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

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Chapter 6-Misty Night Flight

After I told the McCasters Patty’s daughter was coming to visit me they didn’t put up a fuss to my relief. In fact, they didn’t seem to mind at all.

“Stella!” I say loudly seeing her walk up the porch, I run up to her giving her a hug. She hugs me back and Mr. and Mrs. McCaster sit on the porch in their rocking chairs smiling at us.

“I love your hairstyle, it suits you,” I compliment her natural orange hair. It used to be long, but now it is cut short to her shoulders, she still has her bangs.

Stella wears a short black dress and is not wearing a cloak. She also has a pair of purple studded earrings on and a silver necklace with a triangular air symbol charm. She still has the same classy, black rectangular glasses that make her green eyes pop. I’m sure she must have been a little taken back seeing my new white old lady hair, a sharp contrast from what used to be brown hair.

We head upstairs and into my room, I close the door and she sits down at my desk chair while I prepare myself to tell her about the mark.

She swings her feet below her chair, “Did you dye your hair?”

“No, when I was revived it was like this. There’s something else too.”

I pull up my shirt to reveal the demon mark inside of a triangle on my stomach. Stella’s pale face turns even paler and she covers her mouth to hide her gasp. She stands up quickly and approaches me, bending down to get a closer look at the mark while mumbling to herself.

“Okay...okay I think I can decipher this. Somebody definitely thinks you’re a valuable witch, have you been able to see auras since you were...revived?”

“N-no...no I haven’t. What does it mean?”

“The inner symbol is definitely demonic. We’re talking black magic, demon magic. No ordinary witch could have accomplished this if it were a witch that is. The outer triangle represents fire and...masculinity. It must have been a male, but of what supernatural, I have no clue yet. They hexed you, but the hex isn’t complete...” she mumbles.

I feel bile rise in my throat, with a hard swallow I shove my shirt back down hiding the horrid mark.

“The entire mark itself is actually a shield, blocking your aura from being seen. In fact, I cannot even make out your aura. No doubt it is also hindering your powers, no the better word would be conserving,” she tells me with a worried look.

“Why? Why me?” I whisper-yell while plopping down onto my bed deflated.

I hadn’t even realized I wasn’t able to see auras, I was too preoccupied worrying about other things to notice. How could I have been so ignorant? I need to be more careful.

“I don't know," Stella says.

Then I gather an idea, one I hope isn’t right.

“What if they know who my family is? My family locked the other realm portal and logically, they would know how to activate it too. What if they want me to activate it? The coven is going to kill me, that’s what your mother thinks isn’t it?” I wonder out loud in a hollow voice.

Her silence is my answer. She sits back down in the desk chair, slumping her head forward.

“Val, my mom is crazy. The moment she saw you, she told me that’s what she expected. She’s always paranoid. She doesn’t know about this mark and we won’t let her find out. Believe me, she’s looking. She’s really trying to find whoever did this to you,” she sighs heavily. “Today, they confirmed it’s no one in the coven. If you have any idea on who it might be, please share.”

“I have no idea who it is. I think I could feel it though when they hexed me. It burned awful bad like they were searing my skin with an iron rod dipped in lava.”

“Does it still hurt?”

“No, not right now. Some cop came over here and it started to burn real bad though. I could barely keep it together. By the time Mrs. McCaster came back, the pain was gone and everything was fine,” I tell her while watching a curious look grow on her face.

Stella flattens the wrinkles in her dress and stands up again with crossed arms.

“They left you here alone?”

“Yes. I know, I was surprised too. Crystal, their daughter, was here with me and then she left to go with her boyfriend.”

“And what did the cop want?”

I frown remembering how awkward I was acting. “They had a warrant, but this ended up being the wrong house. He said something about arson and left.”

Stella’s eyes narrow and she folds her hands on her lap, sitting down beside me. “What did Mrs. McCaster say about it all?”

“Not much, she seemed kind of mad though. After the cop left, she still seemed kind of ticked off.”

“Val, next time you’re alone -- call me. You should not be alone when some freaky necromancer is still on the loose because judging by the hex they put on you they aren’t a weak supernatural. They are hiding your powers from others and others’ powers from you. They must want to use ya. So they’re probably out looking for you,” she tells me.

I concentrate again on trying to find her aura, but end up seeing nothing. Not even a dim yellow glow that radiates from everyone alive, humans included.

Strange how she can’t see mine either. No wonder her mother looked terrified of me and quickly hid me from the coven and everyone else for that matter. Patty couldn’t read me. So she must know there’s something more going on.

“Do all people revived by necromancers lose sight of auras?” I ask her to confirm my suspicion.

“No, they shouldn’t. They also normally don’t wake up with hex marks tattooed onto their skin either,” Stella says grimly and my frown deepens.

"Scopulas invenient me," Stella whispers into her black leather purse and my eyes widen hearing the familiar spell being chanted.

Two brooms appear in the center of my bed.

“What? When else are you going to get out and have a little fun? Come on,” Stella laughs.

I look back at the door to my room, thinking about the McCasters downstairs. If they wanted to hear our conversation they could have. Even I know the spell for that.

“Girl, you need to relax. I set up a ward in here, they can’t hear anything."

“Alright, only for a couple minutes though,” I say while grasping my old broomstick.

The long wooden broomstick is coated a rich red hue and the thistles of the thick brush are a dark gray. Stella’s broomstick is a teal color and the brush of her broom is dark green. Traditionally, in our coven, the brush of the broom is supposed to be the color of the witch’s eyes. Parents are supposed to make their children brooms too.

Both of our families made ours, keeping the tradition.

I am more than just pleasantly surprised that she went to the trouble of finding and storing my broom for safekeeping after all these years. It’s impossible for witches to summon things they do not own and the fact that Stella went so far as to take ownership of such a precious item to me means a lot.

“It’s yours, take it,” she offers gently, seeing my hesitation. I grab the smooth handle of my broomstick and follow her over to the window where she already has hers in hand.

Stella unlatches the window, sliding it open.

The cool autumn night air hits us as Stella whispers, ”Volare mecum."

I repeat the same spell to my own broom and watch happily as it floats, turning horizontal for me to perch on top of. Stella is already on her own broom, levitating outside my window and waiting for me to follow.

“Come on miss teenager, you have to make up for all the years you were asleep!” she cheers me on in a whisper. I guess sleep is a nicer way to put it, but she’s right I haven’t flown in ten years.

Silently, I duck my head under the window as my broom carries me out. We scan the yard and around the house one last time before flying quickly over the woods behind the house. Stella I can tell is flying slower than normal, it takes me a minute to get used to flying again.

I narrowly miss ramming my leg into a rather large branch of a pine tree, before my broom finally takes me above the treetops. After I get well adjusted to riding my broom, we fly a little faster next to each other as we head to the top of the mountain.

We even pass the portal and for a brief moment I consider telling Stella, but something in the back of my mind makes me keep my mouth shut and I don’t bother saying anything at all. The night is quiet except for the chirp of crickets and an occasional tree frog. Right when we reach the peak of the ski mountain, an owl jumps up from a nearby tree nearly making Stella fall off her broom.

We stare down the other side of the mountain and spot a rather big house all the way at the bottom. Unlike the McCaster’s home, it’s lit up very well from what I can see. It must be where the Silvets live.

We turn our gazes skyward and look up at the stars, taking in the clear night and bright, glowing crescent moon above us. That is until an annoying mist decides to settle overhead of us, literally clouding our view of the sky and shortly after, the ground.

“Perfect, just perfect,” Stella grumbles, flying closer to me. So close, that we could bump shoulders. She must not want to take any risk getting separated, neither do I. This mountain is huge and there’s no way I’d know where I would be if we were to be walking around down there.

Flying is almost worst, but as soon as this mist clears up we should be fine.

“We should wait for it to clear, just hover here for I bit,” I suggest when I start to see her fly forward without me.

“We need to keep moving, what if they come back in your room and see us gone? Come on, hurry!” she says loudly, disappearing into the mist and I can’t help, but roll my eyes thinking about how only two seconds ago she was right at my side and now I can’t see her at all.

The mist is getting thicker and if we aren’t going to ride side by side, shoulder to shoulder, we aren’t going to be able to see each other at all.

“Stella! I can’t see you! Follow my voice, we need to ride closer together or we will get separated!” I shout in all directions, unsure where she could be now. We already are separated though, from what I can tell.

“Val-Val, I’m right behind you!” she hollers feigning a spooky voice. I laugh, secretly relieved she was not actually far away. She comes up next to my shoulder again and we hover for a good minute in silence, waiting for the mist to clear.

I look up, unable to see the sky at all and darkness follows as a result of being totally shrouded in clouds. This isn’t mist anymore, it’s fog.

A very thick fog too.

Stella tries to remain calm and starts to chant, “Under the moon, I ask of thee. Fire, fire, come to me.”

I think we are both beginning to panic a little at the new blinding darkness around us. Thankfully though, someone had a campfire fire nearby and we were able to find a flame. The flame contorts into a sphere and hovers right in front of her. Stella aims her arm ahead of us and the glowing orb follows her hand, hovering a couple feet in front of our brooms.

It’s bright enough for us to just barely make out the treetops below us and that’s pretty much it. It will have to do, I would try doing the same spell to make the flame bigger, but I’ve never done the spell before and may risk ruining the light source we already have instead.

We try to find where the tops of the trees are sloped downward to indicate which direction is downhill. After a few minutes though, everything starts to look the same and we cannot decipher uphill from downhill at all.

As if things couldn’t get any worse, the fog’s thickness condenses even more and we can’t even make out the trees.

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