I Wish Book 4: Chapter 10

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Shannon O'Reilly was bullied and everything his older sister wasn't. When his sister Sarah gives him a chance to change things through a single wish things don't go as planned.

 
 

I Wish: Book 4
Chapter 10
Wounded Spirits

By
Amethyst
“We?” I asked uncertainly.

 


 
Author's note: Here's chapter ten of book four of I Wish. A bit late due to my thumb and again, I was a bit torn on how to label this one. I'll warn you here that it could be a bit triggering to some people. Thanks once again to my readers for their support and to the Big Closet staff.

 

Ellie and I managed to compose ourselves before our lunch period was over and returned to our table in time to collect our things before the bell rang. Our friends from the volleyball team and Jennifer all seemed worried, but none of them pressed the issue. That could have been because they didn’t want to upset Ellie again or because we had so little time before we had to get to our next classes. Ellie barely had time to blurt out an apology to Lily and let her know that she hadn’t done anything wrong.

I spent the first half of my next class worrying. Mostly about Ellie and Beth, but I was also worrying that our friends might be a little too concerned. The three of us and Jennifer had some major secrets that had to be kept secret. And people asking a lot of questions, even if it was in concern over our welfare, could stumble right into the very things that we needed to stay hidden. Between that and my mind constantly drifting toward what had happened the night before my focus wasn’t at its best. Jennifer had to keep prodding me to pay proper attention in class.

“Shannon!” A familiar voice called out, getting my attention. It wasn’t my teacher, Jennifer, or one of my other classmates though. Since it had been pretty damn loud and nobody else seemed to be reacting to it there was only one solution that made sense. Someone was in my head again. “Of course I’m in your head, silly girl. You don’t expect me to show myself in front of your observant little friend and a classroom filled with mortals do you?”

I was so surprised that it wasn’t Khinara’s grating mind-voice that it took me a moment to recognize who the feminine and throaty accented voice did belong to. “Xuriel! I thought you weren’t going to contact us until we get to Heil.”

I was sitting straight up in my seat now as she snorted derisively in my mind. “That does not mean that I am no longer watching you, child. Your current state of mind, and that of your Fae friends, must be dealt with. Your human friends are already asking too many questions in their concern for you and they cannot be allowed to find out what you really are. Khinara poses an immediate threat as well, and you cannot afford to face her at anything less than your best.”

“Maybe you should have done something last night then if you’ve been watching us that closely,” I snapped bitterly.

“I cannot allow the Demons, especially one of the Demon King’s generals, to find out about my involvement until the final battle, Shannon,” the Celestial’s voice insisted. “They believe that I am no longer a threat and they must continue thinking that. I have done all that I can to keep you safe without revealing my presence. Who do you think placed those protections upon your mind in the first place? I did, after our last encounter. And who do you think sent you the images of your little Fae girlfriend and the urge to touch that Succubus’s face with your platinum trinkets on as you tried to fight her control?”

I could feel myself blushing and hoped that nobody was looking my way. “That was you?” I managed to ask self-consciously.

“Aye, child, it was. You are far more important than you realize and I do not wish for you or your friends to suffer needlessly. You each have a part to play and you must all be strong in mind, body, and spirit to face what comes,” Xuriel replied.

“Needlessly?” Did that mean she would let us come to harm if her plans required it? Did she know this was going to happen and it was just another move toward her endgame? “Is that all that we are to you? Pawns, to be moved around in your little game of chess with the Demon King? We’re people dammit, and we have feelings!”

“Cease your hysterics, child!” the Celestial’s voice snapped. Then in a somewhat calmer and gentler tone, she said, “I cannot see the future, and I did not know what it was that the three of you faced until you yourself did. I would have gladly spared you that experience if I could have. I have watched your lineage for a very long time and I am trying to ensure that you survive to play your part. You are no pawn, if anything you are a queen. Believe that I care about what happens to you, even if you only do so because of your importance to the future of all living things on your world, mine, and so many others.”

Okay, so now I felt kind of terrible for snapping at her. Really though, what were we supposed to do? We’d all been pretty damn traumatized last night and that just doesn’t go away overnight. “So what do we do then? Pretend to be happy and cheerful at school and then see a shrink? I’m pretty sure that the moment we mention Demons, Succubae, magick, or anything else like that to them, there would be a nice padded room waiting for us with jackets that fasten in the back.”

Xuriel’s voice was kind as she spoke again. “Once you arrive at home the three of you must travel to Tír na nÓg, there is a spirit healer among the Faery that you met when you were last there. It is a rare gift among the Faery, but she can help to relieve you of your burden, or at the very least ease it. She and the rest of your troupe shall see that the three of you get the care that you need.” Then, as quickly as it had appeared in my mind, her voice was gone, replaced by the little noises of my classmates around me and my teacher giving her lesson.

~o~O~o~

School was out and I was anxious to get out of there for the day. Not only was I very tired from not sleeping the night before, but my thoughts kept drifting back to what had happened at the sorority house, what could have happened, and how badly it had shaken all three of us, especially Ellie. Then there was the fact Khinara was still out there gunning for us and Xuriel’s surprise appearance in my mind earlier that afternoon. “Spending some time among the Faery would be nice, especially if they have someone who can help. Even if they don’t maybe a day or two away from all of this craziness would help us to sort things out,” I thought to myself with a sigh as I finished filling my backpack and put on my jacket.

Jennifer looked me over in concern from where she was doing the same thing at the locker beside mine. “I hope you’ll tell me what’s going on when we get to your place, Shannon,” my best friend said in a hushed tone, concern written all over her face. “I’m worried about you three, something bad happened last night, didn’t it? C’mon Shannon at least nod or something, please don’t shut me out.”

I nodded, clenching against the nausea and tears that threatened to make themselves known again. I had managed to stave them off so far but I wasn’t sure how long it would last. I didn’t want to shut Jen out, but it wasn’t something that I wanted to talk about either. “I…. can’t…” I just trailed off not sure what I could have said even if I felt like I could get those words out. I felt dirty and ashamed just knowing what had happened in my mind, but getting it out there and having other people know, I was sure that would break me. Just having my sister, Talisha, and Annie know was bad enough. The way they looked at us. It was like we were broken or on the edge of breaking. I didn’t want anyone else to see me that way.

Jennifer sighed and I knew that she wanted to help us somehow, but if I didn’t know what she could do to help, how could she? “Shannon, I’m gonna go pick up Mason at school, I know that we usually just come to your place for Annie’s lessons after dinner, but we could meet you at the mall and hang out while Ellie’s working, y’know keep you and Beth company.”

“No need,” Ellie said as she and Beth approached. “Mom texted that we should go straight home, she’s giving me the night off. She got one of the part-timers to cover my shift and she has Nick covering for her tomorrow morning so we can spend some ‘family time’ tonight.” She looked like she was conflicted about that, and I could understand why. On one hand, she wouldn’t have to worry about breaking down in public again, but on the other hand, it looked like her mother, Sarah, and Annie were going to be hovering over us all night.

“I’ll go pick up Mason and we’ll be there right away, we can all hang out until dinner. Maybe we could all play some video games or something and I can help with your chemistry homework, Shannon. You were spaced out all through our classes.” Jennifer meant well, she probably wanted to keep us distracted from our problems until we were ready to open up about them. I figured that Sarah and the others had the same plan.

I thought a lot about that as Beth drove us home. The drive was silent again and as much as I wanted to think about anything but the previous night I just couldn’t shake it completely. Annie had told us that occupying her mind with other things had helped her process what she had gone through with Ewen without obsessing over it but I didn’t think that it was going to help us. She had been magicked and mind-controlled into doing something that she knew went against her nature, so she was able to resist until we came to help her. Everything that she had done under his control could be attributed to Ewen and it was pretty clear afterward that it was something that repulsed her, something forced on her.

In our case it was different. It wasn’t magick, it was our own hormones that had been turned against us. As much as Ziralin and I were able to resist the hypnosis component with my mental barrier and Ziralin’s magick resistance we couldn’t fight our own attraction to the Succubus super-pheromones they were pumping out. As much as we were fighting it mentally, and it was against our will, our bodies were responding and on some level, we had wanted it. If it hadn’t been for Xuriel we would have both probably gone happily along with it and woke up as succubae. Just thinking about it made me burn with shame and guilt.

It had been even worse with Ellie. She may have fought the hypnosis part of it if she was aware of her attraction to girls, but her body reacted and she was under their spell before she even realized what was happening. As inexperienced as she was with raging hormones she was responding and all too eager to go along with it until Ziralin had killed Lily. When she snapped out of it and realized what had happened, and where it had almost gone, she broke down.

Ellie had had a deep-seated fear of Demons since I met her, one that she was finally starting to get over. And the Faery consider love and sex as something beautiful and natural to be shared openly with those that you care about. Now not only had she had had a Demon use her and turn her own mind and body against her, but Lily had also taken something that the Faery considered wonderful and natural and perverted it into something that made Ellie feel dirty and sick, and she had done it so easily. I was afraid that my cousin may never recover from this.

As much as I felt dirty, used, ashamed, and hated myself right now, the guilt was the worst. Because if it wasn’t for me then Beth and Ellie wouldn’t have had to go through this. I should have considered the potential danger of the situation more. I should have called one of the others sooner. I should have broken free of Kari’s hold without Xuriel’s help.

I had managed to work myself into a pretty good depression by the time we got home and my mood wasn’t really improved when I saw Sarah, Annie, and Talisha waiting expectantly for us on the couch. Beth’s mother was there too. My girlfriend was the first of us to speak. “What is this, an intervention?”

“No, if it were an intervention your father and brother would be here too,” Beth’s mother replied candidly, before continuing in a tone that made my girlfriend cringe. “Ziralin Bethany Alice Sanders, do you realize how worried I’ve been?! We all got calls from your school today. Your headmistress was concerned, she said that you’re not acting at all like your usual selves and your teachers and friends are worried. You were so quiet this morning and you looked tired and down about something, between that and the phone call I was worried sick.”

“So she called us,” Sarah added. “Talisha and I told Mother Josephine that the three of you had a frightening encounter last night and that you were all a bit shaken up over it, but we didn’t go into any details. When Meredith called in a panic we felt that she should be told the truth.”

Mrs. Sanders sighed and gave the three of us a pained look. “I wish that I could do something for you girls. I might know about all of this, but there isn’t a lot I can do to help you with any of this magical stuff. I considered having Beth see a counselor of some sort, but I don’t think that would work out. They’d either think she’s insane or that she’s concocted some fantasy to avoid dealing with the real issue. We want to be there for you, even if you can’t talk about what happened yet, so take those glamours off and prepare for ladies’ night.”

“Yup, I already called Mason and Jennifer to tell them tonight’s lesson is canceled. Jennifer is going to grab some things and come join us,” Annie added.

“I… we… need to go to Tír na nÓg,” I said with a shake of my head. “Xuriel contacted me today and she believes that there is a spirit-healer among the Faery who can help us.” I didn’t mention the fact that she had also been the one to pull our asses out of the fire the night before as well by feeding my mind images of Ziralin and compulsions. I felt ashamed that I had to be saved that way, that I couldn’t break Kari’s hold on my own.

Talisha looked pensive a moment before nodding. “It’s a rare gift among the Faery, but if that troupe has one, they could help you. If we have an early dinner and leave right after, with the time difference we could have two whole days in Tír na nÓg before you would have to be back to get ready for school in the morning on this Plane.”

“We?” I asked uncertainly.

She nodded, giving Ellie, Ziralin, and me a look that would allow no refusals. “Of course, I’ll be going with you. You need your family with you and I want to be there if any of you need me. Besides, it would be nice to spend time with some of my people again and I could gather some materials for my jewelry crafting.”

“I’ll be coming too, Ziralin,” my girlfriend/Familiar’s mother insisted. “Your father and Jason can have a pizza for dinner tonight. My daughter needs me so I’m going to be there. I want to meet this troupe that’s adopted you anyway. If you don’t want us hovering over you the whole time we’ll find ways to keep ourselves occupied. I know that I have a lot of questions that I’d like to ask about our Faery blood.”

“We’re all going,” Sarah agreed. “Maybe if I meet the spirit healer I can create a spell to do something similar. Annie needs this almost as much as you do anyway.” Annie looked like she was about to protest when Sarah put a finger to her girlfriend’s lips. “We all get it, baby. You’re tough and can handle yourself. But I know that you’re still having nightmares and trying to deal with your own issues from the night we met. So I’m asking you to do this, for both of us.”

Jennifer arrived as everyone was preparing for our impromptu trip. She had a change of clothes, a nightie, a clean school uniform, and a shopping bag with chocolate and other junk food inside in preparation for a sleepover. Her parents hadn’t been sure about allowing a sleepover on a school night, but they gave her the okay once she had told them that something had me, Ellie, and Beth all really depressed and ‘we’ needed it. “Where’s Ziralin, I thought she was supposed to be here too,” she asked in concern as she looked around.

“She and her mom went home to get some changes of clothes and a fresh uniform for her to wear to school when we get back,” I replied from where Ellie and I were curled up together on the couch while everyone else was preparing for the trip. Sarah and Talisha were preparing our things and had pretty much ordered us to relax and wait for the pizzas to arrive. I wasn’t going to argue since I didn’t feel like putting forth the effort and Ellie had been having enough trouble keeping it together all day that I thought a reassuring cuddle might do us both some good.

“Back? We’re going somewhere? I thought we were having a sleepover?” Jen asked in confusion.

“Yeah, but the plan changed with some info that Xuriel gave me today,” I replied as I held Ellie close and stroked her hair to keep her calm. "We’re still sleeping over, we’re just doing it in Tír na nÓg for a few days.”

© 2013-2021 Amethyst Gibbs
All Rights Reserved
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Comments

a fae healer

gee, I wish I could get an appointment with one of those.

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You and me both

Amethyst's picture

I could use a spirit healer some days. An actual healer wouldn't be bad either right now. *owie thumb*

*big hugs*

Amethyst

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Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

Healing

terrynaut's picture

Hey there. I've been reading this. I like the story. The trauma was a bit rough but I got through it. I wish the same could be said for your characters. I hope the spiritual healer is able to help them.

As for you, dear authoress, I recommend arnica cream/gel for your sprain. It's helped me in the past and fairly recently to help relieve pain from a twisted ankle.

Thanks and kudos (number 14).

- Terry

Thanks Terry

Amethyst's picture

Yeah, these past few chapters have been hell to write with the trauma, but once my muse decided to take the story down this line I wanted that trauma to show through and feel real and it required a lot of emotions and introspections for Shannon and the other girls that are far too personal to me and needed to be taken seriously. In the real world there are no magical spirit healers to help people through things like this, it takes time and support and I kind of needed to make that point before I could feel right about just moving on to another plot point.

Thanks for the advice, I'll see if I can find any. So far I've been trying to rest it as much as I can, keep it wrapped properly, and take ibuprofen for the swelling when needed.

*big hugs*

Amethyst

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Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

Wonder how much

Wendy Jean's picture

becoming a demon changes a persons morals? Fred Saberhagen's Dracula he was a very honorable person who choose his victims accordingly.

It depends on the person

Amethyst's picture

Not all people with demonic blood are evil, and some people turned by Demons might fight even stronger to stay on the path of light. The Demons we've seen turn or brand people so far haven't just been turning them into Demons, they also bind them to their will and try to inflict mental suffering on them just for shits and giggles. That kind of thing could seriously unhinge a newly minted Demon.

The Incubus Varas did it with Arianna when he told her that he'd change her into one of his kind, while knowing he couldn't break the curse that kept her female. He enjoyed making her 'pay the price' in tantric energy, her suffering when she changed and realized she was female, and the fact that she was in no way attracted to men but would be forced to have sex with them in order to gather the tantric energy she needed to stay alive. The Vampire Marissa only Branded the two former cops because she wanted to get to Annie, but they were already corrupt sleazeballs. But she took a perverse glee in turning good people and watching them slowly give in to the bloodlust, or forcing them to give into it, just so she could see them suffer as they did so. It looks like Kari the Succubus was doing the same as Varas for kicks turning girls who were attracted to other girls at first. Lily and Danica could have been bisexual of course, but their sorority sisters suspected that they were lesbians.

So the change in morality really depends on the person, their willpower, the Demon that turned them, and how unhinged they became after being turned. It's the whole Nature vs. Nurture thing. There could very well be good or neutral Demons. It's the same with the Celestials. Good or evil is not necessarily a racial trait and not all Celestials are necessarily good people, they can span the entire moral spectrum as well. Just look at Torphael, he was good at killing Demons but he was also more chaotic good. He could be a real dick and was willing to do some pretty nasty stuff if he felt that he was doing it for the right reasons. He intentionally gave Beth her power as Ziralin, knowing that she would be stuck in that form and that it would probably cause both her and Shannon suffering , just because it would increase her efficiency at killing Demons. Not exactly Mr. Nice Guy.

*big hugs*

Amethyst

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Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3