Sânge | Teen Ink


January 22, 2020
By jess-deery, Souderton, Pennsylvania
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jess-deery, Souderton, Pennsylvania
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Author's note:

This story is full of surprises as the audience follows Erin's journey of self-discovery.

“You can’t continue with this behavior, it is unacceptable and-” Principal Wilson continued to lecture Erin Wolfe. Something she’d grown accustomed to during her time at Benjamin Franklin High. As Mr. Wilson went into detail on the subject of Erin’s misbehavior, Erin couldn’t be bothered to focus on his voice. Instead, she was staring at the picture behind the raving principal. 

It was a picture that stared down at her intimidatingly, which was the intention. It was a particularly egotistical photograph of Principal Wilson. Some kids say that his eyes follow you wherever you move. Erin had been in the tiny space so many times that the piercing ice-cold eyes of her principal didn’t bother her anymore. Whenever she comes into sight of the picture she focuses intently on the frame and tilts the photograph on its axis ever so slightly. 

“What are you looking at?!” Wilson exploded at Erin, then continuing his lecture on the inability of Erin focusing. But Erin had other things in mind and decided to continue on her hobby of tilting the frame with her mind. Erin was a sophomore at Ben Franklin High. She couldn't care less about her grades and preferred the lacrosse field over the classroom. She constantly wore hoodies and leggings and never took off her glasses, not only to clean them, yet every day they were spotless. The first time she expressed her unusual talent was in her freshman year. At first, she thought it was her mind playing tricks on her, but since then she’s realized that she isn’t normal. So, as any high school troublemaker would, she used these powers to mess with her teachers.

“You’ve earned yourself detention, Miss Wolfe. You will be in Mr. Ruth’s classroom immediately after the school day today and if you try to pull any of your stunts again--oh, you don’t want to know what’ll happen to you.” Erin nodded, acknowledging the threat and walked out of the office. As she reached the door she turned back and smiled as Mr. Wilson adjusted his photograph back to its original position.

For the rest of the day, instead of using her psychic abilities to publicly humiliate her teachers, she was forced to tone it down to minor inconveniences. Her favorite of the day was pushing around a paper on her Biology teacher’s desk. Always moving it just out of his reach. He ended up using his entire upper body to catch the paper. Throwing himself onto the desk, making a thud so loud, the teacher across the hall ran in to check if everything was okay.

Luckily for Erin, she was assigned to the best detention teacher, or really, the worst. Mr. Ruth was always so tired during the day so all Erin had to do was sit silently in her chair and wait for him to fall asleep. Once he was asleep, Erin used her time to explore.

She knew every room of the high school inside and out. From having almost two years of weekly detentions she was a master at picking locks, knew the best janitor closets to hide in when skipping class (or detention) and as of recently started discovering some of the school’s secrets. 

Last week during her after school escapade, Erin discovered a secret room in the library. It happened when she was browsing the psychology section, looking for a source to use in her AP Psych paper. When she touched the 3rd Edition of So You Think You’re Psychic, the entire shelf shifted and revealed a hidden door. Over the next week, she spent her free periods in the library observing the book. One day when she was observing from afar, another girl touched the book, but nothing happened. So, for the past couple of days, Erin’s been fantasizing about all the secrets and possibilities that the room holds, but most importantly, why it only opened for her. And today was the day she would finally know what’s behind the door.


Erin walked silently to detention. She avoided her best friend Hayley to the best of her ability, but Hayley always finds a way. 

“Erin!” She yelled from across the hall.

“Yeah,” Erin sighed. Hayley always had a way of finding out when Erin had detention and each time she lectured her. 

“Again? Are you kidding me?”

“So what, it’s just another one to add to the hundreds,”

“It’s ruining your reputation, that’s what! This is why I thought you were no good from the very beginning! I knew you were trouble Erin Wolfe!”

“But you love me anyway,” Erin smirked as she hugged Hayley.

“Yeah, whatever,” Hayley smiled and together they walked to detention. When they reached the door, Hayley hugged Erin goodbye and the two went their separate ways for the afternoon. Hayley to her private tutor and Erin to detention.

“Good afternoon, Mr. Ruth,” Erin greeted her teacher and took a seat in the back corner. If Mr. Ruth fell asleep, Erin would get her chance to explore the hidden room. She was bubbling with excitement and surprisingly so was Mr. Ruth. 

“Good afternoon, Miss Wolfe. Shall we get started then?”

“Yes, sir.” Mr. Ruth handed Erin a worksheet and sat down at his desk. Why is he so energized today? Why today? Erin thought. 

“Mr. Ruth,” She questioned as she started her walk to the back corner of the empty classroom, “You seem very upbeat today, did you try a new coffee?”

“Oh no, Miss Wolfe, I am just very excited to head home today. You see, my favorite show is on this afternoon and I can’t fall asleep or else I’ll miss it!”

“I see,” Erin stopped dead in her tracks and turned around. If there’s one thing everyone knows about Mr. Ruth it’s that the only days he can’t fall asleep are the days his show is on. A show that plays once a month. 

Erin could have hit herself in the forehead for being so dumb. She took her seat in the back corner and stared at the worksheet Mr. Ruth handed her, brainstorming ways she could escape detention. Asking to go to the bathroom was a classic move but was it too obvious? Erin continued to glare at the worksheet lost in her thoughts. When she finally pulled away from her daydream she was able to absorb the information on the worksheet. It was a math worksheet for AP Calculus.

“Who does he think I am? Einstein?” Erin angrily mumbled under her breath. She sighed heavily and aggressively went to pick up the paper but as she grabbed it a sharp pain nagged at her finger. Erin let out a short yelp and Mr. Ruth looked up.

“Miss Wolfe is everything okay over there?” Mr. Ruth asked. Erin stared down at her finger. Sure enough, there was a small red bubble protruding from the tip of her right index finger.

“Everything’s great!” Erin responded with a hint of sarcasm, “You just handed me the wrong paper,” But to herself, she mumbled, “and you won’t fall asleep.”

When Erin leaned down to pick up the paper she had dropped, she started hearing a strange noise. It started with a thud and as Erin looked up she saw Mr. Ruth slumped on his desk. He was fast asleep. It was as if he was suddenly so tired he passed out without even laying his head down. Erin stood back at first but then tiptoed to Mr. Ruth to see that he had just fallen asleep. He was out cold. Erin, not second-guessing her luck, quickly gathered her things and hurried out of the room. 

“Did I just do that? I must be crazy, there’s no way I could have done that. That was too cool. I can’t do cool things. I just do stupid things,” Erin continued to mutter to herself as she made her way down the halls and to the library. What she hadn’t noticed was that all the blood from the cut on her finger was gone and a small black symbol appeared in its place.


Erin gazed around her as she sat in the middle of the hidden room. All around her were books open to different pages. In each book on each page was the same symbol. It looked so familiar to Erin but she couldn’t place her finger on where she’s seen it before. It was driving her crazy. She stood up, went to the bookshelf and continued to tear books out of their places and threw them about the floor. The thud of each book matching Erin’s racing heartbeat as she continued to tear through every book on the shelf. When the shelf was empty, she looked at the mess she’d made in the middle of the floor. Each book was open to that same symbol of a tree enclosed in a braided circle, beneath the symbol was one word, Wolfe. She picked up the largest book that she had thrown across the floor and scanned the pages. On each page, she saw the same word, sânge. It was written everywhere in the room, on every book, every scroll, even on the walls.

“I have to get out of here,” Erin panicked and left the room. Leaving the mess of books behind her. She ran through the halls and out the front entrance. She didn’t even call her mom to pick her up. She continued to run frantically through New Orleans, hoping to reach the safety of her home. Once she had a paintbrush in her hand she could calmly try and figure out what she just learned. 

Erin slammed the door of her room closed and grabbed a large canvas from her closet. She was so panicked she only grabbed one color to work with, blood red. She began to paint the tree. The paint seeped into the canvas but before she could even get halfway through her painting, her step-brother burst into her room.

Ben, her step-brother, was a year younger than Erin. He always comes to Erin for guidance and wants to be just like her. Ben was a small kid, just over five feet tall and extremely skinny. He follows Erin in her troublemaker ways, even though sometimes he gets himself into situations where he is in over his head. 

“I’m gonna kill him,” Ben burst out, “He’s gonna get it one o’ these days.”

“Mhm,” Erin said, obviously distracted. She let Ben cool down for a minute and continued stroking the canvas with red. 

Ben pulled himself out of his rage and became curious as to what his step-sister was painting, 

“Whatcha doin’?” he asked.

Erin’s mind was elsewhere, “Have you ever done anything weird?”

“You’ll hafta define whatcha’ mean by weird,” Ben smirked.

“Ew, Ben. No, I mean like with your mind. Have you ever just...done something you can’t explain?”

“Nah, everything’s simple wit me,” Ben responded, “Why, what’s wrong witchu?”

“I do these things sometimes, where I--it’s hard to explain, but I--think something--or say something--and it happens,”

“You trippin’ man,” Ben became bored with the conversation and slowly made his way to the door, “Aight, imma head out.”

Erin stood back and admired her painting. It was rushed so it wasn’t her best work but it was the symbol nonetheless. In some places, the red paint hadn’t dried so it was running down the clean canvas and creating a dripping effect beneath the braided circle around the tree. There was only one part missing. Erin picked up her brush and signed Wolfe beneath the symbol.

Erin took her stained hands to the bathroom and began to wash up. As the red color was falling from her hands, there was a knock on the door. 

“Erin?” Erin’s mother walked into the bathroom, “Are you okay, sweetheart? Ben seemed concerned about you when he came downstairs.”

“Yeah, I’m fine,” Erin replied, “Mom, were the stories dad told me true? I remember him talking about magic in all of his stories when I was a kid. I always thought he was just making them up but now…”

Erin drifted into thought. Her mom remembered the times when Erin was a kid when her father was still around. When Erin’s father left, her mother was destroyed. She didn’t get out of bed for weeks and Erin remembers her always talking about being “second-best”. 

“You know those stories were make-believe, sweetheart,” Erin’s mom replied, “There’s nothing to worry about.”

“Mom, are you sure?” Erin asked she didn’t know how much to tell her mom. Part of her wanted to keep the room a secret, a place only she knew about. Besides, she didn’t want to bother her mom.

“What’s wrong honey, you seem concerned?” Erin’s mom pressed for details. Erin was starting to worry her.

“Have you ever heard of the word sânge?”

“Sânge iar echilibru,” Erin’s mother recited, a smile crossed her face as she remembered Erin’s father. But as soon as it came, the smile was gone.

“What does it mean, Mom?”

“Blood and balance,” Erin’s mom hesitated, she was wondering how much of the truth Erin needed to hear, “Long ago in a place far from here there was a small town.”

Erin perched herself atop the bathroom counter and listened intently to her mother’s story, hoping to find clues as to what she was.

“In this town was a community. Only this community was unlike any other. This community was special. They all had the same tattoo on their wrists, it was a tree surrounded by a braided rope. This symbol was everywhere in the community. It signified who was a part of the community and who wasn’t. The town was always bustling with activity. Children running and playing in the streets and adults conversing with one another. Shouting hello whenever they saw another member of the community. Whenever a newcomer entered the town, everyone knew.

“But as I said before this community was different. They all had special powers, even the children. They could move things with their minds and could do things that no being can explain. When the king discovered the power this community had, he wanted to take it all for himself. The king ordered thousands of troops to capture the people of the community and bring them to him so he can manipulate their powers.

“The troops entered the town and attacked with force, trying to capture every one of the members of the community. Those they couldn’t capture, they killed. The bloodshed was horrifying. The few survivors managed to barricade themselves into one home. They sat in a circle around their beloved symbol, held hands and began to chant, ‘sânge iar echilibru, sânge iar echilibru, sânge iar echilibru’. Throughout the chanting, one voice rose above the others. He pleaded with nature to help them defeat this army that had caused so much destruction to their home, killed so many innocent men, women, and children. He pleaded until all of the noise outside ceased. 

“When the group of survivors emerged from the barricaded home, the army was defeated. All of the soldiers were dead but there was no bloodshed. The streets were just as clean as they were before the invasion. There was no blood in sight for miles. And when the breeze blew, the dead soldiers blew away with it. As if they had turned to dust and never even entered the town. The only sign of a struggle was the destroyed houses.

“The leader of the community, the man whose pleas were heard by nature was horrified by the scene. He took the few survivors of the community and they fled. The community was never heard of again, but there are rumors of their legacy living on and every once and awhile a child is born with the same powers of the community. These children are called to a hidden community when they become of age and are taught in the ways of the original members of the community.”

Erin looked at her hands and saw a small black symbol on her right index finger. The same place where she had gotten the papercut in Mr. Ruth’s room. It was the same symbol described in the story, from the library and on the canvas in Erin’s room. Before Erin could hide the symbol, her mother grabbed her hand.

“Erin! When did this happen?!” Erin’s mom exclaimed, grabbing her hand and inspecting it intently. Her face showed an expression of raw fear for her daughter.

“Today, in school. I’m fine, really, it’s nothing,” Erin replied and pulled her hand away from her mother.

“Erin, it’s not fine. Do you still have that necklace your father gave you?”

“Yeah. But, mom what does that have to do with anything?”

“Just put it on sweetheart. And don’t ever take it off!”

Erin nodded and headed out of the bathroom and back to her room. Her mother watched her as she walked away, shaking her head. Erin’s door closed and her mother let out a sigh. I pray she keeps that necklace on, Erin’s mother thought and walked downstairs to finish preparing dinner.

“I’m so upset,” Hayley said, “I got a 90 on that test and I literally only made stupid mistakes. I could’ve gotten a 100 if I wasn’t so stupid!”

Hayley hit herself in the side of the head and sighed. 

“But anyway, I’m over it now. How was--ya know,” In a hushed voice Hayley asked, “the room?”

“It was strange,” Erin remembered the books sprawled across the floor of the room. She recalled the conversation with her mother and her hand reached for the necklace her father gave her. She took it off years ago and doesn’t understand its importance. But she decided it would be best for her to take her mother’s advice

“It wasn’t anything major really. Kind of a letdown,” Erin couldn’t tell Hayley about her magic, she didn’t want to start anything and the fewer people who know the better. 

“What’s poppin’ sis,” Ben said as he punched Erin in the shoulder. Erin rolled her eyes and smiled.

“Hi Ben,” said Hayley. The trio continued their walk to lunch. As they approached the cafeteria, Ben slowed his pace, kept his head down and hid behind Erin and Hayley. He was good at keeping a low profile, but not good enough.

“Hey, it’s that punk kid from the other day!” shouted a boy from across the hall. He was a big guy and it was hard to believe he was a freshman. He looked to be about six feet at least and when he yelled his voice had a threatening tone to it that put Erin on edge.

“Ah snap,” Erin heard Ben whisper from behind her. The big freshman walked towards the trio aggressively. So much so that Hayley took a step back so she wouldn’t get hit by the boy. Erin was not as quick to get out of the way and the boy knocked her over. 

“Yo! That’s my sister!” Ben yelled at the boy. Erin grunted in pain and kept her seat on the floor, using her feet to push herself to the inner ring of the circle that was forming around the boys.

“Ohh, I’m so sorry,” the boy mocked. Ben was fuming, his face had turned a dangerous shade of red and he was struggling to hold himself together. The boy approached Erin again. Erin winced as he knelt and looked her up and down. He spotted Erin’s necklace and yanked it off of her, his nails creating a large scratch on her chest.

“I’m sure she wouldn’t mind if I borrowed this for a little while,” the boy threatened. Erin reached to where her necklace had previously been and touched her chest. When she drew her hand away from her body there was blood on her fingertips.

“I MIND!” Ben shouted and jumped on top of the boy. The two fell to the ground and wrestled for the necklace. The larger boy easily pinned Ben down beneath him and began punching him in the face. Every so often Ben would manage to hit the other boy back but it was obvious who was losing. Erin panicked. The amount of blood on the hallway floor was immense. The boy held Erin’s necklace in his left fist and dangled it over Ben. Ben grunted and reached for the necklace but he didn’t see the boy’s right hand aimed for a powerful attack on Ben’s face. 

“STOP!” Erin screamed. The blood on the floor began to lift off of the ground. It spiraled up to the ceiling of the hallway and the floating stream circled the people around the fight. The blood weaved its way in between each person, even Ben and the boy. When the blood had passed around to each person it made its way to Erin. Erin sat in shock, not knowing what to do. The blood gathered itself in front of Erin and with the force of a truck plunged into Erin’s chest. Disappearing beneath the scratch where her necklace had been. Everyone around her was frozen in place and on her wrist was the larger version of the black symbol that appeared on her finger.

“What have I done?”


“Sir, there’s been a disturbance. Our scanners show large amounts of magic at Ben Franklin High. We think it’s your daughter.”

“My daughter doesn’t understand the half of her strength. There is no way she could have used that much magic.”

“Our scanners say otherwise, sir.”

“Do not inform the community of this disturbance. I will see to investigating it myself.”

“Yes, sir”

Daniel Wolfe stormed out of the control room and to the garage. He loaded his car and sped down the hidden roads, heading straight for the high school.

“It couldn’t be,” he muttered to himself as he drove, “She’s wearing her necklace.” A nervous expression crossed Daniel’s face, “Unless she took it off.”

Daniel increased the pressure on the gas pedal and sped towards the high school. He began to relive the day he left his baby girl. He knew it was his duty to lead the community but it was extremely hard for him to sacrifice his own family to be a part of another. The agonizing sound of his daughter's sobs terrorized him as he continued his drive.

Daniel shivered at the memory. He could only leave his daughter two things, a necklace with a charm of a tree and a pair of glasses. The glasses hid her bright orange eyes from the public, so she would never be ostracized because Daniel knows how cruel the world can be. And the charm of the tree is the symbol of the community. Daniel made sure the necklace had been spelled, like the glasses, to help suppress her powers and help his daughter feel more normal. But Daniel hasn’t seen his daughter in over a decade, so why would she continue wearing the necklace he gave her. 

“If she took off the necklace, there is no telling how strong she could be,” Daniel slammed his fists on the wheel, “I should have never left, I should have been there for her. I should have guided her.”

Daniel pulled into the school parking lot and hurried into the building. The school was eerily quiet. Daniel could hear faint shuffling and approached the main hallway cautiously. As he turned the corner into the hallway, the image he saw took him completely aback. 

There were around 100 teenagers in the rough outline of a circle. There were cell phones pointed to the center of the circle hoping to catch a video of the scene in the middle. As Daniel approached the scene, more details came into focus. The students seemed to have been frozen in time. All of them perfectly still. Daniel weaved his way to the inner ring of the circle of teens. In the middle of the circle were two boys, one on top of the other. The boy on top had his fist suspended in the air, ready to come down on the kid beneath him. The kid underneath was reaching for a necklace that was in the bigger boy’s hand. He was considerably smaller than the boy on top of him and had an expression of pure hatred on his bruised face. Clinging to the smaller boy was a girl, her quiet sobs could barely be heard because her head was buried in the jacket of the boy. Daniel was so stunned by the scene that he didn’t even notice the girl wasn’t frozen. She looked up at him with the expression of a deer in headlights. As her glasses fell from her face, bright orange eyes filled with fear stared back at Daniel.

“Erin?” Daniel asked with hope in his voice.

"Who are you? How do you know my name?” Erin said as she searched for her glasses. Daniel was speechless. He was finally seeing his daughter after so long. Words couldn’t describe the feeling. He knelt and picked up the glasses that had fallen from Erin’s face. He stayed on his one knee and carefully handed Erin her glasses. 

“My name is Daniel Wolfe. I--I’m your father,” Daniel answered hesitantly.

“My father left when I was young. How do I know it’s you?” Erin drowned her sudden rush of happiness with doubt and confusion.

Daniel had a feeling that this would happen. He rolled up his sleeve and revealed the same black symbol that appeared on Erin’s finger and chest. Beneath the symbol were so many scars Erin couldn’t count them all. His mark was much darker than Erins’, so dark it looked like it was a tattoo.

“That mark,” Erin exclaimed, “The mark of the community!”

“You’re right. I gave you a necklace when you were younger with a charm of it.”

Erin remembered the conversation she had with her mother. All of the answers were right under her nose but she couldn’t put any of them together until now.

“So you really are my dad?” Erin asked. 

“Yeah, I am,” Daniel responded, “Erin, I wanted to tell you--”

Daniel’s internal struggle was made obvious by his tapping foot and racing heartbeat but Erin was so excited she could barely keep her mouth shut. So Daniel’s mind kept spinning uncontrollably and unnoticed. 

“I have magic, right? I get it from you too, don’t I? How do you control it? Why was our last name in the library? Why was I the only one who could access the room? Why didn’t you tell me the truth?” Erin hesitated, “Why did you leave?”

“Erin, I--” Daniel started, “Can this wait for later? You and I have a big magical mess to clean up.”

Together Daniel and Erin went around to each of the cell phones, recording the scene. Erin watched the footage of the blood swirling in the air above her. When she saw the blood go into her she pulled her eyes away from the screen and felt her chest. She deleted the video and opened the camera on the phone. Using it as a mirror she looked where the blood had slammed into her. It was faint, more of a gray color then pitch black like Daniels mark, but it was visible. Erin exited the app and continued going around and deleting the other videos. When they were all deleted Erin and Daniel met back in the middle of the circle.

“You have to do exactly as I say, okay? I will answer all of your questions when this is completed but the longer the spell is in motion the harder it is to break,” Daniel said to Erin. She nodded, eager to see the type of potential she had.

“Repeat after me,” Daniel said, now that everything was ready for the reverse spell, “mișcare, sânge iar echilibru, mișcare, sânge iar echilibru,”

“What does it mean?” Erin asked.

“Motion, blood and balance. It will put the students back in motion and return them to their previous state. Make sure you don’t stop chanting,”

Erin repeated each of Daniel’s words, carefully annunciating each syllable. Daniel reached for his pocket while Erin was chanting.

“This will only hurt a little but it is necessary for the spell. You can trust me,” Daniel said with compassion. He hated to have to do this to his daughter, to have to introduce this type of pain into her life but there was no going back now. Daniel took a small knife out of his pocket and made a thin cut on his wrist. Right on top of the symbol. 

“I’m going to do the same to you, okay? It will only hurt a little,” Daniel said. Erin extended her wrist and continued chanting. She winced when the knife sliced her skin. Daniel extended his arm over the fight. Blood swirled out of the cut on his forearm and all over Ben’s face and splattered around him on the floor. The exact same place where it had been before Erin lost control. Erin mimicked Daniel’s movement and continued chanting in the foreign language. 

“Balance is key,” Daniel explained, “Blood from two individuals was spilled here so blood from two individuals must replace it. Blood, balance and motion. The blood and balance is now taken care of so the motion part is where the magic comes in.”

As soon as Daniel said that, more blood from his wrist spiraled around everyone in the hallway just like it had done before. Blood from Erin mimicked this motion and before she knew it, the people around her were moving again. 

The boy on top of Ben landed his punch and Ben was out cold. The boy ran off celebrating his victory and the crowd followed him. Erin rushed to Ben and wiped the blood off his face.

“Can you help me get him home, please?” Erin asked Daniel. 

“Of course,” Daniel picked up Ben and turned to head down the hallway. He took one step and then turned back around to face Erin, “Erin, I wanted to tell you that I’m sorry. I’m sorry I left you. When you join the community you have to sacrifice everything and once you start there is no going back. At the time I didn’t realize how much I would miss you. I am so sorry,” Daniel’s voice cracked on the last word and he turned away.

“It’s okay. I understand. I didn’t before but now that I know, I get it,” Erin said sympathetically. Daniel turned again to face Erin.

“I’m sorry,” Daniel said and bent over to pick up Ben. As soon as he had Ben, he began to walk down the hallway and to the parking lot.

“I’ll catch up with you!” Erin called after him. Daniel nodded and continued on his way to the parking lot. Hayley tapped Erin on the shoulder.

“Who is that?” Hayley asked scratching her head.

“My dad,” Erin said with disbelief, “I can’t believe I finally met him.”

“Oh my gosh Erin! What’s on your arm!” Hayley yelled. A tattoo had appeared on Erin’s arm in the shape of a tree enclosed in a braided circle. The place where the knife had cut her was now a scar and the mark on her finger and chest had disappeared. Hayley was appalled by the tattoo and her jaw was hanging open. Erin quickly covered the mark.

“It’s nothing, really,” Erin said as convincingly as she could, “Look, I have to go help Ben. See you tomorrow?”
Hayley didn’t respond. She stood in shock as she watched Erin rush down the hallway after Daniel and Ben.


“So about my magic,” Erin was sitting in the passenger seat of Daniels black SUV. Ben was laying across the backseat, purple bruises forming on his face, “I was able to move things around when I wasn’t bleeding so what’s up with that?”

“When young people start using their magic, it is usually small. Moving light things around like paper or small things like pencils is normal for someone of your age,” Daniel answered. He had promised to answer all of Erin’s questions on the drive back to her house.

“So that’s normal? Okay, great,” Erin said in disbelief, “Make a right here.”

Daniel turned onto the side street and Erin continued to question him.

“And the room. In the library. Why is all that stuff there? Why am I the only one that can open it? Oh, and why was our last name on everything?”

“Ha, it’s funny you found that room. When I was around your age I found that room. I liked to go in there to think, but kids in my grade used to use it as a hideout to smoke and drink during school. One day I was in there alone and I cut myself on a broken beer bottle. I said out loud that I wish no one else could get in there and it kind of happened. I guess it's because you have a part of me in you that you could open the room. Someone with this type of magic can do two spells and the only consequence being a faint symbol at the place of extraction. By that I mean like the place where you were cut that initiated the magic. Once they do a third spell the mark of the community appears on their wrist and the two other faint symbols disappear.”

“That doesn’t sound so bad. It--turn left--It happened to me I think,” Erin rolled up her sleeve and looked at the mark on her wrist, “My first spell must have been on Mr. Ruth, my second to save Ben and my third,” Erin looked at Daniel. Daniel glanced at Erin.

“I’m so sorry. The spell required two people. I couldn’t save you from this fate. I truly am sorry,” Daniel said and looked back at the road ahead of him.

“It’s okay, I understand. It doesn't sound so bad, you know? Being able to do magic. It sounds kind of exciting actually,” Erin said, “My house is this one.”

Daniel pulled in the driveway and parked the car, “Erin. I have to tell you this because you have to make a choice. I can’t make it for you. When you become a member of the community you have to leave everything and go to them, even your family. If you choose not to go to the community you lose your magic forever. I’m so sorry.”

Erin looked at Ben sprawled on the backseat, “I can’t choose,” Erin stated.

“You have to choose: family or magic,” Erin’s father said. Not once did he look at Erin. He continued to stare out the window. At what, Erin had no idea. All she knew was that she couldn’t leave her family and she wouldn’t lose her magic.

Erin opened the car door and step out of the SUV, “I choose both,” she said with an expression of defiance and slammed the car door. 

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