Emilia’s Awakening: Chapter Four

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Catch up on previous chapters here: Chapter One, Chapter Two, Chapter Three.

I stumbled back into the hall banging my back into the corner of the dresser. A sharp pain burned beneath the surface. “Emilia, please don’t leave.”  Was I mistaken? Maybe she wasn’t dead, but her creamy bluish skin told otherwise. I slowly pushed the door open.

“H…Hello?” I whispered into the room.

“Emilia. You finally came.” The woman in white rushed from her usual perch at the window and stood just before me.

“Who are you?”

“My name is Morea,” while her hair was a mess of spiraled curls, I couldn’t help but notice the likeness of her and the woman on the bed.

“Is that you?” My finger shook as I pointed at the body.

“It is.” She looked back at the bed, her hazel eyes wrecked with pain.

“What happened? Why hasn’t anyone found you?”

“I only meant to help those of our kind, but some didn’t share my desire. They separated me from my body, and imprisoned me here to stare at the life I once had for all of eternity.” She looked away before she crossed the room and stood in front of the mirror. “It’s been many years since I have met a person with your talents. Someone who can help me.”

“I don’t understand…”

“You can help me transfer back to my physical form, and I can assist you with your greatest desire. You see, I have particular talents. I know things about people; some they don’t even know themselves. And I know you don’t want this gift.”

My mind spun trying to understand. “You’re right… I’d do anything to get rid of it.”

“Then let me help you. But first, you must help me.”

“How? I can only see you, what use is that?”

“You are much more than you realize. Just follow my instruction.” I backed away from her. “I promise. All this will be gone, and you will be free from this burden.”

I paused, unsure of what to think, “okay…”

Joy lit up her eyes, “First, please light the candles.” She pointed at a white box of matches sitting on the dresser. Six candles lay in a circle on the floor as if they had been prepared years before. The burnt black tips and thick droplets of dried yellowed wax that ran down the sides suggested they were well used. She pointed at the matches sitting on the dresser. I followed her direction and lit one at a time until a ring of light surrounded me.

“Write Morea Delphiare on this slip of paper.” A paper floated down from seemingly nowhere. I found a pen in Nate’s jacket pocket and did as she said. “Now, repeat these words and do exactly as I say.”

I repeated after her. “I break the binds on this life that were once cast upon her.” I stuck the paper into the flickering light, and it instantly ignited. “As the paper burns, she is free from the shackles that hold her hostage.” I watched her name turn into ash and crumble to the floor. I feared the red embers would ignite the dust as they fell to the floor, but nothing happened. I tossed the remaining bit of paper into the flame of the candle before it reached my fingertips. “And extinguished shall this bind forever be.” I blew out the candles as I lit them.

A swirl of dust and smoke surrounded me, I began to cough and wheeze under the thick air. My heart pounded in my chest as a prickle grew through my body. I only felt the sensation once. The prickle developed into a burn until it released with an explosion of air, sending me and the candles crashing into the wall.

“Emma!” Nate was smacking my cheeks when I woke. “Emma. Come on. We’ve gotta get you out of here.” The room was blurry, and I could barely make out his face. I wasn’t sure if the room was disheveled or if it was my head spinning. Before I could gain my bearings, I was being lifted from the floor and carried down the steps. I could hear her calling him, “Stop, she’s not done. Stop!” Her voice had changed from the sweet woman calling my name to a deep distorted growl. Or maybe it was my head.

A cool kiss of wind on my cheek, let me know we were outside and brought me out of my fog. “You could see her,” Nate whispered as he lay me down on the grass, just as the world began to stop spinning.

The other boys on watch encircled us pouring their flashlights into my face. “What happened?”

“Get that light out of my face,” I said, holding my hand up to block the light. I held my head as I tried to sit. What was I going to say to them? I began to panic as the thought of my secret began to slip. Nate knew my secret. Nate reached over to help me sit. “DON’T TOUCH ME!” I wasn’t sure what was going to come out of my mouth next. “He tried to kiss me!”

Emilia’s Awakening: Chapter Three

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Missed previous chapters? Start here: Chapter One, Chapter Two.

The bare branches of fall painted skeletons on the siding and their shadows danced under the gaze of the moon. I swallowed hard following Nate closer to the house. The pulse vibrating deep under my skin only grew stronger with each step.

Why would Vanessa do this? She stood with her arms crossed and a smug half smile smeared on her face. She knew I wanted Brad to stay with me, at least he would have been a good distraction. Maybe she thought I would chicken out. But Nate… why did she pick him?

I might have thought Nate was cute in my old life. He was slender but not scrawny, maybe like a soccer player would be. He pulled down on the black beanie and fiddled with the zipper on his jacket before glancing back at the group. They huddled around each other. There’s strength in numbers I hear, and they were content in letting us fend for ourselves. They don’t even know what resides in that house and I bet not one of them would have taken our place.

“Move,” I shoved Nate to the side and yanked the padlock off, and the door opened like it was inviting us in. A low rumble of “ooh’s” came from the crowd of boys behind us. I was ready for this night to be over. Maybe it was the general creepiness of the house, or it was the pulsing itself, but none of me wanted to go in there. It felt bad. It felt wrong.

When the door slid open, the wind angered the dust that lay dormant on the floor, twisting it into an unbreathable fog. The dust dried my mouth and coated my lungs, but I pushed through the cloud until we reached the opening on the other side.

The house seemed untouched. Not even a sign of rodents or birds disrupted the dust on any of the surfaces, but our own shoes left distinct footprints on the hardwood floor. I stepped light, trying not to kick up another dust storm. I didn’t know the last time the house was occupied, but the furniture remained covered like it was just waiting for its owner to return home from their vacation in Florida.

“Why the hell are we doing this?” Nate objected.

“Because if we don’t, then we have to run through the gym naked. And I don’t know about you, but I would rather get this over tonight then get expelled.”

“Or we could just not do either?”

“That’s not how it works Nate. Stop being a baby.” A breeze floated through the room, making the tiny hairs on my arms stand up.

I rubbed my arms, trying to release the chill that encompassed me. These autumn nights were hard to judge with the fight of the seasons, and I only wore a tee-shirt thinking Vanessa’s house would be the only destination.

“Here.” Nate swung his jacket off and handed it to me, “I’ve at least got a hoodie.”

“Thank you.” I hung my head feeling a little sorry for snapping at him, now that he’d given me his jacket. It was two sizes too big, but the inside was soft and warm, and it smelled like Abercrombie and Fitch. We passed a flight of stairs and went through an archway decorated with vintage white molding. Dark curtains held back by yellow and gold tassels lined the boarded-up windows of the lower floor. A few chairs and a sofa formed a sitting area on the opposite side. This was as good a spot as any to camp for the night. Nate folded the sheet that covered a yellowed sofa to contain the dust. The sofa itself didn’t hold a speck.

Despite the musky smell that attacked my nose when I sat, it was more comfortable than I expected. “What should we do?”

“I dunno. Sleep? At least the night will go by faster.” He placed the flashlight upright on the center table releasing an umbrella of light that illuminated the whole room.

I had to agree. I wanted to get out of here and the faster, the better or at least before she found me. I had no desire to know what the woman in the window wanted. It was strange enough that she hadn’t already found me. Based on past experiences I’d never had trouble with spirits coming to me before. I curled up into the far corner of the couch, opposite of Nate and closed my eyes.

A faint tapping jostled me from a light sleep. I pulled my feet onto the sofa like something from beneath might grab them and pull me into another dimension. Despite Nate’s warm jacket, an icy chill that I was too familiar with swept the room. Right on cue, the flashlight began to flicker. I took a deep breath and tried to calm my heartbeat that only seemed to amplify the pulse that beat through the house. Nate shifted in his sleep and shivered. Could he feel it too?

No, that’s silly. The only other person I’ve met was Sky. I watched the archway near the stairs, waiting for the woman in white to descend, but she never came. I leaned back in my corner of the couch and pulled Nate’s jacket tight up around my neck and closed my eyes.

The chill refused to fade. Sleeping now would be impossible. I flashed my phone screen, 3:02 AM. I pushed myself off the couch, careful not to wake Nate. We both shouldn’t have to suffer this night. I walked back toward the entrance, hoping that the “guards” may have left for the night. But before I even reached the window near the door, light from their flashlights­- or maybe headlights- drew tiny slits on the wall from between the boards.

“Emilia…”  My heart jumped at the unfamiliar voice. “Emilia…” it cooed again. Nate slept soundly on the couch. I expected the woman to appear somewhere, but nothing. Usually, spirits didn’t hesitate, but if there is one thing I knew about the lady in white, she wasn’t typical.

Something drew me to the stairs. Maybe it was my curiosity or the inner detective from my adventures with Sky, but I couldn’t help but follow the voice.

Each step made a creak that I was sure would wake Nate. He only shuffled once, and his soft snores continued. The pulse turned into a pound that vibrated in the floor boards. No color on the upper floor was distinguishable in the dust and darkness. Objects began to form from the moonlight coming in the window at the end of the hall, a dresser of sorts and three doors were all that mark the hallway.

I passed the first door and stopped in front of the second. The pounding halted. I stared at the old wood door and examined its rusty knob, unsure if it would even open. The pounding subsided, leaving in its place the first sense of peace since we arrived. “Come in...”

I stared at the knob for what felt like hours, mostly because my body refused to move. My muscles screamed and fought as I bent my elbow to reach the door handle. The knob protested my entry with the unruly grind of metal on metal, forcing my teeth to clench. Dust and paint fell from the doorway into my hair, as the door finally surrendered and opened.

My eyes begin to adjust to the darkened room, and I covered my mouth to prevent a scream. On the metal-framed bed, lay a woman. Her brown hair tied back behind her head and her hands folded across her stomach. She was not a spirit at all. She was physical, and she was dead.

Thanks for stopping in, chapter four will be released 6/16/17. I hope you are enjoying Emilia’s Awakening. Leave me a comment below with your thoughts and predictions!

Emilia’s Awakening: Chapter Two

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IF YOU MISSED CHAPTER ONE LAST WEEK PLEASE GO HERE BEFORE READING: CHAPTER ONE

I imagine some people would be creeped out by walking through a cemetery, but when you deal with ghosts daily I guess, it’s not really a concern. It’s quite peaceful. The spirits don’t linger there. They are more interested in tying up loose ends to cross over than they are about wandering around an old cemetery.

The oldest part is my favorite. The stones have so many details that modern markers don’t have. Sometimes I like to look up a name or two from them and just tot imagine what their life was like one hundred, maybe one hundred and fifty years ago. If only those were the spirits I talked to, then that would be interesting.

At the edge of the oldest part of the cemetery is an old Victorian groundskeeper’s house. I liked to imagine what the house looked like years ago when its paint was vibrant and not the chipping weathered blue and grays it is now. It must have been beautiful. It’s sad that no one lives there now, and the rumors were true that it’s haunted.

Every day, a woman beckoned to me from the top floor window. She stood there like she was waiting for me to pass. The white gown she wore made of lace crept up her neck, stopping under her chin and wrapped down her arms. Her pleasant grin was nothing more than inviting.

But I didn’t like her. She didn’t feel like previous spirits I’d met. Usually, they brought a chill that vibrated to my bones, but she had a pulse, a heavy pulse. I could feel it much deeper. Like she could reach through my core and into my soul if I got close enough.

I arrived at school and grabbed my history book from my locker and spritzed myself with my flowery perfume. Snaking through the people in the hall, I searched for Vanessa. A passerby bumped into Olivia Wagner, sending her books into a scatter on the floor. She sighed and pushed her red framed glasses up onto her nose before bending down to pick them up.

“People need to watch where they’re going,” I rolled my eyes in the direction the perpetrator went. I grabbed the papers that floated to the middle of the hallway, stacked them into a neat pile, and handed them back to her. “Here you go.”

“Thanks, Emma.”

I remember my first day at Hollis. The sun was shining bright, and the birds were chirping in the light fall breeze. It was like a sign that everything was going to be alright, even though my insides were a jittery mess. I had done everything to prepare for my new life. I dyed my hair a soft ombre blonde and Mom bought me new clothes and makeup. So, when I stepped through those doors of Hollis High School, I would be a new me. Emilia the weird girl who talks to dead people would be the past, and Emma Briggs would emerge from her ashes.

It didn’t take much for people to notice me, something I wasn’t quite used to. But I guess, everyone is always intrigued by the mystery of the new kid. People whispered about me when I walked by, and I began to feel apprehensive like it might all be the same as before. Until, I sat down in my first hour next to Vanessa Miller and people began to fight for seats around her. I knew she would be the ticket to my success here.

Vanessa leaned against the door of her blue locker. Her auburn hair delicately tracked just below her jawline, growing longer as it reached her chin.  Pictures filled with smiling faces lined the inside- many with me. She smiled when she saw me coming. She was effortlessly pretty. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t jealous, “You’re on time today.”

“Mrs. McTally told me if I were late again, she would see me in detention,” I rolled my eyes.

“Maybe if you got a car, then you wouldn’t have to walk.”

“I’m working on it!” I knew that wasn’t going to be a possibility. My mother barely made it on her own. There was no chance I was getting a car until I got one myself, but I had to make Vanessa think that I was.

When the five-minute warning bell rang, the hallway broke into a scatter. Vanessa grabbed her Algebra book from the base of her locker and shut the door. “I’m having a party on Friday. You better be there.”

I smiled and nodded as she paced down the hallway in the opposite direction. “Oh, and by the way. Brad’s going to be there.” She winked one of her big brown eyes at me before spinning down the hall. She knew my dislike for parties, but she also knew throwing Brad into the mix would make it a little more bearable.

That night, I arrived home before Mom and began working on my homework. Our van sputtered into the driveway, and she pulled a square box out of the back of her car.

“Oh, hi honey. I thought you had volleyball practice,” she drifted down the hall and came back around the corner after disposing of the box.

“Nope. It’s Monday, Mom.”

“Oh, right.”

“What was that?”

“Nothing. I had to help Angie clean out Aunt Fae’s house. She passed away last week. It was just some books and things Angie thought I might enjoy.”

I was at a loss for words. Mom didn’t seem too upset, but she didn’t talk much about those feelings, “Are you okay?”

“I’ll be okay,” she nodded, reassuring me.

I didn’t feel a particular way about the news of Aunt Fae’s death. She was my great aunt, and I didn’t know her very well. However, every time I met her, she seemed sweet and misunderstood. Mom’s family tended to call her Kooky Aunt Fae. I could never stand to call her that, I guess because I’m kooky in my own way.

***

Music pumped through the surround sound filling every room of Vanessa’s house. Sky and I wouldn’t have been caught dead at this party. We would have spent our Friday night walking around our small town searching for spirits to assist. Now, sitting in Vanessa’s extravagant living room, it’s strange to think about how different my life is. Our life was so simple then, but now everything screamed fancy from the towering windows to the sparkling chandelier that hung in the center of the room.

Some of the girls chatted around me and a group of boys hollered at the top of the balcony that overlooked the room. A six-foot blond had my attention. He leaned back with his hands against the railings in a way that showed off the toned muscles in his arms. I found a cork from a wine bottle sitting on the mahogany end table and rolled it between my fingers. I took aim at Brad’s back and tossed it hitting him in the shoulder. I would be lying if I said I didn’t want his attention. We had been flirting for a few weeks, but nothing official. I was kind of hoping tonight would change that.

He turned, looking over the edge of the balcony, and his grey-blue eyes narrowed on mine. He pointed a finger at me before he sprung down the stairs. I bit my lip, trying to hold back a smile.

“What do you think you’re doing?” he said, slamming his hands on the back of the couch.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I gave him an innocent smile, and he flipped over the back of the sofa, plopping onto the cushion next to me.

Vanessa interrupted our playful conversation, “Okay, Emma. Truth or dare?” Her coffee-colored eyes focused on me. Now that I was curled up next to Brad, I was content with not playing. His arm wrapped around my waist and pulled me in just a little bit closer. Why would I want to leave this spot?

I never picked truth. I’m always afraid they will ask “What is your deepest, darkest secret?” I know I could lie, but I’m bad at it. I always pick dare, but I hated that too, because once I had to use a toothbrush that was dipped in the toilet. I almost threw up. But nevertheless, I picked dare.

“I dare you to stay the rest of the night in that creepy old house in the graveyard,” Vanessa knew how much I disliked that house. Well, as much as I could tell her.

“I’m not staying there you psycho.”

“Why? You scared?”

“Hobos live in there. I’m not staying there by myself.” It was a complete and utter lie, but I hoped it would deter her from pushing forward.

“Fine,” I sighed in relief. Vanessa looked around the room. Her eyes stopped on a boy from my history class. His shaggy brown hair poked out of the bottom of his black beanie. The only thing I knew about him was that he was always up for a good party. I saw it in her eyes before she even said it. “Nate can stay with you.”

 

Chapter Three will be released on Friday, June, 9th, 2017. Drop a comment below I would love to hear your comments on the story as we go. And don’t forget to follow my page, so you don’t miss out on any chapters!