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              MARLEY CALLAHAN

(age.) twenty six
(species.) witch
(abilities.) coercion and clairvoyance
(occupation.) waitress
(residency.) arrived november 2018
(mirror.) lily james

❝  a pavement of the past

444. That was how many people inhabited Jerome, Arizona by the time Marley had graduated from high school. She supposed that was an improvement from the 420 that’d lived there eighteen years prior upon her birth–a whopping 5.7% increase. While realistically she knew she was not able to rattle off all 400-something odd names of the town’s residents, most days it felt as if she’d met every single person, alive or dead, that’d lived there; faces blending together in her mind, haunting her. It was fitting, she supposed. Jerome was the most haunted city in all of Arizona, after all. Her entire life had been built around ghost stories, and how she longed to become one herself.

She was born to a teenage mother and only a mother, no father in sight. No other living family in sight either, it seemed. She’d asked, of course. Had grown curious about the lack of grandparents, or aunt and uncles, cousins. By the time Marley had grown old enough to express these curiosities, however, her mother had already developed the addictions that rendered her practically useless to the girl, who had gone on to raise herself. She would later learn that these addictions were her mother’s form of self-medication, her desperate attempt to cope with the pain for the loss of the magic she held within her. The magic that’d unknowingly been passed down to her daughter.

Marley had always known she was too big for the small town life. There was more in her than Jerome could hold–so much she felt her body could burst with it. Marley wanted to see the world. Get the hell out of dodge and explore. She’d seen what being stuck had done to her mother–having had her at sixteen and regretting it ever since. Marley was lucky if she’d even seen the woman towards the end, somehow picking herself up from the night before in order to crawl to an early morning shift at the one diner in town, only to rinse and repeat with the same cycle of revolving men and ever constant booze and pills. The only time she paid attention to Marley was to hit her up for cash, the majority of which Marley was smart enough to stash away, having caught her snooping in her closet of a room once or twice. There had to be more to life than checking to make sure her mother hadn’t choked on her vomit in the middle of the night. Determined to find out for herself, a plan had been set in place for the night graduation rolled around. She would throw what minimal belongings she possessed into the bed of her mom’s truck and hit the road. Arizona would be just a distant memory, nothing but an image in her rearview mirror she never intended to look back in.

A wrench got thrown into that place, of course. Nothing could have prepared Marley for freshman year of high school, for a boy with soulful eyes and a crooked smile and who made her small town manage to feel galaxy wide. She’d resisted him, at first. Tried to push him away, keep him at a distance. I’m gonna leave this place behind, she’d promised him over lunch, pointing a soggy cafeteria french fry in his direction, and everyone in it. He’d just smiled at her then, teeth and all, and shrugged those broad shoulders of his. Then I guess I’ll just gotta come with, and had leaned forward to take the fry between his teeth. She’d been doomed from the start, really.

Four years they spent together. A good four years. Marley had never been happier, but her feeling towards Arizona still did not change. She would not be stuck there for the rest of her life; she couldn’t stomach it. Jeremy understood–had from the beginning–and slowly, but surely, her plans to get out began to incorporate him. What neither seemed to understand until towards the end was that they had two very different ideas on what would happen once they left. She wanted to see the world, roam without care, without anything to tie her down. Keep odd end jobs just to keep expenses covered, but generally, did not have a plan on settling down. He, on the other hand, wanted to settle. Explore for a bit until they found somewhere they liked, but he had dreams, too. College, a career. Marriage. Two and a half kids and a white picket fence and that was just not Marley. There was something stirring beneath her skin that the thought of settling triggered; sent her into a frenzy. Magic, he’d called it, wiggling his fingers at her, as if to send sparks of it her way. She’d just laughed it off and rolled her eyes then, not knowing just how right he was.

Fights between the two occurred more often, with graduation nearing, and while he was still on board to take part in her travels…Marley was afraid of what would happen when they woke up one day, in someplace new, someplace different, and he realized she was not the girl to fulfill his dreams. It was this fear that drove her to do what she did the night graduation rolled around. In the middle of the night, she’d attempted to sneak from where she’d lied tucked under his arm in her bed, throw all of her things into the bed of her truck, and leave…but just as she’d thrown the last of her belongings in the bed of the truck, the sound of her voice being called tiredly had her freezing in her tracks. Though he may have been asleep upon finding her, the realization of what she was attempting to do sent him into a flurry, closing the distance between them and attempting to unload her various luggage from the car. The sound of their screaming voices pierced the night, and it was when his death grip fell to her arm that something in her had broken loose.

Three words. They’d been three simple words. But the power behind them was clear. When Marley had yelled for Jeremy to let her go, he’d done more than just let go of her arm. He had completely gone blank, his eyes glazing over in an almost trance-like way, and he’d simply…took off. She’d watched him go in confusion, with a heart beating rapidly inside of her chest. In the end, she’d kept her promise. The one she’d made all along. Marley left Arizona behind…and everyone in it.

Things were a little rocky, in the beginning, but Marley eventually found her footing. For the last seven years years following that fateful day, she’d begun to see just what had been waiting for her while she’d been stuck in Arizona. Spent a year in Hawaii, among the ocean and the sand. Six months in New York, the hustle and bustle of the city. Even made it to Europe, backpacking her way through. But since that night of graduation, something in her had changed. She’d always been a persuasive girl, but with a little extra push behind her words, Marley found people listening to exactly what it was she had to say–and more than that, what she wanted them to do. Every time this occurred, that same feeling swelled in her chest, like something being knocked loose…or maybe something falling into place.

It didn’t fully piece itself together for her until a call about her mother’s passing had her stepping back into Arizona for the first time in eight years. The woman had finally drank herself to death. Since it had been only the two of them, her mother’s affairs had been left to Marley to deal with, including the packing and, subsequent selling, of her childhood home. Going through her mother’s belongings was how she found the letter, addressed to herself, and it’s contents went on to describe just why Marley had felt there was so much more to her than their sleepy little town could contain. It’s because there was.

Her mother had come from a long line of witches. Witches who had bred with other witches…but when Marley’s mother had gotten pregnant by a human? There’d have been hell to pay. She’d be shunned by her family and left with no choice but to flee, bring up her baby on her own–Marley’s father having no idea about her mere existence, let alone either’s supernatural status…and so she did so without the shame, taking off on her own. Cut off and alone from her coven, Marley’s mothers powers had weakened, as had her sobriety. Marley had not been informed of any of this information due to the fact that she’d shown no real signs of possessing said magic, but on the off chance that one day, she might, and her mother was no longer around to guide her, there was a town–a safe haven for people like them–that could help.

And thus, Hollow Grove had been the next stop on Marley’s ever growing list. She hadn’t expected to remain there for long–supernatural haven or not, she was still the restless Callahan she’d always been, but six months later, it still has not yet satiated all her curiosities…and truthfully, she’s beginning to think it may never be able to.

❝  the nature of the beast

Marley Rose Callahan had always been the talk of the town, back in Arizona. She’d stuck out like a sore thumb in a sea of complacent locals who were content to die only a good five feet from where they’d been born. She’d always been that girl, they’d whisper as she walked by, with t’sking tongues and shakes of their heads. The one with her own head in the clouds and her feet floating above the ground. Dreaming had been the only thing that had kept her going. Without hope for life beyond Arizona, she never would have survived the suffocating boringness of her hometown, so trying to find the bright side in things is still very much a trait she’s kept with her. It’s rare when you’ll find the girl without a grin on her lips, or with a care in the world. Her years of traveling, of no real responsibility, have left her with no real sense of urgency. She likes to enjoy things, savor them, make the most out of little experiences. Though not a simple girl by any means, it is the simple things in life that she is most drawn to–the things that are often dismissed, overlooked, brushed aside and written off, as she’d been.

Finding out that she was, in fact, a witch, didn’t come much a shock to the woman. While certainly surprised, reading her mother’s words had only confirmed the general sense of otherness she’d felt about herself since she was old enough to remember. She’d adapted quickly to the presence of other supernatural creatures beyond her own kind, as she had to pushing the boundaries of what she knew about her magic–ever curious, always wanting to know more. A very human trait of hers (though, she’d thought all her traits to be human until recently).

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