“Stupid. Rotten. Mother…” Felicity shot out of the closet and down the hall as Sarah threw things around the room. Not only was she embarrassed with her outburst in the car with Allan, but because he had sent a squad car to drive her home. Can you say mortified? The whole force must think her some sort of psychotic bitch who needs babysitter.
“Fucking police car… driving me home… “ She panted with effort as the second high top sneaker hit the door.
“Sarah?” A soft tapping sounded on the door.
“Yeah?” She called. Shit. I thought she was playing Bridge today.
“Would you like some tea?” Aunt Mariette poked her nose through the crack, not fully opening the door.
Sarah sighed, “I’ll be right out.”
Just wonderful. Mortification times three. How many more people were going to see her act like a five-year-old child today?
She hastily picked up the carnage so she could open the door. Socks, shoes, blouses, and jeans littered the pathway. She’d probably scared poor Aunt Mariette to tears. Sarah slowly opened her door and shamefully walked into the kitchen.
Aunt Mariette puttered around, obviously pretending that she heard nothing. She was humming as she set the cups and tea pot down on a crocheted mat. Handing Sarah a spoon, she casually brushed the edge of Sarah’s finger.
Black dots formed on the edge of her vision threatening to suck her into the void. The movie obscuring everything thing in this reality. A young girl with tight plaited hair ran by a stream with a boy. She jerked her hand back abruptly and the spoon clattered to the floor.
Aunt Mariette smiled. “Here dear, take a new one… clumsy ole me.” She handed her another spoon, this time without the touch.
Sarah looked at her searching. She knows what happens to me, and yet she still touched me. Why?
Beat it by Michael Jackson rang out from her phone. Sheepishly she held up her finger to her aunt as she answered it.
“Sarah, don’t hang up. This is important.” Allan’s voice sounded tense.
“What?” Keeping her voice impatient and unfeeling she turned her back for privacy. There was no way she was going to let him know that she felt stupid for her outburst.
Instead, she forced a smile for her aunt as she got up from the table and stepped into her room.
“I need your help. Can I come over? I … I don’t want to ask you over the phone. It’s police business.”
Sarah shook her foot nervously as she fiddled with her comforter on her bed. “Yes, I’ll be here.”
“See you in a few.” He hung up.
Police business? Why would he need me for any sort of police business? Could there have been a robbery at the taco stand?
“Sorry Aunt M.” Sarah produced a genuine smile and fipped the sugar spoon lightly with her fingers. Sarah was sure that her aunt wanted to discuss her latest cuss fest, but she really didn’t want to talk about it just yet. Her guilt weighing heavily, she blurted out the next sentence.
“Allan’s coming over. I have to go out. Will you be all right?” She was hoping that she didn’t sound too rude.
“Yes, yes. I’m feeling much better. You go. Do something fun.” She poured herself another cup of tea and held Sarah’s gaze. Today is very creepy. First with Allan and now the doppelganger that is pretending to be my aunt.
A knock sounded.
“That’s him.” Sarah announced unnecessarily as she kissed her aunt on the forehead and headed for the front door. Without a word she motioned him backward and stepped out on the porch, pulling the door behind her.
“What’s so important and what do you mean by my help?” She kept her tone low hoping that no one could hear.
He ran his hands through his hair uneasily. “I’ve been promoted and it’s a big case.”
“Congratulations.” It sounded dry even to her ears. What the hell should she care?. Was this an attempt at another apology? She wondered.
“Thanks, I need your, um… skills for this one. A girl has gone missing and we have absolutely no leads.”
Shit and double shit. This has to be serious. We never discuss my curse.
“I don’t know Allan. I… I’ve never used it on purpose. Well…” She scuffed her sneaker on the peeling paint of the porch trying to think. “I mean, I’ve never used it like that before. I don’t know if I can.”
“She’s fourteen.” He let out his breath slowly.
“Her mother is beside herself with worry. I know that we aren’t really on the best of terms, you and I, but I had really hoped we could put our personal chaos aside for a few days and work together.”
Sarah swallowed hard. Did he have to be so nice? She had just railroaded him only a few hours ago and here he was needing her help. Fuck! Hating him would be so much easier if he was being a dickhead.
“I’ll think about it. I don’t know if I can Allan. What if I’m wrong? What if I don’t get anything?”
“If you’re wrong, then don’t worry about it. If you don’t get anything, well, then at least we tried, right? We have nothing else to go on.”
She zipped and unzipped her windbreaker nervously. Only Denise, Allan, and Aunt Mariette knew about her abilities. That’s the way she liked it. It gave her great comfort knowing that her ‘freak show curse’ was kept under wraps. If she agreed to do this for Allan, for the police force. it would bring more people into her private world. Sarah didn’t like that at all.
“Will you help me?” His eyes were pleading.
“I don’t know. I have to work tonight. I’ll call you when I decide.”
“You know that there is a very short window Sarah. After the first forty-eight hours, her chances of survival diminishes..”
“I said I’ll think about it!.” She went back into the house and shut the door in his face.
Her aunt was still at the table. She didn’t even look up as Sarah purposefully slammed the bathroom door and began splashing cool water on her face. God! She’s fourteen! If I screw this up and she dies, I’ll never forgive myself.
Her aunt thumped lightly on the door. “Sarah, can I see you a moment please?”
Nice timing there Auntie M. She thought as she attempted to dry her tears.
“Yep, I’ll be right out.” Sarah tried to sound like she was fine.
“Come, sit. There’s something I need to talk to you about.”