“Well well, look what we have here. Two humans,” Victoria smirked. “All for the price of one. Master will be pleased.”
“One human and one witch,” Lution corrected. “The female is human, the male is a witch.”
“A witch?” Victoria scrunched her nose. “Even more despicable than a dirty human. We must rid our land of these two immediately. Tell me, where are the others? You humans tend to travel in packs.”
“Where is my sister?” Scarlett demanded. “And my brother? I want them back.”
“No humans allowed,” Lution said calmly. “Did you not read the sign at the entrance? It is made pretty clear what happens to humans. Did you not care? What gain did you make in coming here?”
“I was chasing my sister!” Scarlett seethed. “Your ruler convinced Bailey to bring her to life and then kidnapped her! Why would she do that!? Amelia could have came on her own!”
“Scarlett,” Ethan whispered. “Lower your voice. Calm down.”
“I can’t, dad!” Scarlett cried. “Bailey and Ken are being tortured….or worse. They could be dead! I want them back!”
“Enough of this. You’re foolish to think that we’d just talk this out. You are not in a position to be making a deal with us, if anything, we should be making the negotiations. You have nothing but human blood running through your veins,” Victoria spat.
My nerves grew as I watched the scene unfold in front of me. Dad told me not to reveal myself if things got too hectic, but I wouldn’t stand back and let them take more of my family. I had lost enough and didn’t have time to go on yet another rescue mission. My hand lay steadily on my wand, ready to pounce if I had to. “Big Al, you have to do something!”
My eyes darted to the little boy in front of me. “Alistair? What are you doing here? I thought I told you to stay put.”
“We have to find the last page!” He exclaimed. “After you save my mother!”
“Alistair, please,” I said. “You don’t understand. SHe isn’t in any trouble, not yet.”
“What do you mean?” He demanded. “Her and grandpa are cornered! We have to save them.”
I grabbed his arm. “This is our plan,” I clarified. “To draw out the imaginary friends.”
“You planned to use my mother as bait?” Alistair furrowe dhis brows as he glared at me. “Are you stupid? They’ll hurt her! You don’t know how strong they are!”
“She’ll be okay,” I tried to reassure him.
“NO!” Alistair shouted. “If you won’t stop this, I will. They’re going to hurt my mom! Just because you don’t have one doesn’t mean you should let mine die!”
“My dad is out there too!” I shouted angrily back at the kid. “I don’t want them to die any more than you do.” I reached for his arm but he sidestepped and glared at me. “You can’t go out there. You’re just a kid. They’ll hurt you, do you want that?”
“I want to save my mom.” He glared at me. “You would want your kids to save you, not put you right in the middle of danger.” With that, he ran off towards the group. “Hey you! I’m the one you want, not them!”
“Damn it, Alistair,” I mumbled under my breath, watching the scene unfold.
“Dad? You promised me Alistair wouldn’t be here,” Scarlett heaved.
“I didn’t do this,” Ethan said. “What are you doing here?”
“I followed you, how dare you do this to my mom! These people are crazy, they will hurt you!” Alistair exclaimed.
“Alistair,” Scarlett began.
Lution grabbed the boy and held him firmly in his grasp. “Hey! Let me go!” Alistair kicked and screamed. “Let me go!”
“See? What did I tell you? They travel in packs,” Victoria grinned.
“Leave my son alone!” Scarlett demanded. “Don’t you dare hurt him!”
“Give me one good reason why we shouldn’t.” Victoria smirked.
“Take me, do whatever you want with me, but please just leave my son alone,” She pleaded.
By then, I had heard enough. I didn’t want to see my older sister begging when it was my fault that Alistair had come out to begin with. I lunged towards Lution before they could react, and fdelivered the strongest hook I could muster. “Alistair, run!” I commanded. “NOW!”
Alistair took off. I fell backwards as Lution tackled me to the ground. “How dare you try to attack us? Lady Amelia will not be pleased.”
Ethan pulled out his wand and shot Lution with a fireball, Scarlett kicked Victoria and then a full out brawl broke out. “Go, Alistair, find your nephew!” Ethan called out. “We’ll be okay here.”
“Save my son!” Scarlett called out after my retreating figure. I was already running towards the area I saw him running to. I would make sure he was okay, it was my promise to her.
By the time I had reached Alistair, I was out of breath. “Kid, wait up!”
“Is she okay?” He demanded.
“I’m not sure,” I admitted. “I can’t lie to you, you’re smarter than that. But, I trust my father. He is a much more powerful mage than I could ever hope to be. If he can’t save your mom, than we’re all screwed.”
“Than consider yourself screwed.” Lution stood by, watching me. Alistair took the opportunity to run behind the fountain we had stopped by.
“What the hell did you do to my family?” I demanded. “If you hurt them, so help me-”
“Master Amelia asked Victoria and I to capture all non imaginary friends,” Lution explained. “I am sorry, but master has created a wonderful life for us. I will not undermine her by disobeyeing her orders. She is queen for a reason, a very good reason.”
“Amelia is poison!” Alistair seethed. “She needs to die!”
“Do NOT speak that way about our queen.” Lution stepped forward menacingly. “You do not want a repeat of last time….do you Mr. Gray?”
“Excuse me?” I asked reflexively. “What are you even saying?”
“I’m not talking to you, I’m talking to the little one.”
“Al, please don’t let him take me again!” He cried. “Please!”
I reached for my wand. “What did you do to him?” I asked.
“It’s none of your concern, really,” Lution said listlessly.
“It isn’t?” I growled. “That’s my nephew you’re talking about. Now, tell me what you did to him or else I’m going to blast ou right here and now.”
“No! Please!” Alistair cryed. “Don’t tell him! Don’t tell him!”
“Al?” I murmured, turning to the boy. “You have to tell me, I’m here to help you.”
“You’re going to make fun of me, and I’m embarassed. I can’t tell you,” He pleaded. “Please. They’re going to hurt me even more.”
“We simply checked his…anatomy,” Lution said, ignoring the boy’s protests.
“Checked his…anatomy?” I questioned. “What do you mean? Al?” And then it occured to me. “He touched you somehwere you didn’t want to be touched?”
Alistair was full out crying at this point, and my heart wrenched with each sob. “You freaking bastard! You molested my nephew! I’m going to fucking kill you! How dare you do that to a child!”
Lution only shrugged. “We did not take advantage of the boy…we simply checked him, to make sure he was able to reproduce Imaginary offspring, which he is. I sensed that the other child was human, but not little Alistair. He’s special. He has the opportunity for greatness amongst us. He only has to abandon his family.”
“I won’t do it!” He sobbed. “I won’t! Leave me alone!”
“But little Alistair, if you come with us, we’d leave your family alone. You’re far more valuable than any of them to us. A human and an imaginary friend mated, and another imaginary friend resulted? You are not a halfbreed despite being born of a human. It is truly amazing. Amelia has always wanted a son, you would be perfect for her.”
“Absolutely not.” I pointed my wand at him. “Suggest that again and I’ll blast your face off.”
“Big Al, he’s right. I should go,” Alistair offered up timidly. “I can go with him and then you can save everyone and go back to your daughters. I’m only causing more trouble.”
“You molested my nephew and now you want to threaten him and guilt him into coming with you?” I inched closer to Lution. “No, you can’t make him a victim.”
“Molest is a strong word. We simply did what was procedure and examined him. No sexual acts occured,” Lution confirmed.
“It doesn’t matter!” I roared. “You pulle dhis pants down when he didn’t want you to, right? It’s the samn damn thing! If you so much as come near him, I will fucking kill you, right now.”
“Alistair,” Lution began again, looking passed me and to him. “You know what’s right. Come with us. We let your mom go.”
“Big Al, please,” He begged. “Please. I’ll do anything to protect her.”
But there was no appeasing me. I was a ticking time bomb, and I knew it. All of the anger I had inside of me, all of the pain I was feeling…the helplessness..I let it flow through my wand. I hadn’t really been one to use my magic for violence, but this time, I had to. I couldn’t stand back and let him take Alistair from me. I saw myself in that little boy, helpless and afraid. Just a few months ago…or years, I guess because of the distortion, I had been put in a similar situation with Aria. We had…and I didn’t remember any of it! She knew about the distortions and took advantage of it, and the guardians…they knew. I was being screwed all over by everyone. I couldn’t let Alistair be jerked around the same way. No. He would not ever feel like he had to do something he didn’t want to. i didn’t have a choice in becoming heir to my family. Dad chose me because of my magic, and I said okay. Sure, he had said I was free to do what I wanted but I knew what that implicated. I needed to get stronger, take over as the keeper of magic and protect my kids from the guardians when they came for them. I wouldn’t pass them up to those bastards. I readied my wand and set out a powerful blast. I had put all of my strength into it.
I heard his deafening scream and heard the thud as he fell backwards. Me on the other hand, I felt dizzy. I knew I had expended too much power. “Al…” I tried to call out to him but my throat was dry. I fell backwards and my world grew darker.