Chapter 4 - The Beaver MoonMature

I was awake before my alarm went off. Today I just had deliveries. Since the shop had opened we were getting a lot of online orders since the site went up. Me and my aunt have hardly spoken this past week, especially since Monday with the whole family drama. Today I get the van to myself, maybe after the deliveries I can take a drive around. Besides, I had to get some back to school stuff. 

*Beep. Beep. Beep.* 

I reach over and turn off my alarm and sit up. I dont even lie around lazily with Merlin, I just wasn't feeling all that great. Also been avoiding Peter. I put on a light pair of jeans and tuck em into my boots. I change into a black tank top and thow on my purple hoodie. I wash my face and that fast before I go. But when I get to the kitchen I find a note from my aunt.

Opening late today. Something going on with Margie. Thanks for covering the deliveries. Want a family dinner tonight. Love you always. -- Aunt Eden.

I felt like such an ass. I was cutting her out for keeping a promise. How can I blame her for that? I knew she had left the van there last night, we had started to fill up the van. Instead of taking my scooter, I walk plugged into my Zune. I was listening to Faraway by Apocolyptica as I walked by the familiar faces. 

I go into the shop and go into the back and get the dolly that was carrying the last load of boxes. I check to make sure everything is in check when Merlin jumps up on the counter.

"Sorry about all the weirdness the last few days. But hopefully after I drop off Miranda's order--" To my shock he hisses and hides under the table. "Merlin, what's wrong?" He keeps hissing and takes off out back and heads into the direction of home. "That was weird..." I reply and grab the van keys from the cash register and lock the shop back up. 

I get into the van and put one package next to me on the front seat. It was one I had put together for Lucy for helping me with the pictures. I take out the directions and head towards her large manor at the end of town. I saw white vans lined up upon her entry way, workers in white suits going in and out. 

"Wow..." I gasp.

I grab my order form and step inside on her white marble floor. I lean over to the side as the workers come in and out. I seemed to be in the middle of a circus. 

"Excuse me...I'm looking for Miranda?" I ask an older looking gentlemen. 

He turns to me, "She isn't avaliable at the moment. Can I help you?" He asks.

I nod, "I'm from the Ivy. I have the party favors?" 

"Ah. I will have some of the workers fetch them." He replies and orders the forms. 

"No problem." I smile. 

He snaps his fingers and two young men appear, "Please empty the black van of the party favors and put them in the back room." 

"Yes sir." 

I lead them to the van and they begin emptying it. In no time at all its empty and the last load is being brought inside. Waiting by the van was the younger looking worker, about my age. He was tall, tanned, with dark hair and eyes. 

"Thanks for the help." 

"No problem." He smiles. "I take it your new?"

"That obvious huh?" 

"Well most have been here for parties. So the look of pure shock was a dead give away." He chuckles. 

"I suppose so." I smile. 

"Kay. Its officially unloaded." The other worker says.

"Thanks for the help guys." I reply and close the back doors. 

"No problem. We gotta get back to work. Have a nice day." The older worker cuts off our conversation. 

 

I look at my watch, it was almost noon. I drive the van back to the shop, everyone was in.

 "Hey everyone. The Pierce order was dropped off successfully." I reply putting my stuff in the back as I put my apron on. I go into the store and notice it was quiet. "Is something wrong?" 

"Margie's son is missing." My aunt explained. 

I walk up to her and hug her, "I'm so sorry Margie. Is there anything I can do?"

She shakes her head, "No. But thank you penny." 

"I'm ordering lunch. Are you hungry Penny?" Agnes asks.

I nod, "I missed breakfast. I wouldn't mind a order of lemon chicken and vietmese noodles." 

She writes it down, "Got it." She replies and goes into the back and goes on the phone. 

I pat Margie's hand, "I'll go grab us some coffee's." 

She brushes her aged hand across my cheek, "You are a special girl Penny. Thank you." 

I pat her hand and have my aunt sit with her. Peter wasn't working when I walked in. To be honest I was a little relieved. 

"Rough day?" The person on cash asks.

"More like a rough week." I reply and rub my face. "Can I also get a broke away bag?"

"Which kind?" He asks.

"Hmm... the most unhealthy looking one you got. In need of some chocolate therapy." 

"Chocolate heaven it is." He smiles and grab the bag.

A broke away bag was little bag of broken cookies that they sold for dirt cheap. Soon the coffees were ready. I needed my extra large french vanilla with a double shot.

"That'll be 7.50, even." 

I had him a ten dollar bill, "Keep the change." 

"Thanks." He smiles. 

I get back into the shop and sit on the little bench by the display, I was enjoying the slow day. Merlin jumps up and lies across my legs. 

My aunt holds Margie's hand, "You should go home hun. Its been a slow day."

"But I have nothing to do at home." Margie replies.

"You should rest. You've been up most of the night." 

Margie sniffs, "Perhaps you are right."

"I'll walk her home." I offer.

"Oh there is no need." 

I wave it off, "I insist. Its no problem." I reply and hang up my apron.

I grab her jacket from the back cubby and put my hoodie back on. I link my arm with hers as we walk down the street. 

"You know you didn't have to walk me." 

I smile and rub her arm, "I wanted too." 

She leans into me, "You are a special girl. You will bring people to a new understanding of kindness. You possess a strong, and powerful heart." She replies and coughs. 

"Are you feeling alright Margie?" I ask.

She laughs slightly, "Of course. Just an old woman babbling." 

 

I rubbed her back as we walked, and when we got outside of her garden. She told me to go on. I didn't want too, but she said her place was to messy to have a guest at the moment.

"Promise me you'll call if something happens? Or if you need anything?" I ask.

She nods, "Now go." She smiles and goes inside.

I take out my zune and walk along the path back towards the shop. I put my hood up and keep to myself. For a day that was going fairly well, I was dead on my feet. I walk back into the shop, just in time for the food to be delivered.

"Would it be okay if I left early? I'm pretty tired."

My aunt nods and passes me my order, "No problem. You rest up. I'll be home after closing."

I take the food, "See you at dinner."

I time-out and leave the shop. I had a small bag to carry with the cookies and the food. I walk down the sidewalk till I find the stop and a bench. Since I did that spell, I felt extremely tired. I lean on my hand on the bench and wait for the bus with my pass ready in my pocket. I saw an elderly couple walking when I see the bus come around the corner. I get up and take out my pass.

"Afternoon." The bus driver greets.

"Hello." I reply and show him my pass.

I take a seat in the middle by the back doors and look at the people around me. They all looked content and happy. And I felt horrible. Because I envied them. I had no reason to be unhappy, but. I kinda was. I get off at Covington and walk up the road. Small towns were good for fit people, not lazy city folk.

"Merlin, I'm home!" I call. He comes running in and hops up on the arm of the couch. I walk over and pet him, "How is my big boy doing?" I smile. He purrs away and licks my hand. I kiss his head, "Kay. I need to warm up some food. You go lay down in your bed."

I put the cookies on the counter and heat up my lemon chicken and noodles. I grab a plate out and dish it out after its been heated up and smother em in sweet and sour sauce. I also grab a cup of nice cold Dr.Pepper to pound back.

"I don't know about you Merlin. But I am exhausted." I tell him as I put the food on the living room table and sit to watch some television.

I sit on the floor and wrap some noodles around my fork while scrolling through the guide, "Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill, 90210? What the hell is wrong with people these days?" I mutter to myself. I look at Merlin, "Any requests?"

"Mrow." He purrs.

"Lie to Me it is."

I enjoy the meal and lie down on the couch with him lying on me. After Lie to Me I found a marathon of Family Guy on TBS. I fall asleep to the sound of Merlin purring. For once I am thankful for the lack of dreams. I think my brain was to tired to process anything.

I wake up to the sound of a key entering a lock and then here...barking?

"Aunt Eden?" I ask and get up from the couch when I see a fat blur knock my legs out.

All of a sudden I am licked to death by a cute, chubby english bulldog puppy.

"Who are you?" I ask and scratch behind its ears.

"His name is Alister." My aunt smiles.

"Alister? Isn't that name more suited for a mob boss?" I giggle.

"Oh? And what would you name him Missy?"

I kiss his nose, "I'd name him Otto." After I say that he barks and wags his numb and runs around.

"Looks like he likes that name." She laughs. "Alright. Otto it is."

I sit on the floor and pet him, "Where'd you find him?"

"I saw him at the pet shop when I noticed the older man putting up a closing sign. I walked in, asked how much. They gave him to me for free. They wanted to retire. And since he was the last puppy, they made it seem like I would be doing them a favor."

"He's really cute." I reply and notice the matching collar. "Hey, his collar is like Merlins. Leather made with crescent moon studs."

"Yup." She smiles and takes off her jacket.

She goes and freshens up while I play with Otto on the couch. She came back down and started making a chicken caesar salad.

"Not much for me. I ate when I came home and passed out."

"Okay." She smiles and mixes the salad.

"I'm sorry--" We both blurt out at the same time.

I laugh for a moment, "I should be the one apologizing. I mean, out of no where I started to demand that you tell me what I want to know. Without even thinking about how you would feel. Yeah, she was my mom. But... she was your sister too."

She pauses and nods, "You're right. But I shouldn't have snapped. I was overwhelmed, tired. Short fused. There is so much I wish that I could tell you... but I can't. I made a promise."

"So there isn't anything you can tell me?" I ask.

"Your parents loved you very much. You were there whole world. They would have done whatever was necessary to protect you."

"They died for me..." I whisper.

She comes around the corner and hugs me, "No Penelope. That had nothing to do with you. It was out of there hands. People that don't understand what we do, took them away."

For a moment, I felt comfort. She ate on top of the counter while I sat on the opposite side. I wasn't really hungry. We talked about anything and everything that happened this week. Well, almost everything. I didn't tell her about the spell.

"Ugh. What do I do about Peter?" I ask.

"Go to the party. Have fun. And if he tries anything, I can always make his hair fall out." She laughs.

"Aunt Eden..." I whine.

She puts her hands up, "Kidding! I'm kidding. But, honestly. Just do all you can do. Tell him your not interested in him that way."

"And if it goes badly?"

"Then you made the right choice in not dating an asshole." She laughs.

I toss a dish towel at her and clean off the few dishes that were in the sink. I take out the break away bag and put half in a baggy for her, and bring the other half upstairs.

I come back down, "I think I'm gonna have a bath and crash. Need me to do anything before I go up?"

She shakes her head, "No. I'm just gonna watch some tv, and do some paperwork."

"Okay. Goodnight then Aunt Eden."

"Sweet dreams sweet pea." She responds.

I go up the stairs and am surprised to see Otto following me. I grab my body sheet from my room and walk across the hall and turn to Otto, "Yknow. I'm closing the door." I watch as he waddles back into my room and sleeps by my dresser. I smile, "Good choice." I smirk slightly and close the door.

I grab my bottle of bubble bath and pour a generous amount into the running water. I grab my make-up remover clothes and clean up my face and that while the tub fills up. I put on the small Cd player that I have on the shelf and put on a mixed Cd. I did the same as always, I put number four on repeat. It was one of my favorite songs, 'Airplanes' but B.O.B feat Hayle from Paramore. 

"Can we pretend that airplanes

In the night sky

Are like shooting stars

I could really use a wish right now (wish right now, wish right now)

Can we pretend that airplanes

In the night sky

Are like shooting stars

I could really use a wish right now..."

I put my clothes in the hamper and test the water to make sure its not too hot. I dip my foot in and feel the welcoming heat, beckoning me to jump in. I slowly make my way in and sink so that the water comes up to my neck. Thankfully one thing our houses had to have, were awesome bath tubs. I felt my body slowly going numb as the water swallowed me whole. I close my eyes for a moment, and fall into the black.

I woke up on a tough cold floor. I sat up and look around and find the surroundings to be of the gazebo in the woods. I stand and find myself in a red hooded cloak.

"Where am I?"

*Come into the woods.* I hear.

I felt like a puppet on strings being pulled into the woods. I jumped from the ledge and broke out into a run. Deeper and deeper I went into the woods. I see a peek under the moonlight. On it stood a large white wolf.

"Who are you?" I ask.

It jumps down and comes towards me. I take a step back.

 *Don't be afraid.* It replies circling me.

Suddenly, it got cold and a fog appeared.

I take in a breath, "What big eyes you have..."

*The better to see you with.*

I look at its paws, "What big paws you have...."

*The better to protect you with.*

"What a large mouth you have..." I whisper feeling its breath on my neck.

 

I close my eyes and wait for death. Perhaps something worse. I hold my breath when I feel it step away from me. I then, feel a hand pull me closer and pull my hood down. I feel warm breath on my neck, a hand around my waist. And one delicately stroking me.

"I won't let them hurt you." I hear.

"Who?" I ask.

*Snap!*

I turn and see a shadow leap from the trees and knock me down. I look and see another wolf.

"What big eyes you have..." I pant.

*The better to see you with my dear.*

"What big paws you have..."

*The better to trail you with my dear...*

I felt my heart on the verge of exploding, "What big teeth you have."

It leans down, *The better to tear your flesh with my dear.* It replies and plunges its teeth into my neck.

I scream.

 I jerk away in the tub and feel my heart racing. I look around just to make sure I'm alone before I let myself relax. I hear my aunt knock on the door.

"Penny, are you okay? I heard you scream."

I catch my breath, "Yeah. I'm fine. Thought I saw a spider." I lie.

"Oh geez." She replies and walks away from the door.

After a few minutes I get out and dry myself off and put on my robe. I let myself cling to it while I sat at my window with Merlin for a few minutes.

"Whats happening to me Merlin? What does it mean?"

"Mrow." He replies.

He makes me smile, "That's no help." I kiss his head and change into a pair of boxers and a t-shirt for bed.

I put on the television and eat some cookies and drink some more Dr.Pepper before falling asleep while watching 'You Got Mail' on Peachtree. On one side I had Merlin lying there. And on the other, there was Otto ready to bite anyone who disturbed us. I had a feeling he wouldn't make much of a guard dog, but that didn't matter. I knew he'd protect me, no matter what.

The End

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