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Chapter 5

By midnight the last of the guests left, and finally the Gala was over. Alexis had crashed yet again on a bench once her uncle and cousins departed, leaving her alone, while her parents finished up the social and business aspect of the evening. Pulling out her iPhone, Alexis kept herself entertained with a few games.

“Ready to go?” Wesley asked, taking a seat next to his daughter.

“Where’s mom?”

“Just finishing a few things up with the curators,” he placed a hand on her shoulder. “Told you, no problems.” Alexis smiled and nodded her head. She was happy that everything was a success, and Mio’s threat was empty and petty. The tension finally left her shoulders, as the two exited the museum, her mother joining up with them, linking arms with her daughter just as they descended the steps.

“You did marvellous.” Wesley said as the three clamoured into the car.

“I’m just glad it’s over.” Her mother replied back with a sigh. “Now, I can sleep.”

“What about my competition?” Alexis asked from the back seat.

“I wouldn’t miss it for anything.” Her mother replied back, turning around to give Alexis a wink.

The ride home was smooth, Alexis laid back, her iPhone still out as her parents continued to talk about the Gala, and how this could change the wizardry world and the Statue of Secrecy. Boring talk, that began to make Alexis sleepy as she closed her eyes, feeling calm, relaxed and safe.

“Wes… what is it?” Rin Rune asked, Alexis barely heard her, but there was something in her voice that made her eyes open again.

“We’re being followed,” her father replied. Looking out the window, Alexis could barely see any traffic, none in fact. Followed by whom? The car swerved to the left, it seemed her father was trying to get off the expressway. Before the exit ramp veered off, their car was violently shoved back onto the expressway. A dark coloured SUV was on their left side, another one came up along the right. Before Alexis knew it, there were two others, a van and a truck coming up from behind and blocking their way forward.

They were pinned in.

“Mom?” Alexis asked, a sinking feeling in her gut.

“Stay down Alexis, cover your head and don’t move.” There was no talking back, Alexis did as her mom said just as her mother pulled out her wand.

“Rin, what are you doing?” Wesley asked, but before her mother could answer the back windshield shattered and red sparks filled the interior of the car. Her father swore as he tried to break free of the trap. Her mother shooting back curses of her own.

The car shook again, this time smoke pillowed out from under the hood. She saw her father wrestled with control of the steering as they moved irrationally all over the highway.

“Rin, get Alexis out of here.”

“What, and leave you? No.”

“Rin!” Her father shouted, but suddenly bright green lights filled Alexis vision and the voices from the front seats grew silent.

“Mom? Dad?” Alexis called out, but there was no reply, she lifted herself off the seat and bent forward, their bodies were slumped forward, their car heading to the edge railing of the expressway. In seconds the car went flying, Alexis curled herself up into a ball just as the car crashed onto the highway below.

All went dark. Alexis hung suspended upside down when she finally came to. She tasted blood in her mouth, hear head spun and she felt nauseous. “Okkasan?” Alexis whispered, her throat was dry and crocked. “Otousan?” Silence.

Alexis tried to move, but once more her body protested with pain. She had never been in so much pain, her mind went blank as the panic set in. Tears rolled down her checks as she fought with the seatbelt that held her inside.

The sound of an engine made her stop. A car was nearby, help was on it’s way. Alexis was sure, and was about to open her mouth to let out a sharp cry when she recalled the events just before the crash. Was this one of the cars from the highway? Were they checking for survivors?

Paralyzed, her mind going from one question to another, Alexis waited. The engine sound got closer, she could see the tires in the distance from her spot on the ground. It stopped, and a group of men came out. Three sets of feet.

“Do you think anyone survived?” One of the voices asked. Alexis held her breath.

“After a fall like that?” A third replied,“Nobody could survive that.”

“We’re to make sure.” The third said. He remained back by the car as the other two edged their way closer to the wreck.

“Does your boss want their heads or something?”

“No, just clarification.”

Alexis tried to push her way further into the wreck as the feet got closer, the seatbelt getting in her way. Trying to fall limp, she quickly closed her eyes and dared not make a move or sound. The footsteps moved around the car, she felt a bright light pass over her at one point before the steps faded into the distance again.

“Their dead. All of them.” One of the voices said. “Let’s get out of here before the authorities come.”

“Torch it.” The one voice who stayed away said. Alexis’s heart jumped into her throat as she heard the japanese spell for fire. Nothing else was said as the doors opened and closed, the engine started and faded into the night.

Clouds of dark smoke began to fill the car. Alexis coughed and redoubled her efforts to escape. This time she didn’t hold back and screamed with all of the air in her lungs for help. Nothing but the crackling of the fire answered her, she didn’t want to think how long it would be until it the flames reached the gas tank.

Finally getting the seatbelt undone, Alexis fell hard to the ground. She reached out to the bent door frame of the car, her hand dug into the broken glass as she used all the strength she could muster to pull herself out. She barely budged, something had pinned her down and she couldn’t get herself free of the wreck.

The smoke intensified, Alexis panic increased. “Oh god…” She cried to herself, tears streaming down her face. She tried not to look at the front seat, at the two lifeless bodies still strapped into their seats that had once been her parents. Another sob escaped her as her strength left. She coughed again, terrified that she will be burnt alive.

This was it, she thought, this was to be her death. Alexis had all but given up on life when an unexpected hand gripped her arm. A second pair of hands entered through the broken window and grabbed her torso. The sound of grinding metal brought the girl back into reality.

“We’ve got a survivor.” A man called back. More people seemed to emerge out of the smoke. Her left leg was finally free and the group pulled her quickly out of the burning car.

“My parents!” Alexis shouted, as she realized nobody else was going back towards the car. Suddenly the car exploded. She screamed, and tried to run back to the car. She was quickly subdued and laid out on a stretcher.

The scene around her, was filled with emergency vehicles, fire trucks, ambulances, police cars, as well as a number of onlookers who stopped to nose around. Everything was a blur, all feeling had left Alexis as she stared at the fireball that had once been their car, and the firefighters who were trying to put it out.

Chapter 4                                    INDEX