Dispelling myths – BC.

Finding answers in the City Library was proving harder than first thought.  One book would be borrowed and given to Selina, but Joel knew that the search would have to continue if they were to trace her family in this time period.

Scene setting : The City Library – Blood City.

Co-written with Gene and Temp.

 

Gene:  

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The contents were a list of names of supernaturals: vampires, fairies, ghosts, shape shifters, demons and more. Over half of these Ava hadn’t heard of; it was obvious the book was a collection of races which existed and didn’t exist, though Ava wasn’t sure which ones were real. She came to a halt when she found Witches. Flicking to the page number, Ava began to read.

The book began with what Witches were – as if the reader didn’t know what they were – and then moved onto how Witches are perceived: old hags, young maidens, demonic creatures in human form. It brought a smile to her face to see how the book mocked the perceptions others had about Witches. Eventually, the chapter became more serious: its description of Witches was pretty accurate. They pretty much the same as humans, the book described, with the addition of magical abilities. It was unfortunate Ava had made the decision to skim read; there simply wasn’t enough time to read the whole chapter. Luckily enough, a few pages in, the book moved onto the history of Witches. Some accounts of the race were probably folk lore; Ava did not mind. After all, the author had to include some humour to keep the reader engaged. It was until she came to part where Witches in the twelfth century she began to read.
Her reading was disrupted by the intrusion of Joel.

The only indication of her irritation, at what he said, was that she folded her left arm and sighed slightly.

“I don’t think we’d get any real facts on Witches since no one really knows they exist. We’ll only find rumors and myths in these books,” Ava looked over to Selina, who was sitting down. “The archives might help,” The amount of times her history teacher had voiced his fascination with the archives was far too much. “If we knew her last name, maybe we might see them in the archives,”

 

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Joel figured Ava was not to pleased with what the Teacher had said. She was doing the best she could to find some clue to Selina’s origin and what led her to be in this time, but trying to find that in a book of myths might not have been the best place to start. A book like this one needs to be studied at length for hours, not a matter of minutes. Joel himself should have known that. As Ava concluded that whoever wrote the book did so from a skeptic’s point of view, or perhaps a human’s, then it would be classified as myth not fact. Thankfully, Ava was a bright child and had a better idea of where to look, since the book currently offered no substantial leads.

“The archives might help.”

“They might indeed, Miss Blackbane.”

“If we knew her last name, maybe we might see them in the archives.”

Thinking for a moment, when Joel and Ava were back at the Peach cafe, they had made introductions, and he recalled what Selina had said. “Her surname is Shamandalie. Selina Shamandalie.”

So this was the name that they would be searching for. Joel gave Ava’s back a light pat, and to lift her spirits hopefully, he added. “Good thinking.” Joel didn’t give out praise often. “But I think we might borrow this book. If not just for the simple fact there might be something in there that triggers Selina’s memory. Who knows, she might be able to dispel a few myths for us, hmm?”

Joel turned his head to check on Selina, who was now swinging her legs back and forth and sucking on one of his mints. Least the child priestess knew how to behave in a Library.

 

~RB~

 

Gene:

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Closing the book, Ava was unable to hide her smile when Joel praised her. She nodded, in thanks, and was about to ask Joel to put the book back where it originally was – as its home was too high for Ava to reach; hopefully, the man would not notice this, unless it was very observant – until he advised that they should borrow the book for Selina.

“Okay,” Ava nodded; she removed her purse from her leather jacket and fumbled around for her cards until she came to her library one. “I’ll go take this book out,” She proceeded to walk away and head for the counter.
As she approached the counter, gave her library card, and asked to take the book out, she recalled the name Joel had said. Selina Shamandalie; the surname rang no bells. Perhaps it was a good thing. If the family still existed, who knows what they’d be doing? They’d be Witches – that’s for sure – but would they be good or bad? As quickly as the questions arose, Ava dismissed them. Now was not the right time.

Taking her card and book, she picked up the bags she had left near her seat – as Ava didn’t want anything to take any of the contents – then returned to maze of bookshelves, searching for Selina and Joel.

Upon finding them, she’d ask, “Where are the archives…?” Ava was almost too embarrassed to ask. Would they be treasured in the library or elsewhere? She had no clue about such things and maybe it was good she didn’t. After all, one would except someone of Ava’s age to not care about such things.

 

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Joel watched Ava take the book over to the counter to take out, using her library card. While it didn’t have the answers that they sought straight up, it could be useful down the track. The teacher made his way back over to where Selina was sitting, and reached out to ruffle her hair in an affectionate manner. He normally was not like this as he only mixed with students during working hours at the school. He had a younger sister at home, who was now too old to play games with, though they were still pretty close. She was one of the few people that understood Joel. You could say that they had a very special bond. Joel had not given much forethought in how they were going to help the girl beyond finding out if she had any living relations, or even if they could find people that were….well, her kind. The teacher didn’t even know where to look, in this day and age. Though his research into the occult, which he never thought he would come to use; might be of help to the child Priestess.

“Ava is just borrowing a book that we might need.” The teacher offered, right as Ava returned and asked where the archives might be. Joel thought for a moment, and then he raised a finger as the answer struck him. “The Hall of public records. It’s near the city council chambers. A bus ride from here.”

The Hall of public records was a government funded facility that held documents, certificates newspaper articles and classified documents, that only were released under the freedom of information act one hundred years after they were sealed.

Joel picked up his satchel and threaded it over his arm to rest the strap on his shoulder.

“Come on, we’ve pretty well exhausted the search here. Next stop, the Hall of records.”

 

~RB~

 

Gene:

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“Hall of Public Records?” The name was familiar to Ava, however she had never been there. Why would she? Such a place would be a bore to any 16 year old. It did make sense that the archives would be stored there. Despite the name, Ava pretty much knew not everything would be public. There would be secret documents – information the Council wouldn’t want anyone to find out – within some part of the building. Or was Ava being too naïve? Would the Council hide things of importance in the Hall of Public Records? It was where Ava would expect them to be stored – that or the Town Hall. Though, the truths about the City might not be placed in either location for the very reason people would assume they’d be there.

Ava held the book out to Selina, “Perhaps it’ll be useful to you. Page 432. That’s the section on Witches,” When Selina took the book; Ava would pick up her bags. She checked her watch. It was noon, almost evening. Before nightfall, Ava hoped they’d discover at least something else about Selina. Where would the girl stay? Joel was the likely solution as Ava’s parents would never allow Selina stay the night.

Her phone buzzed and Ava pulled it out. Her mother was calling her. Swiftly, she muted the call and nodded to indicate she was ready; time to catch the bus.

 

Temp: Joel and Ava were certainly determined to assist her, which was something that she greatly appreciated. Selina also knew that Tallulah appreciated the assistance that she was being granted, though it didn’t really benefit her at all. If it were up to Tallulah she would turn Selina back into her true self for awhile, but she knew that this version of Selina wanted no part in that. Being split between two very different personalities wasn’t easy, nor was it easy to maintain. It was a constant stress on Selina’s body and soul, as well as Tallulah’s. However, it was inevitable that Selina’s true self would soon make an appearance, but for how long would she be present? That mostly depended on the severity of the situation. So far she had not been threatened, but the moment that she was…things could go very bad. That was all yet to be seen though, so for now Selina and Tallulah would rely on Joel and Ava. She happily took the book that was offered to her and picked up Tallulah from the table, then pushed herself out of her seat and started following the two. Apparently they were off to yet another location.

 

 

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The Child Priestess – BC.

Selina offers up more information about her past.  Could something so fanciful be true?

Scene setting : The City Library – Blood City.

Co-written with Temp and Gene.

 

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There was no mistaking the look on Ava’s face. Or the fact that she blurted the question that Selina was a witch not once but twice. The good thing was she was managing to keep her voice low enough to not cause further unwanted attention. The teacher’s eyes darted from Selina and back to Ava who was truly having a great deal of trouble with this startling revelation. It was when Ava accepted this news, that Joel got her full attention. She believed. Most girls her age would be arguing how it was the stuff of make believe, fantasy and fiction. Yet, here she was….ready to believe. ~Interesting.~

“Okay. The Back Halo,” It was if she knew more than she was letting on. Joel had no idea what the Black Halo was or even meant, but Ava was mulling it over, as though she might be able to make a connection. Instead of going further, she questioned what Joel thought about how they might track down witches in something like public records. Surely they would hide, she added.

“No doubt they would try to hide themselves from public scrutiny. But they were still part of the society of the day, and so there would be records of their existence, if only by the surname. We could possibly trace them through census or even gazette clippings. If they had that back then.” Joel offering Selina a smile as he said this.

The Teacher placed his hand gently upon Selina’s shoulder and said. “I’m afraid I am unfamiliar with the Black Halo, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t find out more about it. Even if it is regarded as superstition.” He shot Ava a look and then said. “We need to find the earliest books of settlement in the district. Who the leading family was at the time.”

This was turning into a hunt for the existence of witches, not only in the past…..but in the present.

 

~RB~

 

Temp:  Selina kind of figured that neither of them knew what The Black Halo was, so their lack of knowledge was expected. She knew damn well that everything from her past was dead and gone, and that she had to accept it. The thoughts of the past were interrupted by the mention of her being a Witch. It seemed to be a very unexpected thing judging by their reactions. “I am the High Priestess, and all that remains…” Her Grimoire was no longer hushing her or stopping her from revealing anything, as the fact she was a Witch was now out there. The only comforting thing she could find was the fact that neither of them took out a torch to burn her with.

 

Gene:  

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Joel’s instructions were clear. With him being older – and therefore, far more intelligent – he knew what to look for and where to look for it. Ava turned on her heels, pausing when she saw the section they were in: history. Here might be a good place to start searching. Ava wasn’t concerned with what they would find; instead, she knew the knowledge would benefit her. She was more concerned with how long it’d take them. As the whole conversation regarding Witches subsided, Ava managed to put on a masquerade of calmness. Never – in one day – had she undergone the state of shock so many times.

It was a pity she’d enter the state once more when Selina revealed she was the High Priestess of this Black Halo coven. This time, Ava managed to control herself. All she did was look at Selina, blink twice, then look away. She wanted to think it was impossible that the girl could be a High Priestess; Selina was short, she appeared meek and almost powerless; she seemed like a child.

“Should I look at history books, then?” Ava asked Joel, not wanting to go off and come back, realising she had been going through the wrong books.

 

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The Teacher held his breath a moment, when Ava asked if she should be looking at the history books in that section. The weight of Selina’s words was still being felt. According to her, she was the High Priestess of the Black halo coven. That would have been a person of great power and significance. Yet her appearance showed her to be barely a child. A child that clutched a cat toy as though her very life depended on it. Joel thought for a second, as his hand absently caressed the side of his leather satchel, that contained a very old and special tome. It was not one that belonged to the library, nor did he wish to take it out again….not yet. Especially not now. As much as he wanted to help this young girl….this Witch; there was some things that he was still trying to learn and they were in that very book in his possession.

“Look under the history of the occult in the city. They should have something.” Joel’s eyes narrowed slightly as he spoke, only turning his head slowly, to jerk it in the direction in which to find it. He hoped that Ava would simply do as she was told, rather than argue.

Turning his attentions back to Selina, he cast his eyes down at the cat plushie she held. Could this be something of importance to her magic? He decided to ask.

“So….if you are really a High Priestess, then maybe you can explain the toy. I know you have spoken to it a few times. Is it cursed as well?”

Joel was no fool. He had begun to study the girl from the moment that she entered the Peach Cafe, and nothing escaped his attention. He waited with a raised brow for her reaction. It was not like he was trying to take it from her, but more to understand its significance.

~RB~

 

 

The Black Halo – BC.

 

The mystery of Selina’s past was slowly coming to light.  Joel and Ava would need to do more however to help the girl.  Did the Library hold the clues?

Scene setting : The City Library – Blood City.

Co-written with Temp and Gene.

 

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Joel kept his composure as the young girl before him was practically falling apart. The shock at his words, that she was now in a time that was six centuries from her own, had her tearful and visibly upset. It was hard for even the Teacher to comprehend, but the truth was she was not of this era. Now, she couldn’t possibly be a time traveler if she didn’t know what century she was even in. This was why Joel asked her what the last thing she remembers. It could give clues as to who she was…or what.

“What doth I remember? Blood…Dark…and death…the death of mine coven…mine family.”

~Coven?….Dark?….Blood? The death of her family.~

Joel’s eyes widened at this. If what she was saying was true, then Selina was a witch. The teacher opened his mouth as though to say something but then quickly snapped it shut when he saw that Ava was seated out of ear shot, and had the attention of a male just across from her. He was unsure if the male worked at the library, or was a student. Joel didn’t recall him from the school or any of the neighboring shopping districts. Either way, he didn’t feel like explaining everything to a stranger, if the chap should try and engage conversation with them.

Thankfully, Ava headed over and motioned for the pair to follow her deeper into the Library. This wasn’t a bad idea, as Joel had already formulated a plan to find out EXACTLY who Selina was.

As the trio walked through the aisles of books, Joel said to Ava.

“We need to find out if there is anything here in the public records of a fifteenth century family of witches. A coven, in this very city.”

Joel was sure, that if they got more evidence of the existence of a coven, or Selina’s family, it may well have clues as to what happened to the family, and more importantly how Selina was here in this time, as though she had awoken from a curse.

Looking down at Selina thoughtfully, Joel tried to reassure her. “We are going to find your family in this age, and hopefully, they will be able to look after you. Surely, there are descendants.”

There had to be.

~RB~

 

Temp:  Selina had remained in her fragile state since the moment she started crying. At first she had no idea what the tears were for, but the facts slowly bled forth from her true self. Everything she had ever loved and held dear had been taken away from her. Her coven, her family, all burned, brutalized, murdered…but why did she remain? That fact wasn’t brought forth from her true self, unfortunately. All she really knew in this form were the things she was allowed to know, which meant a lot of answers were sealed away from her. This was most likely due to her awakened self not wanting to be further suppressed due to some kind of sensitive information. The one thing her awakened self had no control over was outsiders and their influence. Joel seemed determined to find information on her and her past, while Ava’s motives remained uncertain. She looked up at Joel with that same sad expression, her eyes dropping less tears now than before. “The Black…Halo…” The three words had been bouncing about her head wildly ever since she first lost control, and had been taken over by her true form. Was this the name of her coven? It seemed important to her when she spoke it, so surely it held some sort of importance.

 

Gene:  

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It did not occur to Ava that the conversation between Joel and Selina might have been of importance. Though, her need to calm down seemed to be more important. As the three walked, Ava opened her mouth to ask what they had spoken about; however Joel seemed to have other things on his mind. After hearing him, her mouth snapped shut.

Witches? Coven? This was all too familiar; Ava wasn’t even sure if there was a coven in the city – well if there was a coven currently in the city. She gave Selina a horrified look when Joel reassured her.

“You’re a witch?” Luckily, her tone was more hushed than before. Her eyes weren’t full of disbelief. Instead, they were full of shock. It made sense, which was the worst part for Ava. Magic might be able to explain Selina’s origins. With each step, her acceptance of the fact that Selina came from the fifteenth century sunk in. Was she immortal? Were there even immortality spells? If so, Ava hadn’t encountered any.

“You’re a witch…” Ava repeated what she had said, expect it was a statement, “Okay. The Back Halo,” She chewed the inside of her cheek and nodded. The name was unfamiliar to her.
“What makes you think we’ll find anything to do with Witches, especially public records? Wouldn’t they hide themselves?” Witches had many stories dedicated to them; many of the recent ones were born after the period where Witch hunts were popular. Since then and now, Witches became nothing more than stories or superstition.

 

Blood, Dark and Death – BC.

 

The more that is revealed about Selina’s past, the more questions that are raised.  Would the library help the trio in their quest for answers?

Scene setting : The City Library – Blood City.

Co-written with Temp and Gene.

 

Razorbackwriter:  

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“Fifteenth century?!”

Ava’s reaction was loud enough to make many readers lift their heads as well as the Librarian giving her a stern look, followed by a shushing sound. Seeing Ava bite her lip and realize that she had just brought the attention of all those around them to the small trio was enough to make Joel shake his head. He had already deduced that the girl was from another era, and the fact she answered him with the fifteenth century as being the time she was from meant he was on the money. It was incredulous, to be honest but there was much about the world and those around us that many would find hard to understand. Joel, however had a very open mind. If only the girls knew about the book that he had in his satchel. Course, that was for another time. Right now, Joel needed to keep Selina calm and Ava quiet.

“Ava. You might want to sit down.” The young teacher was genuinely worried about how Ava was handling this. If she found a chair nearby it might be a good idea to use it.

Turning his attention back to Selina, he showed her a soft smile. “Girls’ can be so dramatic.” Referring to how Ava made such a remark in the library. A place where you were meant to be quiet. Joel’s face changed slightly as he tried to cushion what would be a blow to Selina’s mind when he decided to fill in the blanks for her.

“Selina, this is the twenty first century. A time well beyond the industrial age. You could say it is the glass age.” Glass being used in so many of the industries and technologies that we so readily accept in our lives. Joel watched her face closely, gauging a response – but asked one more question.

“What was the last thing you remember….back in the fifteenth century? It might help us work out just how you came to be here, and how to get you home.”

~RB~

 

Temp:  Selina had jumped a bit due to the shouted reaction from Ava, and her eyes went wide upon being told which century this actually was. “Twenty…first…?” Tallulah had told her that time had passed, but she by no means said that it had been SIX…CENTURIES.“Six…centuries…hast passed…?” The cat plushie in her hands dropped to the floor as her hands fell from her chest, now only dangling at her sides. The cat plushie, which was possessed by a demon and served as her Grimoire, reacted openly for the first time. It moved on it’s own and jumped up onto Selina’s hat, peeking it’s head around the side to stare at Joel. “S-si-six…” For a moment, her eyes flashed bright red once more, which was due to the stress her mind was currently experiencing. Yet again, her awakened self was bubbling and arising within her. “What doth I remember? Blood…Dark…and death…the death of mine coven…mine family.” She had lost everything, right? What did Joel know? Why did he know to question her like this? Her mind was like a blender set on full speed. She was completely lost, and had even started crying…for no real reason at all.

 

Gene:  

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“Ava. You might want to sit down.”

Instead of taking it as a suggestion, Ava took it as an order. She nodded and scanned the library for a chair. Inhaling deeply, she left the two and sat at a table, out of earshot from their conversation. Fifteenth century? What was wrong with Selina? Her hands moved to her head, her fingers massaging her temples. All this speculation on the girl and her origins was stressing her out. Yes, Ava had accepted magic had accepted. But time travel? Perhaps, this wasn’t time travel related. There could be a plausible explanation for this in one of her Grimoires.
The man on the same table was giving her an odd glance.

”Are you okay? he whispered, raising a brow.

“Yes.”

Ava realised her body language was making it obvious she was troubled. Licking her lips, she softly cleared her throat and reached across the table to retrieve a book from the centre. However, due to the size of the table, her fingers only touched the book, but not enough to grab it; nothing a little telekinesis couldn’t fix. The book edged ever so slightly to Ava; it wouldn’t be that obvious the book had moved, unless one was directly looking at it. Even so, it might have appeared as if it was a trick of the mind.

Sliding back down to her seat, Ava opened the book. It was the history of Ozyrn. After flipping through a few pages, she grew bored. It served as a good distraction to the current situation. That was, until the sound of someone crying came to her focus. It was Selina. Had Joel scolded her, in private, for her stupidity? Either way, Ava felt sorry for her. Ava wasn’t the only one who was looking at the two. Others were pondering why there was a crying girl. It seemed they were all a beacon for attention.

Rising from her seat, she hurried over to Joel and Selina, gesturing them to follow her. Ava moved deeper into the library, walking along a few bookshelves until they were out of view and earshot of others. Where the bookshelves started, the library truly began to resemble a maze.

Stranger than fiction – BC.

 

Joel was sure he was on the right track with his thoughts on Selina.  Taking her to the Library, along with Ava, the truth is about to be revealed.

Scene setting : The City Library – Blood City.

Co-written with Temp and Gene.

 

Razorbackwriter:  

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Making sure that their new companion didn’t attract anymore unwanted attention, Joel escorted Ava and Selina to the City Library, which was actually a fair way from the shopping and cafe district. Thankfully, most of the pedestrians were too busy flicking through their smart phones to both to look up and see what was right in front of their noses. This was exactly what Joel was counting on. Society had changed and sadly for the worse. Though there were a select few that held on tightly to the old ways. Joel walked with a distinct strut, his attire allowing him ease of movement. It was almost as though he had a regal air, but he was the son of commoners and not one of high station – though he taught at the prestigious school of the rich and affluent. The young teacher was keen to light another cigarette, but remembered that his companions might not take to kindly to the offending smoke. So, he buried that thought deep as he walked along briskly.

“It’s not much farther.” In a way keeping the girls attention towards him and not those that they passed. There was a good reason why he chose the library to learn more about their new friend. The building itself was a couple of hundred years old, and it was a great source of history and archives of the by gone eras. A place that Joel felt that there may be answers to his own unasked questions.

Turning the corner, the imposing sight of the building gave cause for Joel to smile, though it was a fairly thin one. How many times had been here, he simply lost count. A place of solitude to those that wished to lose themselves in the many tomes on the dusty shelves. It was not a place for those that were all about money and possessions. The only thing you would get here was knowledge, something that Joel had craved all his life.

Reaching the large oak doors that had been carved by a true master of carpentry, Joel pulled the left door open and stood back to allow the two young girls to enter.

“After you.” His voice polite, yet serious.

Once the girls had entered, he stood in behind them and waited for their reactions. Had either of them been here before? He imagined that Ava hadn’t, for she simply didn’t appear to be a little book worm. Selina on the other hand, may have. In order to get the ball rolling, Joel walked around and then crouched before the young girl with the cat plushie and asked.

“This is a place that will help us I think. But I do have one question. What year is this?”

Her answer would help guide him to the right books.

 

~RB~

 

Temp:  Selina had once again examined her surroundings during the walk from the Cafe to the Library. This was something she had done beforehand, but she found herself doing once more regardless. This era was so much different than what she remembered that seeing something once simply wasn’t enough. Any looks she might have received from passersby went unnoticed due to her fascination with the city. Eventually the three arrived at the Library, and she was led inside by Joel. The building was quite old from the looks of it, but she wasn’t quite sure if it felt familiar or not. It definitely felt a lot closer to who she was than the rest of the city, that much was certain. Upon Joel crouching before her and questioning her, she found herself a bit lost. What year was this? “This is still the fifteenth centu-…” Her sentence would go incomplete due to a sudden shock she felt from her Grimoire. Apparently Tallulah didn’t want Selina sharing that information. Normally she would go with the advice of the Grimoire, but this time it was different. Tallulah seemed scared or worried about this time period for some reason. “Century…is it not?” This time there was no response from her Grimoire, for whatever reason. Selina knew that some time had passed by, but surely it was still within the same century…right?

 

Gene:  

 

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As the trio left the café, Joel led the way whilst Ava trailed behind Selina. She looked to those they passed; however it seemed they were too busy with technology to notice something not in the norm. Ava had a phone too, though she spent little time on it. Most people used their phone to communicate with one another, play games or just browse the internet. For the first, Ava had little friends. As for the second and third, Ava wasn’t much of a gamer and her phone had no internet. Her parents didn’t want her to be distracted; Ava quickly realised they simply didn’t want her to learn more about the City. Her natural curiosity allowed her to pursue such knowledge from other sources. Ava recognised the route to the library; it was one she took many times.

Finally, the library came into view. With little interest, she looked to it. The impact the building once had on her had long gone. Ava entered, whispering thanks to Joel. Her reaction to the library was pretty dull. When she was younger, she had come here many times, mainly to gain knowledge about Witchcraft. She only found the history of it, but it wasn’t what she was looking for. Ava wanted to see if there were more spell books. There wasn’t any in the library. After her disappointment, she hardly came here; only if there was a school project and she needed to do some research, then she’d journey to the library.

When Joel posed his question to Selina, her answer shocked Ava.
“Fifteenth century?!” She exclaimed; the librarian sent her a disgusting look and shushed her. Ava bit down on her lip, her face reddening. Was Selina delusional? This was the 21st century; her answer really did invoke deep thoughts. What was truly going on?