Annisa Hopkins didn’t expect much from a human high school party. And who would?
No magic, no electrifying alcohol shots. No witches playing magical pranks, and the taste in music was pretty terrible. Human parties were the epitome of lame, and she should have just stayed home.
A jock dressed in an oversized fake jersey offers her a drink, and for some unbelievable reason, she takes it. How could she be so desperate? How could any self-respecting witch take a drink from a human and humor what seemed to be a feeble attempt at flirting? And here she thought she had good taste in men.
“So there I was, in a cave like that dude from 127 hours…” The guy droned on. Annisa tried to look at the upside. At least he sort of looked attractive. Nothing like the men in her coven though. This highschool human was broad shouldered and could probably handle himself in a human fight, Annisa supposed.
She nods and smiles every so often to encourage the idiot jock to continue speaking. Was she really flirting with this dude right now? She would never admit reaching this low to another witch for as long as she lived.
All the nodding made her dizzy, and the smiling was making her cheeks ache from the stiffness. Something stirred in her stomach. A slow and painful urge to throw up came from the uncomfortableness crawling its way out of her stomach. Annisa didn’t feel so hot all of a sudden.
Annisa clutched the red solo cup with both hands and tried to focus on any one particular thing. She couldn’t. The boy's voice was blurred over and blended together. The music was loud and pulsing but she couldn’t make out the words. The beat of the song hit her head in waves as she stumbled. Annisa’s vision couldn’t seem to find a focusing point, and she doubled over.
“Are… okay?” The guy asked. Annisa interpreted it to mean “Are you okay?”. The answer was still up for debate. She didn’t want to call attention to herself. She is a witch at a human party. Anything to give her away, like the Coven tattoo on her upper arm, was carefully concealed. In this state, she knew she couldn’t properly use magic to get her out of this situation.
Whatever it was, it would pass soon. Annisa was sure of it. If it didn’t pass soon, she didn’t know for sure what to do. If she puked, would it make her feel better? That might have just been hopeful thinking.
“I’m fine…” She says to the human jock. “Where’s the… bathroom?” Even her own voice sounded distant and foggy. She pushes herself up to a sitting position with one arm grasping at her stomach as if all her guts might accidentally spill out onto the floor.
Annisa didn’t like the way she felt at all. She managed to stumble her way back onto her feet without any help from the idiot human. Annisa, through clouded thoughts, realized something uncomfortable. Drinking wasn’t supposed to feel like this until the next morning.
“Uh, down the hall…” The jock human told her. Annisa’s gaze follows the jock’s finger down a long hallway. The hallway wasn’t lit up like the rest of the house party. With one hand grasping at the wall for balance, and the other clutching at her guts, she made her way toward the bathroom door. What could have done this to her?
It must have been those pizza roll things that they gave her. She’s never eaten one before, but one bite was enough to convince her. Tiny little pizza’s rolled into a ball and toaster-ovened into her mouth? Wonderful heaven. Until, of course, they made her severely sick. Was this what allergies felt like? Non-magic food was fine for witches to ingest, right?
The last few steps of the trip were sprinted as she barely made it over the toilet bowl in time. At least she wasn’t like some of the kids at this human party who decided to puke wherever and whenever. Humans were pretty disgusting, Annisa decided pretty early on.
Annisa thanked her lucky stars that she made it to the toilet in time. Otherwise, there would need to be a serious clean up on aisle 3.
“Uh, hey? Are you alright in there?” The boy’s voice came from outside the white framed door. Pounding accompanied the voice as the jock pounded on the door. It seemed completely necessary to yell at a sick girl trying to puke in peace. Not.
Annisa sighs, flushing the chunks of pizza roll and beer down the toilet drain. All she wanted was to have a little fun, and now look. She was covered in sweat, her mouth tasted like stomach bile, and this stupid human wouldn’t leave her alone. Her stomach didn’t even feel any better after throwing up.
“Leave me alone,” She answers as forcefully as she can manage. Annisa makes quick work of rinsing her mouth out. She desperately tried to get it to stop tasting like stomach bile and pizza roll-beer in her mouth. Her throat still burned from the stomach acid.
No voice answered back. Relieved that the jock had finally gone, she took a deep breath.
Annisa washed her hands one last time, and made plans to go straight home. She has had enough of this lonely and desperate nonsense. There was no way she would ever stoop so low as to go to another human party, no matter how good their pizza rolls tasted.
She left the bathroom feeling just as dizzy, but maybe a little less sick to her stomach. Fortunately, the guy who had talked her ear off earlier was nowhere to be seen now. Annisa hopes the guy gets the hint.
Annisa dizzily pushes her way through the dancing crowds of highschool students. She wished they would shut the music off so her head would stop pounding so hard. And maybe lighten up on the amount of swirling and colorful lights in the room. They were making it even harder to see straight. If Annisa had her way, everything would stop moving and making noise altogether.
She finally finds the exit and stumbles out of the house. She grabs onto the front porch railing as if it’s the only thing keeping her upright and slowly lowers herself down the steps. There was no way she was drunk. She only drank what that guy gave her, and she didn’t even get a chance to finish it. What that guy gave her… wait. Did he drug her?
That stupid human drugged her! That’s why she feels like the living dead! That pitiful excuse for a human slipped her a drug in the beer. How dare he? Didn’t he know he was dealing with a witch? Of course not. She appeared human in every sense but one. Her ability to use magic.
When she got better, Annisa swore to curse that sorry, pathetic highschool boy.
She walked along the dark road headed toward the nearest entrance to the Undercity. She was too sick and dizzy to try and teleport. In this state, she would end up traveling somewhere unintended, and probably end up lost. Magic was only as reliable as the person wielding it was.
The music coming from the party was all but gone. All she could make out was the bass pounding out the open windows of the house. Annisa swore she could feel the vibrations of the music in the ground because of how loud it is.
There were old cars that lined the streets, and even older houses outlining the neighborhood. No wonder they could party like that without cops calling them. No one lived here unless they were too poor to go anywhere else. Annisa could at least understand that sentiment in the human world. It was the same where she lived in Undercity.
The lamp posts were only every three hundred to four hundred feet. In between the lamps, light slowly dissipated until Annisa stumbled in total darkness until she slowly neared the next lamp.
As she walked alone in the near silent neighborhood, Annisa couldn’t help but feel like someone was watching her. Someone was waiting for her to inevitably pass out from the stupid drug.
Maybe she was just being paranoid though. A young witch like her was bound to feel unsafe alone, at night, in the human world. It could really just be the non-magical pizza rolls making her sick.
But as the lamp light seems to grow further and further apart, Annisa is sure she feels eyes on her. They bore into her back like a predatory bird as it prepares to make its attack on a small prey.
She shrugs it off. It was easy to feel paranoid while wandering down a street alone at night. Especially in the human world, she rationalizes desperately. Annisa looked around just to be safe. No one.
Annisa hugged her shoulders tight and kept walking. The chilly night air was getting past her leather coat and skinny jeans. She felt more secure when she hugged herself, and kept on going. But then she heard footsteps. She was absolutely sure they weren’t her own footsteps slamming against the puddles dipping in the road. After the rain that hit last night, it was amazing the place wasn’t flooded.
Step. Step. Step.
Annisa turned around and checked for people behind her. She would feel more relieved if she could see the person behind her. The person was probably just another nervous twenty one year old trying to get home safe. They were just as scared as she was, Annisa told herself. But there was no one behind her.
Step. Step. Step.
The splashing of the puddles got louder.
Annisa started reciting defensive spells in her mind. If she needed one, she could fire off a dozen in less than a minute. That should have been enough to put her at ease. No human would be able to defend themselves against a defensive spell. Except maybe… she might be too nauseous to use the magic correctly...
Step. Step. Step.
The steps were getting closer. Annisa quickened her pace. She just needed to get to the gate. No human would dare try and enter Undercity, even though they technically could. Her stomach flipped and she felt like she was about to wretch. It didn’t stop her from running.
“Stop following me!” Annisa screamed into the void behind her. No answer.
Annisa ran until she couldn’t anymore. She was too tired, and too sick to keep going at that pace. So she walks briskly against the cold night air. The steps are just behind her now. She freezes mid-step.
Annisa spins around when the steps stop from behind her. In front of her is a tall figure with glowing red eyes. It smiles its pointed evil grin, and lets out a low chuckle. It grabs Annisa with one sharp-clawed talon.
A long-pained scream echos out into the night, and then was cut short.