Brooms

“I wished for you too.”
-Practical Magic

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4. Chapter Four

Sophie found the bloodsucker standing by the curb out front of her house. He had his hood back up and his hands in his pockets. He slouched, almost as if he was trying not to draw attention to himself, but it didn’t work since he was so long and spidery to begin with.

“I have a question for you,” he said as she stepped onto the sidewalk. He stuck a long leg out and began walking in the opposite direction. He didn’t tell her where they were headed, and she didn’t ask.

“Shoot,” she replied.

“You asked me earlier if I could fly. I want to ask you the same question.” He shot her a toothy grin.

“Of course I can fly. I thought you said you knew other witches.”

“No, I know you CAN fly, but are you allowed to fly?” She sighed heavily and stuck her hands into the pockets of her coat.

“I got my flying privileges revoked by the county overseer,” she admitted.

“What’d you do?”

“I flew too low over the nunnery.” He snorted a laugh and shook his head.

“Did you frighten the nuns?”

“Enough for them to call the police, who notified the overseer.” He continued to chuckle to himself as he strolled along. She watched him for a moment, curious about him and his kind and all of the things her book had left out. He seemed so normal, and she wondered what the glamor of his magic was hiding.

“What about you? You never answered my question,” she reminded him.

“Like I said, you’ll just have to wait and see. I don’t want to frighten any nuns.”

“So what are we doing then? Going for a casual stroll in the fall foliage?”

“We’re going to the cemetery.” Then he took a sharp turn onto the path that led into the woods. She rushed after him and reached him a few seconds later.

The trees were turning orange and red and began to scatter the ground whenever a crisp breeze rolled in. They were silent for a few minutes as they walked along the path. She knew the way to the old cemetery without needing his guidance, so she wasn’t worried about losing him.

But then she heard the rustle of leaves behind them, and a sleek black cat trotted up the path. She recognized his wise green eyes anywhere, and almost smiled when she saw him. She’d left her bedroom door closed and locked, and she was never really sure how he got out, but he always appeared wherever she went. Except for school. He was too important for that.

“Intuitive little fellow, isn’t he?” Rory asked as Phil caught up with them.

“He’s my familiar,” she explained as she reached down to scoop him up into her arms. “He’s drawn to my magic, so he always knows where I am.” The cat settled in her arms and kept his green eyes on the vampire.

“He doesn’t like me,” the boy said as he stared the animal down.

“Why do you say that?” she asked.

“Look at his face.” She looked down at the cat, but his expressions were difficult to read. He only stared, not blinking.

“Well, either he doesn’t like you, or he’s studying you. But he hasn’t scratched or hissed at you yet, so he’s probably just trying to figure you out. We met a werewolf last summer, and he REALLY didn’t like her.” Rory nodded thoughtfully and turned his eyes back on the path ahead of them. Sophie set Phil back down on his feet, and the three of them walked along together.

“Want to make this fun?” Rory asked after another few minutes of silence.

“How?” she replied.

“Race you to the cemetery?”

“Do you really think that’s fair?” He shrugged a shoulder. It was getting darker in the woods. Not just because the sun was now hidden behind a wall of gray clouds, but because the canopy of orange leaves left dancing shadows on the path.

“Who said anything about it being fair? You don’t know much about vampires, and I don’t know much about witches. For all you know I can fly, and for all I know you can teleport. Let’s see who gets there faster. Maybe we’ll both learn something.”

“What do I get if I win?” His pointed face lit up.

“Oh, we’re going to make this a bet now too?”

“Be real, it’ll be so much more fun that way.” He nodded to himself as he thought it over.

“Alright. Loser buys the winner dinner. How does that sound?”

“Deal. I want squash soup.”

“As you wish.”

He reached out to shake her hand, and she was surprised by how warm his skin was. He didn’t mention it, though. The three of them stopped and put space between them. Phil stepped into the leaves and sat down to watch. His tail flicked with interest.

“Alright, on the count of three,” Rory started. Sophie poised to run.

She didn’t want to admit to him that she had no particular skill that could get her there fast. She didn’t have her broom, and that was about the fastest form of magical transport she knew of. Though she could channel energy from the trees to make her run faster. She just wasn’t sure if it would hold up to whatever he had planned.

“One, two—three!” She bolted forward, and for a moment she was elated to see that she had jumped ahead of him. But a moment later she heard a loud rustling of leathery wings that was followed by the sound of high-pitched squeaks.

The boy, it seemed, had exploded into a swarm of bats.

She stopped in her place and watched the bats as they disappeared into the woods. Even though she couldn’t hear him, she could almost feel the squeaking creatures laughing.

“Did you know he could do that?” she asked the cat as he caught up with her. He didn’t answer, just continued along the path to the cemetery. So she followed after him and huffed. “Jerk,” she muttered.Sophie found the bloodsucker standing by the curb out front of her house. He had his hood back up and his hands in his pockets. He slouched, almost as if he was trying not to draw attention to himself, but it didn’t work since he was so long and spidery to begin with.

“I have a question for you,” he said as she stepped onto the sidewalk. He stuck a long leg out and started walking in the opposite direction. He didn’t tell her where they were headed, and she didn’t ask.

“Shoot,” she replied.

“You asked me earlier if I could fly. I want to ask you the same question.” He shot her a toothy grin.

“Of course I can fly. I thought you said you knew other witches.”

“No, I know you CAN fly, but are you allowed to fly?” She sighed slowly and stuck her hands into the pockets of her jacket.

“I got my flying privileges revoked by the county overseer,” she admitted.

“What’d you do?”

“I flew too low over the nunnery.” He snorted a laugh and shook his head.

“Did you frighten the nuns?”

“Enough for them to call the police and notify the overseer.” He continued to chuckle to himself as he strolled along. She watched him for a moment, curious about him and his kind and all of the things her book had left out. He seemed so normal, and she wondered what the glamour of his magic was hiding.

“What about you? You never answered my question,” she reminded him.

“Like I said, you’ll just have to wait and see. I don’t want to frighten any nuns.”

“So what are we doing then? Going for a casual stroll in the fall foliage?”

“We’re going to the cemetery.” Then he took a sharp turn onto the path that led into the woods. She rushed after him and reached him a few seconds later.

The trees were turning orange and red and began to scatter the ground whenever a crisp breeze rolled in. They were silent for a few minutes as they walked along the path. She knew the way to the old cemetery without needing his guidance, so she wasn’t worried about losing him.

But then she heard the rustle of leaves behind them, and a sleek black cat trotted up the path. She recognized his wise green eyes anywhere, and almost smiled when she saw him. She’d left her bedroom door closed and locked, and she was never really sure how he got out, but he always appeared wherever she went. Except for school. He was too important for that.

“Intuitive little fellow, isn’t he?” Rory asked as Phil caught up with them.

“He’s my familiar,” she explained as she reached down to scoop him up into her arms. “He’s drawn to my magic, so he always knows where I am.” The cat settled in her arms and kept his green eyes on the vampire.

“He doesn’t like me,” the boy said as he stared the animal down.

“Why do you think that?” she asked.

“Look at his face.” She looked down at the cat but his expressions were difficult to read. He only stared, not blinking.

“Well, either he doesn’t like you or he’s studying you. But he hasn’t scratched or hissed at you yet, so he’s probably just trying to figure you out. We met a werewolf last summer and he REALLY didn’t like her.” Rory nodded thoughtfully and turned his eyes back on the path ahead of them. Sophie set Phil back down on his feet and the three of them walked along together.

“Want to make this fun?” Rory asked after another few minutes of silence.

“How?” she replied.

“Race you to the cemetery?”

“Do you really think that’s fair?” He shrugged a shoulder. It was getting darker in the woods. Not just because the sun was now hidden behind a wall of gray clouds, but because the canopy of orange leaves left dancing shadows on the path.

“Who said anything about it being fair? You don’t know much about vampires and I don’t know much about witches. For all you know I can fly, and for all I know you can teleport. Let’s see who gets there faster. Maybe we’ll both learn something.”

“What do I get if I win?” His pointed face lit up.

“Oh, we’re going to make this a bet now too?”

“Be real, it’ll be so much more fun that way.” He nodded to himself as he thought it over.

“Alright. Loser buys the winner dinner. How does that sound?”

“Deal. I want squash soup.”

“As you wish.”

He reached out to shake her hand and she was surprised by how warm his skin was. He wondered if that was the result of his glamour or whoever's blood was flowing through his system. The three of them stopped and put space between them. Phil stepped into the leaves and sat down to watch. His tail flicked with interest.

“Alright, on the count of three,” Rory started. Sophie poised to run. She didn’t want to admit to him that she had no particular skill that could get her there faster. She didn’t have her broom, and that was about the fastest form of magical transport she knew of. Though she could channel energy from the trees to make her run quickly. She just wasn’t sure if it would hold up to whatever he had planned.

“One, two—three!”

She bolted forward and for a moment she was elated to see that she had jumped ahead of him. But a moment later she heard a loud rustling of leathery wings that was followed by the sound of high pitched squeaks.

The boy, it seemed, had exploded into a swarm of bats.

She stopped in her place and watched the bats as they disappeared into the woods. Even though she couldn’t hear him, she could almost feel the squeaking creatures laughing.

“Did you know he could do that?” she asked the cat as he caught up with her. He didn’t answer, just continued along the path to the cemetery. So she followed after him and huffed. “Jerk,” she muttered.

 


 

It's been 84 years. I'm so sorry it's taken me so long to update this. I sort of put it on a backburner after the Halloween spirit died out last year. But I'm getting pumped for it again, so I've written a new chapter! I'm hoping to actually have this story completed before, on, or just after Halloween (this time). And I hope you like it! :D

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