Birdie did her best to keep it together, while driving to her destination. She knew she had business to attend to, and although she had been waiting for a rainy day for a more dramatic effect, she knew that time was running out and she couldn’t keep putting this off.
The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, and it was a fairly warm day for being late fall. Not what she was hoping for as her sparkly blue Prius made its way down the road.
“Where is he?” She grumbled to herself, checking her phone nervously, every few seconds.
A bittersweet wave of relief washed over her as Callan came jogging toward her.
He held her hand and gave her a quick peck on the lips before explaining his reason for keeping Birdie waiting, which he knew she hated.
“Sorry babe, I got caught up at the gym, what did you want to talk about?” He asked confusedly.
Birdie’s head fell into her hand as she frowned.
“Babe? What’s wrong? What happened?” Callan asked, beginning to panic.
“I’m just going to make this quick. We’re moving, Callan.” Birdie announced.
“…Moving like…? To a new house? I really like my house though.” He said.
“No Callan. We as in my family and I, out of town. We have to. Yellow found his co-heir, and staying here would only raise questions. It’s not safe for us anymore, and I can’t stay here without them.”
Callan felt as if a ton of bricks had just hit him.
“What? No! This isn’t happening…This can’t be happening…” He worried.
“I’m sorry…” Birdie whispered, trying not to get too emotionally involved. She made sure her mascara was waterproof, but she didn’t want to risk it.
“Well I can go with you… I’ll need to get things figured out, but I can-“
“Callan, no. I could never let you give up your dreams to go with me. You rely on this town, and it relies on you. You can’t leave. I won’t let you throw it all away.”
“So this is it?” He paused, as his eyes began to well up. “You’re dumping me?”
“Don’t make me beg, come on. Birdie we can make it work, okay? We can do like one of those long distance things I always hear about. I’m not going to be able to get over you, Birdie, you’re perfect…”
“Callan, shhhh….” She whispered. “I know, I know.”
“But time heals all wounds, you will be able to get over me, someday. Even if it’s not for a long, long time…”
“Don’t cry, please… You’re going to make me cry!” She sniffled. “You were my first love and no one will be able to take that from you, Callan. And I’ll be in touch, okay? You’re going to make another girl very, very happy! But never show them what your ex looked like because they’ll never be able to live up to me, oh! I’m just making it worse!” She cried, “I need to go now!”
“Please?” He painfully whimpered, giving it one last try.
“I’ll never forget you Callan, I love you.” She cried, pulling away.
Birdie left running to her car before her tears messed up her makeup.
She got into her sparkly blue Prius and drove away, never looking back again.
For the past few days, emotions were running on high, and everyone was buzzing about in a moving frenzy. The house was nearly empty, and if we weren’t busy packing, we were off saying final goodbyes to family and friends.
It was definitely painful. Salem and I were born in Appaloosa Plains, and other than our yearly trip to Midnight Hollow for Bewitchment School, we haven’t really traveled anywhere else.
But today, Aunt Persephone gave me strict orders to not take my eyes off Donna during the moving process. Sure, I guess she didn’t mean that literally, but she didn’t have to ask me twice! Every since her resurrection, she has been doing nothing but sleeping.
My aunts have also made it very clear that Donna’s resurrection is to be kept a secret, at least until we leave. We were told that no one other than immediate family was allowed in the house, and if we wanted to say goodbye to friends, we’d have to meet them elsewhere.
I thought I was dreaming when Donna fell asleep in my lap! Sure, my feet fell asleep a few times, but I didn’t want to ruin it. I tried not to be all weird and watch her while she sleeps, but I’ve never seen anything more beautiful in my life…And I have internet. I smiled down as I was reminded why everything we’re doing was totally worth it. Luckily, Donna was a heavy sleeper and almost nothing could wake her up, so all the moving and shouting and barking dogs surrounding us didn’t bother her any.
“That stupid goddamn douche-bag I swear I never…” Salem’s mumbling trailed off as she slammed the door, seeming even more angry than usual.
“Whats up with you?” I asked.
“Done, done done!” She shouted all the way down the stairs.
I looked down at Donna who was still sleeping soundly, and laughed at the fact that even Salem’s outbursts didn’t wake her up.
Suddenly, the dogs started barking wildly as the door swung open once again, and I couldn’t see who it was over the boxes, but it was sudden enough to startle me.
I finally realized it was Clementine when she made her way in front of the crates, crying hysterically into her palms. So much for keeping friends out of the house and keeping Donna a secret.
“Where’s Salem?” She bawled.
“Uh… She’s downstairs.. Clem, what’s wrong?” I asked concernedly.
Clementine wiped away the tears with the sleeve of her jacket and looked up at me.
Suddenly, she gasped. “OH MY GOD. Is that her? I can’t believe it, Salem really wasn’t making her up!”
I chuckled, “Yeah, but careful, she’s sleeping!” I said, before immediately wondering why I said that, since Donna most likely wouldn’t wake up anyway.
“Wow, Lo! She’s so beautiful! I thought for sure Salem was exaggerating when she said she’s pink! And look at her hair, wow!” She exclaimed.
I began to feel really uncomfortable, although I wasn’t too sure why. Maybe because of the way Clementine didn’t even acknowledge how we left things between us, or maybe because she just went from 0-10 on the mood-swing meter. Probably a bit of both.
How was I supposed to respond, when I knew how Clementine felt about me?
“I think so too, I think her colors are beautiful. Not that normal colors aren’t beautiful too, though! I just really- I don’t know, never mind. So are you going to tell me what’s wrong?” I asked awkwardly.
She took a deep breath. “Salem and my dad got into a fight.” She sighed, climbing onto the back of the couch.
“I really wanted to go with you guys.” She frowned. “I grew up with you two and and I can’t really picture my life without you two beside me. Remember prom? What if you guys weren’t there? We’ve all just been through so much together.” She cried.
“But my dad won’t let me, I even tried begging.” She continued. “And when I asked Salem to talk to him, well… She ended up calling him a shitty father and the next thing I know they were shouting at each other, so he kicked her out. It was so bad, Lo.”
“…Yeesh! I’m so sorry about that, Clem. I wish you could come with, too.” I frowned, looking down at Donna to remind me once more that this is all worth it.
“Yeah… I was… sorta hoping you’d talk to him….” She mumbled.
“Clem, I don’t know, sounds like he was pretty mad…”
Clementine began sniffling as a single streamed down her face. She just looked at me, and frowned even more.
“Okay, okay.” I gave in. “I’ll talk to him, just no more crying, okay?” I smiled. “And could you keep an eye on Donna for me?”
“Of course!” Clementine squealed.
I gently shook Donna’s shoulder, trying to wake her up. Finally, she opened her eyes and arched her back as she stretched, I continued holding her in my lap, not quite sure where to place my hands.
Her sleepy eyes met with mine, and she grinned slightly. My already slightly numb legs turned to jelly even more, and if I weren’t already sitting, I probably would have fell.
I searched my brain for words, but I think I forgot how to speak.
“Good morning! Well not morning, but umm.. Good day!”
“How long have I been sleeping?” She asked.
“A few hours, but who’s counting.” I chuckled nervously. “Anyway, I have someone I want to introduce you to!”
She sat up and yawned, as our bodies broke apart for the first time in hours. There was a clamminess on my chest where she had been laying, and I had hoped that she didn’t notice it too, on her.
“Donna, this is Clementine, my best friend.” I smiled, introducing them.
“Pleased to meet your acquaintance, miss!” She curtsied, as Clementine bursted in laughter from the initial culture shock that she was experiencing.
“Wow, she really has been dead forever! Nice to meet you too!” She said.
“I need to make a run across the street and speak with Clementine’s father, are you going to be okay here with Clementine? Do you need anything?” I asked.
“Thank you, Yellow. I will be fine.” She smiled.
“Oh my god! I’m going to give you a makeover!” Clementine squealed.
“A…. a makeover?” She asked.
For the past few days, Donna has just been lounging around in everyone else’s hand-me-downs, today she was wearing my shirt. She had to be way more comfortable in these clothes than what she was used to in her past life, that’s for sure!
Poor Donna cocked an eyebrow in confusion, as I could tell everything Clementine was saying was like a foreign language to her.
“Don’t worry, you’re in good hands, I trust Clementine. I’ll be back as soon as I can, okay?”
“I wonder if the curtains match the drapes! Have you ever waxed before?” Clementine asked, as she pulled Donna by the arm. “It only hurts a little.”
“Just kidding! …We won’t wax you! Well maybe, we’ll…See.”
Donna looked back at me for help, and I didn’t really know what to do, as I was probably just as worried. “You’ll be okay..” I whispered.
“Don’t be a wuss, Yellow.” I said to myself, as I made my way across the street.
“You got this. You’re a man, having a conversation with another man, just asking to take his only daughter to god knows where. No big deal.” I could hear my own heart beat as my palms began to sweat.
Brandt opened the door, still obviously angry.
“Uh.. Hi Mr. Martin.”
“I was hoping I could have a word with you, please?” I asked.
“Do you damn Darlings ever quit?” He shouted angrily.
“With all due respect, sir…” I began. “I’m not Salem, and would rather not be compared to her, as we’re two very different people.”
He continued to glare without speaking.
“Look, I’m really sorry about my sister, she can be a bit rude at times, but this isn’t about her.” I pleaded.
“Okay, okay. You can come in, but make it quick I got places to be.” He said.
“Thank you sir!”
“Want a beer?” He asked, opening the fridge.
“Uhh no thanks Mr. Martin. I’m full. I mean I’m not thirsty.. No thank you.”
He pulled out a chair and titled his head towards it, signalling me to sit, while he pulled out another chair across from me and sat down, in front of me.
“Make it quick. Got a date which Gracie in a while.” He said. I was actually pretty surprised that he shared that with me.
“You really like Ms. Loveland, don’t you?” I smiled.
“Sure. Well yeah, I like her a lot. She’s the first girl I can say that about in a long time.” He said.
“Since… My mom?” I asked, immediately regretting it.
“Who told you about all of that?”
“It was, umm.. It was pretty obvious, sir.” I mumbled, bowing my head down.
Brandt laughed softly. “Was it now?” He asked.
I nodded slightly.
“Well that was over with before they left, kid. I just want you to know that. Your mom and dad really loved each other. Despite what happened happened between me and your mom. She was good though, you know, in the igloo.”
My eyes widened. “Okay… Umm about Clementine..” I said, tugging at my sleeve, trying to change the topic.
“Me and my sister will always have each other, so I’m not worried about us.” I began. “But Clementine, I don’t think she knows a life without me and Salem.”
“Ha… She’d probably be better off, to be honest. No offense, buddy.” He said. “She’s crazy about you, you know that? But I know all that hocus pocus says you have to marry a dead person. But Clem, she doesn’t think with her brain.” He said.
I nodded. “She thinks with her heart.”
“Nah, she’s like her dad, she thinks with her pants.”
I looked away while scratching my head, awkwardly. That was one way to put it, I suppose.
“I never meant to hurt her, sir. I do love her. I just have to follow my heart, and my heart doesn’t say Clementine. I think forcing it would be unfair to your daughter.”
Brandt nodded blankly. “Smart kid.” He smiled. “But that Salem. Augh. What a bitch. She has no respect.” He said.
I laughed slightly. “I know, I know. But she’s Clementine’s best friend. Clementine sees what we don’t in Salem. I’m afraid of what would happen to Clementine if she didn’t have her best friends.” I said.
Brandt sighed in agreement.
“What happens if she doesn’t have her only parent though?” He said.
Things got quiet enough for me to hear my own heart beat once again.
“Well, I’d hate to wrap up this shrink session, but I gotta go.”
“You want your daughter to be happy, right?” I asked.
His eyebrows ruffled. “Of course…” He said.
“What if she just came with us for a while, and help us get settled in, and when everything is said and done, you can have her back whenever you want? Please?” I begged.
Brandt began to think about it.
“Hmmm that doesn’t sound like a bad idea…”
“I wouldn’t say yes to any other boy, but I’m going to say yes to you. You’re the only teenage boy in the world who doesn’t have the balls to try and sleep with my daughter, I know I can trust you.”
“Sure thing, kid. Now I want to be the one to tell her, go get her.”
I carefully stumbled my way downstairs to search for Clementine and Donna, and I couldn’t help but smile when I found them!
Clem wasn’t lying when she said ‘makeover’ Because Donna looked so different wearing modern day clothing while Clementine sat on the floor playing with Donna’s hair.
The unexpected way Clementine was taking so well to Donna made me feel so happy inside, I figured there would be jealousy or at least some awkward resentment.
“Oh hi, Lo!” Clementine greeted. “How did it go?” She asked.
“It went well. He wants to talk to you.” I smiled. Even Salem smiled slightly as she stood up.
Donna then jumped to her feet and posed in front of me.
“How do I look?” She asked.
She looked absolutely adorable, but I didn’t want to shower her with compliments with Clementine in the room, so I was careful. “Uh, modern! Good, you look good! Goodly modern.” I smiled. But how do you feel?
“Well, quite honestly I feel rather naked…” She said.
“Do you want some different clothes, you don’t have to wear that stuff.”
“No, I rather fancy it! I feel free.” She smiled, contagiously making me smile back.
“Would you mind if I accompanied Miss Clementine and Miss Salem to uh…”
“Girls day!” Clementine interrupted.
“Right, girls day.” Donna finished.
“Really? Yes! I mean no, no I don’t mind.” I stammered. “I’ll just spend the rest of the day saying my final good byes to good ol’ Appy Plains!” I said.
I took my mother’s horse for a ride around the town. Just me and Aurora Skies.
As I galloped through the mountains, I reflected on all my fond, and not so fond memories here in this town. The bittersweet feeling wrung my heart out to dry, as I continued reminiscing.
Pony-Bones Island. That’s what it was called. The town that we were going to move to soon.
Pony-Bones Island was a beautiful town far, far away. In fact, it was so far away that it required magic to get there. Locating it geographically was probably impossible, kinda like Midnight Hollow.
The town is full of magic and wonder. Some call it ‘Reanimation Island’ or ‘Resurrection Island’ because most of the inhabitants have been or are descendants of of someone who has been resurrected, or witches who do the resurrecting, or just people who take an interest in the enchantment that is reanimation. Pony-Bones Island is a truly a place where coming back from the dead is celebrated, not taboo or scary.
Since a lot of the citizens have some sort of tie to resurrection, most of the people are not ordinary colors of people you’d find in Appaloosa Plains. Which is fine for me, because I’m pretty used to it from bewitchment school.
The Crumplebottom Sisters also own a one of their many residences in Pony-Bones Island. This means we will be able to see them all year round and come to them for guidance whenever we may need it.
We will also have no issue fitting in, in this town, since we know a lot of the kids from witch school. Luckily, almost the entire student body of The Crumplebottom School of Bewitchment happens to reside in Pony-Bones Island, including our friends, Flynn, Rococo, and yes, even Annabelle and her boyfriend Hellion. My aunts say it will be good for us to know a lot of the kids, because otherwise we wouldn’t stand a chance. And by we they mean me.
Aurora Skies and I stopped at the pond that my Grandpa used to take us fishing at all the time. Appaloosa Plains would always be part of me, I was born here, and it’s who I am.
But the more I thought about Donna and my future, the more I was ready for the change. The more I realized, it was worth it.