That night, Ashley dreamed of her father and the last time she had seen him. It was late at night and she had heard him and her mother arguing in French. They always did that when they didn’t want her to know what they were talking about, but Ashley understood some of it. She caught words like “dangerous” and “hiding” and “magic.” Ashley had no idea what they were talking about but she knew that her mother was very upset.
Finally, her father came into her room, the room instantly lighting up once he walked in. She didn’t see him press the light switch but she was used to it. Things always seemed to happen around her father without him making it do so. His blue eyes were wide and his black hair was in curly waves around his head. His tie was hanging loosely around his neck like a noose and his shirt was untucked from his pants.
Ashley sat upright in her bed and stared at her father. He smiled at her and walked towards her, bending down in front of her bed. She swung her legs over the bed and stared down at her dad.
“What’s wrong?” she asked him. He grabbed her shoulders and smiled at her.
“Oh, Ashley. There are many, many things wrong with the world but sometimes, even when you’ve done all that you can do, things don’t turn out the way you want it to and all the wrong things in the world stay wrong,” her father told her sadly. Ashley became concerned, for her father always seemed like a happy man.
“Dad?” He closed his eyes and shook his head.
“Daddy’s going to be gone for a while, okay, Ashley?”
“Are you and mom breaking up? It’s okay if you are.” Her dad chuckled.
“Oh, no, sweetheart. I’m just going away on a mission. It’s...family business.”
“Can I come, too?” Ashley asked him. Her father shook his head.
“Not this time, Ash. Just take care of your mother, okay? Do everything she asks of you and don’t give her a hard time. I know how you can be.” Ashley crossed her arms and pouted.
“But sometimes she doesn’t listen to me,” she complained. Her dad laughed.
“I know, but sometimes you don’t listen to her. Just promise me, okay? That you’ll be a good girl.” After a couple of seconds Ashley, reluctantly, nodded. Her dad smiled and brought her into a hug. “That’s my girl. Remember, we love you. Always, always remember that, alright?”
“Okay, dad.. I love you.”
“Love you, too kid.” And then he was up and out the door, turning off the light without touching the switch. He was gone that morning and a week later, her mother told her that he had died in a car crash. She was heartbroken and four days after the funeral, her mother told her that she was going to a new school.
Everything came rushing back towards Ashley; her mother’s cries grained into her brain and her father’s smile burned into her mind. Then the library book that Taylor and Jerry had found were in her mind and all she could focus on were the words Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald. Dangerous. War. Dead.
Ashley woke up screaming. The screams woke Taylor up and Jerry and Connor ran into their room. Ashley shot up out the bed to see a frightened Taylor, Connor and Jerry.
“What’s wrong?” Taylor asked, her eyes wide. Ashley shook her head.
“I’m sorry. It was a bad dream.” Taylor nodded and sat back down on the bed taking a deep breath. Jerry still looked half asleep but Connor was staring at the walls.
“Connor what are you looking at?” Taylor asked. Connor pointed to the walls and everyone turned. They were frozen solid.
“How did that happen?” Ashley asked.
“You’re powers. When you had heightened emotions, you must have triggered your powers. Looks like you used a lot of ice,” Taylor said looking around the room.
“Dang, Alien, you got some serious magic. But it’s okay. The same thing happens to me when I have bad dreams,” Jerry slurred.
“Sorry,” Ashley said.
“Don’t be,” Connor said sitting down next to her. “Like, Jerry said, it happens. It comes with being a sorcerer. Especially, when you’re just learning your powers and you don’t have a source.”
“It’s true. Last week, when I had a bad dream, I set my hair on fire,” Taylor said laughing.
“It’s true! We had to spray it down with water and that’s why it’s so short, now,” Jerry added.
“It worked out fine, though. I needed a haircut anyway,” Taylor said shrugging her shoulders. Ashley found herself laughing along with them and didn’t feel so bad about freezing the walls.
“What time is it?” Ashley asked after the laughter died down. Taylor pulled a green plastic battery clock out from under her pillow and read it.
“Seven am. We should start getting ready. First class is at 8. And we all need to take showers since we didn’t take any last night,” Taylor stated. The mention of the night before made the temperature literally drop, and Ashley wondered if it were any of their powers. There was stony silence for a couple of moments before Connor broke in.
“About last night...what did you think about that book?” Jerry shrugged and sat down next to Taylor’s feet.
“Well, it was interesting. But weird. I mean, why would the library be hidden like that and why was that the only book that had been touched recently? Why was someone reading that book in the first place and why were they in such a hurry they had to leave it out in the open?”
“Maybe they weren’t supposed to be there?” Taylor tried.
“But it looked as if they had came in there with every intention of doing what they were doing, from the looks of the light and glasses. The person must’ve known about the library and wanted to catch up on their history.”
“But why?” Connor asked. “Why that book now? That library looked as if it hadn’t been touched in years. Someone must’ve had probable cause for going in there. Now, we just need to know the reason.”
“Maybe it was about the families in the book!” Ashley chimed in.
“But-but, the book said that those families were killed by The Consul. Everyone knows that The Consul of Sorcerers never fails. Especially if they are trying to eliminate someone. That’s just Sorcerer Law 101,” Jerry pointed out.
“Yes, but it also said that there were speculations that a couple of children got away, even though no great grandchildren had shown up,” Ashley debated. There was silence again. Taylor took a deep breath.
“What do you think would happen if those great grandkids did show up somewhere?” she asked in a whisper.
“Well, you read the book. Their ancestors had been causing mayhem since the ancient times. They were always fighting for power and for the rule of the sorcerers until The Consul was made to stop them. All of them. And even half a century later, I think that’s just what they’d do. Stop them,” Jerry told her.
“But what if they weren’t bad?” Ashley asked. “What if they were nothing like their ancestors?”
Connor spoke up. “History repeats itself, Ashley. If the great grandkids didn’t fight for power then it would be their kids and if not their kids then it would be their kids. It’s a never ending cycle.”
“Was a never ending cycle. Remember, they killed them all,” Taylor pointed out.
“But what if they didn’t,” Ashley whispered. There was a long silence again until Jerry broke it.
“Look, I’d love to stay and chat but we have this little thing called school that we need to prepare for. We can discuss this later because I don’t know about you guys but I really don’t want Ogre Duty from Mr. Gardswell,” Jerry said getting up. He beckoned to Connor who followed.
“See you guys in a bit,” Connor said and closed the door.
“They’re right, we should get going,” Taylor said getting her clothes ready. Ashley followed suit and got ready for the school day.