SKYE, Chapter 1 – Water Monster

Novella Wednesday, chapter-by-chapter, continues!

Skye is being followed. To and from school, and even when visiting her mentally ill mother at her care home. But it’s not her life that’s in danger, it’s the redemption of her soul.

Chapter 1

Water Monster

I don’t believe this…nineteen messages in the span of an hour. How desperate…and how stupid does he think I am?
I put my phone down and try to concentrate on the empty page on my computer. It’s been harder to write lately, and this thing didn’t help. Whenever I try to, as much as my heart is willing my mind doesn’t follow. I stay there, creepily still, with my fingers poised on the keyboard. I don’t even remember the story I wanted to write. Maybe I should write down details of this hellish day instead.
My phone buzzes again. It’s him, of course. I see the start on his message on the front screen :

Pleaz 4giv me, i was n ass

I’m not sure what surprises me more, his writing skills or the fact that he was able to write ‘ass’ properly. I wonder what possessed me to ever date that one. I told Hannah not to mingle, but it was too tempting for her. I don’t care if she wants to start her own dating agency, I just wish she would leave me out of her experiments.
Ha. Speak of the devil. It’s her,calling me. I’m guessing she’s heard.
” Oh my God,Skye I’m so sorry!” She blurts out before I can even say ‘Hi’.
” What did I tell you! I knew it. I should always listen to my gut!” I reply, still a little angered. “Didn’t I tell you?”
” You did…” She admits,though there’s something she wants to say.
“What?”
“Well…maybe he went elsewhere for a reason…” She ventures and my blood curls instantly. “I’m not talking about sleeping arrangements,” she says quickly before I speak,”I mean…I’m talking about you. You didn’t even give him a chance…you know.”
“I was with him for four months, if that’s not giving him a chance then what is ?”
“I don’t mean that, Skye. You were with him but not with him at the same time, you know what I mean?”
“Absolutely not…”
“You didn’t care for him…”
“That’s not true! And even if it was, it’s not an excuse!”
“Okay okay… He shouldn’t have cheated…”
“No, he should have broken up with me first!”
“Guys don’t know how to do that…cheating is their way of ending things. They don’t know how to break up any other way.”
“Well…if that’s true, it sucks.”
“It does,” she paused for a moment and I hear her grand mother’s sheepish cry as she watches reruns of Wheel of Fortune. Hannah sighs. She doesn’t like living with her grandmother very much, but since none of her parents managed to make up their minds during the custody battle, they both took time away and were now travelling the world, each on their own, none of them with her.
“How did you find out?” I ask her. I can hear her smile through the phone. Not in a mocking way, at least I hope so, but rather because this all thing is so silly.
“Like most of the school I guess, Leah posted a picture of them on her Facebook page, isn’t it how you found out?”
It was. Only she’s not my friend in life or on Facebook, but several of my “friends” connected to her liked the photo, and so it was right there,waiting for me as I looked at my phone.
“She’s nasty” Hannah says to me as I keep silent. “Or dumb.”
“Or she just got tired of waiting for him to break up with me…”
“That too…” She conceded. “So what are you writing about tonight?”
“Nothing”, I sigh, “I can’t concentrate…”
“Hey you know what they say? Heartbreak is the best source of inspiration!”
I smile a little. “As if…”
“It’s true, I swear !”
“Well, I let you know tomorrow…”
“Sure…night Skye” I’ve almost pressed the red button when I hear her voice faintly. “And Skye,” she says hurriedly. “Sorry I pushed you two together.”
“I liked him… It’s not your fault.”
“Bye,” her voice is sad.
“Bye Hannah,” I try to sound a little cheery but I fail. It doesn’t matter. I’m too tired and sore to pretend everything is okay.
The keyboard is no use tonight. I close down my laptop and take a notepad instead. I brush a pencil through bits of blank space on a page already filled with drawings. I linger near the water monster, I like it. I’ve never drawn anything like this before. Inspiration is a funny thing. Sometimes it seems a secret door opens to a world of magic, with flesh and bones and voices so loud… And I’m the only one to hear, they call out to me to be alive, leak through my fingers. I smile, watching the monster’s gleaming eyes. I coloured them grey, to bring out the silvery blue of its scales.

Sometimes my mind wanders so, I forget the motions of my hands. It happened again. A symbol. It looks like a broken wing, a long V with its rising lines hatched and dropping to the sides. It’s enclosed in a circle, with flames burning on the ring. I have a strange feeling. An uneasiness. I love how stories come to me, as if falling from the sky, choosing my mind. I’m not comfortable with those symbols though. They get stranger every time. And every time, it’s the same odd feeling. Guilt. It’s as though I’m doing something forbidden, but I don’t know what.

Two drops of water land on my drawing. This damn leak again. I close shut my notepad and storm to the hallway. “Hilda!” I can hear her ‘oming’ to her meditation songs and it rattles on my nerves. “Hilda! Did you call the guy for that bloody leak?”

The music stops and there’s silence, then tiptoeing in the living room before she appears at the bottom of the stairs. “Why all this yelling?” she says, her brown eyes so round and big it makes her look like a creepy doll.

“It’s leaking again! It’s all over my work!”

“Okay,”she says calmly, raising her hands as if surrendering to me. “I’ll call them back.”

The tension diffuses and I’m about to close my bedroom door when I turn around. “What do you mean ‘back’?”

“They came this morning…” she steps lightly to the window by the entrance door. “Are you sure it’s leaking?”

“Yes, I’m sure,” I sigh. My aunt still thinks of me as some sort of poor defenceless child and it sickens me.

“Um…” she moves away from the curtains, and takes some papers on a chest of drawers. “I’ll call them now and let them know something’s wrong. Maybe a pipe or something.”

“Ugh,” I slam the door and shake my head. A pipe in the roof? It’s just leaking because of the rain, as it has done for the past six months. I sit by my window and try to concentrate on the rainfall to soothe myself. My mind blanks a little. I hurriedly open the window and glide my fingers on the sill. It’s dry. There’s not a single drop out there.

Going back to my desk I stare in wonder. There’s water on my notepad, a real puddle soaking all my things, but as I look up, there’s nothing.

No sign of a leak, no drops, nothing.

The timber groans, as though caving under some heavy weight. I step back a little. It continues for about two seconds and then it stops. Hilda knocks at my door. “They’re coming back tomorrow, okay?”

“O…Okay,”

“Is everything all right?”

I’m not sure. But how can you explain that, when you don’t know what’s wrong?

 

Copyright©2016 by Jane W King

 

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