Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Witch of Apple Hill ~ Part 33

Elise brought her attention back to where the fog had been and watched a man walked toward them clapping slowly. Cage leaned into her a snarl on his lips.
“It’s him.”
Elise squinted her eyes, trying to make out who the man was walking toward them. Even though there was something oddly familiar about him. Her eyes widened as her brain finally placed him. “Paul Campbell, in human form? How can that be?”
“I’ll answer that, sweetheart,” said Paul with a smirk. “You banished Mozath, stupid jerk just stood there and let you banish him with light. I fought, inside the fog, I fought and like always I won.”
“Not like always,” said Elise, with her own smirk. “Seems I banished you from this place before, don’t think I can’t do it again.”
Her body was fraught with fatigue as her heart pounded in her chest causing a throbbing sensation in her ears. Banishing Mozarth had taken a toll on her, but she would stand up to Cage. She wouldn’t let him win. She couldn’t.
Cage laughed loudly. “When you banished me, I was a mere mortal. Now I am a demon. I have more power, more magic, and more strength than you and your town of misfits. Funny thing is I was just going to kill you, but now that they’ve stood behind you, knowing full well what you are … well now they all have to die. I’m prepared to wipe this entire valley off the map.” He glanced down the line at townsfolk. “I hope you all have made peace with your maker.”
“That’s enough,” yelled Cage stepping forward.
Paul laughed louder. “Well, look what the cat drug in. My old student. I would say protégé, but you’re so far off the path I hate to even admit you were a pupil of mine, much less an outstanding one.”
“Just wait until you have to admit that the student has beaten the teacher,” said Cage.
Paul shook his head. “Your worst trait has always been your cockiness.”
“I call it confidence,” said Cage.
“Now listen here,” Mayor Garver stepped forward before Elise could stop him, “we’re a welcoming sort of town. Elise may have cursed the founding families, but it was a curse that was justified. We have learned to live with it. This town thrives because we stand together. We’ve welcomed Cage, knowing he’s a hunter and we have a family of Pixies getting ready to move in as long as they have retired from most of their mischief. We have learned from our ancestors that humans are not the only beings on the planet, just as we have learned from them that not all paranormal beings are bad. Some are simply delightful. Apple Hill is a haven to all and we’ll remains by standing together. We’ll stand together now, just as we did against that black foggy thing against you, and you’ll lose.”
“Is that so?” asked Paul, eyebrow raised.
“It is,” said Mayor Garver, “I’m the mayor of this city. I also vet all the people, supernatural or not, that want to live here. We have rules. Now, you haven’t hurt anyone terribly yet, other than some nightmares, but if you want to retire, let’s talk. There’s a nice little spot just down the road, perfect for a home and a garden.”
“You can’t be serious,” said Cage.
“I am,” said the mayor, “all this gentleman has to do is think wisely and agree to not hurt anyone else.” He turned to Elise. “I hope you’ll make the same agreement when this is all over. We’ve allowed your curse because of that dastardly act those men did so long ago, with the hope that you’ll realize we aren’t them. We aren’t them, Elise.” He turned back to Paul. “We aren’t here to harm anyone. Can you say the same? Wouldn’t you like to live in peace?”

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