The Moon & The Star

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Herb Garden

Just as I contemplated telling my mom about my dream, Andrea, Cassidy's mom, walked into the kitchen in her six inch heels. She's a hunter too. She was a year older than my mom but actually looked a few years younger than her. Andrea divorced Cassidy's dad when Cass was five and never remarried. She enjoyed being single and keeping fit.

She had flawless skin and fit muscles. She must spend hours in the gym. She wore leather too and let her blonde hair free.

“Avalon,” she said cheerfully. I smiled back at her. She'd always liked me.

“We'll we're off. There's no convincing Gabriel of his insane idea.” Andrea said.

“It's not so crazy we need all the help we can get.” Mom reasoned.

“It'll only cause more problems trust me, Sarai.” Andrea said, suddenly walking over to the kitchen window and inspecting the garden through the glass. Mom watched her silently as did I.

“Did something weird happen last night besides… the obvious?” Andrea asked. Mom shocked her head, she told her everything was calm last night, the guards hadn't reported anything suspicious.

“You didn't feel any disturbances in your… room Avalon?” Andrea asked me so suddenly and I struggled to remember last night. I had a difficult time sleeping but I doubt it was because of any supernatural entities. I felt a faint presence in my room but it didn't last long for me to make anything out of it.

I spoke to Shane for a while and everything seemed fine. There was that dream, but that could have been caused by stressed. Andrea was looking at me seriously waiting for a reply, she felt something was wrong. Were we totally safe here? I also wondered what Andrea was other than a hunter, a witch or something. Was Cassidy anything magical too?

“Did you feel something?” Mom asked. Andrea seemed like she wanted to assure me everything was okay, but couldn't withhold information from my mom.

“Not exactly. There are poisonous mushrooms growing in the yard. They weren't there yesterday, can't be a good sign.”

I suddenly didn't want breakfast anymore. My tummy was full of fear. They knew where I was. How long would it be before another attack? All sorts of scenarios played out in my head, horrible fight sense that involved death, lots of death.

“Avalon?” Andrea pressed.

“I-I… nothing really… I had a bad dream that's all.” I stammered. Andrea ran her hand through her face and mom stared at the floor.

“What was it about? Dreams can be used as a very dangerous weapon to harm someone Avalon. They can be used as vessels to send messages, revelations, visions and attacks. That bad dream could easily have been an attack on your life.” Andrea explained and I got more scared.

“They need her alive, you know that.” Mom said in whisper.

Andrea sat down across from me on the four seater dining room table. There was a loaf of bread, half eaten, some butter, peanut butter and jam. An open box of corn flakes stood next to a full carton of milk and some white bowls. I suddenly wanted cereal. There were coffee mugs, hot tea and coffee brewing on the counter. I bet if I opened the fridge I'd find it fully loaded with eggs, bacon, cheese and other delicacies. I hadn't grocery shopped in a while, I'm sure my fridge back at the apartment was close to empty.

Andrea turned her head to the side, her sudden movement snapping me back to reality, I then began to tell her about my dreams all the bizarre and frightening details. I did hold back on the part about thinking the trapped soul was father and him urging me to run.

“How often have you had these nightmares, sweet heart?” Mom placed a supportive hand on my shoulder.

“A lot but they died down for a while.” I said, remembering the yellow snake in most of my dreams. In one of those dreams Nicholas cuts off the snakes head and the dream ends. He saves me, I didn't really think much about it.

“Night Walkers. They're demons that attack you in your dreams. They're strongest in the dream world. They won't last long in our world, just like how we can't last long in their world. Nicholas didn't mention any of this in his reports.” Andrea said the last part with a little disappointed. Then I decided to tell them about him in my dream just to get him off the hook. I didn't want them thinking he wasn't doing his job right or something. I had been attacked three times so he definitely owed me one or two.

“We have to double up on security I'll take care of it.” Andrea said, as she got up to leave.

“How are you going to do that? You said they were demons…”

“Yes, but hunters and keepers are given the power to travel between worlds once their training is complete. I'll be sure to get a few hunters here… they'll be sure to do a better job than those keepers.” She muttered the last part to her self.

Andrea walked out of the kitchen leaving me and mom in an awkward silence.

“I know you think about him a lot,” She said.

I hang my head low, “you think he's dead?”

“You're not a child anymore Avalon... but yes the chances are very high your father us dead. I meant what I said, he would never abandon us.”

I didn't want to believe he was dead.

“You should eat darling. Do you want me to make you some eggs?” Mom said. I smiled a little bit. “No Mom. I'll have some cereal instead.”

She fidgeted with her unpainted fingernails for a while. She was pondering something, she normally just said what she wanted to say. She was straight forward most times, but I'm starting to discover another side of my mother.

“Something wrong Mom?” I finally asked.

“Well… there was something I wanted to tell you, but it can wait. You should eat and rest Avalon.”

“You can tell me now.”

“Another time dear.”She said then slowly got up from the kitchen table and the disappeared into the mansion.

****

After I'd eaten my breakfast I wandered outside the mansion. Trying to get some fresh air and make sense of this all. There were so many missing pieces to this story. It was frustrating honestly. I hadn't seen Shane all day. I wanted to question him more, maybe he was avoiding me.

Willow, Eagle and Juliet were occupied with their own stuff, I didn't feel like joining them right now. Nicholas was also no where to be found.

I went in search of Cassidy, she was probably hurting. I found her in the darkness of a room similar to the one I slept in, passed out. There were open bottles of pain pills and a water bottle. I tried waking her but it was useless. I walked out of her room and closed the door quietly.

So there I was walking on the grass, I wasn't sure if I should be doing that, though no one seemed to reprimand me so I walked on. Then I saw my grandmother hunched down in the distance with a sunflower hat on her head and some gardening tools. I'd never seen her gardening before. She actually wore something her own age for once, something nice and comfortable. Khaki shorts, a plain white t-shirt.

“Hey grandma.” I said. She smiled and stood up straight. She dusted off some dirt on her gloves.

“Hey sweetie did you sleep alright?” She asked.

“More or less,” I replied. “I didn't know you were into gardening.” I added.

“Of course. I used to do it all the time when your grandfather was alive. You were probably too young to remember.” She chuckled, bending over to collect an empty bag.

“What we are planting?” I asked.

The plastic bag she was holding didn't have a name of the seeds or flowers.

“Oh, I was planting some herbs, verbena herbs. They were called the tears of Isis in ancient Egypt and Hera’s herb in Greek mythology. I prefer to call them tears of Isis. I believe they contain supernatural powers. I also planted some shamrocks this morning. They ward off evil spirits you know. I'm going to plant a little more around the mansion.”

“You really believe these herbs have magical powers?” I asked, skeptically

“Of course I do. After all you've seen dear, how can you not?” Grandma asked.

“I still feel I need to see a little bit more… and know a little bit more.”

“What are you talking about Avalon?” Grandma said as she dug little holes in the ground and placed the shamrocks in them.

“Do I have something to do with this war grandma?” I asked and she stopped digging for a while then resumed.

“Everything will be revealed to you soon my dear. Just be certain we won't let anything happen to you until then.”Grandma assured me.

I groaned loudly, “at least give me something!”

Grandma stopped to think for a while then said, “my mother was a keeper of light. Your grandfather was a hunter. She never really liked him much.” She smiled.

“Why not?” I asked.

“Because keepers and hunters have never gotten along. Even though they fight for a common cause. Keepers think hunters are stuck up and shallow while hunters think keepers are ineffective and weak. Keepers also believe that hunters are dangerous because when push comes to shove a hunter is prepared to kill a human while keepers are sent out to protect the living.” Grandma stared into the distance.

“So what am I?”I asked.

“Do you have the keepers mark or the hunter’s crest anywhere on your body?”

“No, at least I haven't seen one.”

“Then we can only determine what you are when either one of those two appears on your body.”

Back in my room I was occupied by thoughts of evil or keepers and hunters. When those thoughts seemed to completely abandon me. I wasn't even grateful for it. Frankie always wanted to get married, she wanted a family of her own. She would have been a way better parent that hers ever were. She never wanted to be a doctor, she didn't have the stomach to be a doctor.

I rolled around in my bed, thinking about how she was probably being buried right now. I couldn’t even say goodbye, my last goodbye. It wasn't fair. Life wasn't fair. What would have happened if I hadn't called her that night? She wouldn't be dead, she'd be home, looking at fashion magazines, making plans to go to parties and get drunk.

I should have handled Cassidy myself that night. I tried not to blame myself but it wasn't working. Poor Frankie was going cool in the ground right now while I drifted off to sleep in my warm bed.

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