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Alice, Immortal

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Aug 18th, 2018
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  1. Even though I have always been a bat, I've found myself staying awake into the day a lot. Which is okay. A lot of my best friends are always up during the day. There's Oscar, Hedgehog, Pepper, Alexa and more. I always liked hanging out with them. It was something that brought a lot more to summer camp than I thought it would. I sorta came here with the idea that everything would be cool because of the activities. The scheduled stuff. All the things you count on happening. Sure there was some sort of fun in the scheduled stuff, but that turned out to be a small part of why I liked camp so much. What really made it great was the things that you did in the moment.
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  3. Today was sort of chilly outside. The sun had gone down, and a perfect crescent moon was glowing above. I had to admit that even if the moon was on the sensitive side, he could really liven up the night. It brought out something that I couldn't really put my finger on. A quality of the world that you just didn't get with so much light in the world. Under the silver light, everything was faded. There was a gradient from white to pure darkness. With nothing but different shades of gray-blue in between.
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  5. Everything looked kinda like a painting. Something that you would see in an art gallery. Or maybe if you sit outside in the fall late in the evening, watching leaves fall in the breeze. It was like that. A surreal experience. Something I knew would stick with me for a long time. Maybe forever. The peaceful sounds of leaves rustling while I stepped my way through them called me back to reality. I zipped my jacket up to keep out the cold, and kept going.
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  7. I was approaching the part of the island closest to Alice's cabin. The witches actually lived pretty close together. Something I always found interesting. Betsy didn't even really get along that well with Susie. Alice seemed totally neutral towards her. Then again, Alice was neutral towards prettymuch everyone. She had no real enemies, but she didn't have someone she hung out with all the time either. Susie didn't get along with anyone. The most valid reason that I saw their houses being together was just so the campers could find them.
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  9. The cabin of the cutest witch stood apart from the treeline. Her flag waved proudly in the air. It had her typical blue heart emblazoned on it, but was cast in the silver relief of the moonlight. With a bit of apprehension, I approached. Nobody really came looking for Alice. She always was tagging along with Susie or hanging around wherever something fun was happening. She never went anywhere on her own. That made me wonder about her. Was she usually lonely? What did she do in her spare time? She hadn't been around at all today, so it made me all the more curious.
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  11. The front porch squeaked lightly when I stepped up to the door. Maybe this wasn't a good idea. The witches were usually busy at this time of night. Maybe she was sleeping. But the lights were on in the window, so she had to be there. Unless she kept them on all the time? I figured there was no other way to know besides to knock. If she was there she would answer. I brought my hand up and tapped against the door lightly three times.
  12.  
  13. Nobody came to the door. That sorta answered my question, so I started to turned heel, before the door cleared its throat at me. I had forgotten most of the things in her house were actually alive. I figured I could, so I asked.
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  15. "Hey, uh, where's Alice? I haven't seen her around all day, so I thought that maybe I should make sure she's okay. There was smile-faced pancakes in the mess hall today but she didn't show up. Made me sorta worried since she always hangs around when we have those."
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  17. The door blinked at me. Sorta suprised by the looks of things. For a moment it thought things through. The expression it wore was one that belonged on a person scratching their chin. After a few seconds I looked away, then back at the door. Maybe this just wasn't any of my business.
  18.  
  19. "Hey uh, I can go if it's too personal. It's okay."
  20.  
  21. "Alright, alright." The door sighed. "Alice is out performing her annual beautification ritual. Don't tell her I said that. You seem like a good kid though, so I trust you. Don't tell anyone else, but she's over in the meadow near the cliffs. The spot overloloks the waterfall and pond. Remember that you didn't hear that from me."
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  23. My thoughts raced for a second. That honestly sounded amazing to watch. My first instinct was to run there and see whatever I could without getting caught. A bit of caution tugged at me though. The witches were very secretive. I probably shouldn't just go snooping around in their business. At least without knowing what I was getting into first.
  24.  
  25. "Okay. What exactly does that mean though, a beautification ritual?" I asked.
  26.  
  27. "It's an annual ritual during the full moon. It has to be on the equinox, which is tonight. She performs it to maintain her current age and appeal to nature for her abilities."
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  29. I didn't really need to hear more, turning to leave. I was stopped by the voice of the door though.
  30.  
  31. "Once she's started the ritual she can't stop. So if you go bothering her she'll probably be irritated."
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  33. I gave the door a thumbs up. I'd keep that in mind, but I didn't intend to bother her. She'd probably wouldn't notice me anyways. Dark fur in the middle of the night didn't make me the most visible person. Besides, Alice was the second nicest witch. I was sure that even if she saw me watching her, she wouldn't mind that much. Right? It was just catching her at a bad time. Besides that, I wanted to know if she was okay. That's what I'd say. It totally wasn't my overwhelming urge to see something magical and probably amazing. That's what I'd say. Of course. Totally.
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  35. The spot the door had described to me was situated far away from the campers. It was actually far away from everything, really. Nothing was out there but forest, which eventually faded into swamp. A place that had big signs telling everyone to stay out. According to both Hedgehog and Oscar, there was horrible things in there. In addition to prettymuch everything being incredibly hostile, you had to contend with the actual landscape. It was only after the two nearly perished in the swamp that Betsy put up tons of signs telling everyone to stay clear of the place. A warning was also added to the beginning part of the camp guide. Thankfully the cliffside lookout was on the closer side of the swamp.
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  37. I approached the long way so that Alice wouldn't immediately spot me. If I alarmed her she might mess up the spell, and that would put me in a world of hurt. Even if I didn't immediately get turned into into a three year old, I would probably get the same treatment later. So it was important that I steered clear of where she was going to be. By the time I arrived the moon was actually starting to dip below the horizon, and was waving its goodbyes. I couldn't help but wonder if maybe I'd missed it. I was tired, but I wantned to see Alice at work. It might be really cool magic. Way more awesome than anyone else in the camp had seen.
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  39. At last I arrived. The first thing I heard was Alice. I crouched down, trying to make my way through the underbrush as quietly as I could. The crickets were going and there was also the sounds of the waterfall too. Plus the frogs croaking nearby. I didn't need to be too quiet, I was more worried about her seeing me. I took off my cap and focused on sneaking my way forwards. I peered through a bush to see what I could. Upon laying eyes on the scene, I couldn't help but feel a surge of excitement. It burned away the tired feelings like cobwebs meeting a lit match. I was about to witness something legendary.
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  41. Alice was in a dress I'd never seen any of the witches wear before. On it was a huge symbol of an eye, and on the back, some sort of sigil. If I squinted really hard I could see that the eye also had some sort of sigil in it, but different from the one on her back. It fell to about her mid thighs. The lower hem of the dress was covered in bird feathers, and on her head was a crown of roses. She had her wand drawn and was chanting nonsense at the sky. On the ground was many different little bones. She avoided them as she stepped around a pyramid made of tree branches. As she made her circular dance around the strangely arranged kindling, I squinted closely at it. Every single one looked to be stripped of bark. Each also had distinctive, unique markings. I didn't know what any of it meant, but watching her dance around a soon-to-be fire and shout at the stars made me prepare for something wild.
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  43. I wasn't dissapointed. As the sun crested the horizon, clouds formed over the cliffside. It only took moments for a towering pillar of clouds to form overhead. A grin formed on Alice's face, her eyes lighting up. The witch tilted her head skywards, letting out a mirthful, uncontrolled laugh. As I heard it rain began falling. Not small amounts either. A torrential downpour hit us both. It sounded like hail and was driven like nails. I shoved my hat back on to protect my head. It was almost painful to be underneath, but she stared skywards, still laughing. She seemed almost crazed as she continued shouting at the sky. The sound of the water hitting the plants around me was almost deafening. I couldn't make out what she was saying anymore. Not that it mattered, I couldn't understand it. Sunlight fell on the monstrous storm we sat beneath. A rainbow leapt into the air over the cliffside lookout.
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  45. The witch took her wand, thrusting it towards the soaked pyramid of branches. Lightning lashed from above like a whip from the heavens themselves. The ground exploded on the cliffside, leaving her standing there on a sliver of remaining stable land. She'd lit it with the might of nature itself. Then, moments later, I was deafened. Thunder roared over the entire island from the lightning strike. The crater full of fire Alice stood in front of raged, a fiery pit barely subdued by the rain falling from above. She pointed skywards. The sun and moon were both shining on her at that moment. Lightning, fire, water, wind and earth surrounding her. She began shouting at the heavens once more. At that point I could neither hear nor look directly at her. She stood in the center of what sounded like a cataclysm, and what would be to anyone else, a guranteed way to end up in the ground. I was shocked to be able to hear her clear as day even with my ears ringing.
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  47. "O, heavens and earth! Elements of water, air, fire and water! The cosmos above! Witness me in this act as I unite you! I shall imbibe your essence, making me your kin! Smile upon me as I perform this sacred act! As you have every time before."
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  49. Sunlight wreathed her wand, causing me to squint desperately to see what was going on. Silver moonlight gathered in a sphere around the witch. Fire jumped from the pit to form a circle in the air. She marked the center of everything in this ritual. Rain fell from above to burst into steam upon meeting the ground. Wind threatened to tear my hat right off my head. There was a sudden calm on the cliffside. A golden light lit everything in its glow. The steam, rain, fire, wind coalesced on her wand. It formed into a single spear of light I couldn't actually see, only try to make out without blinding myself. It was like a twisted spike of sunlight and the glittering, brilliant radiance of the moon. It burned like a small star in her hand. Alice stared at it with an expression I'd never seen before. A deep satisfaction... and beneath that, yearning. As if she wanted to hold its beauty in her palm forever. I saw tears developing as she curled her fingers around it. She shook her head, as if fighting off a deep-seated urge.
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  51. Alice's face turned once more towards the sky once again. Her tear-filled eyes stared up into the stars. I saw the universe reflected in those beautiful irises for just a moment. She turned the radiant spear in her grip, holding it away from herself. It rotated to bring the point towards her chest. It was only once she gripped it with both hands that I understood what was going to happen. She fell to her knees. I covered my face with both my hands to prevent from screaming. In an instant she plunged the spike into her chest. Right into the eye sigil on her dress. I cried out into my hands. It was such a shock to see it happen. Was she okay? What was happening? Why did she do that? Was this part of the ritual?
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  53. I was ready to break from my cover and sprint towards her to help if nothing happened soon. It took until the moon fully vanished for something to change. First, the silver light of the spear flooded into the sigil. Then the golden sunlight. Alice began to glow softly in the meantime. I let out a small sigh of relief. Of course she hadn't just impaled herself. Though I'd nearly had a panic attack right then and there. I watched as the light of gold and silver flood into her. Her fur turned a slightly lighter shade of brown. The mud and moisture from the rain evaporated off of her. Her wand returned to normal, tumbling from her hands to the ground. I saw a tear streak down her face. With an exhausted sigh, she picked up her wand. She was clearly shaking. With a flick she constructed a bridge to lead her back to solid ground, and began walking over it. The way she was moving was like she had just ran across the entire island on her own without eating in days. She could barely put one foot in front of the other.
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  55. I'd seen enough. I didn't want to stand by anymore. She had shown me something that I'd remember forever. I couldn't just sneak off back to my cabin after that. She deserved better. I broke my cover and stood up, walking towards her. The look on her face was something between confused, scared and irritated as she saw me approaching. I hoped she wouldn't turn her wand on me, but from what I was seeing she probably didn't have the energy to spare. I got within a few feet before she spoke directly to me.
  56.  
  57. "What are you doing here? It's six in the morning Max." She said defensively.
  58.  
  59. "Uh... I'll be honest."
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