Chapter Thirteen: Witches, Elves and …?

“Athena,” the witch moaned, eyes opening. “Where are you, my granddaughter?”

I whispered, quickly, “I have an idea, but you need to hide. I’ll convince her we’re alone and somehow get rid of her so we can escape. I know this neighborhood. We can go to Mr. Payne’s place. He’s nice.”

Brenden’s jaw set, and he whispered harshly, “You’re wrong, Athena! I’m in shadow. If we were in the Over Realm, I’d be golden. We’re in the Under Realm.”

“We don’t have time to argue, Brenden!” I cried. “Just do as I say, and I’ll figure this out. Hide!”

Brenden changed back into a book only the cover was a strange ebony color and his rays weren’t sparkly anymore.

Holly snatched him up and cried, “Where should we hide?”

“That closet by the stairs. But leave Brenden out. I may need him.”

Holly nodded and placed him on the coffee table as she pulled Francisco into the closet with her. Before he disappeared into it, Francisco whispered, “If you need anything, I’m just a whistle away. Got it?”

I nodded shooing him on before the witch fully awoke.

I couldn’t believe that witch was actually my grandmother. It was like a horrible dream I needed to escape. If she was truly Gran then I knew she loved me. Deep down. Maybe she would listen about allowing me to become the next Wishcaster or maybe I could convince her to tell that horrible Queen Casteen to call off the war. Anything! But then I remembered how she used magic to choke me. It seemed as if she’d wanted to hurt me in my backyard. How could she be my sweet Gran?

“Gran!” I called as she woodenly pulled herself to her knees.

She opened her eyes and stared at me for a moment, wiping her face then jumped to her feet. Flinging her arms out, she whipped around like she was about to cast a spell. “Where are the little brats? I’ll catch ‘em and roast ‘em, I will.”

Then her eyes caught mine like a mouse in a trap. “Ah…there you are, Athena.”

My heart leaped. Trying to hide any fear in my voice, I swallowed and said, “Hi, Gran. What’s up?”

“Where’s your grizzly little friends? One of them almost throttled me with their grimy fingers.”

She jerked her head toward the closet so I blurted, “Um…Gran! I’m the only one here, but I’m so confused! What’s going on? How did I get to Scotland so fast?”

The witch scratched her chin and shuffled over to me. “Why are you here in the dark, sweetheart. Turn on the lights at least.” Waving her hand, the lights flashed on.

“So, you’ve accepted the truth that I’m your Gran, eh? I’ve always known you were a smart child.” She batted her eyelashes at me. “Athena, I’ve dreamt of the day when I could take you to Queen Casteen and show her what you truly are.”

I squinted. Shivers rolled down my back. “What am I, Gran?”

My grandmother walked to her gargoyle chair and plopped into it. “That’s a wee bit of a long tale which I don’t have time to tell. Suffice it to say, you’re a bit of a…um…how do I put this delicately?” She lifted her eyes in thought then stared straight at me. “A mutt.” It came out as “moot” in her Scottish accent.

“Mutt?” I’d used that term for my dad because of his mixed ancestry, but talking to a known witch who was probably my grandmother, I decided I didn’t want to learn anything more.

I widened my eyes, trying to distract her. She loved to cook and I knew if she was busy in the kitchen, my friends and I could escape. “So, Gran, I’m hungry. Do you have anything around? Toad in the Hole? Turtle Stew? Eye of Newt?” I tossed that last one in for kicks.

She sighed looking at me like a prized stallion, ignoring my questions about food. “Oh, I can’t wait until Casteen releases you from your shroud and then, me sweet, she’ll see what an exciting eerily ethereal creature you really are.”

I didn’t like her choice of alliterative adjectives. Especially when referring to me. “Before I meet this queen, I have another question.” I stared straight at her. “If you are my Gran, why did you want to kill me at my house?”

The witch cackled which sounded strangely like my Gran’s laugh. “I would never hurt you, me lovely. I did what was necessary to bring you here. Times are dangerous now. You cannot fall into the wrong hands. Once your teacher, Ms. Claxton, told us that a Wish Book had found you, I knew the time of your revealing had come. You’ll understand all soon enough once we visit the queen.”

Ms. Claxton? Huh. I’d called her a witch all year. Too bad I was right.

“But what about my parents? Are they okay with this?” I asked.

She dusted her arms as if wiping off cobwebs. “I don’t know what that globstroppet of a father you’ve got thinks. Your mother and I don’t see eye to eye on a lot of things. She was raised by her father who was an elf.”

My stomach dropped. “My mother…is an ELF?”

“Half elf. Half witch.” She smiled indicating herself. “Oh, your grandfather was a wonderful man, Great Guardian rest his poor soul. Handsome, too. He swept me off me feet when I was just a wee witchling. Now, it’s quite uncommon that a Middle-realmer and an Under-realmer would ever…um…how should I put it…”

“Hook up?” I curled my upper lip just thinking about my grandparents. Gag. I remembered my grandfather. He didn’t have any elfish ears. He was unusually tall and thin, but hey, lots of kids’ grandfathers were tall. And yeah, I knew my Gran and Gramps had split when my mom was young, but still…my whole ancestry had been a lie. “What’s my father then? A troll?” I almost laughed. This sounded so ridiculous.

My grandmother shook her head. “If only that be true, lass, I’d be the happiest mother in the Under-realm. Trolls are Under-realmers, you know.” She wiped her lips in disgust. “No, your father, from what I can gather, is a rather dull, stupid, and disgusting creature of the Over-realm. Against me wishes, Serena met him while doing engineering work in the Over-realm. She’s a tinker by nature and fell in love with Over-realmer things.”

This was getting wilder by the second. My parents lied to me. To Zelda. About everything! “I thought they met at a park in San Myshuno?”

Gran glanced at a clock. “Oh dear, look at the time! You need to get ready. I’ve almost completed your outfit. You’ll be a sight to see for the queen, me darling dee.” Granny hopped out of the chair, skipping around, she was so excited. I could almost see my true, sweet Gran that I’d always known inside of her. “Let me be off for a moment, lass. I shant be long. Okay?” She blew me a kiss.

I caught it like I always had and plastered on a fake smile. “Okay, Gran.”

She winked then turned and sauntered toward her bedroom.

A cloud of blue radiance shimmered, revealing Brenden once she had gone.

“So! You are a witch! And an…an…elf! And who knows what else?” Brenden glared at me in disgust.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” His words hurt. I couldn’t help what I was. Whatever horrifying darkness was inside me, I was still me. I didn’t feel any different from a normal human girl. And I was good. I didn’t care who had birthed me. Or what.

Holly and Francisco burst out of the closet. “Good grief, San Fran. Use a little deodorant, will ya?” Holly said wrinkling her nose.

Francisco smirked. “Hey, don’t think you smell like a pile of roses. Mints help halitosis, you know.”

“Guys!” I whispered. “We don’t have time! Gran is about to come back. We’ve gotta go. Now!”

Brenden glared, his dark eyes punching me in the stomach. “I’m not going anywhere with an evil Under-realmer.”

I couldn’t believe it. The one person I really looked up to now hated me. And why? Because of something I couldn’t help. “Fine!” I cried, holding back tears. “Stay here. See if I care!”

Francisco thrust a finger in Brenden’s face. “Say another mean thing to her again, wimp, and I’ll turn your face into a permanent doily.” He flipped Brenden’s flouncy collar.

Holly glowered at Brenden, pushing past him. I saw Brenden tilt his chin down and frown. Maybe he felt bad? I didn’t care. I was so mad.

Creaking open the kitchen door, Holly peered around the corner. “All clear,” she whispered.

We slipped through the kitchen and out the backdoor into the misty night.

Next update Monday, December 12th.

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15 thoughts on “Chapter Thirteen: Witches, Elves and …?”

  1. Yay, I was right! Haha I love the twist that the evil witch was really her Gran all along! (Though “evil” is hard here. I am certain Gran is acting with the best of intentions here, in her under realm-y way 😛 )

    Makes sense why Athena is so special… she’s probably one of the only beings ever to have blood from the Under, Middle, AND Upper realms! But then, of course they’d be fighting over her now too 😬

    I do wonder about Zelda now too. Since she shares Athena’s blood, I wonder if she could be in danger too… and she’s been left all alone now 🤔😱

    Eager to see how things go from here! Hopefully Brenden can cool off… I understand why he doesn’t feel so good about where they are right now! But Athena can’t help her heritage! I think he can get over it…? Or at least I hope he can!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gran…yes, she’s not all-evil. She’s doing what she thinks is best! (In her under-realmy way…I like that! 😉 )

      Yes…Athena has all realm blood. Almost unheard of. And there’s more to Athena. Zelda does have her blood but she’s not like Athena and you’ll find out why later. (Zelda is with the fairy queen and safe atm until the war happens!! 😮 )

      Brenden…he has his reasons for acting like this which we’ll find out later, but still…no excuse to take it out on Athena. Hopefully, he’ll see the error of his ways.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Did Granny bring the others? Hmmm…and you’ll find Granny to be very…scatterbrained.

    (And all will be revealed about Brenden later…he has his reasons.)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Poor Brandon….I feel sorry for him. He just wanted to help and now she is really part under-realmer. He was okay if she was middle and upper. Now he’s sad.

    Gran did seem to have her best interest at heart even if they may have been twisted. Hmmm.

    Can’t wait to see what they run into now that they escaped the house.

    And the teacher was indeed one of them. 😲. I still wonder about Holly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes…the fairy was blown away by the revelations. He doesn’t trust under-realmers…he has his reasons. And he’d put Athena on top of such a pedestal that this really was hard for him to take.

      Granny is really nice…in “her” way. 😉

      Hee hee…fun stuff ahead! (I love next week’s chapters!)

      Ms. Claxton was indeed a witch. Holly…?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Shipper WitcHazard: So Brandon is the kind of person who lets preexisting cognitions about ones origins ! One can never change the the transgressions made by their ancestry, but to think he give it more weight than the actions and innocence of those in the present is unacceptable!(clenched fists)

    Anti Shipper: Am I sense someone brewing murderous intent! If you wish I can arrange for his corpse to wind up at the bottom of the abyssal sea!

    Lover WitcHazard: don’t go getting crazy ideas Anti you’re starting to sound like Dark! I’m sure Brandon will redeem himself at some point but for now he’s on the naughty list so I should take the time to come up with a suitable punishment!🥰

    Dark WitcHazard: I’m loving the mixed races means we don’t know what to expect with our jack of all trades heroine!

    Nooboos WitcHazard: Fae can’t be trusted! Send someone to protect Zelda! She shouldn’t be in the cluctches of those unloyal bastards!😭👿🔥

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Brenden has personal reasons for his hatred but I will not excuse him. His actions are wrong. He might have to pay for his sins…😱


  5. Hmm, is romance blooming between Holly and Francisco? LOL.

    And ahhh, Ms. Claxton is Granny’s minion/associate/whatever. They must buy their jewelry at the same place. 😉

    Wow, Athena’s version of mutt-ness is pretty cool–and surprising. Witch, elf, and human?? I wonder if her heritage will manifest in interesting ways…

    Anyway, illuminating chapter, and can’t wait for more. ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol! Um…that’s not out of the realm of future possibilities but atm…no. 😝

      Ms. Claxton, yes…associate, I would call her. (Hee…they go to the same jewelry shop…Hyde and Eek Boutique!)

      Yes, witch, elf, human…and maaaaybe things will manifest in surprising ways. 😁

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Hmm … I was intrigued by my boys at first. Brenden was looking all dark and mysterious while Francisco was looking positively royal. (You know how they distract me.) Aw, but then Brenden had to get all mean (and I’ll wait to pass final judgement until I hear his reasons). Francisco to Athena’s rescue — always the loyal friend (who wishes to be more). So many revelations! I’m kinda glad I was behind in my reading because I can rush off to the next chapter now. Immediate gratification for the win! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww…yes, the boys do steal the show! And some more boys will be on the scene soon. 😉

      I hope Brenden redeems himself (or at least feels badly for his behavior!)

      Liked by 1 person

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