So, time jumped back this weekend. While I love the extra hour it does mean one depressing thing—far more darkness. And early. I’m starting to realize why summer really is my favourite season. Not for the heat. It’s the endless daylight. Being able to run at 9 at night if I want. Watching the sun set at 10:30. Having twilight last until 11. I love the fall weather. The cool temperatures and the colours. Leaves scattered along the ground as I run. But the darkness—guess I need to become a vampire or werewolf. Something to get into the prolonged nights.
Anyway, It’s another picture flash fiction. I love the photo for this one. So many ways it can go. This short excerpt is a hint at a story I have been wanting to write for some time, but haven’t gotten there yet…a paranormal thriller. Maybe soon…
“You can’t go on like this, Sarah. It’s killing you.”
Sarah Kendall glanced at William—her brother, not to mention her only friend—across her shoulder, noting the creases furrowing his brow. How the fine lines around his mouth had pulled tight. His usual calm exterior had vanished, leaving a side of him she rarely witnessed. Not since she’d locked the rest of the world out. Hidden away inside their house.
He arched a brow. “You need to call the Bureau. Report it. You won’t find peace until you do.”
She looked away, staring out at the setting sun. Dark clouds stained the horizon, the promise of rain heavy in the breeze that carried through the open window, billowing the curtains pulled to either side. She released a weary breath, wishing she could simply turn it all off. “You know what they’ll say.”
“Since when are you concerned about what others think about you?”
Anger heated her cheeks as she spun to face him. “Since it cost me everything.”
William crossed his arms over his chest. “You were the one who pushed everyone away. Pushed him away.”
“Do you think I wanted to? Do you think I enjoy locking myself up in this god forsaken house?” She snorted. “I had no other choice.”
“You could have told him. It’s not like he doesn’t know about your…gift.”
“Gift?” She laughed, the sound brittle. “It’s a fucking curse.” She tapped her head. “And it’s only getting worse.”
She turned away again, palming the windowsill when another vision slammed into her. A hint of smoke curled around her, the feel of rough stone cold against her feet. Chains clanked against the rock walls, patches of sunlight creating shadowed boxes on the floor. A hollow cry filled her head, followed by nothing, but silence.
She swallowed past the lump in her throat—the bitter taste of bile making her cough. Noises sounded around her, the telltale clatter of objects crashing to the floor breaking the quiet. Hands cupped her arms, William’s breath warm against her neck.
“Breathe. Just listen to my voice and slow your breathing.” His fingers squeezed slightly when another object impacted the floor behind them. “Rein it in, honey.”
She wanted to scream. Tell him she had no fucking clue how to rein it in. How to stop the room from shaking, keep his thoughts from bombarding her in an unrelenting stream inside her mind. How to push the images from her head without losing what little remained of her sanity. Of her!
Instead, she drew a few shaky breaths, gradually allowing the power to seep back beneath the surface. A brief respite from the all-consuming nightmare that followed her around like a shadow. She didn’t know why it hit so hard then retreated, but she wasn’t going to waste the few moments of relative peace.
William wrapped his arms around her. “You can’t keep this inside. It used to get better when you talked about it. Shared it.”
“That was before they deemed me a freak. Before it got this bad. This strong.”
“You mean before you left him.”
“I couldn’t trust myself not to hurt him. Fuck, Will, I sent him flying across the room because of an argument. A stupid, bloody argument.” She let her head bow to her chest. “What if I’d really been angry?”
“You never would have hurt him. I know you, Sarah, and that’s not who you are.”
She eased out of his embrace, putting some much needed distance between them. “You mean what I am. And you haven’t got a clue what I’m truly capable of.”
“Power or not, you’re still the girl I grew up with. Still my sister.”
His footsteps echoed through the room before his hands grabbed her shoulders, spinning her to face him. “Don’t fucking do this. Don’t push me away because you know I’m right. And I don’t care if we’re related by blood or not.”
She looked away, leaning her back against the wall. “You’re right. I didn’t mean it that way, it’s just…” She glanced up at him. “You’re the only one who doesn’t think I’m crazy.”
He smiled, tucking some hair behind her ear. “That’s because I already know you are.”
His smile faded. “You need to tell the Feds what you know. What you’ve seen. The visions won’t stop until you do.”
“Telling the Feds won’t stop them. You know that.”
“But it’ll ease your conscience. Maybe let you get some sleep. Keep some food down.”
Her chin quivered. “He’s leading the investigation. I checked.”
William muttered under his breath. “So make an anonymous call. The sooner they catch this creep, the sooner this stops.”
“But that’s the problem. It’s never going to stop. Not until I either learn to control it, or it kills me. And I haven’t been able to gain the upper hand in twenty years.”
William thumbed her jaw. “Then we’ll just have to try harder.” He eased back. “I’ll come and get you once it’s dark. Drive you to that old phone booth by the mechanic’s shop. Harder to trace that way.”
She watched him head for the door. “You don’t have to do this, you know.”
He gazed back at her. “Drive you across town?”
“Stay here with me. You get to live your own life. Don’t you think it’s about time you found someone nice and settled down?”
“And miss making you crazy?” He shook his head. “Try to sleep for a couple of hours. I’ll wake you when it’s time.”
Sarah sighed as her brother left, once again staring out the window. William was right about one thing. She was crazy, and it didn’t look as if her sanity was anywhere close to returning.
That’s it for me. Now visit the rest of the gang and see what they came up with.
Bronwyn Green | Jessica Jarman | Kellie St. James
Jessica De La Rosa | Paige Prince