|Woosh! A wind-like sound is heard as a large, green and purple swirly thing opens inside my bedroom. I back away, certain that any minute a wizard or something would come tumbling out. But it doesn’t. Instead, a scrap of parchment flutters through on paper wings and lands at my feet. Creepy.
I pick up the paper and read it aloud. “‘Step through the portal to enter Wizard City.’ Sounds easy enough, I guess.” Crumpling the paper, I toss it aside. It’s time for me to begin a new journey. It’s September 24th, the last day I can possibly go to Ravenwood School for the Magical Arts. I must admit, I’m kind of scared, but this is for my dad. If I can find someone who used to know him, I’ll probably be able to find him. And hey, maybe it’ll be cool! Clutching the few items I had brought with me, I cautiously step through the green and purple swirl of magical energy.
Stepping through the portal was like stepping through to another world. Which it was. I glance around at the city around me and I’m instantly amazed. A swath of new students surrounds me, each looking very different from the others. A couple wear the seemingly traditional robes of a wizard, some wear clothing like mine, and others wear clothing that I have never imagined before, let alone actually seen. Some have some wacky hair, while others have hair similar to mine. It’s all so diverse! Right behind me is a gigantic tree the size of Mt. Everest, or maybe even larger, with a face. One eye is missing, but the other one is as big as a beach ball. A delicate lantern with an intricate design stands in front of the tree. I’ve never seen anything like this! Somehow it seems familiar, though. I can’t put my finger on it.
“New students! Right over here new students!” shouts a voice. Shrugging that weird feeling off, I gaze around until my eyes land on the old man a ways away from me. His tall, pointed blue hat with a golden star pattern is slightly crooked, as is his nose, and his blue, star patterned robe is slightly wrinkly. A snow-white owl wearing what looks like a graduation cap upon his head sits on a low branch by the old man.
“Is this everyone?” he asks. “Gamma, an attendance check, please.”
He must be speaking to the owl, who, shockingly, replies with many elongated vowels, “Certainly, Merle. Miraaanda Ashflame!” A Here! comes from somewhere in the crowd. “Luke Bluuuehaven!” Another. “Shanna Crooowpetal!” Once more. A few more pass before Gamma the owl calls, “Alexandria Deathwhisper!”
“Here!” I call, raising my hand. A startled face turns my way, and I glance at it to see that it’s my best friend, Emalia Legendspear.
“Alex?” she asks quietly, here voice barely audible among the conversations of the new students and the attendance-checking of Gamma the owl, making her way through the crowd to stand before me. “I—”
“Emma, I’m so sorry. I shouldn’t have said those things,” I blurt before I really know what I’m going to say. “I guess...I guess you were right.” She gives me a nod.
“I forgive you, of course. Why shouldn’t I? But I wonder...why did you come?”
“Well, there must be someone here who knew my dad before he went to Earth, for whatever reason,” I explain in reply. “Since he’s missing, I figure that I’ll probably have to tell someone here in order to get help. Someone has to have an idea as to where he might be.”
“I hope you find him.” At that moment, the attendance check was finished and the old man spoke up.
“Hello, new students, and welcome, to Ravenwood School for the Magical Arts!” he exclaims. “I am Headmaster Merle Ambrose, but you may merely call me Professor Ambrose. I hope you enjoy your stay at Ravenwood, and have plenty of fun learning new spells, making new friends, and dueling many creatures. Please follow Gamma, my owl, to the dormitories, where you will each be assigned a dormitory. You will each find a set of robes, a wand, a spell book, and a spell deck for your school in your personal bank. Once you have settled, please meet me here, by the Great Tree, Bartleby, and we will begin the tour!”
Curious about these dorms, I follow the other female students into the Girls Dormitories and check the sign that tells each of us which dorm we have. Then I make my way through the swarm of wizard girls toward the stairway spiraling upward into the circular building.
I find a set of black and white robes, a grey wand, a large book, and a set of cards that I assume must be my spell deck, whatever that is. Apparently, I am a ...necromancer, but I can’t afford to dwell on that. I have to figure out who I can talk to in order to help me find my dad, and to do so, I suppose I’ll have to become a student at this Ravenwood School. Besides, it might be ...fun.
After shedding my Earth clothes and slipping into my wizard gear, I begin to wonder how I’ll possibly be able to keep my spell book, the large, red tome reading Wizards ’ Spell Book: Everything a Wizard Needs except a Wand and Actual Spells, with me? I’ll obviously need it sometimes, and I won’t have time to run here, pick up my spell book, and then put it back every time I need it. It’s not as if I can just carry it everywhere, all the time! Look at that thing! It’s bigger than my head!
Hey, what is that? There’s a button on the side. “Shrink,” it says. I press my thumb to the button, and instantly the heavy book minimizes itself, becoming little enough to fit into the pocket of my robes! Cool!
Soon, I’ve returned to the great tree, Bartleby, to stand once more in the throng of new students.
“Is everyone here?” Professor Ambrose asks once more. “Good, good! Follow me, students, and I shall give you a tour of Ravenwood.” As the new students crowded around Ambrose, he explained, “This here is Bartleby, the Grandfather Tree. Without Bartleby, the entire Spiral would crumble.” Wait, what the heck is ‘the Spiral?’ But I don’t have time to ask, as Ambrose then continues, “Bartleby’s magic is the only thing holding the worlds of the Spiral together. And this here, directly in front of Bartleby, is Sestiva’s Lantern. Sestiva was the wizards’ goddess of Light. Without Sestiva’s Lantern, Wizard City and the rest of the Spiral would be plunged into eternal darkness. Evil would triumph over everything. Luckily, there is nothing in the whole of the Spiral that can extinguish the light of Sestiva’s Lantern. Moving on, over here is the School of Life…” I’m not bothering to listen anymore, because I know I’ve seen this Sestiva’s Lantern somewhere! I’m not sure where, but I remember seeing it.
I then resume listening to Professor Ambrose’s tour of Ravenwood, figuring that it will probably come in handy later, when I’ve got my classes.
“This, students, is where the School of Death used to be,” Ambrose enlightens us. Gasps of surprise and awe erupt from the crowd of new students, for, standing where the School of Death is supposed to be, is...nothing. Chunks of earth float lazily in the expanse of air, but the School of death, the Death Tree, and the Death Tower are nowhere to be seen. Then Gamma takes over the commentary. “Years agooo, your heeaadmaster here, Merle Ambrose, asked the Life professooor, Sylvia Draaake, to journey tooo the land of Moooooo Shuuu. There was a creature there whooo was stirring up trouble, planning to come to Wizard City to steeeal a valuable item. Ambrose asked Syylviaaa to joourneey to Moo Shu to stop him. But the creeatuure killed Syylviaaa on sight.
“When the Death Professooor, Malistaire Draaaake, learned of his wife, Sylvia’s, unfortunate demise, he went into a terrible raaage. He nearly killed aaall his Adept students—as he learned of her death during claaass—and his anger was sooo great, that the entire Death School, along with the Deaath Tree and Towerr, collapsed from his powerr and fell froom Wizard City. To this day, no one but Malistaire knooows where the Death schooool went.
“Malistaire then blamed Professoor Ambrose, and swore he woould get his reveeenge. Malistaire has become a very eeeevil necromancer, and has conquered many lands and maaany creatures are on his side,” Gamma finishes. All those drawn out vowels are starting to give me a headache, but I ignore it. Because if the Death school is gone, how will I learn magic like I’m supposed to?
“There is still a Death student who spends his time here,” Professor Ambrose adds. “Malorn Ashthorn. He enjoys teaching other students the Death spells he knows. It is not the best education a necromancer can get, but it is all we have to offer until a new Death school can be built, but of course, we would need the land to do so,” Ambrose says with a sad expression. Oh. Well, at least I’ll be able to learn some spells while I’m here, right?
~*~ One Day Later ~*~
Oh-no! It’s almost nine. I’ll be late for my first Novice Necromancy class if I don’t hurry up!
It’s been an entire two days since I discovered my wizardly heritage. I’ve asked around, hoping to find someone who knew my father, Daniel Iceshade, but so far, I’ve gotten nothing. So now I’m heading out to the class Malorn Ashthorn has been teaching since Malistaire destroyed the Death school a few years ago. I met Ashthorn yesterday, after the tour, and he doesn’t exactly seem too bad. I suppose I’m just lucky he’s bothering to help us, since he’s the most advanced Necromancer in Ravenwood right now. Of course, there is the fact that he’s decided to hold the class on one of the large chunks of rock floating above the pit where the Death school was destroyed. I think it’s pretty dangerous, but Ashthorn seems to like scaring the Novices with it.
Grabbing my shiny grey wand and making sure I have my spell deck (and I still don’t have any idea what the spell cards are for), I race out the door of my dorm room and stumble down the spiral staircase. My black-and-white pointed hat nearly falls as I trip on the last step, but I slap a hand to it and and continue my frantic sprint out the front door of the Girls Dormitory building and toward the pit that used to hold the Death school.
I make it just in time to leap onto the large floating piece of earth as Ashthorn’s magic is causing it to drift toward the middle of the gap. Ashthorn shoots me a glance that says quite obviously, “If you’re late again, we are so not waiting for you,” but I just ignore it and take a seat in one of the many chairs assembled on the large rock like the rest of the Novices.
“Today, class,” Ashthorn begins with a professional, teacher-y tone, "you’ll be learning the Death symbol.” He then demonstrates by drawing a Death symbol with his wand, and we Novices all watch as the black magical mist spills from the tip of his wand, forming the intricate Death symbol. "You must concentrate very hard,” Ashthorn then adds. “Your wand is like a conductor. It directs the magic as it flows from you out into the air. All you must do is provide the magic and the spell card. Without a wand, it would be almost impossible to release your magic into the air. A wand also helps you to control the creature you summon. If not for your wand, the creature would be as wild as you would find in nature. Any questions?” A young boy raises his hand, and Ashthorn immediately calls upon him.
“What are the spell cards for?” A dumber question Ashthorn probably doesn’t think exists, but he tries to answer as best as he can. I’m actually quite relieved that question was asked, because I certainly don’t have the nerve to ask it myself.
“Er...well, spell cards sort of provide a way for the energy to become what you want it to. It’s also like a calling card for the creature you wish to summon. If you didn’t have a spell card, the monster could not be summoned. Any more questions?” Ashthorn asks, though he clearly hopes that there aren’t any. Unfortunately for Ashthorn, another hand shoots into the air.
“What powers the spell cards?”
It continues like this for a few minutes, until finally, no more questions are asked. Ashthorn is visibly relieved when no hands are in the air, and then says, “Alright everyone, now we’ll try drawing the Death symbol. Does everyone remember what it looked like? Good. Let’s begin.”
Standing, I raise my grey wand, wondering how the heck I could do this. I concentrate, like we’d been told, and try to transfer my magic into my wand. But how? I don’t know what my magic feels like, or how to move it. What do I do?!
I take a deep breath, closing my dark grey eyes. Concentrate, idiot. Calm down, and concentrate! I imagine sparkly black dust shoving its way through some special veins in my body that I had no idea how I’d come up with (I think I’ll call them my magic veins) and flowing into my wand. Gradually, a tingly feeling shivers down my arm, flowing through my hand, past my fingers, and down into the magical stick I’m clutching in my right hand. With a jolt, I realize what’s about to occur and move my hand to draw the Death symbol in front of me, my eyes still closed.
My eyes flutter open to reveal a shimmering Death symbol before me...and everyone’s eyes glued to it, wide open in shock.
“What?” I ask, uncomfortable with all the attention I’m getting. Even Ashthorn is gaping at me.
“That’s the fastest I’ve ever seen a new student draw the Death symbol!” Ashthorn exclaims, and the rest of the class seems just as impressed. “How did you do it?”
“I—I just imagined the magic flowing through me...,” I mutter, cheeks red with embarrassment.
“But I tried that,” someone cried. “It didn’t work!” Unsure, I just give a tentative shrug. Suddenly, Ashthorn realizes that he’s holding up the class and tells us all to continue practicing the Death symbol, and that if we got it, just keep working on it even more.
About forty-five minutes later, Ashthorn calls, “Alright, class dismissed.” I haven’t yet chosen a secondary school, which is just a second type of magic that you learn, so I don’t have another class until my second Death class around five. I think I’ll take the time I’ve got right now to head for the Wizard City Library. Perhaps I’ll be able to find a lead on Daniel Iceshade there.
The walk to the library is somewhat short; it’s only a little ways past the boundaries of the Ravenwood campus, in an area called the Commons. Hoping desperately that I’ll find something about my dad, I step into the large library and am instantly amazed. Books are flying off the shelves, stacking themselves, slipping into empty spaces upon the ledges built into the walls of the building.
“Um, excuse me,” I say as I face the man—or, I should say, dog, since he’s got the upright body of a human, but the head, paws, and fur of a dog—at the counter, “but do you have any records of the past students of Ravenwood School?” The eyes behind the dog’s spectacles rise to meet mine, and he places the book he’d been reading upon the counter he stands at.
“One minute, miss. I’ll check,” the dog replies, and then waves his wand. A few large books come soaring off the nearest shelf speedily, almost slamming right into the dog. He places them down before me and says, “Here you are, miss. Don’t forget to return them to me before you leave.” I give a sharp nod, grab the heavy tomes, and find an empty table to sit down at.
With a heavy sigh, I remind myself that it’s necessary if I want to figure out where my dad is, so I open the first of the books, but instantly turn to the back, because the first page holds students names that date back to the early sixteenth century! There, on the last page, is a list of students from the year 1987, the year my dad said he had finished school. You know, I never really noticed before, but my dad never had a diploma or anything like that. That’s why he didn’t have that good of a job. I now realize that it was because he went to Ravenwood.
I quickly scan the page for Dad’s name, and finally, in Professor Snowbreeze’s Ice class of 1987. Perhaps I should ask Professor Snowbreeze, then. Or maybe I just should have gone to the headmaster. Well...no, I don’t want to talk to the headmaster. I don’t know why...maybe I just feel like if I do, and they don’t find my dad, they’ll put me in an orphanage once the school term is over. So no, talking to the headmaster is a bad idea. But maybe I can ask the Professor Snowbreeze about my dad, like, inconspicuously. Yeah. I’ll try that.
Slamming the book closed, excited to finally have a lead, I jump up. Of course, the noise I had just created drew a bunch of annoyed glances out of the few people in the library, and I just blush embarrassedly and set the heavy books upon the counter where the dog was reading his book, and then speedily hurry out the door.
Back on Ravenwood’s campus, I head for the Ice school. There, I open the large door and enter the Ice school. I’d been in the library for a while, so it’s now around eleven o’ clock, apparently the Ice professor’s lunch period.
“Oh, come in, dearie,” says a kind, old womanly voice. The professor is sitting on her desk—since she’s a small, plump, blue fairy—eating something that looks like tiny cookies with toffee chunks in them, her fingers working deftly at her knitting. “May I help you?”
“I’m here to see Professor Snowbreeze,” I reply. The fairy looks up from her knitting.
“I’m sorry, dear. Professor Snowbreeze died a few years ago,” the fairy says, frowning. “That’s when I got the job. My name is Professor Lydia Greyrose.” I want to say something, but my lips won’t move. Just great. If I can’t go to my dad’s old professor, where will I go? I don’t even know if my dad had any friends at Ravenwood. “But his sister lives on Colossus Boulevard,” Professor Greyrose adds, “if you wish to speak with her.” I heave a sigh and shake my head.
“Thanks for your time, Professor,” I mumble before giving the door a shove and walking out. But not before crashing into a kid with light blue wizard robes, likely an Ice wizard, nearly knocking his hat off his head.
“Sorry,” I say, helping him up. He dusts off his robes and picks his wand up off the ground, then turns to face me, eyes narrowing. For a moment, I think he might actually cast a spell at me!
“Watch where you’re going,” he growls, striding past me and into the School of Ice with a cold, angry demeanor. I wonder who made him so mad. From what I knew about Ice wizards (since my dad was one), they’re mostly pretty patient. Suddenly, I notice the door to the Myth school open and a bunch of Myth Novices flood out and I forget all about the strange Ice wizard.
"Hey. How was your first class?” I ask as Emma rushes over to me.
“Terrific! Well, the teacher wasn’t exactly nice or anything, but I did really well! We learned the Myth symbol,” Emma explains excitedly, tracing the intricate symbol in the air with her left hand. “Wait, why are you over here by the Ice school, Alex?”
“I got out a while ago. I checked the library and figured out who might know my dad,” I reply dully. “A guy named Snowbreeze. He used to be the Ice professor.”
“That’s awesome! Maybe he’ll know where—wait. You said he ‘used to be.’ What happened to him?” Emma questions. I lean against the wall of the School of Ice, savoring its cool temperature as Emma looks on expectantly.
“He’s dead.” Emma’s eyes fall. It’s kind of funny. Emma seems to miss my dad just as much as I do. I wish I could find him.
“Maybe we could ask the headma—”
“No!” I yelp before Emma can finish. I let out a deep breath and close my eyes for a moment, frustrated. “I—I didn’t mean to snap at you. But we can’t tell Professor Ambrose. If you’re really my friend, you won’t ask why not. We just can’t.” Emma gives me a small nod.
"Alright. Do you want to go back to the dorm building?” she asks. “I hear the cafeteria food is pretty good. You haven’t had lunch yet, right?”
“Sure, I guess we can go get something to eat,” I reply, and Emma and I begin making our way toward the Girl’s Dormitory building.
“Alex?” That voice. It’s so familiar. Can it be...? I whirl around, hoping to face whomever is calling my name, but no one is there. All I can see are trees looming above my head in the darkness of the night. “Alex? Is that you?” It comes again. This time I’m sure of it. It’s him.
“Dad!” I exclaim. It’s him! I’ve found him!
“Alex! Turn back!” he yells in reply. “It’s not safe for you here. Turn back!” What?! But I’ve finally found him! How could he want me to go away? Unless...unless he didn’t want me there. Maybe he wasn’t kidnapped. Maybe he left me, and made it look like he’d been kidnapped so I wouldn’t feel as bad. Maybe our argument finally made him wish I wasn’t always around to hold him down like that.
I couldn’t help it. I started to cry.
“What? So now you don’t want me anymore? Is that why you left?” I ask, meaning for the words to sound angry. They didn’t. They sound like they are coming from a kindergartener who had just lost her favorite doll.
“Alex, no! There’s something lurking here, guarding me. It’s dangerous! Alex, turn back!” I tell myself to stop sniveling and listen to him. After all, he’s my dad. He wouldn’t abandon me like that. I know him. Dad wouldn’t do that. I’m just jumping to conclusions...right?
“Where are you? Where am I?” I plead, pushing my earlier thought aside.
“Alex...,” he begins from somewhere nearby, but then he pauses, listening. I hear him gasp loudly, and he screams, “Run! It’s here!” The bushes near me crackle as if something large is brushing past them, and the sound is accented by a shrill hiss. Now I know what Dad was talking about.
Eight red eyes, each about as big as my clenched fist, emerge from the bushes. Think, Alex, think! What animal has about eight eyes? ...A spider. And this one must be huge.
The hissing noise the spider made as it was nearing me is only getting louder and more excited. The spider is obviously anticipating its next meal, which just so happens to be me. I’ll say it again: uh-oh!
As I slowly back away, reaching blindly behind me into the darkness to feel my way through the trees, the spider seems to know what I’m doing. It reaches one of its hairy legs above me, placing it down just behind my back, blocking my path.
With a quick decision, I dive to my left, the direction the spider isn’t blocking me from going, but instantly another spider, the same size as the first, steps out from the brush. My breath is coming in ragged, fearful gasps now as I wonder which one I’ll fall prey to.
Then I wonder if I can cast a spell to get rid of them. Wait, no. I don’t know how to cast them yet.
The hissing grows even louder, even more animated; now it’s blocking all other sounds. The spiders slowly make their way toward me, their ruby red eyes glinting in the soft starlight, the hair on their bodies shivering with anticipation.
With yet another snap decision, I feint going one way and then dart the next. My ploy works—the spiders, thinking that I’m going to my right, head that way, but I’m now running in the direction that was my left. Abruptly, though, another spider leaps from the brush, this one bigger than the first two combined. I’m dead meat.
The spider dives towards me and I let out a terrified shriek.
“Alex!” a voice yells. It’s going to eat me! I have to get away before it attacks, I have to—wait. I’m...I’m back in my bed. It was just a dream. I stop thrashing about in my bed and open my eyes to see Emma holding me down, trying to stop my screams. Luckily, she doesn't seem to have been kicked or punched by me when I was having my nightmare.
“Sorry,” I apologize, sitting up in my bed. Then I ask, “How’d you get in here?” I quickly glance at the clock on the wall. It’s morning, about eight o’ clock.
"You forgot to lock your door. I’m only across the hall from you, so I heard your screaming, as everyone else on this floor probably did.”
“Sorry,” I say again.
“It’s fine,” she replies. "You should get ready. You’ve got class in an hour. Bye, Alex.”
“Yeah. See you later, Em,” I say as Emma exits my room. I quickly write the dream in my journal and get ready for the day.
~*~Later That Day~*~
Today Ashthorn taught us how to teleport. It wasn’t easy, but eventually (after several unexpected trips to Unicorn Way) I got the hang of it. Now, I’m leaning against the wall of the Myth school, waiting for Emma.
“Hi, Alex,” Emma greets me as she exits the Myth school with all the other Myth Novices.
"Hey.” We begin to head toward the cafeteria for lunch.
“So...did you find anything else out about your dad?” Emma asks as we walk slowly in the direction of the dorm building.
“No. I didn’t bother today,” I sigh in response. “I had a bit of homework that I wanted to get done.” Suddenly, Emma brightened up as if she had an idea.
"Hey, isn’t your mom a wizard, too?” she asks. I pause, unsure. Was she? I wasn’t sure. Then abruptly, I remembered a time that I had desperately tried to forget.
“I’m tired of this, Daniel!” Mom shouted to dad. I was cowering in the doorway, watching their argument. The year was 2006. I was thirteen.
“What do you mean?” Dad asked, his voice much softer than Mom’s. Mom looks at him as if she can’t believe what he just asked.
“What do I mean?” she echoed angrily. Then her voice quieted to a whisper, and she looked down sadly. Her words were still harsh and annoyed, but now there was longing behind them. “I’m tired of hiding like this. Why can’t we go back? I miss my friends. I miss the professors. I miss magic!”
“As do I. But we can’t go back. He’ll find Alex. He’ll kill her.” Mom glared at Dad fiercely, and the wistfulness in her eyes and words vanished, leaving only anger and annoyance.
“Fine, then! I’ll go back alone,” she yelled. “Don’t expect me to visit.” And at that, there was a flurry of sparks, and Mom was gone.
Emma looks at me expectantly, waiting for an answer as we walked, and I return to the present, pushing the sad memory away.
“Yeah, maybe. But even if she is, I don’t know her wizard name or even if she’s in Wizard City. She could be anywhere in the Spiral,” I complete, using one of the new words I’d learned in this wizard world. The Spiral is like what humans call a galaxy, except rather than stars connecting the galaxy, magical tree sap from Bartleby connects each world. It is because of this magical tree sap that people can use Bartleby to travel between worlds, or just teleport if they’ve been there before.
Just then, before Emma could reply, an Ice wizard sprinted out of the Life school, slamming into me and throwing both Emma and me to the ground.
“Ow!” I yelped as the kid landed upon me and I landed upon Emma. The kid heaved himself off of me, muttered a quick apology, and ran off once more. I noticed that he was the same person I’d run into the day before when I was coming out of the Ice school.
“That was rude,” Emma commented dryly, brushing the dirt off her yellow and blue Novice Myth robes. “And I thought Thaumaturges were supposed to be patient!”
"Come on, let’s hurry up, or all the tables will be gone.” Our recent conversation is forgotten, and so Emma and I continue into the large dining hall of the Girl’s Dorm building.
A week later, I fall asleep in bed only to have another nightmare.
“Mom! Where are you, Mom?” I yell. A single column of light falls upon an area about a meter or two from very side of me, but I can see no further than it. Luckily, there doesn’t seem to be any spiders around. But rather than searching for Dad at the moment, I’m trying to find Mom. “We have to find Dad!”
“Why must we find Daniel? What has he done for us?” a voice that seems like my mother’s replies.
“Pardon?” I say. “He’s my dad. He takes care of me. I love him.”
“Daniel made you move so often,” Mom reasoned. “Just when you thought you’d found a nice place to live and you have good friends, he only made you move again. What kind of a father is that?”
“He was doing his best to protect me,” I reply, but now I’m unsure of myself.
“From what?” Mom questions in reply. I hesitate for a second, uncertain.
“I...I don’t know. But it must be important.” Now my voice sounds desperate, and I think I’m trying to prove it to myself rather than just Mom. And then she voiced the question that I had been putting off since the night before.
“How do you even know he was really kidnapped? Daniel could easily have staged the entire thing,” she sneered.
“N-no! He wouldn’t do that!” But the words sound false and forced.
“Besides,” Mom begins to say, “why should you give up a perfect, magical life to go find someone who will only make you move back to Earth? Daniel doesn’t want you to learn magic.” No. It can’t be true! My dad wouldn’t do that kind of stuff to me!
"W-why doesn’t he?” I stammer. Mom emits a cold, humorless laugh that sounds nothing like the mom I used to know. The mom I used to know was kind and loving. She had a terrible temper when it was unleashed, but she was a good person.
“Oh dear, you’re in denial,” she chuckles.
“Who are you?” I ask abruptly. The malevolent laughter fades immediately.
“Why, dear, I’m your mother, of course.” Lies! This isn’t the mother I used to know!
“No, you’re not,” I state. A few seconds pass before the vice responds.
"You’re a very bright child,” the voice-that-sounds-like-my-mother’s-but-isn’t observes. "You are entirely correct. I am not your mother.” The voice becomes far different than what it was just moments ago, turning into a deep, malicious rasp.
The creature steps into the area of light to reveal itself as...a wraith! The wraith then morphs into my mother, exactly the way she’d been the last time I saw her three or four years ago.
“Hello, my dear Alexandria,” the wraith says mockingly in my mother’s voice.
“Where are my parents?” I demand. The wraith returns to its original form, and if wraiths can smirk, then a ghostly smirk was definitely playing across this wraith’s face right now.
“Master has them. Master wants you. If Master doesn’t get what Master wants...,” the wraith paused for what it probably thought was dramatic effect, but it only made me even more furious, “bye-bye Mommy and Daddy!”
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