|Tara Fairypetal stared up at the moon. It was so peaceful sometimes, unlike the life she was living.|
She sighed. She knew that she should probably get back inside, go back to living like the orphan she was. It was well past midnight, and Tara knew if she was caught, she would have to live on the streets because of all her “freaky” behavior. But she liked to have times to think like this. It was always too loud back in the orphanage, even at night because of all the snoring or whimpering of newly orphaned children. The moon was a wonder, which was something Tara was craving right now. She had been in this orphanage for… Tara gave a little squeak, realizing it was her tenth birthday. This didn’t really make her feel any better, just surprised. She was the person who was the long timer here.
Why me? Tara thought.
Somewhere an owl hooted. Tara turned to go back to the orphanage, but didn’t even get a step before she was swept by long talons screaming into the sky.
Hearing the screaming, the orphanage caretaker ran out of the orphanage carrying a lantern. She stopped at the place where Tara had disappeared, looking with horror at the scrap of Tara’s nightgown…
Tara awoke with a jerk out of the dream/flashback to find herself staring into the Healing Center, which was like a hospital for wizards.
“Well well, look who came around!” came a cheery voice of a nurse, who was pouring a dose of medicine for her. “You might want to stay away from Nimah for a while,” she said.
“Thanks, Angela,” Tara replied, accepting the medicine. “Was I really defeated again?” she asked.
“I am afraid so, little miss. Now hush up and drink that medicine!”
Tara quickly gulped down the medicine and gave the cup back to the kind nurse. “Good! You’re free to go now.”
Tara jumped out of bed and, with a word of thanks and an exaggerated spin, she teleported home.
“COOKIE?! I`M HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOME!” she shouted.
“THERE`S NO NEED TO SHOUT!” shouted Cookie right into Tara’s ear.
“Oops! Sorry Cookie, I didn`t see you there,” Tara whispered, clutching her ears. “I have to, um, do some homework up in my room.”
“No no no no no!” Cookie exclaimed. “Not there! Are you deaf?”
“Sorry, marm. Me ol` back`s a-hurtin’,” whimpered a Zeke-like furniture mover. “An` to drag it all the way from Moo-Shu!”
Tara rolled her eyes. Her “family” had just gotten a new house, and Cookie had been too lazy to move the furniture into the house herself.
“Uh, bye,” she mumbled to no one in particular. She sighed and went up to her floor, then crashed on the bed, staring at the dim ceiling.
Cookie. Ugh. How she hated that name, and person, from the top of her head to the toes of her boots!
She sighed again, turning over onto her stomach to look out the window, which, from her angle, just showed black sprinkled with stars. When Tara’s mother, her real one, had been alive, Cookie had merely been their cook and housekeeper. But then her mother, like Mrs. Drake, had caught a terrible cold and died, leaving her two daughters with her enormous fortune. Cookie, seeing all the girls` gold, ignored the will’s requirement of sending them and all their possessions to a friend’s house (their father had died ages before) and “took them in” instead. Cookie had forced Tara and her sister, Caitlin, to call her “mom” at all times, took all their money, forbid them to live in their own houses and just plain ruined their lives. Tara had ignored all of these forced rules. She only called Cookie “mom” when Cookie had her wand and was cranky; Tara lived in her own house whenever she could and only gave two thousand of her millions in gold (Tara was a good liar) to Cookie, while her sister had dim-wittingly given Cookie the whole bank.
Suddenly, a small purple dragon flew through her wall (not crashed through, flew through), did a fancy loop around Tara’s head and paused on the other side of the room. Speaking of sister, Tara thought as she patted out the tiny flame that was starting to bloom on her head.
As if on cue, a girl about the age of nine came running through the wall, skidded to a stop, pointed a finger with purple nail polish on it at the dragon and shouted, “AH-HA!”
Tara couldn’t help rolling her eyes. “Yep, that’s my sister,” she mumbled with annoyance.
The dragon was starting to turn to go through another wall, and Tara knew that Caitlin would go after it. She threw herself out of bed, stood right in front of her sister, flung her arms out and braced herself. Caitlin crashed into her, but because Tara was ready, only Caitlin fell over.
“Ha ha,” Tara mocked.
Caitlin glared at her and said, “That was so funny I forgot to laugh. Oh, and let me through, we’re playing tag!”
Tara put her hands on her hips and replied, “I don’t think so.”
Caitlin stood up. “What?” she snapped.
“Not in my room.”
“Tag. Not in my room. Not in this house would be nice too, but I am sure it will take a miracle to make that happen. ”
Caitlin sighed, gave her a look that meant Tara was right and said, “FINE,” then ran through the wall after the dragon. Tara had no sooner flopped onto her bed when a mob of Caitlin’s friends ran through and out again. She closed her eyes, fighting the urge to scream. When Tara had first got here, she had wished her sister was here (her sister still had to wait to be ten on earth). Her mom had pulled a few strings (Caitlin had only been eight) and Caitlin had come, but she had never been able to meet her mother. She had died as soon as Caitlin got here. Tara wiped some frozen tears off her cheek. Being a Thaumaturge, her tears always froze. She thought of her sister. She was a purple peep. Purple hair up in a pony, purple eyes, purple clothes, purple nail polish, purple lip gloss, purple purple, etc. It was weird-Tara’s favorite color was purple and Caitlin’s favorite color was green. Tara got up and studied herself in the mirror. She had black, spiky hair and dark skin. Her eyes were bright blue and she usually had a wide smile. She thought she looked a little bit like her mother. A high, neat pony tail on her head, beautiful brown eyes, a ruby red smile and a nice tan. That had been her mother.
“Tara!” shouted Cookie’s voice from down stairs.
“Yes?” Tara yelled back.
“I have to leave! Some, uh, business came up that I need to take care of. I’ll be gone for a week, maybe longer!” Tara heard the door slam, but she waited a while to get up. Then, when she was sure all was silent, she got up and whispered to her sister, “Cookie’s gone for the week or so. If you need anything tonight, I’ll be at my house, but I’ll probably come back tomorrow.”
She didn’t know how wrong she was.
“K, K,” Caitlin distractedly whispered back. Tara spun on her heel and arrived near her bed in her own house, which was considerably nicer than Cookie’s house. She lay down, again, then turned off the small lamp on her nightstand. The ceiling above her showed all the stars that were in the spiral. Her eyes wandered the beautiful night sky, stopping on a constellation she had made up herself. It looked exactly like her mother.
Tara stared at it, thinking I need to get to sleep; I need to get to sleep … But Tara’s body was way ahead of her. Her eyelids slowly closed, and she drifted off into a peaceful sleep.
She woke to the feel of something unnaturally cold pressed against her neck.
“You’re finally awake eh?” came a man’s gravelly, malice filled sneer. “You might already know this, but still,” he paused, fingering the thing he had pressed to her neck.
“You move, girl, you die.” He finished.
Tara got the chills, partly because of the fear sprouting inside of her and partly from the coldness of the blade pressed against her neck.
Meanwhile, Caitlin was having a big slumber party (no surprise) back at Cookie’s house.
“I mean what’s the point of calling it a slumber party if no one ever slumbers?” one of Caitlin’s friends, Emily, was saying.
“Yeah, I know!” Caitlin replied.
Caitlin never expected there to be anything unusual about her sleepover. But whenever you don’t expect something to happen, Caitlin thought, with tears of shock running down her cheek as she sat an hour later with Tara, it usually does.
“They should call slumber parties-“ Emily started to conclude, but didn’t get to say what she thought sleepovers should be called, because she disappeared into a cloud of sparkles, meaning she had teleported.
“Now where did she go?” asked Mary, a different friend. No sooner had she spoken when she disappeared. Amanda and Abigail were chatting away like little birds. They too disappeared. Caitlin stood up, starting to get creeped out. Five more of her friends disappeared, then two more. Only one of her friends were left. Her name was Ashley, and she looked as if she were struggling greatly with something. “I think something’s wrong with the teleportation unit. I can already feel myself starting to slip through to my house! I wouldn’t…. try…. UGH….any tel-teleporting unless… an emergency…. Bye!” she struggled out, and with a cloud of sparkles and a large popping noise, vanished.
The room went black.
“Hello?” Caitlin said uncertainly.
A dark hand came out of the greater darkness and pulled her back, a scream caught in her throat.
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