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Mr Marsden stepped back looking at Ayls’ dress as the hole appeared and began to spread over her shoulder.
He knew this could be an awkward moment for both of them and his brain went into a sudden panic as he tried to remember what potion he had that might work against the potentially embarrassingly spreading hole.
He looked at Ayls who was looking at him for an answer.
That was when things changed.
Ayls stopped looking at him, her eyes rolled back in her head, and when they centred again, they were a radiant blue. Her head shone with an aura visible to his eye, and she appeared to rise a foot or two above the ground.
In his ears was the most incredible hum, it penetrated his brain, it was not hurtful, but rather he relaxed in its presence and became transfixed on the girl before him.
It when she spoke to him that he realised he was not dealing with a small girl at all but what he knew was a Seer.
The Seers were a race of beings able to impart great foresight and knowledge and renowned for their wisdom and kindness. They could take on a multitude of manifestations, and in some cases, he had read of them being in animal form.
He had never before met one and now he understood why it was Ayls was the character she was.
“Mr Marsden,” the Seer said, “you have achieved so much, this container is a wonder in itself, and I am pleased to have spent this time with you, and I hope you are not disappointed I chose Ayls as the source of my being. We, Seers, have to be careful to whom we reveal ourselves and you Mr Marsden are a good man, a little reckless at times with your potions but I see you are having a lot of fun with your plants and I appreciate no one has been hurt by what you are doing. I think it was a smart move to put the protection spell over your place, once I saw it I knew your place was well worth having a good look at.”
At this juncture the Seer smiled and from her mouth came the radiant energy of one pleased and happy with what she found. It washed over Mr Marsden, and he felt at peace in her presence.
She held up a clover leaf in each hand, one had three leaves and the other four.
“The same plant, but different in appearance, you do know they bring good luck?” asked the Seer twirling the leaves in each hand.
“Yes, I do,” replied Mr Marsden, “I did some experiments on them and found the jealousy between the variants impossible, so I removed them and decided to be more careful with what potion I used in them and other plants in future. But as you can see, I’ve had some success, but not always so.”
“Mr Marsden, I said I was pleased with what you have here but the time has come when you can to move on. Its time Mr Marsden and I think you know what I mean.”
“But my plants, what will become of them?”
“I think we know the perfect person to take over.”
“Ayls? But she is so young.”
“Only in years Mr Marsden, in knowledge she is a lot further along than she appears, and she will have me to guide her.”
“You know I had her in mind as my successor. I’m glad she will be the one, and I’m doubly glad you will be here to guide her.”
“She will be fine, she won’t know about me as I’ll not reveal myself to her, but I’ll be here to guide and help her and who knows she is a resourceful girl, she make take the garden to another level.”
“Another level?” asked Mr Marsden
“There’s always another level,” smiled the Seer and with that, she drew Mr Marsden to her and took his soul.
When Ayls awoke the hole in her dress was no larger, and she was pleased as she thought immediately of what her mother might say. She was surprised to find Mr Marsden was not there but attached to her dress was a crumbled piece of paper.
I am taking a long earned rest, and in doing so, I am leaving you in charge of my garden. Everything is in place for you to take over and learn about how the garden works. My books are for you to use. Care and nurture the garden and as you learn you too can experiment and find a way to help the outside world. The protection spell that currently exists around the house will remain until you discover how to break it. When you are feeling lost, listen to the voice in your head, it is there to help you.
Good luck and thank you.
Ayls looked around and noticed the plants were unusually quiet as if there was now a mournful presence over the container. Then as one, the plants bowed to her and Ayls knew the responsibility was one she would take seriously as she bowed back, respect she felt was a two-way street.