If it hadn’t been for all the trouble Christopher Parkerson was in, he wouldn’t be leaving now to go to some aunt both he and his twin sister, Claudia, had never heard of. It wasn’t fair! Claudia loved her brother very much and tried hard to get him out of going to Massachusetts. Who was this mystery sister Mom had never mentioned before? And how could she help?
“What’s the letter say, Chris?” Claudia asked. She glanced down at her watch to see how soon to departure.
“You don’t want to know,” Chris replied putting the letter back in the envelope.
“Yes I do!”
“Departure for Salem, Massachusetts will be at 8:00 at gate twelve,” announced the ticket agent over the p.a. system.
“Chris!” Claudia cried. “Please tell me quick before the bus leaves!”
Chris bent over and picked up his luggage. He turned to Claudia who was now crying. Never had they been separated. This was a fate worse than death! It was bad enough that they had these strange powers.
“Morgana, that’s her name, says I’ll be isolated from everyone,” Chris started. “She said in her letter that I can’t even write to you or Mom!”
“Why? Who is she to say what you can or can’t do?”
Claudia couldn’t bear the thought that she wouldn’t be able to hear from Chris. What kind of relative could be so cruel as to forbid any contact with your family?
“She also knows about our powers and she especially doesn’t want me to talk or write to you as long as I’m there.” The more he thought about it, Aunt Morgana sounded like a prison guard. Or better yet, a military guard for a concentration camp.
Chills went down Chris’ spine. Why would their mother send him there? So what if he got caught shoplifting? He had paid the price by going to those stupid correction classes after school.
“Chris, they’re boarding the bus,” Claudia said pointing toward the line of passengers.
“You know Claudia; this Aunt Morgana sounds like an evil witch!”
Both of them turned to each other. They felt frightened.
“What if she is a witch? What if she casts an evil spell on you? What if…” Claudia couldn’t finish her sentence.
“My God, Claudia, I can’t do this!” Chris felt nauseated. This was a nightmare! The kind when it seems you can’t wake up.
“Run away, Chris! Run far away!”
“Where will I go? I don’t have any money, “Chris shook his head. “It’s no use, I have to go.”
By now most of the passengers were on the bus. Chris handed his driver his luggage and got in line. Claudia burst into tears.
“Oh please, Claudia, maybe it won’t be all that bad. It’s only for the rest of the school year,” Chris said trying to reassure her.
“That’s eight months!”
Chris gave his sister a hug. In that moment, it seemed as if they would never see each other again.
“I wish there was a way that we could use our powers to fast forward time,” Claudia said.
“Everything will be okay, I promise. And I will find a way to write or call.”
Claudia wanted to believe him, but something deep down inside her said that it wouldn’t be possible.
“Don’t make promises you can’t keep,” she said.
With that, Chris hugged her again and got on the bus. She saw him sit down and waved. He waved back.
Bye, Chris. Please be careful, she said in her mind.
He heard her and mouthed the words, I will.
The bus shifted into gear and drove away from the terminal. Claudia watched the red and white bus drive down the road and turn towards the interstate. Chris was gone and she was all alone. Slowly, she shuffled back to the car. Things didn’t seem right. Chris was hiding something from her, but what?
On the bus, Chris got out Aunt Morgana’s letter.
“Why didn’t I tell Claudia the truth?” Chris mumbled to himself. “Why didn’t I just tell her Morgana is a witch and she’s going to help the both of us control our powers. She would then send for Claudia. Mom is sending the both of us away because she’s embarrassed over us. We’re children of the devil! How stupid can you be? We are no more the devil’s children than she is! Claudia, I’m so sorry I lied to you, but Morgana specifically said not to tell anyone about her or us.”
He leaned up against the window and closed his eyes. He hoped that the visions wouldn’t come. This was going to be a very long trip.
Copyright 1995 – 2012 Karen Elizabeth Waters