top of page
Search

Cascade Hills 18:…What about a demon?


Cascade Hills

-

???

-


“…So we can use magic?”


The sigh Eric lets out is loud and filled with irritation. They had been walking only about a minute which felt like an eternity to Katherine with all the questions burning in her mind. She chooses to ignore Eric’s negativity, he may be her alpha but there was no way she wasn’t going to ask questions. Nathan gives Eric a look which Katherine is sure he feels and doesn’t even bother caring about.


“That’s a good question Katherine.” He says with a smile to Katherine.


Katherine can hear Eric mumbling something under his breath but again, his negativity isn’t needed here.


“To answer your question, it’s a little bit of column A and a little bit of column B. Supernatural creatures are inherently magical. Can they all use magic? Well, that depends greatly on the person. To put it a bit more simply magic is all around you, you just never knew it.” Nathan explains.


“Inherently only Gamma wolves can use magic outwardly. The other dynamics can sense magic and use latent magic or what we call ‘Runes’.” Rose picks up after Nathan.


Katherine nods as this information rattles in her head a bit. The whole concept of magic was something Kristen had been trying to get into before all this so this information wasn’t overly shocking. But it’s seeing it in action that’s really making her feel like she keeps missing a step. She is sure her nervousness is bleeding through the pack bond but she can’t really help it.


“Ok, so basically we may be able to perceive and sense it but not necessarily cast it ourselves?” Katherine pieces together.


“More or less. The ability to cast magic outside of using a rune is special to select supernatural creatures.”


“And the language you were speaking…? It was Latin right?” Katherine guesses.


Nathan smiles and nods to confirm her guess.


“Language of magic as we would call it.”


“I see… But I’ve never noticed anything odd about your house before?” Katherine says as she tries to think back.


To be honest it wasn’t until Nathan actually activated the spell that she even felt off. Like a tingle going up her spine and feel like a spark at her fingertips. It wasn’t unpleasant to speak, but it was something very different to feel.


“As you got more used to your new life, you would have started to notice more things. While I said we can reprieve magic, that really only applies if we are either told about said magic or have our senses attuned to it. If the spellcaster doesn’t want someone to know and is powerful enough, the magic cast could be hidden for years.”


“..Like the veil..” Katherine said as the logic slotted in place.


Nathan nodded once again to confirm her line of thinking. That information made sense logically to her but it also made her realize something else. Around the time when she first was turned, when going to her part-time. Her senses were all over the place and she felt almost scared of Ms Hughes which isn’t normal. Since then she has calmed down but her senses still go crazy every time she first arrives.


“W-wait, is Ms Hughes really a witch?” Katherine asks a bit nervously.


The topic of witches has always been a bit of a touchy subject. Kristen has mentioned on more than one occasion how dangerous witches are. Everyone seems to stumble at her words and then Eric lets out a laugh. The first sound he’s made since joining them and Katherine glares at him in response. Nathan also throws a glare his way before turning back to her with a reassuring smile.


“No, Ms Hughes isn’t a witch. She’s human but she has special abilities.”


“..So she’s like a hunter? Like Kristen?”


“Ah no, she’s closer to a shaman so to speak. Her title tends to vary from person to person. Some call her a seer, others call her a medium. The list goes on.” Nathan says with a shrug.


“She can see the future?!” Katherine says giving him a look.


How he could just bypass that bit of information is beyond her. He seems to see her inner thoughts and shakes his head with a smile.


“It’s not so cut and dry as you think. Seer’s do glimpse into the future, yes, but it’s usually very vague and an unsure one.”


“What do you mean?”


“What he means is that what she sees isn’t like a film and it’s abstract and requires interrupitation.” Rose finishes.


Katherine frowns at that cause that sounds utterly frustrating. Having the ability to see into the future only to have to play Guess Who? She goes to open her mouth and ask more questions but is stopped by the hushing motion Eric gives the group.


“Keep quiet, we’re near the council room.”


Katherine hadn’t really been paying attention on the way, she will admit. Due to her questioning what she thought was like a 4 to 5-minute walk was actually 15. She was sure they took some turns but she wouldn’t be able to remember that on her own at all. Before them, a few feet down the hall come to an end. A large dark wood double doors with the cobblestone that has been around them hugging at its edges. She couldn’t hear voices at first but after honing in her senses, a low murmur of a crowd came to her ears.


She let out a sigh as her nerves started spiking again. Nathan senses that through the bond no doubt takes her hand and gives it a firm squeeze.


“…T-they not gonna …have a problem with me right?” Katherine asks in a whisper.


A lot of her concerns have to do with her newness of this whole thing. To Nathan, Kristen, and the rest, she’s been at these for at least a couple of weeks now. And since this whole thing started she’s never really gotten a chance to experience the true gravity of her new reality. She understood that the world she now lived in was dangerous but that always felt far away. Being told about something and actually experiencing it was vastly different after all. Nathan gives her a comforting smile and gives her hand another squeeze.


“Don’t worry Kat, we won’t let anything happen to you.”


The doors creak as Eric pushes them open. They looked old and heavy, there was no telling how long they’d actually been down here. Once the doors were open, the council room was revealed. The room was circular in shape and quite spacious. The doorway they entered from was one of many that lined the outer edge of the room. There were bench seating that circled around 3/4 of the room in 4 rows. The center of the room had an elevated circle platform, the design was intricate and decorative. On the ceiling, there is a skylight that has a similar design to the raised platform on the ground. On the section opposite to where they entered is a raised area where 5 stone seats were. There were people scattered all over, talking among themselves. Katherine tried to scan through the people to see if there was anyone she recognized. She did this discreetly obviously but she didn’t really get a good look before Eric directed them to sit. Karen waved at them as they approached where she was seated.


As they all seated a loud clap echoed in the room making everyone quiet down and turn their attention to the 5 seats at the head of the room. 4 out of 5 of those chairs were occupied. Katherine clocked a few people in an instant. The first would be Kristen’s father who had his usually stony expression on his face. The next person was the one who actually clapped, an older woman whom Katherine had seen on TV a few times. It was Cascade Hill’s Major, Miranda Lyons. She looks as intense as she always does on TV. Seeing her both surprised Katherine but at the same time made obvious sense. It would explain her rather aggressive development of Cascade Hills. Adding shopping malls, a fully function hospital, and so on. She has always been changing the town with the full support of her council even though it didn’t always sit well with the town’s people. The last person Katherine could remember was only due to the very few times he came by the school for his kids, Benjamin Williams. He is both head doctor and CEO of Cascade Hills Hospital. The added knowledge that he is a vampire makes Katherine stare a bit. The man held himself in a regal manner that Katherine always assumed equaled more to having a lot of money. He has the same flirty blonde hair as his children but his eyes are a bit more darker, closer to a forest green. More than likely this man is probably one of the oldest being in this very room.


The last person was someone Katherine wasn’t familiar with. It was a man whose age was a bit difficult to pin down. Ball parking it, he looked to be in his late 20s maybe early 30s from looking at him. But the way he held himself seemed to scream nobility. In a way it was similar to Benjamin however it felt colder. He has short auburn color hair with strains pulling down over his forehead. His skin was an average cream, average height and weight. The things that would give someone pause would be his eyes and his attire. His eyes were a kaleidoscope of purples and blues in the shine of the light. His wardrobe matched something from a high fantasy novel, robes and flowing pieces.


He must have felt her eyes on his as he suddenly started to scan the grow. Katherine quickly turned away and looked back to the major as she addressed the room.


“Good afternoon everyone. As I’m sure you all are aware of the situation, we are currently doing our best to handle and find a solution to what is going on currently.”


A very diplomatic answer but it was obvious by the expressions of the people present there would have to be more than just pretty words.


“From what has been gathered information-wise, we can confirm that the storm and magic fluctuation is due to the World Tree and to further reach, the veil itself.”


She pauses for a second as if to let that information sink in.


“From that, we also learn that this happened at least a day ago. Unfortunately whoever it was has taken great lengths to hide their tracks not only for the wolves but also the Fae people.” She finishes giving only a passing look over the the unknown man.


He looked less than pleased by that statement but didn’t say anything. Just shifts his chair with a snort. A hand is raised in the crowd and the mayor nods to the person to speak. It was a man, he appeared to be somewhere between his mid-20s to early 30s if Katherine had to guess. Dark colored hair with equally dark-colored eyes, and dressed casually which didn’t give away what he did or who he was. Cascade Hills has an interesting phenomenon of being small enough to be called a town still but has enough population that not everyone knows everyone.


“Are we in danger? This storm can’t be all that will happen.”


That question was a valid one and garnered a murmur of whispers from the crowd. The mayor nodded understandingly as she motioned for quiet again.


“We are already putting in countermeasures for the situation hand. We will be transparent as always to make sure everyone is prepared for whatever happens. However…”


She trails off for a second and glances around the room.


“The most vital thing that needs to be addressed is who has caused this.”


The room felt like the temperature had dropped a bit, and a cool creeping silence hung in the air.


“From what we have discovered the world tree has been poisoned. It is a slow-acting corruption which means two things. 1st off, it is more than likely that it is directly tied to whoever is causing this, which makes countering it a bit more tricky but not impossible. Secondly, even when we do counteract it, there is the issue that whoever is doing this isn’t just corrupting the tree, they are also siphoning power from it.”


That last statement splashed shock over everyone’s faces. An immediate uproar of questions started after that.


“S-Siphooning power? I didn’t think any creature could do that!”


“Isn’t that really bad?! Something with that much power!!”


“Are we in danger?! What should we-”


“Enough!”


The authority in the mayor’s voice was enough to silence the murmurs of many voices. She looks over everyone before answering.


“While I understand your concerns and stress, as I said before we are already implementing countermeasures. The point I was trying to make was narrowing down what the creature could be. There are a few ideas being thrown around but as we all know having more heads in this is how our town has stayed the way it is been for years.”


Those words seem to pacify the crowd. After all the mayor’s words were correct. For years Cascade Hills has stayed peaceful even when the occasional incident occurred. Though this current situation is much more dire, it still is something surely they could handle as they always have.


“…Could it be wraith?” Someone suggested.


There was a small murmur but the mayor shook her head.


“Doubtful, a wraith while is able to be very elusive, isn’t powerful enough to siphon from the world tree.”


“W-what about a wendigo? Didn’t we just have an issue with one not that long ago?”


The mention of the wendigo brought back a bitter cold feeling to Katherine. With everything that had been going on as of late, she really hadn’t had time to think about her near-death experience. That and the fact that she barely remembered it has been both in some sense a blessing and a curse. Nathan must feel her through the pack bond as he steps a bit closer and holds her head. She looks over to him to which he gives her a gentle smile.


It’s enough to give her comfort and let her bat away the terrible thoughts about that night. She knows that eventually, the events of that night will rear its ugly heads but it gives her relief to know she won’t face it alone.


“No, it wouldn’t be a wendigo either. Only an adult one would even be close enough to do something like this and that would be something we all would have noticed before it even got to this point. Besides the one that was killed was a young, barely even an adolescent.”


The room once again goes into a hushed murmur of voices as everyone seems to be discussing what this new enemy could be. A voice suddenly speaks over the crowd and her words ring out like a gunshot.


“…What about a demon?”


The whole room stops, everyone turns simultaneously and looks at the speaker. Kristen doesn’t appear phased or even nervous as all the eyes in the room fall on her, even her father’s. It was quiet enough that you could hear a pin drop, if Katherine could guess, she was pretty sure some people were even holding their breath. The moment passes and the mayor speaks. Her words come out slowly as her gaze seems to analyze Kristen like she is an interesting bug.


“..That is quite the … accusation to make. A demon isn’t something one brings up casually… Why do you think that it’s a demon of all things?”


Kristen seems to brace herself before she starts her explanation.


“..I mean, it makes sense right? Every creature is physically tied to our world. No matter how elusive they are by nature, they will leave some kind of sign. A demon doesn’t have that kind of problem since technically they are not physically in our world.”


Based on her explanation that did make sense. However, the mayor’s face only became darker as she seemed to take in the information.


“…While I do agree with you on that. There is one small flaw with your…idea.”


Kristen doesn’t seem bothered by that statement. It looked like she was more or less expecting it. The one to finish that Mayor’s statement however was her father who was looking at Kristen with an unreadable expression.


“A demon with the ability to siphon from the world tree isn’t normal. A human couldn’t be a host for something like that.”


Katherine didn’t have to follow everything to know that was bad. It was written on everyone’s face as clear as day. She doesn’t even realize how tense she is until she feels Nathan squeeze her hand. She turns to look back at him and he gives her a sympathetic smile. Her panic was probably bleeding all into the pack bond.


“…I know that. More than likely the demon is possessing a supernatural creature.”


The looks that this got were a mix of concern and suspicion.


“…You think that there is a supernatural creature in the town that we don’t know about?” The Mayor stressed as she gave Kristen a pointed look.


Her father was also giving her a look, but she seemed to be ignoring it to the best of her ability. Kristen held the mayor’s stare, her face not giving away any hint of nervousness or doubt.


“…I’m not saying that it is anyone’s fault. There are… a few creatures that could hide in plain sight even among our community.”


Her words were pointed and the insinuation seemed to catch on by a few people. And it didn’t take longer for the rest to follow along. The mayor’s face went from a cool curiosity to a cold realization as she also caught onto what was being suggested.


“…Surely you don’t think that-”


“It could be a witch?”


Katherine didn’t have to strain to hear the intake of breaths at that. A bitter smell filter into the air which did catch her of guard. She hadn’t been trying to sense the emotions around her which meant one thing. That the fear of those present was enough that even without trying she could smell it. Katherine may not have ever met a witch but the reputation they had was more than enough for her.


“…Again, that is a very bold assumption.”


“…It’s just an idea. It’s just what makes the most sense after all.” Kristen says with a shrug.


She tries to play it off as casual but it is very obvious that she has put a deal of thought into this idea. The mayor seems to watch her for a few seconds before giving a smile that tenses at the edges of her mouth.


“I see. Well we will keep that in consideration.”


She then turns her head to address the room.


“We will have periodic meetings just to make sure everyone is kept up to date. I ask that if anyone finds out any more information to make sure to contact the council immediately.”


With that said, she then dismissed the meeting. Katherine who had been quiet the whole meeting which originally didn’t think was going to be possible had so many questions buzzing in her head. There were terms and names thrown out that she was unfamiliar with and concepts she surely didn’t fully understand. For instance, the shock and confusion everyone had about some creature being able to drain the world tree.


Clearly, it was bad, but what exactly did that mean in laymen’s terms?


And there was obviously the big elephant around demons and witches. She was still having a hard time wrapping her head around the idea of ‘demons’ which is kind of ironic since Kristen has mentioned them to her before.


It’s just… the idea of demons fells like a faraway concept even in a world as magically as the one she now finds herself in.


She felt very much like a fish out of water with all of this.


“-Erine!”


She snapped back to reality at the sound of half of her name being called. The meeting room has been mostly cleared out, something she clearly was too stuck in her own head to realize. Nathan gave her his usually assuring look while the rest of their group looked either bored or just eager to leave.


“Oh so-sorry! I guess I just got a bit lost in my own head…”


Nathan just nods to her understandingly.


“Trust me I get it, you’ve got a lot of questions. We’ll try to answer them when we get back as much as possible.”


Katherine smiles gratefully and nods. They all gather up to leave but Katherine throws one more glance back at the head of the room where the council still was but were now talking softly to each other. Well at least 3 of them were, the man who Katherine doesn’t recognize at all wasn’t participating. In fact he seems to be lost in thought far away somewhere. Katherine only spared him a passing glance, she wasn’t sure as to why but something about him was off. Something deep inside her was telling her that he wasn’t normal even though he appeared like a more or less average man. But she surrendered to the fact that she would get her answer soon enough and didn’t linger.


What she doesn’t notice, and neither does anyone else is that man does look back at her briefly before she exits the room. His eyes were giving off a very faint pinkish glow.

0 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page