Dust lay over every surface like dirty snow, pristine dust layer, not a foot print anywhere, papers and letters addressed to her foster mother were piled up high and cascaded all the way to the foot of the rough wooden stairs. Old tea cups lay on the coffee table with a layer of dust on them, dust covered mirrors, smell of mildew, stale air, air thick with dust, shafts of light bursting through gaps in the boarded up window that Kat broke when she left. She had been so furious about her mother lying to her that her power just erupted before she could rein it in. It was the first time her foster mother held fear in her eyes. Kat could see it would take some work to clean up the place since it had been neglected so long. The wooden framed sash windows were propped open with sticks and the brick work, perhaps once a jaunty yellow, looked dirty with over a few years of grime. A small rose garden had been planted in the back, and although it had obviously once been carefully planned and loved, it was now riddled with weeds.
The front entryway was as basic as it should be closet to hang coats in, a small shoe rack and a mat to keep dirt from tracking. Sighing she took her converse sneakers off placing them in the rack before exploring the house. Kat still had an hour before the lawyer was supposed to meet up with her seeing she still had a few documents to sign before the house was hers. Walking into the living room for the first time in 6 years made her frustrated and happy all at the same time. In some weird ways she missed the place. The wide open space the smell of wild flowers in the breeze. In other ways she loathed the place mainly because she grew up being told a lie, the woman she grew up with wasn’t her real mother and she had powers beyond anyone’s ability to comprehend. Any time she would talk about it her “mother” would always write it off and change the subject then not talk to her for days. As for her father she never knew him, her “mother” had told her he left her when she was only a few weeks old but wouldn’t tell her anything else. She stood in the kitchen with her head hung thinking, the house was passed to her in her “mothers” will after she died two years ago. Kat couldn’t help but care for her mother but she had refused to go to the funeral she didn’t want to face her mothers family seeing they were total strangers mostly, her great aunt lectured her over the phone after calling to set the date. “How could you not attend your mothers funeral Katereina?” Kat held the phone slightly away from her ear to avoid hearing loss due to the volume of her aunts yelling. She rolled her eyes “She wasn’t my mother Aunt Jodi, and she kept that from me until the day I moved out. Plus she got stuck with me she didn’t actually want me, maybe you should ask your brother why he ditched me leaving me with a random friend from college instead of my mother.” She had to breath in between rants to keep her anger down, if she got too heated things tended to spontaneously burst into flame around her. The candles flame burned brighter next to her so she simply hung up the phone to get away from the situation.
Her mother hadn’t been living in the house when she died, cancer had been her diagnosis seven years ago and had stayed in remission. Once Kat moved out a year later it apparently came on full force and got worse to the point that her mother could hardly walk down the stairs anymore. Her last will stated that the house land and furniture belonged to her. ‘I don’t know if I want to live here or sell it though’ she thought as a gust of wind made the windows shake. The sound made her jump a bit but she shook her head irritation ‘ugh getting scared by the wind that’s a new one’ Soon she found her way out to the back yard the warm sun greeted her brightly as she stepped out onto the back porch overlooking the yard. The old tire swing surprisingly still hung strong on an oak tree at the edge of the yard. The sandbox that her mother never took care of was overgrown with weeds and likely loaded with bugs ‘I’ll have to get rid of that either way it will sell better without it’ wind rustled through the trees as the wind reached her she put a piece of hair behind her ear partially shielding from the strong warm wind. Sighing she stayed on the porch surveying the yard when a loud thump jolted her out of her thoughts, the sound came from upstairs and she furrowed her brows at the thought of what it could be. No one had been in the house for months since her mother was in the hospital, and since the door was locked Kat didn’t think an animal could get in. She walked back inside with her heart beating loudly in her ears it was possible an animal got in. She ascended the stairs to the upper level and glanced around, finding nothing out of the ordinary until she opened her mothers bedroom door. On the far wall above a dusty dresser, written in red paint was a strange symbol consisting of lines and circles.
Huffing out the breath she didn’t realize she was holding she walked up to the symbol “How the hell did this happen” she reached out to touch it, the dry paint chipped under her nail as she scraped it down. It must be old she thought as she looked around the room for any signs of what made the thumping sound. Satisfied the room was empty she turned on a heel stepping into the hallway shutting the door behind her. Still unable to explain the thump she simply ignored it, could have very well been a bird flying into the side of the house. Birds flying straight into a house without any other noise, not a good omen. Walking back down the stairs she could see a car driving down the driveway through the small window next to the front door. Taking a deep breath she strolled to the door opened it and stepped out onto the porch to greet the lawyer. The man parked his silver Chevy right next to hers a moment later she saw him coming around the back of her car with a smile. His eyes locked on hers and she kindly returned the eye contact he looked only a few years older than her, maybe early thirties. His eyes were dark brown appearing nearly black. His black hair tousled and yet at the same time incredibly neat. Unlike most lawyers she had met he wasn’t clean shaven a bit of a five o’clock shadow danced around his chin with a more defined mustache. His grey suit and red tie clung to the obvious wall of muscle underneath, Kat couldn’t help feel a twinge of curiosity to see those rippling muscles and run her hands along them.
Shaking the thought away she put her female boner in check in order to take his outstretched hand without him noticing the minor sexual tension. “Good afternoon Miss Hoffman I wasn’t expecting you to beat me here” he shook her hand lightly before gazing over her shoulder in confusion, the front door swayed in the breeze. With the physical contact she caught his unease he had been certain the door was locked. Kat could feel his guilt thinking he had forgot to lock it, she quickly assured him “My mother had hidden a key in case of emergency. I wanted to see inside a bit before you got here.” The man sighed in relief his shoulders dropping the tension held there. Releasing her hand he reached into his briefcase pulling out a manilla folder “Lets go inside to fill these out, I hope you don’t mind but I did bring along change of address forms just in case you wanted to get everything set up. A move from Lakewood Colorado to keystone South Dakota is pretty big I figured it would save you some trouble.” His southern accent made her smile a little it would take getting used to. He set his case on the rickety kitchen table Kat sat down across from him waiting for something to sign. She had moved to Colorado because at the time she wanted to be somewhere cold since she was still learning to control her powers. Plus business out there was booming for jewelry, she discovered she had a talent for making jewelry using her affinity to fire. The thought of fire used to frighten her after what had happened when she was a child but she wasn’t afraid anymore, it was a part of herself she couldn’t change.
So she just accepted her reality of being magical without knowing how or why. That was the reason for coming back to the town she was born in, Answers to her family history she figured she would find them here. She rolled her eyes impatiently waiting for him to finish looking through his briefcase, after a few minutes he finally took out a yellow envelope “ah your mother also set this in a safety deposit box for you instructing I give it to you when she passed” Taking the envelope in her hands she read her mothers beautiful cursive writing only open when your alone Kat gave the lawyer a curious glance he had gone back to sifting through the proper papers for her to sign. The envelope was heavy and rectangular almost like some kind of book, whatever it was maybe it would give her some answers into her past. The paper signing went through without issue, the process took about an hour and a half. With the will stating the house and all assets going to her she was also left 500,000 dollars from her mothers life insurance policy. The amount made Kats jaw drop “What am I supposed to do with that kind of money?!” Her voice raised higher than she meant and she felt heat rising to her skin. Taking a deep breath she calmed pushing the heat down, the lawyer sat back in surprise then gestured for her to sit down. “Miss Hoffman its been set up in an account for you this card accesses it.” He handed her a blue credit card with her name on it. Kat didn’t understand where her foster mother could have gotten that kind of money, as if the lawyer read her mind he spoke up “the money originally came from a gentleman Devlin Williams.” Kat furrowed her brows at the sound of her fathers last name, her foster mother had told her that much.
She straightened her posture and quizzically stared at the lawyer “And why would some random stranger leave me money?” At that moment Kat heard the front door open and close, a deep masculine voice answered her question “because your mother was a dear friend, when my brother and I learned of her illness We paid her a visit to make sure you were taken care of. She was worried about you.” The man walked up and shook hands with the lawyer then held his hand out to her “pleased to meet you Katerina.” Closing her eyes she took a breath than put on her sweetest smile taking his hand “The pleasures all mine Mr Williams was it?” The man gave her hand a lite kiss on the back of her hand “My name is Theodore Williams my brother sends his apologies for not coming personally but he was held up.” Katerina relaxed her rage a little, it was hard to be mad at him for not knowing who she really was. Devlin probably told no one that she was his daughter. At Theo’s touch she could feel his admiration of her beauty that she seemed too young to ask for a date and she had to stifle a laugh knowing he was her uncle. There was something else she could sense about him, a buzzing of energy but she couldn’t figure out what it was. She sat quietly watching the two men converse over the details of her foster mothers estate, but she grew agitated wanting to open the envelope. Letting out a small sigh got their attention “Well miss Hoffman everything appears in order” he closed his briefcase and stood heading for the door “If you have any further questions about the financial assistance you received please don’t hesitate to call. Good day miss Hoffman , Mr Williams.” She waved the lawyer away then turned to her new uncle giving him a feint smile “So you don’t know who I am do you?” Theodore turned to face her with one eyebrow up “Should I? I mean I know your Elizabeth’s girl and all but was there something else I should know?” Kat could hear the slight panic in his voice thinking he needed to know something important.
She decided it was probably best he not know who she was just until she learned more about her family history “No your fine nothing important just forget I said anything ok.” Theodore stared down at her for a moment in utter confusion at her strange comment but didn’t say anything. She offered to walk with him to his car when he finally did speak “there is going to be a party tonight in honor of Elizabeth at Reeds bar you should come meet everyone who was close to her” Kat gave him an unsure look as he reached the door of his Suv “theres free alcohol” he sang in a weird high pitch voice that made her snicker. Clearly her uncle wasn’t a bad guy “Well hard to say no to free booze I’ll be there and please call me Kat Katerina is just too formal feeling.” Theo gave a chuckle and a nod of approval giving his nickname as well “Theo, I’ll see you tonight at 8:00pm sharp” giving him a smile she watched him drive away then quickly ran inside to open the envelope her foster mother left her. The book inside was black leather bound with a symbol of a bird surrounded by flames on the cover. She ran her hand along it gently, the birds eyes were fixed on her as if looking into her very soul. The book was hauntingly familiar, carefully she opened the cover and saw a small white envelope that held something. Picking it up out of the book she unfolded a letter and a necklace from inside.
My dearest daughter
If you are reading this it means your guardian has passed and for that I’m sorry. I would have loved to keep you and raise into the fine woman I believe you are but you were not supposed to exist. I know that sounds worse than it is meant. the families your father and I come from have fought to keep the peace and balance so we were not allowed to have children with people like us. Otherwise the power would tip to one side. If we had kept you, like we wanted you would have been killed just for existing. When you were born we tried to keep you hidden for a few weeks to see if we could be a family but it was not long before the high council found out so we had to fake your death and hide you away. I know you have many questions and are hurt, I’m sorry I cannot answer all of them in this letter. The necklace inside is yours once you put it on your power will center and be easier to control. Be warned those who live in this town will know the necklace to be a symbol of my clan keep it well hidden until you feel your ready to discover what you are.
Blessed be the flames
P.S this grimois the most important tool to learning about your powers and what you can do use it with caution
Kat stared at the note with fury and grief, she had never wanted to scream and cry at the same time before. Falling to her knees she sat on the floor clutching the paper, tears burning in her eyes. The letter gave her more questions than answers, it had been twenty eight years since her mother wrote the letter maybe she wouldn’t recognize her even if she found her. The question was more did she want to find her parents, what was she if not human? Looking down at the paper she felt the heat rising up to her skin again and within seconds the paper burst into flames. She held the paper until the flame licked her hand, over the years she noticed she could feel the heat but it never burnt her. Holding the necklace in her other hand she tried to burn that as well out of anger but noticed the necklace wouldn’t burn or even catch fire. Sighing she lifted the necklace by the chain to look at it. The stone was amber and set to look like the iris in an eye, silver metal shaped like an oval surrounded it. Hesitantly She unhooked the clasp and draped it around her neck, once the clasp was rehooked she felt a rush of power burst to the surface. Everything burned as her powers enhanced and happily bubbled right below the surface, her breath caught in her throat it was strangely pleasant to feel that much power flowing through her. Her mouth was dry from the silent screaming she did, she felt like she could lift a tank she was buzzing with so much energy. Then darkness fell over her mind and her body slumped to the floor with a thud.