We travelled by carriage through a foggy haze. Jeffrey said it was a barrier placed over the estate by Elias. I was thankful that Jeffrey came along. It made this trip with Abigail a little less awkward.
We arrived at the Pearly Gates Cemetery. Similar to the ones found in New Orleans, Louisiana. Not the ones with faded names and stones discolored with time. More like the cemeteries with the large tombs. The ones with the front yard and stained glass windows.
As Abigail led the way I took the opportunity to question Jeffrey.
“Did we get along when I was a complete Divine?” I asked.
Jeffrey hesitated. He didn’t know how to answer. “To be honest, I didn’t really know you. Joan and I were created later.”
““Elias said I went on some sort of rampage. What happened?”
“You went on a rampage. That is true. The exact details I don’t really know.”
“Or you won’t tell me?”
“No, I don’t know.”
I gave a sigh because I knew he was telling the truth.
Abigail continued with the same pace but from the smell she emitted, she wasn’t pleased with the conversation. From what I could gather, Abigail and her brother don’t seem to know anything about the Divine of Destruction. However, they are aware of Elias and the others.
We arrived before the tomb of a Florentine Nightshade, beloved uncle of Alexandra. Before we opened the tomb doors we could hear voices within. Jeffrey grabbed my shoulder and Abigail grabbed my hand.
“If you have any respect for Alexandra’s family you will not move forward,” she whispered. I met her cold gaze and for a brief moment I wanted to be defiant. Abigail was not taken aback as I shook her hands off of me and neither did her cold eyes waiver. We moved away from the tomb and watched from afar as three individuals emerged. The first to appear was a man with gray hair followed by a woman with dark hair and silver streaks. They both looked like aristocrats. The next to emerge was a tall lanky boy in his teens.
We watched as they left the cemetery and once their carriage was out of site we entered into the tomb of Florentine.
Abigail wished this deceased man a happy birthday and I followed suit. Above his stone coffin a magical hologram of a floating head with a cheeky smile looked back at us. Behind his monocle was a winking eye assuring us that everything was going to be alright. Florentine might have been an alright guy.
“You know,” a voice said. “I almost forgot that I had a sister.”
I turned around to find that lanky boy we saw earlier. The brother of Alexandra, Alex Nightshade. He was all smiles until he saw my eyes. I lowered my hat and hid behind Jeffrey.
“The lady is unwell, young master,” said Jeffrey.
“What’s wrong with her? Why are her eyes soil brown,” he asked.
Alex moved forward, trying to get past Jeffrey. Abigail pushed her way between them and placed her hand on Alex’s head. She chanted something that soothed Alex’s worries in an instant, melting away his frown. Alex in a trance like state left without a word and Abigail grabbed me by the elbow. We ran out of the tomb in the opposite direction.
It was during our carriage ride back to the estate that I hounded Abigail with questions. She seemed upset at first but eventually let everything flow out like a broken faucet. Abigail is a Soother which basically means that she can put people to sleep or in a state of hypnosis. However, it’s an ability that doesn’t last long and is quite rare. For once this miniature rag doll with freckles impressed me. Sensing my haughty attitude she quickly reminded me that I was vacant of any special abilities. Touché, Raggedy Anne. You’ve won the battle for now.
Thomas and Abigail are fraternal twins who have served the Nightshade family since they were children. She describes her relationship to be rather close with Alex and Alexandra. And went as far to express her disdain with an absent Alexandra. I assured her that I would let Alexandra out but I needed to understand her better to keep her from creating monsoons in the living room. Abigail chuckled briefly.
“When Alexandra lost control of her abilities, her body slowly began to deteriorate. The Duke said he had a solution but I didn’t expect him to put someone else in her body,” said Abigail.
It’s not like I was looking forward to being a body snatcher in this life or the next. Being placed in Alexandra’s body was very much against my own will and I assured Abigail of this.
“You have a lot more mental strength than my lady. I think she needs that. I don’t think I mind the idea of you two being mended for now,” Abigail gave a weak smile.
Abigail filled me in on Alexandra’s upbringing. At the age of five, she was discovered by Florentine in an orphanage. Back in his hay day, Florentine could easily identify those with great magical potential. However, with old age his abilities declined and he was beginning to go blind so he wore a magical monocle that could amplify his ability. Though he could have just fixed his vision permanently with magic he stated that doing so wouldn’t be the same. Initially, Florentine wanted to adopt Alexandra. Then he realized that she would need a proper home with a real family so he introduced his brother and his wife, Luther and Deloris Nightshade. She was originally to inherit everything but that changed after the arrival of Alex. Florentine later established Alexandra as his heir.
After the arrival of Alex the young miss had her first encounter with Elias and she immediately fell in love. At the age of twelve Alexandra believed she had met her soulmate. But to her chagrin the Duke never gave her the time of day. That was given due to her young age but as time progressed he continued to refuse her advances and she became betrothed to the crown prince. Here comes in the story of the dramatic maiden.
Alexandra was always aware that the Duke never loved him but she could not help the way she felt. Abigail described Alexandra’s love for the Duke to be magnetic. She was always drawn even though she tried to resist, a moth drawn to flame. Alexandra’s attraction to the Duke just seems so unnatural as if she were bewitched by him.
Before passing the boundary, Abigail warned me that Alex would eventually pay a visit to the estate as her abilities didn’t have long lasting effect. This means that I must get Alexandra to come out.
“There is something that you must know,” said Abigail.
“ What is it?” I asked.
“Alexandra is responsible for the death of Florentine. When her body began deteriorating, her magic abilities ran wild. I wasn’t safe for I and Thomas to be around so we stayed out of the estate.” Abigail paused and began to play with her fingers. I grabbed her hands to show my support. To show that she should proceed with telling me what happened. “When Florentine arrived, he was warned but he insisted on going in.”
“Is she even aware that he’s dead?” I asked.
“No, but it is a tradition that we always visit Florentine on his birthday. It’s the loneliest time of year for anyone. I wanted to honor that tradition still.”
“This is how we will get her to come out,” I squeezed Abigail's fingers lightly.