Sorcha was tempted to take the car out for a drive—anywhere was better than her own home—but she smartly opted not to. She needed to diffuse herself and she’d learned from repeated attempts that a stuffy, closed environment was not the best remedy. So instead, she strode along the sidewalk with her now dry head protected from the sunlight by a thin t-shirt. She stopped at a convenience store along the way and bought the largest bag of off brand chips she could find, tearing it open before she even left through the front doors. From there, she absently headed in a familiar direction without thinking about anything in particular.
“Scientists all over the country are positively stumped by recent bizarre phenomenon that occurred in one of Florida’s big cities this past weekend. Environmental specialists continue to gather information at the site and all flights are currently down, so anyone planning on going to or from the city is advised to drive, though there will likely be an increase of traffic—.”
The television hanging above an open bar outside of a restaurant Sorcha passed was dominated by the same news she’d heard a dozen times already. She had no personal interest in it, but—
It’s been a while.
Sorcha clicked her tongue.
Since anyone’s made such an obvious attempt to gather energy. There are countless ways that are far more subtle. The idiots who can’t even do that much should have died out years ago. This one was either desperate or this was a diversion for something bigger in the future.
“So what? Got nothin’ to do with me.”
Of course it does. Even if you don’t care about reviving me, you still want to protect your own life, don’t you? Someone must have killed the idiot who caused so much trouble and they’re probably still in the city. How about we hunt them down?
Sorcha’s answer was mostly unintelligible muttering, intentionally letting her accent take over, but the other party was so used to this, they understood her complaints with no problem whatsoever.
Why are you always so damn reactive? Why do you inhibit yourself? You’re a beautiful soul that shines brightest at the height of passion! For you, that is anger! Fury! Wrath! Why do you squander the gift that you received, not from the gods, but from chance at birth?
“The only things I got when I was born are the Irish genes that make me who I am. Screw yer ‘beauty’; have ya seen me damn mess of a head and these freckles? Bein’ born a witch was the unluckiest thing ta happen to me.”
I didn’t choose you because of your looks or heritage, Sorcha.
“THEN WHY THE HELL DID YA CHOOSE ME?!?!?”
The sudden outburst got people looking in Sorcha’s direction. She was long used to the stares, but whatever this goddess said, she didn’t want to attract unnecessary attention. The risk that brought was far too great. So Sorcha lowered her gaze and strode off, making sure not to look at anyone as she rounded the corner.
If they call you a witch, then cackle back at them. The voice went on, completely unperturbed. If they throw stones at you, throw their bones back at them. If they burn you with fire, bathe in it.
“That ain’t normal, ya daft islander. Don’t they have societal ethics in yer country?”
Gods are exempted from those, of course. We have our own.
Sorcha resisted another rude retort. She’d reached her destination, so she decidedly ended the conversation there. They’d keep going without end, as usual.
“Look! Look! Sorcha came!”
Sorcha was intercepted by a small group of children as soon as she stepped onto the grass within view of the small one story building’s windows. This daycare was far from well-known, but orphaned children as well as children dropped off by their parents all interacted in a unique atmosphere meant to raise children in a natural and optimal manner, away from technology like television or video games. It was a questionable choice, since the current generation survived off of their intimacy to technology, but Sorcha could appreciate it. This was a place where she didn’t have to constantly worry about flying off the handle at every passing moment. She didn’t have to force herself around kids like she did around others; even at her own home.
To me, it’s more like you have to force yourself to be normal here. Are you deliberately holding yourself back with the lives of these kids? You really are a witch.
Sorcha grimaced in pain, unclenching her hand that she’d unconsciously tightened to the point that her fingernails dug into her skin. The kids, while usually abnormally sharp, were too focused on the bag of chips in her hand to notice her change of expression.
“Cool, snacks! Did you bring those for us?”
“What I tell ya about puttin’ yer mitts on others’ food?” Sorcha held the bag of chips over her head to keep it away from the kids. “My metabolism could swallow all of ya by dinner time. Where’re the teachers?”
“Mr. Callaway is in his office talking to someone. Did you bring anything for us?”
“Focus.” Sorcha snapped her fingers to draw the kids’ attention away from the chips. It must have been just before breakfast. “Where’s Lucas?”
“He went home.”
Home? The only time that good Samaritan went home was when Sorcha came to fill in for him as part time work. And even then, he stayed half the time. Sorcha suspected that he really had nothing better to do than take care of these kids. And where was his home? Sorcha remembered something about him coming down from North Carolina, but that couldn’t be it.
Before Sorcha could ask the kids any more questions, the front door opened again and two men walked out into the sunlight.
“Oh, Sorcha. No wonder the kids all piled out before breakfast. Since you’re here, I guess I can introduce the priest early.”
Mr. Callaway, the man in charge of the daycare, motioned to his companion with one hand.
“He says to refer to him as Uzumel. He’s an acquaintance of the owner and came all the way down from Italy to help out. He’ll be taking over Lucas’s duties until that boy returns.”
Sorcha immediately sized up the stranger. The first thing that bothered her was his skin and hair color. He didn’t look anything like an Italian should. He looked more like a Native American or something similar, though he did have the suave, handsome face that she associated with Italians (thanks to the image on television). He had an easy smile that looked more genuine than polite, though his sharp eyes made it clear that he wasn’t the stupid type. He was probably evaluating her just as thoroughly, though he was probably looking for different things.
Do you still insist that you’re a regular human with those thought patterns of yours, o fiery witch of passion?
“I’m still uncertain of how long I’ll be staying,” Uzumel nodded his head politely in greeting. “So I hope to get along with you and the children in the meantime.”
“...No problem.” Sorcha didn’t break eye contact. “I normally only work three times a week, but I’m planning on increasing my shifts, so we’ll probably be seeing a lot of each other.”
“Really?” Mr. Callaway beamed. “You’re a lifesaver, Sorcha.”