Lightning struck Grandma Lybrook when she was 4 years old while she fished with her father at the backside of Alice Lake; the strike left her with low-grade psychic ability, which she kept hidden and secret from us until I saw it psychically. Her psychic ability allows her to see ghosts and other creatures invisible to everyone but me.
Earlier I revealed that she lived a secret life. She has a son—Balen Renfrew—from a relationship with Trevor Renfrew, a young wizard she met while at college. She befriended Trevor while attending college at New Cambridge University. Trevor saw potential of developing her magic to greatness, but she feared possessing a power her father called Satanic. (Grandma had a strict religious upbringing that kept her from talking to her parents about her abilities. This made her seem shy and awkward around them and others who poked fun at her. Trevor made her feel better about herself and helped her develop confidence while at college.)
Grandma lived off campus with Trevor at their apartment above an occult bookstore that he owned. Though Trevor supported her financially, Grandma worked as a cook and meal server at a nearby Pizza Hut after classes. During her third year, she dropped out of school when she became pregnant. She gave her son Balen the last name Renfrew, though she and Trevor never married.
Her parents refused to support her financially and emotionally, so Trevor paid off her student loan and helped raise their child for 3 years. Grandma returned working as a part-time cook and meal server at some of the local bars and clubs.
One day when Balen levitated a lamp and broke it, he struck back with magic that almost killed Grandma when she scolded him. She left the child with his father and sat at the local bus station deciding where to go. That’s when she met Jack Lybrook, a business classmate from college who had majored in agriculture and owned a small dairy farm on Myers Ridge in Ridgewood. His car was in the shop, so he had taken the bus to visit his parents in New Cambridge. He invited her to a cup of coffee and lunch at his parents’ place. She accepted.
Later, with nowhere to go because of the friction between her and her parents, Grandma told Jack her predicament of being homeless, though she omitted having a son and psychic abilities. Jack took her in and she worked at his farm. He convinced her to return to college. They married after she graduated with a degree in business, whereupon she ran the business end of the farm. She and her parents reconciled their relationship and she never saw Balen and his father again.
Psychics and Luminaries
The white crow Enit Huw (pronounced ee’-nit ho’-ew) calls me a Luminary, a term I prefer over psychic.
Enit Huw, is a mysterious white crow with black eyes and beak. His magic is limited to transporting himself through space to locations in and around Ridgewood, and seeing beyond the third dimension. Lenny’s paternal grandmother told him that Enit Huw is the soul of time—past, present, and future, and brings hope for healing and new beginnings in life. He appeared twice to Lenny’s grandmother; his third appearance was the sign of Margga’s end—at my hand.
He visits me rarely, which is good since his visits so far have been to warn me of danger. Unfortunately, though, he is often sketchy on his information about whom or what the danger is.
The book of magic that Margga stole from the Council mentions the word Luminary and uses it to describe powerful sorcerers and magicians whose bodies produce light. My body glows white when I’m excited or nervous. It’s hard to hide such a condition from others, especially when I’m with Lenny and he happens to touch me.
Talks with Grandma have revealed that my powers came from ancestors on my maternal family tree, which were unlocked when lightning struck me. I am recording her information here for future reference.
My Maternal Family Tree, at a glance
Joseph and Hendrika Groot
Daughter Mina Groot
Daughter Ruth Andersson
Youngest son Joseph Kaufmann
Daughter Adali Kaufmann
lived with Trevor Renfrew
married to Jonathan “Jack” Lybrook
My Family Line of Psychics
(Relations with known psychic/magic abilities are listed in bold.)
- Josef and Hendrika Groot had 2 children: Rutger Groot and Mina Groot;
- Mina Groot, whom at 13 married Baltasar Andersson, 16, (139 years ago), had 7 children, of which daughter
- Ruth Andersson, whom at 17 married Jonathan Kaufmann (112 years ago), had 2 sons, of which son
- Joseph Kaufmann, whom at 23 married Helen Baker (87 years ago), had 5 daughters, of which daughter
- Adali Kaufmann, whom at 19 married James Doyle (68 years ago), had 4 children, of which daughter
- Evelyn Doyle, struck by lightning, whom at 19 had 1 son with wizard Trevor Renfrew (45 years ago), of which son
- Balen Renfrew is half-mortal, half-wizard and has limited magic;
- Evelyn Doyle, whom at 27 married Jonathan Lybrook (37 years ago), had 1 child, of which daughter
- Karrie Lybrook, whom at 21 married Charles Erickson (16 years ago), had 3 children, of which daughter
- Verawenda Erickson, (me), struck by lightning at 13, has psychic/magic ability.
Timeline, Josef Groot to Me
- Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandfather Josef Groot, b. 173 years ago, deceased;
- Great-Great-Great-Great-Grandmother Mina Andersson née Groot, b. 152 years ago, deceased;
- Great-Great-Great-Grandmother Ruth Kaufmann née Andersson, b. 129 years ago, deceased;
- Great-Great-Grandfather Joseph Kaufmann, b. 110 years ago, deceased;
- Great-Grandmother Adali Doyle née Kaufmann, b. 87 years ago, alive, lives at Alice Lake’s Lakeview Living Center;
- Grandmother Evelyn Lybrook née Doyle, b. 64 years ago, alive, lives at weird farmhouse on Myers Ridge;
- Mother Karrie Erickson née Lybrook, b. 37 years ago, alive, lives with Grandma on Myers Ridge;
- Me, Vree Erickson, b. 13 years ago, still alive, I live with Mom at Grandma’s weird farmhouse on Myers Ridge.
Brief Family History
Mina Groot Andersson and her husband Baltasar had seven children. They lived in Ridgewood and were influential members of the community before Baltasar killed a man and went to prison. After their youngest child was old enough, Mina left home for a nunnery. She stayed there until her death. Mina had telepathic powers. She prophesized her husband’s act of murder, along with other prophesies, including the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and the sinking of the Titanic. Her daughter Ruth could also see future events. Ruth’s son Walter was a vaudeville magician who could move objects with his mind. His brother Joseph claimed to see and speak to spirits. Psychic abilities in my family stopped with Walter and Joseph until lightning triggered them in Grandma Evelyn. But she suppressed them and let them die. Then lightning struck me and triggered them in me.