Then Merlin came out of the trees. One moment he was not there. The next moment he was. It surprised the girls. Both Musica and Sunshine jumped, and let out little squeals of surprise. “Merlin! Where did you come from?”
Merlin laughed. It sounded like metal plates bouncing off of a stone floor. “I have been watching from the trees.”
Mystica had to laugh herself. “Merlin is invisible in shadow.”
Merlin cut in, “Except to you, of course. You’ve learned how to find me.”
“Just because I can feel your black magic. And that tells me where you are.” She looked at her daughters. “But you can’t feel his magic, so you can’t tell where he is.” She looked at Merlin, “But that’s why you’re here, isn’t it? To play hide and seek. So they girls can start tl learn how to find you?”
The girls spent hours playing hide-and-seek with Merlin. He would hide in the shadows, and they would try to find him. Then, they would hide in the shadows, and he would find them. Merlin took his time finding the girls. He knew exactly where they were. Mystica knew that. She knew where they were too. Even without watching them. She knew Merlin could see them in the shadows. He could hear them breathing. He could smell them.
She knew that Sunshine and Musica could not find Merlin. Unless he let them. They couldn’t see him. They couldn’t hear him. And she watched as they walked right past him many times. Merlin had fun hiding for a while, and then he started leaving clues for them to find that would guide them to him.
With each round of the game, Merlin made it more difficult for them to find him.
Eventually, Sunshine and Musica grew tired of playing. And the sun was getting low. Mystica helped the girls bathe in the lake. Neither of them knew how to swim. So Mystica had to keep them in shallow water.
After they were clean, they went to their houses for the night, and went to bed.
But before they went to sleep, Musica took her flute, and she played. It was a beautiful song. Merlin had come out to listen. He’d curled up like some big kitten on the ground next to Mystica. And listened. “She has musical talent that is beyond someone her age. That’s part of her gift of wild magic. That she can play like she does.”
Sunshine fell asleep that night, listening to beautiful flute music. That night, she had wonderful dreams. Of playing with Musica. Singing songs. Chasing butterflies. All of it things she never thought she’d do. But now. All of her dreams were coming true.
And she loved Musica. Her sister. She’d always wanted a sister. Now she had one.
And she loved Mystica, her Mommy. She’s always wanted a mother that loved her. And took care of her. And could protect her. And help her learn all about who she was. And what she could do. And now she had one.
Sunshine slept very well that night.