Kirsten stood in the memorial park that cool rosy morning, honoring the remembrance of The Trials victims. Grief filled her soul as she said prayers for each of the slain. Flowers, charms and notes were placed on each of the granite benches that lined the Old Burying Point, symbolic gestures from others who felt that same sympathy as she did. This was the most sorrowful part of Salem, as it was the place where no soul stuck in purgatory could rest. Kirsten could always feel their energy in the place and thought that, possibly, even the non-magical folk of Salem felt the same way. There were several moments throughout the seasons when Kirsten visited the two sites, laying a small red and orange lisianthus blooms on each bench. It was a symbol of gratitude and appreciation, and for Kirsten, a small blessing from her to the each one of them. In the Old Burying Point, she duplicated those efforts for her ancestors that were buried there.
As she passed Judge Hathorne’s gravestone, Kirsten paused for a moment and wondered, should I put flowers on his stone?No one ever did. As the judge of The Trials, the memory of the man was not well liked or respected.
A single white rose fell at her feet before Kirsten could complete her thought. Had she conjured that? Glancing over her should, she saw a woman, cloaked in a long black coat with a hood that covered nearly all her dark hair, hurriedly walking away. Giving one last look at the stark white rose, Kirsten’s stomach rolled for some reason she couldn’t name, and she quickly left the graveyard. Whatever had just happened in the last minute had given her a terrible feeling in her gut.
The wind bit into her cheeks as she hastily crossed the two blocks to the commons and popped into her bookshop, Candlesticks. As her twinkle lights and candles roared to life, one-by-one, she glanced out her window to see Hawke lazily gliding towards her shop, not a care in the world for the cold. Ever since his family curse was lifted, the man was downright happy all the time. It was the most annoying two days Kirsten had ever experienced, she was sure of it. Although, she certainly didn’t want dark and mercurial Hawke back, so she supposed she would just suck it up and deal.
As she dropped her purse off behind her counter, the chime of her door whistled as Hawke entered the shop. Kirsten braced herself for anything, because it wasn’t too long ago that Hawke’s dark, brooding figure came with a more ominous presence.
“Bright and sunny good morning to ya, Kir!” The man’s good humor practically sang like a bird.
Be nice, be nice, be nice,she chanted in her mind. “My, you’re up bright and early this morning.” Kirsten was proud of herself for holding back from using a negative tone towards his cheerfulness.
“Well, I learned something this morning and you seemed like the proper person to ask,” the tall man’s face with a hook nose said earnestly.
That took her back a second. Were they now friends?Sure, they were super-long distant cousins, but friends? She supposed they were something close to that effect now.
“Well,” he paused, “my magick, it’s changing.”
“Obviously it is! You aren’t bound anymore.” Did the man really think that not being magically handcuffed would not alter him?
A sloppy grin plastered across his face. “Duh, Kirsten. But what I meant to say, is that it’s not changing like I expected it. I am still strongest in my shadow craft, but there’s been a new development. The birds… I think they are my spirit animals or something. I can hear them, I think…” Hawke trailed off, his jovial mood swaying just a bit. “I can see through them,” he whispered, as though the knowledge scared him.
Kirsten’s mood, however, was uplifted with the knowledge. “You do see the irony here, yes?”
A blank stare glared back at her.
“You nicknamed yourself after a bird, man.” Warren, the man’s much shorter and plumper father, had let it slip that Hawke’s real name, was in fact, Hunter. “That, my friend, is called foreshadowing. It also explains how your shadow self was able to fly.”
Amazement spread across his dark eyes as he realized the connection. “So, I knew. Somehow, even in my youth, I knew of my gifts? Spellbound and all?”
“Yup.” The word popped from her mouth, proud that she could be his mentor in this moment. “Sarah can see the future and the past, and always seems to go by her gut instinct. You, bird man, appear to have a strong intuition as well.”
“Bird man? Really?”
“Hey, if the name fits.” Kirsten was elated she had a new nickname for the man. It would lift her mood slightly when his cheerfulness annoyed her. Then, an idea sprang to mind as she remembered her morning.
“Hawke, when you say you can seethrough birds… are you able to see the past?”
“At the moment, no. It’s not a strong gift yet, it seems. I get just snapshots of the present moment.” Hawke shoved his hands through his hair, obviously frustrated in what he didn’t know yet. “Why do you ask?”
“Um, well, this morning I was in the graveyard and something odd happened. It left me feeling a bit unsettled.” Kirsten leaned forward over her shop counter, her blonde curls bouncing, and proceeded to tell Hawke about the woman with the white rose. The woman, she feared, who may be up to no good in their town that was already filled with historical mischief.
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