Authors: Jack Simmonds
“Is that what they’re calling people like my family now? Darksiders?”
Tina sniffed. “All those evil families like yours, belong to that side, Malakai’s side. And now Ernie’s a massive target.”
“So, you stopped talking to me to make sure the
pact wouldn't get broken
?” I said unconvinced. “Really? That’s why? What about that thing you told me before, in the clock tower about being
warned away from me?
She shook her head and slipped off the table. “That jumper sent me
Avis! You can’t believe what I was saying then.”
Rubbish!” I said slamming a fist into the table, she was lying, I just knew it. Eventually she sighed and held her head for a long moment.
were. Dad, Ernie and me. All warned away from you… this
I frowned. “Vision?”
“I don’t know who sent it. But it was terrifying okay? It plagued my dreams for weeks — Dad and Ernie had the same thing, appearing in the middle of the night at the foot of their beds. Flashing horrible things through our minds. Then, it told us: ‘
keep as far away from Avis as possible, or a fate worse than death will greet all of you…’
Dad took it seriously. He was terrified for us — can you understand? He didn't want to lose us both again. Not after last year…”
I swallowed and slumped back against the table as Tina rubbed the tears away. It all made sense — someone had scared them away from me — but who?
Someone suddenly appeared in the doorway carrying large boxes. Ernie peered round them to see where he was going and saw Tina crying “What’s going on?” he said, placing the boxes down.
“Why are you
the boxes?” said Tina curiously rubbing her eyes.
Ernie blinked. “Its good to use your muscles sometimes,” he said flexing his arms.
“Tina was just telling me how you were all
warned away from me,
” I said.
,” he said softly looking at his feet, before moving to sit next to Tina. “It was scary stuff.”
“So it’s true?” I said.
Tina shot me a fierce look. “I wasn't lying!” she cried.
“Alright, alright…” said Ernie soothingly. “Look, something or someone, did not want us Partington’s being anywhere near you this year Avis. I’ve spend the year trying to figure out who, and why, but however or whatever it was… I have absolutely no idea.”
I sniffed, a short silence fell and the things Tina had told me flashed around my head like a thunderstorm. But then, the rolling thunder passed and I felt a serene calmness. This was my last chance to say goodbye to them before next year.
“So, what you going to do now?” I said nodding at Ernie’s packed bags.
“Firstly, I am going to help father redecorate the house. It’s in serious need of paint work. Then, I am going to go travelling. I was planning to meet up with some of the Phoenix form out in Hellernot City in Slackerdown. After that, I thought I might go and visit some of my old friends, you know from before I died — most of them have got kids and stuff now,” he chuckled. “So that will be…
.” Ernie tucked his long hair behind his ear and crosses his legs, he looked forlorn — worry lines ran down his face, past his electric blue eyes and Partington nose. “Look…” he said. “I am sure Tina feels the same. But I really am very sorry about not… being there this year. We really were scared for our life. I couldn’t let anything happen to my little sis, not again,” he hugged her.
“I don’t blame you, I’d have done the same.” I lied, they both smiled.
“I will get to the bottom of it, I promise,” said Ernie, leaning forwards and laying a hand on my shoulder. His blue eyes so much older then the eighteen year old body they occupied — I would severely miss him when he left.
,” said a long drawn-out voice. “So here you are…” Harold was standing in the doorway smiling. “And consorting with such unsavoury characters too, I thought you’d have known better Avis,” said Harold slowly, his words dripping with unsaid meaning and menace upon every word. I didn't say anything for suddenly his presence alerted me to the fact that: Harold was the most advanced Wizard I knew (apart from my parents). If anyone had set that vision on the Partington’s then he would be top of my list. “Come Avis.”
classroom was just as I expected — dark and ominous. The window’s had been covered by wooden screens. Large tables lay around the room which had a low, black and dank ceiling dripping condensation and whatever else. Cauldron’s lay out neatly on tables. A very big fireplace with green fire was sending waves of hot air around the already boiling room. A small stream running green water ran directly through the centre of the room, with small bridges crossing. The walls were littered with shelves of jars, hundreds and hundreds of ready made infusions as well as powders, stones, minerals and indeed anything you can imagine that might be used for an infusion. It was all here.
Harold took his time, waving a hand his case opened. Clothes folded and placed themselves neatly inside. Flashing his hands things began flying from all around the room into the suitcase. It was impossible to hold that many things inside the bag, but slowly, the huge pile of things forced their way down, until the lid shut.
I leaned against the fireplace watching the green embers spit at me. Even Harold’s fire didn't like me. Above the fireplace was a tiny urn, dark red in colour — something jogged in my memory, I had seen it before I was sure. I leaned in closer over the fireplace and saw that it had the same rune mark as my pendant! The same mark that had popped up on just about everything this year. But what on earth was it?
“What is this?” I enquired as nonchalantly as possible.
Harold glanced slowly. “Granddad’s ashes,” — I gulped and stepped back. Granddad’s ashes? My dead Granddad who had come back to life at the start of the year giving me a pendant with the same mark on it as his ashes urn? This was getting weirder.
“Why do you have them?” I said.
Harold glared at me as he sorted through his bookshelf. “Why not?” Ten books floated into an expandable box.
Soon enough five bags and lots of boxes floated up behind us as Harold locked the door to the Infusions room. Walking down through the deserted school corridors was weird, it seemed bigger somehow, now it was completely empty. As we reached the grounds outside, I saw the Partington’s getting into a carriage together, it looked rather beaten and worn and chugged like a puffed out seagull as it lifted into the air and shot through the darkening sky.
I had a lot to think about this summer, if I had any chance to think about it. Fortunately, there was no wedding (that I knew of) so that was something. Harold clicked his fingers and a large black carriage came shooting forwards from the parking lot. After putting all his bags and boxes inside, there now only remained room for one person — he did it on purpose.
“Oh dear,” said Harold. “Look’s like you’ll have to go on the roof.”
“Pah,” I laughed. “Very funny.” But Harold just stared, he never made jokes. “I can’t get up there, it’s dangerous, I might fall off! I hate heights!”
Harold raised his eyebrows. “I know. Up you get.”
“It’s ok, I’ll get the train. Or I’ll jog home…”
up you get
,” said Harold menacingly. I looked around at the empty grounds, the waving trees, the bowing hedges, the adoring statues — there was no one here to help me. “Either that, or stay here and play with the Golems.”
I looked across to where Harold was nodding. Next to the Riptide Stadium were the Lily, Simone and Ingralo — stood together building tall mud mounds, which were rising and forming into strange shapes.
With that, I put a foot on the wheel arch and lifted myself onto the roof, preying for my life. Harold chucked my bags up to me before getting inside. The carriage juddered and began to move. I had to think of something fast! Aiming my hand at the luggage I said, rather reluctantly:
,” my bags froze to the roof in one solid icy mass. But then, it started moving forwards along the carriage runway. I fixed my hands to the metal roof and cried above the wind that now shot through my ears: “
!” A magnetic click forced my hands to the roof of the carriage as it suddenly shot into the air. “
!” I screamed through the hurling winds. This was not how I wanted this year to end. Not at all!
To be continued…
DID YOU ENJOY READING?
If you enjoyed it then I would be honoured if you left a review. When you turn to the page after next, Amazon will ask you to rate it…
really, really, really
appreciate it if you left a review!
Thank you for supporting my work!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jack Simmonds was born in London U.K where he still lives, writes and drinks tea. Lots and lots of tea.
I love to hear from my lovely readers! — You can
with me here:
You can follow me on twitter —
On Facebook you can like the Avis Blackthorn page for updates on future books:
If you would like to contact me about anything, then please email:
I look forward to hearing from you.
All the best,