Short chapter. Making up for the other huge one 😛
No one’s POV
“The things we do for you…” A suave voice sighed, her heels click clacking on the stone ground. Her walk stopped in front of the statue.
The cemetery was cold and silent on this autumn night. There wasn’t a cat in sight and no wind to give life to the faltering trees.
“I thought we were done with this wild goose chase.” The woman exclaimed, giving the statue a slightly annoyed look.
“It was never a wild goose chase.”
The red head glanced around, as if the thing they were looking for would just happen to be waiting for them.
“This is the place?” A man asked. “You’re sure?”
“A boy with the reaper at his footsteps.” The woman chuckled. “To think he really did exist. I cannot wait to see this.”
“I need to know. Can you find him?”
The man considered the area. “Teenage boy. Bandana. Dark red hair. Probably lives around these parts. We’ll start from the bridge.”
“That means yes. You’ll get your reaper boy.” The woman smirked.
“Good. That boy knows something. He has to be connected to my past. I need to find him.”
Ah, feels good to be home. I’d missed it more than I thought I had. My husband and kids decided an appropriate punishment for being gone so long was to clean behind the stove – without magic.
I’ve missed them a lot, but I can’t deny that it was refreshing to go out and visit the far away family – and hear how things are going on their end. Tensions between supernaturals and naturals have been rising in Ridgevalley.
I’m still intent on having my kids practice their magic though.
Nikolas in particular. Nikita is learning to control her magic well. Nikolas doesn’t seem to be making as much progress. He can cast spells, but it still takes him the same amount of time and difficulty to learn a spell. And if it’s a complicated spell, he ends up giving up after a few weeks. I’d start getting a little worried if he wasn’t making progress in his other power.
Yes, my boy has another power. Probably on the same line as my sixth sense. The way he explains it, it sounds like some kind of astral projection.
We did a few tests so I could see for myself that it was real. I’d hide something behind the couch, he’d close his eyes for half a minute, and when he’d open them he’d be able to tell me what it was and exactly where it was. He could never tell me what color it was though. He explains it as the world draining of color and he’s actually roaming the place and no one can see or hear him.
I tried getting him to try it outside, to see how far away from his body he could get, but he immediately refused.
Apparently the oddly colored stray cat Edmund and I see roaming in our backyard sometimes becomes a monster and tries to attack Nikolas. I had trouble visualizing it, but my sixth sense couldn’t make heads or tails about it.
But when I had Nikolas practice his projection inside, I’d glance outside and see the cat staring intently through the window, and then my sense would go off sending me alarms. Then I’d feel this weird – almost old? – magic emanating from it. It seemed to only be interested in Nikolas. Something like this wasn’t natural. Someone had sent this on my son.
I tried questioning him about it, but he had no idea where it’d come from. All he knew was that he’d started noticing it last summer – at summer camp. Nikolas must’ve angered someone – that I wouldn’t be surprised. But who? Who had the power to do this?
I should bring it to the animal shelter…but it’d be just my luck for it to be adopted by the neighbors. For now, it seemed reticent to enter buildings. I was going to have to try and figure out its origin, and Nikolas would have to keep being careful.
“Dad…” Nikolas said slowly, before I could head over and make brunch. It was a suspicious dad.
“Halloween is coming soon, very soon.” Nikolas began. “And my classmates usually have…a party.” He said, cautiously.
“Nikolas, you know the rules. You’re grounded. You can’t go to this party.”
“I know that, but…they decided to have the party here. So technically I’m still respecting the grounded rule, I mean I’m not leaving the house or anything, just bringing people here!”
“They said it was going to be a murder mystery theme too.” Nikolas added with clear hope.
“Nikolas. What’s the point of us grounding you?” I asked him, and he grinded his teeth. After so many weeks of being grounded, one could only hope he’d at least understood we were trying to make him realize something.
Nikolas took a deep breath to calm himself before replying.
“You’re scared for my well-being.” He said in a monotone voice. “And I do a lot of things spontaneously that could potentially be dangerous.” He continued. He picked up again a little more enthusiastically. “But I can take care of myself-”
I motioned for him to stop talking.
“Nikolas. It’s time for a test.” I declared, and his mouth clamped shut. “Halloween is in two weeks? Your punishment is going to be lifted for those two weeks. Don’t get into any kind of trouble, and then we can discuss lessening your grounding and you can host your Halloween party here.”
Nikolas’ eyes slowly grew wider.
“But,” I said before he got his hopes up too high. “If you want to go somewhere during the next two weeks you have to alert at least Edmund or I. That way if you do get in trouble, we know where you are.”
“That means I can get a job right?” Nikolas asked with a barely contained smile.
“You want…to get a job?” I asked surprised.
“Yes.” He said, nodding a good few times.
“Sure.” I replied with a hesitant smile. “You’re going to have run your resume by us, and also the places you want to apply-”
“Yeah, yeah,” Nikolas interrupted happily. “Does this mean I can go in the basement too?”
“No.” I replied with a snort.
“Also, there’s this puppy…” Nikolas began cautiously.
“No we’re not adopting any pets Nikolas.”
“But it was all alone, I think its owner left-”
“No, no dogs.” I insisted. “If you want we can go pick it up and drop it off at the animal shelter.”
Nikolas didn’t seem satisfied with that. He pouted in response. It didn’t last long.
“Does this mean I could go take my morning jog?” He asked, and I nodded.
The smile burst back on his face and he thanked me, rushing up the stairs to go get changed.
I’m not a morning person. Normally I wouldn’t be awake at this hour. But staying asleep is impossible these days.
I need it.
I listen to Nikolas and Xavier finish their conversation, and I watch as Nikolas climbs up the stairs. I snap my fingers.
“I couldn’t help but overhear.” I say as he reaches the top of the stairs. “I could help you with that puppy problem of yours. Really. I’d just need a favor from you. I’d just need you to go get something from me. In dealer’s avenue.”
“If you overheard, then you heard that I can’t get into trouble.” He said, shaking his head. “I really can’t. And going back to Dealer’s avenue is a bad idea right now. Especially to get your…whatever.” Shit, the kid got himself some common sense.
“I’ll do anything” I added, biting the inside of my cheek. I needed that package, but I couldn’t just go out and get it. Edmund had a close eye on me.
“Is this because they caught you smoking pot?” My nephew asked with a subtle smirk. I cringed inwardly.
“Edmund thinks he can ‘fix’ me.” I grumbled, as if I needed to be fixed. My big brother got it in his mind that he needed to take care of me and be the father our paternal never managed to be. “All I need is some cash to get myself back on my feet.”
“Then get a job.” Nikolas rolled his eyes.
“Getting a job isn’t difficult. It’s keeping it.” I said, practically listing all the jobs I’d gotten fired from in my mind.
“Your problem.” My nephew shrugged.
“Boy what do you want?” Why is it so difficult to get an errand boy? “Name it, I’ll make it happen.”
“No Alistair I’m on a tight leash! I’m not going to risk my neck for your addiction. Geesus.” He groaned before continuing to his room.
Ugh, this doesn’t solve my problem.
No one’s POV
Lucas and Nikolas roamed Ridgevalley’s friendly downtown streets with a pile of CVs. All Nikolas’ CVs of course. Lucas had no interest whatsoever in getting himself a job.
“I’m just really worried you know…it’s not like a perfect match to begin with.” Lucas continued on.
“I know she wouldn’t do that but…what if Veronica is cheating on me?” Lucas asked worriedly. “I mean all the signs are there and I know she’d probably have more fun with other guys from her class so maybe she’s dragging me along out of pity?”
“Dude, I see you guys making out in the corridors practically everyday.” Nikolas said.
“Yeah, but that doesn’t mean anything I mean there’s kissing and there’s like the emotional investment of it all and the personality stuff or- I don’t want to be just her ‘boy toy’ or whatever-” Lucas cut himself off as Nikolas entered a little café to drop off his résumé.
He resumed once his friend had come back out. “But I don’t want to lose her so what do I do to make her drop the other guy if she is cheating on me?”
“I never really thought of Vero as the type to cheat.” Nikolas replied.
“No one really saw your sister as the cheating type-”
“Not that anyone was really surprised that she did cheat though. I wouldn’t stress it Luke. Hell if being in a romantic relationship makes you overthink and worry so much maybe you aren’t ready for one.”
Lucas pouted at that. “Says the virgin.” He grumbled in reply. Nikolas chose to ignore the comment.
“What are you even doing man? Are you actually looking for a job? I half thought that was a joke.” Lucas said.
Nikolas sighed and facepalmed. “Obviously.”
Lucas noticed something shiny on Niko’s wrist. “That bracelet thing’s kinda cool. Was there one with my name on it?”
“I don’t know it was a gift.”
“Really? From who?”
“Ooooohh,” Nikolas turned around and gave his friend a glare, nearly making Lucas choke. “Ooooh pretty autumn leaves….” Lucas cleared his throat. “Anyway why do you want a job? You saving up for something?”
The two boys stopped at the intersection, waiting for the light to turn.
“Yeah actually. I want to take tae kwon do classes.” Nikolas stated triumphantly. Because that’s what the world needed. A Nikolas with a martial arts belt.
“Did you hear about the bank robbery? You know the bank you were a hostage in? They broke in but didn’t steal anything.”
“Yeah I read up on it. It was pretty lame for a bank robbery, but everything’s getting pretty intense now. Everyone’s so quick to blame whatever supernaturals are left for everything – including the kid abductions. They think supers are the ones taking kids off the streets for some reason.” Nikolas said, shaking his head in disappointment.
“It’s so dumb. I mean you and your sister are examples of good supernaturals! Well, I mean just your sister.” Lucas snorted.
“Luke…do you think going to Dealer’s avenue right now is a bad idea?” Nikolas said, bending the sides of the CVs in his hands.
“What about keeping a puppy in secret?” Nikolas tried. The poor thing was still by the river. He brought it some food every time he ran his morning jog, but it was really starting to be excessively pitiful.
Pigeons. Always have to incorporate them somehow.
Can’t have too much niksal in a row now. Gotta pace these things