Ella stood in the doorway between the kitchen and the seating room with her hands on her hips and a wicked smile splashed across her face. She stood at barely five-feet tall and had long sandy blonde hair. In contrast to Rayne’s slim features, Ella was more curvaceous. She waited until Rayne closed the door and turned around to get the latest dish. “Who was the hottie?”
“Oh come on, Rayne. I’ve known you since grade school and I’ve never seen you around any men and today, you’ve got a hot man in your cottage. What gives?”
Rayne swatted Ella on the shoulder and lightly shoved her out of the way of the kitchen. She walked over to the counter and opened a tea can. “I have a new blend,” she said, changing the subject.
Ella joined her by the counter. “I’m more interested in your new guy.”
“He isn’t my new guy. He isn’t my anything.” Avoiding eye contact, Rayne scooped out the tea and placed it into a ceramic teapot, then poured some of the still-hot water over it from the kettle.
“Okay. Maybe he isn’t your guy, but what was a guy doing in your cottage?”
“I have male clients, too.”
Frustrated by Rayne’s lack of forthcoming information, Ella tried a different tactic. “This is a small town and we know everyone in it. I’ve never seen this one in my life.”
Rayne picked up the ceramic pot and two cups and headed into the seating room. She sat the items on the table and walked over to the table by the door. Picking up Ella’s tincture, she said in a monotone voice, “He’s staying over at the bed and breakfast. I guess he heard about me from some of the locals.”
“So some random stranger just wanders into town and happens to need your services.” Ella wasn’t buying it. She plopped down on the small sofa and crossed her arms.
Rayne sat down across from her. “Just because we’ve been friends forever, doesn’t mean I have to tell you about everything that happens in my life.”
“Maybe not, but what are friends for if…” Ella was cut off by a light rap on the door.
Without waiting for an answer, Amy opened the door and poked her head in. “Is this a good time?”
“Come on in. Maybe you can help me get some information out of Rayne,” Ella said as she waved her hand toward Amy.
Amy stepped into the room, quickly closed the door and waddled over to Ella’s settee. She’d given birth five years prior, but still hadn’t lost the baby weight, even though Rayne had brewed up a slimming tea for her years ago. Amy didn’t like the bitter taste and refused to drink it. She wiggled her way onto the settee, squishing Ella up against the armrest.
“What’s cookin’, buttercup?” Amy asked as she patted Ella on the knee. It was a childhood saying between the three.
“Rayne had a sexy man in her cottage this evening when I arrived.”
“I thought you were celibate,” Amy said as she glanced over at Rayne.
“Not celibate. Cursed,” Ella injected. Rayne’s two closest friends knew all about the family curse.
“Yeah, yeah. Celibate… cursed… all the same if you ask me. What’s with the sexy man, Rayne?”
Rayne shook her head and let out a deep sigh. She knew the day wouldn’t pass without these two finding out who the man was. If she didn’t tell them, they’d just go to the bed and breakfast and ask the man.
“He’s from the FBI.”
“The FBI? What have you done?” Ella questioned.
“I haven’t done anything. Geez! Thanks for the support.”
Ella mouthed a ‘sorry’ before rolling her eyes at Rayne.
“Spill it,” Amy said as she leaned forward. She was more curious than belligerent like Ella.
“He wants my help.”
“Doing what? Readings for the FBI?” Ella chuckled, but when Rayne flashed her a dark glance, she coughed lightly and crossed her arms across her chest. “Sorry, sorry. Continue.”
Amy smacked Ella across her knee. “This is why you are usually the last to know anything. Always taking potshots at what Rayne does. Where would you be without that dose of St. John’s Wart every day?”
Rayne just shook her head and stood up. She walked into the kitchen, grabbed another cup and returned to her seat. As she poured tea into the three cups, she continued with her surprised meeting. “He says there’s a missing girl and he wants me to use my gift of sight to locate her.”
Amy picked up one of the cups and raised it to her lips. Suddenly, as though a light went off, she burst out, “Wow. You could be famous.”
This time Ella struck Amy. “She wouldn’t do it for the fame, you idiot.”
“Stop it. Both of you,” Rayne said as her friends’ back and forth snipping finally wore on her nerves. “There’s more,” she paused for a moment and then continued. “They think this missing girl is linked to a serial killer.”
Ella raised a hand to her lips and gasped. “You can’t do it. You know you can’t.”
Taking the cue from Ella, Amy asked, “Does Mr. FBI man know about Mark Gresley?”
Mark Gresley had been a pedophile who lived in a neighboring town. For almost a year, Rayne had had visions about what he was doing to young boys at a youth center. Each time she had a vision, she’d felt a horrible pain in the pit of her stomach. It became so bad, she went to the ER about it, but the doctor couldn’t find a single thing wrong with her. And then she made a big mistake. She’d tried to tell the local sheriff what she’d seen. Not only did he not believe her, but he made a big stink about it in the local newspaper, calling Rayne crazy and a crock-pot. It would be another six months before news broke about Gresley and by then, five other boys had been molested. Although Rayne’s agonizing visions stopped, the sheriff never apologized.
“I seriously doubt it. He’d posted on social media that he was looking for a medium and Mrs. Thornton directed him to me.”
“What did you tell him?” Ella asked.
“That I would think about it.”
“Don’t do it, Rayne. Please tell me you won’t do it,” Ella begged.
Ella had lived with Rayne during that year-long episode. Each vision had left Rayne sicker and sicker. She couldn’t eat, slept only when she could no longer stay awake, and woke up screaming in pain. It had been a grueling ordeal, for both Rayne and Ella.
“I will probably tell him no. I don’t want to go through anything like that again.”
“Good. See that you don’t,” Amy said as she stood up. “I’ve got to get back home, but if you need me, call.”
“Yeah, I should get going too. I am a phone call away. Okay?” Ella said as she joined Amy at the door.
Rayne stood up, grabbed Ella’s bottle from the table and joined her two friends. “I promise. Now take your tinctures,” she said, handing Ella’s hers and picking up Amy’s from the door-side table, “and leave me be.” She smiled at the two and then embraced them before sending them off.
As she closed the door, Rayne realized how exhausted she was from the evening ordeal. She glanced down at her watch, seven-fifty-three. She had just a little over thirty minutes before Ingrid was due to stop by. She grabbed the tea cups and pot from the table and went to the kitchen, placing the cups into the sink. She dumped out the tea leaves from the pot into the trash can and set the kettle on the burner again. As she rinsed out the pot, her mind flashed back to that year of agony and blame. She’d lost a few customers from the sheriff’s statement in the paper, but for the most part, business went on as usual. Word died down and it was never spoken of again, until now. Rayne sighed as she opened a tea can. This time a lemon grass, lemon rind and green tea blend. Ingrid’s favorite. She put the tea into the pot and sat out two cups. She turned the kettle down on low and wandered back into her seating room. She had just enough time to relax.
Rayne sat down and pulled her crystal ball forward. Gazing into it often calmed her nerves. She leaned in close to it and placed her hands on either side of the glistening quartz. Closing her eyes for a moment, she inhaled deeply through her mouth and then slowly exhaled through her nose. This was a technique her mother had taught her, something she’d picked up from an Indian guru in the seventies. Rayne continued the deep breathing for a few minutes and then slowly opened her eyes. She watched as smoke swirled around inside the crystal ball, growing from a dark shade of grey to almost opaque. And then it happened.
Suddenly, Rayne could see his eyes. Obsidian. That bizarre stone. Dark grey in the shadows, but once hit by light, it became nearly see-through. And then she saw through his eyes. A young girl strapped to a table. A knife poised at her throat. The girl’s eyes wide in fright. Her lips begging through duct tape. Rayne felt his growing desire. Could taste the saliva in his mouth. Heard his raspy breathing. And then the pain began. A deep piercing in her stomach. Bile crept up into her mouth. She tried to tear her eyes away from the crystal ball, but couldn’t. As the pain deepened, Rayne let out an agonizing scream.
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.
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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: 1638 words. Total words so far: 3342