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Part Three: The Innocents

“Cylia dear,” I called, gesturing for the young one as she passes by in her nightgown to bed, “could you come here for a moment?” The young one walked over humbly and entered my room with me. I closed the door and offered her the seat at my vanity. “Dear,” I began, “I have found that boy you encountered. I’ve watched him and his friends fret about for the past few hours now. Tell me dear, has anyone taught you of the proper etiquette to what you have done?”

“What do you mean, Miriam?” she asked. “I did what I thought you would do.” Though flattered, I turned her to the mirror and projected the image. Most anyone can see an image projected on mirrors. I had found that humans, however, cannot. Within the primitive quarters, the four boys sat. The three that could speak spoke worriedly about their money and their spirits and their lack of success without their friend’s vocals.

“You see dear,” I began, “he had done nothing to you. The four of them, they are innocents and though I have been known from time to time to torture the lives of the innocent populous, I have been doing this for many, many years. I can read in a mortal’s soul if they deserve it and what their proper punishment should be. If I recall correctly, you mentioned you just observed what was behind his eyes. Though you may hear humans say they can tell a person’s thoughts by their eyes, you may note all they can see through eyes is mortal love. Hatred and mockery can only be confirmed by reading the soul.”

“But I cannot see their souls like you, Miriam,” Cylia said dolefully.

“That will be the first step in learning how to use the scarf, my young one,” I said. “Robert Michael may be your test subject now. Look into him. What do you see?” I watched as my young sibling peered through the image in the mirror, his pathetic expression of self-pity. It is easy to read a name from their face. To read the name of a soul, it takes a keen intellect but not an improbable task. Reading a soul, whether it be immortal or mortal, is a skill most commonly used my witches to find test subjects for spells, both good and bad. If the person had a benevolent soul, then the spell or task would have a positive effect. On the other hand, if the soul were cruel, vindictive, and evil, then the outcome would be negative.

“I cannot see into him,” she replied with dolor.

“Do *not* give up!” I sneered. “Try another. Read their names and tell me one thing you see. Something deep.”

She focussed on another and spoke, “David Thomas. He is full of love.”

“There, you are seeing the surface. Try another one. Look harder. Pierce his soul. Make him feel you’re eyes.”

She made a second attempt: “George Michael.” She cringed at his name, possibly because of the name Michael. Why the name Michael bothered her I did not know but I did sense it fed to her puerile judgement. She continued, “He seems immature. He’s not a serious fellow.”

“Too much on the *surface*. Try the last one.”

“I can only gather the name Peter. He is genial. He has no backbone.”

“Cylia, look deeper. Harder. Make him wince with the sting of your gawking.”

“I…cannot…It is too difficult.”

“Child, you cannot walk unless you stand. Do you want to see a boy crumble in your hands?”

“More than anything,” she answered as slyly as I might.

“Good girl. Perhaps we should meet with this Robert Michael and his band in person. It may be the mirror that is interfering; it was Liza’s obstacle. We shall venture out tomorrow morning as they go for their pointless mortal medicine.”

“Tell me, Miriam; why did you become so wise to the mortal soul?”

“Oh never you mind, my young one. Never you mind.”

 

I gathered Liza and Cylia and dressed them in mortal attire before we set forth in the sun. We needed to appear as wretchedly human as possible. We needed the make-up and attire I would rather burn for kindling than display in any public. Liza’s long warm brown hair hung straight down to her mid back. Cylia’s auburn locks hung in curls down her face. I pulled my hair in a painful tie, black and hard. The more painful my look, the more pleasing it was to me. I cannot even begin to explain the pain in the colors of out wardrobe. Blinding yellows, reds, greens…I could gag just at the thought. But this was a lesson and with lessons comes our own sacrifices. To exit our home was also a trick of the mind. Our mansion was located between the organic world of humans and the mystic world of sorcerers. We had no doors or windows, no natural like or sounds, and no means of communication to any outside. In a similar method of images once again, we could project a corridor invisible to the human eye that would lead us to any premeditated location. If we choose to be surprised as to our location, we would not meditate a location at all and let the door lead us. However today we knew where we wanted to venture out to.

We set forth though our portal to the rural roads of California. We loitered for a moment awaiting the arrival of our test toys. It was perplexing why four boys would dress in the same unappealing uniform just to visit a mere human drugstore. And such a boy as Robert Michael wore an olive green wool hat in ninety-degree weather. Peculiar. I caught Cylia glaring at the boy as he walked past not noticing the three of us eyeing them, the blind fools. I watched deeply. Robert Michael was terrified! He was quivering inside. How odd. I knew it could not be the absence of his voice. A male-mortal or im-would not fear the absence of such an arbitrary possession.

“Mir, should we pursue?” Liza inquired.

“Cylia, do you have the box with you?” I asked, avoiding Liza for the moment.

“Why?”

“I think we need to return his essence,” I informed

“Miriam!” she shrieked.

“Do not fret, dear,” I consoled. “We shall gather it and more back. But these boys must live off the word of mouth, song of voice, and whatnot. And to separate the others from Robert Michael, he must possess it once more. Have faith, dear. Old Maid Miriam knows what she says.”

Poor Cylia removed the precious box from her bosom and handed it to me with a heavy heart. I took it and opened it. The voice inside split the air. I saw the boys halt at the sound. I dropped the box to break the spell and behind the cloud of evil smoke, I grabbed hold of my siblings and transported us at light speed down the street to a bench. Speed was never a problem to us in my family. We had learned to defy physics in our infancy thanks to my mother’s brilliance. Liza and I watched in ominous joy at the fools’ confusion. Liza and I shared this sense of entertainment in human and their underdeveloped minds in comparison to our own. Cylia would much rather stare at her lap and tears at the destruction of her work. I took her attention from her self-sorrow and directed it to Robert Michael.

“Now is the time,” I whispered. “What do you see in him?”

She peered hard into the boy and spoke, “Incredible confusion, pain in the larynx, and a tremendous need for answers.”

“There is something more,” I said. “Can you feel it? Can you sense in his heart, smell it in the air, or even taste it in his aura? Dig deeper.”

“Fear,” she finally whispered. I could see the grin form on her young, thin lips. “I’ve induced fear in the boy.”

“You jest,” Liza interjected. “This was Mir’s planning.”

“Bight your tongue!” I sneered. “I merely broke the box.”

“What do we do further?” Cylia asked eager to continue.

“We must observe them in their true environment,” Liza answered for me. Like I have said, Liza can make it so I need not speak a word at times.

“But first,” I said, standing from the bench, “a quick job of my ‘charm’ and we shall take our leave.”

“Why?” Cylia inquired in confusion.

“She must search for a weakness,” Liza answered.

“Wait here dears,” I said. “I shall return shortly.”

I hurried over helplessly to the boys who now stood at the remains of the box. The smoke had cleared and the fools were now retrieving the pieces. I let my hair fall-without my hands of course-and felt it turn from a gorgeous black to a grotesque blond. They were to see me again but not as this. It was just a makeshift disguise that would fade soon. I ran to the scene and stopped, acting as timid and without an intelligent thought in my character’s head.

“My box!” I shrieked. “It’s broken!”

“Excuse me,” the blond spoke, a deep voice with more heart than head. “This is yours?”

“Oh yes,” I replied making a simpleton’s smile. “My sister gave it to me. Now it’s broken.”

“Well, Luv,” the English bloke began, standing at about my height, “there’s a repair shop just around the corner here. Actually, they do jewelry repair but I’m sure they could fix it.”

By now, Robert Michael and George Michael were bending over to collect the remaining fragments to Cylia’s box. Robert Michael began to cough a bit and clear his throat. The others stood somewhat stunned.

“Oh boy, do you need a cough drop or something?” I asked ignorantly.

“No,” he replied hoarsely, standing up again. He was quite a tall fellow with his thick black hair and hat.

“Mike,” the forth one, one who was in desperate need for a hair specialist if I ever saw it, finally spoke. “Your voice! It’s back!”

“Was it lost?” I asked. They ignored my benightedness and continued with their attention on the boy.

“That means we can do the gig this Friday at the Camelot,” the blond, Peter, exclaimed with gayety.

“Can I please have my box now?” I demanded with a stamp of my foot. George Michael turned to me with a mediocre glare. He and Robert Michael poured the fragments into my cupped hands.

“Mike, buddy,” the English boy, David Thomas, chimed, “what happened? How’d it come back?”

“I’m not sure,” the boy replied hoarse still. “It came back as I was picking up the box.”

“Hey Micky, you feel anything?” Peter asked.

“No but…” George Michael turned to me. “You need anything else?” His tone was bitterly polite, almost sarcastic.

“Not really,” I replied. “I guess I should go then, huh?” I strolled off in the opposite direction and skipped back to the bench, without giving gratitude. As I reached the bench, I observed my siblings’ change. They too had matched my new look in a similar fashion with the bleach blond hair and vacant expressions. I poured the fragments into Cylia’s lap and sat again.

“I hope you don’t mind,” Liza began in a similarly clueless tone. “We simply *dug* your make-over and we *had* to have one too, right Cylly?”

“We couldn’t resist,” she replied with the same vacant smile as Liza and I.

We mocked the human giggle as the boys passed us. We watched them and continued to giggle. Cylia’s giggle turned into a beautifully sinister cackle as she watched Robert Michael walk by. George Michael shot another glare to us over his shoulder. I merely caught it and crumbled it throwing it haphazardly over my shoulder mimicking this gesture with my hands. I could tell that George Michael would become a nuisance. His obvious attitude he contained toward our manor was as plain as if it were an expression on his bulky face. His glare as he passed could do no damage but it was a symbol of a knave, a subdivision of an innocent. He needed a punishment. But what I could do, though delicious, would be too sever for the like of him. Besides, this was an excellent opportunity for Liza. Rarely had I found a specimen weak enough for Liza in her stage of development that would qualify. As he turned one last time to glare, I blew him a baneful kiss and waved. I finished the gesture mouthing the words; “You’re next”.

 

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