Alex mom’s starts to cry and her father gets up from his chair. He sighs loudly, shock registered on his facial expression. ‘Why does it have to be you…?’ He crosses the room, going towards Alex and hugs her.
Alex starts to look confused. ‘Dad, what are…what are you talking about?’ Alex’s Dad lets her go and he’s got tears in his eyes. ‘Dad. What do you and mom know about this? I really need to know. I don’t know whether this is some bad dream, or some kind of a large scale joke or! OR I’m going insane. But I can’t be going insane because I was casting some spell and I’ve been running around with this floating…Libra…and a dwarf looking fairy with really nice wings…’
‘..thank you Domina.’ Teg whispers.
‘You are welcome Teg. My life is perfectly awesome without these things happening. I mean, I wouldn’t mind if they showed up and nothing apocalyptic happens. You know, just hang out. Be nice to beings of the unknown.’
Alex’s Dad sighs loudly again.
‘Please Dad. I don’t know what’s going on. I am trying be calm about this right now. I had the most painful and longest two, maybe three days of my entire life. I need to know about our family.’
Alex’s Dad looks at her and wipes his tears on his face. ‘Why don’t you sit down first?’
Alex is sitting opposite her parents. The last time she sat opposite them like this was when she got in trouble back in high school for beating up the school bully and tying him to a tree.
Her Dad sighs loudly again, her mom takes his hand to comfort him. They look at each other with such sad but surprisingly determined expressions.
‘I didn’t know anything about this until your Aunt Hera told me the story of our family. This was six months ago. That stone that you have is from our ancestor. We pass it along from generation to generation. Funny enough, nobody tried to sell it. It’s like we were bonded with it from the beginning. From what my father, your grandfather told me – was that our ancestor is a powerful mage but I thought of it as a story, like a fairy tale that you tell your children during bedtime. All of us know about it. The family was quite knowledgeable on sacred geometry. I thought it was just for luck,’ he shakes his head. ‘Six months ago, I went to see your aunt.’
‘You did? I don’t remember this.’ Alex interrupts.
‘You were broken hearted…you just broke up with that guy.’
‘Psshh. Oh, that guy.’
‘The house she lives in Belgium is an ancestral house. It was said that that was where the family started. I don’t know how far back but we own the land ever since. We’ve always had that one family member that didn’t get married and I thought that it was just a common thing. Turns out, they had a purpose. You see, every person that was passed on with the stone was a possible reincarnation.’
‘Yes. I thought she was losing her mind. I thought it was malady and I felt so sorry for her. But I felt even sorrier when she showed me the books.’
‘What books?’ Alex is reeling with curiosity.
‘The books, diaries of members of our family – they kept it all, just in case.’
‘Just in case of what?’ Teg asks full of curiosity as well.
‘Just in case, that whoever is going to inherit the stone completely will have answers. Each person who has the stone is said to have Stella’s soul essence. This is going to sound pretty creepy but the ones who do eventually inherit the stone actually looks almost the same as Stella. Your aunt Hera resembles you when she was a child but you don’t look the same when you hit puberty.’ Alex grimaces at this but she didn’t say anything. ‘She told me that you will inherit the stone. She didn’t even ask for permission. She just told me that it is vital that you get it for family tradition. I thought the rest was just nothing but stories, like I said in the beginning. I thought she was beginning to get delusional. But here we are. I thought our family was strange and special. I didn’t think it was going to escalate into something bigger,’ he shakes his head. ‘I remember you,’ Alex’s Dad points to Teg.
‘I might have been not as careful as I believed,’ Teg shrugs.
‘You look the same. I saw you when I was a little boy. I thought, flying dwarves do not exist.’
‘I’m a fairy. I know what it looks like but I am and it’s a long story.’
‘Okay. I guess I’ve seen everything…I think,’ he diverts his attention to Boon. ‘Libra, is it really her?’
Boon looks at him, ‘Yes, Domina Stēlla told me that I will awake when I am needed.’
‘You know, the funny thing is that we have a Stella in every generation – even your aunt Hera has the name Stella in her name. Now I understand why she wanted me to give you that as a second name. I wasn’t aware – it is a lovely name! I was…forgive me for saying this, drunk when I registered your name so that’s why you only have Alexandria.’ Alex’s mom is shaking her head this time.
‘Dad, you make me feel special,’ Alex smiles, she thought it was funny nonetheless.
‘Your building is spell locked.’ Teg tells Alex’s Dad. ‘How did that happen?’
‘It might have been Aunt Hera. I’m not into symbols but she is,’ nodding to Alex’s direction. ‘She’s been fascinated with them ever since she got sick.’
‘Dad, you have to tell me what happened when I got sick. This King Gywn dude told me that he found a shadow looming over me or more like attached to me.’
‘Yes, that is correct,’ her mom replies this time. ‘Before Hera left to live alone in that house in Belgium, she made sure she saved you first. Hera went into some kind of overdrive. She stayed with you throughout the whole year. When the doctors didn’t work, she brought in alternative medicine. Basically, what they would call white magic. A bunch of old ladies, they were. They came to the house to pray over you, if that was what they were doing every week. But one old lady stayed with you, along with Hera. She was a nice old lady but she seems stronger than she looks. I remember she told us to move to the countryside first, that it will be good for you. So we did that for a year. It was a strange year. When I think back, it’s doesn’t seem clear to me. We were distraught. You were struggling every damn day,’ she starts to sob.
‘I didn’t know what to do but no matter what happens, we wanted you to live. And Hera promised us that she will save you. It felt like a very long bad dream. I remember the only times I can see you are when I fed you, bathe you and changed your clothes. I don’t even know if you could hear the things I tell you but I told you to hold on and promised you the best things in life. I am very sorry that we don’t talk about it. It was so difficult and we don’t want you to remember any of it.’
‘But mom, I do remember some things,’ Alex is fighting her tears from coming down. ‘I remember what you told me, what Dad told me, what Aunt Hera told me. It was like I was in and out of dreams. I saw stars, waves and planets. I was flying around places that couldn’t be reached by planes. If I do manage to wake up, I fall asleep again and dream those kinds of dreams again. I dreamt of shadows sometimes but they never reach me although I was so scared. I was so scared. I remember the last time that I saw the old woman. It was the last night that I was sick. I remember I heard them say, that the eyes are out. The eyes are out, they kept repeating. There was a bowl of burning incense below the bed. I remember one of them instructed the other to take a strand of my hair to tie it around the eye and that they have to do it one by one. One of them came towards me, plucked a strand and proceeded to tie something at the edge of my eye. I remember how heavy that was but when she took it away, tied with a strand of my hair, my eye felt like it could open. I remember seeing it. A small eye, it didn’t move but somehow I knew it was alive. She threw it into the bowl and it made a small screaming noises. Another old lady came towards me, chanting, took another strand of hair and tied it to another eye from my other eye. I know because I saw it. Again, I knew it was alive and she threw it in the burning incense. It screamed like the one before it. I felt like some boulder was lifted from me. I slept again and this time, I finally got up and I never got to thank that old lady.’
Alex’s mom is crying. ‘Ever since, we put up a spell lock to every flat or house we moved to because we wanted to protect you from whatever unnatural things,’ her Dad tells her. ‘We were taught by that same old lady to keep that spell lock everywhere and she put it on us. When you decided to move out, we thought you’ll be fine this time because it’s been so long. You were no longer a child.’
‘What was her name? The old lady with Aunt Hera? Please tell me so I’ll be able to sleep at night knowing she saved my life,’ she begs her parents.
‘Her name was Terra.’
Alex felt shivers down her spine and she feels Boon’s surprise. She looks at Teg whose mouth was wide open.