Chapter One: Letters, Birthdays, and Magic
I had known all my life I was adopted. Everyone in my family was blue eyed and blonde haired whilst I was green eyed and black haired. I had always wondered if today of all days was actually my birthday, today just to mention it was June 25th, 1941. My seventieth birthday; I had woken that morning later than I usually would've and was worried that my parents would be upset. Instead they had showered me with love and affection and enough birthday presents to feed the army overseas. I smiled at them with love and appreciation and said I'd open them later today. My brother Stephan had gotten the mail and said I had a letter. I was excited, perhaps it was the university I had applied to, or maybe a friend I'd met on holiday. I escaped to my room with the letter in hand. The name on the return address was foreign to me, but that didn't deter me from ripping open the envelope. I eagerly started to read the elegant calligraphy,
I am writing this letter to tell you on your special day your true origin. I'm sure by now you've discovered you were adopted at the tender age of six. I am writing now to tell you that you do in fact have family elsewhere. Maria, you are my sister and I am coming to visit you very soon to explain everything further. For now I will tell you want happened to mother and father. I do hope you continue reading this; it must come to you as a shock to discover all of this so suddenly.
Maria, mother and father died in a horrible accident; an accident I will describe at our later meeting because it concerns other things I wish to inform you of. For starters anyway, mother and father loved the three of us with all their hearts and then some, they never wished us to be separated but fate has a cruel sense of humor. We were separated, I and Nikolai went to live with Uncle Bevtrovo while you went to live with Aunt Clementine in the states, she tells me you've applied to university, I beg of you not to go; I will tell you the reasons when I visit in two weeks; Maria know that we love you. We never wanted to be separated and it was not our decision to not inform you of your true family.
Your elder sibling,
I dropped the letter to the floor. I had just been informed of the most amazing, yet disturbing news. I had another family, yes that was the amazing part of the whole situation yet the ones I have grown to know as mother and father, brother and sister are in fact my aunt and uncle and my cousins. I didn't know how to confront them, did I show them the letter? Or did I just go downstairs and demand answers as to why I was not told the truth. Why did my brother and my older sister know about me but I did not know about any of them. Not only did I have a brother and sister, but an uncle that did not want me. But my mother was in contact with my older sister, named Velvet Moon? There is so much I do not know. So much I want to know. I retrieved the letter and placed it in my skirt pocket. This was going to be a long and difficult birthday party. I walked downstairs to find it to be raining indoors. I was flabbergasted, did I do this? Was something going on I was not aware of? I found mother on the phone with someone, and to my surprise I heard the words Velvet Moon mentioned. Oh goodness; I was doing this; but how?
"Maria? Your sister would like to speak with you." I stepped into the kitchen and took the phone from my mother-aunt and listened to the woman on the other end.
"Maria, you must control your emotions. I know you must be angry; shocked and confused but you must try to control them. There are things you must learn, and I must teach you. Aunt Clementine denounced her birthright and in doing so left you disgustingly unprepared."
"What are you talking about? Velvet Moon cannot be your true name."
"No, its not my real name is Veronica Merchant, as your name is not Maria, its Maleficent Merchant."
"My last name is Merchant?"
"Nothing. I'll see you soon."
"That you will, blessed be my dear sister." the phone went dead and at the same moment the rain stopped.
"Its alright my child." the woman I known as mother stepped forward and wiped the water from my face. "Beautiful girl, you look just like your mother."
"Why didn't you teach me anything?"
"That I don't know, Veronica said that she has to teach me everything."
"Oh, that. Maria, I'm sorry. When I denounced my birthright, I cannot talk about any of it to anyone."
"That means your family here right? So instead you kept me in the dark."
"Maria, I'm sorry. Your uncle, by brother has no experience in raising a female child, he's a boy at heart so he chose to put you in my care and took in your sister and brother. He didn't think he could raise two girls."
"He loves you, he wanted what was best for you that's all. You probably should've stayed in Bulgaria where you were born but what is done is done, we cannot stop the change of days anymore than we cam change the past."
"What are we?"
"Veronica will tell, she'll be here in a few moments." Sure enough a knock was heard from the entry way. "I'll go get it. Dear you just sit tight." She left me at the table, and returned shortly with a girl with black hair and turquoise eyes, with hints of green. This had to be Veronica.
"Hello sister. Let's take a walk and I will explain all that has been kept a secret." I followed the strange woman from the room and with a brief hug from 'mother' I walked out the door. Stefan sat on the stoop, playing with jacks and he looked up at me with concern as I left arm in arm with the mysterious stranger. "Maleficent I have never been tasked with such an important assignment before now. Its cruel of our family to have kept you in the dark as they have. When we reach a secluded spot I will tell you everything, but our family's history must be told without the prying ears of humanity."
I didn't know what she was talking about so I continued to follow her. We reached the edge of the forest line, I was nervous I had been warned to never venture into the woods that surrounded Forest Creek.
"Its alright, we'll be safe I promise you." I couldn't help but to follow her, she had a tight grip on my arm. We walked deep into the forest until we reached a clearing, with natural flowers of every color sprouting everywhere and mushrooms hung from trees and logs. A lone fallen tree cut through the center of the clearing making a natural bench and just south of it was the creek. The locals of Forest Creek call this creek, 'Mystic Creek' because of the legends and folk lore surrounding it, it is said that one sip of the water will cure any disease, and stop you from aging. I didn't believe any of it of course. "Maleficent, sit please." her Bulgarian accent made the words jumbled and hard to understand but at the same time they came out as being beautiful. I sat on the log, folding my legs to the side of me.
"What is it that we must talk about?" I asked her, now noticing the light accent in my voice.
"Sladké sestra, sweet sister I must tell you our family history in time for Samhain."
"Samhain? What is that?"
"It is a sacred holiday."
"To our family."
"I don't how to say this without freaking you out even more."
"Maleficent our family is a part of the oldest coven of witches in history. When we were separated so was the Triqueta."
"The Tri whata?"
"The Triqueta, it symbolizes the phases of the moons. Our parents had three children each one symbolizing a knot of the Triqueta."
"I don't know what your talking about."
"Of course you don't. You were kept in the dark. I will never understand the stupidity of the action nor why it was chosen."
"If you could explain all of this so it makes since I'll believe every word,"
"Alright, Maleficent you are the third witch, of course we had to wait until your seventieth birthday to tell you as much because that's when our powers emerge. I have the power of telepathy, and Nikolai has the power to change his appearance at will. You, you will have the power to fly."
"Fly? Why that's unheard of! Humans can't fly."
"We aren't human; not entirely. We're immortal, made so because of our magic. We can only be killed by our own power or by a very powerful witch or warlock. There are other races called simply Immortals; but they cannot cast spells or anything fun."
"So your telling me that my long lost family are in fact part of a long line of powerful witches?"
"Yes, did I explain it well enough?" I looked into her eyes and couldn't help but to believe her, the look of pure honesty, and belief in what she was saying glazed her eyes. They sparkled with it.
"Show me." I whispered.
"If I must. Tell me what you desire most."
"What I desire is to fall in love."
"Really?" The look I gave her answered her question because she spoke; "Alright. Mother Goddess, Goddess of Love hear my plea. My sister dear and near to me. Desires to find her one true love. As I wish it so shall it be."
The wind around us picked up and my hair swirled around my face. I saw something form in front of me, it took the shape of a man. As I looked closer I noticed his features. He had black shaggy hair, bright electric blue eyes, pale skin; he was tall, and very handsome. As soon as he appeared he disappeared, I turned to my sister and she looked at me with a worried expression.
"What is it Veronica?"
"My dear sister that was the Prince of Benders. A fellow immortal but we do not mix with the Benders their magick is unnatural to us."
"What do you mean, isn't all magic unnatural?"
"No, we practice white magic. To bend anothers blood is dark and wicked magic. Unnatural and should be exterminated."
"Alright so my true love, my other half is a man who practices dark magick?"
"Yes my dear sister."
"Why should I believe you?"
"Because magic never lies my dear. My magic reads what is in the heart of my subject."
"Fine. What do we do now? I'm sure he knows."
"Yes he knows now. But he's promised to another woman."
"Alright so train me to be this Long Lost Witch."
"I plan to. Promise me you won't try to meet him."
"I would I meet him if I don't know where he is?"
"Touche." Veronica grabbed me once again and whispered. "Picture yourself as a bird, and I your worm. Picture us flying above this forest back to your home." I did as she instructed and was afraid to open my eyes. "Maleficent you are doing it! We're flying oh goddess you are such a fast learner."
"Can I open my eyes?"
"Just don't lose concentration." I opened my eyes while trying to keep concentration on the visual of me being a bird and Veronica being a worm. The clouds had replaced the grass of the clearing and I wasn't flapping my wings or my arms we were floating towards my home. The Atlantic Ocean below my feet and Veronica's. "Maleficent where are we going?"
"Bulgaria you mean."
"Yes. Bulgaria." We flew over the water until I felt a strange tug to lower myself to the island below.
"Keep going Maleficent."
"Its so hard."
"Its his soul calling to you."
"Maybe I can save him..."
"Keep going Maleficent."
"Maria!" I lowered us towards the ground. Veronica, she was so angry but she had no power over the situation. We landed in the courtyard of a castle. I walked towards the doors... I saw the man from the clearing there, grooming a horse. He looked up just as I found his eyes. Oh his eyes, they could melt souls that's how magical the feeling was when I looked into them.
"Hello, do I know you?" His voice was like velvet, soft and warm.
"My name is Maria, and you are?"
"Prince Mazimillien Blackson, prince of the Benders."
"I believe we're soul mates. A spell brought me here."
"You are a witch then?"
"Well I suppose, does that change anything?"
"No. Not really." He stepped closer to me, and my whole world dropped away.
I was the long lost witch, and I was the soul mate of the Prince of Benders.