Best Witches Issue 21
The previous issues can be found at my author page here.
The force that caused the windows to shatter hit us like a brick wall. I got slammed off the couch and went straight into the coffee table. My head ached from the impact. Pulling my arms down from protecting my face, I saw blood splattered everywhere. I could feel it leaking down my face from somewhere by my hairline.
It must have been a surrounding force because all three of us had been thrown into the middle of the room. The man, who claimed to be my father, jumped straight back, wand out ready to fight. He didn’t even look down to see if we were okay. Granted, since I had no idea who was attacking, I’d rather he be ready to fight.
“Vera?” I yelled, my hearing still ringing from the explosion or whatever it was. I threw a hand out to grab hers. She looked up and nodded at me. I could see her eyes crease in concern. “I’m fine.” I mouthed.
I got my feet under me and worked on standing. I had to hold onto the fireplace to try and keep myself upright. The man was looking around the room, waiting for the first enemies to emerge. Was this just my life now?
“Company is coming for dinner.” The man hollered as creatures started to crawl in through the broken windows. His wand flashed, and the first few creatures went flying, their screams like needles on a chalkboard.
My hands started to glow. I looked down at them as they began to pulse brighter and brighter until it was almost blinding. I couldn’t help but smile as I watched them shine.
“We’ll let’s give them a royal welcome,” I said, smiling.
He looked at me over his shoulder, and I saw my own evil smirk looking at me. Well shit. I slapped my hands together, and another mini-explosion ripped from my hands.
The dagger was suddenly there in my right hand, and the words of the book were rippling over my skin of my left arm. I felt strong, powerful, and I knew the thrill of it was going to be addicting.
“Riley!” Vera yelled.
I spun to see one of the creatures jumping at me, its massive teeth that took up half of its face bared and green slime dripping from its lips. My left hand flew out, and I just thought about an attack, and the monster slammed into the wall. I crushed my fist, and it screamed as its chest caved like a pop can. Another gesture and it flew limply across the room into two others.
Vera had recovered enough to send off her own spells as the beasts continued to spill through the windows, one after another, each uglier and more decrepit than the last. They had to be demon spawns from hell. I had never seen anything like it.
Eventually, the three of us ended up back to back each taking a section of the room. China was smashing. Furniture was shredding. Walls were being blown in the walls and ceiling. The wards of this place had to be strong, otherwise the police would be on their way and not have any idea what they were walking into.
Sweat dripped down my back, and blood still was sliding down my face. I used the dagger on any creature that got too close, but most of the fighting was done with the insane spells flickering across the skin of my arm. The power was euphoric.
Finally, as the waves of monsters seemed to be slimming slightly, I backed into the other two humans.
“Get down!” I screamed.
Both of them dropped to the floor without hesitation. I dragged the knife across my free hand. The blood shone as it spilled. The words unknown to me spilled from my mouth, and there was fire so intense the air was almost impossible to breathe. It burst out from our circle and melted all of the demons in the building and those waiting to make their way in. The screams rose to a deafening pitch. As soon as I could feel the spell untangle from myself, I reached down and grabbed the others. The dagger was gone again.
We scurried our way across the floor of the building as the fire now was a raging inferno consuming everything. We made our way over dissolving bodies towards the broken windows to escape. The man went out first and held his hands up to help Vera and then myself out of the building. We were all covered in blood and ash. The sirens were on their way now as they came to try and put out the building before it caught any of the other neighboring ancient buildings ablaze.
The man pushed us in front and hurried us through the streets of Venice until the ash stopped falling in our hair and the sound wasn’t so all-encompassing.
“Who was that? Who is after you?” I screamed at him as we finally stopped a safe distance from the building.
“What do you mean after me?” He asked, glaring down at me. “My dearest daughter. They were there for you.”
I spluttered, but was he right? The first ones had come flying towards me and not him.
“What’s your name?” I asked him.
“Donovan,” He said, softening a bit. That explained all the little things around the house: the handkerchief with the embroidered D on it, the box with small keepsakes. I glared at him.
“Okay Donovan, what now?” I asked him.
“Well, we should probably get you out of Venice.” He said. He snapped his fingers, and a portal appeared on the wall. “Where would you like to go?”
I had never seen magic like mine before. Not even my mother. I had always wondered where my techniques had come from. Here apparently was my answer. He had some serious power to be able to just call up a portal like that and to leave it open.
“Omaha.” I said a silent prayer and ran.
Thank you, Sean Eike, for the image this week.