The shadows at last took form; sweeping hastily across the land. Their darkness quickly descending from far, obscuring all and little daylight that remained to reveal the town.
Brentwood had been said to be home to demonic entities for centuries; the legends being passed down through the generations of founding families since the early sixteenth century.
Now today Kala Carter becomes the vessel through which the powers of a long line of witches will be unleashed; effectively changing her life
Pacing the open space of the living room I squeeze my temples together, in hopes to find some relief from the excruciating pain which pinches my brain. Soon enough the clock would begin to announce midnight, and when it did, I didn’t know what to expect.
My family had been said to be endowed with a strong bloodline of Witchery for millennia; each member of my ancestry would possess and take responsibility for the curse when it reached their sixteenth birthday – mine was but minutes away – and falling on Lammas day; my relatives found it somewhat exciting to see if there would be any extraordinary occurrences for my ownership.
The final chimes of the witching hour struck the grandfather clock; echoing throughout the stretched corridors of the town house. My eyes blinked rapidly, refusing to be returned back to my control, as my body fell into the responsibility of something greater than me.
Tiny black particles began to generate themselves, forming into a large swarm of thousands in mid-air, which grew uncontrollably around my proximity. My hair whipped around my face as I collapsed to the floor. The particles spiralling around me as though a tornado were to swallow me whole. I found myself growing weaker with their presence, with every second that passed, with every chime that struck the timepiece.
My eyes blink themselves awake as I struggle on the floor for breath. Sweat drenches my face, as my throat screams with pain at the feeling of being burnt to ash. Overcome by the sense of my soul being slowly torn from my body, I felt no choice but to give into the unbearable hurting and let myself go.
My aching legs gradually drag themselves across the linoleum in attempts for me to take a glance at my new being.
A rectangular mirror featuring a deep walnut frame hangs over a matching entry table in the lobby. Taking hold of the desk, I pull myself up, my arms buckling at my weight.
I study my reflection; my rich chocolate coloured hair sporting its natural loose curls remain unchanged, my full lips still have their shine and my olive skin has no change. I begin to wonder if the defect of having my birthday fall on Lammas is that I am now the only member of the Carter’s to never have any alterations. I take a deep sigh and begin to turn away, fairly disappointed at my ‘new’ self.
But something catches my attention as I turn to leave. My eyes. They use to consist of an intense brown, tinted with a flicker of green, but surveying them now, they hold nothing of the sort. Piercing purple eyes stare back at me, their colour magnetising as to hypnotise their audience. Enraged at my change, I slam my fists to the table, how was I meant to go to school with purple eyes? Say I wore contacts? The teachers would most definitely not approve. I fixed my gaze back to my reflection, they transformed again. Now to a deep red my once brown spheres look completely bloodshot.
I lean further across the table, raising my fingers to my lower lashes. The skin rises in creases, taking on a feral composure, before changing back to violet.
This was to be their designed nature. The look they possessed was of an animalistic temperament; untamed but yet cautious. I had never seen anything of the sort before.
Waves of moonlight brake through the arched window of my bedroom; the pane slightly ajar, allows a light breeze to push in the clear fragrance of night air.
I settle into bed, my breath hastened with the comfort the mattress brings to my back. All is silent but a low rumble overhead as the portentous clouds are momentarily pierced by an intense surge of lightening.
I hear the rat-a-tat of rain descending in heavy doses against the roof, and pull the covers over my head.
I find myself in a small, open meadow. The sun had long ago set; hiding behind the trees in the horizon.
The sky had transformed from its previous clear glowing blue to having the first stars of the dusk awakening in front of the newly drawn darkness. The moon casts a shimmer of light upon the paddock, creating silhouettes of bats across its broad exterior.
I hear a piercing crack and my eyes dart up to find a figure making its way toward me. Emerging through a cover of fog, a female of no more than twenty bursts into a run.
My gaze follows her as she runs past me, stumbling over a fallen limb of a tree. I rush to her aid, but find myself to be of no help to her as she refuses to acknowledge my presence. Not far behind I hear the roaring of an engine, and turn to see a motorbike fly past. I watch in disbelief as it screeches and spirals around on the grass; leaving a trail of mud flying behind. Coming to a sudden halt at least five metres away from the woman, the driver dashes off, letting the bike smash to the floor as he strides toward her.
The woman – whose name is Lauren, according to the raised voice of her on comer – cowers in fear, flinching away from the male’s touch, she starts into cries of terror as he lifts her by her fair blonde hair and drags her through the matted grass.
“Please no!” Lauren screams, throwing her arms at the broad man, who gives no sign of releasing her. “I did what you said, I told her to watch her back. I said that if she didn’t dismiss her guardian you’d track her down. I did what you said. Let me go!”
But the male is having none of it. He comes to an abrupt halt and throws her against his bike. “I understand that. Your services don’t go without gratitude, you’re finished now. Thank you.”
Laurens eyes widen in horror as the muscular man towers over her. His face continuously hides behind his helmet, making it difficult for me to hint at any of his features. His bear like hands grasp at her neck, her breath catching in her throat as she squirms to break free. Although her attempts to rid restriction only further add to her predator’s fury, as he crouches to her level, he looks into her glassy eyes. “Good-bye my dear,” I hear him say, his voice low and husky as he snaps her neck, dropping her to the floor like an un-wanted toy.
I throw back the quilt, simultaneously sitting up. Hunching my shoulders I rest my clammy forehead into the palm of my hand. My pulse quickens, beating firmly against my chest, which refuses to draw in any more air. I dry swallow the lump in my throat and glance to the clock on my side table. Its green glow presents the time to be 6:57am, school would be starting shortly.
That’s just great. I think to myself, climbing out of bed and heading to the bathroom.
I had attended East Brook High for four painfully long years now and at long last my time there was drawing to a close. I could barely wait to break free of the boundaries it placed upon us; no one was at anytime to stand within the corridors during recess, in the cold weather we were to pursue our break time activities outdoors, whilst the teachers watched on from the warmth of the school. Pupils were not to wear any clothing that was not of school requirements, and when fall arrived we were to only dress in black or deep blue materials, unless we wished for our accessories to be confiscated until the end of term. But what ticked me off more than that was that it was perfectly acceptable for the staff to indulge in brightly coloured fabrics. One teacher Miss. Eckleston proved to be one of the teachers which pushed this factor to the limit. She would often wear frightful dresses that gave the appearance of being chewed up by a combine harvester, completed with splashes of O negative donated by the unfortunate owner. A scarf sporting evil looking clown faces and black knee high boots were her most treasured of items on which she would often wear on school occasions. Of course, I didn't obide by the rules the school set in place. If teachers were to work by one rule and students by the other, where was the equality? So I too would dress as I pleased. After several months of staff unable to take from me, my unsuitable fashions, due to my determination of avoiding them, they eventually gave up on the matter.
“Just six more months,” I assure myself, between brushing my teeth and cleansing my face. “Not too long now.”
Heading to my wardrobe I pull on a short sleeved tee and red checked top, accommodated with a pair of black skinny jeans.
I fasten up my converses staggering down the stairs in the process, as I turn the sharp left corner I grab my backpack and an apple and hurry down the drive way.
I pull into the school parking lot, claiming my usual space, the one nearest the doors - meaning for an easier escape when I decide to bail.
I grab my bag and climb out of the car, locking it before heading across the parking lot, going straight past Principal Krause who glares at me disapprovingly from his office.
Never the one to be early, I head to the cafeteria and happen upon my best friend, Thora. She stands at the confectionary stand arguing with the checkout woman who refuses to be beaten against the likes of a hormonal sixteen year old girl.
“Look lady. I have been coming to this canteen for over four years now – four years! You on the other hand, have been here for what? Four minutes? And yet you have the audacity to tell me that this fairy cake is not in fact fifty cents like I have been paying everyday since Year Seven, but is in fact 65? Well I refuse to pay it!”
The sales lady raises her brow at her in question. “I’m sorry but if you don’t pay the correct amount you can’t have it.” Snatching the cake back from her she places it back in the tray and continues back to sorting through the pre-ordered meals.
“I am having the cake.” Thora explains, her voice filled with complete certainty as she glares back at her.
“Of course you are dear... just not for fifty cents.”
“Then I demand to see the person in charge of this establishment, right now!” Thora sets her things down on the table behind her and jumps dramatically onto its edge. Crossing one leg over the other, she glances to her wrist where she mockingly gestures to the time. “Tick-tock. I haven’t got all day.”
Laughing at my friend’s stubbornness, I push through the dual doors and cross the cafeteria to the check out.
“Here,” I say to the woman, holding out a handful of change. “There’s 65 cents, now can she have the cake?”
She glances between the pair of us, irritation stamped straight on her forehead as she exchanges the cake with me and marches into the kitchen.
“Hey! What did you do that for? She was totally about to cave,” Thora moans, snatching her prize from my hand and munching at with an open mouth.
Her slashed black bangs disguise the tops of her made-up blue eyes which glare at me suspiciously. “There’s something different about you,” she comments, pointing her finger up and down the length of me. “But I don’t know what.”
“Maybe the disadvantages of not having a good night sleep,” I guess, sighing as I grab hold of her hand and drag her out to the corridor.
Throughout the course of the morning I was carefully examined by the watchful eye of Thora who was determined to place her finger on what it was that was different about me. There were times where I bored of her stare and thought of telling her that it was my eye’s that had changed, but I was a little more than relieved to realise that no-one had really noticed any alteration. Or maybe it was because nobody ever paid any attention to the ‘weird girl’, I didn’t see why I should give people any more motivation to judge me.
For as long as I could remember Thora had always stuck by me. In the fourth grade I was confronted by a group of boys in the year above who backed me into a corner and demanded my lunch money. When I refused to hand over they began to tug at my hair and pull my bag from me. Thora, having heard my cry for help rushed over and thrust her hand across the backs of the boy’s heads, leaving them to run yelping to the playground attendant.
Since then we have been inseparable and she continues to look out for me; confronting the immature students in our year who call me ‘Witch’.
It was when I would tell a teacher that a pupil wouldn’t be in that day and why that I first received that name. The staff would be baffled by how I was exactly right in saying so, even when the parents had yet to phone in for their child’s absence. I left it down to coincidence but as I grew older I became more aware of larger events which would occur, a week or two before they happened, resulting in my being as puzzled as my teachers once were.
“Earth to Kala.” Thora’s voice drones, drawing me back to reality as she directs us to our final class of the day.
We casually stroll into English, welcomed into the room by 30 heads which simultaneously glance up from their desks.
"So lovely for you both to finally join us, ladies," Mr. Anthony says, attempting a stern look.
"Trust me sir, the pleasure is all ours." Thora replies, taking her seat. I laugh and take my place next to hers, which is thankfully the end of the desk. I’d detest from having to endure the hour next to someone I probably disliked.
After listening to Mr. Anthony moan – for what seems like an eternity - about the appalling number of students who failed to hand their Romeo and Juliet essays in at the set date, he finally dismissed the class, with the warning that our parents would be informed if we were not to hand it in ‘ASAP’.
“Jeez, can you believe that quack? He expects a thousand word paper in tomorrow, and I haven’t even wrote one word on it yet,” Thora moans, dragging her book bag down the hall.
“Well, you have had over a month to do it.”
Thora’s eyes turn sharp and dig into mine as she complains, “Yeah... well. I have better things to be doing than to sit around doing some boring homework. I have TV programmes to watch and lazing around to be doing. I haven’t got time to corrupt my already over-booked schedule to do that.”
“You’re right, it is a lot to juggle at once. How ever will you cope?” I ask, finding it better to agree with her now than to listen to her whine for the whole journey home.
“Excuse me, but are you being snarky? Cause’ I thought we had a strict rule on using that now.”
I scrunch my eyes shut and take a deep breath, as I continue to the exit; completely unaware of my surroundings as I slam into an oncoming student, causing both of us to stumble to the floor.
“Oh my gosh, I am so, so sorry, I should have been watching where I was going.” I fumble around on the icy floors for a moment, as I retrieve my Blackberry, folders and numerous loose papers, feeling utterly humiliated at my absolute lack of awareness.
“Yeah... you should have been watching where you were going. Try living in everyone’s world – not just your own,” the person replies.
I glance up to meet the gaze of a boy who I have no memory of ever seeing in the school before. I was usually good with memorising faces, but I could not place this one anywhere.
He glares at me for a moment, his emerald eyes fixed on mine as he throws his jacket over his shoulder. “Did anyone ever tell you that it’s rude to stare?”
I wasn’t sure whether he was asking rhetorically or genuinely expecting an answer, but either way, which ever it was, the fact remained that he was not looking to be sociable.
“Hey. Are you new here?” Thora interrupts.
“Well... if you haven’t seen me around here before then I guess I must be,” he says, starting for the exit. “Nice eyes by the way Kala,” he adds, pulling on his motorbike helmet as he heads out into the scarce car park.
“That’s what it is, your eyes!” Thora bounces, “When did you start wearing contacts anyway?”
“Um... I didn’t,” I reply, not completely focusing on her words.
Tossing my backpack over my shoulder, I follow Thora out of the school. My thoughts refuse to venture away from the main question which crosses my mind. How did that guy know my name?