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Rated: E · Book · Young Adult · #2208036
A mythical world. An ancient prophecy. And an evil that never sleeps. What's a girl to do?
#971969 added January 6, 2020 at 1:26am
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Chapter Two

Sawyer rushed into the library late and out of breath, slamming through the heavy double doors like a whirlwind. Her light brown hair tucked under a knit cap flew into her face as she whipped around to apologize to the librarian for all the noise. Mrs. Fraser gave her a stern look, but Sawyer knew she wasn’t in trouble. She and Quinn practically lived in this library during the school year. How else was she going to get into Columbia? With a meek smile, Sawyer hoisted her heavy book bag up on her shoulder and made her way among the dark furniture and green desk lamps to the back of the library and their usual table.

Quinn was already there, scribbling furiously in her notebook behind a small mountain of books, more tombs open and sprawled across the table. Sawyer dumped her bag in one of the chairs and fished out her own notebook and pens, muttering a hasty apology. Quinn waved it away.

“I think we’re the caomhnoir,” Quinn said, not looking up. Flipping the page, she scrawled more notes in her hurried, tidy script.

A frown creased Sawyer’s brow. “We’re the what now?” Pulling out the chair in front of her, she sat down opposite her friend.

“The caomhnoir,” Quinn repeated, this time meeting her gaze. “It means ‘guardian.’ I think it’s Gaelic.” The excitement on Quinn’s face was evident, but Sawyer remained thoroughly confused.

“Okay,” Sawyer said slowly, “the guardians of what?”

Quinn’s grin could rival Ollie’s satisfied look when he caught a bird. She pointed her pen at Sawyer. “Now that is where it gets interesting. Supposedly, when the Tuatha de Danann disappeared from Ireland back in the day, they went to a mystical realm for the Children of the Goddess that still believed in the Old Ways. The Tuatha de are said to be the chosen people of the goddess Danu, and from what I can tell, they rule this other realm. But they weren’t the only ones who crossed over. There were smaller groups from a few other races, like the Partholanians, the Nemedians, and the Firbolgs, but it was the Milesians that caused the most problems—in both realms, it turns out. According to this myth, the Milesians were this warrior race that pushed the Tuatha de out of Ireland. Then the small group that went to the Shadow Realm–the chosen land of the goddess—decided they should be in charge and there was another great war.”

“What does that have to do with us?” Sawyer wanted to know.

“Ssshh. I’m getting there. So, after the war, the Milesians were conquered (with, it turns out, significant help from the Sidhe), given a section of land in the southern quarter, and a marriage treaty was signed to unite the two kingdoms.” Quinn turned the page and slid the book across the table so Sawyer could see. “I guess the treaty spanned generations, because there’s a list of unification days here, naming the upcoming monarchs.

“But one of the Milesians didn’t want to get married, and the fit he threw started another war. Except, this dude wasn’t just any dude. They say he struck up a deal with a sorcerer and traded his soul for powers, so he became immortal and super scary.

“The gods, though they vowed to remain neutral, decided to give the people one last chance to either unite the realm or rectify the problem. There was a prophecy that one day, the Ultimate Power would exist, and two of Danu’s children would guard it. They would be known as the caomhnoir, the Guardians of the Power.”

Sitting back, Sawyer rubbed her temple against the headache that was forming. “And you somehow think they’re us? That we’re these caomhnoir, prophesied in an ancient Celtic text?”

“Yes.” Excitement lit Quinn’s face again. “I do.”

“You’re nuts.”

Quinn shook her head. “I don’t think so. Listen to this.” Pulling out another book, she read aloud. “The caomhnoir will be the salvation or the destruction of the Tuatha de Danann. They will be two halves of one whole, meant to protect the Ultimate Power. Though there is no way to be sure, researchers have found text that says one will have the power to control minds, the other to visualize and create the future.”

Sawyer frowned. “Visualize. That’s was Shane called me, a visualizer. But Quinn, we can’t do either of those things. I can’t create the future, and you can’t control people’s minds.”

“No,” Quinn agreed, “I can’t, but I can read them. Maybe I just don’t know how to reach my full potential yet. Maybe you don’t either. Didn’t you say it sometimes felt like you were being pulled into another reality with your visions?”

“Yes,” she replied slowly, though she didn’t see what Quinn was getting at.

“Well, maybe you can turn it around and bring your visions into reality. I know what you’re thinking,” Quinn exclaimed, before Sawyer could voice her protest. “It’s too vague, it could be anyone. Why would two teenage girls from a small town in Oregon be referenced in an ancient text from halfway across the world? But why not?!” Quinn’s voice rose, attracting the attention of the library’s other patrons, including a very attractive blonde boy sitting a few tables over. Sawyer motioned for Quinn to be quiet, but she just rolled her eyes.

“Look, I get it, okay?” Quinn told her, lowering her voice, “but I don’t think I’m crazy. And I don’t think it’s a coincidence either. Think about it. The two of us just happen to have powers and live in the same little town?”

“Our moms were friends,” Sawyer pointed out.

“And neither of them will tell us how they met or talk about their pasts.”

Well, when she put it that way, Sawyer had to admit, she made a fair point.

“What about Shane?” Quinn asked, leaning forward. “What about the Kelpie that found us in the lake last year? What about all the other mystical creatures we’ve encountered since we met? You think they’re just everywhere in the Pacific Northwest?”

The crease in Sawyer’s brow deepened. Why had all the Fey sought them out? Shane said he knew Rowan, seemed to know a lot about her mother as well, but why would her father have dealings with the Sidhe? It didn’t make any sense. Unless…


Her mind reeling, Sawyer stared. “I know you’re skeptical,” Quinn told her. “So was I. But this…Sawyer, it all fits. We are the Guardians of the Power. We are the caomhnoir. But look, if you still don’t believe me, there’s a spell in this book to invoke our powers.”

Sawyer’s eyes narrowed. “A spell? Seriously?”

“It’s supposed to open our mind to who we’re supposed to be,” Quinn replied with a nod. “Help us find our destiny. I think we should do it.”

Sawyer’s eyebrows shot into her hairline. “You think we should do what? Are you crazy?” Her tone caught the attention of the other patrons, including the blonde boy, and Sawyer’s face flushed scarlet. “You can’t be serious,” she hissed, keeping her voice low. “You find an ancient spell in a book of Celtic mythology that if it works could complicate our lives even more than they already are, and your first response is ‘Let’s try it?’ Are you completely unhinged?”

Pursing her lips, Quinn sat back and watched her while Sawyer fought past her fear and sorted through the possibilities. Really, what could it hurt? It probably wasn’t real anyway. And even if it was, there was no way they were these guardians the myth talked about. Ancient prophesies and mythical powers? Please. They were teenagers from the States, for crying out loud, not descendants of ancient Celts.

But…what if she was right? They’d always thought it strange that their mothers had known each other from childhood, though neither would talk about it. She didn’t even know where her mother was from, only that wherever it was, she’d met her father there. Sawyer’s fingers went instinctively to her pendant, her fingers playing over the smooth green stone. So, what if Quinn was right? What if they really were part of some Goddess’s grand plan? Descended from an ancient, supernatural race? Quinn couldn’t prove they were, but could she really prove they weren’t? Did she believe that? At a loss, Sawyer sighed.

Quinn would have jumped for joy had they not been in a library. Crossing her arms over her chest, she smirked at Sawyer. “So,” she said, already knowing the answer. “Are you in?”

“I know I’m going to regret this,” Sawyer exclaimed, already wondering what she’d gotten herself into. “But yes. I’m in.”

The town of Brighton Oaks was a small one, but like most quaint little towns, they loved their celebrations. Every year as the leaves began to change, the townspeople closed off the town square and threw an autumn carnival. Food carts went up with decadent treats and vendors came from everywhere. All the local shops had a booth selling their goods, and the community ran the various games and entertainment booths. There were even a few rides, including a carousel and a Ferris wheel. For a small coastal town, it was the highlight of the season. Brighton Oaks High School sponsored student-run booths every year and this year, Sawyer and Quinn were setting up a booth telling fortunes. Jake and Spencer had volunteered to help them set it up, as well as make sure nothing went wrong on the actual day.

The town hall was crowded when the girls finally made their way there. Quinn had insisted on taking half the library with them so she could read more on the Tuatha de Danann and prepare for the ritual. Why Sawyer had agreed to try magic was a mystery, but she had to admit, there was something alluring about finally understanding her abilities. What if she could do more than just tell the future? What if she was one of these caomhnoir the prophesies foretold and she could create the future?

Threading their way through the throngs of people, the girls made it to the bench where Jake was saving them seats just as Sawyer’s shoulder bumped hard into someone else.

“Watch it!” the girl shrieked, drowning out Sawyer’s apology. Morgan Harris glared at her and flipped her red hair over her shoulder.

Annoyed, Sawyer groaned, scrubbing a hand over her face.

“Sorry Morgan,” Quinn said, “but as you can see, we were standing here. In this space. Right in front of you.”

Glancing at Morgan’s coffee-stained silk shirt, Sawyer felt a little guilty. As much as she didn’t want anything to do with Morgan right then, and as much as she hated her attitude, once upon a time, they’d been friends. And she certainly didn’t need her as an enemy. Not that she had a choice. Digging a wet nap from the outside pocket of her bag, she handed it to Morgan. “Here. That coffee will stain.”

Something flickered in Morgan’s blue eyes, but it was gone too fast for Sawyer to tell what. Snatching the package from Sawyer’s hand, her lip curled in disgust. “Don’t get a big head, Sawyer.” She jerked her head toward Jake. “Just because your wanna-be Prince Charming is paying attention to you now doesn’t make you anything more than Cinderella playing pretend for the ball.” Behind her, Jessica and Lacey snickered.

“Give it a rest, Morgan,” Jake sighed, shaking his head. But Morgan merely pursed her lips.

Anger flared in Quinn’s eyes. “You know what, Morgan?” she said, not caring who heard. “You may think Sawyer’s Cinderella, but no matter what fairy tale we’re in, you’ll always be the Evil Queen. And let me remind you, evil never wins.”

Quinn and Morgan glowered at each other, their small audience frozen at their sides. The fire in Morgan’s eyes could have melted ice, but Quinn stood her ground.

“Quinn,” Sawyer started into the quiet, but was cut off as a tall, lanky boy strolled up behind Morgan’s group and circled around them, his shaggy black bangs falling in his face. Spencer tisked at their high school Queen, shaking a finger at her as he came to Quinn’s side. “That’s your queue, ladies,” Spencer told Morgan and her friends, draping one arm over Sawyer’s shoulder and the other over Quinn’s. His voice had a slight lilt to it, just a whisper of an Irish accent, and his eyes begged for trouble. Morgan scowled, but her friends watched him dreamily. Spencer Davies was no stranger to admiration, though he tended to laugh about it more often than not—Sawyer had a feeling girls weren’t exactly Spencer’s type. “But,” he said, “if you need me to explain it to you, I believe my girl just told you to take a hike. So, piss off, Harris.” Not waiting for their response—though Morgan was seething—Spencer turned away from them and positioned himself between his friends and the cheerleading vipers. “So,” he said, smiling broadly as he ushered them to their seats.

“Staying out of trouble, I see?”

“Always.” Laughing, Quinn linked her arms through his and settled in on the bench. Sawyer scooted in next to Jake.

“Well,” Jake said, suppressing a chuckle, “that was eventful. You sure do know how to make an entrance.”

Sawyer laughed. “She makes it so hard to be nice sometimes. And you know Quinn has never been afraid of Morgan.”

Next to her, Quinn shrugged. “Somebody’s got to look out for you.” A smile tugged at Sawyer’s lips. You always do, she thought. Quinn’s wink let her know she heard her.

Silence fell, and they all turned their attention to the front of the room where Mayor James and Ms. Freeman, the committee chair, began to lay out the responsibilities of everyone involved. Bored after ten minutes of their droning, Sawyer looked around, her gaze landing on two boys standing near the back. One of them was tall and brooding, his dark hair framing intense gray eyes and a harsh jawline. There was something wild about him that made her shiver. Yet, it was the boy next to him that drew her attention. He was just as tall as his friend, though his hair was golden brown instead of dark. And, while the boy next to him was scanning the room, this boy was staring directly at her.

She recognized him as the boy from the library, and some part of her inexplicably felt like she knew him. Like she was meant to know him. “Quinn,” Sawyer whispered, making herself break eye contact. “Those guys over there, do you know them?”

As covertly as Sawyer knew she would, Quinn glanced to the side of the room. Interest sparked in her dark brown eyes. “No,” she whispered back. “But they’re cute, especially the dark one. Who are they?”

Sawyer shook her head. “I’ve never seen them before. But the blonde one was in the library with us this morning. Somehow, after Shane, I don’t think that’s a coincidence. Can you get a read on them?”

Quinn narrowed her eyes, concentrating. After a moment or two, she shook her head.

“Damn,” muttered Sawyer. Beside her, Jake raised a brow. Sawyer nudged her head in their direction. “Recognize them?” Jake shook his head.

Leaning over, Quinn whispered, “You’re not the only one who noticed them though. From the chatter I can gather on the telepathic network, they showed up earlier this week. Morgan’s outdone herself this time; she even got their names. The blonde one is Aaron Gallagher, and the hot one is Grayson Stark.”

“Leave it to Morgan to already have names,” Jake grumbled. “And the ‘hot one,’ Quinn? Really?” When Quinn only shrugged, Sawyer suppressed a smile.

“Whatever,” Quinn said, dismissing him with the wave of her hand. “Less work for us. She can get info on every guy in town as long as she doesn’t figure out what we’re doing tonight.”


Exasperated, Sawyer rolled her eyes. “Your sister thinks we’re these prophesied Guardians from Celtic mythology, and now she wants to do this ancient ritual to awaken our supposed power. It’s ridiculous.”

“Oh, count me in,” Spencer exclaimed, leaning over Quinn. “I love magic.” The two of them high-fived.

“The Guardians of what?” Jake wanted to know.

“The Ultimate Power,” Quinn replied, glaring at Sawyer. “And it’s not ridiculous. It’s prophesied by the gods.”

“You cannot actually believe that,” Sawyer scoffed, but her tone wasn’t nearly convinced.

“Yes, I do,” Quinn shot back. “And after tonight, you will too.”

It was almost midnight when Sawyer and Spencer finally made it to the park. The others were already there setting up for the ritual. Quinn sat cross-legged in the grass pouring over the library book while Jake spread salt on the ground in a wide circle. They’d set lanterns around the clearing to give them light, but still, Sawyer thought trying to do magic in the dark was a new level of nuts. “I brought the candles,” she announced, holding up the three white columns she carried.

Spencer proudly shined his flashlight on the candles. “I helped,” he declared. “I made sure the visionary one in this duo made it here safe and unharmed. You should be thanking me.”

“You’re late,” Quinn told her without looking up. Moving her lantern closer, she turned the page. “Those need to go over here. Come look at this.”

From across the clearing, Jake smirked at her. Sawyer tried not to laugh. Quinn was taking this so seriously it was kind of funny.

“I heard that,” Quinn said. Finally, she looked up and made eye contact. Her expression lay somewhere between annoyed and amused. “Jake gets that look from me quite often. Nice to know you’re now getting that, too.”

Wrinkling her nose at her friend’s sass, Sawyer knelt down next to her. Quinn had drawn a large symbol in the dirt, and Sawyer’s fingers lightly traced the three linked almond shapes, then the circle that combined them all. “What is this?”

“A triquetra,” Quinn replied, turning another page. “It symbolizes the Goddess, with each lobe of the symbol representing an aspect of woman: maiden, mother, and crone.”

“Whoah. Seriously?”

“The mythology in this book also says it represents the caomhnoir and the Ultimate Power. The eternity circle—the circle of life—binds them all together. Put a candle at each of the points and light it.” Quinn closed the book before turning to Jake and Spencer. “You two should step back. We have no idea what this is going to do. Spence, did you trail the salt with the sage? The salt is for protection,” she told Sawyer, answering her unspoken question. “The sage is to purify the circle. We should be inside, standing in the center of the triquetra.”

Obediently, Sawyer stood next to Quinn in the circle. “Are you sure about this?” she asked quietly. She wasn’t certain how she felt about it herself.

Pulling something out of her pocket, Quinn unfolded a piece of paper. “I have to know, Sawyer. I have to. Here, take my hands.” Sawyer placed her hands in Quinn’s. “Now, we have to repeat this chant nine times.” With their fingers still clasped, Quinn held up the page so they could both see.

“Powers on high, hear our plea,” they chanted in unison. “Mother Goddess, Danu, we invoke thee.” A cold breeze whipped through the clearing, spinning leaves in a spiral around them. “In this time and in this hour, we call upon your ancient power.” The wind began to howl just as their combined hands started to glow. “Open our minds, guide our hands, to protect your power and guard your plans. Your servants, we bind ourselves to thee. As we will, so mote it be.” The light formed into a golden rope, wrapping itself around their hands and up both of their forearms, keeping them together. The two girls stared at each other, wide-eyed, and repeated the chant.

When they finished it a second time, the light burned green, then blue. With each chant the light got brighter, the color deeper, and the wind around them blew harder. From outside the circle, Jake and Spencer were yelling, trying to get to them, to make sure they were okay, but the wind was so loud, the girls couldn’t hear. Finally, they reached the final chant, and the glow enveloped them enough to fill the circle. As they repeated the words for the final time, the light turned a deep blue and condensed into a tight ball around their hands.

“Your servants, we bind ourselves to thee,” they yelled above the wind. “As we will, so mote it be!” As the last word was said, the wind rose to a deafening roar. The glow tightened to a point in the center of their palms. Then it exploded outward, knocking both Quinn and Sawyer off their feet and ripping them apart.
© Copyright 2020 C.N. Greer (UN: chelsea.greer at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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