“Glamour,” she said. “That’s how they got out.”
“Glamour,” I echoed with a frown.
It had come down to this—banned magic that would have me expelled from the academy—magic that was forbidden since the Dark Ages. Alas, it was the only option left—if I wished to return home and see my family, it was a risk I had to take.
“Do you know where they got it?” I prompted.
Her lips parted—she knew. Unfortunately, hesitation kept her answer at bay.
“Are you sure about this?” she asked. “I mean, you can always stay until they find a vaccine.”
“Vaccine?” I shook my head. “What difference will a vaccine make with that thing on the loose?”
No vaccine nor miracle cure could undo what had been done—even if the greatest scientists could put a stop to the plague, the real monster had been unleashed. A dark and malevolent creature—that fed off fear and paranoia—had resurfaced, and there was no escaping its vengeful presence.
“Once everything returns to normal, the Court of Magicians will bind the creature,” she said. “We just have to be patient.”
“No, I don’t think it’s going to be as easy as that,” I replied. “I don’t think we can just put it back.”
Upon the announcement of the city lock-down, the nesting creature broke free from its spellbound chains. Once restrained by the facade of peace, it now roamed the streets—its shadow latching onto any soul that it deemed as a perfect host. With growing dominance, none of us were spared from its curse—either as a vessel of it’s evil spirit or a victim of its influence.
“This isn’t the first time,” she insisted. “The court knows what to do.”
“Yes, but it’s stronger now. Can’t you feel it?”
The new plague had granted the creature more power than before—unforeseen strength to reach across borders and swallow the earth whole. Unlike its previous escapes, it stirred discord and animosity on a grander scale—feasting on even those who had encountered death from the plague itself. Hence, I had to resort to the Glamour.
“Just tell me where they got the Glamour,” I interrupted.
I knew that she cared for me—that she didn’t want to lose yet another friend. Unfortunately, she failed to see my reality. Despite guarding her youthful soul from the creature’s dark influence, she couldn’t fully grasp the predicament I was in.
“You don’t even know how to cast a Glamour,” she replied.
“I’ll find out how,” I stated.
She grunted in exasperation. “Okay, fine, let’s say you successfully cast a Glamour—at most, it’ll get you across the border. It’s not going to last long enough for you to get home.”
“That’s all I need—I just need to cross the border.”
Truthfully, I hadn’t thought the idea through—it was the first time I had a feasible plan. Hence, I intended to solve any hiccups along the way. After all, I was the top of my class.
“And then what?” she asked. “If the authorities catch you, you’ll be quarantined. You’ll be worse off than you are now.”
“Well, they can’t keep me for long. They’ll have to let me go soon enough,” I stated.
“They’ve kept people on ships… for months.”
“Well, that’s because they were infected—I’m not infected. So they will eventually let me go,” I replied, withholding not my growing irritation.
“Fine. But what are you going to do once the academy finds out, huh?” she challenged. “You worked so hard for the scholarship, casting the Glamour will have you expelled with no appeal.”
“Then, I won’t get caught.”
“No,” she huffed. “I won’t let you do it. I’m sorry, but I don’t know where they got the Glamour.”
“You’re lying,” I replied, as I narrowed my gaze. “Do you know what it’s like to be here—where the creature has its claws in almost everyone?”
She frowned before turning away from me.
“You don’t,” I continued. “You don’t know what it’s like to be accused of being a carrier, to be called derogatory names, to be afraid of being assaulted simply because of your origins. So if I have to cast a spell to change my damned appearance, just to get home and be with my family, I will.”
She cleared her throat. “I’m sorry. I-”
“I’m going to do it whether you help me or not,” I interrupted. Surely, with a little digging, I could find the source of such magic. If only… I didn’t have to do it alone.
“Fine, do it,” she said. “But… I’ll get the Glamour for you.”
“You will?” I raised a brow.
“Yes. And I’m coming with.”
12 Genre Months © 2020 by Jeyna Grace. All rights reserved.
(Click HERE for the list of stories in this writing challenge.)