They rode for many days in a horse-drawn carriage that Mallory insisted on driving. Never did she allow Evadna’s mother to take the reins and relieve her for an hour or two. Evadna had many questions, but only a few of those were answered.
Mallory was a distant cousin whom they were going to live with for a while. Just how long “a while” was Evadna’s mother wouldn’t say. Mallory was to teach Evadna how to use her abilities.
“Abilities?” said Evadna, “I have none.”
“But you do,” Mallory chimed in unexpectedly. The old woman hardly spoke, so Evadna was always a little surprised when she said something.
“What abilities?” she asked of her mother, eying Mallory warily.
Her mother took her hand. “Remember the raindrop you showed me?”
Evadna remembered. She would never forget. She suspected that had been the start of everything going so horribly wrong in their home. “Yes.”
“Daughter, that was magic.”
Instinctively, Evadna tried to draw away but her mother wouldn’t let her go. “Magic is evil, twisted, unnatural.”
“Magic is completely natural. It is we humans that are not,” Mallory interjected, keeping her eyes on the road while she gave the reins a slight flick.
With a smile, Evadna’s mother gathered her daughter closely to her. “Some believe magic to be evil, others do not. There is no consensus over the matter. But you, my dear Evadna, have magic within you. And if I ever needed proof that magic wasn’t evil, then you are my proof. For you, my little dear, are good and pure. I have no doubt.”
“I have magic,” Evadna whispered, tasting the words. “Is that why father came to hate me, and why we’ve left him now?”
Her mother just shook her head, her eyes downcast.
And so, they eventually arrived at Mallory’s home, located on the outskirts of a village called Dorby. The two-bedroom house was small and cozy. A large pen in the backyard housed a large number of goats Mallory milked for profit. Evadna was particularly charmed by the goats, asking Mallory for their names and receiving a funny look in return.
“Goat, won’t do?” Mallory responded.
Trying to hide her dismay, Evadna said, “You call them Goat?”
“That is what such animals are called, is it not?”
“If you ever had a child,” Evadna began, “would you name it Child?”
Evadna heaved a great sigh, then turned to the goats, completely missing the twinkle in Mallory’s eyes. “I will name you, little ones, never fear.”
In only a few days, Evadna and her mother were settled in, helping to run the goat business and taking in the odd mending job that the villagers brought their way. Evadna and her mother were the main subject of conversation in the village for quite a while, their arrival being the newest, most exciting thing to happen in months.
Though Evadna enjoyed the adventure and excitement of a new home and a new life, she often felt the loss of her father. She missed him. And she knew her mother missed him even more. Evadna knew it was her fault her parents were no longer happily together. Somehow, she’d have to rectify that.
While Evadna was out amongst the goats one morning, they started nibbling at her neck and hair, causing her to giggle uncontrollably.
“Evadna,” snapped Mallory.
Startled, Evadna looked at her questioningly. Mallory gestured with her chin and Evadna followed the movement to see a faint rainbow in the sky. “How pretty.”
“It wasn’t there a moment ago,” Mallory said, her sharp eyes narrowing. “Now child, listen well. Your magic manifests itself most naturally in the weather. I do not yet know if that is its limit, but it easily finds a home there. For example, your moods dictate the weather around you. The gloomy clouds and rain of your home for the last few weeks you were there was because of your unhappiness. Just as that rainbow began to appear because of the pleasure you felt from the goats nibbling your neck. Do you understand?”
In a daze, Evadna nodded.
“First, I will teach you how to separate your magic from the weather. You must first learn control before you can begin to learn how to best utilize it. Are you ready to learn, Evadna?”
Evadna was torn between excitement and resentment. She shouldn’t be happy about something that broke up her family. “Yes.”