One of the letters catches my eye, it’s a flyer for Wally’s Supermarket. They’re hiring now and Colin’s face is in the corner of the flyer, printed next to it in capital letters is the word manager and I raise an eyebrow.
“He’s manager now?” I ask Stella.
She nods her head giddily, giving his picture goo-goo eyes. Looks like someone still has a major crush, even after ten years. Colin heard news of my revival from Stella and we texted back and forth a little bit, but he never told me he was the manager of the single grocery store in Wixton, Alabama.
I set the flyer back on the table and watch her pick it up with intrigue as she folds it neatly and stashes it for safekeeping in her purse.
We decide to go out on the porch and sit on the rocking chairs, enjoying the cool evening air. Stella hums a tune and I rock back and forth on my chair, listening to it creak above the old wooden planks of the porch.
“You know Val, I’ve been thinking. It’s been over a week and still, the coven has made zero progress finding whoever revived you. I say it’s time we take things into our own hands,” she announces with a mischievous smile.
“How do you figure?”
“Well, clearly they brought you back for a reason, especially with that hex they gave you. Whatever they planned on using you for they haven’t accomplished yet since the coven found you before they could. My mom was right about being bait...that may really be our best shot. If we put you outside of the coven’s protection, they may come for you. Then we can catch them.”
I watch her smile fall. “I’m up for it, but when would we be able to leave here without getting caught? The McCasters will be back tomorrow. If the necromancer does come, what are we going to do?”
“They set a ward around the cemetery if a strong magical user wants to enter it the coven will come running. Just like they did when you were revived, only they were too late that time,” Stella tells me.
Everything in me screams this is a bad idea, especially since they have the cemetery all marked up and taped off. If we enter it, we could be tampering with evidence they may be using to track the necromancer. Then there’s the fact that the necromancer probably is more dangerous than the coven itself since they managed to escape undetected this entire time using black magic.
Even if the necromancer doesn’t show, Stella and I will be in a whole lot of trouble.
“We go tonight, after sunset,” she says suddenly. I laugh, thinking she’s joking. Only, when I turn to face her, I see she isn’t and hold my breath.
“It’s our only chance, Val. I even brought an elixir from my mom’s collection, if things get bad, we can escape quickly. All we have to do is toss this liquid on the ground and step over it,” she says firmly while dangling the small blue medicine bottle in front of my face.
“Alright,” I give in.
The sun is already setting on the horizon over the tops of the pine trees. If she went to the trouble of stealing that from her mother, we might as well put it to good use.
Before I know it, Stella and I reach the cemetery and a sinking feeling grows within me. I really don’t want to be reminded of being stuck in that coffin, but now that we are here it’s all I can think about. That, and the feeling that we were followed here. I thought I saw a truck turn off onto the same road leading to the cemetery, but when I looked back, they weren’t behind us anymore.
Stella drives up the cemetery on an old paved road and stops near where I was buried, aiming her headlights at a cluster of gravestones-my family’s. She turns off the car, leaving the lights on so we can see in the pitch-black night.
After we find my grave, we try to avoid bumping into the tape and signs the coven marked around it. Not even five minutes after finding my grave though, we hear a car drive up below the hill at the bottom of the cemetery. Soon enough, we see the bright headlights of a truck aimed in our direction. The car parks all the way at the bottom of the hill, leaving their lights on too.
“Now what? Please tell me that’s the necromancer,” Stella says sarcastically.
“No, it’s Will,” I whisper shortly, seeing the warlock step out of his truck and into the lights of his truck’s bright beams. Ever since we left the house, I had the nagging feeling we were being followed.
He looks pretty pissed off at us judging by his expression and how quickly he is scaling the hill to get up here.
“You two are nuts! What were you thinkin’ comin’ out here alone? Do y’all have a death wish?” he yells at the both of us.
Stella fires a smart remark back. Meanwhile, I’m still trying to figure out how he knew we were coming here. Stella’s car makes a weird low beeping noise and the lights on her car turn off. Seconds later, Will’s car does the same thing. The batteries in them must have died.
“Aren’t you supposed to be a mechanic? What kind of mechanic doesn’t drive around with jumper cables!” Stella shouts at Will as he turns around. Will goes spewing out curses left and right as he walks back down the hill in the direction of his truck.
“They both are dead you insane, witch. No one’s car is getting jumped unless someone else drives up here. I might have a spare battery in my trunk. I was going to deliver it to a client tomorrow, but I suppose this is an emergency,” he grumbles. Stella follows him down the hill back to his truck. The two of them still yelling back and forth.
He could always use magic, but moving a car with a dead battery could be dangerous to drive if he lost control of it. It would take a lot of concentration. They use their phones to find their way down the hill and I decide to try out a spell I heard Stella use the other day.
"Under the moon, I ask of thee. Fire, fire, come to me," I whisper while eyeing the graves around me.
After a minute nothing happens and I look around myself just to make sure the flame orb isn’t levitating anywhere. Seeing a faint glow in the treeline outside the cemetery, I mutter the spell again in frustration, but the flame still does not come to me. Not only that, pain sears across my stomach and I almost collapse onto the ground. The only reason I don’t fall is because I catch myself on a nearby gravestone, my mother’s.
After a moment, I watch in wonder as the flame disappears and reappears behind a small building made of cement in the middle of the cemetery a couple yards away from me. Sadly, the flame disappears again though and when I scan the cemetery again, I don’t see it anywhere.
When I hear Will’s truck engine start below the hill, I sigh in relief. However, Stella comes back up the hill with a strange look on her face, she slowly walks passed me as if in a daze.
“Are we heading back now that we’ve been found?” I laugh lightly, but inside I’m dying to get out of here. Especially, now that my stomach is hurting. Every time it hurts something weird seems to happen and I don’t want to stay around here any longer to prove my theory right.
“S-something is here,” Stella says in a shaky voice, pointing back down the hill at Will’s truck.
“Oh, I tried to summon a flame and had trouble getting it over here. It kept reappearing in random places, then disappeared altogether,” I explain while watching Will get in his truck and honk at us.
“N-no. I think it is here, the necromancer. Will and I both felt their magic. Didn’t you feel it when they broke through the ward? It was like a wave of freezing air hit us. We even heard the sound of it break ring through the cemetery. They’re here, I know it. You would know it too if you weren’t hexed,” she murmurs sounding petrified.
She must have forgotten my family wasn’t around when they warded this place. Since my magic isn’t infused in the ward like hers and Will’s is, I would have no idea if someone broke through it.
“My hex mark hurts really bad, but I didn’t see anyone or feel anything else.”
Suddenly, we hear a bunch of cars flying down the road. When they pull into sight we make them out as black SUVs and right behind them are at least ten police cars. I wonder if Will called the coven because even if the necromancer was here, I doubt so many of the coven and police would get here so quickly. Even if the coven heard the ward break too it would have taken them a couple minutes to get here and according to Stella, it just broke a moment ago.
“William...” Stella grits through her teeth, looking pretty frightening and an awful lot like her mother. Of course, I would never tell the latter to her. She probably thinks he called the coven on us.
“We don’t know if it was him. If he did call them, he more than likely did it for our safety,” I tell Stella.
“Well, I’m not getting caught out here. I’m sure if they don’t find us here they’ll come to the house next. We’ll see if your boyfriend is willing to cover for you. I rather be in that house than out here with a necromancer walking around,” Stella whispers harshly while pulling the cork off the small bottle in her hands.
She shakes the liquid out of the tiny bottle and smiles in satisfaction seeing a ring with a blue glow form around our feet.
Suddenly, we both are standing safe and sound back in the living room of the McCasters’ house. A couple of minutes later, Will texts me and asks me where we are and I tell him we are back at his parents’ house. I don’t tell him how we got here though.
I’m glad to know he did in fact cover for us. He texted me that he told Stella’s mom and the police Stella pulled into the cemetery on the way to the garage to buy a new battery, but it died before she could get there. So, he told them he picked us up and dropped us off at his family’s place, then came back to jump her car for her.
As lame as the excuse may seem, he thought they believed him. Stella wasn’t so sure they would be convinced so easily and now I guess we are seeing for ourselves that may have been the case.
“Yeah, they bought it alright,” Stella mutters angrily, looking out the curtain by the front door when we hear cars parking outside the house and see the flashing of red and blue lights. If they suspected nothing happened at the cemetery, the coven wouldn’t have called in so many reinforcements.
Since Stella and Will thought they felt a strong magic user, we may just have been successful in drawing the attention of the necromancer. At least, that’s the only reason I can come up with for why the coven would have brought in so many people to investigate what happened.