LUMINESCENT

I began this story as NaNoWriMo 2011. I finally decided to share it as I go on rewriting it. :) Hope you enjoy it! I will make it into a full ebook once it's fully edited. ♥

Shea Lovell was born in the eve of a tragedy. Raised by her grandmother, a healer, they spend their lives hiding from those who wish to condemn them into the fires of hell. After all, anything unexplainable was the work of the devil. One day, all is gone and she is offered a second chance. In an attempt to live a normal life, as normal as she could, she grasp it, not knowing where it would lead. She is force to face her true self and that of those around her, leading her into worlds beyond her imagination and a quest for a place to call home.

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1. Unintended Intentions of Shea Lovell

                It was not his intention to call her a witch. Though then, Shea Lovell did not know such a word existed. The boy was unaware of the consequences the murmuring of a word, often heard from his father, would bring. In later times it would have been considered a miracle, an act of God perhaps, if not mere luck. But during her childhood days such unexplained occurrences were nothing more than the work of evil, witchcraft.

                The tragedy for the little girl, who was just beginning to make use of the spoken word, was her young age. Unable to hide what she did, or even understand the gravity of her demonstrations. What is worse, that a child was never called a witch, certainly not one her age. For at such a young age one was pure and unable to learn such ways. The only possible explanation was that she was possessed by a demon, or that she was no child at all. How else could a child manage to manipulate the laws of matter?

                In their game, little Shea with her bouncy brown curls tried to reach a bird's nest. The children heard the baby birds chirping for food while their mother was away. The boy dared Shea to get a worm, supposedly to feed them. He, of course, did not expected her to proceed. Once the worm was caught, he dared Shea to climb the tree and feed the birds, whereas they might die because their mama was gone. Such lies were easy for a child to fall for. And though a voice in her head clearly told her not to, the will inside her was stronger. Shea knew how hard it was to be alone without a mother, and though she lacks no love from her paternal grandmother, she understood, deep inside her, the importance of such a figure in one's life. Perhaps not the importance, but the emptiness of such a lack. The birds needed to be fed or they would die. And she decided, once they were fed, she would wait until their mama was back. They should not be alone, a squirrel could eat them after all.

                Shea proceeded to climb the tree with her tiny hands. The worm safely tucked inside her pocket. The tree, however, was hard to climb for such a small child, and the branch with the nest too far. The boy's eyes widened at what happened next. For the branch slowly bent and folded until reaching Shea's little body. The branch lifted her up, followed by an accidental fall, a rapid healing of her scrapped knees and a half dead baby bird in her hand.

                They boy, who was old enough to understand what is acceptable and probable and what is absolutely not, remained speechless. Their young years saved her from his screams. As the expected fear was wonder in any child's eyes. You see, children do not really learn what you should be afraid of unless it hurts them directly, or you teach them to fear it. In her broken speech, Shea called the bird and slightly shook it.

                "Is it dead?" asked the boy approaching Shea with gentle steps.

                She did not answer. Instead, she surrounded the bird with both hands. It was not the first time she did it though it was the first time she did on front of someone. Her eyes became bright, with shades and glimmers of celestial blue amongst her honey brown eyes. Specs of dancing light surrounded her hands. The little bird flipped its wings and just like before, a branch came down and pulled them back up. Shea placed the bird unto his nest with genteelness. Before descending she heard the boy talking to someone.

                "It's magic! A fairy! Or like you said, a witch!" And those were the words which bound her to human existence. She tried to hide behind the branches as instructed by the voice inside her head. But the hiding made it worse.

                "Who is there? I swear to the Lord you demon if you get close to my son there will be no devil to protect you from our prayers!"

                Demon. The word made her shiver. She might have not known the word 'witch', but demon was certainly known to her. Her grandmother would warn her about such things. Especially when she would catch her staring into empty space or mumbling in broken words to no one. The fear and the shadow of the tree made her glimmer shine brighter. The celestial gleam was more evident surrounded by darkness.

                "In the name of the Lord! I command you to leave, demon!"

                "No father! She's not a demon!"

                But what would the boy know? He was but a boy, bewildered by anything magical and bright. Shea closed her eyes, hoping they would leave. The tree slowly cradled her body hiding every remaining curl from view. She listened to their footsteps against the grass, growing fainter with each count. Once it was all quiet, she came back down.

                "They did not meant those words Shea," said the voice in a soft whisper.

                But if she was not a demon, how could she explain what she was, or who she was? They boy knew who she was, and she knew her Mama would know soon what took place by the tree. She needed to run and try to explain before they did. Running however, was next to impossible for a child so small. But she ran anyway and when she finally got home, it was safe.

#

                Little Shea did not knew how to explain what happened. She was well aware that it was not humanly expected. But her words were limited, though her mind was filled with thoughts. She knew she had to, if anyone knew what was going on, or how to explain what happened, that would be Mama Ella. She always knew the answers to the secrets of the universe. For Shea, her grandmother was her greatest teacher and only friend.

                Shea peeked through the kitchen door of their small cottage. She did not wanted to enter through the front as they might already be on their way. What took them so long? She did not dare guess. Those were thoughts a child her age barely had. But she could feel them, the voice in her head thinking them, worried. This was the only reason Shea took such caution.

                "Where have you been?" Ella's voice surprised her as she noticed her curls showing before she could show her face. It was hard for her to hide, even with her small size, her hair always gave her away. "We will be having dinner soon, so go wash your hands and help me here," Ella instructed her without really pressing on the question of her previous whereabouts. That is, until Shea stepped fully inside and she could take a better look at her.

                "What happened to you child? You ruined your clothes and you are all filthy! What were you doing out there?"

                Shea shrugged and smiled. Her still blue-tainted honey eyes shimmered through her curls. Though she was not aware of her eyes, she knew by the way Ella stared that there was something different. It was not the first time Ella saw them and Shea always noticed when she did.

                "We really need to do something about this," said Ella crouching on front of Shea. With care, she pushed away the curls from the girl's face. Just when Shea was beginning to feel relax, and her eyes began to return to normal, they heard a hard bang on the front door.

                "Ella Lovell! We request your immediate presence!"

                Shea stiffed. Were they here for her? Did they knew what happened? Ella instructed Shea to stay in the kitchen and left to open the door. Shea remained quiet by the kitchen door, listening to their conversation.

                Her grandmother sounded annoyed, if not angry. Shea could perceive this regardless of Ella's attempts to hold her emotions still. They said something about detention and that she must leave with them. Shea did not like the sound of it, especially when Ella's voice got louder. Was it because of her? But then she heard the reasons and again the word.

                "You are being accused of witchcraft by Thomas Baker," the commanding voice was firm. Ella tried to explain that she was a healer and nothing more. Her practices might look like witchcraft but she does nothing of the sort.

                This explanation did not play well for Ella because, as the men by the door then explained, a woman was not allowed to practice any form of science. "Even if such a woman was the only one around to save your life?" Ella responded offended.

                "The law is the law woman." Shea tried to look towards the front door, her eyes meeting those of the man talking. "And by the looks of it-" he continued now scanning the rest of the room, mostly consisting of bottles and herbs used for medicinal purposes. "-the accusations are not that far off."

                Ella asked for reasons behind the accusation of Mr. Baker. Mainly because it offended her after having saved his wife's life years ago.

                To Shea's demise, he explained the reasons, and it was all her fault. Though the words he used were not all true. It was their word against them. He explained that his boy was attacked and Ella of course defended herself explaining she was home the whole day. That was when her nightmare became true. His words made Shea’s heart clenched, as if wanting to hide first. "May we come in? We need to see the child," Shea knew they were referring to her. So they knew, and they were here to take her, because she was not human, but a demon.

                Ella, as any grandmother would, protested and defended her but they proceeded to explain. Mr. Baker informed them of a demonic child who was about to attack his son. Luckily he resorted to the Lord's name and the demon vanished among the tree. Later the boy explained to his father who this demon was and how her eyes glowed in the shadows.

                "What? She is but three! What else can she do but throw tantrums? She can barely speak!"

                "You should know better than to mess with the forces of evil, witch," his voice was filled with disgust. Now they were calling her grandmother a witch. What was the difference? She did not know yet.

                "I have done nothing of the sort. All I've been doing is but helping this village!"

                "Look, I get these accusations all the time lately. I didn’t sign up for this sort of nonsense. So just come along, clear your name if you can, and go home. If you can't, may the Lord have pity of your soul. They child will also come with us."

                Shea could not keep quiet anymore. Maybe if she confessed they would leave Ella alone. "Mama?" she called softly. Her fear intensifying with each step forward. This fear was not doing any good to their defense. When she got close enough, the men did not hesitated a second before pulling Ella with force and tying her hands. She fought but it was in vain. They were stronger and much younger than her. Shea kicked and scream as they did the same to her. Though it was much easier to take such a small child if you were wearing an armor tick enough to withstand her kicks.

                Without hesitation they were both thrown into separate cages mounted on carts. Shea screamed and called for Ella as any scared child would. Ella tried to calm her down but the child's cries just intensified, and with it, a light surrounding her. Shea could feel her voice telling her to stop, but she was scared and she did not know what she was doing. She only knew that the men were taking them away because she was a bad girl. It was all her fault. Her eyes were shut with the intensity of her cries, but inside them, Ella knew, the glow was as bright as it could get.

                There was but a moment in her past in which Shea held such bright eyes. She was but a baby in the woods surrounded by wolves. Back then, Ella wanted to believe her grandchild was being just protected by unknown beings. But now, the question was raised in her mind, was the child possessed after all?

                She begged Shea to stop, assuring her she was beside her and that no harm would come to them. But Shea was deaf to any voice through her own. The soldiers began to scream at each other, none daring to get close. One even began to pray at the event.

                "Kill it!" one soldier said.

                "It will possess me!" said the other.

                "You kill it!"        

                "Make it stop!"

                "God save us..."  

                "What the hell is she!" shouted another soldier at Ella.

                Ella did not answer for she did not know it herself. A soldier shouted to another to cut her throat and make her stop. Ella begged them not to, horrified at the image of the little girl slaughtered. She tried to convince them that she was just a child and she did not know what she was doing. But what she was doing was not something any child would do. For them, she was not only a child.

                One of the soldiers slowly approached her with a sword, ready to strike. As if at command, Shea's cries ceased and her eyes opened, focusing on the soldier who was about to slice her throat. His eyes opened wide, more fearful than ever.

                "GET AWAY FROM THIS CHILD IF YOU WISH TO LIVE!" said Shea's voice in a clear warning tone. Her eyes kept glowing, turning from blue to green and all the shades in-between. The soldier, on instincts, resumed to slash the sword at Shea.

                In an instant, her vision was blinded in light. Multiple screams echoed in the whiteness of all. She could still hear Ella begging her to stop. The light was promptly followed by darkness. "Stop!" but it was too late.

                When Shea opened her eyes, the soldiers laid around the ground surrounding the cages. Only she and Ella remained awake. Were they dead? Smoke was coming out of their heated armors and none was moving. She turned to Ella for an explanation. Instead she found terror in her eyes. She did not need to ask. She was a bad girl after all. A demon, perhaps.

#

                It was not the first time he visited nor would it be the last. He watched her play, throwing tantrum or learning to speak. But not today. When Oono projected to Shea, the last thing he expected to see was all the bodies of the soldiers on the ground. The grass and trees around them turned in their entirety black. As if a mantle of ash just fell down on them. He counted about seven bodies and weapons laying on the ground. Broken cages and surprisingly, living horses. Whatever happened only hurt the soldiers, as even the darkened trees remained with leaves, black, yet there. His heart sank in terror. If only humans were dead, where was she? She could not be also dead, else he would not be able to project. But if she was not, where was she?

                He forced his ash hair back and brushed his tick eyebrows rigorously. He was certain she was alive, he would have felt it if she was not. "Shea!" his voice felt strange in this world. Never before did he attempted to speak, in the hopes of keeping a limited involvement. He called her name again but he could not see her. That was the second time he said it. He tried to calm down as he spoke to himself, instructing his agitated mind to just project to where she was. If he projected to the blackened field, it meant she just ran off at that moment, so she could not be so far away. Just relax. With a deep unnecessary breath he was there.

                Little Shea was hiding in the bushes, close to the scene, but away from the blackened area. Her grandmother sat on the ground, her arms above her head, her face barely to be seen. Shea, sweet little Shea, remained in silence caressing the old woman. Her expression was almost as if examining her with regretful eyes. He recognized those eyes, that look, but could not remember where. Her mother perhaps?

                Oono remembered her face still, the fear, the regret, all together. He tried to brush the memories away and focus on what was at stake. Shea felt his presence. She always did. She lifted her eyes, no surprise in them. She knew him, always have. Oono always feared she would forget him one day, like most do. She pouted, about to cry.

                "No, no, don’t," whispered Oono crouching beside her. "What happened?" he asked without really expecting any answer as he looked back at the scene. Almost as if Ella felt him herself, she answered.

                "What am I supposed to do with you? They are going to hunt us like animals. How can such a small child do such a terrible thing?"

                Shea did it? The child extended her hand towards him and he took a step back. It could not be true. How could such a thing be? She was but a normal human child. Taking her that time should not have changed her, would it? For a moment he felt as if he just created a major curse on the child. Worse than what he did the night she was born. If it was true, how could he ever fix that?

                "What is it Shea? Who's there?" Ella searched with her eyes towards where the girl was directing her hand to. Of course, only Shea could see him. Ella's eyes trembled and she shouted, "be gone you devil! Leave us alone!" She stood up and took Shea, who began to cry again, in her arms. "Whatever you did to her I swear I'll destroy you for it!"

                So it was, that Ella Lovell believed in demons. And it was not for nothing she began to believe her grandchild was being haunted by one, rather than being one. Oono did not blame her. At times he felt like one.

                Ella saw them once before and this influenced the way she saw the world since then, and how she began to raise Shea. The demons who invaded her village. She remembered still how they perished and how she helped them die. But over all, how she returned that night to a house without existence. Reduced to ashes. Oono's heart ache every time he remembered her screams. He did not blamed her anger. Even though he was no demon, his acts back then were evil and he could not deny it.

                "Please Shea, stop crying, no one is going to hurt us. We need to leave quietly sweetheart," Ella begged in her still broken voice. She rocked the girl in an attempt to calm her down but nothing was working. Oono knew something needed to be done or else they would remain in danger. He struggled to find his voice through his projection. As it was his intention to block it, it was almost as if the voice remained not projected. But he needed to do something fast.

                At last, he said it, he called her name for the third time.  "Please listen," he continued, "you must stop crying before someone finds you." His voice immediately caught Shea's attention. It was after all her first time hearing him saying her name.

                "Why?" she asked in sobs.

                "Shea, don’t talk to them please," Ella broke in tears.

                Oono continued regardless of Ella, "They will hurt you and your Mama. You don’t want that, do you?"

                "But I can hurt them," Shea responded while rubbing her face.

                Those words, coming from such a small sweet girl, broke his heart. He could not only imagine Ella's being crushed without repair. "No, no, you can't," he tried to tell her, “it’s wrong, you understand that?"

                "Why?" her sobs were now quieter. He stared into her wide reddened blue-tainted honey eyes, though he knew she would not see his. It was the benefit of the projection, you could project in whichever way you wanted. In his case, he did not wanted to be seen, so he only projected his shadow.

                "You are not like them. You should be better than that. Show them kindness, even if they want to harm you. Always. You will understand later. And they can't harm you even if they want to, so please just stay calm." He knew all along about her healing properties, but he did not made much of it. It was something rather common in other realms and they did not knew much about how the human realm worked. But the fact that she could kill so many and who knows how, scared him.

                "But-" Shea began to protest.

                "Shea," Oono repeated her name for the fourth time, this time with determination. It would remained engraved in her memories forever. "It's not right," his hands began to flicker.

                "Not wight," Shea repeated.

                "That's correct," he flickered again. "I'll be back. Be good, promise?"

                Shea nodded, "okay."

                "Good girl," he said smiling at her, though she could not see it, he hoped she could hear it in his voice.

                "Good gur," Shea repeated again.

#

                "Please stop, b Shea," Ella continued to beg.

                Shea remained silent after the shadow man disappeared. Once Ella was composed, she decided to talk.

                "Shea good gur, wigh?" she asked her grandmother who had no more tears to shed. But her eyes shone, still wanting to. "Mama good gur," Shea said now patting Ella's whitened hair. The little girl got closer to her grandmother, kissing her face with care.

                "What are you doing?" Ella felt a tingly sensation as small specs of light danced around them. Shea threw her arms around Ella's neck.

                "Sowy Mama. Shea won't kill. Powmise." The old woman began to sob and held Shea tighter. "Shea good gur, Mama too," Shea repeated once more before falling into a deep sleep.

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