Beginnings

I’m back! Sorry for the long absence! My brief hiatus went on a bit longer than I had intended, but I’m about ready to start back up again. I’ll have a full-length chapter up on June 1st, but I’ve got a little prologue to share with you until then. Or maybe more accurately, Epilogue Part 2. Enjoy!

 

* * * * *

Molly turned the battered notebook over in her hands and tried to think of something to say. Fighting a sudden apprehension, she turned the first few pages.

“It was your grandmother’s,” Dad said after a long silence. Like it wasn’t obvious. “I found it in some of her old things. She’d gone to some trouble to hide it, but I think… I think she may have wanted you to find it.”

Molly glanced up sharply. It was clear what the journal was about—Evelyn’s account of how her powers developed. It didn’t look quite as battered, and the penmanship was cleaner. Neat and premeditated, where her grandfather’s had been erratic, speculative, and riddled with shorthand. Matthew’s notes had been for himself. Evelyn seemed to be writing for someone else. Molly realized suddenly she had been reading without actually absorbing any words. Maybe she wasn’t ready for them.

Dad was still watching her, looking as nervous as she felt. Molly knew that he hadn’t just stumbled across the journal. If Evelyn had been half as careful as Matthew in hiding that book,  he’d have had to have been searching for it.

Molly cleared her throat. “So did you know? Did you know she had…that she was…different? Like me?”

He let out a heavy sigh. “Yes,” he said.

Molly sank to a barstool. “Why didn’t you tell me?”

“That… that’s complicated,” he said. “The short story is that she asked me not to. For your sake. She wanted you to have a chance at a normal life. I guess she was hoping you wouldn’t have powers. Your mom didn’t. And by the time yours developed, she’d broken contact with us. And if I’m honest, I don’t know if I would have reached out to her if I could. After what happened with your mother—”

“Wait, wait,” Molly said. “What do you mean, broken contact? I thought she died before I was born.”

“That’s what I’m trying to tell you, M,” her dad said. “She’s not dead. She’s out there somewhere, in hiding. I was hoping I could find some clue in the old house.”

She’s not dead. The words echoed in Molly’s head. She’s not dead. And a smaller, quiet voice: She’s Avalon. Molly shoved it down.

“That’s why we moved here,” Molly said. “So you could track down my grandmother.” She laid a hand on the notebook, not sure if she wanted to pick it up or hurl it cross the room. “My grandmother who faked her death and has superpowers.” A nervous laugh broke the last word. “Does Clarissa know about this?”

He sighed. “No. And we can’t tell her.”

“Really? What happened to ‘no more secrets?’”

“I’m afraid I don’t have a choice this time,” he said. “Your grandmother’s in hiding for a reason. If she were exposed, even accidentally— I shouldn’t even be telling you about this. But as much as I dislike her, she might be the only person who knows what you’re going through. Who can help you control it.”

Molly thought of  what had happened at the dam, how close she’d come to losing control. But Aaron was there. Aaron saved me. She didn’t need some old woman to come in and lecture her. Especially if that woman was…

Still. One thing she did want was answers. She reached down and picked up her backpack from the floor. “Then there’s something I need to show you, too,” she said. She slid Matthew’s journal from the front pocket of her bag, and set it on the counter with a shrug.

“I found something, too.”

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