Friday, 27 July 2012

Circle Quartet: 41

Chapter 41

A quick yet urgent meeting is being held at our mansion. The Silvers are here too. We gather at the meeting room as Dad announces what has happened at the Academy. Mom and Aunt Ada will use their special magic to take everyone to the Academy in a short time. Uncle Yale, Uncle Archie and his family will stay at Sewra, in case Alse sends her monsters here. Uncle Archie still has small kids so he has to stay in Sewra. Uncle Yale, on the other hand, volunteers himself to protect Sewra together with his two sons, Alex and Harley.

“Raven, Macie,” Aunt Nadine turns to them, “we need both of you here. Arman will go to the Academy with them.”

“What?” Raven nearly shrieks. “Arman is still small, Mom. You can’t let him go there. It’s too dangerous for him.”

“Raven, I know you’re worried about him. But I believe in him. He’s smart and strong. In fact, Alse doesn’t know about his abilities. That’s why I’m sending him there,” says Aunt Nadine firmly.

Arman is the apple of Aunt Nadine’s eyes. He’s the one and only boy in his family. He’s such a quiet boy and loves to venture on his own but he has special abilities that no one knows but Aunt Nadine. Even Uncle Archie doesn’t know much about Arman’s abilities.

“Your mother is right, Raven. Armand will know what to do to stop Alse. Besides, he will go along with Beatrice. He’ll be safe there. Don’t worry,” says Uncle Archie assuringly.

“Alice, you will go with Stefan later. Alse is targeting both of you and she might be searching for you guys right now. Ace will fly you there. We will get in touch with Mini. Just wait for the signal,” Dad gives three of us the order. We nod in unison.

“We shouldn’t waste much time,” says Aunt Amethyst.

“She’s right. Ada, let’s do it,” says Mom and Aunt Ada nods. They take out a pouch which contains charcoal powder and spread it on the wooden floor.

“Kit Khstkel Tri Flash!” They form a triangle by pointing their index finger to the charcoal powder.

When the triangles are formed, Mom and Aunt Ada raise up their finger. “Starasma!”

A star symbol appears inside the triangle. Those who are going to the Academy step on the triangle. Then, it glows brightly.

“Take care!” I wave at them.

“We will. I’ll send you the signal soon!” Dad waves back and they vanish.

They have gone for half an hour and there’s still no signal from them. And I start to get worried. I don’t want Alse to hurt or kill anyone anymore. I want to tell Ace and Stefan to go to the Academy right now but this time I can’t act reckless. One stupid step and we’re all doom.

I sigh heavily and look at Stefan talking with my cute little cousins, Lacey and Sabrina. Their two puppies have grown up a little bit and those puppies love to play with Stefan. Werewolf and dog are very close, I guess. Stefan is telling them a story of Jack and the Beanstalk. He’s a good story-teller, especially with kids.

Then, my Mini is beeping. The signal. Finally!

“Guys!” I shout while waving my Mini. “I got the signal!”

Uncle Archie brings three of us to the garage and shows us the car that we should use. It looks like a Bat-Mobile but way cooler. We hop in the car and Ace start the ignition. I sit next to him while Stefan sits at the back.

“Have a save journey, kids. And remember to text us what happen at the Academy,” says Uncle Archie.

“We will. Don’t worry,” says Ace confidently.

“Do you know how to fly this car?” I ask Ace.

“’course I know, Alice. Trust me. We’ll get there in 10 minutes,” he smiles at me. Then he chants the spell. “Harappaketa Jazarpen Tuntunak!”

The car starts to float slowly. I quickly fasten my seatbelt and tell Stefan to do so. I’ve been in a flying car with Jeff before and I was nearly died of heart attack. Ace steps on the accelerator and off we go.

Lucky me, Ace is a careful driver. Even he drives fast, but still he’s aware of the surrounding. We dash off to the Academy and I try to call Dad. But there’s no signal. Worry starts to overwhelm my thoughts.

Stefan pats on my shoulder – I nearly elbow his head, and tell me to calm down. All we have to think of now is the strategy. Alse is definitely searching for me and Stefan and of course, she’ll bring down the Academy if she wants to and we don’t want that to happen.

As we nearly arrive, three flying creatures appear in front. I know this is Alse’s doing. I summon Jeff from my necklace and tell him to get on the car roof. Because of he’s a spirit, he just go through the roof and ready to receive my orders.

“Hold on tight, guys!” Ace swerves to the right and chant an attack spell. “Bliednaja Malanka!” A white-bluish lightning shoots those flying creatures. Then another three are coming from behind. Jeff hit them with the same spell.

“What was that?” asks Ace confusingly.

“Hey, focus on the front!” I jerk the steering wheel and we nearly spin in the air. Ace manages to control the car, scolding me for doing that.

“Guys, this is not the time to argue,” says Stefan, trying to stop us. “We have arrived.”

Ace quickly flies the car around the Academy and lands on the ground safely. We’re now at the back of the Academy. It kind of safe here because there’s no single weird creature appears.

But we’re shock when we enter the back door.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Circle Quartet: 40

Chapter 40

Waiting is a torture. Seriously. My team and I have been waiting in this room for nearly one hour except Stefan. He wants to go to the Healing Chamber to look after Cody. Since we brought him back last night, he has been hospitalised in the Healing Chamber.

The Elders are having an urgent meeting (I don’t think Granddaddy Saba is in there because most of the Main Clan is gathering at the Healing Chamber to look after Cody) while we have to wait for them in lounge. And I’m hungry. I didn’t get to grab some garlic bread sticks in the dining hall when I received the order from Grandma Maegan and Grandma Zelda.

“How long it’s going to take?” whines Raina. “It’s like we have to wait here forever!”

“This is a serious case, Raina. Just be patient,” sighs Beatrice. Raina have been whining every 5 minutes.

Then a butler comes in with a trolley. Food! Hurray! Finally, I can fill my empty stomach. The butler pours the tea in a cup and serves to each of us. Raina jumps up with joy when the butler serves the creamy puff waffles to her. The butler just nod. He even pours a glass of purified blood for me.

Actually, the butler isn’t a human. He’s Grandma Zelda’s underling (Grandma Zelda created him) and he doesn’t talk unless when we ask him something. After that, he pushes the trolley and vanishes into thin air. I sip the blood heartily, enjoying the liquid flows into my throat. I’m the one who drinks the purified blood.

Raina doesn’t whine anymore as she eats the waffles. Beatrice enjoys her sandwiches while I dip the garlic bread in the glass of blood. It tastes good, trust me. Few minutes later – after we have finished the foods, Grandma Zelda and the rest of the Elders come out from the meeting room. This is the moment that we’re all waiting for.

“It’s been decided,” announces Granddaddy Saba, “that Cody will be grounded for a year. He can’t participate in any missions or going to the class. He will put in a special chamber where we can observe him. Plus, he will be restricted to turn into a werewolf until the grounding session end.”

Now that’s shocking news. I wonder Cody will be able to face it.

After the meeting was adjourned, I go to the Healing Chamber to visit Cody. Stefan is already there so there’s no need to feel awkward – since Cody and I hate each other very much. I knock on the door thrice before opening it and those two are delighted to see me.

“Hey there, Vamp-Girl,” he greets me with a wide smile although his body is still weak. His face expression is way too different from the day I met him in this Academy. I really missed his soften eyes, his messy spiky hair, and of course, the smile.

“Hello, Wolf-Boy,” I grin and sit on a chair next to his bed. “Sorry I didn’t bring any presents.”

“Nah, it’s okay,” he chuckles.

He used to call me Vamp-Girl when we’re kids and I called him Wolf-Boy. We used to be good buddy since we’re 12 years old. I knew Cody during the party when Uncle Azure and his family moved back to Sewra.

I was sulking in a corner when Stefan ignored me as I greeted him. My heart was full with loath and hatred. And that time, Cody showed up, holding two fruit punches. I glared a death shot at him.

“A beautiful girl like you shouldn’t sit here alone. Here, have a drink,” he handed me the fruit punch with a smile.

I sigh and take the fruit punch. “Thanks,” I mutter. He sat next to me, drinking his fruit punch and asking me lots of questions.

We had a nice chit-chat that night and he loved to crack some jokes, just like Jeff. No one had interfered our conversation. He told me that Uncle Azure took him into his family after his father passed away. He never mentioned about his mother but I knew that he lost her too. He just didn’t want to tell me. When the party ended, he winked at me before he left and started from that day, he called me Vamp-Girl and I called him Wolf-Boy. Sometimes he called me Vee – Vampire for short.

I totally ignored Stefan when I was with Cody, until the day when Cody was sent to the family of his mother’s side. He was upset because he thought Uncle Azure hated him. He hated everyone including me. I was trying to tell him that I didn’t know anything about his mother being the minor of his clan. From that moment, he hated me so much, saying that I’m the worthless blood-sucker. And of course, I hated him too.

And now, here I am, laughing and having a good conversation with him. Just like the good-old-days except Stefan is with us too. We talk a lot about our childhood memories and Cody still remembers it vividly. We spent nearly an hour talking and Cody is looking more exhausted. Perhaps he needs to rest since his body is still weak.

“I think I should go now. You need to get some rest, Cody. And when you’re back to normal, we’re going to have some fun,” I wink at him as I stand up, ready to leave.

“Yeah. Sure. By the way, thank you for coming by,” he says, “and I’m sorry for what I had done to you. And about Jeff.”

“It’s okay. Let bygone be bygone. After all, I’m glad that you’re on the right track again,” I smile and pat on his arm gently.

“Thanks, Alice,” he sighs in relief.

I blink at him a few times. This is the first time he calls my name. And I’m glad that he did that.

But I never thought that that night is the last night for Cody. When I woke up this morning, Jeff told me that Cody is gone. I can’t believe the news so I search for Stefan but he’s nowhere to be seen. I get tired looking for Stefan so I take a rest at the fountain where the spot has been my favourite spot since I met my guardian. Well, I haven’t seen him lately. Maybe he’s off somewhere.

Suddenly, Stefan appears and sits next to me. I can see his saddened face from the half-moon light. I want to ask him about Cody but no word comes out. He sighs heavily and slowly holds my hand.

“I used to promise him that we’re going to be brothers forever and got each other’s back,” his voice is barely whisper. “But eventually, I couldn’t save him.”

I squeeze his hand gently.

“Last night, when we served him his favourite meal, he said that it’s so delicious like he’s going to die and go to heaven,” his voice becomes wobbly.

I can’t look to his face right now.

“His liver…has been taken out,” Stefan sobs.
I let out a loud gasp. How could…?

“I can’t save him, Alice. I can’t,” he cries bitterly.

That’s the first time I see Stefan cry. His tears drop like a shimmering crystal. I slowly hug him. I don’t know what to say right now but I know how he feels. Cody and he were very close, just like Jeff and I. I can’t help but let my tears flow quietly. I grip his trembling shoulder soothingly as he cries.

The funeral is held at Sewra. Uncle Azure wants to bury Cody there because Cody is a son to him. This scene reminds me of Jeff’s death but Jeff is here so I’m fine with that. But I also feel the lost of Cody. He’s a good guy to begin with. He turned to evil because he thought that Uncle Azure betrayed him. He wanted to meet his late mother deadly so he revived Alse by sneaking to the secret chamber and took the blood of my maternal grandfather. But Alse betrayed him by locking him in the underground of the cottage, tied him on the wall, and took out his liver.

I can’t hold my tears when I think of his liver had been taken out. She tortured him because he failed to kill Granddaddy Saba. That damn woman! If she’s alive somewhere I’m going to kill her, even if she’s got stronger. She has taken too many lives and made people lived in sorrow. First she killed my precious brother and now, Cody. She’s really messing up with our clans.

I’m taking a break for three days. I really miss Sewra so much. I also go to the Silvers house often, just want to talk to Stefan. He seems quite okay since Cody’s death. We’re going back to the Academy on the next day, and this time by car. Stefan’s going to drive me there. But he needs to be fully okay first.

I go back home after having a great dinner with the Silvers. Granddaddy joins too, for he’s also taking a break. My family is watching TV as I enter my family’s chamber. I don’t know what kind of drama they’re watching but their eyes are glued to the TV. Suddenly, the phone rings. Dad turns down the volume and picks up the phone.

“What?” he screams and nearly makes us jump. I hate looking at his shocking face. Something bad happened.

Dad bangs on the receiver and mutters a curse. “Alse is back! And she’s attacking the Academy! We have to go there, now!”

The war has started.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Ghost Stories #4

Year: 1995

There’s no teacher in the class so it’s heaven for some students. The boys were, of course, scampered to other classes, teasing the girls. Some of the girls sat in groups, chatting and gossiping. During that time, there were no cool electronics gadgets like nowadays. The only cool electronic gadget at that time was Game Boy but not many could afford it.

I was sitting on my desk, doing my work; Maths. There were tons of work that need to be done because I was not good in Maths at that time and Maths was my least favourite subject. I had missed 4 pages of homework in the textbook (the textbook was super thick and each page contained 50 questions) because of one reason; too lazy to do. But my Maths teacher wanted to punish to those who didn’t submit the work on the next day so that’s why I abandoned myself in my Maths world at that time.

My back was killing me as I’ve finished two pages of Maths exercise. I stood up and walked around. A group of friends asked me to play chess but I knew I will definitely lose because the one who asked me was good in chess, so I declined politely. Then, my eyes spotted something on my other friend’s desk. On her desk, there’s a piece of paper drawn with circles around it and three circles in the middle. She tried to make an Ouija Board with a piece of paper. She and her 4 friends wanted to play Spirit of the Coin.

She brushed me off as I was staring at the piece of paper, saying that only 5 people could play this game. I didn’t want to play that game in the first place so I lazily walked to my desk. I continued my work which is getting much more difficult. Because my desk is quite near to my friends who were playing Spirit of the Coin, I heard every single thing what they were discussing about. One of them wanted to know who the name of her future husband is.

One of them asked her to put her pointing finger on the coin as she cast the spell (I think she’s made it up by herself). That girl had to close her eyes and focus on her wish. I shook my head and continued my work. Suddenly, she screamed excitedly that her coin moved on its own. Everyone in that group was very delighted. Then something caught my eyes.

I peered under their desk and saw a black thing sitting under that with the one hand stretched from below and touched the coin. That’s why the coin moved. They didn’t realize about the black thing. I blinked my eyes few times but the black thing was still there. Then our gazes locked. I flinched as it put its finger to its mouth, telling me to keep quite. Then its snickered as it enjoyed playing with that group of girls.

That’s why I never played Spirit of the Coin.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Circle Quartet: 39

Chapter 39

I walk to Grandma Maegan’s chamber to hand in the report for the mission last night. Since I joined the Assassin Squad, it is compulsory for me to hand in the report for every mission that I’ve accomplished. I knock on the door before entering the chamber.

“Come in,” I hear her voice from inside.

I twist the door knob and slowly enter the room. Then I close the door behind me. “I’m here to hand in the report, Grandmama.”

“Oh, it’s you, Alice,” she greets and takes my hand. “Come, let’s have a night tea. I thought Saba is the one who knocks on the door. He loves to do the night visit, always asking for the cupcakes,” she leads me to the chair where she’s having a night tea.

“Granddaddy really loves cupcakes. He also asked me once to bake some cupcakes for him,” I chuckle and sit down. Grandma Maegan pours the tea for me. The tea smells nice. It’s a jasmine tea, Grandma Maegan’s favourite.

“Let me see the report,” says Grandma Maegan and I hand her the report. She reads the report and sometimes nods. And then she smiles proudly at me. “Your report is improving. I know that you don’t really like writing the report, no?”

I grin in silly. And Grandma Maegan is right.

“Not really. Report seems difficult than writing journals. But I try to write it as good as I can,” I say and sip the tea.

“You have long way to learn, Alice,” Grandma Maegan smiles. “Since that you’re here, there’s something I want to tell you.” Her smile doesn’t fade from her face as she hands me a brown envelope.

I take that envelope, feeling a little bit jumpy. Grandma Maegan asks me to open it. There’s a letter inside it and I read it thoroughly.

“Tell me I’m not dreaming, Grandmama,” I shake my head in disbelief.

“You’re definitely not dreaming, Alice!” she says in a singsong voice.

“Oh God! I…I don’t know what to say, Grandmama! This is…this is unbelievable!” I cry in excitement. “Thank you so much for this!” I rise from my seat and hug her. She pats me on my back; congratulate me while kissing both of my cheeks.

My dream comes true.

“Cheers!” We hold our wine glass high. “To our new squad!” Then we gulp down the red wine, except for me. I drink blood, of course. It’s not that I don’t like red wine but purifying blood is much better.

“I can’t believe that we’re in the same team!” cries Raina in excitement.

“Well, I can’t believe that Grandma Zelda choose you for this special team,” Alex glances playfully at Raina.

“I think you’re just jealous, Alex, because I didn’t have to take the examination,” Raina smirks. “Grandma knows my potential very well.”

“She knows that you’ll fail, Raina. Believe me,” teases Alex.

“Okay, that’s enough you two,” warns Beatrice. Both of them shut their mouth but still glaring at each other.

We; Stefan, Tavis, Alex, Beatrice, Raina and I, are been appointed to the Special Squad Team. Our goal is only one; finding Cody. Even though this is only temporary, we are so excited and will try for our best to accomplish our mission.

But I’m rather worried about Raina and Alex since they always create a ‘war’. (Alex is Raina big brother who is as same age as mine, but he seldom talking to me unless it’s necessary)

“I can’t believe that Granddaddy choose me to join this group. I’ve just finished my special training,” says Tavis, munching on his meat.

“And I hope that you won’t be careless as you always did,” chuckles Stefan. Tavis pouts and we laugh. “So, who’s going to be a leader?” asks Stefan.

“I vote for Stefan!” I raise my hand.

“And I second the motion,” Alex raises his hand too.

So, it’s decided that Stefan will be our leader for the new team. We eat merrily until our stomach is full. After that, I teleport to my room. Since Abby is on her mission, I’m going to be alone for a while. Then, I summon Jeff from the necklace.

“Hey, hey, congratulations for the promotion. Come on, give me a big hug!” Jeff spreads his arms wide.

I hug him (even though he’s a spirit, I can touch him) and say thank you.

“And, I have special presents for you. I put it on your study table,” beams Jeff in excitement.

“Really? That really sweet of you,” I giggle and go to the study table. There’s an envelope, tied with a red ribbon. “A card?” I try to guess.

“Nope,” Jeff shakes his head, smiling. “Open it. I know you’re going to be surprise.”

I open the envelope slowly. There are some papers inside. My eyes widen when I read those papers.

“Jeff, where did you get this?” I ask him, frowning.

“When you go to sleep, I went to several places where Alse had been. I found a house in the middle of a forest, an abandoned house to be precise. I wrote every single evidence that I’ve found in that house on these papers. And since you’ve been assigned to search for Cody, I think the job is going to be easier,” explains Jeff.

This is unbelievable! Two wonderful things happen in just one night.

“I need to tell the others about this. Maybe we can go and search for Cody tonight,” I collect the papers and put them back in the envelope. “Thanks so much, Jeff.”

“Anything for you, little buddy,” he smiles and shrugs. “The night is still young. You shouldn’t waste much time,” he winks and disappears.

I smile and contact my new squad members via telepathy. All of them agree to meet in the library.

I explain every single thing to them – but not mentioning Jeff’s name, that I’ve found the evidences by accident. They are confused at first – except Stefan, but then they know what exactly that should do. All of us agree that we should go to that abandoned house and look for Cody. One of the papers mentions about the secret underground door.

We arrived at the abandoned house in the middle of the forest. This is the forest where Alse attacked me, Stefan and Raven back then, when we’re trying to spy on her. Stefan and Tavis, who are already in the werewolf mode, sensing for Alse or her creatures but there’s nothing here, except for the house.

We creep in slowly. Raina clutch on my hand as she is scared of the place like this. How irony! A witch is not supposed to be afraid of the dark.

The house is dusty; cobwebs blanketed the most part of the house. There isn’t any furniture much except for few shelves. The wooden floor gives an eerie squeak as we step on it. So this is how it feels when entering a ghost house, except that this is worse than a ghost house.

Guys, I found the secret door. Stefan calls out.

I can smell something fishy down there. Says Tavis.

Alex checks on the secret door whether it had been bound by magic but it’s not. So he pulls the handle hard. The door creaks open and it’s very dark down there. Beatrice creates floating fires and we take a step down there with Stefan leading.

“It smells like rotten eggs,” Raina wrinkles her nose in disgust.

“Worse than that,” I add, cover my nose with my hand. I can’t stand the smell.

I look around and spot something that makes me gasp out loud. I can’t believe what I am looking right now.

“Cody!” I scream terrifyingly as I see him being chained on a wall.

We rush to him and I cut the chain with my sword. Stefan quickly turns back to normal and catches Cody’s body before he hits the ground. He looks awful with deep wound and cuts.

We gather around him and Beatrice and Raina start to heal him. He slowly opens his eyes and looks around.

“Cody, what in the world had happened to you?” asks Stefan in a sad voice.

‘Stef…why? Why…did you save me?” asks Cody, barely whisper. Then he looks at me. This scene reminds me of the day before Jeff’s death. I try to hold my tears.

“Because you’re my family, Cody,” answers Stefan gently.

“But…I’ve betrayed our clan. I nearly killed Nash and…Granddaddy,” he says in weak voice. “You should leave me rot here.”

“No!” Stefan hushes him. “Don’t say that. You’re still my brother, Cody. I can’t leave my brother behind.”

“We need to take him back to the Academy,” says Alex in a serious tone. “He’s been poisoned and he still has time to be cured.”

Stefan slowly picks Cody’s body, with the help of Tavis and Alex. Raina and Beatrice cast a spell that can teleport us back to the Academy within no time.

We can’t let him die here. And in fact, I don’t want anyone to die because of that damn witch!