The Taylight Zone - Anthology Nine

12 - Everybody Has a Story to Tell - Leeanne

Now, Reader before I start this story I must tell you that I have always wanted to be a great writer of books and teller of stories. But my imagination is a strange thing, vivid, yet never sounding as good when written down. So, I gave up on writing and turned to magic. . Yes, I am what most of you villagers would call "a witch ". But, before you go to the town crier and tell him there is a witch in the kingdom, listen to me. I'm not really "a witch" "A witch", by you commoners definition at least, is " a woman practicing black magic with the aid of the devil." I do not fit this description, you see, because I have nothing to do with Satan, but, as you will see through this story, I have met Him, and He has proven to be a rather unpleasant fellow, indeed. Instead of Witch, I like to call myself an Enchantress of sorts. Now, Reader, you may be wondering why I am telling you all this. Well, it is all relevant to my story, so please bear with me…

It was a cold, dark night, and I was in my small cabin just outside of the kingdom, frantically searching through my many leather-bound spellbooks, looking for a spell to stop the huge storm raging outside, threatening to knock my small cabin over. I rushed around the room, plugging up windows, lighting hog's fat candles, straightening things the wind had blown over, and such. I have the gift of telekinesis, you see, so while I was running about, trying to tidy up my poor, beloved little, I was also using my mind to scan all my books for a useful spell. Then I saw something that caught my mind's eye. "STOP!!!" All the books immediately stopped flipping their pages, and one of them floated towards me, landing on the carven mahogany table in I was standing in front of. I saw the necessary spell and threw my head back, calling it out, trying to be heard over the storm: "Contineo meus animus, Conservo meus vita, Prohibeo malus ab invenio ad, In hic casus latus nox!" All of a sudden, the storm stopped. Breathing a sigh of relief, I closed the old and fragile book, carefully placing it back on the shelf, then going back to fixing up my cabin. I had escaped Him that time, but He would be back. His magic was much more powerful than mine. Much more.

Zac Hanson awoke in a cold sweat. He had had a horrific dream. " The hell?!" he screeched siting up sharply. In this dream he saw a beautiful woman, around 20 or so, wearing a thick, blood red cloak. She had thick blond hair cascading in curls down her back. Her skin was pale, and she had rather strange eyes. They were a deep blue color, much like his brother Taylor's eyes, but hers had a swirl of emerald green that made them look like marble. She was running around like a madwoman, straightening things and lighting candles. Zac could hear a storm brewing outside of her cabin. There were books flipping their own pages all around her. This continued for a while, until all of a sudden the books stopped. One of them towards the woman, landing on what looked like an altar. She took one look at the page, and threw her head back, screaming something in Latin in a pain-filled yet melodious voice. Then the storm stopped. It was then that Zac woke up. Most people would only be mildly creeped-out by a dream like thins, but Zac was terrified. He saw this as a foreshadowing of something bad to come. Something very bad.

*Knock, knock* " Oh, Lord, it's him," I thought, " no one else is that polite." I didn't answer; silently searching my books for a spell that would make him go away. His magic was too powerful for that, and I knew it. But I searched anyway. His knocking soon turned to impatient pounding. " Gothica Xeldar! You old wench!!! Open this door and show thyself! You and I have some business to attend to!" screamed he. " I would never do business with you, fiend!" I screeched back, trying to summon courage. " Ah, that is where you are wrong." He said, his tone softening. *CRASH* He knocked down my door and stepped into my cabin. "Have you forgotten our little deal?" A conversation flashed through my mind: "So I kill him and your soul is mine, right?" "Yes, anything you want." "Then it will be done." I closed my eyes and swallowed hard. " I was young and stupid. I greatly regret my actions…" " SILENCE! We made a deal. Look at your arm." I held up my wrist and saw the black, upside down, 5-pointed star~ tattooed on it. A look of utter defeat spread across my face. He noticed this and chuckled. " That is the binding segment of our deal. The tattoo is a reminder of your part. I kill Peter; you sell me your soul. I did my part, you do yours." " No, I …please, what can I…" I begged. But he just backed away and slowly began to fade, laughing fiendishly. " So, brave little Gothica Xeldar has finally run out of ideas. You are on your own this time. The only one who can save you now is the chosen one, but you'll never reach him in time…"

"Zac! Get up now!" Taylor yelled, shaking his brother. "No." came the flat refusal. "WHY?!" Taylor whined in complete exasperation. "Because." Zac answered. The reason was because of the dream. He was still freaked out and was positive that something bad was going to happen. He just decided that he would be safe if he never got out of bed. "Ok, fine," Taylor said, "But don't yell at me because we went to laser quest without you." With that, he stormed out the door to join his family in the car. Zac sighed and rolled over. He was contemplating whether or not to get up and join his family when he heard a voice. "Zachary! Help me please! I beg of you!" it was the voice from his dream. " What do you want?" Zac asked, scared as hell. "I need you to help me!" I pleaded. " You said that already! What do I have to do?" Zac inquired. "Jump through the mirror," I answered flatly, my voice fading away. " What mirror…" Zac asked. He looked at the wall and gasped, seeing a huge, dark- wooded, carven mirror that certainly wasn't there before. "Shit…" He muttered, getting up. It was made of a beautiful slab of mahogany and had carvings all around the edges. " Very gothic looking," Zac thought, reaching out his finger to trace the carvings. There were 12 symbols on it, and a bunch of words he assumed were Latin. The symbols looked like the signs of the zodiac. The mirror bewitched him at first, but then he shrugged it off and chills ran down his spine again. He reached out and touched the glass, his fingers sending ripples across it. "Aaaah!!!!" Zac yelled, jumping back in surprise. The glass was warm and sent a wave of electricity through him. "God, " he muttered, wringing his hand, "Wow." It hadn't hurt, just felt weird. He reached out again this time pushing his whole hand through. "Cool!" he squealed, pushing his arm further in. he wasn't scared anymore. Zac backed up, took a running start, and jumped through the mirror, just like I told him to. He had no idea what he was getting himself into. If he had, he never would have listened to me. Never.

As soon as Zac had jumped through, his whole body began to tingle. He giggled, for he was very ticklish. It was hard to explain what was happening to him. He was descending, that was for sure, but he wasn't falling. He looked down and saw that he was standing on nothing. He yelped and jumped back. It was like being in an elevator and not being able to see the bottom of the car, just the shaft below. He closed his eyes and gulped. Zac wasn't exactly sure how long (or far) he fell, but a few minutes later (or so Zac thought) he hit the ground. He opened his eyes and let out the breath he had been holding. But he drew it back in sharply when he realized where he was. Zac had landed in the middle of the cabin from his dream. The woman was standing right in front of him, looking expectant. " Hello, Zachary," I greeted him. " Her voice is beautiful," Zac thought, " In fact, everything about her is beautiful." "Why, thank you, Zachary," I said, flattered, " but we have no time to exchange compliments. " Oh, God, you can read my mind?" Zac asked. "Yes." I answered simply, " Now, will you help me?" "What are you talking about?" Zac inquired, very confused. "You need to…" I started. I was cut off by a very loud knocking. "Oh, no, it's him." I whispered, crouching behind a table. "The One Who Dwells Below," I answered. " The one who dwells below," Zac ran it over in his head, trying to figure out what I meant. " The one who dwells below, the one who… oh, God." He finally got it. Zac's thoughts were interrupted by the, uh, man at the door. "Gothica Xeldar! You can not escape me! Give thyself up, and I shall consider being merciful!" "Never, you distributor of evil!" I screamed back. " Gothica Xeldar?" Zac thought, "Weird name." "You can not escape me! You have one day before our contract is up! Use it wisely!" With that, he left. I stood up and looked at Zac. He stood up to face me. "I have a lot of explaining to do," I admitted. Zac just nodded.

"Here," I said, handing Zac a silver goblet. He sniffed it and made a horrible. "Uh, no thanks," He said, pushing it back to me. "Zachary, just drink it. He can tell when you're here. You give off signals. If you drink that it will take him longer to pick up on them." I informed him, grabbing the brew and pouring it down his throat. "Aaack!" Zac coughed, "that's disgusting!" "I know, I'm sorry," I apologized, "but it's better than the alternative." "I guess you're right," Zac admitted, "now please tell me who you are, what you want, what you had to do with HIM, where I am, why I'm here…" "STOP! I'll explain everything. Please, just give me a chance." I pleaded, feeling like I was going to cry. "I'm sorry," Zac started, trying to comfort me. "It's quite alright, I'm just very… stressed. *SIGH* My name is Gothica Xeldar. I need your help," I began, taking a deep breath, "You, Zachary, are in the kingdom of Rosenthorn. I brought you here. You are the chosen one. You alone can stop him. Stop him from robbing the innocent of their souls. From robbing me of my soul." I turned away as a tear slid down my cheek. Zac stared at me quizzically, but didn't say anything. So I kept going. "It was years ago. I was in love. His name was Peter. He loved me too, or so I thought. One day he… he just left. It broke my heart, and I wanted nothing more than to do away with him. I made the mistake of calling on Him. He made me a deal. He would kill Peter; I would sell Him my soul. I readily agreed, still heartsick. The next day I learned that Peter had fallen off his horse and died instantly. I was satisfied, and He told me He would be back for me in 5 years. That was 5 years ago." Zac looked shocked, but he finally spoke. "What can I do?" "You are the chosen one. You can stop Him." I repeated for about the fourth time that night. "How?" Zac squeaked. "You, you… must offer to take my place." I choked out. "WHAT?!" Zac screeched, jumping up, "No way!!!!!!!" "Zac, I know it sounds absurd, but if you just listen to me…" I started, trying to calm him down. "NO! You listen to me!" He sobbed, "I don't know why it has to be me, I'm tired, I'm scared, and I want to go home!" He pulled his legs up to his chest and cried. "Zachary," I started, feeling absolutely terrible for doing this to him, "I've tried to tell you, this is your fate. You are the chosen one." "You keep calling me the chosen one! What are you talking about?!" He demanded. " You are the only one who can stop him. I'm sorry I had to bring you here. But either you help me now and we destroy Him, or…" I hesitated. "Or what?" Zac asked, beginning to calm down. "Well, if you don't help me now, you can go back home as if nothing happened. But everyone in this kingdom, including me, will perish. Then He will go on, destroying more and more kingdoms, villages, towns, and the like, until he gets to your city. He will destroy it too, and all your family will die. But not you, Zachary. You are the chosen one; He can't kill you. But you can't stop him, either, because I will not be there to tell you how. He will leave you there, forever immortal, sitting on a pile of rubble that was once Tulsa, living with your guilt. He will keep moving, and all existence of good in this world will end, because of you Zachary, unless you help me." "I, I don't know what to say," Zac stuttered. "Just say you'll help me." "I'll help you," Zac agreed, nodding violently.

"Alright, Zachary, we don't have much time," I reminded him, telekinetically pulling a book down from one of the shelves and placing it in front of Zachary. "Whoa," he breathed, "how did you do that?" "Telekinesis" I answered simply, "Please just concentrate on the spell. Read off the ingredients." "Uh, Gothica? They're all in Latin." Zac pointed out. "Argh," I mumbled, placing a finger on the book and muttering a few magic words. The book morphed into English. "Cool," Zac muttered, "ok, um, 1cup of pigs root, 2 spoons of kingberry, 3 skeletonweed branches, and one pinch of ground spiderweb powder. That's it." "Alright," I said, throwing all the ingredients into a cauldron and bringing it to a boil. It was a cloudy pink color with a vein of blue running through it when we were finished. "Here," I said, thrusting it in Zac's face. He grimaced; afraid that it would taste like the last brew I gave him.  But he took it anyway, opened his mouth, and swallowed it all in one gulp. "*BURP* Hehe, excuse me. Wow that was good," He commented, wiping his mouth. "Yes, it's the kingberry. A very sweet substance indeed," I answered, smiling. *Bang, Bang* "Gothica Xeldar! Open this door right now or I'll knock down thy cabin!" "Zachary, hide!" I hissed. I walked over to the door, and threw the bolt, letting Him into my cabin. "Ah, I see you're cooperating today. Come to terms with destiny, have we now? Oh, well, no matter. I'm here to collect what is rightfully mine. Shall I rereadf the terms of our agreement, or just get on with it?" He asked in a very business-like manner. "None of that will be necessary. You are not taking my soul today." I said, my voice full of confidence.  "Oh, dear Gothica. Tsk, tsk. Don't put up a fight now. This fate is inevitable." He answered me, reaching out to stroke my cheek. I slapped his hand away. "Do not try to comfort me, fiend. I simply meant that I have found someone to take my place." "Oh, really?" He sneered, "Who?" "Me." Zac answered bravely, stepping out from behind a shelf. "Him?" He asked. I nodded. "Tsk, tsk," He clucked, walking over to Zac, "Such a pretty boy. 'Tis a shame I have to do away with him," He whispered, leaning in as if to kiss Zac's neck. "Oh, great, not only is He Satan, He's a fruitcake~, too." Zac thought. But He didn't kiss Zac's neck; He bit clear through it. "Ok, scratch that, He's not a fruitcake, He's a vampire." The fiend began sucking gently, then harder when it produced nothing. He let go of Zac and backed off. "I, I can't get his…his soul, it… I… he. Oh My. He's the chosen one. Gothica how did you, I… NOOOOOO!!!" *POOF* His figured shattered into a million particles of dust, swirling about the room for a moment before settling all over my poor cabin. "Heh, it was that easy?" Zac asked incredulously. "Weeeeell… not quite," I admitted, "I haven't been completely honest with you, Zachary. He can never really be destroyed. Only…delayed. Eventually, no matter what we do, all the pieces of dust will come together again and he will keep moving. But don't worry, Zachary, that won't be for a very long time.

"Alright. We're here." I announced, stepping through the mirror and into Zachary's room. "Yay!" he squealed, jumping onto the familiar bed and wrapping the familiar blanket around himself. "Thank you." "No, Zachary, thank you." I whispered, leaning in to kiss him. He kissed back unsurely, and I assumed it was his first. I felt strange, a 20 year-old woman from another world kissing a 13-year old boy, but I figured I owed it to him. We broke apart and I backed up, ready to reenter my world. "Hey, Gothica?" "Yes, Zachary?" "Don't forget me." "I couldn't. Not ever," I assured him, smiling. "Goodbye." "Bye," Zac said waving slowly. I stepped through the mirror, and disappeared, the mirror coming with me. Zac sighed and rolled over. He sat there for a moment, then instinctively brought his wrist up to his face and looked at it. He saw a black, upside-down, 5-pointed star tattooed there. "Oh, God…"

SO that's my story, Reader. I guess you could say I've finally found inspiration. Not that I'm glad this is the way I found it, or anything. But why did I tell you this. Well, everyone's got a story to tell.


Author's note (~) = 1.Pentacles (5-pointed stars): I specifically said that the 5-pointed stars in this story were upside down because they are only the sign of the devil if they are upside down. If they are right-side up then they represent different forms of witchcraft (namely Wiccans) who don't even believe in Satan because Satan is a Christian belief, and Wicca is a whole separate religion. 2. The fruit-cake thing: I have nothing, absolutely nothing, against homosexuals. In fact, I support them.