The Four Clairs: Part One
A new chapter in Alaia's life exposes her to a deep, dark truth
It's been ten whole weeks since I moved into Aunt Didi's and Uncle Ross' house. My 16-year-old cousin, D.C. and I were having one of our usual late-night therapy sessions.
Are you really going to spend the rest of your life crying over Star, Alaia?
We were together for five years, D.C. FIVE. YEARS. I just can't believe it's really over.
I promise you deserve better, said D.C. as she wrapped her arms around me in a sweet embrace.
Now. I'm going to sneak downstairs and get snacks. You coming with?
Maybe not. I really need to study for this chem exam tomorrow.
You sure? I hear ice cream is the perfect way to remedy a broken heart.
Suit yourself. Daddy bought COOKIE MONSTER!!
Why am I so stupid? I let out a huge sigh and buried my face in my hands.
Maybe I should just read a book, or listen to some Puja Dog. She's my favorite podcaster and she always makes me feel better about myself.
I needed something-anything to take my mind off of Star.
Just as I walked over to my bookshelf to grab something that would alleviate my whirlwind of emotions, I noticed something outside my bedroom window.
The grove of trees amidst the black night sky made it almost impossible to make anything out.
I couldn't see anything except for two beaming neon green lights. They looked like the eyes of something.
I knew my aunt and uncle lived in the suburbs and always had visitors from the wild in their backyard, but an animal with neon green eyes that looked like lasers? And why did it look like it was staring right into my bedroom up on the third floor?
I rubbed my eyes wondering if this was a hallucination, when D.C. entered the room.
Why is Cookie Monster so good? She asked rhetorically with a blue mustache and chocolate on her teeth.
Uh D.C., you got a little something... everywhere!
She walked towards the mirror and burst out laughing.
I look like a smurf!
She proceeded to make funny faces in the mirror.
Hey, look at me! I'm a Smurf!
Not now, Smurfette. We have bigger fish to fry. Come look.
What? What is it?
Look! Over there, behind the fence. Do you see that thing? It has like green eyes or something.
What the-? What is that?
How am I supposed to know?
I don't know what that is but it looks angry.
Yeah, no kidding. I think I'm gonna go check it out.
I'm sorry, what? Are you crazy? You've seen scary movies. You know we don't do things like that!
Well, I need to know what's glaring at me in the backyard, okay? I'm going to find out...with or without you.
I turned around to leave.
The backyard was always mesmerizing to me. I loved watching it in the day, the way the sun hit it perfectly and the trees were scattered. Something about its appearance always made me feel like I was on a safari. The deer, hares and groundhogs would come out daily to greet me.
But at night, the backyard was nothing short of terrifying.
*Sigh* Here I go.
I crept down the stairs, careful to avoid the sleeping baby, unlocked the door and snuck out the back. I grabbed the nearest stick and climbed over the fence.
Man, I really should've brought some tiger's eye or something before doing this, I thought to myself. Hopefully this stick will suffice.
I thought about calling out to the creature/figure thing, but decided against it at the last minute.
At first, I couldn't make anything out in the distance. The luminescence of the neon green light completely obstructed my vision.
I continued to walk towards the light.
I began to make out a sort of statue-like figure. It was comparable to a tiki totem in appearance but with a face that looked like it was from ancient Egyptian times.
At this point I could hear nothing but the cicadas and crickets that sang their nightly songs.
I stood, stick in hand, trepidation in full gear.
Alright, screw this. I'm going back upstairs.
I turned around to head upstairs when the figure slowly started to open up. It split in half, revealing a holographic scroll and a face.
Greetings. I am Oshun. This is a message from your ancestors. Someone is sending you the evil eye.
I couldn't help but explode with laughter.
I'm sorry, what? Am I asleep?
Did I have a little too much-
The hologram continued:
A fire sign is sending you the evil eye. They have contacted their ancestors and they are coming to get you. Protect yourself. Your ancestors want to protect you.
Okay, with all due respect- what did you say your name was?
Anyway, this is ridiculous, okay? Whoever's out there pranking me, VERY FUNNY! I yelled into the void.
That's when it dawned on me.
Star IS a fire sign. And her mother IS a fire sign. Leo and Sagittarius, respectively. Crap.
Why would they be mad at me? It wasn't my fault. Cambria tried to frame me. She climbed on ME and kissed ME. I love Star. I would never betray her trust. But no one believes me thanks to her sister. And now her whole family thinks I broke her heart. Of course they'd be after me.
Okay. I'm listening.
Your ancestors want to help you. But they require one thing of you.
Wait, what? You mean you came here to bargain with me?
They've noticed that the women, the precious mothers in your family are deeply hurting and are continuing to foster painful intergenerational mother-daughter relationships. They see these cycles of generational trauma being perpetuated and they want an end to it.
I mean, yeah, I guess I could see that. I don't exactly have communication with my mom anymore. But, what does that have to do with me?
The generational curse ends with you.
The what now?
You are the last of your bloodline of childbearing age. They want the cycle to end with you.
And how? Just how? Am I supposed to end something that's been an issue for at least a century? ALSO, I'm only 20!!
Bring them The Four Clairs.
I don't even know one Claire? You expect me to find four??
Clairvoyance. The gift of seeing. Clairaudience. The gift of hearing. Clairsentience. The gift of feeling. Claircognizance. The gift of knowing.
Bring them The Four Clairs. Four women in your bloodline. Each possessing one of these abilities. Find them and come with them. You have until dusk on Saturday.
Oh. Dusk on Saturday, huh? Very specific.
Before I could say anything else the statue, hologram, and blinding green lights were all gone. I didn't even see it happen.
All but one thing were gone- the scroll.
I picked up the antiquated looking sheet of paper. I'm not even going to try to read this.
My hand got burned.
The scroll! On it, words were ablaze.
SPEAK OF THIS TO NO ONE
What the heck just happened?
Confused and a little terrified, I made my way back to the house.
I walked inside to find my uncle eating Cookie Monster ice cream in a fuzzy bathrobe and bonnet.
Are you okay? You look like you just saw a ghost.
Yep. Never better.
I quickly ran up the stairs. I needed a cold shower or something.
As soon as I got back to my room, I looked out the window for the green light.
D.C Wake up.
Huh? Oh, you're back! How did it go?
Did you see when that green light disappeared?
Huh, interesting, she said as she put her glasses on to look outside. I wouldn't have particularly happened to notice that.
At this point, I was shaking.
What happened? Was it a pack of wolves? She howled.
Haha, nope. Coyotes.
Yeah, right. What was it actually?
Nothing. I'm kinda tired? Think I'm gonna go to bed.
Okay, weirdo. See you tomorrow.
The Four Clairs.
Those words kept replaying over and over in my mind. I had never heard of them.
Wait. Didn't Puja Dog talk about clairvoyance in her most recent podcast?
As I listened over the podcast, I heard Puja Dog say that there are only 4 Clairs left on earth. But what is the likelihood that the 4 Clairs would be in my family? How am I even supposed to determine that?
I quickly drafted up a list of all the women in my family. I'll go to each of these women and find out who has each power? I can do this, right?
My palms moistened.
First on the list, the eldest of the matriarchy- Great Gramma Ama, short for Amara Anne Mayer.
Hey auntie, how's your day going?
I need a break from these kids! Then we can talk about that.
By any chance, do you know where Great Gramma Ama is nowadays? How old is she now, anyway?
92 years young. Sure, you could find her at your great aunt's house over in Montclair. Gonna pay her a visit?
I think so, yeah.
I grabbed my car keys and was on my way.
I arrived at my great aunt's apartment complex.
Wow, very fancy, I thought as I was greeted by a butler with a glass of wine and four swans. I hadn't seen my great-aunt in about ten years, pretty much ever since the birth of her and my grandmother's sibling rivalry.
I walked in to see my Great-grandmother sitting in a royal-looking armchair with a cup of tea. I recounted seeing her drink tea when I was little.
Hi, Great Gramma Ama!
I wrapped my arms around her and gave her a great big kiss.
Who is that?
What? It's me, Gramma! Alaia, your favorite baby, remember?
That's when it dawned on me. 92-years-young isn't so young. She doesn't recognize me. It wasn't long before I realized that she couldn't engage in conversation.
I felt discouraged but mostly sad. One of my favorite people could no longer communicate with me.
I combed her hair, made her lunch and told her I would soon have to go. I was on a mission.
As I grabbed my bag to leave, I noticed something strange. She looked like she was talking to someone, but there was no one else in the room.
Tell her she is protected. Tell her she has found a Clair.
Who was she talking to?
That's when it dawned on me.
Clairaudience. The gift of hearing.
I ran over to her eagerly, kissed her sweet face and headed for the door.
As I entered my car, I composed a huge group text to my two sisters, two cousins, aunt, and grandma.
I had less than a day to find the Four Clairs and be protected from some crazy shiz.
Sleepover tonight!!! Bring cute PJs. Refreshments will be served.
I was determined to find the other three Clairs. I came up with games, questions and activities that would help me figure out the missing Clairs.
After a full night of movies, heart-to-hearts and spa treatments, I had nothing. No one showed any signs of being a Clair.
I laid on my bed as a tear escaped my eye.
Hey, baby Leelee just wanted to say good night. Thank you for such a fun night with all the girls!
My aunt startled me, but I was able to play off the fact that I'd been crying.
No problem at all. I had fun, too. Love you.
Love you- ugh. Your uncle needs me. Could you stay with Leelee for a second?
I put Leelee on the bed and continued to mope.
She wouldn't stop staring at me.
What Leelee? What is it?
She crawled towards me and gently caressed my shoulder as if to tell me everything was okay.
"Is it just me or is this the most compassionate one-year-old I've ever met?"
Wait a minute...
Where was I going to find the remaining two Clairs in less than a few hours. Resigned, I went to bed.