The snake coiled around Sebastian’s arm.
“Don’t move, Bash. He can smell fear.”
The witch twirled her fingers around, resembling the movement of the snake. Slowly, the snake lessened its grip on Sebastian’s arm. He let out a long sigh. Sweat dripped from his forehead. The snake slithered down his body and off his foot. The witch smiled at us, yellow teeth barely dangling from her gums. She had long, wiry silver hair and a plethora of wrinkles covering her face. Her gray eyes pierced us. I securely grabbed my brother’s hand.
“Look, lady, I already told you that we can’t help you. We’ve never even used our powers. Can you just let us go,” I pleaded.
The witch slowly shook her head. “Either both of you help or I kill one of you and make the other my slave.”
Sebastian and I glanced at each other. We needed to come up with a plan, and quickly. Sebastian gave me a knowing look.
“Fine, we’ll help you. What exactly do you need,” Bash asked.
“Open the cave. My husband’s body is stuck inside and I must desecrate it. I need his power to continue to live. Without him, I will die.” She stared directly at me. “You are the last of the Powell clan. You’re the only ones that can open it.”
“Well, how are we supposed to do this stupid spell if we aren’t even practicing witches? Sounds impossible to me,” I said. Bash squeezed my hand as if to say shut up.
“The spell is deep inside your souls. You must conjure it; bring it to life. You have 6 hours.”
Suddenly the witch disappeared into thin air. The only thing left was a map to Dead Man’s Cave. Bash picked it up. “I have a plan, Emily. Trust me.”
“How are we supposed to do this? We don’t know the first thing about magic!”
“I do.” He put his head down and studied the map. I grabbed his arm.
“You WHAT?! HOW? WHEN?”
“Why?” Bash looked up at me and smiled, but I didn’t return it. I was dead serious. We were always together. When did he even have the time? “That part doesn’t matter now, Em. We don’t have much time. I’ll explain after we get to the cave.”
I crossed my arms, but he ignored me. “Whatever you say, Mr. Potter.”
One hour drive later, with a pit stop to our house, we were at the cave. It was 8pm and the summer sun was setting. We had to walk a 20 minute hike just to get to the cave. When we arrived, Sebastian threw off the backpack he was carrying. He took out 2 black candles, baking soda, crushed basil leaves, and a knife. He placed the candles on opposite sides of the cave. I stood there, dumbfounded. Who was this?
Bash made a thick line in front of the cave, using the whole box of baking soda. “Give me your hand.”
I blindly followed his instructions. Making a quick movement, he tightened his grip on my hand and sliced it open. I reflexively pulled back and he squeezed my hand even tighter. “Stop,” he commanded. He guided my hand along the line of baking soda and dripped the blood on top of it. “Here, put some of this over the cut.” He handed me the crushed basil leaves and I did exactly what he said. He began to chant over my open hand. Next thing I knew, the cut was healed. I touched it with my other hand, then looked up at him. He smiled. “It’s magic, sis.”
“What do we do now? Are you going to show me the chant?”
“We can’t start until the only thing shining in the sky is the moon. It shouldn’t take too long.” He sat down behind the line. I followed suit.
“When did you know we had powers?”
“I’m not sure. It just happened.”
“Seriously? You’re totally lying. Tell me the truth.”
“Nothing much to tell. Look, Em, the moon is out. Let’s get started.” He stood up and held out his hand to help me up. As soon as I grabbed it, he pushed me to the other side of the line. I tried to walk over it, but some type of invisible shield wouldn’t let me pass.
“What’s happening, Bash? Fix it.”
“I’m sorry, Em. I can’t do that.” He started to chant unfamiliar words while waving his hands around and making grand gestures.
“What are you doing? Stop it, you idiot! I’ll call the cops!” I snatched my phone out of my pocket and pressed a few buttons. Dead battery. “Please, Bash. I’ll do anything. Just stop!”
He continued, unphased by my begging. The chanting grew louder. My hands trembled. I broke out into a sweat. Something inside of me tugged at my body. “What’s happening? Stop, please! This hurts! You’re hurting me, Sebastian!” I started to cry. His eyes flicked over to me. “Please stop, Bash.”
Sebastian chanted even louder, drowning out my cries. His eyes turned black. My back arched. My body levitated a few feet off the ground. His hands rose, following my body. The pull felt stronger. Something wanted to rip out of me. My back cracked some more. The skin over my stomach stretched so much that it started to rip. I yelled painstakingly loud, but Sebastian did nothing to help me.
Sebastian moved Emily’s limp body into the woods. Covering it with a pile of leaves and rocks, he said “Sorry, Em.” He dug his nails into the ground and chanted some more. Wind kicked up around him. His body convulsed. He dug his fingers deeper into the ground. Dirt swirled around his arms and the wind grew stronger. He felt stronger.
He decided that he needed to hide from the witch. She was old, but that didn’t mean she was wise. A few hours later, the witch arrived. She had a lit candle in one hand which showed her the way. When she saw the set up in front of the cave, she screamed.
Sebastian chanted from his hiding spot. The screaming immediately stopped. She whirled around and searched for the noise. She threw up her right hand and Sebastian floated in the air. He tried to keep chanting, but his throat began to close. It was getting harder to breathe.
“You think you can trick me, silly boy? As soon as I saw the set up in front of the cave, I knew your plan.” She squeezed her hands together which tightened the grip on Sebastian’s throat. “You, fool. Where is your sister hiding? Speak!” Sebastian clawed at the invisible hands squeezing his throat. The witch dropped her hands to her sides and he tumbled to the ground. He stood up and dusted off his pants.
“She’s in the cave. You can’t kill me until I open it. Remember? You’ll let me go if I open it, right?” Sebastian chanted before the lady had a chance to answer or protest. The ground shook and rocks crumbled from the cave. The witch stood right next to the entrance. Within a few minutes, the cave was open. The witch ran in, candle first, and looked around.
Sebastian chanted with vigor and twirled his fingers in the air. Rock started to build over the entrance. “My sister is dead. I desecrated her body and acquired her dormant power. I’m stronger than you, witch.” The witch started to chant as well. Snakes slithered towards Sebastian. There were so many that it looked like a flowing river. They hissed and crowded around Sebastian, some of them traveling up his legs. He chanted louder. The rocks covered the whole entrance and the witch screamed.
The snakes continued to coil around different parts of Sebastian’s body. He stared at them, confused and afraid. The witch laughed within the cave. “You, fool!” Her laugh became louder, then turned into chanting. Sebastian tried to pry the snakes off of him, but it only made them squeeze tighter. One snake dug its fangs into his arm. Sebastian yelled in terror. The rocks began to crumble in front of the cave. The witch appeared with a smirk on her smug face.
“I told you that my husband’s body would make me stronger. Now you will suffer, just like your sister did.”
Sebastian realized that he had made a terrible mistake. More snakes sank their fangs into his skin. Blood dripped down his legs, arms, and neck. He could feel himself becoming weak. The witch laughed again. She chanted. The wind blew and dirt swirled around her and Sebastian. He knew what she was doing.
“You can’t have my power unless I’m dead,” he yelled through the gusts of wind.
The witch chanted louder and louder. Sebastian’s blood oozed from every open bite. His skin became pale. He felt a pull deep inside of him. The witch raised her hands and his body levitated. The blood continued to drip. He couldn’t fight her off. She was taking all of his power and will to live. Within seconds he was dead and all of his power was transferred to the witch.
“Thank you, Sebastian Powell. You made this a lot easier for me by killing your sister. You poor, ignorant fool.” She laughed and walked away, more powerful than ever.
I wrote this at a high school graduation and part of the drive home. This story is thanks to my boyfriend giving me the word “coil.” ‘Til next time!