Taryn turned the tattered journal over in her hands absently, opening and closing it randomly, but not truly focusing on it as she stared out the window at nothing in particular. Her mind fought desperately to make sense of all the things she'd recently found out. All of her thoughts circled wildly, like dry leaves flying on a brisk autumn wind. As hard as she tried, her thoughts kept returning to two truths. Her parents were long dead before she'd ever had a chance to know them and her sister, who she'd only just found, was in the hands of a madman. The very same madman who was most likely responsible for her parents death. The same madman who had gleefully handed over the journal like a slap to the face. Slowly Taryn became aware of a warmth under her hand that was growing increasingly uncomfortable. As her eyes focused, she gazed down at the journal in her lap, astonished to see that the warmth was not coming from under her hand but, instead, from a strange glow emanating from the signet ring she always wore. Bemused, she lifted her hand to study the ring closer and the glow began to dissipate. She turned her attention to the journal and saw that the journal had fallen open to the back cover where there was a drawing that resembled the emblem on her signet ring. Taryn concentrated and slowly placed her hand back over the emblem. She realized that by focusing her attention, the warmth was bearable, and the emblem on the back cover began to dissolve along with the layer of parchment it was drawn on. When the parchment was completely dissolved, the glow on Taryn's ring faded and she saw revealed a folded paper, hidden where the back covering of the book had once concealed it. Carefully, curiously, she retrieved the document and unfolded the heavy paper. Her eyes widened as she read the first line, "My dearest daughters." She was so stunned that she nearly dropped what she realized was a letter, written in a clear, strong, feminine handwriting. Recovering herself, Taryn returned her attention to the letter. She began to slowly read, drinking in every word, looking for a clue or a sign that might help her understand and plan a course of action. She re-read the letter twice more before folding it, with tears streaming down her face, and placing it back at the back of the journal and closing the book. Taryn gently brushed her hand over the worn cover and murmured to herself, "There's nothing to do but go forward...and pray." Locking the journal carefully away, Taryn took a deep breath, squared her shoulders, and set out to gather the supplies she knew she'd need. As she stepped out the door, Taryn prayed as she'd never prayed before. --------------------------------------------- Meet Taryn Sullivan at the West Britain Counselor's Hall on Saturday, July 17th at 6:00 p.m. PST/9:00 p.m. EST to find out more.