Witch Trial, 2024

Chapter Six

If you haven’t read the other chapters up to this point in the story, start HERE!



Rachel woke up a few hours later, clearly very confused, but with minimal injuries. She had narrowly gotten off the rooftop, but someone had cut the cable to her grappler, and she had fallen in the middle of the street. It’s a miracle I was able to catch her before she hit the ground, but I had sustained serious injuries myself. Both my arms were missing a considerable amount of skin, and I was aching along the entire length of my back. My mind immediately went to Mr. Cruz.

“No,” she responded, “He didn’t cut it, he was just coming up to the roof when I jumped.”

“What was he doing there?” I asked, healing the rest of my wounds. The aching would have to heal naturally, but I wasn’t doing anything right now anyway. She shook her head; she wasn’t sure. We sat in silence for a while. Tentatively, I sent her a mental message:

“What were you thinking?”

“I was going to destroy our records,” she explained.

“But why?”

“They can’t find us if we don’t exist.”

“What kind of horrible logic is that? If they remember that we exist but we’re not in their records, they’ll look for the person that destroyed the evidence – which is, of course, none other than Rachel McClellan, assassin-turned-sorceress-turned-fugitive.”

“We won’t know that until we try.”

“What do you think happened to Mom and Dad?!” I snapped. “I’ve been through those Archives myself. There are reports there that they attempted to steal their own records, and they disappeared after that!”

“Shut up.”


This wasn’t right. Rachel was the only person left in this world I could trust, and here I was, shouting at her about our parents.

“I’m sorry,” I said out loud, standing up. “I just… need a few minutes to calm down.” I felt horrible – I hadn’t even asked if she was okay before I let my thoughts loose. She stood up as well and walked back towards the city.

“Where are you going now?” I asked.

“I’m gonna get something to eat,” she responded. That’s some classic Rachel behavior right there – stress eating. And her metabolism was so unnaturally high that she could eat literally anything and still have room for more food. It’s ridiculous. Anyway, she went off looking for food, and I decided to go for a walk in order to process my thoughts.



I was walking along a trail that I hadn’t seen before (I’m a curious person, okay?) when I found Mr. Cruz sitting, his back to me. How easy it would be to just kill him right now. Carefully, I willed a weapon into existence. It must have made some sound that I didn’t anticipate, because he stood up and turned around, finding himself staring down the barrel of a musket.

“What are you doing here?” I asked, coldly.

“I could ask the same of you,” he chuckled, as if he didn’t realize he was being held at gunpoint.

“What did you do to Rachel?” I demanded, my sight still aimed down his throat.

“Still don’t trust me, I see.”

“Not in the slightest. You were on the roof when Rachel jumped.”

“Yes, I was.”

“What were you doing there?”

“Trying to convince her to not jump,” he explained. “Do you know what happens when you jump into a busy city street from three hundred feet in the air?”

“Enough,” I said, my finger tightening on the trigger.

“Crash. Thunk. Splat. Maybe a nice crunch as-”


He stood there, completely still, one hand on my barrel. There was blood on his arm, but only because the single shot had blasted chunks of concrete from the sidewalk at him. Other than that, he was unfazed.

“Honestly,” he sighed. “Why even waste a shot?”

“Shut up.”

“Especially on an old man like-”

“Promise me you won’t lay a finger on Rachel and I might not blow you into a thousand pieces.”

“Fine,” said the old man, stumbling back a few paces, his hands in the air. I allowed my weapon to fade away, and after a threatening glance, I left. What is wrong with me, I asked myself. One thing happens that seems suspicious, and I immediately turn to the man she tried to kill all those years ago. No, there must be something more to it than that.


The little bells on the door of the café jingled merrily, announcing my presence as if my throwing open the door hadn’t already done that enough. I found Rachel sipping a soda in a corner and sat down.

“We need to talk,” I told her. “Privately.” She nodded in agreement.

A few minutes later, on the rooftops overlooking Westminster, I told her my more recent findings.

“I talked to Cruz earlier,” I began. Rachel muttered something under her breath, but I ignored it. “I’m not entirely sure, but I think he thinks that you’re dead.”

“What makes you think that?” Rachel asked.

“I’m not sure, I just have a feeling.”

“What are you getting at…?”

“We’re on our own.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean,” I explained slowly. “Our hearing is in five days. Cruz isn’t gonna help, and it’s gonna take some divine intervention to get us out of this mess.” Rachel gave me a look I don’t see all that often.

You’re not going to…” There was the look again. She nodded.

I have to.” Slowly, Rachel stood up, and within seconds, she was gone.