Some pages are better left unturned…and some memories ought to be forgotten. Skye is a prey of forces beyond her control, creating something that will change her life and the world around her forever.
A Girl Named Skye
I’m sucked in. I can’t feel my arms, I faintly recall my legs but all I know is I’m moving frantically, trying to breathe underwater. I need to wake up but I can’t. I see myself on the other side of the ripples, sleeping and unaware. I want to yell but my body is disconnected, only my mind is truly alive.
“We’re losing her!” A voice shouts from behind me. I feel myself turning around as though water filled my limbs and moved me. It’s no longer me I see, it’s a woman with hair all brown and fuzzy, she is unconscious and has a tube coming out of her mouth. Seven people are around her, all in blue uniforms. I suddenly understand they are doctors…and the room is cold, it filters through my unresponsive bones.
“Mum?” I think, and this urge rises in me to run to her and keep her safe. But she doesn’t look like the woman I know. Her hair is not grey, her skin is smooth though paler than normal, and she has a round face. I hear the surgeon struggling, “there’s too much liquid,” he says grunting and still fighting against something I can’t see.
It all came too quickly and something squeezed my chest and heart. But I saw them though I sense I wasn’t supposed to. Five shadows surround my mother and they remain there, quiet and still. I think of death…but my mother is alive. Unless…suddenly there’s a big crack in the distance, like thunder. I move around again, and it feels like running against current. Beyond the ripples, the image of me sleeping is now bending behind strokes of lightning. I return to my mother and one of the shadows stares at me. I can’t explain how but I know it sees me. And the voice comes quickly to me. “She can’t live,” it says. I know this tone, this irritating sound…it’s like a voice that isn’t one. Like a toy with dying batteries…I recoil within myself and feel more desperate than ever to wake up. At that moment I hear a cry, a baby. The surgeon brings it out and hands it to a nurse. “It’s a girl,” she says out loud.
“A girl named Skye,” the shadow adds and my heart races.
At that moment a winged beast sprawls out of the shadows and swallows me. I wake up at 8.15, too late for class I think, but I can’t move.
I’m shivering and my eyes are unblinking. It takes a while before I remember who I am and where I am, and steadily I feel my fingers and feet. My body returns to me.
I lift my head up but slump back down in my pillow , I’m so sore I could swear I just ended three hours of working out. I still can’t move, so I stare at the ceiling. For a while not a thought comes through my mind, until hunger makes me want to try again. I straighten up and unfold, leaning on one elbow. This effort alone makes me want to go back to sleep.
“What the heck was that?” I mutter, thinking about the nightmare. I sigh and see my phone lightening up.
Several messages from Hannah, some from Ian, one from my aunt…and one from a number I don’t know. I can’t pretend it’s a mistake, the message starts with my name. I don’t like unknown numbers, I feel on the edge whenever I see one I hadn’t expected.
Skye, we need to talk about that story. I can come by and we can start working today.
I let go of my phone when I see his name. How did he get my number? I call Hannah right away.
“Hey sweetie, what’s going on?”
“Are you in class?” I whisper, God knows why.
“Uh… No, it’s Saturday,” she replies with a giggle.
“Is It? I feel like…never mind,” my chest tightens as I try to gather my mind and think straight. “Ariel texted me,” I say, holding my head as though I’m about to throw up.
“Why?” I can hear the disgust in her tone. “And how? How did he get your number?”
“I don’t know…” I moan and hear the doorbell. In a desperate effort I stand up and wobble to the window. I can’t see who is at the door but air is sucked out of me when I see who is leaning on my aunt’s car. It’s Michael… Which can only mean one thing – and surely enough I hear Ariel’s voice downstairs talking to my stupid aunt. How could she let him in?
“They’re here,” I whisper to Hannah, frightened as though my life was at stake here.
“Who?” I hear her voice but faintly. All my attention goes to Michael. He stares at me now, through the blind. Aren’t these supposed to conceal what’s inside? Perhaps he sees my shadow…either way, his stare is long and unyielding; his face is emotionless, yet it has me in a fit.
” What do I do?” I ask her desperately.
“Who is there Skye?”
Before I can answer, Ariel enters my bedroom. Slowly, naturally, and he closes the door behind him.
An impulse I can’t control makes me hang up the phone, but the moment it’s done I know I’ve made a mistake.
I swallow hard and don’t know what to say. No boy has ever been in my bedroom, and I certainly didn’t want him to be the first. I make a step back and become suddenly aware that I’m wearing an idiotic pyjama. It’s sandy-coloured and has kangaroos jumping up and down all over it. It was a joke from Hannah for my birthday, I told her I threw it out, but truth is it’s actually comfy. Now my secret is blown. At least I’m only wearing the bottom half, with a tank top…a transparent tank top. I grab a pillow and hold it in front of my chest.
“What are you doing here?” I’m so angry, my mind clear at last.
“I’ve come for our homework…” He says, his voice low and grating on my skin. The hair on my arms rises all at once and I feel queasy.
“You know what?” I suddenly have a brilliant idea. “Don’t worry about it, I’ll work on it and put both our names, all right?” I feel like I’m pleading with a crazy man robbing a bank and I’m the clueless employee.
“No,” he simply says.
Clueless indeed. I’m lost for words and can’t see a way out of this.
“I want to do this.”
I stare, still scared and uncomfortable. I eye quickly above my shoulders and see Michael isn’t outside anymore.
“Where’s your brother gone?” I ask, praying hard he has not also found a way into this house.
“I don’t know.”
I glare at him. “It’s Saturday. You can’t just barge into my bedroom and expect me to work on this at your demand. I don’t want to.”
He doesn’t say a word but a small frown appears on his ice-cold face.
“You’re telling me no?”
I’m both surprised and appalled by his lack of manners.
“Get the heck out of my house, now!”
I don’t know if my eyes are deceiving me, but I could have sworn I saw a smirk, growing gently at the corner of his lips.
He opens the door and leaves. “See you Monday.” This doesn’t sound like a friendly remark, more like a threat. And with that he is gone. I sigh and sink to the floor, my hands shaking.
My phone rings and it’s Hannah. I see she has tried to call me back three times already but it seems like time stood still for as long as he was here. I didn’t hear anything else but his metallic voice and the sound of my heart thumping.
I don’t take the call. I put my phone away and grab the notepad on my nightstand. Whenever I’m stressed or angry or sad, the urge to draw or write is bigger. I don’t feel like writing anything in particular, strangely my mind is blank, and yet my fingers move up and down. I am a witness to my own hand, and watch, puzzled, the drawing unveiling itself before my eyes. It’s a man in a cave, shackles on his wrists and ankles. He stares at the void, at the black emptiness around him. His gaze is sad, the saddest I’ve ever seen. I have a strong feeling of something or someone familiar…but none of this makes sense to me. I see something I wasn’t expecting. Behind him, just above his shoulder, there’s a lump. It’s curved at the top and feathers are falling from the wound. It’s all about him now, white feathers everywhere, strewn on the ground like dead leaves in autumn.
I stand back a little. I never feel pride in what I write or draw. I don’t see the point. But here, there’s something special. I’m elated and particularly happy with the result. Until I see it. In the bottom right corner, in the midst of the cave’s shadows and the white of my page, is something I didn’t write. It’s where I usually sign my drawings, but this isn’t my handwriting.
There’s only one word.
Copyright©2016 by Jane W King
Next chapter coming up very soon!