Somer GreyLocke gave up having a manifest will on the 9th of February 1999, it was also a Thursday, an ordinary day.
She woke up in her dorm room at The Willows, second floor, early Wednesday morning two hours before the official bell woke the three-story building for the day. Somer liked a 10-minute showers and soaping up twice. After the bell, time in the showers was monitored and decreased by the Matron’s Aide.
In the shower, she discovered her period had begun. HER VERY FIRST!! Relieved that it had finally come. She was a woman before her roommate. Somer jumped up and down in the shower stall. She almost fell, she steadied herself and choked back the scream of joy that would alert a monitor, Aide or worse the Matron. Her first period was supposed to change her life forever and for the better. Somer a daughter of a high witch and a grand mage, Aurora Locke and Sebastian Grey were powerful people well established in the hierarchies of the world covens and universal cabals.
The manifest will was the most important thing for any supernatural, it was the proof of your power. Somer had never been able to show her ability. All of her six siblings had done so before their fifth birthday. They were all prodigies. Somer was the only dud, a mundane prodigy. The polite term was adept, a vague title that meant anything. All supernatural children were adept until they expressed their will. Most children showed fledgling abilities between the ages of 8- 11. As they entered adolescence and puberty their abilities became stronger, defined and normally followed the paths of their families. A child that manifested no spark of ability may be blessed and improve with the onset of puberty. A child that remained an adept into adulthood left the supernatural world for the mundane one. A fate worse than death for many. For Somer it never crossed her mind, her period meant she would no longer be an adept but a novitiate. As a result of her discovery, after making sure the important parts were clean, Somer left the dorm floor shower room. It was her first less than 10-minutes shower.
She hurried back to her room in her green terry cloth robe and green flip flops with a matching towel and toiletry basket. Somer’s room was the width of a railway car. On the right, behind the door were two closets with a hatch space that reach the ceiling. On the left were two built-in desk with a 2-row book shelf above and 2 hardwood chairs under. The beds were two skinny built-into the wall twin beds. The bed on the right was occupied by the second adept girl at the Willows. Septima Lancaster, called Tima by her friends, was covered from head to toe, under 2 blankets and 3 comforters. She didn’t believe in early mornings. She slept like the dead until the bell clanged in her head, courtesy of the malicious matron. A witch that should have literally just used a hammer to wake her charges.
Somer could barely contain her excitement. She had wanted to scream that her period was here then cackle like wicked witch of the Willows. Not only was she a woman but a witch-mage too, a feared and powerful supernatural hybrid, just like her six siblings. But first she had to do one thing. Everyone would want to see this, it was the proof. Somer had to make light, show her manifest will. It is one of the many first spells a novitiate could do. Prodigies like her siblings produced light inherently, the first time they were left alone in the dark. Her mother had put Somer alone in a dark room every night for three months, when Somer had been two years old. Most children don’t remember that stage of their early lives, Somer did. It may have sounded like abuse but it wasn’t the darkroom was the nursery apart of her parents master bedroom suite. They had just moved out her three older siblings to their own rooms in the house. Somer had hated being alone then. Once she realized crying would not get her what she wanted. Somer left her room as soon as she could. No one knew how she did it. She was a toddler in a crib. It was a secret, Somer would never tell. Her father asked her many times. He travelled a lot but when he was home, Somer remembered having the most fascinating conversations with him, at night, instead of sleeping in her room or making light. Actually he talked Somer listened, the Grey Mage, his professional name, spoke about magic all kinds at every level.
Most of Somer’s time spent at Grosvenor Academy, a prestigious institution for young witches in New England, was connecting magic she knew with people, books and grimoires light and dark. Her father spoke to her about making light for a week one winter. Somer knew the spells, charms and the constructs.
All her thirteen years of life Somer wanted to do magic. Now she can finally produce light. She dressed quickly, cotton underwear, the just-in-case sanitary napkin, she packed with her every year since age 11, thick charcoal tights, and wool gray pleated skirt, crisp white long sleeve oxford shirt. She took off all the lights in the small room, it was still dark outside. She ignored the vomiting turtle in the hamster cage on her book shelf, sat on her unmade bed in the classic lotus position and concentrated. In her mind she visualized a spark that slowly grew into a palm size globe of electric blue light. Blue because despite her excitement, Somer had thought about this for a long time.
Somer put her right hand out and attempted an evocation.
Nothing Happened, again.
Next she chanted a spell in a whisper.
NOT EVEN A SPARK!
Disgusted she jumped off her bed, stomped to her desk to retrieve a pen from her desk draw. In the dark, she wrote in her hand first a rune, murmured the words, waited ten minutes, wiped away the rune and then drew a sigil.
The small room remained dark until a sliver of light cut under the blackout shades at the single window. Failure was a dry horse pill to swallow, Somer refused to give up. She decided to try something else, this was too important.
The Notre Dame Cathedral bells began clanging in her head. Somer dropped the pen in her hand and tried to hold her head in place.
Tima screamed sprung out of her bed, got caught in her bedding and fell to the floor.
“What the fuck,” she groaned,
“You know, wakey wakey eggs n’ bakey,” Somer told her, moving slowly to her desk to retrieve her black doc marten boots underneath.
“But I’m vegan,” Tima groaned.
The church bells would ring in their minds of every girl in the building until they were awake, out of bed and moving. Somer preferred a hammer to this torture. She tied up her boots laces, stomped to the door opened it angrily and yelled into the growing crowded hallway.
“We’re all awake you evil sadist!”
The bells became a low hum, a collective sigh of relief filled the halls of the Willows dormitory. It was cut short as a disembodied evil laugh ran though the building, the Matron, the Witch of the Willows. Somer rolled her eyes and slammed her door. The blackout shades flew opened on its own. The morning sun blazed into the room, negating Somer’s purpose. Tima stood up, rubbed her temples and walked to her closet.
“You shouldn’t say that,” she admonished Somer. “She likes it entirely too much.” Tima gathered her toiletries, changed from flannel pink bunny print pajamas, to a lavender robe and flip flops.
“Do you want to hear, ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’ until you leave this building?” Somer asked.
Tima shrugged at the door, “Better than ‘Faith of our Fathers’,” She left the room then.
Alone Somer got her books and school bag, everything was near her desk. A capuchin monkey let itself out of the hamster cage and jumped down to her desk. It squeaked and grunted at Somer, then touch the back of her right hand. Somer felt the pull of magic and a slight burn in her palm. Somer turned her hand up two palm-size blue lights rose up. The monkey was normally a cat. He was a gift from her godfather. A familiar to activate the magic, Somer couldn’t do without her manifest will. She sucked her teeth and grabbed the nearest cloth a t-shirt and hand sanitizer. She squirted the solution in her hand and rubbed the sigil off her hand. She took a small pump bottle of lavender water and sprayed the room. The mist blanketed the room giving it a pleasant smell and disrupting any residual magic, Somer made while she was attempting to cast.
Somer glared at the monkey. “I didn’t asked for your help Rhaze.”
The familiar monkey/cat screeched and gestured at her some more. It was always cranky after it attempted to be a reptile. Somer sighed wearily.
“I have classes don’t break Tima’s stuff.” She ordered and left the room without hearing the monkey/cat’s reply.