In mythology seer refers to a prophet, one able to divine future events. One of the most famous, of course, being Cassandra, or Alexandra, the prophetess who foretold the fall of Troy. Her gift was both a blessing and a burden, since Apollo cursed her so no one would believe her. In stories since, Seers have often been treated as nut jobs or quacks, depicted as swindling gypsies reading fortunes in crystal balls. Seers in the world of my series don’t always see the future, but being the only humans privy to the vampire world, they’re certainly as mistrusted by many members of either coven.
Seer – A human with the gift of being able to sense and sometimes manipulate others’ emotions. Seers have traditionally always been males; Alex is the exception to this. Their gift is hereditary and matures to full strength sometime around twenty, a process many don’t survive due to the physical toll it takes on one’s body. Over history, different Seers have developed different powers to varying degrees, almost all related to affecting others’ emotions. The exceptions to this are their ability to communicate with other Seers through a dream-like state and their ability to predict future events through visions seen in their dreams. Both of these abilities, though, are extremely rare.
Seers age slower, develop stronger essence, and heal quicker than average humans, possibly allowing them to live as long as vampires. No one knows for sure, because no Seer has ever died a natural death.
As soon as Alex’s character and her gift had developed in my imagination I began calling her a Seer. I knew what she did wasn’t what the seers from mythology or other stories did, but still it seemed to fit. She can See a part of a person that no one else can and that many try to hide: their emotions.
Merriam-Webster’s second definition for seer includes, “a person credited with extraordinary moral and spiritual insight.” This definition suits Alex, as well. Her sense of her and others’ emotions acts as a moral compass. She can feel others’ motivations and intentions and is therefore an excellent judge of character—when she manages to get out of her own way.
So although at first glance it might have seemed like I went off course in calling her a Seer, I think I got it right. Besides, who’s to say what powers will be unveiled in future books!
Excerpt from the opening of Unveiled:
His fingers gently twirled the strands of her hair that spilled onto the pillowcase. He was careful not to touch her otherwise. In that brief moment between her body waking and her mind—and her sense—being aware of it, Alex released a contented sigh. The sound, so rare in recent weeks, or perhaps Markus’s strong emotional reaction to it, roused her fully. Sensing him so close, her whole body stiffened before she could suppress it.
The second sigh ought to have been that of her lover and soon-to-be mate, but Markus stifled it for her sake. It was a futile gesture. Alex was now a matured Seer. Markus might have had three centuries of practice at playing the role of stoic vampire warrior, but ever since Alex’s powers had matured over a month ago, he hadn’t felt an emotion that she couldn’t sense. None of the five vampires whom she had lived with since June had the luxury of private feelings any longer. This was the ‘gift’ she had inherited, the ability to sense and sometimes alter the emotions of anyone in her vicinity. She’d caught glimpses of this power since she was a teen, but since her maturation what she felt was intense—and constant. There was no Off switch. If she had been awake, and they had been home, she sensed them, much to her . . . displeasure.
Though her eyes remained shut, her jaw clenched at the understatement, or maybe it was in reaction to Markus’s current emotions. He yearned to hold her, to comfort her. But physical contact only intensified her gift, causing the emotions of the one touching her to drown out her own. Extended embraces were inconceivable. After weeks of longing to curl up in his arms, though, she understood his desire. What she couldn’t stand was the pity that accompanied it.
Would you ever want to know the future before it happened? What if, like Cassandra, no one would listen? (And on a related note, does anyone else remember the television show “Early Edition”? I loved that show.)