A week had passed since I had placed new flowers at my mother’s gravesite, when I’d had a strange feeling right after I did it. And during the whole week, I just couldn’t get it off my mind.
Was I being watched? I thought. By who? Who would be observing me at my mama’s gravesite, and why in the world would anyone do that?
As Obsidian, I just hadn’t been mentally present at the JSA Reserves meeting following my visit to mama’s grave. Hawkgirl yelled at me a couple times for not paying attention until she realized I might be thinking of something serious and was unable to do so because of that distraction.
So she excused me from the meeting and told me it would be preferable for the safety of all concerned if I hung up my cape for a while and focused on just being Todd Rice, not Obsidian, until I got my house (or my thoughts) in order.
I took the news rather grimly, but I understood Hawkgirl’s concern. If I was distracted in the midst of a battle, I’d endanger not only myself but possibly others, innocent lives included!
But I just had to find out why I had that strange feeling. And I had to see if I could find some info so I’d know where to begin.
I wondered if I should call Jennie-Lynn about this situation and let her know. If this involved our mother, she needed to know about it. But I was just not sure if I should tell her yet.
I’d do a little digging myself and hold off on calling Jen until I found something. Perhaps after I found a good clue, I’d call her, and then we’d know where to start looking.
That morning I woke up, grabbed a quick breakfast, and mulled over what to do for the day.
I stared at some new bottles of nail polish I had purchased from the Natural Glow Cosmetics store down the street and decided to give one of them a try. I then picked up the bottle marked Purple Passion and eyed my new nail dryer.
“I hope this thing works,” I said. “I don’t want to spend all day waiting for my nails to dry.”
All of a sudden, my phone rang, and I thanked God it happened before I started polishing my nails. I wondered who it could be — a pesky salesman? Dad, Molly, Todd? Nah, couldn’t be Todd; he was so whacked out at the JSA Reserves meeting last week that he had to be in his own world for a bit. I was just glad I hadn’t sensed any strong negative feelings from him. Thanks to our psychic link, I could feel some sadness and concern from him, though. Hopefully he’d call me when he wanted to talk; my poor twinnie spent too much of his life living in a box.
I picked up the phone to see who my mystery caller was, and WHAM! (OK, that is a bit too melodramatic, but I did try to be an actress at one point in my life!) “Todd?!” I said. “I’m surprised that you called me. Care to talk about what’s bothering you?”
“I sure do, Jen!” he said over the phone. “It’s something I think is important. Can I stop over, or is it a bad time?”
“No, it’s a good time,” I said. “I’m curious to hear what’s got you so concerned.”
So a few minutes later, Todd was on my doorstep. I let him in, and we sat down on the couch. He told me about his strange feeling a week back he’d had at our mother’s gravesite, and I was really knocked for a loop.
“Todd, I really think we should call Dad on this one!” I then continued, “What if we’re dealing with something dangerous?”
“Jen, I want you to take a look at this first,” Todd said.
He then handed me an old, leather-covered brown book with a strange, birdlike silver seal on its cover. He had gotten it over at Green’s Antiques.
“What is this, Todd? What could possibly be in some weird old book that could be relevant here?”
“Maybe nothing, or perhaps everything!” he said. “I had the same strange feeling when I first saw this book that I had at Mama’s grave! I know it may creep you out somewhat, Jen, but please look it over, at least for a little bit?”
“Okey-dokey. I’ll take a peep,” I said, then opened the old tome and started to read off the pages.
I watched as Jen read the first few pages of the mysterious book. When she first looked in it she looked up at me with a quizzical expression on her face. The book’s text was a symbolic mystical format that looked pretty but would confuse most people. You could say it bordered on illegible.
“Todd?!” she said. “What is this gibberish, and how I am supposed to be able to read it?” Then she looked at me with an expression that bordered on terror and said, “How were you able to read it? This thing is like’s a witch’s book of magic spells, and I don’t understand the language.”
I grabbed my sister’s wrist to bring her back down to earth and told her just to look at the pages and concentrate. “Jen, just give it a chance! You’ll know what the book says in an instant if you focus on it.”
“Look, Todd, I know our powers are magical and everything, but doesn’t the idea of a book that’s only readable to us scare you at least a little?” she said.
We stared at each other for a few moments as if trying to read each other’s minds (considering we had a telepathic connection, it wasn’t much of a stretch). Then Jen returned to reading the mystery book, and I could tell by the thoughtful look on her face that the words were becoming clear to her.
I looked over her shoulder while she read the story.
Todd stared at me while I was reading his strange book. The story in it was rather interesting. It was about a family line of mystic sorceresses that began about five millennia ago. Heavy, huh?
According to the text, the sorceresses were known as Silver Phoenix mystics (guess I knew what the pretty symbol on the cover was now), because they were believed to be possessed of godlike power and immortality.
Todd returned from the kitchen with drinks and snacks. I took a brief break from reading to enjoy them, and we talked a bit.
“Jen, what do you think about the book so far?” he said.
“It’s very interesting, Todd, but I don’t know what it has to do with us,” I said. “I’ll admit I had a little strange feeling while reading it, but I thought that was just because I was enjoying it!”
“At first I wasn’t sure if we had any connection to that book or its contents myself, Jen,” Todd said. “What could we have to do with a mystic bloodline of ancient origin? Especially me. Jen, you’re beautiful, and you have bright flame powers. I could picture you related to mystic sorceresses in an instant!”
“Todd, your powers may not be bright flames, but don’t put yourself down!” I said. “You’ve done some great things, too! And besides, it is a little queer to picture me related to these ladies, because nowhere have I read thus far that they have, ahem, my type of olive complexion.” I gave Todd a wry wink, which made him chuckle.
“Let me show you the end of the book, so you’ll understand,” he said.
“Oh, Todd, don’t spoil the ending for me!” I yelped.
“Jen, this is the type of ending you have to see right now!” he said.
So we put our cups and plates down. He flipped past several pages of text, and I noticed that about half the book’s pages were blank.
“Todd, this book must have been some bargain,” I said. “The author never finished it.”
“Read the last few pages of text,” he said intently.
I did as my twinnie asked, and as I was reading I came to the realization of what I was reading.
Everything that had just happened between me and Todd, everything we said, and everything we did, was in that book! It somehow magically appeared there.
“Oh, my God!” I screamed.
Jennie-Lynn had such a strong reaction to seeing everything about us appearing in the book, I could’ve sworn she was about to faint! I clasped her shoulders to help snap her back. She looked at me with a seriously shaken, almost tearful expression. Poor Jennie!
“Jen, come on,” I said, expressing my own concern. “Please talk to me. Let me know what you’re feeling, what you’re thinking!”
“Todd, oh, Todd! How did that happen?” Jennie said. “Why do we appear in the book like that? I feel as if our privacy has been violated!”
“That is something I think we need to find out,” I ventured. I then handed Jennie some warm chamomile tea to help soothe her, along with some cookies.
She said, “Todd, we don’t even have the faintest idea where to begin searching!”
“And I fear using these eyes alone, we may never find out, Jen,” I said, gesturing toward my brown eyes and Jennie’s green ones.
I continued, “There’s a lot we don’t know about the telepathic gifts we got from our mother. We were able to find each other through our special connection, we can speak to each other with mere thought, and we can sense each other’s thoughts to a small degree and feelings to a larger one, especially when they’re strong negative emotions. It’s that which allows one of us to know when the other is in trouble, so that we can come to each other’s aid or seek other forms of help when there’s a need!” I winked at Jennie.
She replied, “Todd, I know about the ESP mumbo-jumbo we have. I just haven’t thought about it that deeply! I mean, it was no threat, just a cool batch of abilities. Though I will say, twinnie, you did overextend your boundaries a bit, using your powers to keep an eye on me! I’m a big girl. I can take care of myself.”
I replied, looking suitably embarrassed, “I’m sorry about that, Jen. I just wanted to make sure you were safe. But I think the key to finding out what the deal is with the silver bird book here is by focusing our psychic abilities. What we can’t determine with our outer eyes, we may be able to learn through inner eyes.”
“That sounds kind of spooky, Todd, but we can give it a go,” she said. “What do we do?”
I flipped the book to a page with an colorful, ornate picture of a beautiful woman who looked remarkably like our mother. Jen gasped at the sight; when she’d read the book, she flipped through it with a rate of speed that caused her to miss most of the illustrations, that one included.
“Todd, is that our mother? Is it Rose?” she said wistfully.
“Jen, I’m not sure,” I said. “But I have a feeling the way for us to learn more about this whole deal is to place our hands on the picture, close our eyes, and concentrate.”
“That really sounds peculiar, twinnie,” she said, “but since we have nothing to lose, and this doesn’t seem dangerous, I’ll give it a shot.”
“Great, Jen,” I said.
We placed our hands on the picture of the woman, then closed our eyes and concentrated. All of a sudden, we both had a funny feeling!
Had our eyes been open, what we would’ve seen next was a strange burst of shining silver smoke and power that surrounded us and caused us to disappear from the sofa on which we were seated. Only the book itself remained behind.
Well, that was one hell of a wacky ride, I thought as I awakened.
I could feel Todd’s hand on my shoulder. “Jen, are you all right?” he said.
“Sure, I’m fine. A little shaken, but not stirred,” I replied. “Todd, that sure was something! I mean, what if…?” My words trailed off as I realized we had been transported to a really strange place!
I looked around and saw we were in the middle of a field covered with grass and beautiful flowers, including several varieties of thornless roses.
“Want one for your hair?” Todd said jokingly, gesturing toward a pretty pink blossom.
I laughed back, “No thanks, twinnie!”
Todd then pointed out to me several dwellings that looked as if they’d been carved out of translucent crystal. I was in awe; this was like living the fairy tale dreams I had as a little girl!
“Todd, I wonder if we should approach those homes and see if anyone can help us?” I said.
“Jen, I don’t think that will be necessary,” he said as we both noticed several women approaching, who wore long, flowing, brightly colored gowns with cowls over their heads.
“Friend or foe?” I mentally spoke to Todd.
“I think friends!” he said back in the same fashion.
Soon the ladies were standing around us, examining us with an obvious sense of wonder. The oldest one, who was wearing a shimmering silver gown, walked up and removed her cowl from her head! She looked like she was in her eighties and had a head of shimmering, silver hair that almost matched her outfit. On her head was a large, ornate silver crown studded with the same type of crystal that had been used for the homes. She also looked a great deal like our late mom, Rose Canton!
“Welcome, children!” she said kindly. “It is our great honor to have you here.” As she said that, we could see most of the others removing their hoods, revealing several gorgeous women of various races and ages. We were both astounded.
“My name is Althea!” the old woman said. “Everyone here is a member of a very special maternal family line of mystic sorceresses.” Althea then looked at us poignantly. “One of my descendants wants to offer you a special greeting.”
A woman who wore a pink gown then approached us. She hadn’t removed her hood with her sisters, but did so now as she stood closely to us. And after she did, we both embraced her fondly, because everything we needed to know was revealed.
It was our mother! Our mother!