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Please also note that Prophecy is suitable for adult audiences and may contain sexual scenes, violence, or language.
It had been a long night. Even after returning from Mrs. O’Nally’s house, Liam could not settle down. A Phoenix was coming, and that usually meant that The Order wasn’t far behind. Apart from the normal human laws, the community of Six and Twenty had one other: Protect the Phoenix Children. The Prophecy demanded it or else the Phoenix would never return. Of course there were many supernaturals that didn’t believe in such things, but Liam always had. He could still remember sitting around the campfire and listening to the Oracle, Mrs. O’Nally, talk about how it all began.
“Many centuries ago there was a secret order of druids who called upon the spirit of the Phoenix. They had been seeking answers on how to restore the balance between good and evil before mankind destroyed itself. The Phoenix listened as the druids spoke about magic falling into the hands of those who would use it to destroy Earth. However, the Phoenix reminded them that evil would always exist as long as there was good in the world. This is how our plane of reality was shaped. The Phoenix vowed to come back after seven days to give his answer, and if needed, his solution.
After seven days he returned as promised, but refused to intervene himself. Instead he offered this prophecy, “Today I will grant each of you with an extraordinary power, each one will be unique. You will become immune to disease, sickness, and non-lethal injuries. When you die your power will be absorbed into the spirit which will be reborn into another. When all of the powers granted reunite, a child will be born with my complete essence, holding power greater than any other being. This blood line will become the defenders of all that lives. She will restore the balance, and bring peace to humanity.”
“But how can the spirit be reborn if we never die?” one of the druids asked.
“Ah, but that is where each of you will have to make the decision of whether your life is greater than the restoration of balance.” He replied, but then added a warning, “Keep the secret of magic safe, but most of all keep the Phoenix children out of mortal hands. They will be imbued with greater power than yourselves, and very dangerous weapons in the wrong hands. Failure will bring not only destruction, but the end of goodness in this plane.”
And with that final warning the Phoenix burst into a ball of golden flame.”
It had been one of Liam’s favorite stories as a child, and yes he still believed in fighting for the Phoenix, the children, and the prophecy. He would protect whoever was coming even if it took his final breath. After all, there were only three Phoenix children left. One was on their way, one lived in Six and Twenty, and the final was still out there in the world. The prophecy was getting close to fruition, so close, he thought as he stared at the sky wondering how long he would have to wait to meet her.
Betony turned onto the highway, but she had the feeling she was being followed. She glanced in her rear-view mirror but nothing was there. She was still shaken by the dream, and desperately needed answers. Where did the magic come from? What did the dreams mean? How could she feel what other people felt, even pain? Why did she have to leave when she was six, and live her life on the run, never having friends, a boyfriend, or even a life? Hell she was 20 years old and still hadn’t had her first kiss.
She knew that none of this ever would have happened if they had been able to stay in Six and Twenty. No, she would have been properly trained in her magical arts. As it was, Betony had little control over her power save the flame. She had mastered the art of the flame at a surprisingly young age, and she called upon it when ever it was needed. “It saved our rears.” She had told her mother who had no magic of her own. In fact her mother was simply a human who fell in love with a witch. Her mother had been strong, Betony thought, stronger than anyone gave her credit for. How else could she have put up with magic?
Flashing lights lit up her vision like fourth of July. “Great” she mumbled, as she pulled onto the shoulder. Quickly, but calmly Betony reached for her information as she awaited the police officer to approach. She had been speeding as her mind wallowed in the self-pity.
“You’re a long way from home Miss…” he twanged as he peered at her suspiciously. “You were going close to 90 MPH. Do you realize it’s only a 65 zone?”
“Sorry sir, but I didn’t realize I was going so fast.” She realized she must really look like hell. She hadn’t even bothered to brush her hair before leaving, but she was happy that she had remembered to brush her teeth as he was dangerously close as he leaned into her window.
“Alright just give me your license, registration and proof of insurance.” He walked back after she handed over the documents. Now Betony was starting to get worried. She had no idea which names, or even last names, were on any of the documents. Each time they moved she had assumed a new identity, so many that she didn’t even remember her birth name. She was sweating bullets by the time the officer returned, and the closer he got to her the more she felt an odd sensation run over skin.
“Alright Miss, if you promise to slow down I’ll let you off with a warning. It looks like you’ve been through enough for one day.” Betony blinked, and then stuttered out a “Thank you.” When he smiled back and gave her a wink, well, she felt a familiarity she couldn’t place. “Be safe.” He said and went back to his car. Betony knew him, but she couldn’t place from where.
“I found her” Logan radioed in to The Order. “I’ve let her go for now, but I placed a charm on her documents. We’ll know wherever that vehicle goes.”
“Good work, Logan. Now don’t lose her, or let her catch on.”
He hated having to deal with them, but they’d be after him too if he didn’t check in. They were so close now, so close. Logan knew he shouldn’t come back, but he was determined to follow her and help as best as he could. Unfortunately being so close to her was painful as it should have also been to her, but she didn’t show it. He remembered the only way to cool the fire was to touch her skin, but why was it still affecting him?
He waited until she was out of site and he removed the glamour from the car, and then like a wave of relief he removed it from himself as he struggled to breath. He rejoined the few cars that were gracing the interstate and continued on knowing that sooner or later they would cross paths again. But he feared she was heading where he couldn’t follow without risking capture, torture, and even death. Six and Twenty was off-limits to The Order, and under the protection of his adoptive father and half-brother Liam.
Thank goodness for GPS, Betony thought as she pulled off the highway and onto some scary back road. “I sure hope you don’t drive me off of a cliff.” She mumbled to herself as she navigated the windy and bumpy road. Overall the landscape was beautiful with its rolling hillsides, and mountain peaks far off in the distance. It would be quite breathtaking in the fall when the leaves change to vibrant hues. It was springtime, and the trees were alive with the energy of nature. Betony couldn’t be sure, but it seemed as if the trees, grasses, bushes, and flowers were singing a song of serenity that blanketed this area of the world.
This was all shortly lived as she crossed into the town of Six and Twenty. It was more like a ghost town. No flashy big chain stores, or hopping fast food joints could be found. She couldn’t remember seeing any place so old-fashioned. She drove slowly through the streets and gawked at the houses. They weren’t mansions or anything, but they sure were larger than what she had been used to. Every house seemed to be a mirror of each other, but they were oddly placed here and there. It was as if a tornado randomly spewed houses on the roads. If this wasn’t the largest oddity, there were no people, or animals to be seen.
She arrived, finally, at the address on the envelope and stepped out of the truck. She was nervous, and wasn’t quite sure what to say. Her body was literally shaking, and she felt the tears coming as her vision blurred. The next thing she knew she was falling, but instead of hitting the ground she felt herself calm as warm arms cradled her body. A rush of warmth, joy and interest rushed over her as she opened her eyes. She found a pair of green eyes, greener than a spring field or a bed of clover, staring right back into hers.
“Are you alright ma’am?” the stranger asked, yet remained calm and collected. “Yes, thank you. It’s been a tough couple of days. Are you George, George Skyland?” She inquired as she brushed invisible dirt from herself, and refused to look him in the eye. Betony wasn’t sure if she wanted him to be or not. He was perhaps one of the most attractive men she had ever laid eyes on, but the starring was sort of creepy.
He continued to look at her, and suddenly realized he was being a bit rude. “Sorry. What did you ask me?” She was…beautiful. Even with her hair tangled every which way, dressed in jeans that were out of style, and a t-shirt that could fit three of her in it. And then she seemed familiar. Before she could repeat her question he asked, “Have I met you before?” but she shook her head no.
“I was born in South Carolina, but I grew up…elsewhere. You don’t happen to be George Skyland, or know where I can find him?” she repeated, but now wondered if coming here was such a good idea. She should have at least stopped again to shower, and looked presentable. This man was making her feel about as comfortable as a bed of nails.
“He hasn’t lived here for a few years. Why are you looking for him?” Now he was suspicious. What did she want with his father, and why was he having difficulty reading her? Apart from being able to shift into animals, he had always been able to read minds, but this girl was like trying to watch a television with rabbit ears during a storm.
“It’s a long story, but I have a letter for him that I found. My parents wrote it, I think. They’ve passed away, and… um, they wanted him to have it.” Dammit I hope he buys that, and just let me be on my way. But part of her wanted to stay, and crawl back into his warm arms. Well muscled and deliciously good looks, yum, a winning combination. But then the warmth he had radiated disappeared, and she knew he didn’t believe her. In fact he didn’t trust her. So much for a warm homecoming, she thought.
Liam couldn’t read her intentions, and therefore he couldn’t trust her. Even if she was a Phoenix child there was no-way he would let her near his father without knowing the truth. “I can pass it along to him if you like.” He tried, but she shook her head again. “No, it’s probably not even important. Sorry to bother you.” She took her chance, and raced out of there fast. There had been something almost primal about him, and she found herself attracted to it, yet frightened at the same time.
“The Prophecy” Written by Rae Z. Ryans/Heather Capewell ©2011 all rights reserved.