The Fire Within - Heidi Cooper

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

Edited 27/4/17

Chapter 9 (v.1) - Chapter Nine

Submitted: September 21, 2013

Reads: 99

Comments: 2

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Submitted: September 21, 2013

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Chapter nine

 

 

 

Another dreamless night…

 

The smell of bacon and eggs woke me out of a deep sleep. The scent seemed to saunter up the staircase and find its way straight to my nostrils. I welcomed it, stretched, breathed in deep through my nose, letting the delicious smell hit the back of my nasal passage and continue down my throat. It smelt so good; I could practically taste it already. Without even bothering to have my morning shower, my taste buds forced me to bound down the stairs three at a time, holding onto the rail for support, eager to scoff down a plateful of the breakfast that awaited me.

 

Mmm! I said out aloud as I greeted the food, and my mother and father in the kitchen. Dad was busy cooking as usual and mum was reading the morning paper.

 

“Smells great, dad!”

 

“There are hash browns in the oven too, and some pork chipolatas keeping warm.”

 

“Yum,” I said as I sat down at my usual place. “Can’t wait!”

 

 Dad finished scrambling the eggs and frying the bacon as the toaster went off. He swiftly plucked them out and buttered them with lightning speed, tossed them onto the plates and simultaneously shovelled eggs, bacon and chipolatas onto the plate. The hash browns came out and were put on top of the pile on each of the plates. He put the three loaded plates on the table and we all dug in. There was barely a sound among us; only the sound of teeth champing food, swallowing and an occasional mmm.

 

Mum and dad appeared to be a little uncomfortable; an awkward silence hung in the air, and it seemed that nobody dared to speak. Dad broke the silence.

 

“Pumpkin,” he started. “What your mother and I have to tell you today, may shock you. It may even anger you, but what we did, we did for your own protection. For OUR own protection. Our lives were in grave danger and we had to go into hiding…”

 

“Hiding…?” I interjected. “What the hell is going on? Why would you…why would we, need to hide?”

 

“We will answer your questions as best as we can honey, but please let your father finish.”

 

“I just feel like there has been a wall between us, mum. I know my dreams mean something. Why did you constantly push me away and make me feel like I was crazy? And our family went into hiding? Don’t you think I had a right to know about this?”

 

“I...” started mum, but she could not find the words to finish.

 

“Your mother and I had very good reason to keep this secret, sweetheart,”

 

“Maybe so, but you raised me to be honest. You told me that lying was wrong and that the truth always comes out in the end.”

 

My mother and father exchanged looks and grimaced slightly. They were probably thinking Oh sure, remember that. How convenient.

 

“We know, but please let us explain. We had reasons to keep this from you all these years,” dad said.

 

“Please understand,” said mum, quietly; sadness in her eyes. “We did what we thought was right for all of us. We had no choice.”

 

Mum and dad were scaring me. I could see a mix of guilt, sadness, despair and a whole lot of fear etched on their faces. I had never seen them looking so vulnerable before, especially my father. He was always such a tower of strength in my eyes. Something had clearly been troubling them for a long time; to carry a burden so heavy…

 

After everyone had finished eating, I cleared the table and loaded the dishwasher. Mum and dad were waiting in the family room quietly for me. I inhaled deeply, and then exhaled slowly and steadily. Here goes…

 

Dad patted a lounge chair just next to the sofa he and my mother were sitting on and said, “Please honey, sit down.”

 

I did as I was told and sat down, looking at them both directly and waiting for all the family skeletons to come waltzing out of the closet.

 

“Where to begin,” said mum, her voice shaking and hands trembling as she rubbed them together in a nervous fashion. Dad took my mum’s hand and gave it a pat, then left off where mum barely began.

 

“Honey,” he said, “We are descendants of a very powerful bloodline. There were many of us years ago, before you were born. We belonged to individual covens; however there were only five families with the purest and most powerful bloodlines of all…”

 

“Powerful bloodline…I don’t understand…”

 

“…magic runs in our blood, it’s in our veins. We belong to one of the most powerful covens…”

 

“…you mean, I…we…are witches?” I gulped, feeling a weird numbness envelope me and suddenly I could hear my heart beating in my ears.

 

“Well, in short…yes,” replied dad. “Of the five covens, there are only three remaining. We went into hiding when the first two covens were destroyed…”

 

“…What…why…why were they destroyed?”

 

“Witches, warlocks…we all have a choice. We have a choice between light and dark. Good and evil. Most choose the light…however one coven, and one of the most powerful of the five covens, chose dark. They had become so hungry in their search for power, that they started destroying the other covens, including members of their coven, and took their power as their own. They wanted to be stronger….and they became stronger…the four of the five most powerful covens, tried to rise up and defeat the evil coven, but it was in vain. They killed two of the covens, and the other two covens fled…us included…”

 

I sat for a moment. Not moving, not speaking. I had so many thoughts jumping around inside my head. I was in a coven? My family belonged to a coven…a powerful one…how had they kept this a secret for so many years…?

 

“What became of the evil coven?”

 

“No one knows,” said mum. “Shortly after the two covens were taken and siphoned of their power, we ran. Not long after we left, we realized I was pregnant with you and we – your father and I – decided we would go into hiding and stay hidden…even vowing to give up magic. We agreed to cease using our power completely.”

 

“Does this have anything to do with my dreams?”

 

Mum swallowed hard and held up her hand. The sigil on her palm was still visible and I stared at it through wide eyes. I instinctively held mine up and as the distance between our palms lessened, the sigils started glowing a brilliant blue light. Dad cleared his throat and I turned towards him, his palm facing me. Suddenly a bright blue light shot out from the centre of his hand in the shape of the sigil. The sigil my mother and I also had embedded in our skin; the sigil from my dreams.

 

“This is our coven’s sigil. It represents the core – the strength of our power. It is where we harness our energy and use it to create dark, or in our case light, magic. Ours is the power of fire. Of course a skilled witch can work with all the elements, but each coven has greater power in a particular element. The coven that became power hungry has the power of shadow and practices the dark arts including necromancy…”

 

“Necromancy…you mean like, raising the dead…?”

 

“Yes, exactly. Pure evil at its very core,” said mum.

 

Nobody spoke for a long time. I had a lot to take in and my parents clearly had revealed more than they ever wanted to.

 

Part of me was angry at them for keeping such a huge secret from me my entire life. The other part of me couldn’t be mad at them for it because I knew that their every intention had my best interests at heart. They wanted to keep me safe and if that meant not living a life of magic, then so be it.

 

How hard it must have been for them to deny their powers and live as mortals; especially when we belonged to one of the most powerful covens amongst the five. It would have been difficult knowing you had such powers and not being able to use them for fear of being hunted by an even more powerful coven.

 

“Did you ever find out what happened to the other coven that fled?”

 

“No…we used to be really close. Four of the five covens were like an extended family until the shadow coven’s desire for power destroyed and separated us all. When we both fled we lost touch, and I suppose it was safer that way. It would have been much easier to track us if we had stuck together…” dad explained.

 

“That is so sad…”

 

Mum looked at me and added, “And you must not tell anyone about any of this. We don’t know who we can trust. Shadow had eyes and ears everywhere when they were hunting down other immortals for power. That is probably no different today. We have to tread carefully, and telling your friends about this could put their lives as well as ours in incomprehensible danger.”

 

Dad was nodding in agreement. I knew what they had been saying this whole conversation, but it suddenly occurred to me, that not only were my dreams real, but that I was also a witch. Not just any witch, but a powerful witch…with magical powers. The power running through my blood belonged to a coven of the five…a really powerful coven. I however, possessed no magical powers…that I knew of.

 

“Excuse me mum, dad.”

 

I rose to my feet and looked at them as I turned and made my way to the stairs. Mum started to call out to me but I heard my father quiet her and say, “Let her go, honey. She needs some time alone.”

 

I felt a little guilty walking out on my parents like that but it was a lot to take in and I needed some time to think. Some time to absorb all the information my parents had just dumped on me. I was grateful to finally know the truth but it opened up so many more questions. What were my powers? Did I have any? Where was the rest of our coven, our family? How did my parents survive this long without being found?

 

I suddenly felt like I didn’t want to know the truth. The mere mention of the Shadow Coven terrified me. Our lives were in grave danger.

 

At the time I had no idea just how true that last sentence was…




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