Donna peacefully tended to her Dragon Valley garden, alone, as Montgomery approached from the distance.
“Good morning, Ms. Donna.” He chimed, leaning in for a swift peck to Donna’s forehead.
“I see you’re busy,” He began, “I won’t keep you long. Just wanted to check with you and see how the wedding planning is coming along. Any more ideas?”
“Well, no.” Donna replied, apologetically. “It must have slipped my mind, I’m so very sorry!”
“Oh no! Please don’t apologize! I was only wondering, I don’t want to rush you!”
“I don’t feel rushed. I’ve just been rather busy. Exploring and…” Donna’s voice trailed off.
“I.. Actually, Montgomery.. I must be completely honest with you.”
“I hope you won’t be upset…” She continued.
“Donna, darling! Of course not, please… You can talk to me.”
“It’s just that, I left him so hastily. I’ve been overwhelmed with guilt since. Planning a wedding right now feels ever so filthy. It feels as if every time I begin to consider wedding options, it causes him pain. It might sound rather ludicrous, but..” Her voice trailed off again.
“Donna, you have such a generous, kind, heart. You had formed a genuine connection with Mr. Darling. I understand completely.” He assured.
“I would also have to understand if you were having second thoughts. You’re not having second thoughts, are you?”
“Montgomery! No, no, no. Absolutely not! I assure you.”
“It’s just… like you said, we formed a deep connection. It’s not about me, it’s about him. I don’t want to hurt him.” She chuckled nervously.
“I returned to you for a reason, Montgomery. My heart belongs to you and only you. I even gave up my magic abilities to return to you, I’m certain about my decision.”
Montgomery mustered up his best relieved expression, and grinned at Donna in acknowledgement.
“You know, Donna…” He uttered delicately. “We don’t actually have to have a wedding..”
“I mean, really we’re already married. So having another wedding is probably just excessive, anyway.” He explained.
Donna thought back to original wedding, many many years ago. She recollected just how marvelous her fairytale-like wedding actually was. That’s when she realized that Montgomery was right. Why should they re-marry, anyway? They’re already technically married, so why flaunt their union, and continue to shatter Yellow Darling’s heart more than she already has?
“You’re right, dear. Our wedding was already perfect as it is. Why bother to dwell on a wedding if it’s already been done, and not continue to move forward?”
“Are you sure you don’t mind?” He asked. “I would hate to take away something you looked forward to.”
“I’m absolutely sure. I’m quite content with the way things are.” She smiled.
“And yourself? Are you having second thoughts?” Donna inquired.
“Nope, no cold feet here.” He smiled.
“So it’s settled then? You’re sure?”
“I’m sure if you are.”
“…And I am.”
“Then it’s settled, Mrs. Parr-Teague…”
“I’m just umph- I’m just gonna miss you so much, Salem.” Clementine mumbled, as she stuffed her face with food. “Moving takes a long time.”
“Sure does.” Salem snickered. “Get used to it, toots.”
“Oh for goodness sakes, you two. Tres Lagos is only a few hours away from here. I’m sure you’ll spend every weekend together. I swear, you two are attached at the hip!” Gracie complained.
“Hey now!” Salem interrupted. “Only one of us is attached, and it’s not me. Besides, are you really gonna let her go stay every weekend in the middle of the hot desert with such a bad influence like myself?”
“Don’t listen to her, Gracie!” Clementine laughed. “I can go, right?”
“You’re askin’ the wrong gal. I’ll leave that one up to your father.”
“Speaking of the devil, cat got your tongue down there, dude?” Salem joked.
“She’s right, honey. You’ve been so quiet throughout the entire dinner, and you’ve barely touched your food. You okay?”
Brandt stared blankly off into the distance.
“I can’t believe my best friend is for sure dead…” He said, without fully snapping out of it.
“And Kirsten, she’s… Alive…“
Meanwhile, over in Pony-Bones Island, The Darling sisters practice magic in the attic to blow off some steam.
“That damn Kirsten, who the hell does she think she is? Has one little disagreement with the Crumplebottoms, and wants to uproot this family and those kids and everything we’ve worked for to the middle of hecking nowhere!” Persephone grumbled, stirring her cauldron aggressively.
“Yeah! It’s almost like she’s not their mother and the co-heir to the legacy that controls our magic abilities, ultimately leaving her the final decision maker!” Gwendolyn added.
“Listen here, Gwendolyn. We’ve spent years taking care of those kids, we’ve practically raised them! And our house- Need I remind you how much work we’ve put into it? Into this town?”
“Well, can’t we transfer our property to Tres Lagos?” Gwendolyn asked. “I’ve seen the Crumplebottom Sisters do it, so I know it’s a possibility.”
Persephone thought for a moment.
“No.” She sighed. “We’re not nearly powerful enough to pull off that kind of magic. At least not without help from the Crumplebottom Sisters, and Kirsten’s banned the family from speaking with them.”
“Well personally, I’d rather just let them go. We’ve established too much in this town to leave. It’s not like they’re our kids anyway. OR our legacy for that matter. We’re just spares reaping the magical benefits that go with it.”
“Gwendolyn, you’re right!” Persephone exclaimed.
“Of course I’m right. I’m right.” She agreed, obviously unsure what she was in fact, right about.
“We don’t need them! We can stay here, and continue to refine our powers.” Persephone clarified. “I mean we’re getting pretty old as it is. Why waste our time? It’s settled then, we’re staying.”
“I don’t know. The mortal world is a different dimension, pretty far away, if you ask me.” Gwendolyn frowned.
“Oh nonsense, Gwendolyn! We have plenty means of transportation. We’re powerful witches, after all. We’ll be visiting a lot. More than I’d care to, to be frank.”
Gwendolyn gasped. “We’re getting old! She announced.
Persephone held a thumbs up in agreement. “See, now you’re getting it.”
“Well I don’t really look like I’m getting old, but you…”
Tres Lagos. A tiny, mysterious, almost desolate desert town right off the outskirts of Lucky Palms. My mother left me to choose our next home, so I went with that. I’ve been only once, to find myself, shortly after the love of my life left me for the love of her life.
Despite it’s scorching temperatures (during the day) I can’t explain it, but there’s something about this place. It makes you feel like… I don’t know…Like everything is going to be okay.
It was only Kirsten, Salem, and Myself moving to Tres Lagos. We arrived at the crack of dawn to get settled in. With all of our money combined, and with some help from our aunts and uncles, we put a down payment on a decent sized home to rent.
We also decided to take our beloved dog, Misfit. She was getting old and moving wouldn’t exactly be fun for her, but as skittish as she can be, she probably would do better away from all the supernatural happenings in Pony-Bones Island, anyway.
Other than a few silly rumors here and there, nothing supernatural or out of the ordinary happens in Tres Lagos…
Due to our lack of space, neither Salem or myself, were excited to share a room complete with a summer camp style bunk bed.
Kirsten was thrilled to be reunited with her family again. So much so, that she made a huge breakfast for all of our relatives who helped us move.
Kirsten decided that because we’re moving to a town that isn’t familiar with witches and ghosts, we all had to agree to cease our magic use profusely, if not, completely. She’s also stated it would be for the best, because she’s done a lot of thinking over the years, and doesn’t want us to become too dependent on our abilities.
Normally, Salem would be more than vocal about a decision like this. In Pony-Bones Island, she thrived in the bewitchment world. But even people like Salem, have a soft spot. Salem was just happy to have her mom back, so she painted on her best smile and rolled with the punches. I for one, am extremely proud of her for this.
Plus, she had something to look forward to. Clementine, along with her family, agreed to meet us at our new home to help us get settled in.
This was also the first time Clementine’s family would see Kirsten since she had returned…
Brandt stared in disbelief at Kirsten once he came face to face with her.
He pulled her into an affection embrace.”It’s you.” He gently whispered. “You’re here, you’re actually alive.”
I cringed as Gracie, Brandt’s girlfriend, stared intently at the two.
“I thought you were gone.” He added. His voice was raw and vulnerable, something I had never heard before, from Mr. Martin.
“And I am so, so sorry about Seymour. I really am, Kirsten. I know we didn’t see eye to eye those last few months, but you have to believe me. I took the news so hard, he was my best friend.”
“I know Brandt. You don’t have to explain yourself, I know. I’m sorry too.” Kirsten replied, her voice heavy with sorrow and forgiveness.
Brandt cleared his throat in acknowledgement to the awkward and emotionally heavy tension he had created.
“Kristen, this is Gracie, my…girlfriend.” He explained, introducing the two of them. “Gracie, Kirsten.”
“Of course! I remember Gracie. Or Ms. Loveland, as I remember her.”Kirsten smiled. “Well, feel free to make yourself at home.”
Kirsten then turned her attention to Clementine.
“Ahh! Little Clementine!” She squealed, squeezing her affectionately, as if she were one of her own.
“Look at how much you’ve grown!” She gushed. “I always knew you’d grow up to be so beautiful!”
Kirsten briefly excused herself to finish making breakfast, after making Clementine promise to tell her just everything she’s missed.
Clementine then kindly took Salem’s hand. “I’m so glad you got your mom back. I’ve missed her!” She said. “And I missed you, too!” She added with a sweet smile.
“Let me go, freak!” Salem hissed, tearing her hands away. “Don’t ever try to hold my hands again!”
“Whatever you say, feisty pants!”
“Anyways… Today I’m all yours.” Clementine continued, pointing playfully at Salem. “What should we do first?”
“What is up with you?” Salem chuckled awkwardly.
“I’ve just missed you, duh!”
Salem wondered about Clementine’s more-than-usual affection. Maybe she was just happy to see her, after all they’ve been best friends since Clem was crawling. But Salem couldn’t help but think Clementine was almost flirting. No she couldn’t be. Clementine has only ever taken an interest in boys. She has to just be overly excited, as usual. Still, Salem wouldn’t dare admit that she kinda-sorta enjoyed it.
Later that night, Salem and Clementine went to the local cinema to check out a sci-fi thriller about aliens and UFOs.
Meanwhile, I felt like doing some exploring by myself. Nights in Tres Lagos can get a bit chilly, so I grabbed my jacket, hopped in my truck, and began my adventure.
Some exploring had to be done on foot. After all, there’s not much exploring you can do on one dirt road.
I saw some large boulders and trees that caught my eye, so I continued my hike toward them.
Suddenly, I heard a strange sound, coming from the bushes. It was probably just a snake or cricket or something, I brushed it off and continued forward.
The closer I got to the bushes, the louder the sounds were. I froze in my tracks.
Suddenly, I saw three strange men standing before me, ushering me to them.
It was the kind of thing our parents and teachers warned us about as children.
“Listen, I don’t want any trouble.” I warned, clenching my fists.
“Pssst, Yellow.. It’s us. Come here!” One of the men whispered, with a very feminine, almost familiar voice.
I recognized those voices. And those faces. Oh no… It can’t be…
“Crumplebottom Sisters?” I gasped.
Their faces were the same, as were their voices, but the rest of their body looked completely different. I couldn’t tell if they were in disguise, or if they had been cursed, or if they just identify as males now, but one thing’s for sure, they shouldn’t be here!
“What on earth are you guys-uh-girls, excuse me, doing here?!”
“For goodness sakes, calm down.” Beatrice hushed.
“Do you have any idea how Kirsten would feel if she knew I was talking to you?”
“No. And I don’t care.” Beatrice replied. “If she were in her right mind she’d be glad we were here.”
I was quickly distracted when I saw Belinda lovingly rubbing her belly.
“I would hate to make assumptions, but is Belinda pregnant?”
“For the time being. We’re borrowing these bodies from some scientists we’re working with in Strangetown at the moment. We’re trying to find Bella Goth.” replied Beatrice.
“So, the man you’re borrowing this body from is pregnant?” I questioned.
“Got a problem?” Bianca sassed.
“No, it’s just uh.. It’s just distracting.”
“Well you better snap out of it.” Beatrice snapped. “We don’t have a lot of time, we’re busy women. We came to offer you some help. Your mother was rather rude, so we don’t have to do this, but being the generous witches we are, have decided to try. Here’s the deal. After doing some research, we’ve come across what looks like a pretty promising solution. We might be able to get your dad back.”
I stared in disbelief as the Crumplebottom Sisters continued explaining.
I didn’t catch every detail because I was so in shock, but I did get the gist of it. Basically, when there are no remains left of a deceased person, you can still use magic to make up for what isn’t left. Not unlike Donna, the magic will generate it’s own body, causing the person to come back as completely different color, in most cases. Because my father has absolutely no remains, and the island has been destroyed, the Crumplebottom Sisters previously believed that they could not reanimate him. However, after some research, they learned that all they need is a host of extremely powerful witches, magic, and a little DNA. All I needed to do was return with a hairbrush.
All I could think about getting home was how my mother would react when she hears that there may be a possibility in getting her true love back to her.
When I returned, she was reading a book while sitting in front of a cozy fire.
I sat down next to her, attempting my best shot at keeping a straight face.
“Hey, love.” She greeted. “How was exploring? Find anything good?”
“Yes, actually! I need something from you. Does dad have an old hairbrush or something around here, that we still kept? Something with his DNA on it, perhaps?”
After thinking a while, Kirsten remembered. “I think I still have some clothing from the island, it might have his blood on it from when he was sick.”
“Why? What are you up to, Yellow Darling?” She grinned.
Well, mom, I think I might know how to get dad back!”