Freya hacked viciously at the ground with her rake, scowling as though the weeds she was uprooting

had personally offended her. She knew that anyone passing by would wonder about her mental stability the way she was grumbling to herself. She also knew that she should probably let it go and enjoy the blue sky and warm breeze of the fall afternoon, but she couldn't. Or she didn't want to. Her mother just made her so angry, she had to get it out, and she didn't mind if her mother happened to see her belligerent attitude from inside the house either, although it was unlikely she was watching. Freya's family lived on the hill on the east side of Anapo, far enough away from the center of town to not be bothered by the daily commotion of the market and commoners' business. They had the largest farm in town, and although the whole family still worked hard to keep it that way, Freya's parents made a point of distinguishing themselves from most of the other townspeople, only associating themselves with three or four other families. It disgusted Freya, and she was painfully ashamed whenever her mother made her put on one of her fancy dresses for some pointless social occasion and they would parade themselves through town, like they owned the place. Even though, in a way, they did. Well, her father did. Their farm was a lynchpin in the local economy, and as such, Edmond Leavenworth was quite powerful in their small society. He also had connections in the larger cities of the region, which Freya didn't even try to understand, but they kept him away a lot. As she worked herself up, raking the front garden more ferociously, she could feel her insides start to flutter. "Oh great." She thought, as she saw her hands around the rake handle start to flicker. It was a familiar sensation, and had been happening for several years now whenever she got upset, but she was still not comfortable with it and had very little control of her... thing. A couple of times, when she was completely enraged to the point of tantrum, she was pretty sure she had disappeared completely, but

only for a few seconds. She realized she didn't care that much about her mother's latest antics and she wasn't in the mood to deal with the nauseous feeling that came after one of these episodes. So she stood up and leaned on the rake to gaze at the mountains that rose up outside of town while taking a few deep breaths, slowing her heart rate until the fluttering feeling subsided. She was startled out of her momentary meditation by the sound of unusually rapid footsteps coming towards her. She looked at the road directly on the other side of the fence at the same time as the blur of a speeding figure suddenly stopped in front of her and materialized as a grinning Emery. "Oh great," she snapped, "just when I thought my day couldn't get any better." "Well, 'hello' to you too Lady Freya." Emery retorted, without missing a beat. He smiled at the ugly face she made in response the nickname that he knew she hated. "Whatever, idiot, what do you want anyway? I'm busy" She tried to keep up the façade of nonchalance, but couldn't help letting the left corner of her mouth turn up in the slightest wry smile. Emery took his cue with enthusiasm. "You won't believe what I found in the Cave today Freya, it was amazing! You're gonna love it." Freya dropped all her posturing then, sincerely interested and absorbing Emery's excitement. "Well let's see it then! What it is?" Pleased at her reaction, but also realizing he was about to disappoint her, he continued "Oh... well... I don't have it now... My Uncle took it. But it was so cool! It's this silver disc thing with all these rainbows in it. It's pretty Freya, and I think it must mean something, 'cause my Uncle got really weird when I showed it to him." "Hmph! Tease." Freya pouted, but Emery was unfazed. "Well, I HAD to tell someone about it and... you know no one else would even care." Freya didn't react, but she knew he was right. She thought she was probably the only real friend he had, outside of his Uncle and his cat. "Yeah, ok, Emery, I guess I forgive you... if you promise to take me out to your Uncle's place to prove this thing is real, huh?" Emery's smile practically exploded on his face "Totally! Yeah, I'm going tomorrow, I was hoping you'd come with me..."

Just then Freya's mother burst out the door of the house and came storming down the front walk, still-dripping cooking spoon in hand, face actively turning red with rage. "Oh crap." Muttered Freya under her breath, "you'd better get out of here before the witch gets her hands on you." She turned to face her mother, defensive of Emery even though he was on the other side of the fence. "What are you doing here, you??" screamed Freya's mother. "You know you have no business speaking to my daughter, how many times do I have to tell you!?!" Freya put her hands on her mother's shoulders as she charged towards Emery, waving her wooden spoon threateningly. "Ok, ok. Mrs. Leavenworth, I'm going, I'm going!" Emery acquiesced, backing away, while under his breath he sarcastically protested, "it's not like it's a free country or anything." Mrs. Leavenworth continued her harsh rant as Freya pushed her backwards toward the house. "You better be! Don't let me catch you out here again, you, you—" "OK Mom!!" Freya interrupted before she could say anything really terrible. "I think he got the point, Ma. He's leaving isn't he?" Freya got her mother back into the house and turned to catch Emery's expectant eyes before she disappeared inside herself. She held up two fingers and mouthed the words "Tomorrow, The Spot." Emery nodded in understanding before he sped away. Freya smiled to herself briefly then her face regained its usual scowl as she went in, angry all over again at her mother's rude, entitled behavior. Emery might be a little different, but so was she, and so was her mother, as much as she tried to gloss over it. She couldn't wait to get away, even if just for an afternoon, but, she reassured herself aloud, "someday I'll get away for real."

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