“For eternity, keep staying here”
As they ran through the autumn forest, it was a warm feeling. A feeling of happiness, playful happiness, just knowing that they had each other by their side. It was September 10, 1994, is when this story begins. Now, 5 years later the same day, the story continues.
The Witches are made of 8, the bear, the horse, the wolf, the whale, the butterfly, the bat, the turtle, and the eagle. Together, they were a powerful clan that has been fighting since they were children. Now here they are, 7 of the 13-year-olds run through the forest to a small ancient abandoned house that they rearranged into their clubhouse.
“Welcome Witches.”, their leader, Chris Davis, greets them as they enter the house.
The 7 children made up of 5 boys and 2 girls, enter the clubhouse through the white bedsheet nailed to the head of the doorframe. 2 of the boys enter the house wearing backpacks, one of them had a polaroid camera around his neck. Each of the kids takes their seats on the dusty couches left behind. On the wall of the small house, pictures of hills and mountains with small Chinese font hang. On the leftover drawers and cabinets sit Chinese figures craftsmanship. On the floor sit some traditional Chinese instruments, a pipa, erhu, yangqin, and a dizi.
Chris walks up, standing before all the kids. Each of them turns their head to face him. “I called this meeting because of your promise. Unfortunately, THEY are back.”, he says. All the kids’ eyes open widely, horrified.
“Chris, we haven’t heard of Daemon for 5 years. How do you know THEY are back?”, another member, Mike Taylor asks. Everyone agrees with his topic.
Chris exhales sharply, “My brother had a dream last night.”, he says. Everyone suddenly looks lost, the nostalgia from 5 years ago returning. Unfortunately, they have forgotten everything from then.
“It’s been years since we had to deal with this. Does anyone remember anything?”, Chris asks.
Every one of the kids raises their hand to speak. Chris points to one of the boys, Lincoln Charles to speak. Lincoln nods a thank you as he stands up. The rest of the kids put their hands down, ready to listen to him. “The one thing I remember is that we promised that if THEY ever try to hurt any of us, we will be there to shield each other from the danger of the darkness monster.”
Chris nods, acknowledging Lincoln’s statement. “Right, and in these past 5 years, we’ve all kept that promise. The thing about promises is that they expire. So...”
Chris points to one of the boys carrying a backpack. Johnny Masters was his name. Chris gestures Johnny to hand him the backpack. Johnny stands from his seat, delivering the backpack to Chris’s hand. Chris takes out a long black ribbon, it was maybe 12 feet long, 2 black candles, and 1 red candle.
Chris places the 3 candles in a large triangle formation on the floor, approximately 3 to 4 feet apart. The red is at the topmost point and the 2 black to make the other 2 points of the triangle. All 8 of them stand in the triangle, side by side, and facing the direction of the side that the 2 black candles make so that their backs are parallel with the red candle.
The 2 closest kids, Riley Hood and Mike Taylor, light the 2 black candles, left to right. The closest kid, Nathan Brown, then lights the red candle. Backs still paralleling the red candle, their fronts facing the side made by the 2 black candles, they each tie the black ribbon semi-tightly around their arms so that whoever is on the left is touching their left arm with the right side person’s right arm.
After they tied the ribbon, Chris spoke, “We promise to protect and keep one another safe from any harm that we might encounter.”
“Arms to arms now seals the deal.”, they all chant together. “Tight enclosure we each now feel. Our word is true and not to break. We speak these words: a promise we make”
“We promise to protect and keep one another safe from any harm that we might encounter.”, Chris remakes the promise once again.
They untied the black ribbon from their arms. After, Riley, Mike, and Nathan extinguish the candles starting with the red, extinguishing counterclockwise, in the direction of the sun. Nathan faces the red candle, sliding it with his right foot to the right. All the members exit their magic promise triangle.
“Keep your promise,”, Chris says. “or you will reap the repercussions of breaking it.”
All the children nod understanding. They all group side hug affectionately before departing.
The street is quiet this time of day. He walked alone on his way homeward. The streetlights are faint, and the feeling is neutral. Chris has walked down this familiar street countless times, yet his mind can’t seem to know where he is going. Only his legs know.
As the usual two-story building appears, Chis notices that the only lights on are the ones from the kitchen. He thought his mother must be making dinner. “Mom! Dad! I’m home!”, he calls out as he enters his home. He receives no answer.
Chris chooses to shrug off the fact that his parents might not be home. Instead, he chooses to go upstairs to his room. He passes his little brother’s room on his way to his own. Coming from inside his brother’s room, he heard faint sobs.
Chris knocks lightly on the door, signaling to his brother that he was coming in. He enters the room to find his brother curled into a ball on the floor. “Andrew, what’s wrong? Are you okay?”, Chris concerningly asks him.
Andrew sobs his eyes out on the floor, not able to speak words. Chris walks up to him without hesitation. He sits down next to him, wrapping his arms around his brother’s miniature body, bringing him in for a warm, caressing hug.
“Nothing. I’m fine. Everything’s fine.”, Andrew managed to hiccup in a whisper.
“When someone says, ‘I’m fine’, it means ‘save me’. So, tell me, what is wrong.”
Andrew only shakes his head, declining to speak.
Chris sighs slowly, “It’s Daemon, isn’t it?”
Andrew stays silent, refusing to make eye contact with his older brother.
“What did you dream?”, Chris asks, now getting anxious.
“I don’t think I should tell you...”, Andrew trails off in the last part.
“We said to never keep anything from each other, especially dreams. Now, let me ask you again, what did you dream?”
“I dreamt of someone’s death.”, Andrew defeatedly spits out. Chris pulls away from the embrace. His face is struck with worry and he becomes speechless. Knowing his brother, Andrew knows that Chis wants him to continue.
“All I saw was a shadowy figure. The shadowy figure... was the one who died. By...”, Andrew’s face suddenly looks horrified. “I saw that... it wasn’t... it didn’t seem like one...”
The next day, behind McCalister Middle School, Riley waits behind the chain-link fence that separated the school basketball court and the woods. The fence is a little taller than her and it’s rusting.
She wears her typical white, long sleeve sweater. It had a hoodie attached to it, not thick but warm enough to keep her from shivering during these autumn winds. She has a walkie talkie in her hand.
Suddenly, the large doors open as Anthony Foster steps out. He searches for something, or someone, his eyes finally landing on Riley. Riley waves to him anxiously, signaling for him to come over. He frustratedly walks over to her.
“What is important that you had to drag me out of school in the last 5 minutes of it?”, he asks.
“Chris radioed me saying we have an emergency meeting. We need to get there as soon as possible”
“Then what are you doing here?”
“Waiting for you and Johnny so I can tell you. The rest should be on their way.”
Anthony nods, sighing. “Okay, I’ll tell Johnny right now. Just get to the clubhouse. He and I will meet you there.”
Riley understandingly nods, whispering a soft “okay” as she leaves. She turns around, walking into the woodland she and her friends have known all their lives. For others, the woods seem like the place where danger and the unknown lurk. For the Witches, it was their sanctuary, their hideaway, their home. Their one place to escape the world they chose to live in 5 years ago.
“Chris, what’s the emergency?”, Anthony asks as he pulls on the hanging bedsheet to enter. Johnny was behind him, his camera still dangling from his neck as he carries his school bag. Anthony is carrying his too. Both of their bags were plain. No patterns, no shapes, no characters, no color, just plain white. “And why is your brother here?“, Anthony asks when he notices the small frame standing next to his older brother.
Some of the kids were already in the clubhouse when Anthony and Johnny arrived, including Riley. They all turned to look at the pair, their faces with an expression that no one could read. It was a mix of fear and annoyance. Chris mentally counts the members as Johnny and Anthony took their seats on the couch, just like everyone had done before they arrived. Chris concluded that all but one is missing. Mike Taylor. “Has anyone heard from Mike?”
Everyone looks at each other, waiting for someone, anyone to respond with yes. However, no one does. Chris nods. “Then I’m sorry but we’re going to have to continue this meeting without him.”
The children nod, letting their leader address the situation. “Andrew had a suicidal nightmare last night. That’s the reason he is here”
A boy, Lincoln Charles, raises his hand. Chris points to him so he may speak. “Is it still counted as suicide if the person is murdered by inner force?”
Everyone confusingly looks at him whole Lincoln’s face remains serious. Was it? If someone were to die not because they wanted to, but because they were manipulated into doing so, would that be suicide or murder?
“It depends on the eyes, Lincoln. In everyone’s eyes, it’s a suicide. In our eyes, it’s a murder. We are killed by what we can’t see, only what we can feel.”, Johnny answers. He turns to face Andrew. “Do you know who will be killed?”
Andrew instantly shakes his head. Everyone falls silent for a moment or so. “What are we going to do now?”, asked Johnny.
“We’re all going to sleepover at my house tonight.”, he says. Suddenly, an idea pops into his head. “Someone, get the book, please.”, Chris asks.
Riley gets up from her seat, walking to one of the drawers that was left behind in this abandoned house. She pulls on the knob of the top-drawer box. There is a dusty cardboard box inside. Riley carefully takes out the cardboard box and places it on the floor.
She takes the lid of the box off, revealing a book with unique shapes and patterns on the cover. “Enchantments”, it reads. This book was their weapon, how they fought with their foe. She carefully picks it up, stepping over to Chris. He gives her a soft ‘thank you’ as she hands him the book. She bows her head as he takes the text.
Chris opens the book, scanning for a spell of what he has in his mind. “Alright, tonight, we’ll need a paper, a pen, a candle, and a volunteer. We’ll be time traveling.“, he says once he finally found a spell that’ll most likely fulfill his expectations.
Anthony writes everything Chris mentioned, except the volunteer. Raising his hand, he says, “Chris, who will be the volunteer?”
“I’m letting you guys decide that.”
With no hesitation, Nathan raises his hand. “I’ll do it.”
Later that night, far away from the woods on the other side of town, stood a well-designed two-story house. The family living in that house was a mom, a dad, an older sister, a younger brother, and a baby brother. The younger brother was the same age as the Witches. He unknowingly attended the same school as Johnny and Anthony, yet they never crossed paths.
That night, the younger brother of the family, Kevin Grant, and his best friend since youth, Tyler Morgan, were engaging in a game of chess in Kevin’s room. Chess is said to teach important life skills like problem-solving, calmness under pressure, patience, and creative thinking.
Tyler has Kevin in check. Kevin is given a chance to set himself free. One small error and everything blows. After careful concentration, Kevin settles on a move. He moves his king from e1 to d1. Once Kevin makes his move, Tyler takes advantage of his obliviousness to move his tower to d4. “Checkmate!”, he shouts, a satisfactory smile playing on his lips.
Kevin takes another look at the board, not believing the outcome of the game. It’s true, it was checkmate. Tyler’s bishop, tower, and queen have surrounded him. He no longer has an escape. Kevin groans in frustration. placing his hand on his head. “Good game.” Kevin reaches his hand over the small coffee table he has in his bedroom to shake Tyler’s hand.
Tyler proudly takes the handshake. Tyler gets up from the floor to sit on Kevin’s bed as Kevin puts the board away into the box it came in. “Kevin, what are you going to research for the history project?”
“I don’t know yet. It must be the history of Lylac, right? I think I’ll just do the history of the Wang family. You know, the Chinese family that went missing when they lived in the woods. They say the house still stands there, untouched but no one can visit because it’s possessed by the souls of that family.”, Kevin explained as he put the chessboard away on a shelf in his closet. Tyler looks at Kevin weirdly.“What? I think the case sounds neat. How about you? Have you decided what you’re doing?”
Tyler sighs, “Yes. I thinking to research The Witches Club." Kevin looks at him confused. The who? He has never heard of this so-called club, and he was born and raised here in Lylac. Maybe, he just never had the urge to learn about the town history. Maybe he only listens to what is told to him.
“Who?”, Kevin asked, still confused. Tyler looks at him, eyes wide, almost not believing that he has never heard of the club that was once hunted because it was said to bring only demons and monsters to the town.
“The Witches Club. You’ve never heard of them?”, Tyler asks. Tyler knew that Kevin has lived in this town since birth. He knew that this price of news was big, huge. So huge, it caused about half the population to leave. Why do you think Lylac is a small town that is often unknown to others? Because of the rumors of that town and the small population that only seems to be decreasing.
“No.”, Kevin answers, shaking his head. Tyler sighs once again as he gets up from the bed, walking over to his school backpack. He thought that perhaps Kevin didn’t know about this group because his parents wanted to protect him from the crime. Tyler takes out a bunch of papers from his bag. He walks over to Kevin, handing him all the documents.
“This is the most modern piece of history. I did a little research on them before I came here. Have you ever heard of Jack the Ripper? Well, they’re like that only they’re not alone, they’re always together. They are said to have created a god that they bow and pray to and sacrifice. But there’s this other saying that they have special abilities, they can see things that no one else can. They’re technically a dangerous group that people have been hunting down for centuries but they could never find them.”, Tyler explained to Kevin as he flipped through all the notebook pages of his writing and some newspaper articles.
“So... what happened to them?”, Kevin asked though he wasn’t interested. He just wanted to be supportive. It’s not that he didn’t care, it’s that it wasn’t catching his attention, that all.
Still intrigued by the topic, Tyler answers, “I don’t know. But like I said, they were never found. People have claimed that they are still alive but, who knows? Rewards were even promised to the people who found them, but I guess only bad luck struck them. I still need to go to the library to do more research.”, suddenly an idea came into Tyler’s mind. “Hey, you want to come with me tomorrow?”
Tyler scoffs, “Where else? The library, of course.”
“Why me?”, Kevin questions, appearing annoyed.
“Because you’re my best friend and if you want, we could also research your Chinese family for your project.”
Kevin rolls his eyes at first, not wanting to start on the project yet. He knew they had 3 weeks to do the work but knowing his best friend, he is a perfectionist. So, Kevin agreed to tag along. Tyler smiles widely, embracing Kevin in a tight hug, almost tackling him. Kevin is annoyed but in a good way. He likes seeing the people he cares about happy.
As the sun went to sleep, the moon woke up. Sure, it was a repeated cycle for everyone. The day came, people lived it, then the night came, and people slept. Then, it would repeat the next day. For the 8 youngsters, tonight, they would be fighting for someone’s life.
Anthony and Mike bicker about deciding where they should put all the dangerous kitchenware. Chris watches them, silently, smiling a bit. He was thankful for the friends he has made that never left his said. In bad situations, he would always look at them. Sure, Chris was decided to be the leader of their group long ago and they all depended on him because of his guidance but, he also needed them too to be the leader they wanted him to be. He tried his hardest to make them feel safe and protected, and so far, he thinks he has been doing a good job.
The doorbell rings. Chris gets up from his seat to open the door. When he opens the door, Riley stands outside, holding matches in her hands. “Hi. Am I the first one here?”, she asks.
Chris smiles. “No. Mike and Anthony are here.”, he replies as he closes the door. Riley doesn’t bother to take off the think coat she is wearing. She only takes off her gloves.
“Okay.”, she nods. Once Riley takes off her cloth gloves, she looks up a Chris. A small smile still lingers on his lips, however, that is not what catches his attention. She notices his eyes. They seemed cold but afraid. Bags were forming under his eyes like he hadn’t slept in days. Perhaps he hadn’t.
Chris had always been afraid of sleeping once the shadow visited him. He said that for others to survive, one must sacrifice. He knows that he was only suffering for nothing because they all had darkness in their dreams, but he refused to tell himself that. “How have you been doing? Are you okay?”, Chris’s smile seems to fade. “You look like you haven’t been getting enough sleep.”, Riley continues.
“No yeah, I’m fine just kind of stress.”, Chris shrugs it off.
“Okay, don’t worry, tomorrow we’ll cast something upon you to help you feel better.”, she says with a small gentle smile.
“Okay, thanks. The boys are in the kitchen if you want to go.”, he points in the direction of his kitchen.
“Ok. Thank you, Chris.” He nods her off with a humble expression.As Riley walks into the kitchen, Chris gazes at her as she leaves, the small smile remaining on his lips. Next, he goes sit in the living room couch, waiting for the others to arrive.
In Chris’s kitchen, Anthony is standing on a counter, carefully putting sharp knives inside the very top cabinets. Mike stands on the floor, his head in thought about where to put the blades. “No, let’s put them up here.”, Mike points to the top of the tall refrigerator.
Anthony sighs, carefully taking the handles of the knives. He slowly and mindfully walks his way sideways on the counter until he has reached the fridge. Once there, he puts the knives on top of the refrigerator. That is when Riley enters the kitchen.
“What are you guys doing? “, she says as she sees Anthony, gently and thoughtfully finding his way back to the ground as he steps off the counter. Riley quietly chuckles at the sight.
“Hiding dangerous weapons.”, Mike answers.
“You do know that someone could just get on the counter like Anthony and grab one, or they could get on a chair and reach for them like that.”, Riley comebacks. Mike thinks for a bit but then realizes that her words were true. Nathan then enters, greeting Riley, Mike, and Anthony. They return the greeting.
“Nah.”, Mike continues the discussion. “Andrew’s too small.”, he argues.
“Why do you think it’s Andrew?”, Riley claims. “It could be you, or me, or Chris...”, she trails off.
“She’s right.”, Mike realizes. “Anthony, get the knives.”, Mike respectfully commands.
“No, I have a better idea.”, Riley stops Anthony from getting on the counter again. As the idea remains in her head, she hurriedly walks to Chris. Mike watches her ask Chris something, to which he agrees. Riley walks out of the house once he agrees, leaving Mike confused. After a while, Lincoln arrives.
“Hey, guys.”, he greets to the 3 people in the room. “Have I missed anything?”, he asks.
“No.”, Anthony responds to Lincoln. “We were trying to hide what could be used to the unknown’s suicide, but Riley said she had an idea.”
“She left.”, Mike coldly corrected. Lincoln looks at Mike upset but in the face of betrayal, as well as Nathan and Anthony. That’s Johnny and Pepper Harvey enter the area, Chris following behind. Johnny and Pepper were about the greet the members but then sensed the atmosphere. They decided to stay quiet instead, it would be most beneficial.
Mike storms up to Chris, “Chris, why did you let her leave?”, Mike asks. His eyes were dark and full of rage.
“Let who leave?”, Chris consolingly and confusingly returns.
“Riley!“, Mike raises his voice. It startles everyone in the room, including himself.
“Relax Mike, she told me she was going to get some things from the small store not far from here. I trust her.”, Chris calmingly stated. Mike’s anger seemed to calm but now it was replaced with anxiety.
A few minutes later, Riley returns with a plastic bag in her hand. It contained 54 candles, six black ones and 48 white ones, a cheap pen, and a notebook. Everyone watches her actions without questions. After Riley takes out all the supplies from the bag, she walks over to the fridge, climbing on the counter to grab a knife. Everyone gasps in panic as she does this, but again, no questions asked.
She walks over to the table with the knife in her hand. Riley looks at Chris as she sets the knife down on the wooden table. “Call your brother. Tell him to come.” Chris nods, leaving the room.
“Riley, what are you doing?”, Pepper questions, her voice was shaking.
Riley looks at Pepper’s eyes, “Don’t be afraid. It’s going to be fine.”
Andrew enters the kitchen, Chris following him. Riley does a hand gesture, telling them to move the chairs and to stand by the perimeter of the table. They all do so. Once everyone is standing, Riley grabs the notebook, tearing 9 sheets of paper from the book. She passes them to each of the kids. Everyone watches in concentration.
While Riley performs this enchantment, everyone follows in her footsteps. First, Riley draws a pentacle on the notebook sheet. Next, she places 1 white candle at each point on the star. Then, she puts the black candle that is left to one side. She grabs the matches that she bought earlier and lights all 6 candles. Everyone does the same.
Now, this was the part that she feared the most, but she knew she had to be strong to do this. She rolls up her sleeve, reviling a shape on her forearm. It wasn’t a birthmark, it wasn’t a tattoo, it was a burn. A burn in the shape of a horse.
All the members had this burn on their forearms only, it was a different animal for each of them. Chris had a bear, Pepper had an eagle, Nathan had a butterfly, Mike had a wolf, Anthony had a turtle, Lincoln had a whale, Johnny had a bat, and Andrew had a lion.
Using the knife, she pricked her finger just enough for the blood to ooze out. With her forearm facing up so the burnt could be seen, she positions the arm on the pentacle so her mark could be in the middle. As the blood on her finger drips onto her burnt, she says, “I call upon thee, Anubis, to make this my protection charm. May my blood, be my sacrifice to thee, in which I give my life. Come forth Anubis, so thee can protect me, so long as this mark shall grace my skin.”, everyone repeated each line along with her.
Finally, Riley takes the 6th candle, the black one, and placed it in the middle of the star. She holds the bloody burn above the flame, chanting quietly, “Tolle abjecistis victismam meam et custodierit me semper.” (t-ol ab-jest-seast vec-tiest-mam m-yem a coo-sto-de-re-seat me se-m-pair)
The heat and blood against her burn stung so painfully, tears were dripping from her eyes. She looks at them with her watery eyes. Some of the boys are showing that they are experiencing the same pain. Others are easily hiding the pain. Andrew was the one crying in agony and Chris was trying to make him feel better.
After the spell was performed by all of them, they all decided to go outside for the second and planned spell of the night. Anthony had a backpack with all the supplies in it. He had brought a big candle, one sheet of paper, and a pen. Of course, Anthony didn’t know that Riley would perform the sacrifice protection spell nor that she would have bought the supplies. Well, the past is the past and the future is the future. One never knows what it’ll bring but one can predict.
Chris’s backyard was not green, despite it sitting on a vegetation plan. It was like a desert, rocks, and sand everywhere. The only thing that was there was a wooden shack that seemed like it was falling apart and that the sun’s rays were taking the color away.
Nathan, the volunteer from earlier, steps up. Anthony hands Nathan the paper and pen. He writes down what he wants to see. ‘I want to know who’s passing is closest’
"I seek sight beyond sight, to see through one’s eyes, to see what the future hide, in the shadows, I cast thee, now let me see, so note it be”, Nathan chants. He grabs a lit candle from Riley, burning the paper. As the paper burns, his eyes casually start feeling heavy. His eyes start to close and before anyone was prepared, he passes out. Mike and Lincoln catch his falling by instinct. As Nathan lays passed out, the paper has only turned to ashes.
Everyone watches him, waiting for him to wake up from the sleep. Nathan remains still, only the inside of his eyelids moving in all directions rapidly. Some of the kids like Chris, Riley, Anthony, and Lincoln pay attention to the way his eyes move but Mike, Pepper, and Johnny don’t give it much thought. Mike and Lincoln lightly slap his face, trying to wake him up.
As soon as he wakes up, his eyes are wide opened and terrified. His palms and back are drenched with cold sweat. He immediately jerks up, looking around. “Where’s Andrew?”, he looks at Chris, a serious expression on Nathan’s face. Chris suddenly looks around. Nathan is right, Andrew is gone.
Chris starts to panic, as well as the others. Chris’s first action he does is he walks up to Nathan, who is still on the floor, and grab him by the collar of his shirt, forcing his eyes to meet Chris’s. “Where is he?!”, he screams to his face, aggressively shaking him. “Where the hell is my little brother?!”, he yells again. Nathan, nor any of the other members have seen this side of their leader. It scared Nathan.
“U-Upstairs”, Nathan manages to stutter out. As soon as Chris heard those words, he let go of Nathan’s collar, dropping Nathan of the dirty and hard surface, immediately running back into the house.
Pepper walks over to help him out while the rest of the kids follow Chris. Nathan was in immense pain. The side of his body stung with Pepper tried to help him up. Pepper could tell by the way he would his whenever he would move. However, he doesn’t tell her about his pain and with her help, he wraps his arm around her neck for structure as he slowly limps back to the house.
Meanwhile inside, Chris opens every door, all the rooms being empty. The rest of the gang can only watch him, not knowing what to do. It was until Chris reached the door of the bathroom. As soon as he touches the knob, he flinches in pain, hissing.
Riley frowns. She looks at Chris, his whole body seeming determined, but he holds his wrist of the hand he just hurt. Riley walks up to the knob, lightly placing her hand on it. It was hot, like when-you-touch-a-pot-that-has-been-on-a-hot-stove hot. So hot, it could melt your skin off.
And it did. The skin of Chris’s palm was red and peeling. Nevertheless, that still didn’t stop the caring brother from getting to his sibling in the bathroom. Chris starts using his body, slamming it into the door, trying to get it to open. At that moment, Pepper and Nathan have made it up the stairs. They didn’t need an explanation to see what was happening.
The Witches tried to help him. They grabbed vases, smashing them into the door, Anthony went to get the biggest knife from the top of the fridge to stab into the door, Mike went outside to the shack to grab an ax, everything. They tried everything. But nothing worked.
The door had no scratch on it, even though all they’ve done. There was a force field preventing them from entering. All that was heard was the panicking breaths of the kids and Chris screaming for Andrew and screaming to “Leave him alone! Take me! Take me instead! Don’t hurt him!”
Tears were streaming down everyone’s eyes. Everyone was crying, begging to their enemy to stop. Pepper’s anxiety started to kick in, she started having trouble breathing, and soon, she passed out. No one heard her body hit the floor.
Though they kept trying to open the door, it wasn’t until Mike swung the ax to the door, slicing right through the door. As soon as that happened, everyone stood silent, shocked. The force field was gone. But Mike didn’t stop there, he lifted the ax, swing it back to the door, inserting another hole into the door near his first one. He kept swinging the ax with all his might, chopping every inch of it down, but as soon as it was big enough, Chris pushed him out of the way to enter.
Sure enough, there it is, Andrew’s body floating faced down in the full bathtub. “Andrew.” Chris runs up to his frame. “No.”
Chris turns Andrew around. His eyes are closed, black veins are on his neck, seeming to mark their place permanently. What the kids don’t know is that they are the only people who can see these marks. If anyone outside were to look at Andrew, they would have thought he only downed. But the Witches, it was clear he was strangled. Everyone stays in the bathroom but at a small distance to let Chris have his space.
As Chris pulled Andrew’s body out of the water, Nathan enters. He sees something on the wall. It was a language. A language no one could understand but somehow, he does. Protection from me? he quietly reads. He knows who wrote that message. Nathan wanted to tell Johnny, the nearest towards him. With the look on Johnny’s face, the same look that everyone has, the look of anger, disgust, sadness, and hopelessness all in one.
Lincoln entered the bathroom in a rush. He walked over to her, telling her that there was an emergency phone call for her. She only nods, flashing one last look at Chris before departing form the room. Lincoln leaves too.
Once Andrew’s body is out of the water, Chris starts bawling on him. He cried so much, he felt like he could vomit. He wanted to cry all the pain out but when your heart is damaged, it’s difficult to repair itself again. And if to manages to repair itself, will it be the same as before? Mike walks up to Chris and hugs him from behind. Everyone in the room walks over to do the same thing.
With the comfort of his friends, he calms down a bit on the outside. Once everyone could only hear his shaky breaths, Mike whispers in his ear, “Is there anything we can do for you?”
Without hesitation, Chris answers, “Yeah. Just be my friends.”
Everyone only nods. They try to make him feel better in some way but deep inside, they know that no matter what they do, nothing can make him feel better at this point. So, after a few minutes, of tears being shed not only for Chris but from everyone feeling his pain, Chris screams. Nobody stops him.