Mirabel was only vaguely aware of her mother asking her if she was okay, and surprisingly Mirabel was okay. There was plenty of dirt and dust but not a scratch on her.
Mirabel heard her Tia Pepa calling out for Mama and she didn’t want mama to go but she couldn’t be selfish. Everyone else needed mama. Mirabel didn’t. She wasn’t worth it.
Even if her mama could still heal somehow Mirabel wasn’t worth being healed. After all she was defective. Defective and giftless and worthless and the reason Casita fell.
Mirabel only barely realized she was looking up when she saw Dolores helping a lost looking Abuela sit on a piece of rubble while Camilo asked what they were going to do and what was going to happen to Antonio.
Antonio…Mirabel’s favorite family member who didn’t care that she had been giftless. Her little hombrecito who had just gotten his gift yesterday. And now he had lost it. Because of her.
She…She had to leave. She didn’t know where she would go but she couldn’t stay here. Couldn’t stay here knowing that she was to blame for all of this. That she had broken their home and their miracle. All because she had tried to be the same as them. Bright, shining, Amazing.
All because she had tried to be something she isn’t. Something she would never be. After all…they were stars and she? She was just the defective black sheep of the family.
Something inside of her broke at that thought and she dropped the burnt out husk remains of the magic candle as she stumbled away.
She couldn’t stay here. She had to leave.
She never noticed some of the rubble of Casita moving away from her and how the plants and trees moved out of her way to give her a clear path to the mountain that had been split open.
She heard them yelling and calling for her vaguely as she made her way through the mountain and paused at a stream. Something about the river…it called out to her and she couldn’t help but collapse there and sit, her head buried in her arms.
She didn’t know how long she sat there, only that suddenly it went from dark at night to morning…and that she only looked up when she felt someone or something approach her. She didn’t know how she had known someone was walking towards her, she just knew that someone was.
She didn’t even have to look up to know it was her Abuela. It was as if she could feel the woman and knew who she was immediately.
She didn’t even look up as she spoke.
“I never meant to hurt us….I just…I just wanted to be something I’m not.” Mirabel spoke the words as if they didn’t cause an intense burn in her throat as she finally admitted aloud what she had known from the very night of her fifth birthday. That she wasn’t like them. That she was different…a defect.
That she wasn’t special like they were.
“I’ve…never been able to come back here. This river…is where we were given our Miracle.” Abuela said after a moment and Mirabel looked up slowly. That wasn’t what she had expected, she had thought Abuela would scream or yell, would curse her name and perhaps push her into the river.
Instead she listened to her Abuela talk about how she had thought she would be a different woman, and she somehow saw her Abuela’s past. As if she were living through it herself from her Abuela’s eyes. She saw how she had met Abuelo, saw how they had fallen in love and gotten married, saw her Abuela tell him about their triplets, saw as the triplets were born and then not even an hour later the young parents were forced to flee their home and go into the mountains.
She saw from her Abuela’s eyes as the invaders caught up with the fleeing refugees, saw how Abuelo kissed her and their children before turning and walking out to plead with the invaders. She saw from her Abuela’s eyes as her Abuelo was cut down in cold blood while her Abuela broke down and the magic flared.
She saw as the triplets were given their gifts, saw how Abuela was so focused on the miracle and keeping it alive, believing it to be her last link to Pedro, that she had forgotten just who the miracle was for.
Mirabel saw it all and then suddenly she was back in her own body and had noticed a yellow butterfly landing on a reed. The same one she saw in the vision.
Pulling her grandmother into the water Mirabel embraced her, hugging her grandmother for the first time in ten years. And there was a swarm of golden butterflies flying around them in a tornado almost.
It wasn’t until they got back to the rubble of Casita that things started to be more noticeable and everyone noticed something strange going on.
It started when the adults noticed how parts of the rubble seemed to move away from Mirabel.
It was little things though, some rubble shifting here, some sand moving there. Little things that could be tricks of the light or their eyes playing tricks on them.
It wasn’t until something much bigger happened that they couldn’t write it off or ignore it.
Mirabel had been trying to corral the children helping out to get them away rom a more unstable part of the rubble when a big piece of rubble came down right towards Antonio and Cecil.
“No!” There were shouts and cries of worry and horror but Mirabel is the one who lunged forward to try and shield the children from the rubble.
After a minute of no pain and several started and confused murmurs Mirabel dared to raise her head and blinked slowly at the sight of the rubble floating there above them.
“What the hell?” Mirabel gaped at the sight of the rubble floating over them. It began to fall again and Mirabel yelped, throwing her hands up as if to shield her head from the rubble.
The rubble that had been falling towards her was thrown clear into the sky and away.
“…But…But the candle is gone? And even if it wasn’t I don’t have a gift.” Mirabel said staring down at her hands confused.
“Well something is obviously going on.” Camilo said staring at her along with everyone else.
“Can you do that again? Without being in danger?” Isabela asked and she was grinning slightly unhinged as she looked at her sister who stared at her and then stared at her hands.
“..I…do not know.” Mirabel said and she and Isabela stared at each other before they slowly began to give matching rather unhinged grins.
“Let’s test it out!” The two cried out in unison and they raced off to see if Mirabel could make other things move or freeze in place.
“Girls please don’t go overboard! We don’t even know what’s going on or if Mirabel did that!” Julieta called after the two of them looking worried.
“See if you can throw something heavy!” Pepa however was all for the testing and was racing after the two feral gremlins.
"Why now? Why would her gift come in now when the candle is gone and ours are gone?" Alma asked baffled as she stared after the three feral women.
"I'm not sure it is one. We had a feeling and knew about our gifts, she had no clue of hers... It's...different." Bruno muttered staring after his sobrinas and hermana worried.