“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.“
“Wha… what was that?” Millie groaned while rubbing sleep from her eyes.
“Millie?” a female voice, soft and gentle, whispered its way into Millie’s dreams. “Millie?”
She looked at the clock blaring its red 3:33 in her bleary eyes.
“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.
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