The last few days before the gig, or as I liked to call it, the tense days.
I sat at the table, tapping a pencil against my chin. Practice had just wrapped up an hour ago, and I decided to spend my time tweaking my song.
Everyone in the band was a little tense, hence why I call it the tense days. Matt's already short temper practically disintegrated into nothing, meaning he'd snap at anybody in the blink of an eye, which also meant that the Blight twins would mess with him a lot more.
The twins tried to cover up how nervous they were with their pranks and jokes, but whenever they got the chance, they were testing the special effects that were going to be used during the show. Every once and awhile I'd go out to watch them, noticing how hard they were pushing themselves to make the effects perfect.
Boscha seemed a lot more jittery than usual, drumming her fingers on the table or bouncing her leg whenever she sat still, and whenever we start to practice, I noticed how she pauses for a moment, taking a few deep breaths before we start.
And then there was Amity, who tried to hide how she felt behind her poker face mask. She constantly seemed to be moving, acting almost like a shark. If she paused, even for a moment, you could tell by the subtle look on her face that her brain was going a million miles per minute.
There was something else I noticed while observing Amity, some other emotion swirling through her head that I couldn't quite catch. What I did catch was that her siblings were able to pick up on whatever it was, and would tease her constantly for it.
Edric walked by, leaning against the table and pulling me out of my head. "Hey Luz." He glanced down at my notebook, his eyes scanning over the lines for a moment. "How's it going?" I smiled, setting my pen down in the middle of the notebook.
"It's going good!" I chirped, making him smirk. "Just thought I'd unwind a little after practice y'know?" He nodded, leaning onto the table.
"I get that." Edric muttered, his ears twitching for a moment before falling still. "Hey uh, question, have you seen Mittens around?" I shook my head, making him sigh.
"Whatcha need her for?" I asked him, curiosity seeping into my brain.
"Need to know what colors she wants for the smoke effect we're doing for some of the songs." He said, turning to face me with a smile. His eyes drifted down to my notebook, then his eyes lit up. "Hey wait! Do you mind if I see what you've got down?" Pushing the notebook in his direction, he quickly picked it up and cracked it open. "Little Miss Perfect?"
"It seemed fitting." I shrugged. "That one's almost done, but I've still gotta run it through with Amity. There's another one on the other page, but that one's just bare bones right now." Edric nodded, his eyes darting across the lines. I could see the smile on his face get a little bigger, then he chuckled, taking the pencil out of the middle and holding it in his hand.
"Mind if I make a small note? It'll be in the corner." The twin asked, lightly tapping the notebook.
"Go on ahead!" I told him, watching his smile turn into a smirk. He quickly jotted down his note, making sure to do it lightly. Then, he put the pencil back in the book and closed it, passing the notebook back to me.
He got off the table, shooting me a small salute. "Welp, I better go find Mittens. See ya around!" Edric then disappeared around the corner, searching for the singer. My eyes lingered at the hallway for a moment, then I looked down at what he wrote.
"Song = Mitten's point of view." It read, making me raise an eyebrow. I glanced at the title, then some of the lyrics before looking back at the note.
"What does he mean by that?" I muttered, staring at his note before shrugging it off. I can remember Amity's siblings calling her that nickname every once and awhile, so maybe that's what he meant.
Then again, maybe he did mean the lyrics...
But, before I could look too much into it, someone took my attention by leaning on my shoulder. "Luz! Are you busy?" Looking over, I saw Boscha, who wore a small smirk on her face.
"Not really, what's up?" I asked, closing my notebook.
"Well, Emira wants everyone to take a break, saying we all just to take a breather y'know? You wanna come?" Boscha motioned to the Blight siblings, who were having a quiet conversation with one another.
I nodded my head, giving her a bright smile. "Matt! C'mon we're going!" Edric called out, making me jump at how loud he was. A loud groan came from down the hallway, then Matt slowly came out, dragging his feet the entire time.
"Do I really have to go with you guys?" His voice was dripping with annoyance. The twins shot him a look, then moved over towards him, grabbing him by the shoulders and dragging him forward.
"Yes, you do. You need a break." He dug his heels in the ground, desperately trying to get them to stop. Finally, they let go of him and sighed, then drew a quick spell, making him float in the air.
Matt yelped in surprise, his reaction making the twins laugh. "No point in fighting it dude." Edric chuckled, which Matt muttered something to him in response before crossing his arms over his chest.
They dragged him over to the three of us, then canceled out their spell, making him drop to the floor. "Where are we even going?" He asked, glaring at the twins. They shrugged, shooting him their signature smirks.
"Probably the market." Emira said, folding her arms. "Nowhere too fancy." Matt scoffed, rolling his eyes before looking at his scroll.
"Great. Maybe while I'm there I can find a decent sword to slash you guys with." I could hear Amity snort, but she quickly covered it up. The Blight twins raised an eyebrow, then chuckled and shook their heads.
"Yeah, and hey, we might even drop by the griffon pens. I heard they need a new clown for the griffons to play with." Edric quipped, ruffling Matt's hair. Matt hissed, swatting at Edric's hand.
"Alright you three, enough." Boscha muttered, shooting a glare at them before nudging Amity to gain her attention. "C'mon Am, control your siblings." She joked, making Amity roll her eyes. However, Edric and Emira laughed.
They moved away from Matt and moved towards Amity. "Yeah Mittens, try to control us." Edric taunted before breaking out into chuckles. Amity scoffed, drawing a spell in the blink of an eye that made Edric go limp. Then, he straightened up, his arms limp at his sides and his eyes glowing pale purple.
"As you were saying Ed?" She put on a strained smirk, waving her hand around for a moment. I moved over towards her, watching as she controlled her brother with her magic.
"That I'm an idiot." He said in a monotone voice, raising a hand up to poke his temple the same way a puppet would before Amity made him ruffle his hair. His voice was overlapped with Amity's, giving it a distorted tone. Amity suddenly winced, quickly waving her hand and making Edric snap out of it. Edric stumbled, groaning as he brought his hands up to his head.
Amity brought a hand up to her head as well, using the other to grab onto my shoulder. Her knees were shaking slightly as a low whine came from her. I held her up, making sure she didn't fall to the floor. She was paler than before, which clearly wasn't a good sign.
"I forget how much power that spell takes..." She mumbled, her golden eyes meeting with mine, sending a small electric feeling to travel up my spine. It didn't matter how many times it happened, but I never got sick of that feeling.
Edric straightened out, rubbing his temples. "Geez Mittens..." He mumbled, blinking a few times before rubbing his eyes. "I didn't mean actually control me." Amity gave him a dry laugh, also straightening out as well, but she kept her hand on my shoulder.
"Better you than me." Emira said, placing a hand on her brother's shoulder. He turned to her, then narrowed his eyes and shook his head. "Anyways, let's head out before Mittens gets a surge of power and makes me do something dumb."
"Wait what'd she make me do?" Edric asked, a hint of concern in his voice. However, his twin didn't answer and just walked out the door, Matt and Boscha following after her. "Em what'd she make me do?"
I stayed by Amity's side, and I noticed she seemed to be hesitating. "Are you okay?" I asked, and she nodded her head.
"I'm fine, that just took a lot out of me." She muttered, taking a small, shaky step forward. Then, taking a deep breath, she followed after the others, motioning for me to follow her.
Quickly walking after her, we walked side by side in silence, both of us staring at the others far ahead of us. Eventually, I glanced over at Amity, noticing she was still trembling slightly. That worried me, but it didn't seem too serious, so I managed to push my worry away.
"That was a pretty powerful spell." I commented, making her ears perk up slightly. She chuckled, rubbing the back of her neck. "How long did that one take to master?"
"Not very long." She said, sticking her hands in her pockets. "Honestly, you'd be surprised how easy it is to learn."
"Well of course you'd consider it easy, you're Amity Blight." My comment made her chuckle and shake her head.
"No Luz, I'm not saying that because I was top student, I'm saying that because that spell really is easy to learn. I could teach you and you'd have it down by your second try." She smiled at me, then turned her gaze to the floor. "But, while it may be easy to learn, it's not easy to use."
"Because you have to tap into someone's mind?" She mulled it over, then just sighed.
"That's part of it, yes." Amity glanced up at the others, my gaze following her own and noticing that we were almost to the market. "Usually, witches who do those kinds of spells have a special relic or charm to help ample a specific section of their magic so that they won't hurt themselves while performing the spell."
I stared at her in awe for a moment, then I whistled. "Magic is so cool." I said, making Amity laugh. "Wouldn't it be scary though? Someone could just have one of those relics and take control of anybody they wanted."
"That's why the relics are far and few in between, not to mention pretty illegal to own unless you're up in the high ranks." I nodded my head, messing with my fingers. "There's a lot of different kinds of relics actually, one for each of the covens, ones that'll cancel anyone's magic in a certain radius, ones that'll give you unimaginable strength." She listed off, I nodded to each of them.
"Once again, magic is so cool." I muttered, thinking about everything she said. We both fell silent again, catching up with the others at the edge of the market.
"Took you two long enough." Boscha muttered, tapping something on her scroll before making it disappear. "It's almost like you two were stalling on purpose." Amity shook her head, giving Boscha a light shove.
"Amity was teaching me about relics and stuff, we might've slowed down because it was super interesting!" I said, watching as Amity's brother shook his head, placing a hand on top of Amity's head.
"Why am I not surprised?" He asked, making Amity just roll her eyes. "Anyways, I wanna go to the Snack Shack, anyone wanna join me?" Everyone shook their heads, making Edric just sigh. "You guys are missing out!"
Matt glanced at us, then started to walk into the market, leaving the rest of us behind. Edric watched him as he left, then followed after him a couple of minutes later. Someone placed a hand on my shoulder, making me jump slightly. Turning, I was met with Emira.
"Well, I need Luz for a little bit, so I'm gonna steal her, that means you two can go together." She pointed to Amity and Boscha, who nodded in response. For a moment, it almost looked like Amity was disappointed, but I shrugged it off.
"We'll meet up at the owl lady's stand in an hour or so, sound good to you guys?" We all nodded, then Amity clasped her hands together. "Great, now let's get going." Boscha instantly grabbed Amity's wrist and started dragging her into the market, making me chuckle.
Emira and I slowly made our way into the market, strolling through the stands and gawking at some of the items for sale. "So why'd you want to steal me?" I finally asked while she was looking at some kind of skull.
"To spare you from Boscha. That witch is crazy when it comes to shopping in the market. I didn't want to get stuck with her, so I pawned her off to Mittens." She stated, lightly tapping the skull but quickly pulling away when it started leaking some purple fog. "Besides, Mittens can handle her."
"And you can't?" I joked, following her as she walked away.
"Gods no." There was a hint of exasperation in her voice. She brought her hands up to her temples, giving them a slight rub. "Last time she dragged us here, we were here for hours because she just had to go to every stand." I couldn't help but laugh at her reaction.
"Sounds exhausting." I chuckled, my gaze turning away from the twin and going to a stand full of an assortment of bones, some the size of half my body, others barely the size of a coin.
"It was exhausting." She muttered, groaning softly. We both passed by the Snack Shack, where we saw Edric stuffing his face with some weird food that semi resembled a cookie. He glanced up at us, then gave us an enthusiastic wave.
I waved back, but Emira just shook her head. We continued walking through the stands, Emira managed to find and buy a few things she liked, and despite my insisting, she bought me a really pretty dark purple flower that I liked. The flower honestly reminded me of a rose, just with less thorns and with more pointed petals.
Glancing at the time, I nudged Emira while she was looking over a necklace with a giant fang as the center piece. "It's almost been an hour, we should go find Eda's stand." She nodded her head, but she didn't take her eyes off the necklace.
"Let me get this, then we can go." I nodded my head, then started to rock on my heels while I waited. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see this guy leaning against a pole before he walked over towards us, eyeing Emira the entire time.
He was maybe an inch or two taller than I was, with silver blue hair poking out from under his black hood, pale skin, and yellow, snake like eyes. When he smirked, I noticed his teeth were sharper than most witches here on the Boiling Isles.
The guy let out a loud wolf whistle, moving over to Emira's side. "Hey there~" His tone was so sickeningly sweet it made me tense up, my hands balling into tight fists. "How come I've never seen a hottie like you around here?"
Emira side glanced him, but she didn't say anything. Rather, she just continued her transaction with the stand owner. That however, seemed to annoy the guy, making his lip twitch for a moment before it settled back down into his smile.
His whole demeanor was making me uneasy, it didn't matter that he wasn't talking to me, he was still throwing me off. Emira thanked the stand owner, then turned away from the guy, motioning for me to start walking.
We started walking away, but he followed us, appearing by Emira's side. "C'mon sweetie, you don't have to play hard to get. I can tell you wanna talk to me." That made Emira freeze in place, putting on a poker face. Turning towards the guy, she eyed him up and down.
"Honestly, I don't think I do." She said coldly, which only made him laugh.
"Oh come on, I know I'm your type." Emira instantly started to laugh, shaking her head. She turned to me, still laughing as she pointed to him.
"Do you hear this guy?" Another fit of giggles hit her, then she cleared her throat and turned back to him. "Sorry but no, you aren't my type. However, I am very flattered." I could tell she was lying, and based on the look that flashed across the guy's face, so could he.
He grabbed her wrist, taking her off guard. "Baby, there's no need to lie to me." I could tell Emira was tensing up based on how quickly her ears went down, clearly wracking her brain on what to do. I stood frozen in place, not knowing what I should do. "I can tell based on the look in your eyes that you're falling already. After all, I'm your biggest fan~"
I knew the look in her eyes wasn't whatever he was seeing, rather it was probably fear. But, his statement that he was her biggest fan caught me off guard. He had to know who she was if he was saying that.
Emira started to sputter, struggling to find something to say to him. Then, the creep started to lean in. Emira tried to lean back, but she could only go back so far before she reached her limit.
Now my body snapped into motion, quickly getting behind the guy and yanking back on him, hard. That managed to get him to let go of Emira. I wasn't about to let some creeper mess with my friend. He stumbled, struggling to not fall flat on the floor. When he managed to straighten out, he growled, snapping his head in my direction.
His yellow eyes met with mine, his pupils slimming down to thin slits. "What's your problem?" He jabbed a finger in my chest, making me flinch slightly. Swallowing, I puffed out my chest and stared him down, struggling not to crack.
"You need to back off." I stated, furrowing my eyebrows when he started to laugh.
"And who the fuck do you think you are?" He placed a hand on my shoulder, giving it a painful squeeze. I smacked his hand away, making him pull his hand back to his chest. Glaring at him, I took a step closer to him.
"I'm Luz Noceda. Now back off." Giving the creep a forceful shove, I managed to get him to fall to the floor. Before he could get back up, I spun on my heel and started to walk away, Emira following after me.
After we took a few steps away, I looked back at him, finding him still on the floor. Sticking out my tongue, I quickly flipped him off then turned forward again, folding my arms tightly over my chest. Both of us stayed silent for a moment, listening closely to tell if he was following us or not.
Luckily for us, he wasn't.
Emira let out a few nervous chuckles, slowly breaking down into a full fit of laughter. "Oh my gods, that's the weirdest interaction I've had in awhile." She managed to say, her ears finally going back up.
"That guy was a total creep." I muttered, relaxing my arms. "Have you guys ever seen him before?"
She shook her head, adjusting her bag to be more on her shoulder. "Never. he's probably been to our shows before, but I don't remember ever seeing his face." Then, she froze, placing a hand on my shoulder to stop me. "And hey, thanks."
"No need to thank me. Honestly I feel like I should apologize for not jumping in sooner." Emira shook her head, giving my shoulder a light pat.
"Don't apologize. You shouldn't have needed to jump in at all, I should've just used my magic to get him away." Another nervous laugh escaped the twin as we continued to walk forward, Eda's stand not too far ahead. "But, because of how fast everything went, he stunned me."
I could see Edric nudge Boscha and Amity, pointing towards the two of us. "Hey guys!" I called out, sending them an enthusiastic wave. Edric waved back, Amity just playfully shook her head, and Boscha just looked back down at her scroll.
"How long have you guys been waiting here?" Emira asked when we got closer, Boscha glanced at the time on her scroll.
"About ten minutes. Where were you guys?" She asked, making her scroll disappear. Amity glanced at the two of us, her eyes lingering in my direction for a moment.
Emira just shrugged, sending Boscha a smirk. "We we're just strolling the market. Well, that and we had to take care of something." I could see Edric and Amity raise an eyebrow.
"Take care of what?" The youngest Blight asked, tilting her head slightly. I fell silent, unsure on how exactly I should tell them what happened, but Emira was quick to speak.
"I'll tell you about it later Mittens." Emira quickly ruffled Amity's hair, making her roll her eyes before struggling to fix it. Boscha then asked the twin a question, gaining her attention and making her move away from Amity. Edric was talking with Eda, who nodded her head in a bored manner to whatever he was saying.
My hand slowly went down to the flower, which was surprisingly unscathed after the encounter with the guy. Staring at Amity for a moment, my hand tightly gripped the stem of the flower, then a light bulb went off.
"Hey Amity?" Before she could turn towards me, I held the flower out in her direction. She looked up at me, then down to the flower, her eyes widening in surprise. "I thought you might like this."
She slowly reached out to the flower, her fingers wrapping around the stem like it was a fragile piece of glass. "Thank you Luz." Her voice was soft, both her golden eyes glittering as she eyed the flower.
"Honestly you shouldn't be thanking me." I chuckled, rubbing the back of my neck. "You should really thank Emira, she's the one that-"
"Dragged her around the market!" Emira quickly butted in, leaning on my shoulder. "Honestly, if I didn't force her to come with me to all those different stands, she wouldn't have found that flower for you."
I looked up at Emira, her eyes meeting with mine as she sent me a wink. "You dragged her around?" Boscha folded her arms over her chest, giving Emira a suspicious look. However, Emira gave an enthusiastic nod, getting off my shoulder and clasping her hands together.
"Yeah, she's got good taste." The Blight twin gave me a slight nudge, then when she walked by Amity, who was still transfixed by the flower, and gave her a pat on the shoulder. The pink haired witch instantly started asking the twin questions, only receiving vague answers in response.
While the three of them started chatting, Amity and I sat in silence. I couldn't help but stare, feeling the heat rising to my cheeks the longer I looked at the beautiful witch in front of me. "Do you like it?" I finally asked, her eyes snapping up to meet mine.
"I love it." She muttered softly, gently petting a few of the petals with her fingertips. Then, she mouthed something else, a blush rising up to her cheeks as her eyes slowly moved back down to the flower.
Taking a few steps closer, I looked down at the flower in her hands, another idea coming to mind. "I'll tuck it behind your ear if you want. Make it look good y'know?" Amity looked back up at me, then gave me a small grin, nodding and passing the flower back to me. "Want it behind the left or right?"
"Left." She said, instantly putting down her left ear. Glancing over at her right ear, I noticed it was still standing upright.
"You can do that with your ears?" Amity nodded her head, quickly alternating between raising and lowering both of her ears. That made the two of us break out into a small fit of giggles. "Does that just come naturally, or do you have to learn how to do it?" I asked in between chuckles.
Amity put her left ear back down, and I carefully stuck the flower behind her ear, fiddling with a few of the petals to make them look good. "You have to learn how to do it. It's like learning how to raise each eyebrow separately."
I lightly tapped the tip of her ear, silently letting her know to put her ear back up. She did, which now meant the flower would most likely to stay in place. "There!" I took a step back, smiling at the girl in front of me.
Amity gave me a bright smile, a pink blush appearing on her pale skin. The flower glittered brightly in the sunlight, sending soft sparkles across her face. Just looking at her was taking my breath away.
"You're beautiful." I muttered in a trance, making her eyes snap open in shock. Then, it hit me what I just said out loud. The heat instantly rushed to my cheeks, coating my face in red as I scrambled for something to say.
"Thanks Luz." Amity finally stammered, putting on a smirk with half lidded eyes. "You aren't too bad yourself." She reached up and ruffled my hair, making me laugh. The witch pulled her hand away, staring at me for a moment as her eyes glazed over. Then, she shook her head, letting out a soft, sort of nervous chuckle.
"Are you two gonna keep flirting or are you gonna go join your friends?" I let out a startled scream, quickly turning to our right. There was Eda, leaning on her table with a devilish look in her eyes.
"We aren't flirting!" We both squeaked, making Eda shake her head. She stood up, folding her arms over her chest.
"Sure you aren't." My mentor snorted, softly shaking her head again. "Now get going, you're blocking all the suckers from buying my stuff. Mama needs to make some money, so go join your friends." We both nodded, then started to speed walk after the rest of the group, Eda laughing behind us.
The two of us said nothing and caught up to the rest of the group, who teased us for taking so long. Amity's siblings pointed out the flower, shooting me subtle smirks before poking fun at their sister.
But that didn't last long when Boscha noticed the necklace that Emira had bought earlier, and when Edric pointed out that it wasn't her style, they started poking fun at her. They teased her, asking if the necklace was a gift for her crush.
All of us slowly made our way back to the studio, Amity eventually making her way by my side to strike up a conversation. Most of our talk was about the show in a couple of days, Amity bring up certain times that I was sure were important, but I knew I wouldn't remember them.
By the time the six of us made it to the studio, the sun hung low in the sky, casting the Boiling Isles in it's golden orange light. Edric whistled, staring out at the sunset for a moment. "View always looks good here at the studio, don't it?" I could hear Emira and Boscha agree with him from inside the studio.
I stayed outside for a moment, watching everyone else go back inside, Amity going in last. She lingered by the door for a couple of moments, staring out at the sunset. I watched her, noticing how the light reflected in her eyes.
"You're right." I softly muttered, smiling when I felt that familiar fluttering feeling rise in my chest. "The view does look good at the studio."
Amity then looked over at me, waving at me to come inside. "C'mon, let's go practice a few of the songs one more time before we call it a night."
"Coming!" I called, jogging over to the door. And, as my luck would have it, right before I got to the door I managed to trip over a rock. Yelping, I braced for the impact of the hard dirt floor, squeezing my eyes shut.
But instead of the floor, I felt a pair of hands wrap around my waist and upper back, making sure I didn't crash to the ground.
Barely opening one of my eyes, I was met with Amity's shocked face only a few inches from mine.
If this wasn't a scene from some fanfiction I've written before, I don't know what is.
"Are you alright?" She asked in a steady voice, her eyes never looking away from mine.
"Totally!" I said in a tone much shakier than hers. She helped me stand up, her hand still lingering around my lower back for a moment before she moved it away. I held the door open, motioning for her to go in. "After you my fair maiden."
Amity smiled, playfully rolling her eyes before walking inside. I quickly followed after her, making sure the studio door closed behind us. The youngest Blight moved into the main room, clapping her hands together.
"Alright guys, let's finish up the last bit of practice." The rest of the band nodded, getting up and moving to the recording room. Her eyes followed the band as they left, then she looked back at me.
She gave me a smile, motioning for me to follow the others, then she disappeared into the sound room. I stared at the sound room door for a minute, then slipped into the recording room where everyone else was chatting merrily.
I smiled, instantly getting ambushed by the twins. "So cutie, you ready for your first show?" Emira asked me, a bright smile on her face.
"Do you mean ready by memorizing the songs or do you mean ready emotionally, cause each of those have a different answer." I answered nervously, glancing down at the floor.
The twins laughed, both of them lightly ruffling my hair. "Don't worry! You'll be just fine! We promise." Edric said, patting my back. The door to the recording room was pushed open and Amity walked it, her guitar slung over her shoulder.
"You guys ready to wrap up the night?" She asked all of us, earning a collective nod. "Well then, why are we just standing here? Let's finish this!"