Natalia Mortem Chapter 3: Friends and Foes

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In the middle of the night on my second night in the coven, I woke up with an extremely dry mouth. I instantly threw my blankets back and climbed out of bed. Since I hadn’t listened to the rules, I was unsure if I was allowed to go downstairs to get some water. But surely she couldn’t restrict us from water, right?

I didn’t really have time to contemplate it, I was too thirsty to keep sitting here, thinking. My best option was to just go downstairs, get some water and deal with Mama Sue if she catches me out of bed.

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I made my way into the hallway before stopping in my tracks. The boy’s room door was opening right as I opened the girl’s room door.

“Eli? What are you doing up?” I asked him quietly. He looked up, his eyes wide with shock.

“I-I um, what are you doing up?” He fidgeted nervously.

“I’m just getting a glass of water, what is that?” I gestured to the large bag Eli was trying to hide behind his back. It looked like a laundry bag.

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“It’s n-nothing.” He stuttered nervously.

“Is that laundry?” I asked, I knew it was rude to pry but he looked genuinely upset. I needed to make sure he was alright. He nodded slowly. “Why are you doing laundry in the middle of the night?”

“B-because I um wetthebed.” He said so fast I almost missed it.

“Oh, are you alright?”

“Uh, yea. But aren’t you gonna make fun of me?”

“What? Why would I do that?” He didn’t answer, he just looked down at the ground and avoided eye contact. “Does this happen often?”

He nodded again. “I-it happens when I have my nightmares.”

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“I’m sorry hun, let’s go do this laundry and then we can talk, okay?” I comforted my new friend as I made my way across the hallway.

“Thanks Natalia.” He smiled as I threw my arm around his shoulders and the two of us made our way downstairs.

———-

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After we finished washing the sheets, Eli and I made our way to the living room where we laid on the couch. I didn’t say anything, I wanted him to talk when he was ready.

“I lived with my mom my entire life.” He started a few minutes after we got comfortable. “My father was never there, I don’t think he even knew I existed. I never even met the guy, but I know that whatever he did to my mom, she hates him for it.” He sighed and nuzzled into my stomach a little more before continuing.

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“He must’ve been a witch, because my mom was human. She must’ve known, because she took her hatred for my father out on me. She hit me, and called me a ‘freak’ and a ‘mutant’. I never really knew what she meant, as I got older I thought she beat me because I was gay. But now, I don’t think she even knew, or cared.” He took a deep, shaky breath.

“She hit me almost every day, it was awful. She’s the reason I have nightmares.” He shuddered. “Then one day, I woke up and she was dead. She strung herself from the ceiling fan. I know this is awful, but I felt relieved.”

“It’s not awful.” I finally chimed in. “She was a terrible mother, you have every right to be relieved that she’s gone and can’t hurt you anymore.”

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“Thanks, Natalia. It was good to get that off my chest. You’re a good friend.” He mumbled softly before drifting off. I followed not long after.

———-

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The next morning after breakfast, Mama Sue called us into the living room for a coven meeting. She looked scared and upset, and I knew whatever this meeting was about wasn’t good. Everyone else could sense it too, the room was tense before Mama Sue started to talk.

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“As you all know, the government has hired werewolves to search¬†for more supernatural beings. Last night, they gave us up. The humans know we exist, and they know we look identical to them. They’re panicking, they don’t know who’s a human and who’s a witch. So to try and calm them, they’ve recruited more wolves to go through every town, including abandoned ones.” She stopped for a second, and Mitchell chimed in.

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“Does this mean they’re coming here?” He asked, his voice wavering with fear.

“Yes, it does.”

“What are we gonna do?” He asked.

“We’re gonna stay here and hope the spells protecting us keep protecting us. And if not, well we still have a few days until they come. All alchemy lessons will be cancelled and we will be spending time learning offensive and defensive spells to protect us, in case something goes wrong.”

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“That’s it?” Renee asked angrily. “That’s all you have? A protective force field and a few spells?”

“No, I do have the basement.” Mama Sue didn’t even look upset about Renee’s rudeness.

“We have a basement?” Eli asked.

“We do, but the entrance is hidden. I’ll show you it when we need it.”

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“Okay so let’s get this straight, if the wolves can get past our magic force field, and come into the house, we’ll be in the basement? What if they come down into the basement? Then we’re cornered. What will we do then?”

“Fight for our lives, Trevor. It’s our only option right now.” Mama Sue sighed. “I don’t like it either, but what choice do we have?”

No one said anything, we didn’t know what to say. This was all so heavy. In just a few days, we’d be fighting werewolves with little pieces of wood. There was no way of knowing if we’d live to see next week.

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“What about our families?” I asked after a few moments of silence. I had to ask, I think we all wanted to know.

“I don’t know for sure, Sweetheart. But I’ll talk to some of my contacts tonight and I’ll try and get back to you all by morning. I’m so sorry you all have to go through this so young.”

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We all sat there, the only sound was the rain from outside. We were tense and upset, who wouldn’t be in this situation? We were just a group of teenagers, we shouldn’t have to fight for our lives yet. We shouldn’t have to worry about whether or not our families were alive. It wasn’t fair.

From that moment on, I vowed I would¬†never be civil with a human ever again. Not after everything they’ve done to us.

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Natalia Mortem Chapter 2: Alchemy

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The morning after we arrived, we began magic classes. We didn’t have classrooms or anything, just a room full of books in the attic. It was stuffy and uncomfortable up there and I wasn’t thrilled to spend multiple consecutive hours up here.

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“Alright kids, ” Mama Sue spoke from her position in front of us. “I’ll be splitting you up into groups, we don’t have enough alchemy stations for all of you so three of you will be using those and the rest will be practicing spells. You’ll stay in these groups for the rest of your time here.”

I crossed my fingers and hoped I wouldn’t get put into a group with Naomi or Renee. Sleeping in the same room as them was bad enough, I’d really rather not have to work with them as well.

“The group working on the alchemy stations will be Eli, Natalia and Trevor, and the rest of you will be practicing some spell work.” Mama Sue announced. I wanted to cheer, not only was I in a group without my fangirls, Trevor was in my group. I smiled discretely to myself as the three of us made our way across the room towards the alchemy stations.

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I gripped the sides of the altar and tried to focus on the book in front of me. It was a little hard to concentrate with the other group’s chanting. The writing was also a bit hard to read, the books were old and worn, the ink was starting to smudge.

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For now we weren’t making any elixirs, we were just memorizing the recipes. It was a good idea, these things were complex and one little mistake could end up disastrous. Mama Sue told us we wouldn’t be making any actual potions for a while, not until she was sure we knew the recipes. It was a lot of pressure.

“Hey, Natalia.” A male voice whispered from behind me. I spun around and came face to face with Eli.

“Hi Eli, what’s up?”

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“Is it just me or are these potions ridiculously complicated?” He asked.

“I know, right?” I giggled softly, making Eli chuckle along with me.

“Yea, and besides, when are we ever going to need a potion to make someone nauseous?” I shrugged.

“Dunno, but I guess we have to learn it.”

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“I’d much rather be practicing spells.” He sighed and stole a longing glance towards our classmates waving wands.

“Me too, but I’m glad I’m in this group.” I admitted.

“Oh yea, Naomi and Renee are fans of yours, right? That’s gotta be obnoxious.”

“It is, hopefully their starstrucked-ness will die down soon.” I wanted to say that I hoped I’d be leaving here soon, but I decided it wouldn’t be in good taste. Eli didn’t have anyone to go back to, this was his home. I wouldn’t want to offend him or make him feel bad.

“Yea, well if you need someone to hang out with during down time you can hang with Trevor and I.” Eli offered.

“I’d love too.” I smiled and glanced over at Trevor, who’s head still hung over the large alchemy book. Hanging with them would be so much better than the two girls.

“Awesome, meet us in the living room after class?”

“See you then.” I smiled to myself as the two of us returned to our stations.

———

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Later that day after class the three of us met up in the livingroom. Naomi and Renee asked me to do karaoke with them in the rec room, but I declined. I’d much rather spend time getting to know Trevor and Eli. “So what are you guys planning on doing after this?” I asked, even though I was curious about both of their pasts, asking about their future was a lot less nosy.

“Dunno, might get into sports, or maybe firefighting.” Trevor shrugged.

“I think you should be a firefighter.” Eli suggested from the sofa.

“Why is that?”

“Because, what girl doesn’t like firefighters? They’re all muscly and sexy. Not a lot of girls are into sports. You’d have better luck with the ladies if you fought fires.” Eli wiggled his eyebrows at Trevor, making the three of us giggle.

“Alright then, firefighting it is.” Trevor chuckled.

“What about you, Eli?”

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“Dunno. I haven’t really discovered what I’m good at yet. When I find it, I’ll let you know.” He winked. I felt a little bad, I knew he didn’t have as good of a life as I did. But he was still very light hearted. Yesterday during introductions he wasn’t very chatty but now he was opening up. I suspected it had something to do with us being alone.

“I’ll be looking forward to that then.”

“And you, Natalia? Are you gonna go back into acting?” Trevor asked.

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“I haven’t really thought about it. I probably won’t be able to, my family just kinda disappeared one day and no one really knows where we went. They’ll probably figure it out soon, people don’t just leave like that for no reason. I guess I’ll probably just try and lay low, maybe just get a desk job.” I gave them a weak smile.

“Well for what it’s worth, you were pretty good at acting. Hopefully you’ll be able to get back into it after all this crap dies down.” Trevor’s compliment made me blush. I hadn’t been in many things, I was surprised he’d seen my work.

“Thank you.”

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“No problem.”

“So Natalia, were you really dating Jason Beckman before you left?” Eli asked me excitedly.

“We hung out a few times, but thats it.” I giggled.

“Ugh, you’re so lucky.” Eli groaned. “That guy is so gorgeous. I’d probably pass out if I even came within fifty feet of him.”

“Well maybe when things chill out I could introduce you guys.” I wiggled my eyebrows. “Besides, I’m not sure he even plays for my team.” I winked at him, making him throw his hand over his eyes.

“I think you broke him.” Trevor joked. The three of us laughed once again, and for the first time I was actually glad to be here. It was nice to have actual friends, not just a bunch of girls who pretend to like each other but then talk about each other behind their backs. I finally found real, genuine friends.