Darkness. Darkness, death, and silence surrounded Prue. Then, a light. It grew closer and closer…
Suddenly, she fell, fell into the unnamable depth. If she had had a voice, she might have screamed.
But she had no voice.
"Oww," I moaned as I sat up. What had happened? Had I fallen out of bed? No, I was sitting in the middle of the floor. I blinked a few times, trying to clear the cloudiness in my mind. I stood up unsteadily. The room swirled around me. "Stop," I pleaded, my eyes shut tight. The vertigo gradually disappeared.
"Hello? Hello? Where am I?"
I whirled around, searching for the source of the voice. "Who said that?"
"Kara, quit messing around. Where are you?" I opened the closet. Nothing but clothes.
"I'm not Kara. My name is Prudence Halliwell, Prue for short. Who are you?"
"Kara, this isn't funny. You're really creeping me out," I said nervously.
"This isn't a joke," the voice said impatiently. "The sooner you realize that, the sooner I can figure this out."
It didn't sound like the voice was coming from somewhere in my room. It sounded more like it was in my head. "Oh great," I sighed. "I'm hearing things."
"You're not hearing things. I'm a real person."
"I can prove it."
"Call my sisters." She gave me the number.
"Whatever you say." I dialed the phone.
"Ask for Piper."
"Is this Piper?" I asked, not even thinking that it would be her. I had never even heard of the name Piper.
I slammed down the phone. My hands were shaking. "Okay. There must be a logical explanation for this."
"There is. My spirit has somehow ended up in your mind."
"But… But…" I stammered. "That's not scientifically possible!"
"But it is magically possible."
I laughed and sat down at my vanity. "I'm – ahh!" In the mirror, there was a reflection of a woman. Black hair – no, my hair was red. Blue eyes – no, my eyes were brown. She was an adult – but I was a teen. "Ho - how…" I trailed off.
"Christy, are you all right?" my mother asked as she opened the door.
I jumped away from the mirror. "I'm fine. I just… Pooka scared me."
"Oh, okay. That cat certainly does love surprising people."
I waited until she had gone back to her room. "So you're a real person. Was that your reflection?"
"Yes. Who are you?"
"Christina, I'm about to tell you something very shocking."
"I'm a witch. Magic is real. When I was alive, I had the powers of astral projection and telekinesis."
"Oh," was all I could say. "Wait. When you were alive? You're dead?"
"Yes. I was killed by the demon Shax."
"Demon? They exist too?"
"Yes. Magical creatures also exist. Anyways, I have two sisters: Piper and Phoebe. I have to talk to them."
"Sure. Where do they live?"
"Sorry, but we're in New York City. I cannot go to San Francisco. I could call them-"
"No. It has to be in person," Prue said firmly.
"Okay then. How do you suggest I get there?"
"Can you drive?"
"Yeah, but this is New York City."
"No one drives. I don't even own a car. My parents would kill me if I took the car."
"This is an emergency."
"I can't just pack up and leave. I have a life. My parents would have a fit."
"You're way too virtuous."
"Why do you have to get to your sisters?"
"Because they think I'm dead."
"You are dead," I pointed out.
"Look, something weird is going on. I have to go to them."
"I can't take the car."
"You're not going to budge on this, are you?"
"Oh! I've been so stupid!"
"Call out the name 'Leo'."
"He's our whitelighter."
"And that means?"
"He's an angel."
"Just do it."
"Leo!" I called, feeling really silly. "Nothing."
"Again. He should sense me."
"Leo! Prue needs you!"
Blue light filled the room. A man appeared.
I took one look at him and fainted.
"Christy, wake up!" Prue yelled.
I opened my eyes to find that the man was still there.
"Don't scream," she continued.
I stopped myself from screaming. "Are you Leo?"
He nodded. "How do you know Prue?"
"Well, you're not going to believe this, but… she's in my head. Her soul got into my mind. I don't know how and neither does she."
He stared at me.
"Ask him how long I've been dead."
"She wants to know how long she's been dead."
"Almost five months. Is she really in there?"
"Yup. She wants me to go to San Francisco, but I can't. I'm Christy, by the way."
"I can orb you there."
"It's a type of instant transportation," he explained.
"I want to talk to him. Just relax."
Something cold washed over me. I felt myself being pushed back. I could see everything, but I knew that I wasn't in control.
"Leo, it's me. I was just about to pass on from this… darkness when I got yanked back. What happened?" My mouth was moving, but I didn't have any control over my words.
"I don't know. This has never happened before."
"How are my sisters?"
"They're… well, they're dealing."
"You're not telling me something."
"It's complicated," Leo said. "I'll explain when we get there."
I was pushed forward. "Okay, that was weird."
He took my hand and did the blue-orb-thing.
"Hey, Leo." The woman stopped when she saw me. "Who is this?"
"Piper!" Prue cried.
"This is Christy. Where are Phoebe and Paige?" Leo asked.
"Paige? Who's Paige?" Prue wondered.
"We're right here."
"Geez, Prue, do you have to yell? I can hear you just fine," I grumbled.
The girls stared at me. "Prue? Why did you say that?"
"She's stuck in my mind." They continued to stare at me, obviously unable to comprehend what I had just said.
"Paige must be an innocent," Prue concluded.
"What is an innocent?"
"Just a regular person who hasn't been touched by evil."
"Uh huh. This stuff is all really weird."
"Who are you talking to?" Piper asked.
"Prue. She claims that she's your sister."
"Claims? Obviously I'm telling the truth."
"Well now I know that."
"I want to talk to them."
It must have been odd looking to them. After all, it seemed that I was talking to myself. "I don't want to do that again."
"Too bad." She pushed me back. "Piper, Phoebe, it's me."
Piper's eyes searched her – my – face. "Prove it."
Prue sighed. "I was killed by the demon Shax. He almost killed you too, but Leo was able to save you. How many people know that?"
"Prue?" Phoebe whispered.
"You know it."
"This is incredible. Leo, how is this possible?"
"I'm not sure, but it may be because of the gap in power after Prue died. She was still tied to us, so she was stuck until everything got sorted out. I'll-"
"Go check with the Elders," Phoebe, Paige, Piper, and Prue chorused.
He orbed out.
"So what are my sisters protecting you from, Paige?" Prue asked. "You are an innocent, aren't you?"
Phoebe and Piper exchanged looks. "Actually…"
"She's our little sister."
"Well, you remember Sam, right?" Phoebe asked.
"Of course," Prue said.
"Mom and Sam eventually had Paige and left her in a church. She was adopted. After you died, we met her."
"Oh… Well, it's nice to meet you, Paige. What powers do you have?"
"I can orb myself and other things," she said and demonstrated.
"Whoa! That's magic? Neat." I would have pestered Prue to show me more magic, but I didn't want to ruin their sisterly moment.
There was a short time of silence. They all just took everything in. Then they started to hug.
"I've missed you, Prue," Piper said.
"She turned into a fury," Phoebe said.
"Long story." Phoebe smiled. "We have so much to discuss."
I felt more than a little out of place. This was the kind of situation in which I usually would have quietly sneaked away. However, I didn't have a way to get home and I didn't have my body. I was stuck.
For a while, I attempted to not listen to what they were saying. It wasn't my business. But I soon grew bored and tuned into their conversation.
"What are we going to do? I mean, your body is gone. Are you going to be trapped in there?" Piper asked.
"I don't know. I hope not, but right now it looks like this is how it's going to be."
Hmm… That did not seem like fun. I wasn't exactly that eager to share my body with this person for the rest of my life.
"The Elders will probably be able to fix this," Phoebe said.
"Somehow I doubt it."
The Elders… What could the Elders be? Some sort of council of old people? I have no idea. I'm so clueless.
"How is this going to affect the Power of Three? Do you still have your powers?" Piper questioned.
"I don't know. I haven't tried yet."
My interested was piqued. I watched with fascination as she made a book rise into the air.
"Well, you still have that. What about astral projection?"
"Probably not. I'd need a body to do that."
Paige looked as out of place as I felt. Well, she is only their half-sister. I'm guessing that now that Prue is back, she feels kind of unnecessary.
"Try it anyways."
Astral projection… Isn't that when a person's soul leaves their body?
"Eep!" I cried. I had been kicked out of my body.
"It didn't work," Prue said with a frown.
I looked around at them. They seemed to be completely oblivious. "Can you see me?" I asked. They couldn't. "This is just great."
"Wait. Christy? She's gone." She closed her eyes and I was drawn back.
"It seems that the astral projection works to some extent. Hey, I'm back in control." I glanced at the clock and gasped. "My mom is going to kill me!"
"Paige can orb you home," Phoebe said. I could hear the pain in her voice. She didn't want to lose her sister again.
"I can explain all this to my mom and come back."
"No, Leo can just…"
"Orb me here all the time? That'll just be a big hassle."
"It's fine by me. This was turning out to be a pretty boring summer anyways." I had a million questions, but now was not the time to ask them. "Is there a hotel around here?"
"Hotel? No, you have to stay here."
I had a feeling that it was more for Prue's sake than for my own, but that was okay. I didn't mind. "Um, okay then. I'd better get to my mom before she calls the police."
Paige nodded and took my hand.
"Oh my God! Christina Eve Raven! What is going on?" My mother pulled me away from Paige. "Why did you take my baby?"
"Mom, don't call me your baby," I complained. "This is Paige Matthews. She's-"
"A whitelighter. I know that. What I don't know is why you took Christy."
I gaped at her. "You know about magic?"
"Of course I do."
"That's not the issue."
"I'm a Charmed One," Paige said. "This is kind of... complicated."
"You're a Charmed One? Wait. I remember you."
"Yes. You took Prue's place after she died."
"How do you know all this?" Paige was clearly as confused as I.
"I used to be a whitelighter. I clipped my wings in order to be with my husband."
"What?" I whispered.
"I was going to tell you eventually, Christy."
Talk about an overload of information.
"Well, then you'll understand this. Prue is stuck in Christy's mind."
"Her soul is caught there?"
"Yes. We'd like to bring her back to our house so that we can sort this out."
"Hold it. Sixteen years. Sixteen years and you could never find the time to tell me that you used to be a whitelighter? And what about magic? Why did you have to wait until all this went down?" This hurt. I just didn't understand.
"I didn't want you to know about this until you could handle it."
"Fine." I went up to my room.
"Christina, are you all right?"
"Why shouldn't I be? No one ever told me about all this." I angrily stuffed clothes into my suitcase. "But I want to figure this out. I want help you."
"The heart of a whitelighter," I heard her murmur.
"I don't want to talk about that."
"You know, depending on when you were conceived, you may have whitelighter genes."
"I definitely don't want to think about that. I don't care if I'm half-whitelighter. This is too much to think about right now." I was so confused and upset. I didn't want to take on all this. It was too much.
"I can help you if you talk to me."
"Look, I told you that I don't want to talk about it, and I mean it. I don't even know you. My life was so normal, then you showed up and all hell broke loose. I was a normal girl with a normal life. In less than one day, that all went out the window."
"I used to be normal too. Then I discovered my powers and my life changed."
"Well… I don't have any powers. I'm just a mediator. You got that? I don't want to know about all this stuff. I just want to get you back into your body."
Her soft way annoyed me even more, but I wasn't going to get into a fight. I had known this woman for only a few hours. I had to give her a chance.
"You ready to go?" Paige asked from the doorway.
"Aren't you going to say goodbye to your parents?"
"No," I said simply.
She studied me, then touched me and we orbed out.
I stood at the window late that night. So this is what San Francisco is like. I probably would have enjoyed it more if I didn't have so many things nagging at my mind… including Prue.
"Thank you for doing this. I know that this is difficult for you, and I'm sorry for that."
"It's no problem." I was partly glad that this had happened. If it had never occurred, who knows how long it would have been before my mother had told me. I was quiet as I contemplated the situation. My initial shock had died down. I was still annoyed with my mother, but I could understand her position. "Do you really think that I could have whitelighter genes?"
"Yes. You could try some things to find out."
"Not now." I wasn't ready for that step. I had enough to take in. I didn't need any other quirks. "I know that you've been through a lot today, but could you tell me a little more about yourself?"
She laughed. "Christy, this is nothing compared to the other things I've been through. I'd be happy to tell you about myself."
It had been the most amazing day ever. It had also been incredibly overwhelming. I couldn't help but wonder what the rest of the week had in store. Wondering was about the only thing I could do. I could only wait and watch.