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The Seeress and the Stone 23
Angelia’s scream echoed throughout the entire house waking everyone. She fought the tangle of covers and tumbled off the bed and to her feet. Everything around her seemed so peaceful, but the nightmare had been so real. She scrambled to the window and stared out at the still dark sky. Her body trembled violently and uncontrollable tears streamed down her face. Her parents came rushing in to see what had happened.
“What’s wrong?” Geralde demanded.
“He is coming,” Angelia answered. Her voice was strangely calm yet she still shook.
“Who’s coming?” her father asked in annoyance.
“The King.” She continued staring out the window, trying to figure out what was wrong. “He is almost here.” She turned to face her parents.
Christiana stared at Angelia with the same strange expression that Angelia didn’t understand.
“What king, Angelia?” Christiana asked.
Something in her mother’s voice brought Angelia back into the present. She looked over and realized that somewhere deep down her mother knew about her abilities and believed. Her face filled with fear and her body slumped against the window seat.
She looked at Christiana and cried, “He’s coming for me.”
Christiana moved to her daughter’s side and put her arms around her. For the first time, Angelia sank into her mother’s arms and sobbed.
Geralde snorted impatiently. “What are you talking about, Angelia? I will not have any nonsense in the house. Do you hear me?”
“Geralde!” Christiana scolded.
“You deal with this Christiana,” he replied. He glared at them both and then without waiting for a response, stormed out of the room.
Angelia stayed in her mother’s arms tears streaming down her cheeks.
Christiana hugged Angelia tighter and said, “I won’t let him take you.”
“You believe me?” she asked warily pulling away from her mother’s embrace. She didn’t trust her mother even though she wanted to.
“Yes, I do,” Christiana replied slowly looking out the window.
“Why now?!” Angelia demanded with her arms folded across her chest.
Christiana sat on the bed thinking. “I can’t fight the truth,” she finally answered.
“The truth of who you are,” Christiana said with a resigned look. She shook her head. “You are just like your grandmother.”
Angelia looked questioningly at her mother. “Why do you say that?”
“You see things that will happen in the future, don’t you?”
Angelia stared at her mother not daring to respond.
“You can tell me. I—I won’t tell your father.”
Angelia nodded still not willing to speak.
Christiana sighed. “I’ve known since the day you returned, but I wasn’t sure and I wasn’t ready to accept. But something in your eyes just now and the look on your face, sparked a memory from long ago. You are like Meria in so many ways.”
“Meria Galashad, your grandmother.”
Angelia looked confused. “Grandfather only spoke of her once. You never talked about her, so I thought she died before you knew her.”
“She died about six months before you were born.”
Angelia waited. She didn’t know what to say, even though she was dying to understand what her mother knew.
Christiana sighed. “Meria was very well known in the city. I once called her a friend.”
“Once? What happened?” Angelia could see her mother struggle.
Christiana shook her head. “There are memories I have chosen to keep locked away for so long because they are too painful.” She shook her head again. “First, you must understand that I loved and adored your grandmother, more than anything.”
Angelia moved slowly toward the bed unsure of what to say or think. She had never felt her mother’s love. To hear her say she loved and adored someone made her curious and angry.
Christiana continued, “Meria was beautiful, graceful, kind, loving, everything I wanted to be. She attended every party and social gathering held in Viecity. Her very presence brought a spirit of fun and excitement to the company. She accepted everyone for who they were and she loved them.
“You look just like her. I guess I have always envied that. I wanted to be like her so much. When I married your father I thought that I could never get any closer, until you were born. When they put you in my arms I knew you would be just like her and I hated you for that. For what she was and what you would be. What I could never be.”
“I don’t understand,” Angelia said slowly.
“Meria was different. She had a gift. She called it her intuition, but it was so much more than that.” She shook her head and continued. “Meria would always say the strangest things. Her eyes would glaze over, like yours do, and she would speak in that same calm voice. She had the same green eyes that you do now.” Christiana paused and then asked, “When did your eyes turn green, Angelia?”
“My sixteenth birthday.”
“I should have realized then, but I didn’t understand until now.” Christiana sighed and continued her narrative. “Everything Meria said happened. She could see things, the future. I believed in her gift until the day she died.” Christiana’s voice held a bitter note.
Angelia stared at her mother. She had never known what happened to her grandmother and she ached to understand.
“Please tell me?” she whispered desperately, not wanting to break the spell that had caused her mother to open up.
Christiana took a deep breath. “There was an accident. Celendar and Meria had come into the city for a small party. We invited them to share the news that I was going to have a baby, you. On their way back to the cottage, something spooked the horses. The carriage broke away from the horses and crashed into the river. Celendar searched and searched for Meria, but never found her. They had to drag him away.”
Tears slid down Christiana’s face. “I was so angry with her for leaving. I adored her and she was gone. At first I blamed myself, because I had invited them. Then I blamed you. You were the reason we had invited them in the first place. When you were born I could see Meria in your tiny face and I hated you. Then as you grew older I hated you because you were so much like her. I became bitter and shut you out. It was inexcusable, but I didn’t care.”
Angelia looked at her mother and sensed the silent barrier between them was now gone.
“Angelia, I’m sorry for what I put you through. I should have been a mother or at least a friend, but instead I was an enemy.” Tears were now streaming down her face.
Angelia reached out a hand to her mother. “You believe me now. That means a lot.”
Christiana clasped her hands and they embraced as mother and daughter for the first time.
Finally Angelia broke away. “You said you believed in her gift until she died, why?”
“Before they left that night, Meria got that strange look in her eyes. She grabbed my hand and said, ‘I am leaving tonight, but I will always be here with you.’ I always thought her gift was genuine. But after that night I stopped believing. When Celendar had his vision on the day you were born, I rejected him too. I wasn’t about to let my heart be broken again. I pushed him away too. I never understood, until now, that Meria was telling the truth.”
“What do you mean?”
“She has always been here, through you.”
“You have the same quiet grace and loving kindness she had, despite what I put you through. And now you have her gift. She was right when she said she would be leaving me, but she has always been here. I was just too blind and bitter to see it. It wasn’t until you came back that I started to realize I had been wrong. When I saw your eyes that afternoon, it was like being slapped in the face. Then the look on your face this morning brought everything home. I realized how foolish I have been for sixteen years. I am so sorry, Angelia. Sorry for the pain I have given you.”
Christiana’s face showed pain and grief that Angelia had never seen before. Angelia put her arms around her mother. Her heart was pounding in her chest.
“It is all past and gone now. I—I forgive you.”
They embraced again.
Christiana stepped back suddenly. “You said the king was coming for you. Why?”
“You really believe me?” Angelia asked hesitantly.
Christiana laughed ruefully, “I cannot doubt anymore, Angelia.”
Relief spread across Angelia’s face, “What grandfather said is true. There is an attack coming. I don’t know what to do. But I know that he is coming for me.”
“Who is this king?”
“The King of the Ennalkai.”
“The Ennalkai? Meria talked about the Ennalkai, but I thought they were ancient history. How can they even exist? I grew up learning that they were a myth.”
“They are very real. They exist in many different ways, but there is no time to explain.” Angelia’s eyes wandered to the windowsill. Despite the fact that the sun should be up, the sky to the northwest was dark.
“I don’t understand, Angelia.” Her mother’s voice brought her back to the present. “How do you know this?”
Angelia stood and began pacing the room as she spoke. “What do you know of Celedand?”
“The explorer? Not much. Only the few things I learned as a child.”
“There is no time for all of the details. Celedand was a Seer like grandfather and now me.”
“When did you become a seeress?” Christiana asked.
“You remember the Awakening Ceremony?”
“Yes. At least I remember going when I was a child.”
“Well, I was chosen. I saw the same attack grandfather did sixteen years ago, but I am different than the others.”
“When I touch my crystal I can see things and not only future things. I see paths. And I can communicate with Ellinsha,” she said slowly.
“Ellinsha. But I thought that was a myth?”
“She is real, Mother. I have spoken with her.”
“I don’t understand, but keep going.”
Angelia pulled out her crystal. “I didn’t realize my connection to Celedand until I spoke with Ellinsha. Celedand Galashad was a seer. He saw things that would happen, but he saw more. He could see the future of those around him, especially when he touched this stone.”
Christiana shook her head in disbelief. “Where did you get this?” she asked, taking the crystal from Angelia.
Angelia looked puzzled, “Grandfather gave it to me.”
“It looks just like the one Meria always wore, but she was wearing hers when she disappeared.”
“Grandfather received this one from his father. He said it had been passed down through the years. It is a stone held by the true Ennalkai.”
“So you are saying you are Ennalkai?”
“Yes. Grandfather is also, but not in the sense of the myth. We aren’t warriors. Ennalkai means chosen seer or in my case seeress.” She looked at the stone and then back to her mother. “Grandmother had a stone like this?”
“Similar. Hers was smaller and clearer, it didn’t have a blue tone to it. She was never without it. She said it kept her company when she was away from her home,” Christiana replied.
Angelia’s thoughts began racing through her mind. Details of her life began to fall into place.
“So why does this King of the Ennalkai want you?” Christiana asked.
“He knows who I am. He has the other half of this stone and I think he uses it to ‘see’ things. He wants Ellinsha and I know where she is.” Angelia stopped for a moment and looked out the window. Dark clouds gathered on the horizon.
“So the whole reason this army is coming to attack us is because of you?”
“Well, mostly because of Ellinsha.”
“What do they need you for?” Christiana’s voice was strained with fear.
Angelia’s voice was solemn. “Of all the living Ennalkai, I am the only one who can speak with Ellinsha.”
“I am a descendant of Celedand.”
“But why only you? What about Celendar? He’s seen the future. He has the gift.”
“I don’t know, Mother. All I know is Ellinsha needs me. I have the gift, but it is different. There is more that I don’t completely understand. I only know that am the only one who can help her and the King knows that. Somehow he knows I can speak to her. He wants Ellinsha and her power, so he can conquer any people. And he knows I am the only one who can take him to her.”
Christiana sank back into the pillows. “How do you know all of this?”
Angelia’s face became solemn. She bit her lip wondering if it would be too much to share. She decided she had nothing to lose by telling her mother everything.
“For many months I have seen his coming in dreams, dreams so real that I wake in a cold sweat screaming with fright. We are connected somehow. I wish I understood completely, but I don’t.”
Christiana walked over and put her arm around her daughter. “I don’t understand everything, but I am trying to believe you.”
“Most of the history I learned from Grandfather. The things I have not seen, Ellinsha has told me.”
The crystal pulsed hot in her hand and was turning a dark bluish red color. A scene rushed upon Angelia’s mind. She jumped to her feet with a gasp. The crystal fell to the floor underneath the bed.