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The stories in this book are works of fiction. Any references to historical events, or

real places are used fictitiously. Other names, characters and places are products of the author’s imagination, and any resemblance to actual events, places or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.


Copyright © 2017 by Edwin Betancourt


Created in the United States of America


First Printing, 2017



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Grey’s Echo:

the First Spell



By Edwin Betancourt













Greys Echo: The End



In a Wooden Cabin Outside of Mourningville: August 10th 2017 @ 01:40am:

Snow continued to fall from the gray clouds, fluttering down unto the quiet town like dead leaves falling off a tree branch during autumn.

Before the children of the town fell into their peaceful slumbers, they couldn't hide their excitement for the sight of a few flurries invading Mourningville. Most were excited at the thought of their school closing for the day, while others wondered if the total amount of snowfall would be enough to build snowmen in front of their houses.

The adults however didn't share the same sentiments as their children. They knew for every snowflake that fell onto the holy ground, the risk of potential damages to their crops increased rapidly.

The selling of Tomatoes, Cabbages, Green Peppers and Potatoes to various outside markets, were how most of the town made their living. Aside from the importation and exportation of church supplies: bibles and golden crucifixes, the town was also home to a huge tourist attraction-to which the mayor felt was disrespectful to the town’s faith.

Naturally, the mayor disavowed any mention of Wiccan people, which was an idiotic thing to do since Mourningville’s history involved Wiccan people pouring their blood, sweat and tears into building the town from the ground up. Everyone who had a brain knew this and one person living in the town refused to have history rewritten to please those who were too blind in their faith to see the truth. Her name is Agatha Rizè.

Agatha gazed out of the window of her wooden cabin at the beautiful glowing lake known as Crescent Lake and she wondered just how long it would take for all the dead bodies she threw in there last week, to float back to the surface.

Many of the people in Mourningville viewed the silver long haired elderly woman as a ‘psycho’, ‘town loon’ and even ‘crazy old bat’, but the truth is Agatha was the former Sorceress of the Underworld, who lost her Immortality forty years ago and has decided to live her remaining days in the town she used to call home. In doing this, she decided to build a cabin that sat at the edge of town near the last remaining historical landmark that was not blocked by velvet ropes and didn’t require an admission fee to get in.

A familiar presence sent chills down Agatha’s back and she turned away from the window.

In a bright yellow light a Hispanic, handsome and tall man appeared before her.

"Ah-"Agatha gasped with a smirk. "If it isn't my old friend, Dominic Shyler. I do hope you are not here for a little rendezvous, as you can see I'm feeling a bit under the weather."

Dominic straightened his posture and he hid his disgust as the elderly woman smiled widely at him revealing her yellow colored teeth, stained with dried blood. The woman's face had more wrinkles than a silk shirt unrolled from a ball, but he was used to her flirtatious ways.

He shuddered at the thought of them two getting physical and addressed her. "I came here to make sure the box had been destroyed." Dominic stated placing his hands behind his back.

The handsome, mature man stood firm and straight reminding Agatha of a Mortal she met in 1942 in the classic and rich outskirts of New York City. He was an American soldier but there was a lot more to him than his ability to fight in a war if prompted.

Agatha's wide smile turned into a satisfied smirk, "I never knew you to be quite caring for something that does not belong to you."

"As I remember correctly Agatha, the box never belonged to you either." He paused when Agatha opened her mouth to speak, but no words came out. Her glare caused Dominic to continue. "I had a dream last night-"

"Did I pay you a visit?" she interrupted with a seductive wink.

"In the dream-" he continued as he ignored the question. "I saw the world falling apart. I could smell burning flesh; I could see blood everywhere. Then out of the blinding ash I could see…I could see the box on the ground...it was opened."

The revisiting of the dream caused Dominic to choke up. The dream felt very realistic even for him to handle and he knew it meant something tragic was going to take place. He didn’t know when or where, but based on the bone chilling nightmare he had; he knew it was going to be soon.

"I assure you Dominic. Just as my heart is black and my soul is impure. The box is destroyed and it will not cause harm to anyone." She flashed him another smile.

Being the former Sorceress of the Underworld meant Agatha had to do evil things to Witches, Warlocks, Wizards, Angels, Demonic Angels and even Mortals. She devoured over thirty-six children during 1690 A.D, which caused her to remain youthful and radiant-well at least during that Century; all while she murdered their parents and killed those she didn't need. However, Dominic knew one thing remained true about her; and that was the fact she never told a lie.

He nodded at her words and returned the smile. "It was probably just-“.

Agatha raised her left hand, which caused Dominic to stop speaking. She felt a strange sensation tickle her spine, it was something she had never felt before, someone was coming, someone...powerful. She quickly ran over to the window and noticed it was no longer snowing but raining black ash.

"What's wrong?" Dominic asked nervously.

Without taking her eyes away from the window she muttered, "You need to leave now."

"Leave?" Dominic asked in shock that she would suggest that notion. "No, I'm not leaving until you tell me what's going on!"

In a black smoky light, a Demonic creature appeared before him. The creature stood no taller than six feet, its eyes were as dark as ebony and its face charred, battered and bloodied. There was no visible nose on its face or a pair of lips on its mouth, just teeth, sharp, crooked and deadly teeth.

Dominic froze in both fear and fascination. He had heard many stories growing up about this creature-an individual who roamed the Earth shape shifting as both this hideous monster and a Mortal- and to see one in person, it really shocked him.

"Dominic you must go!" Agatha shouted, as her eyes lay fixed out of the window and her tone assertive.

The middle-aged man closed his eyes to disappear unfortunately the creature grabbed him by the neck, viciously. Dominic tried to fight the creature's razor sharp claws currently digging into his neck drawing a small amount of blood; but it was to no avail. The creature growled and whispered, "Canutus".

The words echoed through Agatha's mind and she bowed her head in remorse. Dominic didn't understand the word; he didn't understand what it meant.

He opened his right hand causing a black orb to appear in his palm. The grip of the creature's claws in his neck caused him to wince in pain; he tried desperately to breathe through his nose as the creature tightened its grip.

Without a second to think, the creature squeezed Dominic's neck with extreme force causing it to break with a simple snap. He let out his final breath as the orb in his palm disappeared and his body went limp.

The creature threw Dominic's lifeless body across the room and with a loud thud the handsome man’s corpse landed a few feet away from Agatha's feet

She straightened her posture as she felt the creature come closer to her.

"If you are looking for the key you are too late. It is gone." She stated staring into the glowing lake.

"The key is not of my concern Sorceress. You know exactly why I am here." The creature stated with a growl following the last word. It crept slowly toward the elderly woman and leaned forward whispering in her left ear.

"Canutus" It repeated with pleasure.

Agatha knew exactly what the creature wanted, but she wasn't going to give in to its demand; not now and not ever! Even with death looming just seconds away, she wasn't going to give in.

She turned around and stared right into the creature's soulless eyes. Something felt familiar about it, something she couldn't remember clearly.

"Canutus!"

Agatha waved her right hand and in a red fiery light, the wooden jewelry box on her dresser disappeared.

The creature hissed loudly and she slapped it across the face not only silencing it, but also enraging it.

"Ca...nu...tus" it repeated slowly.

Agatha arched her right eyebrow and gave the creature a taunting smile. "Screw you."

The creature angrily omitted a high-pitched growl.

She turned around and faced the window for one last time.

The snow was no longer falling, only black ash rained down onto the holy town that is Mourningville. The citizens no longer had to worry about their crops drowned out with snow and the children no longer had to anticipate the closing of their schools.

Agatha knew what awaited her next. She smiled at the beautiful, peaceful and glowing lake as she said softly, "My death...is just the beginning."

The creature roughly inserted both its razor sharp claws into Agatha's back. A smile slowly appeared on her face when the creature's claws emerged through her chest. She saw her blood dripping through its sharp claws and she smelled the sweet aroma of brimstone. She closed her eyes as she felt the blood spilling from the wounds. No worries rushed into her mind because she knew with the last breath she took, everything in the world was going to change, for both, good and evil.

II

Two Hours Later: 3:40am:

The streets of New York City were not as packed as Judias Grey thought it would be, considering it was Saturday morning.

He wasn’t sure if it had something to do with the pending rainstorm approaching the city or the fact the Night Life wasn’t as fabulous as it once was.

Either way, the 27 year old was grateful it was only him walking through the dark empty streets of Hell’s Kitchen.

The curly haired male felt the right pocket of his jeans vibrate and he took out his cellphone to see the name ‘Haneltha’ on the screen.

“Oh God.” He stated rolling his eyes. He swiped the screen to the left causing the call to go straight to voicemail and placed the phone back in his pocket, making it obvious that he really didn’t want to speak to her. He was sure she was going to ask questions about his ex-boyfriend Marco, and those were questions he didn’t want to answer. She also was the last person on his mind; he was keeping focus on another woman and her name was Diana Linx.

Diana was a twenty three year old student from Michigan who visited New York City ten days ago with her family and went missing. While police officers and FBI agents canvassed nightclubs, drug houses, bars and the local rivers, Judias had a feeling he knew where she was. The problem? He couldn’t tell the local authorities because it would put them all in danger; so he took the initiative to find her, himself.

Judias isn’t like most Gay twenty seven year olds living in the Big Apple. Sure he spends time binge watching various shows on Netflix, writes poetry and spends his free time on the dating app Tinderdate; but he’s also a certified Private Investigator with his own office near the Hudson River. There is also something about Judias that not many people knew and that’s the fact he’s a Witch!

Now, how is he a Witch and not a Warlock? Well, Judias (Ju*Die*Us) is a Male Witch because his father was one. Witches in common literature are perceived to be women, while men are seen as Wizards or Warlocks but that isn’t the case in many situations, including this one.

Wizards in the Magic Realm are not born with Witchcraft in their blood; they instead get their powers from a Magic Wand or by studying Magic. Whereas Warlocks are Evil Beings who use the powers, they already possess, to destroy other Magical Beings. Witches on the other hand inherit their powers from their family lineage. It’s a common mistake Judias had to deal with many times in the past.

“N-No! Get off me! N-AGH!” A scream rung out through the night and it caused Judias to run into a nearby alleyway where he found a homeless man lying dead on the floor. He had blood pouring from a bite wound on his neck and standing over his lifeless body was a blonde woman.

“Diana?” Judias’ soft voice asked with a hint of curiosity.

The blonde woman slowly turned around to face the Witch. Her eyes were as black as coal; her pearly white teeth were now razor sharp fangs and fresh blood dripped from the corners of her mouth.

Judias slowly backed away as the woman walked toward him growling.

Okay Jude. Do we have a Plan B? He thought to himself as Diana opened her mouth and lunged at him.

“Crap!” Judias swung his right arm in panic and telekinetically sent Diana flying into a nearby dumpster. He had hoped she would fall to the ground and give him enough time to come up with a Plan B, but that was impossible as she quickly jumped to her feet as if she was a villain from a Horror film.

“Okay phase two!” Judias inhaled deeply and he let out a loud Ultrasonic high pitch scream causing Diana to clench her ears in pain as a sharp noise echoed through her brain and she fell to her knees screaming in agony.

The screams came to a stop as Judias closed his mouth, he ran over to Diana still reeling in pain and he pulled out a small clear vial from the left pocket of his jeans. The vial contained pink liquid that glistened in the dimly lit alleyway. He uncorked the top shuddering at the scent of garlic that emitted from it and poured the liquid into Diana’s mouth emptying the entire vial.

“No-Nah!!” Diana started to shake violently as if she was having a seizure. Judias glanced over at the dead male- although he could’ve healed him, the man was already dead and there was no way a Witch could heal the dead; without turning them into zombies of course.

Diana continued to scream aloud as she shook violently, Judias watched as her eyes turned from Ebony to Emerald green and her teeth turned from razor sharp fangs to regular human sized teeth.

“Oh thank God the potion worked.” He sighed in relief.

Based on the research he did, he wasn’t entirely sure the potion to cure Vampirism would actually work since it had never been done before. Considering Diana wasn’t a vampire for more than a week, he knew there was a fifty-fifty chance it would.

Diana looked at Judias standing over her and she looked around the alleyway in confusion. “Wh-What…what happened? Where am I?”

Just as Judias opened his mouth to answer the question he heard police sirens from the distance, although he called them minutes prior from heading to the alleyway, he didn’t think it would take them longer than it did to arrive.

Judias flashed Diana a smile and in a purple light, he disappeared from the alleyway leaving her dazed and alone. She tried to make sense of what she just witnessed but it was too much for her and she fainted, just as the police cars pulled into the alleyway. None of the officers knew that they were seconds away from finding the missing Michigan girl; alive and well.





On The 3rd Floor of An Office Space:

Judias appeared in a purple light inside of his P.I office. He tiredly walked over to his desk and turned on the police scanner he stole many years ago from a nearby precinct.

This is Officer Diaz, We found Diana Linx.”A male voice stated.

The missing girl from Michigan?” One of the voices on the scanner asked.

Yes! She’s here in Hell’s Kitchen in a nearby alleyway. She seems to have been dropped off here. But there is a body. Looks like a nearby hobo.”

Alright. I’ll send a bus your way and I’ll inform the parents of her safe return.”

Judias turned the scanner off as he let out a sigh of relief.

He took a huge risk going after a hunch that Diana was possibly turned into a vampire, but in this Realm he learned to expect the unexpected, that and he was investigating a ring of Vampires kidnapping tourists and turning them. He thanked the Magic God that she didn’t feed on anyone long enough to permanently stay that way.

THUD!

The Witch flinched as he heard a loud crashing sound followed by the grunt of a man, just outside of his office door.

“What the hell?” If there was another thing he learned from this Realm, was to be prepared when dealing with the unexpected.

Judias let out a small sigh as he made his way toward the metallic door. There were many thoughts rushing into his mind all at once. The images of whatever was responsible for that noise for starters included Ogres, or a robber or even a cannibalistic monster-all the Magical Beings Judias had battled before.

The Witch swung his right hand causing the latches of the metallic door to slide open and he exited the office to find a man struggling to stand on his feet in the hallway.

The man looked no older than thirty. He had short black hair and scruffy facial hair, but Judias’ attention went straight to the sword lying next to him. He wore a gold and black leather vest, black leather pants, a white t-shirt stained with blood and on his feet was a pair of black boots; similar to what a Knight in the Magic Realm would wear.

Judias bent down beside the man and the mysterious man’s right hand was covering a wound on the right side of his hip.

“A-are you Judias Grey?” the man asked clenching his teeth in pain.

Judias nodded and he looked at the man’s deadly wound. The Witch recognized it quickly as a puncture wound, but the skin surrounding the wound was starting to turn an Emerald green. The man was clenching every second in pain because he was poisoned and slowly dying.





III

The man’s height was 6 feet as Judias calculated when he helped him to his feet and brought him inside of his office. His olive skin was drenched with sweat, as the Witch knew it meant the poison was taking effect quickly.

Judias walked out of the kitchen holding a small potion vial filled with neon yellow liquid. The mysterious man was seated on Judias’ black and red leather sofa; he didn’t have a shirt on because the Witch needed to see the wound a little more clearer.

The man’s chest had some hair on it. His physique wasn’t as athletic as most of the Knights were. He didn’t have muscles or six pack abs to show off his vanity and brute might. Instead, the man’s body was about average, he wasn’t thick or skinny and he didn’t mind-and neither did any of the single men and women in the Magic Realm who vied for his attention.

The man looked up at Judias as he was handed the vial. “Here, drink this.”

“No” the man dismissed as he sat up clenching the wound painfully. “I-I have healing abilities that will work. I-I j-just need to rest a little while longer.”

“You said that already twenty minutes ago. Your abilities are not going to work because you weren’t wounded by a regular Silver dagger. You instead were wounded by a Dagger laced with poison. Although you are Immortal-as I’m assuming most Knights are nowadays- your ability to heal will be delayed while it fights off the poison. It might take months or years, but while your body weens the poison out, it will make you susceptible to any attack if the person or persons who did this to you, return to finish the job.”

The man didn’t know about the poison affecting his powers because he had never been poisoned before and he never cared about it either because he felt the day he would ever get poisoned wouldn’t happen…clearly he was wrong.

Judias saw how hesitant the man was toward the potion and he let out a deep sigh. “Look, this isn’t some Hocus Pocus crap. Yes I’m a Witch and I think you knew that or else you wouldn’t be here. And I also know you wouldn’t be here if you thought like your other friends in the Magic Realm and viewed me as a threat.” He once again handed the man the vial and smiled sincerely. “Drink the damn potion so you can stop bleeding all over my office.”

The man nodded. He took the vial and sniffed the contents; the aroma was strong and bitter. It smelled like weeks old milk fused with rotten eggs.

Judias watched the disgusted face the man made, “It’s an Antidote not coffee. It’s not meant to appeal to your senses. Drink it now before the poison spreads anywhere else.”

The man once again nodded. He slowly brought the vial to his lips and with a quick movement; he swallowed the liquid as if he was taking a Jello shot at the local bar.

He handed Judias the empty vial and he looked down at his wound to watch as it healed in a purple light. Any pain the man felt was gone the second the puncture wound closed and he couldn’t believe how fast the potion worked, meanwhile Judias couldn’t believe the potion actually worked.

“Wow! The potion did work.” The Witch said in amazement.

The man shot the Witch a confused stare, “Why are you shocked? Didn’t you make this?”

Judias nodded his head happily. “Yeah, but I haven’t created this potion in so long I thought it was Beetle Blood needed for the ingredient but instead it was Beetle legs.”

“Bleh” The man clenched his stomach trying to hold down the breakfast he had earlier and Judias laughed and grabbed the empty vial. “You’re welcome by the way. Now, who the hell are you and why are you here?”

The man felt like himself so he wasted no time by jumping to his feet. “My name is Nathaniel Echoes and I am a Knight from the Magic Realm.”

“You’re a little far away from home. Well, actually a Realm away from home.” Judias walked away from Nathaniel and headed into the open kitchen area. Nathaniel grabbed his white blood stained shirt and followed the Witch. “I know I am. I was actually visiting Agatha a while ago.”

“Ah! How is that old broad?” Judias asked as he turned on the water faucet. “Still trying to seduce the Volunteer Guardians again?” he asked smiling and remembering how flirtatious the former Sorceress was towards any man that she laid her eyes on.

Nathaniel looked down at his feet and shook his head. “Agatha’s dead.”

As soon as the words came out of his mouth, Nathaniel heard them and realized they weren’t as comforting as he had hoped they would be; especially if Agatha and Judias were friends. He wanted to apologize but Judias quickly turned to face the Knight.

“Are you serious?”

Nathaniel nodded slowly. “I’m afraid so.”

“Did you see her body? Because she pretended to be dead in 1526 to avoid marrying the mayor of Sandstown’s son.”

Nathaniel had many questions about that one sentence but it wasn’t the time or place. He instead shook his head once again sadly. “I’m one hundred percent sure she’s dead. I went to visit her because a letter was delivered to my door but when I got to her cabin I was ambushed by Demons.”

“Hellmouth Demons or Underworld Demons?”

Nathaniel lowered his eyebrows. “What’s the difference?”

Judias placed the empty potion vial under the running water and he cleared his throat mentally preparing to explain the difference to the clearly ill-informed Knight. “Hellmouth Demons are scary monsters who literally live in Hell and Underworld Demons are basically humans that you would find at a cheap Motorcycle bar. Leather S&M outfits, bad haircuts and stuck in the eighties. They live in the Underworld- basically a gloomy version of our cities and every so often they come onto land to wreak havoc in either the Mortal or Magic Realm.”

Nathaniel thought about the attack and the man who stabbed him from behind. “Underworld Demon.”

Judias nodded his head, walked out of the kitchen and made his way toward his office space, as Nathaniel followed behind him.

The office space consisted of a large metallic desk, a bulletin board stood in the far right corner and it had pictures of various people on it, along with a large metallic file cabinet and a black cauldron that stood in the back of the office. There was a balcony door which led out to what Nathaniel would assume was obviously a balcony that overlooked the Hudson River.

“I don’t want to sound rude or nosy but…what is it that you do here exactly?” Nathaniel asked trying to come up with his own conclusions but based on the pictures of missing people on the bulletin, the black cauldron in the back of the office and a huge head to toe mirror hanging on the sidewall; Nathaniel’s first thoughts went straight to ‘Witch Assassin’.

Judias walked over to the metal file cabinet and pulled the second drawer open. “Are you familiar with the Magic Blood Wars of 1308?”

The man stood quiet for a second as he had flashbacks of his days in Magic School and the history class he took while there. “A little. It was a war fought between the Magic and Shadow Realm…uh according to the books, the Shadow Realm was defeated and out of fear many people from the Magic Realm fled and migrated to the Mortal Realm.”

Judias stopped what he was doing and gave the Knight a nod as if Nathaniel was a child and he was congratulating him.

“Exactly. Well, most of those Magical Beings decided to migrate to cities built on top of Magical burial grounds. Those cities included San Francisco, Salem, Los Angeles, Toronto and New York City. I moved here to be free of Magic but I was blind in my ignorance and reminded that Magic is in my blood and like a stalker ex-boyfriend…I can never outrun it. So instead of hiding away, I decided to build a P.I firm to help Magical Beings cope with living in this Realm, except the Mortals assume it’s some kind of office for Immigration…I mean technically they’re not wrong.”

“So, basically you’re like Sherlock Holmes?”

Judias smirked at the question. “If Sherlock Holmes was a Witch who could burst a Demon’s eardrums open with a single scream, hurl someone with telekinesis and was Immortal; then yeah sure.”

The Knight looked around the office and he couldn’t find something. Judias noticed his confused reaction. “What’s wrong?”

“Oh I was trying to find your broomstick. Don’t all Witches have one to travel?”

“Ah a stereotype.” Judias replied smirking. “No I don’t use brooms to travel. I have the power to teleport or shimmer places. Besides, I could think of many other things to ride than a dusty old broomstick.”

Nathaniel nodded his head, licked his lips smiling and watched as Judias pulled out a picture from the filing drawer. “Is this the guy that stabbed you?” He showed a picture of a blonde man with blue eyes and scruffy facial hair.

The Knight’s eyes widened in excitement and anger, “That’s him!”

Judias nodded his head, “Yep that’s Balker. He’s a level one Demon nothing to worry about but he isn’t really keen on using poison daggers. He must be teaming up with someone.”

THUD!

Both men flinched as the balcony door flew open and a gust of wind entered the office blowing a few papers off Judias’ desk.

“Sorry about that.” Judias said running over to the door. “Been meaning to find a decent repair guy to fix this door…along with everything else in this place.”

Nathaniel nodded his head and he looked around admiring the office. “This entire building is yours?”

Judias nodded closing the balcony door. He tightened the hatch and turned around to face Nathaniel. “It was an abandoned warehouse. Been this way for decades. I saved enough money and brought a few of the properties by the River. No one ever comes down here…except maybe Mobsters, psychos and prostitutes; but I’ve managed to keep this place safe from any Evil that seems to find me. I turned the second floor into a twelve bedroom apartment just in case any Magical Beings need a place to crash.”

Nathaniel had to admit; when he first met Judias he was expecting to find an angry and vengeful Witch. Not a headstrong, sweet, trusting and creative one.

Judias bent down to pick up the sheets of paper that fell on the ground and within a second, the balcony door swung open again.

“Seriously?!”

Nathaniel smirked as he bent down to pick up the papers and Judias once again approached the door to close it. He paused for a second as he saw something that he didn’t expect to see so soon. “Snow?” he asked in confusion as the gust of wind blew in a few snowflakes.

“Is snow uncommon in this City?” Nathaniel asked placing the papers in a neat stack on top of Judias’ desk.

“It is in the middle of August.” Judias closed the balcony door once again and he locked it. He saw a flake land on his right hand and noticed it didn’t melt.

“What the hell-“ He wiped the snowflake off and saw that it left a black residue on his fingers. “Ash?” he found himself asking.

Nathaniel lowered his eyebrows shaking his head. “Now I may not be familiar with this City, but I’m pretty sure, ash falling from the sky is not common.”

In a black smoky light, a strange creature appeared before Nathaniel. “Canutus”, it growled.

Nathaniel quickly opened his right hand causing a Blue Plasmaball to float over his palm. “What the hell are you?”

The creature didn’t waste any time and it didn’t bother to answer the question asked. Instead, it slapped Nathaniel with extreme force causing him to fly across the room, crashing head first into a glass door that led into a small library.

Judias turned around quickly and he watched as the Creature turned to face him slowly and he let out a small gasp.

The creature had no lips just yellow stained razor sharp teeth. No pupils, just Ebony eyes and slimy gray skin. Its claws were as sharp as knives and dried blood stained the tip of it. “Canutus?” It growled making its way towards the Witch.

“Eh, not today!” Judias swung his right arm in hopes of hurling the creature telekinetically across the room…but nothing happened.

The creature hissed lowly and began to stagger towards him.

“Ooh okay well that’s not good.” Judias watched as Nathaniel slowly got up from the ground as his cuts and scrapes healed in a blue light. “Cover your ears!” He shouted and Nathaniel confusingly did as told.

Judias glared at the creature and he opened his mouth once again omitting his supersonic high pitch scream. The creature let out a sharp growl as it fell to its knees clenching its ears in pain. Judias stopped screaming and he watched as the creature rose up to its feet quickly, unleashed a loud roar and rose its right claw up. “Canutus!”

“NO!” Nathaniel waved his right hand at Judias and in a blue light, the Witch disappeared from the office, causing the creature to once again growl in anger.



Outside of the Building:

In a blue light Judias appeared outside of the office, he looked around in confusion, as he was one hundred percent positive he didn’t teleport himself outside. Just as he was about to move, in a black smoky light the creature appeared before him and slapped him across the face causing Judias to fall unto his back. “Ugh!” He grunted as his back hit the cement ground.

The creature bent over him and its black eyes stared blankly into Judias’.

Canutus… Two hearts once one are no more.” The creature’s words sent chills down the Witch’s spine. It was cold, familiar, soft and yet horrific at the same time.

“Wh-who are you?” Judias asked staring into the creature’s dark eyes.

You know who I am. You know what I am. The question should be, who are you?” The creature lifted its right claw with the intention of stabbing Judias with it, until Nathaniel appeared behind it in a blue light tightly holding a sword in his hands. He swiftly swung the sword decapitating the creature with brute force and ease.

The headless body of the creature fell to the ground and Nathaniel extended his right hand toward Judias as green blood dripped off the tip of the sword.

Judias grabbed his hand and stood up to his feet. He looked down at the creature’s body and watched in confusion as the creature’s remains turned into a naked human male. The decapitated head also transformed into an older man in his late forties.

“Are you alright?” Nathaniel asked taking his hand back.

Judias nodded and he looked down at the body.

Nathaniel took out a handkerchief from his black leather jacket and wiped the blood from the sword. “I have heard stories about these creatures. They are Mortals who were cursed by the Underworld to roam the Realms as a monster. They are hired by Sorcerers or any Magical Being for that matter, to assassinate someone.”

Judias didn’t pay any mind to what the Knight was saying. He was too busy looking at the remains on the ground to care. Nathaniel noticed the Witch’s demeanor changed and he stopped cleaning the sword and looked at him. “You knew him?”

The Witch nodded his head slowly. “Yeah he…was…my brother, Jonah Grey.”

Nathaniel’s heart skipped a beat and he looked down in regret, “I am so sorry. If I knew that, I would’ve stunned him so we could’ve found a cure or-“

“No.” Judias replied back as he looked at him. “None of us knew. But you’re right. These creatures are the Underworld’s assassins. My brother was in that creature’s body, but even with all the powers he possessed, he was not going to return to his normal state. He was already dead. Besides, he was sent here to kill me.”

The words caught Nathaniel completely off guard and he looked at Judias as if he had grown three heads. “Who would hire him to assassinate you?”

“The same person who has wanted me dead for centuries.” The Witch let out a sigh of frustration and he met Nathaniel’s gaze. “My father.”



















END





Grey’s Echo: The Beginning

Judias’ Office: An hour later:

Nathaniel Echoes watched from the kitchen window as two men dressed in black suits covered the remains of Jonah Grey with a black tarp.

He was still trying to piece together everything that happened within the past five hours. From Agatha’s death, to being poisoned by an Underworld Demon, to meeting Judias and then finding out Jonah-Judias’ brother- was hired to assassinate the Witch by his own father! This was something Nathaniel would see in a television show rather than experience it in real life.

“Nathaniel, what the hell are you doing here?” a voice asked causing the Knight to let out a deep sigh of frustration. He turned on his heels to find a forty eight year old well-dressed man enter the office.

King Leon of the Magic Realm wasn’t dressed in a King’s cape or wore a golden crown upon his head. Instead, he wore a form fitting black suit and tie, his salt-pepper colored hair was combed to the back of his head, and his Emerald eyes glared at the Knight.

“Dad-“ Nathaniel sighed, “-I told you I was helping someone.”

“And that someone happened to be a Witch? Not just a Witch but a Goddamn Grey?” King Leon tried his hardest to calm himself down but he was on unfamiliar territory and that territory belonged to Judias Grey. “Are you trying to get yourself killed?”

“He doesn’t want to kill me.”

“Not yet at least.”

Nathaniel shook his head at his father. “Are you kidding me with this? If he wanted me dead he wouldn’t have given me the antidote after I showed up on his doorstep poisoned.”

The King’s eyes widened at the words that just came out of his son’s mouth. “You were poisoned? By whom?”

“An Underworld Demon. Judias knows him and he’s going to vanquish him later.”

King Leon let out a loud chuckle, “Of course he does son, he’s a Witch. All Witches know Demonic Beings, as they are from the depths of Hell.”

“Judias isn’t like that.” Nathaniel stated in a calming tone that had little hints of rage behind every word, but it was said in a tone that didn’t show he was being disrespectful toward his father.

“Did he put a spell on you? Are you blind to the fact he is a Witch?”

“He is a Magical Being and when I took the oath to become a Knight, I swore to protect all Magical Beings. Including Witches.”

The King shook his head and threw his arms up in the air in defeat. “It’s official. You lost it.”

“I didn’t lose anything, dad. You and mom raised me to look at other Magical Beings with an open heart and mind and I plan to do just that with Judias. Yes, he may be a Witch but he’s in trouble. As you saw downstairs, that was his brother lying dead on the ground. And he was sent here to kill him by his father. Not to mention a few hours ago, Agatha was murdered and she was the last living friend he had. So please forgive me if I’m not seeing him as some green skinned monster, but as an actual Magical Being that needs my help.”

As much as King Leon hated to admit it, Nathaniel was right.

Being a Knight of the Magic Realm meant Nathaniel was chosen to protect all Magical Beings who were in trouble. In this case, that was Judias. But King Leon didn’t want to hear that excuse and he sure as hell didn’t want to look at Judias as someone to feel pity toward.

He cleared his throat and stood firm and straight placing his arms behind his back. “You are right son and I would never dictate who you should protect. Magical Beings need to always see each other as equals and never seek to hate one another because of differences or class…Unfortunately, Judias is a Witch who had decided five Centuries ago to abandon his home in the Magic Realm, to live his life here amongst the Mortals. I cannot and will not stand for you to waste another second protecting a traitor.”

The King walked over to the door of the office and turned around one last time to look at his son, “I am heading back to our Realm to investigate the remains of both Jonah and Agatha. At Noon, I am sending Valerius to retrieve you. You are to return back to the Magic Realm with Valerius, no excuses.”

Before Nathaniel could open his mouth to get a word in, his father disappeared in a dark blue light.

“Son of a-!” Nathaniel could feel the rage inside of him build up. His Hazel eyes turned crimson red. He felt his blood boil, he felt this heart beat faster than normal and he wanted to punch his fists through the wall but in the Knight’s mind, he heard humming. It was a soft hum that he had heard many times whenever he felt his rage get the best of him, he wasn’t sure if it was from his childhood or maybe he heard the song from a movie. Either way, the humming tune was there for him in times he felt he was going to lose all control. He exhaled and his eyes returned to their Hazel color.

Nathaniel let out a sigh and he looked over at the balcony to find Judias leaning on the railing, sipping coffee and watching as the sun was about to rise.

The Knight walked out of the living room and made his way toward the balcony door. Without facing Nathaniel, Judias took another sip of coffee and swallowed it. “I didn’t know you were royalty.” He turned to look at Nathaniel and smirked. “Forgive me if I’m not bowing down to your feet and worshipping the ground you walk on.”

“I would never ask for you to do that. Remember I introduced myself to you as a Knight, because that’s who I am. The Prince title was never for me. I would rather be front and center helping other Magical Beings, than protected in a castle.” Nathaniel stated.

Judias shrugged his shoulders and looked back at the dark sky. “According to your father, I’m seen as a threat to your wellbeing. I wouldn’t want you to protect me if you view me as he does.”

Nathaniel’s heart skipped a beat. He and King Leon were speaking in such a low tone because he didn’t want to insult the Witch, but clearly that was a waste of time.

The Knight rubbed the back of his neck in embarrassment, “You have very good hearing I see.”

“No.” Judias stated walking away from the balcony. “You two talk really loud.”

Judias walked back into the office and Nathaniel hummed the song once again in his mind, allowing himself a few seconds to calm down the fire he could feel burning inside of him. He let out a deep sigh and reentered the office.

“You must understand Judias, my father is from a different time. A different Century. When he was growing up, Witches were seen as the enemy. They were killing people of all ages, race, species, backgrounds etcetera. You have to forgive him for being a bit ignorant toward you. He just needs time.”

Judias placed the mug on his desk and he faced Nathaniel letting out a small chuckle. “It’s funny because I left the Magic Realm five centuries ago to avoid any more of the constant stares and the whispers I would hear every time I pass by a group of elderly Magical Beings. It wasn’t until I reached my teenage years that I realized, they were judging me because of my mother. A man-eating Siren. A Siren that sacrificed herself to give birth to me.”

No textbooks would’ve prepared Nathaniel for that revelation. He had heard many stories of Witches falling in love with Mortals, Warlocks and other Witches, but he had never heard of a Witch falling in love with a Siren. He couldn’t imagine how judgmental others must’ve been toward the Grey Family.

Witches mating with other beings not Magical were frowned upon by the Council of Magical Elders and even by others in the Magic Realm- but it wasn’t rare. Nathaniel couldn’t help but wonder how Judias must’ve been treated when some of the Magical Beings found out he was Gay, strangely Homosexuality isn’t accepted in many Magical Cultures; yet once again it wasn’t rare. Magical Beings are discriminated against in many ways than imagined, yet most of that discrimination comes from within the community. Pathetic right?

“That’s why I came here to this Realm. A Realm where I could start over. I could find something that I feel like I’ve lost centuries ago. To try to remember something I know I forgot…But no one here hates me because I’m a Witch. No. Over here I’m judged solely on being Gay.” Judias smiled shaking his head. “I’m not sure if that’s ironic or sad.”

“Can I ask you something?” Nathaniel asked.

Judias nodded his head as he walked over to the balcony door and closed it. “Sure shoot.”

“Why would your father want to kill you?”

That wasn’t a hard question to answer…well to Judias it might have been. There were a million reasons as to why his father would want him dead. “Please, refer to him as Rickasè. That’s his name…I don’t know to be honest. He was hardly around and when he was, he used his powers to steal, seduce women, torture animals and scare the local neighbors. He and I barely spoke.”

“Did he help train you with your powers atleast?”

Judias shrugged his shoulders. “No. Jonah did. Rickasè wasn’t present in my life much. But Jonah moved away and started a family of his own in a new town…Yet Rickasè was still around whenever he chose… I think he secretly blamed me for my mother’s death…Which was weird since many Sirens are Immortal.”

Nathaniel nodded his head, “May I ask how did you find out you were Immortal?”

Judias smiled. He felt as if this was a free therapy session and all that was missing was the long therapy couch and unwanted small talk. “I actually don’t know. All I remember was being beaten to death at an alleyway somewhere in the Magic Realm in 1517. I…woke up and I was at Agatha’s house. She helped me heal and explained how important it was that I move to the Mortal Realm. Since I already had that thought in my mind, with my mom being dead and no one left to care for, I decided to make the move.”

“So…you never casted a spell? Or had your brother do it?”

Judias rolled his eyes at what Nathaniel was implying. “I assure you, I did not cast a spell to be Immortal and I sure as hell didn’t plan on it. As I said, I was attacked and that’s how I found out. If I did cast a spell, the Council of Magical Elders would’ve been breathing down my neck by now.”

It’s true. King Leon may rule the Magical Kingdom of Sandsville with an iron fist but at the end of the day, The Council of Magical Elders is who really keeps law and order in the Magic Realm.

They have rules set forth for Magical Beings to follow and when someone does not follow those rules, they are met with consequences that can either destroy them or get their powers taken away and be banished from the Magic Realm for all eternity.

Considering Judias was standing before Nathaniel in good health and still with his powers, it was evident that the Witch wasn’t doing anything illegal.

Judias could feel there was an awkward silence falling upon them and he opened his mouth to change the subject but Nathaniel interjected, “I don’t want to sound insensitive but you need to come back to the Magic Realm with me.”

Judias glared at Nathaniel as if he lost his mind and within a second, he let out a laugh as if the Knight had made a joke. “Yeah that isn’t going to happen.”

Nathaniel sighed, “This isn’t the right time to be stubborn. Your brother was sent here to kill you by your father! Should I put the pieces together for you to realize how insane it is for you to stay here?”

“For your information Prince Nathaniel, this is my home! This is where I’ve survived five hundred New Year’s and where I watched the Gay Rights movement happen-even participated in a few events. Now I’m not saying I got arrested but I’m not saying I didn’t.” He giggled and gave Nathaniel a wink in hopes the Knight would join in the joke but sadly, he didn’t. He just glared at the Witch and crossed his arms across his chest showing how assertive he was being.

“This isn’t up for debate. You are coming back to the Magic Realm with me whether you’re kicking or screaming or—“

In a white smoky light both Judias and Nathaniel disappeared from the office space.





II

Somewhere:

Judias and Nathaniel appeared in the middle of a spacious loft apartment.

The loft’s décor consisted of Gothic furniture and Gothic era paintings of various figures hung up on the brick walls. There was not a television screen located anywhere in the room, just millions of books neatly stacked on a wooden bookshelf decorated involuntarily with cobwebs, a large table stood in a room that should’ve been the living room and on the table laid a large black cauldron, empty potion vials and a few knives.

Both men exchanged looks with one another unaware of how they got there or where they were.

“Did you bring us here?” Judias asked causing Nathaniel to shake his head quickly.

“I don’t even know what this place is.” The Knight looked around nervously. “It looks like a torture chamber.”

“It’s a Witch’s House.” Judias replied.

Nathaniel’s eyebrows lowered as he glanced at the Witch, “Who the hell would live here?”

“Me.” A voice softly spoke out causing both men to turn around.

Standing before them was Agatha, dressed in a white Heavenly gown and her grey hair flowing behind her like ripples in the ocean.

Nathaniel couldn’t believe his eyes. He had heard of Magical Beings coming back as Ghosts but he had never seen one in person before.

Judias however wasn’t shocked by the sight of the deceased woman’s Ghost before them. “Agatha, what are you doing here?”

The Heavenly Sorceress smiled as she looked at both men. “As you know Judias, I am only given a few minutes to say my peace before I move on, so I need to make this quick…I’m sure by now you know that your fatherr, Rickasè is trying to kill you.”

Judias nodded and rolled his eyes, “Tell him to pick a number and get on line. Besides, I can handle him.”

“Actually I’m afraid you might not be able to. Are you familiar with the Imp Potion?”

Nathaniel looked at the Witch in confusion. If he was asked about wars, football games, Magical weaponry and the History of the Echoes family, Nathaniel would tell you everything you needed to know in seconds; but when it came to potions and anything to do with Witchcraft; he was just as clueless as a Heterosexual male watching RuPaul’s Drag Race for the first time.

“The Imp Potion?” Judias asked in disbelief, “How the hell did his grubby hands get that?”

Agatha looked down remorsefully making it obvious she was the reason he obtained it. Nathaniel interjected quickly before anyone could speak, “What is an Imp Potion?”

“The Imp Potion-“ Judias began. “Is a potion designed to destroy an Immortal. It strips the victim of their Immortality and poisons them. Their death is painful and only lasts three seconds.”

Nathaniel’s heart skipped a beat as the news resonated in his mind.

Agatha looked back up at Judias and met his gaze. “I didn’t think he would stoop so low. But now that I’m dead, you are vulnerable to his attacks especially since the charm I put on you to cloak your scent from him is no longer active.”

Agatha’s words caused Nathaniel to let out a sigh of frustration and he looked at Judias in concern. “This is why we have to move you back to the Magic Realm immediately.”

“No need.” Agatha replied softly catching the Knight’s attention. “This loft we’re in is actually in the Magic Realm. I’ve purchased it years ago and I hardly needed to visit here since I became Mortal. It’s cloaked from beings of both the Magic and Shadow Realm, so you’ll be safe living here for as long as you need. There’s a portal located in the back closet that will take you to any Realm you need to go.”

“And where are we exactly?” Judias asked slowly.

“Midstonia.” She answered.

Midstonia is quite similar to New York City. They have a Mayor, City Hall, skyscrapers, laws, a nightlife, businesses-all owned and created by Magical Beings-, playgrounds, museums, schools and parks. The only difference between Midstonia and New York City is the fact Magical Beings can live out in the open without the fear of persecution from others based on who they are.

Ogres, Witches, Vampires, Wolf Shape Shifters, Fairies, Wizards, Gnomes, Trolls, Goblins and Ghosts are Magical Beings that Mortals have glamorized and made countless films and tv shows about. In their minds, these Beings were seen as dangerous and scary but that was far from the truth. In the Magic Realm, they lived amongst each other happily and in harmony; but there are times when things aren’t as glamorous as it seemed.

Sure this was the last place Judias wanted to be, but he had no other options on the table. Now that his father possessed the Imp Potion, it wouldn’t be long until Rickasè finds him and tries to kill him for whatever reason.

“I-I can’t stay here.” The Witch stated shaking his head. “You know I don’t do well in new places and not to mention the currency here is Quart stones. They sell a pack of those back in the Mortal Realm for $1.50!”

“Actually.” Nathaniel interjected with a smug smile on his face. “As of last month the currency is Rubies. My father felt Rubies are a lot easier to carry than Quart stones.”

“Ugh!” Judias rubbed his forehead in frustration.

“And if you’re worried about boredom don’t be. I spread the word around-helps when you’re a Ghost- that you are here and many of the Beings are eager to hire you.”

The Witch looked at her in confusion. “With what?”

“In the Mortal Realm you were known as a Private Investigator. Helping Migrated Magical Beings fit into their everyday lives. You took on cases the Mortals could never- would never understand. Here you’ll be doing the same thing.”

The thought of crimes being committed in the Magic Realm didn’t seem to be a shocker to either men. They knew it was all a part of having their own Realm away from the weak-minded Mortals- who were threatened by anything that wasn’t seen as “normal”.

“Wait.” Judias began trying to make sense of everything. “Isn’t it the Council’s job to enforce the laws? I mean, when I was in the Mortal Realm, I knew that using my powers for personal gain was wrong. I never exposed who I was to any Mortal. Why? Because the Council had forbidden it. Why is the Council unaware of any crimes happening in this city?”

“They aren’t blind to it.” The Ghost said softly. “However, they choose to look the other way when it concerns Midstonia. Urban life was never on the list of the Council members, even now with the new threat arising, they don’t seem to care if Midstonia parishes.”

It was times like these that Judias wished he had the ability to stop time and spend a few hours trying to calm himself down and destress, but sadly, he didn’t possess that ability.

“Wait, what new threat is arising?”

Agatha realized that throughout her time here she spent it more explaining the reasons behind her bringing the Witch and Knight to the Magic Realm, rather than the real reason she decided to have Nathaniel seek the Witch.

“There has been a few whispers that…The Box of Athena has resurfaced.”

Nathaniel felt as if a bolt of lightning struck him internally. He stood up straight and assertive as he heard the news about the ‘Box Of Athena’. He had learned about the box as well as the history behind it throughout his time in the Knight Academy, so he knew the fact it could’ve surfaced meant trouble for both the Magic and Mortal Realm.

Judias replayed the words again in his mind and he glared at the Ghost. “You told me years ago the Box was destroyed.”

“Yes I lied.” Agatha stated with ease. “The Box was in my possession the entire time.”

Both men let out a frustrated sigh at the confession and they shook their heads in anger and betrayal.

“You do realize this box is dangerous?” Nathaniel asked angrily.

“Ofcourse.” Agatha answered.

“Then why the hell would you lie about destroying it?” Judias interjected.

The Ghost of Agatha nodded her head slowly, that’s all she could do considering the damage she already caused. “I understand you are upset with me, but destroying the Box of Athena would have shifted the balance of Good and Evil. Athena used that box to protect the Magic Realm. Destroying it would throw off that balance. Besides, we all know the box cannot be opened without the Key.”

Nathaniel agreed with Agatha, “That’s right. Okay, well…where is the key?”

The Ghost turned to Nathaniel, smiled warmly and then replied, “I don’t know.” Which once again caused both men to let out a deep and frustrated sigh.

Athena was a Witch born in 1210AD and she was chosen to protect the Realms from Evil. While most Witches in that predicament would use their powers to vanquish the Evil beings, Athena didn’t believe killing would solve anything. So, she decided to create a box and charm it with Magical essence, in that box she placed all the Evil beings she encountered into it. These beings included: Warlocks, Hellbound Demons, Sirens, Leeches, Shapeshifters and everything that would make Mortals scared to sleep in the dark; as well as the Dark Magic Realm.

This was her own version of prison, as she believed those who did Evil things could be “fixed”. Ironically, she died ten years later after her fourteen-year-old son murdered her and took her powers.


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