Just as Beatrice promised, Salem and I attended school in Midnight Hollow for the duration of winter instead of fall this year.
I was a little disappointed that Donna and I would be spending our first Christmas together apart, but at the same time, we’re not officially ‘together’ yet either. Besides, it was the first time I got to see Midnight Hollow covered in snow, and it was such a beautiful sight!
It was a cold winter evening, and my sister and I were instructed to take notes on magic vocabulary.
My pen scribbled across the pages as I tried rigorously to keep up with Beatrice’s voice.
My sister, on the other hand, had no problem keeping up, because she used magic to enchant her pen and paper, so she didn’t even have to lift a finger. In normal schools, one might consider that cheating but of course here, magic is always encouraged. Don’t get me wrong, I’m so proud of my sister’s abilities, but sometimes I wish I had the same capabilities as her. It just doesn’t look so good when the heir can’t even enchant a simple pen!
“Are you finished copying that last definition, Yellow?” Beatrice asked, erasing the chalkboard before I even had a chance to answer.
“Huh?” I stammered, “Oh, uh.. yeah, all done.” So I wasn’t completely finished, but I’d risk telling a little white lie to avoid a scowling look from Beatrice.
“Very well.” She continued. “Next lesson: Dream-seeking.“
Dream-seeking. The word immediately caught my attention, and I began to get distracted about the dream I had of my parents as Beatrice began reciting the definition.
I snapped myself out of all the distractions, after realizing I’d probably be pretty interested in this topic later on. My brain felt like it would explode if I strained any harder, but luckily I was able to jot down every work of the definition.
Later on that night, I sat in my room and studied the admittedly sloppily written passage.
“Dream-Seeking…” I began reading quietly to myself. “The faculty of observing present occurrences through the rapid eye movement stage of sleep. Dream-Seeking appears in the form of a dream, and is generally derived from prevailing desires or thoughts.“
At first it sounded like a confusing mess of big words, so I began to break it down, when I finally realized that it all made sense now…
‘Generally derived from prevailing desires or thoughts’ Obviously losing my parents was a very traumatic event for me, so of course the possibility of my parents surviving was always in my mind. But it was just something my hopeless mind conjured up all by itself… Right?
I began to read the definition one last time. ‘observing present occurrences..‘ That’s it, present! Which means it actually happened, which then means…
“Oh my god…” I whispered to myself, “My parents are… alive!”
I jumped off the bed, tripping over my feet, but quickly stood up enthusiastically, “My Parents are alive!” I shouted.
I quietly crept downstairs to Salem’s room and gently tapped on the door, hoping I wouldn’t get caught for being out of my room after bed time.
“Salem… It’s me, open up…” I whispered.
“What do you want?” She hissed.
“Let me in, hurry before I get in trouble.”
“No, why should I?”
“Salem please, it’s really important.”
“Ugh…” She scoffed. “Make it quick.”
I scurried into her room and shut the door behind me.
“Okay, so I was looking over my notes just now and- Wait… is that Clementine’s pajamas?” I asked.
“So, I didn’t know I packed them and I didn’t haven’t anything else to wear..”
“Why am I explaining this to you, who cares! Get back to the point.” She shouted.
“Sorry, just wondering!”
“Anyways, I think mom and dad are still alive. I saw it in my dream!”
“Yellow, no. Don’t do this. You just have an overactive imagination, it’s time to move on.” She said.
“No, seriously! Dream-seeking. It was one of the vocabulary words we had earlier today…”
“Dream-seeking is the ability to see actual things that are happening while you dream. What exactly dream-seekers can see is determined by what’s on their mind, but it’s still a real event. The Crumplebottom Sisters even told me I was dream-seeking once, and I wasn’t ready to do that yet, so they taught me how to ignore it. The dream I had was that mom and dad survived, that means they’re alive, Salem.”
Salem speechlessly stared back at me in disbelief.
After a moment of standing frozen, she finally spoke up. “Where are they?” She asked wearily.
“I think the first step would be to speak with the Crumplebottom sisters.” I suggested.
“Let’s go, right now!” Salem beamed.
I was so happy to see Salem so enthusiastic for once, I smiled back as we quickly stepped to the door.
We were stopped right in our tracks by the Crumplebottom Sisters standing suspiciously outside of Salem’s door.
“Well well well…” Beatrice began. “Looks like the cat is out of the bag.”
“At last!” Belinda interjected. “Now, it’s time for a meeting!”
We were instantly transported to the sisters’ office.
“Our Mom and Dad… Are they really alive?” I asked immediately.
The sisters were hesitant to answer right away. Beatrice cleared her throat. “As far as we know, yes.”
My sister and I both had no idea how to react. We sat in shock for a moment.
“What does this mean, where are they?” Salem questioned.
“Well, the simple answer is on a deserted island. The complicated part, is that the island can only be reached by magic. They’re under a spell that is preventing them from leaving.” Explained Bianca.
Salem and I both gasped. “What? So that means they’re stuck there forever? Who would put them under a spell, I don’t understand…” I cried.
Bianca wearily looked at Belinda, and Belinda nodded slightly.
Bianca took a deep breath before answering. “It was us.”
My eyes widened as I tried to make sense of the situation, I wasn’t sure how to respond.
“So you left them there to die?” Salem fumed, through gritted teeth.
“Not necessarily…” Belinda began. “If we had any doubts in our minds that your parents couldn’t survive on the island we wouldn’t have gone through with it. They have proven themselves to be quite the survivors when need be.”
“We did it to save their marriage!” Bianca added.
“What I mean is… That it was no secret their marriage was falling apart. They needed something that would force them to see past the petty mortal issues in life and really bond them together.” Bianca explained. “If they divorced the legacy deal would be broken and your magic would have been provoked.”
I felt extremely anxious as Salem grew more and more infuriated.
“Let me get this straight… You tore our family apart, and stuck our parents on a deserted island, all the while leaving two young children to never know what happened to them, all to keep us from losing magic? Isn’t that a bit drastic?” Salem snapped.
“We never meant to cause any pain. We have always intended to get them home safely.”
“Why so long though?” I asked. “They disappeared years ago…”
“Your magic was not even near strong enough to get them home until now. And it’s still questionable now, if you ask me. You have been chosen as the heir, Yellow, only you can bring them back.” Beatrice answered.
Salem furiously stood up and began to shout. “If we have to depend on him to get them home, then you’ve sentenced my parents to death.”
“Untrue! You are underestimating your brother’s powers! He is far more powerful than you believe.” Belinda shouted.
My stomach began to twist in knots.
“Are you shitting me? It should have been me, he was never meant to be heir! Some witches you are for allowing this to happen!” Salem shouted.
Fuming with anger, Beatrice quickly stood to her feet. “How dare you disrespect your teachers like that! Not another word from you young lady, or your magic will be provoked!”
“Oh yeah?” Salem shouted, as tears began to fill her eyes. Her voice became much softer as she continued to speak. “Go ahead. You took everything else away from us.”
Wiping the tears from her eyes, Salem quickly left the room, slamming the door behind her.
“Oh… The poor dear, I should go talk to her.” Belinda said, following her out of the room.
“Listen Yellow. Honestly, we meant no harm in our actions. Provoking magic can leave one very weak and it can potentially be fatal. We were only looking out for you and your family.” Bianca said.
“No ma’am, no need to explain. I’m only concerned about getting them back.” I said.
“No worries, you will begin your training tomorrow. We’ll teach you everything you need to know.” Bianca said.
“This meeting is dismissed…Now I must go assure that ungrateful brat didn’t harm my foolish sister.” Beatrice grumbled.
As the days passed by, the Crumplebottom Sisters taught me everything I needed to know to bring my parents home safe. I learned a lot of details, but there were only a few crucial steps.
“First you must cast half of a hand-written personalized spell for your parents, and place the spell in a bottle to be sent out to sea. The spell must created only to be completed by your parents. With great focus and concentration, you must use your dream-seeking abilities to guide the bottle to the island”
“When the bottle reaches the island, your parents must throw the written spell into the fire. An explosion will occur, and the smoke of the fire will emit a very high-pitched song. No human, witch or any other creature for that matter will be able to hear the music, with the exception of your new bird-like creature, Starling.”
“Once all the steps have been taken, you must return to dream-seeking in your sleep, where you will find Starling. Starling will then guide you to the island as she follows the sounds of the music. Once you reach the island, and without waking your parents, you must cast a spell to create a portal while they sleep, and quickly leave before they awake. If they hear you, there will be a high chance you will awake, and have to start the process over again.”
“And remember, aside from your sister, no one must know about the journey you will embark on, or that your parents are alive. The more people that know, the more pressure you will feel, which will be counterproductive, leading to lower chances of successfully bringing your mother and father home.”
Our last day at The Crumplebottom School of Bewitchment had finally arrived. Salem and I were sworn to secrecy regarding the survival of our mom and dad.
“Now listen Yellow,” Belinda began, grasping my shoulders warmly. “It will take a lot of practice, and it will take even more time. Do not get discouraged, we believe in you. If next year comes around and you have yet to bring them back, we can review your progress and go from there. Just stay focused, and you will find them. Also, study as much as you can in your free time. There is no such thing as knowing too much.”
“Thank you all, for everything!” I said, taking a deep breath. “I think I’m ready.”
“Of course you are, darling. Now go ahead and hop in, I know you have a lot to look forward to when you get home!” Belinda giggled with a wink.
I could feel myself beginning to blush as Donna’s beautiful image formed in my head.
While Yellow and Salem were away learning in Midnight Hollow, Birdie was home in Pony-Bones Island preparing to embark on a journey of her own.. The journey of finding love.
With the help of her loyal assistant Lola, of course, Birdie posted flyers all over town, in hopes of finding the one.
Several men applied and lined up in a long line to meet Birdie, so she could choose a man fit to her standards.
“Just so you know, I have been resurrected before. You are the Darling heir, right?” asked the bright lemon-colored man with pink hair.
Annoyed, Birdie tried her best to not let her grumpiness get the best of her.
“No. I am not the Darling heir. I am the daughter of a spare. Thank you for your time.” She said calmly with a forced smile.
Birdie quickly skimmed the next suitor’s application.
“So umm… It says you’re a cat owner, I love animals! How many cats do you have, exactly?” She asked.
“Well I have eight cats that live inside and four outside. So twelve altogether.” He said.
“Oh… I see…”
“…Would have been thirteen, but….” He began, choking up. “Mittens passed away six years ago… I visit her grave every Thursday and Saturday.” He cried.
Needless to say, Birdie was reaching her wits end, and was moments away from calling it a day.
“Birdie… There’s one more in line, that didn’t fill out an application. Though he says he knows you.”
“Of course he does.” Birdie whined, with sarcasm. “Tell him ‘maybe next time’.” She grumbled.
Birdie stood up to face the remainder of the men in line.
“Uhh.. Sorry guys, but I’m going to have to reschedule… Umm… We’ll be in touch.” She stammered, trying not to anger the rest of the men.
“Birdie, spare just a moment for me, por favor?” Said a voice with a Spanish accent, coming from the back of the crowd…
Birdie gasped as she recognized the familiar face.