Everyone loaded up in Brian’s ride and headed into town to a common bar and dance club. As they strolled in, Amelia still seemed off, and Raina acted as though nothing happened. Brian stayed close to Amelia and took her to the bar to order drinks while Derek and Raina sat at a table near the dance floor.
“Raina, talk to me.”
“Derek, look, I get it. Your ex is having a tough time letting go, that I can see. But I feel that soon enough you realize that you and I are meant to be, and this will pass.”
Derek looked at Brian, who was talking to Amelia, then he glanced back at Raina who was smiling and watching the others out on the dance floor. “Raina, listen, you can’t act this way. You can’t give Amelia pills or whatever you have done with her. Whatever has happened now has Brian upset at me, and I do not think he wants to be here or have us around. Do you think we should just go on back to Salem?”
Raina’s profile changed. Her smile left her lips, with narrow eyes she glared at Derek and grabbed his arm. “Home!? Really? What is with you? How am I supposed to feel or act when every time I turn around that ex is lurking? I thought I was doing the best I could.”
“Okay, Okay, you are right.” Derek said, letting out a sigh. “Okay, so what do you want?”
“Well I want you to pick up the phone, call your ex and tell her to not contact you again.”
“And if I contact my ex, you will stop all this? And we can just go back to normal?” Derek said while he fished his phone out of his pocket. He unlocked his home screen and scrolled through the text messages and searched for the number.
Raina grabbed his hand and squeezed it as she gritted her teeth through her forced smile. “Yes. Yes, that is what will happen.”
Derek stared at her until she let go of his hand that shook under her grasp. With his shaky hand, he called her. After a few rings, a voice answered. “Heather, hey, it is Derek.”
After a few moments of silence on his end, he replied, “Look I can’t get into all that right now. It is loud where I am at, and it is a little hard to hear you.” He waited and then replied, “Yes, I am out with my new girlfriend, Raina. You know that one I told you about? Well, I wanted to let you know that I don’t think we should talk anymore. I am glad that we have come to an understanding and made peace. But I am with Raina now, and I am happy. Let’s just part ways on good terms.”
Raina stared at Derek with satisfaction. Soon, Derek finished his call. “There are you happy now? I told her and I have done it in front of you, so we can move on. Okay?”
Raina jumped up out of her seat and grabbed him by the hand and pulled him out to the dance floor. A slow song came on over the loudspeakers. She grabbed him by the waist and pulled him closer. Then she opened her mouth and pushed her tongue into his mouth.
Meanwhile, Brian and Amelia arrived with drinks, taking their seats. Amelia remained catatonic. Brian shook his head at the sight of Raina and Derek kissing.
Derek pushed Raina away. “Man, okay. Slow down. For that we need a room.” Derek didn’t give her time to respond, he drug her off the floor by her arm, so they could join the other couple.
They sat at the table for about a while, talking and drinking. Derek checked his phone every few minutes. Brian noticed his nervousness. “Derek, what do you say we get out of here and get back. Okay?”
Derek nodded and just as the night seemed like it would end well, Derek’s ex was right outside the club with a couple of her friends. As the group walked outside, there she was about to walk in the door.
“Whoa, Derek. Hey.” She said and stared at Raina.
“What the hell is she doing here?” Raina shouted and shoved the ex. “You just can’t leave him alone, can you? He just called you and told you he was finished with you. Move on!” She shoved her down onto the ground.
Brian grabbed Raina. “What is wrong with you? This needs to stop! I doubt she knew he was here!”
Derek knelt to help her up and Raina kicked him in the side, knocking him to the ground. Just as Raina was about to kick him again, Brian shoved her away, forcing her to the ground.
Before she had the chance to get up, Brian grabbed Derek and Amelia, jumped into his ride, leaving Raina behind with the ex.
“What are you doing, Brian? We can’t leave her with Raina. She will just attack her!” Derek shouted, staring out of the back windshield as Brian sped away.
“Shut up, Derek! Raina is nuts! I can’t worry about your ex. I had to get you and Amelia out of there. We are loading up and leaving the house tonight. I am taking us back to Salem. Amelia can stay with us. I don’t want her back at that house with Raina. I am going with her to get her things, so she can stay with us. Okay, man?”
“Okay, okay, sure. Whatever. I don’t know what is wrong with Raina.” Derek shook his head and let out a gigantic sigh.
“Are you all right?”
As they pulled into the driveway, Brian said, “What did you say to her? Did you already break up with her?”
“No, that is the scary part. I just called my ex and told her I was with Raina. I was trying to keep Raina happy. That was it. We leave then all that happens.”
“Look man, I don’t want you with Raina. I think she would hurt you. Promise me you will never see her again. Promise me.” Brian said.
Derek nodded and held his side where Raina kicked him. They were in and out of Esmra’s house within twenty minutes. They got on the road and headed back for Salem.
After they arrived, Amelia stayed with Brian in his bed, while Derek stayed up talking to Heather over the phone to find out she got away from Raina before matters escalated. As Amelia and Brian drifted into sleep, Astaroth disguised at Pandora arrived at the foot of the bed and continued her demoness warfare over her mind.
Amelia’s eyes opened, and just as before, she remained in a near catatonic state as she dressed and left the apartment on foot and walked to the local cemetery where Raina awaited. The very place Pandora and Naberious met for the first time. The weather had grown colder, and the leaves were red and burnt orange. The air was crisp, and the breeze smelled of fall.
Amelia struggled to walk in behind Raina, closing the rusty gate of the cemetery. They walked to the furthest end where the groundskeeper kept his supplies and tools. Amelia did not continue to argue with Raina as much. However, Astaroth’s hypnotic words kept hold of her.
“Raina, why are we going so far? I don’t like this.” Amelia pulled her brown coat closed with a tight fist.
“Calm down, we need not do this in plain sight.”
What if someone shows up? Come on, it isn’t that bad. Just dead people.”
Amelia glared at Raina. “Yeah, and we happen to be summoning a demon from a graveyard for a lovesick fairy that was cast to the underworld. Yeah, really good.”
Raina stopped in her tracks and turned to face Amelia. Her face, so pale, already glowed despite the heavy overcast sky in the night. “Amelia, you said you would help me, and this is what I need to do. Pandora is our friend; she will help us. No harm will come of you.”
Amelia reluctantly followed until they reached an isolated place within the cemetery. Raina pulled out the box and opened the scroll.
Shortly after that, Astaroth remained disguised as Pandora said, “You must read the same thing you read before. But this time, you need to finish.”
Raina, who had been all too eager to help Pandora, lost her smile as she studied the scroll. “So, if I do this, you will get rid of the ex? You can make Derek fall madly in love with me?”
Astaroth nodded with a sly smile that sent shivers down Amelia’s back. “Go on,” Astaroth said.
Raina swallowed and took a deep breath.
“Oh, goddess I set you free and you are beckoned
To bestow your gifts and power, I make you my weapon!
Appear to me now and hear my call
I call on you almighty Necromancer give me all!”
The winds picked up and blew dried leaves from the ground back into the air. A blanket of gloomy clouds covered the night sky. Raina looked up and pulled her black hair away from her eyes, and she smiled.
Amelia stood up from her crouched position and jogged backward until she hit the wall of the shed where the cemetery tools were kept. She stopped and watched her best friend turn into something unrecognizable.
From the sky, a swirl of clouds and dust merged and spun and descended onto the ground at Raina’s feet. The box that once held the scroll flipped open and floated into the air.
A distant cry was audible and sounded as though it came from within the box, and as the seconds passed, the cry became louder and louder. As the funnel cloud increased in speed, it glowed red and purple, casting a violet glow on Raina’s porcelain skin. She smiled as her lips twitched and reached her arm out, extending her fingers as if to touch the spinning cloud.
From within the funnel, an arm extended outward and grabbed onto Raina’s arm. The spinning and the screaming stopped; the cloud disappeared. As Raina chanted out the last part of the spell, she dissimulated into powder flecks that furiously formed a funnel and headed straight into the box, where it slammed shut and fell back the graveyard ground.
Raina screamed profusely as her body was sucked into the box and forced into the underworld. She fell, faster and faster and as she continued her viscous spiral into the underworld, her body fused back together until she was back in her human form, and she dropped onto the cold and dark ground.
As she rose from the ground and studied the scenery, for once Raina was impressed and words escaped her. She investigated her hands, where she held the coveted fairy book and last part of the chant to release the real Pandora. In the distance she heard screams, screeches and agony from the beings that were prisoners of the underworld.
The sky was black and the only color giving a soft glow was the two Sphinx that stood miles high, guarding the entrance. As Raina walked closer, the Sphinx said, “Necromancer, you have come on a journey in the search. For you to pass and find what you seek, you must answer our riddle.
Raina swallowed and stopped breathing momentarily as her eyes watered in fear of what she saw. The Sphinx said, “You are here to release the necromancer fairy, Pandora?”
She nodded while she shook in fear of the grand Sphinx who began the riddle.
“It brings back the lost as though never gone, shines laughter and tears with light long since shone; a moment to make, a lifetime to shed; valued then but lost when you’re dead. What is it I speak of?”
She paced around, rubbing her hands together as they shook, and the fear remained in her eyes as they darted back and forth at the ground she paced upon. She recited the riddle, mumbling the words to herself. “Brings back the lost? Shines laughter and tears? It couldn’t be the sun. The sun doesn’t take a moment to make. A moment to make...a moment to make. A lifetime to shed. Valued, but lost when you are dead. Lost when you are dead. Well that could be a body, money, but no... not taking a moment to make.
While Raina was mumbling to herself, the Sphinx said, “Raina, what is it that plagues you, drives you and keeps you stuck in this life. How you fight it even in your dreams. What is it you carry within you have rarely shared, the darkened times of a darkened person whom you have yet to forgive? Where does he live?
She gasped, covered her mouth as if she didn’t want to say it aloud. To know something that has brought so much pain, that through her life she couldn’t forget. She dropped her hands to her side and looked back to the Sphinx. “Memory. Memories. That is the answer.”
Suddenly the Sphinx vanished, and all Raina could see was the emptiness in the underworld with a darkened blue hue. The atmosphere seemed empty but with an audible howling wind that Raina walked through. She squinted her eyes and held her arm up to cover her eyes from the howling wind.
After a while of rambling through the cold and dark underworld, the howling winds calmed. Raina uncovered her eyes and the one she searched for appeared. Pandora stood within the shadows. Her long wings drug the hard ground, and the rustling of her boots startled Raina into backtracking.
“Who are you?” Pandora shouted.
Raina whispered, “It is me, Raina, I summoned you from your box.”
Pandora’s cold eyes emerged from the dark. “You? Raina? I do not understand.”
“I answered the Sphinx riddle. I freed you.” Raina stuttered on her words.
Before Pandora could respond, the howling winds returned vigorously and blew them into the underworld’s atmosphere, fiercely slamming them through the air. The two formed a funnel as it swept them upward before they broke apart into fragments. As their bodies broke apart, their horrid screams were audible as it sucked them back through Pandora’s box.
Within the graveyard, Amelia and Esmra remained with the invisible demons. As Raina and Pandora disappeared into the box, their screams remained audible and then their bodies reformed again, as though they were never taken apart, and landed on their feet of the graveyard, stunning the onlookers.
There stood Pandora, the real Pandora who locked her sights on the impostor. Astaroth and Pandora locked eyes, then Astaroth looked at Raina, who ran backward in confusion.
The real Pandora furrowed her face as her mouth opened followed by a vicious siren scream. Amelia attempted to run away, but Pandora lurched her arm out, and an invisible force captured Amelia and locked her in suspension.
Raina’s body shook. “Please,” she said, “I just wanted Pandora’s help.” Raina pointed to Astaroth.
Pandora lurched forward to Astaroth, who changed back into her demoness form. “You wretched demon! It was you! You stole my subconscious! You! When Lahash led you to the place where my mother appeared. I saw in my mind’s eye what was happening. My subconscious mind knew it wasn’t you. Impostor!” She reared back her arm to strike Astaroth, but before Pandora could unleash her wrath, Astaroth vanished.
Raina’s lips twitched. “I am Raina and I found your box from when my friend cleaned out a closet. We meant no harm. I thought you could help me.”
Suddenly, a voice shouted from within the cemetery. “Raina! What have you done?” There stood Esmra. “You stole Pandora’s box from my closet.” She said, pointing at Amelia.
Esmra shook her head and walked closer to Pandora and Raina, with no sign of fear. “Pandora, you were unrightfully summoned.”
Pandora threw her head back and let out a deep guttural laugh. “You are saying these are not witches?”
“They are, but they are not skilled and ready for something like you. You were never meant to be awakened.”
Pandora’s eyes narrowed as she wrapped her hands around Esmra’s neck and lifted her off the ground as her feet dangled. “I was never asleep. I have been in the underworld, kept as a prisoner where shadow figures kept me tied and brutally assaulted me for one hundred years. I have lived in suffering for my love of Naberious and you will take me to him.”
She threw Esmra to the ground, and she rolled several times before her hands clawed into the dirt to anchor herself. After she stopped rolling through the cemetery, Esmra rubbed her neck, coughing. “I can’t take you to find a demon. I am just a human, so are these young girls. They have no idea who you are, but I do. My family has kept your box hidden and protected all these years. Not once has anyone opened it. You are tainted and will bring a curse on Raina and Amelia. Nothing but havoc will come of the humans in this world. Go back.” Esmra reached for the scroll and the box.
Pandora reared back and backhanded Esmra across the cemetery and knocked her out. She motioned for Raina to come closer. “You will do this for me. You will find Naberious and take me to him.”
Raina shuddered her head. “I don’t know how to find him; I have never called on demons before. I am afraid.”
Pandora looked down her nose. “You will assist me, or you will die.” She grabbed Amelia.
“You mean you will not grant my wish? For Derek and I to be together?”
Pandora said, “You are in love? You want someone? Who took him from you?”
And there it was a unity between a fairy and a human in the name of revenge and love. That was all it took for Raina to be taken.
“Please don’t hurt my friend.” Raina pleaded.
Pandora didn’t blink her eyes, and Amelia dropped to the ground, and she ran to find Esmra who had suffered an injury to her head and Raina and Pandora vanished.