“I don’t think that’s how it works?”
In the middle of a clearing were two women setting up camp. The redhead held back a chuckle at the sight of the ravenette trying to use two stones she had picked up from a nearby pile.
“Hera… We have a matchbox.” Juliette, the redhead said and grabbed the box as she made her way from their tent.
Hera reluctantly shook her head, determined to make a fire with what she had.
“I watched this video where people used sticks and stones to create a fire. Quite interesting you earthlings, surviving without magic.” She shook her head, reluctant to use the sparking box.
Juliette heaved a sigh. With a flick, she lit a match and placed it under the sticks they have before blowing.
Hera glared at her, setting aside her chosen tool. “Hey! I was going to light that!”
Her eyes started glowing their bluish-green color. Any normal mortal would’ve either stepped back or would have thought of her ‘contact lenses’ cool. Instead, Juliette was calm.
Why wouldn’t she be? It happened almost every time Hera’s mood changed.
“Trust me, Hera. You’d rather wait for the next blue moon than make a fire with those two.”
The girl huffed, blowing away a stray lock of her dark hair away from her face.
“ Scorchentus Elemenim.”
Hera snapped her finger before opening her palm to show a small, quite literally a handful of flame. Similar to a water balloon, she tossed the ball of flame to the campfire which was once glowing with the growing fire from the matchstick, turning into a huge fire, just as big as the campfire could contain.
Juliette watched in awe. It wasn’t every day you would see Hera use her magic out in the open, not to mention anything other than what she knows as Rean, the element of nature--or as Hera says. The moment they met, she made it very, very clear that she wanted nothing to do with magic.
The only other spell she’d seen Hera perform was the floating ball of light she used the first time they met.
Juliette smiled at the memory of how they had come to be what they are now, friends. Watching Hera mutter under her breath as she marched towards their bags to grab whatever she needed, she distantly remembered the unpleasant and miraculous event that had come to be the start of their adventure together.
1 Year Ago,
Greenview Camping grounds and forest
It was dark and chilly the moment Juliette woke up. She let out a groan as she sat up from where she was.
“What the…” She muttered under her breath when she felt the rough ground she previously lay on.
Despite the darkness, the bright light of the waning crescent moon still gave her some light, giving her hints on where she was.
What’s going on?
She panicked. There was no mistaking where she was. This was a forest. There was the smell of nature. Dirt, grass, leaves, and everything was in the air all around her. The dirt she felt on her hands was literal dirt. The only two things that didn’t fit with everything were her and that awful cologne. It didn’t belong one bit out here.
Was it the scent of her abductor?
She gasped lightly and tried to get up from her position. There were no ties to restrain her. She could feel her legs. It was due to the pounding headache and the side of her neck that hurt.
She felt her neck for what could have caused the pain. Could it be a bug bite? Snake bite? No, that can’t be. There weren’t any snakes in this place, not that she knew of…
“Finally. To think you wouldn’t wake up.”
Her heart raced in fear. That disdainful voice, she could recognize anywhere.
“Jaxon?” She croaked. Water, she needed it badly. Licking her lips to wet the cracked skin, she continued. “What the actual fuck are you doing?” With the energy she had regained, she spat out her question. It was meant to be threatening, filled with anger.
She sounded like a child for her first time swearing.
Jaxon laughed, joined by a few others.
Juliette could feel goosebumps, her hair rising. Whether it be from the chilly air of the forest to the multiple sinister chuckles of what seemed to be many of his friends. She counts nearly 6 of them.
“You were right, Jax.” One of them with a deep voice chuckled. “She definitely is something worth taking. I bet you, it’s her first.”
Again, she recognized the voice. No doubt that was Clyde, one of the jocks in the football team.
Another one continued the dirty conversation. “I’ll give you a hundred if I could take her first.”
A couple of them agreed, some hissing as they tried to restrain the ache.
“Holy crap…” Juliette whispered, her hand clenched, filled with soil as she cursed in anger.
“Huh, now you realize what’s going to happen.” Jaxon stepped a little closer, his face finally shown with the little light the moon had provided them that night.
Juliette shook her head. With a hand, she pointed towards a silhouette in the night. “I mean he’s stepping on crap; can’t you people smell that?”
Her brows bunched in the middle as she stared in disgust the man in the middle of the group.
“What?” Jaxon was about to turn around to face his friend and Juliette immediately got on her feet and threw the soil in Jaxon’s face and ran for her life.
“Argh!” She heard him yell, along with a string of profanities as he wiped his eyes of the dust.
“Mistake number one, they didn’t surround me.” She muttered, panting as she pushed her legs to run through the night quietly and quickly as possible.
“You little-- You’ll regret this. I’ll make sure to kill you slowly!” She heard Jaxon bellow at her.
Is he an idiot? What if someone hears him?
The thought passed by her just as quick as her running through the forest. Thank the Lord they hadn’t undressed her or taken her shoes for that matter too.
It was then when she recalled what had happened. She stayed at the library a little too later than she had intended and headed back home in the evening.
“Just you wait you little--I’m going to make sure what you’re doing is going to get you expelled and thrown to jail.”
She muttered, hopping over a log.
“No!” She yelped when she slipped on something slippery.
At that moment she realized.
Then a scream tore through the place, her ear-piercing scream was so loud it was a beacon of light for the moths to gather towards.
She had slipped and killed a frog.
Mistake number 2, letting fear takeover you.
“You little…” Clyde, the fastest sprinter in team Jaxon had caught up to her and dragged her up from the ground.
“Afraid of squishing a frog?” He scoffed. “Women are pathetic.”
Juliette squirmed at his tight grip. An arm was wrapped around her waist, his other around her chest as he dragged her backwards towards the group that had started to form again.
“Let go of me!” Juliette growled, struggling from his steel grip.
“Don’t worry baby,” Clyde whispered, his lips dangerously close to her ear. Never mind, they were on her ear, biting her earlobe. “I won’t bite.”
Tears rolled down as she got helpless, struggling with all her might at the assault.
“I’m going to kill you! I’ll kill you all!” The red head screamed with all her might.
“Um, correction.” Jaxon grinned sadistically, slowly unbuttoning his top. ”I’m going to kill you, then get a thousand richer.”
“You’re paying us, right?” One of his friends asked him, unsure. Jaxon just smiled at Juliette.
“Hell yeah, boys, you even get a bonus to enjoy.” Jaxon held her chin, making Juliette look at him. “Best is, you don’t need to hold back.”
She heard a bunch of cheers until someone choked.
“Yo Derek, you choking on your spit?”
The others chuckled, teasing the poor boy who was choking. Even in the shadows, it was clear what was happening.
Derek dropped to his knees, one of the other goons went to help him up. “Talk about timing… Shit.” The goon let go of Derek when he smelled it.
“He’s bleeding.” Derek checked the already dead man in front of him. “His throat’s split!”
Jaxon’s mischievous grin fell, and his head whipped towards his friends.
“What are you talking about?”
Another one let out an earsplitting scream holding his neck.
Juliette watched as one by one; her assaulters fell to the ground.
Clyde and Jaxon took out knives and held it out.
“Who’s out there?!” Jaxon yelled; stance defensive as he scanned the area.
All of them were down, bleeding and moaning in pain, the other was dead.
Out of nowhere, a spine-chilling laugh echoed all around them.
“Who dares to say women are pathetic?”
The voice was daunting, mocking.
“Oh my God I’m about to get murdered twice" Juliette cried and struggled against her captor.
“Darling dear, I’m not after you, girl.” The chilly voice reassured her. The remaining captors felt nothing but fear of the unknown entity.
From the dark, all three of them could make out two glowing orbs, a beautiful, deadly, a shade of blue green staring right at them. The clouds passed, and for a moment they were given a glimpse of what the stranger had looked like, thanks to the moonlight.
Dark hair, black as midnight cascaded down the back, slightly frizzy and had a few small and short twigs and leaves on them. She had a wide, sadistic grin on her lips, her pearls shown.
This stranger wore something people who would be camping should not be wearing. A dark green dress fit her until her midthighs where it seems to be ripped, just like the sleeves that were mismatched. One stopped just a few inches off her shoulder while the other was off the elbow, both seemed to be ripped off.
Jaxon didn’t let this opportunity go to waste, in a way. Once he saw the petite woman under the glow of the moon, he couldn’t help but let a laugh escape his lips.
“What a beauty, you are.” He dropped his defenses and shook his head with a smile, licking his lips as he let his eyes rake the woman.
Wrong move for him.
As he spoke to flatter the woman, the stranger had taken a few steps forward from under the shadows of the trees into the small area that seemed to lack a tree or two. Upon closer inspection, all their eyes went from her grinning face to her hands.
Bloody hands with elongated nails-- claws as to what you would call them.
“Why thank you.” She smiled wider, bringing a hand up.
Vines that had already sprouted from the ground rose to grow quick, like a snake capturing its prey. Within moments, all three individuals we wrapped in vines. To make sure none of the two boys could scream, a thick vine had wrapped around their neck and over the mouth, acting like a gag.
She had separated Juliette from Clyde as well.
Juliette just closed her eyes. Whatever dream or nightmare her wacky imagination had, she had to wake up.
“Wake up Juliette.” She whispered; her eyes shut closed tight.
This stranger heard her and let out a shrill, amused laugh.
“Wake up?” The stranger cackled.
Juliette who was trapped by vines that held her in place, but not as trapped as her other two…companions whipped her head around to find the dangerous woman behind her this time.
“How did you--”
“Darling, did you think this was a dream?” She tilted her head with an innocent pout. She glanced at Juliette’s enraged friends struggling to be free.
“I… I never really thought of it as a dream.” Juliette avoided looking at this new stranger who had a dangerous glint in her eye. “Who are you?”
Juliette hadn’t noticed it yet, but she was tense, terrified of this new person. She had been kidnapped already, and this was the second time, and was about to escape on her own, but this…
This villain was out of this world.
Of course, she was correct about that, but she didn’t know it. Not yet, anyway.
The stranger smiled at her. For a moment, Juliette almost fell for the genuine look on this stranger’s face.
Hera’s features softened and she gave the frightened girl a smile.
“Hera Wychthorne. That is my name, and you are to remember it.” She commanded as she walked around Juliette who seemed to start squirming again.
Hera would’ve enjoyed the fear radiating from them. The look on all their faces, the look of terror at the sight of her made her feel a delicious tingle run up her spine.
But from what she had witnessed, this girl was being ganged on, a victim of a group of ugly unsightly creatures just like her. What angered her more was the fact that these seemed to be males trying to take advantage of a female.
In the middle of a forest with no one to witness the devious act.
Juliette froze when she felt a warm hand over her shoulder. She didn’t even need to look at the hand directly to know it was Hera. She could feel her claws run across her skin. Another clawed hand was on her other shoulder.
Juliette, no matter how much on edge she was, stayed still. A cold sweat trickled down her forehead, while her body shook from fear at the cold touch of the claws running down her shoulder to her arm like a knife before the claws withdraw and wrapped over her shoulders. She was alarmed and confused as to why this stranger seemed to be giving her a hug from behind.
Her cheeks heated up.
“Tell me, girl. What have they done to you?”
Hera’s voice was soft, yet daunting as she eyed the two men in front of them, both of which have given up struggling and glaring at her.
Juliette was silent, unsure whether she should answer.
“Answer me.” This time, Hera’s voice was forceful. “What did these two ugly disgusting creatures do?”
Juliette swallowed the lump she had in her throat in anxiety.
Hera was an impatient woman. Not getting any answers, she let go of Juliette’s shoulders and walked over towards the two who started wiggling around like a worm.
Giving them a wide-toothed grin of mischief, she showed them her sharp claws.
She hummed, admiring her sharp claws as she sauntered over to them. “Either way, I’ll have my fun. Don’t worry, girl. I’ll make this quick for them.”
“Juliette!” Hera snapped a finger in front of Juliette who looked to be grinning at nothing but the air.
The redhead snapped back to reality to see Hera who donned a look of worry. Both her hands held a side of her shoulder.
“What? What’s going on?” Juliette blinked twice before standing up looking alarmed.
“Juliette, you were daydreaming again…” Hera explained, putting a hand on her friend’s forehead to see if she had a fever.
“Whoops.” Juliette grinned stupidly at her. Ever since that day, she had started either daydreaming of different things, or reminiscing about that moment. “Don’t worry, I wasn’t. I just remembered that day we both met during that night.”
She waited for Hera’s reaction with a smirk. As expected, her eyes slightly glowed their bluish-green color while her face turned a bit red from embarassment.
“Stop!” She whined, playfully hitting Juliette. “I don’t want to remember that night. Of course, I was like that because it was my first time here!” Hera defended herself, looking away.
Juliette couldn’t help but giggle before she copied Hera’s exact words that night.
“I never say no to extra food. How gracious of you, girl.”
Hera squealed in attempt to cover the words that came out of her mouth. Her face flushed even more as she sat down on a huge rock, they had rearranged earlier around the campfire they started.
“It was just an attempt to scare them!” She bashfully explained.
Juliette seemed to enjoy Hera’s reaction whenever she brought up that very moment. She snickered and gave her a reply, sitting on the other rock across Hera.
“Well, it did seem to work.”
All the amusement in Juliette’s face vanished and was replaced with curiosity. She had been meaning to ask her a question.
“How did you make it seem as if they died?”
Hera gave her a look of amusement. “Why do you say it as if I made it look like I killed them and…”
Hera fell silent when she heard her words.
“Alright then, we can skip the story time for tomorrow.” Hera smiled before tossing Juliette a bag of her favorite dried snack. Dried banana chips. “With shadow magic. I’m good at illusions. All I did was cast a shadow spell over the place and knock their friend unconscious as the illusion went on.”
Hera had a wide grin plastered on her face. She was proud of her illusions. Most of the time, she used them for mischievous pranks.
“Let me tell you about me this time.”