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The Adventures of Millie and Sandra E03S02

by Karen Eastland 7 months ago in Short Story · updated 7 months ago
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The Daemons, Celia and Sandra

“Daemon… You sure he said, daemon?” Aunt Millie asked the twins. “Sure he didn’t mean demon?”

“Yes,” Sandra said, “daemon and isn’t it divinely wonderful that Marly’s alive, and Mark—”

“Why?” Millie asked her aunt. “What’s the difference? Daemon, demon… they’re the same thing, aren’t they?”

“Not at all, Millie,” Aunt Millie said. “They’re very different creatures.”

“So, what are daemons?” Millie asked.

Millie and her aunt kept the conversation going until they could find a new topic to get Sandra’s attention. They needed to focus on the new oogidie boogidie in Launceston… Or an old one.

“Daemons, girls, are like… well, they’re like angels, actually.”

“Angel’s?” Sandra asked, rejoining the conversation.

“What she said,” Millie said, sending her aunt a pleading, She’s gonna start delisciofying the conversation, auntie, straight into her mind.

Aunt Millie smiled, rolled her eyes and saw Sandra’s mouth begin to form words, heard her thoughts, and decided it’d be best to jump right on in and feel her way as she went along. She had vague memories about daemons from obscure books she read in her youth.

Think, Mill’s, she was thinking, but thankfully Millie had also heard Sandra’s thoughts and recognised her aunt was lost to her own, so jumped to fill the void.

“Why would an angel want to eat humans?” she asked.

“They wouldn’t,” her aunt said.

Tucking a stray grey loop of hair behind her ear, Aunt Millie went back to her thoughts. She was looking for the rest of a stray memory she’d found hiding deep in her mind.

“Auntie?” Sandra asked, and she noticed the twins were staring at her.

“Something… or someone, must be controlling them,” she said, pulling the entire string of that thought back to the fore.

“Someone?” Millie asked.

“Yes!” Aunt Millie said. “A daemon is a neutral being. They hold allegiances to no-one… but if someone has figured out how to control them—”

“Kayla,” Millie, and it startled Sandra out of from wherever she’d been.

“Kayla?” she said. “You mean she’s human? Dash it! So we can’t send her to some mystical cage hidden deep in the—"

“Auntie,” Millie asked, stopping Sandra’s fantasy before it bloomed. “What if Kayla is something else and is in control of the daemon? Could that happen?”

“I’d have to do some research, refresh my memory,” their aunt said, “but from what I can recall, yes, something might’ve found a way to control it, but it’s a dangerous thing to do. If, or more precisely, when, the daemon is freed, it will kill its captor.”

“So, what’s Kayla?” Millie asked.

“Oo, I hope she’s something nasty and we get to punish her,” Sandra said and the two Millie’s turned to look at her. “What? She’s picked on us both for years... and she tried to kill Marly, who’s now a cat. It’d be nice to get some payback.”

The two Millie’s, stunned by Sandra’s outburst, were still staring at her. Aunt Millie couldn’t believe one of her nieces would think like that, but, If one of them did, it’d be Sandra. Millie was silently leaning towards Sandra on the point of Kayla but would never say it. Aunt Millie always said, “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” The twins had watched Steel Magnolia’s and silently finish that phrase with, “Come sit by me.”

“So,” Millie said, “how do we find out what Kayla is? Cause we’ve got school tomorrow and I don’t think I’ll be able to look at her without wanting to… well, the same way again.”

Aunt Millie thought for a moment, then said, “Make sure you wear your crystals…”

Aunt Millie became quiet again. She was trying to untangle that thought by threading it through a mystical needle to get a good look at the entire strand.

“Auntie?” Sandra asked and waved her hand in front of her eyes.

“Stop it,” Millie said, and had just pushed her hands away when their aunt spoke.

“I was going to wait until your birthday,” she said, getting up from her chair, “but you need them now.”

She was almost at the kitchen door when she stopped. Her mind was racing as to what would be the best to protect the twins.

“Need what?” Millie asked, and her aunt heard her voice as if she was a long way away from her.

“An early birthday pressie,” Sandra said, “whoop! Whoop!”

“What the?” Millie asked. “What’s up with you today? And what’s the “whoop whoop” all about?”

“I just feel… excited.”

“Why?

“Don’t know, sis. I kind of woke like this, this morning,” Sandra said.

Aunt Millie turned and looked at Sandra. She entered her mind and sought out the reason for her niece’s sudden endorphin rush.

“I’ll be right back,” their aunt said, and the twins watched as she almost ran from the room.

What’s up auntie? Millie asked Sandra telepathically. She’d learned how to filter out other people so they could chat one on one with whomever she chose.

She’d created her own private chat room. No-one gets in without an invite!

Millie. You frightened me, Sandra said.

Then in another room, she contacted her aunt Millie.

What’s going on, auntie? And what’s wrong with Sandra? Millie asked, thankful Sandra hadn’t learned how to get in.

Not sure. Keep her busy while I get some things together.

‘kay, but hurry, Millie said. She’s super annoying today.

Agreed… oop, got it, her aunt said, and disconnected the link.

In the lounge room, Aunt Millie pulled two small blue velvet boxes from a bureau draw. Setting them side by side on the top of her redwood buffet, she opened them. Sitting in amongst white satin pillows were two clear Quartz sterling silver rings. She’d had them specially made, but thought she had more time.

Maybe I still do? She thought. There’s a full moon tonight.

Aunt Millie checked to make sure the twins couldn’t see her, then blessed the rings.

In a full moon's glow

And midnights shadow

Imbue night's essence

Above and below

Into these objects

Of magic and heart

Cleansed and new

With moon and stars

Protect the wearers

Innocent and true

Bathe these amulets

In Winter streams

Protect the wearer

In night-time dreams

Protect them from

The darks embrace

And gift each wearer

With truth and grace.

Once the rings were blessed, Aunt Millie took them from their box and kissed each crystal to seal it with her magic.

“I don’t think we should look at it that way,” Millie was saying as their aunt returned.

“Think about what in what way?” she asked, taking her seat at the table.

“Oh, it’s nothing,” Sandra said, and sneered at Millie. Don’t you tell her what we’ve been talking about, Mill’s, Sandra sent telepathically.

Sandra wasn’t a very good student. She hadn’t quite mastered the act of filtering out other people, and Aunt Millie heard everything. She didn’t react. Sometimes it was the only way she knew if Sandra was in trouble. She was, after all, a troublemaker. Then there’s the rather fast bonding with Celia, who Aunt Millie and their mother didn’t trust could be good.

“Happy birthday, girls,” she said and slid a box across the table to them.

Sandra opened hers first and before she even thought about touching it, her eyes looked like they would pop out of her head.

“Oh, auntie,” she said. “It’s beautiful. Look Millie,” Sandra said, turning her box to face her.

Millie opened hers and was also delighted to see the ring. She could feel its power before even opened the box, and the ring was gorgeous.

“Thank you, Auntie,” Millie said, and leaned over to her and gave her a hug.

“Oh. You’re welcome, dear.”

“Yes,” Sandra, not to be out done, said. “Thank you, Auntie.”

Aunt Millie smiled. The look on her niece’s faces were all the thanks she needed.

“They’ve been blessed to protect you from harm. It doesn’t mean you can do anything you want, Sandra,” their aunt said, and Sandra’s head shot up.

“What? I wasn’t even thinking—”

“Yes, you were,” Millie said, and grinned.

“Go on then,” their aunt said, “put them on. Show me how lovely they look.”

She watched the twins pull the rings from the satin surrounds. She was worried for them and the new nasty in Launceston.

“When you slide them on your finger,” Aunt Millie said. “The rings will imprint themselves on you and anyone who tries to take them, or harm you, will get a bit of a shock. That will tell you when someone has an evil intent towards you.”

“A shock?” Millie asked as she slid her ring over the index finger of her right hand.

She put her hand up and was looking at the beautiful ring and how the crystal captured the light. She was smiling as all the colours of the rainbow emanated from her ring when a sense of dread overcame her from her aunt. She looked to see Sandra hadn’t put her ring on and knew that’s what her aunt was worried about.

“What’s wrong, sis?”

“Nothing. Why?” Sandra asked.

“You haven’t put your ring on.”

“Oh, I think it looks better in the box—”

Without touching the crystal, Sandra put the ring away.

“Nonsense,” her aunt said, and got up out of her seat, took the ring from the box and Sandra’s hand in hers. She tried to slip the ring over her finger, but Sandra screamed in pain.

Before anyone knew what was happening, Celia floated from the bag Sandra carried everywhere and sucker punch Aunt Millie with an invisible fist. She flew across the room, coming to a stop when she hit the wall.

“Auntie,” Millie screamed.

“I. Celia? Why?” Sandra asked and rushed to help her aunt.

The ring flew through the air and landed with a “ting” on the black marble look breakfast bar, spun on its end until it fell to its side and came to a circling stop. The twins helped their aunt to her feet and led her back to the table.

“What are the rings made of auntie?” Millie asked, “and why did Celia do that, sis?”

“Just silver and quartz,” Aunt Millie answered, trying to catch her breath. “Silver and quartz.”

“I don’t know, sis,” Sandra said, pushed Celia into her bag and locked her away.

Aunt Millie was trying to come to terms with what had happened. She also took the opportunity to dig around in Sandra’s mind. She and Tess had feared Celia was up to no good.

What has she done to you, dear sweet Sandra? Aunt Millie asked, then moved in deeper to see if Sandra had been locked away somewhere, but she didn’t find her. She found Celia.

“Get out!” Celia screamed and it pierced the boundaries separating worlds.

While still trying to recover from Celia’s sucker punch, resounding pain started to eat away at her mind.

Aunt Millie and Tess knew Sandra’s addictive personality left her open to all sorts of nasties. It’s why evil finds her first. She has no will, no power, no ability to see it coming, nor does she know when it’s there. Their mum and aunt were right to fear Celia. She, or It, was a cursed object that corrupted whoever it could manipulate into taking ownership of it. It was its only objective.

The sisters had shrugged off the ability of a crystal ball having any effect on their mother. Mostly because they couldn’t believe their mother was capable of true affection. They only saw the evil their mother did and didn’t, couldn’t, know the effect Celia had on her. Now aunt Millie knew.

Maybe mother wasn’t evil? She thought. Maybe it was all Celia?

“Auntie?” she heard, then realised Millie was yelling and shaking her by the shoulders, “Auntie?

“I’m alright… I’m alright,” Aunt Millie said. “What happened?”

“It was the ring,” Sandra said. “There’s something wrong with the ring.”

“The ring—”

Shush, Millie, Aunt Millie said. We’ll talk later.

Okay, auntie.

“Yes, yes,” Aunt Millie said. “Must be the ring. Leave it with me, my girl, and I’ll get you a new one.”

“You all right, Auntie?” Sandra asked. “I can make you a cup of tea?”

“Tea would be nice. Yes, cup of tea will make everything better.”

Sandra was behaving as though nothing had happened with Celia and Millie, and her aunt shared a look of concern.

Later, Mill’s, Aunt Millie said, and I’ll look into this daemon business. Might even be able to craft some rings for your friend Marly and her boyfriend—

Really? Oh auntie, would that mean Marly could go home?

We’ll see, my girl. We’ll see. Right now, we’ve gotta help your sister… again!

Short Story

About the author

Karen Eastland

I write primarily, Urban Fantasy, but because my style sits on the cuff of several genres moving into paranormal fantasy was an easy step. I became a Vocal+ member to provide interactive access for my readers.

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