," she said. "Your mother is strong. Much stronger than Ecaterina. Even without the book. She will fight. She will win."
And I believed Aunt Lavinia for two reasons; she seemed confident, and I knew my mother was stronger than Ecaterina.
We finally made it to Hamlin's. He lived in a cave, Aunt Lavinia told us. He was a hermit, and he wasn't magical, but he was helpful. Hiding us away in his cave for the night, feeding us, and putting his well-being on the line to protect us. Aunt Lavinia had put a charm on the cave once we were inside, cloaking it. We hoped it would shield us from any of her 'hunters.'
Needless to say, I was restless. I didn't sleep at all.
The next morning, we thanked Hamlin for his hospitality and continued on our journey.
"We're getting closer," Aunt Lavinia assured us as we crossed a bridge over the widest river I'd ever seen. I nervously clutched the ropes on either side as the bridge swayed from side to side.
"G-Good," I said. My mind really wasn't on the key at that point. It was on getting to the other side of this river. Who knew what sort of fish habituated the waters below.
I shivered at the thought of finding out.
We made it to the other side and I fell to the ground, fighting the urge to kiss it.
"That wasn't so bad, was it?" Aunt Lavinia asked.
I would have rather dodged that dragon a second time.
"How much further?" Amalia asked. I felt terrible for her. She was practically a little girl, and coming on such a long journey like this must have been tougher on her than me.
"We're close, Amalia, dear," Aunt Lavinia said. "Hang in there."
She nodded, but I could tell she was exhausted.
We rounded a pile of boulders, tall, and old, with vines growing between them all. On the other side, a meadow, filled with flowers of so many colors it was like the ground was painted with rainbows. The sky was the brightest blue, unlike the rest of Melcavia, and eating the rainbow-colored flowers-I couldn't believe it-were unicorns. At least two or three dozen of them!
"Oh my gosh!" Amalia said. Her eyes were sparkling as they locked on the storybook scene in front of us. I had to admit. I was impressed as well. These majestic creatures were so beautiful. They were so impossibly white, and muscular, yet more poised than any horse I'd ever seen.
"They're beautiful," I said. They were huge, too.
"We're close, girls!" Aunt Lavinia said. "Let's hurry." And then she walked right up to a unicorn, softly whispering something in its ear, stroking its silky white mane, then it bowed down to its knees, letting Aunt Lavinia crawl onto its back.
"Girls, come on!" she called.
Astonished, Amalia and I looked at each other. We were riding a unicorn? Oh, if only I could tell Carla about this when I got home.
If I went home.
I felt Amalia squeeze my hand, and we inched toward the creature.
"She's friendly," my aunt assured. "Don't worry. You can trust her."
I trusted my aunt, so I guess I trusted the unicorn. I couldn't believe how large the creature was. Easily twice as big as any horse I'd ever seen. She was the softest thing I'd ever put my hands on, smooth and silky to the touch.
"Are you both ready?" Aunt Lavinia asked.
Nervously, I nodded. Amalia did the same. And the unicorn broke into a run. Soon, the meadow was behind us, and we were heading back into the forest. Darkness was around us then. Trees were making paths tight and narrow, and besides the sounds of the unicorns' hooves pounded the forest floor, the silence was eerie, and I had this awful feeling about it, welling in the pit of my stomach. Shouldn't there have been some sound in this magical forest? Crickets chirping? Birds tweeting? Something?
But there was nothing. I looked around anxiously as the woods passed us by. I wondered if Ecaterina had been defeated or it-I gulped at the other option. If she hadn't given up yet, she must still have had her goons on the lookout for us.
If only I knew who, or what to be on the lookout for.
Suddenly, something happened.
Movement, ahead. I gasped. Something moved. Something big.
"Aunt Lavinia, did you see that?" I asked.
"I saw," she said. "Hold on."
We picked up speed. Then suddenly, so quickly, a branch swung down, like an arm, and swiped at us.
I screamed and we all ducked.
"The trees!" Aunt Lavinia shouted. "She's bewitched the trees!"
I looked up in horror to see that my Aunt was right. The trees were all moving together, swiping at us clumsily. Their branches moving like drunk arms, swinging and thankfully missing.
"Girls, watch your heads!" Aunt Lavinia shouted. Faster, the unicorn ran. Faster until I could see the end of the path. Not much further, I thought. There was light, and these trees thinned out tremendously.
Just then, not thirty feet in front of us, a tall, massive tree collapsed in front of us. My aunt lifted her hand, flicked her wrist, and just like that the trunk burst into nothing more than a billion toothpicks.
"Adelina!" Amalia shouted. I looked to my left, and saw the branch coming straight f0r me.
Time seemed to slow down. Without thinking, I whipped my right hand in front of my face, the only spell I could think of coming in my head, and I flicked my wrist with all my power. It was like an invisible rope had tied itself around the trunk of the tree. The tree in its entirety was ripped from the ground and went soaring into the sky. And I'd done it.
We made it to the end of the path, to safety, and I gave myself time to catch my breath.
"You girls alright?" Aunt Lavinia asked.
I panted, and forced a nod. That spell had taken a ton of energy out of me.
"Adelina," Amalia said. "That was amazing what you did!"
She looked at me with such impression I found myself flattered. I couldn't believe I had it in my to cast such spells. But I had. I had fought. I was fighting. And I was fighting Ecaterina.
"I'm so proud of you, Adelina," Aunt Lavinia said with a smile. "You saved all three of us back there."
I smiled. "Thank you, Aunt Lavinia. I really can't believe I did that."
"Well, trust me, dear. You will be surprised at what you are capable of when you are put to the test. Now let's get that key so we can get back to your mother."
The trip back was much nicer on the back of the unicorn. We found the key, untouched, un-bewitched, and Aunt Lavinia tucked it snugly in her boot. We were back in Melcavia in less than half the time it took to get to the key.
When we walked into the town, there was no doubt a magical war had been fought on its streets. Buildings still burning, some were destroyed completely. Worst of all, bodies were strewn everywhere. It was a horrible sight.
Panicked, I began to look for my mother in the crowd of witches and wizards along the streets.
I saw Fane and Dragos first. Both were staring down at the ground.
A body. There was no doubt about it, they were staring down at a body.
I felt my heart begin to flutter. And then, Fane and Dragos parted, and I saw my mother, also standing over the body. Alive.
"It's Ecaterina!" Aunt Lavinia said. "They've killed her!"
We all rushed over and upon inspection, I saw the body was that of a beautiful woman. Flowing, fiery red curls spilled out around her head, her green eyes opened and fearful, but she was certainly dead. A dabble of blood spilled from her mouth, rolling down her cheek.
"It's over?" Amalia asked. "That's Ecaterina?"
My mother walked over, wrapping her arms around Amalia's waist and tugging her close. "That's Ecaterina," my mother confirmed. "She's dead."
I'd never seen the infamous witch before. But looking at her now, I would never expect she'd be capable of something horrible. Thin, beautiful. She looked innocent, but I knew good and well looks were deceiving.
"Oh, Adelina," my mother sighed, hugging me. "I'm glad you're all safe. And more thankful you weren't here for this battle. So many lives were lost today."
I sighed, looking around at the aftermath. I nodded. "I see that. I'm glad you're OK. And I'm glad we won."
"I am, too," my mother said. She looked at my aunt, her sister. "Lavinia, you got the key?"
Aunt Lavinia smiled. "Safe and sound, Elena." She walked over and hugged my mother. "Good to see you, sister."
"Better to see you."
I smiled at the little reunion, peace and relief sweeping through me. It was a wonderful feeling seeing that even through the casualties, good had triumphed. But someone was missing.
"Wait," I said. "Where is Dumitru?"
My mother sighed. "Being held accountable for his actions."
I furrowed my eyebrows. "His actions?"
"Ecaterina never came into our home," my mother said. "She never stole the book. It was Dumitru. He was working with her. He was the one who took the book for her. He turned on us the moment you and Amalia were gone."
I was shocked. Dumitru had been my teacher. Everything I knew, I had learned it from him. He was supposed to be teaching me everything I needed to know in case of a war. And all this time, he'd been on the dark side.
"Dumitru was bad?" Amalia asked.
My mother nodded sympathetic. "He was, dear. Very bad."
"Is he dead?" Amalia asked.
My mother shook her head. "Not, yet."
I stayed quiet and so did Amalia. We both knew the penalty for turning to the Syianis was death. He would have a trial, but Dragos would be the one to decide, given the evidence, if he was guilty or not. I knew he would be guilty, since Dragos had been present through the entire ordeal.
"We have a lot to do here, girls," my mother said. "I want to hear all about your quest, but first, Dragos, Fane and I have to take care of all of this. Your aunt will take you home, so you can attend school tomorrow."
She reached into her robe, and pulled out the spell book. "Lavinia."
Aunt Lavinia nodded, taking the book. "I'll take good care of it. And them." She motioned to Amalia and me.
"We're going home?" I asked.
My mother nodded. "You are."
"Elena, I know Adelina and Amalia have a lot to tell you about their journey, but I have to tell you that without your two daughters, finding that key would not have been possible."
My mother's smile brightened as she looked from me to Amalia. "You three run into a lot of trouble?"
Amalia and I looked at each other and smiled.
"Nothing Adelina couldn't handle," Amalia said.
Nothing I couldn't handle, I thought. True, I had handled it. But I hoped to God I would never have to handle it again. All I could think about was going home now, and getting back to normal.
After everything I'd been through these passed two days, I was sure I had the guts to go for pizza with Lex.
Heck, I was so full of adrenaline at that point, I was sure I'd flat out ask him to be my boyfriend.
"You girls ready to go home?" Aunt Lavinia asked.
I smiled and nodded. "I'm ready to go. Never been more ready."
"And so, Melcavia was saved, rebuilt, and thriving soon after, never living in fear of Ecaterina or the Syianis again. The end."
Adelina closed the book and looked at her grandchildren.
"Aw! Grandma!" Adela said. "Whatever happened with you and Lex?"
"Yeah!" Adela's cousin, Lili said. "Did you ask him out?"
Adelina smiled at the eleven-year-old, then looked down at her diary. Fifty years had passed, but she remembered writing down every thought and major event she ever had back then.
She stood up and put the book back on the shelf. "That, my dear Lili, is a story for another time."