First chapter: Fire & Rain
Previous chapter: Expiration
It was eerie being inside a near stranger’s house alone. Kelsey winced as she heard the linoleum squeak beneath her sneaker. She made her way towards the living room and tapped on the walls to bring up Barbara’s wall app. She was stunned when nothing lit up. What sort of archaic shit was this woman into?
Kelsey idly glanced towards the candles. The woman had multitudes of those in here. Candles were thought to summon spirits when used correctly or to honour perished loved ones.
She lit some of the candles nearest to her. They were all in a row. She looked at the window. Luckily, this room only had windows facing the backyard. Nobody should notice from the street. Kelsey closed her eyes and calmed her mind. She wasn’t exactly sure what she was trying to do here. She half-expected the house to somehow give her some guidance, or maybe some part of her would explain what the hell was going on.
The flames leapt towards the ceiling with a whoosh! Kelsey’s eyes flew open, worried that something was going to catch ablaze. She looked around the room, but it was silent and still. Until a shadow appeared in front of her. It didn’t have a face but it had the form of something once human. Kelsey chewed on a hangnail. Who was supposed to speak first in this sort of scenario, anyway?
The air grew cold as the voice begin to speak. It sounded familiar.
“You have been vastly underestimating yourself,” it began. “We have been trying to contact you. But you have not heard us. Know this: You should not be so reckless as to expect that nobody understands what you can do.”
Kelsey raised an eyebrow.
“So you’re just ghosting up in here to tell me that I’m special or whatever. That’s cool, because I already know that.” She wondered how they were trying to contact her. She would have noticed if shadowy figures had been showing up in her life recently.
“Oh, good god. Child, you’ve got to be more careful,” the spectre pleaded with Kelsey. “People can see you. They know. They’ve been told.”
“Okay, cool,” Kelsey nodded her head as she processed this information. So were these ghosts the ones gunking up her bathtub? So gross. Spirits had the worst manners. “So people know I can do shit. But it’s not like they can do anything about it. My life is as boring as hell, I assure you. If someone was gonna hurt me they would’ve done it by now.”
“She is deeply conflicted, child. We know,” the shadowy figure sighed and the air in the room shifted, sending chills down Kelsey’s legs. “She blames us for what happened to your parents.”
“Okay wait…” Kelsey held up her hands in defeat. “Do you mean ‘us’ as in you guys, whoever that is, or ‘us’ as in including me?”
“You’re just like us,” the figure explained. “But we are no longer in this plane of existence. We have passed on. Others like you. Our abilities have evolved as well as faded over time. The ones who use hexes and spells continuously will find their abilities become stronger over time. But these abilities can also lie dormant and grow weaker if not used.”
Kelsey sighed, clearly annoyed. “It would be really great if you people had told me this way sooner. Like way sooner. Also, next time you want to talk to me, can you not ooze into my bathtub?”
The shadows shifted, but didn’t say anything in response. Maybe they liked getting slime everywhere. Lovely.
“Hey, so… Can you teach me how to do stuff? Like, I can be your Padawan learner.” Kelsey nodded in exaggerated enthusiasm. “I could wear a cloak and everything.”
“We are not here to teach you how to hone your abilities. If you used them for other things aside from solving petty arguments with boys on bikes and aggravating androids you would have a solid handle on them.” The spectre paused. “The one closest to you is your nemesis. It is she who seeks to dispose of your abilities, if not you.”
Kelsey’s thoughts flew back to the dream she had had recently. The words that were spoken. She can’t be trusted! It wasn’t us!
It was this. This shadow figure person thing. But if they weren’t talking about Barbara, then why was she in the old woman’s house? That was a waste of amateur detective abilities.
“Literally the only people close to me are a cat named Hiddleston, an android I happily aggravate, and my weirdo sister.” Kelsey shrugged. “And I guess this kid I work with at the 7-Eleven. He’s pretty cool.”
“The one closest to you seeks to ruin you,” the spirit reminded Kelsey. If spirits could be annoyed, this one was beginning to sound that way.
“Oh, so it’s Hannah. My sister literally wants to murder me in the face. Fucking figures.”