Rayne sat cross-legged in a brown chair, picking at a slice of pizza. Rick had ordered all-meat and she rarely ate meat. She plucked pieces of pepperoni, sausage and hamburger off, placing them on the paper plate she held in her hand. She nibbled at the cheese and torn-off pieces of dough.
“Sorry, I should’ve asked what kind of pizza you liked,” Rick said as he watched Rayne. He’d taken over the entire couch. His head reclined against the arm rest and his feet stretched out the length of it. The pizza box was perched on his lap and he was about to dive in for another slice.
Rayne looked up at him. “It’s okay. I don’t eat pizza often anyway.”
Jenna devoured the last of a slice and spoke with her mouth half-full. “Not like there are any pizza joints in Sadie Falls, right?”
It was true. The small town had a diner, the B&B, and except the grocery store and a gas station, there were no other places to eat, besides home. Not that Rayne cared. Her family had always made home-cooked meals and since there was just herself now, she usually made soups, stews or casseroles that would last her several days. On rare occasions, a client would bring her a chicken, rabbit or some venison as payment for services. Most of it still sat in her deep freezer.
“We had a pizza shop once a few years ago, but it went bust. Their prices were too high,” Rayne said in a low voice.
Jenna, who sat across from Rayne in matching chair, cocked her head as she watched the young woman. She’d noticed a change in Rayne’s demeanor since they’d arrived at the apartment. After studying her for a few minutes, she finally spoke up. “Okay, girlie. What gives?”
Rayne lifted her head. A wrinkle creased her forehead. “What do you mean?”
“Oh, I don’t know. Maybe the fact that you are quiet and solemn suddenly.”
Rick chuckled. “If you’d just gone from a warm, cozy cottage to this cold, barren apartment, you’d be solemn too.”
Jenna stabbed at her heart and fell backwards in the chair. “You really know how to kill me, partner.”
“It isn’t the apartment,” Rayne whispered as she looked back down at her plate.
Jenna sat back up and leaned forward. “Then what is it?”
Rayne cleared her throat. “I can’t stop thinking about that little girl. I… I heard her voice again.”
Rick raised up, swung his feet to the floor and placed the pizza box on the coffee table. He glanced over at Jenna and shrugged his shoulder, then turned his attention to Rayne. “When did you hear her?”
“In the bathroom.”
“Was it another vision?” Jenna asked.
“No, nothing like that. Just her voice in my head. An echo, I think. She was begging to be let go.”
Rick crinkled his nose. Were Rayne’s abilities growing stronger? Changing? “Is this unusual?”
“A little. As I told you before, I hear echoes of voices sometimes. Usually my grandmother or mother, sometimes the old owl from the woods behind the cottage. The past. They don’t concern me though. But this… I can’t tell if it is the past or the future.”
“Did you have any symptoms with it?” Jenna asked.
Rayne shook her head. She slid a hand into her robe and ran a finger over the citrine. She didn’t feel any negativity in the room, but it gave her comfort. “None,” she finally said. “Not even a bit of panic. It doesn’t make sense to me.”
“We’ll get your sketch on the local news channels tomorrow. Then maybe we’ll have some answers for you,” Rick assured her.
Jenna stood up, walked over to Rayne and gave her a quick embrace. “I agree with Rick. We may have more answers tomorrow,” she said as she gathered the plates and pizza box. “A good night’s sleep will also help.” She smiled down at Rayne and wandered off to the kitchen.
“She’s right. You should get some sleep,” Rick said softly as he rubbed the nape of his neck. He’d noticed the changes in Rayne’s appearance over the last couple of days. It worried him.
Rayne uncrossed her legs and stood up. “I’ll try. If nothing else, it will feel good to stretch out.” She bent down and hugged Rick. “Thanks for everything. Tell Jenna goodnight for me.”
# # #
Rayne sat up in the center of the bed with her knees tucked up to her chin and her arms wrapped around them. She’d left the lamp on and the room glowed with a soft blue hue. Normally, blue soothed her, but it did little to settle her this night. She’d tried to sleep, but only tossed and turned for what felt like hours. It had only been about thirty-minutes. The face of the African American girl haunted her. She still had concern for the two missing girls, but she couldn’t shake her tormented feelings for the one who might or might not be missing. She needed clarity, but first she needed tea.
She scooted off the bed and picked up a tin of chamomile tea from the dresser. She wandered down the hall and into the living room. Rick slept soundly, so she tip-toed into the kitchen. As soon as she switched on the light, she smiled. Jenna had put out a kettle, two cups and a small sieve. A note sat by the kettle:
Sorry I don’t have a pot for you to seep your tea in. Perhaps you can do it one cup and strain it into the other? Good night – Jenna
Rayne lifted a hand to her heart as a tear fell down her cheek. Jenna’s act of kindness filled her with hope. She folded the note and sat it beside the cups. She turned on the spigot, filled the kettle and sat it on the burner. It lit up automatically and a small screen appeared on the stovetop. Low, Medium, High. She hit the medium button and grinned. She’d seen nothing like this. Jenna’s place had a modern flair; it was only natural it would also be tech savvy. She measured out tea into the one cup and placed the sieve over the other. As she waited for the kettle to boil, she wandered around the kitchen. Stark white empty walls, stainless steel fridge, and a small route-iron table with two matching chairs completed the furnishings. Clean, crisp and impersonal.
The kettle whistled and Rayne turned it off immediately, hoping that it hadn’t disturbed Rick. She poured the water, picked up the two cups and the note and padded silently out of the kitchen. Rick snored, undisturbed.
Back inside the guest room, Rayne sat the two cups on the bedside table. She tucked the note inside her hobo bag and went to the dresser. She uncovered the crystal ball and carried it to the bed. After settling down with her legs spread out, she placed the ball between them. Leaning forward, she cupped the ball with her hands and closed her eyes. She inhaled deeply through her nose and then blew the breath out through her mouth. After a few more deep breaths, she finally gazed into the ball.
The greyness swirled around, hypnotically. Rayne allowed herself to be caught under its spell. Her mind twirled in unison as the clarity began. She focused on the images that began to take shape – her grandmother in the garden, her mother washing vegetables at the sink, and Ella laughing at the table. She sighed contently. She felt safe, comforted, and loved. Images of home spiraled over and over in the grey haze – Sabbath celebrations, birthday parties, lessons being taught, and the friendship she shared with Amy and Ella.
Rayne tore her eyes away as her anxiety had been replaced with sheer joy. She sat the crystal ball to her right and swung her legs over the side of the bed. She strained the tea and gulped the cooled, floral liquid. As her tired muscles began to relax, Rayne replaced the crystal ball on the dresser. She turned down the bedspread and climbed into bed. With heavy eyelids, she finally drifted off to sleep.
# # #
“Hush, hush, my little pup. Don’t worry, your playmate is fine. See, she’s in her cage.”
Eyes darted to a corner of the darkened room. A young girl squirmed inside the cage. The eyes moved back to the other girl, a blonde strapped to the table. A muzzle covered her nose and mouth. Tears streamed down her cheeks. Her body shook uncontrollably.
“She needs insulin, asshole,” the girl in the cage screamed.
The eyes moved closer to the cage and a long pole poked into it, zapping the girl in the leg.
“Shut up or I will muzzle you again.”
The girl whimpered and rubbed her leg, but didn’t speak back.
The eyes dilated in pleasure and then shifted back to the table. A knife appeared at the girl’s throat, sliding down and around, barely touching flesh.
Tiger’s eyes widened, blinked and closed tightly.
Laughter rang through the room. The tip of the knife poked at the arms, stomach and thighs of the girl’s body.
“Why are you still so skinny? I’ve been feeding you junk food for days now.”
“She’s diabetic. You are killing her with all that junk food,” the girl in the cage said softly.
“Quiet! You will both be dead before long.”
The pole zapped the girl again, this time in the stomach. She cried out in pain and doubled over.
The eyes wandered back to the blonde and the pole moved over the girl’s body, sending electric shocks on her arms, thighs, and bottoms of her feet. The girl tried to scream out, but could only make a muffled whine.
Tears fell, soaking the pillow.
The eyes turned around and leered at Rayne.
“Watching me again… now I am watching you too. Maybe you’d like to feel a zap?”
Rayne bolted up as a pain in her side woke her. She cringed as her stomach ached and nausea washed over her. She jumped out of the bed and ran down the hall to the bathroom. She leaned over the toilet and threw up her dinner. After a series of dry heaves, she sank to the floor and cried out in pain.
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 12
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: 1728 words. Total words so far: 19,168