Humans are like machines creating an endless pattern that in turn becomes our life, much like the code that bind machines. Like those machines people fall into their old ways and settle into becoming just another part of the background. The endless drone of life becoming something else Entirely shielding us from what we are supposed to see. That shield leaves us with a false sense of reality. Things are not always as they seem. Especially in an old town full of mystery and death.
The first rule of coming back to reality was accepting that death was part of life as hard for most but for Juliet Corey it was a simple fact of life. Her mother died at twenty years old after giving birth to her. Her father died a year later in a house fire, she had been at her grandfather's. Who always said the Corey family was blessed and cursed. Juliet never thought much of it as she aged over the years. Ahead of her peers, she finished high school at only sixteen, and at eighteen she was back home from college. Approaching the large manor that her family had built she felt a strange sense of being watched. Juliet felt relief being home. Happily, she shoved the door open with all her might. A loud pop filled the old rickety house.
“Welcome home beautiful” A soft silky older voice called, pulling her into a tight embrace. Dropping her bags she held him close.
“I’ve missed you” the two set in the main dining area for a while before his grandfather said he needs to run into town. He asked if she wanted to come and she declined to say she wanted to unpack and settle in. Which left her alone in the old house. Wondering the halls brought back long-forgotten memories of her mother and childhood. Her favorite were her mother's cute sayings she imagined would be on inspirational Billboards and posters. The one that keeps creeping into her mind was.
"Love you neighbors like yourself because we're all one" and keep "your enemies close" which was something her mother had always practice. Finishing her you're off the house she made her way back to her room where she began unpacking.
Once in her room, Juliet began the daunting task of unpacking. Halfway through the last box, a soft hum came up the stairs. Thinking it was her grandfather she ran downstairs to find a study causally open. Now, this was odd because her grandfather had always forbidden her from entering like a child. Pecking in, she called out.
“Hello?” No reply slowly she entered the lavish room that was filled to the brim with various items, artifacts, and mirrors. One mirror, in particular, seems to call to her. Entranced by the mirror she walked up staring at herself. Warping and twisting the glass seemed to vibrate the image of men attacking what appeared to be her played out in front of her like a movie. Like a movie reel ending it stopped, her ears rang as her blue-green eyes took on a violet-blue appearance. Blinking she tried to clear her eyes as the mirror danced, twisting into a new finials face her mother stood in this very office watering the plants, and then she was gone. Frazzled by what Juliet witnessed in the mirror she ran from the room barricading herself in her room. The next few days were awkward and uncomfortable. Her grandfather seemed to know something that is wrong and gave her some space. After day four however he called in reinforcement in the form of someone he thought was a close friend of Juliets. He couldn't have been more wrong.
Heather Thompson showed up bright and early in a slutty tank top and thin, tight shorts. Her pink lips stick stood out against the morning sky. Juliet had to contain her rage at seeing the barbie.
“Hey Jewelly” Heather teased with a grin. It took everything in Joliet to be cordial in front of her grandfather.
“Heather what a surprise,” she said biting her cheek as her grandfather beamed.
“Why don't you two go have fun on me, ” he said handing hear card and ushering them towards his truck. Leaving them alone standing there.
“Why are you here” Juliet snapped when her grandfather was gone.
“Don't worry I'm just here to appease my grandmother, she has the hots for your old man”
“Your so gross just get in” Juliet groaned, climbing into the car. The whole drive there was filled with awkward silence.
“Why are you so hostile all the time?” Heather said softly looking out the window with a pouty face.
“Middle-school” was all Juliet muttered pulling into the mall parking lot that was surprisingly scared for a weekend. The two girls into the mall and shop for an hour before going at it verbally.
“If I’m such a bitch why am I your only friend” taunted Heather in a demeaning voice as she pranced around her mockingly. Juliet rolled her eyes and started to storm away.
“Awe Jewels I was only joking, please I didn’t mean it” Juliet huffed doing around and snapping.
“The only reason you here is because our families have always been friends that don’t mean we are, you’ve made my life hell for years, and what!”
“Because your special” Heather said softly sighing. “What are you talking about!” Juliet snapped earning the attention of the few other Shoppers in the mall. Angrily Heather glared at Juliet muttering pettily.
"So much for you being my neighbor"
"What was that?" Juliet said recognizing the phrase from her mother's list of sayings and phrases.
"No tel,l me!" Screamed Juliet in confusion. "N,o if you lucky enough not to know then enjoy it!"
" At least tell me what the saying Love your neighbors like yourself because we're all one has to do with all this nonsense"
“Nothing maybe the elders were wrong becauseyour so stupid,” Heather said flipping Juliet if and walking up towards the parking lot.
“Let’s just go, stop with all the appearances” Defeated and feeling deflated Juliet followed behind her staring at the various shops and booths along the way. Just because Heather was being a cranky bitch mean he'd trip had to be ruined. However, she couldn't shake the feeling that all of this was somehow important like even though she hated Heather they were supposed to be there together. Struggling her shoulders charismatically Juliet realize she was standing by herself and that Heather had taken off with the keys to the parking lot. Juliet ran after her staring out in confusion the parking lot was like a ghost town, he's there was no we're to be seen. Before Juliet could even yell out Heather's name a van pulled up in front of her and the door slide open. Heather lay tied up on the floor. Terror and Jared kicked in as she tried to react as she spun around someone shoved her into the van hoped in and they speed off. Seconds later Juliet felt a Blow To The Head and it was light out. It wasn't until hours later that she came to due to the cries of a familiar voice.
"Help, leg me out!
" help please!"
" Ahh they come back" a soft male voice that said breaking the frantic cries of heather. Juliet set up tensely taking in her surroundings, they were in some kind of makeshift cage. Bloches of boodined the corners an upon in expecting there cellmate feat kicked in hard.
"Where are we?"
"Not the right question, we're being sold"
"Like on the black market" Heather cried hyperventilating as she collapsed to the floor panting.
"Yes they take your essence,"
"Oh my gods they want our magic" Heather voiced aloud crasling tiwars the boy who clinched away.
"Oh your piur thing" heather said seeing the state of his eye.
"Tbey took it because they thought I was an Oracle I'm not they havent found one ever," he said with a test laugh. "He doesn't even realize they won't work the same outdode the body" he shuttered at his own words clinging to his feet. Heathef suddenyl became very silent as she looked at Juliet.
"We need to get out of her now"
"Don't you think I've tried the boy said tiredly.
" You don't understand, Juliet you have to get out of here"
"I know we all do" Juliet said standing up in the small space provided. "Your special"
"You keep saying that"
"Because it's true our people live by a code, love your neighbor like we are one because we our we're witches and our coven has produced an oracle every seventh generation, your family is legendary" Heather said trying to make her understand. Juliet jus test there frozen thinking every weird unexplable thing that had ever happend in her neighbourhood growing up. "Everyone in the neighborhood is a witch?"
"Everyone who did moonlight potluck with us is a witch"
"This makes so much sense it hurts" Juliet said jumping as a scream filled the air. "That would be the Butcher" the bit said holding his eye socket in painful memory.
" what if we attack him when they open the door?"
"I don't think so he's huge," the boy said shaking his head in protest.
" come on we have to try something" Heather said crawling up towards him again as she carefully chose her words she began to speak I know this probably won't make a lot of sense to you but where I'm from we have a code we Love our neighbors like ourself because we're -"
"We're one were all the same" he said repeating the words like hymm passed down to him. Cautiously he examined her before asking an important question.
"Whose in charger of your coven?"
"My mom Judith Pitch, I'm Max" he said softly tesrs flooding down his face. "Does she miss me?"
"Judy oh yes, she looks for you everyfsy"
"Oh" was all he could ssh between the tear flowing down his cheekd and his heart piuding i. His chest. Juliet moved to comfort him as she touched his shoulder her eyes glazed over and vision of what was to come flash before her eyes giving her a glimpse into the future and a plan on how to escape. Quickly she tried to plot and formulate the idea before it left or mine. Ugly explaining to Heather that the man would grab her and Max and while doing so would drop Hestger. If they fight him they loss. So she told her to run so she would have to pursue her and they would have a chance to gather their wits and help her. After much discussion Heather agreed to their plan. In the dark confined space they planted. Hesthrr making a last-ditch effort to help tried to teach Julieta light soeell. It didn't work she understood the motions but nothing hapoened.
The three decided to stick to the plan of attack and run. It was late at night when the box was pried open a have a lock fell to the ground. A long arm reached in and pulled out Max who Yelp next went Heather and according to Juliet vision the man stumbled dropping Heather to the ground. Frantically Heather hit the man in the eyes with a light spell and took off taunting him.
"Come get me Fatso!" Her words must have angered the giant man because he pursued with an inhuman vigor. Frantically Max helped Juliet out of the containerrr. The man's knife lay on the floor Juliet collected it and the two made their way down the corridor with the man distracted they attacked to no avail the man through Juliet into the wall cracking her rib and busting her head. Her eyes blured as the world spun arou d her shadows and images blurred across her eyes as the spirit world and the world as a living blurred together. Trying to focus on her attacker she swung at him making contact with his face. Quickly Heather jumped on his back and tried to choke him. Heather shouted "hit him again, harder this time" Sei going blind Juliet punched him only to receive a blow to her face the pocket knife skid out of her poket towars wereMax was hiding. Desoritily he dove for the knife and lunged for the man stabbing his leg repeatedly. The man screamed in pain as he slammed Hesther into the wall co tiuing his advance on Huliet.
"You vermin need to know your place!" He said sei g his fist at Max who was in range.
Diving infont of Max Juliet absorbed the force of the blow and the energy from her attacker it hurt. Not the zlap but the memories. Disgusted Juliet wanted to give them back to him so he could feel the pain.It took everything in Juliet to transfer the images into the mans mind. It nearly drained her.both slumped to the floor. The man writhed in pain thousands of memories of his victims last before his eyes forcing him to relive one on repeat their pain becoming his own.
" you are a monster" she muttered trying to get to her feet only to collapse. Max made his way over to her and helped her up. Laughed lightly saying. "You have some empath in you to do thsy good job"
" Heh, don't think me yetwe still have to make it out of here" she laughed in a daze. Heather grabbed the other side and the three struggle down the hall desperately searching for an exit only to become hopelessly lost in the maze like Labyrinth that that was the horrid place. Panicked Heather stopped and shook the windows the ars oreventing them from opening. Quickly she tried a spell in real life that the whole place was awarded and that she had probably just revealed their location to whoever was in charge.
"Jewels, your connected to our ancesotr right now if you could get some afvir thatd be great" Juliet laughed shaking her head. Playfully she smakrd Heather as sigild for Flash in front of her eyes.
"I don't suppose you have a pen?"
"No but I have lipstick, eill ghay eork?" Hesther sisd drioin the lipstick in Juliets hand.
"Veofr you do what ever craxy thing you gonna do I want you to know your my neighbor" crscking s grin julet nodded and the three hobbled to the next toon wrre the tfound a row of enoty cage. Only one wsd closed. Without thinking did their pride the door open and came face-to-face with a full-grown centaur change up behind him was a very short leprechaun possibly a child. Frightend the two backed into the cage.
"Shh, we're not gone hurt you"
"Yeah we're trying to get out"
The centusr examined the before smiling. " The keys on the walk do you mind" he said motuining to the collar and cuffs. Max ran for them as Juliet droggily drew on the wall isidr the large cage. Several sygils lined the wall.
"Hit it witchy po" Juliet said signeling Heather who grabbed her before she could walk away.
"Oh no your helping with this many spells" heather sisd sounding discouraged. Max stood by them giving them an ecouraging look.
"We're strong together as one my neighbors" he thesed linking hands with the girls as they touched the sigils and activated the spells. A loud pop and bang blow out the wall as it exploded like a bomb.
."Run, go quick!" Max screamed grbsibg the girls.
"Come one" he said runngn back and pusing the cnetar to run. The lepercan ran after. The centsur snatched both max and the leorun up as the made there escapr.
Dashing out of the enclosed area they ran until they couldn't see the building. The Centaur and leprechaun aided them in their escape. Once away from the horrid building the three went their way and the mythical creatures disappeared into the woods.
Startled by the security alarm her grandfather appeared down the stairs armed with a gun. He quickly lowered his weapon upon seeing who it was; Juliet, Heather and a the young man slumped into the wall. Sliding down Juliet stared up at him. Clenching her injured arm she curled into the corner.
“Did you know my eyes are special?” she said tears running down her cut up face. Heather cried in consolibly.
“Gran was right,” she sobbed getting to her feet.
“We have to call the police,”
“No we call the order, you three go lie down I have to make some calls” within the hour thirty men and twenty women were at the house. Every single one a witch, or aware of the situation. Heather’s grandmother Peper healed them and bandaged the wounds that refused to mend. After a long talk about magic, prophecy and oracles the teens felt better. After healing the boy they found that he was the son of a long-standing memeber. The days that followed were chaos. Under the cover of night the order inacted there revenge. Come the next week Juliet, Harper and Maxwell returned to normal life with a secret each possessed a rare ability Heather the empath, Maxwell the Seer and the Oracle. Together they would protect witches and other forms of magical life.