Christina Mayer: In the Midnight Hour

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The people of Weeping Willows stopped moving and screaming at Christina once they reached the Gallows. The sudden quiet unnerved her; she anticipated something from them. She scrambled up to her feet and look around for the broken piece of wood she was to use as a weapon. She couldn't find it.

Christina looked around for something else to use, but there was nothing else on the Gallows. With a sigh, she looked at the nearest faces. They were just staring, silent, their eyes moving as she moved. There was nothing stopping them from climbing up, but for some reason, they didn't.

She needed one of them, but they all clumped so closely together that she wouldn't be able to touch one without a dozen grabbing hold of her. After the surprise blast of energy from her hand earlier, she held out her hand again in the same way. Nothing happened.

Christina scrunched her face in frustration. Time was running out to save Justin.

The vial around her neck glowed. She looked at it, hoping it would give her an answer. It continued to glow for some time but it went out without so much as an indication to Christina's next task.

Out of a small pocket of air, a dagger dropped. Christina did not notice it until she heard it bang against the wood of the Gallows. Her face shot towards it as it rolled toward the end. It was about to topple over when she launched herself at it. She managed to grab it.

Not allowing fear to stop her, she instantly used the dagger against the throat of the nearest woman. The blade cut through her neck as if cutting fruit, and the blood squirted all down the dagger, the handle, and Christina's arm.

The woman didn't seem to flinch at it, but soon fell and disappeared from view. Her blood was cold and it dried up within seconds, causing Christina's arm to feel stiff. And still nobody moved.

A voice surprised her from behind. 'You did it!' It was Bridget.

'You left me here!' Christina spat. 'And you killed the Queen!'

'We didn't kill the Queen – she can't be killed. And anyway, now you have the last ingredient.'

'She told me the ingredients you told me to get will not raise the sun! Why should I hand this over to you?'

Bridget tried to put her hand on Christina's shoulder but she moved out of the way. Bridget could see she was starting to lose her. 'Okay, so the ingredients don't necessarily help with the sun issue. But, give me the dagger and I will still help you get to the spirit world to save him. Time has moved quickly. The midnight hour fast approaches.'

'What happens then?'

'Justin has travelled to the spirit world. If he isn't back by midnight, he will be trapped there forever.'

Christina looked at the dagger, then threw it into the crowd.

'NO!' Bridget screamed. Christina stopped her from getting any closer.

'First, we save Justin. I don't like the fact that you've lied to me since the moment you showed yourself to me, but I'm a woman of my word. After we save Justin, I'll hand over the dagger.'

Bridget raised an eyebrow. 'You do know that I could just get the blood myself.'

'True, you could,' Christina said. 'But then you wouldn't have me, and you need me, right? You want to be a natural witch? You could get the dagger or the blood yourself, but you're not a Marked One, are you?'

Bridget narrowed her eyes. Christina was bluffing, acting confident to act like she knew what she was talking about, but she put two and two together from the Queen of Hearts and the witches themselves. Being a Marked One must have its perks.

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