|The Taylight Zone - Anthology Eight
14 - Fingers of Fire - Silver Angel
How are you talking to me? I thought no mortals could hear me. Or see me. Are you not a mortal? Oh no, do not leave. I was only joking. But since you are listening, and are able to hear me, I must tell you my story. I must tell someone the truth. So they can tell the story. What is my story, you ask. It is something that must be told. It is the story of the band Hanson, and their decline. Many rumors have circulated of why the Hanson brothers stopped preforming. Drugs, depression, insanity, they just got sick of each other. None of these stories are true. I know what really happened. I was there. Hanson are, or were, my brothers.
It all started when we were traveling through the world, my brothers promoting the new album. It was fun at first, but after awhile I got sick of it. I missed my friends, being home, I didn't like the constant confinements of buses, vans and planes. I had always been a free spirit, but then I couldn't go anywhere without my parents. One day in Japan, during while my brothers were doing an outside concert, I wandered around the grounds, having successfully slipped away from my parents. Around the back of the stage, I ran into two strangely dressed women. They wore long wool skirts and thick canvas shirts. They had heavy jewelry and lots of makeup, and scarves tied around their head. Their was long, longer than mine, longer than my mother's, longer than any I had ever seen. "They look like gypsies." I thought.
One of them answered me."We are. Well, pretty much."
I stared at them. I had always been fascinated by magic and its arts, this was like a dream come true. I asked them if they were witches.
"You could call us that." Her voice was as soft and as airy as a feather. That's the best way I can describe her. I am not going to go into details about my friends, for their sake and for the sake of time. I was fascinated with these witches, and I convinced them to teach me some spells. Just little ones at first, like how to move something with my mind or how to seal cuts. They agreed, though I suspect they did only because they were quite old, and they needed a young, eager mind to pass their spells on to. Well they found me. And they taught me. Everything. I even started using clouding spells on my family to sneak away from home at night, so I could learn more from the witches. They always followed me to the city where my brothers were preforming, so my studies would not be interrupted. I learned so much. I learned how to heal, how to cause pain, how to save, how to kill. Shortly before we left for home, the witches called me to them. (That's another thing they taught me, telepathy.) They presented me with a book. A book of spells. "This will tell you all you need to know, that we haven't taught you yet. You have been a wonderful learner, but we are out of time. We shall miss you." With that, they linked hands, and muttered a chant, which I later learned was a releasing chant. Or death for witches. A great pain settled in my heart when they disappeared. I no longer had a mortal family. The witches had been my family.
We soon went home. Back to Tulsa for a month-long break. My siblings soon became jealous of my brothers, of all the attention they were receiving. But I wasn't. There was a peace inside of me, a calm. But I knew I had to stop them. That was my purpose, my goal. The reason I had learned the witches craft. I wanted things back to normal. For my family, if not for me. Never again for me. I looked carefully through the witches book. I found them, the spells that would make everything normal. The spells of fire. And I cast them.
Taylor was my first victim, because he was the most popular. Everyone loved him. For the spell to work, I had to burn Taylor's hand, then sprinkle a powder into the burn. I accomplished the first task by handing Taylor a burning-hot pan of boiling water. Not paying attention, he took it, and burned his hand. The second task was harder. They used to all sleep in one room, and Isaachad been an incredibly light sleeper. Now he never sleeps. But I managed my task. I snuck in one night, pulled back Taylor's bandage, and poured the powder into his hand. Muttering the chant, I ran back into my room, and hid until morning, when I would find out whether or not the spell had worked.
It did. The next morning I went downstairs to watch my brothers practice. My spell had worked! I was ecstatic. I could not believe that it worked! I was a witch! The spell had been to make all of Taylor's memories of the piano and keyboard erased from his mind. Never again would he know how to play a keyboard, chords, melodies, everything was gone. Burned from his memory. He took his lessons, yes, and tried to remember, but every day, every morning when he woke up it was gone. He tried giving up sleep, so he could remember longer, but of course the human cannot live without rest, so Taylor eventually gave up. Of course, without a keyboardist, the band couldn't go on. Or so I thought. Taylor insisted his brothers continue preforming while he tried to re-learn. He would not stop them from doing what they loved. While Isaac and Zachary were preforming with a new keyboardist, my parents took Taylor to a number of doctors and specialists, but it did not work. No one could figure out why he could not remember.
With part of the band still going, I settled on Isaac. For him, it was a simple spell, I simply had to burn through his guitar string, and burn a small hole in the back of his guitar, not one that was noticeable to the human eye. I chanted over the guitar, and the next morning, when Isaac picked it up and strummed a few chords, the strings snapped right off. I had expected that, because those were the strings I had burned through. I watched as he restrung his guitar, only to see the string break in two the moment his pick touched them. I was overjoyed. My second spell had worked. No more Hanson. Isaac, too tried all that he could to salvage his music. He padded his picks with cotton and used extra-strong strings. But my spell prevailed.
I would not have harmed Zachary, him being my favourite older brother. But I did not expect him to start a band with his friends, and he continued to travel, usually my family with him. So I set out to cast another spell on Zachary. It was a very dangerous spell, the most difficult of those I had cast so far. I had to mix a powder and coat his drum set with it. I then had to light the entire thing on fire, but the powder would not let it burn. This would curse every drumset Zachary ever touched. The heads would light on fire and burn the moment his drumsticks touched them. Not the rest of the drum, just the heads. I cast this spell late at night, when my family was asleep. This time I nearly got caught. I lit the set on fire and watched it burn for about 1/2 an hour. It was a beautiful sight, the fire, not touching anything but the drums. When I thought a sufficient amount of time had passed, I told the fire to go out, and it did. As I was leaving, the garage door opened. I dived behind a couch. My father's figure was illuminated in the doorway as he scanned the garage for what he thought he heard. He saw nothing, for their was nothing to see, and left, I soon after him.
By then I was very confident in my abilities. Two of my biggest spells had worked, I had no worries about the one on Zachary. And my confidence proved correct. The next day I watched as my brother practiced with his friends. When he started the beat, the heads of every drum burst into flame. Zachary leaped back in surprise as sparks flew out at him, watching as the fire stopped when the heads were gone. Trying to control my happy laughter, I ran into my room. To calm myself down, I began looking through the spell book, my spell book, for other interesting spells. To my amazement, the book's pages turned themselves to the very last page. To a message. One I will never forget.
To all who use the fire spells,
Beware the price you pay.
You will end up burning in Hell,
For forever. Out there is no way.
You can chose one of paths two:
And Burn forever,
Or burn once, and watch those who
You have cast the spells on suffer.
To chose the second path is right.
Release through fire this very night.
What the message was telling me was that I would either burn in Hell's fire for all eternity, or release myself through fire, and watch over the ones I had harmed until they died. Although I should have taught my secrets to another, as is custom, I had no time. I had to be released that very night.
I did. And so here I am. A haunt, not real, a shadow in the dark. One who used to be the most powerful and independent now must wait. I must wait for my brothers to die, then I do not know what will happen to me. That is my story. All I have to tell.
What happened to my brothers, you ask. Taylor had a nervous breakdown from his loss of memory, never learning how to recover from it. He could not handle the fact that something he had known and loved all his life was so strange to him. He tried to commit suicide several times, but he was always found, and eventually went insane. Isaac lost his sanity as well. He could not deal with the fact that every guitar string he touched he could not play. He hated the wanting, the needing to play and the knowledge that he never again would be able to. Zachary proved to be the strong one. He is now his brothers' keeper. They live together in our old house, Zachary has supplies and food delivered once a month to keep them alive. Having lost my power, I would have made them die peacefully and I would be set free. I cannot stand to see the torment Isaac, Zachary and Taylor are in. If I had had any idea exactly how much the music meant to my brothers, I would not ever have cast the spells, or even talked to my witches. I am being punished now though. I am paying for what I did. After all, everyone must pay for playing with fire.
No more rumors. Please, tell the world....wait. Are you going? You are fading. Or is it my time that is through? Please, tell the world. The rumors hurt my brothers, too.. Please help them.. find someone to help them... Please save my brothers...please, for them.....