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Putting the incense out, Ann flopped back on the oversized pillows that took up a large portion of the room. Nothing she tried this afternoon was working to quell the uneasy feeling that had been plaguing her for the last few days. “I don’t need this,” she sighed, “it’s been years of nothing and now for the past few months I have had to fight this constantly.”

 

Huffing out a breath, she sat up and looked around the room. It was meant to be a spare bedroom, but she’d turned it into her quiet space. It was filled with candles, pillows, and various items that made her feel at peace—none of it was working today. She rubbed her hand against the palm of the other one and then paused, it was itching, yet burning… Looking down at it, her eyes rounded. “No.” On the palm of her left hand was a scar. It hadn’t been there an hour ago. 

 

Scrambling to her feet, she yanked her long skirt up and ran out to where she’d left her bag. “Scar. There’s something…” Pulling out the journal, she flipped through the pages. The whole first part of the book was miles and miles of relatives, any female born to her family in over three hundred years. Finding where the notes began, she skimmed down them with her finger. The writing was looking faded and at some point, she was going to have to rewrite the entries. Maybe she’d print them out and seal them so they couldn’t fade. Then again, it wouldn’t have the same meaning as the handwriting. “Scar.” She stopped and went back a page and read the entry. It was one of the first. “Scored our palms.” She slapped the book closed. “It’s happening.” She bit her lip and hugged the book to her chest. “I won’t be able to block it out now.” Closing her eyes, she let her chin drop toward her chest.

Opening her eyes, she looked at her hand again. The scar was darker and ugly looking and it itched like crazy. “Why now?” Setting the book down beside her bag, she turned on her heel and went back to her little room. It wasn’t just for quiet, it had a dual purpose, she just didn’t require the other use often. Moving the candles, she pulled the cover off the large trunk and opened it.

Inside were many magical tools, her grandmother’s words, not hers. She dug around in them until she found the right dish and candle. “I’ll need a map.” Turning around, she wondered where she’d put the map she’d used before when locating something. Spotting it on the shelf, she went over and got it.

Kneeling beside the pillows, she spread the map out and set the bowl down. “What else?” She stood up and went over to the cupboard, “sage, always sage.” Picking up the container, she stared at the cabinet, trying to decide what medium she should use. “Salt. Can’t go wrong there.” Adding that to her other hand, she grabbed the lighter and went back over, and sat down. The sound of rain suddenly pelting the window had her pause and look outside. “Lovely. A short jaunt in a torrential downpour, just what I wanted to do my Sunday evening.”

Settling down, she took a few deep breaths and centered herself. “If what I think is going on, is, this,” she looked at her palm, “scar is the key.”  Nodding to herself, she set the candle in the bowl and then lit it. Taking a few leaves of sage, she lit them and then blew on them so they were smoking and not on fire. She dropped those in the bowl with the candle and poured some salt into her right hand.

Looking at her left hand, she held her right one over the map. “Show me where those that bear these scars are. Take me there.” She sprinkled some of the salt onto the map. “Show me.” She whispered and leaned over the map. The grains started to move, but not enough that would give her a location. “Show me where the descendants of Alana and Eden are. Take me there.” The salt moved over the map and then stopped for a second. “Show me where their power is right now.” She held her breath when the salt spread out and made a circle on the map. “Ridgeway park. What are you up to?” She blew out the candle, “thank you.” 

Getting up, she glanced at the map again. “Time to go tell them that this is not happening, not in my lifetime.” She stomped to the closet and pulled out a long waterproof jacket and some cute rubber boots.

Being aware of the magic that had changed everything, and messed up her life at the same time, but she’d come up with a plan years before. She’d been around fifteen when she’d decided to hide her magic and wait out the spell cast so long ago. If she didn’t have a child of her own, then it would never happen. No descendant meant no epic magical battle could take place. All they had to do was wait it out until her life had been lived. Simple. Now someone was messing up her plan.

She ran to her car and cursed not grabbing a jacket with a hood. Her hair was drenched. She knew Teegan and Kat were the other two, she also knew that Leland, Wes, and now, Mitchell were also from magic. She’d known about Celia and Bonnie, even though she didn’t hold much fear in what the undecided Bonnie could do. She suspected Liset was also one of the females expected to do evil things but wasn’t positive because the trace she picked up near her was so faint, it gave her hope that now was not the time.

Turning onto the next street, she turned the wipers up. “Now was not supposed to be the time.”

She turned the corner a little faster than she should have and her car slid and bounced against the curb at the park entrance. At least the rain would make it so fewer people were wandering around. The pit of her stomach tensed. Strong waves from magic were hitting her. “Great. Just great.” She growled and jammed the gearshift into park and turned off her car.

Grabbing her bag, she opened the door and stepped out into the storm. She paused when she saw the rain was making a strange pattern on the other side of the trees. “If they’re just out here playing in the raindrops, I’m going to be so miffed.”

She stomped in that direction, her boots making slurping sounds in the puddles.

There they were, under the gazebo. All of them were there. She glared at them and then turned her attention to Wes. How did he even look good when he was soaked? When she’d first come to work at the company, she’d had daydreams of the two of them having perfect blond babies, but of course, that could never happen, not unless someone guaranteed any child she ever had would be a male.

Her skirt was soaked and wrapped around her legs, she jerked it up and kept going. When she reached the gazebo, she growled, “whatever the lot of you are doing,” she flipped her long hair back from her face, “you can just stop now.” She scowled at Leland, wondering if he was responsible.

“Ann?” Kat looked at her and then at Teegan, “what…”

“This,” she held up her hand, “just appeared on my hand,” she glanced at it and then held it out for them to see, “and it wasn’t pleasant.”

Kat stared at her hand and then looked down at her own.

“Wait,” Wes shook his head, “how did you find us?”

Turning, she looked at him, letting her feelings of loathing this moment show on her face, “I followed the power,” she scoffed, “how else would I?”

Wes and Leland gave each other a long look before Wes turned back to her, “you know?”

Groaning, Ann lifted her bag and dug around to find the book, “yes, I know.”

“How?”

She pulled out a worn tattered journal, and went over to Wes, she slapped it against his chest, “this.”

Wes caught the book before it fell to the ground and opened it. He’s brows creased as he flipped through a few pages, “it’s every female relative in your line,” he glanced at Leland, “all the way back to Bridget.”

“Yes.” Ann took a deep breath and smoothed her hair back from her face, “Bridget who made sure every female offspring since she drew breath would remember. Everything.” She looped the bag over her forearm and put her hands on her hips, “I’ve spent a lot of energy keeping the magic tucked away and was succeeding until recently. What the hell is going on?”

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