I do not own these characters and make no profit from their use.

New Beginnings: The Everett Sage Continues

Prologue: Phoebe

The month of September seemed to have disappeared for Phoebe nearly as soon as it started. Her life was centered on her infant daughter Maisie, but she was also very busy as she once again took over the daily business of running the house and helping the children adjust to school. Not to mention helping her husband adjust to his lighter work schedule since he was on sabbatical for the fall semester.

The lethargy that she had felt in the last month or so of pregnancy had dissipated. And the edge had come off the grief and sadness that she had felt after the sudden loss of her parents almost two years ago. Life, as it always did, continued its forward trajectory and was now filled with the simple pleasures of being a wife and mother.

She found that she was able to focus more easily on daily tasks and look toward the future without trepidation. It had been a year since she and Hal had married. In fact the one-year anniversary, after the intense joy of the birth of their first child, was simply a place marker on the calendar. A celebration would have been somewhat beside the point.

There was no joy that could compare with the entrance of her little darling into the world. Now that the baby was born she felt as if things had finally come to a point where they all were blended into a single family. Her transition from nanny to mother had not been as seamless as any of them had expected.

Her relationship with each of the children had subtly changed after the marriage. Her emotions were engaged with each of them in a different way. Before the wedding there had almost been a fairy tale like quality to her relationship with them and their father Hal, previously known to her as "the Professor."

There was the motherless home with three children yearning, either consciously or unconsciously, for a woman to fill the void in each of their lives that had been left by their deceased mother. They had been acting out and chasing off previous housekeepers before she had shown up on their doorstep. And they all wanted more attention from their father.

Just as in the fairy stories, like a combination fairy godmother and guardian angel, she put their lives back to rights and then sought to do the same for their father so that things would end "happily ever after" when he remarried a woman who would come in and make the family whole once more. She had done it before. Her gifts of intuition and prescience allowed her to sort through the clutter of feelings and emotions so that she could discern their minds and hearts. She had been positive that when the right woman came along, the Professor would conveniently fall in love with her.

But somewhere in the process, things were muddled and then thrown off kilter. She developed strong, yet latent, feelings for the man whom she was seeking to marry off to another woman who would be the loving spouse and mother to make the family complete. She had rather easily ignored or suppressed these emotions due to the fact that she had been previously promised to someone else. But the sudden and devastating loss of her own mother and father, and her subsequent custody of her younger sister created an unusual dilemma for her.

She had always "known" that at the right moment she would "declare victory" and move on to her next job. All other things being equal, this should have been that moment. Her betrothed from birth had shown up and decided that it was time for them to marry, return to the village, and begin their life together as the guardians of her sister. Determined to fulfill her parents' wishes, she had swallowed hard and prepared to accept her familial duty and what she believed was her fate.

But she had become too attached to the Everett family. Her sister, Trelawney, whose intuitions and prescience exceeded her own saw it practically the minute she walked in the door. She insisted that they stay and then did her utmost best to help her realize those latent feelings for the Professor. Hal had been much easier for her to convince. His scientific mind analyzed the situation and determined the solution. He loved her and he would marry her. In the end, this was what happened.

But the family dynamic changed the instant that they were married. All of their feelings deepened for each other. This had both positive and negative effects due to the fact that the previous (mostly) harmonious balance had been disturbed. And there were residual conflicts and issues from both of their previous lives.

Her sister had a childhood trauma that needed to be resolved before she could move on. The children's maternal grandmother initially refused to accept her and when she did, their progress towards a true relationship was slow and tentative. They all needed, in some way shape or form, to let go of the past so that they could move into the future together.

She supposed that some people might have thought that it was foolish of them to add another person into the mix before other things had been settled. But is anything in life ever truly settled? The child would be born at the time she was destined. Her fate had been written. And a part of that fate had ultimately been that she was the cohesive force that brought the family together. Sibling rivalry aside, this child was the common bond between all of them, Figalilly and Everett alike.

Maisie would never know a time when she and her father were not married, that his children were not also her children. She was constantly present, surveying them all with the wisdom born of her Figalilly heritage. Phoebe's father-in-law, Rob, had made a car bed of sorts that she could bring with her around the house so that she was never far from her. It was sturdy but lightweight. While she cooked, cleaned, or did any of her other thousand chores, the baby would lie there and sleep or look around. When she was hungry, she could easily pick her up to nurse.

On her first visit to the pediatrician, the doctor warned her that she should not just pick her up to nurse whenever she cried. She told her that she needed to get her used to a feeding schedule. But in Phoebe's little village back in England, women never talked about feeding schedules, just as they didn't use bottles. They did what was natural. When they baby was hungry, she was fed.

After seven weeks, all the children, even Butch, were used to it. But because she was up and about and once again actively engaged in all their lives they didn't mind the fact that the baby came first. Each in his or her own way was developing his or her own sense of independence. It also helped that due to his timely sabbatical, Hal was much more available to them than they could ever remember. But she could also see that he was finally in a position himself to more fully enjoy parenthood with all of its joys and challenges.

The only twinge of sadness that she now felt was that her sister was still not living under their roof. Because she understood the workings of fate and destiny better than most, she knew better than to question the assumption that the time was not right. Her mind knew this, but her heart still ached. She and Trelawney filled a place in each other's heart that no one else could. Whenever she saw her, she realized with a pang that even she was acquiring more self-sufficiency.

She was busy and happy in her new school. It was good for her to feel a measure of independence, but there were times when Phoebe needed her. Their mother had cultivated and nurtured a very deep psychic bond between them, despite their sometimes, long separations because of her choice of life's work. It wasn't until recently that Phoebe had realized her own emotional dependence on the child.

Their souls were intertwined from long forgotten lifetimes. They had previously lived lives together as close relations. There was no empirical evidence of this, merely an innate understanding on both their parts. Trelawney's soul and very being had been wounded in this lifetime. Her fragile psyche was slowly repairing itself, but she still needed Phoebe as well.

She was, and probably always be, a simple soul baffled by the complexities of the modern world. Her spirit was still easily wounded. Her new school provided a shelter from some of the harsher realities of adolescent life in 1970's California, but there were still going to be difficult spots. Such a sensitive soul would never be entirely at peace in the modern world. Simply put, she was a throw back to a long lost era.

And there were still times when the world of Trelawney's dollhouse was more real to her than the world around her. Because she was without her sister's second sight there was no way for Phoebe to know if there was not some element of reality to the little world of the dolls Mimsy, Tansy, and now Daisy. When they played, at times she feared that her sister was not able to fully distinguish between fantasy and reality. As her connections with the cosmos strengthened, the thin line between the physical and metaphysical worlds was narrowing for her.

As the autumnal equinox passed and summer gave way to fall, Phoebe felt an odd sort of renewal. It was the one that she often felt in the springtime at home, but in California the weather was not so varied as it was in England. And with the birth of her child in late summer and all the children starting a new year in school, there was a sense of rebirth all around in the air. The future looked bright for them all.

To be continued . . .