She laughed at me. The raw power I threw at her should have knocked her on her ass. Hell, it should have knocked her into the next state, but it didn’t effect her at all. She just laughed the kind of laugh that would have been epic for a villain from a Disney movie. Unfortunately, this was real life and I just watched as the magic fizzled around her.
“You really think I wouldn’t come prepared?” she asked. She reached up and fished a medallion out of her shirt collar. “Your magic won’t work on me as long as I’m wearing this.”
“What did you do?” I demanded.
“What did I do?” she asked, incredulous. “Your mother told you to leave well enough alone, but you didn’t listen. This is your fault.”
“I’m not the one who killed him.” I pointed at Simon, who lay on the ground with his lifeless eyes staring right at me. “I’m not the one who slowly killed Charles, and I’m not the one slowly killing Charlie.”
“You may not have done it yourself, but none of this would have happened if it weren’t for you.” She stomped toward me knife pointed as she spit out the last few words.
Jason stepped in front of me and wouldn’t let me around him to confront Elsa as she approached.
“It was supposed to be me,” she said. “The spell we cast was supposed to imbue me with more power. Instead, it redirected and you are what became of it.”
I wondered if she was right. If I hadn’t been created, Charles Sr. and Charlie wouldn’t have gotten sick to begin with. She must have seen that bit of doubt in my eyes because the smile that transformed her face gave her this sinister look that toed the line between beautiful and horrific.
“You see it too, don’t you? You see how the events that led us here are because you exist. An abomination. A thing, not even human.” She’d come closer and closer as she spoke until she walked in circles around us. Jason kept her in our sights the whole time, turning us with her as she stalked us.
“Why don’t you put that knife away and we can talk about this,” Jason said. If I had to gauge by his tone, I would have said he was perfectly calm. By the way the muscles in his back stretched his shirt and his hand squeezed my wrist almost too painfully, I knew he was anything but. Still, his calm voice, no matter how forced, was a boon to my fraying nerves.
“Not a chance, pretty boy,” Elsa replied. “You’re next.”
She sliced at him with the knife.
He dodged the knife and pushed me to the ground. I scooted away as she went at him a second time, but he dodged her again. This time she over shot and he grabbed her wrist, twisting her around so she was against his chest. The knife, still in her hand, pressed against her own throat.
“Nice moves,” she said. She reached into her pocket with her free hand. “But they still won’t save you.”
“Jason!” I tried to warn him, but she’d already stabbed him in the leg with a second knife.
He let go of her and staggered back, the blade hilt deep in his thigh. When he pulled it out with a grunt, he fell to the ground and blood squirted from the hole. It didn’t stop. With every beat of his heart a stream sprayed out. He pushed his hand to the wound, but it wouldn’t do any good.
“Looks like I got an artery,” Elsa gloated. “Nice try, but you’ve lost already.”
I looked around for something—anything—that could help. Magic didn’t work on her and there was nothing around that I could use as a weapon. My heart pounded in my chest and the world faded to a pinpoint. Every step she took closer to him, intent on delivering a final, killing blow, was drowned out by the rushing waves in my head.
Think, Ash! Think!
It was no use. The closer she got to him, the more I panicked. I had nothing. No weapon but my magic, and that didn’t effect her.
And then I stopped. Everything stopped. The world, confused and distorted seconds before transformed in a perfect moment of clarity. I’d focused on one of the flowers, watching without a care in the world for the events unfolding before it. I could do the same, letting Elsa get away with killing two people right in front of me and then probably kill me too. Or, I could stop her before she killed Jason and get the flower to Chicago to save Charlie. I knew what I had to do.
I stood up and summoned every ounce of power I had.
“Elsa.” The words exploded from me, though I didn’t yell. The earth trembled under us, and she stumbled off balance as she turned toward me. Her eyes were wide and I saw the fear that overcame her hatred. “Your talisman may stop me from throwing magic at you, but it can’t stop me from using magic.”
*A is for Ash *B is for Brother *C is for Cure *D is for Dream *E is for Endeavor *F is for Flower *G is for Gotta Go *H is for Held *I is for Innocent *J is for Jason *K is for Knots *L is for Landing *M is for Madness and Magic *N is for Naples *O is for Oh S**t *P is for Pantsless *Q is for Questions Answered *R is for Revelation *S is for Simon *A to Z Challenge