posted on 9-Dec-2001 3:06:12 AM
Title:Falling Into A Mystery
Category: Au
Summary: Elizabeth Parker's life has always been simple and normal. But a new arrival in town will begin a chain of events that will forever change her life and bring out deadly secrets never known before.
Author's note: There are no aliens in this story however there are witches. This story is based on the book series Sweep by Cate Tiernan but I have changed some things and at first the story is about the same but eventually it digresses so even if you've read the books don't think you know everything!
Also Max and Isabel are not related in any way in this story.
Feedback:Always welcomed and enjoyed


Chapter One

I will always remeber that day. For it was the day I first met him. It was the day my life started to include him. It was the day when nothing would ever be the same again, that my whole world turned upside down. I will always remeber that day as the first day of the rest of my life..............


My name is Elizabeth Anne Parker, but everyone calls me Liz. For the past sixteen years I have lived a pretty normal, average, basically boring life. Nothing exciting or dangerous has ever happend. And that was more than fine with me. I mean after all I wasn't exactly the kind of girl interesting things happend to right? Wrong, dead wrong. Little did I know that on my first day of school that nothing was going to be dull anymore.

"Hey girlfriend", my best friend Isabel said as she gave me big hug, even though we had just seen each other last night.

"Hey" I say back. "Gosh I can't believe summer is already over and school has started already. Didn't tenth grade end just yesterday?"
"I know what you Liz, still from the way the weather is you would never know it's not July"
"Tell me about it. It's not even 9:00 and I'm already dying." Despite the heat and the fact that summer was indeed over I felt a sort of excitement in my bones. A whole new year was starting and I was finally an upperclassmen, a junior. I was moving on up.

"You look great Liz" Isabel said
"Thanks" I replied appreciating her attempts at being nice. "You too". By the way have I mentioned the fact that Isabel looks like a model. She's five foot eight, with perfect blonde hair, curves and attitude. Wherever we go people turn and stare at her. The thing is that Isabel knows she's gorgeous, she enjoys, but she's not arrogant either. She just accepts what she looks like and uses it to her advantage. I can't exactly blame her. I would if I was her.

Now about me. I lack a little in the looks department. It's not that I'm ugly or anything it's just I'm pretty average and next to Isabel a girl can feel seriously inferior. I'm five foot two with long dark hair and eyes. The complete opposite of Isabel. Even though some people, mostly my friends and family, tell me I am attractive I know they are just saying that.

Isabel and I continued walking up the stairs to Widow Vale High School.
"Oh my gosh look at Pam Troy, she's got another piercing" I said. Pam's a senior and the wildest girl at school. She has dyed, jet black hair, several tattos including a flame circled one around her belly, and too many body piercings to count. She's amazing to look at, well at least to me, miss ordinary girl. I wish I could be that daring and get a way with it. In the meantime I'm still waiting to grow some breasts and hips. But I probably shouldn't concentrate on the negative. I do have alot going for me. I'm ranked number one in my class and am brilliant. Yes, I'm the math and science girl. I'm even taking A.P. Calculus, Biology and Physics this year, all senior classes. Yippey let's hear the band salute me.

Pam headed to the side of the building where the other "pot heads" as we affectionately called them hung out.
"Her mother must be so proud" I say cattily trying to pretned as if I didn't care. The truth was I admired her. What it wouldn't be like to do whatever you wanted and not worry about what others thoughts. Just once I'd like to be that free and wild, to really experience life at it's fullest. Ok back to reality Parker.
"I wonder what happens to her nose stud when she sneezes" asks Isabel and I laugh

"Hey Izzy ready for a new year" yelled Suzanne Scott, another resident school beauty.
"You bet" replied Isabel as she started walking towards Suzanne and the other "populars". Oh Joy.
"You coming Liz"
"No thanks I have stuff to do"
"Liz they like you fine" Isabel said reading my mind like she often did. I guess that comes with the whole best friend, known forever thing.
"No it's fine really. I have to go talk to Maria anyways" Isabel knew that was code for I just don't feel comfortable with your clique and I'm too chicken to say so.
"Okay then. See ya" she says understanding

She begins to turn away but stops dead in her tracks dropping her mouth wide open as many other students did. I turned and followed her gaze and saw a boy coming up the steps of the school. It was like one of the movies when everything goes into slow motion because a life altering event has just taken place. This was it for me as Max Evans walked up the stairs of Widow Vale High for the first time and right into my life. Of course I didn't know it then.

"Who is that?" Isabel turned and whispered to me
"How should I know" I whispered back. Just as I was saying this the boy walked up to us in a completely calm and cool manner with the uttermost confidence. And let me tell you, the closer he came, the better looking he got.
"Is this the way to the office?" he asked

Now I have to admit I've seen goodlooking guys before. All of the boys Isabel runs through have in fact been goodlooking. But this guy was.....breathtaking. Beautiful, soulful, dark amber eyes, a perfect build, and a gorgeous face. It was a crime against humanity to be that perfect, I swear. It actually took me a moment to register he was talking to us. I gazed at him stupidly while Isabel sparkled. Naturally.

"Right throught the hall and to your" she said smiling
"Thanks" he said "I'm Max Evans"
"Isabel Warren. So you're new around here"
"Yeah my mom and I just moved here and I'm starting my senior year. What about you?"
"Juniors" Isabel said. "But you might have classes with my friend Liz here because she's taking senior math and science."
"Cool. Well I'd better check in. Thanks for the help. See you around" And with that he walked away.
"Definitely" Isabel said with a smile on her lips. A smile I knew all to well and I had come to call the predator.
As soon as Max was out of distance I found us all surrounded by Isabel's friends wanting answers about the new boy.

I stepped out of the crowd. I drifted to the entrance and put my hand on the heavy brass handle, feeling almost certain I could still feel Max's presence. I sighed thinking that it didn't matter that he was at our school. That would probably be the last time I ever even have a partial conversation with him. Little did I know that I would be having a lot more "chats" with Max and that soon he was going to draw me into a world I had never existed before. The arrival of Max Evands changed everything. And it was about to connect me, him, Isabel, Pam, Suzanne, and many other people like never before.


A week passed. As usual I felt a tingle in my chest as I walked into A.P. Physics and saw Max there, still looking like a god in a mortal place. Today he was talking to Alisa Spotford. "So this is a yearly festival you guys have" I heard him asking her. Alisa blushed. "Yeah it's not till October though"

I sat down and opened my notebook. In one week Max had become the most popular guy at our school. No let me retract that. He was a celebrity. Even the boys liked him, well the ones that didn't have girlfriends drooling after him that is.

"What about you Liz" Huh? I looked up. Max was speaking to me. "Have you been to the harvest festival?" My cheeks were already turning pink just from that. Pathetic "Yeah pretty much everyone goes. It's not like there's much else to do around here unless you go down to New York City and that's two hours away"

Max had spoken to me several times during the week and each time it had gotten a little easier to talk to him though I still had a long way to go as if that wasn't obvious. He turned to face me fully and I allowed myself a quick glance at him only since I didn't trust myself to look at him. Not if I want my vocal cords to work.

I still couldn't figure out what it was about Max that made me feel like this. Well besides the fact he was the most gorgeous, captivating guy I had ever met. But it was more than that. Max was different from any other guy I'd ever known. When he looked at me I felt he was looking into my soul. He did that with everyone.

I was brought back out of my thoughts by his voice again. "So what do you do the rest of the time."
"I don't know" Lovely response. I'm such a brilliant conversationalist.
"What kind of movies do you like"
"I don't know any kind" Oh look I'm outdoing myself
"Really so do I. You'll have to show me which theaters to go to. I'm still learning my way around."
Before I could respod her smiled at me and turned to face the front of the room as the teacher came in and called roll.




I wasn't the only person to find Max charming. He seemed to like everybody and everybody liked him. He never showed favorites and always seemed to sit at a different lunch table each day. It was amazing. I had never seen anyone, especially someone new fit in as easily as him.

"You have to admit he's hot" Isabel asked me
"Of course I'm not blind" Trying to cover myself I added "But....he seems I don't know kind of a player and elusive. I mean how many people has he gone out with in the last two weeks. "
"Three" said Maria. It was Monday afternoon the beginning of the third week of school and I can officially say the arrival of Max has been the biggest thing around.
"Hey Liz toss me some of that" said Alex Whitman. Next to Isabel, Alex was my best friend in the world. "How come when a guy goes out with a lot fo girls he's a player but when a girl does it she's just picky" he said
"That is so not true" Isabel declared "Girls ge it bad if not worst Alex, of course I dont' think you'll ever have to worry about being thought of as a player" she laughed. Alex was such a close friend that I sometimes forgot he had terrible acne. He had been really cute until seventh grade, which made it all the more hasrder on him. Still he was the best guy I knew, no matter how he looked.

"Oh well you would know about dating alot of people Isabel" Maria said
"Excuse me Maria but I'll have you knowI have been in long realtionships. Why one lasted about.... about.... two....."
"Days" I finished for her. Everyone laughed.
"Very funny Liz. At least I DATE"
"Hey" I said trying to defend myself "I'm just waiting for Mr Right that's all" I laughed casually. The truth was I wished I did go on dates. Make that a date. It's just that it's so much harder for me than other people. It always has been.

I shook my head and began drinking my soda when I saw Max approaching us with a smile on his face. "Are you getting settled in?" Maria asked "Widow Vales a pretty small town so it probably won't take you to long to find out where everything is" Max smiled at her and I blinked. "Yeah it's nice here. Full of history. I feel like I've gone back in time" he said. I tried not to stare at him like an idiot but I couldn't help myself.

"Listen I came over to ask you guys if you wanted to come to a party this Saturday night."
We were all surprised. It seemed gutsy for a realtive stranger to throw a party so soon. But then everything about Max was surprising as I'd soon find out.
"A party" Isabel exclaimed. "Where?"
"Well if the weather permits it's it will be an outdoor party. Mostly I want to have a chance to get to know people. I'm inviting mostly juniors and seniors."
"Really" Isabels eyes were practically bulging out
"Yeah there's this field right at the edge of twon over past Tower's market. I thought we could sit around, talk and look at the stars, along with some other stuff...."

We just stared at him in shock. Kids hung out at the mall. kids hung out at the movies. Kids hung out at houses. Heck kids even hung out at Seven Eleven or McDonalds if things got really boring. But no one and I mean no one went to the woods and to look at stars?
Max seemed to notice out expressions. "This isn't the kind of thing you usually do is it?"
"Not really but...it sounds great" Isabel said carefully
"Okay then I'll be printing out directions. Hope you guys can make it. I promise it will be worth your while" With that I watched him wal k away with perfect grace.

Suddenly the thought I wish he was mine popped into my head. I was shocked that my brain would even process that thought. Max Evans was so out of my league it was funny and pointless. I would just have to snap out of it. As I was in my daze all my friends were talking about it excitedly.
"What kind of party is it" Maria wondered out loud.
"I don't know and I really don't care" Isabel said cooly

We all watched as Max walked up to Isabel's other friends and then moved on to the stoners. It struck me how easily Max fitted in everywhere. It was amazing how comfortable he was with everyone. It was like he was universal. On one level I envied him because I was comfortable with only a small group of friends. In fact I had know Isabel and Alex since I was a baby. Isabel and I were the only two people at our school who managed to be close despite being in two different cliques.

One thing became clear in my mind as I thought. Even though I was nervous I knew without a doubt I was going to that party no matter what happend. And so began.....well you'll just have to wait and see.









[ edited 18time(s), last at 27-Jul-2002 10:55:47 PM ]
posted on 28-Dec-2001 1:43:45 PM
Sorry it's been so long since I've posted but my mom has been really sick and is in the hospital so I didn't have any time. She's doing better now so I hope I can start posting more often. Okay well here's the next part.


Chapter two

Book Of Shadows Entry:

Tonight is the night. I start my search. Pray for my success so that I may find the one I seek and increase our number. I have been given a mission and I cannot and shall not fail. Let it begin.



Saturday night. The porch light casts a shadow across our lawn as Isabel approached our house.
"What's wrong with it now" I said
"It's making weird noises everytime I drive it. Can I catch a ride?"
I rolled my eyes and shook my head. Isabel's expensive car was forever having some type of problem. So much for fancy engineering. I opened the driver's seat of Tina, my beautiful '71 Chrysler Valiant. Isabel climbed in on the other side and we waved goodbye to my dad who was putting out the trash.

"Drive carefully sweetheart" he called out
I nodded and started the engine. I looked up at the sky. The waning moon was a thin, sharp crescent. A wisp of a dark cloud drifted across it, making the stars pop out and shine. The night seemed almost magical.

As we were driving Isabel held a piece of paper out that held the directions to Max's party. "I wonder...." she said "What this will be like. Max is really......different isn't he Liz?"
"Uh huh" I replied softly. I didn't want to elaborate or continue this conversation. I didn't want to talk to Isabel about Max, and I wasn't even sure why.

"Okay, Okay. This is it. We're here" Isabel said excitedly a few minutes later. She was practically jumping out of her seatbelt just as I stopped the car. "Is" I said politely "We're in the middle of nowhere" She completely ignored my statement. Great. "The instructions say to park under the tree here and walk on. Let's go Liz"

As we began heading towards the destination I quickly scanned the area to see what other cars were there. Alex's distinctive silver beetle was there glowing under the moonlight, as well as Kyle Valenti's red pickup. Sharons SUV, and Maria's mom jetta edged up nearly next to them. Parked in a sloppy circle was Pam Troy's battered, black wreck, a jeep I recognized as Max's, a green minivan that belonged to Beth Nielson, Pam's best friend. I didn't see any of the people but there was a trampled path along the woods.

We followed the path of beaten grass until we reached the end of the woods. Isabel pointed ahead where I saw a small clearing and shadowed shapes. I heard laugther and the delicious scent of burning wood smoke filled the air. By the way have I mentioned the fact I have this fascination with fire and things burning.
Suddenly an outdoor party really was a brilliant idea. I heard a crashing sound behind me and turned to see Ethan Sharp and Alisa Spotford coming through the forest behind us.

As everyone was laughing around I saw Max appear almost silently from the edge of the clearing. He was carrying a large wicker hamper, which he set down next to the fire.

"Hi, thanks for coming everyone" he said. "I hope the fire will keep you all warm". I pictured myself snuggling up to him, his arm around my shoulders, feeling the heat of his skin slowly seep through my fleece vest. I blinked quickly and the image was gone.

For the next half hour we all hung out and talked, sitting around the fire. Max had brought some delicious apple cider with cinnamon along with other food for people who didn't want beer, people who included me.

Finally he stood up. "I'm glad you all came tonight" He came over next to me. He spoke loud enought for everyone to hear him. "My mom knew a bunch of people here before we moved, so she has a bunch of friends, but I thought I would have to celebrate Mabon by myself"

Isabel smiled. "What's Mabon Max?"

"Tonight is Mabon" he said. "It's one of the Wiccan sabbats. Kind of an important day if you practice Wicca. It's the autumnal equinox"

You could have heard a leaf at that moment by how quiet everything was. No one said anything. Max seemed aware and prepared for our shock. "You see usually on Mabon you have a special circle to give thanks to the harvest. And after Mabon you start looking forward to Samhain" he stated easily.

"So what are you saying man" Kyle was the first to speak with a nervous laugh. "Are you telling us you're a witch or something"

"Well actually yeah. I do practice a form of Wicca" Max said

"Isn't that like devil worship" Alisa asked

"No, no not at all. There is no devil in Wicca. It's about celebrating nature"

Alisa as well as some others looked skeptical.

Max continued. "So anyway I was hoping to find a few people to make up a circle tonight"

Silence.

Max looked around absorbing everyones look of surprise and discomfort but he showed no sign of regret. "Listen it's no big deal. If you're not into it don't worry. You can leave if you want, I just thought some people might find it cool"

I looked at Maria. Her eyes were wide. Isabel turned to me and we communicated a whole conversation of ideas. Sure we were both nervous and skeptical but we were also intrigued too.

"So" Max said "It's almost ten. Anyone who wants to stay is welcomed, but you're also welcome to leave. Thanks for coming either way"

Some people immediately left. Pam walked over to Max and told him she stay.

"I think I'm going to go home" Maria whispered to me. "I'm going to stay a while" I said. She nodded and waved goodbye.

People began making decisions. I glanced at Max. He just watched. There seemed to be no tension in his body.

All in all me, Isabel and Pam stayed. So did Alex, Kyle and his girlfriend Jenna Rains, Beth, Sharon, and Ethan. Alisa hesitated but stayed and so did Suzanne and Todd James. When it looked like everyone who was staing was there Max looked at each of us and smiled "Cool, thanks for staying. Let's get started."

Max took a stick and drew a large, perfect circle in around the fire. Before he joined the two ends of the circle, he motioned for us inside, then closed the circle as if he was shutting a door. Then he brought out a box of salt and sprinkled it all around the circle. "With this salt, I purify our circle" he said

Isabel and I galnced at each other.
"Okay now let's join hands" Max said as he held out his own hands. A wave of self-consciousness washed over me as I realized I was standing closest to him left hand. He reached for my hand and held it. Pam went to Max's other side, taking his right hand firmly. Isabel was on my other side.

Max lifted my hand and our arms were raised. "Thanks to the goddess" he said "Now you guys say it"
"Thanks to the goddess" we said though I doubted Ieven spoke. I wondered who the goddess was.
"Thanks to the god" Max said "Today day and night are balanced. Today the sun eners the sign of the Libra, the balance"
Todd chuckled and Max slanted his eyes at him.

We started saying some other things and then started chanting. I don't really remember because I started feeling weird. It seemed as if I was somewhere else.

A while later, oh heck it could have been two minutes or two hours I'm not really sure, I began feeling nervous and dizzy. I suddenly heard Max say something about banishing.

"Pam what would you get rid of if you could" he asked
Pam smiled like a regular girl for once. "I banish small minds" she yelled
"Jenna" Max asked as we moved in our circle
She glanced at Kyle "I banish jealousy"

Holding tightly to Isabel and Max's hands I began to feel like a sliver of soap at the bottom of a bathtub going round and round and round even though I know I'm not moving.

"I banish anger" I heard Alex call out distantly
"I banish, um, school" Todd laughed out. What an idiot I thought.
"I banish plaid golf pants" Alisa giggled. So did Suzanne who next replied "I banish fat free hot dogs" I could tell the three of them were not really even the laeast bit serious about this. I don't know why they stayed.

I felt Max's hand tigthen around mine.

"I banish stupidity" Sharon said
Next to me Isabel yelled "I banish fear and doubt"
Max squeezed my hand hard. Was it my turn? Hmm I thought dreamily. What was I afraid of. At that moment I couldn't remember any of my fears.
"Um" I said
"Come on" Pam shouted agitated
"Come on" Isabel nudged
"Come on" Max whispered as if he was enticing me into a private spot with him alone in the dark

"I banish limitations" I blurted out. Then it happend. As if on cue we all threw our hands up and apart from one another and stopped where we stood. I felt a piercing pain in my chest, as if my skin literally had ripped open. The world was spinning. A rush of images came at me. But I only remeber one. It was me being pulled by two people in two different directions. I didn't know which way I wanted to go or who I wanted to go with. Then the it stopped. I gasped and stumbled to the ground.

"What's with her" I heard Pam say
"Too much brew" Todd laughed
Isabel's hand touched my shoulder. "Are you okay Liz, what's the matter?" I became aware that everyone in the circle was watching me. With each breath I took, the pain became less but I still felt everyone's gaze on me.

"I'm fine" my voice spoke lowly. "I must be coming down with something. I don't know. It was probably a cramp or whatever" I shrugged trying to turn the attention away from me.

I finally stood up with Isabel's help and looked up at the sky. Everything seemed brighter, as if the moon had blown into fullness, but it was still a crescent. I glanced at the woods and felt drawn to them. I heard each separate sound of the night. I blinked and looked at the faces around me but stopped when I cam to Max.

His deep voice floated towards me as clearly as a whisper in a tunnel, as if his words were meant for me and me alone, as the group began to dissplve.
"I banish lonliness"



Book Of Shadows Entry:

I saw something last night---a flash of power from an unexpected source. I can't jump to any conclusions yet. We've been waiting too long to make a mistake now. But in my gut I feel this is it. I need to get closer to her and see what I find. Who knows where this may lead.








[ edited 2 time(s), last at 28-Dec-2001 5:00:30 PM ]
posted on 28-Dec-2001 4:58:53 PM
Well I was going to wait to post this but since I have some more time right now I might as well do it. So here's the next part.

Chapter three


On Sunday morning I woke up feeling like my head was packed with wet sand. My mom entered my room smiling, as always. "Get up sleepy head it's a beautiful day" She threw open the curtains, flooding in the sunlight to my room. It was awful. I pulled the covers over my head and groaned.

Eventually I sat up in bed wondering if this was what a hangover was like. Then I remembered what happend last night and I felt a rush of excitement. It had all been so strange and yet...amazing, freeing. It had been the most incredible night of my life. And then there was Max, who was, I don't even know for sure what I want to say about him.

I thought back to the moment he looked at me and our eyes met. At the time I thought he had been talking to me only but later I found out everyone had heard him. On the way home Isabel wondered how a guy like Max could possibly be lonely.

I went to shower. As the water streamed down my body I closed my eyes and leaned against the wall shivering with headachy delight. I felt tired and yet the most alive I've ever felt. I could hear each and every drop of water as it fell on my skin. I opened my eyes and breathed in the steamy air as my headache finally began to drain away. I stayed still for a moment, then stepped out feeling like a new woman.

When I went to my closet to pick something out, I decided to dress up a little. Normally unless forced to I'm in the most comfortable, bagggy, bummy clothes a girl can wear. I never try to "dress up", especially on weekends. But today I felt different. I decided I wanted a new look to go with the way I was feeling. After thoroughly searching through most of my crappy clothes I found a pair of cut tight jeans that stuck to my and a red sleevless shirt with the words rocker written on it. Isabel had bought me the outfit as a present but I had neve worn them before. Next I put on a pair of boots with heels and accessorized with jewelery for my neck, wrists, and fingers. I even went the extra mile and put on an earthy tone of eye shadow and lipstick. I looked at myself in the mirror and was amazed and what I saw staring back. Note to self: must go shopping for a whole new wardrobe.

I went downstairs. My parents greeted me warmly in all their annoying brightness. They are always cheery. It disgusts me. I still don't understand how none of it was passed to me.
"Why Liz you look wonderful today" my mom Nancy said "Jeff look at her"
"Wow Lizzy, honey you look great. I guess you did get enough sleep last night even with being out late."
"Dad I never get enough sleep"

I popped the top of a sprite and took a sip as my mom turned and made a face. "Dear shouldn't you be drinking orange juice or milk instead" Hear we go. Every morning I hear the same thing. And every morning I reply "No" and sat down grumbling
My dad chuckled. "That's our owl"
That's part of the family joke. My parents are larks and I'm an owl. Sometimes I actually wonder how we're related at all.

About an hour later Isabel came over to pick me up. Her car was working again---for now. When I came out the house she looked me up and down with a smile on her face. "See look what happens when you put a little effort in. You look fabbbulous. I knew you had it in you"

"Thanks" I say sarcastically. "So where are we going anyway?"
"An occult bookstore. Max told me about itlast night and it sounded interesting. I want to go check it out."
Cool. "Hey" I said "Speaking of the occult, you want to know something weird. This morning I knew when the phone was about to ring before it did and I knew where my dad had misplaced the keys. Isn't that kind of bizarre?"
"Hmm that is weird. What do you mean you knew?" Isabel asked.
"I just knew Is. It popped in my head"
"Freaky Liz."

A little later we were in Red Kill the next town to us north. When I was little I had been afraid of going to Red Kill. The name itself seemed to be a warning that something awful resided here. I'm odd like that.
"I didn't know Red Kill had an occult bookstore. Do you think they'll have stuff about Wicca and the Craft."
I really wanted to know.
"Yeah Max said they had a pretty good selection. I want to check it out. I felt so great after last nights circle."
"Really" I said a little disturbed. "Yeah it was intense and exhilarating but didn't you feel yucky this morning?"
"No of course not. Why would I?" Isabel replied
"Because I did"
"You're probably just coming down with something Liz"
"Yeah probably" But I didn't feel so convinced
"Oh I think this is the place."

Looking at the store, I saw a five pointed star within a circle painted on the sidewalk approaching the entrance, just like the silver pendant I had seen on Max. There were gold letters on the door that read PRACTICAL MAGICK: SUPPLIES FOR LIFE. I wondered why the spelling of the word magic had a k on it.

I felt a bit like Alice about to go down the hole, knowing that simply entering here in this store would somehow put me on a journey in which the ending I couldn't predict. The funny thing was I found that all the more interesting and irresistable. I took a deep breath a follwed Isabel inside.

The shop was long and narrow with tons and tons of books. I read some of the category signs: Magick, Tarot, History, Herbs, Rituals, Witchcraft, The Supernatural World and Beyond, Scrying.....and within each category there were subtopics. Just by looking at the books I felt my mind blooming like flower. I felt like I had finally come to where I was supposed to be. I didn't even know books like this existed. I was seeing a whole new world.

Isabel came over by me a bit later. "I think we should get a book on the history of Wicca, for starters anyway", I declared.
She turned and looked at me. "You're really getting into this huh Liz"
I shrugged "I think it's cool and I'm curious" The truth was I was more than curious.
"Are you sure it's not just trying to impress Max" she teased and laughed jokingly as if it was a silly joke.
Before I could reply she walked away. I was about to say that wasn't it at all. Though I did have crush, make that a blooming obsession with Max, I knew he was way out of my league. Just imagining us a couple was funny. Max the most gorgeous guy in the world with little Lizzy Parker, the girl who had never even been on a date. I shook my head. As if that would ever happen. Like Max would even be interested in someone like me. Like any guy would be interested in me. No there was something else that was drawing me to this.

As I was gazing around, I felt something. I felt like something or someone was burning me. I turned around and was startled by the intense gaze this guy had fasted on me. I turned back around not wanting to look at him. I could still feel his eyes on me. I don't know hwy though. He must be mistaking me for someone else. I've never seen him before in my life.

"Can I help you with anything" he said
"Huh" I spun back around.
"I said do you need help" he repeated
That's when I realized he worked here, was the store clerk. I began to relax a little. Of course he was staring at me. He just was doing his job. That's it, I told myself. Clerks help people. Uh huh. Right Parker. And at this particular store attractive, really attractive clerks give their customers intense gazes. Right. Wait a second did I just say this guy was attractive.

"No, No thanks I'm just looking"
The clerk seemed liked he was about to say something else to me when Isabel came up with a couple of books. We all went to the register.
"Is there any thing else you want" the clerk said
"Actually...yeah there is hold on a minute" And Isabel disappeared back down one of the rows.
The clerk went right back into staring at me. It was almost like he was studying me, trying to see something. I felt uncomfortable.

Finally he broke the silence. "Who are you"
I gave him a puzzled looked. "Um Liz"
He didn't like my answer. "No that's not what I mean, WHO are you" he asked again. Though soft his voice was quite insistent. It was like he thought I knew the answer and was just toying with him. I looked up at the clerk and held his gaze for a moment before looking away. Who am I? I frowned at this. What exactly did he want me to say. I'm Elizbeth Parker, daughter to Jeff and Nancy Parker, junior at Widow Vale High?

The clerk looked at me hard again then looked confused. Finally he mumbled "Nevermind. Who cares"
And went back to ringing up the books. Rude jerk. I thought. I don't know why but I was offended that he just decided not to care all of sudden after staring at me all interesting and all. Hold up. Why should I even care about some stupid store clerk I don't even know and why was I so bothered by him?

Isabel cam back with another book. "I'll get this one too"
As she was paying for her books a book caught my attention: The Seven Great Clans: The Origins of Witchcraft Examined. I grabbed the book and blurted out "That's mine" . The clerk just smirked. It was a really stupid smirk too. He gave me a look that seemed like he knew I was going to say and do that. It was like he knew something I should know. I definitely did not like this guy at all. Definitely.

"It's practically required reading" he said looking at me. Idiot. "It's important to know about blood witches. You never know when you might meet one" What the heck is that suppose to mean? "I'll take it" I said
He smirked again. Okay I really just want to smack this guy upside his face right about now. In the few minutes I've known him he's already got me seriously annoyed, which usually is a really hard thing to do.

Isabel was already waiting at the door as I paid for my book. As I turned to leave the clerk grabbed my arm. What assault too. He spoke quietly "If you ever have any questions or problems please feel free to drop by. I'm here to help. The name is Michael by the way in case you want to talk" I rolled my eyes, shoved his arms away and walked out with Isabel.

"What a cool place huh Liz"
"Yeah real cool" Stupid, Weird, Strange Clerk.
"You know that guy was really hot"
"Honestly Isabel is that all you think about. How hot a guy is. I hadn't even noticed" I never even liked the name Michael anyway. It's so common and stupid.
"If you say so Liz"

We got in the car and drove off. I couldn't even express the emotions swirling through me. Who was that guy and why did I have the feeling that somehow my life had just gotten a whole lot more complicated.






[ edited 1 time(s), last at 28-Dec-2001 5:06:11 PM ]
posted on 30-Dec-2001 2:06:51 PM
Chapter four

"Welcome to Parker Airlines, please fasten your seatbelt, we are in for a bumby ride" I intoned on Monday morning as Maria slid into the car. She giggled as she continued eating her breakfest. Maria sometimes got a ride with me to school.

"It looks like it might rain Liz"
"Well I hope it does so Mr. Henderson won't clean up his stupid gutters" Who where did that come from? The Hendersons were an old couple who lived three houses down from us and I never even think of them.
"Oooh we're entering the twilight zone" Maria laughed. "Hey maybe you're metamorphising into a higher being"
"I'm already a superior being" I laughed at her
"I said higher not superior" Maria said back
I snorted and continued driving. I was actually excited to go to school. I felt ready for a new day. Max would be at school and just the idea of seeing him made me so pleasantly nervous that my hands tightend on the steering wheel.

"Um Liz" Maria's voice was tentative
"Yeah"
"Call me old fashioned but isn't it traditional to stop for red lights"
I snapped to attention as I fully realized Maria's words. I saw that I had breezed through the intersection right through red light. At this hour of the morning it's amazing we hadn't gotten into an accident---no one had even honked.
"Sorry Ria I'll be more careful. I guess I was daydreaming. So how was your weekend?"
"Okay. I called you on Sunday but you were out. Oh how was the circle? What happend after I left?"
I grinned. I started to tell her everything that happend but ll I ended up saying was "It was okay. We did a couple of things. So what did you do this weekend...." I didn't understand why I couldn't talk to her about it. I guess I felt that this was something private only those in the circle could share.

We managed to get to school without my killing us, and I found a great parking spot right outside the building.

I saw Isabel and alex hanging out in a new area. Not with the nerds, the stoners, the populars, or any of the other groups but with an entirely new group. Pam was there, Jenna and kyle, Beth, Ethan, Alisa, Todd, Suzanne, Sharon, and Max. Everyone who had done the circle on Saturday night.

"Hey Liz" Jenna said in her usual friendly voice
"Hi" I said
"We're talking about our next circle" Pam said "That is if you recovered from last time" she added with sarcasm. Pam was wearing a boned maroon corset, a too tight black skirt, black ankle boots, and a black velvet jacket. Can we say eye catching? I felt my cheeks heating up form her question "I'm recovered"
"You know" Max spoke up "It's not unusual for a sensitive person to have some kind of reaction to circles at first. I actually did the same thing myself" He turned and looked at me. I knew I was just getting redder and redder.

"Oooh sensitive Liz" Todd said
"So when's our next circle" asked Suzanne
Max looked at her evenly. "I'm afraid you're not invited to our next circle. In fact" he continued "Not you, Todd, or Alisa". The three of them stared at him and I was actually glad. I remembered how snide they had been on Saturday. They were actually a part of Isabel's clique and it was untinkable to stand up to them. Well apparently not unthinkable to Max.

"What are you talking about" Todd questioned
"Well for your information you didn't do it right" Everyone waited for Max to elaborte. He didn't.
"I don't believe this" Alisa said
"I know" Max replied cooly
Todd, Suzanne, and Alisa all looked at each other and then at us waiting for someone to protest. No one did. It was quite odd. No one said anything or asked them to stay.
"Well I know when I'm not wanted. Come on girls" And with that the three of them walked away.

I looked over at Max and he looked back at me. I couldn't look away. He then got up and stood in front of me.
"What do I have behind my back" he asked
"An apple. Green and red" It was as if I had seen it in his hands. He smiled and brought his hnd around from his back revealing just what I had said.
"Good guess Liz" Pam said, sounding irritated. It occurred to me that she probably wanted Max big time.
"It wasn't a guess" Max said softly his eyes on me.



Book Of Shadows Entry:
There is a sprk there. I wasn't wrong. I saw it again today. But she hasn't recognized it yet. I have to wait. She must be shown, but very, very carefully. I cannot make a mistke.



That night Isabel came over for dinner. We first went up to my bedroom to hang out while my mom finished preparing.
"I think I'm losing my mind Is"
"What are you talking about" she said like I had just said oh look my skin is purple. However I wasn't joking one bit. I told her about everything that had happend this weekend and my new "gifts". I also told her how I fet different and began having all these new emotions inside. Isabel just laughed and waved her hand. "Well if that stuff was happening to me, I might be a little weired out too. But I have to say listening to you, it just seems like your overreacting. But don't worry, I don't think you're crazy...well at least not yet" she added with a grin.
"Thanks alot Is"

"Anytime. So on to something important. Wicca"
"Right" I said feeling excited over just the mention of it. "What did you want to say about it"
"Well I was thinking about starting a Book of Shadows"
"Really" I said impressed. Maybe Isabel was serious about this after all. A Book of Shadows was a book where witches wrote down their thoughts, ideas, kept notes on spells and stufft they, and anything else they feel is important. Truthfully I'm surprised Isabel even thought of it.
"I mean do you think Max would think it's cool if I did" Then again maybe she's not so serious. "I don't know he might. Do you think Max keeps a Book of Shadows, with notes on our circles and all of us" Where did that thought come from. I swear the weirdest things pop into my head lately.

"I bet he does" she said "Speaking of Max....Liz I'm totally and completely crazy about him"
For several moments I sat there. My face was frozen. Why hadn't I seen this coming? "Max" I barely choked out. I closed my mouth shut again fearing what I might say. Was I hurt? Angry? Spiteful? This was Isabel my best friend for my entire life. My best friend who was telling me she was crazy about the only guy I'd ever wanted, even if I knew I couldn't have him.

I should have predicted this. My own feelings had blinded me. Max is gorgeous and Isabel falls "in love" easily. Of course she would want him. Who wouldn't. And Isabel is perfect. So was Max. They would be awesome together. And Isabel always gets what she wants. I feel like I'm going to throw up.

"Hmm" was all I could manage. So here I was faced with a problem. I would never be with Max. He was out of my league. Isabel was in his league. The only logical thing to do would to be the supportive best friend I always am and keep my feelings to myself since nothing could come of it. I swallowed my hurt and said "Go for it Is. Good luck"
"Thanks Liz. I'll tell you what happens"
"Uh huh"

"Girls time for dinner" my mom shouted. We walked downstairs. I felt like I was going to cry. Isabel and Max! Isabel and Max! I would never be with him and she would. It was like experiencing a physical pain in my chest. Later that night I cried in bed.


The next day I woke up early after thrashing unhappily all night. I had horribly, vivid, realistic dreams of them together. I had kicked off my covers sometime during the night and was now freezing.

By the time my alarm went off for school, I had definitely decided that I would never let Isabel know how I felt about Max no matter what. It's too bad I wouldn't keep that promise. Well maybe not that bad..........


"Some people are coming over to my house on Saturday night" Max said "I thought we could do a circle again. It's not a holiday or anything, but it'd be cool for us to get together" He was hunkered down in front of me. I let myself drift to his eyes. "Oh" I said captivated by the flicks of gold and brown reflecting in his pupils.

Let me reinterate what has happend the past week. On Tuesday Isabel had declared that she definitely wanted to be a witch. On Wednesday she started sitting next to Max at lunch. by Thursday she was showing up early at school to talk to him, hanging out with him as much as she could. Now it was Friday and Max was talking with me.

"Please come" he said and I felt like he was offering me something dangerous and forbidden. "Um" I whispered using my amazing conversational skills I always seem to have when Max is around. In truth I was dying to do another circle, but if I went I would have to watch Isabel go after Max right in front of me. Question: which is worse Parker, seeing it or imagining it?

"Yeah I suppose I could come Max"
He smiled and I felt my heart flutter. I watched in complete amazement as he picked up a strand of my hair that had fallen over my arm and gently tugged on it. A hot flush rose over my whole face.

"I've been reading about Wicca and I really like it" I blurted out.
"Yeah" he said
"It just feels right"
"I'm glad to hear you say that Liz. I was worried you might have been scared off after last weeks circle." Max settled next to me on the steps. He was so close I could feel him.
"No" I said eagerly, a little too eagerly. "I mean I felt crappy afterwards but I felt alive, it was like a revelation. Does that sound stupid?"
"Of course not. I know what you mean"
"Max are you...in a coven?"
Pause. "Not anymore. I left it behind when we moved. I was hoping to start one here"
"Can you just do that "
"Well not right away. Typically you have to study for a year and a day before you can ask to join a coven"
"A year and a day? And then you're what? A witch? A warlock"
"A witch" he said easily "For both men and women"
"Have you done that yet, been intiated"
He nodded "When I was fourteen. My mom presided."
"Your mom?"
"Yeah she's pretty famous among Wiccans. She's the high priestess of the Starlocket coven"
"Wow so you're actually a witch"
"Yep. And who knows maybe this year you will be too" And then added quickly after a pause "And Pam, and Alex, and anyone else who wants to" Another smile and he was gone, and the world somehow seemed less bright.



Book Of Shadows Entry:
Tonight I send a message. Will you dream? Will you come to me? I call you to me.


On Saturday Isabel came to get me. She looked amazing as usual.
"So what time do you have to be home. This might go till late"
My curfew's at one but I could probably swing later. It's no big deal"
Isabel never has a curfew or has to check in. Her father's an attorney and usually works really late himself. Sometimes it seems like they're roomates more than father and daughter.


We arrived at Max's house. It was awesome. We knocked on the door and a woman appeared dressed in a long linen dress of dark purple. It was simple yetr elegant and it looked like it cost a fortune.
"Welcome girls. I'm Max's mother Diane" her voice was powerful and melodious and I felt a tiny sense of expectaion. She invited us in.
"Let me guess. You must be Isabel" she said shaking Is's hand " And YOU must be Liz"
Her clear eyes met mine, her gaze seeming to pierce me. I blinked and rubbed my forehead. I was actually physically uncomfortable. She smiled again.
"I'm so glad Max has made some new friends. Our move was hard for him, but I was offered a promotion and couldn't possibly say no"
Something inside of me made me what to ask her what her job was but I held back. I also wanted to ask where Max's dad was. I hadn't heard anything about him. What was with me and all these questions.

"Max's room is on the third floor at the top of the stairs. Have fun"
"Thanks" we said in unison
I whisphered to Isabel "I can't believe she's cool enough to let girls go up to her sons room." My parents would throw a fit if I even suggested a boy in my room. Not that it's ever even been a possibility though.

Maxs room turned out to be the enitre attic of the house. Isabel and I dropped our jackets on a long wooden bench and took off my shoes follwing example. The room was only lit by candles and everything seemed hypnotic and beautiful.

Max approached us smiling.
"Liz thanks for coming. Isabel nice to have you back"
Wait a minute when had Isabel been in his room before. Ok Liz breathe in and out. Remember supreme sacrifice. Don't think about Max.

Everyone else from the "group" was there as well.
"Okay" Max said "Last week we celebrated Mabon and did a banishing circle. This week I thought we'd keep it informal and get to know one another. Let's begin"
Max picked up a piece of white chalk and drew a circle. We all stepped inside.

Ok things are starting to get fuzzy again. I recall salt, and a discussion of the elements and I think astrological signs. I remember holding Alex and Kyle's hands and that Max was crunched between Pam and Isabel. I think Max said something about breathing. There's a chant. Its getting louder and louder. Then something happend. I begin to see light coming off of different people. I think its their auras. My whole body feels as if its floating. The next thing I remember is Max crossing the circle coming over to me.

"Sit down" he said softly
"What is it this time" I heard Pam say, though no one thankfully answered.
"Lean over and touch your forehead to the floor" Max instructed. As I did this I felt better.
"Are you okay" Isabel asked rubbing my back. I felt Max brush her hand away.
"What's wrong with her" Jenna inquired
"She channeled to much energy. Like at Mabon. She's very, very sensitive, a real energy conduit. Are you okay Liz"
Physically I felt better but emotionally or mentlly that was another thing all together but I decided to keep that to myself.
"Do you want to tell us what happend Liz" Max asked gently "What you saw"
This so did not appeal to me. "No"

"Okay" he said standing up. He smiled "That was great everyone. Thanks. Now why don't we do something more fun. Let's go swimming. There's a pool out back"
"Oh yeah" Isabel said enthusiastically
"Sounds great" Jenna said
Kyle and Alex grinned. "Cool" Ethan replied
Pam and Beth were already out the door and Isabel was not far behind them. A thought suddenly occurred to me. No one had any bathing suits. Well maybe their family had suits for guess I rationalized. Then I saw Kyle and Jenna getting out of ALL their clothes and jump in the water. The others were following doing the same thing.

Oh no, no, no. No way. Everyone was in the pool---naked and having fun.
"Relax" Max said behind me. I heard the rustling of his clothes. In another minute I was about to see Max Evans naked in all his glory.

"Don't worry Liz this isn't going to turn into an orgy" He smiled. I was startled by how accurately he had read my thoughts. Of course he didn't know the real reason I was so nervous was because the idea of being naked with everyone was the scariest thing imaginable. Especially when all the girls here had better bodies than me. Nope I was going home. Nothing was going to stand in my way.

"There are a lot of special aspects to water" Max patiently said "Being surrounded by it, especially under the moon can be very magickal, a very special kind of energy. I want you to feel that You can keep your underwear on if you want." Max had now stripped down to his bpxers. On my... I panicked my breaking point reached.
"I have to go home, thanks for the circle Max" I turned to go.

Then next thing I knew Max's hand snaked out and grabbed the back of my shirt. With a gentle tug he drew me toward him. I wasn't thinking or breathing anymore. He bent over, put an arm over my knees and picked me up. Strangely I remember not feeling clumsy or heavy, but light and small in his arms. I stopped processing sensations in any normal way and stopped being aware of other people nearby. He walked steadily down the pool steps and I never once protested. I didn't say anything at all. I don't know if I could have. Then we were surrounded by water pressed together under the moon. It was terrifying, mysterious, strange, thrilling, crushing. And very magickal.






[ edited 1 time(s), last at 30-Dec-2001 2:12:25 PM ]
posted on 13-Feb-2002 8:51:56 PM
Hey I know it's been a long time but I'll try and finish this now as well as continuing Between Duty and Desire. Well here is the next part if anyone still remembers this.


Chapter Five

The next morning Isabel was sitting on our front steps, looking chilly and pissed. I'd caught a ride home with Beth last night because I had a curfew and Is didn't. But I had known from the stony looks Isabel gave me as I had rushed from Max's house that this was coming.

We went inside up to my room. As soon as the door was closed she began her assault. "I thought you were my friend!"
I didn't even bother to pretned I didn't know what she was talking about. "Of course I am"
"Well then explain last night to me Liz" She crossed her arms over her chest and dropped onto the edge of my bed. "What was last night with you and Max in the swimming pool?"

"I don't know. I can't explain it. I mean I know you like Max. And I know I'm no competition for you"
"That's right and don't forget it" I was startled by that comment. I couldn't believe Isabel would actually say that to me. But I decided to let it go figuring she was just upset.
"Look I'm sorry. I didn't mean to do anything honest. It just sort of happend, as soon as I could stand up in the water he put me down."

"Well then what was the big coy act before that Liz. Were you playing hard to get? Were you hoping he would just rip your clothes off!" There was a sneer in her voice that stung and I felt the anger rising up in me. "Of course not! If he had ripped my clothes off I would have screamed. Don't be an idiot"

Isabel stood up and jabbed her finger at me "Don't you be an idiot" I had never seen her like this. "You know I'm in love with him! I don't just like him, I love him. And I want you to leave him alone!" What? I thought . She's in love with him?

"Fine" I practically yelled. "Even though I wasn't the one doing anything, nad I certainly can't control what he does. Maybe he's just paying attention to me because he wants me to be a witch" As soon as I said that Isabel and I stared at each other. Soemhow I knew what I had said was true.

"Look" I said trying to ease the tention "I'm not sure what's going on or what Max is doing, but I know I'm not coming on to him. That's all I can tell you. And it will have to be good enough"

Isabel glared at me for another moment and then her face fell and she sat back on the bed. "Okay" she started to cry "You're right. I'm sorry. I was just jealous that's all. When I saw him holding you, I just went crazy. I've never wanted anyone this badly before. I've been trying all week and he just doesn't seem to notice me"

I was still angry but in a perverse way I felt sorry for her. "Isabel, Max left his coven behind and he's just trying to start a new one. He knows I'm interested in Wicca and I guess he thinks....I don't know....I'd be a good witch or whatever since I have such a strong reaction to circles." Soemhow I knew there was more to it than that but I left it alone for now.

Isabel looked up with tears in her eyes. "Do you really have strong reactions to circles or are you just pretending" My eyes almost popped out. "Gosh Is! Why would you think that . It's like you don't even know me or something. How could you say such a thing! But to answer your question no"

Isabel covered her face an dcried harder. "I'm sorry. I--I didn't mean that" I started to cry too. "I'm sorry as well"
We cried a good few minutes together on my bed. I hated fighting with her over anything especially over Max. After my family I love Is best in the world. "still friends right" "Always Liz" We began laughing along with crying.

The sitution had been resolved. Is and I were still best friends. But somehow I knew it was just temporary and that this was far from over. In fact I felt as if today was just a foreshadowing of things to come.



On Monday afternoon I skipped the science club meeting and decided to drive to Red Kill, to Practical Magick. I found a parking spot right in front of the store. Inside it was again dim but full of rich smells, oils, and incense as well as tons an dtons of books.

I worked my way down the rows of books, looking for a general history of Wicca. Last night I had fininshed a book on the Seven Great Clans, and I was hungry for more information on the subject. I was so preoccupied with my search that I had forgotten how oddly the clerk had behaved last time. But as I pushed my book across the counter, I felt his eyes on me again.

"I thought you'd be back" he said softly ringing my sale up.
"Really how is that" I suddenly felt sarcastic, wanting to edge him on. "Are you psychic or something" I smiled feeling I had made my point. I even felt bold enough to look him straight in the eye. He looked right back at me and smirked and answered casually "Maybe I am"

I stood stoned faced and looked away.
"You have the mark of the goddess on you" he said "do you know your clan?" My eyes flew to his, startled "I'm not from any clan"
The clerk cocked his head thoughtfully "Are you sure?"
He handed me my change and I quickly started to walk out, but came to a halt when I heard his voice speak again. "May I offer you a piece of advice?"

I turned around "Sure why not" I said a little more agitated then I had realized. Who did this guy think he was anyway? "Things aren't always as they seem. Appearneces can be deceiving especially when others around you know more about you than you do"
Now I was really annoyed. What the heck was he implying. "For your information I happen to be the supreme authority on myself thank you very much" He just looked at me and smiled. "Are you sure? Sometimes we think we're in the know and that we're in control but in actuality it's the farthest thing from it. I suggest you be careful"
"Tahnks" I said shortly
"Like I said Liz I'm here to help. Anytime"

I just turned and ran out. Everytime I go to that place I keep feeling really disturbed. And what is with that clerk, what's his name, yeah Michael. He is so strange. Does he do that to all the customers or is it just me. And what was that last statement about. He doesn't know anything about me or my life. I'm certainly not from any clan unless you count the Parker clan. I decided to shrug it off and drove off all the while with a feeling in the back of my head that somehow Michael knew exactly what he was talking about. I thought to myself: Could my life get any stranger? I was about to find out that the answer to that question was one big fat yes.

posted on 27-May-2002 3:34:09 PM
Hey Everyone I'm back. I know it's been a long time but now that it's summer I'm going to try and post more regularly. I hope people still remember this fic.

Chapter six

The next week I made a point of hanging out more with Maria and some other kids. I went to math club meetings and tried really hard to not think about the coven or "anything else" to do with that. But inside I longed to be learning about Wicca and especially to be with Max.

On Saturday afternoon the phone rang while I was doing my homework. Max, I thought before I grabbed the phone. Sure enough it was him.
"Hey" he said with the sound of his voice making me breathless.
"Hey" I replied back.
"Are you coming to circle tonight. It's going to be at Kyle's house". This was it. I had been wrestling with this for days. To go or not to go.
"I can't" I finally said, almost wanting to cry. Max was quiet for a minute. "I promise you everyone will keep their clothes on". I could hear the humor in his voice and I smiled. He paused again. Then softly and seriously he spoke again. "I promise I won't carry you into the water, that is unless you want me to".
I could feel the blood racing through my veins. Think Liz, think. Isabel is your best friend in the entire world and is in love with him. She has a chance I told myself. I don't. I managed to stammer out "I--I c-can't" weakly.
"Okay" he said simply and let silence, the intimate kind of silence, spread between us. "Maybe another time" he said gently.
"Maybe" I whispered trying to keep my voice steady. I know I failed.
"Liz....."
"Yes Max"
Silence
"Nothing. I'll see you on Monday at school. We'll miss you tonight" Hmm we'll miss you. Not I'll miss you.
"Thanks". I hung up the phone and buried my face in my pillow and cried. It'd seemed like I'd been doing that alot lately.



Book of Shadows Entry:
Samhain is coming. Last night the circle was thin and pale without her. I need her. I think she's the one. Frustration makes me want to howl. She isn't coming to me. I know I can't push her. Please give me a sign.




Monday after school Alex and I ditched chess club and went to Practical Magick. It was starting to get to be a real habit. Luckily that strange guy Michael wasn't there. I started wondering what had happend to him but then quickly dismissed the thought. I bought a book about using herbs and other plants in magick and also a beautiful black book with a marbelized cover and heavy cream colored pages within. It was going to be my very own Book of Shadows in which I planned to write down my feelings about Wicca, and everything I was thinking about.

Alex bought some candles and then we headed over to Isabel's house and hung out in her room. I layed on her bed reading my book about herbs, Isabel sat on the floor painting her toenails and reading my book about the Seven Great Clans, and Alex was by the stereo checking out her latest cd's.

"This is so cool listen to this" Isabel said, but then the doorbell rang downstairs. Moments later we heard Jenna and Kyle's voices. "Hi you guys" they said. "Come on it" Isabel replied, "I was just reading this book about the Seven Great Clans"
"Ooh" Jenna laughed pretending to shiver. Isabel rolled her eyes and continued talking. "After practicing their craft for centuries, each of the Seven Clans came to work within a single domain of magick. At the end of one spectrum is the powerful but dark Woodbane Clan, who became known for their lust for power and their potential for the capacity of evil and on the other end you have the Rowanwands, who became known as teachers and holders of knowledege. They wrote the first Book of Shadows and gathered spells and explored the magickal properties in the world around them."

"Cool" said Alex. "What happend to them". Isabel began to scan the pages "Umm...."
"They died." We all turned around to see Max hanging at Isabel's door. Funny none of us heard the doorbell or him walking up the stairs. After a moment of surprise Isabel smiled and invited him in.

"What do you mean they died?" asked Alex.
Max came and sat next to me on the bed. Isabel saw us sitting next to each other and her eyes flickered.
"Well you see" Max went on "there were seven great clans, with the Woodbanes considered evil and the Rownawands considered good and the other five going back and forth between the two"

"Is this story true" Jenna inquired not quite believing.
Max nodded. "So the Woodbanes and Rowanwands fought each other for thousands of years and the other clans were sometimes allied with one and sometimes with the other."
"Who were the other five clans" Alex jumped in
"Wait a minute" Is said "I think I just saw that right over.."
"The Woodbanes, The Rownawands, the Vikroths, the Brightendles, the Burnhides, the Wydenkells, and the Leapvaughns" I recited form memory. Everyone looked at me in shock except Max, who smiled slightly. Isabel nodded slowly "Liz is right"

"Ok so continue Max" Alex said
"Right so they battle and battle and eventually their numbers dwindle. About around the time of the Salem Witch trials in this country there was a huge cataclysm among the tribes. No one knows exactly why but all over the world witches were suddenly being decimated. It's estimated that 90 to 95 percent of all witches were killed either by human authorities or by other witches invloved in the conflict. After that for over 200 years witches everywhere fell into a sort of dark ages. The clans lost their cohesiveness, withces from different clans started intermarrying or married humans" Max said that last part with almost a sort of disgust in his tone. Funny since no one else but me seemed to notice it. I had remembered reading that the seven great clans had kept to themselves for so long honing magick that they were different from other people. Considered not human.

Max kept on going. "Over time the old ways and resentments were forgotten eventually, well by most that is. Then about a hundred years ago, a small group of witches got together, representing what was left of the tribes and started a Renaissance of Wiccan culture."

"The book said that they realized that the major clannishness of the tribes had resulted in the cataclysm" I put in "So they decided to make just one big gorup of witches and not have any distinction anymore"

"Unity in diversity" Max acknowledge "Though there are still many, many witches out there that disagree. Anyway this small group called themselves the High Council, and their still around today. Wicca has grown into a fast religion and now a days anybody who wants to is allowed to learn the craft"

I remembered Michael asking me what my clan was, and then I remembered something else.
"What's a blood witch as opposed to a witch witch?"
Max looked me in the eyes and smile. I felt a wave rise and swell within me.
"A regular witch or a witch witch is someone who practices Wicca and lives by its tenets. They take their energy from the life forces found everywhere. A blood witch is a descendant of one of the sevn great clans. Their parents and ancestors before were all blood witch. Magick runs through their veins. It's a part of them."

"I guess we're all going to be witch witches then" Jenna said with a smile"
"Except me" Max countered easily "I'm a blood witch"
Everyone stared at him, except me. Somehow it wasn't surprising. "You're a blood witch" Isabel said with her eyes wide in awe. Max shrugged "Sure. My mom knows a bunch too. There are a lot more of us around than you think." An image of that clerk Michael came to my mind.

"Wait a minute" Kyle said "What clan are you from?"
Max grinned "Don't know the family records got lost when my ancestors emigrated to America. My mom's family was from Ireland and my dad's from Scotland. Who knows it could have been a bunch" Then he laughed "Hey maybe I'm a Woodbane" We all broke out into laughter then after the joke.

After we finished laughing I looked at him hard. I began to trace his profile and dozens fo thoughts began to run in my head. I felt dizzy. I got up and said "I have to leave now". I left and ran down the stairs. All the way home two words kept repeating in my head. Blood Witch. Blood Witch.



September

I'm Liz Parker and this is my first entry into my Book of Shadows. I'm not even sure what I'm doing or if this is even right. I've never seen another BOS so I don't know. But I wanted to put down my feelings and how I feel more alive than I ever have before in my life. It's the scariest and the most exciting thing ever. I'm changing. On the inside and outside. I'm starting a journey and I don't know where it leads to. Who knows what the future holds for me.




Book of Shadows Entry:
The signs are all there. She must be a blood witch. Her light is leaking for all to see. It's frightening and beautiful in it's power. I vow on this night that I have found her. I was right. Blessed be.

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 27-May-2002 3:49:30 PM ]
posted on 28-May-2002 12:18:18 PM
Thanks for the feedback everyone. I'm sorry it was such a long time before I posted. Just to make it up to you here is another part, so enjoy!

Chapter Seven

It's funny how one thing can bring a bunch of people who would have never even spoken together. Here I am sitting looking at all of us. Me the math and science girl, Isabel the model, Pam and Beth with their nose rings, dyed hair, and tatoos, Kyle and Jenna, the perfect couple, Sharon Goodfine, the stuck up princess, Ethan the resident drug king, Alex, the resident computer geek, and Max Evans, local god. He looked around at us, tying us together, his new coven. We were the priveleged nine. He seemed happy with us and we were happy to be with him. Too bad it wouldn't last much longer.

"So" Ethan said "What's sup"
"Gosh" Sharon said disgustedly "Are you ever not stoned"
"Hey" Ethan shot back looking offended "I have cold, I'm not stoned".
Max looked at him "Actually Ethan doesn't smoke or do anything anymore right Ethan" he said quietly
"That's right I get high off life"
Max laughed
"Next you'll be saying I have to become a vegetarin" Ethan grumbled.
"Oh anything but that" Alex said sarcasrtically
We all laughed and continued eating

It was now friday and another week was gone. Jenna ran after me calling my name. "Are you coming to circle tomorrow night. It's going to be at my house".
I felt like an alcoholic being tempted. The thought of feeling the magick going through my veins and having that intimacy with Max was almost too much. I really wanted to go but thoughts of Isabel and well...just everything were still fresh in my mind. "Sorry I have to go out with my parents".
Kyle walked up and put his hand around Jenna's waist and she smiled at him. I wondered if they ever fought, ever questioned their love for each other. Unfortunately they would soon.
"Well try to come if you can" Jenna said sweetly
"Okay thanks"
I got in my car thinking how nice Jenna was and how I had never known it before because we had belonged to different groups. Boy how things were changing.

Over the weekend I decided that if I couldn't practice magick with the group I could at least try something on my own. I stopped by Practical Magick. Once again Michael wasn't there. I don't know why I noticed it so much. I bought the neccessary ingrediants and went home and opened one of my herbal books to the section "Clarifying the Skin". I had to find out if I really did have a gift for this after all. What I was about to do would determine everything.

"Here try this" I said casually to Alex on monday morning. I pushed the container into his hands.
"What is it"
"Oh just a facial was I got from my mom. It works really well. You should try it."
He looked at me and I met his eyes for a few seconds before I had to look away from guilt.
"Yeah okay" he said putting the container in his backpack.

"How was circle on saturday" I whispered to Is in homeroom. Then taking a deep breath I asked it "How are things going with Max?"
"Circle was fine, but Max is being a bit....elusive. I think he's playing hard to get. I've tried being alone with him but it's impossible. It's actually starting to annoy me". I nodded hoping my feelings of relief weren't showing through my mask of sympathy. I thought about telling her about the spell I did for Alex but I changed my mind. I'm not exactly sure why.

Wednesday. I walked over to where the other members of the circle were sitting. Pam gave me a snide look but Max seemed sincere when he asked me to sit down.
"I'm really sorry about saturday" I said to everyone, but particulary to Max.
"Personally I'm getting tired of your excuses" Pam interrupted. I waited for Isabel to step in and defend me in the usual best friend manner but she said nothing. Luckily she didn't need to because Max jumped in and said "Don't worry about it Liz it's fine".
At that moment Alex appeared. Everyone stared.
"Alex?" Isabel questioned. "You look amazing"
Alex shrugged casually and sat down. His skin was still broken out but if you had to put it on a scale of one to ten where one being the worst last week he was a two and now he was a seven. Max glanced at him thoughtfully for a moment and then looked at me. It was like he knew everything, which was impossible so I kept quiet. Big mistake.

By friday Alex's skin was smooth and blemish free. It was like he was a whole new person. When girls started to realize he wasn't so bad lookling after all he decided to tell everyone what happend. Uh oh I think I'm in trouble.

That afternoon I was in my backyard when I blinked, turned around and saw Max, Isabel, and Alex.
"What's going on" I asked innocently
"We need to talk" Isabel stated. She seemed remote, even hurt, her mouth was pressed into a line.
"I told them" Alex said bluntly. Thank you very much buddy I thought sarcastically. I then preceded to tell them what I did.
"A spell" Is asked
"What ingrediants did you use" questioned Max. Though his face was serious I could tell he was pleased that I had tried the spell and it had worked.
"Umm I'm sorry Alex. It was a beginner spell. I didn't think it would work"
"Did anything happen when you did the spell" Max asked again looking at me with interest. I could feel Isabel's anger.
I shrugged. "There was a storm. Not that I think I had anything to do with that or anything" I spoke quietly.
"Oh so now you control the weather Liz" Isabel said in a hurt voice.
"No-I-I just meant it was some sort of weird coincidence that's all" Please let this stop. But Isabel wasn't finished.
"Oh honestly there is NO way you could have fixed Alex's skin. None of us could do something like that. Not even Max"
"Well actually Isabel I could" Max countered. "A lot of people could even those who aren't blood witches with enough training." He seemed to emphasize the next point. "Of course Liz hasn't had any training have you?"
"No" I said in a whispher
"What we have here is an unusually gifted amateur. I'm actually glad this came up because we should talk about this stuff". He put his hand on my shoulder. "You're not allowed to perform a spell for someone without their knowledge. It's not a good idea and it's not fair."
I nodded fully embarrassed. "Sorry Alex"
"Hey it's cool" he said without any anger "Just ask me next time okay. Anyway it did a ton of good" I smiled.

Max again looked at me. "Samhain, Halloween is coming up in two weeks. Try to start coming to circles if you can"
Alex smiled at me. "Pretty intense Liz. You're like the Tiger Woods of Wicca". I couldn't help but grin in pride. Isabel's face was stiff. I walked my three friends across the yard and waved bye to them. Max met my eyes one more time. Halloween was two weeks away.

Saturday night I decided to go to circle. Isabel picked me up. We were riding in the car in silence when she suddenly started talking.

"Why didn't you tell me about the spell on Alex"
"I put a spell on the potion, not Alex. And honestly I didn't think it would work" Ok maybe I was stretching it a bit. I thought it could work.
"Do you think you're a blood witch" I started feeling like this was an interrogation. I laughed trying to reliever the tension. "Oh please yeah. I'm a blood witch. Have you seen Jeff and Nancy Parker? Yeah I can practically feel the magick coming from them." Me a blood witch. Now that was funny. Isabel was silent.
"Is? What's wrong"
"I'll tell you what's wrong. I can't believe how two faced my best friend is. You say you don't want Max and that I can go after him. But you two are always together talking and staring at each other. He never looks at me like that. I just don't get you. Do you think you're better than everyone, that you're special? Because let me tell you right now, YOU'RE NOT!" I was shocked beyond belief. Still I wanted to try nd salvage our frienship. "Look" I began but was cut off by Is.
"I don't want you to come tonight"
"Excuse me"
"I thought Wicca was somethig I wanted to share with you but I was wrong. I want to do this alone..with Max. I think that's best if you're not there. When you're around he gets distracted"
"I don't believe this. You're choosing a guy over me?"
"You would do the same thing Liz"
"No I wouldn't" I yelled. "Someday Is you're gonna realize what a mistake you made but I won't be there anymore"
This made her pause for a second. I thought maybe she had come to her senses. Wrong.
"You'll get over it. In a couple of weeks when Max and I are together officially you can come back"
"You're delusional" I said hotly "Where are you going?"
"I'm taking you home"
"Screw that" I screamed opening my door, causing Is to slam on the brakes. I got out and started walking away. Isabel drove off.

In all these years we have had fights. There had even been times when we stopped talking, but we always knew we would make up. But somehow on that night I knew Isabel and I wouldn't recover from this.

I became angry. Fine if that 's the way she wants it so be it. I don't need her. From now on there would be no holding back. I would go to every circle and I'd speak to Max if he spoke to me. Isabel was no longer a concern, in fact all she ever was, was a detriment. But that wasn't a problem anymore. I looked up at the sky and thought all's fair in love and war. There had been love and now there would be war. Starting next week, it would be a whole new world.


posted on 28-May-2002 2:45:05 PM
Chapter Eight

The first rule of war. Be prepared for the enemies attack.

Early the next morning Alex called. "What's going on? Last night Isabel said you wouldn't be coming to any more circles and that you weren't interested in Wicca anymore". Score one for Isabel. I was furious. Did she really think I would just lay down and die, letting her get what she wants. Think again.

"That isn't true. It's what she wants but its certainly not what I want. Samhain is coming up and I'll definitely be there. Actually I'll be at every circle from now on." Alex paused for a few seconds. "What's going on between you two. Aren't you suppose to be best friends?"
"We were, now we're not. Things change. You don't really want to know"
"You're right. I don't. Girls. Well we're meeting in the cornfields to the north of town on the other side of the road from where Mabon was. We're meeting at 11:30 and if we decide we want to be intiated as students then it will happen at midnight".
"Okay thanks Alex. Are you going to do it?"
"We're not really suppose to talk about it. Max said to just think about it privately."
"Do we need to wear anything special?"
"Black or orange. See you tomorrow"
"Bye"

Second rule of war. Prepare for combat. Later on that day I went out and bought a whole new wadrobe. Now the old Liz Parker would never have even considered spending her hard earned money on something as frivolous as clothes but then again I was a new woman.

Monday. Dressed to kill I walked defiantly to the group meeting place ready to take on anything awaiting me. Beyond looking suprised to see me, with a whole new look as well, Isabel ignored me.

"We missed you Saturday Liz" Jenna said
"Isabel said you weren't coming anymore" Ethan put in
"Oh did she?" I smiled "Is dear you must made a mistake. I never said anything about leaving the circle permanently. What could have possessed you to say such a thing." Blow delivered. I smiled again. I felt Max look between the two of us and then smiling he left his eyes on me. I turned and stared right at him. "I won't be missing anymore circles. I want to be a witch" I said clearly.

Jenna giggled nervously. Max grinned and I grinned back aware of how Isabel's jaw tightend.
"That's cool" Ethan said
"Uh oh an outsider" Kyle laughed as Maria approached.
"Hi" I said genuinely glad to see her.
"Hey" she look around at us. "Um Liz did you get all the math homework last night"
"Yeah do you want to go over it"
"That'd be great. Thanks"
"No problem. See you guys later". I got up, started walking away and then turned around "Bye Max" I said sweetly. He smiled "Bye Liz". Score one for Parker.

Later that day as I walked out of calculus, I heard Max behind me. "I'm glad you're coming to Samhain" he whisphered.
"I've been reading up on it and I'm looking forward to it"
"You think you might want to be initiated as a student. It's a big decision". I let myself gaze into his eyes. There was a tide there and it was pulling me strongly. "Yes I'm positive"
"Well then..." he smiled "See you in physics" And he walked away. Score two for Liz. Isabel wasn't my friend anymore and that gave me room to ask the question I'd always been terrified to ask myself. Could Max Evans love me the way I love him? Could we really ever be together?

Samhain. Things between Isabel and I hadn't gotten better. We never spoke. I began drifting closer and closer to Max. There was definitely something between us. It practically charged the air. Something big was going to happen tonight. I could feel it. I put on a pair of tight black pants with a backless orange halter top. I crimped my hair and did my makeup adding sparkles around my face. I seemed luminous, magickal. It was time.

I parked under a huge willow oak in the field across from the cornfields. Even at this late time, I still felt somewhat uncertain, despite what I had told the others about becoming a witch. Then I heard music, celtic music. I plunged forward. There was no going back now. I found the entire circle waiting for me.

"Liz" Jenna called happily. "Hi" I said self-consciously. I started feeling nervous. Max stepped forward. "I'm glad you came". He eyes met mine for a timeless, suspended second.

"This way everyone" he said. After we left the cornfield there was a broad meadow, covered with flowers. At the bottom of the meadow was stream that we stepped across. Past the stream the ground rose and we were surrounded by trees but still we kept walking. We eventually found ourselves in a cemetary.

"This is an old Methodist graveyard. Graveyards are good places to celebrate Samhain. Tonight we honor those who have gone before us and acknowledge that one day we shall share their fate and pass into dust to be reborn again."

We lit candles all around the stones and moved into a circle.
"Jenna? Pam?" Max said "Would you like to draw the circle and purify it" I was jealous that he had chosen them. But I refused to let anything or anyone ruin this for me. I needed to focus on my magick, to open myself to the perceptions of any source beyond my five senses.

Max took a small bottle and moving around he dipped his finger inside and drew a pentacle on each of our foreheads.
"What is this?" I was the only person who spoke.
"Salt water" he said. "Tonight we're here to form a new coven. We gather to celebrate nature, to create magick, and to explore the magickal powers within ourselves and releasee them." He looked at me. I couldn't hold it in.
"Blessed be" The others echoed it. Max smiled.

"Anyone who wishes not to be apart of this coven break it now". No one moved. "Welcome" Max said "Merry meet and Blessed be. The ten of us have found our haven together, in the Cirrus Coven". Cirrus I thought. That's a nice name.

Inside I felt something stirr. I heard and felt everything in the night. I felt incredibly alive. We joined hands. Max began to chant. We soon joined in. Once again I felt the pain and sickness I had experienced in the other circles. My facade began to crack. My power, yes my power felt scary.

Faces began to blurr as I had trouble breathing. We threw our arms up. I was dancing in the atmosphere. I could see the universe. I understood everything. I knew my place. I knew where I had to go. Tears began running down my face.

"Are you ok Liz" Alex asked nervously. I nodded. "It was so beautiful" I whisphered coming back down to earth, feeling very human again. I wasn't one with the universe anymore. I saw one of the flowers by a grave, withering. I touched one of the buds and it opened beneath my hand blooming in death. I heard Pam gasp and Isabel, Beth, and Kyle back away from me.

Then Max came. "Stop touching things" he said excitedly. "Lie down and ground yourself". I did as I was told. "What's happening to me" I whisphered. I saw Max's face above me and he lifted my head into his lap. "You made magick Liz. You're a blood witch."

My eyes went wide and seemed to jump all over the place. For a brief moment my eyes looked to the shadows over by the trees. I thought I saw someone. Then I looked up at Max. Staring into his eyes I pulled him down and kissed him. Or maybe he bent over and kissed me. I'm not sure. First battle goes to Liz Parker.

In that moment of perfect happiness I failed to think about anything except me and Max. I didn't think about what our being together meant for Isabel or anyone else in the coven. I didn't think about what being a blood witch meant about my family. I didn't think about what I saw in the shadows. It would be my first lesson in magick, one I would never forget. Look at the whole picture, not just part of it.













[ edited 2 time(s), last at 28-May-2002 2:52:13 PM ]
posted on 30-May-2002 8:11:05 PM
Hey thanks for the feedback. I really am sorry it was such a long time but now I promise to do better. As a matter of fact I do have up to chapter 24 written. I'm posting as much as I can. The more feedback I get the more you get. Well here is the next part. Hope you enjoy!

Chapter nine

I woke up early the next morning. It was the first day of November and I felt glorious as the events of the previous night replayed in my mind. Max leaning down over me, kissing me. The connection we made, our magick, the electricity, the way the universe was all around. I am a blood witch, and Max loves me. Everything is perfect.

In one night, in one moment, so much happend, changed. I had my first kiss, experienced my first love, betrayed my best friend, created a rift in our brand new coven, and found out that everything I had known, believed for the past sixteen years was a lie. Yes I was definitely on a roll.

A blood witch I thought again. How? Max said I was and after last night how could I doubt it? It must be true. But then if I'm a blood witch then my parents must be too? Hmm...a blood witch. A descendant of thousands of years of magick. I wonder witch clan I am? Rowanwand, Wydenkell who were expert spellwriters, or maybe Brightendales, the healers and workers of herbs. Yes I think I feel most like them. I can't believe it. Me little Liz Parker a blood witch. Time to smile again.

I couldn't get out of bed I was so happy. I just stared up at the ceiling with this stupid grin on my face. Which was about to be wiped away with the sound of my mom's voice. And she certainly wasn't happy when she burst into my room.

"Can you explain this Liz?" She held up a stack of books tied with a string. They were on Wicca that I had left at Isabel's house. A note was attached: Liz---You left these at my house. Since you are so devoted to being a witch I knew immediately that you would want them back as soon as possible. Love Is. I looked at my mom's face. She was so not pleased. Score Two for Isabel. Rule three of war. Expect an attack from the enemy on the homefront.

"Well Elizabeth care to tell me what this is all about? What do you think you are doing!" She yelled. Nancy Parker never yells. "Don't you realize this stuff is dangerous!"

I tried to think fast. "Mom they're not dangerous if you just let me explain you'll see...." I stopped mid sentence. Wait a minute why was she acting this way. If I'm a blood witch she must be too? I started to get angry. My family was a bunch of hypocrites. How could they deny what their own nature, what they were?

"But mother, YOU know it's not that easy. And you know how I know you know why? Because I'm a witch. I was born one. And if I am then YOU are too!" I stood face to face with her. My mom looked like she'd been struck in the face. She visibly paled. I waited letting it sink in that she could no longer hide from the truth.

"What did you say Liz" she said in a whisper. "I said I am a witch and so are you". "What are you talking about" my dad approached. Good all three of us had to get this out in the open. "I said I'm a witch and so are you". My parents exchanged glances. "Liz you're not a witch". I couldn't believe this. "Yes I am and so are you". I pointed my finger at them.

"Will you stop this crazy talk. No one is a witch."
"I won't listen to this. Why are you lying. Oh I see I guess I'm a witch and you're not right? So what then. I was adopted huh?" I laughed out loud.
Silence.
Mom fell back and dad started shifting about. Wait a minute. It was a joke. "What?" I tried to smile. "Are you saying I was adopted".
More silence.

Inside me a wall just came crashing down. This was not happening. No No No. I raced past them down the stairs. I went to my dad's office and opened the family files. I flipped through a bunch of stuff and came to the file with my name on it. I pulled it out just as my parents came in. "Liz stop" my dad shouted. I ignored him, them. Skipping immuninization records, skipping school reports, skipping social security card. Bing: birth certificate. It's funny how in all these years it never occurred to me to look at this stuff.

Name Elizabeth. Fine. Birthday November 23. True. Weight seven punds four ounces. Okay. Age of mother 23. Wait. My mom was thirt three when she had me. And then I saw it. And the world came crashing down again. Name of mother Eleni Jordan. I glanced at my parents in a daze. My mom seemed to age ten years. My dad couldn't look me in the eye.

"Wow. So I guess I'm adopted huh". I bolted out of the house and ran to my car. I heard them calling my name but I didn't stop. I couldn't stop.

I drove and drove and cried. I drove north heading wherever. Before I knew it I had ended up at the place where I had done my first circle with Max, which seemed like an eternity ago, when magick had first entered my life. I stopped and parked and cried some more. I needed someone. I had to go to someone. Isabel came to mind. Then I remembered we weren't friends anymore. Forget her. I didn't need her. I needed...Max. That's right Max. He's the only one I have left now. All the people I had loved best in the world and trusted most had lied or betrayed me. Suddenly a rhyme popped into my mind. In my mind I see you here. I call you near. The one I desire come to me. I didn't know where that had come from but lately I had gotten use to strange stuff coming into my head.

I continued crying. I don't know when but sometime later there was a tap on my window. I looked to see who it was. Max. He had heard me. It worked. I used magick to call him to me. He was sleepy and tired but still so amazing.

I opend the door. "You called miss" he said lightly and my heart was filled with joy. He came and sat in the passenger's seat. He took in my state of misery. "What's the matter? What happend?"
"I'm adopted" I blurted out. I went on to tell him the horrible events of this morning.

I began crying again. He held me. "What a harsh way to find out" We looked at each other. "Left in a hurry Liz". I realized I was still in my pajamas. "Yeah I wasn't even thinking about how I looked"
"Well you're still the best thing I've seen". I blushed. "I'm glad yo called Liz. You have no idea how glad I am. But how did you know how to do it. Did you read it in a book somewhere?" I shook my head. "sometimes things just pop into my head like that. I just really needed you. Was it wrong of me".
"No it's fine. It just means you're really strong. You have ancestral memories of spells already in your brain. Not every witch has". He began to think. "so tell me more. You're parents never said anything about being adopted?" "No never. A doubt never crossed my mind".
"Well I've never seen your dad but I have seen your mom and you don't look much like her. She seems nice and pretty". I looked at him offended. "You don't look sweet. You're intense. And at first you don't notice it but when you do...all you think of is please let this unearhtly creature be mine. You Liz Parker are simply...magickal." And he smiled. Okay Max gets a brownie point.

His lips touched mine. We began kissing. Minutes passed. Soon Max was on top of me in the back seat of the car. I had never experienced anything like this. The emotions I felt were almost as scary as it was great. Then his hand was under my shirt moving upward. I was shocked. "Stop" I said. Instantly Max pulled away and leaned against the side of the car. He was breathing fast. Idiot. Great Liz just Great. The guy was almost eighteen and practically perfect. Of course he's had sex before. You're acting like such a child. "Sorry. I was surprised." Pathetic.
"No I'm the one who should be sorry. Here you are upset and what do I do, jump you. I didn't mean to it's just that I've wanted to kiss you so badly since we've met and now that I can I guess I'm just amking up for lost time". I sighed and then smiled. This must be heaven and Max is my own personal angel. "I've wanted to kiss you too." He smiled. Then thought again.

"So how did the whole argument about witchcraft get started in the first place."
"Oh dear Isabel left a bunch of books on the doorstep to be found"
"What" A dark expression crossed his face. "Why would she do that"
"Isabel really...wanted you. Wants you. And last night...she thinks that I've betrayed her. I guess I did. I knew how she felt about you yet still....."

Max's eyes dropped. Then came back up. "How do you feel about me"
"I love you"
"I love you too Liz. It's too bad Isabel is hurt but she's going to have to get over it. Just because she has feelings for me doesn't mean I ever returned them. It doesn't mean we're going to be together....especially now. She'll have to get over it if she still wants to be in the coven. So will anyone else who has a problem with us being together. I'm sorry she's taking this out on you"
"It's okay Max. At least I still have you"
"And you always will. So back to this birth stuff. Did you happen to see the name of your birth mother".
"Actually I did. Her name was Eleni Jordan"
"Really"
"Yeah do you recognize it" I asked hopefully.
"No it just sounded familiar that's all. I can't place it"
"Oh" I said dissapointed "I'll guess I'll have to research her then".
"Yeah" he said "Well tell me if you find anything".
"I will"

"So what do you want to do now Liz. You want to come over to my house for a bit" then he cracked a smile "We could go swimming".
"I don't think so Max" I smiled back
"Too bad. Well I'll get you one of these days"
"I'm sure you will. I think I probably should go home now"
"Okay call you later"
"You better"
"Of course I will use the telephone"
He let himself out of my car, got back in his own and drove off.

Max Evans loved me. I loved him. Maybe things would be okay after all. Maybe everything would work out. Wrong.



Book Of Shadows Entry:

I can't believe our luck. This is more than we could have hoped for. We knew something was here but this is more than we expected. Eleni Jordan't daughter! We've hit gold. When I came home and told mother she was as excited as I was. She immediately went to call and report the news. I think it's safe to say we'll be staying in Widow's Vale a lot longer than we thought. And that's fine with me. I have to say I'm rather enjoying this exercise. It's not so bad at that. Who would have thought?

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 30-May-2002 8:17:29 PM ]
posted on 5-Jun-2002 6:21:23 PM
First note: I want to say thanks to everyone who has left feedback. I'm glad you're enjoying the story.

Second note: For those of you concerned about Max. I can't say too much because that would give the story away but don't make him out to be so terrible yet. There is still alot of things that have to be revealed. This is going to be both and M/L and Mi/L fic with Michael soon playing a much bigger role as the story progresses but Max is still and will continue to be a significant part in the story. Don't worry yet. And trust me Max isn't the only person with an agenda....


Chapter Ten


On my way back home I came to the realization I didn't want to face my parents just yet. What had happend earlier was still fresh in my mind and I was still trying to process it all. Dealing with everything I knew I would have to deal with coming home was something I was not in the mood to do afterall. Instead I decided to go to the library and do a little research.

It was very quiet when I got there. Most people were probably still at home. And even if they weren't they certainly wouldn't be at the public library this early on Sunday would they?

I made my way to where the computers and ran a search. I typed in the name I remembered from my birth certificate. Eleni Jordan. Eleni Jordan. Over twenty listings came up. Great I thought.

I started to go through them. One by one I went, reading a bit and then closing the window. Fianlly I clicked Eleni jordan as part of an html. It was a genealogy site with links to other genealogy sites. The name appeared on three sites. I clicked on the first one. A family tree showed up but unfortunately it's Eleni Jordan had died in the 1800's. A little too early for me. I backtracked and the next site with an Eleni Jordan had no dates anywhere. Ok I'm getting just a tiny bit frustrated.

I went to the third link. Third times a charm I hoped. The words Bellwick and Ballynigel popped up on the screen. There was another family tree, but it was huge, with many separate branches. I glanced for Eleni Jordan. Then I saw it. Born Imbolc, 1962, Ballynigel, Ireland. Died Litha, 1986, Meshomah Falls, New York, United States of America.

I stared at the screen in shock for a few minutes. I could barely breathe. Imbolc, Litha. Those were Wiccan sabbats. This Eleni Jordan had been a witch. 1986. She died the year after I was born, which would have made her the same age as the woman listed on the birth certificate, in New York. This had to be her.

I clicked on the screen trying to find more links. I had to konw more. I needed to know more. Instead a message popped up: Connection timed out. URL not responding. No. No.

Angrily I shut off the computer. What to do. What to do. Meshomah Falls. That was a small town a little over two hours away. And since I was already here... I might as well look at their town records to see if there was anything. I headed down to the library's basement.

All that was down here were rows and rows of books, periodicals, and four stacks of microfiche machines. Bingo.

Two hours later. I now knew more about Meshomah Falls than anyone should ever possibly know. I had finally found a town more boring than Widow's Vale. I was starting to believe I would never know more about my past. There were two more film cards to look at. Might as well I thought.

This time I saw the article almost immediately. Two bodies burned almost beyond recognition. One was Eleni Jordan, formerly of Ballynigel, Ireland and Patrick McTier of the same place. But were locked in a barn and burned alive. The reason why they were in the barn and the cause of the fire are still unknown....

I kept reading and reading. What about a baby? There was no mention of a baby anywhere in the article. My heart was pounding. Lately I'd been having dreams of a woman holding me as a baby and crying. I hadn't told anyone about because I thought nothing of it. But now? I wasn't so sure.

I got up and shut off the machine. I ran out the library. What did this all mean? I was sure this woman was my birh mother. But so many questions remained. Why had she given me up for adoption? Or was I adopted after she died. Why wasn't I mentioned in the paper? Was this Patrick guy my birth father? I needed more answers. I decided that since they were witches maybe, maybe... Practical Magick, yes Practical Magick...maybe I could find something there. I got in the car and drove off.

I found a parking space and went inside. As soon as I stepped in I was greeted by an irritating familiar voice. "Well hello there Liz."

I spun around and came face to face with none other than that Michael guy. I made an ugly face at him.

"Oh so you're back. Great" I said sarcastically.
"Oh so you noticed. I'm sorry if I had known you would be missing me so badly I would have made an effort to get back sooner" he said equally sarcastic.
I rolled my eyes. How he had nerve.
"Please the only reason I took notice was because the atmosphere around here had considerably improved once you were not here that's all".

He just smirked at me. Have I mentioned how much I hate that smirk.
"What do you find so amusing"
"Nothing you'd want to here out loud"
"Try me"
"Are you sure"
"Positive"
"Okay well I was thinking about how ignorant you are"
Excuse me.

"What's that suppose to mean"
He looked at me. Really looked at me. I felt uncomfortable.
"Nothing I care to elborate on"
Ok has this guy have no manners. You don't just make a comment like that and leave it alone. Honestly its just plain....wait a minute. Why am I getting so worked up over him? I've got way more important things to worry about than whatever he says?

"Look you know what I don't even care what you mean. I came here for a purpose. And assuming you do work here, you- which you do right?"
"Yeah"
"Good. Then you can be a good little helper and assist me"
"Whenever and however you want me. I love to be of service."
I'm not even going to dignify that implication with an answer

"So what do you need"
"I was wondering if you had any...umm" Ok so how did I want to approach this? How much information should I tell him? I mean I don't want a practical stranger knowing my business. So how to get what I need without giving away anything?
"Umm I was wondering if you guys carry books about witch families or about places that might umm places about or books about say Ireland?" Wow. Brilliant communication skills Liz? I'm sure I only sounded like a 90% idiot.

Michael just looked at me with that superior smirk of his. I guess he is just loving the fact that I made a complete fool of myself. So embarrassing.
"Well we don't carry books about specific families or anything like that. We do have a few books on Ireland but I don't think you'll find what you're looking for." He said that last part like he knew what I was after. Yeah right. How could he.

"I highly doubt you know anything about what I'm looking for. So if you could please show me where the books are I'll take a look for myself"
"Whatever. Right this way."

About twenty minutes later I came back up to the front desk to purchase my books. I found a few books on Ireland and even though I knew the chances of finding anything were slight I decided to give it a shot anyway in the hopes I'd find the smallest bit of info.

Michael rung up the books. I paid my bill and turned to leave when he said something that made my life a whole lot more complicated, which I didn't think could be possible.

"Oh Liz. If you're really interested in finding out more about Eleni Jordan, I suggest you start at home. You're parents know a lot more than you think".

I stopped dead in my tracks. Did he...did he just say Eleni Jordan? How can he.....

"And Liz. Tell Max I understand what he finds so...appealing about Widow's Vale. Tell him that I think I'll be sticking around too, to see the sights. And make sure you let him know I'll be seeing him soon. Ok."

What the heck is going on here? I started to say something but I couldn't. So I just walked out, not saying a word.

How does Michael know Max? How does Micheal know anything? And why hasn't Max said anything? And what do my parents know that they haven't told me.

Toto I think we just left kansas. And I don't like where we're going either.


[ edited 1 time(s), last at 5-Jun-2002 6:31:30 PM ]
posted on 6-Jun-2002 1:28:27 AM
Chapter Eleven

Confusion. Having absolutely no clue about anything. Unsure of everything and everyone around you. That pretty much describes me right about now. Not to mention Michael's little "chat" with me today certainly didn't help. I was in the kitchen heating up popcorn thinking. What exactly did Michael know? How was he aquainted with Max? What was going on here. Yup confusion. I think that should become my new motto.

My parents finally came home. I guess after I left, they left, probably wanted to give me space if I came home-or they went out to look for me. Either way I'm glad they're home now. If what Michael said is true then we need to have another discussion. They walked into the kitchen unsure of what to say.

"Liz" my dad said questioningly. His eyes were blotchy. I could tell both of them had been crying.
"Yes" I said coldly
"Are you ok honey" my mom asked. Well let me see here. We just had the biggest fight ever this morning which ended with me finding out I was adopted. Gee I wonder what the answer could be.
"Let me think. I just found out that my parents, whom I trusted for sixteen years have been lying to me whole life. Other than that of course I'm peachy"

"Honey" my mom started to cry again. "Maybe we made the wrong decision not telling you. But it was only because we thought it was best. We wanted to protect you"
"Protect me! Protect me from what? I had a right to know! You shouldn't have kept this from me. How could you!"
"Look why don't we not talk about this now and let's all cool down a bit. Then we can further discuss this" my dad said rationally
"Yes" mom agreed "I think that is best. We've all had quite a shock today". My mom started to walk out.
"Wait" I called "I want to ask you a few things"
"What dear"
"I want to know the rest" Well here goes nothing.
"The rest?" my mom looked puzzled "the rest of what"
"The rest of the stuff you know about my birth mother. The stuff you're not telling me. I know there is more and I want to hear it. Don't even bother to pretend you don't know what I'm talking about"
My parents exchanged glances obviously having their own private conversation. Finally my dad spoke. "You're right. Since you know part of it you might as well know everything. But not tonight. I think we're all too tired to go into it. Soon Liz. I promise".
I began to protest but I stopped myself. My parents had been through alot as I had in their own way. I suppose I could wait a little longer. "Ok". My parents seemed relieved. I just hoped they didn't think they were in the clearing. I was going to know everything. They were going to tell me.

That night as I layed in my bed my mom came into my room. She started stroking my hair. I didn't say anything. "Liz listen to me. No matter what has happpend I just want you to know that your father and I love you. You're still our daughter and you always will be. No matter what you find out, nothing will ever change that." I remained silent. "Well I just wanted you to know that. Goodnight."

Monday. I was waiting for Max. I had talked to him last night on the phone. I told him I had something important to talk to him about but I didn't want to say it over the phone. He said we could talk tomorrow. Now as I'm waiting for him I only hope that what I have to say doesn't have too much of an effect on us, that Max had a logical explanation for it all.

"Hey beautiful" Max said smiling. I smiled faintly back. He kissed me. I saw other people looking, Of course they were. Here was Max Evans local god with little Liz Parker, girl most likely to remain dateless. He took my hand and we walked towards the coven. For a moment everything seemed the same, but nothing was. It would never be again.

"Hi Max, Liz how's it going" Jenna said brightly. She gave me a sincere smile and I smiled back.
"Hey Jenna, guys"
Pam looked at me with pure hatred. Isabel looked at me with contempt. Finally she broke the silence. "So Liz did your parents enjoy the reading material I sent. I"m sure it must have caused quite a scene at the Parker home" she said smugly. If she only knew what her "revenge" had set in motion. I began getting angry. Max squeezed my hand and spoke. "I had a good time on Saturday night. I"m glad you all came"
"Yeah it was cool and Liz was amazing" Jenna said. I blushed.
"Yep she was so awesome" Kyle agreed. "I spent the rest of the weekend looking up Wiccan sites on the web. I had no idea there were so many"
"I like the ones with chat rooms" Ethan replied. "If you get one where people know what they're talking about it gets really interesting"
"You know Yule's coming up in a couple of months" Sharon put in.
"Yeah maybe we should have a party" I added. I saw Isabel and Pam share snide, superior looks. My jaw started to clench. The bell rang for class. Max whisphered in my ear. "Oh you never did tell me what it was you couldn't say over the phone"
"Right. I'll tell you after school"
"Ok bye" He gave me a quick kiss and was off.

As soon as Max was gone Pam approached me. "So he's yours for now Liz. But how long do you honestly think you can keep him"
"Yeah" Isabel added enjoying the fun "Just wait until he finds out you're a loser virgin. I'll bet he'll find that pretty funny". An image of yesterday when I had freaked out when Max put his hand up my shirt flooded my mind.
"Please Isabel don't tell me she's a virgin"
"As pure as the driven snow"
"That's priceless. You know what it is Isabel. Max saw her and it was witch at first sight." They both started laughing and walked off. I couldn't believe Isabel had done that to me. Score three points for her. Rule four of war: If you can hit your enemy hard do it and do it completely and thoroughly.

After school Max was waiting for me. I ran into his arms and told him all about my encounter with Pam and Is.
"I can't believe she did it to me Max. I mean I know we're not friends anymore but still to stoop that low".
"Ssh. It's ok Liz. I'm soory I should have waited for you. I can't believe them. Something's going to have to be done. Now what is it you wanted to tell me before?"

This was it. No more holding back. "Do you know someone named Michael?" Have you ever been talking to someone and with one little sentence their whole expression changes. As soon as I said the name Michael, Max's whole face darkend to something I'd never seen before. "Michael how...where did you here that name from". His tone was borderlining on harsh. "Someone said that was there name".
"Where" he asked forcefully. "At Practical Magick, you know the place you told Isabel about"
"Yes I know but a woman named Mary works there"
"Well not as far as I know. The first time I went there was this guy who worked there and he kept giving me strange looks". More anger on his face. "Really? Did he..Has he ever spoken to you?"
"Actually he asked me what clan I was from, he gave me a warning that I didn't know anything about what was going on. I didn't really give it much thought but this weekend he said the oddest thing. That's what I wanted to talk to you about"
"This weekend. Why were you there?"
"When I found out about you know, I wanted to see of they had any books or something...I don't know. Look the point is he said something that really disturbed me"
"What! What did he say Liz" I heard agitation, anger, and even desperation in his voice.

"He knew about my situation. He told to ask my parents about more information. It was like he knew everything. He also told me to tell you that he understood what was attractive in Widow's Vale and that he would be sticking around to see to see the sights and would see you soon. It creeped me out Max"
Alarm. Anger. Hatred. It was written all over his face. Max paused for a moment to try and think. Then he spoke again in a hushed voice. "Listen to me Liz. Listen carefully. Michael is very dangerous."
"So you do know him Max"
"Yes unfortunately all too well. We have a past of sorts. I can't believe he's actually here...but that's beside the point. You have to stay away from him Liz"
"But why I don't--"
"Look you must. Trust me. He's here to hurt you. Us. He wants to get back at me, and he must know that by hurting you it'll hurt me. He's a liar and a manipulator who can do lots of harm. Stay away Liz please".

I stared at Max. Should I believe him? Of course I should. I don't know anything about Michael. And I have gotten some strange vibes from him every time I've met him. It must be true. It must. "Okay I'll stay away Max". That eased his tension a little. He even managed a smile. "Good, good. Look I've got to get home. My mom is going out tonight to meet a few people and she needs me to go with her. I'll see you tomorrow and we'll figure this stuff out together"
"Ok Bye Max"
We kissed and then got into our cars and drove off.

All the way home I was trying to process everything. Was Michael dangerous. Granted he seemed weird and was very annoying but I never thought he was out to hurt me. But then again Max said he was a manipulator. Maybe he was playing me. Besides what reason would Max have to lie to me. None. Therefore he must be telling the truth. Naturally he loves me and wants to protect me.

I parked my car and started up the door. I stopped abruptly when I saw someone standing there waiting for me. It was Michael. Think Liz. Think.
"Uh hey Michael what are you doing here. How do you know where I live" I said nervously fumbling with the keys.
"Listen Liz I know this must look strange to you but I really have to talk to you"
"Can we do it another day. I really have a lot to do" I said trying to pacify him.
"No I have to say this now". I was scared
"Look Michael I already spoke to Max. Just stay away from me"
"Oh so you talked to Max did you? Let me guess what he said. That I was evil and you should stay away. Well don't listen to him Liz. He's dangerous. He's a liar and a manipulator and he's playing you for a fool". Wait a minute didn't I just hear that?
"You stay away. You don't know anything" This made him angry.
"I don't know anything huh? You're the one who doesn't know anything. You're the one who doesn't have a clue. Max is just using you"
"Oh really Michael. Wow you're just full of information aren't you" I said challenging him with my eyes, prepared for whatever he was going to throw at me next. His next words were...well not what I was expecting. "As a matter of fact Miss Parker I am. For instance I bet you didn't know you are a Woodbane did you. And I bet you certainly didn't know that I'm Max's brother".

What did he just say. I'm a Woodbane? It can't be? He's Max's brother? Toto I think we just left Kansas..... again. And I know I am definitely not liking where this is going.


posted on 15-Jun-2002 10:24:22 PM
Hey everyone I'm back right here*wink*! Sorry it's been a little while but evil real life has been getting in my way*sad* However I'm back now and will try to to do better but I can't promise anything. Thanks for all the feedback and the bumping! Well here's the next part.

Chapter Twelve

You know life use to be simple. I had a best friend, great parents, excellent grades. So I wasn't exactly miss popularity or anything but still I was doing fine. Then Max Evans and Wicca entered my life. Then Michael. Things got complicated. I developed feelings for Max, unfortunately so did my best friend. Micahel started telling me strange things. It all went up and down from there. Up I found out Max loves me. Down Isabel is now my ex best friend. Up I have a talent for witchcraft because I'm a blood witch. Down I'm adopted. Then we have all the other middle crap I haven't quite placed yet. Max may be lying to me. Michael may be lying to me. Heck at this point both may be lying to me. My birth mother apparently died soon after I was born, perhaps under murky circumstances. And now Michael just said I was a Woodbane, as in the evil Woodbanes. He also said he was Max's brother. Welcome to my new and improved world. Fasten your seatbelts kiddies your in for a bumpy ride.


"Excuse me. Wha--What did you say". I truly felt numb. I hoped beyond hoped that I had just heard Michael wrong.
"I said that you're a Woodbane and I'm Max's brother". Oh crap. I don't have a hearing problem after all. Wait a minute. Why am I even listening to this. He's obviously lying. That must be it. Of course.
"You're lying" I stated it simply
"No I'm not" He said even more simply
"Yes you are" Remember when confronted with an ugly truth always go into denial. Advice to live by.

"Look Liz, I know this must be hard on you" Wow I can't imagine where he'd get an idea like that from. "I probably should have said it more gently" Really. "It's just that I can't stand by and watch you make such a huge mistake"
"And what mistake am I making exactly Michael"
"Max"
"Who's your brother"
"Yes, my half brother to be exact"
"So you're brothers huh"
"Yes I just said that"
"Why hasn't he ever mentioned you before I said something about you?" He smiled. I didn't realize that was such a funny queston. "Max and I don't eactly get along to well" Big surprise there.
"Really and why is that" I couldn't help but ask considering I don't have a clue about what's going on here.
"It's complicated"
"Life's complicated, oh well" I wanted answers
"We just don't see I to eye. We...He's...I...look this isn't the point. We're getting off the subject. I'm not here to discuss my family situation. I'm here to talk about you". It's funny how no one wants to say anything about themselves. They always want to focus on you. Fine I'm tired of this anyway.
"So why are you here?"
"To help and to stop" Great answer.
"Help who. Stop who pray tell. I need a bit more of an elaboration here if you don't mind". He paused to think about it. Then he seemed to have resigned himself.
"I'm a member, in fact I'm the youngest memeber of the International Council of Witches" Council? Oh yeah that group that kind of regulate the witch world.
"And..keep going"
"I'm here for Max. He's been playing with fire too and lately he's been getting out of hand. He's messing with things that are no business of his and he has to answer to the Council. I'm also here to help you". Not exactly the answe I wanted but we're getting there.

"Okay so what exactly has he done?"
"He's been doing things he shouldn't. But don't worry no one blames you" Me? Blame me for what. I haven't done anything. Michael continued on. "You have a choice you know and so does Max. I'm here to make sure it's the right one".
"I haven't the faintest idea what you're talking about"
"Don't you Liz?" He posed the question as if he thought I was lying and already knew what he was talking about. I just looked at him. He began to stare at me, really hard as if he was assessing the situation, me.
"Hmm perhaps you really don't know. Maybe Max hasn't....In that case..." His words trailed off. "Oh well it doesn't really matter, in fact it's just as well for you. Max is the one I have to deal with" He said it as if he alredy had a plan.
"What do you mean deal with Max. What are you planning to do?" I began to worry. If Michael ever did anything to hurt Max he'll be sorry. I have to warn him as soon as possible. But he told me he had gone out for the night with his mom. There was no way to talk to him until tomorrow. I guess that will have to do. I just want Michael to go. He makes me uncomfortable. Not to mention the fact everything he has to say to me is never anything of the pleasant variety.

"Do you have anything else to say or are you done". He seemed angry. Perhaps he felt as if I was still on Max's side and that nothing had changed that. Of course that was the truth. Good let him think so. I don't know why I should even care if that's what he thinks anyway.

"I suppose that could be all if you want. But Liz don't you even want to discuss that other little thing I said." He smirked and all at once it all came back. How could I even have forgotten about it. Michael had also said that I, Liz, was a Woodbane. I got so wrapped up in thinking about Max and Michael it totally left me.

"I'm not a Woodbane." Certainly not. What a stupid thing to say. There was no possible way I was one of THEM. The dark ones. In my humble opinion I'm one of the nicest people I know. Absolutely no way I'm Woodabne.
"I beg to differ Liz. You are. Your mother, that is birth mother was. Your father was. Your whole family was. So was the coven Bellwick?" Did he just say Bellwick? "You are a Woodbane through and through and not just any Woodabane either. You were the destined high priestess of one of the most powerful Woodbane covens that had ever existed. Such was your grandmother. Such as your mother would have been. That's your legacy Liz. You can't hide from it. Deep down you know it's true." I shook my head. I felt like I was going to cry.

"Still take heart. Bellwick wasn't evil you know. They had pledged themselves to do no harm. They renounced their dark legacy and tried to stay away from those who were practicing wrong" Gee thanks Michael. I feel so much better now. Not. Well maybe I do, just a little.
"They did" Gosh, I sounded like a little child desperately wanting to hope in a dream.
"Yes, it's like I said earlier. Everyone has a choice. You're not forced to do good or evil. It's up to you. Bellwick chose right and so can you. It was such a shame about what happend to them. That's why you have to be careful. There are still Woodbanes out there who haven't given up the dark."

"Wait what did you mean it was such a shame. What happend to them, Bellwick?" Michael began to get uncomfortable at this question. His eyes shifted everywhere and refused to look at me. I could tell he knew something. And it would looking like the answer wasn't going to be too pretty either.

"Now is not the time to go into it" Oh no. I don't think so.
"Right now is the perfect time to talk about it. I want to know."
"Well I'm not going to tell you" I could honestly scream at this moment. What is his problem?
"Why not? I have a right to know"
"I know you do Liz. And you will find out I promise. Now just isn't the time. You're not ready."

I'm boiling over with anger. I am angry. Who does he think he is. I am so pissed off at him that without thinking I slap him. I slapped Michael. He doesn't even flinch. In fact he smirks. Jerk. Have I mentioned I'm beginning to hate smirks.

"That was harsh Liz. Remember what I said though I know you won't listen. I think I made a mistak in coming here. It was too soon. You're not ready. I think I got a few things wrong. See you around. I'll be in touch" And with that he walked off.

I should have run after him and forced him to talk. I should have demanded explanations. But I didn't. And here's the weird thing. I haven't the faintest clue why. As much as Michael had told me I still didn't know anything. But somehow I have the feeling that this isn't the last time I'll see him.

That night I couldn't sleep. Too much was on my mind. That night at dinner, my parents asked me if I wanted to talk about my birth mother now. I was too exhausted physically, mentally, emotionally to deal with anything more tonight. I told them we'd talk tomorrow. They were more than fine with this. I got the feeling that whatever they had to say would not be good news. But hey with the way things were going why should I expect anything else.

I tossed and turned in bed. I thought about Max. I thought about Michael. I thought about Eleni and if I was really Woodbane. I thought about Bellwick. What really happend there? Would I ever get to the truth? Well I figured that at least things couldn't get any worse. Of course if you've been paying attention at all you know that once again I was wrong. Big surprise.



Book of Shadows Entry:
Things are getting tense. First of all we've been having many visitors all over the world coming. It seems our little "discovery" has created quite a buzz. And now to top it off, HE is here. This is bad. It could ruin everything. I keep telling them I need more time. But the others are pressuring me more and more everyday. I told them I have to take this slow. I said I needed time to bond with her, so that she see things through my eyes. Don't they realize this is a delicate matter? But here's the funny thing. I actually like, heck more than like the idea of bonding with her. Usually my assignments are just that, assignments. But here I am actually enjoying this. Isn't that odd? Oh well I got to get back. Mom needs me.
posted on 23-Jun-2002 8:45:09 PM
Chapter Thirteen A

I woke up early the next morning. It wasn't as if I had been sleeping well anyway. I decided to head over to Max's place before school started so we could talk about everything. I left a note for my parents and took off. I still couldn't get what happend yesterday out of my mind. What was going to happen now? What will Max say when I tell him? Willn I like what he says? Will it be true? I felt so lost, so alone. I didn't know hwat to do or who to turn to. I needed Max to tell me everything was going to be fine. I needed him to say that he loves me and that Michael is wrong. And I need to believe him.

I ran to the door and knocked as hard as I could. I stood there for a few moments until it opend revealing a very sleepy, but still gorgeous Max. He was surprised to see me.
"Liz what are you doing here at this time of the morning. What miss me already?" He tried to laugh. I didn't smile back. I was not in a laughing mood.
"We have to talk Max". He heard the seriousness in my voice and became more aware.
"Ok come inside"

We entered the living room.
"Would you like something to drink or maybe some...."
"No thanks" I cut him off. I had to get down to business. I was tired adn I wanted answers. "Max look I know it's early but I have to speak to you. We need to get some stuff straightend out. I'm just going to get to the point. What exactly is the deal between you and Michael." He immediately got solemn. His face reminded me of yesterday when I had first mentioned his name.

Max started to talk then hesitated. "It's umm kind of personal. I don't really want to discuss it". Not a good enough answer this time.
"Well I do. He came to see me after school yesterday."
"What?" Shock flared up across his face. I saw something in his eyes. Concern. Maybe concern for me?
"Why is the International Council of Witches after you?" He began to back away from me. Then as if he had come to some resignated decision he sat on the couch and looked up at me. "Why don't you just tell me everything he said." And so I did.

"I can't believe this" Max groaned. "I'm so sorry Liz. I'll make sure he leaves you alone from now on."
"But what was all that stuff he said Max"
"Well the council is nothing really but a bunch of elders that mostly try to set guidelines about appropriate use of magick now a days. I guess you could say they're a governing body. Something like 67 countries are represented"
"And Michael's a part of this?" I asked in almost disbelief. Max seemed to share my doubts. "He says he is. Personally I think he's lying but who knows. Maybe the council is in desperate need of members since some witches are starting not to listen to them again. Things are going back to the old ways Liz. Not like in the recent past century." There it was again. That detection of disgust in his voice when he made the last comment. Then Max made a short laugh. "Mostly Michael is nothing more but a second rate wannabe witch with grand delusions of grandeur."

"Delusions is right" I murmured thinking back on him. I should probably just forget what he said. But somehow I couldn't. "What about him saying he's your brother."
That made Max really frown. I could see the anger boiling through. "I can't believe the nerve he has. It's not true" he said easily.
"I don't understand. Why would he say it then?"
"You see Liz about two years ago I was at a witch convention"
"A witch convention? Come on"
"Yes a witch convention. That was the first time I met Michael. He informed me that he was a year older than me and that we were half brothers. I of course didn't believe him. My father is a jerk you see. And a big one at that. But I can't believe he would have married and gotten my mother pregnant knowing that he had another child out there with some other woman. I hated Michael for that and still do. He keeps insisting it too. I say someone else is his father not mine. but he comes around every now and to bug me and mom now that my parents are divorced and to cause trouble. We're at a sort of war you see."

"So that's why he's acting this way" It made sense. All of it. So why wasn't I feeling any better?
"Yeah I think so" Max said. "Somehow he's all...screwed up or something. I don't know. But he's trouble. He wants to hurt me and he knows by hurting you that would hurt me. I can't lose you Liz". I was touched by his words. I came closer to him and began stroking his hair. I had just one more thing to discuss and then we'd be done with this. At least I hope.

"Max..."
"Hmmm" he said.
"What about the other thing he said. You know about me being a Woodbane?"
"Oh that" he says nonchalantly "Who really cares. It may or may not be true." Then he looked at me and whisphered the next statement. "How do you feel about that? If it was true?"
"Bad really bad. Though Michael did say that Bellwick had renounced evil. Still I would have been prouder to have been any other clan but....Woodbane. It's worse. Much worse."
Max laughed again. He stared right into my eyes. "No it's not my love. It's not that bad."
"How can you say that? It's awful" Why was he so calm about this?
"Easy like I said now a days it isn't that big of a deal. You know clan unity and all that. Besides if you ask me people have a prejudiced view of Woodbanes, ignoring all their good qualities like strength, loyalty, power, and the pursuit of knowledge too."
"You, you didn't know any of this did you?" I had to ask. Had to be sure. There was still something inside of me that had doubt and I wanted it to be gone.

Max shook his head. I began to feel relief. "Of course I didn't know. How could I. And we still don't know if it's true. But if it is it's not really such a bad thing. At least you know your clan or are some mongrel. I've always thought the Woodbanes got a bad rep anyway" I looked at him. What he said made sense. Heck it was comforting. It was what I wanted to hear.
"You don't know what clan you are from right?"
"Right it's like I said before with the others. There are a lot of possibilities. Hey for all I know I could be a Woodbane too. Wouldn't we make a pair then huh?" He smiled that million dollar smile of his. I couldn't help but smile back. I'm so glad I decided to come here this morning. Max made me feel a hundred times better. I knew he would take care of things from now on.

"Of course if you were a Woodbane it wouldn't matter. It doesn't matter that I might be one right?"
"Certainly not Liz. I love you no matter what" I felt warm all over. Heated by the love of Max.
"Gosh Michael is horrible"
"That he is" Max agreed.
"I hate what he's doing to you, to us. Just like I hate what Isabel is doing. People can be so mean. But they all better watch out or they'll be sorry"
"Ooh I like it when you talk tough. It's kind of a turn on". I punched him playfully on the arm and he kissed me. "Look I better get dressed for school. Wait for me down here and then we can go together". He got up and began to go back up the stairs. Then he turned around and gave me a coy grin. "Of course if you want to come upstairs with me instead of staying down here you are more then welcome to."
Men. Honestly. "No I think I'll stay where I am."
"Suit yourself. There's always next time. I'll only be a few minutes."

[ edited 1 time(s), last at 23-Jun-2002 8:45:53 PM ]
posted on 1-Jul-2002 1:22:03 PM
Thanks everyone so much for the great feedback*bounce**bounce**bounce* I'm glad all of you are enjoying the story. I know you are wondering what the deal is between Max and Micahel and who is good/bad but you're going to have to keep reading to find out what the deal is. All I will say is look at it this way. Nothing is quite as simple as black and white. The characters are more gray than just straight out good or evil. Things and people are complicated with many layers. Well there I've thrown you a tiny bone. Here's the rest of chapter thirteen.

Chapter Thirteen B

He disappeared back upstairs. I stretched on the couch and sighed. I knew Max would have an explanation. Still in the back of my mind I kept thinking something was off. But I shrugged them off and pushed them aside. Maybe Michael was partly telling the truth. Maybe I really am a Woodbane. After all he could have found out those facts to use me to listen to his other lies about Max. That's probably it. And so what if I am a Woodbane. Max is right. It doesn't really matter anymore. And it's not like I'm doing evil or anything. And I never will.

While I was waiting for Max his mom Diane came down. I thought for sure she'd start interrogating why a girl was in her home early in the morning. But she did nothing of the kind and instead gave me a warm smile.
"Why Liz what a wonderful surprise. How are you?"
"Ok there's just a lot that's been going on"
"Anything you want to talk about"
"No I think it's fine now"
"That's good". She gazed at me up and down then as if it was casual conversation she said "you know you're very strong". Now this isn't the type of statement I expected someone to say out of the blue but hey maybe it's a witch thing.
"Thanks, um am I bothering you because...."
"No, no dear you're no bother at all. Please come sit with me in the kitchen until Max comes down"
"Sure". We went in.

"So Max tells me you're a blood witch. Truth be told I thought as much the first time I met you. He's that you're adopted". I looked at her. Max told her all of this? She noticed my shock. "I'm sorry. I know how that must have seemed. But don't be too hard on Max. We can sense things about each other. We're very close. For a long time it's been mostly the two of us, ever since his dad left when he was young."
"I'm sorry too". I tried to relax a bit. This must be what it's like in a blood witch family. No secrets. No holding out on each other. Must be nice.

She poured me some cocoa. "Try this". I began to drink. It felt amazing, like my whole body was coming alive. Diane smiled and then her eyes focused on me sympathetically. "You look like you had a rough time". That was an understatement. "Yeah I have". I felt like I could tell her anything. "Max also told me you think you're parents are of Irish descent."
"Uh huh" I continued drinking. "I found the name Maeve Jordan on my birth certificate. I went online and found out she was born in Ireland but died here in New York, in Meshonmah Falls".
"Hmm" she said gravely. "I think I remember hearing something about a young witch dying. Most unfortunate". I felt hope.
"Do you rememeber anything else?"
"not really. I'm not sure. Let me check for you and see what I can find out. It was quite a while ago. I was about forty at the time". Wait a minute. Forty? That meant that Diane had to be about fifty-six now. She didn't look much older than thirty-five?

"Liz you still there?" It was Max calling me.
"I guess I'd better go. It was nice talking to you". She smiled. "It was a pleasure gettting to know you a little more Liz. We must talk again soon". I got up and went to go meet Max.


When we got to school I felt way better. I was almost happy. I had Max. but my joy soon disappeared as I saw Isabel and Pam waiting for us.

"Great what do they want now" I whisphered to Max. We approached them.
"Hello Isabel, Pam" Max said calmly "Is there something you guys wanted?" They looked at each other. Isabel spoke first. "Actually there is Max. We want out of the coven". Oh boy I thought, here we go.

"Excuse me" I said. I couldn't have possibly heard that right.
"Isabel said" Pam replied cooly "That we want out of the coven". Ok so I did hear them right. I can't believe this. Just last month Isabel and I were making fun of Pam together. No it seems as if they are best buds and we are mortal enemies. I knew things were bad but I never imagined this. How things change.

I turned to Max. He was frowning suddenly very alert. "I thougt the two of you were into it, were serious and dedicated."
"We are, we just don't want to do it with you" Pam said pointedly. Isabel seemed to enjoy our shock. "If you really want to know we've joined a new coven, a better one". What? What other coven could there possibly be in this town that would include them? Offense intended. "A different coven" I said disbelievingly. "There is no other one". Pam looking bored turned to me. "Oh yes there is, and we're part of it now". I turned to Isabel. "You're not serious are you? Don't be stupid Is."

Max seemed to be thinking the situation over. "May I ask what is wrong with out own?"
Coldly Isabel spoke. "If you really must know Max. I'm not feeling the coven anymore. And..I don't want to be in a coven with a bunch of backstabbers and betrayers. I have to trust the people I work with". Oh no she did not just say that. I knew the last part was inteneded for me or maybe for both of us. Who knows. It's like Isabel is a totally different person. It's like I don't even know her anymore.

Max raised his eyebrows and looked at them clearly. "Yes trust IS important. No one should be around people they don't trust. But are you really, truly sure about this. Are you sure you can trust the people in this new coven."
"Of course" Pam said a bit too loudly for my taste. "It's not like you're the only witch in town Max".
"Yes I know". Max said with a hint of annoyance in his voice. He put his arm around my shoulder. This further angered Isabel and Pam. "It's your choice certainly. But just think of this. Most witches are good but not all of them. Make sure you know what you're getting into and who you are dealing with. That's all".
"How sweet of you to care" Isabel said sarcastically. Pam made a short laugh then added "Yeah I think we'll be fine. More than fine. Oh I almost forgot. Beth's leaving too. She wasn't here today so I said I'd tell you for her."

Max gave them one last long look then nodded. We walked away. Well there goes three members. Just as soon as we're getting started and together too we've already lost people. Great just great.

Max walked me to my locker. "So what happens now? What are we going to do"
"There's nothing to do Liz. They made their decsion. They'll have to live with the consequences". A shiver went up my spine. "I wonder who they're working with" I asked. "So do I Liz. So do I. It's obvious they're not doing this alone. They're getting help. The question is from who". Indeed.

At lunch we told the others what happened. Let's just say they weren't happy. Especially Ethan and Alex. I guess I understood. Alex and Isabel were friends just as Ethan and Pam were. But there was nothing we could do about it. The whole time I felt eyes on me. I felt silently blamed for what went down. I suppose in a way I am responsible. Max told us we shouldn't dwell on it. What's done is done and we can't change anything. We need to concentrate on the future not the past. I agree. But the thing I've often found is that just as you're stepping into the future the past comes back to keep you from moving forward. Afterall you can't have a future without a past.
posted on 11-Jul-2002 12:59:52 PM
Chapter Fourteen

Dinner. Things were still pretty tense with my parents. As soon as they got home I told them I wanted answers. They agreed. At first everyone was as quiet as a mouse. I finally broke the ice. "So what do you know about my birth mother?" There I said it out loud. Come what may. I could tell my parents were nervous. Mom looked to dad. Eventually he cleared his throat and began.

"I know the past couple of days have been...hard for us, especially you lizzy. If you hadn't found out on your own we probably would never have told you. I know that's not what people recommmend but under the circumstances we thought it was best for all concerned."

"Now that you know" Mom interuppted. "Part of it at least, we might as well tell you the rest". I braced myself. This was it. "You know your father and I got married when we were twenty-five". I nodded. "Uh huh".
"We wanted a family right away but we were never blessed. We tried everything but nothing worked. I hoped and hoped that somehow I would get a baby. Then one day...." She drifted off. My dad picked up for her.

"An aquaintance of ours, a lawyer called us one night and said out of the blue he had a baby that needed a home right away. We never thought about it twice. You were seven months old when we got you and just so..."
"Perfect" My mom continued. "I knew from the first moment I saw you that you were my baby. The lawyer had said the birth parents were too young to rise you. We were just so happy to have a baby that we didn't ask questions. All I knew was that I had my beautiful baby girl and that was all. It didn't how or why I got you and I didn't care". I started feeling tense. Had my birth parents given me up knowing they were in danger somehow. Who was this lawyer? Had he even been telling the truth?

"You were everything we wanted and more", my dad said. "But a week later, we read about a fire in Meshomah Falls in the paper. That two bodies had been found burned to death in a barn. When thebodies were identified they match the names on your birth certificate. We wanted to know more, but we didn't want to do anything that would upset the adoption. We had you and we didn't want to give you up. But months later, once everything was final we tried again".

"How?" I asked holding my breath.
"We first tried calling the lawyer but he disappeared apparently taking a job elsewhere. We left messages but he never answered them. Finally we tried another way. I searched through the newspapers and talked to the reporter who had covered the event as well as the police who did the case. Then when I went on a business trip to Ireland I investigated more."

I nervously bit my lip. "What did you find out there?"
"Are you sure you want to know honey"?
I nodded "I'm sure"
"Your birth parents were indeed the ones who burned in that fire. And it wasn't just an accident. It was arson...murder. The doors of the barn had been locked from the outside and gasoline had been poured all over the building. They found symbols on a piece of wood. They were identified as runes, but no one could figure out why they had been written there or why anyone would want to kill them. They had been quiet people who mostly kept to themselves here in New York. Those that knew them said they had a maturity older than their years. The crime was never solved. Anyways back to my trip in Ireland. I took a day excursion to the town the police had said they had been from a place called Ballynigel. When I got there it wasn't much to look at. With the exception of a couple of shops the place was in complete ruin as if it had been destroyed".

"Did you find out what happend dad?"
"I went into one of the shops but when I asked about it I was kicked out immediately. After walking about for a whil and getting nowhere I went to the next town over and had lunch in a local pub. There were some old men sitting near by and we struck up a conversation. I eventually mentioned Ballynigel and they went quiet. 'Why do ya want to know' one of them asked me. I told them I was a reporter investigating b the story for my hometown newspaper about towns in Ireland".

I looked at my dad unbelievably, not being able to imagine him lying to find out about my origins. Then it strcuk me. They had known all this all along and had never once told me.
"To make a long story short" he continued "Basically the men said that until a couple of years ago Ballynigel had been a prosperous town. But suddenly out of nowhere it was destroyed. Decimated. Destroyed by evil they said. They said that Ballynigel had been home to witches, powerful ones whose families had existed for thousands of years. They called them one of the old clans. They said evil had risen up and destroyed all the witches. No one knew why but it was best never to take a chance with a witch. I laughed at that. I said I didn't believe in withces. One of the men looked at me directly and said more the fool I was then. It creeped me out a little. And idea came to me then. I asked them if anyone had escaped since obviously your birth parents had died in New York. The men replied a couple o fhumans as if there was a difference. I said what about any withces. They replied they highly doubted it but if any had they would never be safe and was only a matter of time before it caught up with them. Sooner or later they'd be hunted down and killed. I left being chilled to the bone. I didn't say anything about how two withces at least had escaped yet sure enough they had died a few years later under mysterious circumstances. When I was outside the pub leaving someone came up to me and whisphered 'I suggest you go now and not come back. It's best to leave the past where it is.' And kept on walking past me. And called after him but he never looked back and turned a corner. I followed him around but he was gone by the time I got round the corner too."

My mom put in "When your father came home he told me all about it. Truthfully we were scared to death. We didn't know what or who was out there. We thought whoever was out there might come for you if they knew about you. So we decided to leave, and never speak of your past again. We moved down here. At first we tried to change your name but you were legally Elizabeth. So we called you Liz always as a nickname". I remembered that. All in my childhood I was always called Liz or Lizzy, never Elizabeth. I guess that's how the name stuck.

My mom and dad looked at me. Then she continued. "We thought all that was behind us after all these years. But when I saw your Wicca books...and you claimed to be a witch...it just brought it all back. I'm so sorry Liz" She began crying. Have I ever said how much I hate seeing my mother cry.

"I know. But you guys have to understand what I'm doing isn't dangerous. It's part of me, who I am. Can you accpet that?"
"Perhaps we were a bit unreasonable. Maybe we could come to some sort of agreement", my dad said. "But still your mother and I can't help feeling that this stuff is nothing but trouble. That it will get you into trouble".
"It won't I promise. It's completely safe and so are the people I'm doing it with. No one means any harm honestly". I thought of Max, Michael, Isabel and Pam. Okay so maybe that wasn't completely true but my parents didn't need to hear that now. In this instance I'd say ignorance is bliss for them.

"I don't know " Mom said in a low voice. "I suppose we could just see where all this goes from here". I began smiling through my own tears. I gave them both a hug. "I swear you guys won't be sorry. I love you both so much and I will never do anything dangerous or that could put me in harm". Mom sighed and looked at dad. We all gave each other a hug again. Unfortunately I didn't know it yet but I had made promises I wouldn't be able to keep.

posted on 27-Jul-2002 10:54:26 PM
Hey Everyone! Sorry for taking a little longer than usual for updating but I had to start preparing for the fall and register for classes etc..sometimes real life can be such a bother. Anyway here's the next part.


Chapter Fifteen

"Are you going to the game on Friday Liz" asked Maria as we were getting ready for gym class. "I don't think so". My life was just a bit too complicated right now to think about gmes. That seemed something normal, my life was anything but now. "Oh that's too bad. Got a lot going on now huh". "Yeah" . If you only knew the half of it Maria.

Across the room I saw Isabel next to her locker changing. Since Pam was a senior she was in a different class, and since Pam was her new best friend and no one else counted, Is was by herself. This was pretty unususal for her. Isabel's eyes glanced my way for a moment and the coldness I saw there chilled me. It was hard to believe that she knew nothing of what had occurred in my life these past few days: finding out I was adopted, the story of my birth parents, the whole thing with Max and Michael. She knew none of it. It's funny we use to tell each other everything.

We headed out to the gym walking silently. I guess Maria saw the distance between Isabel and I because her next comment rather surprised me. "Did you go after Max behind Isabel's back?" I couldn't believe this. "What! Did she say that?" The nerve. "Sort of. She...might have said something along those lines."
"Well honestly no. I was crazy about him that's true but I knew Isabel liked him and she being Isabel...I just naturally thought they'd get together. But then Max wasn't interested. He wanted me. So...." I driifted off. I think Maria got the picture. "Are you two talking yet?" "No", I said flatly. I had no plans to speak to Isabel, especially with her recent behavior. Rule five of war. Never show the enemy your weakness if it can be helped.

The P.E. teacher Ms. Carrol blew her whistle and said we'd be playing volleyball. Oh great I thought. I'm not exactly Miss atletic. Maria and I walked past Isabel. I heard her mumble "witch bitch". My cheeks started flaming up and I pretended not to hear. Yelling and shouting out of their lockers came the boys. Many of them ran past Isabel shouting "Looking good as ever baby" "You can rock my world anytime". I rolled my eyes at Maria. Boys. Alex who was also in the class made a face and I laughed.

We split into teams. Girls on one side with Ms. Carrol, boys on the other side with Coach Grant. Isabel and I were on opposite teams. I heard a couple of girls whispering. "Look at Alex. Who would have thought he could be so cute." "Yeah I know", another one said. "Is he going out with anyone?" "I don't think so, but I wouldn't bother. He hangs out with the witches." "Oh too bad". Now that caught my attention. I had no idea our group was now being called 'the witches'.

The game started. I hit the ball, others hit the ball. Everything was fine, unitl it was Isabel's turn to be in the server's position. She began to raise her hand when one of the boys whistled and shouted "You and me baby". Isabel laughed then looked at me straight in the eye and gave me a superior smile that said see how much better I am, guys would never do that to you look. I tried to act like I didn't care but it was true. Max was the only guy who had ever paid attention to me. But then again he was the only one that mattered. I smiled back at Isabel brightly. This in turn made her angrier. She shouted back over to the boys "Anytime". Everyone began laughing. That is everyone except me, Maria, and....Alex? The look on his face screamed jealousy. I had no idea. Alex liked Isabel. He had never said a word. Of course I had never asked.

"Come on Isabel" Ms Carrol spoke agitated. Isabel gave me another smile as if this was for my benefit. I was angry. I pulled out the silver pentacle necklace that had once belonged to Max but had given to me to show we were together. Isabel paled when she saw it. Hah take that I thought. Rule six of war. Hurt the enemy as much as possible. But in my satisfaction I forgot rule seven of war. Be on the lookout for the enemies retalliation.

Isabel pulled back on her arm and smashed the volleyball at me with all her might. Not reacting quick enough it knocked me right down and I hit my head on the gym floor as the ball slammed right into my nose. The room went silent. Ms Carrol ran up to me. She was talking. My eyes went to Isabel. She had this horrified expression on her face as if she hadn't meant to do it. For a moment it was the old Isabel I knew. But then she shook it off and was icy and unfeeling again. I couldn't believe it. It had actually come to this. Isabel and I once the best of friends were now the most bitter of enemies.

I could feel the pain everywhere. Ms. Carrol and the Coach escorted me to the health room. My mom came to pick me up and took me to the doctor. So far this week really wasn't going well.

That afternoon I was lying in bed. I had an injured nose and two black eyes. my whole face hurt. My mom had help me wash the blood out of my hair and cleaned me up a bit. I had put on a paor of old sweats and currently had an icepack on my face. I looked and felt awful. I heard the doorbell ring. I sensed immediately it was Max. Oh no. I so don't want him to see me like this. Perhaps my mom won't let me him in. After the whole confrontation with my folks I had briefly mentioned Max to them, but I hadn't quite gotten around to the whole boyfriend thing yet. I figured one shock at a time. I heard footsteps and then people outside my door. I listened to my mom. "I don't know. She's still really tired." Mothers. Well since he's here already..."It's fine mom. I'm awake."

Mom came in first then Max. This was the first time he had ever been in my room. He gave me a big smile. "Hey beautiful. How you feeling". The innocent way he was playing made me laugh even thoug he was in pain. I turned to my mom. "We'll be fine. Don't worry". Translation I promise we're not going to have sex. My mom was a bit reluctant but then let it go and left the room.

Once she was gone Max got solemn. "Maria told me what happend". He was definitely not happy. "It was an accident", I said in defense. But why should I even bother to defend Isabel? "Is there anything you want me to do about it?" Transltion you want me to do something to Isabel. "No" I said, "It's over. Let's just forget about it." "Ok I'll let this go, but it can only go so far", Max stated. I knew this was a warning on Isabel's part. I smiled. Rule eight of war. Have incredible allies.

"I brought something for you", he said.
"What?"
"Just some stuff to make you feel better, heal faster. Take it".
"How sweet thanks. I need all the help I can get".
"Good I need you up and about. On Friday night my mom's having a little get together and I was wondering if you would come."
"As your date"
"Well I should hope so. I wouldn't want you to come with someone else."
"Okay sure your mom won't mind. I don't want to intrude".
"Not at all. In fact she made sure that I asked you to come though I was already going to invite you".

"Liz's dinners ready" mom shouted. Translation time for the boy to leave your room. Max got the message as well. "I guess I'd better go". "Yeah I don't want my mom to have a heart attack". "See you later". He gave me a quick kiss and left. I floated for the next few hours.

Later that night after dinner I told my parents I was going to Maria's house to study. They asked me if I was sure I was up to it. I told them not to worry. I got the keys to the car and drove off into the night. As I was driving I saw Isabel's car parked by the old cemetary. Then I saw Pam's as well. I wondered what they were doing out here. Now since this was none of my business I should keep on going. But then again should I let a little thing like that stop me. So I parked my car a distance away and silently crept over to where I though I heard voices coming from.

Sure enough there the two of them, waiting for someone apparently. I decided to hide behind one of the huge stones. I then saw Isabel and Pam look into the shadows with both nervousness and excitement plastered on their faces.

A young girl appeared. At first she seemed several years older than us but when I got a better lool she was the same age as Pam probably. I suppose she was pretty. There was something about her though I couldn't put my finger onti yet. She had blonde, blonde hair and crystal blue eyes that seemed to shine in the moonlight. They were almost compelling, mystical. She wore all black. I hated her on sight. She greeted Pam and Isabel but had an air of detachment of which neither of the two of them noticed. She asked them a question but I couldn't make it out.

"No one followed us" Isabel said. Not quite dear. Rule nine of war. If you can get any type of surprise information on the enemy do so. "That's right no one comes out here" Pam added. Still the girl was cautious. She looked around carefully scanning the area. Her eyes stopped on the stone behind which I was hiding. Don't let her know I thought. Don't let her know. I began saying no one can sense me over and over and over. It must have worked because the girl turned her attention back to them.

Slowly I tried to listen to what they were saying. I heard only parts of it here and there because I had to remain unseen. "Revenge?" the girl said lightly as if the word meant something fun. "Yes you there's this girl..." Pam said eagerly then whispered. The next thing I heard was "Dark Magick" coming from Pam again. Then the phrase "...to destroy love" this time that was from the girl. Isabel didn't speak. Once again I heard the girl "...their circle...broken further....increase our new coven...this girl with power....Max....different".

They talked more but I couldn't make it out. I bacame frustrated. I had to know what they were saying. Obviously it involved us. They mentioned Max and the girl with power was probably me. What were they planning? Who was this strange girl and what did she want with us? I stayed until the conversation was over about a half hour later. I was unable to hear anything else.

I got back into my car and drove to Maria's not even caring or thinking about the fact that I was late. I was too busy with what I had just witnessed. Something was going on. Something big. I couldn't believe Isabel was there. I would have expected something like this from Pam but Is? Were they really willing to use dark magick against us. Obviously that blonde girl was willing to help. but why? What could she possibly have against us? We've never even met her before. Why would she want to get involve in any of this? What purpose could it serve her? One thing was certain in my mind though. Something was definitely rotten in the state of Widow Vale. And it was no longer just between me and Isabel. And it wasn't going to be pretty.