Excerpt for Judias Grey by , available in its entirety at Smashwords



All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used

in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the

publisher/author except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.


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 © 2018 by Edwin Betancourt


Created in the United States of America


First Printing, 2018



For Business Inquiries, Questions, or bookstore questions Email: EJB326@gmail.com







Judias Grey



By Edwin Betancourt



























To my 13 year old self,

This is for you!





















Never put your faith in a Prince. When you require a miracle, trust in a Witch.”
Catherynne M. Valente, In the Night Garden



This Witchy Night



In a Wooden Cabin Outside of Brinkersville: June 26th, 2018 @ 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 Brinkersville. 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 unto 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 Wiccans, which was an idiotic thing to do since Brinkersville’s history involved Wiccans 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.

Agatha Rizè 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 Brinkersville viewed the silver long haired, elderly woman as a ‘psycho’, ‘town loon’ and even ‘crazy old bat’, but the truth was, Agatha was far from being a loon.

She was the former Sorceress of the Underworld, dethroned by her own people when she refused to sacrifice herself during the Invasion of The Dark Shadow Realm War. For her safety, she fled to the Mortal Realm and found comfort in a town created by Wiccans in 1816A.D named Brinkersville. 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 and 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 Realms destroyed. I could smell burning flesh; I could see blood everywhere. Then out of the blinding smoke, I saw…I saw 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 has been 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 strange creature appeared before him. The creature stood no taller than six feet, its eyes were as dark as ebony, its face: charred and battered. Its grey, oily skin was cracked and rusted-similar to a rusted cast iron statue of a Cupid found in a yard of an abandoned house. 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 were 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 pull off 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 unclenched 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, who still had her back turned against the creature and it 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, as well as a book from her bookshelf and a few letters she had written the night before.

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 known as Brinkersville.

The adults no longer had to worry about their crops being 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.

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 28 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 directly to voicemail and placed the phone back in his pocket, making it obvious that he really didn’t want to speak to her.

She was probably calling to ask him how his blind date went with a local Waiter she fixed him up with a few hours ago and that wasn’t a topic he wanted to revisit. 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 yesterday. 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 wasn’t like most twenty eight year olds living in the Big Apple. While he spends a majority of his time binge watching various shows on Netflix, writing poetry and swiping left on cliché gym selfies on the dating app Tinderdate; he’s also a certified Private Investigator with his own office near the Hudson River. There was 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 Wizard or a Warlock?

Well, Judias (Ju*Die*Us) is a Male Witch because his father was one.

Witches in common literature are always perceived to be angry, bitter, vengeful and ugly women, while men are seen as Wizards or Warlocks; and that is completely wrong, especially in this situation.

Wizards from the Magic Realm are born with Wizardry in their blood. This craft could only be powerful with enough studying in Magic School as well as the possession of a Magic Wand, and once a Wizard is able to master the power of Wizardry, they can become a beacon of hope…unless they are recruited to the Evil side, then they could become a very powerful threat.

Just like Wizards, Witches are born with power in their blood. This power is passed down from generations to generations, similar to traditions, beliefs and heirlooms.

Witchery isn’t a topic that is taught in Magic School, or really anywhere in the Magic, Mortal, FaerieTalè, Grimmer or Shadow Realms. It is believed that Witchery is a power that can corrupt even the strongest of minds to turn Evil and that ignorant thinking is what caused many Covens to go into hiding and teach themselves.

Naturally, just like in the Mortal Realm, there are Witches who decide to go against the laws put in place by The Council of Magical Elders and they use their powers for evil, becoming dangers to themselves and all five Realms.

Whereas Warlocks are Evil Beings who use the powers they already possess, to destroy other Magical Beings.

Judias is a Witch and proud of it…however, he is the sole heir of the Grey Family- a family all made up of powerful male Witches. Not only does he have the abilities of Telekinesis, Teleportation, an Ultrasonic Scream that could knock enemies to their feet, deafen them or cause their brains to explode (only happened once and that was solely by accident) and the ability of Spellcasting, which many Witches possess. But he had something that not many other Witches had and it made him a Black Sheep in both the Magic Realm and the Witchery community and that was the fact he possessed: Immortality.

“N-No! Get off me! N-AGH!” A scream rang 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 hurled Diana 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 when she quickly jumped up 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, which 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 Goddess 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 was relieved they came at the perfect time.

Judias flashed Diana a smile and in a purple light, he disappeared from the alleyway leaving her dazed and confused. 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 reappeared 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.”

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 living in the Mortal Realm for five Centuries, it 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, or all the Magical Beings Judias had battled before.

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

The man looked no older than thirty. He had short black hair, short trimmed facial hair and lying next to him was a silver and black sword. He wore a gold and black leather doublet 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.

But it didn’t take long for the Witch to recognize the injured male. His eyes widened, as the male finally was able to lean his back against the wall as his right hand covered a bleeding wound on the right side of his chest. As far as Judias could see, the skin surrounding the puncture wound was turning black, which meant he was poisoned.

The man smiled through the pain and muttered, “Hey honey…I-I’m home.”

Judias let out a sigh of frustration never once thinking he would see Nathaniel Echoes ever again. Nathaniel wasn’t just a Knight in the Magic Realm, he was also a Prince! But to Judias he wasn’t a Knight or a Prince —he was the Witch’s ex-husband!

*III*

The man’s height was 6 feet –a fact Judias forgot about once he helped the Knight to his feet and brought him inside of the spacious office. When the Knight was placed on a black leather sofa, Judias noticed the Knight’s 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. Nathaniel tired his hardest to control his breathing, which was beginning to become short and painful.

Judias snapped his fingers and in a purple light the Knight’s shirt disappeared, reappearing on a nearby wooden chair and the Witch was able to get a better look at the wound.

Nathaniel smirked looking down at his exposed upper body, “Just like old times.”

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

“No” the Knight 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 twenty minutes ago. Your abilities are not going to work because a dagger laced with poison wounded you. Although you can heal, your ability 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.”

Nathaniel smiled shaking his head at the Witch, “I’m not sure if this is Déjà vu or irony.” He said taking the potion from the Witch. He sniffed the contents and winced in disgust; the aroma was strong and bitter. It smelled like weeks old milk fused with rotten eggs.

Judias watched as the Knight made a facial expression showing how disgusted he was at the aroma emitting from the vial, “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 Knight nodded his head. He slowly brought the vial to his lips and with a quick movement; he swallowed the liquid as if he was a Frat boy taking Jello shots at a local college party.

He handed Judias the empty vial and looked down at the 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 Knight shot the Witch a confused look, “What do you meant ‘it actually worked’? Didn’t you ever make an antidote before?”

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, what the hell are you doing here?”

The Knight felt like himself so he wasted no time by jumping to his feet. “Well first off, you look amazing for someone who’s over five hundred years old.”

Judias rolled his eyes smirking, “Flattery gets you nowhere.”

Nathaniel grabbed his white blood stained shirt, placed it on and followed the Witch. “I wasn’t flattering you, just being honest.” He paused for a second to think of the proper words to say and he cleared his throat. “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. “Jude…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. He wanted to apologize but Judias quickly turned to face the Knight.

“Are you sure?”

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

“Did you see her body? I ask because she faked her death many centuries ago to avoid marrying an Ogre.”

Nathaniel had many questions about that one sentence but it wasn’t the time or place. He instead nodded 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 an S&M convention. Leather 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. He had short blonde hair, somewhat reminiscent to Prince Charming after he went through his Gothic phase. Um… blue eyes, more like aquamarine and a scar over his right eyebrow.”

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

Inside of the office space was 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 door which led out to what Nathaniel would assume was obviously a balcony that overlooked the Hudson River.

“God, I see you’re still as organized as ever.” He smirked and continued on, “What is it that you do here exactly anyway?”

The Knight tried 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, a cabinet of thick spell books and empty potion vials 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 question came just seconds as the Witch began to sort through manilla folders all located in the drawer.

The Knight 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 Realms…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. These cities include San Francisco, Salem, Los Angeles, Toronto and New York City. I moved here to live my life outside of the Magic Realm but I was blind in my ignorance and reminded that Magic is in my blood and like a stalker ex-boyfriend-or in this case ex-husband…I can never outrun it. So instead of hiding away, I decided to build a P.I firm to help Magical Beings with cases that they can’t go to the Mortal police with. Except the Mortals assume it’s some kind of P.I 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 trying to find something. Judias noticed his confused reaction. “What’s wrong?”

“Oh I was just trying to find any indication of you seeing someone.”

“Nathan-.” Judias began, “We’re not doing this. You and I had an amazing Fairy Tale romance. One that would inspire the younger Gays and Hollywood would retell it by white washing us both and also making us a Heterosexual couple, unless Ryan Murphy writes it, then our story will be a psychotic porno.”

Nathaniel had no idea who Ryan Murphy was but he continued listening to the Witch. “But our marriage ended when you decided to give up being a Knight to become a Prince again. And since Princes are forbidden from marrying Witches, a sacrifice had to be made.”

“You could’ve given up your powers.”

“And lose my identity to be a trophy husband? Yeah that wasn’t going to happen.” Judias smiled clearing his throat, “ Besides, we’re both adults now, so we can clearly focus on the future instead of dwelling on the past.”

Nathaniel nodded his head remembering how his life changed when he met Judias, when he realized that Judias was the only person he wanted to spend his life with…but all that changed a year into their marriage when Nathaniel did the unthinkable.

Judias looked back at the drawer and he pulled out a picture. “Is this the guy that stabbed you?” He showed the Knight a picture of a man that fit the description he gave a few seconds ago. The Knight’s eyes widened in both 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. Nothing a Vanquishing Potion can’t fix.”

CRASH!

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

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

Nathaniel 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 Judias was doing really well for himself considering the past they shared and everything he went through.

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 tight. 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 unclenched his right hand causing it to glow brightly in a blue light. “What 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 and he let out a small gasp.

The creature had no lips just yellow stained razor sharp teeth. No pupils, just Ebony eyes and oily 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.

Judias waved his right arm in hopes of hurling the creature telekinetically across the room…but nothing happened. “What the hell?”

The creature hissed quietly and began to stagger towards him.

“Ooh okay well that’s not good.” Judias watched as Nathaniel slowly got up from the ground and 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 glared 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.

“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 left hand. He swiftly swung the sword decapitating the creature with 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.

“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 shape shift as humans from time to time. Sometimes Sorcerers or Demons hire them to assassinate people.”

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 change and he stopped cleaning the sword when he recognized the remains on the ground. “Is that-?”

The Witch nodded his head slowly. “Yeah…Zachary…my best friend.”

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 turning to him. “None of us knew. But you’re right. These creatures are the Underworld’s assassins. Although Zachary died Centuries ago from the Black Plague. He was never a Figurablot. But you’re right, he was 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 the longest.” The Witch let out a sigh of frustration and he met Nathaniel’s gaze. “My father.”









END



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 Zachary with a black tarp.

He was still trying to piece together everything that happened within the past two hours. From Agatha’s death, to being poisoned by an Underworld Demon, to reuniting with Judias and then finding out Zachary 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.

Leon Echoes, the King of Sandston­ 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 and pepper colored hair was combed to the back of his head, and his Emerald eyes glared at the Knight.

“Dad.” Nathaniel sighed, “-I don’t need you here. I have everything under control.”

“Do you? I have Magical Beings here in the Mortal Realm taking a body of a Magical Being that was sent here to kill your ex-husband, who also happens to not only be a Witch but a Goddamn Grey! Do I have to spell out how dangerous it is for you to be here?” 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?”

“I’m Immortal, I can’t die. Besides Judias had no idea I was coming here. And the last thing he wants to do is kill me!”

“Not yet atleast.”

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 knows him, he’s a Witch. All Witches know Demonic Beings, as they are all 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 another spell on you? Are you forgetting the fact he’s a Witch?”

“He is a Magical Being and when I took the oath to become a Knight-then a Prince and then back to 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. Yes, he may be a Witch but he’s in trouble. As you saw downstairs, that was his best friend- someone I knew- lying dead on the ground; and he was sent here to kill him by his own father. Not to mention a few hours ago, Agatha was murdered and she was the last living friend Judias 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 not only abandon his home in the Magic Realm but also to make a mockery of the Echoes name! For some unbeknownst reason he decided 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 Zachary 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 stopped himself and he let out a sigh of frustration. He looked over at the balcony to find Judias leaning against 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 see your father is still my number one fan.”

“He’s just angry something like this is happening under his nose and he doesn’t know what to do.” explained Nathaniel.

Judias shrugged his shoulders and looked back at the dark sky. “Welcome to my world. That’s why I left.” He took in one last glance and faced Nathaniel, “Your father is right though. You shouldn’t waste your time protecting me.”

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 as Judias heard every word.

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 quickly followed.

“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.”

“Time?” Judias placed the mug on his desk and he faced Nathaniel letting out a small chuckle. “It’s funny because growing up I would hear Elderly Magical Beings whisper about me every time I passed by. It wasn’t until I reached my teenage years that I realized, they were judging me because of my parents. My father, a psychotic Dark Witch hell bent on power and my mother, the Siren.”

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. Then again, when he and Judias were together, the subject of his family was always off limits.

Witches mating with other beings non-Magical were frowned upon by the Council of Magical Elders and even by others in the Magic Realm- but it wasn’t rare.

Nathaniel didn’t have to wonder how Judias was treated for being Gay because they both went through the same adventures of being accepted by many, feared by most, and hated by the religious nutcases who hated them for being Magical and Gay.

Strangely, Homosexuality wasn’t accepted in many Magical Cultures; and even to this day many Culture in the Magic Realm are still against it.

“That’s why I came here to this Realm. A Realm where I could start over. I wouldn’t be known as ‘The Dark Witch’s son’ or even ‘Prince Nathaniel’s ex-husband’. And 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?”

There were a million reasons as to why Judias’ father would want him dead. “Please, refer to him as Rickasè. That’s his name, a father is a role he never had the luxury to play in my life. And 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 at least?”

Judias shook his head. “No. Aunt Crue did. Rickasè wasn’t present in my life much.”

“You never bothered casting a spell that would kill Rickasè, so you wouldn’t have to worry about him harming you?”

“That’s actually illegal to do and if I were to do that, 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 Sandston 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, get their powers taken away or they could 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. Zachary 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 vanished.





*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.

There was a large table in the middle of what 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 Apparitions 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 father, Rickasè is trying to kill you.”

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

“Actually I’m afraid you might not be able to. He’s dead.”

The Witch’s heart skipped a beat in his chest at the news and Nathaniel placed a hand on the man’s shoulder to comfort him. Truthfully, Judias wasn’t sad or mourning, he was confused more than ever. “What are you talking about? I thought he raised Zachary back from the dead and hired him to kill me?”

“He did.” Agatha stated. “But that was before I put the charm on you. It cloaked your scent so he and his assassins could not find you. Now that I’m deceased, the cloaking charm is no longer active, yet the reward he put on your life is still being given. While your father is unable to kill you, that won’t stop any other Magical Beings from trying to finish the job and claim the reward.”

“But he’s dead.” Judias pointed out, “How can he give the reward if he’s dead?”

“He put someone in charge of his estate. I, along with the Council, have no idea who that person is.”

Nathaniel glared at the ghost. “And what’s the reward?”

She met the Knight’s glare, “Immortality.”

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 a service elevator, should you get visitors who might need your power of deduction”

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

“Midstonia.” She answered.

Midstonia is quite similar to New York City. It has a Mayor, City Hall, skyscrapers, laws, 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, 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 were times when things weren’t as peaceful as one would think.

Sure this was the last place Judias wanted to be, but he had no other options on the table.

If he remained in the Mortal Realm he would put every single Mortal in danger especially now with the reward for Immortality on the line, the target on the Witch’s back became huge.

“I know this is the last place you would want to be Judias, but we cannot take any chances with you in the Mortal Realm. We don’t know the threats heading your way. I’m sure you’ve met Zachary already?”

Nathaniel interjected, “We did and had I known that was him I wouldn’t have killed him.”

“Do not apologize for killing a threat, Nathaniel. That is what being a Knight requires of you. To make tough decisions, especially for the ones you love.”

Judias heard the words resonate and he let out a cold laugh, which caused Nathaniel to flinch. “Love? He and I are over. And I don’t appreciate you trying to get us back together.”

“Well I mean-” Nathaniel said turning to the Witch. “-If Agatha feels we should try to work things out we should trust the former Sorceress of the Underworld.”

“Ha!” the Witch spat offending the Knight.

“My intentions of reuniting you two were not to play Cupid and I didn’t send Nathaniel to you because of that either.”

Both the Witch and Knight looked at the ghostly Agatha in confusion.

“Then what for?”

“When you two were together-magically, you were unstoppable. No forces could’ve stopped you. Now more than ever this the Realms needs that powerful magic once again, especially since I…did something.” Agatha bowed her head in remorse, which was an interesting thing to see since she was an apparition who shouldn’t really feel any sense of guilt or grief.

Nathaniel stood firm and straight placing his hands by his side. “What did you do?”

“Many centuries ago, I was given the Box of Athena to destroy. As you both know, destroying the box is the only way to keep the Evil forces from trying to open it and unleashing the Dark Realm. Well in doing so, I decided instead of destroying the box and the entire Dark Realm trapped inside, that I would…hide the box and seal it shut with my magic.”

“What?!” Both Nathaniel and Judias asked in shock.

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 Evil beings, Athena didn’t believe killing would solve anything. Therefore, 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, the entire Dark Realm, Shapeshifters and everything that would make Mortals scared to sleep in the dark.

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.

Agatha was given the box many centuries ago and was told to destroy it, but she couldn’t do it knowing she would destroy millions of beings trapped inside, shifting the balance between Good and Evil. Instead, she decided to hide the box using her infamous ‘Cloaking Charm’.

What many Magical Beings didn’t know was that when a being casts a charm on an item or even cast a spell and the Spell caster dies, the effects of the charm or spell becomes ineffective; meaning now that Agatha was dead, so was the Cloaking Charm.

Judias didn’t really want to hear the long and boring version of this story, especially since it wouldn’t be long until Agatha has to spiritually move on. He let out a sigh of frustration and interjected, “Where is the box? And does anyone else know you hid it?”


Continue reading this ebook at Smashwords.
Download this book for your ebook reader.
(Pages 1-35 show above.)