The arrangemnt of orange, golden, and brown leaves blew across the damp paved road, as the wind blew gently. The sky was a plae color of blue with whispy white clouds floating lazingly on the breeze. The trees whispered back and forth as the wind made it’s way through them, creating a rustling sound. It was the beginning of fall, and usually Darius Kelley would be excited, but how could he be when movers were packing up his room, and loading them in a truck that was headed to Riverside, CA. It was about an hour away from where he grew up most of his life, Hollywood. But he was leaving behind friends, teachers he had learned to love, and his girlfriend.
Darius kicked a rock, and leaned against his father’s beat-up Mustang. His mother, Jennifer, came and stood by him, and played with his hair.
“C’mon, ma. Stop.” He jerked his head away, and continued sulking.
“Darius, chill out. You’ll love it in Riverside. There’s tons to do.”
He shrugged. “There’s more to do out here.”
Mrs. Kelley shook her head, her son was as stubborn as a bull. She left him be, and went to tend to her husband who was directing the movers. William Kelley smiled as his wife entered the room, but it soon faltered as he read the look on her face.
“What’s the matter, Jen?”
“Couldn’t we have waited until after his birthday, Willie? He’s so upset.”
“Jen, I have a surprise for him that’ll make him forget about this little…damper.” WIlliam wrapped an arm around his beautiful wife, and squeezed her. “You do trust me, right?”
“I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t.”
Willaim smiled. “Then continue to do so. Our son will be just fine.”
Outside Darius caught a glimpse of his now ex-girlfriend Fallon. She was walking towards him holding an orange box with gold ribbons. Once she was within five feet she smiled.
“Hey, Fallon.” Darius greeted when she was near enough.
“Hey, D. You know I wouldn’t break up with you—”
Darius hushed her by putting his hand up. “Yeah. I know. It’s all good, I understand. What use am I if I live out of town.”
“We’ll still be friends?”
“Yeah.” He flashed his perfect smile. “What’s in the box.”
“A gift, but you can’t open it until you get in your new house.” Fallon caressed the box, then handed it to Darius. “I hope you’ll like it.”
“Thanks. You didn’t have to get me anything. I don’t have anything for you.”
“It’s alright.” Fallon leaned against the car alongside Darius.
He instinctively wrapped his arm around her. “Oh, hold up. Stay right here, aight?”
Fallon nodded as she watched Darius run in the house, then run back out with a huge grin on his face. He stepped towards her slowly, then held out his hands. Inside was his favorite dog tag chain. The dog tag had his zodiac symbol lasered on one side, and on the other it was bordered with rubies and diamonds.
“Here.” He went to put it on Fallon, but she moved away.
“No. Darius, I can’t. THat’s your favorite chain. Your grandparents got it for you.”
“I know. But, I feel like I should give you somethin’.” He unsnapped the white gold braclet encrusted with sapphires from his wrist. “How about this?” The bracelet was a gift from his aunt who lived in South Africa.
Fallon shook her head. “Nope. None of your jewelry. It’s all too important to you. I appreciate the gesutres, though.”
“Ah, c’mon Fallon. You like jewelry. I’ve bought it for you before—”
“True. But these are gifts from other people to you. They gave them to you from their hearts. It’s just wrong.”
“But once they’re mine I can do what I want.”
Fallon still refused. “No, Darious. I mean it.”
“At least take this.” He unfastened the tiny sliver necklace from around his neck, from it was hanging a music not that was handcuffed to a treble clef. “Please.”
Fallon sighed, and held her hand out. She knew he bought the necklace for himself, but it still meant a lot to him. “Thank you.” she whispered as she clutched the necklace in both hands, and held it to her heart. Unwillingly she began to cry. Darius pulled her in his arms, and rocked her back and forth. Finally she quieted down. “I have to go. Call me when you get out there.”
“Aight, Fallon.” Darius watched as she rushed up the street to her house. She stopped, turned and waved, then ran up her pathway. He stuffed his hands in his pockets, and stalked in the house. His parent were standing in the empty livingroom.
“Aye, son c’mere for a second.”
Darius looked at his father, then walked over at him. “Yes?”
“Look, I know you’re upset, but I couldn’t put off my boss any longer. This is a major career move, I even got a huge bonus. And selflessly I got something for you and your mother. Because I know you guys are going to have to adjust more than I will. Your mother is leaving behind a great job, you’re leaving behind friends, and Fallon—”
“Darius, where’s you necklace?” Jennifer asked her son, reaching towards his neck.
“I gave it to Fallon. She gave me this.” He held up the box. “I don’t know what it is, yet.”
“That was very nice. Of both of you.” Jennifer patted his shoulder. “I’m curious to see what your father did for us. Aren’t you?”
Again, Darius eyes his father. “Yep.”
“Once we reach Riverside. I hope you’ll like it.” William kissed Jennifer on the top of her head, and went out back where the movers were.
“Go get that box out of your room.” Jennifer said to Darius as she went to take a final walk through of their home for eighteen years.
Darius had one box he didn’t want the movers to touch. His jewelry box. He was a massive lover of jewelry. His aunt in South Africa worked with precious gems, and often sent him elaborate gifts. And his grandparents owned a jewlry shop and also sent him exquisite presents. He had over a hundred rings, bracelets, chains, necklaces, and earrings, each. He had white gold, yellow gold„ rose gold, blue gold. In his collection of gems he had, diamonds of all colors, sapphires, rubies, topaz, onyx, amethyst, even pearls and crystals. The pearls he just saved, hoping to one day give them to the girl he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. Darius picked up the heavy box, and put it in his moms mini-van.
“Darius!” William called.
“Yes?!” Darius rushed to the backyard.
“These are the last boxes. Are you ready?”
Darius nodded. “As ready as expected.”
“Son, I…I, uh, I know this is hard for you—”
“I’m fine, Dad. I’m gonna ride with mom, though. So I’ll see you when you get there. Or when we get there.”
“Yeah, yeah. Okay.” William watched as Darius went to find his mother.
Once Darius found Jennifer he hugged her. She hugged him back. She knew Darius didn’t like to show much emotion, so she understood this was awkward for him. She wrapped her arms around her son, and rubbed his back, like she used to when he was a child, and had nightmares. Suddenly Darius stood up to his six foot two inch height.
“Um, ready when you are.”
Jennifer smiled, as if nothing happened. “Okay, let’s go. Are you hungry?”
“Yeah. Let’s go to Jack in the Box.”
Jennifer nodded her agreement, grabbed her purse, and headed to the car.. Darius followed. They strapped up in their seatbelts, and headed on their way. He watched out his window as his house disappeared into the background, then the street, then the neighborhood. He rested his head against the window, and fell asleep, forgetting his hunger pains. Jennifer noticed and drove straight to Riverside.
Jahzara Smith was late for school again. She woke up ten minutes late, and missed the bus. She couldn’t believe it. She was at thebus stop waiting for the next bus, it was a cold bitter morning, and most of the trees were bare. She zipped her jacket, and pulled on her fur-lined hood, then stuffed her gloved hands in her pockets. Finally the bus arrived. As soon as the doors swung open she hopped up the stairs and flashed her bus pass, then immediately went to the back of the bus.
Surprisingly to her there weren’t many other Carterfield High students on the bus. Just two or three she guessed. None of which she knew, just seen around. Settling in for the forty-five minute ride, she dug her iPod out of her messy backpack and plugged the headphones in her ears. She blasted her Chris Brown album. She figured it would last her till she got to school if she skipped the intro and a few songs.
Right when the intro to “Say Goodbye” started up the bus stopped in front of the school. She pressed the pause botton and held it until her iPOd turned off, and flipped on the hold switch. Jahzara jumped off the bus, and hurried to the office to get a late pass. When she entered the office, she groaned as she realized there was a line of about fifteen ofter students.
“Hey Zara, you can walk with me.” It was her first period teacher, Mr. Jamison. “We got a new student today, so I had to make a run up here. They didn’t give me his paperwork.”
Jahzara shrugged her shoulders to adjust her backpack. “Where’s he from?”
“Oh, we got ourselves a superstar. Straight from Hollywood.”
“Oh. What kinda paperwork did you need?”
Mr. Jamison folded the papers in his hands as he replied. “Just standard papers that I need to fill out. All you guys have them in the beginning of the year, it’s more like a survey. So when parents go online theyhave an accurate knowledge of the type of students we get by sex, race, and academic progress.”
She knitted her brow, and squinted her eyes. “How are you gonna know his academic progress on the first day?”
“That one I return at the end of the of each month.” He opened the classroom door, and let Jahzara in first.
She took her usual seat at the front of the class near the windows. She looked around to catch a glimpse of the new student, then she found him. As if he could feel her looking at him, he looked up in her direction. She smiled, and he gave a small smile back, then continued his task at hand.
“Okay, class. As you know we have a new student, and this school didn’t give me the paper work on him. But now that I’m back, Darius Kelley would you mind coming up and telling the class about yourself?”
Darius stood up, and adjusted his Lacoste polo over his Levi jeans, he took slow steps in his fresh white Nike Air Force Ones towards the front of the class room. “How y’all doing this mornin’?”
Surprised the class, answered in a murmur of “fine’s”, “alright’s” and a mixture of other related terms.
“Good. Well, my name is Darius Kelley. I’m from Hollywood, and I went to Hollywood High, which is located only a block from Hollywood BLVD, and the Walk of Stars. I’m very into music, and I love jewelry.” He smiled and lifted his wrist showing off one of his more simple diamond bracelets. “My mother is an interior decorator, self-employed. So if any of you need to redecorate your home, let me know, and I’ll give my mom a holla. My father has just been promoted to president of the Riverside division of Lockeheed—”
“The aircraft company?” a boy near the back asked.
“Don’t interupt Kelvin.”
Darius smiled. “It’s okay, Mr.Jamison. But yeah it’s the aircraft company. His promotion is the reason we moved up here. Um, any questions?”
A few hands went up. Again Darius smiled. “Uh, the guy in the black hoodie.”
“You see a lot of actors and stuff in Hollywood?”
“Sometimes. If there’s a premier at the Gruman or Astrolight, then sure. But you can always find imitators on Hollywood and Orange.” He laughed a little. He looked around at the remaining hands. “Yeah, the girl in fur hood.”
Jahzara smiled at Darius. “When’s your birthday?—”
“Zara, don’t start! …C’mon Zara!…There she goes!” a melody of voices shouted at once.
Mr. Jamison smiled. “You guys settle down. Darius?”
Darius got a little nervous, and his smile faded. “Um, why?”
“What’s wrong?” Jahzara asked. “Scared to tell us your birthday? Don’t be.”
Darius bit his bottom lip, and stared at Jahzara. His conscience was telling him it was best he didn’t answer the question. “Anymore questions?”
“Oh, so you’re just gonna ignore me? Think you all that ‘cause you from Hollywood?”
Darius shook his head. “Nope. It’s just people treat me different when I tell them when my birthday is. So unless I get to know you better, you’re not going to know when I was born.”
Mr. Jamison stood from behind his desk. “Okay class, you can all get to know Darius later. Now I need to get to the lesson. Lucky for you Darius we’re starting a new chapter today. The next country we’ll be studying is Persia. Does anyone know who Xerxes was?”
Darius shot his hand in the air.
“Yeah, he was the king of Persia. He wanted to take control of Sparta, but they didn’t want Persia rule so they went to war.”
“Yeah. What kinda king was Xerxes?”
This time Kelvin rose his hand. ” Mr. Clark?”
“He liked to indulge. It’s like pleasure was his middle name. He used bribery to get what he wanted.”
“Wow.” Mr. Jamison smiled. “Who else can tell me more about Xerxes?”
A few more hands shot up. Mr. Jamison nodded. “And how do you guys know so much about Xerxes, Persia, and Sparta?”
Some of the class yelled out, “300!”
“Of course. Well, has anyone not seen it?” The remainder of the classes hands went up. “That’s over half of you. We’ll watch it this Friday, but until then we’ll go into detail about Persia, and it’s rulers, including Xerxes.” The rest of the class period Mr. Jamison wrote notes on the board and discussed lessons with the class. When the bell rang he bade them farewell, wishing them a good rest of the day.
Jahzara was on Darius’s tail as soon as he got up. In the hall she tapped him on the shoulder. He stopped and turned towards her. “Yeah?”
Not wanting to become a nuisance to him, she smiled and asked. “What’s your next class?”
Darius looked as paper. ” Mrs. Henry.”
“Follow me, I know where that is.”
“Naw, you ain’t gotta go out of your way.”
Jahzara smacked her lips. “Who said it was out of my way? It’s on my way. And look, as of now, you ain’t got any friends. Here I am putting myself out for you, take it or leave it.”
Darius smiled. “Aight, woman. What’s your name?”
“Jahzara, but call me Zara. Do not call me JZ. I will kick you in your face. Real talk.”
Darius laughed. “Aight, Jahzara.” He pulled on the straps to his backpack and followed her to his next class. They began to talk about their favorite subjects, until they got to his destination.
“Look my class is right up there. Wait here, and I’ll introduce you to some more people at nutrition, alright?”
“Yeah. Thanks.” Darius walked into the classroom, receiving the usual scrutinized glances from his classmates, and the curious look of dismay from the teacher. He just flashed his million dollar smile, and approached the desk with his schedule so she’d know he was a new student.
Jahzara slide into class with a smile on her face. She felt a certain connection with Darius that she couldn’t quite put her finger on, but she felt it. She had a deep feeling that he’d be very important to her interest. Sitting in her desk, she pulled out an old, ragged book that looked like it lived with Adam and Eve once upon a time. She flipped to the front page, and ran her fingers over the text. Yes, Darius was a perfect new edition to her life. At least she hoped he was.
Jahzara had led Darius around all day. At the end of the school day she met him after his last class. She was slightly out of breath because their classrooms were on exact opposite ends of the large campus. When Darius came out, he was laughing with Crystal, a girl Jahzara couldn’t hardly stand.
He turned, and looked around, then smiled once his eyes landed on Jahzara. “Hey Z. Can I call you Z?”
“Try to use it as least of all as possible.” She smiled back.
“Aight. Um, Krista, thanks for the notes.”
Crystal rolled her eyes. “It’s Crystal.”
Darius stuck out his lips and frowned. “Oh, my bad. Crystal. I’ll remember that next time.” He returned his attention back on Jahzara. “Thank you, so much for helping me out today. I would offer you a ride home, but I don’t know my way aound here.”
“Where do you stay?”
“Over in Donahue Heights.”
Jahzara dropped her backpack. “No way.”
“I know! That’s what I said. I told my dad…” As Darius trailed on about his presumptions on his living arrangements, Jahzara went into thought. Donahue Heights was the oldest part of Riverside with the most history. It had a legend, a four hundred year old legend.
Darius stopped his rant. “Whassup?”
“I live on the way. But you wanna go to the library? We can get started on some homework.” Jahzara took a deep breath to steady her pounding heart. She was so excited she didn’t know what to do. Her nerves were jumping, and she was getting antsy.
“Okay, I guess. At least I’ll know where the library is at. Lemme call my mom first so she’ll know. How long are we gonna be out?”
“Not long, an hour and half. Just enough time to get started on a few subjects, help each other out.”
“Coo’.” He pulled out his cell phone, and cakked his mother. “Mom?”
“Hey Darius. How was your first day?”
“Fine. I made a friend, and we’re going to the library. I’ll be there for an hour and thirty minutes. Is that fine?”
“Yeah, that’s fine. I’ll see you when you get home. Be careful.”
“I will.” He hung up the phone. “Okay Zara let’s roll.” He led the way to the student parking lot where his brand new Ford Mustang was gleaming brilliantly in the sunlight. It was a deep midnight blue, with metallic paint giving off the effect of the night sky.
“Wow, nice ride.” Jahzara ran her fingers along the surface of the car. Darius pressed a button on his keychain, and the door unlocked. Both him and Jahzara hopped in. She gave him directions to the library which was not very far from his house.
Once inside Jahzara led them to a secluded corner with dimmed lighting. Darius dumped his backpack on the floor, and fell into one of the soft cushioned chairs. Jahzara pulled another chair near his, and sat down, also.
“So, which subject do you wanna start first?”
“Darius, when’s your birthday?”
He ran his hands over his head. “Why are you so obsessed with that?”
Jahzara pulled out the ratty old book from her backpack. Darius looked on in disgust. She flipped the book open and read.
“1605 in Riverside an immigrant man who had traveled with Spanish nomads made a home. Those who did not know him said he was mysterious, but I knew otherwise. Once he made his home he married one of the most striking beautiful women in town, not soon after she gave birth to a boy.
“The man, Tigernach Donahue spent many nights in his cellar after his son was born. He was an evil wizard, and was engrossed with the dark arts. One night his wife went into the cellar, and she never returned. ANyone who tried to view and gain knowledge of what was in his cellar never got a chance to tell al living soul.
“Tigernach had a soft spot though. Although I used the term soft, I use it very casually when speaking of Tigernach Donahue. His son, Fearghus was his soft spot. I believe Fearghus was the only human being Tigernach truly loved, until Fearghus found his spell book. Young Fearghus was not introduced to magic. None whatsoever. When Tigernach—”
“What is this, Jahzara?” Darius asked perplexed.
“Tell me your birthday.”
Darius shook his head. “Keep reading.”
Jahzara adjusted the book on her lap and continued. ” When Tigernach found Fearghus studying the spell book, that was only kept in the cellar, he was outraged beyond all imagination. You would have had to be there to witness the level of insanity Tigernach reached. His hair stood up on end, his eyes rolled around frantically as he slurred off on a Latin vernacular spiel. He then bound poor, helpless Fearghus in the attic of the home.
“When one thinks of evil, then you must think of good. As expected there was good, and it came in the form of Kaelyn. A woman with fiery red hair, and dazzling hazel eyes. The vile anger Tigernach gave off that day she felt, and knew someone needed her help to be saved by the evil she felt.
“Kaelyn set off towards the little town of Riverside, and perfromed a spell to beckon the foul monster she knew resided in this area. Almost immediately Tigernach beared his ugly head. I mean that truthfully, over the years Tigernach began to mutate. His skin got heavy, and leathery with fine lines, and deep wrinkles. He was a pale color from never going into the sunlight. The white of his eyes a dingy yellow color. His lips chapped and peeling. He looked rather abominable.
“Tigernach prepared to battle this beautiful witch, although he knew not why. Kaelyn sent spell after spell, deflecting the ones he threw at her. Finally feeling as if she had him, she sent one last spell meant to finish him. But the spell blended with the one he was throwing. Kaelyn held her ground, and the spell hit Tigernach. He fell to the ground, then something strange happened. His body began to glow and rise, then he shattered and disenrated. His ashes swirled together and shot into the amulet resting on Kaelyn’s neck.
“Upon impact she fell to the ground, struggling to breath. Once she regained her compusre she tried to stand up, her legs were shakey, but she found victory. Kaelyn tried to removed the necklace from her neck but found it difficult, she gave up after a few spells, and went forward to Tigernach’s home.
“Inside she followed her instinct, and went straight to the attic. She removed the lock from the door, and found Fearghus curled up underneath a blanket in the corner of the room. From then on she tried to care for him and teach him good magic, but eventually Tigernach’s soul demented her, and took over her. Sooner than later Tigernach’s soul invaded Kaelyn’s body, destroying her own. Fearghus, the intelligent boythat he was noticed the difference. It came down to a battle between Fearghus and his father trapped in Kaelyn’s amulet. The end result was Tigernach’s soul still trapped in the amulet, and Fearghus’s soul being trapped in an animal.”
Jahzara paused before continuing. “Darius, I need to know your birthday before we go on.”
“It’s in October.”
“W-what day?” Jahzara inched closer to Darius, anxiously awaiting his answer.
Darius drew in a deep breath, and on it’s release he answered, “The thrity-first. Aight, happy? I was born on Halloween. So go on ahead and call me a child of the devil, Hades Jr.—”
“No, Darius, listen.” Jahzara found her place on the page. “The legend goes one who is male, and born on Hallow’s Eve—”
“Oh, hell no.”
Jahzara closed the book. “Darius, do you see the color of my eyes?”
He looked, and frowned. “Hazel. That doesn’t meant anything, though—”
“Kaelyn is my blood! My family has been trying to destroy this amulet forever—”
“And what’s happened to the ‘Hallow’s Eve Male’? No ones succeeded.” Darius jumped up, shaking his head. “You would think I’d be used to weird things, living in Hollywood and all, but naw, not this.”
“Pleeease.” Jahzara grabbed his arm. “This is the four hundrdth anniversary, and I’ve been studying, and I know we can do it. Please, Darius.” Dropping her voice lower, she said into his ear. “I can do real magic, Darius.”
Darius stared down at her. “Lemme think about this. C’mon, lemme take you home.” He grabbed his backpack and headed to his car without waiting for her. His first week in the town and he’s already inclined to head back to Hollywood.
When Darius got hom, he went straight to his room, merely hollering that he was home as he ascended the stairs. Once he was in his room, he sat at his desk. He didn’t know what to make of what he’d just learned. He couldn’t believe that girl would just spring that on him like that. He didn’t consider her weird, or a freak. He knew some forms of magic were actually real, but he’d never been involved with it, nor had he ever intended to be. But he couldn’t shake the look in her eyes. He could almost feel her urgency. Darius shrugged it off for the moment, and tried to focus on the homework he needed to complete.
An hour later he finished most of his work, and took a break. Standing up to stretch his legs, he caught a glimpse of something orange, and sparkly in his closet. He opened the doors, and saw Fallon’s present sitting on the floor underneath one of his hoodies. He picked it up, and sat on his bed to open it. When he removed the bow, and opened the box he was faced with a beautifully painted portrait of them when they were younger. Darius couldn’t help but to smile, as he examined the perfectly sketched portrait. He placed it on his desk. Inside the box was also a signed mini-poster of the current Lakers. He posted that on his wall. One more look in the box and Darius found a smaller box. He picked it up, and opened it, and a wide grin spread across his face. Fallon had gotten him a pendant. It was a scorpion embedded on the Scorpio symbol. The scropion was decorated with tiny jewels.
Darius picked up his cell phone to dial Fallon. It rang two times and went to voicemail. “Hey you’ve reached Fallon, couldn’t get ya call. My bad, but leave me a message and I’ll get back at ya!”
“Hey Fallon, it’s D. I just opened my gift. Thanks, I really like it. The picture is great, and of course I love the pendant. Thanks again. Call me when you get this.” Darius hung up his phone, and put it on the charger. Then he went downstairs, he was hungry all of a sudden.
His mom was in the kitchen finishing up dinner. Darius sat at the isalnd, and grabbed a nectarine from the fruit basket.
“Darius you’ll ruin your appetite.” Jennifer snatched the piece of fruit from his hand before he could take a bite.
“Maaaa! I’m hungry.”
Jennifer smiled. “You’ll survive until dinner is completed. Set the table, your father will be home in a few moments.”
Darius slid off the stool and set the table. He grabbed the pitcher of Kool-aid, and set in the middle of the table as well. When he was done he helped his mother take the serving trays to the table. Once they were done, they sat, and waited for his father to join them.
“I’m home!” William announced taking a seat at the table. “Mmm fried chicken, corn on the cob, and mashed potatoes. Jen you just knew a Black man was cravin some down souf food!!” He laughed and kissed Jennifer on the cheek.
“How was work?” Jennifer asked, placing chicken on her plate.
“Nothing new. Same thing, new location basically.” He took some chicken for himself, then directed his attention towards Darius. “How was school?”
“Nothing new. Same thing, new location basically.” Darius joked. “Nah, fo’reel, I got some pretty cool teachers, and I made some friends.”
William nodded, and smiled. “Really? That’s good.”
“Yeah, he even went to the library with one today. Isn’t that somethin’ Willie? Usually the kids wanna hang at the park or show off the hang out spots, but Darius went to the library.”
William raised his eyebrows, “What did you study?”
“Some town history.” Before his parents could ask him specifics about what he had learned he went on abouthis other subjects, too. After that his parents ceased the questioning about his academics, and went on to inquire about what sports he was going to play.
Jahzara raced up the steps to her parents room. She knocked on the door frame. “Ma, Dad?”
“C’min, Zara.” Her mother, Kimberly, replied.
Jahzara stepped in, and sat in one of the overstuffed chairs in her parent’s bedroom. “Ma, we got a new student today. I think he can help—”
“Are you sure, Zara? This is something serious. We’ve told you so many times. Do you know how many people have gotten hurt?” Christopher, her father said, looking up from his newspaper. “You’ve read the books, we’ve told you the stories. I never would have thought—”
“What, Dad? That I’d take an interest? This is family history. Kaelyn’s spirit—”
“Is destroyed, Jahzara.” Kimberly cut in. “Tigernach’s evil corrupted it. Destroying the amulet doesn’t promise anything.”
“How do you know? No one’s ever succeded! And besides I’ve been reading some more into it. Fearghus still lives around here. Tigernach shot off a spell that would make him immortal, it was a dual-spell meant to kill Fearghus, and thus giving Tigernach eternal life. Except it went backward. Tigernach killed himself, and gave Fearghus immortality.” Jahzara got excited. “If he’s around he can help. I have to find him…But how.” Her hazel eyes lit up, and she began to smile.
Chris shook his head. “Oh, no. Hell no. Kimberly tell her no.”
“No, Jahzara, you cannot use the spell book.”
“Aw, c’mon maaa. I’ve been practicing.”
Kimberly shook her head, and said frimly. “Jahzara Kaelyn Smith you are not to use any spells from that book, so help me God. Do you understand?”
“Yes, mother.” Jahzara got up from the chair. “I’m going to my room, if you need me.”
“Wait, Zara,” Chris got up from his desk. “Tell me about this boy.”
“How’d you know it was a boy?” Kimberly asked.
“Ma, you know the legend, ‘a male, born on…’, etc, etc.”
Jahzara gave her mom a look. “Well, Dad, he’s tall, handsome, charismatic, great smile, polite, and born on Halloween. Can he get any better?”
Chris sighed. “Invite him over to dinner, that is if you haven’t scared him so bad he’s not gonna wanna talk to you any more.”
“I doubt that. He’ll come around. I’ma hafta push him some, because Halloween is only a month away.” Jahzara exited her parent’s room, and went into her own room. She took an old, beat up book off her bookshelf. For her sixteenth birthday she received her father’s books. Ever since she got them she read everyday until she covered every letter on every page in every book. It took her almost two years to read the twenty book volume. The book she picked up was the diary of Fearghus, she just wished she could find him. Her parents didn’t really approve of her trying to solve the legend. Her own father didn’t pursue the adventurous task. He said, “What is the point? If he corrupted her soul, then she’s evil, too. Why risk the chance of releasing both spirits. Just forget about Jahzara. It’s nothing to concern you.” She continued to read and study anyway, something in her heart and mind told her she needed to pursue this.
There was a knock on Jahzara’s door frame. It was her brother, Eric. “Can I step in?”
“When’d you get here?”
Eric sat on the bed next to Jahzara. He was older than her by three years. He had moved out as soon as he turned eighteen, he couldn’t take the magic stuff so well. He wanted to lead a normal life. Jahzara thought he was just scared. “Zara, ma called me. You need to listen to her. This is something serious. No one’s even found the necklace, and people have given up years ago. Why you think they did that?”
“I dunno, Eric. But I need to do this. It’s like I have no choice.”
“You do gotta choice. You ain’t gotta do nothin’! It don’t stay not a damn thing in them books about an obligation.”
Jahzara’s hazel eyes flashed green, something that happened whenever she got angry. “I don’t care, I feel like I need to do this, so I’m gonna try. I wish y’all would support me for once.”
“For once? Zara I’ve always supported you, except for now, because I have a really bad feelin’ bout this. Fo’reel. Can’t you just leave it alone. Or what till you’ve had time to talk to Great Gran’mama?”
She smiled. “I’ma talk to Gran’mama right now. You comin’?”
Eric sighed. “You know how I feel about this kinda stuff.”
“It’s about of you Eric. How you comin’ or not?”
“Aight.” Eric stood up along with Jahzara, they joined hands, and said, “Desapareça.” Their bodies seemed to fade, then they were gone. They felt light, yet compressed as they traveled from Riverside to Oakland. When they arrived in their grandmother’s livingroom, they fell to the floor gasping for air.
Great Gran’mama Morgan was sitting right there in her favorite chair reading a book. She looked at her great grandchildren and shook her head smiling. They were the only ones who used the magic that was instilled in them. Her smile faded when she saw Jahzara’s eyes green instead of their orignal hazel.
“Jahzara what’s the matter?”
Jahzara glanced up, then stood. “Hey Gran’mama.”
“Speak to me child, don’t stall.”
“I’ve been reading the books, and I need to know if I’d be wasting my time if I tried to find the amulet and destroy it.”
Morgan looked at Eric. “Get up, boy. If you used air travel more you wouldn’t feel out of breath.”
Eric stood up, and dusted off his clothes. “Sorry, Gran’mama. This the second time I used it tonight, though.”
“Mmmhmm. Y’all go on and sit down, ‘fore ya wake up your Granny. There ya go. Now, Jahzara everything you need to know ain’t in dem books you’ve been readin’ baby. Some stuff your daddy should’ve told you, but I can understand why. It’s a dangerous task. That house is evil Jahzara.”
Eric and Jahzara looked at each other confused.
“Good heavens, Christopher didn’t tell you about the house?! My goodness. The Donahue house. You have to have the right person with you.—”
“A male born on Hallow’s eve.” Jahzara siad, proudly.
Morgan nodded. “Yes, but he must possess all the qualities. He has to be a foreigner, the first born male to his parents, and pure.”
“Pure?” Eric asked.
“A virgin?” Jahzara looked at her great grandmother in shock.
“No, my dears. Pure. No magic in his bloodline. And he has to believe.”
Jahzara nodded. “Is this why no one’s ever found it? They couldn’t find a person with all these qualities?”
“Yes. Not too many people move into Riverside anymore, most move out. So that crosses out a foreigner. There’s people born on Halloween, but how many? And to be the first male? Very difficult indeed.”
“The boy I know is a foreigner and born on Halloween, but I don’t know if he’s the firstborn. I know he doesn’t have any magic in his bloodline, and I can easily make him believe.”
“Really? Well, well, then. You need to find out that information, and then come back and I’ll tell you more.”
Jahzara got up. “Okay, Gran’mama. Love you.” She kissed her on the cheek.
Eric got up to do the same. “See you later, Gran’mama.”
“Eric, you help your sister best you can, ya hear me?”
Jahzara and Eric joined hands again and said the spell to transfer them back home.”Apareça”
Darius laid his head on his desk. He was full from dinner, but he needed to finish his homework. He lifted his head, and raised his pencil preparing to write, but he felt so lazy. He took a deep breath and crashed the pencil down against the paper, writing, writing, writing, until his burst of energy fizzled out. He slid the paper away from him, and rested his head on the desk again.
tap tap tap.
Darius looked at his window, but he didn’t see anything. He closed his eyes.
tap tap tap.
He hopped up, and went to the window, a crow was sitting on his window sill. He tapped his window trying to shoo it way, but he stayed perched.
tap tap tap
Darius pounded the glass, sure that would scare the bird away, but still it remained. He knocked again, yet the bird did not move. Darius opened the window trying to knock the bird off the sill. Finally it flew away, so Darius thought. Before he could shut the window the bird flew in, and landed on his desk. He couldn’t believe it.
“Thank you. I’d thought you’d never open the door.” the bird said. “Don’t worry I won’t get any droppings in your room.”
Darius just stared. Was a bird really talking to him. She shook his head, and wiped his eyes. He knew he was tired, but could he be this tired?
“Oh, yes. So sorry, do let me introduce myself. So rude of me. I’m Fearghus Donahue. My spirit was cast into this birds body centuries ago, due to a mishap spell.”
The bird inclined it’s head. “Yes, that would be me. Although, not entirely, seeing as though I am a bird. But it is me. Now do you know the legend, or rather the story?”
“Good, that spares us so much time. Normally I would not want the locket destroyed. You see as long as it is not in harms way no harm can be done, but there is a certain person who has learned the ways my father had learned. I am afraid if this person finds the locket the world may be in danger.”
“What’s this got to do with me?”
Fearghus flew around. “You humorous, young fellow. Were you not born on Hallow’s Eve, are you not the first born male to your parents, are you not from another city, and lastly are not magically impaired?”
“How do you know all of that?”
Feaghus wished he could smile. “Simple. But nevermind how. You know the offspring of Kaelyn, correct?”
“Yes. You must bring her to Incanti Park tomorrow after school. You have one of those automobiles don’t you?”
Darius nodded. “Yeah.”
“Good. When you arrive keep it stationary between the entrance and the large weeping willow. I’ll call your name, and we’ll talk.”
Darius woke up extra early the next day. As he was getting ready he kept stealing glances at his window, expecting to see the talking crow, but there wasn’t one. He ate his breakfast quickly, barely communicating with his parents.
“Darius, are you okay?” Jennifer asked her only child.
He just nodded as he bit into his breakfast sandwhich. “I’m good, ma. I’m just, um, excited. That’s all.”
William smiled. “Excited about what?”
“We’re learning about the Spartans in first period, and the teacher is really fun. I just don’t wanna risk being late.” Darius gulped down his orange juice, and wiped his mouth. “Oh, and today I’ma get a little tour of the city, okay?”
Jennifer nodded. “Okay, as long as you’re home in time for dinner, Darius.”
“Yeah. Of course. I’ll see you guys when I get home.” Darius grabbed his backpack, and rushed out the front door. The crisp cool air whipped against his face as the wind blew. He hurriedly got in his car, and headed off towards Jahzara’s house. He hoped she hadn’t left for school yet. He rushed up to her front door, which was painted black, and knocked.
A tall white man answered the door. Darius wasn’t sure if he had the right house. “May I help you?”
“Um, yeah, I’m looking for Jahzara. Jahzara Smith.”
The man smiled, and that’s when Darius noticed the hazel eyes. “Step on in, she’s not quite ready yet.”
“Okay. Thank you.”
“What’s your name, son?”
“I’m Christopher, Jahzara’s father. We’re having breakfast, you want something?”
Darius shook his head. “No, thanks. I ate already.”
“Okay.” Christopher smiled again. “Are you new to Riverside?”
“Yeah. Your daughter’s taught me some of the history, it’s really interesting.”
Christopher raised his eyebrows. “You think so? Everytown has a legend.”
“Sure, but the other’s have gotten reinvented over the years. This one has it written down in actual books from the era.”
“Where are you from?”
“The actual city?”
Darius nodded. “Yup. I went to Hollywood High and everything.”
“You’ll have to come over for dinner sometime, young man. Well, let me go get Jahzara Oh, Darius this my son Eric.” Christopher grabbed Eric around the shoulders as he was making his way to the kitchen. “Eric, this is Darius Keley, one of Jahzara’s friends.”
Eric eyed Darius up and down, then nodded. “What’s up, man? Nice to meet you. Keep my sister out of trouble.”
The way Eric said the last line made Darius wonder if he knew what was up. “I’ll try.”
“Daaad! Where’s my book?” Jahzara yelled from the top of the stairs.
“Down here. Hurry up, we have company!”
Jahzara hurried down the stairs, the look on her face let everyone know she was startled to see Darius. “Hey, what are you doing here?”
“Thought you might like a ride, or somethin’.”
Jahzara smiled. “That was nice of you. Just let me grab my backpack and we can go.” She headed down the hall and game back with her bag. “Okay. Bye family.” Jahzara grabbed Darius’s arm and pulled him out the house. Once they were in the car she turned towards him. “Why’d you pick me up? You don’t just show up at peoples house unannounced. That’s rude.”
“Don’t tell me about rude Jahzara. Aight? Damn, for someone who needs my help, you’re bein’ hella rude right now.” Darius gripped the steering wheel.
“You didn’t act like you wanted to help me yesterday.”
“And today today’s a new day, right. Imagine somebody tellin’ you that shit you told me yesterday. Did you epect me to be enthusiastic? I mean what did you expect?” Darius swerved into the student parking lot.
“I don’t know, maybe that you’d be willing.”
Darius pulled into a parking spot. “You don’t even know me Jahzara. You could’ve waited until you knew me a little longer.”
“I could’ve, and I should’ve, but it’s urgent. I feel it, Darius. Something bad is going to happen.”
“Yeah, I know.” Darius pulled the keys out of the ignition. “Fearghus came to me last night.—”
“In a dream?—”
“No. As a bird. He’s a crow or somethin’—”
“Omigawd, what did he say?”
Darius turned towards Jahzara. “If you’d just shut up aminute, and stop interupting me, then you’d find out.” He waited until he was sure she wouldn’t say anymore. “He told me to bring you to Incanti Park after school today.”
“Yeah, he said the amulet’s in danger or somethin’. He said he’ll tell us everything when we get there.”
“Wow. Okay. I knew something was wrong, and Eric didn’t believeme. No one did. So you’re gonna help?”
“I don’t have a choice with a damn crow knockin’ on my window, now do I?” Darius got out the car, and grabbed his backpack, Jahzara did the same.
“I know you don’t want to, Darius, but you’ll be a hero.”
Darius just slung his backpack onto his shoulders, and made sure he locked his car. Jahzara quickened her pace so she was right next to him.
“So you’re mad?”
“No. I’m confused. I think I might be going crazy.”
Jahzara laughed. “First off crazy people don’t know that they’re crazy. Why are you confused?”
“Because it’s like destiny or somethin’. I mean my dad gets a promotion, we get moved out here, then I meet you, and you tell me I’m like fuckin’ Neo from the Matrix.”
“Well, we just gotta roll with it don’t we?”
Darius held open the door to the classroom as he mumbled. “Don’t gotta choice now do I?”
Darius pulled into the park, and pulled in under the weeping willow. Then he cut the engine, and got out. He wasn’t to eager to have to talk to the bird again. He glanced over at Jahzara whom was climbing out of the car herself. She had a wild, excited look plastered onto her face.
“Darius Kelley?” he heard Fearghus’s unique voice cry out. Then a large black crow sept down from the tree encircling them, as he did so the outside diappeared, and it was if they were inside someone’s study.
“The fuck!” Darius shouted as candles lit themselves, and a chair scooted underneath him causing him to sit down. “Where am I?”
“Calm down, Darius.” Fearghs said perching on a wooden desk. “You are now in the Donahue house. This is where I had grown up. I used to come in this room for my schooling. after the duel with Kaelyn and my father this is where I learned magic. Jahzara must learn some spells so she can protect you while you fetch the book.”
“Protect me?” Darius began getting more nervous as Fearghus spoke.
“Yes, there is a passageway that you have to go through, it’s been boobey trapped by ancient witches and wizards—”
“But if I have the qualities that are needed—”
“Some of the traps weren’t set by good wizards, Darius. Now, Jahzara I will teach anti-jinxes, and shielding spells. Do you have a wand?”
Jahzara shook her head. “No.”
“Heavens, why not?”
“My father didn’t want me participating—”
“Understandable. I’ll get you one. Until then take the red book on the fourth shelf behind you.” Fearghus pointed with his wing.
Jahzara grabbed the book, and ran her fingers across it. Then she said, “Propre.” And the dust flew off, making the book look brand new.
“Ah, so you do know some magic. Very good. Read the introductury chapter, and then proceed to chapters four and five. That will give you an outline of the spells you need to know. We’ll meet on Friday, same time.”
The next thing Darius and Jahzara knew they standing next to Darius’s car, likenothing had happened. The only difference was Jahzara was holding a red book.
“Weird.” Darius said as he got in his car. “I can’t believe this is happening to me! What kinda situation did I get myself into.”
“Now I wold worry about you going crazy. See, it starts with talking to yourself. Next you’ll be having full out conversations.”
“If you heard me then I was talking to you, too. It wasn’t directed to anybody, therefore it was an open conversation.”
“Another sign is denial.”
Darius managed a smile. “Shut up, Z.” He pulled out his parking space, and headed back towards main Riverside, then he took Jahzara home, and went to his own house. The whole time he was wondering what he had gotten himself into, and if there was time to turn back.