Natalia Mortem Chapter 1: Coven

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My car dropped me off in Moonlight Falls the next morning. All of my instincts told me to throw a fit, going to a coven in and abandoned town was not something I wanted to do. I was angry I had to leave my friends, my clothes and my fans. An up-and-coming actress should not be living in a musty old house with a bunch of strangers. But I knew I couldn’t get fussy about this, unfortunately it was our only option. At least my father had been wrong about the uniform requirement.

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The house was not as awful as I thought it would be, and it was a lot larger than I imagined. But it was nothing compared to the mansions my family owned.

The house loomed over me like a monster. It terrified me, I was unsure what I would be facing inside. I’d never met any witches other than my family, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would they just be like human teenagers?

Eventually, I realized I needed to get inside. I wasn’t sure where the magical force-field began, and I feared I wasn’t protected. I had to head into the coven despite my hesitation to meet my coven mates.

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“Hello?” I called out into the empty hallway. The inside of the house didn’t look much better than the outside. The walls were dingy and dirty, it was unclear to me what color they were supposed to be originally.

“We’re in here, Darling.” A cheery voice called from my side. I stuck my head through the archway and cautiously entered the living room.

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There were a few gasps as I walked into the room. I’m pretty sure I heard someone whisper my name. I was fairly well-know with humans because of my mom, I hadn’t even realized that these people might know who I am.

“Welcome, Darling, I’m just going over some rules. Find a seat.” The older woman standing in front of the fireplace said with a sweet smile. I forced a smile back and took a seat in the only remaining armchair and avoided the bulging eyes from the girls around me.

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I tried to listen to what the woman was saying, but all I managed to catch was her name. Her name was Susannah, but she wanted us to call her Mama or Mama Sue. My mind wandered after that while she explained the rules, sleeping arrangements and the magic classes.

I couldn’t help but think about my friends back home. They’d already been worrying about me before I left, and now I’d disappeared. It was awful.

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My thoughts were broken as Mama Sue made us go around and introduce ourselves. I went first, and once I confirmed that I was Natalia Mortem, two of the girls squealed. One of them, Naomi, was the next one to introduce herself. She was born in Appaloosa Plains, but after the release of the other supernaturals it soon became a popular spot for them to migrate to. They were constantly being watched there, and so her family had to flee.

Mitchell was after her, he was from Isla Paradiso, a witch island not far off the coast of Starlight Shores. He’d lived there his whole life, until the humans started sticking their noses where they didn’t belong. His family didn’t leave, but they sent him here to ensure his safety.

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After Mitchell was Eli, but he didn’t talk much. He just told us about how he lived in a group home for the past few years. He didn’t even know he was a witch until he realized he could do things that others couldn’t. The group home got suspicious, and that’s when Mama Sue came for him. He’d already been living here for a few weeks. I was a little curious to know why he was in a group home in the first place, but I didn’t ask. It wasn’t any of my business.

Eli’s best friend Trevor was up next. He came from Twinbrook, the town where supernatural beings were originally discovered many years ago. Ever since then, his family has been very cautious about what they did and where they practiced magic. The raids also started in Twinbrook, his house had been raided by government paid werewolves. He’d lost a few loved ones, but the majority of them had been able to get away.

I felt awful for Trevor. It was amazing he was even upright, if I were him I don’t think I’d be able to deal. But just minutes before he told his awful story, I had seen him cracking jokes with Eli. He was definitely a trooper.

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However, almost immediately after he finished speaking the next girl started talking. Her name was Renee, she came from Riverview, she said it was a small farming town a couple hours away from Twinbrook. She explained to us that her town was going to be raided next, so her family sent her here while they tried to get to safety.

Renee also explained that the girl sitting next to her on the couch was Eboni. Renee told us that Eboni didn’t talk much, they’d gone to school together in Riverview and neither knew the other was a witch. They’d only found out when their parents met up to strategize. Apparently their parents knew, but they were kept in the dark so they wouldn’t accidentally reveal the secret. I suspected that decision was made more to keep Renee from spilling, but I kept that thought private.

After Renee finished speaking Mama Sue dismissed us with directions to our appropriate rooms. Even though I wasn’t entirely listening earlier, it wasn’t hard to figure out. Boys in one room and girls in the other.

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I was the first one in the girls room, so I got first bed pick. My bunk was the bottom on closest to the bathroom, solely because the bed was right next to the window. Despite this town being abandoned and old, it was still kinda pretty.

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Eboni came in next and quickly climbed onto the bunk above mine. I secretly thanked her, the other two girls seemed like fangirls of mine and I wasn’t exactly keen on sharing a bed with one, even if they were above me.

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Unfortunately, I zoned out while looking out of my window so I didn’t notice the two girls come into the room.

“Natalia?” Renee’s voice startled me out of my thoughts.

“Hi.” I gave her a tight, awkward smile. At my old school, I never had to deal with girls like this since practically everyone there was rich or famous. It was a private school. None of us had to deal with starstruck people.

“Naomi and I are gonna go see what’s in the backyard, would you like to come with?” Renee asked with a hopeful look. It was obvious by her expression that she was excited, Naomi too. I guess I would be too if I were a normal girl and a movie star’s famous daughter was sitting in the same room as me. They were also the only other girls here. I’ve seen and been in enough teen dramas to know it’s better to befriend girls than to get on their bad side. So my only option was to accept their offer.

“Sure, I guess I’m curious to know what’s back there.” I climbed out from my bunk as the two gave each other excited smiles. I couldn’t help but notice that both girls had braces. I’d never actually met someone with braces, everyone I ever knew used invisible liners to straighten their teeth.

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I followed the two excited girls outside. They talked fast, it was amazing they could even understand what the other was saying, I sure couldn’t.

“How long have you guys known each other?” I asked when there was a few second break in their constant chatter, they acted like such close friends I wondered if I misheard them when they introduced themselves.

“A few hours.” Naomi laughed. “Why?”

“No reason.” I chuckled. It was amazing to me how they could already be so close after knowing each other for such a short time. But our conversation was cut short as we left the house and headed into the backyard.

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Trevor and Eli had beaten us back here, they’d even changed into athletic wear beforehand. Trevor was trying to kick a soccer ball into the goal behind Eli, but Eli was a pretty good goalie.

Naomi and Renee gave each other excited glances. “Natalia,” Renee whispered, “do you wanna watch the boys play?” She giggled. I could tell the two of them hadn’t been around many boys.

“Sure, why not?” I whispered back. This wasn’t exactly my idea of fun, but at least Trevor was alright looking.

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Alright, Trevor was more than alright looking. He was pretty cute. But there had to be some rule about dating here, right? Right then I wished I’d paid more attention to the rules Mama Sue gave us.

However, I don’t think I’d actually date him. After all, I’d dated movie stars and famous singers before. It would look strange if I started to date some random boy from Twinbrook. It would almost look suspicious. Well, that is if I ever get my old life back.

I shook my head. I was definitely getting my old life back. My parents would surely come up with something, right? This wasn’t permanent,  I’d be back to my mansion soon enough.

But that didn’t mean I couldn’t have a little fun before I had to leave, right?

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Generation One Prologue

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Growing up, my life was fairly simple. My parents were Jorge and Elsa Mortem, my father was a very successful CEO and my mother was one of the most talented actresses of her time. I never had to do much, we hired someone to do practically anything that required physical labor for us.

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Our house was more than comfortable, seven bedrooms meant no one had to share and each of us could have an extra room for whatever we wanted. Mine was converted into a large closet to contain my ever-expanding clothing collection.

My life was glamorous. I accompanied my parents to many prestigious dinner parties and red carpet events. Mother had even gotten me a few minor roles in some of her movies, so I was becoming a star myself.

But my family wasn’t like any other family in our neighborhood. Yes, we were famous, but that’s not what I mean. We’re all witches. My father, my mother and I can all wave a wand and cast spells. We can’t tell anyone though, when the humans found out about the other supernatural beings, they did awful things to them. Most of them were shoved into closed off towns for experiments and observation.

But that was over. The other supernatural were free to roam the earth. The scientists weren’t very happy, they wanted more things to run experiments on. Since the witches hadn’t been discovered along with them, we’d been in hiding.

Well, we’d been trying to hide at least. The humans weren’t stupid, they were able to catch on to the little things. They knew there were more supernatural beings out there. They were determined to find all of them and collect all the knowledge that they could.

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Things were dangerous for me. Not only were the paps always on our tails, now the scientists were too. I tried to stay inside most days. It quickly grew tiresome, my hands were itching to go shopping. My friends were all out partying and having fun while I was locked in my room.

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Watching crappy TV became my most frequent pastime. I’d lay on my bed for hours, not really concentrating on whatever show was on. I spent most of my time wishing I could go out shopping, or wishing I wasn’t a witch so I wouldn’t have to worry.

Being a witch wasn’t all that great. There were thousands of spells to remember, hundreds of potion recipes, and even more books to read. It was super boring, and it wasn’t something I was interested in.

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After about three days of ‘house arrest’, my parents both came into my room. It was very unusual, my parents hadn’t been in my room since I had it redone. It was also quite strange to see them together. They had vastly different schedules, they were lucky if they were able to see each other once a week.

Another strange thing about it was their expressions They looked upset or nervous, I couldn’t tell. Honestly, I didn’t think my mom could even make expressions after all the plastic surgery she’s had.

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“Natalia Darling, you’re father and I need to talk to you.” My mother’s loud, dramatic voice bellowed through my small bedroom.

“Is everything alright?” I asked innocently before pulling myself up into a sitting position.

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“No Princess, things are worse than we thought.” My father sighed before carefully sitting down on my bed.

“What do you mean, Daddy?” My voice once again sounded innocent. I knew my father missed my childhood years, and I liked to give him the illusion of my innocence.

“The government has wolves working for them. They’re using them to sniff out more supernatural beings. They’ll be in Starlight Shores in a few days.” He stopped to run his fingers through his salt and pepper colored hair.

My heart sunk. I had an idea of what this meant for us, but I needed to ask just to confirm my suspicions. “Does this mean we have to leave?”

“Yes it does. But we can’t go together, where your mother and I are going isn’t entirely safe. We just want the best for you.”

“We’re splitting up?” I asked frantically. This was terrifying enough with them here, I couldn’t bare the thought of being alone through this.

“I’m so sorry Princess.” My father laid his hand on my knee sympathetically.

“Where will I be going then?” I questioned, curious. How could I possibly be safer without my parents?

“There’s a coven, in Moonlight Falls. The supreme was able to secure it, it’s impossible to detect unless you are of magic blood. You’ll be safe there.”

“A coven? In Moonlight Falls? That abandoned town that was burned down like seventy years ago?” I exclaimed in disbelief. How could my parents send me to a place like that?

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“Yes, it’s been abandoned for so long, no one would think to look there. It’s the safest place you could be.” He sighed once more before continuing. “I’m so sorry Natalia. I know it’s not the most appealing idea, but I promise you it won’t last forever. Once your mother and I find a secure place for us all to live, we’ll come back for you.”

“And what if you don’t?” It was morbid to think about, but there was the possibility that the wolves could find them before they could find safety.

It was obvious my father had thought about this by the look on his face. “Well, then you’ll get a proper education at the coven and graduate there. Then hopefully in two years things will be better and you’ll be able to move on with your life.”

I groaned outwardly. “This is awful, Daddy. I wish the humans would leave us alone.” I said with a pout.

“I know, me too sweetheart. But unfortunately that’s not the case.” He gave me another sympathetic pat on the knee. “You leave tomorrow, pack lightly. They provide uniforms there.”

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I collapsed backward onto the mattress. My father gave me one last pat before leading my mother out of the room. A coven was the worst thing I could possibly imagine. Living in an old, abandoned town with a bunch of random people I didn’t know sounded like agony. I imagined I’d have to live in an old, Victorian house that smelled like mildew and rotting wood.  My imagination also created an image of myself scrubbing a bathroom floor in a ratty dress, just like in Little Orphan Annie.

Out of everything that’s happened to me, this coven was definitely going to be the worst thing that’s ever happened in the history of ever.