The London Museum of Art was a mish-mash of a modernist building which allowed for a riot of sumptuous color and brick work. Flushed with distinct smells and aromas of paints and artifacts. Underpinned by archaic, gothic styled towers enhancing distinct baroque undertones.
Prue emerged from under her ruby red wrap looking dressed to impress. She was wearing a burgundy, figure-hugging bodiced camisole with thin straps, a matching silk skirt filled with a patchwork of wine-red delicate floral patterns. She’d worn black strapless sandals going against Piper’s advice of boots, a more suitable, sensible choice for this weather.
“You’ll probably catch cold and end up in bed for days. With me having to play nurse.” Piper had warned her.
Upon arrival Phoebe immediately began exploring every aspect of the museum and the extraordinary artifacts. She was going to soak up all the cultural atmosphere of the exhibits and their history like she was actually there herself in that time frame. After all you never could tell when knowing some little detail about those objects and their past may come in handy in their everyday lives as the Charmed Ones. A small clue could prove extremely helpful if they ever happened to chance upon an evil demon or warlock from an ancient realm. Or another continent, such as Europe or Asia.
She found the interior boasted a rococo building with a carved alabaster doorway. A quartet of atlantes were strategically placed over ledges pouring water from amphorae; bathed in creams, caramels and pewter.
Other parts of the interior of the museum walls were brand new, lushly decorated with polished, pastel, granite tiles. Spotlessly clean. Neo classic with symmetrical arches modeled on the Venetian look, like giant paper origami structures. Porcelain figurines were dotted about the place, along with a churrigueresque façade. They would have been temples of worship for lovers of modern as well as classical art freaks everywhere.
The esplanades contained Spanish and medieval ceramics and relics. Greek and Roman works of art. Paintings by Goya. Sculptures by Benvenuto Cellini.
Phoebe was most fascinated by a bejeweled chalice. Encrusted with sapphires and the most intricate, delectable emeralds and opals. This must have a glorious story to tell. Reading the inscription in the glass case, she found it was from Spain at the time of the Spanish Moors in 711 AD.
Most of Spain and Valencia had been under Moorish rule for five centuries. A period which was dominated by the legendary Castillian Knight called El Cid. Moorish culture had brought many increases to the land, irrigation helped to nurture and oranges were planted. This bought in Argonese kings intent on taking the city for themselves. Hence the need for people to have conjured spirits such as djinns to rid their land from outsiders.
Apparently the chalice was surrounded by a myth. It was once used to capture and imprison a great djinn called Sabroh. He had been conjured by the dervishes and the Moors to aid them in their fight against their oppressors and the infidels in Valencia, Spain, during the fifteenth century. This was not so much a genie in a bottle; as a demon, a djinn in a decanter. Phoebe laughed.
“Well it’s not exactly I Dream of Jeannie.”
“Did you see that girl? She was dressed in the same clothes as me! The nerve of some people.” Prue was green with envy.
“Well Prue honey, you’re not exactly wearing a ‘one-off’ off the rack original are you? Get over your clothes and what you look like, that’s so passe!” Piper commented.
“No, it was, is, an original, the woman in the store said so. I want a refund!”
“Since when were you so gullible and believed everything a shop assistant told you?” Piper replied.
“Since I spent a small fortune!” Huffed Prue.
Phoebe wasn’t even listening to Prue’s lamenting. Someone else had grabbed her attention. She was shocked and surprised at actually meeting the mysterious stranger who had just bumped into Prue and caused her to spill her drink. Was it accidentally on purpose, she thought?
But Prue’s clothes were furthest from her mind. At this point in time, like Prue, she was only interested in that girl, but for different reasons. Could it really be? Was it really the girl in her dreams? As opposed to the girl of her dreams. Well the one she’d been dreaming of subconsciously.
It must be her because she looked the same. Brown eyes, auburn-brown hair, and rosy lips. Resembling Phoebe in many ways; mannerisms, gestures, but yet still different enough to retain her own identity. Who was she? Having an inquisitive nature she had to investigate.
“Hello. Forgive my sister making that awful scene back there. She’s really protective about her clothes. Her entire wardrobe in fact. We can’t borrow anything of hers without her permission or knowledge. She’s got such a large collection but instinctively knows when something goes missing. I’m Phoebe by the way.”
“You know I assumed my outfit was an original. I have this eclectic sense of dress or so people tell me. I usually wear clothes that are meant to be worn on a specific part of the body somewhere else. You know shawls as tops and scarves as skirts. I’m also into that new age retro style. I suppose it’s because I have to wear conservative suits to work. Not everyone’s heard of dressing down yet. OH I’m sorry to go on about clothes – I’m probably boring you. To say the least.”
“You’re not boring me. Believe me with two sisters around you get used to all sorts of things and in a hurry too.”
“Ooh, my name’s Perdita. Pleased to meet you.”
Perdita extended her hand towards Phoebe in a friendly gesture. Phoebe took her hand and they shook. Suddenly the two them froze as an intense energy passed from their hands and entered their bodies. They felt the full force of a mystical field as though a bolt of lightening jarred every inch of their life force. An earth shattering experience.
Phoebe had a vision and Perdita had one too. Each wondered if the other could feel what she had felt. Sensed what each had seen. They pulled away quickly. Then stood motionless. Their gaze firmly transposed upon one other.
Phoebe and Perdita had seen a book in their collective visions. A generic family tree. Phoebe immediately recognized it as being their own. Gram’s name was near the middle and Melinda Warren near the top. But there was something else too. Phoebe had seen another picture. It was a glass prison and someone, a girl, trapped within its scarlet glare. Flashing colors radiating all around. Neither was aware of the prophetic vision or its consequences which would eventually present themselves in a most dangerous and evil manner.