Gona try to take a break from this one maybe because I miss doing short stories too but after just one or two, I'll get back to this asap :")
Prologue Chapter 1-1 Chapter 1-2 Chapter 2-1 Chapter 2-2 Chapter 3-1
A new friend excited her. And as the weeks passed by, she would simply be thrilled to see his familiar figure in the crowd. The moment she saw him, she would just rush towards him.
Maybe what Audrey liked the most about him was that he was curious about everything to the point that he never ran out of questions. She, on the other hand, was just happy to have someone to talk to. Or more like… someone who was willing to learn about the kind of things she enjoyed. It was refreshing to both of them. And with just the topics of automatons and witches, they grew closer to each other.
Things became rather strange one night though when Audrey told Cooper about their history. And the reason why she fought in those riots. He could see the hint of anger in her eyes, and the sadness when she talked about her father for the first time since they met.
“Hey, Audrey. Are you free tomorrow?” He meant to ask it as a way to cheer her up “I wanted to show you something…”
“I could try to. When would you want to show me that?” She gazed at him curiously, It was the first time her ever wanted to show her something
“Maybe around the afternoon?” He was unsure, himself “I think by evening would be the best time”
She only answered with a soft hum and a shrug of her shoulders before she glanced back at the people fighting in the arena “I’ll see if I can get out by then.”
After that short conversation, they went about their night like they often did. They cheered on their favorite fighter, and at times, they tried to encourage the new ones who gave the fights a try. Especially the younger ones who were just dragged into the fights by their older siblings or by their parents. Again, the crowd was in high spirits that night until they all had to separate again by morning.
“I’ll see you later tonight?” Cooper flashed Audrey a wide grin as he bid her a farewell
“We still have to see, but I’ll try” With excitement in her tone, Audrey quickly took off and headed back to her house for some well-deserved rest.
By the time she woke up, it was already evening. She heard Tinble knocking on her door, probably there to bring her supper like he always did. “I’ll just leave your food by the table, make sure you eat it”
This was all he had to say before she heard his footsteps fade. She wasted no time eating. She quickly downed her food then got herself dressed when she remembered that Cooper might still be waiting for her. It was 7 p.m. and she was pretty sure he wouldn’t have that much patience to wait for her. Yet she still hoped he did. She made her way out the window once more and ran to the front of the arena where she saw his figure leaning against the wall.
“I apologize for being late. I overslept!” She said breathlessly as she stopped for a moment to catch her breath
“I knew you would be the type to sleep in. Good thing I left late as well” Cooper simply offered her a cheeky smile as he extended his hand for her to take “Ready to get going?”
She took hold of his hand and followed him as he began to walk “Where are you taking me anyway?” She asked curiously as her eyes scanned each street and each corner they would take
“I’m going to show you a secret” Was all he told her whenever she grew impatient and asked again.
By the time they reached a small opening on the wall, Audrey was backing away “This is not somewhere we should be” She was tugging him by the hand, pleading him to go back “It’s so late too, please, let’s go back before the witches come out-”
Instead of going back, he just raised his hand and chanted a few words. For a moment, a mist covered Audrey’s body. Once Cooper finished chanting, the mist disappeared.
“We’ll be alright, trust me” He managed the most assuring smile he could before he tugged her into the small opening.
Beyond the wall, she feared so much as a village. Just a small, quiet village that looked like such a peaceful place to go to. It was a huge contrast to the mechanical town she was used to.
“Cooper… are you a witch?” The realization finally hit her when she remembered the incantation he had cast on her just moments ago “What did you do to me?!?” panic was evident in her tone
“Calm down, Audrey- I only changed your scent! They would know the smell of humans right away”
“Then what would they do when they know I'm human???” She was already pacing back to the opening in the wall when it suddenly vanished
“They won’t do anything to you. You need to calm down” He was speaking in a calm tone, hoping that it would get her to relax in a way “I ask of you… please stay calm and trust me”
Again, he offered his hand and as much as she was reluctant to, she held onto it and allowed him to guide her to a hilltop that overlooked the village. There, Audrey was able to calm down, even for a brief moment, yet there was still fear. She didn’t have any of her weapons or animatons with her. Nothing she could use to escape. Cooper probably blocked the entrance too for all she knew. Yet she was still there, sitting next to him like they often did when they were at the riots.
“I apologize for having brought you this far” Cooper was the first to speak but he was cautious of how he would go about talking to Audrey when he could still tell that she was frightened.
“So… you’re a witch…” Her voice was barely audible. It was more like she was just muttering to herself “Why did you bring me here…?”
“I was hoping.” He heaved a soft sigh as he glanced at the peaceful village he called home “That you wouldn’t be so frightened. But it seemed like I terrified you instead”
She let out a sarcastic laugh before she made him face her “yes you did. And now what do you plan to do? Sacrifice me? Get back at my kind for all the witch hunts?”
“Do you honestly think I would do that? Why did we even become friends, to begin with?” In a moment, the air grew colder. His eyes soon started to glow a bright blue that matched his natural eye color. “I brought you here because I trusted you…” His eyes remained downcast yet one could clearly see that the small comment had affected him heavily. “I wanted to show you that not all witches are evil. Yes, I’m a witch, a weak witch. My entire race is! We never wanted any of it! We never wanted war! We never wanted to be the weak witches! We just wanted to live!” His voice sounded broken while he ranted and quite honestly, Audrey didn’t know what she should feel then and there. Should she empathize with his sadness or get swayed by her fear.
The moment he turned to face Audrey, it honestly terrified her much more. She was shaking and hiding from him. The moment he realized that he lost control of his abilities again, he stopped for a moment to calm himself down
“I- I’m sorry for frightening you… I didn’t mean to… My emotions... “ He heaved another deep sigh and slumped on the ground “I’m sorry for having brought you here. It’s just... When you spoke about your father’s vision where witches and humans could co-exist… I thought you would be willing to listen…”
“I did… but this is too much for me… I would like to go home please” She was still shaking, somewhat almost glued to her spot, and he could notice the tremble in her voice as she approached him again “I need to process all this… I’m sorry too. I may not be the one who you should be asking for when it comes to these things”
Without words, Cooper stood up and gestured for her to follow him. They walked in silence until they reached the wall, and she waited until Cooper removed the enchantment on the rocks so that she could pass through. He had insisted to walk her up until the arena, that which she was grateful for. The area near the walls was the most dangerous part of town, and they both knew that. Once they reached the front of the arena, Audrey didn’t bother saying her farewells that time.