“So how come Endora looks so, you know, not so dead anymore?” I asked Serena as I walked beside her, following the weird zombie that kept turning to stare at my glitter in wonder and totally freaking me out in the process, screwing my face up as I pondered Endora’s drastic change - because that witch had literally looked like the arse end of one of her zombies.
She grinned. “Rumour has it that someone cursed her to look like an old hag because of a life long feud, apparently she’s only just managed to undo most of the magic.”
“Really?” I squinted at her, because firstly Serena had no friends and therefore never got the decent gossip, and secondly anyone who decided to curse Endora was both a total nutcase and my new best friend.
Serena huffed. “Fine, it was Grams, she bragged about it for weeks.”
I snorted, Grams had balls of steel to mess with that old witch, then shivered in revulsion as the zombie stared at me again with more of that oozing gloop running down his face. “Serena,” I whined, “He’s being creepy again,” I pointed towards the zombie, while I stumbled over rocks and twigs that scattered the ground leading towards a forest darkened by ancient, enormous trees that blocked the sun. “Just fireball him or something.”
She laughed, the whore, and seemed weirdly happy that my words only made the zombie stare at me more. I didn’t know what his deal was but I was sorely tempted to send a cloud of explosive glitter his way until he either poofed into teeny tiny pieces or, you know, just sparkled, because my glitter was hormonal like that.
“Unless you want to be stuck in the elf kingdom with your new perv-dad I’d suggest not killing the already dead Eric.”
Gosh. She was such a joy-sucker. Well, a kitty-cock sucker too, but that was both irrelevant to my point and freaking hilarious.
I snorted and choked, nearly turning bright red trying to hold in my hysterical giggles as Serena stared at me with narrowed eyes.
“I know you’re thinking of something to call me, Hails, I can tell by your constipated face.” She pointed at me and pouted - a pathetic excuse for a pout that would never manipulate anyone to do her bidding.
Unable to breathe due to an overproduction of glitter and giggles still fighting their way free, I simply mimed an expressive and quite possibly porn-worthy act of giving a blowjob, complete with over-exaggerated facial expressions, hand gestures, and some impressive muted gags, while gesturing at an unamused Cat.
I think she got the point.
She sighed and rubbed at her eyes. “You’re such a dick, Gypsy, when we find Lily I’m totally making her my new best friend.”
Heaving breaths I managed a dismissive wave of my hand, completely unconcerned by her threats - Serena had the patience of an agitated wasp, she’d last all of thirty seconds before insulting Lily and coming straight back to me.
She’s mine for life. Which means I get to make cat jokes for the next thousand years and I couldn’t even imagine a better future than the one she’d literally laid right at my feet.
Of course it was also payback in spades for that time she spread ‘scaly-vadge’ around town and unashamedly lied to me about who started the rumour. I can’t help that I have a tendency to ride my dragon naked, it’s not like I do it on purpose, I just have a bad habit of...well...losing my clothes I suppose. I don’t know where they go but it’s like they run off as soon as I even think about getting on Lucian, and contrary to popular belief magically producing clothes to wear while flying through the air ontop of a two tonne dragon while dealing with air currents is actually pretty damn hard.
Besides, Lucian doesn’t appear to mind if his witch is naked.
And then I remembered that Lucian was more than likely not just a lizard-shifting dragon and somewhere inside all that reptile was probably something decidedly more human, and then my eyes flew to his tiny body wrapped around my wrist and hurt flooded my pouting face as I stared at his lying little face.
All that naked dragon riding now seemed a bit less freeing and a whole lot more dirty than I’d intended.
“I wish you’d just told me, Lucy,” I mumbled to him, splattering green glitter over his leathery hide as he squinted up at me from his perch. “I would never have left you, you know that.”
Cat had, in a tone laced with annoyance, vanity, and general peevishness, mentioned several times now that his witch would never leave him - that he’d never be one of those familiars that ended up wandering and forgotten. Solitary, sad, shadowed creatures.
I could understand Cat not telling Serena at first - she’s a bitch, kind of flaky, with a tendency towards violence. She may be my best friend but I’m well aware of her less than admirable traits, just like she’s well aware that I’m ditzy, prone to bouts of manic excitement, and highly manipulative.
But that’s kind of what we like about each other, you know, the worst parts that are actually some of the best parts. So I could understand Cat being cautious about revealing his human, but Lucian? He should know that there’s not a single thing he could do that would make me send him away.
I mean, he eats people. Like eats them alive. Crunching bone, screaming, blood spraying, foul breath kind of eating and if that isn’t a line crossed then I really don’t know why he’d think a human form would be.
His tiny head swivelled to the side slightly, a considering look that always made it seem as though he was questioning my intelligence. “What?” I frowned as his tongue lashed, tasting and sorting the scents that surrounded us. “Don’t pull that face at me, Lucy, you know I’m right.” And then I pouted at him - because he hates the nickname Lucy but he can’t handle my pouting so I use it to my full advantage and get to call him whatever I want without argument.
He unwrapped himself from my wrist and scampered up the length of my arm, his tiny claws tickling my skin until he lept from my shoulder and dive-bombed my curls, quickly burying himself within the mass of twisted hair and hissing with pleasure when he finally found a good nest after huffing and squirming enough that he quickly got himself tangled.
“Well, that’s the end of that conversation then isn’t it?” I smiled, amused at his avoidance measures, while simultaneously adamant that although he’d get away with it for now, as soon as we got back home he was going on a permanent Hayley-break until he shifted his scaly butt to human and had a Goddess-damned conversation.
“Hey, Hails, stop playing with your lizard and come look at this,” Serena shouted from the good twenty feet away she’d managed to get while I pouted at Lucian.
I sparkled gold glitter from my fingertips while stepping into the overgrown forest, lighting the darkness enough to cut through the gloom directly infront of me and just about made out Serena as she stared up at an enormous trunk reaching so far above her that it seemed like it touched the sky. “What is it, PG?” Ignoring the irritated huff that followed my question.
She hummed. “Dead-Eric found a deep, dark hole he wants to crawl into,” then snorted, “And that’s actually not the start of a dirty joke.”
I stumbled my way closer, taking the longer route that had me ending up standing on Serena’s right - the side that Dead-Eric wasn’t - then leaned a little further forward to peer around Serena’s taller figure. “Where does it go?” Because all I could see was a ragged hole in the side of the tree that was so dark it seemed almost solid.
“Well, down, I guess,” she shrugged.
I nodded. “Okay,” then gave her a quick shove, “you first.”
“Hey!” She yelped, catching her forward tumble by flinging her hands up and slapping her palms to the tree bark. “Gypsy! You fucking glitter-twat!”
Ooh. That’s actually pretty apt, because my twat totally glitters too. Which is awesome because the first guy to get mesmerized by my poofing vagina is going to get a disco-ball penis as a reward. And what guy wouldn’t like that? It’s like a sparkly STD...but cuter...And less icky...
I shrugged. “Well push Dead-Eric down and see if he goes splat.” It felt like excellent advice to me - Deader-Eric was much better than a newly dead Hayley.
Serena hummed, “Eh, fuck it,” then grabbed hold of Dead-Eric’s shoulder and propelled him toward the gaping hole. “Yell if you see anything,” she gravely insisted, as if the zombie had yet to actually manage any vocal sounds past ‘mergh’, then shoved him ungracefully into the yawning darkness.
Silence followed his disappearance.
My lips twitched as we both stood staring into the abyss. “Uhuh, called it, always make the dead guy go first.”
Serena sighed. “Well, now what? I don’t want to go if the fucking zombie didn’t make it.”
I went to shake my head, about to agree that I wasn’t about to chuck myself down a seemingly endless dark hole, when a distant ‘eeerrrgggghhh’ drifted up from the echoing bowels of the tree.
Serena frowned. “So...is that an it’s all good, or a don’t follow me?”
Obviously I was going with the do not follow option. Was I bollocks going to launch myself blind down a particularly suspect hole. Of course, if Serena went then I kind of had to go because my own stupid conscience wouldn’t let me stay behind. “I don’t know I don’t speak Dead-Eric.” Hoping that she’d veto the hole and we could just turn around and go find Grams or something and just chalk Endora and friends up to a half-witch learning curve.
She sighed. “Lily might be down there I guess. We should probably make an effort to get her back.”
She didn’t seem all that enthused over the idea though. I don’t blame Serena for her general lack of empathy and highly evolved give no f’s automatic response, I’m pretty sure it was a survival method from having to spend her entire life so far in the shadow of Cynthia, because when I’m not on a sugar high, that woman scares the sparkle right out of me. But as much it will no doubt physically pain me, I couldn’t seriously walk away and leave Lily to whatever fate my new perv-dad had taken her for.
I huffed pink sparkles. “Let’s just go, dammit.”
Serena rolled her eyes before sneaking a side-eye to Cat who, with an utterly mutinous expression, was already eyeing the dark hole and surrounding tree with a big fat hell-no. “I’ll get the kitty, you run for the hole,” she side whispered to me.
I found some courage from somewhere - more than likely from my fabulous leather pants that made me feel like the most badass biker bitch - even paired with the hot pink t-shirt complete with glittering unicorn design - and tucked a hand around the mass of curls that hid Lucian somewhere within, ensuring I didn’t lose him somewhere along the freefall.
I aimed myself at the tree and dug my feet into the ground, closing my eyes tightly as I flung myself forward, hoping I wasn’t about to smack my face into the tree, screaming a sparkly war cry that scared a single bird into panicked squawks from the branches high above.
My war cry turned a little shrill as my feet lost ground beneath them and instead of running forward my stomach dropped as I fell through rushing wind.
“Motherfu-” Serena shouted above as a feline yowl echoed in surround sound. “Claws! Dammit, put the claws away!”
I continued to scream for a good minute, thoroughly terrified of the imminent landing, but then...well it just got kind of boring and as we kept falling I was slightly more focused on trying to see below me and figure out if it was actually getting lighter or if my eyes were just adjusting to the dark.
And then I caught a hint of green and panicked a little at the realisation that it was getting lighter and we were still falling and I never got to have sexy times even once before I died. I was officially the most pathetic witch to have ever lived and the school syllabus was now going to be filled with the story about the shit glitter witch who died a virgin despite being perpetually naked.
I’d almost finished my short memoirs, including a side note to the Goddess about her truly awful gifting of powers - because who bestows the power of premonition without giving one for a warning of your own death - when I landed with a twenty foot high explosion of white and purple dandelion seeds and huge clouds of dazzling neon glitter. I crash landed starfish style, legs and arms akimbo, and rebounded several times until slowly rocking to an almost gentle stop, shockingly dizzy as sparkles spun around my head.
Seconds later Serena went equally splat beside me, landing ontop of a now shifted Cat, his human form glaringly naked and dusted with irridescent shimmer.
“Ow,” She groaned. “Why fuck would you shift? Your muscles are so not comfortable to break my fall with.”
Cat grumbled. “Wasn’t me. Something forced the shift when we breached the elf kingdom.”
Serena rubbed her head then sat up quickly as her eyes roamed the meadow we’d landed in. “Huh, looks like we’ve died and gone to unicorn hell.”
Okay, so the meadow was purple, with soft pink flowers, and the rolling hills in the distance were all tipped with the glowy white seeds that had exploded when we’d hit the spongy ground...in other words it was totally the best place in the entire world.
“Hey,” Serena called distracting me from staring at awe around me, “lets try and find Dead-Eric, I’m guessing he’ll know his way around and...what the fuck?!” She exclaimed as she swerved to stare at a glimpse of straw coloured strands I could just about see buried beneath a pile of pink flowers.
“What?” I frowned at her.
She turned back to me, mouth agape, then snapped it shut only to stare at me open mouthed once more.
“Well?” I tried again.
This time she smiled, slowly turning from a grin to laughter she utterly failed to contain, eventually ending in hysterics that she couldn’t even talk through.
“What? What am I missing?” Because I so wanted in on the joke, I hated missing out.
“Oh Goddess,” She breathed, “Scaly-vadge is about to be reborn.”