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Spawn of the Magi: The Goddess' Call
Sometimes it really sucks being different. No, it always sucks. Especially for me.
My name is Lauryn and I am the last person you would expect to be in this position, and that’s the gospel truth.
This is going to sound like a cliche sob story but trust me, in no way am I of the mainstream normal, never have been and I never will be. I can’t make you believe me. I can’t make you agree or disagree with me. But since you’re wherever you are and I’m here, and I can make you listen. Or at least try to.
I’m a foster kid, I know: Woah! Another story about a sad and lonely foster kid, wow this is so new and unique! Spare me. This is real life, and I’m not the only foster kid to ever live.
I was abandoned when I was four and I have no memory of my real parents other than a distant and fuzzy image of a lilac nursery and the aggressive smell of cherries and vanilla. Now, yes, I would get adopted every once and awhile. And I would be ecstatic to finally have a family again- up until about a week, then I’d immediately get sent back because of some freak accident that I’m not totally sure was my fault.
That tends to happen to me a lot. I’m constantly getting in trouble for things I’m almost positive I didn’t do.
After my fifth foster family, I’d given up hope that I’d ever have a real family. That’s when the dreams started, and when I started hearing the voice of a woman I eerily felt close to. The woman kept repeating the same line to me:
“Find my key, you’re the only one who can.”
This went on for about a week. I was one-hundred percent of the mind that I was losing it. Nine years in a foster home and always being sent back really isn’t good for the old noggin. On the thirteenth day of this wretched voice that doesn’t know when it’s not wanted, it became all too real.
I finished my chores and locked myself in my, what you may call a bedroom, I call a Harry Potter closet. It had gotten pretty late so I decided I should sleep at some point.
But of course with my rotten luck, the second my head hit the pillow:
“Find my key, please, child, all of Olympus is riding on you,” The woman’s voice rang in my ears louder and more piercing than ever like the woman was right next to me. “you are the only one, Lauryn, my pride and joy. Believe it or not, you sought the knowledge, now you know.” At this point, I could have sworn I felt the woman’s breath in my ear. Stupid yes, but I couldn’t fight it anymore. I gave into the ghostly voice. I slammed my eyes shut and spoke aloud.
“Wh-who are you?” My voice was barely a whisper, “Why do you want me to find this key?” I felt utterly ridiculous talking to air, only to discover it wasn’t air at all.
The woman’s voice chuckled softly, “Why don’t you open your eyes and see for yourself?”
What kind of invite was that?! Why would I ever do that? I thought, but something cast away every single part of my rational decision making and I opened my eyes. My heart froze along with my entire body. What stood before me was something worse than the ghosts I’m pretty sure roam around the halls of the foster home.
A woman stood at the foot of my mattress. She wore a black strapless gown that had an ombre to purple in the light bulb light, (the only light I had) the bottom of her dress glittered against what little moonlight snuck into my room. Her arms were adorned with black matte finished chains and bracelets. Her curly black hair was tied up in a beautiful wispy updo with braids wrapping around golden laurels. I froze, I couldn’t think or speak. She reminded me of a queen, someone who holds an incredible amount of power in just her pinky finger. The woman’s eyes looked navy for a second, then shifted to pink and loving, but I knew they were purple when I first saw her. Her eyes shifted from color to color like a kaleidoscope. Mine do the same thing. Not to mention they were even shaped like mine too, big and round. Her big black hair fell exactly like mine too. Her face was round with faint freckles across her nose. It took me a hard minute to realize how similar she looked to me.
If there was more room in my closet, I would have been in the farthest corner.
The woman chuckled more, it was almost comforting. “Now I’m aware I’m more intimidating than most goddesses on Olympus but you needn’t fear me.”
“T-than most wh-what?” I stammered. I sat up and winced. My ears were seriously hurting. I grabbed the lobes and the woman looked at me, her face full of concern. I knew I shouldn’t have taken out the studs in my newly pierced ears.
“Did you take them out?! Oh, no wonder I couldn’t contact you! You’re going to get an infection!”
I shook my head in disbelief, “This is a dream, this is a dream, I’m finally going crazy, thirteen years and I’ve finally lost it, all of my marbles gone with the wind, oh god.”
“Oh Gods,” She corrected, “there’s more than one of us,” she waltzed over to my school bag and knew exactly where the earrings were. She grabbed them and leaned over me, attaching them to my ears. I immediately felt better. “Honestly Lauryn, you’re going to get yourself hurt, I gave you these earrings for a reason. This is how I’ve been talking to you. I tried to make them as seamless as possible. You were the one who has always wanted earrings,”
“How do you know my name?!” I croaked.
She laughed. “How do I know your name? Because I gave it to you dear. Your father wanted something embarrassing like Pamela or Margaret. Something terribly out of date. But you were not to have that, I like to, how do you moderns say? Go big or go home. I quite liked Ophelia Odessa, but we settled on Lauryn- Ryn for short. Sweet and to the point. However I did add the Y in the spelling though, you needed some spice. Your father came up with Ryn,” she laughed softly. “such a simple man he was.”
My shoulders loosened and fell. My eyes welled with tears and I choked back a sob, “Y-you gave it to- what..? M-my father?”
“Yes child,” She motioned to the mattress, “may I?”
I nodded and the goddess took a seat. I cautiously scooched next to her.
“I’ve come at a terrible time, I know, and I must apologize for that. I needed to see how you were progressing, but when I learned where you ended up, I could not stand by and wait any longer. Rynnie,” A chill went up my spine when she said that, I vaguely remembered someone calling me that, another woman. I think she looked a lot like this woman, but she was only a person. The woman that sat in front of me held her head like a trophy, proper and strong, but I could feel a glumness about her, the way her eyes glinted in the low light, they held a great sadness I know because I wear the same face.
“I do not expect you to accept my apology for letting you end up… here,” She gestured around the tiny room and made a disgusted face, “I should have stepped in long ago before you ended up being someone’s foot maid. Not a child of mine, never.”
“A child of yours? Wait, so-” I shook my head in confusion. I didn’t necessarily disagree with this woman, if she really is who she’s alluding to, she could have sent a card or something, yet she sounded so sincere, so hurt, almost scared. “Wh-who are you? I mean, who are you to me? Your eyes,” I pointed to my now blue eyes, “your eyes are like mine, they change.” I looked at her and my vision swirled with several different colors, “Are...You?”
“Yes, Lauryn. I am your mother, I am Hecate, Goddess of Magic and Spells. Which would make you, Lauryn Mageía, a demigod of magic,” The way she said that second name numbed my spine. Mageía, was that my last name? I went years never knowing it. “which is one of the most versatile types of demigods out there, and that makes you a rather large target and terribly dangerous.”
That really didn’t make me feel any better, me? Dangerous? A danger to myself, sure. If my head wasn’t spinning before, it definitely was off its dreidel now.
“Wait, wait, wait, pause. You’re my mother…”
“Yes, I did say that.”
“You’ve been the one talking to me?”
“Yes, Rynnie, what did you think you’ve gone mad?”
“Lil’ bit,” I admitted.
“No, no, no child, sweetie we’re sorceresses, we’re not the ones who are insane, we’re the ones who cause insanity,” She winked.
“And the key?” I asked I will say though, I didn’t like the title sorceress, nor did I like that we ‘cause insanity’ I don’t typically wish that on anyone but maybe a few select people in this foster home.
“Yes, that is part of your quest. I still do not understand how someone can mistranslate a simple story so badly. I clearly stated that a Spawn of Magi is absolutely mandatory for this quest to work!” She shook her head exasperatedly. “Sheesh, mortals...”
“I wrote a story long ago about a quest, one more dangerous than Achilles’, specifically for the strongest of my blood to complete. Several have tried before but they all died in the first seventy-two hours.”
This was so much information in one sitting, I could feel my brain turning to mush, I got dizzy trying to put all these pieces of the puzzle together, only the puzzle is one-thousand pieces, and I had about two.
“And you want me to do it? Me? Why?” I asked.
“Lauryn, you are capable of so much more than you know.”
“You do realize I’m failing gym right?”
“How does one fail-? Not matter, grade point average is not important to this quest. However, we will be discussing that later.” She eyed me.
My brain was completely liquid at this point, the world around began to swirl. I woke up the next morning with a fruit basket next to my mattress, a leather bound book that looked about ten-thousand years old or more, and a backpack next to my tiny desk. Not my backpack mind you. Which really made me believe what happened last night. I groggily sat up and rubbed my eyes. It was all so unbelievable to me. I really was in the same room as the goddess of magic- no that didn’t matter, I was in the same room with my mother.
Ever since I was abandoned, I dreamt of seeing my parents again, asking them a billion and two questions. But something hung me up, what Hecate had said about my father. Such a simple man he was. Where was my father? What happened to him? And Pamela? Seriously? Granted that wasn’t any better than Ophelia Odessa. Suddenly the fact that my name spelling has a stupid Y in it was so much nicer.
I rose to my feet and stumbled. It felt like there was a new liquid coursing through my veins. I’ve had migraines before, sure, a lot more than an eighth grader should, but whatever gushing liquid I now had, dominated every headache I’ve ever had. I looked down at the veins on my wrists and stood dumbfounded.
Where my blue veins should have been, was replaced with glimmering channels of purple liquid coursing through my arms and the rest of my body. My new veins glittered with flecks of gold and amethyst. The color diminished and my normal veins emerged, coincidentally enough, the rushing feeling did too. My mother’s voice rang in my ear, “Magical, is it not?” she makes bad puns, excellent. Just what I need in all of this nonsense.
After the intensity of last night, I so badly wanted to crawl into the nearest hole and never leave again. I wanted to swaddle myself in a blanket and forget the world existed. I didn’t ask for this, I didn’t want to be this. I just wish I could melt away into the wall, never to be seen again. I cradled myself in my arms and hunched over holding back the flood gates. No, I’m not going to do it. I’m the daughter of Hecate right? (right?) she’s a goddess, right? She held her head high, why can’t I? I had the terrifying opportunity to make something of myself. Nothing to cry over, yet anyways. Except for the fact that she hasn’t been in my life since I was four- and that she could have decided to visit me maybe five years earlier, or that she was probably responsible for the failed adoption trials….No, bad thoughts.
I’ve done enough crying in my life. I am going to do this, stay tuned.