(Episode 9) Witch Town

That night, the Witch sisters gathered at the outskirt of town, on a barren land where nothing grew, where the pentagram, was etched to the ground. They were all dressed in white robe, and their hair was left untied. There was excitement on each face, as they held hands together, danced around a bonfire and waited for Aria to begin the ritual.
Aria began humming as she raised her hands, and soon the humming turned into chants,
“Fire, Earth, Metal, Air, Water and Blood.
By these elements, we bind the circle,
and follow in the steps of our ancestors;
who pledged themselves to fight against the forces of darkness.
When evil assails us, when fear weakens us, when descent threatens us,
in the circle we will find our power. We come to this place alone, but leave bound as one.
With this oath, our journey begins together. ”

She said and turned to look at each member of her circle. Their faces looked rapturous like they had seen the Holy Grail.
“Do you accept the circle?”
They all chorused ‘I accept’.

Aria chanted a spell, and a knife appeared in her left hand. The knife was steel with a wooden head carved into a owl. With the knife, she sliced her hand and blood dropped and pooled in a bowl. She passed the knife around and the other girls sliced their hands too. When the blood had pooled together, Aria used it to paint the faces of all the girls, as power coursed on their veins.
“My daughters” the Mother’s voice floated in the air.

3

That night after the binding ritual, Aria slept and had a dream. In it, the Mother appeared to her and bathed her in a pool of blood. She said to Aria,
“For everyone, they cannot access their individual power in the presence of a circle mate. But for you, you are special, my beloved daughter, Ariana. Your power will concentrate into a massive force, and you shall be undefeated. You are little, but fear not, for the destiny of this town lies squarely on your beautiful shoulders”

Aria woke up from that dream, feeling energized. It was still dark outside when she woke, so she summoned her book of shadows, and practised her spells until the break of dawn.
It was Aria who stayed up all night, but it was April who woke up grumpy. She had woken up, hating the town. The only friend she was able to make, was acting like a freak. Whereas her sister had cool friends and even had the most handsome boy in school eating from her palms. After dressing up for school, she stomped downstairs to the kitchen.
“Why have you got that frown, sit down and have breakfast” grandmother Rosarita said to April.
The smell of baking bread wafted into Aria’s nostrils and she began to relax and feel less grumpy
But then, Aria came downstairs, still in her pyjamas, with her hair tousled, like she was ready for a sexy photoshoot.
“Grrrh” April grunted and just like that, she was grumpy again.
“Good morning gran” Aria kissed her grandmother on the cheek.
“Aria, you are not yet ready for school, you will be late” Rosarita said.
“Preach, gran” April said eyeing her sister.
“Gran, I think I am going to sleep in today, I had all night…” she started and caught herself in time before she told everyone including April, that she was practising spells.

Rosarita watched her granddaughter curiously. She saw the way her skin glowed, her eyes were hot and awake, and her hair shone like those of models. It dawned on Rosarita, that her granddaughter had been picked by the Mother as a protégé. One of the advantages of being picked, was the extreme beauty. She smiled at this realization, it meant the Mother would always protect her.
“But the Mother could not protect Ariana, and she was her protégé too” a voice said in her, fueling her doubts.

When Mrs.Webber brought breakfast, Aria wolfed down her food like she had not eaten for days. After eating, she announced to everyone that she would go to school after all.
“You will make me late, I can’t wait” April exclaimed.
“Mrs. Webber will take you, I will just call someone, cannot ruin my day, sitting in a car with a grumpy person like you” Aria replied, and that earned her a scowl from April.

When Aria was all showered and dressed up in a tight fitted ripped denim trousers and a cute little top, she went outside to meet Zack who was perched on his red car. Rosarita had followed her to the door, and she watched Zack warily, howbeit, being respectful, for Zack, was her elder.
“Good morning ma’am” Zack said as he opened the door for Aria.
“I am late!” Aria said as a r
“So am I” Zack started the ignition and they drove away, while Rosarita watched their departing car.
“You look fresh out of a men’s magazine” Aria complimented Zack’s handsomeness and crispness that morning.
“Huh” Zack hummed, his eyes on the road before him.
“Say thank you, old man” Aria nudged him by the side, which got Zack laughing. Zack had taken his eyes off for a second, to admire Aria. When he turned back to the road, there was a coyote perched in the middle of the road.

He swerved to avoid hitting it and somehow, the car swerved too much and rammed itself into a streetlight. Zack saw the coyote change into a black girl… Estelle. Her eyes bored into his, and then she scurried off into the bush, by the side of the road.

“Aria” he shook her. Her head was on the dashboard of the car and Zack could see blood. He was a creature of the night, older than everybody he had ever known, last of his kind, but for the first time, he was sour afraid.
When he pulled Aria up from the dashboard, blood was gushing from her forehead, and there was glass stuck in it. She had obviously hit her head on the windscreen, when the car rammed into the street light.
He got out of the car, and ran to the passenger side, with the intention of bringing Aria out. He was faced with a dilemma however, the car’s door had been mangled and it had trapped Aria inside the car. With a force that was equal to a million tons of steel, he bashed his fist into the car’s door, meaning to shatter it. But it made it press into Aria the more. For the first time in his second life, he was scared and confused. He went to the driver side of the car, and tried to pull Aria out, but her body was trapped.

Things got worse when the rear of the car exploded and the fire began to lick towards the front of the car. He was a creature of the night, nothing could destroy him, not even a stake to the heart. He could fly from the top of a hundred storeyed tower, he could lie under the deepest sea for as long as he wanted. But, he could not put out a fire. Just like that, his Aria would die, just like she had died in her previous life as Ariana, and like before, a witch was responsible for her death.
“Aria!” He screamed with a loud voice. It didn’t sound like a humans cry, it sounded like the growl of a wounded animal.

Back in Silver Lake High, April went for lunch in the school cafeteria. As usual, the ‘sorority’ girls were seated at their table. Before them were almost empty plates of vegetables. They looked around curiously, in search for Aria and Zack. Their brows knitted in worry, it was the first time after they had bounded their circle and they had decided to celebrate by shopping for their dresses to the Elders’ council party. Curious still, was Zack’s absence as well.
When the bell rung for end of lunch hour, they walked to where April was seated and sat around her. April eyed them suspiciously, and shifted uncomfortably in her seat, when Chloe placed her hand on hers.
“April sweetie, did Aria not come to school with you?” She asked, buttering Aria up with smiles and smoochy eyes.
April was drawn into the blue depths that were Chloe’s eyes, and the softness of her voice that lulled her to sleep. But before she could answer, Estelle appeared and snapped her fingers. The hold that Chloe had over April was broken immediately.
“April, walk me to the gate, will you?” Estelle said, smiling at April.
“Uhm, I have a class” April replied.
“Where is Aria, dammit” Zena snapped, too impatient to use her powers on April, and too absentminded to see Estelle’s aura.
“Strike the shepherd and the sheep will scatter” Estelle quipped, with a sly grin.
“Say what?” Adrianne cut in.
“I just quoted a passage from the bible, you know, that book read by Christians. See you girls later” she replied and pulled April away.
“Is it just me, or is that black she-devil talking about Aria? Besides that girl’s aura is so black, like that of a black witch” Chloe said with fright in her eyes.
The other girls looked back at Estelle, but she was long gone. Only Merry held herself and tuned into her inner self. She was gifted with the power to sense people, and whenever she thought about someone, she could tell how that person was feeling.

With her powers, she could tell that Zena became overly jealous of Aria, but that jealousy had slipped away since they bound their circle. Their blood was joined, and each of them was now a part of the other. Each sister had four other people in her. With the same power she thought of Aria, and felt her current state.
“I feel cold, like something really bad has happened to Aria. She is cold wherever she is, like she is dead or dying”

Stay Tuned for the Season Finale of Witch Town coming!

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