Characters: Milo Ramirez
California, Fourteen years ago…
The day would be called perfect by most. The sun was shining, clouds were billowy, and there was a gentle breeze in the warm spring air. Sarah Ramirez had opened the window in the nursery after laying her new born son, Milo, in his bassinet. Diego Ramirez had taken his two older boys, Jake, two, and Ryan, five, to visit with friends at the playground.
Sarah looked back from the doorway and smiled as she looked toward the bassinet. For Sarah Ramirez, life was perfect. She turned on the baby monitor and quietly closed the door and headed down stairs to the kitchen. Sarah loved the kitchen. She would find joy in making culinary artwork.
Two very strange looking birds flew through the open window and landed on either side of the bassinet. The birds had an unearthly air about them. The finch sized birds were made of pure darkness. Yet seemed very innocent with large their round red eyes.
A young woman appeared as though the shadow in the corner took on human form. “Ah, my little darklings, you beat me here,” the woman spoke with an almost lyrical tone. “Impatient as I am I suppose.”
She walked the perimeter of room slowly, looking over the items on shelves and pictures on the wall. “My what a lovely family your son has, Jasmine,” speaking to no one, “but as you destroyed what I loved, so shall I destroy what you love most.” With that the woman moved to the bassinet.
Milo slept peacefully in his bassinet. He did not hear the woman speaking, The darklings chirped quietly. “You know, Milo, a destiny awaits you,” she continued, “a destiny of my making. You see, little one, your grandmother made a mistake. So now I shall give you darkness.”
Almost as though the birds could sense the woman’s intent, each of their eyes split into two narrow eyes, one eye above the other. The birds hissed at each other. Then one jumped off the side of the bassinet onto Milo, head first. The bird seemingly melted into the boy as momentum carried it forward.
“Oh, Milo, I hope you enjoy the darkness the first darkling brings you,” a wicked smile crossed her face. “Don’t worry my precious,” speaking to the remaining bird, “your time will come.” The woman walked into the shadowy corner she emerged from as the lone darkling flew out the window.
England, Eighteen months ago…
Milo met her the night he walked in Hyde Park. His grandfather was working late doing whatever it was they had come to London for. Bored one night, Milo decided to go for a walk in the park. Something had drawn him to a dark, unlit area where he found a twenty something year old woman. Milo felt an instant connection to this mysterious goth lady.
The mysterious woman would meet Milo in the park every night for the entire summer. She would tell him things and show him others. His mysterious friend introduced him to the darklings and magic. She showed Milo an old leather bound journal thShe taught him what she said were spells he would one day be able to cast with real affect.
She told him about the tragedy to come to his family. Told him how his parents were going to die before he returned to the States. Told him he would be returning alone, that his grandfather would be dead soon. Told him how his grandmother would have a heart attack and survive. She told him that everything would be okay.
Then she told Milo he would forget everything, like the summer never happened. However, she said that he would remember when the time was right.
Connecticut, Two weeks ago…
“Knock, knock,” came the chipper voice of a young lady, “movie night, Ms. Ramirez!” The twenty-something year old had a big smile. She enjoyed talking to Jasmine Ramirez about the movies they should every Wednesday night.
Jasmin looked up from her book, “Already time, Jenny?” A twinkle danced in her eye and smile crossed parted her lips, “My grandsons really liked seeing the movie with the blue people. What’s it called again?”
Jenny flipped the light switch off as she and Jasmine left the room. As their footsteps quieted with distance, a shapely female form stepped out from the outer wall into the room. The light flickered one just moments before Milo arrived.
“Excuse me,” Milo said as entered his grandmother’s room to find a young woman with her back to him, “can you tell me where Jasmine Ramirez is?”
The woman turned to face Milo holding an old leather bound journal in her left hand, “Hello, Milo.”
“You,” a look of confusion appeared on Milo, “I know you.” He felt an inexplicable connection to the stranger and noticed the little bird of darkness on his grandmothers bed. The darkling chirped happily as it hopped toward Milo. Instinctively he reach down a picked up the bird and started to pet the dark creature.
The goth woman moved close to Milo. She kissed his forehead, “Remember,” she said as she stepped back. Memories of a summer of what Milo would have called fun flooded his mind. “Here. This is yours now,” she held out the journal.
Milo placed the bird back on the bed and took the journal. “Milo,” his mysterious friend began as she picked up the darkling, “this is your darkling. Your second actually. The first brought you darkness. The second will bring you power. No go little creature. Go to your new home.” The darkling changed its appearance from 2 large round red eyes to 4 narrow eyes. The dark bird hissed before lunging into Milo’s chest. Like the first darkling did fourteen years ago the bird of darkness melted into Milo.
As the darkling merged with him, Milo felt power growing within himself. It was intoxicating. He remembered the spells she had taught him over the summer. He did not remember what she told him before summers end. He was not ready…but soon.
“Remember, Milo. Just as last year. Nobody can know about me. Use your magic. Tell your brothers and friends. Tell them your grandmother awoke your power and taught you those spells.” She reached out her hand and caressed Milo’s cheek, “You are almost ready, my boy.” She stepped back into the shadows and was gone.