March 18, 1999
West Hollywood, California
“What’s this all about?” Lucia pulled out a chair
across from her sister. They sat outside on the sidewalk
in front of the King’s Head Café in West Hollywood
amidst the hum of traffic and the flow of patrons looking
for available seating on Beverly Boulevard. “You
sounded funny on the phone.”
“I sounded funny?”
“You sounded mysterious,” Lucia clarified.
“I didn’t want to get into it on the phone. I thought
I’d wait to talk to you in person.”
“All right, I’m listening.” Lucia settled back into her
chair and looked at Anna expectantly.
“You’re not going to believe this, but Kevin brought
up the subject of marriage the other day.”
“Why wouldn’t I believe that? It’s perfectly
understandable to me. Isn’t it to you?” Lucia laughed.
“What did you say when he brought up the subject?”
“I skirted the issue, of course.” Anna’s tone
suggested Lucia should know that.
“Wait a minute, did he just bring up the subject or
did he ask you to marry him?”
“Well, it seemed to me he was testing the waters, but
what he said was ‘God help me, I’m married to a witch.’
I’m not sure I was supposed to hear it, but that’s exactly
what he said,” Anna told her.
A Portal in Time
“Wait a minute, back up, I’m getting lost. Were you
doing something that made him call you a witch, or was
he just making a general observation because he’s had
enough time to realize that you are a little touched in that
“In what way?” Anna sounded defensive.
“Come on, Anna, anyone who knows you knows
you’re bent towards the uncanny, and I mean that with
nothing but love.” Lucia tried to suppress a smile.
“You’re the same way that Mom was—obviously these
things run in families.”
Anna felt the immediate tug of her heartstrings at
the mention of their mother, who had died of leukemia
two and a half years earlier. Her illness had been a
harrowing experience to both her and Lucia, absolutely
draining them emotionally for the two years prior to her
death. Her slow decline compounded the loss of their
father when they were only teenagers, and now that both
parents were gone, Anna and Lucia only had each other.
Anna conjured the memory of their mother’s face, her tall
elegance, and demure ways, and recalled that she, too,
had an intuitive ability that everyone who knew her
“I don’t know that I’m anywhere near the way Mom
was.” Anna leaned back. “Do you remember how she
always knew what we were up to when we were little?
There was no point in ever trying to fool her about
anything because she always knew the truth.”
“Of course, because you’ve always been a terrible
liar. Everything you’re thinking is always written on
your face. You were the one who always gave us away to
Mom, not me,” Lucia reminded.
“That’s not entirely true,” Anna volleyed. “I
remember the time you tried to sneak out the upstairs
window at night and found Mom sitting on the garden
bench under the tree you used because she’d picked up
on what you were thinking practically before you even
decided to do it. She could tell just by looking at you!”
“You’re right about that.” Lucia nodded. “Mom was
something else altogether, wasn’t she? I’m convinced she
was clairvoyant. I think she knew how to read us both. I
really do miss her every day. I think of her every time I
see a sunset, every time I feel the change of seasons in the
air, every time I see the full moon. She made such an
event out of the little things in life, didn’t she?”
“She definitely did. She placed great importance on
ceremonies and symbolism and things like that,” Anna
said. “I see so many things the same way she did because
she taught us how.”
“I do, too. What she did to the exact spot where Dad
had his car wreck is a perfect example.”
“Well, a lot of people do a similar thing. I see
markers on the side of the road all the time. Standing
crosses with bouquets of flowers under them at the scene
of a fatal accident. It’s a commemoration of a particular
place where something significant happened.”
“Yes, but it was so much more to Mom than that,”
Lucia reminded Anna. “That’s why she buried the key
where Dad got in the accident. Do you recall that night?
It was only two days after Dad died, but somehow Mom
managed to set aside her grief in order to take care of
business. She woke us up after midnight and told us to
get in the car because we were going to conduct a
March 18, 1999