Fox tosses and turns in his bed and wakes up when thunder crashes loudly overhead. He sits up and notices he is in his old room.
Fox looks around, confused, and his eyes land on the mirror upon the wall. He looks at himself, scared. He gets out of bed and walks up to the glass. He is ashen and his veins are showing, but instead of the usual blue color, they are black.
He panics. “What the fuck? What is this? What’s happening to me?”
A growling sound answers him and Fox jumps back, looking around in a panicked haze. He looks in the mirror and the blackness has spread.
Fox races to the bathroom and turns on the shower getting in. He scrubs his body, hoping to get the blackness off, but it continues to spread. The growling sound grows louder and his heart races.
He stumbles out of the shower, panting, and looks in the mirror once more. The blackness covered his whole body, then his skin begins to slowly decay away, revealing his skeleton underneath.
He screams in pain and fear. “What’s happening to me? What the fuck is this?”
The transformation reaches completion and, as the pain subsides, the house goes quiet. The skeletal creature looks into the mirror and finds a demonic looking beast! The skeleton was that of a wolf and the black patches that hang from his bones were ink. The spells worked. Fox steps back in fear and howls.
Fox bolted up, panting as if he just ran a marathon. He rushed to the guest bathroom and looked in the mirror. His eyes were glazed over and he still looked ashen.
“It had to be a dream. It had to be,” he said confused.
Fox jumped when the door opened and a voice called out. He sighed as he recognized it as Samantha’s.
“Fox? Are you up? I have breakfast! Rather brunch since it’s also lunchtime!”
He hesitated, then answered, “I’m up! I’m coming!”
Fox rushed back into the office and grabbed a spare set of clothes he kept in his bag, just in case, and quickly changed. He headed downstairs and joined Samantha at the island table, then found grocery bags sitting on the counter by the sink and stove. She was putting things away in cabinets and the fridge.
“What’s all this?” he asked.
Samantha turned around from the grocery bags she was organizing and gasped at the sight of Fox.
“Are you all right? Do you need a hospital?” she asked, panicked.
Fox was confused, and then it hit him. The spells.
“I might’ve tried the you-know-what last night and this is the outcome,” he said sheepishly.
“Are you mad? What if you’re dying right now?” Samantha shouted.
Fox raised his hands in a surrender pose. “Not dying. I feel fine. Please calm down and tell me what you brought.”
Samantha glared at him, hoping she’d break him, but failed. “Fine. We will talk about it.”
Fox nodded, with no intention of finishing the conversation. Samantha gave a nod back and changed the subject for the time being.
“Before I left last night, I took a quick peek in the fridge and cupboards and found them empty. So I did a little shopping for you. Luckily the grocery store near my house is open pretty early in the morning.” She smiled.
Fox looked at her with a mixture of confusion and gratitude.
“Thanks,” he said softly.
Samantha gave him a megawatt smile. “You’re very welcome, mate! There’s some plastic ware, cups, and plates along with spoons and forks. I also got you some shower stuff, I imagine you need some, and I brought some clothes that Father never wears anymore, so don’t worry, he won’t even notice they’re gone.”
Fox looked at Samantha with more gratitude and less confusion.
“You know I have to go home eventually, right? It’s Saturday and we have school on Monday.”
Samantha lost her smile, “I know. But I figured you’d spend the weekend here and then slowly move in after.”
Fox nodded and hungrily eyed the McDonalds bag on the counter. “What’s for breakfast?”
Samantha’s smile returned and she pushed it toward him. “I brought some hash browns, egg and cheese McMuffins, along with sausage if you don’t like eggs, and hotcakes. Dig in!”
Fox did not need to be told twice. He grabbed a container of hotcakes with a sausage McMuffin along with a hash brown. The two ate breakfast in silence and then cleaned up their mess.
Samantha broke the silence first. “Did you find out what the sigils mean or translate the book?”
Fox groaned. “I for the life of me could not translate that damn thing. I did recognize some of the words, but I’m pretty sure I butchered the spells.”
“Spells? More than one?” Samantha asked, confused.
He nodded. “The necromancy spell was first, then there’s another spell that I couldn’t make out.”
“And you still performed them?” She raised her voice.
“Stop shouting. My curiosity got the better of me. If this is a side effect, I’m sure it’ll wear off soon,” Fox said calmly.
Samantha decided to shrug it off for now and change the subject. “Did you ever find out what the sigils by the door mean?”
“I found the answer but I was too tired to look, so I went to bed shortly after. I saved the page so we can take a look now,” Fox said.
Samantha nodded and followed Fox upstairs to the office. He booted up the laptop and brought up the saved pages.
“From what this says, the sigils are for protection, but they’re also magic sigils. Two of them are for protection, the other two are time stoppers,” Fox explained.
Samantha looked at Fox like he had escaped the mental ward.
“Tell me I heard that right, mate,” she said.
“You heard right, mate. North and South are for protection, East and West are to stop time. That’s why the house looks untouched and why the water and electricity is still on. Time stops when the house is empty and flows when it’s not. The protection sigils are designed to keep anything and everything evil out,” Fox said tiredly.
“Huh. It doesn’t make sense. Like, at all,” Samantha said, staring at the computer screen.
He chuckled. “Welcome to the world of magic. Nothing makes sense, like sports.”
Samantha snorted and read over the research then shook her head. She was still worried about his ashen complexion and decided he needed some sun. She shut the laptop and dragged him outside.
“What are we doing out here?” Fox asked, a bit antsy.
“Going for a walk. Duh.”
“Why?” he said with a sigh.
“Because you need a little break and some sun. Now stop whining like a sheila whose Aunt Flow is visiting,” she teased.
Fox looked at Samantha like she had turned green with bright polka dots, but shrugged and decided a walk might just be what the doctor ordered. Plus, he hadn’t walked on the beach in a long time. The beach was empty, since it was a private one. The ocean was a beautiful blue and green color, and the sound of the waves were calming. The two walked along the white sand until they hit a small cove. Palm trees swayed gently in the warm breeze, seemingly waving at them, inviting them to come in. They looked at each other and decided to explore. They found a cave off the right side of the cove and headed inside, Samantha leading with her phone’s flashlight. The two noticed writing and drawings on the walls of the cave.
“Look at these symbols and writing. Do you think a cult used to be here?” Samantha asked.
Fox wondered the same as he examined them. He noticed a picture of a lei with the word ‘poison’ next to it. Fox was confused. The only poison lei he knew of was the crime syndicate in his comics. He racked his brains and remembered seeing the picture in several of his dreams.
“It can’t be,” Fox whispered to himself.
Samantha looked at Fox in concern, and it deepened when she saw that knowing look on his face. “You all right, mate?”
“Fine,” he said in a monotone voice.
“Does that picture remind you of something?” she asked.
“It’s just...In my comics, Cyanide fights an underground crime syndicate that wants to use him, called The Poisoned Lei. I came up with it when I kept seeing this picture over and over in my dreams.”
“Bit of an odd coincidence,” Samantha said.
“That’s the thing. I don’t think this is a coincidence.”
“Are you saying your comics have come to life?” she asked, looking at Fox like he was a mental case.
“Not to life. I think they already existed. I mean, in my dreams I saw a demonic skeletal wolf thing that I based my character off of and The Poisoned Lei off of a picture. What if my mother was a part of some cult and what I saw when I was little was real and not a dream?”
Samantha looked at Fox and then back to the wall. He was getting closer to the truth and it made her nervous.
“It could be a possibility. After all, there’s always more to a story. Plus, you’ve been in the foster care system since you were six years old. What do you know about your mother?” Samantha asked.
Fox’s thoughts came to a screeching halt. Samantha was right. There’s always more to a story, but more than that was he didn’t really know his mother at all. Nor his father. For all he knew one or both could have been in this cult and this group ended their lives. Could it be that or could it be something else just as evil.
“Guess I have more research to do,” he wearily said.
“You know I’m always here to help if you need it,” Samantha said sympathetically.
“Thanks, but I need to discover everything for myself.”
Samantha nodded and knew he was right, but there was no reason she couldn’t be there for him.
“I think I’m ready to head back. This place gives me the creeps,” She shivered a little.
Fox gave her a sign of agreement, and the two headed back to the house. Fox sighed, he knew he needed to look around his soon to be home for more answers.
Samantha pulled on her sandals and sighed too. She didn’t want to go home just yet, but she needed to as she had plans.
“I have to get home now. I have a dinner date with my Dad tonight. Well, it’s more like him having a business dinner with his firm but taking me along for the ride,” she said with a groan.
Fox snorted in amusement and told her, “Go, have fun. Tell me all about it on Monday.”
“I think you need a break from all this crazy, whatever it is. Take Daddy’s credit card and go on a shopping spree or something,” he said with a smirk.
“Smartass. I have my own credit card. I don’t need Daddy’s money. Though, I will take you up on that offer. I have a friend coming in tomorrow and I do want to be there to see him.”
Fox nodded and walked her out to her car. He tensed up when she hugged him and pecked his cheek. She waved and headed out the door, leaving Fox to his own devices.
He went back up to the office and sat back at the desk, deciding to see if there could be something hidden on the laptop that could give Fox anything on his parents or the picture on the cave wall. He searched until the sun went down and he got frustrated.
He stretched and grabbed his wallet then headed back to the Mom and Pop diner he went to last night. The waitress was happy to see him again. She had been worried about him since she last saw him, and like Samantha, she was ready to call an ambulance when she saw his ashen face. He got the same thing as last night and headed home when it was ready.
After Fox ate his dinner, he decided to draw. He grabbed his sketch pad and art supplies, then went to the living room and sat on the couch. He sketched away bringing Cyanide to life in his adventure. He sketched until he got tired. He showered. He then changed into clean pajamas that Samantha brought and slept in his mother’s room.
A low growl sounded in the room, but didn’t wake him.