Driven by fear and the need to seek safety, Lily ran through the darkening forest, her feet taking her down the familiar paths. Her one thought was to get away from everyone around her: She just wanted to disappear and become invisible.
She was more than grateful for her mother’s letter since it explained things she had never truly understood, and alerted her to some hard truths. Truths which she had known for a while, but had been too stubborn to face them, and too afraid, and hurt by Godric’s leaving.
Unfortunately, it left her with more questions than answers.
Lily sighed How could she save her aunt? Could she stand against Gracie? How would she survive the short time until graduation? Who could she turn to for help since the only ‘friends’ she had were the children whose parents also belonged to the same coven as her aunt and Gracie.?
Until then she had always thought of her magic as a gift since she truly enjoyed what she could do with it, but right then it was more of a curse, a thing to be avoided, since it had taken her mother and father from her, had warped her aunt, and was about to bring more trouble into her life.
Before she knew it she was on her knees in the clearing. She had tripped on a rock and landed on the ground, sobbing, the questions going round and round in her head. What was she to do?”
“Peace daughter, you are never alone.You have the tools you need already.” Lily looked everywhere but saw no one. “W..Who is there? This is private property, and you are trespassing.” There was silence, her words hanging in the air, daring the person who spoke to answer her.
“Hush child. This land is ours as well. We are the ones of old, the ones from ages past. We are your family, we are your past and your future.You are one of us, a daughter of the earth and sky itself. You are safe here because we are here. You are safe because your grandmother’s blood called us here. She made this clearing into a sanctuary for you, and for us.” Lily drew a deep breath, silencing her sobbing and trying to keep her focus on what the voice was saying. Finally, confused, she got up and sat on a nearby rock.
“My family? Where were you when my mother died, or when my father got cancer? If you are so old and powerful, then why didn’t you stop my mom from killing herself?” At this point, she was shouting, and she knew it, but she couldn’t help the raw emotions threatening to control her.
“Your mother’s death was and always will be, most regrettable. She left this land, and she went off and found a treacherous lover. The son of the woman who sought her power for her own. Your grandmother bound us to this land in hopes of protecting her daughters. But your mother moved away. We followed her, but we could not be as strong a presence because we were not here, where we are naturally strongest, where your grandmother called us to. Yet we could not leave your aunt unprotected.
When your mother came back pregnant with you, the evil one’s plan had worked and it was too late to stop it. Your father never knew his mother had cast a spell on him so that he would carry out her plan. The fact that your father loved your mother only made the spell stronger. After she became pregnant with you, his health diminished.Then you were born. Powerful spells and curses carry heavy prices. Gracie chose to have her son die in her stead.Gracie used powerful magic, blood magic, to create the spell which bound your parents together, and blood magic doesn’t care whose blood is used to satisfy the need for balance as long as the price is paid. Gracie is your grandmother. As the fates predicted.”
Tears fell down her cheeks and she started sniffling, so she took out a little hanky from her pocket. “If the fates are all knowing, then why didn’t they stop all this! They intervened in the past! I mean those wolves should have killed me, and yet on that same night, I met a vampire who saved me!
“Simply because from the plot of the evil one you were meant to be and SHINE.You, the child created to embrace death’s arms. You are the one to finish what has been started, be the answer to Cassandra’s prayer. Read the book child. Then everything will be made known to you. Do not fear for your safety. Help is always nearby, you just need to ask. Farewell Daughter farewell.”
Lily hadn’t gotten a word in edgewise before the voice disappeared. “MORE RIDDLES!!!!!!!! YOU ARE SO NOT HELPFUL.” She yelled out into the night and stared down at the book in her hands. What did they mean that help was always nearby? Her head started to spin with all the questions and information she had been given. Maybe she just needed to lay down. Before she could register a single thing she was out cold on the grassy earth.
Lily woke up five hours later. Groggy and still very tired, she collected her things. She would read his letter sometime tomorrow since it was going to be a busy day. She had a feeling she was going to be very busy until well after graduation.
Lily made her way home and quietly went up to her room, avoiding all the squeaky boards and other things which made unwanted noise in the old house, even making sure the screen and wooden doors closed on a whisper rather than slamming them as she was wont to do.
The next morning Lily had gotten up and was dressed before 6:30. She quickly made her way to the breakfast table where she saw her aunt who just smiled at her lovingly. “Morning Lily, you are up early. You know it’s not a school day, right?” Lily had to admit that with all the things on her mind, she had forgotten that it was Saturday, so there was no school. Perfect she thought. At least she could start her plan today. She would gather some food and lock herself in her own little study she had built just off her room for her own books. It had been an old storage area hidden behind a makeshift panel. Plus her aunt would be leaving for the huge farmer’s market soon so she would have the time she needed to do what needed to be done.
“Lily, did you hear me? I said good morning.”
Lily looked at her and smiled, “Morning Aunt Agatha. I’m just sleepy. I didn’t sleep much last night.”
Agatha nodded, “I can understand that. Did you get a chance to read your letter from Godric?”
Lily shook her head. “No. I must have fallen asleep before I could.”
Agatha raised a perfectly manicured eyebrow. “You just said you couldn’t sleep.”
Thinking quickly, she smiled. “And I couldn’t. I would fall asleep, but then I’d wake up with cramps. You know how I get when my time of the month comes around. I get restless, and besides, I have a few tests this week that I’m worried about passing.” Agatha smiled and placed a motherly hand on Lily’s arm.
“You will do just fine. I trust you passed your classes: You are a brilliant girl. Have you taken anything for sleep? Maybe tonight I should get some of Grace’s remedy to help aid your rest.”
Lily shook her head. “No need aunty. I’m sure I’ll sleep well tonight. I think I’m going to study some spells.”
Agatha smiled and nodded.“Sounds good kiddo.I’ll be here after I go to the market. If you want any help. But I will be leaving around 3:00 to go over to Gracie’s: She’s having an all nighter tonight. I will leave money for pizza for dinner.” Lily just nodded before heading upstairs. She was relieved to know that she probably wouldn’t be bothered.
Lily climbed into her closet and went into her secret study, covering the entrance once she was inside. She started to leaf through the pages of the Book Of Cassandra: She learned a lot about life when Cassandra was alive. The gifts that she was blessed with. The tragic end of Cassandra and her lover. Finally, she got to page 294: Defensive spells and Protection Rituals for whenever Gracie decided to strike Lily would be ready whenever it should happen. After graduation, she would leave to find this Octavia lady.