Nail in Her Coffin (Devil's Witch Book 1)

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Chapter 4-Fishy Findings

Once in my new room, I dial Stella’s number. I’ve had her number memorized by heart since high school.

She picks up on the first ring.

“Hello?” she answers.

“Stella! It’s me, Valerie. I’m sure your mom already-” I begin to say, but she squeals in delight cutting off my voice.

“Val-Val! I missed you so much, I can’t believe this is happening! You’re alive! I feel so bad for you though, you’re probably traumatized after the accident. It must have been awful waking up alone in that coffin, I hope they catch the psycho who did all this to you. You’ll have to come over soon, I want you to see this shrine I made of you. It’s still above my vanity mirror, I still have the lucky charm bracelet you gave me,” her voice breaks down into a sob.

“Hey, everything’s okay. Don’t cry, my family is happy now in the other realm. Maybe I’m just lucky and get another shot at life. Didn’t your mom tell you what happened?” I ask uneasily.

“No! Val she’s crazy these days! She’s never home either, always over at her salon in the back where HQ is. A lot of humans are disappearing and they are pinning it on us. Anyway, she hasn’t been home in two days.”

“So anyway, how have you been these last ten years?” I ask her feeling funny asking such a question.

“Oh, I’ve been doing fine. I’m not working at Starbucks anymore, I’m a sales associate in the dress shop next to my mom’s salon. I got my own townhouse in town too. Oh my gosh, you could live with me! I need a roommate, where are you right now?”

“I’m under house arrest. They think I’m a potential threat. I’m living with the McCasters right now. I need to talk to you in person about something, I don’t want to freak you out. Can you come over to Slate Ski Resort tomorrow?”

“Yes! I’ll come around seven tomorrow night. I cannot believe my mom put you on house arrest! I’m calling her right now! How could she keep this from me! Bye Val, see you tomorrow!” Stella blurts out quickly while hanging up.

Oh, I hope she doesn’t make her mother mad...wouldn’t want to extend my stay here.


The next morning, I roll out of bed feeling much more well rested. I put on a purple and black striped long-sleeved shirt and black pants. Since the hayride is only open on Thursday through Sunday I don’t have to go to work since it’s a Monday.

After Mrs. McCaster made pancakes for breakfast, I helped her and Crystal clean up while Mr. McCaster left to drive into town to do something at headquarters.

In other words, he's keeping Patty updated on my status here. Which Crystal admitted to me while we ate breakfast. The coven’s headquarters are located at Patricia Gild’s salon. In the back of her business establishment, is a big office building where a ton of witches work to keep everything ‘magical’ in Wixton under control.

“Crystal, why don’t you practice some craft in the backyard? Help Valerie brush up on her skills, I’m going to go grocery shopping. I will be back in three hours and we’ll have lunch then,” Cathy tells her daughter.

Crystal wears her hair in a ponytail and I guess she, like her mother, is accustomed to wearing her black cloak. I abandoned the article of clothing when I first stepped through their front door, I hung it on a coat rack and haven’t touched it since.

It’s no secret her mother has been giving me Crystal’s clothes to wear, even though her clothes fit me a little too snug in some areas. I’m going to have to get my own clothes soon, too bad I’m not allowed to leave their property. Maybe I can ask her mom to get me some, I’m not sure.

Crystal waves for me to follow her and we walk out the back door, stepping down onto the dew coated dead, yellow-brown grass. Orange and gold maple leaves clutter the floor of their wooded yard. The pine trees are the only trees not completely dead looking and Crystal plucks off a needle of a nearby tree, poking her arm in boredom with it.

“You’re not big on witchcraft are you?” she says while tossing the pine needle over her shoulder and kicking a raked pile of dead leaves.

“No, I never have been. My parents taught me how to read and draw symbols. I can fly and make a few potions. I don’t know many spells,” I mutter while watching a deer walk out from behind a tree a couple yards away.

“I wouldn’t be either if someone brought me back from the dead. Honestly, I think you’re coping really well. I would have totally lost my cool. Especially, being forced to live with us. Sorry, you had to see that last night, Darren’s kind of my boyfriend and my family hates his. Well, my mom doesn’t, but that’s only because she hates conflict,” Crystal laughs, but it’s a forced one and doesn’t hide the tired look in her eyes.

Darren’s a vampire too and since she’s a witch their relationship must be complicated I imagine.

“So, um, your brother told me he’s a Silvet? Are you neighbors or something?” I ask out of my own curiosity.

“Yeah, they moved here two years ago. They’ve been trying to buy the resort off my parents. They even offered way more than market value and my parents still turned them down. It’s all because of the dumb portal. My parents are contracted to guard it for life. The Silvets don’t know any of that though. No one is supposed to, except the coven,” her voice turns bitter. “Our coven,” she specifies.

Maybe she wishes she could tell her boyfriend that, so they would understand and stop trying to give her family an offer. It just seems like their families misunderstand each other.

“Darren’s younger brother Jackson is part were now, someone bit him when he was already a warlock. You know how that goes. You probably saw Darren leave too, he’s a vamp. No one is going to approve of us,” Crystal adds and I give her a knowing look.

In Wixton and the rest of the country, making hybrids is outlawed. History has a pattern of hybrids being too powerful and to prevent further crazy power-hungry hybrids, weres and vamps are not supposed to bite those who do not belong to their kind.

The only hybrids allowed to exist are the ones who are born that way, the few there are. They have to report to the coven though once of age and sign allegiance to them of course, promising they’ll abide by our laws.

So I’m not sure what will happen to Jackson since he was turned after birth, but if Crystal and Darren are caught together doing something as small as holding hands by the coven they could be getting into some trouble.

Crystal and I walk a little way up the mountain and she tells me more about her family’s history here and even admits to me where they hid the portal up here. She is quite the talker and I’m fairly certain the other realm’s portal location was probably not supposed to be told to me.

“Oh don’t look so worried, you’re family now,” she tells me and changes the subject to Darren Silvet, they have been dating for over a year now. She tells me about his parents, who are rich and off in Europe and more about Darren’s brother, Jackson, who is eighteen. Darren himself is twenty-five.

Well, if I died at nineteen and get revived ten years later I’m still not sure if I’m considered nineteen or twenty-nine.

Crystal also told me Darren has a sister too, but I forgot what Crystal said her name was. She lives out of state, like the rest of the Silvets she is also a vampire. Darren’s family lives on the other side of the mountain, which apparently the McCasters don’t own. By the time we hike back down to the house, I realize we have avoided practicing our craft altogether.

We reach the back porch and Crystal unlocks the door. Once we step foot inside, Crystal’s phone rings and as she shuts the back door she answers it.

She speaks into the phone looking excited, “Hey. Yeah, sorry I forgot. I’ll head over.”

She clicks the phone off, then snaps her fingers. A silver shimmer shines from her head to toes and when the shimmer disappears she steps forward wearing a tight pink spaghetti strap dress and golden heels.

“Sorry, but my boyfriend just called. I forgot we were going to go to lunch together. Stay inside until my mom gets back, ’kay?” she tells me.

I check my phone, seeing it will about an hour until then. Most of the time, they’ve never really left me on my own in the house. I don’t know if she’s supposed to leave me alone either. Not that I’d mind really, I just don’t want to get in trouble with the coven.

“Alright, see ya,” I say while watching her leave out the front door in a hurry.

She gets into a white sedan that has a dent in the side and floors it out of the small, dirt parking lot.

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