Fox and Samantha had been hard at work for what seemed like hours, and they came up with nothing. He took a look at his phone and sighed. It was getting late and he knew he should head home, but he didn’t want to. Plus, he wanted to translate the book in his arm, and with the power still being on, he could use the desktop computer on the desk to do research.
Samantha pulled out her own phone with a yawn, and checked for messages. “Goodness me, it’s late isn’t it?”
“Yeah. You should probably head home. I wouldn’t want your father to get worried and come looking for you,” Fox said.
“I should, but I want to stay as well. I want to help crack the mystery of this book and those sigils downstairs,” Samantha said, stretching after sitting in the chair for so long.
“I forgot about those for a moment. Mental note made, but anyways you should really head home. I’ll be all right.”
“You’re going to spend the night?”
Fox nodded. He didn’t want to say the real reason why he was staying, but she figured it out or at least part of it. He saw that look in her eye. The look that she just read him like an open book.
With a soft tone you would use with frightened animals, she said, “You don’t want to go home?”
Fox didn’t look at her. Silence washed over them for a moment, and Samantha came to a realization. He looked out the window and stared at the waves crashing on the beach.
With the same soft tone, “You’re being abused, aren’t you?”
Fox shrugged. It wasn’t like he hadn’t been abused before. This was nothing. He was fine.
“Fox! Why didn’t you say anything? Or why don’t you fight back or something?” Samantha demanded in concern and anger but not at Fox.
He waved her off, “Calm down. I’ll be eighteen in two weeks remember? I’ll be able to move out then. Besides we only just met, why are you so worried?”
“Still. My father has a really great lawyer. We could’ve gotten you some help. You don’t have to be abused by your foster mum and dad.” Samantha crossed her arms over her chest.
“Foster dad, actually. The mother died before I was taken in,” Fox said.
“Oh. Do you know what happened to her?”
Fox took in a deep breath and exhaled. It wasn’t his story to tell, but he figured Samantha was the type to try and get information in her own way. “According to my foster sister, she committed suicide. She didn’t go into details as she doesn’t actually know how or why her mother did it, but suspects it was an overdose. My sister also says there were no signs or warnings. She just woke up one morning and found her mother’s body in the bathroom.”
Samantha brought her hands up to her mouth and covered it, horrified; she removed her hands after a moment and exclaimed, “That’s awful! The husband didn’t help her, at all?!”
“He apparently doesn’t believe in mental illnesses,” Fox spat with a disgusted tone.
“Sick fuck!” Samantha hissed angrily.
Fox nodded, not really wanting to talk about it any further. Luckily for him, Samantha got the hint and dropped the subject. For now, at least.
“You sure you’ll be all right here for the night?” Samantha asked in concern.
“Mommy, wow, I’m a big boy now,” Fox snarked.
Samantha punched his arm with a laugh. “Smartass. All right then. I best head home before my father decides to send a search party.”
Fox waved her off and was shocked when she hugged him again and kissed his cheek. She waved and headed out the door, leaving Fox alone in the big empty house.
He shook himself off and snapped out of it. He told himself he had no time to think or dwell on what just happened, and he needed to get to work.
Fox went over to the desk with the book in his arms and set it down. He booted up the laptop. He swore when a lock screen popped up asking for a password.
“Of course. Why should anything be easy?”
Fox grumbled as he attempted to figure out the password. He tried his name, birthday, his parent’s names and birthdays, and nothing. He flipped through the book and found a name or what he thought was a name. He typed in Poison Lei, and the lock screen opened. Fox winced as his Spidey sense went off for a moment. He made a mental note of that and went back to what he was doing. The desktop just had a picture of him and his mother when he was a baby. She was smiling brightly at the baby with her long wavy blonde hair framing her face.
Tears ran down Fox’s face. He wiped them away, as he told himself he didn’t have time for this. He opened the internet browser and got to work on translating the book.
Hours went by, and Fox started to get frustrated. The only thing he got was that the spell was necromancy, and another had been bookmarked to read after. He decided to take a break and went downstairs. He went into the den and scanned the bookshelf looking for an answer. The laptop on the desk was dead and wouldn’t turn on.
“Fan-fucking-tastic!” He exclaimed.
Fox turned to head upstairs when something caught his eye. A light shone from a crack in the wall. He went back up to the bookcase and felt the wall. He moved the bookcase away from the wall and kicked it in, revealing a room. He stepped inside and found the light switch which was glued into the upward position keeping the light on. Fox looked around and found an altar.
“What in the name of everything is this?”
The table had a bowl with candles surrounding it being guarded with protection sigils and runes. Fox looked around the small room, then found a cabinet filled with herbs and other objects for spell casting. The room was also decorated with moon and star charts. The walls were a basic white with the rest of the house being painted with dark blues and grays.
A shiver crawled down his spine. The room gave him the creeps.
Fox cautiously looked into the bowl on the table and found nothing inside. It was empty and strangely clean, not a speck of dust like the rest of the home. Fox took the bowl and candles out of the room and upstairs with him. He placed the objects on the floor setting them up as they were back in the room.
“What the fuck am I doing? Am I really going to see if magic exists?” He sucked in a sharp, deep breath. “Yeah, I am. Curiosity with a mix of insanity.”
He grabbed the book and flipped through it a few items. He tried to read some of the Latin and went from what he knew, then tried to speak words from the scribbles even though he really couldn’t.
Fox grabbed his bag and pulled out a fully colored drawing of his anti-hero, Cyanide. He placed it in the bowl, then poured in ink from a pod he used to draw the ink beast in his comics to replace his sanguis, the Latin word for blood. Fox lit the candles and began chanting the best he could, but knew he was butchering some of the words, then read the next spell he found.
Fox waited for a few moments before huffing a sigh and putting the book down.
He scoffed. “So magic isn’t real. Surprise, surprise. Jeez, mother what the fuck were you into?”
He cleaned his mess and grabbed a wallet out of the backpack. He headed down the winding staircase and out the front door not bothering to lock it as he was coming right back. He jogged down the street the way he came and headed for a small twenty four-hour diner on the corner of the street, about five blocks on the right side. His school was only two blocks away but he had no intention of going there at night as some gangs and dealers hung out there after hours. Fox went into the diner and ordered a cheeseburger meal to go.
The elderly waitress looked at him concerned. “Are you all right Ku’uipo? You look pale,” she asked.
He looked at the waitress, confused, and spotted himself in the mirror that was hanging on the wall behind her. She was right. He was pale, but wasn’t sure how he got that way. He smiled regardless and waved it off. He felt fine.
“Maika’i no au, mahalo,” Fox said cheerfully.
The waitress still looked concerned but accepted the answer. “All right. Your order will be ready in a few.”
Fox nodded, then grabbed the newspaper someone left on the counter nearby and began to read. There wasn’t much in the news except a story about a corrupt politician on the mainland getting arrested. Fox shook his head.
“There’s always one, isn’t there?” he muttered to himself.
Fox paid for his order when it was ready. He jogged back to the house, sat at the island counter in the kitchen, and dug in with gusto. After he was finished, he headed back upstairs to the office. Since he wasn’t able to translate the book, he decided to try and see what the sigils mean.
“They must be for protection, but something tells me there’s more to them than that,” Fox wondered aloud.
He typed away and found an answer a few hours later, but was too tired to think straight and saved his pages. He then laid down on the couch by the window and fell into a restless sleep.