The Devereaux Legacy: Chapter Three - Part 5


Published on

Published in: Sports
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

The Devereaux Legacy: Chapter Three - Part 5

  1. 1. Welcome back, dear readers, to The Devereaux Legacy. It is getting to the point where I am unable to do a recap in just a few sentences. If you are a current reader, then there is no need. If you are a new reader, I recommend going back and reading the first few chapters (at least back to “It’s the Bee’s Knees”). Before I start, I want to give all the credit to my husband for the title pages of the last couple of chapters, and all the future ones. I have no talent at it, and he gets to use his degree, something he laments not using at his job. So, without further ado…
  2. 2. Prologue “Tribebohemian!” I said to the newest arrival to Pleasantview, “You have no idea how glad I am that you could make it here. So, my plan is that I will be able to talk to you about all sorts of SimSelf types of things while the rest of them remain oblivious. “The last time I interfered, Josh turned his granddaughter evil to get back at me. I thought it was a joke, but…well, I’m big enough to admit when I’m wrong.”
  3. 3. “So anyway, you know the drill, right? I have to make you into a Townie and then eventually Sebastian will bump into you, and…” “Do you think I’m stupid?” the other woman interrupted. I blinked back at her, startled.
  4. 4. “Well, no. I’m sorry, I just feel the need to over explain everything. I’m really long winded, in case you haven’t noticed…” “Oh yeah, I DID notice. I’m a SimSelf, just like you. I know what needs to be done, and I know that what I am needs to be kept secret.”
  5. 5. She continued, “And I will also assume that who you are and WHERE you are should be kept under wraps as well?” I winced. “Yeah, that would be nice. I have this unreasonable fear of being burned to death by an angry mob, you see. And I think Keith would be slightly irritated if he died as well. This is just a hunch, mind you.” The other woman nodded. “That’s all I have to do to get Sebby? Keep who you are and who I really am a secret? And keep you in the loop of any weird things that happen? I think I can do that.” She grinned happily. “Yay! I’m so excited.” “Remember to keep me in the loop…” “Yeah yeah, I know. No need to repeat yourself. Well, I’m off. Talk to you soon,” and she left. As I watched her, I got a sinking feeling that she was far more concerned with getting Sebastian than with helping me…
  6. 6. Chapter One Spring was in the air over Pleasantview. It was most clear in the outskirts of town, where the smog from the Pleasantview Industrial area hadn’t reached. Children began to play outside longer, and lovers set aside their bickering that was brought on by winter cabin fever.
  7. 7. Sebastian felt the spring air keenly. He was lonely. He missed Tristen terribly, though he no longer fell into the morose slump that he had when his family first arrived in Pleasantview. It did not stop him from being aware of the empty side of the bed, however. Or from occasionally looking at Tristen’s portrait with sadness. He would snap out of it quickly, though.
  8. 8. One bright spot in his life was his new job. He no longer wanted to be a General in the military; particularly the Pleasantview Military, or Conditioning Police as they liked to be called, who was more of a bullying brute squad than anything else. Instead, he found peace of mind drafting blueprints for beautiful structures that he knew would never grace Pleasantview’s skyline. That part kind of irritated him, actually, but he was really in no position to complain about it. Many of the Pleasantview citizens still viewed his family askance, and he decided that he didn’t need the extra grief. So he just made sure that he kept a copy of every blueprint with the hopes that someday Pleasantview will be reformed.
  9. 9. The strange thing about Pleasantview Sims was the fact that though they seemed to hate Legacy families as a general rule, they were also utterly fascinated by them. Sebastian began to get bored by all the phone calls from newspapers and television reporters begging him for interviews. They all wanted to know one thing: When was he going to get married again? Of course, he was very respectful, but kept his stock answers vague. “Yes,” he replied numerous times, “I would like to get married again. I am looking for that special someone; Someone who wears makeup and is artistic. Zombies need not apply. Yes, I am aware that zombies are not exactly run of the mill, but I figured I would put that out there just in case an apocalypse happens upon us. What? Oh God no! I am absolutely NOT predicting an apocalypse!”
  10. 10. These published interviews, of course, brought on a slew of women who would randomly walk by his house; all with the hopes of meeting and marrying the wealthy, and possibly influential, Sebastian. Though they disliked Legacy families, enough money made all feelings of animosity die down. Eventually Sebastian resigned himself to the fact that he had to start socializing, so he made it a point to at least greet these women and go on outings with them; he couldn’t bring himself to actually date, as dates have high expectations, whereas outings were far more causal.
  11. 11. Of course, he didn’t go out with all of them. Some of them reminded him too much of Tristen, and he knew it wouldn’t be fair to a new potential wife to have that extra ghost between them.
  12. 12. And some women just gave him the hibbly jibblies.
  13. 13. He didn’t only rely upon random walk bys, of course. Very often he went into SimCity to check out the local club scene.
  14. 14. Though one club in particular seemed to only have men for clientele. He blushed furiously when he realized what kind of bar it was. The other gentlemen laughed good naturedly at his mistake, and he ended up having a lot of fun and making new friends, but not a new potential wife.
  15. 15. Another outing he went on wasn’t nearly as fun; some people took their gambling a bit too seriously.
  16. 16. Bowling was also a lot of fun, and it was something he was very good at. The girl he was with seemed nice enough.
  17. 17. However, she made it clear that she was looking for far more in the romance department than he was willing to give. He just didn’t feel that special connection with her. Pretty much what his own internal narration came down to was this: he was exhausted.
  18. 18. Sebastian knew he was trying too hard. Things like this should just happen, not be forced, he thought to himself as he sat down at the counter in the diner he decided to end his night in. Sighing, he picked up the menu and started looking for the least greasy item that wouldn’t keep him up all night with indigestion. After he placed his order, he casually glanced down the bar to see who else was occupying the restaurant at that time of night. He then did a double take.
  19. 19. She was attractive, but that wasn’t the thing that held his attention. She seemed… different. She had more of a presence, a confidence in herself, that Sebastian couldn’t quite put his finger on. The strange, almost aura, about her made her stand out more than any of the other women he had socialized with.
  20. 20. Clearing his throat, he shyly grinned over at her. “Hi, I’m Sebastian,” he said as he winced inwardly. He wished he had a smoother pick up line than just blurting out his name.
  21. 21. The woman at the other end of the counter looked over at him. She blinked and gave him a smile. “Hi, I’m Kitty. Nice to meet you, Sebastian.”
  22. 22. Chapter Two On the other side of town, Spring had not fully touched. Mill and factory workers would look, bleary eyed, out the windows of their budget slum units and sigh at the frost that was determined to stick on the ground. They would then sigh in disappointment as they drudged through another mindless day at their jobs, silently cursing the powers that be who changed the barely remembered Pleasantview of old. But not all the denizens were miserable because of the mindless SAMENESS of everyday life…
  23. 23. Zane idly picked at his fingers as he kicked at some loose gravel. He knew he wasn’t supposed to be outside, as his mother had specifically prohibited it. Fortunately for him, his mother was too angry at the moment to pay attention. Instead, she was directing all of her concentration at her spell book, looking for ways to “make them pay.” He sighed sadly, still remembering his mother’s ranting and ravings directed at him. They all came down to one thing: it was basically his fault that they were not living at the big house right now. It was his fault simply because he apparently was not appealing enough to his grandparents, and that he was lucky that he had a mother that did love him. His mother was right of course. After how his grandparents reacted, and especially his Uncle Sebastian, it became very clear that nobody would want him, except for his mother. He was very glad that he had her.
  24. 24. A voice spoken to him jerked Zane out of his sad thoughts, a bit of panic rising. He was not supposed to talk to anybody outside of his house. “Hi, I’m Tina, your next door neighbor. What’s your name?” the voice asked.
  25. 25. Zane smiled shyly and the blonde little girl. “Oh. My name is Zane. It’s very nice to meet you,” he said to her politely.
  26. 26. Tina looked at him with a questioning look. “How come I don’t see you at school? Or do you get to go to the private school? I didn’t think anybody was allowed to go there. Well, at least any of us who live on this side of town. I saw the name on your mailbox, and it says Devereaux. Aren’t you one of those Legacy brats?”
  27. 27. Zane looked at Tina wistfully. “Yeah, we have the same last name, but…no. The other Devereaux family doesn’t like us,” he sighed heavily and continued, “and I don’t go to school. Momma teaches me. I wish I could go to school though,” he added the last part softly.
  28. 28. Tina laughed. “Oh! So you’re home schooled. That’s so neat! I wish my parents would let me stay at home, but they think that I will have a ‘healthier understanding of the downtrodden times that the children of Pleasantview are suffering’ or some baloney like that.” The girl rolled her eyes as if she didn’t believe the quoted statement herself, but she was resentful about being forced to comply to her parents’ wishes.
  29. 29. “So anyway,” Tina continued, “is that ’living impaired’ guy that lives with you a real and for true zombie? My parents think it is ‘awfully kind of your family to reach out and help someone with his condition.’” Tina made the quotation gesture when quoting something that was obviously from her parents. She continued on, not letting Zane answer her questions. “Can I come over and see him? I’ve never seen a zombie before.” And she began walking over to the other side of the fence into Zane’s part of the backyard.
  30. 30. Panic rising, Zane held out his hands trying to stop the girl. “No no no. I can’t let you come over. I ought to go inside now, Momma might get mad at me.” But it was no use, for Tina had already come over to his side of the yard.
  31. 31. Tina tilted her head and observed the wide eyed look the strange little boy was giving her, obviously not understanding his panic. “Do you have to go inside because you didn’t finish your homework?” she asked him. “I didn’t think that home schooled kids had homework. I hate homework, its so boring!”
  32. 32. Zane paused and looked at her. “Yes. I must go inside and do my homework, otherwise Momma will give me a bad…grade.” Tina nodded sagely, understanding that bad grades are the bane of every child’s existence. At least her existence, and it appeared the same was said for Zane. She shrugged and smiled. “Okay. Maybe some other time?” She heard a car pull up, indicating that her parents were home from the peaceful protest rally they had attended. As she turned to skip down the narrow path between the two houses, she smiled and waved at Zane.
  33. 33. “Hey Daddy! I met the little boy next door. That one guy really IS a zombie. Isn’t that cool?” Trent looked patiently down at his daughter. “Tina dear, you know the politically correct term is living impaired. You don’t want to hurt that man’s feelings and make him feel different from the rest of us, do you? Zombie is a hurtful and negative term. You should know better than that.” “Okay Daddy. I’m sorry. I’ll try to remember,” she managed to respond without rolling her eyes.
  34. 34. Zane, for his part, smiled happily to himself. Tina was the first child he had ever met and she was so nice to him. Maybe if I ask Momma nicely, she’ll let me play outside with her. Maybe she’ll even let me go to school with her! he thought hopefully. His head jerked around as he heard the backdoor open. In the doorway, he saw Lillian glowering at him. “Boy, I have been calling for you. How many times have I told you to never go outside?” Zane tried not to look guilty. “I’m sorry Momma, I was using the bathroom. I didn’t hear you calling. I’m sorry,” and he walked inside cringing at his mother’s apparent ire.
  35. 35. Chapter Three A few days had passed before Zane was able to gather up the courage to ask for permission to go back outside and play with the little girl next door. “It’s not like I do not enjoying spending time with you, but do you think it can be allowed?” Zane asked.
  36. 36. Remington looked at Zane, keeping his face expressionless. He honestly felt bad for the small boy, but there was nothing he could do to intervene; Lillian’s magical control over him was too overwhelming. Remington sighed, something that he didn’t really need to do, seeing as he was technically dead, but it was a force of habit left over from his living days.
  37. 37. “Zane,” he began, knowing that he was the only person in the house who called the child by his name, “you know I have no control over what happens with you. You’re going to have to ask your mother. I would, if I could. I want you to know that.” You need a life kiddo, but I know your mother will never let you have one, he mentally added. Zane nodded, trying to keep his face neutral, but failed. “I know. But Momma loves me, and maybe if she sees that I really want this, she’ll give it to me…?” He couldn’t help but sound hopeful. Remington said nothing, and the two of them continued their meal in silence.
  38. 38. In the front room, Lillian was pouring over spell book, looking for the answer to her question on how to take back what she felt was rightfully hers. “I wish by stupid brother had just taken the tonic instead of his wife,” she muttered out loud to herself, “with him dead, this would have been so much easier.”
  39. 39. And then suddenly, she saw it. There is was written in bold red; the answer she had been seeking. Of course, not directly, but with her own unique (she felt) way of thinking outside the box, she would be able to achieve what she wanted. Excitement began to rise within her when a voice interrupted her, breaking her concentration.
  40. 40. “Momma?” Zane asked hesitantly, “Momma, do you think…” Lillian clutched the sides of the book stand and she angrily snapped her head and glared at her son, interrupting him. “How often must I tell you to never interrupt me?” she hissed at him. Zane’s eyes went wide and he opened his mouth, but no words came out. “I’m sorry Momma,” he finally was able to whisper, “it… it’s nothing important.”
  41. 41. Lillian ground down a tooth and she attempted to put on a sweet smile. I need the boy to be compliant if what I am planning is to work, she thought as she gripped Zane’s shoulders and looked him in the eye. “Child, what is it you wanted?” she asked sweetly, trying not to let her clenched teeth show. “You obviously thought it was important enough to interrupt me, so what is it?” Zane searched his mother’s eyes, but the hateful look he saw in them a moment before seemed to have vanished, almost as if he had imagined it. He took a deep breath. “I was wondering if maybe I could go to school now and maybe play with the little girl next door. She was very nice to me Momma, and her name is Tina. She didn’t seem that upset with me because my last name is Devereaux. Maybe some of the other kids will like me too? Can I please?”
  42. 42. Lillian looked skeptically at her son. “Child, how often must I tell you that people always lie and no one other than me is to be trusted? Imagine how hurt you would be if you did go to school and you found out that this Tina girl was trying to trick you and the other students made fun of you? Is it not better for you to stay here, with me, where I can shelter you from such harmful things?” She paused and put on a horrified face, “Unless, of course, you no longer love me and do not wish to be here with me anymore. Of course, I do not know what would happen to you, seeing as none of your other family members love you nearly as much as I do…”she trailed off, seeing her words sink in. Zane quickly kissed his mother. “No Momma. I still love you. It was silly of me to ask you. I’m sorry.” Lillian nodded her acceptance to his apology. “You are forgiven my son. Now, run along upstairs while I research ways to improve our lives. Trust me son, my way is the best.”
  43. 43. Lillian grinned evilly to herself as she went back to her research, preparing the incantations to her next diabolical scheme. The Grandmaster Plan. The One That Will Work. She didn’t even notice the longing look Zane gave out the front window before he left the room; nor would she have cared if she did. As long as the boy was obedient…
  44. 44. As for Zane, he glumly walked up the stairs to his bedroom, trying not to let his disappointment get the best of him. His mother was right. She always was. He knew that nobody would like him, let alone love him, like his mother did. He was so glad he had his mother to protect him from all the people in the world who would want to hurt him. His chest filled with grateful love towards her.
  45. 45. Later that night when he was looking out his window, he noticed an abandoned yellow notebook sitting on the sidewalk. He crept past the front room, where his mother was still engrossed in her studying, and he went outside to look at it. It appeared that it was Tina’s homework. Looking over his shoulder, convinced that the girl next door was going to yell at him for touching her stuff, he knelt down and opened it.
  46. 46. Zane skimmed the instructions to the assignment. It appeared to be a very simple ‘identify the nouns and verbs in these paragraphs’ sort of thing. He also noticed that Tina had started the assignment, but gave up. All of her answers were wrong as well.
  47. 47. Pulling out the pencil that was in the binding, Zane quickly erased all of her answers and settled down to do the assignment. He had never done homework before, and he found that it was kind of fun. With his tongue sticking out of his mouth, he quickly finished the assignment, and left it sitting on the sidewalk where he found it. He smiled. Maybe that would make Tina like him.
  48. 48. Chapter Four The next morning was a Saturday. Not that the day itself actually mattered to Lillian, but it was a random thought that crossed her mind as she felt tugging tingle that was attempting to pull her to an unknown destination. Instead of fighting it, she allowed herself to be teleported.
  49. 49. She found herself standing before a lone witch, obviously the one who must have summoned her. The witch barely glanced at Lillian as she started reading out loud a litany of things. A list of crimes that apparently Lillian had committed against the coven. “Lillian Devereaux, you are hereby accused of blatant murder, evil machinations, and outright manipulation; all in the name of working towards the goal of a Legacy takeover…”
  50. 50. Lillian interrupted with a laugh. “Really? Seeing as this is the evil coven, I would have thought that such things were looked fondly upon. It was the only reason why I decided to join in the first place.” The other witch glared at Lillian’s interruption.
  51. 51. “If you would allow me to finish,” the other witch continued, “I was going to say that while the regular world would find your actions deplorable, we commend you. “The biggest crime that you have committed, that we at this coven take very seriously, is the fact that you have yet to pay homage to this coven chapter. While I understand that you may have paid homage to the London Bridge chapter, you haven’t here. Thus, that makes you a rogue witch. And we do not take kindly to rogues. “You have had ample opportunity to do as such, and we gave you the time. Yet nothing ever came from you. So we are going to have a closed trial with all the coven heads, and we will decide your fate.”
  52. 52. And then abruptly, the witch splashed a glassful of water upon Lillian. Lillian sputtered and brushed the wet hair from her eyes. “Perhaps you should be well aware, then, that I do not melt from the touch of water.” The Coven Head just nodded, “We are aware. Tradition is tradition, however. In the past, a witch who was to be judged would have the mark of judgment upon her, scars from the water. Though we witches are no longer affected by water, we still carry out the tradition.”
  53. 53. The Coven Head continued, “Obviously these would be things that you would know, were you to actually participate in the coven, as opposed to just using your powers. “ I have seen your type before. You are selfish. You always take but never give back. You think that just because you have magic, it makes you better than everyone else. Well, I will not deny that last part, though I’m sure the Sisters of the Light would tend to disagree, but either way you still need to give back to the people who made you so powerful. “You have not. So all the coven heads will meet in private and decide your fate. We will inform you what the verdict is in due time.” And before Lillian could say anything else, the Coven Head began waving her wand, teleporting Lillian back to her own home.
  54. 54. When Lillian was gone, the Coven Head walked over to her cauldron and spoke into it. “The rogue has been informed. It is now time for all of us to meet.”
  55. 55. Lillian clenched her fists when she arrived back at home. Apparently time moved differently in the coven halls than it did in the real world, and she lost almost an entire day of preparations. It turned out that she was going to move faster than she would have liked, in case the coven decided that she were to be executed. “Momma? Where were you? I was terribly worried that something bad might have happened, and then I would be all alone.” Lillian turned and glared at Zane, but said nothing. She stalked past her child and went upstairs where her cauldron was.
  56. 56. Up there, she began sorting and mixing the ingredients that was needed for her Plan That Will Work. If she were able to accomplish this, then her Legacy takeover would be complete. Even the coven witches would be able to respect her, and not execute her. Heck, they might even openly support her.
  57. 57. Lillian could almost taste her victory as she literally leaned over the pot and took a small taste. She sighed in a vexed manner. She just needed a little bit more time as her last ingredient wasn’t quite ready.
  58. 58. Chapter Five Lillian smirked slightly over the chessboard at Zane, who was very obviously distracted. She knew what was on his mind, for her concentrations were not so deep as to not notice what he was doing, but she had said nothing. It was always better to crush his spirits when they were at their highest. “My child, if you are not going to concentrate on what is before you, how on earth will you be able to run the Legacy after I am gone?” she asked him.
  59. 59. Zane colored guiltily and moved one of his pieces. “I’m sorry Momma. You are right Momma, I should pay more attention to what I am doing.”
  60. 60. But his concentration was broken again when he heard the school bus pull up. Breaking away from the Chess game, he ran to the window and looked out of it, not seeing the deepening smirk that was on Lillian’s face.
  61. 61. Both the children outside had their backs turned to the house, so neither of them saw Zane looking out of the window. Tina looked at her graded paper in a perplexed manner. Apparently she had received a perfect score.
  62. 62. “That is so weird,” Tina said to Alexander Goth, “the little boy next door totally did my homework AND he got all the answers right!” Alexander Goth held out his hands to stop the excitement that was coming off of Tina. In a pompous tone, far older than his age, he said to her, “Tina, you know that is considered cheating. You are not allowed to cheat. If you do, I’m going to tell teacher on you.” Tina looked glum.
  63. 63. “Besides,” Alexander went on, “you let that creepy Boo Radley Devereaux kid touch your stuff and so now it’s cursed. I am inclined to agree with my father when he says that the Devereaux family will be nothing but trouble and they deserve to be shunned, hated and preferably run out of town. The WHOLE lot of them, including the stupid, creepy spares. That is what I think, and you should too, because my father, Mortimer Goth, was one of the most influential people in town before they showed up.”
  64. 64. Zane didn’t hear Tina’s response. He curled up on the window seat that he was standing on and fought back tears. He wanted people to like him, not think him creepy. Lillian watched her son with an amused expression. “You see son,” she said softly, “I am the only person in the world who will ever want you around.” She was pleased when she saw Zane nod in miserable agreement. There was a moment of silence when they both heard a knock on the backdoor. Zane looked at his mother with a bit of panic, and he was surprised when she just raised an eyebrow at him and told him to answer it.
  65. 65. He stepped outside when he saw it was Tina. Before he could say anything, Tina said, “Zane, you can’t do my homework. It’s cheating and I don’t want Alexander Goth to tattle on me. Thank you, it was very nice, and you got me an A, but don’t touch my homework anymore, okay?” Zane looked at her sadly. “It’s because I’m creepy, isn’t it?” Tina looked surprised. “No, silly. It’s because homework is boring, and I don’t know why someone would want to do their own homework. Why would they want to do someone else’s?”
  66. 66. Zane smiled. “But it was easy and fun. And it made you get a good grade, and it made you like me, right?” Something clicked in Tina’s mind as she looked at him. “You actually like it?” Zane nodded enthusiastically. “If you want, I can still do it, but we can keep it a secret, and then we can be friends and then other people might like me, too,” he said to her.
  67. 67. Tina laughed, and Zane looked hurt, thinking that she was laughing at him. Then she reached out and tickled him. “Okay silly. You can keep doing my homework in secret. I mean, if I leave it outside, I can’t do anything to stop you from doing it, right?” Zane nodded happily.
  68. 68. “And then we can be friends, right?” Zane asked her. Tina threw her arms around him…
  69. 69. …and then gave him a kiss on the cheek. “Yep. We can be secret friends. Don’t tell anyone, or we might both get into trouble, okay?” Zane grinned and promised to keep the secret.
  70. 70. So, as promised, Tina left her homework outside on the sidewalk for Zane to complete…
  71. 71. …and she would go to school and get the good grades. The arrangement worked out well for both parties involved, and Zane liked seeing the stickers on the homework assignments for a job well done. And best of all, he had a secret friend.
  72. 72. Chapter Six A month had passed before Zane began to feel dissatisfied with the arrangement. It wasn’t that he didn’t like making Tina happy, but he wanted to experience school himself. He had reasoned out in his mind that he could easily manage to do both his and her assignments. He crossed his arms and glared at the wall. “Momma, I want to go to school now. I know I would do well.”
  73. 73. Lillian grimaced a smile. “Nobody is denying that you would excel in your studies, my son, however the fact still remains that nobody would like you and your feelings would get hurt. Did we not both agree that it would be best for you to remain here, safely, with me?”
  74. 74. Zane stood up in front of her. “Momma, if I am supposed to inherit the Legacy after you, aren’t I supposed to make friends and stuff? I mean, I’m supposed to get married someday, right? And then I’m supposed to have kids who will take over after me, right? How can I do that when I can’t even go outside to meet people?” Lillian laughed meanly.
  75. 75. “It is statements like that, my boy, that proves to me that you are not quite yet ready. Child, when you have absolute control over the power and wealth that both training from me and inheriting the Legacy will give you, then you have no need to be friends with anyone. People will always fail you. However, when the time comes for you to marry, then with a little bit of persuasion that person will see things my…I mean, OUR way.”
  76. 76. Lillian sat back down in her chair. “Now child, I expect you to go to your room and contemplate the error of your ways. You will eventually come to terms with the fact that nobody but me will ever like you, and you will also fully realize that I am right in all things. Now go. Immediately.” Zane’s heart thumped loudly and his cheeks flushed. He knew he shouldn’t have said anything, because his mother was always right. Why did he bother to argue or question?
  77. 77. But upstairs he cried. He just wanted his mother to be wrong, just once, especially about other people not liking him. He thought he was a pretty neat kid if people got to know him. He didn’t want to force people into liking him, like his mother thought was necessary. Am I really that horrible? he thought to himself. He was afraid to answer his own question.
  78. 78. Lillian rolled her eyes at the sound of her son’s sobbing. “Ugh. Kids these days. What is a mother to do?” She shook her head and sighed in an aggrieved manner.
  79. 79. Suddenly, there was a bright light filling the room, and in the middle of the nimbus stood the Coven Head of the Sisters of the Dark.
  80. 80. Lillian glared balefully at the woman and poked her. “You dare enter my home unannounced?”
  81. 81. The Coven Head looked at Lillian, appalled. “I have come here to issue you the verdict that we came to. You’re very life might possibly be on the line…and you dare poke me?”
  82. 82. Lillian realized her mistake, and tried to look contrite, but the Coven Head didn’t believe it. “The judgment that we came to is that you, Lillian Devereaux, are to be hereby stripped of all of your powers. Never again will you wield magic of any sort, and our eyes will forever be closed to you. I had made a compromise on your behalf, as is my right, but now I will not do so. Lillian, I will now summon a Dark Servant to rip the magic forcefully from you. I sincerely hope that it is a painful process.”
  83. 83. Before she could begin the process, Zane ran into the room and stepped between the two witches. “Please don’t hurt my Momma!” he cried, trying to shield Lillian’s body with his own. The Coven Head looked at him curiously.
  84. 84. “Alright child, speak. I am listening,” she said to Zane. “My Momma needs her magic to protect me and help me. If my Momma loses her magic, what will happen to me? My Momma just made a mistake and she is sorry. Please don’t hurt my Momma!” he said to the witch in a beseeching tone.
  85. 85. The woman held up her hand to stop the flow of words coming from Zane. “Alright boy child, whose name is Zane, I will go through with my compromise. Lillian, I will not strip you of your magic forever. I will only temporarily take away your powers. For you see, the Love of a Child, is what is protecting you.” She turned and smiled cruelly at Lillian. “Yes. The Love of a Child. It is amazing how important that ingredient is in all of dark magic, is it not? As long as you have it, it will be that very love that is keeping the power away from you.” The woman turned back to Zane. “Zane, I suggest you run along upstairs while your mother and I finish our discussion. I promise what will be done to her will only hurt for a moment.”
  86. 86. After Zane left the room, the Coven Head began her incantations. Lillian wrung her hands it what almost seem like distress. “But I need the Love of a Child if I am to accomplish my goals…” “You should have thought of that before. Put it this way, at least you might have the chance to get your magic back. But then again, your child loves you so very much. You made sure of that, did you not?”
  87. 87. “Well, while it was not my original intent…” Lillian began.
  88. 88. The Coven Head interrupted her. “From what I understand, this is a very painful process, stripping away magic. You might wish to save your breath for your screams.”
  89. 89. As the Dark Servant approached Lillian, she found herself rooted to the spot, unable to fight back physically. Mentally, she tried with all her might. It didn’t matter. In the end, the Dark Servant touched her very spirit and stripped the magic from her soul.
  90. 90. Lillian’s face contorted in pain as she felt the gut wrenching rip tear her apart. But she did not scream. Not then. She refused to give the Coven Head the satisfaction.
  91. 91. It was only afterwards, when the other witch left, that Lillian let out the screams from her soul. Her magic was gone. She was no better than anyone else. And that is what hurt her most of all.
  92. 92. Zane ventured back downstairs when he no longer heard his mother’s screams. It took him a moment to notice what was different about his mother; it was the lack of the green aura she’s had around her since before he was born. He silently walked up beside her as she sat at the chess board. “Momma?” he whispered, fearfully. “You have ruined me. Get out of my sight. Now.” “But, Momma. She said that you might get your magic back someday. You can still protect me until then. I promise I can help you out and I won’t make any trouble.” “You are an idiot child who understands nothing. Now, go away before I show you how truly angry I am.” “Y-yes Momma. I’m sorry Momma. I love you Momma…” “GO AWAY NOW YOU USELESS, MISERABLE CHILD!” Lillian screeched. And Zane ran from the room, too terrified to cry.
  93. 93. It took about an hour for Lillian to compose herself. When she finally did, she walked up to her spell book, hands clasped in an almost prayer like manner, and tried to read what was written in it. The words swam before her, slipping and sliding, never staying still long enough for her to understand their meaning.
  94. 94. With an angry growl, she picked up the book and hurled it against the wall. It was completely useless to her now, just as she was sure that the cauldron upstairs was as well.
  95. 95. After pacing the room for a few moments, she settled on the window seat. There was something that the Coven Head had said to her that was nagging at her mind. “Think. THINK. What was it?” she muttered to herself. But the more she tried to think about it, the more slippery the thought was. She began pacing through the house, purposefully trying to NOT think about it.
  96. 96. As she walked into Zane’s bedroom and looked down at his sleeping form, it suddenly clicked. As long as SHE had the Love of a Child. And her Plan That Will Work required the Love of a Child. But…it never specified who the child needed to love. It just required the love itself. A slow, evil smile spread across Lillian’s face as she leaned over Zane.
  97. 97. She stroked his hair in an almost loving manner. “It looks, my child, that some of your wishes are going to come true.” And she smiled again as she heard Zane sigh contentedly in his sleep. *** (To be continued…)