By: Kim Cadoote

Kara was the last and the first. The Youngest and the oldest of her people.

There weren't many that remembered the Age of Magic, or the true nature of the elves that had ruled the southern lands in those times.

Kara's grandmother was one of the Fire Keepers of the old tradition. One of the those trusted with the true history and tales of the ancients.

When Kara had been born, her parents hadn't spoken to the old one for many years. They had turned their back on the traditions and tales of the past and looked only to the future.

It was only the slim race memory of skill that had kept Kara safe from the hunters after she had been born.

The first in modern memory to be born as an elf.

Her mother pulled magic and skill from a depth within herself that she hadn't realized was there and had hidden Kara's true form from the medics in the room with her. In that moment she had touched the soul and mind of her new daughter and had encountered a being older than any she had ever known.

The message from her daughter was as clear and concise as it had been terrifying to her.

"It's time. Call them to me"

That one moment of clarity had faded some as Kara grew. She was strong, and that helped. She was smart and quick to learn, which helped more.

Her birth had sent up a sort of energy flare around the world and it had set into motion a series of event that her parents hadn't known could exist.

Hunters, from old sects and forgotten races, had risen up and set out to find the source of this new light in the world.

Magic of this sort had been stagnant in the world for eons, and the flash of it stood out to those that were trained to find it.

Kara's grandmother had felt the call, but her daughter had been clear in her exile and she had held back from coming north until summoned.

It hadn't taken long for the call to come.

Though her parents had both felt the command from the child, neither of them knew what to do with it, or what it meant.

They had both been raised on stories of ancient times and legends, but neither of them had paid too close of attention to them.

Times had changed and the old ways were nothing but silly superstitions and old wives tales. Science had mapped the world and disproved the legends of the past.

After the initial shock of the birth, Kara's mother convinced herself that the babies appearance and that feeling of connection had been nothing more than shock and exhaustion.

Between blood loss and physical exhaustion, a small hallucination was easily accepted.

Kara looked fine now and there was nothing about the child to suggest that anything was amiss.


It was impossible to overlook the number of odd things that happened around the child.

They had gone through 10 nannies and caregivers in a year. None would stay longer than a day or so with the child and none would fully explain why they were leaving.

Things moved around with no explanation and it was a common occurrence that animals would appear seemingly at random.

This had alarmed Kara's mother the first few times it happened until she realized that her daughter had no fear of the creatures.

Very much the opposite in fact.

There was always a bird nearby, as well as a cat and a dog. Usually, all together which was disconcerting enough if you didn't look any further. What often caught peoples attention was how the animals seemed to watch Kara. They were like attendants to the child. As though they had set themselves as caregivers over this small being that laughed and giggled with them as though they were old friends to her.

It was rarely the same animals, though it was hard to tell. On one occasion they had taken Kara on a Zoo visit with some other parents. Kara's reaction had been so severe that they had never gone back.

Kara had become so upset and inconsolable that it had actually made her sick and she had turned a strange greenish colour. Her mother would have sworn that her eyes had changed color and her ears had grown. Later, in thinking about it, she realized that it was just that the crying had altered the eye color and with her hair messy from fussing the ears had seemed off.

The animal at the zoo had been off that day, that must have been what had set the child off, as sensitive as she was. They paced and shrilled and cried out in ways that the adults found alarming in short order the patrons had been asked to leave while the authorities tried to sort it out.

Kara's parents convince themselves that it had been a strange day, but nothing important or serious. They found reasonable and rational explanations for most of the things that happened in their lives now. There were some things however that they couldn't ignore.

The most pressing of which was whom they could find to watch after Kara while her parents were at work.

They were discussing how to address this when the Kara suggested a solution.

The one-year-old toddled over to her parents as they were discussing the issue at the kitchen table and handed them a piece of paper with a word written on it in crayon.

Her parents were shocked to silence. Not only from the paper but from the fact that Kara had never walked before, or, to their knowledge, gotten out of her crib on her own.

On the paper was the word Mora. Both of her parents felt the blood drain from their faces and looked at each other.

Mora was the name of Kara's grandmother. The last of the Fire Keepers. Kara had never met her, and her name was never spoken in the house.

Kara's mother hadn't spoken to Mara since she had become old enough to go out into the world on her own. She had turned away from the old ways and refused to learn the traditions that her mother had insisted she learn.

Now it seemed that somehow Kara not only knew about her grandmother but wanted her.

Kara's mother looked at her and in the moment that their eyes met Kara let the glamour that she had been keeping drop.

Kara's mother felt her husbands' hand reach out to hers and squeeze it and she knew he understood.

They both had, on some level. Kara had given them time to adjust and had done what she could to let them come around in their own time, but time was running out and she needed their help now.

She looked into the eyes of her beautiful daughter and a flood of memories came racing back to her.

She felt the pull of the magic deep inside of herself and understood for the first time in her life what her mother had always tried to show her.

She reached out and touched her daughter's cheek, feeling the silk of her skin. Love flooded her and she felt as though she was floating in a warm cloud.

"Mora" she said as she smiled at her daughter.

They didn't even jump when the knock came at the door. It seemed the most normal and natural of thing that Kara's grandmother was there.

Mother and daughter, long estranged looked at each other in in that moment all was understood and forgiven.

Kara's father sat back and watched as the unspoken conversation happened around him.

He had heard stories in his youth about how this worked. He had never expected to witness it and found himself completely at peace in its presence.

He hadn't realized up to this point how out of place he had always felt in the world and suddenly felt homesick for a place he had never believed existed.

He felt a tug from across the room and looked up to see Kara looking at him. She had reformed her glamour and looked like the child the world knew.

He felt her reach out to him and touch his mind. With a start, he realized that he had felt this many times before but had always pushed it away.

"I'm sorry," he said. The depth of his feeling was almost painful to him. She smiled at him and without words, he felt a flood of love and acceptance from her.

He watched as his wife and her mother embraced. As he watched them he seemed to see a shadow at the edge of his awareness.

With a start, he shifted his focus away from his family and towards the shadow that he could just barely sense.

This was new to him and he was amazed at how he seemed to know how to do this.

As he focused more of the shadow he felt something within himself recoil and close off. With a feeling of dread and an almost primal terror, he found himself fully back in the room with his family.

His wife and mother in law holding him steady so that he wouldn't fall. He hadn't realized he was standing up until he felt himself falling down.

As they helped him back into the chair he felt Kara with him again and looked into her eyes.

The love was there, but no childlike innocence. He found himself looking into the eyes of someone with far more life experience that his 1-year-old could possibly have.

"It's time."

They didn't even consider that these were the first words that Kara had ever spoken, or that there was no hint of childhood in her tone.

As one, the women joined hands and called out to the others. In the ancient way, they called to the other Magic holders that still lived.

The Old Ways weren't gone, they seemed to be just beginning.


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