"I'll get it, Mystic Maya!" 9-year-old Pearl Fey ran for the front door of my – and now also her – shared apartment. Ever since the drama with her mother, my aunt Morgan, who was now locked up, she had been left mostly alone, save for the watch of some of the other adults in Kurain Village. I insisted on taking my youngest cousin back with me to the city in the little place I got for myself.
I myself was in the kitchen, serving up some ramen. It's not that I didn't have normal food, but this was one of my favorite instant snacks. As I watched the ramen turn about in the microwave, Pearl's voice spoke up again.
"Mystic Iris!" she called. "What are you doing here?"
What, indeed? I came out to the living room and when I reached the end of the hall, sure enough, my older cousin, her half-sister Iris, was at the door. The funny thing about her is that she never knew if she wanted to be called Iris Hawthorne or Iris Fey. Most of the time, she was just Sister Iris, and if anyone was feeling rather particular, of Hazakura Temple, where she lived these days.
Her mouth was curved up into a soft smile, but I could see in her eyes that she looked a bit pained – my guess was that she looked slighted by the fact that Pearly had called her Mystic Iris, when she had never been a fan of the paranormal. She had even told Phoenix so. But, unlike her twin, she was far too polite to say it to Pearl.
“Hi, Pearl,” she said, the smile widening slightly. “Is Maya here?”
“Yeah!” she replied. “She wouldn’t leave me by myself unless there was an emergency!” She turned to call me, but stopped when she saw me in the little hallway. “Oh! Mystic Maya! Come out!”
I stepped out and waved to Iris. “Hey, Iris, what brings you around here?”
She shuffled on her feet. “I just thought I would come by for a visit, if that’s alright?”
“Sure! Come on in!” I said. She smiled and stepped in.
I knew that Iris had Sister Bikini up there in Hazakura to keep her company, but it couldn’t compare to blood, I’m sure. And that meant Pearl, Mia and me. Lord knows where her twin was, but I doubted she would want to see her after all the emotional abuse she was put through because of her.
“Dahlia? What are you doing here?” Valerie Hawthorne found herself asking her stepsister, who stood at her door.