Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Into the Shadows - Chapter 2 Part 4


Chapter 2 Part 4
Birthday Surprise

Click here to read Chapter 2 Part 3

“This rule goes back to ancient times,” replied Mrs. Anderson.  “This is what my mother told me.  Let’s say in Mrs. Brown’s case that you had told her to stay home that day.  The event may have still occurred, but then it could affect someone else’s life in turn.  Someone may have taken Mrs. Brown’s place that day, maybe a young girl riding with her parents or someone’s grandfather.  It is not for us to choose who lives and dies.  That is way too much responsibility for one person to have.  Besides, if you did get involved, you would begin to obsess over your visions, frantically trying to save everyone you know.  Everyone’s story has a different ending and unfortunately we are not the writers, just the readers.  There are some visions that can change.  The event may not occur because the people involved alter the outcome of the situation— they make different choices.  It’s not that the vision you had was wrong; it could be that it was just one option.  If we were to get involved, we could disrupt it somehow, upset the balance.”

“So, Dad, if you can do this too, do you use it to catch bad guys while you are at work?” asked Paivi. 

“It may help to know who I’m looking for, but we still have to have evidence.  I can’t just run around rounding up criminals with no case against them.  People would get suspicious.  They would wonder where I had gotten my information,” Mr. Anderson said. 

“Why would anyone care?” asked Paivi.  “You are just trying to help people.” 

“That comes to the most important part of the discussion.  People who don’t have this ability wouldn’t understand that we are special and not just a bunch of freaks.  For centuries our ancestors had to carry the knowledge of these gifts in complete secrecy.  Before the Middle Ages people with special abilities were respected and trusted,” said Mr. Anderson.  “There were magicians, sorcerers or viziers on every royal court.  You know, Grandpa Anderson did a family tree a few years back and found that we had some very interesting relatives.  He claims that Merlin Ambrosius, the Sorcerer of King Arthur’s court was a second cousin, twice removed.  He also discovered relatives who lost their lives during the Spanish Inquisition and even a great-great-great aunt that died in the Salem Witch Trials here in the U.S.  If they didn’t agree that they were receiving visions from God, they were put to death as witches.  Those with special abilities who believed God spoke through them became powerful within the church.  Many of them are saints we know today.”

“Huh, so saints were really just people like me.  Interesting,” Paivi said. “But how awful for the others; why didn’t these people get together and do something about it?” 

“Well, we aren’t superheroes honey!” chuckled Mrs. Anderson.  “And there are not huge numbers of people like us.  They were split up pretty far and wide back then, it was nearly impossible for them to contact each other.  They were forced to keep their secrets in order to survive.  Some families moved near others they knew, but that was dangerous as well.  It was difficult to trust anyone.  Now, times are different.  We might still keep a distance from others, but they make themselves known to us, and us to them.” 

“Wait!” shouted Torsten.  “There are more people like this in St. Andrew?  Who are they?  Do we know them?” 

“That is our secret to keep,” said Mrs. Anderson.  “We can’t allow information like that to be passed to children.  It’s our choice to tell you about all of this, but it’s not fair for us to put others into jeopardy by naming names.” 

“Well, how do you know who they are then?  I thought you all tried to keep separated from each other,” asked Paivi. 

“There is a way to tell about the others, a sign, but you can only see it if you know what you are looking for.  When you are eighteen and an adult, we will explain it to you.  But until then, mum’s the word,” said Mrs. Anderson. 

“And the others, can we all do the same things?”  Paivi had a million different things running through her mind. 

“Some, but it’s possible that there are abilities out there that we have never seen or heard of yet.  Being that we have to keep it all to ourselves, we can never be sure what others are capable of, or for that matter, what they are doing with it,” answered Mr. Anderson, laying his empty cake plate on the wooden coffee table. 

“We chose to make use of our abilities only for good things, but others may not make the same choices.  These things can be dangerous.  For instance, those ‘Illusionists’ that perform in Las Vegas and make those television shows doing their street magic are putting us all in jeopardy.  They think they have everyone convinced that it is just entertainment.  All so they can make a quick buck and hang out with their Hollywood friends.  It’s such a great risk to us all,” said Mrs. Anderson with a hint of disapproval.   

Paivi thought of the locket in its velvet-lined box.  She had an urge to put it on.  “And the locket?  I know everyone was here earlier, so you couldn’t really say much, but do you know any more about it, really?” 

“No, my mother told me when she gave it to me that if I ever needed something, it would be there for me.  But in thirty years, I’ve never noticed it do anything.  I think she was just trying to give me a romantic story to make the locket more special.  Anyways, it’s pretty.”  The carved wooden clock on the mantel chimed once. “Oh, I didn’t realize how late it was getting!”   

Mrs. Anderson jumped up from the couch, grabbing her plate and an empty glass from the coffee table.  She put her things in the kitchen and turned back to her children, giving them both a big hug as they rose from the couch.  “Now don’t forget to put your dishes in the dishwasher!  Let’s get to bed!” 

It took Paivi a long time to fall asleep that night.  Her mind felt full, and trying to close her eyes felt like trying to shut the doors on an over-stuffed garage.  She pulled back the curtain, staring out the window at the full moon floating in the starry sky.  The moonlight turned the street in front of the house into a river of silver.  She begged sleep to come, and as dawn brightened on the horizon, with Mr. Teddy Bear in her arms, Paivi finally drifted off to sleep.



Join me on Friday for Chapter 3 Part 1, the next installment of INTO THE SHADOWS, your free online YA novel.





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