“-and then when you feel it, like a tingling sensation, just let it go. Like this.” Daddy said as he released tendrils of magic.
“But I can’t feel it dad!” I exclaimed and daddy just smiled.
With a frustrated sigh I brought my hands up to shoulder height and closed my eyes. I concentrated as hard as I could on the tips of my fingers.
I know I’m a witch. There’s no doubt at all!
So why is this so hard!?
I shook my hands to the point where they really did start to tingle and with all the mental force I had I thought Let go!
But when I opened my eyes nothing had happened and daddy had a small sympathetic smile. I stomped my foot.
“I can’t do it!” I shouted.
“Nikita it’s okay-”
“But it’s not normal is it!? I’m not a normal witch! Why can’t I do magic!?” I whined.
“You can, it just takes time and practice.” Daddy said reaching out to touch my arm.
I shoved him away angrily. “I’m tired of practicing!” I shouted angrily.
Even though I heard the warning tone in his voice, I pushed past him and stormed inside. I can’t do it! I’ve been practicing for years and nothing’s changed! I’m a fail of a witch that’s all.
And anyway, it’s not like I want to do magic. I’d much rather dance than do that.
I was heading upstairs with the intention to do just that, when I found Niko reading a book in the front area.
Nikolas didn’t need to look up from the book he was reading to know I was in a bad mood. “What’s up?” He asked.
“Oh nothing much,” I said, flopping down on the couch beside him. “Just failing at being a witch is all.”
“Haha, this just makes me happier that my powers haven’t come in yet.” Niko smirked.
“What are you reading?” I asked, swinging my legs.
Nikolas showed me the cover of his book. Ghosts: Why do they stay behind?
“Oh no, Niko are you still on that? You do know that Maxwell is just messing with you right? That ghost of his doesn’t exist…” I said and Nikolas slapped his book shut.
“Shut up Niki, it does. There’s always a reason for ghosts! There’s something they need to do. That’s keeping them here! We need to help Max’s ghost.” Niko said determinedly.
I rolled my eyes. “Well if you still want to believe in that, it’s your choice.” Girls mature faster than boys and I’m older than Niko, so I guess I can allow him some childish thoughts.
“Oh! I just remembered!” Nikolas exclaimed, putting his book aside. “You’ll never guess who I became friends with.”
I tried to look like I was actually thinking, but I had a pretty good idea of who he was talking about. “Um…Salandra?”
His eyes darkened. “Ha ha no. You butted in, don’t do it again!”
“What? I was just trying to help!” I exclaimed.
“Yeah well don’t. And that’s not who I was talking about.” He said.
“Really? Then I have no idea.”
“It was a certain new kid…with glasses and freckles and allergies and-” Nikolas began with a sly smile.
“What!?” I cut him off. “I don’t believe you.”
“It’s true. We hung out a bit during recess and stuff.” Niko said. Nope, I don’t believe it.
“Tyzel’s been giving me – and everyone else – the cold shoulder since he got here! How did you get him to loosen up?” I demanded to know.
“Um actually, he doesn’t give everyone the cold shoulder. He just seems like the kind of guy who likes being on his own.” Niko said. “But we played marbles a little and then he beat me at hopscotch.”
“I don’t believe you. And I won’t until I’ve seen this with my own eyes. I mean I’ve literally tried everything!” I said, and Niko smirked in response.
“No problem. I’ll show you.”
The doorbell rang throughout the house and we heard papa get up from his chair in his study.
“Who is that papa?” I asked.
“It’s Anna and Traz remember? We said they’d be coming with their little boy today.” Papa explained as he headed towards the door.
I hopped to my feet, and followed after him excitedly. We didn’t see Annaliese and Traz a lot because they like to travel around, but it’s always nice to have them over. Annaliese is a witch and her and Traz always seem to want to talk about me!
Though today it seems like they preferred talking to papa and daddy. It’d been a while since we’d seen them and they had this extravagant story about a mysterious area where no supernaturals could enter, and if they did they came back out as naturals or something.
It’s only when the words Talent Troupe was dropped that my ears perked up. They didn’t say it again unfortunately, but it reminded me of something I’d forgotten. Hadn’t Traz been in the Talent Troupe once?
As I waited for the adults to be done with their endless conversation, Annaliese let me play with Jesse.
He’s completely natural! Even though both his parents are supernaturals. Apparently that wasn’t normal years ago, before I was born.
I finally got my chance when daddy and Anna went into the kitchen to talk while papa went to help Niko find the tv remote in the couch. It left Traz and I alone, since Jesse escaped to play with one of my old teddy bears in the living room.
I wanted to ask him about the Talent Troupe, but I was a little afraid of insulting him. He is an ex-member after all.
It’s not that I have genuine interest in those people, but it’s the only thing I know about Tyzel…and if Niko said the truth, then I’m realizing the reason Tyzel’s being mean to me has to be because of his Talent Troupe background. Maybe they have a thing against girls? Anyway that’s what I intend to find out.
I’d barely managed to finish my question that Traz was already looking off into the distance with a nostalgic expression.
“Ah the Talent Troupe. I used to be a member you know.”
“Yeah I know. That’s whyt I’m asking you.” I said, fearing how long and explicit this was going to be.
Traz looked at me curiously for a few seconds before beginning his ‘intriguing’ tale.
“Well you’ve definitely come to the right person. The Talent Troupe is an organisation that began in the goals of familiarizing supernaturals for naturals. At that time the two were really distinct, and marrying someone of the other group was usually frowned upon. The Talent Troupe is one of the many groups that helped bring naturals and supernaturals together, but they’re unique in the sense that they did so through entertainment! A way to show naturals that the magical advantage supernaturals have weren’t just weapons to fear.” Traz said, starting a history lesson. Though I admit, one I’d never heard before.
“But what are they like?” I asked.
“Well it depends. It’s a pretty diverse group, you can usually find all sorts of personalities in it…but that’s because of recent innovations. Nowadays, just signing up on their site qualifies as being a ‘member’. In the old days, to be a real member, you had to be sought out and invited in. It was a pretty exclusive group. Hmm, well the group that actually travels and performs is still like that, and well when it comes to what they’re like…they’re entertainers, but also not the type of people you want to cross.” He continued on.
“So what if a kid was in the Talent Troupe?” I said, trying to subtly ask my question.
“If a kid is in the Talent Troupe, they were probably born into it, which means they travel alongside everyone else, and perform in the shows as well.”
“So they wouldn’t go to school?”
“No, they wouldn’t be able to. The Troupe travels too much for that.” Traz said.
“But what if one of them went to school?” I asked. Traz frowned, trying to understand what I was getting at.
“If that is the case….it’s probably because the kid is a natural and can’t actually help out during the performances.” Traz explained.
Ah! Finally an answer I like! That’s why Tyzel is so grumpy! He probably feels abandoned or something! And I mentioned the Talent Troupe last time so then he got all mean. I just need to not mention it ever.
“Seems like I answered your question.” Traz smirked.
“Yeah, I was just wondering cause-”
“There’s a kid from the Talent Troupe at your school?” He interrupted, making me a little annoyed, but I simply nodded. “You’ve really grown. You’re the one with the magic hands right? How’s that going for you?”
My mood sombered. “Badly, very badly. I can’t feel my magic at all. And if I can’t feel it, I can’t use it apparently.”
“Hmm…” And then, to my surprise, Traz slipped his eyepatch off. It really caught me offguard!
I dunno, I just always expected him to have some horrible disfiguring eye behind there, even though I knew he was an eye supernatural.
Speaking of, having his suddenly visible black eye staring at me made me uncomfortable, mostly because of this weird and certain feeling that it was a lot more than just staring.
Eventually he stopped being creepy and spoke.
“You know kiddo, I’m not too sure how this ties into your lack of control, but your supernatural status doesn’t seem to be able to decide itself.” Traz said, and it took me a few seconds to remember what being a truth-seer meant exactly. “It keeps switching between natural and witch.”
“Oh…” I muttered. “Can you see whether I’m going to win the local dancing competition next weekened?”
Traz chuckled. “Nice try, but I can’t see the future. Might want to ask your great aunt. What was it? The clairvoyant, Aliska right?”
“Yeah, I don’t think she likes me very much. She told me she saw me crying in the street and she refuses to give me anymore premonitions. Not that I want any more, they don’t sound fun at all.” I said, and Traz only laughed.
Seriously. I’m not a kid who can’t do anything without his big sister. I don’t need Nikita to try and fix all of my social problems!
It’s not like it was even a problem in the first place. It’s just a thing that happened.
I’d honestly completely forgotten about it. Really! It was just a dare that got me in the principal’s office. Okay, the fight part I didn’t forget about, and Elvis is still a little peeved about it.
But what happened before the fight, that I’d forgotten until Salandra walked up to me during recess while I was playing hopscotch.
Honestly I had no idea what she was talking about at first, but eventually I remembered her slapping me in the face, and now her apologizing to me made more sense.
Why the sudden change of heart? Well apparently Nikita told her all about what really happened and about how I hadn’t actually called her a boy. Niki had made her feel bad to the point of coming to me to beg for forgiveness.
She even asked if she could join my hopscotch game, to which I refused. Sure I’ll accept her apology, but let’s not go that far! Playing with girls is weird.
And the sad-almost-going-to-cry face she made when I said no, only made me realize what a good decision it’d been to refuse.
Hmph, why do I get the feeling even though I explicitly told Nikita to stop butting in my social life, she’s not going to listen?
Niki’s just like that. If she thinks she knows things better than you, it automatically means everything she does is justified. Which is why I’m going to have a laugh when she sees Tyzel tolerate my presence.
The front door opened and Maxwell walked in.
I rushed over and tackled him with a hug.
“Yay! Max you made it over so quickly!” I exclaimed.
“Well you sounded really eager and excited over the phone.” Max said.
“Hey did you know? Apparently half the people in mental institutes are there because they falsely claimed to be able to see ghosts.” I said, retelling a random thing I’d read while researching on Max’s ghost.
Maxwell sighed. “You did not make me come all the way here for this.”
“Oops, no, no don’t worry! I called you over to fix your ghost problem!” I exclaimed. Max narrowed his eyes and I quickly rectified my statement. “I mean, not the fact that you can see ghosts, but having you know our ghost follow you around and stuff.”
Maxwell still didn’t look convinced.
“Cause I read that ghosts only hang around if there’s something they forgot to do.”
“Yeah well that’s false. Ghosts are just imprints Niko. Like a reflection in the mirror. It’s not the actual person, but they’ll mimic the actions of the original.” Maxwell explained with a sigh.
“Come on Max can’t we try? There’s gotta be a reason why he never wants to leave here!”
“That’s because either he died here or the reason why he’s an imprint is here.”
“Well there you go! We’ve got to find the reason why he’s an imprint!” I said, tugging at his shirt. Maxwell finally sighed with defeat.
“Alright then, the only person who can help us is the ghost! Is he close by?” I asked.
“Yeah he’s right there Niko.” Maxwell, gesturing to his left.
“Well he seems motivated then!” I exclaimed with a grin. “Ask him the reason!”
“What?” Max said. Apparently the idea of talking to his ghost was weird. Well he would need to get over it if we wanted to solve this mystery! Seeing my determined stance Maxwell eventually gave in.
I watched as Maxwell turned towards thin air to ask the ghost the question.
I wonder what the ghost is going to reply? I wonder what he looks like! I wonder how he died.
This is so exciting!
After a few seconds Maxwell turned back to me.
“Nothing. He completely ignored me and started looking over there.” Maxwell said, gesturing at the mirror.
I turned towards it with an examining eye. The mirror? How could a mirror be important?
“And now he just floated through the wall.” Max said.
“He did?” I asked and Max nodded. So the mirror wasn’t what he was looking at. I took off to reach the other end of that wall – the bathroom.
As Maxwell followed me, I started talking again. “It’s funny cause I read that people who could see ghosts used to be treated as like prophets and stuff a long long time ago. And now? You wouldn’t be worshipped Max, you’d be sent to the nearest crazy place!”
“What are you a textbook today?”
When we reached the kitchen papa, who was sitting in his study probably writing, called out to say hi to Maxwell.
Once they were done being all ‘hi how are you’ ‘fine and you?’, I gripped the door handle to the bathroom and grinned at Maxwell. “Ready?”
“Just open it already.”
“I also read that usually ghost prophets, yeah they were called ghost prophets sounds a little weird doesn’t it? Anyway, you become a ghost prophet if someone with a strong tie to you died EXACTLY at the same time you come to life.” I said as the information popped up in my head.
“Seriously, I didn’t come here for a lesson.”
“Sorry sorry, so what’s the ghost doing?” I asked.
“He’s just patting that wall over there.” Maxwell said. I walked over trying to be careful not to walk into the ghost, but I probably did so anyway. I placed my palm against the wall.
“No a little higher.”
“But I’m on my tippy toes!”
Maxwell pushed past me and pounded his fist on the wall. “Here!”
With a soft sliding sound, half the wall suddenly opened.
I stared, my mouth agape, at what was clearly a secret passageway.
I gripped Max’s shirt, shaking it because I couldn’t find the words to express my joy, and by the look on Maxwell’s face this was about as surprising for him as it was for me. He walked over and peeked inside.
“Where does it lead!?”
“Under the stairs…I think there’s a trap door underneath your stairs.” Maxwell replied. “I didn’t know you guys had a basement.”
“We don’t…” I said with a huge grin.
Maxwell lent an ear to see whether or not papa had heard us. When he was convinced he hadn’t he motioned for me to come closer. He picked me up and put me on the counter, so I could slide through the doorway.
“This is so exciting!” I whispered as I looked at the trap door that seemed to lead to a bottomless pit. Maxwell stuck his hand in the hole and found a ladder folded up on the side. He unfolded it, went down it, and when he was safely downstairs, he called out to me to join him.
I practically slipped off the ladder in excitement.
The trap door led to a small damp dark cold room that seemed a little warmer once Maxwell turned on the light.
The only thing remotely interesting was a door. A big double wooded door.
I reached out to grab Max’s shirt. “What do you think is behind there?” I whispered.
He smirked at me. “What are you scared?”
“Kiddo, this is probably a wine basement. A lot of houses in Ridgevalley’s outer reaches have some.”
A weird sound came from my right, almost making me jump. Maxwell didn’t seem to have heard it.
“But Max…what if it’s not a wine basement?” I asked.
“Well then there’s only one way to find out…” Maxwell said, reaching out for the doorknob. I unconsciously started to bite the nail of my thumb, as I waited anxiously for him to turn the doorknob…Tlick. “Locked.”
“What?” Unconvinced I rushed forwards and tried to force the doorknob, but to no avail. “But noooo, I want to know what’s behind!”
“I told you, it’s probably just a wine cellar.” Maxwell said. “See? You can smell it too.”
I sniffed the air, but it just smelled weird to me.
“There’s gotta be a key somewhere.” I muttered. “Maybe papa and daddy have it.”
Maxwell inhaled sharply. “If you want to be the first one to see what’s down here, I recommend you don’t tell your dads.”
“This is a moldy damp place with a door leading to a room that smells. Not very safe for kids now huh?” Maxwell said.
Then I’ll just have to find the key on my own.
No one’s POV
Tyzel Gallivant was minding his own business, chilling out on the swing and appreciating the cold fresh air that nipped at his skin.
It was all he was asking for really, to be left alone with nature and his thoughts. He sniffled. Allergies was a price he was willing to pay to appreciate the outdoors.
“Hi Tyzel, can I join?” Nikolas asked, already letting himself sit down on the swing.
“Yeah sure.” Tyzel mumbled with a shrug.
Tyzel didn’t mind Nikolas. He didn’t like that Niko was quick to get into fights if you angered him. No what made it so that Tyzel didn’t mind Nikolas hanging out around him from time to time was the fact that he was actually smart. A whole lot of the kids in this school seemed to be lacking a good amount of brain matter, while Niko was a lot smarter than he let show.
Then Nikolas turned around and waved at someone. “Niki! Great timing! Can you give me a push?”
Nikita Whitelight nodded. “Sure thing little bro.” She grabbed Niko’s seat and gave him a strong push.
“I’m so going to try and do the spin around the swing pole this time.” Niko said as he started to swing higher and higher.
Nikita made her way over to Tyzel’s swing.
“I can give you a push too if you want.” She said with a sweet voice.
Tyzel stayed silent, stuck between laughing and groaning in annoyance.
“I’ll take your silence as a yes then!” She exclaimed, the smile evident in her voice. Her hands reached out to push on his back, but Tyzel hopped off the swing.
As he hopped forwards, the swing ended up being pushed backwards, hitting Nikita right in the stomach.
Without even reacting to Niki’s oof, Tyzel walked away. “Bye Nikolas.”
Nikita watched on with almost uncontrollable anger boiling inside her.
No matter WHAT she did-
No matter HOW she did it-
Tyzel was just so-so-so-!
GAH! Who would even want to be friends with someone like that!?
Niki was done trying to get on his good side, done trying to be nice, if that was the way he was going to treat her, the least she could do was return the favor.
And Tyzel would regret ever having refused her friendship.
This chapter took longer to write than it should’ve, but I was just too excited for the one after…why? Because Niki and Niko finally grow up into teens!
And then after that it’s their parts, and then after that it’s the heir vote!
*flails around excitedly*