First chapter: Fire & Rain
Previous chapter: Smiles
Seeing Barbara at 7-Eleven annoyed Kelsey. Turtle Creek was a small town, but it wasn’t that small. Her presence reminded her of what she had said about Kelsey’s parents. The false sincerity. It left a bad taste in her mouth.
Something else was off about Barbara. She seemed vaguely hypocritical. The way she would silently despise Kelsey, but be openly curious about her. Barbara knew Kelsey was different, but how?
That night, Kelsey went to bed with a throbbing headache. It wasn’t a fun Saturday. A mundane shift at work that she wasn’t supposed to work, and a silent house welcoming her back. The silence wasn’t so bad in itself. But it felt as though something else was there. It unnerved Kelsey. And she wasn’t easily unnerved.
Where was Hannah? Kelsey liked to pretend she didn’t care about her sister’s whereabouts. But truth be told, she liked when she would text to let Kelsey know she wouldn’t be home.
Falling asleep, her dreams were turbulent. Dark shapes swirled towards her earnestly. The wind tore at her skin. Something clutched her temples and suddenly there were words. Don’t trust her! Don’t listen to her! She can’t be trusted! It wasn’t us! The air was cold and dark, and it felt as though her head was still being grabbed onto. Kelsey fought back, desperate to tell herself (because who else would be in her dreams?) to protect herself, get away, or wake up. Something, anything.
She bolted awake. Grabbing her phone, she saw it was 2:12 a.m. It was Sunday now. She shivered and slipped out of bed to pull on the sweater lying over the back of her office chair. So ironic. An office chair in a bedroom. There wasn’t anything the least bit office-like about this space. The walls were covered with art that disgusted Hannah. She called it “freaky nonsense”. How else would someone like her describe depictions of bug-eyed animals, warped children, and pale monsters? Tonight, Kelsey wished her art actually was slightly less menacing. She felt like one of the aliens she painted was looking at her.
Kelsey rubbed her temples. Her headache was gone. She had woken up without it. It’s like whatever had grabbed her head was the cause of the pain in the first place. Could it happen? Something could have been trying to contact her. But why wasn’t it getting ahold of her in the real world?
Racking her brain, she couldn’t find answers. She turned on her wall app and searched for answers from others. Ghosts exist. Witches exist. Monsters and aliens and demons, oh my. But were any of these accounts true? Did these people who put their tales online really experience this? There was a difference between victims, witnesses, and attention whores.
Kelsey sighed and tapped off her wall app. She could figure this out on her own. She was clever. She knew she had abilities. She wasn’t in contact with many people. The voice she heard in her dreams had to be talking about someone dangerous she had already met.
That didn’t exactly leave many options. Kelsey openly hated people. It’s not like many would willingly engage with her.
Her eyes narrowed.
Next chapter: Expiration