They’d had a lovely dinner at Mazi’s place that night. Roasted root vegetables, couscous, and a broccoli casserole. Rayne had helped Mazi cook while Rick and Jenna consulted with Troy and Trip back in Fairfax. Troy had approved their extra time in New York, although Rick hadn’t told him the exact reason they needed to stay. Troy still wasn’t a hundred percent behind the whole witchy thing. Jenna had filled Trip in on Percy’s alias. He promised to get back in touch if anything popped up. By the time dinner was over, Rayne was exhausted. Mazi had shown her and Jenna to the spare bedroom where a pair of twin beds lined the walls, opposite one another. It wasn’t long before Rayne collapsed and fell asleep.
The next morning, Rayne awoke to loud chatter emanating from the living room of Mazi’s small house. She pulled her robe on over her pajamas and padded down the hall to see what all the commotion was about. Rick paced the room with his cellphone pressed against his ear talking loudly to Troy. Jenna was in a chair, her laptop resting on her lap. She was Skyping with Trip. Meanwhile, Mazi buzzed about her kitchen making coffee and heating bagels in the toaster. Rayne went over to a large blue sofa and sat down, drawing her knees up to her chest.
Rick smiled at Rayne when she entered the room. He continued his conversation for a few more minutes and then ended the call. He crossed the short space of the room and sat down beside Rayne.
Rick placed a hand on her arm. “Got a bit of good news,” he said with a warm smile. “Using the brief description of the store across from Percy’s place you gave us, Troy says they’ve narrowed down one row of homes where it could be seen from a basement. They are canvassing the houses now.”
Rayne rubbed her eyes and yawned. “That is good news,” she muttered.
Rick nodded. “We are closing in on him. You may not have to put yourself through that circle thing tonight.”
“That would be a good thing,” Mazi said as she entered the room holding a tray of coffee mugs. “I still think it’s too risky.”
Rick reached up and took a mug. “She will have the necklace to protect her too.”
Rayne shook her head in protest. “I can’t wear the necklace.”
Mazi sat the tray on the table between the sofa and chairs. She plopped down in a chair beside Jenna and sighed. “It will prevent her from seeing anything.”
Rayne nodded as she straightened out her legs and leaned over to get a cup of coffee. “I should still be okay inside the circle.”
“Let’s hope we nab this guy before then,” Rick said. He took a sip of his coffee. They had canvassed that row of houses earlier, but three-fourths of the homeowners hadn’t answered. It was still a long-shot.
Jenna closed her laptop and sat it on the table. She reached for a cup of coffee. “Trip didn’t find anything on Arthur Kent. No bank accounts, credit cards, property leases or rentals. Zero.”
“I didn’t expect he would find anything. Percy has been very careful,” Rick stated.
“Everything has been in Decker’s name and they still can’t get him to talk. Trip says they’ve been hammering away at him for days now.”
“The poor kid is probably scared out of his wits and who can blame him. Arthur… I mean, Kent Percy could just astral on over to the jail and kill him in his sleep,” Mazi surmised as she held her coffee mug between her hands. She lifted the cup to her lips and mumbled, “I hope he gets caught before nightfall. I’m still uneasy about the circle gathering.”
Rayne shivered. She hadn’t thought about Percy using astral projection in that way. Was he really that strong? If so, why hadn’t he tried to kill her, or Rick and Jenna for that matter? Maybe he needed a link with the person to astral project that way. He probably had that kind of link with Leo. She felt sorry for the kid. Her brief glimpses into Percy’s life had been terrifying. She could only imagine what Leo had been living through.
“You okay?” Rick asked her, noticing that she was now shivering.
Rayne flashed him a faint smile. “Yeah. Just trying to figure out what abilities Percy does have.”
“None that are good,” Jenna quipped.
They all nodded their heads in agreement.
They spent the rest of the morning with more coffee and bagels, and talking strategy for the circle gathering. Mazi explained to Jenna what to expect and drew her a diagram of the details. Rayne had curled up next to Rick with her head on his shoulder. She drifted in and out of sleep. Around midday, Rick’s cellphone rang. It was Troy again.
“Yes, sir. I will tell them,” Rick said as he ended the call with a distressed look on his face.
“What is it?” Jenna asked.
“Leo’s dead. He hung himself this morning.”
“Damn it,” Jenna said through clinched teeth. “There goes another potential lead. Any word on the canvassing?”
“Same as before. Too many people not answering.”
Rayne sighed as she looked from Rick to Jenna. Finally, her eyes rested on Mazi’s face. “Guess we’re doing the circle after all.”
# # #
By nightfall, they returned to the Rosewood Center. Mazi lead them past the large room they’d been in the day before, down a long hallway and into an even larger space. Like in the previous room, one could easily tell that in its heyday, it had been an industrial space. It had high ceilings with metal scaffolding, but inside this room, the walls were covered with crimson cloth and the cement floor was cushioned with black carpeting. Tall candelabras were place throughout the room. Six white candles burned from each one. Nine other members of the coven stood around chatting when they entered the room, but they fell silent when they saw Mazi. She introduced everyone and the conversation picked up again. After a few minutes, Moonsong joined the gathering, wearing a long white gown, and carrying a single black candle. She moved to the center of the room and motioned for Rayne to join her.
With Rayne by her side, Moonsong stretched out her hands. “My Rosewood sisters and brothers, please form a circle.” She waited until everyone had taken their places, black candles in hand. “Charlene, please caste the circle and call the Watchtowers,” she concluded.
Walking around the outside of the circle created by the members, Charlene poured salt behind them, encircling them with the protective salt. Finally, she moved into position at each direction and called the Watchtowers. “Ye Lords of the Watchtowers of the East, ye Lords of Air; I do summon call and stir you up, to witness our rites and to guard the Circle…” When she finished the summon at each quarter, Charlene returned to her place in the circle.
Moonsong took a matchbox from a pocket in her gown and struck a match. She lit her black candle and then blew out the match. She walked around the circle, lighting everyone’s candle from her own. When all where lit, she returned to her place beside Rayne. “May the light of these black candles dispel anything negative or evil from this circle.” She lifted her hands into the air again and said, “Lord and Lady, I do summon thee. Join us in this sacred rite and guard our Circle.”
In awe, Rayne stood beside Moonsong. She’d practiced her family’s style of kitchen witchery her entire life, but she’d never experienced an actual coven gathering. Even when she’d gone with her grandmother to Salem, they hadn’t taken the time to join one. She closed her eyes and soaked in the energy of the circle. She felt safe. When she opened her eyes again, Rayne stared at the faces across from her. Rick appeared completely at peace, but Jenna’s face was marred by uncertainty. Rayne flashed her a quick smile as she felt Moonsong’s hands encircle her neck, unclasping the necklace. Moonsong walked over to Mazi, handed the necklace to her and returned to Rayne’s side.
One of the male coven members clicked a small device in his hand and the room echoed with enchanting music, a mixture of drums, the flute and a woman’s soft voice. Everyone lowered their candles to the floor in front of them and then clasped hands. Moonsong moved behind Rayne, embraced her, and began chanting an ancient spell. Rayne couldn’t understand the foreign words, but she felt the power in them. She closed her eyes and swayed to the music and the sound of Moonsong’s voice.
Rayne felt the nausea immediately. She opened her eyes. The circle had disappeared and in its place, the dingy walls of Percy’s living room appeared. She stood there for a long moment to get her bearings. The room was dark except for a tinge of light coming from a window. She moved toward the window, but then heard a noise coming from a lit room off to her right. As she followed the noise, she recognized the sound. An electric can opener. She entered the room. The kitchen. She glanced around. In one corner stood a green refrigerator and across from it, a white stove that looked like it hadn’t been cleaned in decades. Food and grease stained the stove-top. She walked on, moving silently around a corner where a round wooden table stood in front of a bay window. Kent Percy stood bent over a counter, a can in one hand and the other hand holding an electric can opener. She inhaled deeply, cupping her mouth with her hands. When she realized that Percy hadn’t detect her presence, she exhaled and walked around the counter, staring down at two opened cans on the counter-top. Dog food. Percy finished opening the last can, reached into a cabinet above his head and removed three small bowls. He emptied the dog food into them and tossed the cans in a trash can beside the counter.
Rayne felt relieved. Three bowls meant the girls were still alive, even if he was feeding them dog food. She sighed heavily.
Percy picked up the three bowls and turned to leave the room. Suddenly, he stopped. He looked around the room, his dark eyes scanning every inch of it. He furrowed his brow and frowned. After a few seconds, he walked out of the kitchen, through the living room and down the hallway. He stopped at a door, put the bowls on the floor and reached into his pocket. He pulled out a set of keys and unlocked the padlock on the door. He opened the door, put the padlock on the hook and picked up the bowls of food.
Rayne stood inches behind him. She felt a sense of disgust from him and heard words echoing in her head.
Where the hell are you Leo? You know I hate feeding these damn dogs.
She followed him as he descended the long staircase down into the basement. She stood on the last step as she watched him fumble for the table, sit the bowls down, and then reach up and pull the cord to the light. As a soft yellow glow filled the room, Rayne glanced over at the cages. Gina sat in her cage with her hands and feet tied, her head slumped against the cage, asleep. Sally laid with her face pressed against the cage, unblinking, but still alive. Mia cowered in a corner of her cage, a muzzle over her mouth and both her hands and feet bound, lightly whimpering.
While Percy unlocked the cages, loosened the girls’ bound hands, and fed them, Rayne took the chance to nose about upstairs. She ascended the stairs and moved back into the living room. She loomed over tables and shelves hoping to see something with an address on it. She tried to touch an overturned envelope, but her hand just passed right through it. She walked to the window with the dim light coming through, but could only see a walled-in front porch with a small hole in the cheap plywood where light from a street light peeked through. She sighed as she walked into a bedroom, looked around, but still found nothing that would help. She returned to the living room.
As she stood there feeling useless, an idea came to her. She could pass through things, what if… She went to the front door and reached a hand toward it. As her hand slid through the door, a big smile creased her face. She pressed her entire body through the door and found herself standing on the walled-in front porch. She glanced around. A wicker chair, porch swing, small table. She looked up on the wall of the house, but there was only a faint outline of what used to be house numbers. She’d have to go through the outer door. She walked over to it and again pressed her body through it. She now stood on cement steps. She turned and looked up at a column. 2216.
Suddenly, Rayne felt a hand grab her arm and jerk her back inside the walled-in front porch. She let out a scream.
“I knew you were snooping around, witch!”
Rayne came face to face with Kent Percy. His dark eyes bore into her own. She could smell the stench on his breath and feel the pain in her arm as he squeezed it.
“What did you see?”
Rayne was silent. Percy squeezed her arm tighter.
“Tell me, witch!”
“Nothing. I didn’t see anything,” Rayne stammered.
“I don’t believe you,” Percy seethed. He pulled out a knife from his back pocket and swung it at her. “If I kill you here, you die there.”
Rayne wrenched her arm free and ducked, but the knife slashed a gash in her shoulder. She let out another scream and covered her head with her uninjured arm. Percy lunged at her again. She twisted away from him and crashed into the wicker chair. Why didn’t she pass through it? She got to her feet just as she saw the knife coming at her again. The blade aimed at her chest. She cried out and backed against the wall. Again, she didn’t pass through it. Something was seriously off. She slithered along the wall, moving back toward the front door. Percy’s eyes followed her as he moved closer toward her, the knife ready to pierce her heart. She stumbled over something on the floor and fell to the ground. Her head struck a sharp object and everything went black.
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.
In case you missed a part, click Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20, Part 21, Part 22, Part 23, Part 24, Part 25, Part 26, Part 27, Part 28
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Today’s total: 2465 words. Total words so far: 50,347