Ingrid heard a scream as she approached Rayne’s cottage and ran to the door. She opened it slowly and peeked inside.
Rayne laid in a fetal position on the small sofa, her hands cradling her stomach. Her body was covered in sweat and her breathing was shallow and raspy. Ingrid hurried inside and crossed the small space between the doorway and the settee. She bent down and caressed Rayne’s forehead.
“Oh, my god, Rayne, are you okay?”
Rayne groaned in pain and tried to open her eyes. As with any aftermath of a vision, she could only see things as through a prism – multi-faceted lights swirling inside a rainbow. Even in the candlelight, her eyes were still sensitive. She blinked a few times and then raised a hand to her eyes, rubbing them for a few moments. Her sight slowly returned to normal, but the pain in her gut left her wincing in agony. She tried to sit up, but to no avail. Her body felt like heavy boulders had crashed down upon her.
Ingrid crouched down on the floor and took one of Rayne’s hands. She’d known Rayne for the past ten years since her family moved to Sadie Falls. They weren’t immediate friends though. Ingrid hung around with the popular kids in town and Rayne was an outcast. In fact, most folks avoided the Fallon women. Despite the gossip about Rayne, Ingrid had been drawn to the peculiar 11-year old with the long auburn hair and green eyes. Her friends said she’d been bewitched, but Ingrid didn’t care what others thought. She struck up a friendship of sorts with the young girl, often visiting the Fallon cottage, and having tea and cookies with the three women. Grandma Sarah shared her love of plants and herbs with Ingrid and Agnus would read tarot for her. She became quite reliant on those readings and still came to Rayne for a weekly forecast, long after Angus had passed on. And now, Rayne was suffering and there wasn’t anything she could do to help her.
“Do you want me to call someone?” Ingrid asked as she squeezed Rayne’s hand.
Rayne shook her head. “No… just give me… a few minutes.”
She was accustomed to the vision change and since the Gresley episode, she remembered the intense pain in her stomach, but the overall heaviness of her body, this was something new. Rayne felt completely incapacitated. With every ounce of will power she could muster, she sat upright, but still held onto her stomach with her free hand. She tried to smile reassuringly at Ingrid, but could only manage a grimacing half-smile.
Ingrid released her hand, stood up and walked over to the other settee. She sat down, leaned forward and clasped her hands together, as if in a prayer. “Are you sure I can’t call someone?”
“I’ll be fine. This is nothing unusual,” Rayne said, trying to reassure Ingrid.
“Well it sure appears unusual to me. This has happened before?”
“Not recently. Not since… well, it’s been three years since I’ve been in this much pain. It will pass.”
Ingrid narrowed her eyes and cocked her head to the side. “You don’t have like some reacquiring terminal illness, do you?”
Rayne laughed and then let out a slight groan. “No, I can assure you, it isn’t an illness, at least not of the body.”
Ingrid raised a brow. “Ah, a spiritual illness of sorts then.” Since learning about Rayne’s abilities, Ingrid had also discovered that many of the afflictions humans suffered were a result of spiritual battles. Rayne’s teachings were finally sinking in.
Rayne smiled, this time without pain. “Indeed. I am feeling better. Would you like some tea?”
“I would, but you stay there. I know my way around your kitchen pretty well by now.”
Rayne watched as Ingrid headed into the kitchen. As the brunette moved out of sight, Rayne’s mind drifted to the visions she’d had. She couldn’t see anything of the attacker except his eyes, but she had a good visual of the young girl on the table. Was it the girl Agent Harris spoke about? Damn it. She would have to give in to him to find out. But what if this was something totally unrelated? The reason she hadn’t been believed in the Gresley case was because she only saw small snippets of the boys being abused, but could never see Gresley’s face nor any of the boys’ faces. She wasn’t sure she could undergo scrutiny again if she was wrong. Ting. Clang. Ting. The rattling of china brought Rayne back to the present moment. Ingrid had returned with two cups and the pot on a tray.
“This will make you all better,” Ingrid declared as she poured a cup of tea and handed it to Rayne. “It always invigorates me.”
Rayne took the cup, but her fingers shook so badly, she had to set it down. Shakes, another new symptom. Rayne couldn’t help but think that dealing with this serial killer, if it was indeed the serial killer in question, would be her undoing. She would just tell Agent Harris no and he would wander off back to Fairfax without her help. And then a gnawing question crept into her mind. Would the visions stop?
“Maybe I should just let you rest. I don’t really need a reading this week. Things between Mark and I are improving,” Ingrid said between sips of tea.
Rayne thought about it. What if she projected something horrible into Ingrid’s reading? It could be devastating to her and she could lose her as a client. She tried to remember how she conducted business during those horrible visions about Gresley. Then it occurred to her, she didn’t read tarot, leaves, or use her crystal ball that year. Instead, she just made tinctures. Her clientele wasn’t that great these days. Could she afford to live off just her potions?
“Are you sure?” Rayne asked her, secretly hoping she would say yes, but knowing she could hardly afford for her to say no.
“I think under the circumstances, it would be best. Besides, Mark and I will just use the money to see a movie. Date night and all, you know?”
Rayne didn’t know. She’d never been on a date. She nodded her head though. “Thanks, Ingrid. Shall I pencil you in for next week?”
Ingrid sat her cup down on the tray and stood up. “Sure, but if you are still feeling poorly, call and let me know.”
The cottage felt eerily strange once Ingrid left. Almost like someone was watching through a window or a hidden camera. Rayne curled her legs up on the sofa and pulled a blanket off the top of it, covering her body. She reached for the cup of tea and sat there, in the near-darkness sipping it. The tea lights had all burned out and only two large candles on a distant shelf still burned. She shivered uncontrollably. The tea did little to warm her, nor did the blanket. Another new symptom? She should make a list of them. She closed her eyes and tried the deep breathing technique. Normally, it worked, but this time, she felt anxiety rising in her chest. Her eyes popped opened. Notebook.
Rayne ripped the blanket away and stood up, but nearly fell back onto the sofa. Her legs still felt like lead and her head swam. She braced herself and wandered into her office a few feet away, holding on to the wall the entire time. As she entered the room, she turned on a small desk lamp and rummaged through her desk drawer, finally finding a notebook and a pen. Leaning against the sharp corner of the desk, Rayne wrote down all the old symptoms: severe pain in the stomach, kaleidoscope vision, and nausea. The she wrote down the new symptoms: heaviness, dizziness, uncontrollable shivering, and anxiety.
“You can’t do this,” she murmured to herself as she placed the pen on top of the notebook.
The anxiety worsened. Rayne gripped the edge of the desk and slowly lowered her body to the floor. A vision flashed before her eyes. Another little girl. This one locked in a cage. She tried to zero in on the girl’s face, but she wasn’t seeing this through her eyes. She didn’t know how she could tell, but there was something blurry and bloodshot about the eyes she was seeing through. She could even smell a sickly-sweet odor. She recognized the smell. Diabetes. She’d treated Mrs. Atwater for her diabetes a few times, but couldn’t get the woman to give up her barrage of daily sweets. Does the attacker have diabetes or does the child?
She could see the girl again, but only from the back of her head – long blonde hair with pink barrettes pulling strands of hair back from either side and fastening at the center of her head. Rayne could just barely make out a purplish-pink t-shirt. She urged herself to remember every detail. A curved brick-inlay window with bars over it. Tall utility shelves off to the left. A work table to the right with a small radio, several hand tools and a drill. The eyes darted around a dimly lit room. What was he looking for? As though through a camera lens, her vision zeroed in on the table were the previous girl had lain. She was still there, but now her face was covered with a dog’s muzzle and her small body was strapped down on the table. Rayne could make out a small tear falling from the girl’s eye. Tiger’s Eye.
And then the vision changed. She saw another darkened room and the eyes appeared to be darting around sporadically again. Book shelves. Candles. Crystals hanging from lace-covered windows. Rayne clasped her fingers around the edge of the rose-colored rug she now saw in her vision.
“There you are. I’m seeing you,” a voice whispered in her head as eyes lowered toward Rayne’s face.
She could smell his stench and his foul breath on her neck. Rayne tried to scream, but her voice fell silent. She scampered under her desk and held her breath. The eyes continued to scan the room. Had she been fortunate enough to escape his gaze long enough to hide? She slowly exhaled, trying not to make a sound, but there was one – a light rumbling and a swoosh swoosh swoosh. The eyes diverted again and glanced at the small curved window as alternating shadows and lights zipped past. The vision faded.
Rayne rocked back and forth under the desk. Her stomach felt like it was in a vice and although she was in horrid pain, she fought to retain everything she’d seen. After a long agonizing moment, Rayne forced herself out from under the desk. After pulling herself up off the floor, she sat down in the chair and stared at the notebook.
“Don’t do it, Rayne,” she whispered repeatedly before slamming her fist down on the desk. After another moment’s hesitation, she let out a long huff, picked up her cellphone and dialed the number of the Crosslaine Bed & Breakfast.
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.
or jump ahead to Part 4
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: 1862 words. Total words so far: 5204