The sun set over the sleepy little town of Sadie Falls, VA. Rayne Fallon shivered on the front porch and drew her shawl tightly about her slim body. The air was crisp, clean and chilly, just the way she liked it. Autumn had always been her favorite time of year. She glanced down at her watch – six-thirty-three. Clients would soon be at her door. She picked up her cup of chamomile tea and took a sip, sighing blissfully.
Rayne was the last of her kind in Southwestern Virginia, and as such, she kept quite busy. Her grandmother Sarah had taught her about herbs, how to grow and tend to them and how to turn them into tinctures for potions that healed various ailments. She’d inherited her mother Agnus’ gift of insight and learned to read tarot, the crystal ball, palms and tea leaves from her. Her aunt Lydia taught her all about crystals and stones and how they had the power to heal. Each woman had been born with unique gifts and passed down their knowledge to their children. Rayne’s gift was what her grandmother called ‘the seer’ since Rayne could see into the past and future without the use of tools.
Her entire family had been witches, and although they could help many of the folks around Sadie Falls, luck had not been with them. None of the women in the Fallon line could keep a mate. Men who found themselves involved with a Fallon woman ended up dead shortly after a child was conceived. Male children didn’t live long either. Only female children survived. It was an ancient curse going back to the 1600s when a priest cursed the first of the Fallon line, Anna Elizabeth Fallon. Rayne gave up any thoughts of taking a mate. She kept men at a distance. It was better that way. At 21, she would just live out her life alone and let the family line die with her.
Clasping her tea cup, Rayne stood up and walked into her modest cottage. She placed the cup in the sink and wandered over to her tinctures. Ella would be by soon for her weekly bottle of St. John’s Wart to calm her nerves. Amy would be by for a bottle of Echinacea for her daughter’s cold. Rayne gathered the two bottles and went to her setting room, placing them on a table by the door. She went over to a small cupboard and removed her tarot deck, a red candle and an amethyst stone. Ingrid would want a tarot reading. She’d been having relationship issues for a while. She placed the items on the round table between two settees. Her crystal ball sat in the center of the table, glistening in the dim light of the candles lit about the room. Satisfied that everything was in order, Rayne wandered back into the kitchen to put a kettle on. She’d just made a new blend of tea using hibiscus flowers, lemon grass and green tea. A perfect blend to calm anyone’s nerves for the night. She sat the kettle on the stove and turned on the gas.
Just as she reached for some cups from the cabinet, someone knocked on her door. She glanced down at her watch – six-forty-five. She wasn’t expecting anyone until seven. Maybe it was Ella or Amy showing up early. She grabbed two cups and placed them on the counter and then walked over to the door. She glanced out of the stain glass window. A man stood on her doorstep.
“Hello? May I help you?” Rayne called from inside her cottage. She wasn’t about to open the door to a stranger.
“Rayne Fallon?” the man asked.
Rayne shivered again, not from cold this time, but from a sense of doom that lingered in her stomach. “Yes, I am Rayne Fallon. And you are?”
“Special Agent Rick Harris. FBI, ma’am. I need to talk to you.”
FBI? Why in the world would the FBI be at her door? Rayne searched her memory, but couldn’t come up with a single reason an FBI agent would be on her doorstep, unless… did someone die from one of her potions? Fear gripped her deep in the gut.
“I’m sorry, could you tell me why you need to speak to me?”
“You’re not in trouble, ma’am, but it is urgent that I speak with you.”
Rayne breathed a sigh of relief. “Can I see some credentials?”
A sudden plop resounded on the window. Rayne squinted her eyes as she tried to make out the badge and name through the amber glass. Sure enough, he was who he said he was. At least, Rayne hoped he was who he said he was. She unleashed the chain on the door and slowly opened it. SA Rick Harris poked his head in the barely opened door and smiled at her.
“I assure you, ma’am. My intentions are merely case related.”
Rayne feigned a smile back at him and fully opened the door. She stood to the side and motioned for him to enter. As he ducked his head and stepped inside, she marveled at his features. He stood about six-feet tall and his head nearly touched the ceiling. He had black hair and bore a crew-cut. His blue eyes sparkled as he grinned at her.
“Lapis lazuli,” she murmured under her breath.
“Your eyes. Lapis lazuli. It’s a bright blue rock. Sorry, I just notice these kinds of things.”
Rick laughed. “People have said a lot of things about my eyes before, ma’am, but they’ve never compared them to a rock.”
“It’s a compliment, if that helps.”
Rick gave her a toothy smile and nodded his head. “Do you mind if we sit?”
“Where are my manners? Of course.” She walked over to one of the settees, waved her hand at it and then sat down on the other one.
Rick sat down. His well-defined body engulfed the entire small sofa. He glanced down at the objects on the table. “Tools of the trade?” he asked as he looked up at Rayne.
“You could say that.” Rayne didn’t like where this was going. Her kind had been persecuted throughout the centuries for being merely midwives and healers. “Could you just please tell me why you are here?”
“I didn’t mean to offend you. I have a cousin in New York City who does readings for a living. I was merely trying to break the ice.”
Rayne was about to say something sarcastic when the kettle’s whistle began to blow. “Excuse me. You wouldn’t by chance like a cup of herbal tea?”
Rick waved his hand. “No, ma’am. I prefer my drinks a bit stronger.”
Rayne raised her eyebrows. “Ah, I understand. I’ll just be a minute.”
She quickly entered the kitchen and turned off the kettle. Bracing herself against the sink, she took several deep breaths. That gloomy feeling had returned in her stomach. She ran her hands across her face and then over her auburn hair. She inhaled deeply and then exhaled. Composed again, she walked back into the seating room and took her seat. Still feeling a bit tense, Rayne crossed one leg over the other and folded her hands in her lap. She flashed Rick a nervous smile.
“Well… I guess I should just get straight to it,” Rick began. “I got your name from a woman online. I had posted that I was searching for a medium and she recommended you.”
Rayne furrowed her brow. Only a few local people knew she had the gift of seeing. She didn’t consider herself a medium by any means because she didn’t always see what people wanted her to see. Sometimes her visions were just random nothingness. Who could have given her up? Probably old Mrs. Thornton. She was the town busy-body.
“Call me Rick.”
Rayne sighed and then said defiantly, “Agent Harris, I don’t know who told you that I am a medium, but I can assure you, I am not.”
“She said you see things. Past and future things. What do you call it?”
“Well, yes… sometimes I see things, but most of the time it is just randomness. Nothing that makes much sense. Déjà vu moments for me, mostly.”
“But you did find her wedding ring, correct?”
Damn that Mrs. Thornton! “Yes, I did, but I am not always accurate, Agent Harris.”
Rick leaned in and stared deeply into Rayne’s eyes. “Rayne… may I call you that?” but without waiting for her to reply, he continued, “I have a little girl out there who is missing. We’ve searched everywhere for her to no avail. We also have a serial killer on the loose in Fairfax where the girl went missing. At this point, I don’t care if you are only accurate ten percent of the time. Rayne, I need your help.”
“Even if I could help, I cannot just up and take off. I have responsibilities here. People depend on me.”
Rick shook his head. “I do understand, but this girl is only eight and that is the age of the prior victims of this serial killer. Will you at least think about it? I am staying over at the Crosslaine Bed & Breakfast for a few more days. Please, Rayne?”
Before she could answer, there was a knock on the door. “One of my clients,” she said as she stood up.
Rick looked up at her with pleading eyes.
“Fine, I will think about it.”
“Thank you. I will get out of your hair for now,” he said as he stood up and walked toward to the door.
Rayne followed behind him, waited for him to step aside and then opened the door. Ella opened her mouth to speak, but just stood there gawking as she saw a man in Rayne’s cottage. Finally, she winked at Rayne and walked past the two and into the seating room.
Rick grinned at Rayne and winked too. “See you soon.”
I hope not, Rayne thought, but said out loud, “Okay, Agent Harris. Until next time.” Not wishing to engage with him further, she quickly closed the door and turned her attention to Ella.
Seeing You (a working title) is the story of Rayne Fallon, a witch with the power to see into the past and future, although not always accurately. She gets tangled up with FBI’s SA Rick Harris and SA Jenna Styles as they search for an 8 year old missing girl, thought to have been kidnapped by a Serial Killer.
Seeing You ©2016 Lori Carlson. All rights reserved. Permission must be granted to distribute or copy this serial (unless reblogging). Thank you.
I am participating in NaNoWriMo. Each day I will try to write at least 1667 words for a total of 50,000 by the end of November. Today’s total: 1704 words
jump ahead to Part 2