Edmund sat down to have a discussion with Amelia, his second
wife. He had been pushing back that moment for a while, now.
“My dear, I don’t know if you’ve noticed,” began Edmund, “but I
have not been feeling very well lately.”
“Yes, darling, I have.”
“Well, I went to see the doctor today and he didn’t have good
news for me” added Edmund, with a grim face.
“What do you mean?” asked Amelia, trying to sound very much
concerned. She was used to hide her real emotions but it was
becoming harder and harder.
Edmund spoke softly. “He said I will soon be passing away.”
“Oh! My darling! Don’t say such things!”
“But it is the truth, alas.” Edmund was feeling very tired. “I just
want to make sure that when I’m gone, my sweet Abiona, you
and your daughters will still live comfortably.”
Amelia hid her annoyance the best she could at the mention of
“I’ve made arrangements and the four of you should never be
in need,” finished the man.
“Now, don’t you worry about those things, my dearest,” replied
Amelia. “You should get some rest.”
“I will. Thank you, my dear,” said Edmund as he left the room.
“Please, tell Helena and Isabel but let me tell Abiona about this
“Very well, darling.” Amelia couldn’t wait to let her daughters
Later that day, Amelia went to find her daughters, who were
taking a turn in the garden.
“Girls, I believe the day we have been waiting for is almost
here,” announced the woman, trying to keep her voice low.
“What do you mean, Mother?” asked Isabel, the youngest,
dark-haired and not the brightest of the two.
“Edmund just told me that his illness has taken a turn for the
worst and the doctors have no hope for him anymore,”
continued Amelia, with a coy smile.
Helena, the eldest, understood immediately what that meant.
“Finally!” she exclaimed. “I’m getting so tired of having to be
nice to that idiot and his daughter!”
“Now, we will still have to watch ourselves until Edmund, well,
passes away, but I don’t think it shall be that long,” added the
mother. “I’ll make sure his will favours me over Abiona.”
“And then, we can make her life miserable! Ha!” said Helena.
Isabel didn’t quite understand why they had to make Abiona’s
life difficult, but she was willing to follow the lead of her mother
and sister, as always.
The following morning, Edmund asked his beloved daughter to
join him for a game of chess. He still couldn’t look at Abiona
without thinking about her mother, his first wife and the love of
his life, Diana. She looked so much like her! Her death, almost
five years ago, had saddened him immensely and he had
managed to stay strong only for Abiona’s sake. He had
remarried the year before, thinking that Amelia would be able
to give Abby a more complete education. He truly thought he
had done the right thing. And now that he was dying, he was
relieved that his little girl would not be left completely alone.
Trying to keep his voice even, Edmund repeated to his
daughter what he had told Amelia the day before.
Abiona felt her eyes fill with tears. “But, Father, no! It’s not
“I’m afraid it is, Abby,” he sighed. “Believe me, I would rather
fight this disease…”
“Then, you must!” interrupted Abiona. “Please, Father!”
“I’ve been trying,” Edmund replied, not knowing how to make
his daughter accept the truth. “And I will continue as long as I
can. But I want you to be prepared.”
“That’s nonsense,” she said, her voice trembling. “No one can
be prepared to become an orphan.”
“You will not be an orphan, darling. Amelia, Helena and Isabel
will be there for you, don’t you worry.”
Abiona did not share her father’s opinion about them, so she
said nothing. After a while, she simply added “I’ll take care of
you, Father. You’ll see.”
The truth was, Edmund’s health was fast deteriorating. He
often had trouble breathing and would rest for hours, thinking
about what the future held for his family.
Abby, even if she didn’t want to admit it, knew that her father’s
illness had weakened him. She spent a lot of time looking at
the pictures of him and her mother she kept in her room, away
from her stepmother and her stepsisters.
She had a feeling life after her father’s death would be
extremely different. She knew her dad loved Amelia in his own
way, but Abby did not felt close to that woman or her
daughters. She dreaded what was to come.
And she missed her mom so badly! Now, she would have to say
goodbye to her father, too. “Life is so unfair!” she tought.
But Abiona kept smiling in front of Edmund, not wanting him
to spend any of his energy worrying about her. Instead, as she
had told him, she took great care of him.
When Edmund could not leave his bed anymore, Abby stayed
with him to talk about all sorts of things and to read to him.
“I really have the sweetest daughter,” the old man would tell
Soon, Edmund called his wife to his room.
“Amelia, I don’t think I have much longer…” he began.
“Don’t say that,” she said, automatically, because she felt it
was expected of her.
“I want you to know it’s been an honour to be your husband.
You are a good woman,” he kept on. “I’ve reviewed my will this
week with Master Thompson and made it so that you will get
Amelia felt happiness, relief and excitement wash through her,
but she made sure none of those emotions could be seen in her
face. This was perfect.
Edmund was still talking. “Now, the only thing I ask, is that
Abiona stays here until the moment she decides to leave,
perhaps when she marries. This is her home and I want you to
take care of her as if she was your own daughter.”
“Oh, darling, of course! Of course I will take care of her and she
can stay as long as she wants!” Amelia said. What she didn’t
say was that she would make sure Abby would want to leave
very, very fast.
“Thank you, my dear.”
After that, Amelia and her daughters started making plans for
their life after Edmund’s death. Needless to say, those plans
did not include Abby.
“How much longer, Mother?” impatiently asked Helena, as she
did every single day since Edmund kept to his bed.
“Be patient, darling. We do not want to look suspicious, now,
do we?” asked Amelia.
“Of course not, but this is taking so long,” the girl complained.
Amelia was also getting impatient. “We’ve waited over a year.
What’s a few more days? I’d rather focus on what we’re going to
do with that girl of his.”
“Oh, I have ideas, Mother,” grinned Helena. “Believe me, she
won’t be in our way too long, once the old one is gone.”
Her mother smiled in return and the two women started
discussing the details of the plan.
When Helena saw her sister, she quickly told her about it.
“So, I have to fight with her?” asked Isabel, finding that idea
very strange. “With my fists?”
“No, you dummy! Just get into arguments with her!”
“But, about what?”
Helena was starting to loose patience. “I don’t know! Anything!
Everything! She has to feel that she is NOT part of our family
and that she’s not welcome here. You get it?”
“Hum, yes, I think. And what else?”
“We’re going to ask her to do all the work around the house,”
added the eldest. “We’re going to make sure she wants to leave
this place as soon as she can.”
Isabel nodded. “Okay. You can count on me.”
Quicker than Abiona wanted, but later than Amelia wished, the
entire family gathered around Edmund’s bed to say a final good
Abby was fighting very hard to keep from crying while Helena
was suppressing a triumphant smile.
“I know you will all be good to each other. Do not cry for me, I
will be joining my lovely Diana soon,” Edmund managed to say,
with the breath he had left. “Abby, you’re strong. You’ll have a
wonderful life, I know it. I love you.”
And with that, the man closed his eyes forever.
Abiona gave one last kiss to her father and ran out. She didn’t
want Amelia, Helena and Isabel to see her cry.
But cry, she did. Every time she was by herself, she would feel
the tears filling her eyes. She still couldn’t believe her caring
father was gone. She was alone.
That feeling was reinforced by her stepmother and stepsisters’
attitude. They started to treat Abiona like a mere servant,
asking her to do their chores and being absolutely rude to her.
Both Helena and Isabel would find any reason to complain to
“You did not make my bed properly,” would scream Helena.
“Have you taken a bath recently?” would ask Isabel with a look
of disdain. “You smell, it’s disgusting.”
Of course, Abby didn’t know they were acting like that
specifically to make her feel unwelcome. To her, they were just
showing their true nature, like she had always suspected them
to really be. She understood that Amelia had kept a façade and
that her father had been too kind to see through it.
She accepted all the work because it kept her mind from
thinking too much. And she didn’t mind taking care of the
house Edmund loved so much, to keep it as pretty as when he
Still, she often went to her father’s grave, to speak to him, to
cry and to have some quiet time by herself.
A few weeks later, Amelia spoke to Abiona harshly.
“Girl, I’ve asked you too many times to go clean and empty
your father’s old chest!”
“I know,” replied Abby. She knew she had been putting it off,
but it seemed so final. She wanted what was left of Edmund to
linger on. That way, he was still there, kind of.
“Well, that’s enough,” continued Amelia. “If you don’t do it by
the end of the week, I will do it myself!”
“Oh! No!” exclaimed Abby. She knew her stepmother would
throw away every single thing and she wanted to keep some
souvenirs. “I’ll do it, I promise.”
The next day, while the rest of the family was in town, Abiona
headed upstairs to finally empty the chest. She knew her father
kept some of his most treasured objects in it and she intended
of hiding most of them in her own room. There was no way she
was throwing anything away!
She opened the chest and started going through it. She spent
most of the afternoon sorting all the different things she found.
Letters, old newspaper clippings, portraits of Edmund’s family,
old uniforms, etc.
It wasn't until she reached the bottom of the chest that she
found something she never even knew existed.
It was a small box with her mother’s name, Diana, written on
it. Abiona was very curious to know what was in there, but she
knew her stepmother would soon be back so she hid it as best
as she could. It would have to wait.
That night, after everyone went to sleep, Abby took the box out
and opened it. She found some jewellery, love letters her
parents had written each other and a journal filled with what
seemed to be Diana’s handwriting.
Feeling sad but also excited, Abiona started to read it
immediately. “Mother kept a journal I knew nothing about!” she
At first, she didn’t understand what she was reading. But as
she turned the pages, it all became clearer and clearer.
“I cannot believe this… is it even possible?” she whispered to
herself, completely astonished.
But the words in the journal were clearly implying it. Diana,
her very own mother that she had loved so much, was a witch!
And from what she wrote, her powers would be inherited by
her eldest daughter. Which meant that Abiona was also a
Abby rose to look at her mother’s portrait. “Could it really be?
Could I have some magical powers?” She was finding all of this
very difficult to believe.
But then, she started remembering some things her mother
would say or do. Diana would always repeat “When you’re
sixteen, darling, you’ll understand, I promise.” But Diana had
died when Abby was thirteen, so she never found out about
Needless to say, Abiona didn’t sleep much, that night. So many
things were going through her mind. She was wondering if her
father had known about what her mother was. “Probably not,”
she told herself. “Father would never have read someone else’s
journal, he was an honest man.” Also, she was thankful that
Amelia had not found the journal herself.
Most of all, Abby had questions and she wanted answers.
Looking at her reflection in the mirror, she was thinking “I’m a
witch. Really? Am I?” She was most definitely confused.
But she knew that life here could not bring her the answers
she desperately needed. So, at dawn, her mind was made. She
would leave this place in search of someone who could tell her
more about her mother and if she was, or not, a witch.
“Anyhow,” Abiona shrugged, “Amelia will be very happy to see
Wanting to start fresh somewhere far from here, Abby changed
into clothes that wouldn’t draw attention. “After all, I am an
orphan, now,” she told herself with fierce determination. “I’ll
make it on my own.”
She visited Edmund’s grave one last time.
“I’m sorry, I have to leave, Father. I know you would
understand. I just need to understand and find out who I am
exactly. I love you.”
And without looking back, but still a bit sad, Abiona left the
house for a new beginning.
Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed it!
Please do feel free to comment on Boolprop and give me
constructive criticism, it’s always appreciated!
Until next time, I leave you with a sweet moment between Abby
and Edmund, before he died. And don’t worry, I used a clone of
Abiona for this prologue so the legacy rules will be respected! :)