Chapter 8

Chapter 8

A Chapter by thegirlthatwrites

Normally a shower was nice and relaxing, allowing me time to think in complete privacy, and maybe even sing a little (though Felix always loudly protested against that). The showers in the motel, however, were permanently stuck on "ice cold" with terrible pressure, and the soap smelled bland. I was hesitant to use anything that was provided by the hotel, but thankfully Charmeine had thought to get some face clothes and towels from some home goods store while we were on our way to the motel. I had to admit it was a bit funny that the youngest of us was the most responsible when it came to things like that.

Even though I had packed as many clothes as possible the day before, I still just put on the same jeans and t-shirt. Inside my backpack was an absolute mess of things, and finding clothes among all the books I had stuffed into the magically enlarged space would be difficult. When I opened the door, a rough piece of fabric hit me right in the face and slide to the ground before I could grab onto it.

"We're going someplace chilly," Lowell explained, as if that was a perfectly good reason to throw outerwear at my face.

"Montana!" Charmeine sang as she skipped out of their motel room and gently closed the door behind her. When she saw me, her face fell slightly. "Weren't you wearing that yesterday?"

"I didn't get ketchup on it yesterday. It's fine. But why are we going to Montana?"

"I know someone there that can help us find Felix."

"Montana is thousands of miles away. Who there can help us find Felix?"

"Someone like you."

"Someone with magic," Lowell said pointedly. "That doesn't mean they're like her."

"Would you let the dark magic stuff go?" I demanded. "We have more important things to worry about."

I thought he looked as though he was going to say something, but instead he just turned and started walking. As we followed, Charmeine began to lament not being able to go out for brunch, and she kept the one-sided conversation going all the way to the bus station. There was a surprisingly large crowd there, and on the bus, Charmeine and I had to sit separately from Lowell, though I was partially convinced that was his own doing. Correction, I was entirely convinced that was his own doing.

I kept quiet for the entire bus ride, and the two bus rides we took after that to get to the next station. I was trying to observe, to bring in all the new sights and sounds, but everything seemed to have become duller, grayer. As dreary as the first town may have seemed to others, it had been so vibrant to me. I had also had Felix by my side, who always made things more interesting. He was about the only thing on my mind. We had never been this separated for this long. Even if we were at opposite ends of the estate, I always knew he was there, and that he was safe and alive.

The thought that he could no longer be alive made me fidgety, and I spent much of the final bus ride playing with my fingers and the zipper of my backpack, just looking for anything that could distract me. I read some studies about how twins could be mentally linked; if one got hurt, then the other could tell if something had happened. Felix and I were not twins, we were not even related by blood or of the same species, but he was my best friend, always had been, and I was trying to convince myself that if anything terrible was being done to him, I would be able to sense it. I had to be able to sense it, or that meant that nothing wrong was being done to him.

"Hey," Charmeine whispered somberly, reaching out to stop my hands from moving. "What did I tell you? You'll both be okay."

"Do you really know someone that can help?"

"I do."

"Is there any way I could help? I could try scrying or something." I did not want to admit that scrying was something that Gloria had been persistent on not practicing, as she said it invaded people's privacy to be able to look in on them at any point in time.

"We don't have anything that belonged to Felix. He took his backpack with him."

"Even just a strand of hair, I could try-"

"Scrying isn't something dark witches are normally good at, Rae."

Instantly, I slouched down a little more in my seat, pulling my hands away from hers. "So you think I'm the big bad, too?"

"I'm just saying it's not normally your strength. Scrying, divination, animal control, healing, and weather are specialties of light witches. Vision bending, telekinesis, teleportation, mental magic, emomanipulating...they're all areas you're more likely to succeed in."

"So because I'm more inclined to be able to vision bend, I'm what? Evil?"

Charmeine's eyes widened as she shook her head, staring at me in what seemed to be shock. "No...not at all. Your abilities and your strengths are nothing to be ashamed of. You don't go around causing harm and destruction willy-nilly." The image of the trees going up in flames the night before flashed through my mind. "You're not a bad person, Regan."

"I guess."

I wanted to believe her, and I could tell she wanted me to believe her, too. After seeing the way Gloria had vanished so easily, though, it was difficult to think that I could have the same kind of magic as her but still be different. Mental magic and emomanipulation were two kinds of magic that were very difficult to master, and with mastery of a difficult art came egoism. Was that the greatest weakness of a dark witch or wizard? Their ego? Did I already have one that had been failed to be kept in check? Was it going to cost me Felix if I could not do the right thing or perform the right spells when the time came?

The bus had been crowded, and getting off, I found that the station we came to was more populated than any other station we had been to. One moment my eyes were on Charmeine and Lowell, and the next I was lost in a see of different colored fabrics as people hustled and bustled all around me. I tried to push through, apologizing here and there, but everybody seemed to push right back. They all had places to be and people to see, but so did I. I tried going up on tip-toe to see over people's shoulders and heads, even jumping a few times, but people just ignored me and walked right by. Every time I took a few steps, I felt as though I had become a bit more lost than I had been before. I thought I was going toward the bathroom when a rolling suitcase came by, tripping me and sending me flying to the ground in the mass of people.

As I pushed myself up, I felt a gentle hand on my shoulder, but it was too big to be Charmeine's. I spun quickly, midway through raising up my hands in the event I needed to cast a protective spell when I realized that it was just a random woman. She was dressed casually, jeans and a jacket and a baseball hat, and probably about thirty. Maybe forty? Defining age by a glance after how discombobulated I had become was difficult.

"Are you alright?" she asked earnestly, to which I replied with a simple nod as I already tried to start looking around her. "You look lost."

I looked at the woman's face, contemplating whether or not to admit to her that I was lost. Half of her face was cast in shadows from the baseball cap that she wore, but I could see her smile, and it seemed genuine. Rather than verbally respond, I just gave another nod, which only seemed to make her smile grow more. She reached up to pull off her baseball cap, revealing what her eyes looked like.

They were like no other eyes I had ever seen before. I had heard of people who had hazel-brown eyes that looked almost gold, but this was something else entirely. The golden color was speckled with blacks, oranges, and reds, as if there was a fire still crackling as it died out in her irises. I was at a loss for words and breath, and hastily tried to take a step back, but her hands shot out to grip my upper arm and turn me to walk alongside her through the crowds.

"Just be quiet Regan," the woman instructed, her warm smile still in place though her words were icy enough to send a chill across my skin. "Don't say a w-...Charmeine."

A tall man pushed his way between me and the strange woman, separating us. When he passed, the woman was nowhere in sight. I spun, fearful that she was just waiting behind me, but she had completely vanished, almost into thin air. How had she known Charmeine's name? Did she see her? Had she been a witch? Had she teleported out so easily? Why was she seeking me out? My hand went to my abdomen again, pressing down a bit on where the beacon had gone through, as if I would be able to feel something if I did. I felt nothing from it.

"Regan!" Charmeine's voice suddenly called behind me. "Over here!"

I patted at my cheek a bit to get some color back into it, realizing that I must look extremely pale after what had happened. When I turned to face Charmeine, Lowell was trailing behind her, holding couple a folded up map in his hands. I took one from him as Charmeine went on some long-winded explanation about why they were separated and how she had conveniently happened across a few maps that she thought would be helpful for us.

Outside the bus station, I spread out my map across one of the picnic tables, marking down with a dot the part of Montana that we were in. Then I marked where along the East Coast we had first seen a Heart, and where Felix had been taken. As an afterthought, I marked down a star where my home was located, and made a note along the side of the map that it was where Felix's first transformation had occurred and where the Lupos had attacked us.

"So how can this friend of yours help us find Felix?" I asked Charmeine. "I know you say he can, but how?"

Charmeine glanced up at Lowell before looking to me. "I think that's something that we should tell you when we get there. It's safer there."

I stood up straighter, crossing my arms. "No. I'm not leaving here until you tell me."

"Then we'll be here a while," Lowell commented. "And I'm getting hungry. Some vending machine junk food good for everyone? Yes? That's what I thought."

"You can seriously eat right now?"

"If you're half as stubborn as I think, we'll die of starvation before you'll leave, since we're not telling you anything."

"We'll tell you some things," Charmeine said with a quiet sigh, getting her an annoyed look from Lowell that made me feel a bit victorious. "He's a warlock. A light warlock. He's the scryer our mother knows."

"So he can find Felix?" I asked hopefully, my eyes widening a bit in anticipation for an affirmative answer.

"Not Felix necessarily. He could find the headquarter of the Hearts, though."

"Headquarters? The Hearts don't have headquarters, they have communities."

Charmeine shifted from foot to foot, shooing Lowell away before he could interject with some smart a*s comment. "You know how we said populations were growing?"

"Yes..."

"The Hearts are growing because they haven't been fighting, they've been uniting."

I slowly sat down again, absently folding up the map as I took what Charmeine had told me in. The Hearts were lethal in groups of half a dozen or so that lived near each other, but if they all banded together, and they were continually growing, there was no telling just how strong and dangerous they could become. And now Felix had been captured by them, which did very little to ease my mind.

"So if we find the headquarters..." I mumbled, more to myself than Charmeine. "We can maybe find out where they could be keeping Felix." If they were even keeping him.

"Yes," Charmeine responded with a quick nod. "And we maybe be able to find out who their other allies are."

"That's great and all, but Felix is my number one priority, Charmie."

"I know he is." She looked over to where Lowell was standing in line at one of the fast food places set up in the bus station. "I think we still need to be careful wherever we go, even if Felix is not with us."

I felt my muscles tense up a bit and tried my best to keep my expression neutral, even a bit curious. "Why?"

"I don't think he was the only one who was being tracked. I saw the woman."

"But why would someone track me?" The beacon, that was why. The beacon had gone through me, become part of me, and there was no telling how long it would take for it to die down.

Her brows came together as she tilted her head to the side slightly. "You don't know, do you?"

The tension continued to build between my shoulders and my heart picked up a bit. She knew. She was onto me about the dark beacon. "Know what?"

"Telekinesis and vision bending usually aren't even close to being mastered until a witch is twenty years old."

"That's not true, I mastered telekinesis by the time I was fourteen."

"That's what I mean. That's unheard of."


© 2014 thegirlthatwrites


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Added on November 8, 2014
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thegirlthatwrites
thegirlthatwrites

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I just really like to write, and there's not much else to it. more..

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