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So it Begins
Tai hated meetings. Especially ones concerning her family. It’s not that they were boring, most were fairly interesting, but they always concerned a family member that had caused a ruckus trying to find her. It made her squirm when the people around her cast sorry and pitying glances at her every time one of their deaths was mentioned.
And it wasn’t that she wanted to leave and cry about it. It was that she had the urge to laugh and celebrate whenever another death was mentioned.
Sister Gwen dead at last? Brother Albert kicked the bucket? Aunt Mimi is in the hole at last? Hallelujah! Maybe then they would stop looking for her. Stop trying to meddle in her life and give her that look that made her want to be sick. The look that said; You’re beautiful. Anyone would do anything for you. They would kill themselves. Kill their family. You could have anything. Just be like us. Merciless.
Tai shivered as the image of her father’s red face came to her. She pushed it aside angrily and tried to focus.
“... And that concludes the daily death count. Two Pures are now gone. That’s two steps closer to taking them down.” A few cheers ensued but most everyone had paused to glance at her.
Tai chewed anxiously on her lips. Her two cousins, Michael and Stacey, were gone. She would have to celebrate later with a bottle of wine and that lemon cake an admirer had made for her. She almost felt bad for accepting it. But it wasn't her fault that everyone fell in love with her just by glancing her way. She was a Witch. A special Witch with a beautiful face and heart-stopping blue eyes. It wasn’t her fault that her magic was that powerful.
She took a breath and refocused on what Face was saying.
“... The Six Pures aren’t just going to stop their reign unless we bring their monarchy down.” She was saying, “but how do we do that? Intimidation isn’t working. No matter how many Unnaturals we coax to our side, we will never be enough.”
Everyone murmured their agreement. Something had to change. Not only were the Unnaturals dying faster than they could replace them, but the Pures were getting stronger. Each death they caused was a soul sucked into their bodies. Tai shuddered just thinking about the ritual of tearing one’s soul from the afterlife and binding it to the Witch’s magic. It was disgusting.
“Which is why we need a trump card. Something to scare them out of their wits. Something they have, but can’t control,” she paused, “we need Werewolves.”
Everyone fell silent and Tai felt her pulse quicken.
“Attempting to control them will be our death sentence!” Someone protested, and the others shouted assent.
Face held up her small hands, fingers spread wide, “I understand your fear. But if we want to change the way things are, then we have to take risks.”
Mitell, who was standing stiffly next to Tai, turned to her slightly, “This is madness!” He hissed at her.
Tai nodded in agreement. The Werewolves were unpredictable and incredibly strong. What was worse was that they hated being part Wolf. How do you control a species that hates what they are?
“Listen! Listen!” Face cried, climbing onto the steel table in the middle of the room, “what if we ask for their help?”
Tai scoffed, “That’s impossible!”
Face sighed, “They’ve been oppressed by the Pures for years; they're most likely eager to be free. We can offer that!” Face had no features, or even protrusions and indents to indicate any, but Tai knew she would have had a determined look on her face. “Just listen!” She continued, “we have Witches, don’t we? We even have one of their own!” She pointed straight at Tai despite her lack of eyes, and Tai shrunk against the wall as heads turned. “But despite all that; we aren’t enough. Agreed?”
Everyone silently nodded their heads. She was winning them over.
“We have the room. We have the Witches to control them. So why are we waiting?”
People murmured quiet words, agreeing with her.
“For once I wish she would lose an argument.”
Tai snorted at Mitell’s joke and several people stiffened at the beautiful sound and snuck looks at her. She pressed herself more firmly against the wall, and Mitell stepped a little way in front of her.
Face barely heard, her small fist was raised in the air and her white dress fit for a christening was like a bell around her body. She gained everyone’s attention back in seconds. “We can’t let the Pures get too comfortable. For years we’ve threatened and made paltry attempts to scare them, but is any of that working?”
“No!” The crowd shouted, getting rowdier by the seconds.
“We have to stop them before they can stop us!”
“So what are we waiting for?!”
Cheers ensued at Face’s inspiring words, but Tai and Mitell weren’t buying it. Not even the strongest Witches in existence could control a Werewolf. They could trap them, yes. Refuse to feed them. Hurt them. But no one could control them. Tai knew this from living with her family for so many years. Once, her Great Aunt Hessie, a wicked and spiteful woman who seemingly never aged past twenty-four, had been mishandling a younger boy fighting the change. Her hand had been gone in minutes and the half-boy, half-wolf had been gagging it up seconds later. Tai remembered the moment clearly and wished it hadn’t imprinted itself so firmly on her brain.
She would very much like to forget it.
“Already I have seen who our first recruit will be.”
The noise died down at the mention of one of Face’s visions. Oracles were rare and always found in the body of a child missing his or her face, but they seldom had visions that close together. Face always had them a day apart. Which was not normal in the slightest. Visions always happened years or months apart so that the Oracle could recover properly. But Face never needed to recover. The only explanation Tai and Mitell had coughed up was that she was older than time and thus extremely powerful and able to hone her visions unlike most unskilled who were only a couple-thousand-years-old.
“A girl fighting the Change. I’ve seen who should go to her and where she will be.”
Mitell glanced at Tai, his eyebrows cocked in wonder.
Suddenly, Face raised her hand… and pointed straight at Tai, “You. I saw you.”
Tai smiled wanly and shook her head in discomfort, “I-I can’t…. My family might see me!”
Face ignored Tai and scanned the crowd, which was focused solely on Tai’s beautiful face. Then she hopped off the table and made her way towards Tai. The latter girl mentioned shifted uneasily and tried to keep Mitell from moving away from her.
“I’ve had a vision,” Face whispered, making Tai kneel before her so she could hear better, “your journey starts here. With this girl fighting herself.”
Tai nodded mutely, unable to refuse a being so old and wise. But she was already dreading her task. Tai hardly ever ventured outside for fear she would be captured by her family, and forced back into her daily ritual of seducing rivals and killing them.
“You have a big part in all of this, Tai Restatchio. Do you accept this mission?”
Tai sighed outwardly, lowering her head so her long hair hid her face from view, “Where do I start?”