DiGorgio Auction House
‘You’re certain, mother?’
‘Yes, Damian. It’s the only explanation that makes sense! But why they want Rosalie dead for it… that I can’t figure out. I’d have to talk to her, maybe she can fill in the blanks’ Jean scribbled some protection wards on a piece of paper and handed them to Rinka, ‘I’ll try to find a train today if possible’
‘No need! I’ll drive you!’ Damian offered, already fumbling with his keys.
‘Alright then’ Jean smiled at her son, ‘Rin—‘
‘Don’t worry! I’ll draw up these wards as soon as you’re out the door. This is important. I’ll take care of the ‘van Gogh’ expo too; it’s too late to cancel it anyway’
‘You guys are making me feel old! Where did my two babies go?’ Jean mocked, ‘Damian, pack only the necessities, we won’t be there long’
‘If we leave now, we’ll avoid most of the traffic and be there by tomorrow morning’
‘Then we shouldn’t waste time’ Jean said, grabbing two of the three orbs and followed her son out the door.
‘Say hello to Jane for me, D’ Rinka whispered to the closing door.
Damian drove through the entire night to save time, but in the early morning he was exhausted and they needed to stop at a motel. They located one just as they arrived in RiverBlossom Hills North. He fell asleep almost instantly, but Jean was a bit anxious. It had been a long time since she was here and even longer since she last saw Rosalie. She wondered just how much had changed in the past 25 years.
4 hours later the sun showed its face and Damian was still asleep. Jean let her son rest and took the trip to Rosalie’s house by herself. Driving through the streets left her emotional. Everything was exactly the same as she remembered; like time stood still the moment she left 25 years ago…
Jean paid the cabdriver and crossed the street. Even the house remained the same, she thought as she climbed the stairs. She raised her hand to knock, when the door flew open and one of the twins, she didn’t know which one, came out.
‘Whoops, I’m sorry, I… Mrs. DiGorgio!’
‘Julie. Please, come on in! I’ll get my grandmother; she’s out back in the sunroom’ Julie answered, stepping aside to let her in.
The same nostalgic feeling hit her when she entered the living-room. The room even smelled the same and she sank down on the sofa. Jean closed her eyes and tried to remember the last time she was here. A sound of haste coming from the back brought her to her feet and Rosalie appeared in the archway.
‘Hello Rosalie’ Jean answered with a voice full of emotion, ‘It’s good to see you again! You’ve gotten old my friend!’
‘So have you! Under all that age-freezer potion’ Rosalie countered, making them laugh; just like old times…
‘Shoo! Shoo-shoo-shoo…’ Iridessa squirmed at the spotted cat at her feet, ‘I hate cats!’
‘Aww, I think he’s rather cute’ Jane patted its little head, making it purr.
‘Gross Jane, really… Shoo!’
This time she managed to scare the poor animal into leaving, but not before he hissed her a step back. Jane laughed at the sight of Iridessa’s disgusted face.
‘So anyway, your sister just called the office. They told me to give you this message and I quote’ Iridessa cleared her throat,
Jean DiGorgio at our house-stop
Damian at Roadside Motel-stop
Go apologize for reckless behavior that night-stop’
Jane sighed at the telegraphic style message and also the questions that were soon to follow it.
‘Okay, first of all, Julie has quite the imaginative mind and secondly SPILL JANE ALLEN!!!’
‘Spill what, Iridessa?’
‘I read a man’s name and reckless and night. 1+1 equals…’
‘Nothing happened, okay!’
‘Or at least I think nothing happened’ Jane said unsure, but Iridessa needed more.
Damian DiGorgio is a family friend. The four of us, he has a sister, went on a group outing and I had one drink. A very potent drink apparently, ‘cause I wake up the next morning… draped across his chest…’
‘NAKED???’ Iridessa squirmed, closing her umbrella. It had stopped raining.
‘Thanks for thinking so highly of me. No, I wasn’t naked! But I also don’t remember what happened at the club that night and how we ended up in that position’
Jane regretted using that word when Iridessa’s smile spread even wider.
‘Julie won’t tell me either! She just said I was behaving very out of character’
‘Well, opportunity! He’s in town now. Maybe you could ask him what happened’
That made perfect sense, but she didn’t know what face to face him with, especially since she snuck out.
‘My advice’ Iridessa smiled, ‘Go after work. That way you’ll have an excuse that you need to go home. As a matter of fact, go now! We’re closing earlier because of the meeting anyway… besides, we’re running errands outside the building, they won’t know…’
‘Dessa! Your husband is my boss!’
‘Right! And your boss’ wife is your friend’ Iridessa flashed an angelic smile, ‘I won’t tell you again! Go! I wanna know what you did too!’
‘Oh, I’m not doing it for you! This is for my enjoyment. Now go get me the juice!’ Dessa answered, swaying her perfect hips from left to right before she got in her car.
‘I see some lines forming in your face. Why’d you stop drinking the potion?’
‘Because I’m starting to look like my daughter’s sister’ Jean smiled.
‘I see… how is my grand-daughter? Rosalie asked with a hint of sadness in her voice. It pained her she had to miss out on a part of her family.
‘She’s fine… Taking care of the business while I’m here! This… sadly isn’t a social call Rose’
‘I didn’t think it was… You found out which prophecy we’re looking for? The girls said you were still deciphering the links’
‘In a way, yes’ Jean said pulling the Astor orb out of the bag and handed it to Rosalie.
‘Ah, the Astor-Prophecy. I remember this one…
‘In the noble line of men
Two women shall be born again
One to aid the hunter’s hand
The other to change the vampire clan
Time shall reveal which witch is which
So they may be blessed accordingly
And receive a most powerful gift’
‘…a most powerful gift…’ Rosalie repeated absently.
‘I have it figured out for most parts’ Jean thought out loud, ‘The noble line of men… That’s the Astor Family Tree. They’ve only had male offspring until Marina’
‘…and Rinka’ Rosalie added, ‘The two women of the line’
‘Yes, destined for opposite sides, but we don’t know which one of them goes where’
‘The time isn’t right yet…’
Right, time! The rest is also easy. They’ll receive a powerful gift when revealed which side they go to. What bothers me is not being able to figure out why your life is tied to all of this?’
Rosalie smiled a weak smile. ‘Well, remembering this specific prophecy… I know exactly where I’m tied to it. –Time shall reveal which witch is which—That sentence must’ve been funny at the time, but point is… Marina is not a witch. She is by birth-right, yes, but her powers are dormant’
‘Why?’ Jean was a bit puzzled by this. Rosalie was a practiced witch. So were Jane and Julie. If Marina was born into this, surely Rosalie would know about it and train her.
‘Her mother –Grace. She was scared Marina would be seen as a freak and hurt by other children, so she asked me to seal away Marina’s powers. She was 5 when she first levitated her teddy bear. A fast learner too. I didn’t want to seal he powers; such a gifted kid. But when her mother got sick, a fatal disease, she asked me once more. She wanted a normal childhood; a normal life for her daughter… I couldn’t refuse her then. She died 5 hours later that same day. I had to promise her to never let Marina come into her powers again’
Jean couldn’t believe her ears. ‘So Marina doesn’t know that she’s a witch? Does she know about you?’
Rosalie shook her head. ‘We’re very careful around her. I don’t think her knowing will do anything, but I don’t want to risk spiking her memory’
‘Yes, I can understand that…’ Jean said, playing with a dried leaf.
‘Since I’m the one that did the spell to seal her magic, it only makes sense that the spell can be undone if I uncast it…’
‘Or if you died’ Jean gasped, finally figuring it out.
‘…or if I die, yes. It’s all very clear now’
‘Oh my God, Rose!’ You… you need to drink my potion. I can make some for y—‘
‘No’ Rosalie waved her hand, ‘That won’t protect me from assassinations and even if it did, I refuse to live forever on this terrible earth, no thank you! I just have to find a way to re-route the spell… or strip her of her powers completely instead of just sealing them again. If you’d help me, we could figure it out faster. She’ll be here in 2 days, hopefully. Never missed one of my birthdays yet, so…’
Rosalie looked up when Jean got up and started to wheel her to the house. ‘It’s gonna rain’ Jean explained.
‘I know- I can still smell it you know. Even in my old age’ Rosalie smiled, ‘… are you staying? For my birthday I mean?’
‘I want to… you know I do, but I also don’t want to leave Rinka alone for that long. Especially after hearing all that. I’m sorry old friend’
‘I’m a mother too, I know how you feel. Your visit even if not a completely social one, is already a present for me’ Rosalie gave Jean’s hand a gentle squeeze. ‘But you are staying for lunch… -ubuhbub, no buts. Julie is fixing us something that might just kill us, but it’ll give us some time to talk… relive some of the old days’
‘I won’t say no to that’ Jean smiled.
‘Oh, the girls said there were three orbs’ Rosalie remembered, having seen only one.
‘One is still with Rinka; It’s about her having to make a difficult choice later in life. Probably what the prophecy was talking about. The other is the blue one I also brought along’
‘Blue? That’s worldly isn’t it?’
‘So if the Astor-prophecy is fulfilled, Rinka’s will follow and she has to make a choice. Both of the prophecies will lead to a worldly scaled change?’ Rosalie groaned, ‘I hate the blue orbs! They never recall what’s going to happen. I should’ve mine down the first time I prophesized them’
‘I can’t stand their silence either. They would be a lot easier to prevent if we knew wh—Do you smell something burning?’
‘My soup!’ They heard Julie scream from the kitchen. Jean stifled back a smile and then remembered that she was eating too…
Jane paid the cab and walked up to the building. Her courage once again sinking with every step she took. ‘This is ridiculous Jane, get a grip!’ she reprimanded herself, ‘Just go in there, ask him what happened and if necessary apologize too and… move on!’ Oh, but what if it’s bad?
She shook her head; a cartoonish attempt to shake off the thought. Needless to say it didn’t work.
Standing in front of the door, she took a deep breath. One that resulted in another and another and another. Jane lost count of how many breaths she took in those three minutes she just stood there –world record perhaps?- when the door suddenly swung open.