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Omens Bite

Check out our episode here! Omens Bite by PC Cast and Kristin Cast

Hunter Goode is currently digging her mother's grave. Abigail Goode was killed in the three witches' attempt to heal the five trees concealing gates to the Underworld. Mercy, Hunter's twin, guilted Hunter into forsaking her chosen god, Tyr, just like she guilts her into everything else. Hunter has always done everything for her sister, but she's not doing that anymore. She's fed up. She stomps inside covered with mud and leaves a trail for someone else to clean up.

Mercy is inside preparing for the ritual that she, her best friend Emily, Xena the cat person, Hunter and Hunter's best friend Jax are about to perform before Abigail's wake. Mercy requests that they all wear white and bring something to gift to Abigail. Hunter is seething at not being allowed to mourn in her own way and feels like Mercy is just doing this for attention. The five go outside and prepare, but soon enough, Hunter has had enough of Mercy's fakeness and she leaves the ceremony, grabs a suitcase she packed a few days ago and leaves the Goode house to live with Jax. Mercy doesn't believe her sister is really gone, but soon enough, it is time for the wake so she has to put on a good face. She's still angry after it's over because Hunter has not returned. Xena says she doesn't believe Hunter will come back.

Mercy decides she's got to get to work helping the trees because she always is the one who does everything important. She gathers her spell casting materials and heads to the cherry tree guarding the Japanese gate. She performs her spell under the watchful eyes of two ravens, thinking everything is going well. She is wrong. Her circle of salt turns black and worms and dead leaves fill the space under the boughs. Mercy heads home, feeling very ill, and when she arrives, she and Xena see a dead raven in the front yard. This isn't a good sign at all, and it really seems like her sister is never coming back.

Hunter is getting set up in Jax's family's garage apartment. Jax's mother is v Christian and takes Hunter in because it's the Christian thing to do. Hunter is struggling with becoming her own person and also with reading Moira Goode's grimoire to find a way to heal the trees and seal the gates to the Underworld. She pleads for Tyr's help, but is instead met by Amphitrite, her new goddess that she was forced to choose by Mercy. Amphitrite artfully cuts up Hunter's No Doubt shirt and pulls her hair from its standard ponytail. She tells Hunter if she wants to be a different person, she's got to be a different person! Then she gives Hunter a book that is very magically powerful. She tells her if she feeds it, it will grow in power. But what do you feed a book?

At school, Kirk, that guy that Mercy dated and made sob his emotions out in the middle of everyone in book one, is a douchebag. He convinces his football bro and cheerleader friends that Hunter and Mercy are witches and they have to do something about it. He claims they’re responsible for all the murders and the weird trees that are growing around town. It seems like he’s lining up the pitchforks and riling up the mob.

After school, Hunter watches Jax at football practice. A group of footballer girlfriends tells her to get her man in line, referring to Jax. They assume that because Hunter is dressed differently, she all of the sudden likes boys. One of the bitch girls follows her and taunts her, causing Hunter to grasp the metal railing of the stands and scorching her hands into it. She runs, but a cheerleader, Kylie, follows with a fancy pen that fell out of Hunter's bag. They talk about their favorite fancy pens and Hunter gets flustered, but then Jax comes up and Kylie offers them a ride home. Ohh. Kylie's not flirting with Hunter, she's flirting with Jax. Damn.

Mercy doesn't know what is going on with Hunter and her new look at school. She decides to go to the trees after school to try to heal them, but her magic doesn't really work. At the Doum Palm, Mercy sees Khenti, the half-dragon, half-boy Guardian of the Egyptian Underworld, and really connects with him. He suggests that she try a spell away from the trees to see if her magic is broken or if it's something about the gates. Before she leaves, they touch through the gate and Mercy's hand begins to die. Khenti tells her that the longer you've lived in one place, the longer you'll survive in the other unless you take a body. That's why Polyphemus the Cyclops, the villain from book one, killed someone almost immediately. Even though he’s very ancient, it’s nicer to have a non-dying body.

At her apartment at Jax's, Hunter plays third wheel to Jax and Kylie, but when Kylie steps outside for a phone call, Hunter does a blood magic spell to see if Kylie wants Jax using Jax's blood. Hunter found the spell in the grimoire given to her by Amphitrite and after completing it, she puts her hand, covered in Jax's blood, onto a page. Bright light shines around and then four more spells appear in the book. So this is how she feeds it. Kylie and Jax go out for pizza leaving Hunter alone with her bloody book, which Amphitrite says isn't finished yet.

Mercy leaves the tree and gets a call from Xena who wants to eat tuna, shrimp and broccoli pizza, because of course she does. Mercy says she'll go pick one up on her way home. The pizza man keeps calling her Hunter but apologizes for the loss of their mother. As Mercy waits for the pizza to be ready, she gets yelled at about God and witchcraft by a homeless man, Chuck, and then hears sirens. She follows the sound down the block and sees a dead man in an alley with his eyeballs missing, just like all the cyclops murders in book one. But wait, didn't Hunter kill Polyphemus? Mercy gets home to find Emily there and she tells Emily and Xena about the corpse. They try to call Hunter but she doesn't answer. After Xena goes to bed, Mercy asks Emily for help testing her magic, like Khenti suggested. They try to make an orchid bloom in Mercy's greenhouse and she ends up making everything in the greenhouse bloom. Her issue with magic must just be at the gates.

The next day is Emily's dad's funeral. Remember he was killed by Polyphemus the Cyclops that now may or may not be dead or maybe there's a copycat killer? Emily wants to do a ritual for her dad, kind of like what Mercy and Hunter did for their mom, so she asks Mercy if she'll do it. Of course she will. The visitation is weird and Hunter gets bullied by the football bros and their girlfriends. Mercy and Jax try to stand up for her but she doesn't let them. She rage-melts plastic in her hands instead, scaring off the douchegroup.

After the funeral, Mercy is upset so Xena suggests she seek her goddess's advice. Mercy gathers up offerings to Freya and she, and Xena in cat form, head to the Norse gate apple tree, where Abigail died, and perform a spell. Freya appears to Mercy and says she can't make her more powerful or do anything to really help her, but she will guide her with omens. Freya then gives her a gift before leaving, but doesn't tell Mercy what it is. As Mercy and Xena cat walk away, Mercy talks to Xena about being excited to have been visited by her goddess. Xena meows in agreement and Mercy can understand her! Freya's gift! Xena tells Mercy that the gift means she is now officially her familiar and will protect her for the rest of her life.

At school the next day, Hunter isn't paying attention in class and then gives a flippant response and is asked to stay back when the bell rings. Instead of getting in trouble, the teacher offers his condolences and says he knows a counselor if Hunter needs it. After, she heads to her locker but finds it blocked by Kirk who says he knows about the body. He suggests that Hunter and Mercy killed their hippy slut mother because they are witches and that he's going to burn them at the stake. Hunter punches him, her ring bloodying his face, and then runs off to the bathroom. She reaches out to Amphitrite when Kirk follows her into the bathroom and smashes her into a mirror, shattering it. With the goddess's help, Hunter breaks all of Kirk's fingers on one hand, then coolly steps over him and out of the bathroom. She's ashamed of what she just did but is swooped up by Kylie and Jax and carried out to Kylie's car and away from the school.

During all of this commotion, Mercy is standing outside on the other side of campus, waiting for Emily. She sees her former cheerleader friends who start whispering witch at her and she starts feeling sorry for herself. She's greeted by her science teacher who congratulates her on a perfect score on a test, offers his condolences, and says he has noticed that Mercy and Hunter seem to not be getting along. Conveniently enough, Kylie, Jax and Hunter drive by right then, making Mercy feel very alone, thinking they’re rushing off to a party she’s not invited to.

Emily arrives soon and Mercy suggests they have a sleepover and skip school, but Emily turns her down. Her father's funeral was yesterday, so she should probably spend the evening with her grieving mother. Mercy gets sad about this but understands. Emily then asks about the ritual and if they can do it the next day at the lake, and Mercy, still feeling sorry for herself, agrees, even though Hunter will be there. She complains about how mean Hunter is being and how she's taking all her anger out on her. Emily says she's just grieving in her own way. They make plans for the ritual then Emily goes home. Mercy cries at Xena about wanting her old life, and her sister, back. Xena suggests that Mercy should visit Khenti, because he makes her happy.

Khenti is happy to see Mercy and invites her to come through the gate to see his realm. He tells her that she can spend one hour in his world without experiencing lasting damage, so she grasps his hand and crosses the barrier. Khenti shows Mercy around the palace and teaches her about some of the gods and goddesses and hieroglyphs and symbols. She asks about a hawk, which symbolizes death, because it makes Mercy think about the ravens she saw earlier and wonders if they’re a bad omen after all. Khenti suggests that the ravens were leading her here to find out things from the Egyptian pantheon, which is possible. Then they visit the statue of Hathor, the goddess of Joy, Love and Women. Mercy leaves her a bottle of perfume as an offering, which Hathor appreciates very much. Soon enough, it’s time for Mercy to head back to her own world and to the sandwich shop to get some tuna for Xena.

Hunter has been in bed since she got home from punching Kirk and breaking all his fingers. Jax and Kylie come in to check on her, telling her how relieved they are that she dodged Kirk’s punch that shattered the mirror and his fingers. Well, uh, that’s not what happened, but Hunter isn’t brave enough to tell her friends what actually happened. Jax and Kylie leave and then Amphitrite calls to Hunter, telling her she needs to feed the book to get more spells to heal the gates, so Hunter takes the book and follows Amphitrite to an alley downtown where she finds Chuck the homeless guy seemingly eating another man whose belly is cut open and whose eyes are missing. Chuck says that he’s seen Amphitrite in his dreams and then points a knife at Hunter, telling her that it’s her turn to make people see. Hunter grabs the knife and Amphitrite, saying she’s trying to funnel her power into Hunter, physically pushes Hunter into Chuck, killing him. Amphitrite cleans up the mess, using Chuck’s blood to feed the book, and makes sure there’s no sign Hunter was ever there. Hunter, shaken but with the spells she needs in her book, flees the scene.

When Mercy leaves the sandwich shop, she is accosted by Kirk who’s hopped up on pills, drunk and full of ignorant rage. He accuses her of witchcraft, tells her he’s going to tell everyone in town that she and her sister are witches and they’re murderers, then throws her up against her car, thinking all the time of sexually abusing her. Before he can hurt her, a deputy drives by and puts him in the back of his cruiser. Of course this is all Mercy’s fault, and Kirk vows this is not over. Oh great.

Meanwhile, Hunter knows she has to go to the gates and perform the spells in the newly enhanced blood book, but she’s riddled with guilt over killing Chuck. Amphitrite is constantly in her head telling her she’s the only one who has ever helped her, but Hunter wants nothing to do with her anymore. She stops near a gate and sees a raven, thinking it’s an omen, and then she steps on Tyr’s pendant that she lost the night she was forced to forsake her god. She cries and apologizes to Tyr, but she hears no response. She decides to work on the gates when she has more of herself to give away. That night, back in her apartment, Amphitrite comes for Hunter again, yelling at her and telling her Tyr doesn’t care for her. Hunter stands up to Amphitrite, but the goddess doesn’t take that well and grabs Hunter’s heart, filling her with pain. Hunter reaches over to the spell book on the nightstand and casts a fire spell to push the goddess away, then free from her grasp, Hunter carves a pentagram into her body, banishing Amphitrite. As she begins to paint a pentagram on her wall in blood to banish the goddess from her home, too, Jax’s mom comes in, freaking out about Satanism and forcing Hunter to leave.

Now homeless, Hunter does another spell to clean up the bloody mess she made trying to banish Amphitrite, so at least Jax’s mom won’t have any evidence of Satan in her apartment. Hunter calls Kylie for help and tells her she got kicked out, which Kylie blames on Kirk, then she comes to pick her up. Hunter doesn’t deny that Kirk is responsible for her getting kicked out, but then she regrets not telling anyone the whole truth of what is going on. She decides that she’s going to heal the gates and then come clean.

Mercy, meanwhile, is preparing for Emily’s dad’s ritual and talking to Xena about Kirk. They talk about whether Hunter really did break Kirk’s fingers, but surely if she did, she had a reason. Xena asks Mercy if she told Hunter that Kirk accosted her, but no, she didn’t because she’s too proud and she’s pissy about literally everything. Xena’s worried about the twins not getting along, which again makes Mercy pissy. Mercy lets Xena know that she’ll be spending the weekend with Emily after the ritual. Xena is of course okay with this because she’s wonderful. She plans to use her alone time to hunt and eat birds.

Mercy meets up with Emily to perform the ritual and explains about what Kirk did the night before. They also talk about Hunter and then, shocking to Mercy, Hunter shows up. Emily is excited to see her friend and welcome her to the circle but Mercy is awful to her and won’t even let her get out a full sentence. Hunter tries to tell her friend and sister what has been happening to her, but Mercy’s too self-absorbed to let her speak, so Hunter leaves. Mercy and Emily complete the ritual, then Emily suggests that Mercy should go after Hunter, which of course makes Mercy angry. Back at the house, Xena suggests the same thing, which makes Mercy even angrier. She decides that she’s not going to spend the weekend with Emily and she’s not going to stay in with Xena, either. She leaves without telling anyone where she’s going.

Mercy drives to the Egyptian gate to see Khenti, but when she gets there, she notices that the tree and the ground surrounding it are even worse than before, then she sees a bizarre fistfight between two friends playing tennis. It’s weird, but she shrugs it off as bros being bros. She’s excited when she sees Khenti appear, and things get even better when Khenti tells her that the goddess Hathor granted Mercy a boon allowing Mercy to visit the Egyptian Underworld without dying. Mercy still doesn’t tell anyone where she’s going and steps through the gate and into Khenti’s world. Hathor’s blessing appears as a beautiful turquoise gown and an intricate henna tattoo on Mercy’s chest showing Hathor’s symbol: horns and a sun. Khenti leaves his spear at the gate and together they explore the palace.

Back in Goodeville, Kirk, released from his hold with the police, goes to a football booster club barbeque. Menacing thoughts flow through his mind as he puts on an anything-for-the-team act with his fellow football bros and the coach. The Coach wants Kirk off the team until he completes anger management, but we all know that’s not going to happen. Kirk overhears several football moms talking about how he chased Hunter into the bathroom, but then others say that Hunter worships Satan and was covered in blood and got kicked out of her apartment. The town is clearly obsessed with teenage gossip. Kirk finds Jax’s mom and talks to her, telling her he believes everything she says about Hunter worshiping the devil. That’s probably not going to be good.

In the Egyptian Underworld, Khenti and Mercy are heading to a festival. As they walk, Khenti tells Mercy that Egypt is based on this underworld that they are in. Whatever is here is also there, but not quite as perfect or nice. Things click for Mercy then when she realizes that when things happen in the Underworld, they happen in Goodeville, too, so all the bad things that are seeping out and happening in her town are because of the gates. Things are going well for the two until Khenti’s father, Upuant, shows up. He’s terrible and punishes Khenti for being away from his post, but then Mercy hexes him to get him back. Whatever harm he dispenses will be returned to him times three. Unfortunately, Upuant banishes them from the peaceful Underworld to Duat, Egyptian Hell.

Kylie has taken Hunter in and they’re having a sleepover. Kylie and Jax kind of confront Hunter about the rumors that they’ve heard about Kirk and the bloody apartment. They don’t really talk about it much because they assume that their friend is telling the truth and that Jax’s mom is obsessed with the devil. At school the next day, Hunter is worried because Mercy is absent… but Mercy never misses school. When school gets out, Hunter stops by her locker and finds a naked barbie inside surrounded by construction paper fire and a message: Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. And you’re next. Oh freaking great. When Hunter leaves school, Amphitrite shows up and threatens to kill a random passerby unless Hunter goes to the Japanese Gate at the cherry tree. Could things possibly get any worse?

Mercy and Khenti are stumbling through the desert of Duat. Khenti says they need to find Anubis to reverse Mercy’s banishment, but doesn’t say anything about his own. All he wants to do is get Mercy to safety. Luckily Anubis appears to them, but unluckily, he’s unable to reverse the banishment and tells them the only way to escape is to die. He goes on to say that he cannot help them leave but he also will not force them to stay. Hmm…

Hunter goes back home after school, hoping to meet up with Mercy, who is obviously not home, but instead of knowing she’s stuck in Duat, Hunter thinks Mercy is gallivanting around and partying. Hunter goes inside and is nearly attacked by Xena, which is hilarious. Xena tells Hunter that she hasn’t seen Mercy and is worried about her because she can no longer feel her. Hunter’s not worried about her because why would she be, she’s off being selfish as always, so she grabs her tarot cards and tells Xena that she’s going to fix the gates. Xena hisses that something is wrong, but Hunter is adamant about fixing the gates before worrying about anything else.

Back in Duat, Mercy decides she’s going to use her connection to Xena to contact her but there’s nothing green or growing around her, so she has trouble connecting. She and Khenti decide to find some shelter and try again to connect to Xena, but then a giant sandstorm rolls in and they are chased by terrifying zombie baboons! They run from the storm and from the baboons until they are met by a hooded woman who turns out to be… Khenti’s mother, Meryt! She too was banished by Upuant, the jerk. She welcomes them into her home. Khenti tells Meryt everything that’s happened and how Mercy wants to try to connect with Xena and Hunter, but her green witch powers need green things to work well. Luckily Meryt has a lovely garden full of vegetables that Mercy can use to channel her power. She reaches out to Hunter and to Xena and is able to reach them, but then the zombie baboons find them.

Hunter makes it to the cherry tree and Amphitrite, all the while setting her intention to close the gates. Hunter turns to a page labeled REALMS in her blood book. Amphitrite calls to the stream flowing behind the cherry tree and water begins to swell, but then pulls the dead leaves and worms that are always around the gates down into the earth, leaving a pentagram behind. Hunter starts the spell, but Amphitrite tells her she’s doing it incorrectly, which makes Hunter realize that Amphitrite has known how to do this spell all along. Amphitrite says she won’t do anything for free and basically threatens to kill Hunter, but then Hunter uses blood and the power of the ley lines running under Goodeville and banishes Amphitrite. Evil goddess gone, Hunter turns back to the gate and chants the REALMS spell, all the while thinking close the gate, close the gate. A wild and evil unkindness of ravens swirls around her and Hunter reaches out to the cosmos, to the true source of her strength, and completes her spell. The ravens explode with the power that bursts from her fingers like lightning. She looks up to see the leaves of the cherry tree sparkling with new green growth. But then she feels a terrible pain in her head and hears a message from Mercy about being trapped in Duat. Hunter puts on her pendant from Tyr, now glowing with his power, and, with her cosmic powers restored, she sets off to save Mercy.

Amphitrite has been watching Hunter as she completes her spell then leaves to find Mercy. She stops by the tree and releases a giant bubble of water magic that rips a hole in the tree, and the gate beyond. Some time later, Nure-Onna, a serpent woman from the Japanese Underworld slithers from the hole in the tree. Her skin begins to turn gray like Mercy’s did when she entered the Egyptian Underworld and she realizes she must feed on someone quickly or she will die. She makes a bundle materialize in her arms, wrapped in swaddling clothes, then slithers to the edge of Goode Lake and begins to wail. One of the football moms rushes over to help but regrets her decision when Nure-Onna slashes her throat and begins to drink her blood.

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