Under A Silver Moon “Jon,” Ara groaned from the car. “It’s getting late and cold.” The wind blew verifying her verdict.“Just a minute babe,” Jon laughed still conversing with his three friends. Ara turned her head to the slow sunset over the western mountains of Idaho. She felt in her stomach that something was wrong with this night. The moon was already touching the eastern trees and shining its silver light. Just as she was about to yell again Jon opened the car door and sat down. “Took you long enough,” she muttered waiting for him to put on his seat belt so she could drive off.“I’m sorry, Ara,” he said caressing her cheek. “I never get to see my friends anymore and since you’re going away this weekend I wanted to make plans.”Ara wished she could tell him the truth about her. She could never find the words when he would bring up her leaving for the weekend. She was leaving tomorrow morning and still hadn’t told him she might not be coming back.“Well then you better get the best of your weekend,” she laughed pushing his flowing bangs she loved so much back. “I might even give you permission to talk to Stephanie Bower.”“Sarcasm noted,” he laughed taking her hand and kissing it.They drove silently after that. She didn’t want to think about leaving and she knew he didn’t either. But she couldn’t stay there while they had found her. She saw those haunting eyes in the dark forest two nights ago when she was riding Air, her mare. She had to get out for a while and she didn’t want to put Jon and all of her other friends in danger.Ara stopped at Jon’s house and put the car in park. They both were still awkwardly quiet looking out their windows.“So I guess I’ll see you tomorrow morning before you leave,” Jon asked uncertain. “Of course,” she lied. She didn’t want to lie but he needed to think she would be back. She forced a smiled kissed his forehead. “Go,” she laughed. “I’ll be back on Sunday and I’ll come see you once I get here. Who else would I see first?”“Your family,” he laughed unbuckling his seatbelt. “Well they must not be that important.” She tried to laugh it out but it came as a stop of breath. “Well goodnight,” he said getting out of the car. As soon as the door closed Ara felt the uneasy feeling from the earlier night come back. She turned to watch Jon go in the house. Before he went in he turned and waved goodbye to her and she waved back.There’s nothing with him, Ara thought. She didn’t see them and those eerie eyes.The drive back home was silent. Ara felt someone watching but she didn’t see anyone as she drove.She turned the corner and pulled into her driveway when she found Jon’s sunglasses. “Crap,” she muttered pulling out her cell phone to call him. On the third ring he picked up but she didn’t hear him talk. “Jon,” she groaned. He always played this joke on her. “You left you sunglasses in my car. I’ll see you tomorrow so do you want me to give them to you then?” She waited for him to answer. “Well you know I could keep them. You know how much I love these glasses,” and he loved them just as much.“Hey Ara,” an all too familiar voice giggled. It was a voice she never wanted to hear again, let alone hear it through her boyfriend’s phone.“Lilith,” Ara sneered. “Where is he?”“Oh, Jon’s a little tied up right now,” she sighed uninterested. “Thissy and Hera say hello.”“Leave him alone,” She snapped almost breaking Jon’s sunglasses. “He has nothing to do with this. You want me and you found me. You don’t need him anymore.”Her giggled insulted my ears and ran chills down my spine. “You silly goose,” Lilith giggled. “If we let him go, how would we know if you’re gonna come with us? It’s a trade; give us you and he goes free.”“What a tempting offer,” she mocked. “Tell me where you are and you may or may not get what you want.”“The little clearing in the forest,” She demanded. “You will ride your horse and bring nothing else.” It was silent on the phone while Ara rolled her eyes. “Oh, and no funny business,” she quickly added. “I don’t want to have to cast a certain spell on Jon’s pretty bronze face.”Ara hung up on Lilith not wanting to have to give her a chance to change her mind. She put the glasses in her sweatshirt pocket, wiped her sweaty hands on her jeans and walked around to her horse stable. She clutched her blue beads for support. Of all her horses, Air was the only mare Ara could go to for things like this. Air was black and brown. Her hair was jet black and shiny. It was like she was made just for Ara.“Hey, my big beauty,” Ara said opening her table door. “Let’s go for a walk.”Ara pulled Air from the stall and started out of the out the stable. Air pulled her to a stop as a light snow started to stick to the ground.“What’s the matter, girl,” Ara asked rubbing the mare’s back. “Everything’s going to be okay.” Ara could feel that she was mostly motivating herself. Air was her support and she needed her.Silver moonlight spilled across the wilderness, shining like a searchlight on snow-dusted mountain peaks and filling the valleys like floodwater. Ara stood in the shadow of a tall oak, sheltered from the unusual nighttime brightness. Traveling in the revealing moonlight didn’t feel safe, but neither did the woods. Those closely clustered trees were older than her grandparents and could hide too many things beneath their dense canopy - not so much as a single drop of moonlight touched the forest floor. Behind Ara, her mare nickered. She felt the animal’s breath on her shoulder, followed by a soft nudge. She didn’t want to stand still any longer. Well, neither did Ara. She swung into the saddle, clutching a familiar strand of blue beads that had been mined out of the very mountains she faced. She heeled her mare forward and wondered for what must have been the hundredth time where Jon was now. *************Ara pushed the mare as fast as she could through the dark trees. Lilith, Amethyst and Hera were great forces to be reckoned with but Ara wasn’t afraid anymore. She pushed that fear behind her with each long stride of Air’s.Air trotted to a stop when they entered the clearing. Ara jumped off the horse and steadied herself for an attack if there was one.“Where are you,” Ara whispered to herself looking for any sign of them. Air grumbled and nickered at Ara, her non-verbal was of saying that this was dangerous and that they should go back home. “Not without Jon, Air,” Ara whispered petting her horse’s nose.A high pitch giggle filled the air and Ara jumped. The feeling in the pit of her stomach surfaced and she felt like vomiting. Three pairs of eerie green eyes appeared not too far from the edge of the clear before four figures materialized.“Hey sis,” Amethyst and Hera said at the same time.“Sisters,” Ara stated firmly. It was more of recognition than an actual greeting. Ara looked at her three sisters and felt the nauseating feeling dissipate. Lilith was no older than thirteen years old sporting blond hair and big child-like green eyes and bright pink lips. Amethyst was sixteen years old. She was always a redhead with high cheek bones, big red lips and jade green eyes. Hera was the cynical looking one. Being seventeen she used a lot of make-up; jet black hair, pale skin, or make-up, raccoon mascara around her large eerie green eyes, black color staining her pale lips.But they hated Ara for one reason. She was different. She looked normal; honey brown hair with blond highlights, light blue eyes and full red lips. She fit in with the crowd when they didn’t want to.In retrospect they were a lot older than they looked. “Enough with the greetings and let’s get this over with,” Lilith demanded. Ara could tell they were listening to Lilith’s every word. They always did.“Let him go,” Ara spat. “You have me now let him go.”“But of course,” Lilith laughed pushing Jon in the middle of them.Jon looked a little confused as to which way he should’ve gone. His puzzled look hurt Ara a little as she pleaded with her eyes that he come to her.“What are you,” Jon stammered looking at Ara with an almost disgusted expression. “What have you told him,” Ara sneered feeling the power rising in my chest.“You haven’t told him,” Lilith asked, sarcasm spilling into every word. “Looks like ever-so-innocent Ara has a secret. Well we told him everything; the magic, power, age, and the reason you ran.”“Don’t listen to them,” Ara said grabbing him and gently pushing him toward Air. “Get on and go back to my house. I’ll be there soon.”Jon reluctantly complied and rode into the dark brush. Ara turned slowly and menacingly back to her back-stabbing sisters.“I so want to kill you three,” she clenched through her teeth. “You ruin everything I touch. I just want to live better than I was living back home. Why can’t you three accept that?”“Because you killed mom,” Lilith screamed. “I saw you do it. You don’t deserve to live.”Out of Ara’s fingers came white and red tendrils of smoke and it snaked up her arms, slowly inking her body in delicate, elegant script. When it reached her eyes, they became as white as the light falling snow.“You will not lie anymore,” Ara demanded. “You’ve filled their heads with false accusations and thoughts. They will never know the truth if you keep feeding them these sick lies.”“Shut up,” Lilith spat. “You know nothing.”“I know you killed dad and mom,” Ara countered. “I know you set the house on fire and told everyone that I did it.” Lilith shook with contained anger and black wisps of smoke spilled from her fingers just as Ara’s. Her eyes became as black as the darkness that surrounded them.“I’ve lived longer than you, little girl,” Ara laughed. “Just because you developed before us doesn’t mean you’re stronger.”“What do you know,” Hera blasted. “You were the last to mature in that sense. We’re stronger than you.”Ara barked a laughed and rolled her all white eyes. “More lies she’s feeding you,” she mocked. “Enough,” Lilith yelled and Ara’s head snapped her way. “It’s time that we rid you from this earth.”Lilith jumped at Ara and they fell to the floor. Lilith’s tendrils snaked around Ara’s neck and inked her skin everywhere they touched. Slowly the inky spots started to choke Ara and turn her skin black. “Stronger,” Lilith chanted menacingly, choking the life out of Ara.“No,” Ara screamed and threw Lilith into the air. Lilith threw a fit as she was in the air, kicking and screaming. She was still a child.Hera and Amethyst launched themselves at Ara but she stopped them abruptly by flicking her wrist. They pushed and pulled but they were stuck in place.“You’ve forgotten, my sisters,” Ara laughed in her original raspy voice. “I’m my strongest during a bright Silver Moon. You have no power over me anymore, Lilith.”Slowly Ara put Lilith’s feet back on the ground and turned her back on them. “Bad idea,” Lilith whispered before hooking her inky smoke into Ara’s back. “You are not stronger than the three of us.” Hera and Amethyst did the same with their tendrils and dropped Ara to the ground.“No White witch will survive,” Lilith laughed.“I thought we were good witches,” Amethyst said confused. “You told us we were good witches, White witches even.”Instantly Hera and Amethyst stopped their attack on Ara and turned to Lilith.“I meant, no bad witch will survive,” Lilith explained stammering over her words. “She’s a bad witch, a Black witch.”“Do you hear the lies,” Ara strained. “She is calling me a White witch. She is a Black witch. She’s going to kill me and then kill you two.”Lilith pushed her tendrils of smoke through Ara’s body and she screamed.Ara’s body went limp and her eyes vacant. “You killed her,” Hera screamed running to Ara and picking up her lifeless body from the ground. “You are an evil witch. You have been lying to us.”“But it worked,” Lilith laughed wickedly. “We get her powers. She was powerful and we get to split them between us.”“You said she wasn’t as powerful,” Amethyst said. “You’re a liar!”Suddenly Ara’s eyes grew as silver as the moon and her body rose and drifted through the air. “I told you, Lilith,” Ara’s voice boomed in the air around them. “You are not stronger than I am and you will never be. Black witches will never thrive.”A swirl of thick white snow filled the air and slowly consumed Lilith as she screamed in pain. She swung and kicked at the pain burst of snow but it wouldn’t subside and Hera and Amethyst watched as their was consumed by the white cloud.Moments went on before the thick fluffy snow thinned out and nothing was left but Lilith’s cold withered body.Ara planted her feet on the ground and stood over her sobbing sisters. “She isn’t dead,” Ara said touching their shoulders. “I’m not a killer.”“Even mom and dad,” Amethyst cried. “She killed them?” Ara nodded and Amethyst slapped Lilith in the face. “You’re such a liar!”Lilith let out a soft sob. “You developed and I didn’t,” her withered lips sneered. “You were always the favorite!”“Go home, Lilith,” Ara said. “You don’t deserve to breathe the same air as White witches. Take her home,” Ara said too Hera and Amethyst and they nodded. “If you two want you have rights to come back here. You can live with me if you want.”Hera and Amethyst hugged Ara and took Lilith back through the woods the way they came. Ara stood and watched them go but she had her own problems to deal with.“Jon,” she uttered and fled home.***************As Ara crept out of the blackness of the thick trees, she found Jon standing next to Air watching the moon. He didn’t look her when she stood next to him. He didn’t even cringe away.“You’re a witch,” he said. It wasn’t really a question but still she nodded. “Why didn’t you tell me?”Ara rocked back and forth then stood in front of him. And as she always did when they were having a serious talk, she brushed his bangs back with her hand. “I didn’t think you could handle it,” she whispered. A silent tear ran down her cheek and he wiped it away. “I thought you would leave me.”It was Jon’s turn to let a tear roll down his cheek. “Ara, I love you,” he said stepping into her arms. “You’re special and I’m not going to leave you. Although I find a witch slightly scary, I still think I can handle you being... different.”“I love you too,” she said kissing him on his cheek. “Let’s get you back home. She pulled out his sunglasses and grabbed Air and started back to the house. “You left these in the car.”He slid the glasses back in her pocket. “You keep them,” he said throwing his arm around her. “I got them because you loved them so much.”Ara smiled to herself and for the first time in her life she felt safe and secure. She didn’t feel like she had to run from anyone or look over my shoulder every five minutes.But to be sure she looked back and saw the eyes of her two sisters that took a wrong road. They smiled sweetly at her and turn and went away. They were happy and so was she.
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