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Can I Have This Dance?
“Can I have this dance?” he asked, extending out a hand.
Freezing up, I thought it over. I had waited all me life to hear those words. To be held in his arms. To dance with him. But know I didn’t want it. I wanted to get out.
“Not in a million years,” I spat on his feet.
He smiled, talking between gritted teeth. “Sweetie, you’re making a scene,” He scanned the room for anyone who would know our true identities and try to help me.
“Am I? Well, I’m only warming up,” I opened my mouth, ready to scream bloody murder. But he caught my arm, pulling me close to his chest. Revolted, I broke away, but his words were sufficient enough to stop me.
“Dance or you’ll never see John again,” Adam growled. Stiff as a board, I put my hands on his shoulders and his found a place in the curve of my waist. John was the only one who knew about my… well, “quirks”.
“Where are you keeping him,” I demanded, smiling sweetly. It was all for show. I needed to look happy. Because if Adam didn’t kiss me by sunrise the next morning, horrible things would happen. I’ve liked him since I was little, but he didn’t know that. But Adam did some pretty gruesome things to make sure I was crazy about him. I only learned about them tonight.
“That would ruin the surprise,” He leered. “Now let’s make this dance look real. If people ask questions, you might get mad. And then your little… ‘special talents’ will show through,” His grin was twisted.
Why was he being so cruel? “Fine, I’ll make your little dance go like you planned. But why? I don’t see why you can’t just kiss me now.”
“What’s the fun in that?” He asked seductively. His hands dropped a few inches and his thumb traced circles on the small of my back. It sent a chill up my spine.
He loosened up, positive I wouldn’t run. I stayed stiff, but I was cooled down some. “So you have no respect for other people? If they get in your way they deserved to be killed, right?”
“Don’t judge things you know nothing about,” he mumbled.
“Well, I think I know enough about you. All those things you did to John… I can’t even find a word gruesome enough to explain it,” I said, disgust filling my voice.
“I had no other choice.”
“So you would put him in pain just to save your sorry butt? You know, ever since we were little, I would’ve been happy to kiss you. Up until now. You’re sick.”
Adam’s grip tightened, making me wince. My hand felt like it was being bent back. He did it so stealthily I couldn’t tell if he was really doing it.
“Annabel, did you know you’re name means beauty?” He looked me up and down. “It definitely fits.”
My name meant beauty? I knew my mother gave me the middle name Abigail— the second girl of Salem accused of witch craft— because she saw my future. Did she know how pretty I would be? I turned my attention back to Adam.
“Thank you, but I’m not swayed that easy,” I kicked him square in the… I think you know where. I took off running. I think I knew where he was hiding John. I only had a dream as a clue; but I wouldn’t be surprised if my nightmares came true. It wouldn’t be the first time.
I hiked up my nearly floor length skirt and sprinted. I wasn’t very fast. Adam was still doubled over in pain and shock, but he would be at my heels in no time. Thankfully the lake wasn’t far.
I had been having crazy dreams since I was little. Nightmares always came true. Good dreams only came true if I dreamt them on my birthday. Crazy, right? Also, I could control fire. I couldn’t create it out of thin air, contrary to what most people thought. That was stereotypical. But if there was a flame in the room (let’s say a candle) I could make it bigger. I also had the power move it and make it float in midair. But when I got mad my powers were beyond my control.
I was halfway there by now. I heard shouts from behind me. None of them were Adam’s. Were those his demons? I was dead.
The towering black shadows were closing in the gap. I think there were three. Their fiery red eyes were locked on me. Their crimson smiles were wide with the excitement of a hunt.
I tried uttering a protection spell, but I was too winded and nervous to get out the words. My blond curls bounced and I had to blow them out of my eyes a lot.
I scanned the road for wood. None. My blue eyes moved the rows of suburban houses. One of them had smoke rising form behind. A bonfire.
I darted towards the backyard with all the speed I could muster. The demons stood on the road, confused. While they wondered where I had gone, I jumped the fence. It snagged on my sky blue dress. I tugged at the fabric, eventually tearing it loose. A piece of the shimmering fabric was left hanging on the fence. The demons heard the noise and ran after me.
I ducked into some brushes bordering the house. It was a tight squeeze between the brick and underbrush. My arms bled form being scraped along loose twigs. Why did I come up with the dumbest plans ever?
When I was close enough to the fire, I threw a rock at the farthest reach of the fence. It hit the wood, distracting the couple sitting by the fire. I concentrated enough to take about half the bonfire. It floated in midair towards my hands.
I ran into the middle of the yard, this time getting over the fence without a hitch. I threw small flames at the demons. A warning. They didn’t listen to it.
I made my flame bigger, taking almost all of my energy. Soon it was as large as the demons’ head. The three of them stood so close they were touching; it was supposed to make them look bigger. It only made it them easier targets.
I hurled the flame at them. They let out agonizing howls and vanished. They had returned to Adam. Before they did, I ripped off a lock of hair and part of my dress. I threw it at one. When demons killed, they always took a souvenir. Now Adam would think I was dead, punish the demons, and no longer come after me.
Feet dragging, I walked the rest of the way to the lake. My breath was short. I picked up the pace, just barely, when I saw the moon reflected in the lake’s clear water. What scared me is that john was in a net above the water. Who knows what hiungry creature Adam put in the lake.
“John?” I cried out the the dark figure in the net. I needed to make sure it was him. I mean, sometimes my dreams were misinterpreted.
He was gagged, but John made a sound that resembled my name. I ran towards him. I grabbed onto the net and lifted my feet off the ground. I thought our combined weight would make the net come crashing down. It didn’t work that way.
Instead, I was levitated completely off the ground. Only one person had that gift, and it was Adam. “Let me down!”
“Once you kiss me.”
“Never,” I screamed. Maybe someone heard my cries. I guess Adam was thinking the same thing, because I was whisked through the air and towards him. He clamped a hand over my mouth while John made frantic, muffled noises.
“Do you know how many creatures I can summon? My gift is stronger than yours, you stand no chance.”
He lifted the hand off my mouth. “Why?” I managed to choke out. His hand went back on my mouth.
“My father made me do the things to John. I want to kiss you so the rest of my life isn’t a living nightmare.”
Trust me, I know about living nightmares. I felt sympathy. But he deserved it. I would never kiss him. “Well, so is John’s life. All thanks to you.”
“He was ruining my chances,” Adam counteracted.
“For one, I’ve bee crushing on you since forever, idiot. Two, even if I didn’t like you, all you had to do was ask.”
“It’s too late. And how did you know I was still alive?
“Because my demons were so depressed. And scorched,” he narrowed his eyes at me. “I can only summon three at a time, you know. And they’re half dead.”
Good, I thought. “So what’s in the wate??” I asked.
“Something you’ve never heard of. A creature that barely fits in that pond. Something that’s really hungry. If you don’t kiss me, I’ll cut the net you’re friend is in. I know that’s your weakness. You’re too loyal.”
“Loyal to everyone but you.”
“You’re so selfish. Just kiss me before he gets eaten alive.”
“I did my research. If i kiss you, a summoner of creatures that resorted to black magic, I’ll become a dark sorceress myself. And you know what happens when dark magicians die. They get a one way trip to meet Satan,” There had to be a way I could save John. I was formulating a plan, when John’s gag slipped off.
“Annabel, I love you. I can’t see you go the Hell. At least when I die, I’ll get to go to Heaven.”
I realized what he meant. “John, no. You can’t—”
He untied the knot holding the net to the branch before anyone could react. John fell into the water. I heard a roar, then some crunching noises. Nothing else.
“John!” I screamed. I looked Adam right in the eye. I hated him. I wanted to kill him.
Then the impossible happened. There was fire in my eyes. Literally, they were on fire. The fire shot out, wrapping around Adam like a cord. He yelled in pain, the burns must’ve been bad. I controlled the ropes of fire, and threw Adam. Right into the lake.
More roars. More bones crunching. No more Adam.