He paces back and forth, agitation radiating from him as he waits for word from the healers that have been working for hours trying to awaken his wife. How long had she been unconscious now? He glances up to the clock in the main room and grimaces. Twelve hours and four healers with no improvement gave him little hope to hold onto that she would survive.
Unable to bear it any longer, he steps into the bedroom and around the healers, sitting on the edge of the bed next to his wife. Her hand is cold as ice, and he presses his lips to her forehead. Her hands become noticeably colder, and her eyes suddenly open. She gasps for breath as though she’d been underwater for the time, and when she looks to her husband he sees immediately that the irises of her eyes have gone the deepest black.
“My love?” he asks, knowing now that the cold of her hands was caused by her practicing of the Dark Arts.
“I saw her,” she states, her voice soft but strong and sure.
“We both did, my love. Then you collapsed.”
She pushes herself up, her eyes nearly level with his as she sits beside him. “No…not like that. I saw her…talked to her.” Tears form in her eyes and she smiles. “I hugged her.” She quickly pushes the emotions down and stands up. “We have to find her. Her powers are awakening, and in so doing attention is being drawn to her. She needs us.”
He had long ago learned to trust in her visions and insight. He rises to his feet with her, nodding his agreement as he takes her hand in his. “Let’s go.”
Moyra steps into the city library, a hint of a smile touching her lips at the familiar smell of old books. The lunch with her friend Rachel had not gone well; the reaction she received when she shared her dream had her then wandering the city streets for what felt like hours until she’d seen the library. It had always been like a second home to her considering how much time she spent here during the summers reading.
This time, however, is different.
Moyra settles behind the reference computer and completes her search with just a few keystrokes. She quickly scribbles down a couple of titles on the small paper scraps they provide, and nearly as fast she’s sitting at a table with the selected books.
Her finger traces the title lettering on the first text. Witchcraft and Black Magic. With a trembling hand she opens the cover. She begins skimming pages, but pushes it away. A historical text had not been her target. She moves on to the next one, finding it to be much the same. With growing frustration she opens a third and finds it to be only marginally more helpful.
Halfway through the first chapter she pauses and stares down at her right hand while the words her mother had spoken to her echo in her head. “The dark forces and shadows are nothing to dabble in lightly.” She rubs the fingers of her hand together while questions crowd her mind. Dark forces…is that the same as black magic? Is it evil? If that side was dark, was the light from the other hand white magic?
Moyra looks to her other hand, turning it palm up, but no amount of concentration is able to recreate what had happened in her dream. She sighs in defeat and gets to her feet. After a slight hesitation, she picks up the third book to take with her.
An feeling of unease settles on her as she reaches the top of the stairs, and she’s able to overhear a man speaking to the librarian. “Could you possibly tell me who used that computer last?” His eyes are sharp, intelligent. He appears to be very average in all other aspects, and she imagines he would blend very easily into any crowd and go unnoticed. Despite his casual clothing, he seems to be uncomfortable…almost as if he isn’t accustomed to the fit of the average Levi’s.
Moyra’s feeling quickly switches to dread as she realizes he’s speaking of the search computer she’d used and that she hadn’t closed out her search when she had gone into the basement. She waits, as yet unnoticed by either person, and when the librarian walks over to the computer in question, Moyra slides the book in her hand across the small platform at the checkout to demagnetize the strip hidden in the spine. As she’s stepping out the door, she’s able to hear the librarian. “It was a young woman—long black hair…”