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He Thought He Saw – Part 58

He Thought He Saw redNot only has Brian had a crash course in telekinesis, Jordan has been taking lessons too. She and the other women prepared a special meal to help protect them and boost their powers.

“This is delicious,” Brian said after taking a bite of the bread.

Jordan blushed, ducking her head.

Jackie patted her daughter’s hand. “You did well. Now, to tell you about the meal. The bread is infused with herbs that will help in healing and protection. The apples contain cinnamon, cloves, allspice and ginger. All these help with healing and protection as well. Maribelle, tell them about the rice.”

“I added saffron, three different peppers—red, black and white. Also, turmeric, cumin, fennel and a little ginger. These herbs add to strength and mental energy as well as helping to augment your psychic powers.”

The other dishes on the table each had specific combinations of herbs and spices that would aid and protect them. Brian found all the food delicious,though he really missed the fact that there was no meat. He was glad his family hadn’t adhered to vegetarianism.

“Why do we need all this, Mom?” Jordan asked.

“We are preparing our bodies for what’s to come,” Jackie replied. “Maribelle and I sense that something is going to happen soon. We need to be ready. Tomorrow, Maribelle and Brian will go back home. We’ve selfishly kept them here long enough.”

“Do you think that’s safe, Mom? If something bad is coming, shouldn’t they be with us?”

“Sweetheart, we can’t rely on Brian and Maribelle to be our backbone.”

“I can’t sleep in my room, Mom. After the frost, I’m terrified.”

“Then you’ll take what you need and move into the guest room,” her mother replied. “We can’t keep them from home any longer.”

Jordan’s mouth snapped shut and she looked as if she were going to cry. Brian wondered why the sudden change. He’d been under the impression Heath wanted them to continue living there more or less indefinitely. Was it because Jackie knew Miles was home? Or had she figured out what was going on between Brian and Jordan? Not that it had been much, but if Maribelle hadn’t walked in, would it have progressed? Brian didn’t know and he didn’t want to find out—not here, not under these circumstances. He glanced at Jackie and he knew that she’d seen enough to be worried. He smiled, letting reassurance flow from his gaze.

Nothing happened. Don’t worry.

To his surprise, she smiled, the worry gone. Had he actually communicated telepathically? He was shocked.

“If Jordan’s afraid, she can trade places with me,” Maribelle offered. “I don’t mind.”

“That sounds like an excellent plan,” Jackie agreed.

Brian stuffed his mouth full so he wouldn’t have to comment. Jordan, very pointedly, stared at her plate, fiddling with her food.

Once dinner was over and clean up complete, the teenagers and Zofia went to the basement to watch TV and play pool. The women stationed themselves in the living room to watch their favorite shows. Heath parked himself in the den with a cold beer. Brian told Jordan what he’d done with the pool balls earlier. He demonstrated and let her try. She did really well.

“I had to chop up the herbs and onions with my powers,” she told him. “Ever tried to use a chef’s knife and not use your hands?”

“No, but I bet you rocked it,” Brian said sincerely. “You can do anything you want, Jordan.”

“Except math,” she sneered.

“Well, Algebra won’t help you slay demons, will it?”

“I was thinking of hurling equations at them and attacking while they tried to muddle through them.”

Brian laughed. “That might work.”

“Interesting how our parents managed to keep us apart tonight? Do they think we’re going to do something bad?”

“Not bad, maybe naughty,” Brian corrected.

“Explain the difference.”

“Well, if we are going to be married, us being together wouldn’t be bad, but it would be naughty.”

“Marriage is way in the future, Brian. I can’t even think past school on Monday.”

“I know. Would it be so terrible, being married to me?”

“No. I think it would be great. Of all the guys I’ve known, you’re the only one who really gets me. It’s just the idea….”

“That we were destined for each other. We had no choice.”

“Exactly! See what I mean?”

© 2016 Dellani Oakes

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He Thought He Saw – Part 57

He Thought He Saw redOnce they get back to Jordan’s house, she’s taken to the kitchen to help her mother prepare dinner. Heath takes Brian to play pool in order to practice his skills.

“My only daughter is your future mate,” Heath said quietly, his teeth clenched. “You need to be able to protect her. Now, let’s take this seriously and try again.”

Brian didn’t flinch away from Heath’s anger, but he was somewhat intimidated. “I’m sorry,” he said quietly. “You’re right.”

He leaned over once more, going through the steps Heath had told him. Closing his eyes, he visualized the other ball, seeing the cue ball as an extension of the stick. His arm cocked back and he hit the cue ball in just the right spot. The balls scattered to the pockets, nearly all of them going in. Three were left, spinning on the felt.

“Not bad.” Heath sounded quite impressed, though he didn’t allow himself to fully show it. “Let’s do it again.” He didn’t move toward the rack.

When Brian did, Heath grabbed his sleeve. “Without touching the balls.” He stared at one pocket of the table.

Two balls slowly rose from the pocket and lay on the table. One by one, he raised the balls.

“Now, put them in numerical order.” He leaned back, hands on top of his cue.

Brian concentrated on the balls, lining them up in number order. Heath said nothing, waiting. Brian realized he’d just put them in number order, not laid them out in a triangle. He did it again, this time aligning them correctly. Heath smiled.

“Break again.”

They went through the exercise until Brian was panting from the effort. He’d never realized that moving things with his mind could be so exhausting. After about an hour, Heath called a break. They sat down with a soda and talked about what they’d been doing. Heath gave Brian pointers for how to do what he did without using so much energy.

“You couldn’t tell me that to start with?” Brian laughed, sipping his drink.

“You wouldn’t have understood what I was talking about. You have to do it the hard way first. I will say this, you did better than I did the first time. I hit the cue ball so hard, it cracked and the pieces went flying around the room. See this?” He pointed to a scar below his right eye. “One of them got me.”

“Really?”

“Would I lie?” He winked.

Brian knew he’d told him the truth. He couldn’t have explained how he knew, but he was certain.

“Dinner!” Jordan called from upstairs.

Putting their cues back on the rack, Heath and Brian went upstairs.

“Smells delicious,” Heath said.

“I think I just started to drool,” Brian commented. “I smell fresh bread!”

The men went to the sink to wash their hands before sitting at the kitchen table.

Jordan blushed. “Thank you. Mom and Maribelle made most of the meal, but I made the bread.”

“Really? I love fresh bread,” Brian commented.

Jordan passed a basket of thick, steaming slices around the table. Brian held his a moment, inhaling deeply. In addition to the yeasty scent, he detected a variety of herbs.

“This is great! I smell garlic, onions,” he sniffed again. “This smells familiar. I know those herbs, but can’t place them all.”

Jordan smiled proudly. “You detect parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme in addition to the garlic and onions. There’s a dash of pepper and I also used barley for part of the flour.”

“Wow!” He nibbled a corner of the bread, earning himself a scolding by his mother and Jackie for eating before blessing. “That’s amazing. I could eat just bread for dinner.”

“But you won’t,” Jackie chastised. “This meal has very specific properties, which I’ll tell you after blessing. Heath, would you do the honors?”

“I ask blessings on those present. For those absent in body, but still in our hearts. I ask that the food we’re about to eat nourish our bodies and minds and strengthen us.”

Brian thought of his father alone in an empty house. He hoped he was having success with the wards. If Mr. D. had been able to get in once, would he be able to do so again? Was his father safe?

Heath, who sat at the head of the table to Brian’s right, touched the boy’s hand. Their eyes met. Heath’s gaze filled Brian with reassurance. This new form of communication was going to take getting used to. Brian didn’t know how closely the adults could examine their thoughts, or how much Jordan could get from him. It could prove embarrassing if either of her parents saw what they’d been doing when Maribelle caught them.

© 2016 Dellani Oakes 

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He Thought He Saw – Part 56

He Thought He Saw redBrian’s had a bad day, seeing and hearing things that aren’t there. It’s very disconcerting and he’s very glad when school is finally over.

By the end of school, Brian was edgy and ready to go home. He smiled with relief when he saw Jordan at her locker and practically ran up to her.

“God, it’s been a day!” he said.

“Me too. I kept seeing weird shit,” Jordan said. “No one looked right. And there were shadows….”

“Like right here?” Brian waved his hands in the furthest reaches of his peripheral vision.

“Yes! I’m so glad it’s not just me. I thought I was going crazy! Not that it really should make me feel any better. It’s like all the shadows were gathering, preparing for… something.”

Brian shuddered. That was exactly what he’d felt. Having her say it somehow made it seem all too real.

Heath picked them up and took them back to their house. He tried to make it seem like any other day, but both the kids knew differently. He made small talk until Jordan stopped him. She and Brian described what they had been experiencing all day.

“Us too,” he said quietly. “Even Maribelle, as bad as her vision is, saw things. In fact, I think she saw more detail. It was as if the less we focused on it, the more we saw.”

“What do you think is going to happen,” Jordan asked.

“I don’t know, honey. But whatever it is, I think it’s going to be soon.”

Brian and Jordan spent a couple hours trying to do their homework, but neither of them could concentrate. They walked into the kitchen, looking for their parents, and found the three of them at the table.

“Hey, honey. Want to help Maribelle and me fix dinner?” Jackie asked.

“Sure! The men can bond over a game of pool or something,” Jordan said, going to the sink to wash her hands.

Brian and Heath looked at one another, resigned smiles on their faces.

“We know when we’re not wanted,” Heath said, trying to sound huffy. “We’ll find something to do.”

“Maybe we should knock out that wall you were talking about,” Brian said. “You know, the one in the basement?”

“Sounds like a great plan,” Heath said.

“No wall knocking allowed!” Jackie called after them, laughing. “No do-it-yourself anything!”

They trotted downstairs to the game room. A pool table and TV with game consoles took up most of the space. The laundry room was to the left and a closed door to the right.

“You like pool?” Heath asked Brian.

“Yeah.”

“How about a game?”

“Sounds good.”

Heath uncovered the table and racked the balls. Brian chose his cue, chalking the tip. They flipped a coin to see who would break. Brian won. As he leaned over to line up his shot, Heath stopped him.

“This is a good way to practice,” he said calmly.

“To practice what?”

“Your abilities. They need exercise in order to get stronger. You also need to get used to them. Focus on the front ball. As you draw back the cue, imagine it hitting the others in just the right spot to separate the balls. Can you do that?”

“I can try,” Brian said, leaning over once more. He aimed at the ball, concentrating on it. He hit the cue a little low. It nearly jumped off the table. “Dammit!”

Heath smiled, picking up the ball. “Try it again. This time, divide your attention between the cue and the other ball. You know where to hit it to get it to go where you want. Try again.”

Brian did. It was better, but not as good as it might have been.

“Again.” Heath racked the balls once more. “And this time, don’t hold your breath.”

“Could have told me that already,” Brian muttered.

“And spoil the fun? Just do what I tell you. Divide your attention, aim and breathe. Quit trying to make it hard.”

“Quit distracting me.”

Brian aimed again. Heath’s cue stick rapped his knuckles, commanding Brian’s attention. The smile was gone. His dark eyes were angry, frustrated.

© 2016 Dellani Oakes 

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He Thought He Saw – Part 55

He Thought He Saw redWith school the following day, Brian needs to sleep, but he can’t seem to find peace to do it. With the tape recorder in his room, he’s somewhat apprehensive.

Tossing and turning, he finally settled down and closed his eyes. He was aware of the recorder and that kept him awake for some time. Finally, he dropped off. Immediately, his mind was filled with horrific, nightmare images. He saw flames, explosions, blood and devastation. A big, black, nebulous something lurked in the shadows. He couldn’t see it clearly, but he tried to make himself describe it. Speaking in his dream, he hoped he would speak aloud as well.

The creature grew fangs, that lengthened and dripped poisonous looking green goo from them. Brian shuddered, cringing away from it. A large, warm body cuddled up next to him. He didn’t know what it was, but in his sleep, he clung to the warmth, holding it close.

The black thing lunged at him, attacking with claws and fangs. The teeth ripped into him. Brian screamed, but no sound came out. He woke in a sweat to find Zofia lying next to him. Her big head was on his shoulder and he held tightly to her collar. Before he forgot the images, he spoke aloud, describing what he’d seen.

“I don’t know what this all means,” he concluded. “But I have the impression that something really bad is coming soon. We need to be prepared.”

Brian fell asleep once more, this time without dreams. The images still haunted him and he felt the shadow lurking at the edges of his perception. Zofia lay beside him, warm, huge and comforting.

Heath drove Brian and Jordan to school. Brian told them what he could remember of his dream and warned them to be ready for anything. As he dropped them off, Heath cautioned them for the third time.

“Be careful today. Look out for each other. If you have any problems, look for Mrs. Finely. She’s the school counselor.”

“We know who she is, Dad. Don’t worry. It’s fine.”

“Take this salt and cumin. Sprinkle it wherever you go. Don’t take chances, Pumpkin. I love you.”

“I know, Dad. But if you call me pumpkin again, I’m seriously gonna have to kick your ass.” She kissed her father’s nose and hopped out of the car.

“Keep an eye on her today,” Heath asked Brian. “I don’t think she’s taking this seriously.”

Brian, who had some insight into Jordan’s emotions, didn’t say anything. He thought she did take it very seriously and the casual attitude was her way of coping with something that terrified her.

“I’ll watch out for her. Don’t worry. We’ll be fine.”

“Remember, sprinkle that salt and cumin around….”

“Heath, we got it, okay? I seriously have to go. I’m gonna be late.”

“Go! Be safe!” He watched the two teenagers meet and walk in the school together.

Horns honked behind him. Waving out the window, he pulled out and drove away, feeling that something loomed on the horizon. He only wished he knew what it was.

The first half of the day went well. At lunch time, Brian made a point to find Chase and Marissa. Along with Jordan, he told them what had happened over the last few days.

Marissa clung to Chase’s arm, her blue eyes wide with fear. “Do you think that he’ll try anything here—at school?”

“Probably not,” Jordan assured her, though she wasn’t really that confident that Deidrich wouldn’t attempt something during the day.

“We don’t think so. But if you get in trouble, text Chase’s mom and then the rest of us,” Brian instructed. “It will be okay, Marissa. Just be strong.”

“I have my faith to protect me,” she replied piously.

Jordan, who was feeling snarky, patted her hand. “Sure, you keep on believing that when the big baddie is breathing down your neck.”

Brian gave her a dirty look. “What Jordan means is that your skills will protect you more—just as much. Oh, hell. Marissa, just remember what you’ve learned. You’ll be okay.”

“I haven’t learned anything,” she protested. “My parents never taught me that—stuff! They said I didn’t need it, that my faith in God would be enough.”

“Well, they were wrong,” Brian said, trying not to be mean. “Pray all you want, it won’t faze Mr. D. Stick close to one of us, we’ll protect you.”

As they went to class after lunch, Brian didn’t feel quite right. The atmosphere in the school seemed charged. His skin tingled and he kept seeing things in the corner of his eye. When he turned to look, there was nothing there. Peoples’ faces didn’t look right. They were all distorted, grimacing. He constantly heard whispering, but no one was speaking. The voices spoke in another language. Covering his ears didn’t help. The sounds were actually louder because he blocked out everything else.

© 2016 Dellani Oakes 

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He Thought He Saw – Part 54

He Thought He Saw redBrian gets an additional shock when he finds out that his father has kept in touch with his mother while he’s been gone.

“She’s known where you were the whole time? And she didn’t tell me? How could you keep this from me?”

“It had to be this way,” Miles took his son’s face between his hands. “You’re in a very precarious position. If you knew too much, they would sense that. Remember the magic tricks I taught you as a kid?”

“Yeah. So?”

“Slight of hand and misdirection. As long as I can keep the focus on me, they don’t look at you too closely. But you damn near blew it when you challenged Mr. D. He’ll be back and this time, he’ll bring friends. Zofia is going with you. She’ll protect you. I’ll keep Janus with me.”

Miles embraced his son, holding him close. “You be careful. Do what you’re told and don’t go running off trying to be a hero.”

“Yes, sir.”

Miles hugged Jordan. “You’re his other half. Stay close. Each of you is stronger when you’re together and far weaker when you’re apart. And for God’s sake, don’t try to take on Mr. D. without help. Is that clear?”

Jordan’s gaze met his. “Yes, completely.”

“Good.” He hugged his son again. “I love you, Brian. Know that, remember it, believe it.”

“I do, Dad. I love you too.”

Heath pulled Miles into an embrace.”Be careful yourself, my old friend. Janus!” The dog barked sharply. “You watch over him, you hear me?”

The dog’s answering bark sounded a lot like yes. The dogs licked one another, almost like a kiss. Zofia went with Brian and Janus stayed with his father.

“He’ll be okay, won’t he?” Brian asked Heath as they drove away.

“Your dad is a survivor. He’ll be fine. At least he’s inside his own home. He’s safer there than anywhere else.”

“What did he mean about wards?”

“Wards are protective spells,” Jordan answered. “See, I do know something. They can be made from stones and metal, like the amulet you wear. Or different plants, like the charms Mr. Finley gave us. You can also use herbs and spells or a combination of all of them.”

“You were paying attention today,” her father remarked, proudly. “Did you recognize the twigs that Miles had woven in his hair?”

“Hawthorn and Rowan,” she replied with confidence. “And I noticed there are Hawthorn, Rowan and Ivy around the house. Just like Chase’s house.”

“And ours. I’m surprised you hadn’t noticed.”

“They’re covered with snow,” she replied. “Cut me a little slack, Dad. I didn’t know their significance until today.”

“You’re forgiven.”

They got back to Jordan’s house to find the women fixing dinner. Music was playing and they sang and danced as they moved around the kitchen. Brian didn’t recognize the band, but Heath did. He joined in, twirling the women under his arms as they danced around. Neither seemed the slightest bit perturbed that a huge dog had joined them. She yipped and skipped as the women danced.

Brian finally got a good look at his mother’s eyes. They looked better, clearer. The haziness was almost gone and the clarity of her gaze was returning. She smiled at him, patting his cheek.

“You’re still fuzzy, but you’re coming back into focus. Thanks to Heath and Jackie, I’m getting better.”

“Oh, Mom!” He hugged her, sobbing with joy.

Maribelle buried her face in his shirt, crying softly. They stayed like that a few minutes until Maribelle pulled away, wiping her eyes on the corner of her apron.

“If I keep that up, I’ll wash away all Jackie’s hard work.” She sniffled.

“Nonsense,” Jackie said, sniffling herself. “Tears are good for you. Now, if you will excuse us, we’ve got a meal to fix. Jordan, want to help?”

They had a great dinner and went to bed early. Brian and Jordan didn’t know what they might face at school the following day. Heath had set up the recording device. Brian wasn’t sure he liked the idea of someone being able to hear what he mumbled in his sleep, but he knew it was important for them to know what they were up against. If this could give them an edge, then he had to man up and get over it.

© 2016 Dellani Oakes 

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He Thought He Saw – Part 53

He Thought He Saw redThe teens find out more about themselves and about their parents. Jordan scoffs that it’s like Last Air Bender, only to have her father say that it’s very much like that.

“My mind is officially boggled,” Jordan said, holding her forehead. “This is like something out of a weird paranormal novel. I still don’t know what I am.”

“You’re another one like Miles, a combo,” Heath explained. “You’re a Caster, like your mom, but you have my Receiver abilities as well. You have no idea how powerful that makes you. You and Brian together will make an amazing team.”

“I just wish you were older,” Miles said. “A marriage bond always strengthens the gifts.”

“What?” Jordan held up her hands like stop signs. “Marriage? We’re fifteen.”

“We all knew at fifteen who we were destined to marry,” Heath replied. “I knew your mom was going to be my wife before I even knew her name. Miles and Maribelle grew up together. From the time they were toddlers, their parents saw they would be together. It’s like that for us. We find one another. Think of it as your soul mate.”

Brian and Jordan looked at one another, frowning.

“So, you’re saying I’m gonna end up married to this goon?”

Miles and Heath laughed loudly.

“Yes, honey. I’m sorry. This goon is my future son-in-law,” Heath teased.

“I’m sitting right here, you know,” Brian said, his tone disdainful. “Who says I want to marry Jordan anyhow? She hits me with pillows.”

“Better than her fists,” Heath said. “Don’t worry. That’s a few years down the line.”

“Of more immediate worry is what do we do about Mr. D.?” Miles changed the subject abruptly. “He’s decidedly on the offensive and he’s getting stronger. The last time I fought him, I almost didn’t succeed. If the dogs hadn’t helped me, he would have killed me. As it was, I was so drained afterward, I almost died. That was right after Maribelle lost her sight.”

“Can anything be done for her?” Brian asked.

“I’ve been working with her since we got here,” Heath said. “I imagine she and Jackie are working on that right now. She’s improving daily. But she may never have her whole eyesight back.”

“Some is better than none,” Miles said, sighing heavily. “I blame myself.”

“It’s not your fault. You all knew the risks.”

“I thought I could control it….”

“No use getting upset about it again,” Heath said rather sternly. “It’s done and over. Nothing can change it. What we need to do is make some plans. The kids will have to go back to school tomorrow and they will be vulnerable there.”

“Why?” Brian asked.

“It’s a public place. Anyone can go there. Unlike a private residence, no one has authority over it. You can bind evil and cast it from your home or a privately owned business. You can’t do that with public property like schools and city buildings.”

“We’ll figure something out. Dora Finley works there. She’ll be able to keep an eye on them.”

“Meanwhile, I think we need to get back to the house,” Heath said, glancing at his watch. “The women will be worried. You coming?” he asked Miles.

Brian’s father shook his head. “No. I’ll be fine here. Keep Maribelle and Brian with you another night. I have to ward the house. They got broken somehow. I still haven’t figured it out.”

“There was that bear,” Brian said. “Could it have caused some trouble?”

“A bear?” His father looked and sounded puzzled.

“Yeah, a few nights ago when it started turning cold. We had a bear break in through the back door. It didn’t get in the house, but it made a mess.”

“That wasn’t a bear,” Miles said. “That was Mr. D. He can use animals as an avatar. But that still doesn’t explain how he could breach the wards unless there was a hole for some other reason. I’ll have to see what I can find. Meanwhile, you all go back over to Heath’s.”

“I want to stay here with you,” Brian begged his father. “I have so many questions and I haven’t seen you in ages. Does Mom know you’re here?”

Miles shook his head. “I want to keep it that way for now. She’s very vulnerable at the moment. She needs to be around Heath and Jackie so she can get back her sight. She’s got to concentrate on that.”

“Dad, she’d want to know you were here and okay.”

“She knows,” he replied. “Your mom and I don’t have to be together to talk. We’re always in contact with one another.”

© 2016 Dellani Oakes

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He Thought He Saw – Part 52

He Thought He Saw redBrian is stunned to find out that his father is home. When he asks where Miles has been, he discovers his dad has been fighting Deidrich, whom he cautions them to refer to as Mr. D.

“Yeah,” Brian said. “So, it’s extra bad.”

“Bad to the nth degree,” Miles replied. “Doesn’t begin to describe it.”

“I saw you fight him,” Brian said shyly. “When I was holding Lester, I saw you.”

That took a little explaining. Between him and Heath, they gave his father the details.

“That was a few weeks after your birthday,” Miles explained. “If it hadn’t been for those two,” he pointed to the dogs. “It would have been a totally different story. They saved my bacon more than once over the last few months.”

“You need to tell him about Maribelle, Miles,” Heath said.

Miles bit his lip, turning his head away. Tears formed in his eyes and he wiped at them angrily. “She was helping me and it went bad. It blew up in our faces.”

“What did?”

“A spell. She was casting it with the help of the Finleys and me. We should never have tried it without the others, but we had no choice. There wasn’t time to get everyone here for a full circle. So we tried it and we lost control. Maribelle got the brunt of the backlash.”

“Why didn’t you tell me any of this? I could have helped.”

“Your gifts were just waking. It was far too dangerous. Had we involved you in that spell, instead of Maribelle going blind, you could have been killed. You’re too important, Brian. We can’t risk you.”

“We don’t want to risk any of you,” Heath added hastily.

“Why’s Brian so special?” Jordan sounded offended by Miles’ comment.

“He’s a Dreamer,” Miles said, as if that explained it all.

“So?” Jordan replied.

“Once every hundred years, a Dreamer is born. They have visions, premonitions, prophetic dreams—whatever you want to call them. They know and see things that no one else can even hope to perceive. They are powerful and dangerous if they aren’t controlled. And more precious than any treasure. Not to belittle anyone else, because we’re all important and unique, but Dreamers…..” His voice faded away and a distant look came to his eyes.

“I didn’t want this for you, son. I would never have wished any of this on anyone. But it was inevitable, I suppose, given that the last Dreamer was Edgar Cayce, my distant kin. It’s in the family line. Most of the Dreamers in the last thousand years, have come from this line.”

“What can I do besides dream?” Brian asked.

The men exchanged another enigmatic look. Heath took up the narrative.

“Because of your mother, you have other powers. You’re not only a Dreamer, you’re a Caster.”

Jordan held up her hand, waving it for attention. “Whoa. I’m lost. Pretend for a second we don’t know any of this. Cause—we don’t. Caster? Dreamer?” She shook her head, holding her hands out, asking for information.

Heath sighed. “There are three basic categories of skills—Caster, Receiver and Charmer. The Caster, like the name suggests, casts spells. The Receiver channels energy from the elements, feeding it to others and using it to heal. A Charmer makes and casts charms and wards. There are different combinations of skills here. One person might be dominant in fire energy, another in earth, air or water. Just depends on when you were born and what your parents can do. The skills are genetic, to a degree, although two fire wielders can give birth to a water wielder.”

“You know this is all very Avatar, the Last Air Bender,” Jordan said, her sarcastic tone returning.

“That’s because they based a lot of their elemental magic on real skills. A Caster usually has two elements they manipulate well. Sometimes they are compatible energies, sometimes they are complete opposites—like fire and water.”

“Those people are the strongest,” Miles interjected excitedly. “Your mothers can both handle opposite elements. Jackie is earth and wind. Maribelle is fire and water. Really powerful Casters can manipulate them all to a degree, but generally can’t master more than two.”

“So, Brian has Caster blood in him as well as being a Dreamer?” Jordan looked puzzled. “What about me?”

“I’m a Receiver, pure and simple,” her father replied. “Miles is another unusual combination. He’s a Caster who is also a Charmer.”

“Don’t let Heath fool you,” Miles said with a grin. “He isn’t just a Receiver. He’s the most powerful one I know. He’s also a healer. That’s usually a companion skill to Receiving. They can channel energy from the environment into a person to heal them.”

© 2016 Dellani Oakes 

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