4

After the neighbors heard the explosions from the Spellman house, they called the police who called the fire department and then the local gas company. Miss Ochmonek from up the street thought Charlie Hannoran was trying to barbeque again, but by time everyone arrived at the Dutch Colonial at the corner, Zelda had mystically reset everything in the house to before the explosions. Nevertheless, a representative of the gas company had to search the house and grounds as they waited outside their home. It was a minor inconvenience they had to go through, but it was worth it after what they learned.

"Thank you so much…" Zelda waved them good-bye. "We'll sure sleep well tonight." She closed the door and rejoined her sister and niece in the kitchen.

"Are your ears still ringing?" Hilda looked to Sabrina and contracted her jaw several times trying to get her ears to pop. "My ears are still ringing…"

"What?!" Sabrina was still a little deaf from the explosions.

"Can I come down?" Salem was still on the kitchen light fixture. Walking by, Zelda reached up to catch him and placed him on the floor.

"We have her identity now." Zelda pulled a scrap of paper from the kitchen drawer and quickly jotted down Selene's name. "Sabrina, you're innocent. Drell has to do something now." She tucked it into the toaster to send to the Witch's Council; the kitchen appliance was the best medium in the house for sending physical message to other witches.

"What?!" Sabrina screeched.

"She sent a message to Drell!" Hilda tried screaming so Sabrina could hear her. "Selene will have to be punished!"

"What?!" Sabrina screeched confusingly again and tried popping her ears.

"I've got a spell that can help her…." Zelda moved to cast a spell, but she was distracted for the moment by the toaster already responding to her message. "Well, that was fast…" She pulled it out and scanned it. Hilda looked over sipping coffee at the table.

"Not good enough?!" Zelda read the note. "What does he mean not good enough?"

"Send him another note." Hilda sipped her coffee and stretched her back in her seat. Getting knocked to the walls in the explosions had in her mind given her a backache.

"I'll ask him why it's not good enough…" Zelda sent another message through the toaster, and yet another explosion much smaller than the first ones rattled the fixtures without much damage and a large red banner drifted down from the ceiling. It read in large black letters, "Not good enough."

"Hey," Sabrina smiled and touched her ears. "I got my hearing back in that one."

"What?!" Hilda screeched a bit deaf. Zelda conjured a spell on her and suddenly the ringing deafness in her sister's head died away.

"It looks like we're going to need more history on Selene before Drell does anything." Zelda reasoned out loud. "Hilda, didn't you say you know a warlock who's a detective or something?"

"Yeah, Carl…." Hilda recalled and rose to get more coffee to sedate her anxiety over this day. "It's been a while, but he should remember me."

"What about me?" Sabrina was frantic. "What am I going to do?"

"Sabrina, we're doing the best we can." Zelda turned to her. "Unfortunately, now that Selene knows us, we'll never be able to get close to her again."

Sabrina could only drop her head to the kitchen table with her arms thrown up over it. She felt as if her life was coming to an end. This imposter was ruining her life and was very likely going to out her as a witch to her best friends. She could barely comprehend how Harvey or Valerie would handle it if her secret were revealed. What about any of her other classmates with whom she knew casually. There was Gordon Munchen from the Science Club, although everyone knew him as "Gordy." Someone that obsessed with Science might want to hook her up to a machine and study how her powers worked. After all, wasn't that how scientists acted? And then there was William Samms, Harvey's friend with the clear interest in horror movies. He'd be obsessed in attacking her with questions about her history and abilities. She pictured Dawn Rochner barraging her with questions, and Maddie Hudgens endlessly asking her for wishes and requests as if she was a freaking jinni. The worst scenario was if Libby Chessler discovered she was a witch. Libby already suspected Sabrina was a little weird for the way she acted just covering up acts of magic, but if she found out the truth? Just thinking about it terrified her…

"Hi, Harvey…." The following morning, Libby once again walked the halls of Westbridge High School. Strolling ahead of the other cheerleaders from the gym area, she glanced to them strolling on without her and looked back to Harvey, William and Dale Baines gathered by the soda machines in the gym lobby. "You know, my daddy is having a party tomorrow night to celebrate a big business deal, and I thought you'd like to be on my arm as he announced how much money he made. Would you like to be my date for the night?"

Harvey glanced to Dale then William with a look of mixed anxiety and fear.

"Sorry, Libby…" Harvey hesitantly responded. "I'd love to go, but all this week I'm kind of helping my mom clean the junk out of the spare bedroom in our house and paint it. " Deep down, the idea of hanging out with a bunch of businessmen and the local elite sounded like fun, but truthfully, hanging out with Libby tied his stomach up in knots. Part of it was because Libby treated him like a trophy while the other part was that it bothered him that Libby treated Sabrina so badly. To even pretend he was dating Libby seemed unfaithful to his friendship with Sabrina, but he didn't want to hurt her feelings.

"But I know William doesn't have anything to do." Harvey added.

Dale started laughing.

"Harvey, why do you suddenly hate me?" The teenage novelist winced.

"So, William, how about it?" Libby's brown eyes looked to her nervous classmate.

"Well, Libby, you see…"

"I'll pick you up in a limo at your house at 6:30 and make sure you're wearing a tux." She made up his mind for her. "Oh, and I'll reserve my favorite bouquet at the flower store. Don't forget it!" She turned away very proudly and assuredly as the guys broke up with mocking hilarity at William's distress. Baines started it off with a condescending arm around William's shoulders following the sounds of Leonard Dalrymple and Mikey Ramage's jeering laughter. They all agreed Libby was one of the most attractive girls in school, but it was her personality that kept her mostly dateless.

"Will," Dale suppressed a loud jeering chuckle in his chest. "Can I be your best man?"

The other guys started laughing again.

"Harvey…." William had turned around and tried crawling into his locker. "Why did you do that to me?" He wanted a response.

"Sorry, dude…" Harvey felt a bit of shame and guilt at what he had did. "But it was either you or Dale and you were closer…." He grimaced a bit. "Besides, you did say you were wanting a girlfriend…."

"Libby Chessler?"

"Maybe she'll give you an allowance after you're married." Mikey spoke up to add to the teenage angst and humor, but Dale suddenly reached up and stopped the laughter at William's expense. Something or someone had trapped his attention, and placing his hand up to stop Mikey's attention, he motioned to the stunning beauty now walking the halls of their school. Harvey recognized the brunette beauty from the Slicery.

Garbed in a form-fitting white sweater and long violet skirt, Selene strolled forth in expensive lambskin boots, her long brunette locks lightly bobbing from her shoulders as she walked the halls of their school. She seemed beyond perfect. Her looks were beyond that of any girl in their class. Her round flawless features glanced to them staring entranced by her looks, their jaws hanging open and their eyes rounded into stunned silence. Selene could just look away with an amused grin by the spectacle she created just by entering their lives. Even Gordy and Lionel Templeton in the school's bookstore were stunned by the presence of this new girl. Selena just seemed to glide along undeterred by the busy and tumultuous current of the high school hallway. No one got in her way, nothing caused her to veer from her path and nothing blocked her from her chosen destination. Even Dawn Rochner looked up from her locker and quickly moved out of the way as Selene came up upon Libby and the cheerleaders gathered around the corner lockers.

"Excuse me, Libby Chessler?" Selene lightly tapped Libby by the shoulder. "I am about to be your best friend."

"Excuse me, but you are interrupting my story, and besides… I have all the best friends I need." Libby rolled her eyes a bit annoyed and turned back to the other cheerleaders to tell them about the dress she was wearing to her father's party. Refusing to be snubbed, Selene looked to an invisible audience, chuckled under her breath and lightly pulled her hair back over her right shoulder through her little finger and lightly tapped Libby by the shoulder once more.

"What?!"

"How would you like to hear a nasty bit of gossip about one Sabrina Spellman?"

Libby and her cheerleader coven suddenly became interested.

"You have my attention…"

"Well," Selene shined wickedly. "What if I told you that….'" Someone was now tapping Selene by her shoulder, and the eternally beautiful sorceress looked over to an angry middle-aged man with a mustache and a thinning hairline scowling at her through golden-framed glasses.

"Excuse me, young lady," Vice Principal Willard Kraft looked down on her. "Do you go to school here?"

"Do you drive a 1975 Chevrolet Cabriolet?" Selene asked him as a distant explosion sounded in the parking lot and shook the school. The sound seemed to distress the students mulling through the school. A few students fled the parking lot, and even Libby jumped back at the sound wondering what was going on.

"Mr. Kraft, " Teacher Roberta Quick rushed up to him on high heels. "Your car just blew up in the parking lot!"

Libby's jaw dropped in surprised shock as the other cheerleaders began laughing.

"Oh, God!" Kraft reacted with shock. "I just finally paid it off!" He turned around and raced back to the front of the school and hurried past Sabrina and Valerie entering the school. As they turned into the middle corridor of the school to meet up with Harvey, Valerie's brown eyes looked up to see Selene and Libby standing side by side in the court of the book store as if they were talking.

"Sabrina, isn't that the girl from the Slicery?"

"What!" Sabrina screeched hysterically and threw her books and purse into Valerie's arms and went charging through the hallway after Selene.

"Wait!" Libby grabbed Selena turning to run. "What's the gossip?!"

"She's a…." Selena was inexplicably attacked by Libby's cheerleader pom-poms springing from her locker and attacking her. Lashing out blindly, Selene caused the water fountain to go off and start filling the floor with water in front of the thirty students in the court of the school bookstore. Hitting the water, Sabrina suddenly slipped backward to her feet and slid another twenty feet into the janitor's closet, getting pummeled by the falling mops and cleaning utensils. Above her, Selene staggered, pulling the attacking pom-poms out of her face and hair and recomposed herself.

"Is that all you have, Spellman?" Selene screamed at her rival. "Give me your best shot! Use your m-"

Swinging the janitor's dirty dried up mop, Sabrina sprang from the closet trying to hit Selene with the encrusted maul of tendrils pulled up out of the dry mop bucket, but Selene dodged it… bending over backward, flipping on her hands and landing back on her feet near Valerie and Dawn Rochner watching the fracas in the hall with the other fifty students watching the confrontation. Even Harvey, William and Dale showed up to cheer for Sabrina. Miss Quick tried to stop the fight by grabbing the mop handle Sabrina was swinging, but Selene started laughing and pushed between Valerie and Dawn trying to escape. Skidding through the left turn with Coach Jackman and Miss Witherspoon, the math teacher, trying to catch her, Selene ran up the wall over Jackman's head and dropped from the ceiling behind Miss Witherspoon and sprang for the front entrance with Sabrina catching up on her. Charging out the front entrance after her with fire in her eyes, Sabrina felt the heavy autumn season wash over her outside the school doors and her shoes striking the concrete stairway into the school as Selene spun around with her right hand glowing with a sphere of orange energy.

"Pumpkin Combustus!"

Hearing that spell, Sabrina was barely turning back to retreat when the spell exploded, lifting her off her feet and shattering the windows in the front doorway, ripping them off their frames and throwing Sabrina back into the school in a small hurricane of broken glass, shattered wood, warped wood doors and the detritus of the trash cans from the front landing. The momentum even forced open over a hundred lockers springing their doors in unison to the school sprinkler system going off to the blast. Sabrina hit the floor of the front hall and tumbled in the fetal position through the doors of the front office and crashed into the admittance desk. Lying on the carpet of the school office, Sabrina felt the sprinkler system spaying cold water over her body wracked in pain, her right arm extended and her forefinger lightly twitching trying to get off a spell. She thought she had blacked out for a while because when she opened her eyes again she was being lifted on a stretcher and being carried out by paramedic past Valerie, Harvey, William, Miss Quick, Dale, Dawn, Mr. Kraft, Coach Jackman and even Libby in front of a crowd of her curious classmates watching in stunned shock. An oxygen mask over her face, Sabrina looked up as she was carried out of the school. As she was pushed into the ambulance, Sabrina saw police cars, police tape and TV news vans in the front parking lot before blacking out again. She must have been out longer this time because this time she woke up to her aunts helping her up the stairs of her house.

"Easy does it, honey." Her Aunt Zelda's voice comforted her.

"I can't go back to school." Sabrina lightly whimpered over an over. "I can't go back to school." Her face was pockmarked with cuts and bruises. Her right hand was bandaged up over her fingers; only her forefinger, her spell finger, was uncovered but it was taped to a metal brace. It had been broken in the explosion. Struggling to brace herself with her left hand, she lightly laid down in her bed with her aunts' help.

"Don't worry, sweetie…" Hilda rubbed her head lightly. "We've got you covered."

Salem sat on Sabrina's desk in her room watching emotionally as Hilda and Zelda covered up Sabrina in her own bed. Maybe it was the painkillers or the tranquilizers, but the teenage witch laid down into her pillow with her wracked head still replaying the explosion in her ears. Just another light gasp for air and she closed her bright blue eyes comfortable in her bed and drifted off to sleep. Jumping to the floor then on to the bed, Salem curled up at the foot of the bed.

"We've got to get Drell to stop Selene." Zelda spoke to Hilda in hushed tones. "She almost killed Sabrina."

"I know, but he won't listen." Hilda replied.

"You ladies do what you have to do." Salem looked up and back to Sabrina sleeping. "I'll watch over her."

The two sisters drifted out of the room and switched off the light on the way out. It was already quite dark and neither of them was even interested in dinner yet. Listening to Sabrina's breathing, Salem rested at her feet with his tail twitching and bending, recoiling and uncoiling. He dozed just briefly and woke with a start to look at Sabrina. She looked peaceful so he lowered his head once more to rest, but then something made him lift his head with alarm.

"That smells like fresh trout in the house." He leapt over Sabrina's legs under the blankets and hit the floor to quickly scamper out of the room and into the lighted hallway for the stairway. In the darkened bedroom, there was a sound of cars going up and down Oak Drive down beyond the rows of houses behind the Spellman house and then a faint creak as Sabrina's closet door parted open.

"Where does she buy these clothes?" Selene emerged from the doorway conjured in back of it and mumbled to herself. Emerging into the room, she stepped lightly, gliding up to the bed with the teenage witch in it and glanced over Sabrina laying helpless in it.

"How are you sleeping there, little sorceress?" Selene looked down over Sabrina buried in the bed covers and removed a crystal on a chain hanging from the bed board. In the dark room, it had been glowing, and Selene held it aloft to her eyes to view it closer. "Thanks for watching over my necklace. With it, I should have all your powers too… and a lot more…"

She started grinning.