Annabelle sits on the soggy grass gazing up at the stars. Her arms swaddle her midsection. Her legs tuck in tight to her body. The moon’s light kisses her cheek, causing them to sparkle, an obvious streak of tears. 

I sigh to myself, one hesitant step forward. The squish of grass beneath my feet forces me to pause. I turn around to leave, then swivel back towards Annabelle. Standing still.

Her shoulders slow-dance up and down as a sniffle disrupts the silence. She keeps peering up at the stars. 

Placing my hands in my jean pockets, I bunch up my shoulders to ward off the chill. Several thoughts play out in my mind. Should I leave her alone? Should I join her? Does she even want to see me? Did I mess up?

“I know you are there. You shouldn't become a ninja or anything in special ops because you would suck. Sit down.”

I chuckle. I guess that answers one question. 

The sloshing beneath my feet disrupts the silence. I ease down and sit next to her, ignoring the wetness seeping into my pants. 

“How can you sit out here on the wet grass? It is freezing.”

Annabelle doesn’t answer, only shrugs her shoulders, and never lets her eyes leave the stars. 

Staying silent, I observe her. The crinkle between her brows, the slight twitch of her right eye, the minuscule frown of the left side of her lip. The tear tracks that have left a trail. Then all her features go back to neutral, only to repeat along with new track marks. 

I want to answer all the questions that flood her face. Confirm each emotion that is trying to escape. She doesn’t realize how expressive she is. Everything she thinks, written all over her face. I will have to train her to be impartial and this saddens me. That I will have to change her. Not because I want to, but because I have to. For her to survive.

The moon creeps higher in the sky and I sit next to her waiting for when she is ready to talk. Letting her know she has some semblance of control. At least for now. This is the only time I will be able to acknowledge her feelings. Once we leave this grass hilltop everything is going to change. Her life now censored, watched, and observed. The freedom of a young lady snatched away from her.

I will not allowed to be alone with her either. Ironic, since I have been guarding her long before she was born into this life and the many lives before that. But, of course, it would not be proper for a warrior to be alone with the young seer, the future Sorceress. 

“So, you friended my brother only to keep an eye on me?”

That was not the first question I thought she would ask.

“I have been a part of your life since the day you took your first breath. In this life and every previous life before. I am your sanctioned warrior to always keep you under guard.”

Annabelle's head snaps towards me, finally no longer staring at the stars. Her brows furrow, her lips part, and her neck cocks to the right. Shock enlightens her eyes.  

“What do you mean, a part of my life since I took my first breath?”

A huge sigh escapes me as I work out on where to begin.

“Our race have ways to change our image. When you were thirteen, I made myself look younger for awhile. So I could be seventeen and friends with your brother. Grow older along with him. It takes a lot out of me.” 

“Is that why you were always eating?” Her small smirk makes an appearance. A bit of her sass coming up to the surface.

“Yeah. It takes a lot of energy. When the moon is full I can recharge. But sometimes I would have to be watching over you and wouldn’t be able to do the proper ritual.”

Her eyes darken, and that sass extinguishes right before me. Causing me to deflate a little.

“Why are you telling me all this now?” Annabelle asks.

I shift my head away from her to give me a moment, to let me live in the lie a second longer. Intaking a deep breath, I look her in the eye again.

“You're told now because the Bylocke's hounds have caught your scent.”

“What does that mean?” Her eyes widen.

“It means I failed you. I didn’t protect you as I should have. The cloaking ritual wasn’t strong enough to hold your power at bay.”

“The dreams.”

Nodding my head at her.

“The dreams are the most active power of a seer. Where they are the most potent.”

“But I have had them my whole my life.”

My whole body swerves towards Annabelle.

“What do you mean you have had the dreams your whole life?”

“Exactly what I said. I have always had dreams. I never paid too much attention to them, but they have always been there. It’s been in the last year they have been coming to me even when I am not asleep.”

This moment she could blow me over with a feather. Glancing up to the stars, I am hoping they can answer all the confusion that has invaded me now. Something is wrong. Something has been wrong.

I focus on Annabelle. Thinking, it's possible, something isn’t wrong, that she is that powerful. But, if she has been dreaming her whole life. Then how did the hounds only now start making their presence known? 

“Are you okay? What did I say?”

“Annabelle, you shouldn’t have been able to have any of your seer qualities accessible. You might be more powerful than I could have ever imagined. Which means... the prophecy might be coming in this lifetime.”

Her pupils dilate, her pulse beats faster at her neck, and a quick inhale sticks in her throat. 

“We have to start now. I need to prepare you.”

“Prepare me? Prophecy? Wha..." She stutters.

“You may very become the High Reigning Sorceress and the protector of this realm. You will have to learn to fuse all your past lives to gain the wisdom and power of the Sorceress. You are one of the last Seer’s of your kind, and this realm is one of the last that you will be able to survive on. All the other realms have been dying off.”

Annabelle shakes her head and gets to stand up. I grasp her wrist and encourage her to stay seated as I move my whole body towards her. 

“I know this is a lot to take in and doesn’t make sense, but in time you will know all. You will know all and see all. Even if you are not the High Reigning Sorceress. You are still powerful and need to protect this realm with everything you have.”

Her body starts shaking, her lips purse and I can tell she is about to lose it. 

“I know it is not fair. I know you are having to take a lot in, and soon you will be taking in so much information you won’t know what to do. But that is what I am here for. Not only am I to protect you physically, but I am to guide and protect you mentally and emotionally as well. Then when you are ready, you will be a force that will no longer need me.” I state.

“This morning I came home from college to do my laundry, to see mom and dad, have a home-cooked meal. And then those freaks barge in and tell me that I have to leave. That my family is not my family. That you are not Kent’s best friend, but my guard. Then you tell me all this crap. You have the wrong person. What you say is not me. I am not at all or in any way powerful. I am girl in college. I'm looking forward to parties, meeting new people, and stressing about what I should major in. See, not powerful.”

Each word punches out of her mouth. But her eyes are not venomous. Her eyes display fear. A fear I wish to take away.

I wish to punish each of the council for invading her home and telling her the way that they had. They have always been the worst at delivering delicate news.

“You are so strong, Annabelle. I have seen it. You are everything a Seer is to be and I know if you are the High Reigning Sorceress then the Gods have chosen wise. I will always be at your back. I pledge my life to yours.”

I grip her shoulders so she can’t shake me off or move away. I pierce my gaze upon hers, and I plead that she embraces my vow and knows that I trust every word I say. That I do believe in her.

She sits frozen, staring into my eyes. The green of her iris begins to brighten. I am awed by her capability to already be accessing her power. She is already reading my emotions. A true natural. 

“I don’t know why, but I do. I do believe in what you say.”

“You are a Seer, and can only see the truth. You only need to trust in yourself.” I cup her cheeks in my hands and let my face reveal my belief in her. I strip my face free of the mask for her to see me. The real me.

A rustling escapes with her sudden inhale. 

“I will teach you so much. I promise you will no longer feel lost. You will know exactly who you are.”

Her hands grab onto my wrists, looking deep into my aura. 

“This is what you look like? I mean it still looks like you, but…”

I smile at her, knowing what she means.

“I will show you how to reveal your true self as well. It’s our inner light that we shield, and when we lift the mask, the light can release. Nothing crazy or dramatic, right? It only enhances us.”

“You’re beautiful.” She whispers. Her cheeks flush a rosy tinge, and not from the nip in the air. 

“Thank you,” I say.

I realize we are in a compromising position, of me holding her face and her holding my wrists. If the council sees this there will be hell to pay, that is for sure.

Clearing my throat, I lean back taking my hands with me, releasing the warmth of Annabelle.



“I need to… Are you okay?”

She stays silent and turns back to the stars as if they hold all the answers in the world. As if they can reveal to her that she will be okay.

“It’s a lot to take in. I have so many questions. I don’t know where to begin, but for now, I am processing.”

I fight a smile. Leave it to her to answer without actually answering.

“Fair enough. I need to know that we are okay? Or at least will be okay? That you trust me.”

Silence. Again. The stress of waiting for her to answer claws within my chest. All the things that can go wrong play out before me. It will be so hard if we have to start at square one because I am linked to her. Chained to her for all eternity. She has no idea what I have sacrificed for her. What I would sacrifice again for her? The one lifetime I should have died from millennia ago. But didn’t, for her.

She studies the stars like she doesn’t already know every constellation. I remain sitting with bated breath. 

I contemplate the stars along with her. Believing she will not be answering me at all.

“We’re okay. I trust you.”

A cry almost leaves my lips at her declaration. My body sags deeper into the grass from my relief. A smile floods my face. A true smile that I haven’t held in a long time. 

I beam up to the stars, gazing at their illustrious beauty and for the moment finding myself at peace. 

July 22, 2020 19:38

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Jade Young
06:41 Jul 28, 2020

This is a beautiful story! It's inspiring how you were able to weave the moral of accepting a person for who they really are and finding them "beautiful". This is a really touching story :)


Michelle Bynum
14:44 Jul 28, 2020

Thank you, Jade. So pleased that you liked it, and thank you for commenting. :)


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Jen Park
03:26 Jul 27, 2020

Wow! This sounds like the beginning of a great story yet to be written. Your descriptions did not 'block' the plot,but it made more intriguing. I liked the descriptions about the moon and the night sky. I liked the way how alternations that happened so suddenly happened in Annabelle's life are weaved into the story so softly and naturally, and the mysterious character of the protagonist. And, are you planning to write it into a novella? If you are, I'd love to read it!


Michelle Bynum
06:43 Jul 27, 2020

Thank you so much!!! I didn't think much further on it, mostly I wanted to get something written up for this prompt, :) but I think a novella would be great. I will have to give it a shot and flesh it out some more. If I do I will make sure to let you know. I really appreciate you liking it and commenting.


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