The Charmed and The Cursed: The Immortal Sorceress

When you turn 15, you are either Charmed or Cursed. If you're good for most of your life then you're Charmed, but if you're bad you're Cursed; the Charmed live an amazing, wonderful life while the Cursed live the opposite of that. But when Faith Mallinson, an overly kind, caring teenager, is Cursed, she finds out the ugly truth about how the decision is really made, and discovers a world she never dreamed could possibly exist. What happens when she has to save it?

Chapter 1

Suprises

As I turn off the lawnmower, the smell of freshly cut grass fills my nose. Robert, my neighbor, smiles at me as he usually does when I do him favors.

"Even on your birthday, Faith? Let me pay you for it at least today, you deserve a gift on this special day."

I shake my head so quickly that my curly hair gets into a mess. I didn't want his money. I didn't need it. Not even on my birthday. All I wanted for today was to be Charmed. I just wanted to be peaceful and happy for the rest of my life.

When you're fifteen, September 1st could be either the best or worst day of your life. You could be Charmed, or you could be Cursed. It's not too hard to be Charmed, really. All it takes is kindness, honestly... being a good person, basically. If you're a bad person, then you're Cursed. The Charmed lived a life of total good luck. The Cursed lived with bad luck. If your parents were Charmed, you lived in a Charmed state in the country. If your parents were Cursed, you lived in a Cursed state in the country. However, their Charms or Curses didn't affect you.

Your fate was decided in the capital of the state in which you lived. In my case, that was New York. In about an hour, I would be taking the bus there with my parents, who seemed very nervous. I can't imagine why, since they never had to scold me for any reason.

Robert smiles at me and laughs. "Well, you should get going. I'm sure your mother and father are waiting for you."

I nod, wave goodbye to him and run off to my house. I ring the doorbell, and my parents open it with smiles on their faces. I suspect that they aren't real ones. Why were they so nervous?

"Happy birthday!" They shout and hug me. I hug them back with a smile.

"Come on, let's go eat the cake!"

I follow them to the kitchen to find a chocolate cake on the table, with the words " Happy birthday Faith! " written across it in blue icing. My dad takes a knife from the drawer and slices the first piece for me, and then two more for himself and my mother.

"I'll get your presents," says my mom after swallowing a piece of cake and wiping chocolate from her mouth with the back of her hand. She rushes upstairs and then back down. There are three presents in her arms. She places them on the table.

I pick up a thin, long one, and am about to unwrap it when my dad puts a hand on my shoulder. "Why not open the others first? That one...can wait till later, it's... different from the others."

I am puzzled, but put down the gift nonetheless and unwrap the heavy, square-shaped one. It's a laptop. The other is a necklace with a small silver heart on the thin chain.

I thank my parents for the presents and hug them, then look back at the unopened present.

"You can open that after your fate is decided," says my father.

"Alright, then," I answer.

~~~

The bus ride is about an hour. When it is finally time to get off, I wait behind a line of other 15-year-olds; some have expressions of nervousness, while others seem completely confident.

The head of our state, Daniel Copeland, will call our names individually in alphabetical order, and tell us whether we're Charmed or Cursed. My last name starts with an 'M,' so I should be around the middle.

If you are Cursed, you have the option of challenging your head of state. When you do, you are given a task that is nearly impossible to complete. If you complete it successfully, you are Charmed. If not, then you're given five times the bad luck as normal.

~~~

When my name is called, I am barely paying attention. Copeland has to say it a second time for me to snap out of my daydream and into reality.

"Faith Mallinson!" He shouts. I quickly run up to the front of the line, and look to both sides of me. On the left there is a bus that will take me back to my home. On the right is a bus which will take me to the Cursed state of New Jersey.

I look up at him.

"Faith Mallinson, you are Cursed."

For a moment I just stand there, frozen in shock. Cursed? There is no way I could possibly be Cursed. Surley it was a mistake?

"What?" I ask.

There are murmmers in the crowd behind me.

"You are Cursed," says Copeland, sounding annoyed.

It is not a mistake. I am furious, and without thinking twice about it, I say quickly, "I'll take a challenge."

Everyone is shocked. It is not normal that someone decides to take on a challenge. The last time someone made that choice must have been years ago.

Copeland looks through the files on the podium he is standing behind, and reads my tast off of one of the papers.

"You are to go into the Maze of the Lost, which I will guide you to, and find and retrieve the Possessor Stacy Larson. You have a month to complete this task."

I've never heard of the Maze of the Lost, nor have I ever came across the name Stacy Larson. And what was a Possessor? I suddenly regret telling him that I want a challenge.

"Maze of the-?"

"Just come with me," he says sharply.

He is insane. There is no such thing as the Maze of the Lost. It doesn't make sense. Possessors, whatever they are, don't exist. There is no Stacy Larson. He is tricking me, and I am falling for a trap. A challenge is a death sentence, and it is no wonder that almost no one tries one. I don't think anyone has ever even completed a challenge.

I stay where I am, refusing to move a muscle.

Copeland is looking at me murderously.

"You asked for a challenge, and I'm giving it to you. Are you going to come with me, or suffer the consequences?"

Exactly what the consequences of refusing to accept the challenge you are given after choosing to attempt one are unknown, because it its forbidden to give out that information. Rumors are that they are torturous beyond imagination, and those who've gone through it are never the same again. I'd rather not find out for myself what happened. A chill goes up my spine and I realize that I have no choice but to follow him.

~~~

For about half an hour, I am lead through the capital; we go through areas that appear to be abandoned, and I am soon guided into a small, dark gray building. Inside it is empty except for what looks like an elevator. The only difference is that there is a single button, which doesn't seem to cause it to go up or down.

Copeland presses the button and motions for me to go inside. Reluctantly, I walk into the tiny space. The two doors of the elevator-looking object close. I am closed off from New York. I am closed off from my family, who I will probably not see again. They should be getting a letter anytime soon informing them about my fate. I don't want to think about how they will react, so I force myself to think about what will happen to me next.

I have been in here for about a minute when the mysterious elevator jolts downwards. It is going so fast that I start to get dizzy.

The doors suddenly open, and I step out, looking at the scene in front of me. I am in another building, and it is made of stone. I jump in fear when I see that I am not alone.

Across from me is a girl who looks a few years older than me. She looks back at me, and charges at me. I try to make a run for it, but the moment I pick up my foot, she points a gun at me.

"Move an inch, and you're dead."

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