Submitted Date 05/06/2020

Mother held me as best she could while she and Alex ran through the forest. She constantly looked back to be certain that we weren't being followed. Though relieved every time she didn't see anyone, Mother still feared of what was to become of me now.

"Couldn't we have used the horses instead of letting them loose and having us run?!" Alex asked.

Mother answered, "We can't afford to have anyone spotting us ride the royal horses. Our carriage is still back there and whoever sees will assume we were a part of the event that caused the destruction and report us to your father. And you know as well as I do that he is not a forgiving man, especially when it comes to things that he doesn't fully understand!"

"Yeah, like how it turned out magic is real and that you have it and my sister has it. Oh, which reminds me, my sister is actually my half sister and she used her magic to nearly annihilate the bandits and a good part of the forest!!" Alex shouted.

"Alex, watch your mouth!! We're still out in the open!!" Mother had shouted back. Realizing how harsh she spoke to Alex, and not wanting to further discuss my current predicament, she sensibly chose to return to the previous subject. "And another reason why we can't use the horses is because, where we're headed, no one can know. The horses staying out front would give us away," she explained.

My sister decided to accept our mother's claims, however, being the thirteen year old that she was, she decided to discuss a previous matter she could not let go. "Okay, now back to the other thing cause I'm still not getting it," Alex began gasping for air in-between sentences, "Skye has a different father?! How the heck is that even possible?! From what you and everyone else has said, along with what was shoved down my throat from the Archives, you were never with another man before dad! And there's been no accusations or even proof of you having any kind of an affair either. It doesn't add up! Look, can we stop for a second? I think I'm about to pass out!"

The two finally stopped running to give Alex enough time to catch her breath. As she began wheezing for air, Mother then said, "My darling Alex…I promise to tell you and your sister everything. But first, we must go to my greenhouse. It will be safe there for us to talk."

"How much further? Cause I don't think I can run anymore. Dang, I am out of shape!" Alex said.

Mother replied, "It's not that far. Let's now walk the rest of the way." She and Alex pressed on until we finally reached the greenhouse, Mother's sanctuary. When Alex and I were younger, Mother convinced us that she had the greenhouse built for her love of gardening and that the forest was the best spot for its rich soil. She claimed to have only gone there whenever she needed to tend to her flowers and foliage which always made her feel at peace. However, after what had just occurred, neither my sister or I knew what to believe anymore.


Once inside, my mother locked the door to keep outsiders from entering. Alex was settling herself in by the little rose bushes when Mother laid me on the table. My sister observed our mother reaching for a blue lily and crushing it within her now glowing hands. When she opened them, the flower was transformed into a floating blue liquid. With her magic, Mother placed the liquid within my mouth then had me drink it. Within a matter of seconds, my injuries had vanished and I forcefully awoke, coughing away.

Mother hugged me as tight as she could, "Oh Skye! You're alright! I'm so glad I remembered how to perform that spell!"

"Spell?" I said. Everything that had occurred then came flooding back into my mind. It was all too much for me to handle at once and I began to grab my head. "Ah! My head! It hurts!"

"I know Skye, I know. Just breathe and clear your mind," Mother calmly said. I began to breathe inward then outward while attempting my best not to focus on the flashing thoughts. Eventually, the pain subsided and I was calm again. "That's my Star Catcher," Mother happily said.

Alex called from the other side of the little house, "You okay now, Sis?" I nodded. "Glad to hear it." Alex got up from her seat and approached Mother and I, "Now, Mom…please explain!! Because I would really like to understand how it is my big sister is actually my half sister and how the heck magic is involved!!"

I became stunned at hearing Alex reveal that we were half siblings. "What?!?" I exclaimed.

Despite not having caught her breath entirely, Alex somehow managed to say in one breath, "Oh- dang- that's right, you were passed out. Yeah, turns out you and I have different daddies."

I looked to Mother puzzled while she appeared guilty. "Mother, how…is this possible??" She couldn't even look me in the eye. These arisen truths were like clues to a very complicated riddle together that I was trying to put together in my mind. "Is this somehow connected to your magic…as well as mine and the markings on my back?"

"Not to mention the new addition to your hair style." Alex quickly added as she pointed to my hair.

"What?" I grabbed the part of my hair where Alex was pointing and saw the purple streak. Normally, I would have reacted, but given the circumstances, I didn't. Instead, I looked to my mother again who still appeared guilty. More and more, the clues were coming together. I may not had been able to solve the riddle, but all had one thing in common. I then asked my mother forcefully, "Is all of this because of my real father?!!"

Finally, gathering the inner strength she needed, Mother sat down on her chair and said, "Yes. My daughters, get comfortable. This is a much complicated truth that you'll want to sit for." After I adjusted my seating position and Alex joined me on the table, Mother continued, "About seventeen years ago, when I was still the daughter of a duke, I was told that I was to marry the prince of our kingdom. I mentally prepared myself for that entire year, but my heart just could not accept it. When the day arrived for me to meet this prince, I instead rode my horse and fled to the forest. I eventually found a remarkable looking oak tree that I decided to lay under for a while. I began hoping and praying that a miracle would whisk me away from the fate of which my family and the king at the time had decided for me. Then, suddenly, I began to fall back until I was consumed within the tree. It turned out a portal had opened up and transported me to another world. A world filled with magic. I landed within the gardens of a very large palace and was confronted by- what appeared to be- soldiers of the grounds. They took me before their royal court…and…standing as there as the right hand man to the judge of my fate, was Stephan the Great; your real father."

I was shocked at the reveal of how high in position my true father was. "My father?"

Mother nodded then went on, "The soldiers had accused me of trespassing and demanded that I be punished. I explained what really happened which seemed to have surprised Stephan. He learned of how some of their ancient trees had somehow escaped into other worlds and due to their strong connection to this world- Tanah sihir- they had the hidden abilities to open portals to there. The people there are trained to harden themselves in order to do what is needed. However, your father said that there was something in my eyes he couldn't ignore, as if they were screaming to him that I was telling the truth. His heart softened and he was able to convince the judge, The Supreme Sorcerer, to spare me of any punishment as my coming appeared to be an accident as well as an apparent act of fate. Supreme let me go and she insisted that I stay until they found a way to send me home. During which, I had many encounters with your father. I learned how stiff and arrogant he was while he learned the hard way of my stubbornness and free-spirit. Believe it or not Alex, I was a lot like you."

"No way?! Seriously?!" Alex was indeed surprised and so was I.

"Oh yes," Mother said, "Which was why we would argue at times. However, throughout time, we also saw the best qualities within each other. I saw how strong, loyal, and kind he was. The same kindness I witnessed the day of my trial. Stephan also saw my true strength as well as how gentle I could be. Then…as our luck would have it…we fell madly in love. So when Supreme found a way to return me to my original home, I told her no and begged her to let me stay. There were no arguments from anyone and all were thrilled of my staying. After Stephan and I were later engaged, Supreme had informed me of something important that would determine my future with the man I was to marry."

"What was it Mother?" I asked, worried about the answer.

She responded with, "Stephan is a rare and powerful kind of sorcerer known as a Universal Sorcerer. You see, in this- or any world for that matter- sorcerers can't be born, but instead are made. A normal person can be trained later in life to wield magic based on the element that best fits their personality. Although these kind of sorcerers can only be trained to perform magic driven from the elements, Universal Sorcerers can use the energy around them to gain power. It turned out, when Stephan's true power was revealed, it surpassed all the others. Supreme decided to train him to become a universal sorcerer, especially since there hadn't been one for decades." Mother stopped for a moment, almost as if she was preparing herself for the next reveal. She went on, "There is a specific rule within the Laws of the Natural Order, dictating that the one of universal magic was not allowed to reproduce. Centuries prior, many children born of universal magic went rogue and destroyed many worlds. When all were finally slain, the rule was set into place to prevent any further destruction. It's true that sorcerers have children with the results of them being born without any kind of magic, however, due to the great power universal sorcerer's possess, their magic was the only kind that could be inherited. Which meant that this type of sorcerer had to also be made, trained so the level of magic could be controlled. If someone was to be born a Universal Sorcerer then the power would be limitless. Their connection to life and the energy around them would be strong. Understanding that being with the man I loved meant not baring any of his children, I still wanted to be his wife. Supreme then gave me a potion to drink that would take away my ability to have children, which I sadly drank. By the end of the month, I was married to Stephan." Mother's expression strangely went from seriousness to happiness, blissful even. "That night, when it was just he and I alone in our room, we consummated our marriage and made such passionate love. Never before had I felt-" Mother began to drift off in her sensual memory, forgetting that her children were sitting in front of her.

Thankfully, Alex intervened, "Okay! We get it! You two got married and had sex! Please don't get into details!"

Mother broke free of her memory's grasp and became embarrassed. "Oh my goodness! I'm so sorry!"

"It's alright Mother," I said. "Please continue, but not with what happened that night…or any night like it for that matter."

"Right!" Mother took in a breath then continued, "After some more time had gone by, I was trained on how to perform certain spells and became a Wind Sorcerer. Stephan felt it necessary since I agreed to help out with the missions. The goal of the Sorcerers Guild was to travel to different worlds and assist people who needed our help. Those three years I spent in Tanah sihir had been the best years of my life up until that point…Then…it happened."

"What?" I asked.

"You," Mother softly answered while smiling.

Alex then said, "How?! Don't get me wrong, I'm glad you're here Sis! But Mom, how the heck was it possible? You drank the potion that took away you being able to have kids."

"That's what I thought too," Mother said. "Then one day, I felt very sick. It was almost to the point I felt like I was going to throw up everything inside of me. I went to a healer to be inspected, but Supreme intervened. She gave me some tea to help when Stephan entered. It was now just the three of us alone where Supreme was then comfortable enough to reveal what my condition was. I was pregnant and that the supposed potion she gave me was just a regular cup of tea. Stephan demanded an explanation for this trickery. Supreme answered that she had a vision of a bright future and that it was to happen because of a female Universal Sorcerer born with wings on her back. And this woman was the child of Stephan the Great and Andrea the Wind Sorcerer. Stephan reminded Supreme of how there were times her visions were wrong and that this could have been one of them. Supreme answered that though this was true, she felt that this vision was correct, but was unsure when it would occur. I then asked how it was possible for this baby to be born with wings on her back. The answer was simple: in the past, when Universal Sorcerers were allowed to have offspring, the children would be born with what was considered a birth-defect. Stephan and I were completely shocked. However, that just left us with many problems. For one, the Laws of the Natural Order stating that no Universal Sorcerer was to have any offspring. If the people were to find out about my pregnancy, they would have surely killed us. Supreme said that this child had to be born because the vision showed how she was to help the Sorcerer's Guild one day defeat a great evil that would threatened all worlds. She even foresaw how to make it so all would live. What she said next shattered my heart as well as Stephan's." Mother took in another deep breath. "Supreme would break the Natural Order law of messing with time by turning back the clock to three years ago and send me home so I would marry the prince and have all believe that this was his baby. Neither of us wanted to do it, we didn't have the strength nor the courage to. However, what was done was done and we couldn't escape it. The following day, Supreme turned back the clock to the day of my arrival. In order to make us feel less guilty, our marriage was annulled, though it wouldn't have mattered since time was turned back to before we wed. I told Stephan that in my heart I was still married to him and that I always would be. He told me that there would never be another and he would remain alone until my return. His heart told him that one day we would be together again. And so, we kissed passionately one last time and I then went through the portal back to Rahsia. All believed I had only been gone a couple of hours, but my heart and soul were still three years into a future that was now being rewritten."

My voice had cracked as I said, "Mother." She looked up and saw me crying. The tears of guilt could not stop escaping from my eyes. "Mother, I'm so sorry! If I wasn't born then you would still be there now-"

Mother jumped towards me and took hold of my shoulders. "Don't you dare! Do you hear me Skye?! None of this is your fault! You have a destiny to fulfill and this was the only way to ensure it. I made my choices and I don't regret any of them." She then lifted my chin so that I would look at her. "I love you my daughter and nothing will ever change that."

"I love you too, Mother!" The two of us hugged as tightly as we could.

Of course, Alex had to get her words in, "I guess my existence doesn't mean anything. That makes me feel great about myself." Alex had this unusual talent of making me laugh when I needed to the most. I believe this moment was her doing just that.

"Oh, Alex," I began to say as I hugged her. "Even though we're half sisters, I still love you with my whole heart!"

"Dang it Sis, you're gonna make me cry!" Alex reciprocated the hug. "But I still love you too." After we released each other from the embrace, Alex turned to Mother, "So what happens now?"

Saddened, Mother replied, "It's become clear that this world is no longer safe for Skye." She then turned to me, "Star Catcher, you must go to Stephan. He'll be able to protect you."

"But Mother, how is that possible?" I began asking. "No one is to know that I am his daughter. Then there's my wings…and the matter of sending me to Tanah sihir? How am I to accomplish all of this?"

"You may reveal your true heritage, but only to your father and Supreme. To others, you can only refer yourself as a child to a friend of theirs. For your wings, tell them that you came across a spell whose side effect gave them to you. As to how to send you to Tanah sihir, you'll go the same way I did." Mother then walked over to a large wooden pantry at another end of the greenhouse. With a wave of her magic hand, the doors opened to reveal the ancient tree from her story. As Alex and I came closer to better observe the tree, Mother said, "I know what I originally told you two of my reasons for having this greenhouse built, and those are true, but it was mostly created as a way to protect the ancient tree. Just in case."

"Smart move Mom," Alex commented.

"So when do I leave?" I asked.

Mother then pulled out a medallion with a sun and crescent moon on it from her blue dress. I remembered viewing that medallion around her neck many times when I was a child. She was forced to stop wearing it out openly when the king found it to be appalling for a woman of her position. There was one last secret she had kept hidden away and she was now ready to give it up. She then placed the item within my hands. "You leave now," she finally said.

I was stunned and exclaimed, "What?! Now?!"

"Yes," she started to answer, "you have to leave now. I'll think of something to say to the king." She then decided to take the medallion and place it around my neck. "This was your father's medallion. He gave it to me the night before I left. I think that if he sees it, he will believe your story."

I didn't know what else to say except, "But Mother-"

"No!" Mother saw how frightened I became by her loud and strict answer. She sighed and tried to speak much more calmly, "It's going to be alright. You'll see." She then kissed my forehead and gave me an extremely large hug. "I love you so much. God be with you Star Catcher."

There was no escaping it, I really was leaving the only home I ever knew right then and there. I hugged my mother back and said, "I love you as well, Mother." I knew of the dangers she would be in and said to her, "God be with you too." As tears rolled down my face once more, I turned to my sister. "Alex-"

She put her hand up to stop me. "I know. And you'll always be my sister." We hugged tighter than we ever had before. Although I didn't see it, I could feel Alex's tears landing on my back.

Mother tried to pull us apart, but Alex wouldn't let go. "Alex, it's time. Let Skye go."

I felt Alex shake her head. "It's alright Alex," I assured her. "I'll find a way to contact you. I promise."

When she finally let go, Alex's face was covered in her tears. "You better!" she exclaimed.

Mother stood behind Alex, took her shoulders, then pulled her back a couple of steps. "Now, just focus your powers on the tree. It will open up for you."

I placed my hand onto the tree and, just as Mother instructed, I focused all of my recently discovered power onto it. During this process, I remembered how a part of me had always felt out of place in Rahsia and that I longed to one day find where I truly belonged. Perhaps, this was it. This was where I would be taken to the place I was always meant to be at. Then, suddenly, the tree's ancient magic awoke and pulled me into its portal. After I fell through, the tree fell asleep once more and Mother locked the large pantry doors to continue hiding it. She and Alex were then left alone in the greenhouse, trying to come up with a reasoning for my sudden disappearance.




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