Francesca and Eliza
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by P. Sharma
Category: Young Adult/Fantasy
Description: When Tara moves into a new town and high school with the hopes of becoming a journalist some day, she doesn't realize that the story that would help her career would be right under her nose. She befriends Rhea, Maya and Nita who tell her about the mysterious disappearance of Eliza and the suicide of her best friend Francesca. Tara is immediately intrigued. Tara manages to convince them to take her to the old abandoned school building where the incident had occurred. While there, she is met by Eliza's ghost who seems intent on contacting her. Terrified, Tara tells her friends who dismiss her seeing Eliza's ghost as hallucinations. Abruptly she is hit on the head and later wakes up in the dark school basement, shocked to discover that her friends think she is Eliza and try to kill her with a dagger. When the dagger passes right through her, they're shocked to discover that Tara is a ghost. Aghast, she rushes off to see her family only to discover that her mother had faced a nervous breakdown after her death and the family was moving back to bury Tara's body in their family cemetery. She is broken hearted but Rhea comes to her and promises to help her, if she helps them find Eliza. Rhea tells her about how the group used to meet up every day to discuss magic. Eliza seemed to be interested in black magic and which she used to cast a spell on them that changed them into zombies.. After they had woken up the cemetery, they'd realized that everyone thought they were dead. Returning to the school building they found it burnt down but one of them managed to find the book of spells that Eliza had used. Inside the book they found Francesca's letter of apology and how they would have to wait seventeen years for Eliza's return. She had also left them a bracelet that would glow if Eliza was nearby and tells them that they would have to kill her to get their souls back. After listening to Rhea's story, Tara is still hesitant but agrees to help Rhea after Rhea promises to help her. Tara studies the old book called the 'Bleeding Coven' and realizes that not only is she able to understand the language but that her friends had lied to her again. The only way for her to come back to life would be if she were to ask for Eliza's help when she was reincarnated. As years pass, Tara waits patiently for Eliza's return, living on magical potions that help her stay grounded and give her appearance of being alive. When her bracelet finally glows, she goes to the town university in the hope of finding Eliza. However, Tara is instead introduced to her now grown up sister who is a professor. When Tara admits to being her older sister, Tivona is overjoyed but later on tells her to go away. Tara is mystified by her reactions and is still pondering on this when the girl called Alisha, Tara had first met when she came to the university, introduces herself as Eliza. Tara is elated and immediately asks her to help her but Alisha denies being Eliza and begins to tell her own story. She explains how for the past few years she had been gifted with mysterious potions on at least four occasions which invariably imbued her with certain 'gifts'. One of these gifts was that of invisibility which she misused and her brother paid the price for her selfishness. Her best friend, Kiera was also a victim of Alisha misusing another of her 'gifts', which has left her guilt ridden and reluctant to utilize her special powers. Tara refuses to see Alisha's point and once again asks for her help. Just then Rhea arrives with her friends and takes them both to the old school building. Before they can perform the ritual on her, Alisha willingly offers to help them and apologizes for she committed against the group in her previous incarnation as Eliza, and agrees to make things right....
eBook Publisher: Club Lighthouse Publishing USA LLC/Club Lighthouse Publishing, 2010 2010
eBookwise Release Date: August 2010
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [194 KB]
Reading time: 114-160 min.
FRANCESCA LOOKED AT HER friend and shivered. This was ridiculous and she should have put an end to this nonsense, but it was too late. She knew it was better not to argue with Eliza. She was in a fury as she rapidly turned the pages in an old book. For a minute, Francesca was sure that the book would tear. It was so old and the pages had become yellow and brittle.
"Eliza..." she started but Eliza pointed a finger at her. She was too busy to take notice of her as she read something in the book. Francesca waited patiently. This was wrong. Whatever was going on in Eliza's head was wrong. She shouldn't be doing this but she also knew what Eliza was going through. All she had in her mind was vendetta.
After what seemed like hours, Eliza finally got up and walked over to the very edge of the terrace.
"Eliza, please!" Francesca pleaded. "Have you thought of it? What if it doesn't go as planned?"
Eliza turned to glare at her. "I would do this if it works or not. You... just do as I told you. Promise?"
"Promise me Francesca!" Eliza screamed.
"I promise!" Francesca cried. "But won't you please reconsider? This is insane!"
"My mind is made up!" Eliza said and got up on the ledge.
Francesca's heart missed a beat and she felt her spine freeze up. If she were braver she would have pulled Eliza off the ledge and slapped her until she started to see some common sense. But Eliza was always the one who had the upper hand in the friendship. Francesca didn't know how this came about, but she always did whatever Eliza asked of her.
"Please!" she said, but it was only a whisper. Eliza was already reading something from the book. She wished now that she had never taught Eliza that language. She wished she had never become friends with her in the first place.
After reading the passage, Eliza turned to look at her. "I have done it. Now it's your turn. Keep your promise no matter what and wait for me."
Francesca started to feel tears stream down her face. "Please don't make me do this." She blubbered.
"Keep your promise." Eliza said sternly and looked away.
Francesca started to cry harder. She couldn't stop herself from crying no matter how hard she tried. Her vision was blurring but she could still make out Eliza preparing to jump. Francesca let out a loud sob. She wiped her eyes with her sleeve and stared at Eliza.
Eliza was nervous and she could tell from the way her hands clenched into tight fists and from the way that she could hear her breathing even from where she was standing.
And then it happened. One second, Eliza was standing on the ledge and staring down, the next there was nothing but an empty space.
Francesca's mouth opened in horror. It had happened and she couldn't stop it. The book, from which Eliza had read, lay open on the ledge with its pages fluttering wildly in the cold wind.
Francesca fell down on her knees. She was gone! She waited for a few minutes as it finally struck her. Her best friend was no more. She started to get up and realized that her calves had numbed. She had to get the book, but how could she do so without peering down and seeing Eliza's lifeless body.
But a promise was a promise. She always kept her promises no matter how peculiar they had been. Francesca forced herself up and almost yelped when she felt a cramp shoot up her calf. But she walked towards the ledge anyway. She reached out a hand so that she could grab the book quickly and get away from this place as soon as possible. As her fingers touched the pages of the book, she gasped.
The pages were old, but somehow she had still managed to cut herself on them. She sucked on her finger and with her other hand she reached out and grabbed the book. She closed it quickly and heard a loud bang. She almost jumped and then realized that it was so quiet up here that even her breathing seemed so loud. As she turned to go away, she suddenly stopped.
She closed her eyes and realized that she had to see. She just had to! Even if it was just for closure or to pay her last respects or whatever it was--she just had to see.
She walked over to the ledge and heard her heart beating loudly. She swallowed as her hands touched the smooth and cold ledge. She pulled herself towards the ledge and slowly peered down.
She expected to see her best friend sprawled on the ground in a pool of blood, but what she saw was astounding.
Eliza wasn't there--she had disappeared! She had seen her jump, and she had heard a thud as she had dropped below. Even if someone had taken her to the hospital, there would have been at least some commotion. Someone would have probably screamed or called a crowd of people.
Francesca turned away. It had worked! Whatever Eliza was up to, had worked. Now she would wait. She would wait and keep her promise.