New York City
October 17th 2175
When a girl keeps a diary, its a huge leap of faith to confide heart crushing secrets within the pages. No one ever wants their passions, dreams and inner most thoughts shared with the world; and while its a one and million chance it happens. There is a fear that keeps mouths shut, dreams unfulfilled, and people’s days going.
The top three secrets I never wanted shared, but in order to understand my story I have decided to at least openly mention them. It hurt when my mom passed away, I was young, but she was my closest friend. I struggle with things the average person does, eating, exercise, magic lesson. Yes, magic lessons. Please stay with me. The third secret crushed my existence. Because I thought like most idiotic teenagers that I could handle the truth. Little did I know I’d soon be in for a rude wake up call. I didn’t realize just how terrified I should be.
The day I realized my fear had been a long one. Dad had been occupied with several lengthy conversations and examinations in his position as a New York City coroner. He ran in out of his office multiple times throughout the day often with people trailing behind him. By evening, the number of visitors had started to settle down and I started to see him less and less. Probably because he finally had time to catch up with his work.
I dragged my pencil across the paper. My hand movements were so fluid and smooth the finely sharped point slid across the page with a sizzle. I’d been slugging through homework for about ten minutes and found I wasn’t really in the mood. I tapped my fingers across the desk, A kingly masterpiece compared to school desks; the weird seat/desk hybrid considered the perfect teenager torture device with a wired basket beneath a rock-hard seat.
My teeth ground together just thinking about the endless cycle of moving from one desk to another, and the disgusting possibility of having gum stuck to your jeans because of someone’s carelessness. I huffed at the idea of the embarrassment, but I shook the memory away and moved a portion of my long red hair back behind my ears as I settled back into dad’s chair, the soft material pulled me in and I quite happily let out a sigh of relief. In comparison to school desk, dad’s chair felt heavenly. The smooth leather felt cool and rich to the touch and the line of gold dots embroidered along each armrest felt fit for royalty.
His desk was equally eye catching. It was spaciously rectangular, made of polished red tinted wood. something you might see in a lawyer’s office or a home library. I suspected dad had salvaged it from the abuse of a rookie police detective. Determined by one or two darker brown stains on the wood finish and a hairy red patch in top right-hand corner; it seemed fairly obvious the desk had seen its fair share of greasy doughnut boxes and chipped coffee mugs in its lifetime.
I scanned my textbook page, trying to heat up my motivation to finish.
Which wasn’t likely, but I had to try.
Quickly scribbling down some notes I glanced towards the computer as a notice appeared in the right corner on the computer monitor. Complete with several exclamation points, the subject line read, NICK WE’RE IN TROUBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!RUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The subject line was odd but without a second thought, I grabbed the mouse and moved it intending to darken the screen. The last thing I wanted to do was to stick my nose into dad’s official business and see something I shouldn’t. I had a terrible time keeping secrets, even trivial ones like a birthday or Christmas surprise. I doubled clicked looking for the sleep button, but instead of a darkened screen, a video started to play.
There was no introduction, intense music or news station logo. The video came to life focused on the station reporters, sitting at a stage news desk. No more than a second passed before the camera zeroed in on a man, in a blue suit staring straight at the camera, speaking with a sharp, concerned tone.
“There is no logical explanation for our present-day phenomena. The sky is turning green and we don’t know why.”
Without missing a beat, turning to his co-anchor, a woman with bouncy blonde hair, red lipstick and a darker blue blazer. She offered him a subtle nod of acknowledgment then continued the report.
“In high school, teachers love the phrase, those who don’t learn from history, repeat it. It’s a grim reality we’re coming to grave terms with, as today, marks the social realization that we’ve overlooked a downplayed moment in history and it’s a downplayed moment that has cost the world dearly.”
The man jumped in, visually motioning to the camera, “We now turn it Vivian Grace who is live with the crowd out at judgment field. Vivian, tell us, what is going on out there?”
The camera view changed from the studio to a large country field, where night had started to set. The evening glamour casting a green sheen across several dozen campfires, car headlights, tents and food trucks lined up in several rows off in the distance. Surrounded by a massive crowd growing by several small groups every second.
“As you can see a crowd has gathered as the judgment is about to take place.” It was a woman’s voice, but she stood beyond the camera view. She narrated a little about the timing, and the crowd’s incredible size, and the terrible traffic as the camera panned from side to side trying to capture everything happening, before settling on a small area where about half a dozen police vehicles, cars and SUVs in addition to several armored tanks with SWAT etched on the side in bold white letters.
“What the?” but my thoughts became mush as the video blazed with loud sirens, and angry people screaming inaudibly while crackling torches and gunshots sent wisps of smoke trailing into the air. The officers looked at the crowd, but said and did nothing.
“Death to the devils.” The crowd bellowed in unison. The camera angled downward not to far from the cop cars and uniformed officers. While a group, made up of men and women, old and young, drifted towards the camera, all of them screaming at the top of their lungs. I winced as several of them let out a battle cry and lifted pitchforks above their heads. While the rest brandished torches with smoke trailing into the sky above their heads creating foamy gray clouds against the green sky.
In less than thirty seconds, while the camera stayed on this specific group, more and more people came close and increased its size. This group came with colored faces, wielding signs displaying obscure bible verses while others displayed vulgar and provocative statements in bold letters, some done with artistic style, while the rest appeared hastily sprayed painted or colored with markers. As the camera made a last pass over the crowd a few more people appeared waving signs depicting drawings ranging from stick figures to cartoons. The sign wielding people hoisted their signs into the air in a taunting synchronized rhythm, a few of them inched closer to the camera and the news crew, while the rest chanting encouraging behind them in an off-key unison.
“Kill the witches!”
“What!” my voice crackled. Dad’s chair tipped backwards as I jumped to my feet and grabbed the computer monitor. The video buffered for a fraction of a second but continued to play.
They had just said it! The crowd knew about witches.
And they were going to kill them.
“Ladies and gentlemen keep in mind what you are seeing is live,” the same woman’s voice said as the trucks came to a stop. With one last swoop, capturing the grim and sinister energy of the crowd. The voices screamed, sign holders chanted and yelled. People watched and held up their phones to take pictures. Gradually the camera came around and stopped on woman, in a red blazer and holding microphone. Her hair jostled in the wind and she took a second to look back over her shoulder as she gazed out at the scene. While taking the moment a protester rushed forward, waving a handmade sign displaying the message, Welcome to the Grim Reaper Convention. He laughed and danced around like an idiot before a uniformed officer shewed him back towards the crowd, while others set up a boundary line with orange cones and long pieces of yellow tape.
The look in her eyes told me she wasn’t sure whether to laugh, snicker, cry, or maybe even fear for her safety while she gave the news report.
Bringing herself back she continued, “I’ve heard confirmed special courts and Congressional committees have been in session for the past few weeks, we should-” Vivian paused and cautiously glanced over her shoulder towards the rioters as they fought against police barricade waving their signs and continued their rants. The closer they got, the more nervous she seemed to be. “There have been confirmed reports actual magic exists and there are people alive who can use it according to their will and desire.”
Hesitating she sidestepped away from the rioters, the camera following at a steady pace, “According to local sources, at the end of last month, dozens of individuals all across the country flooded local and national law enforcement agencies with tips and reports of terrible occurrences and unexplained events. In addition, there have been dozens of suspected criminals with convictions ranging from fraud, theft to even murder. All of them it is reported claim supernatural corruption, or the devil made me do it. For weeks they’ve had lawyers petitioning the courts to overturn their convictions, claiming innocence due to their crimes being forced by magical influences.”
Sirens pulsed and rang out, Vivian pointed and the camera zoomed in as three police cars, and two armored vehicles pulled into the field stopping next to a path outlined by stakes and several lengths of red rope.
“Ladies and gentlemen, if you go to our website, we have published definitive proof of magic’s reality, and we have linked to additional cases longed by the New York Times, The London Times the FBI and the Metropolitan police,” Vivian said loudly as sirens overpowered the crowd and slowly got louder as the drivers got close. “Now as the judgment is scheduled to begin in the next few minutes. We have to ask did we mess up because we didn’t pay enough attention in our history classes.”
The camera split and the original anchor appeared on a split screen, “you are right about that Vivian. I spoke to my child’s teacher and we both are curious, were the early colonist leaders wrong in their actions? Were they stopped before they could rid the world of a dark truth?”
A loud clang cut them off and the camera jumped back to full screen at the field. My throat felt chalky as officers pulled the armored truck’s back door opened. One particularly muscular officer, with a massive tattoo covering on arm, trudged forward, yanking a hand full of chains attached to loop on the floor, several feet in length. With a jerk he pulled four teenage girls onto the ground in a heap. My neck muscles constricted, grabbing my stomach I doubled over feeling the urge to puke. Shaking I looked up, unable to move with my eyes glued to the screen as the officer forced the girls to their feet and pushed them towards an evaluated platform with four arms suspended overhead, each one presenting thick yellow rope with a noose tied to each end.
“Parents, be advised the remainder of these proceedings should not be seen by young audiences.” Vivian said off camera.
My eyes began to tear up, my elbows tightened, and my fingers went cold. I chewed on my lips drawing a bit of blood, while the uniformed officers stormed forward escorting the four teens towards a platform, the top not visible from the camera’s view. The girls one by one climbed the stairs onto the platform; the audio flawlessly carried the rattle of the individual links right to my ears. The sounds, especially with the cuffs around their ankles sent chills down my spine. A man stepped forward as the girls were paraded up the path. He stood on a second platform angled to face the one where the girls would meet their demise. He wore a pristine suit and a black robe. He lifted his hand to the crowd before opening a black leather book, which he braced with one hand as the pages fluttered in the breeze.
“Elizabeth Jones of Boston, Joni Blanchard of New Mexico, Angela Colton of New York, and Annabeth South of Texas.” His voice carried over a sound system, the speaker cracked and hummed after every other word. He repeated their names over and over while the crowd screamed, booed and chanted. Petrified my body shook while the robed speaker added a list of offenses to properly justify why the girls had been brought to judgment of casing curses, being involved in witchcraft, theft and even murder.
“Angela Colton you have been hereby accused of-,” he declared at the very last, his voice getting louder as he spoke, “the following crimes of witchcraft-”
My heart leaped and I jumped to my feet. “Angela!”
And right on cue, the camera zoomed in on the girl’s faces. It only took a few seconds, I blinked and my mind pulled away the soot and dirt covering her face. I only saw her for a second, but it was enough. My heart flipped and my face stung seeing the swollen black eye and the wet dangling noodles that had once been long amber brown curls.
With tears in her eyes, her lip quivered as she was forcibly directed towards the stairs. She looked to the right and then to the left, desperate for any sight of help. Someone was pointing fingers and calling her all kinds of rude names. She wanted to cry out and beg but she didn’t dare open her mouth. Her chains rattled as she neared the noose, the other girls present looking equally terrified and distraught.
“Crimson Capet, what are you doing!”
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