Silva raced through the town, as fast as she could without revealing she was faster than the average human. The reason for this was, of course, that she wasn't human. Silva, and her friends Raven and Coral, were witches.
Silva was an animal witch. She could control animals, as well as speak their languages and turn into them. Raven was a mind witch. she could read, control and link minds. She could also move objects with her mind if she tried hard enough. And Coral... well even the high council didn't know what to do with Coral. She called herself a mood witch. She could manipulate emotions and anything that factored into them, such as weather, events... the stronger she got, the bigger things she could make happen. She was immensely powerful. She also had color changing eyes.
Silva reached the clearing to find the entire high council waiting, along with Raven, Coral and all their parents.
“What’s going on?” she asked, trying not to sound like she was scared. She looked to her friends for comfort and found none. Raven was wearing her “this is a serious matter” face, her lips pulled tight and her eyes worried. Her dark hair was cut in a sleek bob that she probably was glad looked mature in front of the council, and Coral’s eyes were a nervous green that somehow complimented her brown hair and skin. Silva’s own platinum blonde hair was cut into a pixie cut that accentuated her elfish features and made her look spirited and youthful in a way that suited her most of the time, but her skin had turned paler than usual when she saw the council, and she now looked like a ghost.
She walked over to her friends, looking a lot more confident than she felt, and asked again, louder, “What’s going on?”. The council looked at her seriously, and she shrank from their glare. The small orange-haired councilman, Evander, finally gave in and spoke, “Well, since it is all of your thirteenth Halloween, and most powers reach maturity tonight, we thought it would be best to... well…” Topaz, the tall, african-american councilperson cut him off, “We are taking her to a secure location.” They jerked their head at Coral, and the three girls looked at each other, horrified. Before they even realized what they were doing, Raven opened a link between them, and Silva spoke. We can’t let them take Coral!
I agree, said Raven, but we have to be smart. The council is not going to like us fighting back.
Oh, who cares! Said Coral, they are already going to take me away. I don’t give a damn what they think. But I’m not about to take you down with me.
Don’t be ridiculous! We aren’t letting you fight the high council on your own! That’s suicide! We are helping, whether you want us to or not. And that’s that.
Silva smiled inwardly. Although Raven could be a bit of a grouch, she was loyal to a fault, and she and Coral had always had a special bond.
I agree, said Silva, we’re coming too.
Okay, said Coral, what’s the plan?
Topaz was still talking about regulations and whether a mind-wipe would be necessary, and should Evander jump to Salem to get a specialist in mind control, when Silva interrupted them. “Now hang on a second,” she said, “why would you want to take Coral? She’s useless. All she can do is change the colour of her eyes.”
The council looked at each other, confused. The third member, a mexican woman named Electra, laughed. “Don’t tell me you didn’t tell your friends what you can do!” she said. Coral turned the neon pink of embarrassment. Then thunder rumbled. The sky clouded over. Rain poured. Topaz created a crystal shield around themself to protect them from the rain. Evander quickly teleported inside, and Electra sparked with fury at being left behind. She was promptly struck by lightning.
Silva and Raven glanced at each other, then at Coral. Her eyes had turned a furious scarlet.
Raven opened her mouth to speak, then closed it. She finally found the courage to speak. “Is this… you?” she asked, gesturing to the storm.
Coral’s eyes went green- fear. She took off into the forest. The storm expanded with her.
Well that went well, said Silva. I know. It went perfectly, said Raven. Do you think they bought it? asked Coral
100%, Silva answered.
“I am so sorry,” said Eve, Raven’s mom (for the 3rd time), “I had no clue she was going to take off like that. She’s always been so… quiet. Laughing about something no one else could hear. It doesn’t seem like Coral to..”
“Openly rebel against the high council?” grumbled Electra. Everyone but Topaz flinched.
Silva spoke, “I didn’t know she could do that.”
Topaz said, gently, “She can do anything. That’s why we needed to take her somewhere... safe.”
River, Raven’s dad, spoke. “Are we sure this is the best? After all, she is an orphan, and only thirteen as of tonight. She must be terrified.”
“What, you gonna defy the high council, old man?” asked Electra, but was silenced by a glare from Topaz. Evander was still worriedly standing behind Topaz, and Silva noticed his discomfort. He’s hiding something, she said, I can smell it. Raven quickly cast her mental net and ensnared the thought she was looking for.
She reeled it into their mental link:
...back. But if she makes it to the Clairvoyant, and she bestowes protection, Coral will be out of our grasp. The others will be so mad at me that I didn’t tell them, but is the risk if we don’t get her back worth it? Oh, what do I do…
Who’s the Clairvoyant? Silva asked. I can’t hold on much longer without him knowing I’m there. We're gonna have to find out another way. Coral, did you catch all that? said Raven.
Yes, responded Coral faintly,
We need to find this Clairvoyant.
“We need to find her,’’ said Topaz, “She is a danger to herself and others.”
“We want to help,” said Silva. Raven nodded her agreement, “Coral is our friend, no matter what she lied to us about. She needs to go somewhere safe. Maybe we can convince her to go with you.”
Topaz was already shaking her head, “It’s not safe. We’ll deal with it,” she said. But then Electra said, “I think it’s a good idea,” everyone turned to stare at her. She continued, “Maybe they can help. Appeal to her humanity, or whatever. She sure as hell isn’t gonna trust me.”
Topaz nodded slowly, “you might be onto something. Let's go in pairs. Electra, you’re with me. Eve and River. Aidyn and Luna. And Evander, you stay here with the kids, and jump them to us if any of us find her.”
Electra used her power to create bolts of lightning, and Topaz coated them in yellow crystal, “Break the coating if you find her. It will send up a signal. Okay, let’s go.”
Electra handed each group a signal and they dispersed into the trees. Raven waited all of 27 seconds to use her power to make Evander fall asleep. Then she said, all clear. Coral, you can come back now.
Coral, who had been hiding, came out and heaved a sigh of relief. I can’t believe they fell for it! I never knew you guys were such good actors!
Gee, thanks, joked Raven, but even she was smiling. Now what?
I tell you what, said Silva, We find the Clairvoyant.
Coral had “convinced” Evander to help them get to the Clairvoyant, and they reached the foot of Mount Nyx before he decided he didn’t feel like helping them after all. Raven quickly absorbed all he knew, wiped his memory of the encounter, and left him subliminal messages telling him to get home as fast as he could. He instantly complied, leaving the three of them alone. So now what? Coral asked, (they had decided to continue to speak mentally because they didn’t want to be overheard), Are we supposed to climb all the way to the top of the mountain?
No, answered Raven, We are supposed to go under it.
Say what? Silva exclaimed.
Raven pointed to a small entrance on the side of the mountain.
They walked hesitantly to the opening and peered inside, “Hello?”
Coral called out, “Is anyone there?”
Her voice echoed through the mountain.
Well, if they didn’t know we were there before, they do now, remarked Raven sarcastically.
Oh, shut up. How else would we find out if someone is there?
I could do a mind swipe, see who is down there.
And how do you-
Guys, now is not the time, Silva interrupted, Are we gonna go down there or not?
Not, said Coral bitterly, but they headed into the dark passage anyway.
The tunnels were dark, but Silva summoned a bit of firefly and started glowing. The others followed her light until she stopped and said, They followed us.
The council. They followed us. I can smell them.
Coral swore, Shit. What are we going to do?
Run, decided Raven. They ran.
They made it deep into the mountain before they stopped at a crossroads.
Which way? Asked Coral.
Left, said Silva, at the same time Raven said, Right.
I can smell someone unfamiliar to the left, it has to be the Clairvoyant.
But I can feel someone to the right, although her mind is too far away to read.
Ugh! Exclaimed Coral, we have to move. Rock paper scissors?
Forget it, said Raven, and headed down the passage to the right.
Silva turned and headed left. Coral sighed, waited for five seconds, and then followed Raven.
Coral and Raven headed down the passage to the right, stopping only briefly at crossroads so Raven could feel which way to go. Eventually they made it to a cave that was lit by candlelight. They stopped at the doorway.
Are you sure you want to do this? Raven asked.
In response, Coral stepped into the cave. Raven followed.
They saw what they had expected: a table with a crystal ball, some tarot cards and a book of interpreting symbols, a stool draped in colourful cloth, a mirror, and beaded curtains leading to another room. What they did not expect to see, however, was a girl about 15, reading a book in a bean bag chair. She had braided auburn hair, tanned skin, and grey eyes. She looked up a second before Coral was about to speak. “Sorry I didn’t greet you, but this book is really good and I wanted to finish my chapter.”
“Are you the clairvoyant?” inquired Coral.
“Please,” said the girl, “call me Claire. Now, I assume you want my protection?’
Raven nodded hesitantly, but Coral burst forth with a detailed account of the day's events. Claire nodded, “Well, I suppose you are wondering why a fourteen year old girl is living alone in a cave. I suppose I could tell you my story, but I’m afraid we haven't got the time. If your friend went left, she has probably made it to the soothsayer’s cave by now, in which case she is in a lot of danger.”
“Wait,” said Raven, “who is the soothsayer?”
Claire paused a minute before answering, as if the subject pained her. “The soothsayer,” she said, “is my twin brother.”
As they walked, Claire told her story,
“I was born on Halloween, like you, and so was my brother. You may not know this, but witches born on halloween gain incredible powers. Mine, and Seth’s, was time. I can see the past, present, and future. I can also manipulate them. And my brother has the exact same ability.
“Our parents were members of the lower council, and they feared what we could do. So they petitioned the high council to... get rid of us. They refused. But as we grew, so did our powers, and by the time we turned thirteen, the council was considering changing their decision. We were terrified.
“Seth, at the time, had a toxic girlfriend named Narcissa, who was able to make anyone fall in love with her. So she manipulated him, and got inside his head. She changed him, and when she was arrested, he snapped. He ran away from the council with me, but he found his own cave, and practices his powers on anyone that wanders in, whereas I offer them protection. Usually that protection is temporary, I send them off after anywhere from a couple days to a couple months. But Seth… I don’t know who he is anymore, and the one rule of our powers is that we can’t use them to interfere with our own or each other's lives, so I can't help him. I wish I could, but maybe I can still help Silva.”
They continued walking in silence.
By this time, Silva had indeed reached the cave, and met Seth, and heard more or less the same story from him. They sat in silence until she asked, “So your sister abandoned you?”
“When I needed her most,” he replied, “Narcissa broke my heart, but Claire broke me. I started to… hurt people. Anyone who visited, I enjoyed hurting them the way she hurt me. I’ve stopped doing that, though. I just… wish Claire would forgive me. I want my twin back.”
“I’m sorry that happened to you,” said Silva. He looked down at his hands. She put her hand on his, and said, “I wish I could help, but I don’t know what I would be able to do. If it makes any difference, I think she would forgive you if she were here.”
“Thank you,” Seth said, his grey eyes moving up to meet her pale blue ones, “that means a lot, actually.”
Then he kissed her.
She smiled, and kissed him back, but broke it off a moment later, “someone’s coming.”
Seth stood up, looking at the door as if he expected the high council to walk through. Instead, Claire led Coral and Raven into the soothsayer’s cave.
The resemblance between the siblings was striking. They had the same hair (but Claire’s was longer), eyes, and facial features. They looked almost identical.
Silva rushed to her friends, “Raven! Coral! Hi!”
“Are you okay?” asked Raven. “Fine, why?” “Because-”
Seth had seen his sister, and started to cry. Claire was crying too. Then Seth hugged her, “I’m so sorry, I should have listened to you, and I know you’re really mad at me but I missed you so much and-” “It’s ok.”
“It is?” “I’m not mad. Let’s talk.”
They were seated in Claire’s cave around a fire (Silva had summoned a bit of dragon), with music playing (Coral), and s’mores (Claire had them stashed in a cupboard somewhere). Seth was in between his sister and his new girlfriend, (apparently, everyone was still a bit confused by that part), and Raven and Coral were on the other side of the fire, eating burnt marshmallows. The council had given up and gone home, and now the five of them were having the time of their lives.
“So if we are all going with the theme of heartfelt declarations of love, I would like to…” here Raven blushed and looked at Coral, “will you, I mean…”
“Yes,” said Coral, and kissed her cheek. Now they were both blushing. Seth and Claire looked at each other, and Silva smiled, because both of her best friends had told her how they felt about the other, and it was about time they did something about it.
She raised her s’more in a toast, “To friends.”
“To friends!” everyone said, (and then Seth dropped his s’more in the fire).