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Red Death

By Skye Nall All Rights Reserved ©

Adventure / Fantasy

Siblings and Thier New Beginning

Amanda Lockheart

She’s been told everything would be fine, to believe. But with everything falling apart, it’s hard to stay optimistic… It was hard to think the world wasn’t out to get her. Sometimes it was hard to stay calm as the raging storm of anger took over; completely dominating her mind and body. It was hard to stay optimistic when anger was the only thing on her mind.

A sleek, black sports car pulled up to a large wrought iron gate tall, spiked and menacing; it surrounded an enormous house that sat on the sandy beaches edge. The guard waved the car through and let it pull up the gravel driveway to the house, crunching softly as it went. The car was a simple model but an expensive one. The windows were darkly tinted, hiding the occupants.

Fifteen-year-old Amanda, hopped out of the back when it came to a stop; she wore all black, a form fitting black dress that clung to her hips. A jacket that covered her small chest and the hood pulled up over her light brown hair – the color of a walnut shell, it was pinned back in a clip that was shaped like a lily.

Amanda was in mourning.

Her lake water green eyes were clouded with twisted emotions, she felt hallow ever since her father’s strange death. They concluded it was an accident; he’d been drunk when he fell off the bridge but nobody could explain how or why the fish had eaten most of him by the time he was found. The fact that her father never touched alcohol seemed to have been completely ignored when the fish were brought into the picture.

Most started speculating the possibilities of witchcraft. It was hard to use magic, but it was possible to control an animal for a short time. But a whole school of fish seemed completely impossible. The only way it would have even been considered was if a full-blooded witch, with years of practice, had been the one casting the spell. But all this was far-fetched speculation, the Accords prevented witches from using magic on mortals; not to mention witch covens didn’t look to kindly on murderous intentions. Witches looked down on any witch stupid enough to make headlines, be it killing someone or even curing sickness. Witches didn’t like the spotlight. Amanda was sure it had something to do with the Salem Witch Trials.

The siblings, Luke and Amanda, had moved to an island after their father’s death. Luke followed his sister out of the car and stood beside her. His hair was lighter than Amanda’s; He taller, by a lot, had more defined features and had a swimmer’s body were the most noticeable differences between the siblings. He wore dark cloths too big for him that draped loosely on his lanky figure.

After a moment of silence, he smiled nervously; “Well this will be fun…Right, Manda?” He said looking at her, Amanda looked at him, then to the moving van that was half unloaded already; moving guys were still unloading it. The logo splayed across the side of the truck was a red octopus with a purple ball cap and was hoisting up a bunch of boxes; under him was the name, “Speedy Moves” she sighed in annoyance at the sight.

“I guess…” She said as she folded her arms across her chest and scrunched up her shoulders. Looking away from the truck and over to her brother she asked, “Luke, how long will we be here?” Luke bit his lip, a nervous habit they both shared, and shrugged.

“I’m not sure…I figured we needed a change of scenery…” He said in a slow controlled voice, like he’d scripted his response. Amanda narrowed her eyes at him, lawyers were the worst sometimes. She then turned on her heel and wondered away to explore the house’s grounds.

Winding lush healthy green vines grew around the fences blocking most of the view as it wove itself through the holes in the fences. The grass was neatly groomed, the bright flowers were pruned to perfection and the small river system was sparkling brightly in the late afternoon sun light, though it was cloudy out the sun peeked through a brake in the clouds.

Amanda admired the beauty while noticing other things. Two guards patrolled the grounds she saw one watching her from the moving van, he was overseeing the movers. Cameras that were mounted to the top of the iron walls surveyed the grounds. From what Amanda could see they left practically no blind spots in any direction on the house grounds, but if there were blind spots Amanda would find them.

The grounds gave off a very ancient medieval feeling with a splash of modern amenities. It was sort of like stepping back in time to if only for a moment it truly was beautiful; however the house itself was very modern. Light blue paint covered the smooth walls and had large and wide windows. The house is two stories tall and was large. The roof was flat and had a few glimmering solar panels trying to generate power in the dim cloudy day. The house also had its own well and was completely off the grid besides the outgoing pluming.

Amanda admired the small man made rivers that wound around the path small bridges arched over the clear water that crisscrossed through the garden. Flowers of all colors grew in the garden. Most of them were twilight bloomers or midnight bloomers, meaning they bloomed at night. Amanda wasn’t going to admit anything out loud but she was looking forward to seeing them at night.

Amanda sighed as she realized her brother had duplicated there old place, it wasn’t perfect and there were distinct differences but it reminded Amanda of home. All the paths had the same stone lining the gravel walk ways, it was called black onyx. Amanda knew the rocks were there merely for paranoid protection. The stones along with all the running water were a way to protect against evil.

Amanda’s father, even though he wasn’t magically gifted himself was always afraid someone was out to get him and needed to be protected. He’d mentioned something about the paths as well but Amanda never cared enough to remember exactly what was said. She thinks maybe something about how they were set up, maybe they wrote out a protection rune but she wasn’t sure.

A small memorial was set up for their father. It was under a canopy made of black metal, vines wove in and out of the interlocking metal with pink budding flowers, pink was Amanda’s father’s favorite color, he was always such a softy but his work was first priority. He was gone most of the year, only ever returning home for the holidays and for a part of summer.

Amanda guessed after her mother’s death he buried himself in his work to keep things moving ahead instead of being dragged under by her death. Amanda never knew her mother and barely knew Luke he’d always been off in boarding schools. Amanda was practically raised by nannies that only cared about the huge pay checks they received at the end of each month.

She glanced back realizing Luke had followed her and was standing at the bottom of the few steps leading into the gazebo of their father’s memorial. He smiled warmly and held up a small ball of black fur with bright yellow eyes. Amanda watched as it mewed loudly, protesting to how Luke was holding him. Black cats were rare; they were seen as a witch’s familiar, granted people said any animal could be bonded to a witch but it’s said a black cat was always a sure thing.

In a world where magic was tabooed, not fake or stuff of fairy tales, but real tangible substances but frowned upon, black cats were considered bad omens. Witches weren’t common because they weren’t welcome in most places. Magic is known for doing strange things, though magic and anything Myth related was generally ignored it’s blamed for disasters such as epidemics, stings of crimes and sometimes even tornados or earth quakes. However when it’s the only option to turn to people aren’t afraid to use magic to heal, to mend and to fix the problems that would be impossible without it.

Amanda had little interest in the supernatural she’d lost so many friends from it. She was what people called one of the Touched. The Touched have been exposed to magic and have gained abilities from it. They use to be called psychic, but not anymore. Fortune telling, poltergeist hunters, cryptologist and even some ‘religious healers’ are all long gone because of the tension between Believers and Non-Believers it’s easy to tell who was for and who was against magic just from the names. Amanda being one of the Touched was looked down upon by mostly everyone, since Non-Believers greatly outnumbered Believers.

“Is that a kitten, really?” She asked going over to him and taking the small bundle with a tiny green bow tied around its neck. Luke watched the kitten expectantly when the kitten’s mews of protest settled down almost immediately Luke smiled. Amanda petted the small fluff of fur quietly, refusing to look at Luke who stood their shifting his weight from side to side. Amanda couldn’t help but notice the small feeling of ease push its way into her as she held the tiny fluff ball.

“I figured you could use a friend in this strange new place, just until you find some new ones.” He told her Amanda was quiet she knew he was only being nice to her because she was all the family he had left in this world. The same was for her but he wasn’t one for big brother love so Amanda expected this to be an act.

“Yeah…So you’ll be taking him away once I find some friends? That’s really cruel.” Amanda played along. She would have normally been extremely thrilled with him paying so much attention to her instead of going off with friends or just completely ignoring her. But she was feeling too hallow from the death of her father and the move to feel much of anything else.

“Look Amanda moving can be hard but things will get better. You’ll see.” He smiled; it almost seemed genuine though he ignored the mention of taking the cat away. Amanda was quiet for a long time then said, “I guess, but this is the first time in my life that I’ve moved, not to mention its right after a traumatic moment in my life. I don’t see how things could get any worse…” Luke bit his lip seeming hurt by the comment as he looked away.

“I did this so we weren’t dragged down by the death.” He said and anger swelled up in Amanda.

“Are you saying losing our only parent isn’t going to drag us down? For crying out loud! He was only family – I guess that really doesn’t mean anything in this family does it?!” Luke cringed and looked up to the memorial then looked at her. His eyes were cold and guarded, Amanda stared at him, she’d pissed him off and she knew it.

“Well I’m sorry for trying to get you away from all the death and try to get you to actually have some sort of a normal life.” He said in such a calm voice Amanda stepped back. He turned away from Amanda curtly and walked away. After he was gone Amanda sat down by the marble plaque with her father’s name inscribed on it, Gorge Lynx Exton. It was in the middle of a crystal fountain submerged in water and the fountain flowed out to the river system throughout the garden, as if his memory was the life of the garden

Amanda stared at it for a long time the small kitten nuzzled her hand quietly as if it knew she were in pain and were trying to comfort her. “Lynx…”Amanda said looking down at the small black fluff ball.

“What do you think? That’s a good name huh?” The kitten mewed only once and Amanda smiled.

“Alright Lynx it is…” She looked back up to the plaque hoping things would get better for her. It couldn’t possibly get worse.

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