Matty Was Missing

Matty was missing.
For someone who was missing, I couldn’t run away from him, even if I wanted to.
We lived in a small town, where everyone knows everyone and everything. So, when Matty went missing, the missing person posts went everywhere the next day, was all the local news talked about.
Everyone had their idea of where he was. That he ran away. That he killed himself. That the serial killer, the Night Wriath, got him. Afterall, he’d killed teenage boys in the counties near us.
I shook my head at each speculation, because Matty was still alive for all we knew.
He had to be alive…
Afterall, there was no evidence to say otherwise. All anyone knew was that Matty’s blue Volkswagen Beatle was found, abandoned, in a mall parking lot. That he hadn’t made any purchases since he’s been missing. That I was the last person to see him.
He was happy then. It had been a full moon, and as we were both Wiccan, we did Full Moon Rituals for happiness and prosperity, and he left my house with his big smile on his face. Yeah, it was late, midnight or so, but he always left late like that.
I held onto the pentacle Matty had given me, it was on a black string, with letter beads that spelled out, “Willow”, my name.
I relied on the white magic behind Wicca. I tried every spell I could think of. I begged my Patron Goddess, Freya, to find him.
But Matty was still missing and it had been a week.
One night I fell to the ground, and I cried out, “If there is anyone out there, good, evil, help me find Matty!”
I cried a long time, and I guess I eventually fell asleep.
When I dreamt, I was in a forest that I’d never been in. I felt ike there was a string attached to me, and someone was pulling me along through the forest, until the pull stopped in a clearing.
When I looked in front of me, I screamed.
Matty was looking at me with lifeless, white eyes, his head on the ground. The rest of his body was in pieces, scattered around me.
I jolted awake, and started to get out of bed to turn a light on, as if that would chase away the nightmare. But, when I did, I saw dirt in my bed, and covering my legs. I jumped onto the floor, and stepped away from the bed, but I wished I stayed in bed.
When I looked down, Matty’s lifeless head was looking up at me, and his body was spread around him. There was a brown book next to him.
I look at Matty again, so I pushed him under my bed. I picked up the book, and saw that the title was, “Spells.”
There was a piece of paper wedged in it like a bookmark, and I turned to that page. The page said, “A Spell of Resurrection.”
There was no way that this was white magic, it couldn’t be.
I saw that the piece of paper read, “You’re Welcome. ~Asmodeous.” A demon. This was black magic.
But Matty wasn’t missing. Matty was dead, and he was under my bed.
Matty was my first love, and we had two amazing years together. I needed Matty.
I had to do the spell. I had to use black magic.
The spell read, “Requirements: needle and thread, chalk, knife, five candles, and one soul.”
But, if it took my soul to bring Matty back, then I would do it.
I looked down at Matty, and I closed his white eyes. I gritted my teeth as I picked up each body part and sewed Matty’s body back together.
I drew a pentagram, along with the required symbols around it. I then placed the candles on each point of the star. I lit the candles, and cut my palm, dripping blood on Matty.
In a shaky voice I read the spell outloud.
After I spoke the words, nothing happened. I sighed. I was feeling numb all over. I was like an empty shell.
Suddenly Matty’s fingers twitched, and then his hands closed and opened, and then his eyes opened, no longer white, but blue and full of life!
He groaned and started to sit up.
“Matty…” I whispered. But, I saw that I was no longer in my body. I was next to my body, but when tried to touch Matty, my hand went through him.
He sat up, and the thread I had sewn him together with faded, and he was completely back to life.
He looked in horror as he saw my lifeless body. He cradled my body in his arms, screaming, “Willow!” Over and over again.
I was screaming, but he couldn’t hear me.
My parents ran in, shocked, and rushed to my now, lifelfess body, being held by the now, full of life Matty.
I screamed, but no one could hear me.
The floor suddenly cracked open, with fire crackling. Matty didn’t seem to see it.
A grey-skinned man with long black hair flew out of the crack on black wings. He tipped a wide brimmed hat. “Nice to meet you.”
“Asmodeous,” I said. “What have you done?”
“Me?” He said and laughed. “That was all you. You asked, and you received.”
“But what’s happened to me?”
“Well, let’s see…” He snapped his fingers and the Spell Book was in his hands. He opened it to the Resurrection Spell page. “Requirements: Needle and thread, blah, blah, blah, and…OH,, and what’s this? A soul.”
“But, doesn’t that happen when I die?”
“It happens when I want your soul, and I want your soul…” He said softly and slowly, but in a furious flap of his wings he was in front of me. His eyes were ablaze with a orange fire and he roared, “NOW!”
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Quoth The Raven, Evermore

I was depressed. It wasn’t like there was any reason. But did I really need to have a reason? I was so sick of people asking me, “What’s wrong?” As if it could be pinpointed to a single thing.

Sometimes you’re just depressed. Life is “what’s wrong” and there’s nothing more to it.

My mom was one of these nameless people asking me “what’s wrong?” So I screamed nothing and I ran away. As if I had the balls to actually run away.

I only made it to a pond across the street. It was more puddle than pond, and the trees were already deadened by winter—these black barren things.  What was wrong was how damned depressing everything was.

I was sitting on a park bench hating the tears that slid down my cheeks, when I heard a deep squawk. A big black raven landed on the barren tree in front of me. The tree branch bowed under the weight of the massive bird.

I loved Edgar Allen Poe’s Poem “The Raven“, but that was all I knew about the bird. I’d never seen one in person, and was surprised by how big it was. It was almost as big as a cat.

It cocked its head at me, tilting to the side, its beautiful blue black feathers catching moonlight and shining like the dark waters of the pond. The raven seemed to look right into my eyes with its black-pearl eyes.

“Nevermore,” I whispered to myself and grinned. I realized the tears on my cheeks were dried.

The raven stayed with me through the night, sitting on the tree branch, watching over me like a gargoyle.

I told the raven about my mom,  and how the boys at school were stupid, and how my best friend was a jerk, and blahblahblah–which I supposed all the raven heard was the blahblahblah.

***

The next night, I ran to the pond, and to my surprise the raven was sitting on the same tree branch.

I lay on the park bench, told the raven about my day, and fell asleep talking to the raven.

“Hey, you okay?” Someone asked, stirring me from my sleep.

I opened by eyes and saw a guy kneeling in front of me, he had blue black hair that hung in front of his black eyes. He had two shiny black lip rings across his thick lips, and another in his septum.

“Yeah,” I whispered and sat up. “I guess I fell asleep.”

He wore a tight black shirt, tight black pants, with black combat boots. He looked like he was probably sixteen, like me.

“A strange place to sleep,” he said.

“I suppose.” I noticed that the raven was gone and grimaced. I didn’t really want to be around anyone, no matter how attractive they might be.

I stood up and started to walk away.

“Going already?” He asked.

I turned to him and snapped, “Yeah, so what?”

“Sorry I—” He scratched the back of his head.

“No, I’m sorry.”

I felt an odd tug, like I didn’t want to leave. I looked at the waters of the pond, and he turned to the pond, watching the moonlight reflect onto it with me.

“What’s your name?” He asked.

“Kyra. You?”

“Raven,” he said.

“Cool name,” I said, and when I looked into his eyes, I couldn’t help but see the similarity to the black pearl eyes of the raven. But surely not. I mean, it was impossible for boys to turn into birds, right?

We talked about nothing really, but it was nice. I did like talking to the raven, but having someone respond was nice for a change.

I smiled as I walked back to my house.

***

I walked to the pond, hoping to see the raven and Raven. When I reached the pond, I saw Raven sitting on the park bench. I smiled as I approached him.

“Hey.”

“Hey.” He was twisting a black raven feather in his hand. He held it out to me and said, “Here.”

I took it from him and whispered, “Nevermore.”

“Evermore,” he said.

“It’s ‘nevermore’, you know—Poe’s poem?”

“I know, but why not ‘evermore’ instead?” He cocked his head to the side, and it reminded me of how the raven had looked at me. “Kyra, I’d rather see you evermore.”

I opened my mouth to ask him something, something insane, but I shook my head. I mean was I really going to ask this (very attractive) boy “Hey, can you turn into a bird?” That’s how you get boys to run away from you. Well, or or fly if I was right…

It was clear that Raven wasn’t like the boys at my school.

“Do you think there are things like…shape-shifters?” I asked him. “People that can turn into animals?”

He laughed.

“Don’t laugh! I’m serious.”

His smile fell into a straight line. “Do you think they exist?”

“I don’t know. I mean, kind of.”

“I kind of do too,” he said.

“I’d like to hope magic like that exists.”

“Me too.”

We didn’t say anything after that.

I had placed my hand on my lap, palm facing up, and he held my hand, interlacing his fingers with mine. I fell asleep like that, and when I woke up, Raven was gone, but the raven was sitting on the tree branch.

I smiled and said, “Hello again.”

The raven squawked.

***

Weeks passed by, and I either saw Raven or the raven when I visited the pond. I was no longer running away. After all, there wasn’t anything wrong anymore.

“I want to show you something,” Raven told me. “Do you promise that you won’t run away?”

I laughed. “What are you a serial killer or something?”

“Or something.”

I felt a chill dance across my body. I didn’t really know Raven, and that realization sunk in. I wondered if I had been too trusting. But something, maybe stupidity, made me stay.

Maybe I should have ran, but I said, “Yeah, okay. What is it?”

He flashed a wicked grin and then he titled his head back. I stepped away from him as his body convulsed. His skin rippled over cracking bones. Suddenly it was no longer Raven, but the raven sitting in front of me.

I should have been more shocked, but I wasn’t. I smiled and I bent down to pet his soft feathers. He cocked his head at me, and then as soon as he was a bird, he was back as a boy.

“Wow,” I whispered.

“I understand if you want to run away, forget about me,” he said. “I know I’m a freak.”

“No!” I quickly said. “I…I like you as Raven and the raven.”

“Really?”

“Really,” I told him. “I like you for evermore.”

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(Raven by: Nebraska Oddfish)

She Slept in Fire: A Dagger Story

Here’s a short story based off of my novel, Dagger.

She Slept in Fire

She looked like she was sleeping. In fact I thought that was the case, until after several times she never woke up. That and she didn’t have a pulse.

I’d never seen a dead body. It was surreal. But as much as it made me uncomfortable, I couldn’t move.

The syringe stuck out of her arm like an unwelcome reminder of what happened. I just stared at the syringe until my brother yelled my name, “Dagger!”

I didn’t even register he was yelling my name until he walked over to me and started to shake me.

It was then that I realized I had been standing there for an hour.

“Dag, she overdosed,” Coal said, as if I didn’t know. But part of me didn’t want to know. Part of me wanted to think she was asleep.

Coal, always trying to keep it together, hugged me against him. Ever the protective brother.

“We gotta get out of here,” he said. “If they find us, alone like this, they’ll send us to foster care. I’m not doing it.”

He gathered up mom’s jewelry and a big fat stack of cash that was in her purse and put it in a walmart bag.

“Grab anything from your room that you want,” he said.

I grabbed my backpack and a few things and put the backpack on.

When I went into the room he had picked up a lighter from the nightstand, that was cozy next to an ash tray, and had it held it above mom.

“What are you doing?” I asked, my heart racing.

“Get out,” he said, his brows furrowed and I felt determination emanating from him.

“No,” I said and tried to get the lighter from his grasp.

“Get. Out.”

“You’re scaring me.”

“You should be,” he said. “Leave. I don’t want you to see this.”

But I wouldn’t move.

Everything after that was a blur. I don’t even remember him flicking the lighter, I just remember fire. First a small fire on the sheets, and then it spread like blood splattering.

And then my hand was in Coal’s and he pulled me out of the room and we ran down the stairs. The apartment was quiet, no one knew what was happening in our apartment right now.

Mom was sleeping in the fire.

Author’s Notes: So this is the messed up backstory behind my characters Dagger and Coal. In this story Dagger is 14 and Coal is 16. Why Coal did this will be explored in another short story. For now I will leave that as a mystery.

For the record NO Coal did not kill his mom, even though it might look that way? I guess we’ll see what people think!

Anyways, I hope you enjoyed it!

Image by: SimpleInsomnia