First chapter: Fire & Rain
Previous chapter: Answers
The chipmunks Hannah had tried to tame had always bitten her. It aggravated her that even the smallest animal couldn’t understand that all Hannah wanted to do was help. With her focus turned to Kelsey and trying to make sure she had a decently normal life took entirely too much energy out of her. Why did Kelsey always get to have everything her way?
Hannah was heading home from the restaurant where she had just enjoyed dinner with some of her friends. She bet Kelsey would just be sitting at home messing around with her wall apps. Hannah’s therapist had told her to be supportive of Kelsey. But how could someone support something so innately destructive? It blew her mind how Kelsey didn’t even see the destruction she caused. She erased the incidents surrounding their parents’ death like they weren’t even there. But Hannah knew what happened.
Kelsey was the one who hurt small birds only to heal them up again. She tormented the little animals Hannah tried to nurture alone. Kelsey thrived on being alone because nobody would want to be around her on purpose. Hannah would inwardly seethe with rage at how ignorant her younger sister would remain towards the pain she had caused so many others. She heard about the student who spontaneously burst into flame on the same campus Kelsey had attended. That was no mere accident. What would it take for the suffering to stop? Hannah took a deep breath. She gripped the steering wheel tighter as she inhaled and loosed her hold as she exhaled. Much better. Everything would be fine. After all, maybe she was much too passive. Kelsey was just the opposite. Only nobody ever knew. Kelsey could create pain and mayhem without anyone knowing it was her. That wasn’t passive. That was just dirty. But Hannah could confront her. Tell her that the elephant in the room must be addressed. Her real or imagined “super” powers had to go. And if they wouldn’t go, Hannah would make them stop.
Hannah pulled the car into the garage and got out. The house was dark. It was only 8:30 at night. There wasn’t even the familiar blue glow of a wall app in use. The windows were dark and the house was quiet.
“Good evening, Hannah.”
Hannah almost jumped out of her skin. She hated when Arthur did that.
“Arthur, I’ve told you a million times. Please have at least one light on when you’re home alone. I know you can see in the dark but for the sake of my sanity, I beg you. Keep a light on.”
“My apologies,” Arthur retreated back into the house as Hannah followed him in from the garage. “I must inform you that your sister has not been at home for a few hours.”
That was odd. Kelsey’s schedule was pinned to the fridge and there weren’t any shifts tonight. “Do you know where she went?”
“She is not one to explain her whereabouts to me, unfortunately,” explained Arthur monotonously. He was probably just glad to be free of Kelsey’s harassment for the time being.
“That’s chill. Thanks for letting me know, Arthur.” Hannah stretched as she walked into the living room where Hiddleston blinked at her sleepily. He clearly blamed her for disturbing his perfect peace. “Sorry, old man,” Hannah remarked as she chose a seat next to him.
She ended up falling asleep for a short time. Driving made her so sleepy. She was awoken by the front door opening and her sister shuffling inside.
“Kelsey? Where were you?”
“I dunno. Breaking into shit and whatever,” mumbled Kelsey. Even in the dark, Hannah knew she was glaring at the person who dared question her location. “It’s cool.”
“Wait, seriously? Uh… Kelsey, can we ta-”
“Yeah. We can talk.”
“You want to?”
“Don’t act so surprised,” Kelsey offered a half-hearted laugh. “We gotta air some shit out.”
“Oh, we do?” Of course it was going to be turned around on Hannah. Kelsey was always the victim. She was the worst.
“Yeah, beloved sister of mine. We really do.” Kelsey plopped down in an armchair across from Hannah. She slumped down and stared at Hannah, her dark eyes shining forth from the shadows. “But first, lets get some lights on, shall we?” The light switch across the room flicked upwards as Kelsey and Hannah sat staring at each other. Hannah jolted, uncomfortable, as the room lit up. Hiddleston yawned and stretched. Then suddenly the cat was airborne as he floated gently towards Kelsey’s armchair. He landed in Kelsey’s lap. The trip seemed to make him sleepier and succeeded in making Hiddleston fall back asleep curled up against Kelsey.
Hannah was biting the insides of her cheeks in an effort to not scream at Kelsey. Her sister was a goddamn witch and didn’t even care about flaunting around her magic tricks. She was not going to have any more of this nonsense.
“Kelsey, I swear to god you’re going to stop doing that shit to me!” Hannah’s voice was much louder than she intended, but her screaming had the desired effect.
Kelsey’s eyes flashed in defiance. “Doing shit to you? You really think I’ve done anything to you? Ever? I’ve stayed out of your way my entire life and never done shit to you. But oh, yeah. It’s always your psycho little sister fucking up your life. I get it.”
“You’ve put hexes on me, I know you have. You’ve made it so that I can’t leave this godforsaken little town and these basic ass people,” Hannah fired back. “You think I haven’t noticed? Do you think I don’t know? Just because you don’t do anything like fly Hiddleston around and open windows without touching them doesn’t mean I didn’t know.”
Kelsey smiled darkly. Like she was expecting Hannah to have said all of this. But that was impossible. Even Hannah didn’t know that she would have said all of this. “You’re such a sweet sister. You’re always looking out for me, Hannah. But you know what? Your chicken salad wraps suck ass. And your friends only like you because they’re so bored in their mundane lives that they would literally befriend a pinecone rather than stay cooped up in their perfect little cul-de-sac the whole day.” Kelsey sighed. “They might even miss having you around to complain to all day. It’s too bad I’m going to have to kill you.” Hiddleston perked up, sensing Kelsey’s energy. He looked at Hannah then hopped off Kelsey’s lap before trotting briskly out of the room. Kelsey smiled. Hannah looked uneasy.
“Haven’t you caused enough death in this fucking accursed house, Kelsey?” Hannah gritted her teeth. “You don’t have the guts to lay a finger on me. You just want to cause me endless misery. The only real happy times I have are when I am not in this hexed-up house with you.”
Kelsey tipped her head back and closed her eyes. “Then maybe you should just leave.“