Authors: Dena Nicotra
Copyright © 2013 Dena Nicotra
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written permission of the author.
This novel is a work of fiction. All characters, events, and locations are either derived from the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locations, or persons (living or dead) is entirely coincidental.
I smiled at the text message which read, ‘
’ it was a follow up to the whisper in my head from Kalan,
Let’s skip the rest of the day and go to our spot
. My professor was wrapping up his lecture on Associationism — which delved into the concept of memories, and how each experience forms a specific link in the chain of human behavior. This is a concept that holds more truth than Professor Olrick could possibly fathom. There are those among us who can pluck out specific links for people at will, and thereby change every association a person has to any event in their lives. This is an ability reserved for a select group of beings that exist unbeknown to ordinary folks. We are weavers: those who guard the light and dark threads of life. Those who spin alternate events, or entirely new events in the lives of those who need it. This responsibility has existed since the beginning of time itself, and it’s one I’m still trying to get the hang of.
, plus Kalan for me…equals total distraction. I closed my psychology book, gathered up my spiral notebook, and tucked them both into my bag. “
I’ll meet you there.
” I whispered back mentally. Although students sitting next to me may have noticed me gathering up my things, I tried to be very quiet because I didn’t want to interrupt Professor Olrick’s lecture. Of course, I’m used to no one noticing when I disappear. Having the ability to move through time, and communicate telepathically with your boyfriend has its advantages. Yet I could have sworn my professor glanced over just as I was fading out. He’s more intuitive than most and I have a great deal of respect for him. His topics are intriguing and always seem to shed a little bit of light on my life as a weaver in some way. Maybe it has more to do with me understanding how people process information. I’d been having a little trouble with that myself lately.
As I appeared beneath the willow tree, Kalan’s arms encircled my waist
and our lips met before my materialization was even complete. “What took you so long?” he growled between kisses. I laughed and wound my fingers in his sandy hair. It wasn’t easy to deny Kalan anything. One kiss and I was instantly the equivalent of melted butter. He ran his hands down the length of my back before pulling me back by the waist so that he could look at me.
“So, let’s talk about how much you love me,” he said. His innocent expression reminded me of a little boy.
“Do you not know how much? You really should by now,” I teased.
“Enough to pull me out of the hands of death
“Exactly, and I’d pull the moon from the sky if you asked,” I
“Tell me again how you did that baby.” His hands were stroking my back again sending tiny shivers down my spine.
“I used love,” I said and kissed his lips again.
His eyes took on that glassy look that made me tremble. Honestly, he could make me forget my own
name when he gave me that look!
“You know, we’ve got to stop skipping classes
like this, we’re never going to graduate if we keep this up,” I said in my most parental tone. He pretended to attempt to bite my wagging finger, and then chased me around until we both fell into the cool grass laughing. Kalan is most definitely my kryptonite and truth be told, he knows it.
“We’ve got a lifetime to learn whatever we want
, and I have a lot I need to learn from you.” He kissed the tip of my nose, and tugged my chin up so that he could look deep into my eyes. “Why not pause to learn from each other?” Who could say no to those pale blue eyes? I conceded with the next kiss and we spent the remainder of the afternoon talking about the intricacies of weaving, feasting on wild blackberries and swimming in the calm lake that exists in an alternate version of my parent’s property — a small farm in rural Arkansas. I called this place home before I met Kalan and went away with him to California to go to college. That was after my papaw died. Somewhere in between this, I forgot about meeting Kalan, and going away to college. My history with him had been erased, and I was left with little more than the sad reality of losing my papaw.
The gaping holes in my memories
left me clueless until a mysterious voice began talking to me in my head and beckoning me to California. I had no way of knowing that the voice I followed was whispering from the grave. My sweet Kalan’s voice. Somehow, he had the strength to hold on to his soul long enough for me to find him and restore the life that belonged to us. Although he refuses to take any credit for that, and insists it was me that held him from the permanence of death. I’m not sure that’s true. That was six months ago and I’m still not very confident in my abilities. The truth is it’s overwhelming to dwell on it. It’s sort of like thinking about infinite space, or the concept of eternity. After all, how long is
A gentle breeze blew strands of Kalan’s sandy hair across his cheek as he lay sleeping peacefully beneath the shade of the trees. I didn’t have the heart to wake him. I brushed the strands back, and kissed his cheek before snuggling down next to him. The view of dappled light through the branches overhead was l
ovely, and there was no place I’d rather be. This tranquil little farm was my haven and the only life I knew before my life was forever changed by the work of a malicious dark weaver named Railey and her even darker mentor, Lela.
I’d had to fight my way through stolen memories, altered time, and death itself to restore Kalan’s life. In the process
, I’d also learned that I was a master weaver. I am a rare breed in the world of weavers because I hold the power to restore life, and undo the treadling, (work) of other weavers. I’m different from other weavers in other ways as well. For example, I prefer to do things the natural way because it’s easier and it makes me feel more normal. In addition, I wasn’t born with my abilities like the majority of weavers. I inherited them. My abilities derived from a gift that was given to my papaw when he was little. An offering of thanks given by a little girl, trapped in an old quartz mine on our property. That little girl was Queen Genessa, and she was Kalan’s mother. Her gift allowed me to restore the lives of both my mamaw and my papaw but the cost of that gift was the sacrifice of her own life. Weaving always comes with some form of a consequence.
If there’s one
lesson I’ve learned it’s that there is one aspect that sustains the lineage of light weavers: selfless love. Of course, my papaw says, ‘there’s a flip side to everything’ and in the world of weavers, the dark ones are our flip side. Their efforts gravitate toward the negative aspects of life. It could be something as simple as losing a job, arguing with a friend, or as damaging as something far darker. Have you ever done something you just couldn’t believe you were capable of? You know, something you’d give anything to undo, or you’re ashamed of, or embarrassed about? That’s likely the work of a Dark weaver. The human condition enables us to do some pretty reckless things, but more often than you’d think; a dark weaver is behind your actions. Then there are those who have both light and dark tendencies —or, rather, there is one who has both. Somewhere in the distance, a whippoorwill began to sing. I closed my eyes and allowed sleep to carry me away even though I knew Kessler Shaw would be there, waiting for me in my dreams. I haven’t seen him since that day he came to my rescue in the quartz mine where his sister Railey had trapped me, but his visits to my dreams began almost immediately afterward. It’s almost always the same…
standing alone on the beach. It’s dark, but the moon is full and it lights up the sand. He appears behind me. I can sense his presence like the heat of a furnace. I turn around to face him, and he raises his index finger to his lips then he touches his finger to my own before saying something that I cannot make out. There’s a look in his eyes that is so rich with emotion it makes me want to cry.
There’s more to it, I know that I am forgetting little pieces because each time I wake up I can feel it slipping just far enough from my memory that I cannot pull it back. I awake from the dream abruptly this time because Kalan is shaking my shoulders and his eyes are wide.
“Jo, wake up! It’s just a dream!”
It takes me a moment to focus on his face and realize that I’ve been dreaming again.
“Are you okay?” he asks, and brushes a tear from my cheek. A tear?
“Yes, I’m fine
,” I wiped my eyes with the back of my hand, “I—I was just having a bad dream I guess.”
“You screamed so loud Jo. I was sound asleep and it woke me up
…I thought someone was hurting you until I realized you were sound asleep.”
“I screamed?” I looked down at the blanket and picked at a loose thread as I frantically scoured over what I could remember of the dream. Nothing about it seemed scary, although I couldn’t remember all of it. “I don’t know why I screamed.
Kalan shook his head and
I caught a fleeting emotion shift across his face. Was it annoyance or was it fear? “You screamed…Kess!” he said gruffly.
I didn’t know what to say in response to this, but a
n unexpected sense of guilt made me shift my eyes away from him. It was more than guilt actually – it was a strange emptiness that always came after those dreams. Like tendrils of lonesomeness that left me all melancholy.
Kalan I’m sorry. I don’t know why I screamed that. I don’t even remember what I was dreaming.” I lied. The truth was, I remembered more this time than I ever had. He ran his hands through his tawny hair and gave me a weak smile.
“Let’s go home okay?”
He nodded and took my hand before weaving us back to our place. We share a small duplex about a mile from the campus. It is overrun with bougainville
vines, and shaded with a variety of oversized trees. You can hardly see it from the street, and once you step inside the world seems to fade away. I fell in love with it because the arched, glass doorways reminded me of something right out of a storybook. There are two double units joined by a small, stone courtyard bedecked with more bougainvillea
and a quaint, iron patio set. The fact that there is no swimming pool was a plus for me given that it stirred up painful memories, and since no one lives in the other units, we have all the privacy we need. Kalan’s place is in the front, and mine is in the back. We have a common door that joins our units together, but it’s rarely closed. Initially we had wanted a single place to share, but when we found this place with the separate units, we both agreed it would be nice to have the extra space.
I kissed Kalan in the archway
that joins our units and excused myself to take a hot shower. At that moment, all I wanted was to sort out my thoughts and I couldn’t do that with Kalan too close to me. I could tell by his woeful expression that he sensed some tension but I just didn’t feel ready to talk about it with him. How could I possibly explain the dreams I’d been having about Kessler? I blanketed my thoughts so that he couldn’t read me, and plodded down the hall. I knew he was still standing there watching me walk away, and as much as it hurt, I couldn’t look back. Something didn’t feel right. Something was…missing.
I turned the
knobs to the hottest setting and tilted my head forward so that the water could run down my stiff shoulders. My mind raced with the bits of information that my dream had revealed. I understood now what Kess had silently mouthed in my dream. He’d said “Presque vu.” I thought back to Mrs. Ledet, my old Cajun English teacher and her lessons. It was the first time I had heard words that explained the side effects of what I do. That particular word was especially intriguing because it meant
and defines those elusive memories, which are just out of the mind’s reach. It is the embodiment of how people feel when a weaver has touched their life. I poured a dollop of shampoo in my hand and scrubbed it into my hair telling myself repeatedly that it was just a dream, and that nothing was missing from my life.
I had Kalan back. My
papaw was alive again, my family was happy, and everything was perfect. So why was I feeling so disturbed? I lathered in conditioner, shaved my legs, and spent a solid twenty minutes plucking my eyebrows and scrutinizing every pore on my face. By the time I’d finished dressing in a pair of sweats and one of Kalan’s sweatshirts, I’d made up my mind. I would speak with Professor Olrick about the phenomenon of presque vu the next day at school. After all, I was a psychology major and it wouldn’t seem like an odd question. Maybe if I could put a clinical perception on my feelings I would be able to shake that nagging anxiety that kept creeping into my head.
“Hey gorgeous, I thought you
floated down the drain in there,” Kalan said as I entered the kitchen where he was busily stirring the contents of a sizzling skillet.
“Mmmm, it smells so good in here. What are you making?” I slid my arms around his waist from behind and inhaled the delicious aroma of garlic and onion.
I was truly spoiled with all of the cooking he did for us. “My world famous spaghetti,” he mused and gently tapped my hand as I inched around him to steal a small pinch of sausage from the pan.
“Uh-uh-uh, no sneaking
bites before it is ready!” I swallowed the bite and made my way to the refrigerator for the pitcher of sweet tea. “Oh Kalan, that tastes terrific!” I poured my glass and jumped up to sit on the counter.