Amazing Kids! Magazine

Dark Magic

By Mallory Lane, Grade 6, Norcross, GA

 

I had no idea why they were standing there amongst the green foliage. Of course, they didn’t see me peering out from the leaves, my black spotted fur camouflaged beneath a blanket of dark green. I was a leopard, young and carefree. They were two native boys, kissed brown by the sun. The eldest held a bow, the youngest a sack of berries. They wandered past my hiding spot, not sensing my amber gaze. The youngest boy glanced at his brother, who gave him a slight nod, and raced to the outer forest, where I guessed their camp lay hidden. The oldest boy glanced solemnly around the jungle, his arms were empty, so I surmised that his hunt had been unsuccessful. He started to move on, but then I noticed something – his pants were made of lion fur, the fur of my tribe.

I need to rewind, back to when I was Oceane, the most beautiful girl in my tribe: The People of the Lions. I was the chief’s daughter, and everyone loved me. However, it was soon realized that I had the power of magic within me. Witches, both good and bad, flocked from all over to apprentice me. My mother would let none come near. One night, however, an evil witch, more evil than most, kidnapped my family. She didn’t want money, but me as her apprentice, or I would never see them again. I made the decision I would always regret. My mother had always told me never to do dark magic, so I refused. In her fury, the witch sent me into a whirlwind of anger, straight into the Congo Jungle. There I was transformed into a leopard, my dreadful destiny. I was doomed to sit cowering in the foliage, spotted black. From that day forward, I dreamed of walking on two legs again, greeting my mother and father. Now, I might have found an opportunity.

But how to approach the boy? Stepping out of the underbrush and speaking in a human voice (that hadn’t been taken from me) would scare him and cause him to run right after his younger sibling. Besides, he might shoot me in his desperation for fresh meat. Lost in my thoughts, I stepped on a twig. The native noticed right away, peering in the direction I was crouching. I saw fear in his gentle eyes as he noticed my golden pelt. I didn’t want this! I stepped out from the green and bowed my head respectfully. He sensed I meant no harm, so I opened my mouth and spoke three words, “Please help me.”

He gasped, but spoke back gently. “Are you a spirit animal?” he asked solemnly.

“No,” I replied. “I was once a member of your tribe, but then a witch transformed me into a leopard, as you see now. It is my dream to find my family. What is your name?”

“Karmos. And you?” he smiled.

“My name is Oceane,” I said, smiling back.

Karmos gasped. “You’re the lost chief’s daughter who disappeared with her family years ago!” That I was. “I need to find them.”

He swore that day he’d find my parents, who were somewhere in the Congo.

We were deep in the jungle, shrouded by tall, wild trees. It was a week after he had promised the safe return of my parents, and he rode on my tireless back through the endless green, as brave as a warrior. It was a harsh life without the comfort of your own kind, but we did well enough with each other. Karmos would tell me stories of our tribe, and I would relate to him the stories of the birds and crocodiles. We worked well together! When we got hungry, I would hunt prey, and he would get water in his sack. We saw no sign of a witch or even other people! I began to give up hope of ever finding my beloved family.

It was late one evening, and we were far from the nearest water source. Karmos was not yet back with water, so I decided to take a walk. The sky sent shadows everywhere, so when I first saw it, I thought nothing of it. No. That big hulking shape in the distance was no shadow. It was a cave.

I slunk closer to the ground to keep from being spotted. By what? I knew not myself. I just had a small hunch that the cave was inhabited. I didn’t want to go inside….did I? I imagined my family hidden inside, but if they were there, then so would be the witch. I couldn’t face her again. I would take Karmos with me. He was the bravest person I knew, and would throw himself in danger to save me or my family. But would I really do that to him, after all he had done for me? No. I settled on going in the middle of the night when he was safe and asleep. Now I just had to keep myself safe.

It was midnight and the sky was a dark endless curtain. I bared my teeth, not to scare off predators, but to scare away those weak, frightened thoughts swimming inside of me. I raced into the cave, building up my courage. My parents were in there.

As I got deeper into the slimy cave, I noticed a glow coming from deeper inside. Strange. It was  very late outside, so no light would come through a supposed opening! It could only mean one thing: a fire. The light got brighter. It was a fire, and it was big! Three figures sat around it, two hunched, the third proud and haughty. The tall one was female along with one of the hunched. They could be none other than the witch and my….parents!

I lost control of my feelings and raced toward the glowing flame. Something grabbed me and pulled me down. Karmos. Who knew how he had gotten here, but my intentions to protect him had failed.

“NOOOO!” I screamed.

The witch had unstoppable power. She spun around and spotted me.

“You!” she lunged at me and I raced aside. However, as she dove into the air, her deadly wand fell from her hand. I scooped it up into my mouth and raced to a shadowed corner. It was time to undo the wrongs she had done.

I cast a spell and my spots shrank up into my skin. Yes, now I had skin, for the spell had turned me human again. And it felt great. I advanced toward the witch, wand held ready. But then at the last minute, I snapped it in half and raced on my legs toward my parents. I untied the knots binding their wrists. I checked on Karmos: all were okay. Just then, I realized that without the wand, the witch was dead. She disintegrated into the air, and in seconds, you wouldn’t know she was ever there.

After I freed my parents and myself, life went back to normal. The chief-less tribe was once again ruled by my father. And Karmos was rejoined with his family. But best of all, I had legs and everyone I loved was safe.

2 comments

  1. Great story! Very exciting! I like the ending 🙂

  2. sweet!