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welcome to paradise

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This is really all her fault. There were things in her life she’d taken the blame for, little things. Like confessing to stealing a cookie Lizzie had taken. Covering for Lizzie when she was out at a party. Things she was innocent of. But this. This was all because of her. It was real this time. And Lizzie hadn't been there talking over her shoulder.

 

Taking that box had been such a mistake and if she’d known what it contained, all that power. Josie would have never touched it if she’d known. But it was too late now. The school was burning down, there’s fire everywhere and Josie’s starting to regret her affinity for the element. Maybe this is where she gets it.

 

Standing in the middle of it all is a familiar figure, the memory of his face tugging at the back of her mind. He looks nothing like mom, with that devastating smirk. Cold eyes and he’s laughing as he squeezes his hand, his magic keeping Lizzie in the air. A fireball appears in his other hand and he throws them to a group of fleeing students.

 

 Adiuuatur ” Her spell extinguishes the fire but he merely tuts before he snaps his fingers. A ring of fire encircles them and he steps closer towards Josie.

 

“Now, this is what I like to call poetic justice.” Kai reaches into his coat and pulls out a large knife. “My sister, your mother, tricked me with this knife. Took everything away from me. And I killed her with it, y’know,  just some light stabbing.” His nose crinkles, as if annoyed over that detail, but nonetheless grins back at her.

 

“Why are you telling me this?” Her stomach twists at the way he speaks, the way he seems to find joy in the sadistic things.

 

“Hey I feel like I should make it fair.” His eyes scream anything but. “After all Jo was the weaker twin, and so are you. Some vindication if you will,” He’s flipping the knife around, like a toy. And Josie risks a glance at Lizzie, still in Kai’s clutches lifted high in the air.

 

 You get to kill your twin.” His eyes light up, and he smiles gleefully. Kai extends the knife to her, “I only need one twin dead. How ‘bout it, little niece?”

 

“Like hell.” She spits back and lifts her hand, using her magic to reach for the knife. The knife jerks from his grip and flies towards him but all he does is laugh. “Uh uh uh.” The knife freezes inches from his face and her blood runs cold. “You really do take the fun out of things. Let’s mix things up a bit.”

 

 Motus .”

 

Kai stretches his towards her and Josie braces herself for that pull but nothing ever comes and in a flash Penelope is in his hands. He dangles her like a toy, holding her by the neck and Penelope’s head lolls forward. Josie’s eyes widen. “No! Leave her out of this!”

Kai stands there, tilts his head and hums. That smile is still on his face. Lizzie’s still in the air, struggling, a magical hold around her neck, slowly choking her. Penelope hangs there, motionless, dead. Oh god, what has this come to.

 

“Hmmm, I think not,” Kai shakes his head again, like she’s said something wrong. Like he’s about to scold her, slap her on the wrist for taking something she’s not supposed to. “See, your girlfriend’s a sneaky little witch. Just wait for it.” He winks at her before throwing Lizzie at her.

 

A burst of magic is thrown back to her and Josie instinctively throws her hands up to cushion Lizzie’s fall. Her magic flows through her, but instead of its warmth there’s electric in her veins and she screams out. Lizzie drops to the ground in front of her, gasping for breath. “Josie!” Lizzie reaches for her and she wraps her arms around her, still reeling from the pain of using magic.

 

Looking back at Kai, she freezes as he has a grip on Penelope’s chin. Her head is tilted to him and he’s whispering in her ear, his eyes are red and his fangs peak out. “Wakey wakey,” He sings out.

 

Penelope remains still. And Josie stifles a sob at the cruel way he’s treating her. How dare he touch her. Josie wants to scream, wants to rip his head off, send him to hell. But all she can do is watch, paralyzed.

 

“I said wake up,” Kai roars, and Josie’s eyes widen when Penelope groans. Her body jerks and her hands shooting to her neck. Lizzie gasps next to her in shock.

 

“There she is,” He coos, “Show them your pretty little face,” His grip on her chin tightens and he growls at her. Josie’s heart aches hearing her whimper, weakened from the strain of transitioning and complies.

 

They both watch as Penelope’s face morphs, her eyes go crimson and the veins under her eyes darken. She snarls and hisses at Kai, fangs bared in anger. Kai smirks down at her as she shakes free from his grip.

 

“Sneaky sneaky, I gotta say—I’m impressed. I almost didn’t notice.” His voice is smooth and almost kind, there’s a smugness to it. Josie wants to blow his head off. Set him ablaze. “Almost,” he bites out. Kai turns his attention to them and gestures with his fingers.

 

Like puppets on a string, they’re both separated from each other and lifted to their feet. Lizzie stands in front of her with an unwavering gaze, tears pooling in her eyes. Josie can’t look away.

 

From behind her, Kai speaks up. “Now, Josie, you’re going to kill your sister or you can say goodbye to your precious little Penelope.” The knife hovers in the space between them, the ultimatum echoing in the silence.

 

“Josie, no!” Her heart sinks at the desperation in Penelope’s voice and she turns to face them. Kai’s nails are sinking into her flesh and blood is dripping down his knuckles. With a twisted smirk, he drags a finger across Penelope’s neck, gathering blood, before lifting it to his mouth.

 

“Delicious,” He taunts. “Tic toc.” She turns back to Lizzie, who stands there, resigned. There’s sorrow in her eyes, and when she blinks, tears stream down her cheeks. Everything narrows as her world focuses on the knife in front of her.

 

“Josie look at me! Don’t listen to him,” Penelope screams at her but all she can see is the knife and Lizzie.

 

The knife spins, before freezing and flying forward.