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There are three rules for being an Evil Witch:

~No magick is off-limits.

~Give it everything you’ve got.

~And rock to 80s music while doing your evil deeds, of course.

* * *

AMORAH BLAHK

The Amethyst Witch.

 

Purple sparks of raw energy flickered over my skin, its power bursting through my veins and making my entire body pulse with magick. I was ready for action—scratch that—I was born for it.

A wicked grin danced over my lips when Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice began to play in my earbuds. It was Friday eve, and the night was alive with mystical energy. The moon goddess shone brightly above me. All around me, the streets were filled with joyful people, and even the asphalt seemed to glow as my boots struck it. 

Too bad they didn’t see me coming.

Spreading my arms to the sides, I let the surges of power leave my fingertips, my amethyst mist flowing over the ground with purpose. Couples and groups of friends crowded the restaurants and bars that peppered Washington Street, sitting at the tables outside or entering the stores, laughing and enjoying each other. My intention flared to life, fueling my mist as it quickly spread, weaving between their feet, climbing and coiling around their arms to seep into their pores unnoticed.

It burned away their inhibitions and fears, releasing repressed cravings, wild fantasies, and hidden dreams. Enhancing their desires. Purple flames arose in the cocktails or beers they held, unseen by their human eyes, spicing their drinks. Liquid courage in its most potent form, thanks to a little help from yours truly.

A fist flew to my left the next second, connecting with a man’s eye after he kissed his best friend’s wife, followed by a hook to the jaw.

I cringed. That was going to hurt tomorrow.

The man rubbed his jaw and lunged for his friend, tackling him over the table—plates and drinks crashed to the ground with them while his wife yelled, horrified. Smirking, I walked around them to the beat of the music. My high-heeled boots stepped over one of them as his back hit the ground, and I continued on my merry little way.

“That’s my man, you bitch!”

“Get your hand off my ass, pervert!”

Sounds of fists pounding on soft flesh, screams, and broken store windows rose in the air as the mist exuded from my fingertips with each step, and chaos descended all around me. My smirk widened.

A chill broke along my spine all of a sudden, leaving tiny ice crystals in its wake. An omen. I halted abruptly, urgently searching for the cause. Instantly, my gaze found eerie gray irises so light, they almost glowed silver. I did a double take. Liquid-mercury eyes pinned mine with such intensity that my breath caught.

It was only a split second, but it felt like his gaze had burned a hole through me, reaching the dark recesses of my soul. The owner of said deadly eyes continued on his way out of the restaurant; the blue neon lights from the sign above making his irises glow.

Casually glancing around, he stepped onto the street with a couple of friends—without any regards to leaving me frozen in place, or to the mayhem I had caused—and swung a leg over the classic, chrome Harley Davidson parked out front. The roar of the motorcycle’s engine weaved into the air when he turned it on, and he took off into the night. The multicolored neon signs along the way, painted strokes over his leather jacket as he disappeared down Washington Street.

His friends got into their car, heading in the opposite direction.

Teeth grinding, I straightened my spine, hating the fact that those eerie eyes seemed to have some sort of effect on me. At least they hadn’t turned me into a drooling and mumbling idiot like every other teenage Witch in Salem—or human girl for that matter.

Freaking naked skeletons. Was anyone immune to those molten-mercury irises?

Well, if any part of me wasn’t, I was sure as hell making it stronger against it. Unlike the hormonal teenage girls in this city, I didn’t care about hooking up with a guy. AT ALL. I had just turned nineteen, and I had only one mission in this life journey—make my own mark in history as a Shadow Bringer, just like the Crimson Witch had done, AKA my mother.

Nothing was going to deter me from that.

My back pocket suddenly tingled, and I reached for it to find a flaming note inside. Who needed texting when you had magick?

“Elearah called a disciplinary hearing in the Magistrate of Witches. 

You need to come. Now.

S.C.”

Confused, I watched Sariah’s note burn with the orangey-golden embers of her magick within my grasp, vanishing just like it had appeared. She was the only Witch alive who dared to call the Sapphire Witch—the head of the Magistrate—by her first name… to her face. Fortunately, she got away with it easily, being her star pupil and all.

Power rushed through me in response, and with a snap of my fingers, my hand ignited. A new mystical fire stirred as I threw the giant flame to the ground, watching it rise at my command and form the portal before me. Purple embers flickered between me and Essex Street, the image of my friends, Sariah and Alysah, slightly swaying like the inside of a live flame. Without a moment to waste, I crossed to their side.

“A hearing, for who??” I asked, startled. Emergency hearings were bad news, they meant one of us had broken the rules in the worst possible way. We hadn’t had one in years.

Sariah’s soft amber eyes became troubled as she exchanged a glance with Alysah, then returned to me. “Your mother.”

Shit.

A bucket of ice-cold water was suddenly poured on me, but to be honest, I was mostly annoyed. Damn it. What in the astral snake pits had the Crimson Witch done now to piss off the Sapphire Witch? But more importantly, what would she do to Mother?

We stood in front of the entrance to the Magistrate of Witches, otherwise known as Salem Public Library on Essex Street. Hundreds of Witches gathered along the road, more arriving with each passing minute—all answering the same call we had. One we couldn’t refuse, no matter which goddess we revered, or which path our essence had taken. Light or Dark.

Sariah walked up the steps of the three-story, red brick building that might as well be a perfect gingerbread house, and placed her hands on the glass doors. Her powers instantly awoke. The glimmering amber magick that flowed from her fire-touched lifeforce rushed out of her hands, extending along the walls and surrounding the place in seconds.

“Quod intra nos sit revelare abscondita et.” 

The enchantment placed on the building reacted, creating a fractal crack into the Great Divine and showing a tall white castle through its multidimensional plane. The reflections of it stared back at us like looking into the inside of a multifaceted diamond.

Any Witch with the power to use such a spell didn’t need anything other than her goddess-given ability to do it, but we also knew there was something to be said for the astral resonance of the spoken will.

“Come on, let’s get this over with,” I urged as the now large, Gothic white gates opened slowly, allowing us to go into the split. Alysah, Sariah, and I went in first, seeing our multilayered reflection along the fractal crack as we crossed planes. The space was no longer the carpeted room of the public library with wooden columns, but an all regal white vision.

The Magistrate’s palace was vast and light as we stepped inside, a direct contrast from the dark night that befell us. White quartz and marble covered every inch of the space in a masterfully carved way. Subtle patterns stretched as far as my eye could see like delicate lace—the accents differentiated only by the type of stone used.

From the floors to the tall columns and walls, the framed windows, and even the curved dome ceiling, the design followed the lines of a Merkaba star. The symbol of light, spirit, and body created a 3-dimensional energy field of protection, and it reminded us of the potential power we could wield when we united our own energies in pursuit of connection and growth.

“Wow,” Alysah whispered in awe, and I agreed.

Undoubtedly, the place was a work of art, but most of all, it was a call of unity for my kind. It also housed the biggest collection of mystical books, family grimoires, and spells in the world since our race began. From the very first stone-carved spells of the Origin Witches, to enchantment scrolls, to the most recent additions to our mastery.

My eyes admired every inch of beauty as we all gathered in the great library. The treasured bookcases filled with our history, present, and written visions of our future rose all the way up to the fifth floor, curving around the circular room like the expanse of the universe, and making me want to move there permanently. I had only been to the palace three times in my nineteen years of life, and each time, it robbed me of breath.

I wondered what it would feel like to enter this place freely, of my own will, and spend hours on end reading the grimoires of the greatest Witches ever to exist.

So much knowledge. So much power. So much truth.

Now, those were role models I would learn from eagerly, not the professors at the local conservatory of magick.

Unfortunately, the sight and awe of this magnificent place weren’t enough to vanish the mixture of anger and unease that churned in my insides, not today. Mother was one of the two most formidable Witches alive. She was also a Shadow Bringer, which meant every magick deed she performed was aimed to disrupt the human and preternatural worlds. Still, that was expected. What I needed to know was why we were here today.

We Built This City by Starship thumped in my earbuds as we waited for the room to fill, and with all kinds of powers and volatile personalities on the spectrum under one roof, that fact became abundantly clear. We had built this city after it was almost brought to ruins by the fear and greed of humanity.

Grimoire note: To understand Salem Witches, you first have to forget everything you heard about us. We are not a myth. We weren't killed during the trials. We thrive through the ancient lifeforce of fire and ice that courses through our veins, fueling our energies now more than ever.

Truth be told, Salem’s past left an ever-present scar on us, one passed down through generations, which made other supernatural races see us as “temperamental” or “easily offended.” While that might be partially true—our kind wasn’t exactly known for its patience—it made us overprotective of our Witches, Wizards, Warlocks, and even the Voodoo King.

It also made us stronger, bringing light and dark Witches together for the first time since the beginning of our history with the Origin Witches. And—

“He’s here!” Alysah’s mother of all screeches blared through my earbud and into my eardrum while she tried—and failed—to contain her excitement.

“Aaand… I’m deaf,” I declared, pulling out the wireless buds and rubbing the tender spot. The mystical energy awoke in my fingers instinctively, sending a small surge to my inner ear, taking care of the ringing her statement had left.

There was no use in asking who she was talking about, though. The chorus of hormone-induced sighs coming from the teenage Witches all around us spoke for itself. My gaze shifted to my right, to the entrance of the castle, as the large double doors flew wide open. Elearah Whyte, the Sapphire Witch, entered the space… with her son in tow.

“Oh, my Goddess. Look at him!” Alysah whisper-screamed, this time tugging the sleeve of my leather jacket like a crazy person. “Oh, dear Freya, please make him look this way.”

“Get a hold of yourself, woman!” I snapped. Pulling my arm away from her frantic grasp, I put up my wards—I sometimes let them slip when I was with her or Sariah, clearly a mistake. Alysah was like that SNL character, Surprise Lady Sue, who could never quite contain her excitement.

She cringed, holding her hands behind her before I zapped her to the snake pits and back. “Shit. Sorry. I know you don’t like to be touched. I just got a little overexcited.”

“You don’t say?” Sariah snorted sarcastically, and totally amused.

I huffed, fixing my jacket. Me not wanting to be touched was a whole other issue, for a whole other time. My amethyst eyes connected with molten-mercury irises as he casually swaggered through the foyer and into the library.

Connhor Whyte. The Silver Wizard.

Also, the biggest heartthrob in Salem, Massachusetts.

Grimoire note: Fine. I should probably add one more rule to being an evil Witch… Never date a light Wizard. Like, ever.

Time might have as well slowed as he walked in, his gaze focusing on me. Connhor’s intense eyes found me instantly as though he’d known the exact spot where I’d be standing all along. If I were honest with myself, I’d have to admit that my heart shook a little when I saw him; he had a sort of dominant air to him that naturally exuded from his pores.

Except, I was never honest with myself. In fact, I was planning on riding the denial train all the way downtown.

Still, tall, dark, and handsome wasn’t even a fair description for him. Connhor Whyte was adopted—the only Wizard or Witch ever to be adopted. Originally born in Spain, his Spanish roots showed clearly in the dark brown hair, the golden-tanned skin he didn’t even bother to sunbathe for, and his unnaturally translucent gray eyes.

Dressed in dark jeans, a grayish-blue T-shirt, and a rider leather jacket, he was like the perfect mix between James Dean and Jensen Ackles.

Bloody pantyless ghosts. The guy was making it very difficult for me to ignore that last, but very important, self-enforced rule. Not that I would ever admit that to anyone… alive or dead.

After a few nerve-wracking seconds, Connhor’s eyes shifted to my left, and the corner of his lips tilted up as he looked at Alysah. Giving her a small greeting nod, he sent a playful wink to Sariah, who exchanged a friendly smile with him. She was probably the only girl here not struggling to breathe, on a count of being friends with him for years, and seeing him almost every day.

Time resumed once his attention left us, and he walked into the assembly pavilion with his mother. Everyone began to follow.

“Oh, my Freya. He smiled at me. Did you see that? Connhor Whyte said ‘hi’ to me!” Alysah sighed.

My eyes rolled back so far that I almost saw my brain. “I think it’s safe to say he knows you; you are dating his best friend, after all. You know, Thyler, in case you forgot.” A chuckle escaped me when she glared at me.

“One, we are not exclusive yet. And two, I know, but still.” She fanned herself. “I don’t think there’s a girl who can resist that. You have to admit it. He’s super dreamy.”

“Dreamy?” I fake-scoffed. “What a cliché.” She gave me the evil eye while I suppressed a smile. “I really need to stop hanging out with Light Bearers. You are too impressionable.”

“I guess it’s a good thing we can only stand you about half the time,” Sariah added, not buying into my blasé attitude.

I smirked at her comment. “Are you sure you are not a Shadow Bringer? You are way too sarcastic to be a light Witch. I mean, you are almost as cynical as me. Almost.”

Her pink lips curved into a perfect grin, and she nodded towards the waning multitude. “Come on, let’s get our butts in there before they start without us.”

A large orangey-golden flame erupted from her hands effortlessly, accompanying her words. The portal was born from the fire-touched lifeforce running through her veins, opening directly to the first row of chairs inside the domed hall—in front of the main center stage. Her amber eyes sparkled as she crossed over; we followed.

Tightening my gut, I steeled myself for what was about to happen. Whatever the punishment was, for what my evil-loving mother had done, was sure to affect me too. I was her only daughter after all. I just hoped it didn’t completely ruin my night. The last thing I—and humanity—needed right now was a pissed off, powerful Witch throwing a revenge-infused tantrum.

We were seated long before the rest of our kin finished entering the vast hall. That was the Amber Witch for you. The woman loved a shortcut. Then again, when you were one of the few Goddess Blessed in the world able to create portals, was there ever a good reason not to use one?

No. The answer was always no. I used portals just to enter my shower.

Alysah and Sariah sat at either side of me, pretending this was no big deal. Against all odds, they had somehow become my best friends—scratch that—they were my only friends. We were known as the Wicked Ones, a nickname Alysah had given our trio, and as Sariah so elegantly put it, they could only stand me about half the time. No, she hadn’t been kidding.

Grimoire note: Let’s just say I am kind of an acquired taste. 

We all stood the second the Sapphire Witch made her way to the center of the vaulted hall—leaving the private chamber where she usually prepared before addressing us all. Her steps were unhurried, the regal blue gown she wore gently swaying along the way, but her heels struck the marble floors with purpose. 

I didn’t think there was a doubtful bone in that woman’s body. She was the first most powerful Goddess Blessed among us, our leader, and the mere mention of her name commanded reverence.

CHAPTER 2.

 

As though she were a deity among mortals, she sat on the vast, white and silver throne—which surely belonged in a European castle somewhere back in the 12th Century. Her bright blue eyes roamed the space, highlighted by the golden strands of her blond hair arranged into a beautiful updo.

Energy instantly exuded from her in waves of blue shimmering mist, lifting her seat from the ground. My eyes fell onto her sophisticated dress that cascaded down the sides of her Gothic throne, resembling flowing magickal waters.

“Goddess Blessed sisters, welcome to the Magistrate of Witches!” Elearah announced boldly, spreading her arms to the sides as the melody of applause filled the room. Her seat graciously turned in the air as it levitated, allowing her to address each and every one of us. From the ground rows and along the balconies that surrounded the space, resembling an opera house, all the way to the fifth floor.

Faces filled with awe and reverence spread through the pavilion, and we all sat down once again. The smile, however, was missing from my face while the stress awoke in my gut, sparking like a live wire until my hands became cold.

“It’s all going to be okay,” Alysah offered reassuringly.

“Yes, it will,” Sariah echoed. “Elearah is strict but also fair. I’m sure the Crimson Witch’s transgression will be met with a suitable penance.”

“Do you know my mother?” I snorted. That was exactly what I was worried about at that moment. “Whatever happens, I’ll handle it. But let’s be frank, we are not here because she stole candy from a baby. Things don’t exactly look good for her right now.”

“Since when do you worry so much?”

“I’m not!” I all but snapped at Sariah, giving her a nasty glare.

She rolled her eyes knowingly. “Elearah is cool. I’m telling you; it will be fine.”

Of course she’d say that. Not only was she Elearah Whyte’s closest minion, but practically the daughter she never had. Whenever the Sapphire Witch needed anything done right, she asked Sariah to take care of it. In fact, just three years ago, the feisty brunette had been on a special mission to help the Wolf Shifter Queen in Germany. Though technically, I wasn’t supposed to know that.

Lifting my chin, I straightened my posture on the chair and sent a surge of cooling, calming energy through my body, feeling its steadying effect instantly. It wasn’t exactly Mother I was concerned about, but the state of her magick with whatever punishment she was about to receive.

While the entire population of women in the room gushed about Connhor Whyte—the only Wizard ever allowed to attend the Magistrate’s assemblies—his penetrating gaze was focused on me. He sat in the first row directly across from us, which didn’t help the tension knotting my stomach.

Focus, Amorah. Focus.

“Let us begin,” the Sapphire Witch announced, bringing everyone’s attention up to her. “Please escort our… guest into the chamber.” A slight nod of her head accompanied the words as she addressed the guards.

We stood again the moment the side doors opened, offering our respects to the Crimson Witch, AKA Mother, as she entered the vaulted hall. The gauzy fabric of her wine-colored dress gently dragged behind her while she walked with a mysterious presence and undeniable hauteur—intimidating everyone who looked at her without a single word. Her silky, nearly black hair fell softly over the pale skin of her shoulders in the strapless dress, framing her face and making her burgundy lips stand out even more.

There was something about powerful Witches in regal gowns that seemed to assert their dominance over everyone else. I couldn’t remember ever seeing Mother, or the Sapphire Witch for that matter, wearing pants.

Finally taking her place in the large seat at the center of the stage, Mother allowed her crimson eyes to connect with mine and offered me a self-assured smirk. She seemed entertained by the assembly like it was nothing more than a charade. 

Just like our leader had done, waves of mist flowed from Mother. Except hers, came from the ancient jasper sphere in her hand that aided her magick. The amulet was made specifically for Mother, bound to her fire-touched essence. It glowed, throbbing with energy as the green mist lifted her from the marble floors.

“Devirah,” the Sapphire Witch greeted, her stern tone filled with reproach spoke louder than a thousand words.

“Elearah,” Mother responded, raising a challenging brow. If they weren’t so ridiculously polite to each other, it would be easy to see they were the closest thing to mortal enemies that ever existed.

“I have called this assembly due to a rather distressing discovery,” the Sapphire Witch explained. “It was brought to my attention that several years ago, Devirah Blahk broke one of our most crucial rules…” She paused, taking a calming breath, which she evidently needed.

Mother’s lips curved into a wicked grin as though she knew exactly what her enemy had finally uncovered, and she didn’t care one bit for the consequences. “I didn’t do it,” she defended half-heartedly, sweeping a strand of hair off her shoulder. “I can assure you, it wasn’t me.”

A heavy sigh came from our right, and once again, my attention travelled to Elearah. “Must we do this every single time, Devirah?”

“I’m not sure what you are inferring.”

I could almost see the patience waning in the Sapphire Witch. I knew what Mother wanted her to do in order to admit her crime. Our leader knew it. Heck, the entire assembly knew it.

Elearah slightly shook her head, taking a stilling breath. “You assisted in an attack against an Iron Knight, guardian to the royal line of the Wolf Shifter race, impeding him from performing his duty and nearly taking his life. I would say it is a miracle he lived, but it was his unbreakable sense of duty that helped him fight to survive. Your vile actions resulted in innumerable tragic deaths, including that of the former king and queen of the Wolf Shifters.”

Gasps of horror spread around us with the revelation; my gut violently tightened. 

Shit.

“Iron Knights are by all intents and purposes immortal, Devirah, so that is no small feat. Only an extremely powerful Witch could have performed such an act. There are only two of us alive with that kind of ability, and we both know I had no part in it.”

My mother straightened, egotism and defiance sparkling in her eyes. “I cannot deny your words. I am extraordinarily powerful indeed.”

Elearah’s nostrils flared, but she maintained her composure while they held each other’s fiery gazes, engaged in a battle of wills. A dreaded silence descended on the room.

There were lines we didn’t cross like viciously hurting innocent souls in this city—they had already suffered enough—or any innocent soul for that matter. Corrupt souls had it coming though, part of karma and all that jazz. Other than that, we were free to cause havoc to our evil heart’s desire, which essentially brought us back to why we were here today.

No matter what her verdict was for Mother’s actions, Sariah was right about one thing. Our leader was fair. If there was one thing I respected about Elearah, it was the way she ruled the Goddess Blessed.

No judgments or hatred existed between us. Nothing more than a bold rivalry. The Sapphire Witch had made us into one strong and unified race, regardless of our beliefs, practices, or chosen paths. She was a Light Bearer—good for all intents and purposes—but she didn’t force us, Shadow Bringers, to follow her example or be anything other than what we chose for ourselves.

“You have crossed a line, Devirah,” Elearah finally spoke, breaking the ominous silence that had engulfed the castle. The contempt for my mother’s behavior was clear in the tone her voice took. “You intervened in another race’s dealings with their enemies, and as a result, you hurt innocent souls. Killed them without any regard.”

“Whatever do you mean?” Mother’s expression changed to worry and bewilderment, but I knew her emotion was as real as Alysah’s pink hair. “I was only trying to help. I wasn’t aware of their true intentions until I was already there. If I had known—”

“Enough, Devirah!” the Sapphire Witch’s voice thundered through the vaulted ceilings, and everyone’s breaths lodged in their throats, including mine. “You hurt innocent people. Do you know how much pain you inflicted on that race? Lending your powers to their enemies, provoked a ripple effect of events that separated an innocent baby from her parents and her true family, causing years and years of despair.”

With a shake of her head, she rested her back against the throne and beheld the Crimson Witch sternly. A fleeting emotion crossed her blue eyes, yet it was so brief that I doubted anyone else saw it. I had. The expected disapproval was present, but there was also profound disappointment and an evident ache that hid behind it. It was as if somehow, Mother’s actions had hurt her directly, instead of those other people.

As though the act had been intended to break Elearah’s spirit, and not the shifters.

It was gone the next moment, and an admonishing mask fell in place over her face. The tension increased in the assembly while Mother and our leader seemed to resume their staring match to the death. Mother’s eyes sparkled with defiance and satisfaction, yet the Sapphire Witch’s were no longer readable.

That fact deeply troubled me. What would be the punishment for the Crimson Witch’s cruelty?

A warm tingling suddenly engulfed my left hand, and my eyes dropped to find a small piece of paper materializing through shimmering white flames within my grasp.

“You shouldn’t worry. It’s going to be okay.”

Reading the well-intentioned note didn’t ease my tension. If anything, it sent my pulse into a frenzy. #StupidPulse. My gaze flew up to find liquid-mercury eyes focused on me, a supportive smile stretching Connhor’s naturally curved lips.

“Is it really, you smart ass?” I snapped back at him and saw his gaze drop to his palm, reading my message.

He stifled a laugh, which was noticeable only when his right brow quirked up, and he licked his bottom lip—you know, in that telltale way guys had when they were trying to be cool and not smile.

Grimoire note: Hot-ass guys, that is.

His silverish-white flame engulfed the note in my hand, dissolving the paper into thin air after reading his short reply.

“Trust me…”

“How dare you?!” Mother roared, and I jumped to my feet, startled. “You have no right to do that!”

What in the astral snake pits? My stomach dropped when I realized what had happened. The penalty had been revealed, and I was too distracted with Mr. Goody Two Sexy Shoes over there to listen.

“Woman!” Sariah hissed, roughly pulling me down so that I sat again. My leather-clad butt smacked the chair with a resounding plop. I was too distressed to seek revenge for her touch, so I let it go. “Get your shit together, Amorah.”

“Right.” I took a deep breath, hating the fact that my otherwise “screw you” demeanor was disrupted. Not only because under the fake, cultured elegance of the affair, this was essentially my mother’s trial, but also because of Connhor Whyte, who was still staring at me.

“You have acted against our code, Devirah,” the Sapphire Witch answered coolly. “Now you need to deal with the consequences.”

“What was the decree?” I whisper-hissed to Alysah, much like she normally did.

The bubblegum pink strands of her pigtails swayed as she shook her head, her nose wrinkling in confusion. “Well, she has to surrender her amuletum, and she’s strictly prohibited the use of magick for six months.”

“Wait, what?” My startled gaze went to Mother and the head of the magistrate, who were engaged in an energetic, yet—you guessed it—polite argument. My frown deepened. “That’s it?”

Not that the penalty wasn’t severe, but given what Mother had done…

“Yep,” Sariah answered from my right, clearly bored. I turned to see her right hand lifted, fingers extended as a small nail file expertly reshaped her gold nails without her touching it.

“Oookay,” I answered, adding way too many o’s to the word. I feared Mother would be stripped of her powers completely, or worse… banished from Salem like a few defiant Oathbreakers had been subjected to in the past, shattering their ties to our sisterhood forever. Yet, for Mother, this seemed like—

“Nothing more than a slap on the wrist,” Alysah concluded, mimicking my thoughts.

“Right,” I agreed, taken aback though everyone around us gasped—clutching their chests or covering their mouths at the punishment. One day was a long time for a Goddess Blessed not to do magick, let alone six months.

My eyes returned to the front just as the two chairs landed on the marble floor once more, and the enemy Witches stood up, boldly staring at each other like there was far more to be said between them, but neither dared to speak.

Elearah’s hands lifted abruptly. “Malum Voluntatis Obstructionum!” A burst of energy shot towards the Crimson Witch, too fast to be stopped. 

The glow of the obsidian, energy-blocking necklace was hard to miss as it wrapped around Mother’s neck. Pure ire ignited in her eyes at the “insolence.” Unfortunately, it was not the first time I had seen it being used on one of us. The stone itself would prevent any form of negative energy from forming in her essence, and the spell infused into it would block all intentions of magick the wearer may have.

So yeah, Mother wouldn’t be doing any conjuring for a while.

“I curse you!” she snapped, though there were no mystical energies backing up her threat. Sighing, I watched her storm out of the castle. The room shook as she slammed the massive doors closed behind her.

The Sapphire Witch straightened, her gaze pinned to the doors for a few seconds, and then turned around. “Thank you all for being here today. The assembly is adjourned. You may go in light and peace, Goddess Blessed sisters.” Her authoritative voice projected to even the far balconies of the fifth floor, and with her calm and regal composure back in place, she graciously made her way out of the room.

Everyone began to stand around us, but Alysah, Sariah, and I remained seated.

“Just what I needed. Mother is going to be pissed out of her mind for the next few months,” I mumbled. That meant I wasn’t going to be home much during that time. “Can I move in with you?” I asked Sariah, only half-joking, reaching for the iPod inside the pocket of my leather jacket.

She snorted. “Not a chance in hell. I’ve already had enough of you as it is. But the cemetery might have an open plot you can use.” She grinned, batting her eyelashes.

“Good one.” I smirked, placing the earbuds back into my ears, and stood.

“You can totally move in with me,” Alysah offered enthusiastically before I could press play. “We can do movie night, make crystal grids together, and write new spells!” She clapped her hands swiftly at the prospect, and I knew she was about to have another excitement spasm. It was like she couldn’t handle the joy.

“And sleep in the room where Hello Kitty threw up?” I scoffed. “No, thank you. I’m allergic to cotton candy, unicorns, ruffled pillows, and hope. I would rather use the cemetery plot.”

Sariah chuckled. “Good one.”

“I know, right,” I snickered while Alysah’s brows hit her hairline, a mix of outrage and an exaggerated evil eye in her expression. “Oh, you’ll get over it—”

A gasp interrupted my words when my bubbly friend swiped up two fingers, and then pushed her hand forwards, throwing a shimmery pink smoke towards me. Her cool energy wrapped around my head, fueled by the ice-touched lifeforce that ran through her veins. Within a split second, my hair turned a bright shade of Pepto-Bismol pink.

“You are going to die!” I screamed. Technically, I had won our usual insults match, one she was no stranger to, but she had gone too far in her revenge.

You never touched a Witch’s hair.

Alysah grinned. “It only lasts a couple of weeks, woman. Don’t be dramatic.”

“Weeks?!” 

Glaring at her, I tried my best not to turn her into a mouse while still in the Magistrate. My fingers lifted the once dark brown hair with golden strands weaved in between—my highlights turning a lighter hue of the dreaded pink color—I stared at the shimmering looking fluff in my grasp.

“Is that glitter?” I screeched.

Alysah laughed, smacking her black lips together as she blew me a kiss and turned, literally skipping out of the pavilion in her pastel Goth outfit that made her look like a dark doll—apparently, that was actually a thing.

Pressing her lips into thin lines, Sariah suppressed a chuckle when my eyes widened.

“I am going to kill her. DEAD!”

* * *

After a long shower, and trying yet another spell on my hair to take away the evil shade of pink, I collapsed onto my bed. I was not a pink kind of girl; I could not stress that enough.

Problem was, Alysah’s mystical calling was spell casting. It was the natural ability that flowed from her magickal soul, her strength, and she rocked at it. Hard.

She could not only use regular spells like all Goddess Blessed did, but she could create elaborate enchantments, and control events by magickal influence. Like, change the actual path of someone’s life and destiny or whatever. Alysah was a badass, sweet too, but under the pastel colors and tulle skirts, she was also a major bitch, which was exactly why I liked her. Trust me, you did not want to get on her bad side.

Still, she was sooo going to pay for this.

Sighing, I got up, styled my glittering flamingo-chic hair in waves, and dressed in my favorite 80s inspired outfit. Tight leather pants, a bra-top, and my fitted leather jacket. To be fair, it wasn’t my favorite outfit but the only outfit worth wearing. Though, I seriously considered wearing my metallic-coned bra.

Pushing up my sleeves, I added a skull leather bracelet, spiked cuff, and wedged heel boots. If it weren’t for the dreaded pink hair, Madonna would be proud.

Grimoire note: Yes, I know Madonna has done pink in the past, but even if the Goddess of Pop—she is a goddess to me—fell for its deceptive allure, I will never surrender.

“Pulchellus faciem.”

My lips curved into a smile as the dark red lipstick stained them. Gold, brown, and mauve eyeshadows colored my eyelids next, mascara thickened my lashes, and even a slight blush appeared along my cheekbones. I loved instant makeup, especially because I couldn’t do it by hand to save my life.

Liquid eyeliner was the devil.

The light above me glinted off my delicate, silver nose ring as I smirked, and with one last look in the mirror, I turned.  I was ready. 

Grimoire note: For what? I had no idea, but girl… I was so ready.

The energy tingled down my spine as my fingers ignited with purple fire, and I sent it to the floor; it erupted into a giant amethyst flame. The fabric of space was set ablaze, pieces of it falling and shimmering away as it “incinerated” with my magickal fire, opening a portal into my mother’s lavish room.

It was time to brave the beast. Someone, please kill me...

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