The tapping of rain on the windows of the library, coupled with the soft sounds of pages turning were soothing to Rebecca as she studied for her finals.
She wore an orange cardigan over an ivory white silk blouse that she paired with black jeans with rips in the knees. Her glasses were large and the frames where a tortoise shell design with dark and light browns. She wore white tennis shoes, and a white ribbon in her hair that was worn half up letting the lower half of her hair drape down to her mid-back.
She was a slight young woman; she was five feet and three inches tall and her complexion was fair, and her eyes were an amber color with brown specks throughout.
Her lips studiously pressed against the eraser of her pencil as she read through her study materials. Academically, high school was a breeze for her. Her social life was quiet and wholesome. Her parents kept a strict household and high expectations of their only daughter. Rebecca had earned early acceptance to her town’s private college Quilldale University. Her dream was to become the nation’s leading research physicist for her studies in neuroanatomy. She had always been fascinated in the anatomy, power, and capability of the human brain.
Rebecca had one best friend; a boy named William. He was a tall thin teen with promise to his intellect as well. He always wore an over-sized t-shirt with baggy jeans and work boots. His face was sweet, with hazel eyes and light brown hair, his nose was strong, as was his jaw and Adam’s apple. Other boys his age were traumatized with acne and voices that cracked. However, his skin had only a few freckles, and his voice had a low tone and was easy to listen to.
William sat next to Rebecca and he too was hyper focused. His fascination was in astrophysics and how space matter might have had an impact on human evolution. The two of them studied fervently, though their academic success was all but guaranteed.
The school bell rang and rudely interrupted their Zen-like state. Rebecca became very much startled by the bell and let out a small yip and jumped in her seat. At that same moment her pencil was sent flying across the room and plunged itself like a dart to the cork board into the display globe by the historical bookshelf.
William with his mouth wide open in disbelief looked to the globe with the pencil resembling the Sword in the Stone and walked over to retrieve the pencil for Rebecca.
“Nice shot!” He exclaimed impressed by his friend’s impromptu strength.
“I–I–I didn’t” Rebecca stuttered around her own shock, as she had since placed her pencil down and had only her highlighter in her hand. She had no idea how the pencil was sent flying through the air and into the globe if William had not done it.
Rebecca then feigned dismissal as she gathered her materials, accepted the pencil back from William, and rushed toward the door. William then shuffled everything of his into his backpack and had to lightly jog to catch up to her. True to his kind nature he rushed slightly ahead of Rebecca to hold the door for her.
The next day was the moment of truth. They each faced their last day of finals that doubled as their last day of classes. At their lunch break, Rebecca set to meet up with William outside by the pine tree next to the soccer field where they always shared lunch when the weather was nice.
William, however, was back in the library. He was determined to figure out how Rebecca could have launched the pencil with enough power for it to penetrate the globe so precisely if only by mistake. He was quick with his calculations and concluded that it could have only been possible if Rebecca had focused her aim and had enough wind-up to provide the pencil enough power and precision. The same way a bow and arrow are shot. The numbers did not lie, yet they did not adhere to the circumstances either. Truly confused, William scratched his head as his eyes wondered off and saw the time on the overhead clock. He checked his phone in panic and noticed that he had three missed calls from Rebecca and two unseen texts. He then in an anxious flurry ran off to meet her by the pine tree.
By the time he arrived at the pine tree, Rebecca had grown annoyed and worried. As William ran waving in desperation to Rebecca, she noticed him, and she clenched her fist in annoyance. At the same moment William was sent flying into the nearby soccer goal. Rebecca’s annoyance grew immediately into concern as she ran over to her best friend.
“Oh GOD! William! Are you alright?”
“I must have tripped, I think I’m okay,” William said as he pulled his shirt down off of his head and down to where it belonged. He then picked up his backpack, stood up and shook off the embarrassment.
“Are your shoes untied? You never leave your shoes untied,” Rebecca offered as she searched for possible explanations for what catapulted her friend.
William checked his shoes and then noticed that they were still perfectly tied. He then looked back to where he was running and saw no obstacles.
“Rebecca, are you feeling alright?” William asked as he grew suspicious. In his studies he entertained phenomena such as psychokinesis, telepathy, and psychosomatic empathy. Rebecca could only look at William with innocent confusion.
“I’m just really stressed out, and I got really worried about you when you didn’t show up or answer my calls or texts. Where were you?”
William looked Rebecca in her eyes and took her hands in his and shrugged.
“It’s a tough time for all of us. I must have lost track of time on my last final.” William’s white lie was transparent to Rebecca. She, however, didn’t have the energy to call him out or argue, she was developing a headache and was anxious to get home and have dinner with her parents.
“I’ll see you tomorrow then? At graduation!” Rebecca forced a smile which William also noticed to be artificial.
“Yes, alright. Have a goodnight!” William turned and walked back to the school to complete his day of finals. Rebecca did the same.
Now at home and dressed in blue denim overalls, and a light blue tank top, Rebecca was setting the table. Her house smelled wonderfully of barbecue. Her dad made pork ribs with corn on the cob. Rebecca’s parents then came in with trays of delicious food to complete the dinner table setting. As they sat down, Rebecca’s mother began asking her questions.
“So, dear, have you sent thank you letters to your professor’s?”
“I have them all ready to mail out Mom,” Rebecca replied with slight annoyance.
“And darling, have you called the Andersons to thank them for their glowing recommendation?”
“I did Mom, this morning before school. Mrs. Anderson answered and said to say hello.”
“Oh and sweetie, did you send in your class registration for the fall at Quilldale?”
“I haven’t yet decided what classes I want to take Mom,” Rebecca was getting annoyed. She took a moment to contemplate the level to which she was annoyed. She admitted to herself that it seemed to be an overreaction. She asked herself why she felt so angered and annoyed. Surely her mother was just asking as a way to show her she cared.
“Linda is such a sweetheart for sending Quilldale that recommendation, isn’t she Paul?”
“Hmm? That’s right dear,” Rebecca’s father answered as he half listened and began serving his family food.
“And Rebecca Noodle, please remember to lay out your acceptance speech for tomorrow.”
Rebecca now irrationally and inexplicably infuriated shouted,
It was at that moment that the knife on the tray of ribs then lifted into the air and plunged the hardwood oak table. It was as if a ghost had taken hold of the knife and enacted a threatening display. Rebecca’s mom let out a scream, and her father dropped his tray of corn onto the floor in shock.
Rebecca then ran to her room without another word to her parents.
From where they remained petrified in shock Rebecca’s parents could hear the door to their daughter’s room slam shut.
“PAUL!” Rebecca’s mother exclaimed in a hushed tone.
“I know Elizabeth, I know,” replied Rebecca’s father sadly.
“Well, should we tell her?”
“Her future is set Elizabeth. Quilldale in the fall, followed by a summer at MIT, and Bill has already promised me a job for her after she graduates with her bachelor’s.”
“Paul! Don’t you think I know all of that? You promised that this would skip a generation!”
“Elizabeth! We’re both witches! I thought the spell we cast when you got pregnant would have ensured our daughter a normal life, but it looks like we failed!”
“Her powers should have come in when she turned thirteen! She is almost eighteen and now they arrive? All we did was postpone the inevitable?”
“What’s to say this is the first of her powers Elizabeth? What if she has been keeping it a secret from us until now?”
“Well she has no idea why any of this is happening to her Paul! So ya, it is natural for her to be afraid to tell her otherwise normal parents that she is making things fly all over the place.”
“No Elizabeth. I mean, what if she has already confided in someone else? With our family secret, we cannot take that risk.”
“PAUL!” replied Rebecca’s mom finally as she slapped her hand across her own mouth in utter shock.
Rebecca now in her room was trying to make sense of a few isolated instances. The flying pencil, her friend who tripped over nothing being hurdled across the field and into the soccer goal, and now the knife. All of this she coupled with her newfound fury. She knew that at her age, her hormones were acting all crazy. She was prepared for the mood swings, but not this. She remembered back to one night out for milkshakes and bowling with William, he was about to send the ball down the lane when he brought up a strange topic.
“What if I could send this ball down this lane without touching it?”
That quote now seemed unsettling to her, as that night William disclosed his fascination for psychokinesis among other strange and impossible things.
She sent one simple text to William.
“Bowling alley 15 minutes.”
As dependable as taxes William showed up at the bowling alley with worry in his brow.
“William!” Rebecca shouted to get his attention. She had arrived just before he did and booked the last lane where nobody pays any attention.
The bad kids from school gather there every weekend and smoke weed and drink their hidden nips and no one seems to notice or care.
William joined her and, in a whisper, asked,
“Why are we in the burnout lane?”
“William, do you remember two summers ago? When we were here. What you asked me?
“We’ve been here a lot Rebecca,” William said with slight annoyance.
“William, you asked me what I am going to ask you now. What if I could move this ball down the lane without touching it?”
“Rebecca…?” William began.
Rebecca placed a single bowling ball down at the lane’s entrance. She paced back a few steps and got down to her knees. She squinted at the ball and with every amount of concentration she focused on the mental image of it rolling and knocking down the pins.
She must have been staring at the ball for two minutes before William inserted.
“Is this a joke? I know you saw me trip today at school and we were both kind of freaked that I tripped over nothing.”
“Shhhh” Shot back Rebecca trying not to break her focus.
“This is a stressful time Rebecca, and I’m sorry I was late and everything, but why are you being like this now?”
“William Please! SSSHHHHH!” Rebecca’s short fuse was beginning to burn down.
“Alright Rebecca, I’m going to call your mom and tell her you’re here. I think you need to see a doctor.”
“Oh my GOD WILLIAM!” Rebecca shouted as she stood up. To their disbelief the bowling ball did not go rolling but flew through the air down at the pins knocking them all down.
William and Rebecca both jumped back and gasped.
“What the hell Rebecca? How did you do that?”
“I have no idea!”
“Well, if you promise not to freak on me. I was late to lunch today because I was in the library looking at how you could have plunged the pencil into the globe!”
“Well William, we still don’t know anything. Like why the hell this is happening to me.”
All of a sudden Rebecca lunged forward with a pain in her belly. She grabbed her stomach and made a guttural sound of discomfort.
“Rebecca! What’s wrong?” William shouted as he ran over to help.
“I don’t know! I have to go, now!” She ran into the ladies room and locked the door behind her. She vomited and began to see white lights surround her. She felt faint.
Next she knew she was in her living room at home on the couch. The swirling white lights cleared, and she was now looking at her parents. They stood behind an alter with a bubbling cauldron and a burning piece of paper.
“It worked Paul!” Exclaimed Rebecca’s mother.
“Obviously Elizabeth, we’re hardly new at this.”
“Mom, Dad?” Rebecca looked around the room and to her parents whom she currently struggled to recognize.
“What’s going on?!”
“Rebecca sweetheart, your father and I have something we need to tell you,” Rebecca’s mother began before getting interrupted by Paul.
“Well pumpkin, you’re not going to Quilldale in the fall, let’s start there. And you can kiss your job with Bill goodbye,” Paul scoffed with frustration.
“PAUL!” snapped Rebecca’s mother as she went to sit next to her daughter.
“Your father and I, are witches Noodle, and although we did everything we could to prevent you from this, and to give you a normal life, it looks like you are one of us.”
“Mom, are you and Dad insane? What is going on here? I’M SERIOUS!” Rebecca shouted and with her new powers knocked over the altar and cauldron.
“See that? That’s not just telekinesis or psychokinesis, or whatever your brainiac friend calls it. It’s your power, your gift,” Elizabeth told her daughter as she combed Rebecca’s hair back behind her ear with her fingers.
“It’s a tool Rebecca, and a weapon! We need you to know how dangerous you’ve just become!”
“Paul! Maybe we can wait until after she graduates to frighten her!?”
“The point is sweetie; your father and I have been fighting the things that go bump in the night since we were each thirteen. Our families go back to ancient Ireland to the Druid people. Now you have a hard reality to face. Your dreams of going to school and working in neuroanatomy can no longer come true. For that Noodle I am truly very sorry. But now you have the chance to still save lives and make a difference, with magic!”
Rebecca stood and walked over to the hallway wall-mounted mirror. She looked at her reflection for what must have been three minutes. She looked at her quirky glasses, wholesome clothes, and gentile eyes. She took a breath and accepted her destiny with a question to her parents.
“When do I begin?”