Modern era, another branch of the tree.
“Damnit, not again.” Karen threw the pregnancy test in the garbage and leaned against the bathroom door, sighing.
The phone rang as she was getting her nerve up to leave the bathroom. Of course. She picked it up without bothering to check the Caller ID. “Aunt Becka.” She knew she sounded inhospitable. She wanted to sound a lot more than that.
“It’s not always a blessing, I know that, dear,” her mother’s oldest sister began without preamble. “It was for me, but it wasn’t for all of us. But when it’s not a blessing…”
“It’s a responsibility. Yes.” She grumbled at the phone. “I didn’t ask for this, Aunt Becka. The family has other lines. Let them be all aunt-y. Leave me out of it.”
“The power doesn’t work that way, dear, I’m sorry. Enjoy being free of it for now, I suppose. I still have a few years left in me.”
She hung up with a scolding click, leaving Karen to stare at her phone, and wonder who there was left to appeal to.
She’d asked her mother, who had told her, simply, “You’re the last unmarried niece your Aunt Becka has.”
That all her other sisters and cousins – nine of them – had done their damndest to get pregnant before they even finished highschool and married at, in three cases, the expense of college at all, while Karen had finished school, that didn’t seem to faze anyone, least of all the Aunt Magic.
She didn’t know if it was bad luck or the magic messing with her, bad biochemistry or just a bad hand at love that had left her thirty-four, childless, and without a relationship that lasted longer than three months, but she hated it either way. Her oldest cousin’s oldest daughter was already pregnant! And she…
…would be the crazy lady in the corner house with no love and no children, raising cats and reading tarot cards. And, because everyone assured her that she had no skill at this sort of thing (her sister Letty had had that, and their cousin Edna, but they had run screaming from the power with babies at seventeen and nineteen, respectively), she would just be a vessel, a stupid vessel for the stupid family power. A coma patient could do that. A BOY could do that.
In the corner of the bathroom, a photo fell over. Sighing, Karen picked it up. Her Great-Aunt Ruan smiled back at her, her arm around her long-term beau Johias.
“Well.” Un-married and childless, that was the rule. Smiling slowly, Karen dialed the city’s adoption agency. No-one said she had to carry this stupid power around alone.
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