The Perfect Family
I stared at the transparent round ball with apprehension, the agitation and restlessness in my heart made it race faster.
The same routine you had done a hundred times by now repeated my conscious in my head taunting my resolve. In the back of my mind, I knew how it was going to end yet I will have to go through a tedious process over again.
It isn’t worth it.
I gave one last look at the static globe on the floor, aware of the eyes on me. I sat on the floor lotus style and crouched low to it: hovering my hands over the crystal globe. Closing my eyes, I held in my breath and vacated every vanity that ran through my head. I exhaled the breath with all my pent-up emotions, now I was blank as a canvas.
I felt the shimmering tingles swirling on my palm, caressing my spirit. I held in a breath though kept my eyes shut, not moving a muscle in trepidation I would lose focus. It was working. Finally, I was past the state of apprehension and a hesitant smile danced on my lips.
Maybe this is the time!
I raised my hands. I could feel the globe levitate above the surface as the magnetic mass I felt on my palm became heavy. I raised it up higher feeling it lighten on my palm. I fluttered opened my eyes to see the thin thread-like dynamic swirls of charcoal-dark mist with suspended golden specs holding the globe captive under my palms. My smile spread wider.
I narrowed my eyes in slits and moved my one hand under the globe and the other kept the magnetic pull on it from above. The crystal globe dangled up and down sluggishly between both my palms in the air.
I held it up higher to bring it to my eye level so I can channel the energy to a curve giving it a direction to shoot when a crushing sound resonated in the silence eliminating the swishing sound with the crunching of the crystal.
The broken glass shreds crashed to the floor making me jump to my feet. My eyes fell to the floor filled with glass shreds in piles. My heart thudded down and my lips pursed up with resignation. I blinked the welling up of my lids. I had been doing this since the rise of dawn and the sun was about to set, without breaks in my execution or a grain in my belly.
I knew it. It wasn’t for me to begin with.
I looked away as the tears of frustration filled my eyes and a scoff escaped my lips, “Don’t you see this? I can’t do this!” I exclaimed irately.
My mother didn’t comment. Her eyes swept to the dark-wood flooring that was covered with the testimony of my claim. Then her eyes fell on me and a tight smile rose on her face, “Keep trying. You are getting better.” She encouraged tersely. Her words were estranged as the woman in front of me.
I wasn’t. I knew I wasn’t and she knew better than me I wasn’t! I couldn’t hold a 2-ounce globe in the air for more than half a minute and it was no achievement either. Pure-blooded witches could do better in their diapers.
I kept staring tongue-tied at the woman who was my mother, who didn’t look a day more than twenty-five but I knew was older than the statue of liberty. Her youth came from her lineage. It annoyed me. If she was pretending to be a mother at least she could use better props! Half of my town knows her as MIWLF material and I hate hearing comments about how we could both be the ‘twin-sister fantasy’.
Right now, I could see the loud disappointment in her eyes which annoyed me more. I knew what she saw me as, the defective child: The one who was the black sheep in the family of prodigies, one who didn’t fit in, not in her world or father’s. I was but a collateral damage in her toxic happily after that didn’t last a decade.
I shook my head as my eyes watered and slumped back down, careful of the shredded glass. There was no ‘keep trying’. I couldn’t do it. It sucked all the energy in me and for a matter of fact I knew other witches half my age could do better than me. I had seen my cousins, who were White Witches, growing up.
The magic that was supposed to complete me, made me feel crippled. I loved doing many things but Magic just didn’t make me happy. I braced myself and decided to tell her for the umpteenth time, “Mom, you are pushing me…” My voice clogged in my throat and I looked away as a tear slid down my cheek, “I can’t do this.”
I wasn’t an introverted freak. I was a cheerleader, I was my school’s best badminton player, I had distinguished grades and I had landed a full-paid scholarship at Columbia University. I should have been at the top of the world getting ready for a new experience but here I was in the attic feeling unworthy and pitiful.
All of these things made me happy, Magic didn’t.
My father was a human which made me half-human and half-dark witch. I could never tap into my magic. It was supposed to be like a limb rather it feels like I summon it externally.
My mother took a deep breath, and huffed as if she was tired of my dramatics, “Baby…” She beckoned sternly with no warmth in her tone, “You just need a little more practice–“
I gritted my teeth and scoffed, “Stop saying that! Stop saying ‘practice’ when you know it that I am not gifted!” More tears rushed down. I was meant for the human world where I was something but why she couldn’t understand that was beyond me! “I don’t want to go to the Regnum Grounds. I like being human, I like my life—“
“There is so much you are destined for—“
“And that can be here, in my world, where I belong then somewhere outlandish and bizarre where I am an outcast!” I snapped finally at the end of my wits by all the frustration.
Her eyes bore into mine with hostility and she scowled as if what I said was lunatic, “Every Royal mandatorily must attend. The supreme law states that, if you don’t go there with your dignity intact, they will drag you there screaming and kicking.”
I didn’t understand why this woman even was a Royal. The fact was the Dark Witches were extinct and she happens to be the only one known as my Grandma was MIA for centuries now. We didn’t even have a coven. No, we did but for namesake only which made us automatically the leaders, in short Royals. Absurd!
Dark Witches were stronger in affinity and had powers to manipulate, mentally and physically: things and beings. A Dark Witch at her full potential could ruin towns with a bat of an eye which made them hot commodities so in olden days they were hunted. Dark Witches were mostly barren so the hunt proved to be a crisis for their kind population.
I fisted my hands till my knuckles turned pale, and my face heated from unshed tears. I knew I was out of excuses—they would and no government or enforcement will stop them, “Your laws state that. I live in a free country!”
My mother rolled her tantalizing hazel orbs and crossed her hands under her breast finally running out of patience. She sarcastically taunted, “I don’t have time for your tantrums! The Regnum wants you there and I, for a matter of fact know you will go there to taint the family.”
My heart lurched hearing the woman who was supposed to be my pillar, talking to me like I am trash, “I have a scholarship—“
“The scholarship which you didn’t need and which will be given to someone deserving. Get over it! All you have to do is spend a lunar year there and show them the cripple weakling you are then you can come back here to live your ’human’ life.” Saying that she didn’t wait to see the shambles she left me in and exited the door.
It wasn't the first she had snapped at me for not being the perfect Dark Witch but it still hurt like hell. My face heated up and even the exhaustion didn’t wear me out as her words did. I wanted to cry and wail in self-pity but where has that ever gotten me. I shook my head wiping the tears that marred my face harshly.
Somewhere around the world, there are people who are starving, being abused, and drowning in depression. I should be grateful for the life I have. I assured myself to stay brave.
Being mindful of my foot I left the attic to go into my own room. The house was quiet that I could hear my own breathing. I knew my mother wouldn’t have stuck around and would be off to her stylist, it was time for her to go whatever place she could entertain her vanity.
My mother was an attorney right now. By right now I mean this was her profession for this decade. Being a witch meant you lived several lives and every decade she chose a different way to entertain her vanity, like last decade she decided to get married and start a family with a human who knew nothing about her vile counterpart. Thus, I was created, by accident, by miracle…whatever.
I smirked in glee when I think about how my dad dumped her ass. I love my father and how I wish I could already be with him but I couldn’t. They had this arrangement where I had to spent my toddler years with my mum and elementary school with daddy and his new wife who for the record treated me better than my own mother. Now I have spent the High School with my mother and I will spend the college year closer to my dad which I really didn’t need to as I was already 18 but I loved my dad and his family.
Apart from them I had a step-sister, Cecelia who is as old as I am but a grade behind me. Cece and I clicked like two puzzle pieces and had been inseparable since then; several miles got nothing on us! Along with various favorites and habits, we shared a half-brother, Ethan. I smiled thinking of the goofball. I envied her for being close to our two year old brother.
I heaved a sigh of relief as I reached my room and jumped on my bed. I moaned as every muscle in my body protested for being overworked. I closed to observe the calm for a few minutes but snapped them open as my stomach growled in protest. I squinted my eyes trying to remember when have I last eaten.
It was before the dawn on the Breakfast table! I rolled over to my left and opened the mini-fridge I had. I took out the stoked orange juice and scoffed at the soft drinks. There was no way I was drinking that carbonated funk with my empty stomach. I uncapped it and took a sip. I looked up at my nightstand and found my phone.
I unlocked it to see 39 missed calls, 46 messages, and a ton of notification from my Instagram. I opened the first notification to see it was all on my selfie I posted this morning.
It was a picture of me in my nighty holding a cup in front of one side of my face with my other eye squinted and mouth set in a pout. Under the picture, there were several cat-calling comments, with several other friends praising or wishing me morning. I quickly scrolled through to Meggy Cruise, my step-mother’s, and Cecelia Dean's comment.
Meggy Cruise: Only ma bae cn lok dis stun’in 1st thng in da morn’in! Go gal!
Cecelia Dean: Who da fck van a silicon Barbie vn u hv a brunette babe?! Smok’in babe.
I smiled at once and hit like on their comment. Meggy and Cecelia both were both hot blondes so was my father but I was a brunette just like my mother. With tawny skin, hazel eyes I looked just like her. Sometime when I see our pictures together I think I am her clone, which could be a possibility considering how bat-shit crazy my mom is.
My Dad didn’t frequent my account often, though he still saw my story every day. Who can blame him? My account had all kinds of boys sharing all kinds of fantasies so it wasn’t really an ideal environment for fatherly instincts.
Call me desperate for attention but I think my little brain found this as the only way to cope with loneliness in my awful years of high school with my mother. People called me a social butterfly which I was. I had friends but I was lonely. It was yearning to be the center of someone's attention like Cecelia was, like a normal teenager was for her parents. Not someone who didn’t give a damn where you went.
Two calls were from my dad and three from Cecelia, the others were from school mates and my other friends. I ignored them and decided to call Dad first. I knew what he wanted to say and I knew what I was going to say will dishearten him.
I picked up my hands-free and connected my dad all the while going through my notification, liking some and ignoring the crude ones.
“Via?” My dad's voice echoed in my ears bringing a smile on my lips, the first genuine heartfelt smile.
“Yes, Dad. You called?” I answered leaning back on my bed taking a big swig of my drink.
I heard a sigh of relief from the other end, “Baby, you gave us a fright. Why weren’t you picking up your phone?” Because I was practicing Dark Magic with my witch of a mother.
“I was out sight-seeing and forgot my phone home. Why? Everything fine?”
Dad didn’t know about it. My dad only knew about my mother’s debauchery which put him off otherwise my father was well under her spell to be obscene enough for that witch to travel every week to see her. My Dad was quite well-off and had his own firm in Columbia. He wanted to pay my tuition but I had declined. I and Cecelia had taken small jobs to collect money for college.
My mother was from the Horne Household. Our affinity was dark therefore our magic was intense. The Hornes’ had been house to several powerful witches through the history that were responsible for chaos, homicides, wars, and major arsons so it was no wonder the Regnum Council was intrigued by the new heiress of this maliciousness. How disappointed are they going to be!
“Yeah…” He trailed off as if managing his thoughts, “We were planning family camping next week so I wanted to confirm your tickets before next week. Are you wrapped up there?”
I bit my lower lip and felt like whining and crying. I wanted to go but I knew it wasn’t possible. The Regnum Officials will not take lightly to being challenged and will find me from any corner of the world and then drag me there which won’t be pretty.
“Dad…” I drawled. Come up with a lie! Bloody come up with a lie! “…I was thinking of taking a break this year and traveling. I have this internship… Umm Yes! An internship in African forests…” Where there is no internet or signals like Regnum Grounds. “… in photography! Wildlife photography, actually.”
I didn’t even know what I was saying anymore but I am sure he didn’t too which was a good thing.
“Via…” I could tell by his puzzled voice he was frowning right now. “You were excited till a week ago, you even posted your acceptance letter. Isn’t this change of heart too abrupt?” That witch of your ex-wife didn’t shove it on me just a week ago. “Is Pricilla forcing you to do it?” Yes! Yes! Her and her lunatic kind!
“No, Dad. The opportunity just presented itself recently. You know I always wanted to do something adventurous as this.” Not adventurous enough to barge in a supernatural den of spoilt Royals’ den!
Dad sighed in resignation, “But next year you will be doing college in Columbia, right? You promised that to your mother and sister and no better time to bond with Ethan than when he is in diapers. Any later than he will be breaking hearts here and there.” He jested and I couldn’t help but chuckle with him.
“Sure, Dad! You can count on me.” After talking and catching up a little more I excused myself. I needed to refuel urgently.
I couldn’t help but let my thoughts drift to Regnum as I was heating some Mac and cheese. The thought of being the only ordinary being made me insecure and vulnerable. There were going to be Vampires, real blood-sucking vampire’s dynasty heirs, which out of context didn’t sound hot at all! Not to mention, Lycans, Sirens, protectors, witches: those that weren’t cripple like me, and freaking demons!
I could be anyone’s snack there, which wasn’t a calming thought at all. I shuddered then steadied my resolves. Regnum Grounds weren’t really giving me a choice here, nor was my mother but who can blame her and live to see the day.
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