February 8, 1610
Avis Papley sat cross-legged on the hard, wooden floor. The sign hung from the door reading “Kaysford Children’s Orphanage” left a lump in her throat. Every time she peeked outside to see the free folk, the burgesses and citizens, she would remind herself, “You’re here for a reason.” She removed a necklace with a small locket from her neck, careful not to tug her long hair. This locket had belonged to her as far back as she could remember. Many people often examined it, curious about the strange design. The pendant was emblazoned with a fierce looking dragon on the front, and a small rose on the rear. She always passed on the message not to touch it whenever someone approached her, due to some distant memory about not being allowed to open the locket. She was now seven, and decided to open it without much hesitation. Believing herself matured, she gave in and slid her finger across its sleek edge and began to open the locket, but she was interrupted and quickly closed it again.
“Good d-day, Avis,” said a friend of hers, an older boy named Charles.
“Charles,” she replied solemnly.
He had a wide grin as he walked off to mealtime.
Relieved that he didn’t mention her locket, she hurried to open it, her hands shaking as she fumbled with the opening. As gently as possible, she opened it with her thumbnail and a small piece of paper fell from it to the ground.
Dearest Mistress Avis Papley,
You own this locket, therefore you art the reincarnation of Avis Magellan, my sister. This may appear strange. My apologies. This means that you hath the following abilities:
The power to speak without speaking.
The power to move and control things without mere touch.
You may find other surprises that come with your being. Good wishes. Living with your malison may be tough.
I bid thee farewell, anon.
Avis’s hand twitched as she held the paper.
“Malison,” she thought, the phrase repeating in her head. She began to fold up the small paper and tuck it back inside of the locket.