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By Lucy Pireel
Copyright December 2012 Lucy Pireel All rights reserved Cover art by ulie !al" Digital #dition December 2012 $his boo" is a %or" o& &iction' (ames) characters) trademar"ed products) events) and locations are &ictitious or are used &ictitiously' Any resemblances to actual events or persons) living or dead) are entirely coincidental' Digital #dition License (otes $his eboo" is licensed &or your personal en*oyment only' $his eboo" may not be re+sold or given a%ay to other people' ,& you %ould li"e to share this boo" %ith another person) please purchase an additional copy &or each recipient' ,& you’re reading this boo" and did not purchase it) or it %as not purchased &or your use only) then please return to -obo'com and purchase your o%n copy' $han" you &or respecting the hard %or" o& this author'
+ Heaven.s /ate + 0riter.s 1agic
, %ould li"e to than" the team o& great people at Writer’s Beat Quarterly &or their outstanding editing *ob on my %inning entry in their Deserted 2oad competition and the &irst story in this boo") Heaven’s Gate. $he boo" un"ies &or accepting the second story) Writer’s Magic, &or publication on their %ebsite' $he photographer) ulie !al") %ho %as "ind enough to let me use her beauti&ul picture o& an angel as basis &or the cover o& this &ree edition' And &inally all the people %ho %ere and still are there &or me'
One of these days I have to stop working this road. Not much action anymore, not since the police started rounding up Johns and taking photographs of license plates. The girls are looking for new places to hustle, but I stay. I have to. The ones remaining are those who cannot leave, like me. The other girls, and me, we’ve got an itch that can only be scratched by a certain kind of John. We yearn for the man who can make the girls forget, like I want to forget … If I ask Michael for some TLC, that would seriously help me. His touch works like magic, even if it stings. It only takes one for the night to come to life with every shade of grey and black imaginable. I see what was hidden before in outbursts of color. So maybe I should … There is a guy walking up and down the now empty road, in full view of the cameras mounted on every corner. He is whistling an ominous tune and looks at me like I am one of the
girls. He slowly stalks me; closer and closer he comes. It freaks me out. I almost shout for help, for Michael, when he whispers, “I can help you.” I ignore him, but he keeps walking towards me until he is real close. He has a handsome face, lips made to kiss, and eyes as blue as heaven. Not even Michael is this good looking. No reason to be afraid. “I’m not the one who needs help on this road.” Even with the rush on me, I calmly float in this sea of grey and black images. He will leave if I pay no attention to him. He’d better leave before Michael descends and teaches him a lesson. I am supposed to be stronger than this, and I fear Michael and his judging eyes. If he thinks I am slacking, he will put me in an even worse spot. No, it will be better if I solve this on my own, now, before Michael sees I need help. “I could help you … it’s what I do … I can give you whatever you wish … and more. Perhaps we can make a deal?” I attempt to reverse our roles. He must be looking for some pleasure, what else is he doing here? I flaunt my assets like I have seen the other girls do. Somehow it doesn’t affect him. He keeps staring at my eyes, with those sapphires of his. I wish he would lower his gaze. My boobs are worth staring at. Why does he pretend to not see them through the sheer fabric of my robe? It itches like hell; never did before. Jeez, got to scratch, but that could break the spell. I clench my fists.
“What is it you are searching for? You can tell me. Ask any of the girls. Nothing is too crazy for me.” I have to take it up a notch. He pretends not to hear me. Instead he circles me, driving me to where it’s darker. His footfalls are loud; his breath is hot and heavy behind me. I will not turn around. I refuse to be scared by a man. Not even this one. I am not afraid. He can’t touch me. But, I do turn around, just in time to see him take a wand out of his chest pocket; thin, not too long and shining like the sun on a mirror. Now that’s different. Maybe he isn’t just any man. Maybe he is like Michael. If he is, then I am in need of help, but not from him. “Why have you come to me?” My voice has an edge to it. “I think you know, my angel.” His stays calm, detached. Shit, shit, shit! He knows! Lame, If Michael finds out … “Now tell me, did you find Heaven’s Gate here, on this road?” Why does he ask, if he knows? “Michael is near! He will come! You can’t hurt me!” I shriek; my throat is dry as sandpaper. “I know … But I can still play with you …” He is behind
me now. I stand very still, and I don’t even blink. His words are hot on my neck, on my cheek. “Nobody to stop me … Not now …” His lips almost touch my ear; the heat of his body warms
my side. “I’ll make you a deal …” Oh, those sapphires burn my corneas when I look at them. That voice of his scrambles my
brain. “Let me help you, and I will find another to play with.” Those last words fall upon my skin like feathers, it’s all I can do not to lean into him. I take a deep breath and shudder, before answering. “Why do you think you can help me?” He smiles, and now shivers run down my spine. I should not be afraid of this man. I swallow and wipe my clammy hands on my robe. It’s no longer itching, but burning like liquid candle wax where it touches my skin. I pluck at it, ready to rip it off; instead I pick up my bow, and play with it. Never noticed before how it feels in my hands. It is rough, like it is made of iron -- rusted iron. “I can bring back life to this road. Make it so that you actually have a purpose instead of just standing there, waiting for an opportunity to loose that arrow at some sorry bastard.” Am I hearing him right? He’s saying he can overrule the mayor’s decision? “How would you do that? Michael won’t let you.” Exasperated, I can already see this opportunity pass me by. But … maybe I should make this deal. It would earn me
points to shoot and actually hit something. Maybe I would no longer have to stand here, on this deserted road, without a chance to score for real. “I could start by bringing people back to this area. I could give the girls a place off the street … That would bring the Johns back … You could work for me.”
Sounds good, but Michael will not tolerate it. He has placed me here, out on the street, for all to see and use. Oh yeah right, I should be the one using. Or am I being used? I am confused. This man is messing with my head. I have to focus, but it’s hard. Slowly the words trickle from my mouth. “If … you … bring back life … to … Here … this deserted road … that’s good … for me … the girls … I can’t … I … already … have … a boss.” He laughs and points his wand at me. Sweat starts to form beads on my upper lip. I haven’t broken a sweat since I joined the ranks. I’ve pretty much lost all human emotions, except for fear. I know fear … and desire. “I won’t hurt you … It is just a game. You try to shoot me, I will try to stop you. If I can touch you, you are mine … If you shoot me …” If I score him he is mine … for eternity. Not a bad deal. I can do that. I can already imagine having him at my beck and call. I really so need to focus. My aim isn’t that great, but he is standing awfully close; it’s impossible to miss, even for me, even now. He, on the other hand, needs to come up close and personal to be able to touch me. Confident, I smile and nock an arrow to my string. He rushes forward, almost past my bow and into my chest. His arm extends, and the wand is pointed at my throat, barely touching me. He chuckles; I swallow. “Never play with the devil, little angel … You might get burnt … Or taken to Hell.”
Why didn’t I see it? Smell it? Now it’s too late. This close, the smell is hard to miss. The gleam in his eyes was another sign. His confidence also should have given me a clue, but I was too preoccupied with the road being too empty to notice this was no ordinary man, and now it’s too late. He has me, no escaping this, unless … Slowly I raise my bow; it’s heavy. The arrow is almost in position to pierce his heart. Yes, even the devil has a heart to be stabbed. It won’t kill him; my arrows are not meant to kill. It will make him love the first woman he sees, and what do you know. That would be me. “It seems we are in a stalemate.” He purrs. “You won’t be able to shoot me before I …” He grins and lightly touches my skin with his wand. “… but I would love it if you tried.” Without delay I release the arrow, at the same moment a burning pain pierces my brain, and everything disappears in a haze of white. ~ “This is Trisha Manning, and I am standing here on this deserted road, where the body of a young woman is found. She is probably one of the girls who refused to leave after this road was wiped clean of dealers, pimps and hookers. The police have stated no evidence of foul play is found. The official statement is that she died of an overdose of drugs. This could be one of the long line of victims fallen prey to the drug they call ‘Heaven’s gate’. My source tells me the smile on her face is a clear sign of her abuse of it. Evidence, however,
has to come from the coroner after the autopsy. This was Trisha Manning. Back to you, Curt, for the weather.”
After picking the right dress and finally finding those matching shoes Amelia stood in the bathroom. Looking at herself in the mirror seeing she needed a bit more to be ready to go. Raphael would be there soon and Amelia still had her hair to dry, nails to polish and one more wish to write. Seeing how well she could write that needn’t take long. She glanced at the clock. Shit, six-thirty! How did it get this late? Nothing but beautiful was good enough for her white knight and now she was going to be late. Her mother wrote him into her life but warned, “Always be at your best for him, dear child. I can draw him to you, but keeping him is up to you.” Amelia had taken her mothers advice to heart. She had always been on time and ready for any tryst with Raphael. After applying the last roller to her hair she reached for the dryer. Stopping short of taking it.
“You can’t ever use my stuff again, Amelia,” Anna said after she’d borrowed a dress and returned it with a stain. Amelia had it dry-cleaned, but her sister still held a grudge. Amelia shrugged off her unease and plugged in Anna’s blowdryer. The moment it came on it jolted her so badly she flew backwards and landed in the still filled tub. Amelia barely managed to keep the dryer above water. “Son of a …,” she muttered under her breath. On a reflex she tugged the cord from the outlet. Trembling she cradled her hand, afraid to look. She took a deep breath. After a moment, winching in pain, she examined the large blister covering her palm. Shit. No way was she going to manage getting her hair done, let alone polish her nails. She could forget about writing too. Storming out of her room to the hallway Amelia called her twin sister, “Anna.” “What!” “You need to help me get my hair done.” “Why? I’m good for nothing, you’ve said so yourself.” Anna came out to the hallway and looked at her sister, rollers in hair, clenched fist. “Tell me. Dear sister,” she said and pursed her lips. “Why would I help you get ready for a party, when you’re more than happy to let me be on my own on New Year’s Eve?” “Okay!” Amelia said. “If you help me, you can come, but I warn you, don’t ogle Raphael’s friends.” She glared at her sister and ordered, “Now get my rollers out and brush my hair until it shines. If it needs additional drying, your blowdryer
is on the bathroom floor.” Let’s see if the stupid thing shocks her too. Cursing her sister Anna went into the bathroom and picked up the blowdryer just in case she might need it. As she touched the cord, an image of it wrapped around Amelia’s neck flashed through her mind. A shiver ran down her spine, her lips curled slightly up. Grinning she shook her head. It’s was good thing they were sisters, because they did test each other’s limits for sports. One by one Anna took the rollers out of Amelia’s hair, brushed and blew more volume in it. Each time the cord came near Amelia’s neck Anna was tempted to wrap it around the witch’s neck. Oh, to pull until the wench choked. One day you’ll cross the line Amelia dear, one day. “All done,” Anna said on a semi-cheerful tone. She applied a layer of lack to hold the cloud of spun gold in place for the party to come. Then she asked, “Do you want me to polish your nails to a shine? Or do you need a colour?” Ashen maybe? Then I’d wear black for the occasion. Amelia clenched her fist opened it and lifted a brow. The blister had disappeared as if it never existed. Anna smiled regarding her sister’s amazement in the mirror. “Something wrong Amelia?” Anna asked while she touched her sister’s hair one more time. Wiggling her fingers over it she mumbled a few words. That should do it and she drew a sign in the air behind her sister’s back. Amelia glared at Anna’s reflection before she answered, “Nothing wrong. Just buff my nails to a shine. We don’t have
time for colour. Raph’ll be here soon, I need to be ready before time. And if you insist on coming along you should do something about that mess you’re in.” Amelia sneered at her twin. “Oh, I will. Don’t worry, I’ll be ready.” On her way out of Amelia’s room she stuck a tiny piece of paper between the door and the frame upon closing it behind her. “And you’ll be late,” she whispered. ~ The doorbell rang, followed by a rap at the door. Raphael smiled as he thought back on how Amelia had immediately attracted his attention the moment they’d met. Magical and only a week ago, a dream come true. Now, why didn’t she answer the door? “Shit!” Amelia muttered. She’d just finished dressing. Glancing at the clock she noticed the time. Nine o’clock? How did it get to be nine? Again Raphael’s impatience sounded through his rapid knock on the door. “Holy Mother, no need to pound down the door. What was I thinking when I wrote last time?” Amelia said. She rushed down the stairs. Then flew to the door and threw it open. Raphael’s hand just reached out again. He had his lips pressed together, eyes screwed up, worried. The moment his gaze found Amelia’s face his eyes lit up and relief replaced the tensed frown he’d had. He let out his breath and inhaled her intoxicating scent. Amelia smiled. She touched his outstretched hand and said, “Raph, sorry for the wait, I was upstairs. Had to help
Anna. She’s coming along, you don’t mind do you?” Stepping aside to let him in she leaned into him. As he passed her she fully expected him to kiss her. And he did like a man in the desert finally finding water. “Whatever you want,” he said absentminded. “You know I can never say no to you.” He caressed her arm. Trailing his fingers down to her hand. And so you shouldn’t. Not with all the writing I did on you, Amelia thought. But suddenly his eyes darted to the stairs. He took her wrist in an iron grip and pulled her closer. “I see your sister’s done a better job at preparing for a party than you did.” “Raphael, you’re hurting me.” Amelia exclaimed and tried to pry off his fingers from her arm. Unbelieving she saw the look of enchantment on his face as he stared past her. Amelia turned. Anna descended down the stairs. No, floated! Amelia’s jaw dropped. How could Anna wear that dress? She’d written her armoire closed. But there Anna stood. The emerald green, chiffon dress billowed around her slender legs, showing the contours of her body, revealing a perfect figure. And her hair! It shone like polished brass. She had it piled up on her head while tiny curls escaped the intricate weave and fell down alongside her face. Around her neck she wore their mother’s emerald choker while the matching studs twinkled in her ears. A sly smile played around Anna’s lips, while her eyes dared Amelia.
“Hi Raphael,” Anna said. His jaw worked, at a loss for words he could only gawk. The mythical creature approaching him took centre stage in his mind. “Raphael.” Amelia cried out. His grip on her wrist mangled her bones and she struggled to break free. Raphael shook off the irritating hand pulling his sleeve. Why was the wench trying to distract him from this wondrous creature? He let go of his hold on Amelia to step closer to the fairy floating towards him. “Raphael,” Amelia shouted. “You’re with me, remember?” Raphael couldn’t imagine why he’d chose this … this lamia over that divine creature. If he could get her to like him, he’d give her the world and all that’s in it. “Yes,” he said. But not for much longer. “But I must make sure Anna has a good time too. Then he called out to Anna, “Hello, little sis. Ready to go to the ball and meet your Prince Charming?” Anna blushed but looked him straight in the face. “Do you think he’d notice me?” Raphael’s laugh boomed. “Only a dead man wouldn’t,” he said. “Now if you’ll do me the honour.” And he offered her his arm. “Raphael!” Amelia said again. “What about—“ “What,” he cut her off. Then glared at Amelia. “is the matter with you? Are you so insanely jealous of your little sister that you would deny her a night of fun? She’s coming
and if you object, you can stay home.” He’d rather she did anyway. Amelia’s mouth worked to get the words out which eluded her. What was the matter with him? Her writing should bind him to her and only her. “Wait a moment, I’ll be right back.” She raced up the stairs to her room, unlocked her desk and took out her diary. Leafing through it she checked if all her writing was still the same she’d done it the day she saw him first. What has Anna done? Then Amelia quickly wrote in her diary. A mere three words, but they should suffice. Content things would work out fine she went back downstairs. “Glad you remembered we were waiting for you,” Raphael sneered. He walked Anna to the car. Amelia had no choice but to follow or stay and spend New Year’s Eve at home, alone. Like she’d intended for Anna to. ~ Stood at the doorstep of Uriel’s house Amelia looked down. Inside, barely visible, tucked in the crease between sill and floor, grains of salt traced a line along the opening of the door. There could be only one reason for salt to be used that way. Amelia hesitated going in. She wondered … Raphael’s voice interrupted her thoughts. “Amelia, will you come in or do you plan on celebrating New Year’s Eve on the threshold?” He cocked his head studying her face. She looked from him to Anna and back. Frowning she asked Anna, “Sis, can you come back outside for a moment?”
“Did you forget something?” Raphael looked at her and narrowed his eyes. Then he took Anna by the hand and led her further down the hallway. “Wait,” Amelia cried out. “Anna, you need to …” As she rushed inside a disturbance rippled the air. Much like a pebble thrown in a calm pond and a shiver ran down her spine. Once inside the words she’d meant to say fled her mind. A hypnotic bass line thumped. Her feet moved in sync and soon she swayed like all the other people attending the party. Raphael and Anna forgotten when male hands spun Amelia around. “Hi Uriel,” she sang. “Hello Amelia,” he said. “I’m glad you’re finally here. Cool party, right?” “You know what? It is.” Then she stilled. There was something she had to do, but what? Shrugging she took the drink Uriel offered and continued moving to the beat. He tilted the glass as she held it to her lips. Obedient she emptied it. “Dance with me?” He wrapped his arms around her. She let him lead her in an old-fashioned ballroom dance. Together they whirled in circles around the dancefloor. “Don’t frown. Smile Amelia, it’s New year’s Eve. The night for wonders, new beginnings.” The throb of her heart aligned with the bass. As her eyes focused on Uriel’s a disturbing thought popped up. This wasn’t right. Where did Raphael go? Where’s Anna? “Uriel?”
“Yes Amelia?” His breath felt uncomfortably hot on her skin. His lips nearly touched her ear. She’d never noticed he stepped this close in their waltz. Amelia leaned back and shook her head. All at once the loud music, cackle of too excited voices, a pungent scent of firecrackers and strobe lights assaulted her senses. “What’s happening? What have you done to Anna?” “What’s wrong? Amelia,” Uriel said and cradled her hands in his. “Nothing is happening. And your sister is there.” He pointed to the other side of the room where Anna stood laughing. “See? She’s having fun, there’s nothing to worry about.” While Amelia looked at her sister, Raphael spoke in
Anna’s ear. Shaking her head Anna smiled like a cat that saw a big, juicy mouse for the taking. “Come, I’m taking you out of this noise. You look like you could use some down time.” Uriel said. He distracted her from the sight of her sister with Raphael. Once out of the noisy room her head cleared a little and she remembered at least one thing. “I need pen and paper.” Stood still she looked at the window. The same thin line of salt filled the crease between sill and the glass. “Why do you have a barrier in place?” Uriel blinked, looked at her and asked, “What do you mean? What barrier?” “You know, the salt,” Amelia said agitated. Why was he playing dumb? He must know, it’s his house.
“What salt? Oh Amelia, I do think you have no stomach for liquor, one drink and you are imagining things.” He laughed and shook his head. “Come, we’ll get you something to eat, that should help. And maybe a glass of water too.” Still grinning he said, “I should have known.” He took her arm and led her further down the hallway. “Remember our engagement party? How you danced on the table? Anna and Raphael had to drag you down after you drank that special brew.” He smirked. “Get me pen and paper. I’ll be fine.” Amelia frowned. Engaged? Surely that couldn’t be right? I must write, correct this, but how? “Oh Amelia, come on now. Why do you always worry so much?” He tightened his grip on her elbow and led her to the kitchen. On the way they passed a mirror, Amelia threw a glance at her reflection. Shocked by her own image she stood and gazed. Her eyes widened, breath caught. My hair! My face, my dress, my skin. What had happened to her? “Uriel, something’s terribly wrong. I need to go home, I need to write.” He cupped her chin and kissed her lightly on the lips. “My dear,” he looked at his watch and said, “do you have any idea of the time?” “Well, we arrived at nine thirty, you and I, we danced. It can’t be later than ten.” “I’m sorry,” Uriel shook his head. “I shouldn’t have fed you that drink. It’s nearly eleven thirty, there’s no time to go home and be back in time for the fireworks.”
Nearly stomping her feet she yelled, “That can’t be right. You’re wrong and I want a pen and some paper. Is that too fucking much to ask?” “Don’t Amelia. Calm down. Here, look at my watch. Look at the clock. Ask any of the people in the house. It’s almost midnight and you are drunk.” Indulgent he grinned. “Have something to eat, drink some water and calm down. What in Heaven’s name can be so important you have to write it down while on a party?” Uriel’s calm only roused her anger more. “I will swear and yell and write when I want, how I want and what I want. Now. Get. Me. Some. Paper. And a pen.” Her breath laboured, eyes shot fire. She clenched her fists and pressed her lips together glaring at him. “Fine,” he said. “If you must. Come to my study, you’ll have all the paper and pens you could possibly want.” Once sat behind his desk, blank paper lying before her and pen in hand Amelia couldn’t remember why, or what she’d needed to write. Uriel sat opposite her, watching, waiting. Patient Uriel, always putting up with her temper. She stood and walked around the desk. Then sat on his lap and said, “You know what? There’s a party going on, why don’t you dance with me? Forget I acted up again? Can you?” She smiled and kissed his cheek. Put her head on his shoulder and sighed. He trailed his fingers down her arm. “Of course, anything for you.” As he looked at her his lips curled up in a smile that not quite reached his eyes. ~
As soon as they arrived at Uriel’s house, Raphael had rushed Anna through the door inside the cavernous space of the hall. The slide of silken air along her skin tickled as they passed the threshold. She wrapped her arms around herself and shivered. Once inside the throb of a heavy, hypnotic bass and scent of flowery perfume captured her senses. The strange sensation forgotten her heart beat in sync with the rhythm of the music. A woman sang and Anna swayed against Raphael. “Great music. Uriel does know how to throw a party, doesn’t he?” Leaning down he spoke in her ear. His breath on her skin sent a shiver down her spine. Anna smiled up at him, picturing him kissing her, holding her and said, “Dance with me?” She pulled him onto the dancefloor where he stood as she flowed around him. While circling Raphael Anna wrote an intricate pattern with the tip of her index finger on his back all the while whispering, “See me, want me, never forget me. Mine for eternity.” Coming to his front she raised her eyes to his. She’d not need to do much more on him, but what more could he need to tie him down? She pursed her lips. As his eyes locked onto hers his lips curved up and he took her in his arms. Pressing Anna to him he moved to the beat. Resting his chin on the top of her head he hid the ravenous expression on his face and the incandescent glow in his eyes. Raphael worked at keeping his breath even and his grasp on her gentle. Just one thing slipped from under his control.
Anna stirred in his arms. “Raphael, I smell sulphur.” “Could be, I just heard the first firecracker go off.” His chest rumbled with the words. Anna relished in the sensation of laying her head against his muscles. Soon he’d be fully hers. There’d be no stopping this anymore. Not even if Amelia would erase what she wrote earlier; Nana taught me well, better than mom ever could. Mom and her morals, “Pah!” Raphael held her at arms length after her muttering. “Anything wrong, sweetheart?” “Nothing,” She stepped back into his arms, splaying her hands on his back. “I remembered what my mom used to say about girls and men.” “And? Would she approve of you dancing with me?” Laughing Anna shook her head. “I don’t think so.” She looked up at him. Then cocked her head and pressed her index finger between his shoulder blades willing him to tell the truth. “Raphael, why aren’t you dancing with Amelia?” “Why would I? You’re all a man needs.” He leaned down and kissed her full on the mouth. The moment his lips touched hers another shiver ran down her spine. “Are you—” “Shh,” he cut her off by placing his finger on her lips. “I don’t want to talk about your sister on this magical night.” He twirled her around and around until he caught her in his arms again and whispered in her ear, “Why do you ask? Don’t you want us to be together?”
“I do, but I need to be close to Amelia on this night.” “And so you shall be. We’ll find her before twelve. Now I,” he dipped her backwards over his leg and she laughed, “want to dance with you before it is time and you must go.” Again she followed his lead in the old-fashioned waltz. “I need a drink, what about you?” He danced them to the hallway not waiting for her to answer. “Raphael?” “Yes, Anna?” “Don’t you wonder at all why you so easily let go of my sister to be with me?” “Why should I? We are meant to be together and your sister is happy with Uriel now.” “I beg your pardon? She hated his guts last time they met. She told me so.” “Well, not anymore. They’re engaged, have been for the past year. Remember when we had to pull her off a table before she made a complete ass of herself. That sister of yours has no stomach for hard liquor.” “Engaged? The past year? What time is it? What year?” “It’s eleven thirty-five and nearly 2014. Come we need to find the happy couple. Got to get the sisters back to back at midnight.” Raphael pulled her through the hallway, opening on door after another, taking a peek inside the rooms. “Oops, sorry,” he said to the persons in one of them. He closed the door and snickered. “They were having fun.”
Anna pulled her hand free, turned and headed back to the dance room. It couldn’t be this late. No way it’s nearly twenty fourteen! Grabbing a dancer she shook him and asked, “What time is it?” “Almost midnight, baby! Time for new beginnings.” The man shook her hand off and danced away into the throng filling the dancefloor. “What year?” She grabbed him again. “What do you mean what year? It’s almost twenty fourteen, gone with the bad luck year. Let the good times begin” The guy pulled himself free from Anna’s hold on him and hopped away from her. Stunned she stood and watched the mass of dancing and drinking people. How did she lose three hours and an entire year? That moment Raphael laid his hands on her shoulders and whispered in her ear, “Don’t be so shocked. You of all people should know what can be done to get what you need. We needed the both of you, and now we have you.” His laughter sent a shiver down her spine. ~ Only fifteen minutes to midnight and Anna raced through the house, throwing open doors in search of her twin sister. Whenever she turned Raphael stood not far behind, smiling, eyes calculating. She had to find Amelia before midnight, but this house was just too big. She doubted she’d have enough time to open every door on the first floor, let alone second,
or third. Turning she glared at Raphael. “What do you want with us? Leave us alone.” “My, my, Anna my dear. Do you really want to deny us a happy ever after?” He studied his nails, waiting for her answer. “I don’t believe you. We weren’t a couple and will never be. This isn’t right!” “Anna, my dear. You and I, Amelia and Raphael, together we can do great things. Don’t you want to have a glorious future?” “My future has nothing to do with you or your friend. Where’s my sister?” “I told you, she’s having fun with her fiancee.” He took a step in her direction and another one, looking very discontent. Anna stood, captured like a deer in the headlights of an approaching car. She swallowed, opened her mouth, but as he touched her arm she completely forgot what spooked her into running away from him. “I think I’ve had one drink too many.” She shook her head and rested her head on his chest. Enveloping her in his arms he walked her to the study. Upon entering, her head lolled to the side and he scooped her up. Uriel sat in a Chesterfield, Amelia on his lap. The moment Raphael entered he stood pressing Amelia against his chest. She stayed unconscious but smiling. Both men stood facing each other. They left the study. Uriel walked down the hall and Raphael followed in his wake, carrying the still unconscious
Anna. A path opened and they walked to the centre of the dancefloor. As they stood everyone tried to pile into the room. Heated bodies surrounded them, all eyes alight, expecting. Hands raised gripping each other in closed circles, row after row until no more fit in. Uriel stepped as close towards Raphael as he could. This pressed the girls back to back. The men grabbed each other’s upper arms suspending the girls between them. As soon as their circle closed all present chanted. “Magic born in blood, entwine in two. Magic flows in two, open the door. Magic written in blood, bring us home.” A rumble shook the house. Between Uriel and Raphael a red beam shot up through the girls’ bodies. The men stepped away from it, brows raised. Puzzled they looked at each other. “Shouldn’t this be—“ Uriel raised his hands to the red light, almost touching. “Don’t!” Raphael warned. “We don’t know. None has ever done this before, it could be right.” The limp bodies of the girls floated to the ceiling where they woke. Still back to back their eyes opened. Slow turning they regarded all stood below them. Anna’s low voice shook the windows. “You dare a lot, waking us.” Amelia cackled. “They think they have what it takes to control us.” The monotone rumble from Anna’s mouth said, “None can control us. None dare try.” A tremor shook the house. Amelia laughed, hysterical, then calmly whispered, “They think these mortals give them what they need.” A crack split the floor. “Then come and try
to enter,” the girls sang as they descended and stood in the centre of the red haze. Uriel looked at Raphael, together they stepped into the haze. Inside the pillar of red light the girls no longer stood back to back but faced each other. Between them a passage opened: black, void, cold, and shimmering with power. “Do you have the Sword?” The voice came from the dark passage between the girls. Uriel’s eyes lit up. “I have.” He reached behind his back drawing a shining sword from a hidden sheath. “And you,” A black leather braid shot out from the void. It coiled around Raphael’s neck. “Have you buried him?” He freed his neck from the whip, tugged it out of the passage and hung it across his chest. “I have.” “Then come home and collect your reward.” At that moment the girls opened their eyes a blinding light shot out forming a sheet. It blocked sight into the passage. The girls raised their hands towards each other. As their left index fingers nearly touched red blossomed on the tips. With their fingers they wrote bloody red letters on the leaf of light. Each letter one sister wrote the perfect mirror image of the other’s. “Enter and you shall have what you crave. Pass and renounce your rights to gain it all. Beyond this point lies the endless future.” Then Amelia held out her wrist to her sister. Anna laid her writing finger on it. Blood welled and pooled but did not drop. Dipping a quill in the
crimson liquid she then offered it with a flourish to the men. “Sign on the dotted line and you’re all set.” Uriel reached out. Both girls kept a straight face but pleasure sparkled in their eyes. Raphael laid his hand on Uriel’s arm and said, “Surely, He doesn’t need to sign anything for us to pass?” “But we need you to sign. No signature, no passing, no reward of any kind.” They took a small step towards each other narrowing the passage. “Hurry, this offer is available for a limited time only.” Turning their heads, facing the men, they grinned and took another small step forwards. “Wait!” Uriel and Raphael both tried to grab the quill. It fell to the floor and disintegrated. The sheet of light faded, the void narrowed and the red haze dimmed. The last toll of the midnight bell sounded as the four of them reappeared on the dancefloor. “Happy twenty thirteen!” All people around them celebrated the turning of the year. Dazed the men stood and watched the smiling girls. “You do know your tricks don’t work anymore, do you?” Anna said. Amelia stood behind her twin. “Your spells all broken, power denied. You really should have signed when you had the chance.” The girls snickered. “Now those lovely,
angelic behinds of yours are ours.” Their eyes lit up incandescent red. “The way home is closed boys,” Anna reached up took a quill out of thin air and dipped it in the still open wound on Amelia’s wrist. From the back of each man wings
unfolded. Feathers rustled as they expanded. Anna plucked one from each and wrote on it. “Fallen from grace, picked up by
Writers for eternity.”
$han" you &or do%nloading this boo" and , hope you en*oyed reading it as much as , en*oyed %riting these t%o stories' Lucy Pireel loves to read and %rite a myriad o& genres) ranging &rom this to erotica) &rom horror to romance) sci+&i to literary &iction' 3he has trouble putting a genre to her o%n %or" and has no ob*ections to anyone labelling it &or her' 3he’s al%ays happy to hear &rom people %ho love her %or") so i& you %ould li"e to connect %ith her online and discover more4 !aceboo"4 http455%%%'&aceboo"'com5LucyPireel Blog4 http455lucypireel'%ordpress'com5 Author 3ite4 http455%%%'lucypireel'com /oodreads author page4 http455%%%'goodreads'com5author5sho%5678699:'Lucy;Pireel Photographer4 ulie !al"