AUTHOR NOTE: If I were to do a Spin-off…it would go a little something like this…
SAN FRANCISCO – 2024
INSIDE A SAN FRANCISCO CONVENIENCE STORE
SHEILA MORRIS approached the counter and started to lay out her food items. The owner, an older gentleman in his mid-sixties, smiled at her and got up from his seat behind the counter.
OWNER: Mornin' Mrs. Morris. How are you doing today?
SHEILA: (smiling) Oh, just fine thanks Al. How are you?
OWNER: Oh…can't complain. I see your son decided to tag along again.
The two look over to a nearby magazine rack, where DARYLL MORRIS JR., a handsome young man, about twenty six years old, stood flipping through some magazines. He glanced up and smiled at them before turning his attention back to the magazine.
SHEILA: Yeah. He won't let me go anywhere alone anymore. Not since his Dad…
Her voice trailed off and the old man gave her a sympathetic smile.
OWNER: That's a good boy looking after his momma like that. His father would be proud.
SHEILA: Yes he would.
…she replied as she slid her credit card across the counter for payment.
As Sheila waited for the owner to return her card, she casually turned around and scanned the store. This was partly out of habit – if there was one thing she had learned over the past few years, it was to always be aware of your surroundings. But mostly, she was just curious as to how many people were in the store. Just as she had suspected, there weren't many. Privately owned small businesses didn't fair too well in San Francisco these days. It was a wonder Al was even able to keep his business afloat. She wondered to herself what he had to do to accomplish this…who he had to pay off…what he had to give up. But she wasn't about to ask.
The owner handed the credit card and receipt back to Sheila, who began shoving the items back into her cluttered purse. As she fumbled with her wallet, she was surprised to feel a light tap on her shoulder.
She jumped and let out a scream, as her son bolted from the magazine rack to her aide.
Before Sheila knew what was happening, Daryll was shoving a young man back with enough force to send him sprawling into nearby rack of snack chips. The young man was dressed in tattered jeans, a black sweatshirt and green army style jacket. The hood of his sweatshirt was up, partially obscuring his face, but as the young man struggled to regain his composure, Sheila was shocked to realize she knew this particular boy and turned quickly to restrain her son before he could attack again.
SHEILA: Daryll stop!
She practically screamed, placing both hands firmly on her son's chest.
SHEILA: It's Chris! For God's sake! It's just Chris!
CHRIS HALLIWELL, twenty years old, pulled the hood of his sweatshirt back and smiled meekly at his old friends. Sheila, tears brimming in her eyes, looked thrilled to see him. The same could not be said for Daryll, who pushed his mother's hands away and snapped…
DARYLL: What the hell are you doing sneaking up on her like that Halliwell?
CHRIS: Sorry! I didn't mean to scare her.
SHEILA: No, it's fine. Really.
DARYLL: (still fuming) Like hell it is!
Daryll folded his arms and settled himself against the counter in a huff. He was still angry, but new better than to argue with his mother. He continued to glare as Sheila approached Chris.
SHEILA: (to Chris) Come here, sweety. Let me take a look at you.
Sheila held out her hands and Chris stepped forward, taking her hands in his own.
She let her eyes scan the young man from head to toe before shaking her head and informing him…
SHEILA: You're too skinny.
CHRIS: I'm fine.
SHEILA: You look tired.
CHRIS: I'm fine. Really!
Overcome with love and concern for the young man she had, for so long, considered a second son, Sheila couldn't stop the tears starting to stream down her cheeks. Lowering her voice, while at the same time trying to choke back her tears, she asked…
SHEILA: Has he hurt you?
Chris shook his head.
CHRIS: No. No, he hasn't hurt me.
Sheila smiled and wiped her cheek with the back of her hand.
SHEILA: That's good. That's good. I'm glad to hear it. Listen…I uh…saw Victor the other day.
Chris looked down as Sheila mentioned his Grandfather's name.
CHRIS: How's he doing?
SHEILA: (sternly) How do you think he's doing Chris?
When Chris didn't respond, Sheila continued.
SHEILA: He's worried sick about you. He wants you to come home.
CHRIS: (shaking his head) I can't!
SHEILA: Of course you can.
CHRIS: (raising his voice) No, I can't! It's not safe for him with me there.
SHEILA: It's not safe for you living on the streets Chris! There are people…demons…who would love to get their hands on you! You shouldn't be alone!
CHRIS: I'm not alone. I have friends – others like me. And we look out for each other!
Chris, realizing he was almost yelling now, looked around nervously to make sure no one else had heard him say that. Being a witch in San Francisco in 2024 made you a social outcast and in some cases, an outlaw. Unless of course, you were using your power for evil-like his brother, in which case it made you a Tyrant!
Sheila took a deep breath and tried to calm herself before continuing.
SHEILA: Look Chris, I'm glad that you are not alone. But…are you guys doing OK? Where are you staying?
Hearing the question, Daryll sprung forward from the counter.
DARYLL: Don't tell her! (turning to his mother) Are you out of your mind! If they ever found out you know where there are witches are hiding…
CHRIS: You don't think Wyatt could find me if he really wanted to? You think he doesn't know where I am every second of every day! Come on Daryll. You know him better than that.
DARYLL: I don't know Wyatt at all anymore. And you know what? That's suits me just fine. (taking Sheila's arm) Come on Mom. We gotta get out of here before someone sees us.
Sheila yanked her arm away.
SHEILA: Just a minute!
Turning back to Chris, she reached into her purse and began pulling out cash.
SHEILA: Here. I want you to take this.
Chris shook his head and tried to push her hand away.
SHEILA: Honey, yes! Please just take it. I know you don't have any money. Use it to buy food or something.
SHEILA: Look, if won't take it for yourself. Take it for those friends of yours. I'm sure they're pretty hungry too.
Chris smiled. He knew he wasn't going to win the argument. Reluctantly, he took the crumpled wad of cash and stuck it in his jacket pocket.
CHRIS: Thank you.
Sheila reached up and took Chris' face in her hands.
SHEILA: If you ever need anything and I mean anything…food…clothes…a place to sleep. You come see me. OK baby?
Chris smiled and nodded. But knew deep down that was never going to happen. He would never endanger her like that.
DARYLL: Come on Mom. We gotta go!
Crying again, Sheila hugged Chris one last time.
SHEILA: You be safe. OK? I'll see you soon.
Having said that, Sheila released Chris, turned, and hurried out of the store with her son. Chris watched her sadly, as she and her son disappeared out the door, her final words echoing in his mind:
"I'll see you soon."
As tears now began to stream down his own cheeks, he thought, "If only that were true".
MEANWHILE, INSIDE THE HALLIWELL MANOR
WYATT HALLIWELL, 22, paced the floor the dimly lit attic that had once been the center of his family's lives. As he ran his fingers along the velvet rope that now held back the dozens of curious visitors each day, he tried to concentrate…to make his connection. He found it easiest to do from here – the place where he and his brother had spent much of their childhood learning magic from their mother and aunts. There were a lot of memories here…good memories…happy memories…but that wasn't what he was after. He wanted the connection. He wanted Chris.
He stopped pacing, closed his eyes, and concentrated. It wasn't long before the connection was made and he could feel his brother's emotions washing over him. Unfortunately nothing had changed.
Fear and sadness were all that Wyatt could sense from Chris. It was all he could ever sense from his brother. That… and anger. The strongest emotions were always the easiest to sense and Chris was usually a pretty pissed off. But Wyatt had made it a point to stay out of Chris' face for a few days and let him cool down. So at the moment, the anger was gone. Of course, it wasn't really gone. Wyatt knew that too. It just wasn't boiling within Chris like it usually was after a visit from Wyatt.
His own anger now boiling from within, Wyatt broke the connection with his tortured sibling and took his frustration out on the closest thing to him and a shelf of old family knick knacks was smashed to floor.
WYATT: Dammit Chris! When you are you going to stop this nonsense and join me? It's our destiny!
…he yelled out and was surprised when a voice from behind answered…
"When are YOU going to stop this nonsense and realize that Chris will never turn! He won't use his powers for evil! Just let him go!
Wyatt spun around to find JEREMY, one of his highest ranking demon guards and his best friend…his only true friend… standing before him.
Wyatt drew in a breath and glared at him.
WYATT: Don't tell me how to deal with my brother.
If anyone else had spoken to him that way, Wyatt would have killed him on the spot. But Jeremy was different. Jeremy WAS his friend. Half-manticore, half-human, he was also different from the rest of Wyatt's demon entourage. Having been raised by his human father, he was capable of feeling and empathizing with other humans- especially Chris. After all, before Wyatt turned evil and convinced Jeremy to join him, they had actually been close friends as well.
But there was no doubt Jeremy was capable of intimidation and instilling fear in uncooperative humans. It was his specialty. With one flick of his lizard-like tongue he could scare humans into doing just about anything. Wyatt called it "his gift." But he would never physically hurt them. Not unless he was forced too to save his own life. Wyatt understood this and tolerated, what he considered, this weakness in his friend. It was better than not having him on his side.
Jeremy continued to plead with him…
JEREMY: Leave him alone Wyatt. Please!
WYATT: What did I just say!
He snapped back. Pausing a moment, he added…
WYATT: Did you go see Victor like I asked?
JEREMY: Of course.
WYATT: (angrily) …AND?
JEREMY: AND…he hasn't seen him. You KNEW that.
WYATT: (softly) He's cutting himself off from everyone. That's not good.
JEREMY: No…(he agreed). It's not. He's suffering Wyatt. Is that really what you want? He's your brother.
WYATT: He's doing it to himself.
JEREMY: (rolling his eyes) If you say so.
WYATT: Don't mock me Jeremy!
JEREMY: (frustrated) Fine! I give up. But if you want him so bad, why don't you just go get him. You know where he is. You ALWAYS know where he is. Why do you play these games!
WYATT: Because! He has to join me willingly or else what's the point? And he will. Trust me. In time, my brother will join me!
To be continued…