The Three Sisters
Three sisters walked down a winding dirt road just before twilight. They moved from town to town, unable to stay very long in one place for the sisters harbored a secret that if discovered could cause them much turmoil. Each sister was infinitely beautiful and carried within themselves great gifts. The gift being strongest within the youngest sister and the two oldest desperately worked to keep it a secret.
The oldest of the three was Lillian at the age of nineteen. She was fair skinned with hair as dark as a raven’s wing and eyes the color of dark honey. In each town they would set up their tent, pretending to be gypsies and lure people in to have their fortune’s read for just a few coins for Lillian carried within her the gift of foresight. She could see into people’s futures but simply touching their hand and the people found it soothing to look into her eyes and listen to the tale of their life to come.
There was only one flaw in her gift. If the people changed their mind, or changed course, the future would change. If she told a young maiden of a handsome lad she were to meet, but the maiden failed to go to the market as she always did on Sunday’s, the future would not be so. This was reason number one they did not stay long in any one town because when fortunes changed; people were outraged and called them false.
Lillian would keep her hands covered unless she were reading someone’s future and took care not to touch her sisters much without her hands bound in gloves. She possessed one other gift; the gift of song so beautiful souls were drawn to her. In the evenings, when she was not doing readings, she would sit outside their tent and sing. The people would flock to her and find themselves mesmerized by her voice and pay to hear her sing again and again. Many men would beg for her company, but she always refused them knowing it was the gift causing their admiration, not true love.
Normally, a girl of her age would be married but she could not leave the other two sisters nor did she trust anyone not to take advantage if they ever found out about what they were capable of. She longed for a husband and family, but this was not something that she seen in her own future and she wasn’t about to change her current path for the possibility of another outcome.
The second and middle sister was of the tender age of sixteen. Diya, aptly name as her name means splendorous light, was very different from her sister. She was also fair of skin, but her hair was the color of golden wheat and eyes blue as sapphires. Her body was light and flexible; she moved as gracefully as a ballerina. She carried within her three gifts.
Diya, could dance and would along with her sister singing. She was entrancing to watch, with a positive energy that flowed out of her. She also had the power of healing and would use this on their journeys as a way for them to make money. Many believed it was a side show trick, but the people she had touched knew the truth. They were blessed by her touch and given the gift of extended life. The second reason they could not stay in one place very long.
Lastly, Diya possessed the gift of power over water. If she had lived in another time, they would probably proclaim her a child of Poseidon. She could raise the water from the ground, manipulate it and make it flow in any direction she desired. Diya could dance and make it rain if she wanted to and did on occasion when it was necessary.
She barely remembered life before this one for she was very young when their parents had died. First her mother, giving birth to Gemma, then her father shortly after. Diya couldn’t imagine another type of life, sure she enjoyed flirting with the young men, but she loved life in the open air with the whole world to roam. Settling down was not a priority in her life though most young girls her age were starting to search for their future husbands.
Both sisters had one thing in common, however, that bonded them unlike anything else could. They both lived and would die to protect their youngest sister. The third sister, Gemma, for she had the greatest gifts of all. It was she they feared being discovered and manipulated.
Gemma was only nine, but possessed within her powers unlike any of the others. She was strong, tall for a girl of her age and a mixture of her two sisters. Her skin was a little darker than the other two, taking the coloring of their father more than their mother. Her hair was dark like Lillian’s but eyes blue like Diya’s and by far as she grew would be the most beautiful of the three.
As Lillian grew to be a woman, she began to understand that Gemma had been too strong for their mother and what caused her to die in child birth. Lillian never blamed her sister for it because she knew Gemma would have never meant to. She believed that ultimately Gemma was probably the cause of their father’s death as well. Their father had been so full of grief at the loss of their mother, and however irrational it was, he blamed the child for the death of his wife.
The first few months he refused to see the child, given to a wet nurse to care for her. Lillian would sneak into the nursery to see her sister and talk to her. Lillian believed even then, somehow, Gemma could understand her. Lillian remembered the night before they found their father dead in his room; he came to Gemma with a bottle in his hand. Lillian hid behind the dresser, not wanting to be caught there. She watched as their father approached the crib where Gemma laid, her eyes wide and full of wonder.
Their father drew closer and looked down at the child; his hand began to shake attempting to give the child the bottle. He stared into her eyes and began to sob. Lillian watched as he dropped the bottle to the floor and drop to his knees; his eyes still fixed on the eyes of the babe. He sat there for many minutes, staring at her with tears streaming down his face. “I’m sorry.” He whispered. Gemma tried to reach her tiny hand out to him, but he withdrew, picking up the bottle and leaving the room.
Gemma’s hand still reached out and she began to cry. Lillian quickly came from her hiding spot and allowed the baby to wrap her small hand around her fingers. She could feel the baby’s sadness, loneliness and confusion. It was then that she knew Gemma was special and she could see her as a child, being put on display and examined. Lillian knew then she couldn’t allow that future for her sister.
It wasn’t until she was a bit older it became clear Gemma could read the minds and souls of men, women and even the animals around her. She could place thoughts or emotions in their minds or make them feel whatever she was feeling and in turn she could feel what they felt. Lillian found it difficult to control when Gemma was younger, but with age they have gotten better in helping her to harness the power within her. For that, the older sisters were eternally thankful, because it was tough going through the mood swings of a toddler.
Lillian and Diya kept her concealed much more when she was small child for her own protection. Now that Gemma was older, they would let her roam free more when they traveled. The child would run in the meadows or tall trees while they rested to eat or sleep. They would often find her sitting with animals around her; they unafraid of her and she unafraid of them. She would let them know she would do them no harm and it was for this reason she would not allow her sisters’ kill any animals other than fish. Gemma always said that fish didn’t think much of anything.
Gemma was the biggest of all reason’s they never stayed in one place long. She wasn’t allowed to wander much when they were in the towns. She would grow agitated with all of the thoughts and emotions that overflowed from all the people streaming by and her heart would grow heavy because she said there was too much sadness or desire to do badly in the hearts of men. Her sisters would sing and dance in the evenings as much for Gemma’s benefit as the people around them. It calmed the people around them and allowed Gemma some peace.
They were only an hour from the next town and their supplies were getting low as Gemma, consumed a lot to keep her strength up. It had only been three days since they left the last town; they were down to a loaf of bread, one wedge of cheese and their last pound of salted pork. They never lacked for a supply for water thanks to Diya, but the rest of their supplies would need to be purchased soon.
Gemma slept a lot on this trip as the last town took a lot out of her. Lillian swore she would be more selective on which towns they stayed in. She had to admit, the last was a rough place. It was a port city with many lustful and angry men. The women were not much better. When they left a kind maiden suggested the town of Sheridan. It was a lively town, many traders passed through and they loved visitors.
It sounded just like the place they needed. Lillian and Diya could work and Gemma could rest. If many traders traveled through, they should have no problem finding the supplies they needed. They continued to let Gemma sleep in the back of the cart; draped with the tent, being pulled by the horse they purchased five towns back. It made their travels much easier. If she was sleeping, then she wasn’t eating and maybe their supplies would last until Lillian could get them replenished.
Lillian kept one other secret from her sisters. She had been planning for some time to bring an end to their traveling from town to town. She wanted for them to return to their estate home in Grande Martise and take back the ownership of the home that was rightfully theirs.
They had lived four years being taken care of by the servants, nurses, and family lawyer. Family would come and go, always checking on the children, but none wanting to take responsibility for them. Until one fateful night when visitor’s arrived late in the evening bring with them a carriage full of items.
She thought with anger how her uncle and aunt, brother to her father, had come in to their home pretending to want to take care of the girls but really wanting to just take over what they believed was a wealthy estate. They had paid the taxes that were overdue on the property and promptly informed Lillian who was no more that fifteen at the time, that unless the sisters could pay them back the money, because they were sure there was some hidden within the estate, it was time for her and Diya to leave and make their own way. Making it clear to them they intended on keeping Gemma, who was barely turning five, and passing her off as their child.
As she touched her uncle’s hand, she could see that if they did not leave her uncle would find a way of disposing of her and Diya and Gemma would be discovered. Lillian knew then that she was the future she had seen that night in Gemma’s crib and she had to act fast. Diya was only eleven but they planned to sneak out with Gemma and return one day with the money in hand to reclaim their home.
Lillian never told her sisters, but she had the money saved now plus more. Their travels were actually taking them home. It would take them at least three more weeks to get there where she knew they would be secure. There would be plenty of room for both Diya and Gemma to run and not feel caged, but it also meant rest and a home for her.
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