Morning Rising
almost a woman. You’re still just a kid in my mind,” Baron
explained. He shook the thought away. “Anyway, here you go.” He
held out a small black rock to her in the palm of his hand. It was
flat, round, and looked as smooth as polished metal.
    “What is it?” Kara hesitated without picking
up the stone. Baron kept his hand out to her, and she stared at the
innocent looking stone.
    “It’s an awakening stone,” Baron said. “It
will awaken all the memories of what you were meant to be in the
Daylands and help you remember your time with Morning in the human
    “Dylan,” Kara corrected absently. The wind
whipped across them, blowing her hair into her face. She pushed it
back behind her ears before gathering her courage and reaching for
the stone. She hesitated, pulling her hand back. “Will it help me
remember everything about the human world?”
    “What do you mean?” Baron pulled his hand
back, looking at her in the dim light. He frowned, waiting for her
    “I’m forgetting things,” Kara said. She
shrugged and looked back out over the city. “I mean here I am a
world away from home and the only person from there I really think
about is Dylan. I didn’t worry what my mom would be thinking, or if
school would miss me.”
    “That’s the way it was meant to be,” Baron
said. Kara turned back to him. He looked uncomfortable as he spoke.
“When you were sent to that world your mother was charmed to see
you as her own, and everyone you came into contact with just
accepted that you had always been there. It wasn’t meant to be
permanent. That’s why your mother wasn’t the best. Now that you are
gone-” Baron sighed, finding it hard to get the words out- “they
don’t remember you being there.”
    It should have been like a punch in the
stomach. Kara turned away from Baron and waited for the pain to
well up inside her at the thought of her mom and a few other family
members forgetting her. The pain never came. Instead, a sick sense
of relief flooded through her. It was okay that she wasn’t thinking
about her mom, because her mom wasn’t thinking about her. No one
from her old life would miss her.
    “Are you okay?” Baron asked. He reached a
hand out to comfort her, but Kara turned to him. For a moment Kara
thought he would grip her shoulder, or pull her into a hug, but he
dropped his hand.
    “I’m good,” she assured him. “Let’s do this.”
Baron grinned and held out the stone. Kara reached for it, but a
trickle of fear ran through her. She paused with her fingers just
above the stone and glanced back up at Baron. “Will it hurt?” she
asked in a small voice, ashamed to be asking.
    “Some,” Baron said with a small nod. “Take
it. It won’t do anything until it’s activated.”
    Kara took the stone from him. It was warm and
surprisingly heavy in her hand. She wrapped her fingers around it,
enjoying the feel of its smooth surface and warm weight. “So, how
does it work?” she asked.
    “Put it in your other hand, then back again
and back again to the other. Left, right, and then left again,”
Baron said. “Then it will start.”
    “You’ll be here?” Kara asked. She didn’t want
to be alone on the roof while her memories came back. She couldn’t
shake the image of herself stumbling off the edge of the roof in a
fit of madness.
    “Of course.” Baron nodded, his face as
unreadable as stone. “I’ll be right here.”
    Taking a deep breath, Kara did what he said.
She passed the stone to her left hand, and it seemed to grow
slightly warmer. Once back in her right hand, it was definitely
edging toward hot. Once more to her left hand and it began to burn.
Reflexively she opened her hand, shaking it to release the stone.
She expected the stone to drop as she cried out in pain, but it
didn’t leave her hand.
    She watched, crying without realizing it, as
the black stone sank into her hand. It should have hurt, but once
the stone sank inside her, she could no

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