“I think I see her,” whispered Constance, her gray eyes suddenly widening. Her best friend, Markus quickly jolted his head in Constance’s direction, peering out the window of her bedroom. There, they could see an ordinary old woman with an ordinary gray bun and a purple flowery dress that seemed like something what an ordinary old lady would wear. However, there wasn’t anything ordinary about this woman at all. Constance and Markus knew that, because ever since she moved here, at their neighborhood a week ago, everything about this woman was strange.
At first, when Constance received news of a new neighbor, she was delighted. She immediately told Markus who lived two blocks away from her. His shaggy auburn hair shook with excitement when she broke out the news to him.
“Finally, a new neighbor!” shouted Markus with delight. “Ever since Matt moved out, things in this neighborhood haven’t been the same,” he said sadly. Their previous neighbor had been Matt, a lonely old man who told stories of his time spent serving in the Vietnam War. All the time his stories were so interesting. They were filled with joyfulness and sadness. After the war, Matt admitted to Constance and Markus that he was a changed person. Matt moving into the retirement home was heartbreaking for the friends because they no longer could hear the remorseful and useful stories of this old friend.
The friends anxiously waited for the past month. And when she moved in, Constance and Markus’s first instinct was to go to the woman’s house and talk to her. But, their mothers reminded them to give the old lady space to settle down. So, they did as they were told.
That night was when the strangeness began. Constance heard odd sounds coming from the woman’s house. Each night she would hear something different. One night she heard screaming, the next night she heard the sound of a gunshot. It was hard for her to fall asleep when these sounds tormented her. Constance was utterly and completely scared. When she told her mom of this, she didn’t believe her. All her mom said was, “Don’t be silly Constance, an old woman can’t hurt people.” But, Constance knew there was something wrong and that there was something more sinister at play. She could hear the cackling of this old woman’s voice, tormenting her at all times. When Markus came in the night, he could hear the screeches as well. They were painful and piercing. It sounded like someone was dying over and over again. They needed to find out once and for all, who the old woman was, and what she was doing. That night, Constance and Markus were going to finally figure out what was going on with the woman by going to her house.
But first, the friends needed to prepare. Constance put her curly, dark hair into a tight bun and changed into all black clothing to be camouflaged by the darkness of the night. Markus swept a black beanie over his auburn hair and changed into black sweats and a black t-shirt. They each held a huge rake in their hands, ready to face what was coming for them. Slowly, but surely, the best friends pranced along the street, ducking behind any bushes or objects. That’s when the screams began. Mournful, scary, and high-pitched. Constance winced as she tiptoed to the side of the one-story house. The house seemed different. The friends were used to it being a cheery house when Matt occupied it. But now, the dynamic had changed completely. A creepy feeling set in as they approached the house. The windows were tainted with spiderwebs and a foul odor filled the air. As Constance peaked inside the window, she discovered something truly strange. She could see the old lady’s gray hair down, swaying in the wind as light illuminated her entire body. A weird mist sprouted out from her hands and her face looked determined as if she was trying to hold something back. Markus caught a glimpse of what was happening and pulled his friend away from the window by her hand.
“Constance, snap out of,” he stated, shaking her gently.
“I just ssssaww,” Constance stammered.
“I know what you saw,” Markus interupted. “We need to talk to that lady.” At once, Constance and Markus didn’t care if the woman spotted them. They needed answers. Now.
Markus trudged to the porch, lugging Constance and opened the door. The woman was in the same position as before. The friends saw what she was fighting. Before the woman stood an old man, with a wispy gray beard. There was yellow mist emerging from his hands fighting the purple mist coming from the women’s hands. “Give me the Eye!” shouted the old man, rage pouring from his face.
“No, I will never!” shouted the woman. Her gaze was fierce and filled with fury. Screams and voices echoed as she used all her energy to defeat her enemy.
“Aargh! You have always been so stubborn, Cornelia!” shouted the man.
“Yes. I have, and I will continue to be, Reginald!” replied Cornelia.
“Fine, I will get the Eye somehow, don’t worry,” said Reginald calmly, seeing that he couldn’t defeat Cornelia. At least not now. And with that, Reginald and the screams disappeared, leaving Cornelia, more tired than ever.
“Cornelia,” said Markus quietly. Cornelia gasped and gaped at the sight of Constance and Markus, looking questioningly at her.
“Oh! I didn’t even realize that you were here, children.”
“What just happened?” asked Constance. “Who is that man, and what is the ‘Eye’? And who are you?”
“Children, now that you have seen this, you are in great danger,” said Cornelia with a worried expression on her face. “I am a sorceress. And that man that you just saw is Reginald, and he and his group of magicians possess the capability to take over the world. Reginald and his group have always believed that humans possess more capabilities that we haven’t unlocked yet. His theory proved to be true. He heard of how the Buddha was such a powerful being, and who had tapped into all of the human senses. By following the Buddha, Reginald tapped into all the human capabilities as well, and was able to absorb elements of sorts. He could harness fire, water, air, and the most powerful magic of all: time. Reginald wants to use these in his favor to control the world with the help of his allies of course. I was his student. I learned all this magic from him. But I learned the most important part of magic by myself which Reginald didn’t teach: control. I escaped my teacher after learning his intentions and I decided to try and stop him. And this brings me to the Eye.” Cornelia placed a hand on her neck to reveal a pendant with the shape of an eye engraved on a diamond. “This is the Eye,” she continued. “This was the Buddha’s necklace which reveals how to control everything in the universe using focus. This is what Reginald needs to control all of us. I found this in a deep cave in Tibet which foretells of a prophecy, that includes all of us.”
All of this was hard to digest for Constance and Markus. They didn’t understand anything. Except the fact that magic was in the world.
To be continued…