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The Magnolia medallion
My head was about to explode and everything around me was spinning. The last thing I remember is floating, watching how everything faded.
-Breath! Oh, please, breath!
It all seemed to me like blurred mingled words, which had lost all their meaning. I was slowly trying to empty my mind. I opened my eyes. I tried to get up, but I realized I couldn’t. Just so incredibly drained I was. The first face I saw, as I opened my eyes, was Anna’s.
-You’re alive! I can’t believe it! She cried while hugging me. I thought you were dead!
This is how it seemed to me too, I thought. She helped me get up, practically doing all my feet’s work. I was so exhausted that even my eyes hurt when they met the sunlight.
-H*ll, it happened again. I said more to myself.
Chapter one-Introducing me
Hi, my name is Vera. I’m in 9th grade and I seem to be a rather usual teenager. But there is more about me than meets the eye. I guess anyone would remember my red hair and my green eyes, but not anyone would want to remember me. Take almost everyone’s word on that. Well, I used to be a boring superficial teenager myself, but since last year the Dream arose and it all has changed. And also since then I’ve been having this weird dizziness, often followed by fainting. These creepy symptoms are as much a mystery to me as to all the doctors I’ve been to. Every time I faint, I see everything fading, and I breath much more rarely, looking almost dead. This little “details” of my life manage to scare the h*ll out of my friends.
Now, while you deal with all this mixed up information about me, I should explain a little more. I would like to tell you about the Dream. I guess you will probably think “So what? We all dream”, but this is no ordinary dream. Since December I dreamt it every month, whenever it’s new moon. When the sun is about to rise I suddenly get cold and I wake up, but all I can see around me is black. No room, no things, nothing, black nothing. From nowhere, but anywhere a horrifying, probably woman’s, voice whispers slowly, allowing every word to echo inside my mind “Find the magnolia and it will lead you were you need ”. A feeling of loneliness takes over me and all the black around me fades away. Next thing I know, I wake up, screaming, near my bed.
But all that ended last year. It all ended and ended up changing us all.
Chapter 2-Life will never be the same
Next morning I woke up with an awful headache. I had to get ready for school, which, in my language, requires a lot of time. While I was eating something that vaguely looked like breakfast, I was thinking about clothes .As you’ll discover, I always think of clothes, even when I do it unconsciously, is still there, in the back of my mind.
-I’m thinking something mature, at the verge of blending in, with a great jacket on and high heels.
-What are you talking about? Asked mom calmly.
-Nothing, I was just having this little me to me talk outside my head. Sorry mom, and don’t worry, I am not crazy, I just seem to be.
-Good then, go have that very important looking talk while you get dressed, or you will miss school today.
I ran upstairs and started to look for the clothes I wanted. My outfit looked good, enough conservative and outside the box, at the same time, just perfect so anyone will stare, but not dare to bother me.
-Mom, I’m late, can I take the car? Pretty pretty please?
-Sure, the keys are on the kitchen table.
“I must have caught mom in a great mood”, I thought to myself, “usually there is at least a small fight and a small safety on the road talk, but today nothing”. I left for Anna’s quickly, before she reconsiders letting me take the car.
“How much I love this car”, I thought while waiting for Anna. Well, actually, this car was really everything I could have asked for. It was vintage, white, with 4 places, just enough for my friends.
-Your mom really gave you the car? Asked Anna while opening the door.
-If we aren’t both crazy, and this isn’t an imaginary car, then the obviously answer is yes.
-Enough with the little you being sarcastic talk. I was actually having a hard time imagining Leila getting over the “not safe driving while you keep fainting for no apparent reason thing”.
-Well, I don’t know what got into my mother today, but I’m not complaining, and neither should you, since I’m driving you to school. i tried explaining her
-Yeah, yeah, drive or we’ll be late.
We got there even earlier than ever. We waited a little for Bella and Aly to come .
-What’s with you two so early here? asked Bella
-I have no idea, I thought we were going to be late again…I said.
-Oh no, not again… said Aly.
-What is happening again? Asked Anna.
-Everybody is staring, don’t you see? Everybody that last year would do practically anything to at least stay with us at a table, now is too busy staring and keeping away from us, like we’re some kind of escaped dangerous creatures.
-Come on, Aly, do you really, honestly want to go back to how things were last year? You know that they can never be the same now that we now.
-You’re right Bella.
-Yeah, she is, and let me tell you why they are staring… They can’t understand us. Everybody for whatever unknown and unimportant reason decided that settling with normal and not interesting friends, who apparently do nothing to change others, or are just the best influence their parents could find!
I was just about to do what we all agreed not to. To dig out stuff, stuff from last year, stuff that made us so mad.
-Vera, back down. It’s not cool. We agreed not to discuss what happened last year again. We agreed to just let things happen.
-Anna, we must. Can’t you see? All that we did is backfiring on us now. It’s not that I’m not ok with just us, I mean, I don’t need anyone else. But, I just can’t believe how everybody turned out to be. They all think that we were changing them, into worse, they think that we do weird stuff, that we are too different, too out there and true to who we are.
-We are scaring them, Vera, them and their parents also. They just stand there and stare whenever we walk by, because we are, according to them, something unexpected, we don’t just take everything as it is, we make it as we want it to be. We take future in our own hands, we claim our lives, and that, for most, is something astonishing, something they can’t understand. Ended Bella her speech.
-Perfectly true, but sometimes I wish things would not be this way, but…
-But this is how they are, Aly. So deal with it. Ended Anna
-Think this way, we are something almost mythical, something you dream of, but never dare to follow…
-Well, enough about dreaming, Vera, we got to get to class.
After class, we went to our usual place. Our bench in the park. I started remembering that day, when, for the first time in years, the bench was occupied by a young woman, dressed in a vintage blue dress. She looked at us and then left our bench. “We’re lucky” I thought to myself back then. I didn’t want to sit, so I just took off my bag and throw it on the bench. I heard something falling on the ground.
-Look, guys, this is what fell on the ground. It’s a silver necklace. It looks rather old.
We all looked at it that day, and I can remember it like it was just yesterday. It had the shape of a teardrop and had something engraved on it. On one side there were two initials, a C and another C. On the other side was a drawing, a flower. Back then we didn’t know about that flower, but we all felt a weird feeling of electricity when we touched it. But it was a warm, familiar electrical feeling. I still feel it everyday. I still wear it everyday. That old silver teardrop-shaped medallion.
Chapter 3-When the story is being told
It was morning again. But it wasn’t just another morning. Just like my life could get even weirder, I started having the Dream again, but the words were changed this time. The voice said “Relive the past. Find out what you missed”. It freaked me out, so I told my friend all about it. They seemed worried, but, after me begging them the whole day, they agreed to come to my house, so we could “relive the past” and tell the story again.
We all came to my house after school. After eating something, we went upstairs, to the loft, to my space.
-Let’s start with the beginning.
-After we found the medallion, that day in the park, you went to your grandma Sylvia’s, right Vera? asked Anna
-Right, and she saw the medallion in my bag, and she pulled out that mysterious painting, of my grand-grand-grandma, Christina Carp. I can still remember what I thought when I saw it for the first time. I looked at that young lady just stunned. She was a lot like me, red hair, green eyes. But when I got to her necklace I completely lost it! I simply couldn’t believe that her necklace was the one we found. The one that was missing for many generations.
-Vera, when it disappeared Christina disappeared too, didn’t she?
-Yes, Aly, she did. Grandma told me that she disappeared on a new moon night.
-And she was going to her grandma’s, who knew how to use magic, and theoretically taught Christina how to. Added Bella.
-And she told you about the flower too. That engraved flower was a magnolia, and apparently we all used to play near a specific magnolia, near our bench, when we were little.
-Exactly, Anna. And after that, we all decided to find that tree. When we finally found it was very late, and we couldn’t see very much of it. So we decided to come back the next day.
-And when we got there, we saw the woman in blue again. This time we were closer, so I could see that she had red hair, hidden under a hat. As we were getting closer to talk to her she started running, and we lost track of her.
-But the next day I saw her again, looking at me through my window, I said. I will never forget her empty eyes, looking almost through me.
-After that, you told your grandma all we had found out…
-And she told us the other part of the story. The ugly part. The part where Christina was thought to be more like her grandma than meets the eye. She was thought to be a true witch. And she told us the magnolia story too. How when Cristina’s grandma died, on her grave grew a magnolia, and how all the villagers thought that this flower was the symbol of witchcraft, so they burned down all the magnolias. And because the witches were in our family, the magnolia remained our family crest, to warn the others who we are.
-Right. Vera… And then we started to think that maybe, if we have something to do with that magnolia, we may be related, but we found nothing concrete.
-Sadly, I would have loved to have you as my sisters, added Anna.
-Then we kind of hit a dead end. But Aly came with the great idea of inspecting the painting.
- By doing that, we discovered a list of plants, written in Latin, hidden in the frame.
-I searched them online, said Anna, and got their names and photos on a herbal magic site.
-And, against my advice, said Aly, Bella ordered them. And we decided to try and make that potion. The other written things were in Russian alphabet, and here Vera’s mom, Leila, helped us. We got everything prepared and went to the magnolia tree, on a new moon night.
-Now, that we rethink this, I can’t believe how fearless we were, said Bella.
-Yeah, we were, and we are, and we must be. And just when we were about to drink the potion, the lady in blue appeared.
-I can’t believe she really was Christina, it’s unbelievable..
-Right, Vera, and she came just at the right moment. She stopped us from making the mistake she did. When she drank the potion, instead of the wanted immortality, she got another kind of immortality. She could live forever, but as a spirit, being hidden from the human eye. It’s a big price to pay. But, I can’t understand, and neither did she, why we could see her… said Anna
-I guess it was because we had the medallion.
-And remember, Vera, she told you about the dream. She told you that she was trying to communicate with you. And she is trying again. Back then, she did it to get the medallion in your possession and to tell you your family’s story.
-But along with that knowledge, the unexpected bad thing came. People at school saw us then, at the magnolia tree, that night, and got to know some of your family’s reputation.
- And that’s how we get to present times. Did we miss something?
-I think this is all, but the Dream reappeared, so Christina must try to speak with us again. I told them.
I was desperate for some answers, and I don’t know why I held my medallion tight. And then, I saw it.
I was in a little house, full of books and plants. A black cat ran towards me, and then… through me. Then I got it. I was watching someone’s memories. A young girl entered the room. I recognized her to be Christina. After her came an old lady, her grandma probably. She told Christina that at this time of the year, the prophecy will be followed. And that the magnolia will tell her all that she needs. After that, she gave her the medallion.
I woke up. Bella, Aly and Anna were looking at me, waiting for an answer.
-The prophecy must be followed. And we must follow it. The medallion should protect us. I am telling you, the madness is just about to start.