Back at Brian’s apartment, he and Derek sat together, having some guy time while they watched a football game and hollered out at the television screen every time the referee made a bad call. Brian stood up from his soft red recliner and walked into the kitchen, for more to drink. “Hey, Derek, you want another beer?”
“Nah, man. I am good. I am tired anyway; I need to get to bed. I have to go into class early and make up that test I missed and then to work. Long day.” Derek said as he stood up and stretched.
Brian walked back into the living room. “Cool man. So, are you and Raina gonna see each other again?” He smirked as he sat down and turned the television volume down with the remote control.
Derek smirked. “How did you know? Man, girls always be talking. When did you hear?”
“Ahh, not too long ago. Which it is getting late, I thought Amelia would come by here tonight.” Brian picked his phone up and texted Amelia.
Hey, where are you?
Brian set his phone down on the dark coffee table positioned in front of his chair, and he leaned back to continue watching the game while he waited for Amelia to answer.
Derek went on to bed, and as he lay staring at the shadows cast on his ceiling from the neighbors coming in and out of the parking lot, he thought back to the first night that he and Raina spent together in his bed. He smiled and then closed his eyes while he relived his memory of the great and wild evening they spent together. His smiled remained until the memory of the exchange at the restaurant surfaced, where his guilt took over for the way he treated Raina.
Meanwhile, while the guys carried on with their evening with no clue what was taking place with the women on their minds, the phones of both of them went unanswered as they sat in each of their purses. Across the room in the bar, Nevoc, Raina, and Amelia were frozen with fear, holding each other, as their eyes stared at the magnificent fairy that stood before them.
Pandora, in turn, looked upon the two that brought her from the underworld. “Who shall I thank for releasing me from my mother’s curse?”
Amelia and Raina both looked to one another and shook their heads, and Raina said, “You are not here to hurt us?”
Pandora squinted her steely eyes. “No, you released me from my banishment. I never thought I would escape the underworld after my mother put me there.”
“We both released you. Amelia found the box.” Raina showed the fairy. “I had a friend translate the paper inside, and well, this is Amelia.” Raina put her arm around her. “She helped me.”
Pandora looked around the room. “Where am I? When am I?”
Raina’s face furrowed. “Well, you are in my bar, Nevoc, and it is in Salem, Massachusetts. It is the year 2020.”
“2020!? What is Salem? This is not the fairy realm? You are not fairies of some kind? Or Sorceress? Are you demons? No, you are necromancers! Yes, you called on the dead. Me.”
Amelia said, “No, we are not fairies or demons, we are simply humans, and for sure, we are not necromancers.”
“Witches would be the best to call us,” Raina interrupted.
“Oh, witches, yes, my mother told me the witches were our friends,” Pandora said with a smile. “But you called on me. You released me, which makes you necromancers.”
Both Amelia and Raina relaxed hearing those words, but their enthusiasm quelled knowing they were necromancers.
“My name is Raina, and this is my best friend, Amelia. We live in a coven here in town. What happened? Who is your mother?”
Pandora walked the perimeter of the room, studying the Wiccan symbols that decorated the office. “I need to get back to the realm. But right now, I am weakened. I do not carry much magic anymore from my banishment. I must return the fairy realm to grow strong once more and I have to find him.” Pandora stopped as she looked out of the window, examining the many foreign things that her eyes took in. “You said the year 2020? I have been gone for one hundred years? Has it been so long?”
Raina approached her, “You mean to tell us, you have been cursed or dead since around 1920?”
Pandora nodded. “Yes. That is the last year I can recall, before that dreadful day.
“What can we do to help?”
“You are the necromancers who released me. I come from the underworld, and when I was alive, I took ghosts to the other side. Who is it you need to contact? I will grant you anything you want once I resume my full scope of power and magic. I am in your debt. I want to get back to him, the one. Naberious. I do not know how to find him, especially after so long.”
Raina squinted her eyes. “Naberious? That is a demon? Or is he a fairy?”
“He was the one, the love of my life, an ancient demon from the underworld. Other civilizations for thousands of years have known him as a demon. However, to me he is known as Naberious. He originated from the underworld, but he rules in the dark realm over the evil human souls that the soul collector brings from Earth. I used to be a fairy that helped.” Pandora’s voice faded and cracked.
“If he is the demon of the underworld, and you were cast there, would he have been there with you?” Amelia asked.
“No, he was not there, it wasn’t that kind of underworld my mother cast me away to. The demons’ dark realm and the underworld are two different places and not anywhere Naberious called home. Naberious stayed amongst the dark one and the princes. Even higher than the high court demons. I was sent there by agreement of the dark one between him and my mother for my crimes.”
“Crimes? What did you do?” Raina asked.
“I was in love with a demon, and that is against our laws. Or it was then. I do not know what came of Naberious. I was not given a chance to see him once I was caught.” Pandora said.
Raina and Amelia resumed their seats at the table in the office while Pandora seated herself on the couch and put her head into her hands. “Can you help me find him?”
Raina’s mouth opened, and then she said, “We will do what we can to help you. However, we know nothing about locating demons.”
Pandora said, “I need to go to a cemetery, that is where I met Naberious. It is where a fairy does the work. I find lost souls to take to the other side. Depending on the lost soul, it could be a demon or a spirit guide who takes the soul to their destined place.” She shrugged and looked to the girls. “It can also be they choose another human life.”
Amelia turned around in her chair. “Do you mean to tell me that humans can live over one life?”
Pandora nodded and looked to Amelia, who had an incredulous look on her face. “Yes, a human must live a minimum of five lives and learn the lessons the Universe has sent for them. Once they do, then they have the chance to go on as a spirit guide and help other humans. They can come back as a human again or if they do not learn their lessons, the dark ones come for those humans. That is how I met Naberious. I was out, looking for lost souls, ghosts, I guess you could say. That was then when I met him. It isn’t his station to look for lost souls, he is the guardian of the dark realm. The place human souls are taken to. I didn’t like him at first. My mother taught me to hate demons, and she was right to. However, not all demons are bad or were of the ways she spoke of. But there was something about him, something that I could not understand. I was drawn to him. He never gave up on me, persisted, and then he told me the secret.”
The girls leaned over the backs of their wooden chairs, engrossed in the fairy’s story, hearing things that no one in their lifetimes had ever had the knowledge of. They barely blinked, having listened to such matters.
“I was a human in my previous life. I was an Egyptian priestess for royalty. For the pharaohs. I used magic to speak to the dead and find out things for my king, and one night, I was practicing, and I called upon a demon. It was Naberious. At the time the Egyptians regarded him at Ikenty. He went on through the years to be known as Naberious. When I met him in this life, or the one I had before my mother cast me away, I didn’t remember that I had known him. Long story short, I was shown by him who I was, who we were. I was in love with him. Still, am. I must find him.”
“What will you do once you find him? I mean, you were banished.” Raina asked.
“I will confront my mother for what she has done, and he and I will be together again. Will you help me?” Pandora pleaded. “I will give you whatever you desire. You will learn the ways of the fairies.”
Amelia’s phone beeped and broke up the in-depth conversation. She dug through her purse. “Oh my, look at the time. It is after 1 a.m. Brian is looking for me, I have to go. I won’t say a word to anyone about this.” She quickly shoved her phone inside her large black leather purse. “But Raina, you and I need to talk tomorrow when we wake up. Okay?”
Raina nodded and watched Amelia rush out of the room, leaving her there with Pandora. “So, Pandora, do you need a place to stay?”
Raina allowed Pandora to stay inside the office in Nevoc. She quickly left the bar and went home, hoping to catch Amelia still awake, so they could work out a plan. After arriving back at Esmra’s house, everyone was asleep. Once Raina made it to their bedroom, she opened the door and was relieved to see that Amelia just slid into bed.
“Oh, good, you are still up.” Raina sat down on Amelia’s bed with a big smile.
“What are you smiling at? This is nuts! We have some cursed dead fairy that came out of a box. This is not right, and I am having a hard time believing this isn’t some joke you are pulling.” Amelia snapped.
“What? Are you kidding me? You actually think I am pulling a joke on you? Well, as much as it would be a great one to claim, no I am not. You watched it happen just as I did.”
“Where is the fairy?” Amelia sat up in her bed while Raina stood up and went into the bathroom.
“I left her there, said she could stay there. I will go back in the morning and figure out what to do to help her. I will take her to the old cemetery in town.” Raina peeked around the doorway while she pulled up her pajama shorts.
The light from the bathroom reflected off of Amelia’s concerned face. “What if Esmra finds her? She has been checking on the bar even if you are basically the owner now.”
“She won’t. Remember, that friend who wrote her a letter? She is coming up to Salem. Esmra will be too busy to notice anything. Trust me.” Raina said while she jumped in to bed. Her shoulder-length black hair was pulled back in a low ponytail. She had on a spaghetti-strapped black camisole that stood out against her pale skin.
Amelia took a deep breath. “I can’t let you do this alone. I will help you after I get off work. Geez, I will be so tired. I have to be to work in a few hours. I will help, but we can’t keep some cursed fairy forever. Remember those words? Put no God before me? I fear her. What if she tries to hurt us?”
Raina rolled her eyes. “She won’t. Remember, we freed her.”
Meanwhile, Derek finally fell asleep thinking of Raina, and Brian heard from Amelia with a vague and brief explanation.
The next day, Amelia drug herself out of bed with little sleep to take her to shift at the coffee shop, and Raina herself could not sleep knowing that she had an ancient fairy at her acquired bar.
As she ran downstairs, ready to head out of the door to go to Nevoc, Esmra stopped her.
“Raina, you looked tired. You and Amelia have been keeping some strange hours. Is everything okay?”
Raina nodded and with a strained voice she said, “Uh, yes, I am just trying to keep things running smoothly there. I want you to be proud of me.” She wiped away yesterday’s mascara that smudged down her face.
Esmra looked into Raina’s tired eyes. “Well, okay, but you need to at least shower, huh? By the way, my friend Tallulah is coming soon. She will be here this afternoon. Will you be okay to run the bar alone today?” Esmra walked away to get another cup of coffee from the kitchen, leaving Raina in the living room.
“Yeah, sure, I have to go though. See you later.” Raina ran out of the house, jumped into her car, and drove to the bar where she hoped to visit more with Pandora.
When Raina arrived, she was there before any of her staff. She raced down the hall back to the office and opened up the door to an empty room. She rushed in and frantically looked around and could not locate the fairy.
Raina busted out of the front door of her bar, jerking her head side to side, looking for any clue where she would have gone. Unbeknownst to her, Pandora was close. However, she made herself invisible to the humans as she engaged in a conversation with a demon, but not the one she was hoping to find.
Across the street from Nevoc, Pandora and the demon sat on an empty park bench just beside the quiet street conversing.
“Pandora, why you would believe that I would come here, to Salem, and help you locate him of all demons? You have been gone for one hundred human years. That is quite a long time, and you believe that Naberious would wait for you or even be available to you?” The demon questioned her.
Pandora narrowed her eyes. “Look Lahash, I barely know you, I only knew of you from rumors. You are not here for anything else but yourself. So, if you will not help me, then leave!” Pandora admonished the smug demon.
Lahash relaxed his posture into the bench and looked around at the small-town residents going about their business. You are powerless and weak. You are in no position to fight me. I only came to let you know that Naberious is out on vacation, so to speak for an undisclosed amount of time.”
“You lie! Why would you come to tell me that?” Pandora sat with her arms crossed and stared at the swaggering demon.
“I see why Naberious was so taken with you,” he snickered, “It is only the dark one and your mother who knows where he went.”
In a moment, Pandora disappeared from Lahash’s sight, leaving him sitting on the side of the road and leaving Raina in further confusion as she continued to search for her.