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Authors: Amber Garza

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BOOK: Prowl
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My hands shook. I pulled my fingers away.

“What’re you doing,” Rhiannon hissed at me. “You’re being rude.”

The pointer moved forward with dizzying speed and Rhiannon could barely keep her fingers on. Chills broke out all over my arms. A cold sweat slithered down my back as I saw that it was spelling my name repeatedly.

“Make it stop!” I screamed.

“I can’t!” she responded. “He obviously came here for you.”

“What do I do?” The planchette still swirled around the board spelling the word Mackenzie.

“Put your fingers back on.”

I obeyed and the pointer settled. Rhiannon pushed her hair back and cleared her throat calmly.

“So, Wesley, do you have a message for Kenzie?”

I glared at her not wishing to hear a message from a board game. I still wasn’t sure how she was causing this but I wasn’t ready to buy into the fact that Wesley was a spirit speaking to me from beyond the grave.

The planchette moved again, slower this time and it spelled the name David. My stomach dropped like I’d just rode a roller coaster. I sucked in a breath.

“Does that name mean anything to you?” Rhiannon asked.

“That’s my dad’s name.”

“Is he dead?”

“I don’t know. I’ve never met him.”

“Wesley, do you know Kenzie’s dad?”

Y-E-S.

“Where is he?” The words tumbled from my mouth before I could stop them.

C-A-N-T T-E-L-L.

“But you do know?” I asked.

Y-E-S.

“I-is he dead?”

N-O.

I sighed with relief. I may be totally angry with him for abandoning me but I didn’t want him to be dead.

Before we could ask another question the planchette moved again. B-Y-E.

“Wait, don’t leave yet,” I pleaded but I could tell he’d already left. The air was lighter around me; the pointer stayed still.

“That was awesome!” Rhiannon said.

“A little freaky too. Do you really think that was a spirit?”

“Totally. I wasn’t moving the planchette. Were you?”

I shook my head.

“And besides that the spirit knew about your dad. How can you explain that?”

I couldn’t. As skeptical as I’d been there just didn’t seem to be any other explanation. Obviously, Rhiannon wasn’t guiding the pointer and she didn’t know anything about my dad. Nobody did. I’m not even sure my grandma did. Mom kept pretty tightlipped about it. I only found out by accident when I stumbled across a picture of the two of them. His name was scrawled across the back in Mom’s handwriting. She had no choice but to tell me the truth when I confronted her about it.

“If you need proof, next time we’ll ask him to give us a sign. I’ve seen spirits blow out candles before or knock something over just to prove that they’re really here.”

I shivered. “You really think he’ll come back?”

“Oh yeah. He clearly has a message for you. He’ll keep coming back until he can deliver it.”

“Why didn’t he just tell me now?”

She shrugged. “The supernatural world is a mystery.”

Wasn’t that the truth? I was starting to regret this whole experience. My skin crawled. It was time to get out of here.

“I better go. Thanks for everything.”

“Sure. Hey, what about your sweater? It’s not done washing.” She opened a nearby drawer and pulled a black cardigan out. “Borrow this for now.” She threw it to me.

I caught it. It wouldn’t match my floral dress but it was better than showing off my bloodied arms. “Thanks.” I put it on.

When I got back home Grandma was already there. She sat on the couch, a tattered paperback in her hand. Her legs were stretched out, her feet propped up on the coffee table. She turned to me, a worried look on her face.

“Where have you been?”

I contemplated lying and saying that I did in fact go to lunch with Isaac but I figured she’d probably find out the truth sooner or later. “I was at Rhiannon’s.” My gaze landed on a bouquet of flowers and a can of soup that lay on the coffee table near her feet. “What’s this?”

“Isaac brought it by for you. Said you weren’t feeling well.” Grandma raised an eyebrow, cocked her head to one side. “What’s going on, Kenzie?”

“I don’t want to talk about it.”

“Did you and Isaac have a fight?” she pressed.

I nodded.

“I’m sorry, honey. You want to talk about it?” She patted the couch next to her, inviting me to sit.

“Not really.” I stayed standing.

“Well, I’m sure you two will make up in no time.”

That night I dreamt of Rhiannon’s Ouija board. A black creature with large, sharp talons emerged from the board. His eyes were dark red like the color of blood and his teeth were sharp like razor blades. He batted at me, chomped his teeth. I screamed and ran. A laugh so sinister it made my blood run cold pierced the air. He was faster than me and before I knew it he was on top of me. He clawed at my flesh, slicing up and down my arms, lines that matched the ones I’d made.

I woke in a cold sweat, my skin tingling.

7

 

“W
hat are you going to do while I’m at work today?” Grandma asked over breakfast. She wore a sleek black pantsuit and a simple strand of pearls around her neck. Her hair was curled softly around her face. I wore sweats, and my tresses stuck out all over my head in a mess of tangles and knots.

“I don’t know,” I answered.

“Maybe you could do something with Isaac.”

I narrowed my eyes.

“You’re going to have to talk to him at some point.”

“Not necessarily.”

“Whatever he did it couldn’t have been that bad.”

I bent over my bowl of cereal, raised the spoon to my lips.

“Of course I don’t know what happened because you won’t tell me.”

I giggled at Grandma’s tenacity and milk dribbled down my chin. Swiftly, I stopped it with my napkin. After discarding it on the table I glanced up at Grandma who was leaning over her bowl of cereal. Taking a deep breath, I gathered up the courage to ask the question I’d wanted all morning.

“Grandma, what do you know about my dad?”

She froze, spoon suspended in midair. Her eyes widened. “Um…not much actually.” She shoved the spoon into her mouth and chewed at a snail’s pace as if she hoped never to swallow.

“C’mon, Grandma, you must know something.”

“No, not really.” She turned away from me, carrying her bowl to the sink. Turning on the water she scrubbed the dishes with a sponge. Soapsuds caked the bottom of her sleeves.

Undeterred, I got up and followed her. “That can’t be true. If they were a couple then you knew him.” A thought struck me. “Unless he was a one night stand.”

No, because then why would she have the picture?

Grandma faced me, wiping her hands on a towel. “You really need to ask your mom these questions.” “I have. She won’t tell me anything. I only know his name and what he looks like because I found a picture of the two of them.”

She frowned at me, pity filling her face. “I’m sorry. You deserve to know more than that.”

“Exactly. So tell me.”

“I can’t.”

“Why not?”

“Because I promised your mom I wouldn’t.”

I threw my arms up in the air in exasperation. “That’s so unfair. I have the right to know about my dad. He’s half of me.” I stomped out of the kitchen. “Whatever. If you or mom won’t tell me I’ll find out another way.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Nothing.” I stalked into my room and slammed the door. Snatching up the phone, I began dialing Haley, but then thought better of it. I hung up and dialed the only person who could help me.

When Rhiannon answered I said, “Hey, do you mind if I come over?”

“Not at all.”

I caught my messy reflection in the mirror. “Okay. I’ll be over as soon as I shower and change.”

“Sounds good.”

After Grandma left for work and I finished getting ready, I headed to Rhiannon’s. When I opened my front door Isaac stood before me with his arm poised, ready to knock.

“Sorry. I’m just heading out,” I said icily and stepped past him.

“Wait.” He grabbed my arm. His skin was warm and I melted beneath his touch.

“What’s going on?”

“Nothing.” I shook my arm out of his grasp.

“Well, you clearly weren’t sick yesterday. Did I do something to upset you?”

I bit my lip, contemplating my answer.

He continued, “I thought things were going so well between us.”

I shrugged. “Yeah, we had fun together. So what?”

“Why are you being so cold?”

The hurt in his voice squeezed my heart. I wanted to grab him, take him in my arms. I wanted to let him hold me and never let go but it wasn’t that simple. I didn’t know if I could trust him and I wasn’t going to let him hurt me. So, I needed to push him away. I had already fallen harder than I wanted to.

“What did you expect, Isaac? That we were gonna fall madly in love and ride off into the sunset together? Get real. I’m only here for the summer. I’m not looking for a relationship.”

“I don’t know where all this is coming from. Did Brooke say something to you?”

“This has nothing to do with Brooke.” I raised my voice. “It has to do with me and what I want, okay?”

He nodded. “Yeah, okay.”

As he trudged off, my heart sank. I watched him leave and it was all I could do to stay rooted in place and not go running after him. How could I have been so cruel? What if Brooke lied? Shouldn’t I have let him explain? I shook away the questions. No, it was better this way. What I said was true. There was no such thing as fairy-tales. I needed to move on before my heart got torn apart again.

“Took you long enough,” Rhiannon said when she let me in.

“Sorry. I got detained.”

“I saw through the window. Lover-boy looked pretty dejected. What did you say to the poor guy?”

I shook my head. “I don’t want to talk about it.”

She shrugged. “Whatever. Hey, I made something for you. C’mon.”

I trailed after her down the hallway. We entered her room. Incense burned in the corner giving the room a strong patchouli smell.

“See, look. I made you a salve.” She held up a bowl of slimy stuff.

I furrowed my brow in confusion.

“For your cut. It’s supposed to heal super fast.”

“Are you sure it’ll work?”

“It’s worth a try. You wanna be able to wear short sleeves soon, right? I don’t know how you can stand running around in the hundred-degree weather like that. I’d die.”

“It’s not ideal.”

“Okay, give me your arm.”

I rolled up my sleeve, held it out. She wiped on some of the solution and it actually felt really good. “How does that feel?”

“Not bad.”

“Cool. Now watch it over the next couple of days and see if it gets better.”

“What’s in it?”

“If I told you than I’d have to kill you.”

I froze, studied her expression.

She laughed. “I’m just kidding. Geez, lighten up.”

I relaxed.

“What do you wanna do?” She asked plopping down on her bed.

“Wanna play with the Ouija board?”

“I guess.”

“Do you think Wesley will come back?”

“Probably, and if not we can always summon him.”

“Summon him, huh?”

“Yeah, like hold a séance.”

“Is that what you were doing the night I heard you chanting?”

Rhiannon nodded. She got up from the bed and then rooted around in her nightstand drawer. When she pulled her hand out, she brandished a lighter. Flitting around the room, she lit a dozen or so candles and then she turned out the light. In the darkened room, candlelight danced casting long shadows on the walls. I felt a little uneasy as we sat down on the floor in front of the board. But I couldn’t turn back now. Wesley may be the only one who could give me information on my dad.

With quivering fingers I reached down to touch the planchette and Rhiannon did the same. Within seconds it started to move. My heart thumped loudly in my chest and I bit my lip, praying it was Wesley.

H-I.

“Hi,” I said.

“Who is this?” Rhiannon asked.

The minute the pointer moved over the W my palms broke out in sweat. I pulled my hand back to wipe it on my pants and the pointer followed me, bumped into my knee. I noticed Rhiannon’s fingers were not on it.

She sucked in a breath. “I’ve never seen it do that before. It’s like he knows your every move.”

I swiftly returned my fingers.

“Wesley,” Rhiannon asked. “Can you see us?”

BOOK: Prowl
4.97Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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