Real Name: Phoebe Wyler
Powers/Special Skills: hereditary power over Eclipse rings
Special Weapons/Tools/Armor: Eclipse rings grant control over light and darkness
Other Aliases: none
“Jesus. Why doesn’t anyone ever clean this crap up?”
Dust hung in the air of the old, musty attic. Rotting cardboard boxes were haphazardly stacked on top of each other, seeming to vomit old clothes, books, and miscellaneous keepsakes on to the plywood floor. A single lightbulb flickered its light erratically, casting eerie shadows on the rafters and the dark-haired woman’s face.
Phoebe shook her head and sighed. Her mother had been such a packrat in her day. Always stopping at yard sales and flea markets for useless trinkets and such, and then always ultimately putting them up here to sit forever unseen.
She brushed aside a cobweb and sat down next too a stack of boxes. She pulled down the first, marked 1955-1960, and set it on the ground before her, pulling out the items within. She found old newspaper articles, black-and-white photographs of family members, most of whom she’d never met. She found one of her mom in her teenage years. Tears began to well up in her eyes.
Phoebe’s mother had passed away three days ago. The wake had been this morning, and Phoebe had been the only one willing to go through her stuff so they could sell her house, the house she and her two brothers had lived in when they were children. Karen Wyler had been a good mother, even if she wasn’t there a lot.
Phoebe quickly dried her tears, shoved the papers and pictures back in the box, and grabbed the next one from the pile. The first thing that struck her eye was a small chest, about the size of her fist. She placed it in her lap and opened it. Inside was a folded scrap of paper. She unfolded it and, for reasons she couldn’t explain, began to shake even before she read what the note said.
“Phoebe, if you’ve found this I have passed on. There’s something very important you must know. Something I should have told you long ago. Please know that I kept it from you only to keep you from becoming like me. I’ve hidden something in the eye of the Bee Man. You and I are the only ones who know what that means. I pray it’s still there by the time you get this. I love you.”
Phoebe’s heart skipped a beat. She hadn’t even thought about the Bee Man in ages, since she was a little girl. There was an oak tree in their front yard, and one summer, around the age of three, Phoebe had been playing alone at its base. Suddenly, a swarm of bees had emerged from a hole in the oak’s trunk and stung Phoebe very badly. From that day forward, Phoebe wouldn’t go near the tree, and because it somewhat resembled a human with its broad trunk and thick branches, she had named it the Bee Man. The hole from which the bees had flown was in an appropriate enough place to call it the Bee Man’s eye.
But what the Hell could she have put in there?
Phoebe was ready for a break from the nasty attic anyway, so she stood and walked downstairs and out the front door. And there was the Bee Man, much less frightening than he had been those many years ago. And yet as she moved closer, she realized that she was still somewhat frightened, and that the tree really did look a lot like a twisted, brutish man.
She raised her hand to reach into the hole, pulled back in fear, and cursed. She shook her head, gritted her teeth, and finally plunged her head into the Bee Man’s eye, her own eye’s squeezed shut. No bees came this time.
A breath of relief escaped her lips as she moved her hand around inside the oak’s trunk, searching for something, searching for anything. She touched nothing but bark. Disappointed, she pulled her hand back out of the tree and as she did, her finger brushed against something soft. She jumped as she watched a small white clump fall from the tree’s orifice on to the dirt between its roots.
She stooped and picked up the object, realizing it was a was cotton. Something small but solid had been wrapped inside. This had better be good, she thought as she unraveled the cotton ball.
A small silver ring fell into her palm. She turned it over, realizing how familiar it looked. She held up her other hand and on it was the ring her mother had given her a few years ago, just before becoming ill. It had been a Christmas present, a tiny silver circle with a picture of a sun etched into it.
The ring she’s just found was identical in every way but one – instead of a sun, it showed a picture of a crescent moon. Phoebe was again disappointed until she discovered that on the cotton, her mother had scribbled another note.
“Phoebe, I pray it’s you reading this and not someone with less morals. It’s time for you to know the truth about your ancestors. The ring you just found and the one I gave you before were worn by your great-great-great grandmother, and have been passed down to the first-born daughter of every generation since.
But these rings are no ordinary rings. They hold in them great power. Whoever wears the rings is given the ability to control darkness and light, but only when she wears both rings simultaneously. I used this power to defend the world from evil. That is why I was gone so much, and why I missed so much of your childhood. For that I am sorry.
I wore these rings together until I gave you the Ring of Light. You see, when you use the power held within them, they take something back from you. A piece of your mind, perhaps, or maybe even your soul. Whatever it was, they were killing me. I knew I had to stop wearing them, but that I could never let them be together on your hands. That is why I gave you only one, and hid the other here. But I now realize that there’s no stopping you from receiving your birthright. It would have happened someday anyway.
Please, my lovely daughter, use these rings for the good of the world. Let them be your weapon against those that would hurt the innocent, because that is there true purpose. But please, don’t let them kill you. I know you will wear them well. I love you, dear Phoebe.”
Awestruck, Phoebe stood re-reading the note with her mouth hanging agape. There was no way this was real, was there? She looked down at the moon-engraved ring, pinched between the tips of her index finger and thumb.
But what if?
She let the ring slide slowly onto her ring finger, and both of them began to glow with a golden aura.