Hitomi the Witch:Part Six
PART SIX: THERE'S NO WAY THIS CAN BE REAL!
"Well….today’s the day," Hitomi gulped, looking up at the darkened sky. A new moon hung high above them; this signaled the day for all up-and-coming witches to participate in their coronation ceremonies. Hitomi assumed that there were a lot of others girls like her all around Neopia, each of them waiting anxiously for the moment when they, too, will become full-fledged Neopian witches. "I still can’t believe that going to become a real witch!" Hitomi squealed.
Erika shivered. "I can’t believe Kirara told us to meet her at Shí Kè Square in the middle of the night!" She sighed, a trail of steam exhaling from her mouth. "This ‘coronation ceremony’ thing better be interesting!"
"I’m surprised Mickey refused his invitation," Hitomi said glumly.
"Eh, he cares more about his math exam than you, I suppose," Erika remarked.
Hitomi shrugged, not wanting to continue the conversation. As the girls descended towards their location, she glanced around for Kirara. Shí Kè Square was located in the centre of their town, and it was made up of grey tiles laid down in a diamond pattern. Each tile was engraved with swirled designs, and in the middle of the square stood a clock tower constructed entirely of rocks. Hitomi glanced at the clock. "It’s a quarter until eight. I wonder where Kirara is."
"I bet she’ll poof herself here at the last minute in some dramatic fashion," snickered Erika. She nudged her friend. "So, how’s the next future witch of Neopia feeling right now?"
"Nervous," Hitomi breathed. "I know Kirara’s helped me tremendously by loaning me books and showing me how to control my powers—"
"You had to read BOOKS?" gasped Erika.
Hitomi nodded. "They were necessary to help me better understand my powers." She poofed up two cups of hot cocoa and handed one to Erika. "Let’s drink these while we wait."
Erika took a gulp. "Yummers! This stuff is so creamy!" She stared at Hitomi with amazement. "I can’t believe that my best friend—the klutzy, shy Hitomi Hoshizora—is an actual witch! This is even better than that one time the Advent had that extra summer day last year."
"I’m still not an expert, though," Hitomi insisted.
"Yeah, but at least you can poof up fancy lunches for Neoschool," Erika insisted. "You’ll never have to cook again!"
Hitomi shrugged. "I actually enjoy cooking. And besides," she said, holding out her right hand, "there’s still something that I can’t do."
Erika gasped at the sight of Hitomi’s hand: three of her fingers were covered with bandages and two more were placed on her palm. "My gosh! You really had to use up your agreement-thing for sewing, did you!?!?" She scoffed. "Geez, I would have picked something else—like drawing or, I don’t know, book flipping."
"I’m sure my sewing will improve over time," Hitomi insisted. "All I need are patience, time and extra thread."
"And what were you working on before you butchered your hand?" Erika demanded.
Hitomi blushed. "I was just embroidering a handkerchief. My plan was to embroider the edges with bluebells."
Erika rolled her eyes. "Well, thank goodness you have healing magic!" Hitomi nodded and both girls broke out into a fit of giggles.
Just then, a dark purple sphere emerged in the middle of the square and, with a dramatic poof, Kirara revealed herself through a mass of purple and black mist. She flipped her swirled pigtails and said, "The master of ceremonies has finally arrived!"
"Wow, what an entrance!" Hitomi breathed. She poofed her and Erika’s empty mugs away and approached Kirara. "So, is it time for the coronation yet?"
Kirara nodded. "Follow me, and I’ll direct you right underneath the moon." She took Hitomi’s hand and led her five feet away from the clock. "There we are. Now all you need to do is the ceremony stuff and you’ll be good to go!"
"That’s it?" asked Erika. "Doesn’t Hitomi need to do chant something or—better yet—perform any weird dancing?"
"Chants are Year 2!" Kirara scoffed, waving a hand dismissively. "Nowadays, it’s more common—and easier—for witches to concentrate their powers in one focal point, thus creating their own Spell Charms. That’s honestly the only major thing Hitomi needs to do."
"Really?" Hitomi wondered.
Kirara nodded. "Now clutch your hands together and concentrate all of your magical energy into your palms," she instructed. "You have to wait a while, but after every bit of magic within you has been gathered, your Spell Charm will appear and you’ll be a full-fledged witch!"
"Then you can poof us up some sundaes!" Erika added, laughing.
Hitomi nodded and followed Kirara’s instructions. She used her willpower and focus to concentrate all of her magic in the space between her palms. At first she didn’t feel anything, and she worried something had gone wrong. But then she gasped as sky purple light illuminated her hands and streamed out from between her fingers in sharp rays. "What’s going on?" Hitomi gasped frighteningly.
"Just hang on for a few more minutes!" Kirara shouted.
"Okay!" Hitomi closed her eyes and began to feel the formation of a solid object in her hands. It took a little while longer of concentration and mind strength before the light disappeared, the Spell Charm was finally formed and Hitomi collapsed to her knees. Huffing and puffing, Hitomi looked down at the Spell Charm that had fallen to the ground and picked it up. "Is this…is this ?" she breathed, admiring the glass sphere.
Erika knelt down next to her. "Are you okay? Do you need to go to the hospital?"
"I’m fine," Hitomi insisted, standing up. "In fact, I’m feeling great!" She stretched her arms widely. "I feel like a new, rejuvenated me! It’s wonderful."
"Yeah," Erika agreed. "And now we can have those sundaes, right?"
Kirara nodded. "I’m very impressed, Hitomi. You’re now an official witch and that Spell Charm is yours for now on."
Hitomi beamed. "I couldn’t have done it without you, Kirara. Thanks a bunch!" Placing her new Spell Charm into her jacket pocket, she bowed and turned to leave with Erika. "Now let’s go get some nice, warm food."
"Sundaes first," Erika insisted.
"Oh, I don’t think so." Kirara leapt into the air and landed in front of Hitomi and Erika, who immediately backed away from her. Her eyes narrowed, Kirara snapped her fingers, which caused a swirl of black flower petals to surround her.
"What the Hanso?" Erika gasped.
The pedals disappeared, and Kirara was now wearing a black dress adorned with white lace trim. She extended a hand towards Hitomi and said, "If you wish to continue living in idle peace, Hitomi Hoshizora, then I suggest that you hand over your Spell Charm to me. Then I’ll be on my way."
"Wh-wh-what?" Hitomi’s legs trembled and her mouth was suddenly dry. Why in Neopia was Kirara—her FRIEND—asking for her Spell Charm? And why had she changed clothes? Hitomi told herself.
"I’m waiting," Kirara sighed impatiently. "Aren’t you going to hurry up?"
Hitomi quivered. "I-I don’t know if I should…after all, Rina said her Spell Charm was taken—"
"I know what happened to Rina," Kirara said bluntly, "and she was a fool if she thought she could ever get away with her Spell Charm. You’ll be a fool as well if you don’t hurry up and surrender." She smirked. "Or must we dance a little first?"
Erika stepped forward and shouted, "There’s not going to be any dancing! Hitomi earned her witch charm thing all on her own and you of all Neopians know that! So why don’t you take your traitorous little self away before I make you sorry!"
Kirara laughed. "As if a mortal like you could ever do any harm towards me." She glared at Hitomi. "I’ll ask you one last time, Miss Hoshizora. Give me your Spell Charm and I promise you will be spared."
Hitomi surprised herself by shaking her head fervently. "I’m sorry Kirara, but I can’t. You see, like Erika said, I worked—"
"Too late." Kirara poofed up a purple bow and arrow and arched the arrow towards the sky, sending it flying towards the biggest cloud around.
"Ha! You missed!" Erika laughed.
"Kirara, why are you doing this to us?" Hitomi demanded. "Why are you after my Spell Charm??"
"You were taking too long, Miss Hoshizora," Kirara explained in a cold voice. "Usually juniors like you are willing to surrender in exchange for their safety. I have to say that I underestimated your naivety, and I’m utterly ashamed in your poor decision making skills."
"But I don’t—" Hitomi began.
"Hitomi!" Erika grasped Hitomi’s arm and pulled her away as a sudden shower of arrows began to swarm them. The girls were able to dodge the arrows at first, but then Hitomi slipped from Erika’s grip and an arrow sliced through her jacket sleeve, pinning her down. "Are you okay??" gasped Erika as she struggled to remove two towering arrows.
"I…think so." Hitomi looked around and saw tall, purple arrows surrounding her in all directions.
Standing on top of a gigantic arrow was Kirara, who gazed down at Hitomi with a satisfied smirk. "You should have just surrendered. You would have been a-okay." She scowled and leapt from her perch, her hands reaching out towards her prey. "Now your Spell Charm is mine!"
"WATCH OUT!" Erika screamed.
Hitomi squeezed her eyes shut.
To be continued…