Helen Poticus sat close to the window, knitting what looked like a baby’s shawl. Sitting in that cushion she’d purposely and carefully placed beside the window to grace her eyes with the beauty of nature. That had been her position ever since they came down here, hoping to experience peace in the least way. This lonely cabin, had to be home now. She felt safe and thanked her stars that Annie liked it…not that she was selective, she would literally live in a desert, she liked adventure and anything that didn’t come between her and acquiring knowledge was fine.
She would not stop knitting, not even if nature demanded, it was a family habit passed down for generations. It didn’t matter to her that the business was going down the drain, customers weren’t in need of knitted cloths for chairs. The chairs made in this generation didn’t need those clothes and the global warming was becoming real, babies no longer wore woolen clothes so customers diminished as days went by, it wasn’t something to be worried about. Besides, that was the least of the many skills she had acquired within the long years she’d spent living.
This knitting periods were used to look away from books most times. None could compare to her love for books. She’d found solace, knowledge, wisdom and exposure from reading vastly. She had run to this peaceful habitat awaiting the appearance of the next full moon and sincerely hoping to dodge what it will come with. Waking up everyday to discover that it will be yet another day of living at the mercy of fate and the bitter knowledge that her daughter is close to finding out her potentials. It was a bile to the throat…
If she hadn’t fallen for Harry’s charms, the man she’d only known. Annie wouldn’t have to go through this; she let herself blush just enough to make her smile and roll her eyes like a kitten whose furs were being rubbed. She remembered that night vividly, his image glued to her memory; how his body felt against hers, how they’d curled around each other wishing it never ends. She pinched herself to reality. That magical night had gifted her with a treasure she couldn’t trade for anything in the world-Annie. She would have to explain to her, tell her about her type and the power she wields; her discovery process would be wild; but as each day went by, she only found herself saying “honey, you can do anything, you just have to will it… And be careful what you wish for, there’s a whole…”
Annie always didn’t stay till the end of that sermon, with Annie, it was always school and projects and new books and discoveries. By heaven she loved her daughter, she’d give her the world if she had to but how was she going to tell her? It wasn’t and won’t be easy to explain but she would have to know…eventually. She was nodding to her thoughts while she allowed herself be drifted away by the sound of the cool breeze, it soothed her skin, this is exactly what she needs right now. So with a little smile she permitted to run slightly across her lips, and adjusting her position so her head could rest on the head of the chair, she let herself slide into a realm with lesser worries…
* * *
“Mum, I’m home!” Annie called out from the door. “You won’t believe what my next project is about”, she added. There was no reply. “mum?” “Oh, did I wake you? I’m sorry. I was just excited about what I may produce and felt I could share”. ” oh darling, you’re always welcome to share”.
Annie couldn’t hide her excitement as she began to remove the contents in her bag; tiny bottles that contained different substances of different colours and smell, accompanied by a book that read “potion making” as the title. She carefully placed them on the scanty table that lay in the room. There was a half-baked smile on Helen’s face…Her mother, Abigail was known for her powerful potions, rumour had it at the time, that she made a rejuvenating potion, that made her prettier too as the years went by, they were magical potions, they performed beyond what the book taught… She was praying that Annie would soon find out the evil potions could cause and leave this insanity behind…
Just then, Annie meticulously placed a painting of a full moon that stood before thick dark clouds on the table, tracing her fingers round the edges of the moon she smiled and for a fleeting second, Helen thought she saw silvery sparks in her daughters eyes… “Mum, isn’t this just magical?” Oh no, let the heavens grant her more time, she couldn’t control this… Helen had thought
Enthusiasm was all Annie felt while she hung the painting on her bedroom wall, somewhere she could glance at it when she lay in bed and when she wakes.
For some reason, she felt a wave of strength whenever she looked at the painting… Today wasn’t different, atleast she didn’t expect it to be except for the little weird movement she felt her comb made to her palm when she was sitting at her make-up table… It could have been her eyes. As she tied her hair with a reckless abandon into a bun leaving it a tad messy, she could swear she saw a silvery spark in her eyes as she stole a glance at the mirror… surely, it’s a reflection of light on the mirror from the bulb aloof… but at the same time, it felt like something, a wave maybe, ran down her spine briefly, she shook it off with the excitement she couldn’t hide about the next day; when she finally embarks on the adventure with those substances she had got, it was going to be a whole new level of adventure…
Tugging herself carefully beneath the sheets, and turning off her room light for what she was certain would be a good night sleep, a flash of light stole its way through her window pane. It wasn’t brief this time, only she hadn’t noticed…
And so, the moon had become much bigger than a half, it was almost a full moon and Helen couldn’t sleep for it now dawned on her that she couldn’t escape this, no matter how far she wanted to go, how many mountains she was willing to climb or how many seas she was ready to cross. None of that mattered now, she was counting down the hours and praying the outcome wouldn’t be as grave as she fears.
* * *
It was barely a few minutes after dawn and Annie’s eyes came open, she unconsciously rolled over to the other end of her bed trying to continue with her sleep, she laid there for a few minutes but sleep deluded her, she turned a few times beneath the sheets hoping it’d be positive but it really wasn’t. She sat up for some time, stretched and carefully took out her legs from under her duvet placing her feet carefully in her slippers, stood up and strolled lazily to the toilet to pee.
As she made her way towards her bed back from the toilet, she glanced at the substances she had placed on her table the previous night and smiled. Strolling towards the table to find a book lying there. She might have dropped a book there last night but it was obviously not this book; it looked ancient and dusted, as though it’d been brought out from an old library that hadn’t been visited in years. A ribbon was tied around it which she carefully untied with her fingers trembling slightly and as she turned over the cover page and glanced into the first page. Awed, as she noticed the letters were written in Celts… This is certainly not the book I dropped here last night, it couldn’t have been…I have never known celts or read it, even worse was the realization that she was able to decipher the words that were obviously not written in English.
…”Mum!”, she yelled as she turned, ready to rush out to Helen’s room…and was it excitement she was feeling or shock? And then, meeting her mother’s gaze with questioning eyes… Helen, who had been standing at the door, observing her daughter closely for a while, had known the exact reaction to expect and so when her daughter looked to her in shock and with a gesture that demanded her attention, she tilted her head as her lips twitched…slightly giving a shrug and… Just then, Annie knew… Her mother had had some knowledge about this whole scene and had been observing her for how long?
“Honey, I know…I should have said something all these years… I thought I could prevent it but some things are most times beyond our control. I was going to…” Annie was lost in thoughts as her mum tried explaining more, she had so many questions that were troubling her. Colleagues at school had been dishing snide comments towards her direction most times. One had sworn that she’d seen silvery sparks in her eyes one time she got excited about a project…The waves that ran through her body when she showed any kind of emotion, the swift movement of objects in her direction and now, this… No, there is certainly a better explanation for all of this…and for some reason, she couldn’t wait to explore, the feeling was riling up within her.
* * *
While Helen sat there watching the excitement on her daughter’s face as she recited incantations that stirred the substances in her potion pot, which she now did with an elegance that made Helen give thanks to the gods for giving her a child like Annie, she was grateful for the drama they averted. She gave thanks too for the full moon that restored the power she was scared of; existing in her household. For now, her daughter felt more alive than she’d ever been; combining substances to form powerful potions that have been known throughout the cities to have no match. Annabel Poticus may have been her grandmother’s incarnate after all.