Terri Beckett’s foray into Amethyst and its characters…


Rebecca Hawthorne locked the door, turned the shop sign to ‘closed’, stretched her slender arms above her head and gusted a small sigh. It was nice that business was brisk for Hawthorne Herbals, but at times she longed for a little more time to herself. To walk up to the Chalice Well, and sit in the little herb garden she had helped design and plant — to climb the Tor and see the whole of the Summer Country spread below her like a patchwork quilt in shades of green and ochre… Just to be.


But someone had to pay the bills.


She left the shop proper and climbed the stairs to her living accomodation above. It was a moment’s work to remove the green tinted contacts and stash them in their sterile saline solution, then to rinse out her eyes with the infusion she had made up herself. Blinking, she looked into the bathroom mirror, seeing the unremarkable twenty-seven year-old face, framed with the short cap of silver blond hair, and the violet eyes that gazed back at her. Eyes the colour of amethyst, that no one outside her family had ever seen or ever could see. Eyes that marked her as clearly as a brand for one with the Talent — albeit an Unregistered. Her great grandmother had drilled it into her for as long as she could remember, that she must never come to the attention of the Institute. Never. “You are all  they hate and despise, child. They would break you and reshape you to serve their own agenda, and you must never allow that to happen.”


It had been her great-grandmother who had cared for her when her parents had been killed, who had sheltered her when her Gifts had begun to manifest and the colour of her eyes had changed. Great-Grandmother had brought her here to Glastonbury, seen to her education, and started the Hawthorne Herbals business, which Rebecca had been running since her eighteenth birthday. It was work she loved, and was good at, and she was highly regarded in the community for her healing gift, as well as her skills as a herbalist. Here in Glastonbury she was safe and protected from the eyes of the Institute — she didn’t know why it was that any kind of sacred ground rendered them blind. Glastonbury, with its long history of worship, both Christian and pagan, was a haven for her and any number of Unregistered. Like her, they were careful to conceal their telltale eyes, but her talent enabled her to recognise another of her kind. They knew and trusted her, though perhaps if they knew more about her great grandmother, they might have felt differently.


And now it was Saturday evening, and time for her weekly contact with Great-Grandmother. Rebecca seated herself at her dressing table, cleared her mind, and opened the channel that would connect them.


“Gram’ma.” And her great-grandmother’s face, dearly familiar, swam out of the mist in the mirror.


“Rebecca, my dear child.” The smile creased even more wrinkles into her face, but the amethyst eyes were bright and warm as ever. “Are you well?”


“You would know if I was not, Gram’ma,” Rebecca chuckled. “Yes, I’m fine, and the business is doing really well. I’ve got a new customer, the lady-custodian of the Chalice Well. Her daughter has a cancer, and the chemotherapy side-effects have really been awful  — I’ve been combining treatments that seem to help. Oh, and the Apothecary Rose you sent is flourishing. I wish you could visit so I could show you.”


“Someday, dear child.” They chatted easily about nothing in particular, and at last said their farewells. Rebecca turned from the mirror to go into her kitchen to fix her supper. And in her private office at the Institute, First Weaver Lillian Sinclair draped a black velvet cloth over the polished silver of her scrying glass and smiled.


* * * * *


Terri is a long-time friend and some time ago we wrote three mainstream novels in tandem [check out my other site HERE for Nettleflower, Tribute Trail and War Trail]. But for a while now she’s been having major issues which have kept her in a semi-permanent state of Writer’s Block. I’ve invited her into the Amethyst Universe so she can try her hand at short pieces that will eventually join my bits and end up in the whole story…

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