The Choice

Dear Diary,

Sometimes, I really hate telling the truth.
It’s not so much that I can’t. More no one wants to hear it. At least, not the way that I have to say it.

Today, I have to give a speech concerning my stance within the magical vs. non-magical realms and substances. If I tell the truth, there’s no going back. The other mages, wizards, and witches will want my head for leaking out important information of our kind and the ones listening may not even buy that I’m telling the truth in the first place.

Not to mention, my parents will kill me.

We’re supposed to keep this world secret, hidden from all who would desire what we have. There’s the covenant to consider, also. I’d be breaking about a hundred rules. I just don’t know what I’m supposed to do here.

And if I cave to what we’re supposed to do?
Behave how we’re naturally taught to react.

I give way for more criticism, allow for judgment to pass on my kind, and people will go on living without the actual knowledge of what lies behind the shield. We’ve done it for years, so why do I care so much? It’s not like my destiny is written in stone. This isn’t my burden to carry.

If I don’t, however…
Who will?

Sincerely,
Raine

~*~

Raine rolled onto her back searching the ceiling in her room for inspiration. There was no way she felt comfortable speaking about her kind, but the topic was assigned, and she was left with one choice. Part of her wished to be like the other kids. If she were, she could take the topic and go either way without any additional consequences.

But you’re not normal.

Raine released a sigh. Shaking her head, she answered herself with, “I know” before looking at the clock. She gathered her things then left for school, a knot forming in her belly. “Whatever happens, happens. Take it with a grain of salt. Or something like that.” Her eyes focused on the sidewalk lines as she passed them, allowing the loneliness to sink in. Before long, she arrived at school with more uneasiness than when she’d left the house.

“Raine!”

Raine glanced up and noticed Melanie, her best friend since second grade, running along the fence. “Hey, Mel.” She tried to hide her gloom as she smiled. “Hey yourself. You look like you’ve had zero sleep in like a week.” Melanie cocked her head and examined Raine’s expression. “What’s going on?”

“I-I don’t know,” Raine offered after a long pause. “I guess I’m not looking forward to this speech later.”

Melanie laughed. “Girl, you’ve got this. We’ve been debating since our mouths could move. Ask our parents. If anyone can argue a valid point, it’s you.” Raine knew she was right as they turned the corner onto Welsh St. “I don’t think that’s the problem,” Raine answered. “I think… I’m afraid I’ll tell the truth.”

Melanie’s eyes widened as she froze, her arm extending across Raine’s chest. “You can’t.” Raine took a step back, placing her hands on her hips. “Don’t you think I know that? But honestly, what choice do I have?” Their silence was interrupted by a boy on a red bicycle blazing past them. “You could choose to act like a normal person. Raine, what are you trying to do? Get kicked out of the coven? We’re hardly even in, to begin with.”

Raine kept walking. “And if I don’t, all of these people go on believing that magic is a myth. I make a mockery of the craft.” She shook her head. “I-I can’t. No, I won’t. I refuse to betray our heritage. The legacy.”

They were close to the school, reaching the edge of the parking lot. Melanie wrapped her hair in a ponytail. “Our elders put the shield in place for a reason. Maybe… Maybe it’s okay if the heritage and legacy only stay within the covens.” She offered a weak smile, but Raine couldn’t return it. “If I lie, I’ll hate myself.”

“And if you tell the truth, the coven will hate you.”

They were quiet the remainder of the way to the entrance. Raine chewed the bottom of her lip as they maneuvered through the other students to their lockers. Melanie squeezed Raine’s shoulder. “Just lie, okay?” She smiled one last time before veering off toward her first period.

Raine’s shoulders slumped. Isn’t honesty better?

The bell rang, and she headed to her class still unsure of what to do. Part of her wished she were still in her bed, under the covers. At least there, the weight of the world didn’t rest on her shoulders, and the fate of her position within the coven wasn’t left on the outcome of her speech.

~*~

Hey all!

As you may have already guessed, this is another blog challenge from Amanda. We were given three words: honesty, hate, bed. I wanted to take this another route, but Raine’s story really resonated with me in a way that may end up in a novel somewhere down the road. It may not be what everyone else came up with, but I can say that I am happy with how it turned out. I really hope you enjoyed the struggle she had in a way that I did and that it makes you wonder what will happen next. If it did, let me know in the comment section below. (:

As always, make sure to check out everyone else’s responses here, here {NSFW}, here {NSFW}, here and here.

Until Next Time, My Darlings,
Shay

The Shoe Box Secret {Part One}

“Oh, good grief. Are you kidding me?”

Cece tossed a handful of her husband’s laundry into a basket and forced the closet door open. “Where the heck does he even wear all of these clothes?” She bent over and picked up five more t-shirts, and a pair of pants then added them to the clothes she’d collected from his side of the bed. She knew it had been a while since their last laundry day, but she didn’t think it had been that long.

Searching the remainder of the closet one last time, her eyes fell on a box behind his golf clubs. It was a smaller shoe box, but Cece couldn’t recall the shoes that went with it. She wondered if Mason had gotten her a gift for their upcoming anniversary and her curiosity got the better of her. She removed the lid, but her brows furrowed.

“What in the world?”

Her eyes scanned over the contents. There were various passports, each with a different name, and a significant amount of cash in different currencies. “Liam Matloff. Hiram Ridgeport. Benjamin Jeffreys. Samuel Campion. This can’t be right.” Cece recognized a few locations but not the names and wasn’t sure why Mason had them in his possession.

There was one passport, with the name Henry Lancaster, that caught her attention more than others. She’d seen that name in the news a couple of weeks ago. It was a case that was unsolved, but involved money laundering and murder.  Cece’s mind began to race with the thoughts of what it could mean as her heart rate increased. She could feel the panic rise as she flipped through five more passports.

Headlights passed the window and Cece jumped. She glanced around the room and realized that Mason was home. Quickly placing everything back the way she’d found it, she set the shoebox back in the closet and tugged the laundry basket toward the washer.

She heard the front door open then slam shut. The baby monitor on her hip lit up in green lights as their nine-month-old son began to cry. Cece rolled her eyes. “Really, Mason. I just got Finn to sleep,” she mumbled under her breath. Releasing a sigh, she threw the remainder of the basket into the washer, added soap and hit start before heading to Finn’s room.

Mason met her at Finn’s crib and placed a hand on the small of her back. She jumped at his touch, and he removed his hand with a skeptical look. “Everything okay?” She nodded. “Of course, you just scared me, is all. Welcome home.” She adjusted Finn before giving her husband a kiss on the cheek. Mason smiled as they walked to the kitchen. “Thanks, honey. How was your day?”

“It was uneventful. Finn, here, he’s fussy and won’t sleep longer than thirty minutes. But otherwise, it’s been an alright day.” She offered a warm smile and rocked their son, hoping she seemed normal. Finn sniffled and buried his face between her head and shoulder. Mason nodded and set his briefcase on the counter before taking a seat at the bar. “Well, I’m sorry to hear that he isn’t sleeping. Maybe try some music tonight? If he doesn’t stop, just let him cry. Eventually, he’ll pass out from exhaustion. No use in you losing sleep too, Cece.”

“That’s so cruel. I could never.” She looked horrified as she held Finn closer to her chest. “We’re supposed to nurture and take care of him.”

“Not at the risk of preventing his development.” Mason rolled his eyes and shrugged his coat off. “You can’t pamper him all the time. He’ll get too soft.” It was Cece’s turn to roll her eyes as she sat in the rocking chair across from Mason. “You always say that, but you don’t know the first thing about it. He’s teething. Cut him some slack.”

Mason laughed. “Yeah, I’ll cut him some slack when he learns what’s right. I used to pick on kids like him.” Pouring himself a whiskey sour, he took a drink and pointed at the child. “Don’t encourage him to be any less than his optimal self.” Cece shook her head. “He’s less than a year old. How could he possibly know what’s right? You’re awful.” Mason ignored her and walked to the living room. “When’s dinner?”

She released the breath she’d been holding and rubbed Finn’s back. “It’ll be ready in thirty minutes. Let me get Finn back to bed, then I’ll finish it.” Mason flipped on the television to the news, and the conversation was over. Cece considered her find in the closet and the best way to approach him. She knew that tonight wouldn’t end well since he was already in a mood, but she couldn’t shake the feeling that this was far greater than even she knew.

‘Who am I married to?’ 

The question bounced around her mind as she laid her son in his crib once more and covered him with a small blanket. She considered her options as she prepped their dinner and served him. She desperately wanted answers but was afraid of the cost.

~*~

Hello again, lovely readers!

I’m a little behind on my blog challenges, but this one here, this is part of it. We were asked to use this site to pick a prompt. My prompt was:

“A woman finds an old shoebox belonging to her husband, and opens it to find foreign passports under different names, and a large amount of cash. Who is she married to? As she starts to panic, he arrives home…”

I’m not really sure where the rest of this prompt will go, but if you’d like to see a part two, leave me a comment below with some ideas on what he’s hiding and why he might be doing it.

You can find the responses from other participants here (NSFW), here, here, here, and here.

(:

Enjoy!