"First, you must know that no one wanted to send you
away. It broke everyone's heart. We feared for Taryn's life after you'd gone. The poor babe almost mourned herself to death."
I interrupted her, "Which of us is older?" "Taryn is the firstborn. You were born two hours later,
it was a difficult delivery."
I nodded, and she continued
"You were beautiful babies, and you've grown into
beautiful women. Well, back to the story. I assume you know of Wilfred's obsession with Taryn?" I nodded again "What you may not know is that his father was equally obsessed with your mother." "What?!" Kalen and I exclaimed in unison "Oh yes, he was completely besotted with her. He had
hoped to marry her himself. Had courted her in earnest, but she chose your father. He was beside himself with fury and lovesickness. Your mother told me that when he looked at her, her blood would run cold through her veins. She was terrified of him, and with good reason."
"Couldn't my father just have banned him from the land
or something?" I asked
"It's not that simple, child. Here, on this earth, to
ban one of the royals from one's lands is to declare war with them, and no one wanted that."
"No, I suppose not. That must be why Taryn has never
banned Wilfred." I said
"It is indeed. And like Wilfred, his father before him
practiced in the black arts. When you and your sister were born, so beautiful and perfect, he was insane with jealousy and hatred."
"But didn't he already have Wilfred by then?" I asked "Oh yes, Wilfred was already a toddler, but he wasn't
born of your mother, and that was what mattered to Oswald."
"Oswald?" I asked
Kalen answered me, "That was Wilfred's father's name." "Ah, I see. Go on Miss Agatha."
"Well, with the birth of you and Taryn, it was proof
positive that Angelica, your mother, belonged to another man, and it pushed Oswald beyond the bounds of sanity. He swore vengeance. Your parents feared for you both. You were guarded night and day. Then one day a strange woman appeared at the castle door. She requested to see your mother and father. After extensive questioning, she was given an audience with them. Your mother, especially, feared she was an emissary of Oswald, but upon meeting her, Angelica immediately trusted her. Your father too, though Loren remained cautious."
"Who was the woman?" I asked anxiously
"Patience, Tara, I will tell this story at my own pace,
"Yes, of course, Miss Agatha. I apologize, but I am so
in need of knowing what happened to me, and why." I explained
"I understand that, child. But be patient with this old
woman, and soon you will know all. Now, where was I? Oh yes, the woman, who called herself Enigma, said she was your guardian. Your fairy godmother, if you will." Agatha said smiling. I laughed. "I don't know what she actually was, but she inspired a feeling of confidence that all would be well. She said that you and Taryn were more than just identical twins. She said each of you carried a part of the other inside of her. That just one of you could not die, because the other would still carry a vital part of her life within her. She said she had foreseen the future, and that only by separating you and Taryn would you both live to adulthood. If you remained together, Oswald would kill you both. And it wouldn't be enough to send one of you to a distant place on this earth, but you must go to another earth." "My parents sent me away to save me?" I asked, tears in
"To save you and Taryn. It was decided that since Taryn
was firstborn, and therefore heir to the crown, that she would remain. Enigma explained where she would send you, and what your circumstances would be. Your parents would be allowed to watch you as closely and as often as they wished via a magical mirror she provided for them. It broke their hearts to send you away, Tara. It truly did."
"Was I never to be allowed to return?" I asked "Yes, the plan was to have you return upon Oswald's
death, but Wilfred followed in his father's footsteps, and it was decided to wait until your twenty fifth birthday."
"Why then?" I asked
"I don't know the particulars, but according to Enigma,
upon your twenty fifth birthday you will no longer be vulnerable to Wilfred's schemes."
"But we're only twenty one!" I exclaimed "Yes, I know. Somehow Wilfred managed to get you here
too soon, though Enigma has been watching over you." "What about Taryn?! Who's watching over her?!" I cried
Terri Lyn Stanfield