I prayed for Morgan. I didn’t know if anyone else could feel it but I knew she was special. Latina was still in bed, normally she’s up hours before me but I think she intends to avoid Morgan. She is my niece and I won’t turn her away from our house, no matter what Latina worries for our future around her. I picked up a pen on my way for Mike to sign his papers.
He's passed out on his front in the spare bedroom. Not a sight for sore eyes, one huge arm hangs from the small neat bed while he gently snorkels into the rose pillow.
“Mike!” I picked up his limp arm; he grumbled and wrapped himself up tighter in the duvet. He hadn’t changed a bit since childhood. I threw open the curtains and tried to take the duvet from his tight clutches. I realised how much like our mother I was being and added the brotherly touch of clipping him round the back of the head with my palm.
He eventually manages to sit up and swish his hair out of his bleary half shut eyes. I thrust the papers into his lap.
“These are for you to sign. Morgan is already up and tagged.”
“She what now?” Was the confused response.
“Things have changed a bit since you were last here Mike. Now they all have tags for their ears so examiners can talk to them and set them tasks within the trials. Just sign the papers they’ve had this system for a while and its fine.”
Ever the forward thinker Kain shoved a pen and formal papers into my hands after waking me at what he would call an appropriate time. I looked at the small field mouse shaped alarm clock and realised sometimes I didn’t like his constant preparation, I much preferred longer sleeps. I guess I must have missed a lot of updates; after all I hadn’t been back for a few years. I had meant to come back a few years ago for my father’s seventieth birthday, but I never did. Guilt crept into my mind as I remembered this. I had intended on avoiding him in a personal face to face situation for this trip but I guess I’m a bad enough son as it is. I stumble downstairs wrapping the dressing gown chords around my waist. Morgan attempts to come up the stairs at the same time but the passage is narrow enough that two people passing could be difficult and with my large build it was impossible. She ended up turning around and walking back down stairs into the kitchen so I could pass.
“Good morning Morgan. Your uncle says they’ve clipped your ear or something?”
“Tagged.” Kain corrects me putting my coffee down on the table.
“Yeh.” She says in a pondering matter. I don’t think she knows what it’s for yet or if she likes it. She brushes her hair to one side and shows me the small round tag on the back of her ear before making her second attempt on the stairs.
“That's it? I expected more.”
“Yep, it’s all pretty advanced now.” He shoved a plate of toast under my nose. He was silent as I ate. “Dad is not happy about Morgan.” He finally said. I sighed; I knew her reception wouldn’t be too friendly on his part. It was a shame that so much of her family in this world had reasons to not be fond of her before they even knew her. She’s a great kid and I’m sure she can change their opinions but it would take a lot to impress her granddad.
“I had a terrible dream he would be testing her last night.” I sighed yet again, he wasn’t the easiest of people to live with and notoriously difficult to pass with even in the old days.
“Don’t worry Mike. With three affinities she’ll get through.”
“Yeh I suppose your right.” I smiled. I mean it was pretty unusual.... hold on. “What makes you think she has three affinities?” I raised my eyebrow and glared at my brother calmly sipping his coffee.
“I’m not stupid Mike.” He remained calm and collected.
“Do you think anyone else knows?” I worked myself into a frenzy. Part of our success would be the surprise of the take. If people expected it of her she would never get through.
“Besides she mumbles in her sleep.” I could see him grinning into his coffee after successfully winding me up. I glared. “Who is Ash by the way?”
I stiffened up. I hadn’t heard of or seen Ash since I ran into him in the shadows before he left. Morgan seemed to be coping I guess he had gone from my mind, I hoped he was ok. Not that I’m going to admit I like him, I don’t, I grew used to him that's all.
“She mentioned him a lot in her sleep, I think her dreams could be disturbing her sleep Mike, is there nothing you can do?”
I thought for a while. Normally I don’t, Kain normally does but I don’t. This however was a difficult question.
“No.” I finally said. She needs to be able to sense Ash and what’s happening to him. Dreams could be that medium. Even if they are only dreams for now I didn’t want to cut any track of him off. I got up and walked to the stairs.
“Who is he Mike? He obviously means a lot to both of you.”
I paused. “He's a friend.”
Morgan came down the stairs shaking a little. I couldn’t have felt prouder watching her taking a deep breath and steadying herself. I wish you were here to see this Serena.
“Umm dad? What do I need to take with me?”
“I....” I turned to Kain “Any different from our day?”
“I’ll help her pack.” He followed Morgan back up the stairs. I felt a little helpless, I got dressed and anxiously paced the corridors until Morgan eventually came down stairs with a small bag.
It was hitting me what a big deal this was. I could only imagine how she felt as we walked out of the door towards the stables.