The realm of Ishitar is unlike our own for it is full of magic. Those with magical abilities had a special connection to Elysium, the world where all souls went after death; a place full of lost times and the souls of people good and bad. When the world of Ishitar was young magic ran rampant, often bringing both happiness and chaos.

Then came the Imperial Gods; no one knows where they came from or how they came to be or which of the Gods came first. With the arrival of the Imperial Gods came a brief time of peace, until they began to feud with one another, thus the Imperial Gods were separated into two major groups; the Dark Gods and the Noble Gods.

The Dark Gods were led by Dardanius the God of Darkness, and the Noble Gods were led by Engl the Goddess of Light. The Gods waged war over the Adelphene. They warred until one day the Imperial Gods vanished and the world of Ishitar was plunged into chaos, beginning the Haimagen Age; an age of bloodshed and suffering.

The Adelphene is made up of Orcs, Mer, Humans, Elves, Dwarves, and Fae. The Ocrs live in the Kigdom of Helgen in the swamps of Caravell. The Mer live in the Kingdom of Atlantis deep in the Affaron Sea. The Humans live in three separate kingdoms; the Kingdom of Redhelm in the deserts of Amaranthym, the Kingdom of Grayhaven in the forests of Findrel, and the Kingdom of Ephyra in the islands of Arnav. There are two kinds of Elves; High Elves live in the Kingdom of Arella in the hidden forest of Lavern, and the Wood Elves live in the Kingdom of Sylvain in the forest of Frindrel. Dwarves live in the Kingdom of Agartha deep under the Mountains of Zurial. The Fae live in the hidden Kingdom of Avalon near the Valley of Nysa.

The Haimagen Age gave rise to the Theodyn, the Empire of the Theos. The Theodyn Empire began a brutal war with the Elves and forced them into slavery. The Theodyn Empire used dark magics to cause chaos and discord throughout the world. Due to this the world of Ishitar radically changed; distrust and prejudice spread like wildfire, and the very world seemed to be on the brink of collapse.

The Dwarves retreated deep into Agartha and remained isolated for hundreds of years. The ancient Elven kingdoms crumbled to ash the people lost much of their heritage. Under the control of the humans the Elves and their long life dwindled. The Elves who could once live for thousands and thousands of years could now only live hundreds. The Fae barred the mystical gates to Avalon so that nothing impure could pass through. The Mer in the depths of the sea become twisted shadows of themselves, and were hence forth known as Merks to the surface dwellers.

Then Eniryt came, a mighty warrior who fought the darkness of the world; the darkness of the Theodyn Empire. Eniryt breathed new life into the long forgotten order of the Templars who once served under the Goddess Engl herself. Eniryt and the new Templars lead a mighty campaign against the Theodyn Empire, and despite their great success against the might Empire, Eniryt was captured.

The Theodyn Emprire publicly burned Eniryt at the stake in an attempt to snuff out the fire of rebellion. However, after Eniryt's death Beadurnic, one of Eniryt's trusted advisors, took his place leading the war against Theodyn. At Beadurnic's hands Theodyn fell and Eniryt became a symbolic martyr for the Adelphene, and they worshipped him as a God.

Many of the Theos were killed when Theodyn fell, but after that the Adelphene turned against the Theos and magic. Magical abilities now filled people with terror and dread so the Enirytian Templars locked the Theos away in solitary castles known as Shkolles, and in theses Shkolles the Theos were taken to live, to be trained, and to die. The Theos who worked and lived outside of the Shkolle were hunted and killed like wild beasts.

The land of Ishitar is a realm full of ancient tales, forgotten Gods, and lost souls. Yet it is still full of magic and hope. Much like nature it is both beautiful and terrible at the same time. Ishitar has the potential to be beautiful and whimsical, but it also has the potential to be dark and terrifying.

Authors Note: I'm doing some major editing so I'm sorry for the inconvenience. 

The definition for Adelphene is the many people's of Ishitar.

The definition for Theos is magic wielders.

2: Chapter 1: Miracle
Chapter 1: Miracle

Katherine woke early to the blaring of her alarm. She turned over and smacked the alarm so she could get a few more minutes of rest. It was about five ten in the morning when her alarm first started going off. She dreaded the sound of it, and always slept as long as she could. She would hit the alarm about four times before getting up at five thirty.

            Katherine finally got out of bed. Her bare feet touched the chilled wooden floor of the old farmhouse. The old wooden panels didn’t keep the cold out, it snuck in whether the heater was on or not.

            The house had belonged to her father Christopher Carthach, he had been a farmer. The house used to be beautiful when she was a child. The floors were waxed, the walls didn’t have paint chipping, and there were pictures of her family all over the walls.

            Katherine pulled on a pair of blue jeans that should have probably been completely discarded about fifteen years ago. They didn’t fit her just right, they were torn up, and they were extremely faded. She pulled on a baggy old T-Shirt, and her father’s old flannel jacket. When she made it to the front door she pulled on a pair of dirty rubber boots, and went outside.

            It was still dark outside; the sun hadn’t come up yet. Fog clung to the ground, and the air was so cold that it burned her lungs. She went out to the worn out barn in the back yard with a flash light in hand.

            Her dog, Hank, came running up to her. He was a German Shepard mix that was the sweetest dog you could meet. He was old though and probably didn’t have much time left. Uncle Randall had gotten him from the pound for her when she was twelve. Katherine was eighteen now and he was still as kind, and as gentle as ever.

            Katherine fed and watered Hank first. He was the easiest one to take care of, and he wasn’t half as stubborn as the horses. She fed the horses a combination of oats and alfalfa cubes.

            Daisy and Ranger, were the names of the horses. Katherine brushed them every day, and rode them on the weekends. Daisy was a painted mare that was about fifteen hands tall. She was a beautiful creature and she knew it too. Ranger was a handsome gelding that was almost sixteen hands tall with a beautiful bay coat.

            After she finished feeding the horses she filled their large metal water tank, and opened their stalls so they could spend the day in the pasture. She then went to the chicken coop and laid some pellets out for them.

            Now that her family was cared for she went back to the house and traded out her rubber boots with some rugged old tennis shoes. Katherine grabbed her backpack and headed out to the school bus.

            The house was always quiet in the mornings. Uncle Randall was already at work, and Uncle Victor didn’t wake up until nine in the morning. Uncle Randall worked with a small construction company that was run by an elderly couple a town over. Uncle Victor worked at a large bank, and made a lot of money. They had been her care takers since her parents died in a dreadful car accident that occurred when she was five years old.

            School was boring and mundane. True Katherine excelled at everything, but math and physics. However, Katherine was a ghost and that was in more ways than one. In every school there is a hierarchy; the popular kids that everyone knows, the average kids who can blend in enough that they don’t get made fun of, and then there are the outcasts. Katherine’s old worn out clothes did not help her blend in so she was an outcast. They made fun her for that. However, that didn’t stop her from being friendly and forgiving.

            After a short bus ride, Katherine was at school. She made a pit stop at the bathroom. She was already utilizing the stall when the door opened and someone that was crying came in. They clearly thought that they were alone.

            Before flushing the toilet, Katherine peeked out of the stall. The girl that was crying was Heather Nelson; she was a popular cheerleader who was going out with a popular baseball player. Katherine could see Heather wiping her tears, and pulling some makeup out of her purse.

            Katherine flushed the toilet and stepped out of the stall. Heather’s face lowered, her red hair slid forward and covered her left eye. She was caught off guard by Katherine’s presence, and cursed herself for not being more aware of her surroundings.

            “Are you okay?” Katherine asked as she moved to the sink to wash her hands, Katherine glanced into the mirror and caught a glimpse of a dark bruise just below Heather’s left eye. “That looks bad. What happened?”

            Heather began to apply makeup to the bruise so she could hide it. “N-nothing,” She stammered. “I just fell.” Heather let out a half-hearted laugh. “I’m so clumsy.”

            “That’s strange.” Katherine replied softly.

            Heather paused and shot Katherine a curious look.

            “It’s just that, I’ve seen you perform.” Katherine answered the silent question. “You looked pretty coordinated to me.”

            Heather turned to look at Katherine. “You… You’re in band right?” Katherine nodded. “What’s you name again.” Katherine tried not to be wounded by the fact that Heather didn’t know her name even though they had been in the same class since kindergarten. “Katie, no Katherine?”

Katherine nodded.

“It’s not what you think.”

“That’s probably what’s easiest for you to believe right now.” Katherine said with a nod. “Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone that Drew hits you.” Heather turned pale. “But look at you. You are so beautiful and deserve so much more than being treated like this.”

Heather put on her plastic cheerleader smile and said. “Drew would never hit me.”

“Is that what he wants you to think when he’s done?”  Katherine’s vividly blue eyes locked on Heather’s. “Does he apologize?”

Heather’s eyes filled with tears that she struggled to blink back. “It’s my fault; I just make him so angry.”

“He just wants you to believe that, because he’ll never take responsibility for his actions.” Katherine pulled Heather into a hug as she began to cry harder. “There is no mistake or sin you could commit to deserve this.” Quiet tears slipped down Katherine’s face.

Katherine grabbed one of the cheap school napkins got it damp, and used it to sponge off Heathers face. Then she helped Heather apply makeup so you couldn’t see the bruise.

“Why are you doing this for me?” Heather asked. “I mean, we aren’t exactly friends.”

“Don’t worry about it.” Katherine gave Heather a soft smile. “Just promise me that you’ll talk to someone about this. It doesn’t have to be me, but talk to a friend, a counselor, or one of your parents. Don’t allow this to escalate.” Katherine finished adjusting Heather’s makeup. “There, it’s like it never happened.”

            The bell rang for school to begin, it startled them both. Heather left first, and didn’t look back. They probably wouldn’t speak again. Katherine knew that well. She couldn’t count how many people she had helped with their personal problems in a similar way, but they all forgot about her.

            Katherine liked to convince herself that it didn’t matter; she was meant to be a ghost. She had her two trustworthy friends to rely on, and that was all she needed. Karla Dixon and Ariel Pelicano were more than best friends, they were sisters.

            Katherine didn’t share every period of High School with her friends, but she was them enough to not feel lonely. They were the only saving grace at school.  She might have thought that they were the only saving grace in her life, but she had to remember Uncle Randall.

            Randall Carthach was her father’s younger brother. He got into a lot of trouble when he was a young man, and he didn’t finish High School. However, the tribulations of his youth had made him wise and reliable. He had a great sense of humor, and spoke in a southern accent just like her father did. That accent didn’t happen to rub off on Katherine though.

            Katherine met Ariel in second period. It was a remedial math class. Ariel wore her thick dark tangles of hair up in a high pony tail. She was wearing vibrant and fashionable clothes. She struggled with math just as badly as Katherine did.

            “Hey, are you thinking about going to Prom this year?” Ariel asked.

            Katherine shook her head.

            “Aww, but it’s our Senior Prom. It’s your last chance to go.” Ariel smiled. “Besides you would love it.”

            “I would love to go, but I’m not the one you need to convince.” Katherine admitted. “Uncle Victor would never allow it.”

            “He never allows anything.” Ariel frowned dramatically. “That guy needs to seriously get laid.”

            They laughed.

            Victor Bell was her mother’s much older brother. He was a widower who took no joy out of the world around him. He made it his duty to make Katherine suffer. He made a lot of money at his job, but Katherine never saw a dime of it. He practically treated her like she was the house servant; tending to the animals, cooking the food, cleaning the house, and mending clothes.

            School passed quickly and without another incident or anything exciting. Katherine did some of her homework on the bus ride home. She preferred to finish her homework at school if it was possible.

            The first thing that Katherine did when she got home was trade out her tennis shoes for her rubber boots. She tended to the animals again, brushed the horses, and put them away for the night.

            Then she started preparing dinner, she was making chicken stuffed peppers with mashed potatoes and green beans. Uncle Randall helped her prepare the food despite having worked a twelve hour shift.

            After everyone ate Uncle Randall helped her clean the kitchen and they talked for a while. He asked her how her day was, and how school was going. He took care of her like she was his own daughter. He worked hard to take care of her, and tried to make Uncle Victor loosen up on his strict rules. Uncle Randall was her northern star.

            After cleaning for a while Katherine took a shower and put on some pajamas. She finished up her homework at a small desk in her room. The desk was old and worn out. On the edge of her desk sat an old framed picture of her parents on their wedding day.

            Katherine paused to look at them. Her father was in a suit with a cowboy hat, and her mother wore a simple but elegant gown. They looked so happy; it was a shame that they were dead. Katherine wished that she had the chance to know them.

            Katherine didn’t remember much about that fateful day. She remembered that it was October, there was a dreadful storm outside, and she was strapped into the back seat. She could remember her parents, they were smiling. Occasionally the storm outside lit up the dark sky, but everything else was blurry.

            After that Katherine only knew what she had been told. The car they were in hydroplaned and Christopher lost control. The car flipped several times before coming to an abrupt stop by hitting a tree. Viola and Christopher were pronounced dead at the scene, and Katherine was rushed to the hospital.

            Katherine suffered come pretty severe trauma. She had a broken arm, a broken leg, several broken ribs, and a serious contusion to her skull. It was the contusion that had the doctors worried; it had cause swelling in her brain tissue. In a desperate attempt to save her life the doctors put Katherine into a drug induced coma, but the situation was grim. It was a miracle that she survived; the doctors didn’t think that she was going to make it.

            Katherine kissed the picture of her parents, and climbed into bed. She didn’t know much about her parents, but she liked to pretend that she did. She liked to think that her mother’s soul was as beautiful and graceful as an angel. She thought her father, Christopher, was a lot like Uncle Randall; goofy, smart, and firm.

            Her mother, Viola, was from a prominent family that originated in New York City. Call it fate, chance, or destiny, but she me Christopher and fell in love. Katherine thought that it must have been a romance for the ages, because Viola’s family didn’t approve of their relationship at all. Uncle Victor mentioned all the time how Viola marrying Christopher was a tragic mistake. Maybe that was because in the end they were both dead.

            After Viola and Christopher were married the Bell family disowned her. Viola and Christopher moved into the Carthach farmhouse in Lovelady, Texas. It had been in Christopher’s family for generations. They may not have had everything that they wanted, but they had everything that they needed. Katherine didn’t think that they were perfect, but from what little she could remember of them she thought that they were happy.

            The next day, Katherine followed the same routine. Instead of helping someone climb out of a pit of emotional despair in the girl’s restroom, she went to the band room to practice some music on her flute. There was a flute recital coming up and she wanted to be prepared. She already had three pieces prepared for the recital; All I Ask of You, In Dreams, and Fly Me to the Moon.

            Katherine was struggling with a section in All I Ask of You, a duets from the Phantom of the Opera. She knew the song well as she enjoyed the musical. She could almost hear the song in her head, but she still wasn’t getting it right. Katherine sang a couple of verses until she got to the part where she kept making the mistake.

            Katherine was about to start playing her flute again when someone started clapping. This gave Katherine quite a shock, and she immediately turned her attention to them. She was astonished to see Ethan McDaniels watching her from the far side of the Band Hall. Katherine’s face turned red in milliseconds.

            Ethan was only the most popular and attractive boy in the whole school. He had carefully combed blonde hair, blue eyes, and tan skin. He had a dashing grin that always made Katherine’s heart flutter against her sternum. She knew how cliché it was for someone like her to have a crush on him, but she couldn’t help it.

            “That was a magnificent performance.” He flashed her that infamous grin.

            “Wh- what are you doing here?” Katherine stammered nervously.

            Ethan’s chipper reply came without hesitation. “I’m here to see you.”

            Those words made Katherine’s heart thunder so loudly she was sure that he could hear it. She bit down on her lip as she waited for an explanation.

            He grabbed a chair and straddled it smoothly. He looked up at her and said. “Will you go to Prom with me?”

            Katherine’s eyes went as wide as saucers, and she suddenly found it difficult to breathe. For a moment time stood still, and they were the only two people in the whole world. If she hadn’t been looking into his eyes she would have been uncertain, because in his eyes she could see that he was sincere and honest.

3: Chapter 2: When Promise is Lost
Chapter 2: When Promise is Lost

After Ethan left, Katherine ran to the nearest bathroom. Her head was spinning with shock, delight, and embarrassment. She had foolishly agreed to go to prom with him. Katherine couldn’t decide if this was a dream or a nightmare. She had his phone number now so that she they could coordinate, but she had to tell her friends.
Katherine continued on through the school day, but she was barely focusing on what was going on around her. Everything felt so surreal. She could barely believe what had occurred.
“What’s the matter, Kitty?” Ariel asked as they sat down for lunch.
The cafeteria was a large building that was long and wide. It was filled with rows of tables. On one end there was a line to go through and collect your food, and on the other end there was a stage for theater. During actual performances the lunch line was rarely ever open, and they cleared out all of the lunch tables.
They always sat alone together. They huddled together to talk and laugh. It was a blast, sometimes they would laugh so hard that milk would come out their nose.
“Nothing…” Katherine replied trying to hold back her emotions.
“You’ve been out of it all day.” Karla stated pointing out the obvious.
Katherine thought that she had been hiding her thoughts so well. “I have?”
Karla had short pixie cut hair with streaks of neon purple, blue, and pink. She dressed like she was a member of a punk rock band, and got into fights pretty regularly. She didn’t take shit from anyone, and was fiercely loyal.
“Yeah, you’ve been starring off into space with this really strange smirk.” Ariel made a comical demonstration of Katherine’s face.
They giggled.
“I didn’t realize.” Kat gasped.
“No kidding.” Karla retorted. “Mrs. Finch had to call on you four times to get your attention, and you like English Lit.”
Katherine’s face felt like it was burning with embarrassment. “You would be the same way.”
That made Ariel curious so she asked. “Oh?” Karla watched Kat too.
Katherine looked around to make sure that no one was eavesdropping. “Ethan asked me to Prom.” She answered in a hushed tone. “And I said yes.”
Karla and Ariel exchanged looks. They looked just as perplexed as Katherine felt.
“That’s amazing!” Ariel cheered a little too loudly, drawing the attention of several of their classmates seated further down the table.  Ariel slapped a hand over her mouth to keep herself from getting louder. When she was certain that they were no longer in danger from any eavesdropping she removed her hand and giggled. “You must be so excited!”
“I’m going to have to find a dress.” Kat gasped. “Where am I going to get one? Uncle Victor would never allow me to purchase a new one.” The thought made her pout.
“I would offer you one of my old dress, but you’re too tall and skinny.” Ariel frowned.
They sighed dismayed by the situation.
“I wish I could get a job.” Katherine sighed.
Uncle Victor would never allow it. His reasoning was that if Katherine had a job then she wouldn’t be able to tend to the house, the cooking, or the animals. They were her responsibility after all. Uncle Randall always did his best to help, but he was always working too.
“I’m sure that I can find something.” Kat said apathetically.
Karla was not as pleased about the situation as her friends. She remained skeptical and wondered if this was some kind of cruel trick that Ethan was playing. Katherine was one of the poorest kids in school, a target. If Ethan dared to hurt her friend then he would suffer the consequences, but for now Karla would do everything in her power to keep Katherine from getting hurt. They did have three months to prepare.
That night when Katherine and her Uncles had sat down for dinner, Uncle Randall asked. “You seem to be in a particularly good mood today, did anything exciting happen at school?”
Katherine was uncertain how to answer especially since Uncle Victor was present. “I was asked out to Prom.”
Uncle Randall smiled. “Really, by who?”
“Ethan McDaniels.”
Uncle Victor sighed and folded up the newspaper that he had been reading while eating. “What is this nonsense?”
Uncle Randall happily explained. “Our Kitten got invited to Prom. Isn’t that amazing?”
“It certainly is, but absolutely not.” Uncle Victor retorted. “It’s a waste of time and money.”
“Please, Uncle Victor.” Katherine dared to plead. “This is my last chance to go to Prom, and I was invited.”
“I wouldn’t put it above you to fabricate a suitor.” Uncle Victor quipped. “I refuse to spend my money on a single night of tom foolery. There are far more advantageous ways or spending your time.”
“But I work so hard. I do my chores, and my grades are high.” Katherine tried again.
Uncle Victor shot her a warning look, and she gulped down any other words that she had planned to say.
Uncle Randall quickly sided with Katherine. “Come on, Vic, everyone needs to have fun once in a while.”
Uncle Victor sighed only becoming more agitated by the conversation. “Fine, but if your grades drop at all you will not go. This isn’t an excuse to get out of chores either. Don’t expect me to lend you any of my hard earned money, I don’t invest in a waste of time.”
“Thank you, Uncle Victor.” Katherine was astonished that he even agreed at all.
Karla, Ariel, Kat, and Uncle Randall started planning immediately. For Karla and Ariel it was three months of saving money, but Uncle Randle had a very small budget so Katherine had to sift through junk in old resale shops in search for a decent dress. Kat couldn’t afford a boutonniere for Ethan, she could barely afford the dress that she was getting, and Ariel agreed to let her borrow a pair of shoes.
Katherine finally found a suitable dress; it was simple, without much flare or design. It was blue, powder blue to be exact, floor length with spaghetti straps, and Katherine had to adjust it a bit because it didn’t fit her just right.
As time passed Katherine did her best to keep Ethan in the loop, but he was pretty unresponsive. She would text and sometimes call; there would be times when he answered and times when he didn’t, though it was usually the latter. Uncle Randall said that silence was typical, but it gave Katherine room to doubt. Doubts are like bubble baths; at first there are only a few bubbles that can easily be shattered, but then there are so many that you can’t see yourself anymore. Katherine wasn’t sure what to do, she didn’t have any experience with boys. She didn’t want to appear needy because boys hated that, but she didn’t want to appear aloof because that was bad too. It was quite a conundrum.
As Katherine’s uncertainty grew, Karla had plans of her own to deal with. The wheels were already in motion, and her goal was practically inevitable. She had bribed members of the student body, done a lot of homework though not all of it particularly her own, and save every bit of her paycheck. She leaked the majority of her plan to Ariel, but neglected to tell her the juiciest details.
Finally, the day had come. Katherine gave the animals enough food to last the entire day so that she had plenty of time to prepare. The girls spent all day preparing for it. The fancy students had professional photographers take their Prom pictures. To say that Katherine was nervous was putting it mildly. Ariel had been kind enough to help Kat with her hair and makeup. Ariel had given Kat some stunning smoky eyes with shades of soft browns and black eyeliner. Her cheeks were dusted with pale pink blush that made her cheeks seem to glow. For her lips Ariel used a lush pink lip stick surrounded by a lip liner that was a couple shades darker and smoothed it over with clear lip gloss. Ariel curled Kat’s thick but fine brown hair and pinned it up with some sparkling flower pins.
Ariel was quite the cosmetologist. Katherine could hardly recognize her reflection. Everyone said that Kat took after her father, but right now as she looked into an old wood framed mirror she thought that she looked a little like Viola. Ariel stayed and chatted for a while, but she had to go home and get herself ready.
Now Katherine sat in her bedroom alone. She was fidgeting with her simple dress when there was a knock at her bedroom door. Kat sighed absolutely distraught about the whole ordeal.
“Yes.” She called to the door.
Uncle Randall poked his head through the door. “Hey, Kitten!” He cheered blithely. When he noticed her facial expression he asked. “What’s the matter?”
Her voice was pensive. “Uncle Randall, I’m scared. What if they make fun of me?”
Katherine reflected back on her life, and how she had always been there to help her classmates when they were in pain. After she helped them they left her behind. Despite helping them she was still the one being made fun of for her haggard clothes, and because she didn’t wear makeup. It wasn’t fair! Perhaps Katherine resented them for making her suffer after she had already suffered so much. Perhaps she even resented Ethan a little for not being more forthcoming.
Suddenly her bed shifted beneath her, and pulled her from her dark thoughts. Uncle Randall had sat down beside her and wrapped an arm around her.
He smiled at her and said. “Why would they do something like that? Look at you! You are beautiful!” She adverted her eyes because she didn’t feel beautiful. “Don’t take tonight for granted, some people never got the chance to experience Prom.” Kat knew that he was referring to himself. He wanted to chaperone but the school wouldn’t allow it because of his run-ins with the law in the past. “If anything goes wrong tonight don’t hesitate to call me.”
“Maybe I shouldn’t go.” Katherine pondered aloud. She had spent her entire life as a ghost. Perhaps it was best if she just stayed invisible.
“You know that I’m going to say, right?”
Katherine laughed half-heartedly. “Yeah.”
“A life without risk isn’t a life worth living.” They said together.
“You’ve grown so much.” Uncle Randall said with unshed tears in his yes. “If your parents could see the young woman you’ve become, they would be beside themselves with pride.”
She immediately pulled him into a hug. Uncle Randall was right. She needed to be brave, she needed to live a life her parents could be proud of.
They went down stairs and waited for Ethan in the living room. There was a knock at the door about fifteen minutes later. Uncle Randall and Katherine raced to get to the door, but Uncle Randall beat her.
Uncle Randall answered the door with a friendly. “Hello.”
Katherine was on the other side of the door so she couldn’t be seen, but she could hear them clearly. “Hello, I’m Ethan McDaniels.” Ethan introduced himself with a nervous voice. “I’m here to pick up Katherine.”
Katherine was too excited to stay hidden long, and maneuvered to the other side of the door. When Ethan saw her he flashed her a blinding smile. The effect was immediate; her heart drummed in her ears and the heat of a blush crept into her cheeks.
“Wow! You look great.” Ethan complimented blithely. Just when Katherine thought that her face couldn’t get any redder she was proven wrong. “Are you ready to go?”
“Y-yes.” She stuttered.
Uncle Victor snickered at the scene. “Could you not be so eager, Katherine. How are you going to enjoy yourself when you’re shaking like a leaf and as red as a tomato? At least try to control yourself.” His words dripped with venom and when she met his eyes they were as cold as stone.
Katherine blinked back the frustration that his words caused. Then she smiled brightly at him. “Don’t worry, Uncle Victor.” Her sweet reply clearly caught him off guard. Thought Kat couldn’t understand what she had done to deserve such treatment, he wouldn’t get the best of her and ruin her night. “I’m sure I’ll have a wonderful time.”
Her words forced him to shut his mouth long enough for Uncle Randall to snap some pictures of her. Then Kat and Ethan left the house in Ethan’s blue Silverado. They were off to the Prom.
After Katherine and Ethan had gone, Uncle Randall inquired. “How can you be so cruel to her?”
“You know very well why.” Uncle Victor retorted bitterly.
“Christopher’s sins are not Katherine’s. I know that you had plenty of reasons to hate my brother, but Katherine hasn’t done anything wrong.”
“If you’re quite finished?” He asked clearly infuriated. “I’m retiring for the night.”
“You’re being childish.” Uncle Randall called after him.
At Prom, Katherine was having the time of her life. She had never danced so much. She alternated her dance partner between Ethan, Karla, and Ariel at random intervals throughout the night. When she was tired she ate from the buffet table to her hearts content.
Karla wore a black dress that fit snuggly on her voluptuous body. She had her hair neatly combed and wore sparkly make up. Her dress had a sweetheart neckline that allowed you to catch a glimpse of cleavage. From her waist all the way to her wrist she was covered in black lace. At first you would have thought that she was wearing a costume especially with her dark red lip stick.
Ariel wore a red and black dress that made her look a bit thinner and taller. It was true that she was short and a little chubby, but she was absolutely beautiful. Her dress was sleeveless with a skirt that flared out. The top was a solid black corset, but the skirt was covered with vivid red roses on a black background.
Ariel and Karla had been acting strange all night, but they refused to tell Katherine what they were up to. Late in the evening they swept her away to the girls’ bathroom. When they shoved her into the bathroom stall she realized what they were up to.
On the inside of the stall there was a dress wrapped in plastic hung on the hook. It was the most beautiful dress that Kat had ever seen, and on top of that there was a tiny bag full of what she could only assume was jewelry.
Karla was bracing the stall door to keep Katherine from escarping. “Ariel, quick look the door.” She ordered.
Ariel quickly did as she was instructed, and locked the girl’s bathroom door.
“You guys, can’t we talk about this?” Katherine asked as she tried to push her way out of the door. However, Kat’s silver heels were no match for Karla’s black combat boots.
“No.” Karla retorted apathetically.
Kat whined. “Come on, this is ridiculous.” She hit the stall door a couple of times. “Let me out!”
“We can’t do that.” Ariel replied blithely. “You’re Cinderella, and we are your fairy godmothers! Now get dressed quickly or we’ll miss the announcement for Prom King and Queen.”
“Okay! Okay!” Kat growled as she began to put on the dress.
The dress had a tight bodice that hooked together in the back, and two off the shoulder sleeves. The skirt was a massive ball gown skirt that had several layers of fabric to it. The dress consisted of a mostly pale blue color, but the skirt had several shades of blue that made it look luminous. She also donned the delicate necklace and earrings.
“Why are you doing this?” Katherine asked as she stepped out of the stall. She felt a mixture of guilt and gratitude.
“It’s time for everyone to see you the way we do.” Ariel replied with a heartwarming smile.
When Katherine and her friends finally exited they had already begun to announce awards for students who were deemed friendliest, most likely to succeed, and other such things. It was no surprise when they announced Ethan McDaniels as Prom King. The teacher hesitated uncertainly before gaining enough composure for her to announce the Prom Queen. “The Prom Queen is Ms. Katherine Carthach.”
Everybody in attendance went silent. Most people didn’t recognize her, and wondered who she was. Katherine’s face turned red from embarrassment. They all knew that Amber Pratt should have won; she was the prettiest and most popular girl in school. Amber let out a shriek of despair from somewhere within the room as Katherine made her way to the stage.
They all seemed to marvel at her transformation to her new dress. Ethan even seemed entranced by her. Ethan’s eyes looked at her in a breath taking way that they never had before. He definitely looked nervous; something that Katherine never thought she could do to another person.
“Congratulations to this year’s Prom King and Queen.” The teacher announced as their crowns were placed on their heads. “Now it’s time for them to dance.”
Ethan took Katherine’s hand and escorted her out onto the dance floor. Slow romantic music started to play and they began to dance. It was a simple two step; nothing fancy. Nothing else, but them existed. There was just Ethan’s deep blue eyes, the music, and being in each other’s arms.
Ariel and Karla watched as Katherine had her fairytale moment. “What did you do?” Ariel asked as she gaped at the scene playing out before her.
“I only tampered with the ballets a little.” Karla giggled. Ariel shot her a warning look. “Okay, a lot. Besides she’s enjoying herself.” They looked at Kitty who was practically glowing with happiness out on the dance floor.
“Why did you do it?”
Karla confessed all of her worries to Ariel as they watched from the sidelines. “I was afraid that he didn’t genuinely like her. I didn’t want Kat to feel embarrassed or that she didn’t deserve to come here with him.”
“You know this will only make her a target.” Ariel commented with a voice full of concern. 
“I wouldn’t worry about it.” Karla replied with a nonchalant shrug. “Kitty’s stronger than she looks, and she has us.” They would always be there to protect her.
Ariel pouted. “You couldn’t have at least let me in on the fun.”
Karla shook her head unapologetically. “You and I both know that you’re bad at keeping secrets. You’re lucky that I let you help me with the dress.” Karla smiled wryly. “Besides it would have spoiled the fun.”
When Kat and Ethan finally stopped dancing, Ethan was practically swarmed by the student body as faster paced music played. Kat didn’t mind. She needed some time to herself. Tonight had been for more eventful than she could have ever imagined.
She stepped outside and inhaled to cool night air. It was refreshing as a gentle breeze hit her hot face. It was calm and quiet out here; she couldn’t feel the suspicious eyes of her peers spying at her. Not that it had bothered her during the dance, but Ethan wasn’t distracting her anymore. It didn’t take a lot for her to feel self-conscious especially in front of a large number of people. 
Kat did take part in theatre, but she was always behind the scenes. She had auditioned for parts multiple times, but never got one.
An ominous wind blew, and with it came a warning of danger. Katherine’s senses prickled in anticipation. As quickly as the cold foreboding wind had come it was gone. It left Katherine tense and confused.
Suddenly, someone tapped on her shoulder; Katherine jumped with a start and quickly spun around. It was only Ethan looking just as startled as she was.
“My goodness, Ethan, you scared me.” Kat admitted with a laugh.
His eye brows arched as he said. “That’s the exact opposite of what I wanted to do.”
“What did you want to do?”
“Surprise you.” He admitted. “I was worried that I had scared you away.”
Katherine was stunned into silence.
“Do you want to dance?” He asked shooting Kat a crooked grin that scent her hear racing.
Kat shook her head. She was too nervous to return to the party after that little fiasco.
“Are you thirsty?” Ethan asked nervously. He didn’t give her time to respond before saying. “I’ll go get you a drink.” He took off for the door and Katherine watched him in astonishment. He stopped briefly before he made it to the door and said. “You look beautiful by the way.” Then he was gone before she could thank him.
Ethan McDaniels was quite the puzzle, and Katherine found herself wondering if she had the right to solve it. He was everything a girl could want; handsome and charming, but was he everything that she wanted? They were in the same class and he’s had plenty of girlfriends, but never anyone like her. Katherine couldn’t help but feel like something was missing.
Suddenly, a hand clamped over her mouth and strong arms drug her away. Kat flailed about desperately, but the strong arms only tightened around her. Three other individuals joined the one who was restraining her. She felt on of her silver shoes fly off her foot as she continued to resist the four cloak individuals. They drug her to an alley behind the civic center where Prom was being held.
Katherine could hear them speaking, but she was too hysterical to listen to what they were saying. Suddenly a bright green electrical vortex bloomed on the wall. Kat’s heart sank, and she knew that she needed to get away. Kat bit her captures hand, and let loose a blood curdling scream, but it was too late. They were sucked into the vortex like it was a black hole.



“Hey, have you seen Katherine?” Ethan asked Karla and Ariel.
“No why?” Ariel asked cautiously. There was a wary look in Karla’s eyes.
“Well, I went to get her a drink, but when I came back she was gone.” Ethan explained.
Ariel and Karla exchanged disquieted looks. “Where was she?” Karla asked.
Their eyes widened. When Ariel didn’t dare to say a word Karla spoke. “We’ll go look.”
They went outside and began to call for her, there was an edge of desperation in their voices. That’s when they hear it; a shrill agonizing scream that sent chill though their bones. They rounded the corner to the alley to find one of the heels that Katherine had been wearing on the ground. They flew to the alley behind the building. They were too petrified to speak when the found that Katherine and whoever had been hurting her were nowhere to be seen.
They noticed a strange crumpled up piece of paper that appeared to be parchment upon further inspection, and a partially broken piece of chalk that had clearly been dropped on the ground. Ariel and Karla obtained what could have been evidence of Katherine’s abduction.
“Do you think that this belonged to whoever took Kitty?” Ariel asked with a fear cracked voice.
Karla nodded.
Ariel’s mind filled with terror as she thought of the horrible people who took her precious Kitty. They could have been gangsters, human traffickers, terrorist, drug addicts, or even serial killers. Her imagination ran rampant with visions of blood and gore.
Then a thought occurred to Ariel. “How did they get away?”
“I don’t know.” Karla said as she shook her head with a furrowed brow. She looked like she was trying to solve a riddle. “I didn’t hear a car pull away, and they wouldn’t have been fast enough to get away on foot.” She paused and thought for a moment. “Damn it!” She cried as she kicked a metal trash can that was in the alley. The trash can toppled over and spilled its content into the alley.
There was a long moment of silence. Ariel began to cry as panic and helplessness settled in. then a strange idea crept into Karla’s mind. She felt silly for even thinking it, but since her instincts weren’t usually wrong she decided to roll with it.
Karla snatched the parchment from Ariel’s hands and used the chalk to draw the strange rune from the parchment onto the wall. Though she didn’t understand the strange words that were written she began to read them aloud. Karla was certain that she didn’t get a single pronunciation right, but she didn’t stop reading.
Suddenly, the air around them crackled with power. The rune began to glow green and lighting sprouted from in until a vortex formed. A fierce wind sucked them in before they could hesitate or make a sound.