Meet Olivia, the protagonist of The Supernormal Legacy: Dormant, at her seven year old birthday party – a significant turning point in her life. Book details can be found here.
I sat at the head of the table, the place of honor, kicking my chair with my heels. Everyone around me was talking but the words sounded far away. I wasn’t listening anyway. Though it was my seventh birthday, I felt nothing. I didn’t even care about the presents heaped in the middle of the table. Nothing mattered since my mom couldn’t be at my party.
“Happy birthday, Olivia,” a woman’s voice jerked me out of my sad thoughts. My silly hope died when I saw it was just Aunt Kate, Mom’s sister. She gave me a hug and I felt my shoulders tighten. I pulled away and looked down at my hands.
Dad, probably at the direction of Aunt Kate, had insisted I wear a dress, which made me feel stupid. Everything about the dress was uncomfortable – it was too tight across the shoulders, the tights sagged at my crotch, and a dumb bow tied at back. The bow kept catching on the back of the chair. I didn’t see why I needed to dress up anyway – it was just a family party – well, my mother’s family and Dad.
Dad cleared his throat and I looked up. He smiled at me but it didn’t reach his red-rimmed eyes. He held a large chocolate cake with seven candles flickering on it. As he sat the cake in front of me, I felt my lower lip poke out – the cake had lots of frosting on it. I hated cakes with too much frosting. I blew out the candles without speaking, then watched while Dad cut slices for everyone.
If Mom were here, everything would be perfect – she would’ve remembered how much I hate frosting and she wouldn’t have made me wear this heinous dress.
However, Mom was dead and it was my fault. I’d run away while she saved a bunch of people. I didn’t use my fledgling supernormal abilities to help her. In fact, I’d distracted her so she couldn’t get away in time. She’d died in a fireball and I just ran away.
Dad didn’t know about my supernormal powers or that Mom’s family all had powers, too. I couldn’t talk to him about my guilt without explaining my stupid heritage. So I didn’t talk.
I knew Uncle Dan, one of Mom’s brothers, was waiting to give me a long talk about responsibility and duty. I peeked at my mother’s other brother, Alexander Brighthall. I didn’t really know him or Aunt Kate but he was nice – always smiling and laughing. Not today though. He looked like he’d forgotten how to smile.
Aunt Kate talked quietly to her son, Lange. At fourteen he was old enough to start supernormal training. I used to envy him.
The rest of my cousins were like me, waiting until thirteen when we could really come into our powerful heritage.
A heritage requiring secrecy, danger, and sometimes-early death – leaving family behind, sad and lost – was sounding less and less awesome. When Mom was alive and helping me understand my abilities, the idea of being a supernormal had been cool and exciting; now I was just numb.
Uncle Dan’s daughter and my best friend, Emma leaned over and whispered, “Dad says we need to go to our house after the party, he wants to have a Brighthall family meeting about your future.”
I glared at her, “Shut up.” It came out much louder than I’d intended and everyone stopped talking to stare at me.
Dad said, “Olivia, honey—“
“No,” I shoved my chair away from the table, ignoring how much the table shuddered and shifted. “I’m so sick of everybody, just go AWAY!” I reached back and yanked off the bow, the rip as my dress tore was the best sound I’d heard in days. I tossed the bow on the ground and stomped on it. “What are you waiting for? Leave!”
Dad put a hand on my shoulder and I jerked it away, expecting him to tell me to calm down, but to my surprise, he said to my mother’s family, “I think you should all go now.”
Uncle Dan frowned, “Sam, I –“
“No, Dan, its Olivia’s choice. If she wants you to go then you should go.”
“Of course,” Uncle Alex stood, moving slowly as if his bones hurt. “Dan, now isn’t the time. We need to give Olivia time to grieve.”
Emma threw her arms around, “Ollie, I’ll stay with you.”
I shoved her away, “No! I want to be alone.” If Emma stayed Uncle Dan would come pick her up later and I’d have to see him. All I wanted to do was hide in my room.
Uncle Dan grabbed Emma around the waist and pulled her off me. She kicked and screamed before crying in his arms. Uncle Dan glared at me as he carried her out the door.
The rest of the Brighthalls followed, giving me various looks ranging from curiosity to compassion. I slumped back into my chair.
Once they were gone Dad sat down beside me, “So Ollie, what do you want to do now?”
I couldn’t tell him the answer – I just wanted to be normal.