Here is the next installment of my story, I need to edit these for myself quickly, so I am just going to put them up here in case anyone wants to read them. They will start getting good from here on out, hopefully this chapter and the next have you hooked!
Now that I had altered my course of action, I decided to try and go back to the scene of the crime, if I could find it, and see what I would notice in the light of day. Winding down Main St. and then off to the left to make my way east towards the woods, I found the exit I had come out of the night before, and made my way backwards towards the spot of the killing.
In the day light it wasn"t hard to find my way, which was great, as I didn"t want to get stuck out here again. Looking around I was sure I found the spot, it was seared into my brain, images from last night replaying in my mind, the terror began to take over, the anxiety, my nerves began to fray again. I almost thought that it was night again, before I opened my eyes and realized it was still a beautiful September afternoon.
I caught my breath, wiping my sweaty brow. Did I just have a mild panic attack, again, so soon? I calmed myself, trying to find anything that would help my case, any piece of evidence that I could find, but there was nothing. Just like I thought from the night before, there was no sign of a fire or a body. No pumpkin head with a smaller head inside, no scent even of burnt flesh, which I was thankful for, but made my case harder.
I left the woods with a heavy heart. I thought I was doing the right thing, but now I knew that there would be a family out there with a missing seven year old, and until I came forward, the cops would never know. Not to mention, the crazy college students could be after more. Spencer had mentioned going to the magic store to "˜find more." My heart raced, I couldn"t be an accomplice to those murders too, but I would be the longer I took.
I had to find that magic store. I had no idea what Spencer needed from in there, or what she thought magic could help with. She was crazy, so it didn"t even matter she actually thought magic was real. I was considering going to ask Lacreshia if she knew where the store might be, when I saw that it was also on Main St. how I had missed it before, I wasn"t sure.
I was relieved that I didn"t have to ask Lacreshia anything, she was a good person, and she had no place getting mixed up in my murder drama. That wasn"t fair for her, she had a mission to do, she had to help redeem New City.
As luck had it, the magic store, Back Door to the Moon, was still open. It was situated across the street from Lacreshia"s pet clinic, in the middle of downtown, in one of the older, smaller buildings. The building itself looked like it had been around a hundred years or more, but still had aged well.
I stepped inside, the bell going off above the door. Allowing the door to close itself I walked into the interior which was homey feeling. A couch was up against the wall when you walked in, a gold gilded picture of some farmland painted behind it. Two old-fashioned candle fixture lights hung on either side. As the door closed I walked past coat hangers, ignoring them, keeping my jacket on. A small wall separated the coat room from the rest of the store.
A large bay window faced out onto Main St. an elaborate window display was set up in front of it, with "˜Clearance" goods. That was bad sales marketing, I reasoned, The owner should make the customer walk to the back to find what they are really looking for. To the right of the opening, a small counter looked over this portion of the store, before it twisted down a couple steps to a floor below, with a wall in between.
I walked down the steps and began looking at the shelves full of books. Since I was little I thought books were so magically, there was something innately powerful about the knowledge within. And as it was a magic store, these books also happened to be on magic. I didn"t believe in this kind of thing, but it seemed cool, if the people weren"t a little strange.
On the shelf, besides some books, was a necklace display. My eye was drawn to one in particular, it was some sort of yellow stone, but it had fissures inside that were burnt orange and twisted to dark red. It was hung on a black chain linked band. I broke my rule about not stealing from local companies as soon as I laid eyes on it. It wasn"t even a full breath later before it was in my pocket. The clerk behind me could not have seen anything.
I turned around, and was in for another surprise. The teller behind the long counter was the same woman I had seen rob the ATM the day before. I couldn"t stop myself. "You, it"s you!" I rushed towards her, stepping past two perpendicular shelves to approach the register.
The bigger woman sucked her face in, looked at me, turned her head to the left, saw that there was no one there, and pointed at herself, lips pursed. "Who"d you gone think I is?" The young, heavier set, black woman asked.
"I saw you yesterday, you know, "˜persuade" the ATM." I don"t know why I was speaking so freely, but it probably had to do with the bud I hadn"t stopped smoking throughout the day. "I want to learn your ways!" I pleaded.
The woman made a strange face, cocking her head, braids with beads in them rattling, which then twisted into sudden rage. The woman turned to the stairs, popped up the counter, and strutted over to me. She came right up to my face, and then grabbed my throat, thrusting me back. I sputtered, oxygen instantly cut off. I made choking sounds, ready to beat this bitch, but really not wanting to, then seeing no alternative as my face grew purple.
"I don"t know what you thought you gone done seen, but it ain"t real, and its best not to step on a sisters toes. I can make these cameras "˜forget" that this little incident ever happened, as easily as I did the street cameras from yesterday." The woman stared down into my eyes as I began to get weaker.
I was finally to the point of hell breaking loose, when her grip lessened, and I dropped to the ground, coughing. Air filled my lungs at almost a painful rate. My vision blurred, and my brain throbbed. That had not been a pleasant experience.
"Roro, who are you talking to?" A man called out from the back of the store. I couldn"t see him though, the circular clothes wrack obstructed my view from where I was curled up on the floor.
"Shit, you don"t know me. Remember." Roro whispered tenaciously down at me, her brown blue eyes menacing.
I let my eyes roll, my head still hurt. I took a minute to stand up, letting Roro deal with her boss, ready to get out of here, when the man spotted me, as I stood up straightening my pants.
"How are you there? Why can"t I see you?" The man yelled out.
I knew he meant me instantly, because my ears grew hot, and there was no one else he could mean. I turned slowly, no need to step on everyone"s heels tonight. My face still felt hot, so I am sure I looked funny. "Obviously you see me, unless you"re blind- then oh my god, I"m so sorry!" I struggled with my own words. "But wear some glasses to help me out." I added whispering.
"I"m not blind, but I still can"t sense you. It"s like you aren"t here." He cocked his head at me.
"What are you?"
"The fuck dude?" I twisted to leave, this was some weird shit. "I"m sorry I came in here." So much for this as a lead.
"What"s that you got in your pocket?" The man questioned, following me to the stairs to get to the main landing.
How did he know? There was no way it was visible, it was tucked into my briefs. "I don"t know what you mean, I only have a shitty phone." Which was true, of my pockets.
"Don"t get smart with me." The man replied, his accent coming to a forefront, I hadn"t noticed it till just now.
I faced him. He was Latino, probably not Mexican, maybe South American decent. His features were characteristically dark, but his complexion was a deep summer tan, the kind I strived for. He was about my height, and size, and if it came to it I could kick his ass so fast.
"I just got assaulted by your clerk, and now you are accusing me of stealing?!" I yelled at him. Time to let the inner city out.
"Javier, is everything alright?" A new woman entered the scene from the back door. She was also dark toned, Puerto Rican maybe? She was slender and gorgeous. She had full lips, and icy blue eyes that I could make out from here. The man beside me, Javier, shook his head. He directed his eyes to the cashier. "Come on Roro, let"s go out back to smoke." Carmen ushered one assailant away.
Roro scurried from the room, going out back. Javier watched them go, before he turned his attention back to me.
"What business do you have here creature? Why are you stealing from my establishment?" Javier asked me pointedly. Creature, that"s rude. His English was remarkably good though, it chagrined me to acknowledge.
"I"m not a creature, so get off my case, and I don"t know what you are-" I kept my act up.
Javier didn"t want anything to do with it, instead he shot out his hand and dug into my pants! His hand dove in, and he had the necklace in his grasp in seconds, pulling it out firmly. It almost wrapped around my sac, but I was able to spasm it off.
"What the holy fuck?!" I was furious! What kind of town was this?!
The bell above the door rang abruptly, as a large impact blew the doors off their hinges, shattering them against the wall above the couch. My brain didn"t register what was happening at first, this can"t be real!
"What the hell have you done?!" Javier screamed at me, spittle plastering my face, before he punched me in the face, possibly breaking my nose. I was still too stunned to move. I didn"t know what to think. What was going on?!
I planted my back firmly against the wall against the stairs, safe for the moment from whatever was attacking this place. What did I get in the middle of?! Warm blood dripped down my lip, not a lot, but it didn"t stop.
For a heartbeat or two Javier and I didn"t move. After he punched me he ducked down with me. I just remained still in shock. "Is it gone?" I whispered. He just stared back at me like he didn"t understand English, which, I mean, he had like two seconds ago.
He didn"t reply, so I stood up, my head popping over the top of the counter, to look down the long room to where the doors used to offer protection, and in their place a great black floating monster hovered, drawing all the light around it, into him.
My fear levels spiked, something surged inside me, as panic took hold. "This isn"t fucking real!" I screamed, trying to will myself to believe it.
The dark fog monster screamed, and the piercing note struck right to my heart.
"Watch out!" Javier jumped up, grabbing ahold of me, thrusting the necklace out in front of us, he began to feverishly recite words I had never heard. The hair on the back of my neck started to tingle. Something big was about to happen.
Javier was still yelling out words, as the monster continued to shriek, my heart pulsed along painfully with it, wishing it would end. When it did. And a blinding white light with beautifully shimmering colors swirled inside headed right towards the shop owner and I.
Javier was soaked in sweat, my vision was blurring, I couldn"t comprehend what was going on around me, when it struck. Only something stood in the way. Javier, his outstretched arm, gripping the necklace I had tried to steal in white death knuckles. Instead of the eerie light eviscerating us like it appeared to do to anything else it came in contact with, it connected with the necklace, and rebounded off, creating a purple semi-circle protection field. If graphics from movies were to be believed.
It didn"t last long though, Javier was overwhelmed, and the necklace shattered. The impact blew Javier and I backwards. My body spiraled out of control. I am not sure when I landed, or what I made contact with in the process, but my body throbbed, my heart still ached from the screech, and I was trying to figure out what terrible life choices I had made to land myself in this situation.
My ears rang from the high pitched squeal that followed the light. I laid where I was, which was covered in glass from the back window blowing out. I finally stirred, my legs were heavy and numb, pushing chunks of wood aside, I dusted myself off.
A scream emitted into the air, alarming my very soul. I jumped up, it was the man, Javier, he was over by the corner book selves from where he was blown, clutching his head, screaming. A dark, misty, halo swirled around his face.
I ran to him, I looked around the corner to see where the larger creature was, but there was nothing, only a giant rent in the store floor and foundation. Suddenly the other woman from before was there, right behind me, when she hadn"t been moments before.
"What the hell?!" She screamed out, looking around, her crystal blue eyes located Javier, and went to run forward when a coupled things happened.
First, Roro came out from the back room, and was startled shitless, when, second, bullets shot out into the night. They ripped through the wall that faced the front door, the back side of the cashiers counter, splintering wood and plaster. Roro screamed, the other woman stopped moving forward, saw the defenseless cashier, heard the bullets, and sped to her. Literally zipped to Roro, and yanked her downwards behind the counter.
When the bullets started flying, I jumped over to where Javier was, and pulled him to the relative safety behind the brick shelves by the corner. He continued to wail out in pain. I looked at him, his face beaded in sweat, misery contorting his face. I tried to sho the misty halo away, but as my fingers passed through it, I was electrocuted with pain. The spinning cloud spun faster, the bullets started to sweep above our heads, moving closer to us.
Javier, who I had pulled towards me, and was semi-propped onto my legs, stopped squirming, and passed out. His body going limp, growing heavy. The black cloud stopped spinning, and sped to the window, and then up and into the night, leaving no trace of its existence. The inside lights popped as some ricocheting metal struck them, spraying hot glass everywhere.
The bullets stopped, boots clomped close, lights flooded over Javier and I. In the background I heard the other two woman, it sounded like one was putting up a fight, but I just held my hands up. Javier slumping over my legs entirely now.
"I surrender, sanctuary, parlay, whatever the fuck you say, I claim it!" I pleaded.
It fell on distant ears though, as I watched the butt of his gun race towards my face.
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