Things changed for Evadna not long after she showed her mother the raindrop. Her father greeted her less warmly whenever he returned home. During mealtime, he’d barely speak to her, hardly even glancing her way. If she tried to capture his attention, he’d either ignore her efforts, or stare at her with an awful expression on his beloved face. When he did that, Evadna wished he’d go back to ignoring her.
“Why does father hate me so?” she asked her mother one day.
Her mother looked at Evadna with a sad expression. “He doesn’t hate you, sweet. He loves you. He just doesn’t know what to make of you right now.”
“Make of me?” Evadna inquired, perplexed, but her mother shook her head at her without answering.
Things didn’t improve between Evadna and her father, however. And soon, her parents started fighting. Evadna would hear them yell at each other through the oaken walls. They wouldn’t shout in front of her. They’d take care to hash out their disagreements behind closed doors. Yet it was still enough for Evadna to cover her ears and hum to herself, so she wouldn’t have to hear.
The weather soon began reflecting the dark mood of their home. Clouds lingered stubbornly overhead, dark and droopy. Rain began to play an accompaniment to the shouting matches. Lightning and thunder would trouble their sleep. Evadna did not understand what she had to done to cause her happy home to fall apart. She felt sure somehow, she was to blame. Rack her brains as she might though, she could not figure out why.
It rained almost constantly the day Evadna’s mother was particularly weepy. She couldn’t look at Evadna without tears filling up her eyes and when Evadna tried to hug her, she’d hurry away, lock herself behind a door, and sob. Hurt and dejected, Evadna raced to the front door, determined to run away. She wasn’t wanted anymore. If she left, at least her parents would be happy again.
Evadna flung open the front door and came to a sudden stop. There was someone blocking the way. Someone in a long, dark cloak soaked from rain, their hand wrapped tightly around the knob of a finely crafted cane. The hand showed signs of age with its wrinkled skin and age spots, but there was strength too. Evadna’s eyes traveled up to peer beneath the hood of the person’s cloak. Keen, blue eyes stared back at her.
“Who are you?” she blurted, realizing only after that her question was rude. “I mean, won’t you come inside?”
The cloaked person silently followed Evadna in, watching her closely all the while. Feeling distinctly uncomfortable, but determined to be a good hostess, Evadna said, “Won’t you remove your cloak and come by the fire? Weather has been dismal lately.”
It was soon seen that the person was an old woman once her cloak was removed, with yards of white hair held loosely in a braid. A little relieved at this, Evadna led the old woman to a seat close to the fire.
“You warm yourself up there, madam. I’ll go fetch my mother.” Evadna paused on her way out. “Whom shall I tell her is calling?”
Those keen, blue eyes fixed themselves firmly on Evadna, making her feel unsettled all over again. “She’ll know who. But if you want a name, child, it’s Mallory.”