The Family Stone (Chapter 1)

‘Hand it over, child. You are not capable and unworthy of wielding the Balance’s power,’ a shadow hisses from not far from where Alex is hiding.

Alex, trying to stay very still, trying not to even breathe, is cursing in her head, She drops her gaze on her arm, the dangling bracelet with the large black stone, unreflecting but somehow moving.
This isn’t exactly the turn she expected her life would go.
But she was determined to see this through. She will protect Boon, just as he protected her.
A flash of light surrounds her. She runs out of her hiding place, light surrounding the entire perimeter of the field.
Four Weeks Ago
The alarm goes off. A few seconds later, a foot emerges from the sea of blanket, pillows and cats. The foot kicks the alarm clock off the short table. The alarm went off for about ten seconds and it continued to ring.
A mess of rainbow coloured bed hair slightly emerges from the blanket and grumpily picks up the clock to turn it off. The cats wake up completely and start to crawl towards the hair.
‘No, kiddos, it’s too early for breakfast…’
The kittens gather near where her chest is and made themselves comfortable.
‘Uuuuhhhgghhh…I’m awake. I will give you food.’
The mention of food rouses the kittens as if they understood what she meant and they start to meow in unison.
Alexandria Grainne is awake and grumpy but at the sight of the adorable Muchkin kittens she softens up and coos at them like they were babies.
Ariel, the mother cat, joins them and starts to clean the kittens one by one.
Alex is twenty two years old. She looks like she’s a rebel but truthfully, she just like different things and is not afraid to say or act upon it. To sum it all up, she is kind, maybe a little cruel, but who isn’t?
Alex crawls off her bed as the Muchkin kitten army follows her. She walks straight to the kitchen, opens the cupboards, and takes different bowls of various sizes from the dish dispenser.
She lines up the empty bowls between her and the kittens, their adoptive cat mother looking on at the top of the kitchen counter. They sit down in quiet attention.
Alex likes feeding time. It’s probably one of the highlights of her days.
She pours the dry food onto the bowl, slowly, trying to see if the kittens make any slight movement. The blondish kitten does.
‘No. G. No.’
The kitten retreats, feeling guilty.
Alex pours on each bowl, slowly, watching their every move.
‘Now children, remember, one by one.’ They meow in unison.
Alex feels she can run a circus.
‘First, M, you can eat,’ the fit cat with brown stripes went towards his bowl with controlled strides.
‘Now, GL, your turn,’ the black and white striped kitten happily meows towards his bowl.
‘H, you can eat,’ the largest among the kittens, he looks as if he smiled at her and went towards his bowl.
‘And you, young man, be polite,’ G meows at her, almost sadly as if he regrets his earlier mistake. ‘Go on, eat.’ And he went towards his bowl, happy to be eating with his brothers.
‘Now, as for you, my Queen Ariel, here is yours.’ Ariel meows happily and eats her food at her spot next to the kitchen sink.
Alex likes to train people, animals, you name it. She wondered if there was any sort of army commander in her family line that she doesn’t know of. Animals and people alike respond to her well. She thinks about this from time to time but recently, this has been on her mind.
The cats are strays she took in a month ago. While on the way home from work, she heard meowing at a street corner. She found a box containing four male Muchkins. Who would throw Munchkins away?! She took them home and planned to call the local pound the next day. But Ariel, her only cat, took care of them like they were her own. After cleaning them up, Ariel took charge of them as soon as they were out of the bath. She regrets spaying Ariel but the vet said she had a medical condition. She decided to keep them. She can already imagine Ariel’s sadness if they were gone.
Now, her castle is with a Queen cat and four Muchkin princes.
Any body would admit that’s cute.
It’s eight in the morning. Perhaps she should stretch or do yoga. But it’s impossible with the boxes around the living room. She just moved out of her parents’ place. She thought it was about time anyway. Her parents are very sweet people but she knows she’s going to end up living with them well into her adulthood if she doesn’t do anything about it.
Perhaps she needs to get everything out of the box.
After showering, she checks the mail that came in for the past week. Half of it is not hers, probably from the old flat occupiers. She would have to remember to give it back to the postman. It’s been piling up with her and she’s not exactly going to pay their taxes for them. A small, crumpled envelope was among the sea of bills that wasn’t hers.
It had her name on it.
No return address.
Not even a stamp.
She puts the piles of letters down on the table and got up from the chair. She goes to her room, retrieving her mobile phone. She unlocks it and speed dialled the first number.
The phone connects and it rang. She put it on speaker and put the phone down next to the pile of letters. She picks up the strange envelope.
A click can be heard on the other end of the line.
‘Hmp still asleep, huh?’ she thought.
‘Wake up! Is this from you?’
‘…wut..’ a noise of blankets can be heard from the other line.
‘Listen. I got some letter.’
‘So, you woke me up to tell me you got some…letter…wait, it’s just nine in the morning,’
‘Alonzo. Listen. Did you do this, boyo?’ she asks calmly.
‘Did what?’
‘Dropped off a stamp less envelope…ring any bell?’
‘No, I didn’t. I’ve been back to back shifts, chica. I know I do a lot of things like that to you but honestly, I haven’t done jack.’
‘Can I go back to sleep now? Please?’
‘Sorry dude, talk to you later.’
She hangs up the phone and stares at the envelope. Who else would have done such a stupid childish prank but Alonzo?
‘Ahh eff it!’
She opens the envelope, carefully, and peered inside.  There’s a piece of paper, the size of the envelope.
There was only one sentence.
‘Trust Boon.’
She shakes her head and stared at GL, who is sprawled on the table, trying to get her attention. ‘Is this some kind of joke?’ she asks GL and he meows at her, as if puzzled.

*tenebrae – darkness

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