Lady Death

Darkness knows her; all is well.

She will lead you straight to hell.

Her eyes are covered, but she can see

All that you ever wanted to be.

The light is snuffed out without a trace

Keep your head down lest you see her face.

Lady Death, we know you not; only your sting

And the agony of misery you bring!

Do not linger; stay in your lair.

All who trespass her home, beware!

(I drew this last night, and thought she needed a poem. Thanks for stopping by!)

 

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R.A.W.

The principal’s office was a quaint place I had never been in. It had desk, a window, and some pictures of his family hung all around in little frames.

Principal Donaldson took a seat behind the desk and bid us all to grab a folding chair. When we had all settled down in front of him, he spoke again.

 “Please tell me, one by one, what happened just now?”

 “I’ll go first,” Danika said quickly, throwing me and Kaius a nasty look. “I was just sitting there, and…”

She faltered for a moment, blinking her eyes as she seemed to recollect. “Kaius is so hot,” she said at last. “I wanted him, but he rejected me…no one should get to reject me…”

Principal Donaldson raised his eyebrows as the she and the other girls went quiet as well.

 “What does that have to do with the assault?” he prompted. “What happened with Kyle?”

“Kaius called me stupid and revolting,” Danika continued, “so Kyle punched him. “Kyle’s so nice. I wish I had asked him out…”

 “Oh, for God’s sake,” the principal moaned, closing his eyes. “Is that why Kaius punched him?” he asked me.

 “Yeah,” I said coldly. “Principal Donaldson, shouldn’t you be calling our parents before asking us questions?”

 “I want to know what happened before the parents meddle,” he replied, and now he, too was blinking oddly. “They can be troublesome, and I want a solid report to give to the police.”

 “Principal Donaldson,” Kaius said suddenly. “A man has a right to defend himself, correct?”

 “Yes,” he replied promptly.

 “And Danika just told you Kyle punched me first, correct?”

 “I did,” Danika said dreamily. “You’re so handsome, Kaius.”

Reader, by now you’re probably guessing what I was guessing. And you’re right. Kaius didn’t twiddle his fingers, or do anything out of the ordinary, but there was a definite presence about him. I was somehow excluded and watched dumbfounded as the scene continued.

 “You seem like a clever young man,” Principal Donaldson murmured as Danika and the other two girls made kissing noises at him. “Not one to start fights. You’re a good kid.”

Kaius smirked. “Thank you. Will you tell that to the police?”

He nodded. “I certainly will.”

 “What are you doing?” I whispered as Kaius’ smirk broadened.

 “It’s all right,” he whispered back. “I’m not hurting them.”

The police came by shortly, handcuffs in hand and ready to take Kaius downtown. However, they hadn’t taken their second step into the office before the Principal stood from his desk.

“This young man was only defending himself,” he said. “I’ve had it from these witnesses,” he pointed at Danika, the two other girls, and me. “They have all stated Mr. Knudson attacked first.”

“Mr. Knudson is on his way to the hospital with a broken jaw,” they said. “I’m afraid we can’t just…”

 “Kaius,” I said uneasily as the cops paused with the incoherent blinking. “Um…”

 “I’ll explain later,” he said soothingly, “don’t worry.”

 “We’ll need to fill out some paperwork,” one of the officers said at last. “With the testimonies, and you’ll need to call the parents for that…”

 “Of course,” Mr. Donaldson, nodding. “Let’s do that.”

The parents arrived, and they were all treated to the same dose of whatever Kaius was doing. Except for Paula, who wasn’t pleased.

She walked in with a huff and glared at Kaius at once. “So, you couldn’t stay out of trouble?”

 “Don’t be so hard on him, Ms. Dunham,” one of the cops said. “From what I’m hearing, the young man was a victim of an attack! He had every right to defend himself…”

Paula threw me a questioning look, and I nodded.

“Well,” she said with a sigh. “Let’s get this over with, then.”

It took a long time. The cops wrote up a report, and after we signed some papers, we could finally leave.

 “What truly happened there?” Paula asked Kaius as soon as we were in the car and on our way home.

 “Just a truth charm,” he replied. “No one could lie about what happened.”

 “A truth charm?” I repeated. “How would that even work, exactly?”

He shrugged. “It’s not complicated. When casted, the ones under its influence feel an overwhelming desire to speak the truth.”

 “They seemed high,” I said. “Like they had just taken a drug.”

 “They were freed from the need to hide things,” Kaius said. “It would give anyone a happiness, I’m sure.”

“Kaius, that’s terrible!” Paula scolded him. “How long will that charm last?”

“It is limited only to the situation,” he replied. “So, for as long as it is an issue, I guess. Don’t worry,” he repeated as Paula and I cringed. “It won’t affect their personal lives. And a little truth is good for them.”

I sighed. “Well, at least they didn’t arrest you.”

“That would have been awkward to explain,” Kaius agreed.

Paula groaned. “Just when I thought this couldn’t get any weirder…”

The day proceeded to be dull and uneventful. Mostly because we spent it in front of the television. Kaius was now obsessed with documentaries and watched as many as I could tolerate. I let him watch them all day, hoping he would forget the inevitable.

But it was a hope doomed to failure. As soon as Paula said goodnight that night, he turned to me from his chair.

“Are you going to tell me?” he asked pointedly.

“About what?” I asked aggressively.

He gave me a hard look. “Today, you writhed from that idiot like a worm from a hook. Why?”

“Kyle got drunk at a party,” I said coldly. “And I had to spray him with pepper spray. That is all.”

“Did he hurt you?” Kaius asked, his face darkening.

“He never got the chance,” I said icier still. “I pepper-sprayed him.”

Kaius looked at me, his eyes narrowing as if trying to detect deception. Luckily, my phone rang in a perfect diversion. I took it out of my pocket and gasped.

“Who is it?” he asked.

“It’s Piper,” I choked, my hand shaking.

Kaius scoffed. “Just block the damn number, Rose. It’s not worth—oh for shit’s sake,” he moaned as I pressed the “answer” button.

“Hello?” I said, cringing.

“Rose,” Piper murmured uneasily, “have you checked Kyle’s status lately?”

“I’m not friends with him, Piper,” I said stiffly. “Why?”

“He-he sort of told everyone about Michael Wilson.”

Are You Ready?

R.A.W. is on schedule! Again, I apologize for the delay. Are you new to my blog? Welcome, my friend! I hope to hear from you shortly. Here’s a recap from the last post, in case you missed it.

Forced with a sorcerer who can grant her limitless wishes, Rose goes back to high school. All is as normal as can be until lunchtime, when Danika Weiss decides to “make a move” on Kaius the sorcerer. 

Kaius’ rejection was messy. But when he seasons it with insults, things get sloppier than the cafeteria’s macaroni and cheese. Especially when there are deadbeats like Kyle Knudson around!

Kyle punches Kaius squarely in the jaw, and Kaius wastes no time to punch him back. Hard. Kyle is knocked unconscious just as the principal arrives.

The police are called. Rose, Kaius, Danika, and Danika’s two friends are to wait for them in the Principal’s office.

Will the police try to arrest Kaius for fighting back? Will the spell binding Rose and Kaius be revealed? Find out in the next segment of R.A.W.!  To be posted October 9th, 2018.

I remain your humble storyteller,

Beth 

Where did I go?

My friends, due to a much-needed vacation this weekend, the next segment of R.A.W. will not be posted until Tuesday, October 9th, 2018. 

I do apologize. 

In the meantime, I shall be trying to recuperate from my hefty work week and sickness. Until then, please enjoy this poem.

Do you see my little poem?

It’s got an undecided plot.

It is the wording of a writer

Who has caught writer’s block!

All the readers of my blog

I am weak and will not lie.

The days have kicked my ass

And I’ve got short supply!

Will you laugh with me while I droll and fumble all about?

Will it ever end? Why now do I start to doubt?

My eyes are strained and I’m a pained old lout!

Do you read my little poem? It’s now got a decided plot.

The words are flowing now, and I can’t seem to stop!

My dearest followers, without you, this I wouldn’t write!

Even the best days are followed by wretched night!

-Beth

 

 

 

R.A.W.

Kaius and I spent the rest of the week preparing him for school. Not the academic part, for I quickly found out he knew way more than I did. But…

“What’s wrong with my clothing?”

We sat at the lunch table that Sunday noon, and I had just broached the subject I had been avoiding for days. I knew it wouldn’t be pleasant, and I was right. Kaius’ eyebrow shot up and the smirk stretched his lips again.

“You look like a medieval monk,” I said bluntly. “That’s what’s wrong.”

“Do you have issues with people who follow a mystic way?” he challenged.

“Just spell up some clothes!”

He scoffed. “Am I your doll now, mistress, to dress however you please?”

“Don’t be stupid!” I snapped. “If you dress like that, people will talk. Believe me, we don’t want that!”

“I’m not afraid of idiots teasing me,” he stated stubbornly, crossing his arms. “The first one who tries, I’ll turn into a—”             

“—Yeah, I’m going to stop you right there,” I interrupted. “You can’t do magic at school, either!”

He blinked. “Why not?”

“Do you want the F.B.I. knocking at our door?” I asked. “No one knows what you can do! That’s the only reason we’re not in some government jail being questioned at gunpoint!”

“You do know what I could do to prevent that, right?” Kaius said soothingly. “I can take care of an entire human army within a blink of an eye.”

“And you’d be killing people!” I burst out, losing patience at last. “Kaius, I don’t want anyone to be killed! It’s wrong! Just—just trust me on this, okay? Please!”

Kaius considered me somberly, and on the last word he startled. Once again, he looked at me funny, as if I had just grown a beard and horns. Then, I blinked and found myself face-to-face with a Kaius who now wore blue jeans and a black t-shirt.

“May I keep my hair?” he asked quietly, turning a little pink as he held a lock of his raven mop.

“Yeah,” I said quickly. “You look good. I mean—you look normal. Not that you didn’t to begin with, but…”

Damn it!

He chuckled, and his good-natured laugh made me blush. “I am glad I meet your standards,” he said lightly. “I shouldn’t have argued. I apologize.”

“You can always argue if you don’t agree with something,” I told him.

He chuckled again. “Rose, you spoil me. Be careful. I might get used to it.”

               

Paula came home that night. She hugged me, asked how my week was, and nodded to Kaius in a solemn gesture I couldn’t interpret. Then, eyelids drooping, she hobbled down the hall and muttered something about taking a bubble bath.

Paula had made all the arrangements with the school while she was away, and Kaius had conjured all the papers he needed to enroll. We walked into Frau’s class that Monday with him by my side, and I gloomily took my seat beside Piper.

She didn’t look good. Her eyes were shadowed despite her makeup and she stared determinedly at her hands on her desk. Kaius took a seat in a row behind me, just as Frau walked in.

“Guten morgen, class,” she greeted us all.

“Guten morgen, Frau,” we all chimed.

“We have a new student today,” she continued. “Kay-ous Peterson.”

“Ky-ous,” he corrected her crossly. “My name is Kaius.”

“Kaius,” she said, nodding curtly. “Would you care to tell the class a little about yourself?”

“No.”

Frau raised her eyebrow. “Any reason why?”

“No.”

“Very well,” she said coldly. “Now, all of you, take out your textbooks and turn to page one hundred nineteen.”

I spent the rest of the morning trying to follow what teachers were saying. My brain had grown soft over the last few days without school, and I was very, very behind.

“Why do you grumble so?” Kaius asked me as we walked out of math class. We were making our way to the cafeteria for lunch, and a groan had escaped my lips.

“Because it’s going to take me the whole week to catch up on all this!” I muttered. “Maybe even—”

“Hey Rose!” called a girl’s voice from down the hallway. “Going to lunch?”

We stopped as three senior girls whom I had never spoken to approached us. Dressed in their skinny jeans and well-fitted blouses, they reminded me of something right out of a glamour magazine.

“Uh,” I said lamely, “Yeah.”

“Heard you and Piper had a falling out,” said the brunette girl in front, whom I knew her name to be Danika Weiss. “Don’t worry, I’ve known her since kindergarten, and she can be an irrational freak-out sometimes.”

“I don’t think that’s—”

“Kaius, is it?” Danika interrupted, her dark eyes flickering to him. “Is that a family name?”

“No,” he said coldly. “Time to eat, Rose.”

“Let’s all go eat,” Danika cried, hooking an arm with me. “I’m starving!”

I tried to pull away, but Danika’s twig of an arm was much stronger than it looked.

“C’mon, Kaius!” she called over her shoulder. “Let’s eat!”

I could have been rude and shoved her away, but I didn’t. And immediately regretted it when we sat down at a table with our trays.

“So, we haven’t talked much, Rose,” Danika said. “What’s your story? Where are you from?”

“No thanks,” I said quickly.          

Danika’s painted eyes widened, and I saw her shoot a furtive glance at her peers before smiling sweetly.

“Don’t be so guarded!” she urged me. “It’s not like I’m asking your darkest secrets, you know!”

“I’m not…” I faltered, feeling my cheeks burn.

“She is not your concern,” Kaius said forcefully. “You would do well to leave this subject behind.”

“Kaius!” I cried, stricken at the threat in his voice.

Unfortunately, Danika and her friends didn’t sense the danger. On the contrary, Danika fluttered her eyelashes at him.

“Oh, I will,” she simpered. “What would you like to talk about instead?”

“The weather is always good for idle chitchat,” Kaius murmured, frowning at his plate of macaroni and cheese. “Is there another option for food here? I wouldn’t feed a convict this mush!”

A laugh, silvery and light, tinkled from Danika’s mouth in the sound of delighted mirth. I gaped at her as she placed a suggestive hand on Kaius’ bicep.

“Oh, you’re so funny!” she said warmly as she suggestively stroked his arm. “We’ve got to hang out sometime. How’s Friday sound?”

 “Get your hand off me, wench,” Kaius growled. “I am not amenable to your arousal.”

Danika recoiled as if he had just slapped her.

“What did you call me?” she demanded as her posse hissed like angry housecats.

“A wench,” Kaius said calmly. “Have you forgotten what gender you are? Are you that stupid?”

“Kaius!” I exclaimed. “Stop it!”

“Why?” he asked, glaring at her. “It’s obvious she was never interested in your friendship, Rose. She just wants me.” To her, he continued, “I am not an object you can claim. In fact, your very attempt to do so is revolting to me. Leave this table. Now. I’m done speaking to you.”

He waved his hand at her as if warding off an irksome fly.

“Hey, Danika, is this guy bothering you?”              

Oh no!

Kyle Knudson had walked over to our table, wearing his football jersey and a fake look of concern. I cringed at the sight of him, my heart pounding quickly as my hands began to shake under the table.

“He called her a stupid wench!” one of Danika’s friend cried, pointing at Kaius needlessly.

“He called her WHAT?” Kyle shouted angrily, though I saw the shadow of a smirk twitch his lips.

The whole cafeteria went quiet. I squirmed in my seat, and though I wasn’t that close to Kyle, I leaned as far as I could away from him.

“I speak as I find,” Kaius murmured in a low tone that echoed off the very walls of the pin-drop silence.

“Who the hell are you?” Kyle demanded aggressively. “Who the hell do you think you are?”

“I would wonder the same about you,” Kaius murmured with a raised eyebrow, looking from me to him. “But I find myself knowing that already. When did he hurt you, Rose?”

POW!

Kyle’s aim was true, and his blow was strong as Kaius fell over backwards in his chair. Crashing to the floor with a splash of blood, Kaius lie there for a moment as Kyle stood as triumphant as a lion that just mauled a lamb. Then—

“Is that all you got?”

Everyone gasped, even Kyle, as Kaius rolled out of his chair and got to his feet. He seemed unharmed as he clenched his fist and—

POW!

CRUNCH!

How far could a fist sink into a jaw? I didn’t want to know. Kyle’s head whiplashed from Kaius’ punch, and when he hit the ground, he didn’t get up.

“Break it up! Break it up, you bunch of idiots!”

Frau and Principle Donaldson had rushed to the scene. The Principle took one look at Kyle on the floor, and Kaius’ bloody knuckle, and his face darkened.

“Frau, call an ambulance,” he growled. “Kaius, and you four,” he pointed to me, Danika, and her friends, “you will stay in my office until the police arrive.”

Coming to a blog near you…

Dear Readers,

R.A.W. Part VIII will be ready Wednesday, September 26th, 2018. Are you new to my blog? No problem, my friend! Here’s a brief synopsis of what’s happening thus far…

Rose is almost 18 and dreams of a future all her own. But thanks to a binding spell, she now has to put up with a sorcerer who can’t leave her side. 

Part of Kaius’ enslavement means he can grant her limitless wishes. But just when Rose  gets used to him being around, her adopted mother, Paula, insists for Rose to go back to school.

Will high school be a good fit for Kaius? Will Rose be able to reclaim the normality of her life? Find out Wednesday in the 8th rendition of R.A.W.! Brought to you by yours truly.

-Beth

 

 

R.A.W.

Sand, white as paper, soft as feathers, encumbered my feet. An ocean, luminated by the moon above, rocked gently against the shores in slow, calm tides. A north wind blew, lifting my hair from my back. All was peaceful. I was safe.

“Are you all right?”

The voice was deep, calm like the ocean, and concerned. I turned and found the man, who stood by me wearing his usual blue robe and a frown.

“I’m dreaming, aren’t I?” I said quietly.

He nodded. “Do you want to go back?”

I looked again at my surroundings. The moon, the ocean, the pearly-white sand…

I shook my head. “No. Not yet.”

“Are you all right?” he asked again.

“Yeah. Just a panic attack.”

“Panic attack?” he repeated. “That sounds awful…”

“So, how did I get here?” I asked. “I know I’m dreaming, but…”

“Magic,” he replied. “I thought you would want a calming place.”

“Thank you,” I said. “It’s beautiful.”

A few moments of silence passed as we walked down the beach.

“I have been thinking of a name for myself,” the man whispered. “If you are still willing to allow it.”

I felt a jab of annoyance as I thought, why wouldn’t I allow it? But instead, I found myself saying,

“Of course. I’d love to hear it.”

“Kaius. I would like to be called Kaius.”

“Pleased to meet you, Kaius,” I said warmly.

Reader, he smiled. And this time it was real. No smirk or look of disdain. Just a smile, whole and true, stretched his lips and crinkled his eyes.

My name,” he said, and I detected pride in his voice. “All mine.”

I spent a long time on that beach thinking things through. Free of the panic, I was able to rationalize. I found my conscience was clear regarding Piper, and her freak-out had been as aggressive as it was irrational. It was clear she owed me an apology. Would I get one? I wasn’t sure. Did I care? Not right now.

Finally, I turned to Kaius, who followed me a few paces away.

“I want to go back,” I called.

I immediately woke on the couch of my house. Kaius knelt before me, and I caught a glimpse of his hand pulling away from my forehead.

“Do you feel better?” he asked.

“Yeah,” I said. “Thanks again, Kaius.”

 

We settled down in front of the TV that night, in the basement of Paula’s house. Just a sci-fi with a typical alien invasion plotline. As we watched the struggle for humanity’s survival against a more advanced race, I confess I wasn’t as enthralled as Kaius was.

There’s something about boring movies, though. It served the purpose of occupying my restless mind and allowed me to fall asleep on the recliner. But that was a mistake. The scene changed, going back to a time I had tried so hard to forget. A hospital room, north of Fargo, four years ago.

A woman sat beside me with a rosary clutched in her hand, tears streaming down her cheeks as she looked at me hauntingly, as if I were a corpse. Beside her stood a man of fifty, who looked at my bandaged form lying there on the bed. His face betrayed no emotion, but there was fire in his eyes.

“Are you comfortable, Rose?” the woman asked for the tenth time.

“Yeah,” I replied. “I’m sorry.”

“Why did you get into that car?” the man demanded suddenly, his eyes still blazing. “That man was obviously trying to—”

“Sam, please!” the woman said earnestly. “Don’t—”

“Mr. and Mrs. Robinson?” a man coughed uncomfortably behind us. “The sheriff is here. He wants to speak to you.”

“No!” I cried, panicked as I reached for the woman’s hand. “Don’t leave me!”

The woman evaded my grasp, turning her back and walking with Sam out the door.

My safety, my home! Where would I find it now?

“Rose!”

I jerked awake, only to find myself back in the basement with Kaius kneeling before me, looking stricken.

“I’m fine,” I said quickly, straightening in my chair.

Kaius wasn’t convinced. “Are you sure? You were screaming.”

I cursed under my breath. Why did I even bother? Now he would pester me until I blew up at him, and I’d lose another friend!

Wait, what did I just call him?

“Just a nightmare,” I said darkly. “They happen.”

“That is unfortunate,” he murmured, his eyes on my face. “If you’d like, I can make sure you have pleasant dreams from now on.”

“Thank you,” I said awkwardly, standing to my feet. “That’s really sweet of you.”

“Your well-being is part of the job I am bound to,” he said, dismissing my gratitude with a wave of his hand. “Make a wish and find out for yourself.”

Make a wish. Easy, right?

Nope. Not even with limitless wishes. The obvious wishes normal people would wish for, like wealth and happiness, I had already more or less achieved.

Or had I?

“Kaius,” I said as we sat at the breakfast table the next morning, “I think I’m ready for a wish.”

He looked up from his plate of biscuits and gravy.

“Well?” he prompted. “I’m listening.”

“Can you send me back in time?” I said quietly. “There’s something I want to fix…”

He considered me for a moment before shaking his head. “No. That would be a violation of the Celestial Regulations.”

“C-Celestial Regulations?” I stammered. “What?”

“Also known as the Laws of Magic,” he said, and once again I heard boredom in his voice. “Long ago, magic was not regulated at all, and those with magical powers manipulated their own fate. As a result, the time-space continuum was on the verge of collapsing. Determined to save the universe, Divine Pyra cast a spell on magic itself. All who practice magic are affected, and we must follow her laws or…”

“Or what?” I asked as he took another bite.

“Or be obliterated to dust on the spot,” he finished thickly. “So, no. I cannot change the past or skip to the future. I cannot bring people back from the dead, either. That bit was a messy business for Pyra to fix, or so the story goes.”

“What can you do, then?”

He laughed. “Are you doubting my abilities based on those trivial restrictions?”

“No,” I said. “I just don’t know what to wish for now.”

“Think about it,” he encouraged. “I’m curious how this will turn out.”

Paula called me shortly after breakfast, just as Kaius and I were getting ready for another day in front of the TV.

“How are you doing?” she asked.

“Just another day in North Dakota paradise,” I replied. “How’s work going?”

“Long, but painless,” she replied. “Did that young man pick a name yet?”              

“Yeah,” I said. “He’s Kaius now.”

“Kaius?” Paula murmured. “He’ll have to spell it for me. I don’t want to get it wrong on his transfer papers.”

“Papers?” I said sharply. “What do you mean, Paula?”

“You’re still going to finish your education, Rose,” she said matter-of-factly. “I’m going to enroll Kaius in your school as a transfer student.”

“WHAT? Paula, I can’t go back to—”

“This isn’t open for debate,” Paula interrupted coldly. “I’m not happy either, but—”

“Just how are you going to enroll him, huh?” I demanded. “I don’t think he has anything on paper that says he can transfer!”

“Rose,” Paula said patiently, though I was sure she rolled her eyes. “Kaius conjured animal pelts from thin air. I don’t think a few papers will be difficult.”

“But—”

“I have to go, I’m being paged,” Paula said suddenly. “Have a good day, sweetheart!”

She hung up.

“This is bullshit!” I shouted, glaring at my cellphone.

“Do I want to know?” Kaius asked wearily.

“Paula wants you to go to high school with me.”

He made a face. “High school? You mean an academy?”

“Yep.”

“That is bullshit,” he muttered, rubbing his temples. “Why would she want that?”

“She’s got this thing about people finishing their education,” I explained.

“I can understand that, given other circumstances,” he said. “But I am your granter, bound to you for your entire life! Your every want and comfort will be provided, so education isn’t—”

What education was, I didn’t know. I tuned him out at that point. There he sat on the couch in all his blue-robed glory. One word, and I could have billions in my bank account. One command, I could probably own everything, even the world. Maybe more than the world, if I got creative.

“You’re going to school with me,” I interrupted his monologue with a heavy sigh.

He blinked. “What? Why?”

“Because I want to finish high school,” I explained. “I want to go to college. I want…”

“To learn,” he acknowledged. “You’re going to insist, aren’t you?”

I nodded.

He sighed, too. “Very well, Rose. Let the bullshit begin.”