What started out as a modest flame soon erupted into a full burst fire, a burning bush of prophecy. The new Slayer is rising.
"Audrey is dead," the eldest woman told them, watching the movement of the flames.
There was a small weep amongst the group.
"And the Dark Ruler is gathering more power. He is almost ready," the woman continued. "He's taking back his son."
A mixture of disbelief and denial spread between the men and women. The Council had been around for decades to ensure the spell remained intact. The most powerful of witches had shed their blood to create it. Could it be that easy to break?
"The Dark Ruler will succeed on breaking the spell," the woman confirmed dejectedly.
An uproar of outrage and gasps filled the air. What were they going to do? There had to be another stronger spell to replace the old.
"But what will happen, Mother?" another woman asks. "Surely we must have some kind of saving grace."
"We shall," the elder woman said with a smile.
The others looked at her skeptically as if she were telling a white lie. But her smile seemed genuine and the hope in her voice was evident as she put her hands together in prayer.
"The new Slayer is rising."
Livvy Way meticulously brushed her brown hair in front of her vanity mirror. Her cousin Iris sat on her bed, watching her sympathetically. Poor Livvy was a prisoner of her own home. Ever since her mother died, her father moved them into a house isolated from the city and had Livvy home schooled for her whole educational life.
Neither Iris nor Livvy knew much about her mother's death. Gerard would refuse to go into detail about it. He only told them that it was a horrible accident that happened when Livvy was barely a year old. She hated to admit it, but Livvy loathed him inwardly. She had no friends, no communication with the outside world, and she didn't know how to act socially. She knew that things would've been much different if her mother were still alive. Maybe she would've been popular with hundreds of friends or an outsider with a small group of loving companions. Either way, things wouldn't have been what they were now.
All she ever had was Iris and her Uncle Mikey. She didn't know anything about her mother's side of the family, another thing that Gerard kept secret. Thanks to her uncle, her once small shelf of books expanded to her very own library. From the time she was old enough to read, Mikey would give her a stack of books that ranged anywhere from biographies of famous women to books of classic poetry to wonderful tales of fiction that surpassed even her own imagination. He would hand her a pile of amazing literature and whisper in her ear to forgive her father's behavior and to understand why he did the things he did. She would smile and tell him that she understood. But she never did.
"I've been reading this book your dad gave me," Livvy told Iris. "It's about vampires. They seem like interesting creatures. They speak such poetic language."
"Really?" mused Iris. "I've been reading up on witchcraft. I have this book full of actual spells and ceremonies."
"Have you ever wanted to try it out?" Livvy asked.
"Well...," Iris reached over to grab her purse. "I brought over some materials, if you want to."
Livvy smirked in agreement as Iris immediately began setting up. Livvy couldn't help but to stare at the likeness of Iris and her uncle. Iris's facial structure was so similar to her father's, from the curve of her lips to the shape of her nose. She had Mikey's light brown hair which she tied into two long braids that hung down to her waist. She even wore extra thick glasses because she inherited her father's less-than-perfect vision. He had his eyes fixed with surgery, but he refused to allow her to do the same until she was 18. Livvy, on the other hand, was a spitting image of her mother. She knew because of the few photographs she had of her. She had the soft features of her mother's face and the dark brown of her hair, but she had her father's dark green eyes. She took pride in carrying on her mother's genes. She was desperate for anything that brought up her memory.
They cut off the lights, lit the candles, and burned incense. Iris kept the largest candle in the middle; it was white for purity. She kept her spell book in front of her, flipping through the pages until she made her decision.
"Let's do the most simple spell," Iris suggested. "The spell for light."
Livvy complied as she watched Iris get into a meditative state. She whispered for Livvy to do the same. It stated in the book that the most efficient spells were conducted with the clearest of minds. Iris grabbed onto Livvy's hands, holding tightly to multiply their power.
Iris said the prayer in her mind. She begged God for light. She asked Him to grant her the strength to cast the spell. She pleaded for power and assured Him that she would do nothing but good with it. Iris was so captivated in her prayer that she didn't hear herself whisper every word aloud. Livvy watched her, feeling her grip on her hands tighten with each second. Iris's brow wrinkled in concentration, her words becoming louder and more rapid.
"Grant me the power of light, my God," she chanted. "Grant me the power of strength."
Livvy wasn't sure if it was going to work, but she could definitely feel the energy in the air. The aura around Iris was almost visible. As if there were an orange light around her.
"The strength to do good and reject evil. The strength to illuminate the darkness of damnation. Grant me the power of light, my God. Grant me the power of strength."
Livvy didn't know whether Iris's words were memorized or if they came from the bottom of her soul. She could hear the desire in her voice. The pleading in her tone.
"GRANT ME THE POWER OF LIGHT, MY GOD! GRANT ME THE POWER OF STRENGTH!!!" Iris shrieked from the top of her lungs.
A sudden strong wind hit the bedroom window and forced it open. The shutters banged against the walls and the cold air blew out every candle except for the one in the center. Its flame enlarged into an unbelievable size. It was almost the size of a softball. Their eyes never left it as the fire finally blew out. Then there was darkness. And silence.
"Livvy?" Iris called out in a cautious whisper.
"Did it work?" Livvy wondered.
"I don't think so. But that was...something," Iris said excitedly.
"Girls?" Gerard's voice startled them both.
The room illuminated instantly with a flick of a switch. Gerard stood in the doorway, waiting for an explanation. Iris and Livvy looked at one another, not knowing what to say or how to say it.
"Hey Dad," Livvy greeted weakly.
"What happened? I heard a loud bang," Gerard asked sternly.
"A wind just blew open the window, Uncle," Iris explained.
"Are you both alright?" He didn't seem convinced.
"Yeah, Dad. We're fine. Don't worry about it," Livvy insisted, hinting him to leave.
"If anything happens--"
"I know. We'll call you," Livvy cut him off in annoyance.
Gerard shook his head at her stubbornness and retreated back to his bedroom. He was sure that she hated him, but he was only doing what was right. He was keeping her safe and protected from all harm. She was alive and well just as Autumn would want her to be. One day, she would thank him.
Livvy slammed the door as soon as her father was out of hearing range. Iris could see the frustration in her face. She was gritting her teeth and clenching her fists as if she were suffering from an excruciating headache. Iris reached out to her and tucked her bangs behind her ears. She motioned for her to lie down and rest.
"Sometimes, I wish I were with my mom," Livvy sighed, twirling her silver crucifix between her fingers. "She would never cage me in."
"He's just trying to do what he thinks is best," Iris reasoned. "Even though he may be wrong. He means well."
"I just want to be free," Livvy said softly as she laid her head on the pillow.
Little did she know that she was about to get her wish. In less than a month, fate was going to set her free into a world with no boundaries. A place not even her father could forbid her to explore. The only question was whether she would choose to stay in that world or if every word she spoke would come back to bite her...literally.