Warning: This work has been rated 18+.
“Have you seen the well to do, up and down Park Avenue, on that famous thoroughfare, with their noses in the air.”
December 24, 2015
The past two weeks of my life leading up to this point had meant one thing: planning. Planning for so many more things than the magic Christmas party we were hosting in the basement. In just a few hours, I would be crowned the new champion of the McGrath line and with it, I would be accepting a personal quest to guide me through life. This was a truly rare occasion for the courts because only twice in history had the previous champion willingly resigned from their position. Plenty of times they had to remove people from office because they went off their rocker or weren’t meeting the yearly quota, but this was something special. Mostly champions would keep this job until the day they died, letting their heirs wrestle it out of their cold, dead hands.
Fortunately for me, Emilia had been going strong for 6,000 years and it didn’t really look like she was quitting anytime soon. In the 600 centuries our coven had been alive, her birth starting a new joint bloodline of peace, there had only been 3 heroes before her. All male and all in the 500 years before the new council was founded. Most recognizable among those 3 men is Isaac, chief of the military council and the man who practically raised me. Here in this world he is disguised as her cousin and caretaker but in the past he was also her mentor. He was the one they called a great hero and had led our world through many wars before mortals had ever figured out how to create a stable society.
This was the party that would test my abilities as the head of my family, a role I was far too young to accept and didn’t really want. Every teenage girl wants to be in the spotlight at some point but most of them want to be in it as a singer or actress. They don’t want a job composed mostly of bloodshed and politics. Save that for farther down the road, hopefully never at all.
But this is me. Emily Jean McGrath. Sixteen years lived on a planet called Earth as of a month ago. An adventure novel would call me ‘the Chosen One’ or ‘the Hero’. Everyone thinks that being a hero is a good thing but it’s not, it’s more of a nightmare than anything else, one that keeps repeating and never has an ending. Whenever I try to represent myself under a title, I think of Deadpool. I’m more like ‘the Last One’ and ‘the Anti-Hero’. Still I do on occasion wear a bright colored suit with a cape so I can see where people might get the impression I’m a do-gooder.
“Em, get over here.” A voice called to me from behind the bookcase in the library.
“Stop writing in that god damn notebook and get over here.”
“Shut-up Sherlock. I’m not going back to the party.”
“It’s your duty to go back.”
“Says the man who is supposed to representing the literary characters at this party.”
He stepped further out of the shadows and pulled me off the leather chair. Next to me was a stack of books that tumbled to the ground as my feet swept over them, splitting open the false covers to reveal compartments filled with food.
“Was this really the best survival plan you could come up with?”
“Yes. And if it weren’t for you volunteering me in the first place, I wouldn't have had to deal with these assholes.”
"I hate to swear at you Em, you know I do, but you're just so fucking selfish. You don't seem to realize what becoming the champion does to all the rest of it. You're not taking it seriously."
"I'm not taking it serious enough for you? I'm about to become serial killer Sherlock and if you were still under the manipulation of your book, you would be one of the people trying to stop me, not my right hand man."
My hand motions matched my anger with him. If a mad person’s facial color is described as beet red, mine at that second could be three shades darker. Like the other times this had happened, I suddenly found a blade in my hand, probably summoned by a guardian spirit. The darker side was already starting to take control of me in that moment as the clock ticked down.
And that blade would have gone across my friend’s chest, if it hadn’t of been for the screams that erupted. That echoed. Through all the hallways and levels of the ancient structure, causing the spirits to fly up into the rafters or down further into the cellar. Holmes dropped the bag of crackers he was munching at and my fingers curled farther around the blade. How I managed to get upstairs so quickly, I don’t know, but it was soon enough to see the bloodshed. How with one blow I saw the woman who had finally given me an escape from my past life, fall to the ground in the pool of red like everyone else.
They say that the good guys wear white and the bad guys wear black. Tonight I learned that was the exact opposite of what happens in our world. Those might be the laws that govern the mortal world but in mine, white stands for Callahan covens and black stands for McGrath covens. The in between is called grey, for the people who are in between and can calculate the pros and cons of every kill. The people who exist solely in the grey area are the heroes, the champions and the chosen-ones.
And tonight, I finally succumbed to being one.