As we came out of the hug I took my hand from her shoulder and noticed a small trail of blue dust lay across my palm. Thin as a strand of cotton thread it swirled slightly forming a graceful pattern that led off the other side of my hand.
“Morgan can you turn around please?” She did what she was told with one eyebrow slightly raised in questioning. I drew in a breath of confusion. Sure enough a delicate blue line swirled across one of her shoulders. It was only faint yet it still almost glittered underneath her skin. These were the first markings of her wings. That single marking appeared to be the only one on her back so far. Time was desperately running out.
“Dad what’s wrong?”
“Nothing it’s just...” I show her my palm. “Your first markings are forming.”
“Markings?" She asked querulously, trying to figure out what I meant. She turned her head as far round as she could in an attempt to see them, but she couldn’t. Morgan turns back to look at me. The confusion appears to be going both ways.
“I thought I don’t get my wings till I pass?”
“You don’t, well you’re not meant to. These are only the very beginnings of your wings don’t worry.” I can’t decide whether it is relief or disappointment that filled her eyes. It was possibly both.
The best thing I could do was show her. I dug through my bag and “Aha!” I found my bottle of water. “Draw it out and use it as a mirror to see behind you.” I suggest gently throwing her the bottle. Her reaction is incredibly fast as she grabs the bottle with one hand. She didn’t even have to look where it was going. I am still amused that she doesn’t even notice her improved abilities. She let out a gasp as she stared into the reflective water. The beauty of the pattern seemed to pull her into a trance like state.
“Morgan?” My hand gently reaches out for her unmarked shoulder. “Are you ok?”
“I’m fine. Just a little stunned is all.”
“Do you want to sit down for a moment or continue training?”
“We don’t have much time to waste do we?” She looks into my eyes with reluctant acceptance of the fact. “We better carry on.”
Another tear of emotion left my right eye. I had missed her first steps, first words, first day of school and first birthday but I was here for her first marking. How such grace and beauty could be born my daughter I did not know. I didn’t deserve her but I would never let her go for the world. She just kept amazing me. What they say is true; A fathers love for his daughter is unrivalled by any other love or dream no matter the situation.
“Ok” I manage, choking back my pride. “Let’s get going then!”
Next I present Morgan with the wall once again.
“Get through it without collapsing the wall, and tell me everything that goes through your mind.”
“Well fire won’t work on the stones. My earth isn’t strong enough to move them either. I don’t see how water could help, so air again?”
“Good reasoning.” I nod.
“Ok so how do I make a passage in the wall?” She asks herself.
Once again the air rushes to her side and she directs a large force towards the wall. A few bricks crumble and the wall shakes slightly but overall there is little effect.
“Try placing the air into the wall and blasting out.” I suggest once again.
This required far more precision. She pointed her fingers towards the wall, palms facing each other. It would be a lot easier once I teach her incantations but she wouldn’t need those for her testing so they weren’t of any importance yet. She shut her eyes and concentrated.
“Ethhner kia shee.” Her mouth barely moved to form the words. The wall burst open creating a perfect doorway shape through the wall. She had clearly managed to focus the stone enough to keep it up but the chanting froze me in my celebration. She beamed at me.
“Morgan. How did you know those words?”
“What words?” She smiled and acted like I was just hearing things.
“You know what I mean! Morgan this is serious.”
“I don’t know. I guess they just come to me. I think the island helps weirdly enough. I know it sounds crazy but...”
“No. It’s not crazy, you’re probably right it’s just that was ancient faerie. I haven’t even shown you a single faerie symbol yet.” A little experiment came to my mind. I throw open my bag again and find my notebook and a pencil. Quickly I sketch down a sentence or two in the old language.
“Read it.” I instruct. Sure enough Morgan managed to say it in faerie, stumbling a few times over a few difficult sounds but it was very good.
“How did you do that?”
“I really don’t know.” She sat back stunned.
“Can you translate it?”
“No. I don’t have a clue what any of it means.” Her eyes darted around in search of something to explain it.
“Well, you’re gifted I’ll give you that.” I sighed.
She looked worried.
“Hey it’s a good thing!” I reassured her, which seemed to bring her sprits back up.
As the day went on I taught her everything I could think of. I even ran through the pledge of allegiance in faerie which she wouldn’t need but would give her massive brownie points for when she actually had to say it.
A hard day’s training was finally over. Morgan looked tiered so I sent her off to get a decent meal. I had begun pacing again. I was too worried to eat. A lot went through my head in the next few hours. Worst case scenario; Morgan was killed. Best case; she passed with flying colours and got her wings so we could concentrate on kicking Van Helsing head in.
I felt myself slowly drifting off to sleep when I was suddenly paralyzed. My body went ridged and a booming voice seemed to echo around my head. It was several minutes before I was finally snapped out of my paralysis. My mind frantically ran over what it had said;