Hiya, People! Bet you thought I had forgotten. Nope! I didn't! Would you like an explanation for the long wait. Of course not! You just want to continue the story. Well, I won't hold you up for too much longer, just let me make a few little announcements. (If you do want an explanation, I'll post it at the end of the chapter.) I am in the process of rewriting this story. So far I have rewritten the tale up to Chapter Three, but I hope to continue rewriting over the next few days. I am doing this for two main reasons: one, I do not like what I have written, and two, since I have had to completely rethink this story, I have decided to send it in another direction than what might have been hinted at in early chapters. Well that's about it for me, unless you want to read the explanation at the end of the chapter. In case you didn't know, I own neither Harry Potter nor Hocus Pocus.
Dani closed the door to her room with as much silence as could be expected in an over one hundred and fifty year old house. The squeak of the hinges and the faint click of the handle sliding into place made her wince. She stopped to listen for her parents' snores in the next room. Since discovering their children's secret, Mr. and Mrs. Dennison had become light sleepers, frequently waking in the wee hours of the morning to peek in on their daughter after hearing a creak that sounded, to them, like a cry.
Satisfied that her mother and father were still sleeping despite her noise, Dani tiptoed down the stairs, through the kitchen, onto the porch, and down the steps to the sidewalk. She looked up at the window directly above. The lights were still off. Dani began walking up the street, towards the outskirts of the historic district of Salem. The late August air still held a warm remnant of summer, but the slight breeze that shook the branches overhead and created waves in the tall grass that lined the side path that led away from the streets made Dani wish that she had thought to bring a light jacket. Rubbing her arms for warmth, she continued on her round-about way the cemetery.
Walking through town would have been a faster route, but doing so would have also meant going past the Sanderson Sisters' house. While she had been assured by the witches and wizards she met at Hogwarts, and again by a few American officials who had been sent to inspect the house, that the old museum no longer held any dangerous artifacts, Dani did not want to pass by it at night.
She approached the gate on the eastern side of the cemetery. The gate was closed this evening, but there was enough space beneath for her to wiggle under. Weaving through the numerous vine covered gravestones of those first settlers long since at peace, Dani sat at the foot a tree, no taller than her, that stood between the final resting places of two whose deaths were more recent. While the one to her left had died centuries ago, his silent death had been disturbed on that fateful Halloween night. Dani politely whispered, "Hi, Billy," as she ducked under low hanging branches. However, the briefly reawaken man was not the reason for tonight's visit and she turned to the smaller, more fresh grave on her right. Dani closed her eyes; she could remember it so well:
The spirits' figures waved back at Max, Dani, and Allison before turning down the path that would later become Dani's preferred route to the graveyard, and then the two disappeared into the warm light of dawn. Max knelt down and scooped up the cat's now lifeless body. "Isn't there like a groundskeeper or something that looks after this place?" He asked Allison.
"Yeah, there should be. He'll probably be along soon, checking for Halloween pranks and all." Max looked down at his bundle, then at Billy's uncovered grave.
"We should probably cover him up," he indicated to the now sleeping Butcherson. "We could put Binx in with him."
"No," Dani said softly and reached for her friend. "He deserves his own grave." Max protested as she lifted the cat from his arms and began to walk away, but Allison lightly touched his shoulder.
"Let her say good bye." Max sighed then nodded. Allison closed the lid to Billy's coffin and began pushing dirt overtop of it. Max followed her lead, frequently looking behind him to see where Dani had gone. She had put Binx's body in the crypt that he had led them through earlier that night and covered him with branches and dead vines. She climbed back out and helped her brother and his new…whatever they were. Surely after everything that had just happened, the two were more than friends, but she didn't know exactly what title to place on the girl who had come into their lives so suddenly. A similar torrent ran through Max's mind as they covered the obviously newly unturned soil with fallen leaves. His thoughts were put more at ease when Allison kissed him softly as they left the hallowed ground and turned their separate ways. Max stood in front of the main gates in a daze, holding his fingers to his lips as she called "Good night!" behind her.
Dani tugged on his arm. "C'mon, Kissy-face." They climbed into the car, drove home, and fell asleep on the couch, too tired to climb the stairs to their rooms. The rest of that day was spent with Allison, trying to sort through everything that had happened and come to terms with it all. They didn't succeed in the latter for a long time; Dani still hadn't.
When night fell, the trio returned to the cemetery to bury Binx. His body had not been disturbed, aside from the few flies that buzzed around his head. They decided to dig his grave directly behind Emily's, so that his body could look after her as he had tried to do in life. With only garden trowels, the digging was slow going and after three hours the hole had only reached a depth of two feet. Still they placed him in the ground and covered his body.
In strewing dead foliage over the grave to hide it from the groundskeeper, Dani found what looked like a small clump of dirt. However, when she kicked it aside she discovered that the clod did not break apart as expected. She knelt and picked it up; it was as hard as stone. And it felt…she could almost feel Binx beside her, nearly hear his voice in her mind. She placed the strange rock on the grave as the faithful cat's only marker and left the cemetery.
She picked up the same rock now, as she always did when she visited Binx. Somehow it made her feel closer to him. "Hi, Binx. I just wanted to tell you a few things and guess…well you probably won't like it." She took a deep breath and closed her eyes. "I'mawitch," she said quickly, then released a gush of air that she hadn't realized she was holding. It was the first time she had said it aloud. The admission seemed to unlock a floodgate and she began to sob to her friend. "I'm sorry. I don't really know how it happened and I know that you're probably disappointed in me, I mean, after all, you did die trying to stop witches and everything, but I promise I won't be bad and evil like they were. I'll do something good. I swear I'll do something good." She kept repeating those words, over and over, through her tears, clutching the stone tighter in her hand.
When the tears began to subside she placed the stone back on the ground and stood to leave. She had nearly reached the gate when she turned and rushed back to the grave. Running her hand over the grass, she found the odd rock was again. The breeze seemed to pick up slightly and she heard a faint whisper. "It's okay, Dani."
She gasped, and then shook her head, telling herself that it was her mind playing tricks on her. Still Dani put the stone in her pocket before saying one last good-bye to the cemetery's occupants and going back under the gate.
If you are reading this, then you want an explanation. This same explanation is posted on my profile, but to save you a click of the mouse, I've put it here.
"...Allow me to explain. I was really rather ill when I started writing on this site. I was awake for maybe two to three hours a day and the rest of my time was spent sleeping. I remember watching a cartoon with my brother sometime in October, but that's the last thing I that stands out clearly in my mind until mid December. According to my family and friends I did do things during that time (attended a banquet for my marching band, made up work for school, watched TV now and then) but I can't recall any of it.
Needless to say I was shocked when I went through my e-mail and discovered all of these messages alerting me that this user or that has subscribed to my site, favorited my story. WHAT STORY! And so, in late February, I read the story that I had begun in early November for the first time. It sounds like my writing, though I think it needs some revision, and certainly the "Happy Tuesday" comment in the author's note seems like me, but I don't remember any of it...Scary, right?
According to one of my author's notes I said that I had a much better idea of where the story was going, only now I have no clue what that "better idea" was. I have search through every document of my computer and every piece of paper in my writing desk for the plot, but...nothing, nada, zilch, zero, nil. So while I try to figure out where I was headed with After the Candle Wick Is Burnt I hope all of you kind readers will remain patient and understanding."
Well, you kind readers did remain patient and understanding and for that I thank you. I sorted of figured out where I was headed, but then decided to head another way because this way makes more sense. I will hopefully finish all of my rewriting by early next week and then will begin writing more chapters and stuff. Thank you all for your interest in this story and I hope you have a Happy Third Tuesday.