The Phantom’s Trial Chapter 11

Crystal Staff

“U-Uncle Angelos!” I stuttered. I hadn’t seen the man since I was five. My mother’s brother had disappeared right after his last visit. He had told me something I don’t think I could ever forget.

~                                                                                                                                                  ~

I was five years old and my Uncle Angelos, my mother’s brother, was visiting after his three month trip to Scotland. I had never known there was a place called Scotland, that is, until my uncle came back and told me where he had been. Angelos had always been my favorite uncle. He was fun, nice, and he brought me presents whenever he visited. He was my mom’s only sibling, well, that I know of. All of my dad’s brothers and sisters were boring and they never brought me presents. I loved dad but I didn’t like his brothers and sisters much. 

Uncle Angelos was just about to leave when he bent down and whispered in my ear. “My dear Marie. Before I leave, you need to know about the dangers this world holds. There are things out there that shouldn’t be. Things that live in the shadows and monsters that live hidden in plain sight. Don’t trust anyone. If you ever need to defend yourself take this and it will protect you. Hold it in front of you and say these words.” He handed me a small, old paper. “I swear that it will protect you, but you must do the same. This is a rare object and if it falls into the wrong hands…” He shuddered. “Terrible things could happen.”

The older man pulled a longer object out of his coat. It was wrapped in cloth so I couldn’t see what it was, the only thing I could tell was that it was sharp. “Goodbye my darling child.”

My uncle put a soft hand in my head, pushed my hair back, and pressed a gentle kiss to my forehead. That was the last time I saw him, but I never forgot those words.

~                                                                                                                                                ~ 

I remembered removing the cloth and seeing a foot long pointed stick. I thought my uncle was joking, but, being five and trusting him more than my own parent, I decided to believe him anyways. The paper had said something in a language I didn’t know, I didn’t bother asking my parents since my uncle said not to trust anyone and both my parents were hopeless in any language. (They could barely speak English without messing up words, or coming up with brand new ones.) It said ‘Nec reversi sunt per Vanquish daemon portæ inferi magna poena: nam si faxis expectabunt.’ Was that even in a language, or was it just gibberish.

To this day I still don’t know what they mean.  I’ve used the gift three times. Once when I had tried to beat up a guy that was three times my size, he turned out to be a shifter. Another time when I thought it would be a good idea to try and attract a bunch of demons, unfortunately it worked and I almost died. The last time I used it was when a shifter had tried to attack Alex, I didn’t do anything to provoke it that time. I had a feeling I didn’t use the large, pointy stick to it’s full potential. 

“Marie, you know this guy?” Alexis asked me shocking me out of my thoughts.

“Y-yeah he’s my uncle. He disappeared when I was really young.”

“You were five years old and the twins were three. I remember finding out Leon was missing, it was a terrible year I was searching and searching. Your father gave up after three months, but it took a year for me to get over him. But you were the sweetest thing and you helped me get my mind off of your older brother,” he sighed.

“I thought you were dead! Or did you just decide you hated me!” I yelled at him. 

“Marie I didn’t hate and obviously I wasn’t dead but-”

“Shut up! Marie this isn’t your uncle! He’s a shifter!” Alexis interrupted. I stared at the man I thought was my uncle.

“Marie, I am your uncle. I was forced to leave, my queen forced me away from you! She said she didn’t want me corrupting her precious daughter. I may be a shifter but I still care about you like my own child. My sister, I mean, my queen refused to let me see you after that last day. I knew it was my last day with you so I gave you the staff! Do you remember it? Do you still have it? You must believe me!” He shouted, pleading for us to believe him.

It hit me then. “M-my mother was your queen?! My mother was the queen of shifters!” I stumbled.

“She still is. Marie, your mother isn’t dead. In fact I’m here to deliver a message.” He handed me a piece of paper. ‘Prepare to lose, brat. I have your sister in chains. Remember five more days. 

P.S. She has such a lovely scream I really do wish they belonged to you.

-Your dear, dead mother

My hand was trembling. They were torturing her. My precious baby sister looked back at Alexis. I saw a mix of emotions in her eyes, anger, fear, worry, just to name a few. When I looked back at my uncle he wasn’t there. Nothing to prove he was ever there. 

“We should tell the others about this. We need to be ready just in case we’re attacked. I’m assuming all the other shifters know our whereabouts already.”

“We have a traitor,” I said, probably stating the obvious.

“Yes we do, Marie. Yes we do indeed,” Alexis growled. We walked down the steps and into the kitchen where Liam was educating the boys on which knife is best for which task. “Boys, we need to talk.”

“You sound mad and if you think one of us did something we’ve been here since the last meeting,” Liam said.

Alexis rolled her eyes. “Liam this is serious. This could be a major setback,” I said to my obnoxious boyfriend.

“What is it then?” Zach asked looking up from the two or three dozen daggers sitting in front of him. 

“We have a traitor in our ranks,” I said gravely.

A Second Chance (Part Three)


Nick did this for a few more weeks and hoped he had done the right thing, letting his mom go out with friends, buying her things, and doing chores. But, one day the cloaked man appeared again and said, “You have failed to keep your mother happy. You have failed the mission of being by her side. You sent her out with “friends” without knowing that she doesn’t have friends. The people she’s been hanging out with are not friends but people who use her making her do things for them. You  have failed so I shall take your mother with me, Nick Richards. I am disappointed in you as a father. I thought I had left your mother in good hands but apparently I didn’t. I hoped you would learn from this and become a better son to your mother,” the cloaked man said as he revealed himself to be Nick’s deceased father.

“No! Don’t take her, please!” Nick screamed. He awoke in a cold sweat with his mom by his side. He sat up immediately and hugged his mom for a few minutes crying, “I thought I had lost you. I’m sorry for taking you for granted. I should have been a better son. I’m sorry for never listening to you and bossing you around. If I had known what it was like to lose you I would have done better. I’m sorry mom and thank you for everything you’ve done for me until now. Starting today I’m going to do my best to make you happy.”

“Nick, you don’t have to be sorry. I should have asked for help and you are perfect the way you are; you may have been annoying at times but I’m glad and thankful that you are my son.”

“Mom, I met dad in my dream. You died in a car accident and I had to live with a foster family and I met dad.  He told me he would give me another chance to make you happy, but instead of staying by your side I sent you away because I thought you didn’t like me and liked your friends, but I was wrong and you were taken from me again. After that I realized that I should have done better and stuck by your side instead of pushing you away and taking you for granted. From now on I’ll help you with the chores and go grocery shopping with you and stay by your side. I’ll never take you for granted ever again,” Nick sobbed.

“It’s okay, Nick. You didn’t know much so you were only acting the way you were taught. When I lost your father I thought I had lost everything.  I thought I should have done better and that if I had noticed  your father was acting weird a little earlier, if I had told him to go to the doctor’s for a check-up, would he still be alive and well with us today? But after some time I realized I did my best and that it was worth marrying your father and having you.  When I was down because of your father’s passing, you would always be there for me and would comfort me like your father used to and that gave me strength that helped me get back on my feet so you don’t have to be sorry. I’m doing all this to repay you for your help after your father’s passing. I’ll ask for help when I need it, but in return you have to promise me that you won’t blame yourself for being a bad son because you are the best thing I could have asked for.” After this exchange Nick helped his mom with chores and they lived appreciating every moment they had together and never taking the for granted.


—- Never take someone for granted. Because one day you will end up losing that person. Appreciate every moment you have with the people you love most for once they are gone you won’t be able to go back and thank them for everything they have done for you.—

—Appreciate the small things in life—

A Second Chance (Part Two)

man in cloak

One day, Nick decided to approach Mathew and question him, “Hey, Matt. I have a question for you. Why do you help your mother with chores? Why don’t you just let her do everything and just relax? Moms are supposed to do all the chores.”

“Well, there was a time when my mom got extremely sick because she over exhausted herself with work and she was hospitalized for a few weeks. During that time I had to take care of myself and my mom. After that I realized I took my mom for granted for some time.  When she wasn’t there I felt that I should have done better for her when I had the chance. I thought it was to late, but thankfully my mom made a full recovery and after that I decided I had to do better for her because she does so much for me,” Mathew replied.

“I never thought about it that way. My mom looked fine. The work she did was boring. She never asked for help,” Nick reasoned.

“I have to go help my mom with the laundry now. You can come with me and help. If you want. I won’t force you.” Mathew went to help his mom. Nick went into his room and started crying. Why am I crying? Doing chores is the job of moms. They’re supposed to take care of us, right? Nick was confused and needed some fresh air so he went outside for a walk. While on the walk he ran into a man in a black cloak. This man approached Nick and said, “You’ve just recently lost your mother, am I correct?”

“How do you know that!” Nick replied astonished.

“So, your mother has recently passed. I will give you a second chance in life and give you your mother back but you have to promise you will keep her happy and be by her side. If you fail to do this she will disappear and die again. Do you accept this challenge?” the cloaked man asked.

“I’ll do it! I’ll do what ever it takes to have my mother back!” Nick answered, eager to get his mom back.

“If you wish.” There was a flash of light and Nick was back in his room of his house. He ran down to the kitchen and hugged his mom. “What are you doing, Nick?” his mother asked surprised.

“I’ll never take you for granted ever again. Do you need any help?” Nick asked.

“No. I don’t need any help. Why are you acting like this all of a sudden, did something happen? Did you do something wrong?” his mother asked for she was astonished to see Nick act like this.

“Nothing, happened. Why don’t you go out with your friends for a while and I do the dishes and make dinner for the two of us. Now go on.” Nick pushed his mom out of the door and started to do the dishes and make dinner. After a few hours his mom came back and the two of them ate dinner and played games together and had a big laugh. Nick believed he was doing well but the man in the cloak came again after a few weeks.

Read Part three to see what happens to Nick and his mother and find out who the cloaked man is.

A Second Chance (part one)


“MOM! I told you not to touch my things! How many times do I have to tell you!” Nick shouted at his mom as she shrunk.

“I’m sorry, Nick. It’s just that your things were scattered everywhere and I thought you needed help cleaning up,” Nick’s mom answered.

“Well, don’t ever come into my room again! You got that!” Nick shouted for his mom to leave. Ugh. I wish she wasn’t like this. I wish she was never my mom. She so annoying. Nick thought as he slammed the door.

“Nick! I’m going out to the store do you want anything?” Nick’s mom shouted as she left the house into the pouring rain.

“Get me my favorites! You know what I want so why do you ask!” Nick yelled from his room.

A few hours passed and the rain outside only got stronger and Nick’s mom had not returned. But Nick did not think much of this because he did not care much about his mother and never appreciated her for the things she did for him so his life could be happy, even if it costs her her happiness. After a few more hours, there was a knock on the door. Nick shouted for his mom to answer the door. Nick soon realized that his mom was not in the house. The knocking only got stronger, so he went down and opened the door. In front of him stood a big policeman, Nick asked, “What are you here for. I didn’t do anything wrong. I’m 16. I’m allowed to be home by myself. So, leave!”

“I am here to tell you some grim news. I am very sorry to tell you this, but your mother has passed away in a car accident a few hours ago. We got here late because of the rain and traffic. Is your father in the house right now?” the policeman explained.

“Yeah, right my mom isn’t someone to get into an accident. I think you have the wrong person. And my father passed away years ago,” Nick scoffed.

“You are Nick Richards, right? We are obligated to take you to the police station. You must come with us now,” the policeman stated. Nick had no choice but to follow the policeman to the station.

Once at the station, Nick saw someone around the same age as him and what looked to be his mother. Nick was introduced to them and was told that they were going to be his foster family. At first, Nick was shocked but after a few minutes he resented them and asked to live by himself. But the policeman said that he couldn’t because he had no stable income and couldn’t deal with his own money. Nick was forced to go with his foster family.

Once they got to the house Nick entered and was shown his room and stayed there the rest of the night. He was told that his belongs were going to be given to him in a week, so in the meantime he was going to share with his foster brother.

His foster brother, Mathew took numerous attempts to get Nick out of his room; one day Nick came out. The two did not get along because Nick was not willing to accept Mathew. Nick observed Mathew’s behavior around his mother and in his daily life. Nick realized that Mathew was doing chores such as washing the dishes, doing the laundry, and cleaning the house. These were all the things Nick made his mom do. He also noticed that Mathew never got mad at his mom when she made a mistake or messed up his things. This was very strange for Nick as he never did anything to help his mom because he thought that it was his mother’s job to do the housework because that was what moms were born to do.

One day, Nick decided to approach Mathew and question him, “Hey, Matt. I have a question for you. Why do you help your mother with chores? Why don’t you just let her do everything and just relax? Moms are supposed to do all the chores.”


Read part two to find out what Mathew says.

The Phantom’s Trial Chapter 10


“How? Where are they? Do you think they’re keeping Ella there?” I bombarded my younger friend with questions eager to learn my sister’s whereabouts. 

“I was looking through all of my books when I thought of what El- the shifter said at Ella and Alex’s birthday. She said, ‘A small village.’” Alexis paused waiting for us to catch on and when none of us did she said, “We’re in New York and there are several big cities in the state and obviously the shifters are still in New York since they can only teleport to close places they know well. See shifters are all over the place, but New York is where their queen resides, so the higher ranked monsters will stay closer to their queen and only higher ups can teleport. And all the higher ups have this tattoo on their neck.” She pulled a book off the table and flipped through until she found the page she wanted. 

“Here this is the symbol.” She showed us a picture of a bird that wasn’t completely a bird. It was more like a bird, lion, deer combination thing. 

“What is it?” Leon asked.

“It’s called Sharabha. It’s a creature from Hindu mythology, it has the legs of deer, wings of bird and head of a lion. It pretty much symbolizes strength.” Alex said. We all looked at him. “What I pay attention in class!” He squeaked. He covered his mouth and we laughed. It felt nice to laugh with everything that’s going on.

“Anyways, Alex was right. To the shifters it represents the power of an ancient ones. The location is one of the smaller towns in New York. One of the smallest is a place called Woodstock. It has just under 6000 people, and it just so happens that the reason so few people live there is because the shifters only allow the young, the strong, and the healthy stay, the rest well you saw what happened to Cassidy,” Alexis said somewhat excitedly. I shuddered at the memory. “ The nest is probably somewhere obvious so they can be there to keep a close eye on the townspeople. Somewhere like a diner or someplace that can have a lot of people.”

“What about an inn?” Mark suggested. 

“That would work really well. Except for the fact that Woodstock has quite a few inns,” Liam said looking at his sister.

“What if we checked out the biggest inn, because that’s probably the most likely to have the queen inside?” Mark asked.

“That’s actually a really good idea the biggest one, the one with the most ancient ones,” Alexis said getting excited again.

“How long does it take to get there?” I asked.

“Three hours max,” Liam told me.

“Then let’s figure out a plan and go?” Alex said.

“No. You don’t know enough about the shifters. You need to learn their weaknesses, their strengths, and so much more. We have six more days, we have to use our time wisely. We have five more days to train, and on the sixth day we leave as early as possible,” Alexis said.

“I agree,” Leon said. We murmured in agreement. Little did I know a lot could happen in five days.

After our meeting we went our separate ways to think of ideas for what our next steps would be. It wasn’t even noon yet so I went to find my older brother to keep me company. I went to his room first but no one was there so I checked the backyard and there he was staring at a random tree and playing with blades of grass. 

“Well I didn’t think I would ever see a grown man playing with grass like a five year old that’s bored at something his parents dragged him to,” I said clapping slowly. Leon turned his head and said, “Come here I want some quality time with my baby sister.”

“I’m not a baby,” I said walking over and sitting down beside him.

“I know you’re really scared,” Leon said.

“Who said I was scared?” I asked. I wasn’t scared.

“I can see it all over your face.” I was terrified.

I was hoping it wouldn’t show,” I said.

“I’m pretty sure I’m the only one that noticed.” I wasn’t supposed to be scared. I’ve been running around trying to beat these things for years and I had never been scared like this before. Sure I had gotten scared when I was younger and right after Liz died but I’m eighteen now and I’ve been doing this for almost eleven years.  I hadn’t realized I said this out loud until Leon said, “ just because you’ve been doing this for a long time doesn’t mean you can’t be scared. I’m terrified, I’m sure Liam, Alexis, and Alex are scared too. I’d be worried if you weren’t scared.”

“I don’t know what to do. I haven’t been this scared in years,” I said softly.

“Trust me I know the feeling,” the older man said wrapping his arm around my shoulder. I leaned into his side hoping to find some warmth in the cool May afternoon.  We sat there for a little while longer. I wish this moment would last forever, I thought. Just me and my brother for eternity, but that would never happen. My luck isn’t that good. If that did happen I would never see Liam and Alexis, Ella and Alex ever again, and I would never wish for something like that. 

Our moment was interrupted when Liam came out and yelled, “Marie! Alexis says you need to go train with her!”

I groaned, got up, and walked to my boyfriend of two days. “Will you help me escape the monster named Alexis?”

“No. You need to train and she’s my sister.”

“You mean you’re too scared to do anything that would go against her?” I asked teasingly. Liam blushed. “Wait, she actually scares you?”

“Maybe just a little bit,” He said turning red as a tomato.

“Marie, we’re going to finish up your training in my room tonight. We need to figure out strategies and everything for the next five days,” Alexis said interrupting my fun. I followed the younger girl out of the kitchen and up to her room.

When we came in I heard a familiar voice coming from the shadows.

“You’ve grown into a beautiful young woman, Marie.” I froze. It was him, the man I had thought of like a second father, the man I never expected to see again. There he was, my Uncle Angelos.

Covered with Plaster: Chap One

missing person

“Happy 28th Birthday, Elizabeth,” my best friend and partner in crime, Ryan yelled as he was running up to hug me. He lifted me off the floor, while wrapping his long arms tightly around me.

Despite our heights and looks, Ryan is a lot like me. We both love the exact same movies, food, books, and songs… literally everything. Ryan has been my best friend for six years. I still remember the day we met. Long story short, I forgot my wallet in the ice cream shop and I was holding up the line behind me. Luckily enough, Ryan was behind me and gave me money to pay for my ice cream.

“No need to pay me back,” I remember Ryan said while he was holding the money. You wouldn’t know how I was so relieved he was there. Out of luck, that very day I entered my new workplace and found out Ryan was one of my co-workers. I have never been so grateful.

“R—Ryan! Put me down!” I screamed, as I was snapped back into reality. After a while of screaming and squirming, Ryan finally gave up and slowly but carefully put me down.

“Why are you never excited for your birthday? Liz, your birthday only happens once every year,” Ryan exclaimed looking disappointed.

“I’m sorry but I just don’t have the time to celebrate my birthday, I really wish I could though,” I secretly said to myself. At that exact moment, my boss, Chelsea, comes over to Ryan and me.

“What are you two doing? Get back to work before I fire both of you!” Ryan gives me the “I will talk to you later” look and runs away to his desk.

When I entered my cubicle, I noticed a new file on my desk. On the file, there was a picture of a young woman smiling to the camera. I sighed. Another person missing in this world… As a private investigator, I try to discover clues from others and scenes to find missing people.

When I opened the file, I skimmed the paper. Jennifer Burges, 28 years old, Day missing: 2/17/18, Address… I gulped. She went missing a few months ago and is the same age as me. I quickly jotted down the address and planned to head out until my phone rang. The number didn’t have a caller id so I ignored it because it’s probably a scam. I quickly grabbed what I needed, and headed out.

The Phantom’s Trial Chapter 9

dagger in target

Another day had gone by. Another day closer to losing Ella. Sixteen days left. I was training for three days with Liam and we started dating yesterday. He was talking me on our first date tonight, but as soon as we got off the couch this morning we decided to switch trainers. Now I was outside with Alexis throwing daggers to work on my aim. 

I pulled arm back, dagger in hand. “Loosen up,” Alexis said.

“I’m loose!” I said through my teeth.

“No you’re not. Relax your shoulders, loosen up.” I tried to do what she told me. “There, that’s perfect. Now take a deep breath and throw.” 

I let go of the dagger in my hand and watched as it went sailing through the air and hit just above the bullseye. I groaned I kept hitting the same spot over and over again. In the last hour I had hit the same spot a total of  62 times.

“You’re doing good. The dagger is hitting right outside the middle and that would work perfectly to kill a shifter,” Alexis said. She put a hand on my shoulder,” You know we’re going to save her, right? We are all determined to save Ella no matter the cost.” 

I knew she was trying to comfort me, but all she was doing was making me worry more about my baby sister. I looked up at the sky. I used to watch the sky with Ella and argue over the shapes of the clouds. We did it before mom and dad died. 

“Can we take a break inside?” I asked I needed a break. I wanted to go inside wrap myself in a blanket and Liam’s arm. I know we just started dating but I really did like him a lot. I had never liked anyone like that. 

“Sure,” Alexis said. We walked inside together and went separate ways. Alexis walked up the stairs to her room or maybe Alex’s while I went to the living room so I could do exactly what I had wanted to do, possibly without Liam. I entered the living room and saw the slightly younger boy reading a book.

“Hey,” I said. He looked up from his book.

“Hey.” He shifted so I could sit next to him and in the little corner in the couch. 

“What book is that?” I asked trying to get a glimpse of the cover.

“What book? I don’t see any books,” he laughed nervously.

“That book,” I said pointing to the thick book behind his back.

“There is no book.”

“Oh really?” I asked. I put my arms around Liam and quickly grabbed the book. I looked at it and started laughing like a maniac. “Twilight really? I never thought you were into romance.”

“I-It’s not mine Alexis is forcing me to read it,” he laughed again.

“You’re a terrible liar you know.”

“No I’m not,” he shot back.

“Yes you are,” I said.

“Stop it,” he whined. I quickly kissed his cheek and giggled.

“You know you’re adorable,” I said. Liam pouted and I poked him. I decided to get up then, but Liam had other ideas. He wrapped his arms around my waist, pulled me into his lap, started tickling me. I started laughing and begging him to stop but he wouldn’t stop no matter what I said or did. I heard someone behind me clear their throat, so finally Liam stopped.

“I hope I didn’t interrupt anything,” I heard Zach say angrily.

“Nope. You had perfect timing,” I said glaring at my boyfriend. “I was just about to leave. Would you like to join me?” Zach nodded his head and I got up and flicked Liam’s forehead, earning a loud, “Hey!” Before pulling Zach out of the house.

“So you wanted to talk to me?” asked Zach.

“Yeah, you’ve been so angry and distant lately, why?” I asked.

“I guess all the stress with Ella missing, the shifters, and the deadline, it’s been so… I don’t know.”

“Are you jealous?” I blurted before i could stop myself.

“Of who?”

“Liam,” I said staring at the horizon.

“Why would I be jealous of him?” he asked nervously.

“Everyone thinks you’re jealous of him because apparently you’ve always had a major crush on me,” I said like it was the craziest thing in the world.

“W-well, what if it was true?” My best friend stuttered.

“I would tell you I’ve never thought of you that way. I’ve never thought of you as more than a brother, but I still think you are one of the people that’s had the most impact on my life,” I said gently.

“What if I had asked you out before you had started dating Liam? Would you have said yes?” He asked, suddenly yelling.

“No, did you hear a word I just said?! I’ve always thought of you as a brother. Nothing more!” I shouted, finally realizing what Zach must’ve said at Starbucks the day he officially became a member of Team Marie. 

Zach turned his back and whispered, “Would you have said yes if you just met me like Liam or would you rather have never met me?” 

“Oh Zach, no I’m so glad I met you. You’ve always been the best friend I could ever have, better than even Liz. I know you don’t like me being with Liam, and i know I just met him but I feel like something clicked when we met, because I really like him,” I said, putting a hand on his shoulder trying to comfort him. 

“I think I’m gonna go. Marie, I’ll swear I’ll try to support in any way I can, but it’ll take a little while for that wound can heal,” Zach said quietly, tears falling down his face. Before I could reply I heard Leon yelling at us to come inside because Alexis had found something that could be the most important part of our hunt for shifters and Ella’s rescue. We ran inside and into the kitchen where the rest of the crew was waiting.

“I found the hideout. I found them. I found their queen. I found Ella.” Alexis said breathlessly.


~                                                                                                                                                    ~


“Have you gained their trust?” A female voice said from atop her throne. 

“Yes m’lady,” a young man said from the ground.

“How many times have I told you call me mother. You should be more like your sister, braver and less of a wimp,” the woman said.

“Yes dear brother. Be more like me, because I’m the best,” a pixie like voice chirped from beside the throne.

“Shut up Elizabeth. You aren’t perfect either you should be more like your uncle, silent but strong and brave,” snapped the girl’s mother.

“Yes mother,” the girl scowled, her head bowed.

“Soon we will meet again my dear Marie, soon,”


Covered with Plaster: Prologue

Open up, this is the police!

“You are under arrest on suspicion of murder. You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defense if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do or say may be given in evidence…” My dad was leaning over the police car that was in my family’s driveway. His hands were in cuffs and the officer was escorting him into the car. Somehow I couldn’t make out what was going on, but I knew it was bad.

While that was going on, I was situated comfortably on the couch in perfect view of the outside. Even though I was covered in a cozy outfit, I still felt a chill in my spine. I was wearing my favorite pink elephant pajamas that I got from my mother from my sixth birthday. In fact, my sixth birthday was only seven months ago. Even though it was a while back, I still remember that day when my joyful parents were eating cake and talking about getting a dog. We were all a perfect, happy family back then. But a lot has changed. My mom stopped coming home a month ago for no reason and my dad had gone crazy.

“She left because she doesn’t want you anymore,” my dad would say to me every day. At first, I wouldn’t listen to him as I thought he was just misunderstanding things. But as every single day passed, I realized he might be true. My mom had perfect luscious blonde hair and big, gorgeous blue eyes, while I got shaggy dirty blonde hair and green, mushy colored eyes. I used to think she left me because I was such an ugly kid.

But as days unfolded into months, I found out my mother never really abandoned me. She was missing.

The Phantom’s Trial Chapter 8

heart shaped book pages




“Again!” Yelled Liam. I groaned and dropped down to the ground to do another 50 push ups because Liam didn’t think I was doing good proper pushups. “It’s getting better, but you have to be strong if you want to beat these things. After this you’ll start lifting weights.”

“Why  can’t I run laps?” I whined.

“Because you’re fast enough to outrun a shifter, so that’s the last thing we’ll do for training everyday.” I groaned again and started grumbling about how much I hated the handsome, younger boy.

“So you do think I’m hot,” Liam said, smirking. I blushed. I hadn’t realized I was talking so loud. I growled trying to hide my red face. “You’re blushing.”

I growled again. I knew my training could be worse if Alexis was my mentor. She was tougher and way more strict than Liam was. All the guys were stuck with her while I got stuck with a player. “Is this how you were trained?” I asked.


“Yeah. You’re better than I was, but I was ten when I started.” I was about to say something when my arms gave out and I fell on my face. “I think that’s enough for now. C’mon let’s go inside.” I rolled over and put my arms up.

“Carry me,” I demanded. Liam sighed and pulled me onto his back. I rested my head on top of his and told him he could go.

“Yes your highness,” Liam grumbled. I giggled.

“Onward,” I said hitting his arm. 

“Ow,” he replied walking into the Alexis and Liam’s house. Alexis had decided that since we needed training my brothers, Zach, Mark, and I would temporarily move in with her and Liam. It was a pretty big house, two stories and four bedrooms. We decided that Alexis and I would share a room, Zach and Mark, Liam and Alex, and then Leon would have his own room.

Everyone else was already sitting in the living room enjoying lemonade when we came in. “Hey, how long have you guys been done?” Liam asked. When Alex saw us he started snickering. “What?” Liam asked.

“Since when do you do anything a girl asks you to do?” Alex asked. 

Liam turned red,”I do what they tell me to do if I like them.”

“So you like Marie.” Alexis said. 

“No. I-I don’t like Marie.”

“Really then why are you carrying her? You never carried Naomi when you two were dating whether she asked you or not,” Alex said.

“Liam you know you can put me down now,” I cut in. Liam blushed again and I have to admit he was hot even he was blushing. He dropped me onto the couch we were standing in front of then sat down next to me. Just to tease him I stretched out and put my feet on his lap. It had been a three days since we had started training and Liam and I had become close friends. Alexis was more reserved, so it was harder to get close to her. Whenever Liam and I were together, for some strange reason, Zach would give us jealous glares and Mark would avoid us. 

We had seven days till the shifters were going to kill Ella. Seven days before I would start losing family one by one. Leon got up and stretched. “Well, if you guys are done teasing the new couple. I’m going to go find something to eat for lunch,” he said.  Both Liam and I turned red. “What are you two not a couple, because if you aren’t you should talk about it. I see the way he looks at you Marie, and the way you look at him.” 

Did I really look at him like that. Images of Liam and I as a couple raced through my head. I started getting dizzy. Did I really think of him as more than a friend. I knew I didn’t care about him the same way I cared about Zach or Mark. I watched as Zach got up and walked out of the room, his hair falling in his face so I couldn’t see his eyes, Mark got up and followed him. Alex and Alexis linked hands and followed after Alex told us to figure out what we were to each other.

“You should know I really do like you,” Liam said. 

“I like you too,” I replied.

“We’ve known each other for three days.”

“I know.”

“Can we start a relationship?” He asked.

“I don’t know. I mean we’ve spent quality time together from first thing in the morning to the time we go to sleep at night, so we know each other pretty well.”

“That’s true, sooo you want to be my girlfriend?” he asked nervously.

“Yes,” I said. Oh My God I just got my first boyfriend. My first boyfriend.I never really thought about what it would be like to have a boyfriend or even a girlfriend.

We sat there for a few minutes awkwardly staring anywhere but each other when Liam finally broke the silence. “So you want to go out tonight?”

“Sure. As long as I get to sleep in tomorrow morning,” I said.

“Fine. I’ll be teaching you all the weaknesses of shifters and stuff like that, so it’s nothing you won’t hear again from Alexis.”  I hugged him. Sleep. Oh how I love it. Sleep… Slowly I fell asleep against Liam’s chest. 

When  I woke up again I was leaning against something very comfortable. I turned my head and buried it in the pillow. The pillow moved and giggles filled the room. Wait, moved? Pillows don’t move. I slowly turned around and realized I was sleeping on Liam’s chest. I flailed and fell on the ground, groaning. Laughing surrounded me. “It’s not funny,” I hissed from my spot on the ground.

“Well, I think it’s very funny,” I heard Alex laugh. I turned and saw Alex and Alexis laughing at me while Zach and Mark glared at their feet. 

“Where’s Leon?” I asked.

“He’s in his room sulking because his little sister started dating before he did,” Alex said.

“You started dating before both of us.”

“I know.” I pouted. 

“Hey what’s that face for?” A new voice asked.

“Nothing Liam,” I said.

“You realize I’ve been awake this entire time,” he said.


“What’s up with them,” Liam asked, pointing at Zach and Mark.

“Their jealous,” Alexis said.

“Why in the world would they be jealous?” I asked.

“Are you really that dense?” Alexis asked.

“I’m not dense!” I yelled.

“Yes you are,” she shot back.

“Am not!”

“Are too!”

“Am not!”

“Yes you are Marie,” Liam cut in.

“You too?!”

“They clearly really like you and are obviously jealous that you chose me.” 

“I would’ve noticed if they liked me. I mean I’ve known Zach since we were really young. I’ve never thought of him as more than a brother, and Alex and Ella always teased Mark and I because they thought he liked me, but I thought they were joking.”

“Well it’s too late for them now, because you’re mine,” Liam said pulling me from the floor into his lap.

I squeaked in surprise and turned red. Then just to embarrass me more he quickly kissed my cheek. I turned even redder while Alexis and his girlfriend started laughing so hard they got tears in their eyes.

“Shut up!” I yelled. They just laughed harder and both me and Liam joined in. The entire time none of us noticed Zach running out of the room with tears in his eyes and Mark growling at Liam, anger filling his eyes.

The Cure, Part 6

drop of water

The grief was terrible, nearly tangible. The weight of all she could have done, could have said, was almost too much to bear. Her tears fell like rain out of her ice blue eyes, now sore and red.

Prince Darian pulled her in for an embrace. She sobbed desperately, weakly holding on. She had only known him for several hours, yet now he was almost family. Frail, she finally pulled away. The trees still loomed, an obstacle in their path.

“What do we do now?” she asked him. His eyes were wet as well, and they mirrored her own pain.

“We need to find a cure.” His voice was strong, sure of this answer. “The plague has destroyed too many lives, including ours. So we need to travel as far as we can to get to one.”

Andrea nodded. The only way to get vengeance on this terrible killer was to find a cure to it. “But where do we go?” she asked, slowly unraveling the long braid her brown hair was in.

Prince Darian looked lost in thought for several moments, and then finally said, “Forward.”

“Until we find something?” It didn’t seem to be a very good plan.

“We’ll travel to the ends of the world if we have to.” The determination was set hard into the lines of his face. Andrea knew she could never take the idea away from him. So, she just took his arm and stepped forward into the woods beyond.

The next few days were exhausting. Her heeled shoes killed her feet, and she was desperate for water. Neither of them complained, but she knew both of them were hurting.

Eventually, after she didn’t know how long, they came upon a river. The water was silvery and clear, flowing over glossy rocks. Andrea dropped down on her hands and knees onto the icy ground, but before she could take a drink, Darian grabbed her shoulder. “Don’t,” he warned. “We don’t know what’s in that water.”

“I don’t have a choice!” Andrea exclaimed, but before she could take a drink, Darian pulled her onto her feet. 

“Dehydration is making your mind foggy. Please, don’t drink. We’ll find pure water soon, I promise,” he pleaded with her. Andrea stopped struggling. It was useless. But her stomach still screamed for something, anything, to fill it.

They stopped that night to rest on a large mound of pine needles. Andrea let her dreams mingle with nightmarish thoughts and the cold. 

Her weak, feverish body was awakened by growling, and not growling from her imagination. She opened her eyes, and there was a pair of eyes staring right back at her.

They were yellow and fierce and belonged to a feral animal.

The growling continued, and Andrea shook Darian awake. He groaned and gasped, and then fell silent.

More growls filled the air, and more eyes appeared in the darkness. 

What could they do?

“RUN!” yelled Darian, sending Andrea off to a sprint. The pack of wolves pursued them, very close behind.