Thursday, January 19, 2012

Burntcore Week 87: New Beginnings


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Picture 2

Burntcore's Choice: Both

New Beginnings

The damp cold of the ground seeped through Alana’s clothes as she knelt. With trembling fingers, she traced the names of her parents engraved in the stone in front of her. The wind gusted, making her shiver. The weather was starting to turn and fall was forecasted to come early to the small New England town.

The changing of the seasons was a bit of a relief for Alana. It reminded her that life continued, that time marched on despite how crazy the summer in Wardville had been.

This was also the first time she had visited her parents’ graves. She had wanted to as soon as she got settled in Wardville, but problems with the resurgence of the Destroyers kept getting in the way.

As a child, she always wondered why her grandmother seemed so circumspent on any information or stories about her parents. Now she understood. After learning about her parents from David’s family and the town archives, it was clear why Alana wasn’t told very much. If Evelyn had told her a fraction of what she knew, it could’ve been harmful, even deadly to Alana. The less Evelyn talked about her daughter the better her granddaughter was, at least while the Destroyers were around.

Now, instead of endless questions, Alana was at peace with her family. She was still sad that she never got to know her parents personally, but was glad that she learned what she did, and the connection that she still shared with them.

Idly, she fingered her necklace with the triple swirls or triskele dangling from the silver chain. What she had once thought was a simple family heirloom was something much more. Alana would treasure it always.

Another gust blew by her body but instead of chilling her, it warmed. In the wind, she heard murmurs and whispered words. Her initial reaction was fear. This was how the Destroyers first started to get inside her head, but when she looked around, she realized she had nothing to fear.

Female spirits danced around her as she stood, ethereal in their grace, almost like ballerinas. She recognized the spirit of her mother and her grandmother and was overcome with emotion. These were her ancestors, the fellow Creators of her family. They whispered encouragement and love, occasionally reaching out to touch Alana. When contact was made, it didn’t feel like a person, but more like a feather, a barely perceptual sensation.

The spirit of her mother and grandmother stopped in front of her. Their forms solidified to the point that she could see distinct facial expressions. Evelyn and Cecilia had matching smiles as they looked at Alana. The other spirits continued to dance around them, their faint words a constant low rumble of love and support.

Out of habit, Alana continued to touch the pendants, relishing the connection to her mother and grandmother. She was wearing one thing that both of them had worn while living.

Cecilia cocked her head to one side as she looked at her daughter, then her face broke into a glorious, breath-taking smile. She whispered something to Evelyn before leaning towards Alana and brushing her hand along Alana’s abdomen. Evelyn did the same, pausing slightly before removing her hand.

Alana looked down at her stomach, confused. When she looked at her mother and grandmother again, their smiles could not be bigger. Evelyn seemed to laugh, a tinkling sound wafted through the air. Cecilia closed her eyes and shook her head gently. Together, they took their hands and laid them on Alana’s stomach.

Alana’s eyes widened in surprise as realization flooded through her.

“No!” she exclaimed, stunned. “Are you sure?”

The women nodded excitedly. The spirits around them got louder, their joy resounding across the trees.

Alana grasped her pendant again deep in thought, a smile trying to work its way out. Her mind was flooded with images, fluttering by too fast for her to focus on until they stopped and froze on one final image. She shivered with hope and excitement.

“I can’t wait to tell David,” she whispered. “And it looks like I’ll have to set one of these aside for her.”