The Crossroads

Timeline: February 17, 2009

The night seemed colder to Rey, like the world was warning her. She should be home in bed, or snuggled in front of the fire reading a book. Instead, she stood at the crossroads just south of town, the frigid light of the moon reflecting off the ice and snow.

Her heart ached still from what the Lune had told her, that she would never be a good Lupa. That Luna disapproved. But Young Father Bear had said nothing of it. He did not seem to care she had become Lupa, only asking when she might be going hunting again. But even if Luna did not approve, she still had five months to change that. Even if she couldn’t change it, she had to do her best for her pack, and for her girls. Right now, that meant she had to find out more about Lyla’s curse.

Rey shuddered when she thought about what she as going to do. Summoning the walker at the crossroads did not sound like a good idea. All the stories she’d ever heard told her it was a bad idea. Heck, the Winchester boys showed how bad an idea it was. Sure, it was just a tv show, but every story of the supernatural has a kernel of truth at its core.

The stories say the walker at the crossroads is the devil. That the blues singer Robert Johnson had made a deal with Old Scratch for fame and fortune. The devil could give you anything you wanted, for a price. The lune had told her as much. And now it was Rey’s turn.

She looked around, half hoping she’d see someone and have to stop, but there was nobody there. They were the smart ones, home with loved ones, not risking their lives – and possibly their souls.

The young witch squatted down at the middle of the crossroads, pulled the freshly sharpened trowel out of her coat pocket and began to dig. The ground was frozen, making it next to impossible to cut through the packed earth. Just before blisters formed on her hands, she’d made the hole large enough.

Rey set the tool aside with trembling hands. It was almost time. She could just fill in that hole and walk away. Nobody would have to know what she’d considered doing for love of her friends. Nobody except for herself, and she knew she could never live with with herself if she walked away. Seeing Ramiel and Lyla suffer every day under the curse, knowing that if something wasn’t done, she’d lose them for certain.

Tears slid down her cold-kissed face and she wiped them away with an impatient hand. She had no time for this. Rey reached under her hood and into her coat to pull the chain with her lucky penny pendant off from around her neck. The silver-circled coin spun and twisted in the moonlight as if trying to escape. She lowered it into her left hand and clutched it tight, so hard she could feel it digging into her palm.

Rey whispered the words the Lune taught her, focusing her will into the coin. The incantation ended, she placed the necklace into the hole she’d dug and filled the hole back up again. The young witch stood and took a step back and waited.

One moment she was alone, the next he was standing there in front of her. A man, probably no older than late 30’s, with short dark hair, in the quintessential dark blue suit. He looked like any other businessman Rey’d seen on a city street, except for his eyes. They burned, flickering flames like something out of the pits of hell.

“This is something of a surprise,” he said, with a friendly smile that sent shivers of fear up and done her spine. “People like you don’t often seek my services. What is it you seek? Fame? Fortune? Power?”

“I seek knowledge.” Rey was pleased her voice didn’t shake.

“Let us talk about my price,” Blue Suit said.

Rey shook her head once. “You accepted the price I am willing to pay when you answered the summons. I sacrifice what is represented by the token I used – my luck.”

He shrugged. “It doesn’t hurt to try. What do you want to know?”

“Tell me about the curse that afflicts the beings I know as Cambion and Shadowclaw.”

Blue Suit smiled. “Is that all?” And then he told Rey.

When he was done, Rey’s face was pale, and she could hardly keep from shaking in fear. She had to tell Ironclaw and Grey. But if she did, would it come true?

“You know what? Why don’t I show you what will happen to your friends,” Blue Suit said with a terrifying smile. “And this one’s on me.”

Before she could blink, he was next to her. He grabbed her short hair and yanked on it, sending her to the ground. She cried out in pain and struggled when he dragged her across the ground toward the fallen trees off to the side of the road.

Back at the cabin, Rey yawned, and slipped a bookmark in place. It was going to be a long day at work tomorrow. She walked around, shutting everything up and turning out the lights before heading up to bed.

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