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The Ether and Æther S03E06

The Adventures of Millie and Sandra

By Karen Eastland Published 2 years ago Updated 2 years ago 22 min read
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The Ether and Æther

“Millie?” a female voice, soft and gentle, whispered its way into Millie’s dreams. “Millie?”

“Wha… what was that?” Millie groaned while rubbing sleep from her eyes.

She pushed her hair away from her face and looked at the clock with its red 3:33 blaring into the darkness.

“Millie?” the voice said again, but this time she was awake, and it was not whispering into her dreams, it had a direct line into her head.

“What?” Millie said, sitting up in shock and inadvertently woke Sandra. “Great!”

“What’s going on?” Sandra growled. “Can’t get any sleep around here!”

Sandra sat up, angrily pounded her pillow with her fists, then lay down again. She’d been in a mood since the hobgoblin, Lealiance, or Celia, if you prefer, was taken from her. She did not know why she was angry, teary... full of rage. Her mum, aunt, even Millie, let her believe she had PMS. Even Marly agreed to go along with it.

It was wrong. None of them liked it, but they couldn’t remind her of Lealiance. That would have been much worse.

***

“But there’s another two weeks before my period’s due,” Sandra had complained, but they let her believe she was one of the thousands of young girls who suffered each month.

“What girls?” Sandra had snapped. “I don’t know anyone--”

“There’s Renny,” Marly said. “Poor Ren. She’s gotta stay home, sometimes for a week every month, because… of… um…”

Marly’s words trailed off when she saw the look in her mother’s eyes.

“Poor Sandy,” Millie said, and wrapped an arm around her shoulders.

She was being sincere, but it only made Sandra angrier.

“It should get better over time—" her mum said and looked to her sister with pleading eyes.

“Yes,” Aunt Millie said, “in the beginning, it can be hard, but we’ll... make a potion. It’s your mum's forte.”

“Yes,” her mum said, making it up as they went along. “A potion might help… until then your hormones might make you feel like you’re going, well, slightly mad.”

“But you’re not,” her aunt quickly said. “You’re not going mad, darling."

“You mean like crying? Screaming, wanting to kill Kayla… every minute if every waking moment?” Sandra asked.

Tears were rolling down her red, burning cheeks, and a murderous look grew in her eyes. Sandra felt like everyone was picking on her, but instead of storming out, like her overwhelming irrational, raging self-wanted her to, she forced herself to stay. There was more to it, and she knew it. There was a hole inside her chest where something used to be. She didn’t know what it was, but knew they were lying to her.

***

“Just go back to sleep,” Millie snapped.

Sandra grunted into her pillow… could have been a muffled scream? It had all become very hard to tell.

“Millie?” the voice said. “Listen.”

Millie laid back down and focused on her “listening” skills.

What am I listening for… and who are you? Are you Grace? She asked, using telepathy.

Millie had it down to an art form, but Sandra had become illiterate since… well, you know when. Her inability to use magic like she could—yes, she remembered that—only served to enrage her more.

I was once the Grace of our last meet, but for you and I, and no other, we are Æther. Secret known tween mother and maiden.

Mille was momentarily confused, but a sense of knowing overcame her and she knew she had become the maiden.

You must listen, the Ether, has a song for you.

What is the difference between the Ether, and Æther? Millie asked.

The Ether is place, Æther, is we two, she said. Enough now. You need to destroy a daemon?

Yes, Millie said.

The Ether is a treasure, young Millie. When you listen with your heart’s song, you will find answers you seek, but the maiden must be careful. There is also danger within its… walls.

Okay, Millie said. Can you--

No, Æther said. I have risked much in reaching the maiden, and you, by reaching the mother.

I reached for you?

Yes, you must learn control, Æther said. I am required elsewhere, listen maiden and tell no-one.

Æther’s words drifted from Millie’s mind as though they were caught in cloud, soft and fluffy, drifting with peace through a blue sky.

Well, not sleeping now, Millie thought so decided to focus on the Ether. Granny Ellen! She knew something… the maiden? Sounds pretty cool.

Millie searched the Ether for the rest of the night, without going in to far. It was easier than she thought it would be. By the time morning arrived, she was frustrated at not hearing the song. After an exchange of curt “Good mornings,” with her twin, Sandra stomped to the bathroom and slammed the door. Millie sat on the windowsill and stared at the day waking up outside. Tess had heard the exchange and thought it best to stay out of it.

My time will come, she thought.

***

Athame.

It was a word that floated into Millie’s mind. It came without a voice. She just saw it and it was there.

“Athame,” Millie said. “What’s an Athame?”

“A two-edged dagger,” Sandra said, coming out of the bathroom.

“How do you know that?”

“Charmed.”

“What?” Millie asked, but realised her tone was a bit to curt, so toned it down. “Charmed? The TV series?”

“Yeah,” Sandra said.

“Huh! You know where to get one?”

“Um… there used to be a shop, but the coven probably has one,” Sandra said. “What do ya need it for?”

“Don’t know,” Millie said and went back to looking out the window.

Sandra stood staring at her back, and in a flash of anger, saw her pushing Millie out.

What the… what was that? she thought and quickly left the bedroom.

“Mum,” Sandra called, and she heard her running down the stairs, “where’s my sandals?”

Oh good, Tess thought, my turn.

***

Back in the bedroom, Millie was lost to her thoughts. She knew she should get ready for school. Sandra had begun to take out her frustrations on the daemon, or Kayla, and Millie watched the daily events with a skip of joy in her heart. In public, the daemon couldn’t show its hand, and it couldn’t go anywhere near their house, their aunt's house, or the coven. Aunt Millie even placed a protective circle around Marly’s house.

The twins had their protective crystals. They never took them off. The coven crafted a special crystal for Marly and a necklace for Rob, Marly’s brother, to dowse the scent of his blood. To keep the daemon at bay. She gave it to him for his birthday and he swore he’d never to take it off. He’d spent months not knowing if his sister was dead or alive. Of course, he’d never take it off.

Athame, Millie thought. Can’t be that easy… can it?

“Millie,” her mum's voice called up the stairs after the front door slammed shut. “You ready for school?”

“Almost, mum.”

She knew Sandra had left before she went down for breakfast, but still felt the need to ask, “She’s gone?”

“Thankfully,” her mum said. “I love her, but if she doesn’t get over herself, I’m going to spell her into a good mood.”

Millie laughed and choked on a cornflake. Tess pat her back, and gave it a rub.

“I love you both, Mill’s,” she said, and smiled, “but we’ve gotta do something soon or so help me.”

“I’m off,” Millie said, standing up from the table.

She kissed her mum on the cheek, gave her a hug, and grabbed her bag.

“Bye,” her mum called after her.

Tess was tidying the kitchen and thankfully only had the empty plastic milk jug in her hand when a voice came out of nowhere. “Mum!”

The jug flew into the air and Tess spun on her heels to look at the back sliding glass door. She had a hand over her heart when she said, “Millie!”

“Sorry,” she said, laughing.

Tess looked like she’d just seen a spider; she had arachnophobia.

“Why are you back?” Tess asked, but it sounded like an accusation. “Sorry, Mill’s, but damn, don’t do that. Get a bell of or something.”

Millie walked in and closed the door, it was snake season, and gave her mum another hug. She was leaving the yard when she thought it best to let her know what happened during the night without Sandra being around.

“What’s an Athame?” She asked. “Sandra said it’s a dagger.”

“Oh. It is. I’ve got one,” her mum said, “why?”

Millie told her about her conversation with Æther, or more precisely, Grace, and Tess was rightly concerned.

Maybe it’s true? she thought about what Millie was becoming. She made an executive decision and said, “Wait there. I’ll be back.”

Millie sat at the table listening to her mum go through a cupboard in the lounge room.

“Here,” she said, walking back into the kitchen. “Your aunt will understand.”

In her hand was a long white box with a red bow around it.

“We’ll have to get you something else for your birthday now, ‘cause you know Sandy’s gonna want hers, but here.”

Tess handed her the box. When she opened it, she saw the most exquisite dagger she’d ever seen.

“Mum, this is amazing. Thank you.”

Tess got another hug, something new to her. When the twins didn’t know about their heritage and how amazing they were together, she rarely got hugs and kisses. She pulled Millie in tight and revelled in the moment.

“Now, don’t show it to anyone at school,” her mum said. “Really shouldn’t be taking it, but you’re schooling with a daemon so think it’s called for, and I’m on canteen today.”

“What?” Millie squealed. “Really?”

“Yep. We thought it best, your aunt and I, seeing as… well, what with everything going on.”

Millie stood, tucked the Athame into the bottom of her bag and gave her mum a kiss on the cheek.

“Don’t--”

“Take it out,” Millie finished for her. “I heard.”

“Good. Now come give me another hug.”

***

When Millie got to school, she saw the show had already begun. A crowd of girls had gathered in one corner of the quad.

Sandra, Millie thought. Gotta be.

When she reached the group, she squeezed her way through to see Sandra had Kayla, the daemon, on the ground and was pounding her fists into her face. The only reason Sandra was still alive was because Kayla didn’t want to out herself, but Sandra was putting a bull’s eye on her back with every blow.

“Sandy,” she screamed, “get off her!”

Sandra couldn’t hear anything above the pounding of blood in her ears and the smack of the next blow landing on Kayla’s face.

“Exmaltia knot,” Millie whispered, and it separated the two enough for Millie to get Sandra out of there.

It was a good thing a daemon didn’t have parents, or else Sandra would be in a lot of trouble. It didn’t matter how many times Sandra hit Kayla, she never bruised, cut, or bled, which only made her want to hit her harder and more.

“Mill’s,” Marly said, breaking through the crowd that was slowly dispersing.

Sandra had gone from an urban legend to someone who should be feared, overnight. “Need some help?” Marly said.

“Yep. Think so.”

Marly took Sandra by the hand, pulled her close, and wrapped her arm around her shoulder.

“You got her good, Sandy,” Marly said, “but thought we had a plan to figure out what we were going to do before making our move… our move.”

“Yeah… what?” Sandra asked.

She was looking at Millie and Marly as if she didn’t know where she was or who they were.

“You alright, sis?” Millie asked.

“Yeah… sis? Millie?” she asked, as the real world came crashing in. “What happened?”

“You just took another shot at the—"

“Kayla,” Marly said, when she saw a group of girls standing by listening to them. She smiled, looked at them, and hissed.

Millie laughed, which ruined her, stare them down, mojo she had building inside, but they looked away. She didn’t know it, but when Millie looked at them, a deep sense of dread overwhelmed them.

It wasn’t a spell. She didn’t even know she’d done it. It was part of her growing natural abilities. Millie also didn’t know she didn’t need to practice magic through lessons anymore. She was magic. Her mum and aunt had an idea something was different but had no clue.

***

“Millie.” Her aunt had said to Tess a few weeks after she got back from the Ether, “might be that rarity we were told about by the coven?”

Tess stared at her blankly.

“When we were younger,” Aunt Millie said. “You were still allowed to visit the coven… Story time?”

“Oh, yeah, but they were just stories,” Tess had said, although she was using her thinking voice. It was quiet and oozed with uncertainty.

“Most stories are rooted in truth, sis,” Aunt Millie had said. “Is Millie one of those mortal beings made of pure magic?”

They sat in silence for some time that day, mulling over the stories of old. Millie’s ability to do anything without effort made them proud, but also frightened them. They hadn’t discussed it with the coven. The less who knew about it, the better.

***

“Might have some concussion,” Marly said of Sandra. “Let’s get her out of here, Mill’s”

“Reckon,” Millie said. “See any teachers?”

“None.”

“Then, sorry Sandra, but you’ve got PMS,” Millie said.

“What? ‘kay,” Sandra muttered.

She was still a bit dazed, but as they moved away from the scene of the crime, something reached into Millie’s mind and whispered, Spelled.

“What?” Millie asked.

Her thoughts, her telepathy, were seamless. Sometimes Millie wasn’t sure if she was in telepathic mode, or an outward conversation.

“What?” Marly asked.

“Sorry,” Millie said. “It’s nothing.”

“Kay.”

Millie knew the Ether was whispering to her.

“Think I should get Sandra to the coven,” Millie whispered.

“Kay,” Marly said.

“Oh, and Mum's working the canteen today, Marl’s,” Millie said. “I’ll call her, but think she still needs to do it. Can you talk with her?”

“Course I can,” Marly said, and walked the twins to the gate. “See you a bit later… up at Mark’s.”

“Kay. You’ll tell the teacher ‘bout Sandy?” Millie called over her shoulder. She was having to use all her strength to hold Sandra up.

“Yup, best get her outta here.”

“What’s happening to me?” Sandra asked, but her voice was an echo.

Sandra sounded like it was miles away.

“Think you’ve been spelled, sis.”

“What?”

“We’re goin’ to the coven.”

“Kay,” she said and leaned into her twin.

***

“What did that goblin do to my daughter?” Tess said to the air after Millie’s call.

She wanted to rush straight over. Look after her daughter, but she had to go to the high school.

Tess wanted to get a look at, a feel for, the daemon because the coven was certain it was something to do with Sandra’s problems, not the hobgoblin. She needed to find out for herself. She prepared herself physically and psychically. The coven was looking into it based on the information Millie gave them, but focused on the daemon. Millie wasn’t so sure that the daemon was where they should start.

The girls never liked Kayla, the daemon's human face, maybe it was from a sixth sense. For a sizeable chunk of her adult life, Tess was oblivious to anything supernatural and was unashamedly unnerved about meeting it. Knowing her daughters had been dealing with it, Tess found she could draw strength from them.

When she pulled up at the school, she sat in the car and performed an extra protection spell. Holding the crystal hanging from her neck, she said,

In perfect mind and willing heart

I ask for your protective harp

To string the song of lore’s perfection

And ask for its melodic protection.

She’d just about finished when someone banged on her window.

“Hello Mrs. Anderson,” Marly said.

Tess almost jumped out of her skin. She knew she must’ve looked like a scared cat, pun intended, but when she focused and saw Marly looking back at her, she smiled and got out of the car.

“I’m so sorry,” Marly said, and they laughed and hugged.

“How you doing, Marly?” Tess asked. “Things good at home?”

Marly’s family had been highly stressed, any family would be, but they couldn’t tell them the truth. They were really nice but were a church going family. The truth would put Marly in more danger because they would attempt to exorcise her demons, especially after she transformed into a cat.

Any family, Christian or not, would freak and call for an exorcist.

Except mine, she thought.

“Fam’s still stressed… don’t blame ‘em, but does make for a prisoner type feel,” Marly said. “It’s good they met Mark, ‘cause they don’t stress so much if they know someone’s with me at all times.”

“How is he doing?” Tess asked. “The coven’s working on a way for him to control his shifts, like you.”

“He’s doin’ real good,” Marly said. “Been over an’ had dinner, a lot… parental’s like him. That’s a plus. Can’t wait ‘til he can control the shift. I wanted to thank you for that.”

“Not a problem, Marly. Shall we go in?”

“Yeah, better,” she said. “Snuck outta gym to meet ya.”

“Well, best you get back to it, naughty cat.”

Marly was laughing when she ran back to re-join, what looked like a cast of clowns mutilating any idea of what a soccer match actually was.

***

“Spelled? You’re sure that’s what you heard?” Aunt Millie asked.

The coven had their noses in books, history, spells, cooking.

“Yeah,” Millie said.

She was sitting on the edge of a bed where Sandra had been put into another spell coma. It was safer for everyone. Her rage had been growing, not easing, and the coven was in a tizzy, trying to figure out why.

Should be gone by now, Aunt Millie thought.

I know, Millie said, before she knew what she was doing.

You heard that? Her aunt asked.

Yeah sorry, aunty. Sometimes it just happens.

Half the coven was trying to figure out why Sandra was like she was, the other half were setting up all their athame’s for Millie to sense their vibrations. See if anything fit with her, the ethers, or Æther’s, suggestions.

Aunt Millie and Tess hoped, at best, Millie would be a dimensional guardian. She had the skills from an early age, as the postman and the preacher story relate, but she was evolving into something more. Millie was becoming one with the Ether, with Æther, and it was something no witch ever knew existed.

Not a living one, anyway, her aunt thought.

“We’re ready,” Jacqulyn said.

She and Abbey had spent over an hour laying everything out for the coven to lay their athames down. The two Millie’s turned to see an array of gorgeous daggers laid out on a black satin cloth on a large table, to limit the athame’s vibrations from bleeding into one another. She raised her athame as though she had no will of her own. Its vibrations rode through her body like a wave only she could ride on, not hide from.

“Pop that away for now,” Aunt Millie said, “and run your hand over those... but don’t touch them.”

“Yeah,” Rhianna said, “some bite.”

Low laughter filled the room, but there was an aura of expectation. Millie raised her left hand above the daggers. Closed her eyes and moved it, palm down, over them.

“Slow,” her aunt said.

It took a long time, but the vibrations reaching from each dagger moved through Millie. That wasn’t normal. She shouldn’t have been able to feel more than a slight buzz, but she didn’t know that. The witches who offered their daggers for the ritual were the only ones who ever touched them, apart from the giftee.

“To the witch,” her aunt had said, “someone should gift true tools of magic, without the need to ask. A witch always knows.”

There were a few athame’s that made her pull her hand away. Others made her anxious, most were soothing and some, some sang to her.

Æther said to listen, that the Ether had a song for me, Millie thought.

She didn’t know how, but Millie knew which dagger belonged to which witch. There was only one she felt inclined to hover over, and it belonged to no-one. Correction, it had belonged to Æther when she was Grace.

It saddened her aunt. On the one hand, Millie might live forever in the Ether, if true, she would have to live her eternity joined with it.

She’s on track to be the next witch to join with the Ether, Aunt Millie thought, Grace said as much.

Millie heard her aunt's every thought, and her compassion overwhelmed her. She took her aunt's hand in hers and share her warmth and hope with her.

“Alright,” Aunt Millie said, “full moon tonight, Mill--”

“Yeah--”

“And...,” her aunt said, making her niece look at her, “and you will stay here tonight. You must. it’s time for you to join with your athame, to meet your familiar.”

“Familiar” Millie asked, “but isn’t that like a cat or something… like Mark was?”

“Yes,” she said, “a witch can have a familiar like that too, but with the athame it’s different.”

“Each dagger's vibration is attuned to their witch,” Aunt Millie explained. “Your familiar shares its power with you, and vice versa. When you’re in the dark, and think you’re all alone, your athame will always be there.”

“Cool,” Millie said, looking at the dagger in her hand.

Its hilt was silver. There were Celtic engravings all over it, with two obsidian gems embedded in it, and it felt right in her hand. At home and when she gripped it, Millie saw it spark a white light from her hand down along the blade, then back again. She felt its truth inside.

Its blade was smooth and before Millie knew what she was doing, she’d raised the blade to her face. She was sliding its cool steel over her cheeks, like an ethereal kiss.

The coven had stopped everything they were doing. Millie’s actions transfixed them. They were all smiling as they remembered the first time, they met their familiars.

“With the first full moon,” her aunt said, “it’ll whisper its name to you and only you will know it and tell no one what it is.”

“Really? Why?” Millie asked because the daggers beneath her hand were clamouring for her to know their name, but she said nothing.

“Yes, really,” Rhianna said. “It’s one of the most sacred moments of a young witch’s life.”

“Oh, yes,” someone said.

“Wonderful,” said another.

“I’ll get the wine,” said someone else, and a wicked cackle of older witches changed the mood in the room from sombre to party time.

“We’re all charging tonight. Your mum will be here soon,” her aunt said. “We go up to the roof, lay our familiars beneath the rays of the full moon.”

“And there’s wine--” an excitable witch said.

“No, there’s not,” Aunt Millie said.

“Why not?” Rhianna asked. “I had wine… well one, and I was the same age as--”

“Alright,” Aunt Millie said. She was feeling claustrophobic, then she saw all eyes were on her. “Just the one.”

“Yay!” Rhianna said, took Millie by the hand and gave it a squeeze. “We’re going to have so much fun.”

“And there’s cake,” Abbey said.

“It’s also an empowering experience,” said Susan.

“And fun,” Rhianna reiterated. “You’ll love it. Just sorry Sandy can’t be part of it... but she’ll get her chance.”

There were a lot of hugs and hand holding that day. It was a bit off putting, but Millie sensed the sincerity from every witch in the coven.

“Can Marly come?”

“No!” Susan said.

“Um, okay,” Millie said.

“Only witches can take part in such an important ritual," Susan clarified. "She might inadvertently touch a dagger, corrupting its familiar.”

“So,” Rhianna said, her excitement influencing the others in the room. “We’re going to have so much fun. Right?”

***

Tess had just finished tooth picking the corn cobs when the kids started coming out of class. Then she saw Kayla. No-one had to point her out. The daemon wasn’t cloaked very well at all. Tess could see its true form. It was a dark, smoky cloud of evil with large, sharp yellow teeth.

“Mrs. Anderson,” Marly said, and Tess realised she was transfixed on Kayla. “Cob and Pie please.”

“Oh, Marly. Thank goodness it’s you,” Tess whispered.

“Saw ya starin’, thought ya might need a distraction.”

“Thank you, and yes. Here you go,” she said, handing Marly her order.

“Stay cool Mrs. Anderson,” Marly said and went and sat with a group of girls close to, but far enough away from, Kayla.

With Marly’s new close friendship with the twins, and Sandra beating Kayla up every chance she got, Marly had a good reason for not hanging with her anymore. That way, the daemon, Kayla, still believed Marly didn’t know it was her that attacked her that night.

It was no longer drawn to her blood because the night of the attack, Mark altered Marly at a genetic level. She was safe, but her brother wasn’t.

When the lunch hour was over. Tess rushed home, made Brian a casserole in the slow cooker, left him a note, “Be at Millie’s for the night, I love you, Tess xxx.”

The twin’s dad didn’t dislike Aunt Millie. He just had very little to do with her for the twenty-years he and Tess had been married. Brian knew about their past, their mother, and was happy for his wife and her renewed relationship with her sister. Brian didn’t feel the need to rain on their parade.

“So, we doing this?” Tess asked, holding her dagger in the air as she walked into the room.

“We are,” Rhianna said, “bring out the wine.”

“Excellent… wait, what?” Tess asked, and everyone chuckled.

The witches made their way to the table to get their athame. They had picked the last up when something disturbing happened.

A roar sounded and rebounded, around the room. The entire building shook, and all eyes turned to Sandra. She was still in a coma, but fire was shooting out her mouth and eyes, a hot white fire.

“Witches,” Sandra said with a deep, otherworldly voice that wasn’t hers. “Witch is ours. Can’t keep her locked forever.”

Everyone was horrified, and the fire was so hot, it burned a hole through the ceiling into Mark’s apartment. It must have just missed him, because he was still in his cat form. They heard a hiss, a growl and a spit, and being a cat until twilight, he ran and hid. The fire continued its path out through the roof. It melted steel and cement with ease.

“Who are you?” Aunt Millie demanded, as a lump of molten steel fell to the floor at her feet.

She stepped back, and it burned through to the earth beneath, and sizzled and steamed in the clay below.

“Not tell, witch,” the voice said. “Have something bargain with.”

“What’s that?” Tess asked, a tremor in her voice exposing her fear.

“Have daemon. How kill I share. Exchange, witch.”

“What? No,” Tess and Millie screamed at the same time.

“We like vessel, help us it will, help you we will,” it said.

Its voice had shifted up a notch to a whiny falsetto pitch.

“No deal,” Aunt Millie said with a guttural authority that would make any supernatural shrink, “we don’t need, nor want your help. Get out of my niece, now!”

Millie stepped back; her aunt's voice rivalled the beast inside her twin.

“No! We stay. You lose,” it said.

“Hmm,” Aunt Millie muttered, and motioned for the witches to gather.

They discussed what to do with whatever was possessing Sandra. Millie stayed by her sister's side and held her hand.

“Has to be the hobgoblin,” Aunt Millie whispered. “Crystals gone, but it could easily have possessed Sandra before it went.”

“Agreed,” Tess said, “but what do we do?”

The room fell silent. Those witches carrying on with the conversation, did so telepathically. Others were lost to their thoughts, but it was Rhianna who broke through into everyone’s mind. She’d yet to master the art of quiet and private.

Full moon, she bellowed, the full moon.

Yes, yes, Aunt Millie said, what about it?

She was truly at a loss and didn’t like it.

We all have our familiars on us… and Millie has a power it couldn’t possibly comprehend, she continued.

What’s that? Tess asked.

Her connection to Grace, something no-one has ever heard of, and I’d bet, neither has the goblin.

They all turned their heads, looked at Sandra, then back at each other, and tightened the circle. Susan was about to speak when Millie screamed. Their breath caught in their throats when they saw what was happening.

Slithering from her mouth was a large black snake.

“Asaultura doswiener,” Aunt Millie said, and the snake burned up.

A foul odour filled the room, and fire shot from Sandra’s eyes again.

“The witch, ours. We have deal!”

“No!” Aunt Millie said.

“We take witch, you take daemon. Deal done.”

“No!” Tess and Millie screamed.

“What do you mean, deal done?” Susan asked, but Sandra had gone back to a calm coma. Although her eye’s were open.

White hot fire shot two small flames up into the ceiling again, but Aunt Millie repeated the spell, “Asaultura doswiener.”

The fire was dowsed, and Sandra’s lids closed.

Tess ran her hand over Sandra’s cheek. It was hot to the touch. Everyone stood in shock and Aunt Millie was dumb founded. She had no clue what to do, where to even start, and that had never happened to her before. She suspected only young Millie could save her sister but had no clue how long it would take for Millie to hear the Ether.

Millie, she said on a private psychic line.

Aunty?

We need to talk… away from here.

Okay. Where? When?

Now, and don’t let anyone know, or see.

‘kay.

The two Millie’s snuck out, and after her aunt said they needed somewhere private to talk, Millie took her to the cave Marly and Mark were living in. It was as private as private could get, and they didn’t use it anymore. No-one even knew it was there.

“You know, Millie, only you can save your sister.”

“Me? How?”

“I think you know how.”

“The Ether,” Millie whispered.

Her words hanging in the air like a green mist at midnight in a cemetery.

“The Ether,” Aunt Millie agreed. “Or, like Grace, you my sweet young niece might have to tap into the Æther part of yourself.”

“My Æther?... how'd you know about, Æther?”

“You're not the only one who can hear everyones thoughts," her aunt said and smiled. "You know the path your future leads, don’t you, Mill’s?”

“I wasn’t sure,” Millie said, “but after Grace… I don’t want to disappear into the Ether. I want to stay with you, mum, dad, Sandra. I don’t want to be Æth… like Grace.”

“I know child but I think Grace will train you. I don’t think you will become part of the Ether for a very long time,” her aunt said, but Millie knew her thoughts.

Her aunt was afraid but destiny was stripping away her will, directing Millie to a place that both fascinated and frightened her.

FantasyHorrorSeriesShort StoryAdventure
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About the Creator

Karen Eastland

In addition to my creative pursuits, I'm also a dedicated advocate for education and literacy. Through my writing, I seek to inspire others to follow their passions, to make a positive impact on their world.

The #AdventuresofMillieandSandra

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