Drip. Drip. Drip. The droplets of water that fell from the tree branch made their way to the narrowed bridge of Xylia's nose. With a slight twitch, her dainty hand crept up to swipe away the frustrating droplets. She wrinkled her nose when one more landed, and shot up from her prone position on the ground. What had happened? She couldn't remember much apart from her own name...
Wide eyes and frantic she began to inspect every aspect of the world around her. She was on the edge of a forest, trees piled high on one side, and on the other, large open fields, with one lone house. It was huge, made of withering oak, and looked abandoned.
Long, winding strands of fear entangled with her veins when she noticed a large man sitting a few feet from her. When she made a move to scream her lungs out, he halted her with a finger to his lips. The mysteriously handsome man motioned her to come to him, and held up his other hand with a familiar cloth satchel.
"Who are you?" She began, slowly getting to her knees. She kept one knee on the ground and used the other to push herself into a standing position. Her eyes trained on his vibrant, chartreuse ones. While her body seemed familiar with this man, her mind wasn't. She would take all precautions with this man in front of her. He stood up shortly after her, his height dwarfing her, and held the bag at arms length to her.
"Xylia, It's me, Theo. Don't you remember? Boston? The sacred book? The portal we opened worked but obviously it messed with our memory, yours more so. And that can't be good." His voice was like a melody to her ears, but the words he spoke struck fear to her core. Where were they? More importantly, when were they?
The house, forest and open fields were nothing compared to the city streets and lights of Boston. At least that's where she thought she was last. Her brain was still fogged up, muddy even.
"Theo, how am I supposed to trust you? A minute ago I didn't even know your name. I don't even remember anything from before waking up here. You have my bag in your hands. How do I know that you aren't behind this?" She huffed, bringing the satchel to her chest and seeing her name sewn into the heavily worn corduroy. This bag in his hands, as well as he was watching her in a comatose state, made her weary. As beautiful as this creature was, if he even was humans after all, she would not place her trust in him quite yet.
"Just open your bag, you'll know, or least know what I know." his voice was near pleading now. A hint of desperation rang in Xylia's ears at his words and she gave a small sigh. Reluctantly, she unclasped the front of the bag and opened it.
There were few items inside that were familiar to her, and one of them was her journal, leather-bound, worn to bits, like her bag. She carefully unwound the string and peeled back the cover. Her eyes watered as few sparse memories returned to her. A note was sticky taped to the first entry, as if it were slapped on there in a hurry: Find. The. Athame.
It was her own handwriting, but it was messy, rushed even.
"What does this mean? Find the Athame?" She croaked out, unsure of the response she would get.
"Before you say anything, I read the last few entries of your journal. You would have done the same."
He looked at her pointedly and shrugged, as if he knew every aspect of her curious personality already. "But we need it for something big. You didn't say what." Theo's words only added to her confusion. His smile reached his eyes, and a small dimple appeared on his flawless cheek. Almost too flawless.
Suddenly, she felt cold and exposed. Being out in the open where she had no clue what was going on made her nervous. She would feel even more vulnerable if she were to focus on reading. "Let's go inside and see if there's someone there who can help us." The nerves coated her voice, shrinking it in size.
By the look of the house, she was weary of who lived in it, or what lived in it. "Xi, you don't know if your flames are going to work here. Let's go at this with caution, yeah?" For a moment, Xylia froze, and her breath caught in her throat. The nickname he'd used, she'd forgotten what it meant to her, but flames?
How could she forget she had powers? They were a part of her, a part of her lineage, embezzled in her soul. She desperately tried to search her brain for any more memories that could help her. None came through, and she felt a burning sensation behind her eyes.
Xylia's attention snapped to the tree line of the looming forest, and she focused on one lone tree hanging to the side of the dirt path. With a quick snap of her fingers, she realized, there was no use. No flames emerged. Theo was right; she'd have to be more cautious. With that reminder she turned towards him again.
"If I have powers, what are you? What am I?" She was growing tired of asking questions, but she was determined to get answers and to get home. She wanted a bath and more importantly, food.
"Xi, you're a very powerful witch. That's the most important thing to know. I... am not human, if that helps?" He was hesitant and sheepish with his voice, as if he was fearful with his response.
"It helps but it doesn't Theo. I'd like all the answers. Please?" In an attempt to feign innocence she batted her long eyelashes at him, and folded her hands in front of her face.
Theo's eyes flashed with desire, but he held himself back and shook his head in an apology.
"I'm afraid I might spook you if I tell you, Xi, but it's more because we're running out of time. We have to go in that house and we have to be careful. Now, let's go." He paused a moment before taking her delicate hand in his and crossing the dirt to the house.
The feelings that Xylia expected to feel when entering the home were fear, anxiety, and worry. All was almost normal in her eyes, but what wasn't normal was the feeling of familiarity that resembled the recognition of her journal.
The feeling disarmed her entirely and with a jarring left, she entered the old kitchen. There were rusted pots and pans scattered about the countertops and on the wood burning stove sat a cauldron.
The kitchen's table held a letter addressed to a Dorian Galanis. Her last name. Her family hadn't moved towns, ever. She could piece they were still in the Boston area, she just hadn't known the time period quite yet. When she took a closer look at Dorian's letter, scanning it intensely, she let out a shocked gasp when she saw the date: June 21, 1925.
Xylia made her way towards the stove and peered inside the cauldron. There seemed to be all the ingredients in it for a ritual; one commonly used to summon a deity of the dark variety. Those that surrounded themselves with the workings of death.
Flashes of light surrounded them and Xylia clutched at her head. She'd remembered the ritual that summoned Theo-Thanatos, the Greek god of death. She couldn't piece together any memory after that nor before waking up a few moments prior.
Confusion and despair were erupting in her soul at the moment, but with determination she was going to search this house for any clues that might bring her closer to home - or well, her time period. She was already in Boston. The upstairs held little importance to her; it was only a few small bedrooms with little personal items.
She knew she'd hit the jackpot when she'd entered the small basement, donning a wooden altar at the center. On top was her family's book of shadows. To the right, a small double edged dagger. Silver with a large, chartreuse jewel in the middle of the handle. She felt Theo come up behind her and wrap his arms around her middle.
"The athame," He whispered in awe.
With a shaking hand she grasped the handle and flames erupted around them. She closed her eyes and let out a scream when the ground below them opened. Theo tightened his arms around her.
When they were steadied once again, Xylia opened her eyes. In front of them was another man similar to Theo. Her blood ran cold.
"Hypnos," Theo snarled. Hypnos sneered, attention on Xylia.
"Sweet Xylia, you failed to ask the most important question." her eyes widened at his words.
"Why?" She whispered.
"For love, Xi." Theo spoke against the shell of her ear.
Merci pour la lecture!
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