Meridian Chronicles: Black Widow Curse & The Coven Chapter 2

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Chapter 2 Black Widow Curse & The Coven (#2)

The fairy realm was more than back to usual; it was better. With Selena being so content with having her book and quartz returned, she felt more empowered to do what she needed for her realm and the other fairies. Her daughter finally had the one she loved, and Relic appeared to be taking his new union with Luna quite well. Time moved a little slower for them than on Earth, so everything that had happened with Talon and Meridian on the night of the prom was still very fresh in Relic’s mind.

“Relic, what is wrong?” Luna asked as she rolled over as they lay in bed. She was lying nude beneath the sheets and still had a look of satisfaction in her eyes. Her short, black messy hair told the story of what had just transpired before she engaged in any real conversation with her new husband, Relic.

“Nothing. I am fine.” Relic kept his back turned forcing his answer.

“Relic, you know that I know better than that. I know all this with Meridian and Caius is on your mind. It is on everyone’s mind. I know you care for her a lot, and I know that what my mother has done has not been fair to you, the other guides, and Talon.”

“Yes, I do still care about Meridian. I just wished I could have reasoned with her before Warrick made it to Earth and cursed her. Now she is down there, and there is no telling what will happen to her. I feel like I need to get back and try to make things right. That psychic that we went to could hear us. I know it scared her, but I think I should head there. Warrick has banned me from coming back to Etheria, and he has banned all of us involved from ever returning to Earth to look after our humans. I know Charity will try to find a way to get Warrick out of power, but that will take too long, and I know that Arianna must be eaten alive with anguish. She has lost Caius and now her daughter. I have to go back.” Relic sat up, got out of the bed, and walked over to get his clothes on. As he did so, he was admired by his new wife. Relic was a tall and thin guide with long dark hair that hung just past his shoulders. Always dressed fashion forward for where he came from, he certainly stood out in Etheria.

Luna was at odds not only with herself but also with her new husband. “I don’t want you to go without me. We can go, and I can get Orion to go with us and help. We can find Talon. Maybe he knows where she is?” Relic had feelings for Meridian, and even though Luna cared for her, it was hard to let her husband go back to find her with all that temptation. Luna was still coping with the fact that it was a forced marriage and that Relic might not be reliable to remain faithful to his vows. Luna wrapped herself in the bedsheets and walked over to Relic who was indulging in a drink he loosely called ‘fairy delight’.

As he gulped down the glass full of bright pink liquid that smelled of rose and a hint of lavender packed full of fairy potion, he tried to dismiss his wife’s direct request. “So, did the fairies amplify the effects? I feel the need to take your sheet off and go back to bed.” Relic winked at his bride as he gulped down the last of his drink. Luna stood quietly staring at Relic, giving the look that assured him she wasn’t playing any games. Relic stopped and indulged her unspoken demand. “No, I am going alone. I don’t need the fairies right now. Your mother let the guides down as it is. We went through hell, literally; to get her the book she just couldn’t exist without, and she promised to turn the fallen back, and look what she has done. Not to mention forced vows. I won’t stay here forever, Luna. I am sorry.” Relic’s words struck into Luna’s heart, but she would not stop trying to hold onto something that she had always wanted.

“How long will you be gone?” Luna’s face saddened as she looked toward him with hurt in her eyes.

Relic remained distant and turned away. “I don’t know. It depends. I know I can find Meridian pretty easily. The problem is being able to communicate with her. I am going back to the high school where it happened to see if I can find anything that will lead me to her. I am hoping that maybe some of the guides will break Warrick’s rules and go looking for her, but I seem to be the only one in the realm, besides Meridian, who has issues with authority. I guess I shouldn’t forget Talon. Just wait here and do not follow me; this is something I need to do.” Relic did not stay for Luna’s response, and he vanished into thin air.

Relic stood still in the high school parking lot where Warrick’s wrath took the one and only being he truly loved. School was letting out, and all the kids were jumping into their vehicles. They were all leaving to get ready for a homecoming event. It was a Friday afternoon, and all the students seemed excited about the prospect of another fall ball game. Relic watched as everyone left the school as he tried to get a read on where Meridian may be. He went back to Tallulah’s after having looked around at the high school. He didn’t care what it took to get this woman to help him locate Meridian.

Back at Tallulah’s place, Meridian seemed to be feeling a little better with the psychic’s company. In the short time that Meridian had come into contact with the woman, she had managed to help Meridian get a job across the street at the bar and also given her the other room upstairs over the main area of the building where she did her readings. Meridian never having had worked a day in her life, much of the human’s world was overwhelming to her. Understanding culture and the reason why things were done remained a mystery to her. In many ways, Meridian was a child with her ignorance to the many adult situations that presented their selves.

Relic stood and watched Tallulah give a reading. He listened to the thoughts of Tallulah as she connected with her new customer. The right side of his smile was cocked higher than the left, and he raised a complimentary eyebrow to boot. He snickered as he took in Tallulah’s thoughts and, with what he could hear running through her mind, he wondered how she could keep a straight face with this client. It was not long though before a familiar voice interrupted his thoughts.

“Stephanie, I will be right back. I forgot to tell Tallulah to pick up some things for me when she goes shopping.” Meridian was shouting to the bar owner, her new boss, as she was walking across the street.

Relic was in disbelief as he watched the being he was so mesmerized with look and act so differently. He walked right beside her as she walked in to talk to Tallulah. Meridian was unaware of Relic’s presence, or so it seemed to him. For a moment he was not even sure if he had the right Meridian, but as he gazed into her green eyes, it was not hard to know that he had found her. Relic was not one to be easily shocked, however, he stood looking at her from head to toe, and his jaw remained dropped at what his eyes showed him. He felt pleasure and amazement at the transformation that Meridian had undergone, but as he stared at her in awe, he struggled with his own reaction to her.

“Meridian, what is it now? You just started your new job, and you are already coming in too early.” Tallulah had been sitting at the table and cut her dark eyes up in irritation.

“Oh, I know, but our trip is getting close, and I know that you are leaving to go get some things, and I wanted to see if you could pick me up some stuff for work and the trip? I can pay you back,” Meridian pleaded. “I know you are very busy, but I also wanted to make sure that we go out to the farm house you mentioned, at some point. To see if there is anything that would lead us to Aiden?”

Tallulah paused, and with a sigh, she said, “Yes, we do need to go and see about Aiden. We will do that before we leave for our trip.” Tallulah rolled her eyes and waved her hand up toward Meridian who was standing over her at the table. “And I don’t need you to pay me back, child. I need you to get yourself to work. What is it you need anyway?”

“Well, you see, I would like some more bar-appropriate clothing. I know Stephanie was cool enough to lend me some shirts and jeans, but I was looking for something more me,” Meridian said with a coy and innocent smile.

Relic watched and smiled at Meridian as he continued to look her up and down. Meridian was almost unrecognizable to him with her new wardrobe. She was dressed from head to toe in black with new leather boots that went over her knees. The only part of her body that was not adorned in the color black, were her lips, drenched in red. There appeared to be some human ink written into her skin that he could see through her sheer shirt. It was a tattoo that ran vertically down her side that only made an appearance through her shirt when she raised her arms. Relic struggled to see what it said as Meridian used her hands to talk quite a bit. Her up and down motion with her arms reminded him of the many times she would slap him for his sarcastic and most often inappropriate comments he was famous for dishing out.

“Meridian, we already went shopping, and besides, you will see things there that you will want, trust me.” Tallulah gave Meridian a nod to get back to work.

For a moment, Relic stood around to listen to Tallulah’s thoughts. Tallulah’s mind shifted from her client to her agitation toward Meridian.

“I swear, she may look like a grown woman, but she acts so childish. Wait, wait, wait. Stop being so hard on Meridian. She has been through things no other human could fathom and, never having been taught the ways of the world, I guess I should be more kind. She is still so naïve. I hope I haven’t taken on too much. I have never been a mother, and now I feel like I am a mother to a newborn child in an adult’s body. A body that Meridian has been too free with. She can’t understand these things; I feel awkward. Do I have the talk with her about the birds and the bees?”

Tallulah’s random thoughts were interrupted as she snapped out of her own mind with an over-pronounced clearing of the throat coming from her new client.

Meridian dashed across the street to continue assisting the bar owner in taking down the chairs off the tables in anticipation for a busy Friday night. “Stephanie, so who all will be working tonight?” Meridian looked around the bar scoping the surroundings as she stood with a small smile and her arms crossed holding herself.

“Well, there are a couple of guys I let work behind the bar, Joe and Steven. They will get here around five this evening. I have a group who work in the back cooking, and, of course, there is you and the other few girls that wait on our customers. Now, this is a bar and a restaurant. Being you are not twenty-one, and you don’t even have any identification, you are not allowed to serve alcohol. I am doing this for you because Tallulah is a very dear friend of mine. Anyway, you know the routine. Just get one of the girls or the guys and they will get the drinks out. Just smile, be polite, and take care of everyone. Being as there aren’t many bars in town, it tends to get a little packed after ten at night on the weekends. The college kids like to come over here and watch the bands play, and, of course, try to get alcohol. But that’s what I have Big Frank for. He takes care of the problems around here.” Stephanie was giving Meridian a crash course similar to the ones she usually handed to most of her staff.

Stephanie had a ‘little woman’s complex’, so to speak - she was not short, but she was very thin and fragile, and her voice told of her horrible smoking habit that complimented her dry and wrinkled skin around her mouth from constantly having a cigarette in it.

“Big Frank?” Meridian’s eyebrows raised, and she paused to make sure she had heard Stephanie correctly.

“Yeah, Big Frank. Everyone around here just calls him B.F.D. You know Big F-” Stephanie was interrupted by one of the girls coming in for her shift.

“Oh, you know, don’t make Stephanie say it. She owns and runs a bar, but she hates cussing! Imagine that!” The tall, pretty girl towered over Meridian as she put her hand out. “Hi, I am Alexa, and you are?” she inquired.

“She’s busy, that’s what, and you better be too.” Stephanie ordered Alexa to get a move on. “Stay away from her, she is nothing but trouble,” Stephanie warned, turning to Meridian. “I swear she leaves with a new dude every night she works, and she wonders why she has the nickname ‘Alexa Sexa’, or whatever they call her.” Stephanie walked away toward the back still hollering at Meridian. “Finish getting those chairs down and then come back. I will get you an apron and a taser. You are going to need it.” Stephanie drifted off.

“What? A taser?” Meridian hollered out.

“I am kidding, but you will need to get to know BFD and the other guys - unless you want to be Alexa?” Stephanie winked and smiled as she disappeared back into the kitchen area leaving Meridian to her duties.

Meridian finished removing the chairs from the table tops she made her way to the kitchen. Relic walked around the local bar examining the different pictures on the wall of those who frequented the place in search of a release in their daily life. He could hear the sounds of laughter coming from the kitchen as the staff talked about the different frequenters of the bar and the fun times they had at work. Meridian was adjusting quite well to her new human life, and in many ways, Warrick’s curse did not seem to be a curse at all.

The bar opened, and the usual visitors began to pour in - most of them were coming in from the city college. Relic found a quiet spot to sit and observe the loud and would-be drunkards. BFD stood watch at the door letting patrons in one by one. The establishment smelled of liquor and greasy food trailed with a hint of cigarette aroma that trailed the people coming in from the back patio after a smoke. Meridian buzzed around waiting on her tables looking frazzled at the pace of her new employment.

Across the room, another presence made itself known to Relic as he stared from across the bar. The all-too-familiar piercing eyes and dark red skin. As they made eye contact, the pair drew closer to one another and a pair that initially did not see eye to eye did not need words, but with Relic, pointless banter was an art form, one art form that Talon was warming up to.

“I wondered if I would see you here.” Relic smiled with relief of what his eyes told him. “Okay, maybe I will regretfully have to admit…hoped is a better word to describe it.” Relic was pompous, and the admittance of needing anything was beneath him. The sheer notion of admitting need was like fire as the words left his lips.

“I knew I would see you somewhere close to her.” Talon smiled as he looked to the ground trying to hide his happiness at seeing his mouthy friend. “As a matter of fact, it was only ever a matter of time. You never were one to have a lick of respect for authority.” Talon moved back to where he stood and began leaning up against the wall of the bar that was decorated with old mirrors, smudged from the fingers of happy patrons who had graced the mirror’s presence. “Do they ever clean these things?”

Relic ignored Talon’s strange question. “Well, I am glad to see you; it has been a real bore in fairyland,” Relic smarted off as he cocked his head to move his dangling strands of hair away from his face as he strutted toward the fallen guide.

“Fairyland? Wow, that bad? So where is your bride?” Talon joined in the sarcastic banter.

“Well, I told her I needed to come alone to try to fix what her mother wouldn’t.” Relic, feeling nostalgic, could not explain himself without some sort of remark that shed light on his real feelings.

“Such a deep feeling spirit guide. So, ‘Mr. Deep’, have you planned out anything or did you just wing it?” Talon was genuinely interested and delighted to hear anything Relic had to say. They both stood casually leaned up against the wall of the bar watching the humans have a good time. Relic’s eyes wandered around the room as though uninterested in continuing the conversation on the current subject matter.

“Well, for starters, I am going to guess you have seen Meridian and noticed she doesn’t look or seem to be herself. I am doubtful that she has discovered the true curse that Warrick cast upon her, and it may be some time before she figures it out.” Relic watched Meridian bouncing around at her tables while she continued to get admiring glances of the male persuasion.

“So, what did Warrick have planned, and how do you know?” Talon begged the question.

“I married a fairy. A daughter of the Queen need I remind you. I know a lot. Being forced to marry someone for the benefit of my kind has allowed me to have my own benefits, and knowledge is power for sure. What I gather from Luna is that he cursed Meridian for consorting with you and, of course, the infatuation with Aiden. He cursed her to be a fallen demon like you. That did not work out, though. Meridian is born of the realm and is different to a human coming to the realm after living their lives. Realm-born guides do not curse as easily, even coming from Warrick. She is now a human; however, she has a form of amnesia in that she cannot really remember any of us. We don’t know how gifted Meridian truly was because she never had the chance to realize her full potential before it all went down. She obviously remembers her name and somehow ended up back at the psychic’s place. So, something is still there. The other part of the curse is to do with the opposite sex. Any man that Meridian becomes involved with, sexually, will die in a matter of hours, if it isn’t true love. When I spoke to Luna, she was cryptic like her mother. One thing is for sure, it was meant to never let her be with Aiden.” Relic cringed as he awaited Talon’s reaction.

“What! That is insane! What is the point of that? Is he trying to teach her some lesson?” Talon screamed as he pulled himself off the wall as though the deliverer of the message was the curse caster himself.

“I am glad no one can hear us. You aren’t going to go Jekyll and Hyde, are you? Let me get to another realm before that starts.” Relic was hoping the humor would calm Talon down. “Look, there has to be some way to get Meridian back, and then there is no need to worry about the curse. Besides, didn’t Aiden go away to college out of town?” Relic watched Talon calm as he considered the question.

“Yes, he did, and that is a good thing, but he will come home to visit, and they are doomed to run into each other.” Talon looked at Meridian as she hurried by with a tray of empty glasses.

“Well, we will have our work cut out for us then. And it may be just us. Warrick has banned the others from coming to Earth at all. I am hoping Kieren will get back to his rebellious self and also get here looking for Meridian. We need him; he may be the only real way we can keep Meridian from Aiden for now.” Relic put his arm around the fallen one as they left the bar. “C’mon, man, let’s get out of here and go somewhere else. Besides, it’s getting late, and the later it gets, the more intoxicated these idiots become and the more likely you are to start hurling people across the bar.

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Author, Freelance Writer, Blogger

M.D.  Fryson 

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