The Fire Within - Heidi Cooper

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 19 (v.1) - Chapter Nineteen

Submitted: May 17, 2017

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Comments: 2

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Submitted: May 17, 2017

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Chapter Nineteen

 

 

The phone rang on my side table. I reached over to grab it, hit the green phone icon held it against my ear sleepily. Before I could say hello I let out a loud yawn.

 

“Em, it’s me. Helena.”

 

“Huh?” It took me a moment to register that it was my best friend’s voice coming through the receiver.

 

“Why didn’t you call me the other night?” Helena asked sounding a little wounded.

 

“Sorry, Helena.” I replied, still half asleep. “Sleep over tonight?”

 

Helena put her hand against the mouthpiece of the phone and called out to her parents. They must have been far away because I did not hear their response. Moments later Helena’s voice came through the earpiece loud and clear. “Yeah, it’s cool. I’ll be there in a half hour. Love ya.”

 

I stretched, yawning for what seemed like at least two minutes. The sunlight was beaming in through a gap in my curtains, bathing the rug in an angelic pool of light. I stared at it fixatedly, like a deer caught in the headlights as the memories of last night’s dream hit me head on. Could Josias be trusted? Then again what did I really know about Tobias? After centuries of no contact with his son suddenly he shows up right after my parents told me about our family secret. Something didn’t add up. To add to that, in the pit of my stomach I could not shake the feeling that Josias being in my grandmother’s old house wasn’t merely a coincidence. He claimed he had no idea and looked genuinely surprised when I asked him. Was he that good of an actor? He didn’t even take drama class.

 

I was so confused about the whole thing and I knew the only person I could talk to about it who would see it from an outside perspective without thinking I was certifiably insane was Helena. I raced downstairs to let my parents know I’d have a plus one soon and headed to the bathroom to freshen up.

 

In the usual style of Helena she arrived fashionably late. She greeted my parents politely and we excused ourselves, heading straight for my room. I shut the door after us and turned to face her. She was already poised on the end of my bed, her face painted with intrigue. “Tell me everything.”

 

“Wow…” she said after at least an hour or so of me talking uninterrupted.

 

“Yeah…”

 

“So what are you gonna do?” Helena said, her mouth left hanging wide open.

 

“I don’t know. I am so confused.” I said. “On the one hand Josias has not given me reason to distrust him but I also don’t know Tobias well either.”

 

“I am still coming to terms with the fact that you’re a witch! Your parents are at least three centuries old! Damn they look good for their age. Wait, how old does that make you? And Tobias showing up unannounced? I can’t imagine how your dad must have felt after all those years. I don’t know what to think about Josias being in your grandmother’s old house – stranger things have happened but I can understand why it would feel a little off.” She suddenly paused, narrowed her eyes at me and said, “You’re not gonna turn me into a frog or something are you?” Helena had a habit of rambling when anxious or overly excited. She also loved to crack jokes.

 

“No, that’s not what a witch is. At least, the good witches.”

 

“I naturally assumed they were all bad.” She smirked and elbowed me playfully. “But honestly Em, that is beyond cool. My best friend is a witch…”

 

“Check this out.” I said suddenly. I left the room and returned with the engraved, wooden box my parents had shown me merely days ago. Helena hadn’t moved from where she was sitting, her eyes still wide and her mouth open.

 

“What is that?” She said, unblinking.

 

I retrieved the items from the box one at a time, handed them to her so that she could get a better look while explaining their uses.  As I handed her my wand, blue sparks shot from both ends of the wand. I felt the current surge through my fingertips; a sudden burst of electrical energy, not painful. Helena flinched and reeled backwards, her eyes wide.

 

“Did you feel that?” I asked.

 

She nodded without a single word escaping her parted lips.

 

“It’s never done that before. Weird.” I said out loud.

 

Helena suddenly reached for the wand again. This time it shot blue sparks before her fingers even brushed against it. I sat in disbelief as I watched the wand react to Helena in a way I hadn’t seen it do with anyone before. I looked at Helena’s face; her pupils were so dilated that there was very little colour left in them. I reeled back in horror as her face twisted into an evil grimace. I screamed out to my parents as Helena came at me on all fours, snarling and gnashing her teeth. My mum and dad appeared in the doorway suddenly; all eyes were on Helena as her body went rigid and seized.

 

“David! Do something!” My mum screamed.

 

“I – I don’t…how did this happen, Em?” He questioned me frantically as he knelt over Helena’s convulsing body. My mother rushed forward and knelt beside my father. They each placed a hand on her chest and her head. Within moments the convulsing stopped and Helena lay on the floor, unmoving and whimpering. My dad scooped her up and carried her downstairs; he placed her on the lounge while my mother fetched her blanket and pillow. She made sure Helena was comfortable before grabbing the phone and dialling Helena’s parents. Helena was blubbering barely inaudible sounds; her hair was sweat soaked and matted. Mum calmly spoke and urged them to come over. Within five minutes there was a knock at the door.

 

“Hi Mr and Mrs Chant.” My mum said, greeting Helena’s parents at the door. She stood in stunned silence for a moment as she looked at Helena’s parents. She had seen them a number of times before but only briefly. A sense of de ja vu came over her and as just as suddenly it went away. She shook her head slightly and gestured towards the lounge room. “She is right this way.”

 

“What happened?” Her concerned mother asked.

 

How do I tell her what happened without giving away our family secret? I thought as I looked over Helena. Her eyes had returned to normal but she was still muttering. I felt eyes on me suddenly. I glanced to my left and noticed my father’s eyes right on me. He raised his eyebrow and cocked his head. Something supernatural at work here? I heard him say inside my mind. I nodded. Hmmm He added telepathically. Helena’s parents rushed towards their daughter. Mrs Chant placed her hands on her daughters and murmured softly to her. Suddenly Helena snapped out of her trance like state.

 

“Mum…Dad…what are you doing here?”

 

“Are you okay, honey?” Her father asked, brushing her damp hair away from her face.

 

“I – I’m fine. Em and I were just mucking around in her room. How did I get down here?” She asked as she noticed she was no longer in Emilie’s bedroom.

 

“You had some kind of fit.” Helena’s mother said, casting a brief glance in Cordelia’s direction.

 

“You should come home, Helena.”

 

“No. No, I’m fine. Really, I am.”

 

“Helena…” Mrs Chant started.

 

“Mum, I am almost eighteen. I can take care of myself.”

 

Helena’s parents exchanged glances. Mr Chant shrugged. “I really think you should come home to rest. I will make an appointment to see our doctor in the morning.” Mrs Chant asked, fussing over her daughter.

 

“I am fine.” Helena said, placing extra emphasis on the word fine. “You don’t need to worry about me.”

 

“Your mother is right.” My mum said, smiling awkwardly at Helena. “You certainly gave us a scare. You should rest, Helena.”

 

“There, now it’s settled.” Mrs Chant said.

 

Helena sighed out loud. She reluctantly got to her feet and followed her parents toward the front door.

 

“Em, fetch Helena’s things from your room please.” We can’t let them see the box of family treasures… My mum’s disembodied voice reverberated throughout my head. I took the stairs two at a time, gathered up all the magical implements and shoved them haphazardly in the bottom of my wardrobe before returning down stairs with Helena’s belongings. “Here you go, Helena.” I said, handing them to her.

 

“I’ll take them, Emilie.” Mr Chant said, politely.

 

“Here you go, Mr Chant.”

 

“Please, call me Will.” He smiled warmly. It could have been my imagination but I noticed Mrs Chant give her husband a wide eyed look. Quick as a flash, her expression returned to normal. Had my parents noticed?

 

We said our goodbyes; Helena and I hugged for a little too long. Mrs Chant ushered Helena out the door. We all stood in the front yard and watched their car until it rounded the corner and was out of sight. As soon as I entered the kitchen and poured myself a drink, I turned to find my parents standing shoulder to shoulder in the doorway blocking my exit.

 

“What exactly happened, Em?”

 

Oh no. They are angry that I introduced Helena to our family skeletons… “I – I was just showing…”

 

“Look, we know you told Helena about being a witch. I suppose we should have expected it. It wasn’t fair on you for us to keep it secret for so long and then expect you to hide who you are from your best friend. We are just worried about the wrong people finding out about you – about us.”

 

“Like the shadow coven?” I asked, shivering suddenly, although I was not cold.

 

“Exactly.” Dad said. “Em, did you try to give anything to Helena out of that box?”

 

“She held lots of things. It only got strange when she tried to handle my wand.”

 

Mum and Dad exchanged puzzled looks. “Nothing is spelled with wards are they David?”

 

“You don’t think your mother warded everything in that box before she passed?” My Dad answered rhetorically.

 

“If she did she would have told me.”

 

“I have never seen a wand do that to anyone before, have you?” Dad asked my mother.

 

“Just once, only it wasn’t a wand. It was a tome. It had been warded so that only the person whom the tome belonged to could use it. An unsuspecting person touched the tome and before they could open the leather binder they were shot clear across the room. They were babbling incoherently much like Helena was. That was the last I ever saw of them. Rumour has it that they ended up in a mental hospital but we moved away from that area soon after.”

 

“Helena wasn’t babbling, Cordelia.” My father said.

 

“What?”

 

When I leant down to try and get a response from her – when you were answering the door – I heard what she was saying. She was repeating the same series of words over and over….” Dad swallowed hard. “Cordelia, she was speaking in Latin.”

 

I felt chills go up and down my body. How could that be?

 

“She what? A – Are you sure?”

 

“I am positive.” Dad said, with great conviction. “She was speaking in Latin. The same sentence repeated.
Ab usura magica tenetur. Uti tenetur ex mea potestate.”

 

“A binding spell…” my mother mumbled. 


© Copyright 2018 H D Cooper. All rights reserved.

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