Keeping her special secret from Verdona was getting tremendously more and more difficult with each passing day. The spell she used at a constant, daily rate was especially the hardest.
Gwen didn't know how much longer the casting she used would ultimately last, but she did without a doubt, enjoyed having a friend of her very own. Kevin was beginning to be quite the ally to have hanging around, and she loved it.
Gwen was actually thrilled for all of the recent adventures they had been having; swimming in the river, laying out in the sun to dry, talking, and getting to know each other- games such as hide-and-seek, and a fun, brand new game Kevin had taught her- called "tag". Though, with that game, she thought Kevin had the tendency to push, or shove too aggressively. But, to her, boys will be boys, naturally. Especially when Kevin stressed time and time again that her fighting back was doomed to be practically pointless.
She knew she was different; stubborn for sure, and above all else, smart and one tough cookie herself. Gwen could handle anything that boy would dish out; sometimes even biting back twice as hard. She knew in her heart that Kevin liked that about her.
…Even though he never showed it.
That was why she felt they made the best of friends. They understood one another- without words having to be said.
But, this was the least of Gwen's worries of whether or not Kevin truly liked her as a good friend.
For now, slipping out after breakfast almost every morning, proved to be extremely challenging. Grandma Verdona wasn't blind by any means, spell or no spell, and the older woman had an inkling about things that were never up to "par". One idea Gwen wished most for was that her grandma's old age would help her out with such detail. Still, as young as the witchling was, she adored the whole idea of a hefty challenge.
"So.." Verdona hummed, her lips caressing the steaming mug of her morning herbal tea, blowing on it tenderly to try and cool the liquid lava that beamed up towards her senses. "Have anything new and exciting planned for the day, Kiddo?"
Gwen stared down at her toast, and slowly swallowed the bit she had been distractedly chewing on for well over a minute now. The thing was quite soggy at this point. "Um… Well…"
Verdona chuckled with Gwen's hesitation, and drank more of her tea. Her left eye and brow arching to get a quick look at her granddaughter's expression. "Hm." The older of the two interrupted. "Well, if you haven't any plans, dear, the garden out back could use some of your attention.
"Wild flowers!" Gwen boomed out, as she dropped her glass of fresh squeezed orange juice onto the table, catching it in time before it had the potential to fall over. Verdona smiled mischievously at Gwen's eagerness; the child fighting with all her might to not falter her true intentions surrounding about her day.
"It's just that, um, since you said yesterday, that I could have some free time on my own today- the table could use some cheering up- that's all… I… I guess…"
Gwen had deflated. It would seem that it was game over, and she knew it. Shoot, even Grandma Verdona had to have known by now too.
"Ah." The grey haired woman simply chimed out. Gwen winced quickly at her teacher's short reply. "Here it comes" she thought. "I'm dead, I'm dead, I am sooooo dea-"
"Sounds lovely, Gwenny! Such a good idea!" Verdona smiled broadly, abruptly getting up from her chair and patting the girl's crimsoned, carrot top head. "Just remember to back before dark. Ogres love to roam the flower beds before dusk." She wiggled her index finger into further stressing her point. "It's bad business when they come around with their big clumsy feet-" she paused only a moment, her face dripping with distaine. "Not to mention their fowl odor- Yuck!"
Gwen giggled as she watched her grandmother react to the off putting memory, her wrinkled hand waving across her nose frantically. "What?" Verdona remarked with a crooked grin growing about her rosy cheeks. "It's true. Trust me, kiddo. You'll know by the smell alone that they're around."
The young red headed girl rolled her eyes, finishing off her toasted bread, then, drinking down her beverage without a single breath. "Okay Grandma." She choked, wiping her mouth off with her arm. "I'm heading out now."
"Be careful, Gwen. I mean it." Verdona said sternly, walking her pupil to the door, it creaking eerily as it opened. "And keep your nose clear for any sign of those dimwitted ogres."
Gwen smiled and simply rolled her eyes once more, heading off towards the meadow of the wild flowers. Where, of course, Grandma Verdona expected her to be.
Kevin, on the other hand, was less than half of a mile north down by the river bed; waiting for the girl to show up, hopefully with a snack in tow.
Waiting had become quite the job for him nowadays, and this required much nutrition to stay alert and awake.
At least by the well known "Kevin Levin standards".
Gwen continued down the path towards the meadow of flowers, turning her head to look back every so often to make sure that she knew when her grandmother was out of sight. Getting caught at this point would just break her heart. She was just having way too much fun for it to all be taken away from her now. 'No', Gwen thought; she'd be more than heartbroken.
"Devistated, really." She mumbled aloud, her hand wisp ping along the foliage as she passed by. "I mean, sure he can be such a butthead beyond imaginable depths, but, I just don't think-"
"Bout time, short stuff." A voice rang out, disrupting her thoughts AGAIN as the crimson haired girl's head sprang up- her eyes narrowing at her intruder.
"I thought we were meeting at the river?" Gwen crossed her arms heatedly over her chest. Bright green orbs looking to the left, and then to the right. The young witch was obviously confused.
"We are at the river, doofus. Did you get bashed on top of the head on your way over here or somethin'?" Kevin crossed his arms over his chest in defiance too. Man was this girl acting loopy. "Take a look around you… Notice anything familiar there, Gwen?"
Gwen shifted her stance and glanced around. Making sure she drank in all of her surroundings very carefully; immediately seeing certain life that only said rivers would bring.
With a heavy, gut retching sigh, she knew.
Kevin was right she was in fact at the river bed.
But how did she take the right path without even looking, or thinking for that matter?
Gwen hugged and peered down at her feet with annoyance. Sometimes her new friend over there could make her feel so incredibly stupid, that it made her stomach drop for miles right onto the forest floor.
"Kevin." She sighed, fidgeting slightly like she was at war with her own fingers, each one twiddling and dancing with the other for dominance.
"Sometimes, I could just sma-"
"You didn't bring any food with ya, did you." Kevin broke out; making the whole thing sound more like a statement of fact- rather than one of his popular "bad timing" questions.
That was it. That was the question that broke the camel's back. Without warning, Gwen's eyes filled with rage as she let off a huge battle cry, lunging at her so called "friend". Both, falling effortlessly into the cold, black river waters.
Shouting's of "I'm going to kill you", along with several splashes of deep laughter and water were the only signs of life. But little did they know, a single lurker was hiding back into the shadows- observing it's potential prey.
The two friends didn't even realize that the forest around them had quickly gone colder than the rumbling waters and that it got dangerously quiet.
TAME TAME TAME
Kevin pushed Gwen's head under the water, her red hair flowing all around him at his sides; delicate arms wailing about, trying to feel for a potential spot to drop the boy to his knees. But, Kevin was no easy feat, and Gwen knew it. Hearing the dark haired comrade's laughter through it all caused her to see even more red and anger. At her last stitch effort, she did the most unthinkable thing she could manage, and began to chant one of her beginner's unbalancing spells. Luckily for her, the water was much too murky for Kevin to even realize that her eyes were radiating a bright, pinkish hue.
Kevin wasn't sure as to what had hit him off guard, and he fell ungracefully into the dark depths below his feet. Trying to gain his lost footing, grabbing whatever he could on his way down; rocks, seaweed, pieces of drift wood, anything.
But, to no avail. The boy finally, tired and worn had given up. The spell was taking over his actions. He thought at that moment he was going to die; that this was it; that he was finally going to bite "the big one".
Then, as quickly as it came, the feeling of tremendous weight had been lifted off from his whole entire being- Kevin finally had the chance to swim up to the water's surface to catch some air.
"What- the- heck- was that!" Kevin choked out, his chest heaving dramatically to catch a single breath as he wiped the water and drenched hair from his eyes.
Gwen just stood there- her face blank from disbelief- mouth hanging open and speechless.
"Well!" Kevin pressed on, slowly making his way closer to the girl. "Seriously, Gwen, what the heck was that! One moment we're like- having fun in the river. Then the next thing I know- I'm drowning, fighting for my life!"
Still, Gwen had said absolutely nothing, and intern, was making Kevin grow more and more impatient with her, his black, dark orbs seething with rage.
With a roll of his eyes, Kevin aggressively spat out- "For the love of- I mean… Say somethin', anything, Gwen!"
Gwen screwed her eyes shut, her arms hanging tightly at her waist, should she? Could she mention of what she had just done? Telling Kevin her deepest secrets of having this massive power would most likely kill her chances of ever having a string of normalcy, or having him as a friend, or worse, him running off and "selling" her to those hell hounds that were already ruling by Warlock Hex's side.
She knew Kevin quite well, but not enough to entrust him with such a tale. She couldn't, wouldn't ruin what all she had gained thus far.
Trust, or no trust.
"No." Gwen shakily and silently breathed out, her voice trembling with fear.
"No?" Kevin repeated in shock, his fists clenching with anger. "Whattya mean, 'no'?" He just couldn't believe this. The boy thought this girl was his friend. What so called "friend" didn't trust their companion with any form of secrecy? Kevin turned his gaze down at the water, sighing in defeat and with a heavy heart, began to make his way back onto the shore. He couldn't take it. If Gwen didn't want to open up to him; then why should he press it? It's not like it would be the first time he had ever been rejected… Right?
Kevin continued to make his way over to the shore of the river. His pride shot, and his body aching form the whole drowning ordeal. As his foot pressed onto the soft muddy landing, he heard the girl whisper out something- something too somber for his own ears to make out.
Kevin spun on his heel- his expression towards the girl was dangerously hard. "What now? You wanna make fun of me while you're at it? Or how 'bout kicking me down when I'm at my lowest, like all of the other stupid people out there who had done it to me in the past?" He took a second or two to catch his breath. "Sometimes, I just don't get you, Gwen!"
Gwen, dripping and drenched with the river water hugged herself even tighter. She hated it when Kevin would go on the defensive. She wanted to tell him. She really did. But before she knew it, her green delicate eyes began filling and pooling up with tears. She didn't want the boy to see her so weak… So vulnerable, but she couldn't help herself- her arms suddenly began to shake. Not out of anger, but in her own defeat of Kevin seeing her this way, along with the thought of losing her only true friend.
No- Not now, not ever…
"Please." She quivered out from her now bluish tinted lips. "Please, Kevin… Don't leave me… Not like this, okay?"
"And why shouldn't I?" Kevin spat back venomously, unknowingly making his way towards the crimson haired girl, right back into the black waters he almost died in. "It's not like you're giving me a choice here… Or.. Are you?"
Gwen hesitated- feeding Kevin's frustrations even more. But the boy didn't act on it right away. He at least wanted to hear his friend out. After all, seeing her this way did soften him up just a tad bit. Whatever secret she was keeping had to be something life changing, or threatening. Kevin may act stupid at times, but, he wasn't that mentally stupid.
Softening his cold glare, Kevin slowly raised a tender hand upon her shoulder, squeezing it with small amounts of reassurance. "Look… Whatever this is? We'll take it one step at a time. No matter how bad it is."
"No." Gwen said repetitively once more. Kevin wanted to lash out so badly, but refrained and bit his tongue. He could tell that she was struggling with whatever it was she was struggling with, and he didn't want to mess this all up. Something in the back of his mind was telling him not to- that she was about to spill what she had been keeping from him since the day they had met.
"It's not anything bad…" She moved forward, Kevin's patience with her was finally paying off. "At least… Not yet." She brought a hand up to her face, wiping a few tears off from her cheek.
"Okaaay, if knowing's gonna hurt me- well, I guess I don't care. I mean… That's what it really comes down to for me anyways." Kevin chuckled and folded his arms, his grin deepening with a certain maniacal essence. "Trust me, Gwen. When have you ever known me for caring about anything?"
It was Gwen's turn to laugh at the comical boy's fancy one liners. No matter how serious, or hardcore any situation was, Kevin knew how to pull the lighter side of things into their reality. That's what she liked most about her best friend.
With a deep intake of air, Gwen was now ready to share her secret with Kevin, who had been wanting to know the details of such horror for over the past few minutes, but she stopped in mid stride suddenly, her body going stiff once again, this time, gaining Kevin's more worrying type of attention.
"What's wrong?" The dark haired boy growled out, his features growing stone cold like it had only a few moments prior.
"Something-" Gwen raised her nose into the air, taking in the full scent that circled around them. "Smells like the living dead, ugh!" Her eyes began to widen with fear. "Oh no, Kevin.. It's-"
"Hey, for the record-" Kevin interrupted, his brows furrowing in embarrassment from the last time they were together. "It's definitely NOT me this time, I swear!"
"I promise you that it has nothing to do with that, Kevin. It's-"
Rustling from the bushes caused the two to frantically turn around. There, stood an Ogre, at least 18 feet in length. It didn't take long for the creature to howl out, running full force towards them- head on.
"OGRE!" The two shouted out, sprinting quickly from the cool river as fast as their feet would carry them, with the Ogre's growl and smell growing stronger with each passing foot step.
"Kevin! We need-"
"A plan, I know!" Kevin disrupted the girl, his breath short and shallow. Weeds and branches started cutting into their skins like a knife as they ran through the dense forest.
Gwen had dodged a few rocks- avoiding a downfall into the deep ditches below. Kevin hit at least one that she knew of, but gained his balance quite quickly. It seemed that her spell from earlier didn't have any lasting effects on the boy.
Gwen felt more than relieved.
Coming to a thicket, the two companions were stopped short as they heard the tree tops falling from the green beast, rushing to be near them, or, to eat them.
"We're trapped!" Gwen cried out, her hands desperately seeking for any sort of a small opening. "Grandma's gonna kill me!"
"Not if you're already dead!" Kevin replied, pushing her hastily out of his way- to see if he could find an opening with fresh new eyes. He realized that Gwen wasn't any good with staying level headed in these types of life or death situations. Maybe with time she'd-
"Kevin, we have got to get out of here!" Gwen bellowed out into the boy's ear, causing him to bring a hand up to the side of his face in agony. Though, this wasn't the time, nor the place to start an argument about the matter.
The Ogre was already at their feet. Kevin looked at Gwen's horrified expression and discovered that if he didn't act swiftly, they were both going to be some grotesque and heartless beast's free lunch.
"Not gonna happen." Kevin growled under his breath, and without a seconds hesitation or thought, he extended his left arm out onto the large bolder at his side; trying hard to not break his concentration. "I'm not going to just sit here and let big ugly over there make a meal out of me."
At this, Gwen turned her attention back onto her friend. For some reason she couldn't rip her stare away. It was as if some magical force was pulling the girl in; making her watch. Her green orbs quickly doubled their size, her jaw frozen, hanging wide open. She could not believe what was materializing before her. Was this a dream- no- a nightmare? That had to be a nightmare. A nightmare she just could not wake up from, because Kevin- well, Kevin- he had…
"K-Kevin…?" Gwen's voice began to betray her- quivering, her throat going awfully dry with every small swallow she took. "You… You have powers?"
I am so sorry guys that it takes me forever to update… But, I really want to make sure that my ideas are good, and worth the read. Which I HOPE is the case with this chapter. So… If you would? Leave me a sweet little review to let me know!
The Spoon. :D