Twenty Years Ago

The babe was pure joy and magic. Literally magic, Mirina thought, horrified. Her finger was encased in Wilhelmina's tiny hand and she wept silently, worried it was the last time she'd feel her daughter's touch. The Circle would come for her sweet girl and her babe would be lost to her forever.

The Circle left no child with magic loose and free. For both the child and the world were in danger of an uncontrolled mage. People were superstitious and cruel, quick to place blame on innocents for any wrongdoing. A simple nest of crows could bring about pitchforks and screaming mobs to any door thought to house a mage. And there wasn't much suspicion about Wilhelmina.

At three months old the babe had started a snow storm in her bedroom. Although no villagers had seen the act, it was difficult to hide snow being shoveled outdoors in the bloom of summer.

A month later flowers began blooming in the strangest places. A simple milkweed had sprouted from the nanny's head, a garland of flowers had graced the cat's neck, causing it to panic and screech around the room.

Nobility or no, mages were sent off to the tower, forever. They were taught control and stability, but they were watched and leashed like farm animals. They were used for healing, but never appreciated for their deeds. Mirina couldn't fathom losing her daughter to such a place.

She understood the dangers of magic, yet she couldn't reconcile losing her babe. She made her decision.

Scooping up Wilhelmina she stole into the night and disappeared.