Jewel vs
Doctor Deceit

The first time Jewel caught her older brother Killian sneaking out at night, she was caught off guard. It wasn’t in his nature to get into trouble. Besides, as one of the Academy’s top students, athletes and likely candidate for valedictorian, he couldn’t afford to be off his A-game.

Jewel kept quiet about it. But then she caught him sneaking out again. And again. And again. And each time, he came home a little different. First Jewel saw it in his eyes. They went from a lively blue to dull and bloodshot. He stopped eating. His wings drooped. Worst of all, he didn’t laugh anymore.

Jewel was worried about her brother. And that’s what brought her here.

It was dark. And when the door shut behind her, it got even darker. She had followed Killian all the way back to the Academy, through the maze of halls, into a janitorial closet, to a hidden door latch tucked behind an ancient wood furnace. Is this where her brother disappeared to every night?

Now was not the time to lose her nerve. There was only one way to go: down. She took a deep breath and descended into the underworld of the Academy.

She followed the sound of Killian’s footsteps, hovering ever so slightly above each stair to be sure he couldn’t hear her too. The footsteps stopped. A door creaked open. Jewel fluttered down the remaining stairs, landed in a dimly lit corridor and stopped the door before it shut.

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She found herself in a white, sterile room full of medical equipment. It was so bright, she felt blinded. “What is this place?” she whispered to no one in particular.

“It’s my office, dear,” hissed a voice from the other side of the room.

Jewel blinked hard. Across the room, she could make out a short, scowling woman wearing a lab coat, and sitting beside her…

“Killian!” cried Jewel. He didn’t move, didn’t look at her. His eyes were glued to the floor. “What have you done to him?”

“Don’t worry dear, I’m a doctor. Doctor Deceit. It’s a pleasure to finally meet you,” the woman replied. “You look upset. Your brother said you might be. I have just the thing.” She drew a syringe full of yellowish liquid from the pocket of her lab coat and walked toward Jewel.

“Killian? Killian!” Jewel pleaded with her brother. Killian didn’t move.

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Jewel launched herself into the air, flapping her wings as hard as she could to create a swirling whirlwind, putting a wall of air between herself and Dr. Deceit.

“Trust your brother, dear. He only wants what’s best for you,” Dr. Deceit cried over the roar of the wind. She squirted the contents of the syringe into the vortex. The whirlwind turned yellow, slowed and collapsed with a yellow sploosh all over the white floor.

Jewel was exhausted. She couldn’t beat Dr. Deceit alone. She fell to the ground, defeated: “If I can’t save my brother, you might as well take me too.”

“You’re smarter than you look, dear,” Doctor Deceit taunted as she filled another syringe.

“Don’t. Touch. My. Sister.”

Killian exploded into action from the other side of the room, launching himself at Dr. Deceit and sending her flying into a tray of medical equipment.

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Shaking off swabs and tongue depressors and pulling the syringe from her leg, Dr. Deceit looked at Killian as she squealed, “You’ll regret this. You’ll be miserable without my medicine!”

The contents of the syringe was making its way into her bloodstream. Her skin turned yellow. Her eyes dulled. Dr. Deceit stumbled out of the lab, slamming the door behind her.

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Killian collapsed on the floor. “I’m sorry, Jewel. I’m so, so sorry.” Jewel ran over to her brother and hugged him.

“It doesn’t matter,” she said. “We’ll beat this – and her – together.”