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For the time since I've been here I wake up before Will, disturbed by a sick feeling in my gut. I roll over to see my own peacefully sleeping face drooling on the pillow beside me. I wonder for a moment if drooling is something Enitan and I have in common, or is it like her dimples, a unique variation.

I hope it's the latter.

As I open the blinds to let in the soft, early-morning sunlight, I notice a river of small animals flowing towards the house. My skin crawls at the sight of it. The sick feeling intensifies as I run to check the french doors on the other end of the room. Something is terribly wrong. I quickly make my destination and see that the flow continues in the same direction, breaking into smaller streams and disappearing into the woods. I cringe as a frantic buck bounds through the stampede, squishing several unfortunate rats and lizards.

I find myself running down the stairs, with no clear objective, and find Will sitting quietly, cloth in hand, on the couch with a large weapon I can't identify layed in his lap. He sees me looking at it and simply says:

“Maintenance.” He continues with a mischievous grin spreading across his face. “I see you're not a vegetable anymore. Congratulations.”

“Good morning to you too, asshole.” I glare at him and make my way to the large, tinted window in front of him.

“I heard you talking last night. I hope you weren't too distracted to think about what I asked you.”

I don’t answer his question. Instead I open the curtain and motion to the chaos outside.

“What in the hell is this?” I ask.

“Hell itself, coming for you,” he says in an exaggerated and falsely spooky voice. He finishes it with a campy, villainous laugh. His eyes are completely joyless, even as he teases.

“Don't fuck with me right now.”

He answers me with a pearly smile. I'm not impressed.

“What is it?” I repeat, shaking my hand as I point once more.

He laughs, his obnoxious laugh and claps his hands together as I glower at him through squinted eyes. “Everybody wants a piece of you, Kalani, and there's the proof. Remember what I said to you?”

I drag my hands down my face.“Where ever I go, they will come for me and try to kill me, right? I got that. What I'm trying to figure out is why are their animals running all around this house?”

“Banshee. Class angelus cecidissent.” says Will, firing his words in an unusually flat tone. “Carnivorous and cannibalistic. Man-eating. Race, unknown.”

He picks up his usual tone as he continues, “We have a little time, but not much. She'll be here in about fifty two hours, but I'd rather meet her in the woods than let her make it all the way. I don't want to have to get new windows.”

He pats the seat to the left of him, motioning for me to sit next to him. I refuse and continue to stand.

“Now, about my proposition?” he asks, dryly.

I nod. I'm obviously not going to get a real explanation out of him, and it's not worth the trouble.

“I am willing to stay with you, but there are some conditions?”

He squints his already narrow eyes and raises a curious brow.

I continue, “First, I can't just be stuck here like I've been, you have to go where I go.”

He shrugs.

“I don't know where you think you'd be going, it's not like you have anything to do but ok. What else?”

“I want your skills.”

He chuckles,“I can't just give them to you.”

“You can teach me.”

“I can't teach you in three months what it took me years to learn.”

“Then get used to me.”

He shakes his head with raised brows.“I'm not interested in a long term relationship.”

“I could just leave.”

He shrugs. “ I could just follow you. I could just lock you in my shed.”

“What if I told you that I know that you're looking for someone important?I say, referring to the anonymous 'her' he'd mentioned days before.

“What does that have to do with anything?” Will says, faking nonchalance, but I notice that he has become stiff. I'm making hm uncomfortable.

“That's how I know you'll end up in this same place next year. I highly doubt that you're the kind of person to procrastinate on something so important you'd die if you didn't do it-”

“I highly doubt that you have a clue as to what kind of person I actually am.” he hisses.

“Don't cut me off.”

For a moment his expression becomes violent, but he quickly settles back into his usual soft smile. He looks at me expectantly, narrow eyes gleaming.

“So what's the plan? You go back to searching for her and neglect your witch-hunter job again, which we both know you will do, and run out of time. Again. But this time, there'll be no me laying vulnerable in a ditch. You'll be stuck in this exact same position with no one to help you. Or you can just agree to train me, and protect me, at least until you find what you're looking for. Then you won't have to worry about a quotia.”

He chuckles once more, eyes glowing with mischief. “Awww how cute, she wants to get smart all of a sudden.”

I consciously ignore his fuckery. “Make a choice.”

Will makes an expression that I can't read.“I'll do it.”


I move to make my exit. He rises and cuts me off as I pass in front of the TV, arms extended as if asking for a hug.

“I think we're done here,” I say, then attempt to step around him. He grabs my arm and leans in close, close enough to kiss.

“If I wanted, I could've kept you here, unconscious, with a wire running through your brain. I didn't.” He loosens his grip and I jerk away. Our eyes meet, and I see the sadness, the remnant of suffering, emanating from them. “I didn't. Remember that.”

“One more thing.” I say, lifting my chin as I sweep his hand off of me.

He smirks, “I thought we were done.”

“If you hurt me again, or allow me to be hurt again, the deal is off. If you threaten me again,-”

“When have I ever threatened you?” he interrupts, shoulders lifted feigning confusion.

“If you threaten me again,” I repeat, louder this time, “I will stab you in your sleep.”

We lock eyes for a brief moment before bursts into laughter.

I watch him blankly as he doubles over for no real reason. I've already gotten used to this.

“OK.” he says, once he catches his breath. “OK. Hmm”

He sticks out his hand to shake and I seal the deal with the devil.

He continues with a gleam in his eye. “I won't hurt you. I won't let anything hurt you. But I keep my right to say what I want.”

I snatch my hand away and walk towards the stairs. “That wasn't the deal.”




After much deliberation, Citlali the Gorgeous, the middle child, finally speaks up.

“It will be many years before any of your children will be of age. I am willing to wed whoever for the future of my people, but not exclusively. I have beautiful damsels born of angels who love me hopelessly. They write me songs and cook me great meals. I have titillating dames born of demons who want me grievously. They hunt the beast that make my meals and clothing, and they mark themselves with symbols of my name.”

Do as you will,” says Nosipho of the Mind, the mother of all wo'at,“But do so with caution. Remember that the only difference between a fallen angel and a demon is the curse of darkness that prevents the latter from entering the light. With the spirit of The One True King withdrawn from them, they are driven only by there desires, whether they be progressive or detrimental. Whether these desires are holy or evil. Their devotion today doesn't mean they won't desert you tomorrow. And they may feed you one day, but that doesn't mean they wont eat you the next.”

After many years, Manolo the Earnest proves himself to Kayode the Kind and his wife, Nosipho of the Mind and all of the daughters wed him, excluding Zyanya of the Long Lasting Life. You and I differ than most other wo'at. We are born form the line of Zyanya of the Long Lasting Life, who watched for thousand of years as the world changed in millions of ways before ever having a single child. She lived from the days where mist covered the earth, fought in the days where the world was ruled by evil, and swam in the water of the Great Flood. Only after the earth dried and the sons of Noah repopulated the earth, did she have a child. This was your grandfather Khalid.

The smell of soot and pancakes fills my nose while Enitan tells her long story and Will makes a valiant effort in the kitchen. I can't stand to look at her right now, dressed in another one of Wills cheater shirts. She looks like a bald reflection of me. A reflection that carries hairlessness very well, but has a habit of randomly grinning at me and telling me how beautiful 'we' are. I'll have to talk to her about that later.

I look out the window to avoid her gaze and see that the river of terrified wildlife has slowed down just slightly.

“You've stopped listening,” says Enitan, sounding just a tiny bit hurt. “We should take a break.”

“Good, she needs to focus on the present for a minute,” says Will, as he scrapes up a still-wet pancake to flip. “She has a banshee to fight in two days.”

“What? That's insane,” I say, finally looking away from the window.

“You want to learn, you'll learn by doing.” He smashes the pancake with his spatula. “That's how I learned.”

I watch as he picks a scrunched, rubbery looking thing out of his pan with his fingers and plops it on his 'finished' plate.

I wonder how did he learn? Was their like some sort of witch hunting school? I imagine a round face, almond-toned young boy squinting his eyes at a pile of papers in a class room full of other young students.

“How did you get into something like witch-hunting?” I ask.

“I was raised and home-schooled by a sprig, or witi as you people call it. For the most part it was me and her, Will and Nine, and I never thought anything of it. I was happy. And I really loved my life. I was sort of a mama's boy. You couldn't see one of us without the other. Ever.”

“I bet.”

“I was just turning nine when everything started. Phakade came here to see my mother Nine, short for NineFourtyTwo, because she's Phakade's nine-hundredth and forty-second sprig.”

He stops fussing over his pancakes to look me in the eye. “If you didn't know, Phakade is the most sought out of your people, being the oldest living wo'at and from the fourth generation of your people. People call her The Last Founder, considering her to be one of the founders of your race, and think that she has godlike powers.” he turns to poor more batter in the pan, spilling a little on the stove “Many worship her as a diety and a goddess. They stalk her and build bases everywhere where they know she has a sprig. The witch hunters follow them.

“Once she came to visit, her worshipers moved nearby, and the witch-hunters came. Not long after that, the witch hunters broke in the house, and took me out of my bed. They whipped me, spat on me, and called me a traitor to the human race, made my mother watch it all. Then, they gave me a choice: I could work for them and prove my loyalty to the human race, or they'd kill us both.” His eyes become distant.“I killed my first anomaly the next day. It was a human man, accused of having a werecat lover... I knifed him.”



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Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.