Title: Year 23

Author: M. Joseph Day

Summary: Two sisters and their mother empower one of the sisters' children. Twenty-three years later, on the youngest child's birthday, the three children receive their powers. Now, they must find their aunt, who has mysteriously disappeared.

Episode One "Pilot"

Gale and Rachel Smitson and Carey Monroe stood around the round table. Carey held the hands of a four-year-old boy and a two-year-old girl. A newborn baby laid in the middle of the table. Carey let go of her childrens' hands. "Go. Touch the table."

The boy and the girl ran up to the table. The boy went onto the other side of the table, standing wtih his Aunt Rachel. The girl stood right in front of her mother, Carey. Gale picked up the baby and held it in her arms. Lane and Monet reached out and touched the table, as did Gale, since little Britney was only a baby.

Gale took a deep breath. "The mother Carey, Rachel, and Gale, the lives of these three children trail. Little Lane, Monet, and Britney, empower when young is three and twenty. A fourth generation live, another baby this baby give."

A strong wind blew, and all of the candles around the circle were blown out. For just a moment, Lane glowed blue, Monet's eyes glowed orange, and Britney's eyes glowed white. The brightest yellow light was produced from their hands. The three bright lights spiraled into the air, joined together, and exploded.

Gale stared up at the sky as the remains of the explosion floated toward the ground like glowing rain. "So it will be, year twenty-three."

---

Twenty-three years later, Britney Monroe stepped out of the shower and wrapped her light pink bathrobe around her dripping body. She put her blonde hair up in a towel. A few minutes later, while she was putting her eyeliner, the medicine cabinet opened and all of her pills flew out of it at her. Britney stood back up, closed the medicine cabinet, and wiped the line of eyeliner off her face. She sighed. "I almost forgot. Today is my twenty-third birthday."

---

Lane Monroe wiped out a bar glass and put it away underneath the counter. He looked back at the television. People were cheering. It was an important football game, and everyone's favorite team was about to win. Lane leaned forward to talk to one of the women, pointing at the television. "This is--"

"What the hell?!" yelled one of the men.

"The TV turned off!" yelled another.

Lane looked back at the television. It had, indeed, turned off. He quickly turned it back on, only a minute after the favorite team had won. The men at the bar became enraged. Lane looked down at his finger. He looked up at the girl. "As much as I hate to do this, I have to go."

Lane walked out the door, throwing on his jacket and jumping onto his motorcycle. He quickly started it and drove off, pulling his helmet on.

---

Monet Monroe straightened a pile of papers and set them down in a tray. Her office door opened. John Mario, her boss and ex-boyfriend, sat down on her desk. "Hey, Monroe. So, it's time. You either take me back or you're fired."

"I'm creating a third option." Monet stood up and fixed her skirt. "I quit, jackass."

John's eyes widened in disbelief. He too stood up. He put his finger in her face. "If you quit, you're never coming back!"

"Yeah, you're really bad at that," said Monet without emotion.

John turned and walked out of the room, slamming the door shut behind him. Monet yelled, "Bastard!"

Suddenly, the pile of papers in the tray caught fire. Monet grabbed the miniature fire extinguisher from the wall and put out the fire. She stared at the charred papers and put her jacket on. "Shit."

---

Lane, Monet, and Britney all arrived at Carey's house at the same time. They sat on Carey's couch while she sat in the armchair across from them. Lane finished explaining what had happened to him. "--and then I turned the TV back on and left."

Carey nodded. "Sounds like telekinesis, firestarting, and technokinesis. You all knew that you'd get your powers today. I don't know why you were surprised."

"I figured it'd be at midnight or something," said Monet. "I was only two when you, Aunt Rachel, and Grandma gave us our powers."

"And I was a newborn," said Britney. "I don't understand how we have powers and you and Grandma don't."

"It's because you are my three children," Carey's looked at Lane, "the first of which I birthed when I was twenty-three myself. Also, your birthdays are one way or another related to the number twenty-three."

Lane slid his jacket off and hung it on the back of Gale's rocking chair. He looked at the floor. "What's the significance of the number twenty-three in this family?"

"Two is the number that signifies a great unity, and three had always been called a magic number. Everyone in this family has great power whilst three of us are unified. Two and three bonded is the number twenty-three," explained Carey.

Lane nodded. He looked down at his index finger. He slowly raised it up and pointed it at the television. A tiny bit of electricity flew out of his finger and hit the TV. It turned on to show the news. "In local news, Rachel Smitson has been declared missing by the Toledo Police Department. Anyone with information leading to the location of Miss Smitson, please contact the Police Department."

Carey's eyes widened. She had stood up upon hearing her sister's name. Now, she fainted and almost hit her chair, until Britney pointed at her and she moved into Lane's arms. Monet stared at the screen. "Where's Aunt Rachel?"

"I don't know, but something's telling me we have to find her," said Britney. She looked at Monet, then at Lane.

---

"How do you propose we find her?" asked Lane loudly. They had set Carey down in her bedroom.

Britney shrugged. "I don't know, Lane! I don't remember what happened on the night we got our powers, but I know it'll help if one of us can remember. Monet, do you remember anything from that night twenty-three years ago?"

"I remember light and...rhyming, maybe. I think we have to write a spell," said Monet quietly. She looked up at Lane.

Lane looked back at Britney. "It's worth a try."

Britney grabbed a notepad from a drawer in the kitchen. She stole a pen from Monet's coat pocket and clicked it repeatedly. She then sighed. "I have no idea how to write a spell."

Monet pulled the notepad and pen out of Britney's hands. "It's easy. Like poetry."

Monet began to write down rhyming words.

Blood of our blood

Soul of our soul

Your sister's house

Here now we pull

Bring your health

And gone be ridden

Show us now

Where you've been hidden

Monet threw the spell into Lane's hands. He read it quickly. "How did you think of something like this? Nevermind. I don't wanna know. Let's just say it and find her."

Together, Lane, Monet, and Britney recited the spell. "Blood of our blood, soul of our soul, your sister's house here now we pull. Bring your health and gone be ridden, show us now where you've been hidden."

Nothing happened. There was a distinctive stillness in the air.

"It didn't work!" yelled Britney in anger. She tore the paper out of the notepad, crumpled it up, and threw it into the trash can. When Britney pointed to the trash can, a knife flew out of the knife block and hit a map that was hung on the opposite wall.

Lane, Monet, and Britney looked up at the map. The knife was stuck right in Arizona. Lane smiled. "Maybe it did work. Somewhere in Arizona."

"Guys, that's not all," said Monet. She looked at the wall right beside the map. The cross that hung there was turned upside down.

---

"Well we can't just leave our lives behind," said Britney. She looked at the floor and tucked some of her hair behind her ear. "I mean, I have friends and--"

"Yeah, that's all you have here," Lane argued. "Monet and I have jobs, but we're willing to leave them behind if we have to."

Monet smiled. "Actually, I quit my job today, so I'm fine with whatever."

"What about money?" thought up Britney. "A cross-country trip isn't going to be cheap."

"There's a few thousand in the dishwasher," said Carey, who came walking into the kitchen like she was perfectly fine. Lane hurried to her side and put his arm around her. She used his body as support. Carey laughed. "Why do you think I always told you it was broken?"

Britney tried to open the dishwasher, but realized that it was nailed shut with screws. "It's nailed shut. I'm too tired to use my power."

Monet walked over to the dresser and stared at the screws. They started glowing red, then orange, and then finally white. The screws melted to the floor in a few tiny puddles of liquid metal. Britney pointed at the puddles, which levitated into the sink and went down the drain. Monet opened the dishwasher and looked at Carey.

Carey shrugged. "I have a drill downstairs, you know."

Monet smiled. She looked at all the money filling the dishwasher.

---

After they had gotten the money in one of Carey's suitcases, everyone stood around, preparing to say goodbye for a while. They all hugged Carey. Lane and Monet headed out the door. Carey stopped Britney for a moment. She held Britney's face in her hands. "Remember, you are the key, Britney Alice Monroe. Happy Birthday."

Carey kissed Britney's forehead. The blonde woman smiled at her mother and left the house.

As they all drove away in Monet's car, Carey turned around as a whirlwind appeared in the middle of her living room. A bald man with deathly pale skin and glowing red eyes stood there. "Why didn't you tell them?"

"Because they must find out for themselves," answered Carey without an ounce of fear.

The man grabbed Carey's face with his right hand and held her up in the air. He brought his mouth close to her ear. "I'm going to follow them, and I'm going to kill them, Aunt Carey."

He snapped Carey's neck and left her living room in his whirlwind.

TO BE CONTINUED...