There were other times that were just as off settling that her Aunt would do as well. If they were walking in the dark, and the lamp lights flicker, She would run or drive quicker through it as if they were in danger.
When all the other kids in school spent the summer on vacations elsewhere, it was rare that they ever left the town. Her Aunt wouldn’t allow Alexa to go to the random school trips to the towns nearby. Well there was One time Alexa went out of town but that was because she snuck onto the bus to go with her class to a field trip that her Aunt forbid her to go to because it was out of town but as soon as she jumped out of the bus her Aunt was standing at the Exit and dragged Alexa back home. She had been grounded for weeks for that one.
The door behind Alexa opened up and two women walked out. One was in her late sixties, handkerchief in her hand and her eyes swollen from tears. The other was Alexas Aunt. Alexa’s Aunt is short, just under five feet tall and with a very thin frame. Almost Skeleton like. But then her hair. Her hair almost has a life of its own, with large chocolate brown curles which are much larger than her frame. Floral pearl-like beads were placed elegantly in her hair. Her eyes are shaped cat like in thick eyeliner but the rest of her face is very pale, even her lips.
“Mary you have you good night and remember what I said about your grandkids, tell them to stay away from that treehouse for the next two days.”
The older woman nods and waves goodbye as she walks out the front door.
Alexa’s Aunt turns to Lydia and with her velvety voice says, “I’m sorry but I’m going to call it a night. Would you be able to come another day? ”
“No, Auntie this is my friend.” Alexa laughs but couldn’t help but notice her Aunts quickly veiled look of surprise.
“Yes, this is my friend Lydia. She just moved to the area and I’m sure you’ll see her here more often. Lydia, this is my Aunt. She likes most people to call her Madam Jacqueline but in these walls I just call her Auntie or Aunt Jackie.”
When climbing up the stairs to the front of the home, Alexa noticed her new friend becoming tense. Shoulders were tightened and it seemed like she maybe stopped breathing.
“There’s no need to be nervous you know.” Alexa gently elbowed Lydia arm.
“Sure,” Lydia laughed, but it sounded almost forced. Alexa didn’t think Lydia had a social anxiety, but seeing how Lydia was starting to tense up by just coming closer to meeting another person she was beginning to think so. It probably was why Lydia wore her mask. Maybe she was used the mask like it was some kind of armor for her.
“So, Is your Aunt, Like, a witch or something?”
Alexa laughed surprisingly. She had never had that question in any format asked right out to her. Usually it was overheard from whispers that weren’t meant for her t of hear.
“You know that is the first time I’ve been asked that to my face!”
“Well I’m not like most people!” Lydia snickered. “No but for reals, I don’t want to be turned into a frog or something like that. I tend to say the wrong things especially to adults and I would hate to make a witch angry.”
“It’s not like that at all,” explained Alexa as she opened the door and gestured for Lydia to go in. She slowly walked past the threshold.
The room she entered was almost like any business office, with a greeting desk near the entrance and filing cabinets settled behind it. Two large red with gold fringed vintage chairs sat on either side of a lit fireplace that was surrounded by large built in wooden book cases. Instead of books on the book case, there were pieces of art and sculptures that were from different parts of the world. Some of the pieces were ancient looking and hand made.
“So your Aunt is a witch then?”
“My aunt isn’t a witch in the sense of like magic or whatever. She believes that she is a medium. So she talks to spirits that haven’t passed over to what she calls the light.”
“Believes? Do you believe? ”
“I really don’t know to be honest. I know my aunt believes that she’s sincerely speaking to these people’s friends and family. I can see that she’s helping these people move on with their lives and she’s usually spot on but sometimes I think she’s just very good at reading people.”
“So your Aunt is a fake”
“I never said that,” Alexa said quickly. “I just have a hard time in believing in anything considered paranormal or magical.”
Lydia snickered. “I don’t know. You never know what’s out there.” She laughed as she sat in one of the red chairs. “So what do you do for your Aunt for work?”
“Well I normally greet anyone that enters. Today she only has one client and she’s already in session with her which is why that door is shut” Alexa pointed to the door directly behind her. “Her sessions are normally about an hour long. It depends if she’s talking to a ghost or if she’s reading someone’s palms”
“Wait! Stop. Your Aunt can also read someone’s future?”
“She does it all the time. She’s uses tarot cards too.”
“It’s official, your life is like the best!”
Alexa beamed. It was the first time she has been able to talk about her aunt without feeling the need to hide or be judged negatively in some kind of way, not like she has been embarrassed or anything but mostly having to feel that she needed to defend her Aunt always made it hard.
Alexa liked that her Aunt was eccentric. There were times though that her Aunts strangeness can be annoying though.
Such as whenever it was a very foggy or misty day, Alexa wasn’t allowed to leave the house. Her Aunt would say, “You never know what lies inside.” As if there was more than just the fog itself. “It’s just water, we learned this in school,” Alexa would tell her Aunt, but her Aunt would just shake her head. “No, you stay home today.”
(Writers Note: Tell me what you think! What do you think will happen next?! Comment and Like please… it keeps me motivated to write more!)
Lydia waited for Alexa at the front of the school building. Children of all ages passed by Lydia, giving her space to not touch her. It was as if Lydia had an infectious disease and the other children were avoiding her as to not be infected.
Alexa didn’t mind that Lydia is different. It’s refreshing to have someone more like her, since Alexa didn’t fit in this town either.
“Hey Lydia!” Alexa smiled when she finally met up with her masked friend. “So how was your first official day of school here?”
“Completely unbearable until I met you,” Lydia smirked. “Honestly I don’t think I’ve met as many judgmental and insecure kids before. I know I’m not considered ‘normal’, but just because I do things differently doesn’t mean I’m a bad person.”
“It’s okay,” Alexa giggled, flipping her long blonde hair out of her eyes. “They are the ones missing out. The best part of their lives are going to be at this school. We’re going to do so much more and be able to do things they never could dream of doing!”
“How do you know?”
“I just do. I think being out side of the ‘box’ means you don’t settle for what you are, where you are from, or what is expected of you. Don’t settle, and create the person you want to be. Why fit in when you were born to stand out? You know?”
“Yea,” Lydia grinned, showing off her brilliant white teeth.
Lydia placed an arm around Alexa’s shoulders. “You know what? I hope you don’t ever change that kind of attitude.”
“Well why would I?”
“I don’t know. Sometimes people change with age.”
“I don’t think I will,” Alexa laughed. “I’m too hard headed, like my Aunt says!”
“Is that where you live?” Lydia pointed to the unique cottage house that stood out from the rest. The other homes on the street were flat and almost cookie cutter built with the same blue or grey vinyl siding and bright green grass. Not only was the grass cut but the landscaping was top notch, with the bushes finely manicured and flowers blooming with multiple colors. Alexa and her Aunts home just didn’t fit in with the others, with the yard that hadn’t been mowed in way too long and bushes that haven’t been shaped in a long time.
The house also stood out for the neon psychic symbol on the front window and the open sign on the front door.
“So what do you do here for fun?” Lydia asked as she played with her food, not really eating anything.
“Fun? Here?” Alexa scoffed. “I don’t think those two words go together. There’s a few vintage stores in town that I like going to and an old book store if you’re into books. We do have a little theatre in town but all the movies are never new and you might as well just wait for them to come out at the store. There’s a park near the fire department in town, but it’s mostly filled with little kids and a few teens that aren’t up to good.”
“Yea, sounds like it’ll be a drag here.” She said while playing with a feather from her mask. “I will never understand why we would have moved here of all places.”
“Why did you and your family move Grandview?” Alexa asked.
“They were just looking for something new I guess. Some peace and quiet. My parents were looking mainly for a place where I could finish off my last few years until graduation but also a place that didn’t have a bad reputation or considered like a bad neighborhood. So basically the middle of no where. They found a cabin almost out of town, more into the the woods that they thought would be perfect for starting over.”
“That’s cool.” Alexa smiled. “I have only gone out in that area when my Aunt and I used to go camping when I was younger. We haven’t camped in a while.”
“Why did you guys stop?”
“I don’t know really. My Aunt doesn’t really like me leaving the town walls anymore.”
“You live with your Aunt then?” Lydia questioned.
“What about your parents?”
“I don’t really know for sure. My Aunt doesn’t know who my father was and my mother died while giving birth.”
“Oh man, so sorry.”
Alexa shrugged. “It’s okay. I’ve known this my entire life so it’s not new to me. I’m sure if I had a chance to know them I’d be more upset. My Aunt has been taking care of me since I was basically born. We’re all we have. Sorry, I know its kind of a depressing subject.”
“No,” Lydia smiled. Her eyes genuine through the mask. “I did ask”
“What about your family?” Alexa asked just as the lunch bell rang. Both of them standing up to throw out their trash and head to next classes.
“My mom and dad and basically hippies… well rich hippies,” Lydia giggled. “My mom owns an organic farm out in California and my dad is an artist who deals mostly in wood carving. I am the oldest of four and the only girl. My brothers are staying home schooled until my parents think they are, well, ready to join the public!” Lydia rolled her eyes.
“I think that’s actually kind of cool. I’ve always wanted a little brother or sister.”
“Oh no you don’t, they are a pain.”
“What is your schedule?” Alexa asked as Lydia was looking down at her written schedule.
Lydia groaned. “Looks like I have History with Mrs. Sanders next. Hate History as a subject. History always changes based on who’s telling the story. Here, take a look.” Lydia handed over her schedule to Alexa. “Hopefully Mrs. Sanders won’t be like the other teachers and tell me I have to take off my mask. It’s not coming off.”
“I was wondering about that. Why do you wear a mask?” Alexa asked while she was looking down at the schedule. “Unfortunately we don’t have any classes together.” She handed the schedule back to Lydia.
Lydia signed, “Bummer. In regards to the mask. I like it. So therefore I wear it. School rules doesn’t have anything against masks. No hats or sunglasses, but nothing against masks. And I have many of them. Be prepared to see more. I’ll make it the new fashion here, just watch!”
Alexa laughed. Lydia was a like a breath of fresh air.
“You want to hang out after school?” Lydia asked right before Alexa was about to head into her next class room.
“Sure, but it’ll have to be at my place. Got to kind of work for my Aunt for a little bit. You can hang there with me if you want.”
“Okay,” Lydia smiled. “See you later!”
Alexa sat in her seat in class, ignoring the rolled up paper that was being thrown at her from the more ‘popular’ kids. Just a few more years to go and she’ll be leaving this town. At least it looked like she may have found a friend.
(JLAS notes: Above is kind of how I picture the town)
(JLAS notes: Another photo that inspires Lydia)
(Also P.S. Please comment, give suggestions! I already have a path for my main character, but I would love to see and hear what you guys think!! Thank you 😛 )
It wasn’t every day when a new student showed up to their back woods school in this tiny town which was practically non-existent on the map. Grandview barely had visitors from out of town, nor did they really ever have anyone move in. In truth, the last family that had moved into town was was Alexa Stone and her Aunt, Jackie. The rest of the town considered them outsiders even though they’ve been living there since Alexa was old enough to remember anything.
The fact that Aunt Jackie made her living as the town psychic and was known as Madam Jay to many didn’t help. Or it could be the rumors that followed Alexa in regards to her uncanny ability of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Weird things always happened when Alexa was around and most the time they weren’t really her fault.
Whispers were going around in the school cafeteria. Whispers of this new girl that just started school today. Gossip spread like wild-fire in their town so small, and their school was no better. Even though the school catered to students from pre-school to graduating seniors, they all shared lunch together since there was only an average of twenty students per grade level. Most of the students sat together with their friends and each table usually had a group of friends that were about the same age.
Each table was segregated into different groups based on age and status in school. The top group in school was the baseball players and the school dance squad. The baseball team was known for being undefeated (although they barely ever played versus other schools since it was so far away to go to a game and they were the only team in the area) and was also the only sports their school catered to. The dance squad was basically a better version of the cheerleaders who were next in line at the status hierarchy. Under the cheerleaders were the preppy socialites, then the god-fearing celibate clubbers, then student council. Then it goes to all those that were considered less cool; like the band geeks, the artsy crowd, then the emo kids and then nerds. And at the very bottom of the totem pole, was Alexa.
Alexa practically had her own table in the cafeteria since preschool. There was times that she tried sitting with other people during lunch time, but accidents ended up happening. Like one time, she was welcomed to sit with the god-fearing celibate clubbers since they wanted to open their group to more members and to maybe even ‘save’ Alexa and have her join. Alexa was hoping to become friends with them because, well, it beat eating lunch by herself. It just happened that just after she over heard of the girls, named Tricia, making fun of her Aunt while at their table. Not moments after Alexa and the others at the table heard Tricia’s comment, Tricia started choking on nothing and ended up feinting and falling to the floor. The rest of the ones at the table ran to Tricia’s aid and to bring her to the nurses office, but Alexa stayed behind and watched them run around. Since then the god-fearing celibate clubbers had stayed away from her, sometimes calling her a Demon or Devils follower and sometimes worse.
Being called a Demon or Devil made Alexa giggle a little. She used it to her advantage sometimes around her peers. Sometimes hissing at people to make them move out of her way. She found it funny. If she wasn’t being called a Demon, her school peers would call her an Albino Freak or something similar because Alexa’s skin and hair was almost completely white. Even her lips were close to white too. Her eyes were the only thing that show much color to her face, and her eyes were almost a silver-grey. Some people told her she was pretty but after the bullying at school, Alexa didn’t think she was pretty at all. The ‘pretty’ girls were usually tanned, and faces covered in make up. Alexa never really wore make up.
It wasn’t the only time something like that happened while Alexa was around at school. There was a time when she was in first grade, and was playing around with other kids on the play ground. She was playing on the swings when a few older kids came and pushed her off the swing. When she fell, Alexa’s head hit the ground hard and knocked her out. When she woke up, all the kids that were playing on the play ground at that time were all asleep on the ground. Even the teachers that were on the play ground at the time were asleep as well. When the next group of kids came out to play for recess, all they saw was Alexa standing in the middle of a wake-less throng of peers.
//giphy.com/embed/Ppk0LL1mCFa36(writers note: here’s a little video of kids asleep on swings :P)
No one pushed Alexa around after that… in fact, most people just stayed away from her. So now, Alexa spent lunch by herself at a table of her own. Which was fine, she would tell herself. Now it’s the beginning of her Sophomore year and just a few more years to graduate. She’ll be turning fifteen in a few days, and Alexa was already counting the days to her Eighteenth Birthday.. which would also be the day she would leave this forsaken small town and its social hierarchy and rumors of untruths.
Alexa was feeling sorry for the new girl that was new to the school. She had been hearing gossip about her. Like her family is very rich and bought out a very large property including most of the wooden property leading out of town. Alexa also over heard that the new girl had traveled a lot over the years and had been mainly home schooled. But what interested Alexa the most, was that she heard that this girl covered her top half of her face with a mask. All kinds of theories were made up in regards to the mask and why her face was covered, but of course the ‘popular’ kids were saying she was just hiding her ugly face behind the mask.
Alexa was halfway done with her food when a back pack slammed onto her table and a tray of food sat right next to it. Alexa looked up to see a girl about her age. Hair black and wild, but perfect. Her skin pale, almost as pale as her own. Her clothing flawless and something you’d see in a Vogue magazine. Most people in town wore homey clothing and things probably found from Wal-mart. This girls lips were painted in black, and teeth perfect and white. But the most interesting thing about her face, was the mask she wore that covered her upper face, only showing her black liner blue eyes and the mask feathered into her hair. Alexa thought she looked cool and mysterious… and definitely shouldn’t be in this town. This town will eat away her uniqueness.
“Hey I’m Lydia, Lydia Sullivan.” She started talking. “You know… the new girl?”
“Hey,” Alexa smiled to her. “I’m Alexa Stone. I don’t think you want to sit here with me though. It will ruin the rest of your time in this town, I promise. Not from me, I wouldn’t give you problems, but our school mates might make it hard for you.”
“Does it look like I would care what these little townsfolk say?” She smirked, with a wink.
“Well I guess not.” Alexa laughed, liking Lydia already.
The man touched his staff to the ground, and the ground below Jackie trembled. The gravel swirled around Jackie and started to pull her into the ground like quicksand. Jackie didn’t expect to be pulled under, and was trying to grab at anything to push herself out. The mists kept attacking the man, but stopped when he created a force field of air around himself with the tip of his staff.
The whooping sound from above became louder, and the man looked up to try and see where that sound was coming from. The night sky was dark, flourished with the stars that danced and cheered their fight to continue. The whooping sound was much louder now, and the man turned around toward the sound. His eyes widened in amazement and shock. He nodded in defeat to Jackie and knew he was about to lose.
“A Dracor? They no longer exist!” He said to Jackie in amazement. Jackie smiled sadly and shook her head. The man closed his eyes before a gust of fire headed to him. Once the fire cleared out, the man was no longer there. No dust, no body, nothing.
He had escaped.
The mists came back to Jackie, and seemed to caress her before disappearing. The dark creatures crawled back into the earth with a fleeting glance to Jackie. She nodded with a smile and thanked them for their help.
“You really are the best to protect this baby, you know.” The voice from inside the nightclub said. This time the voice was not hidden in shadows, but was in person beside Jackie. The body and face was hidden underneath a red robe fringed with gold, and a hood that covered the face of the speaker.
“Yes,” Jackie agreed with a scoff. “You know you could have appeared sooner to help me. I’m surprised you came here in person, you shouldn’t be out here. You know it’s dangerous.” No response came from the figure in red. “I’m still stuck in the ground.” Jackie indicated to the ground below her. The gravel had sucked her down at least to her knees before the man disappeared. She started to dig with her hands to escape from the tiny prison of rock.
“Would you like help perhaps?” The voice tried to contain its laughter.
“Please.” Jackie said annoyed that her friend found the situation amusing.
The gravel began to move and as if they had hands, they pushed Jackie out and landed her onto her feet. The ground shook for a moment, before laying back to rest. “Well thanks.” Jackie looked sadly at her flattened car. “You know you’re buying me a new one right?”
“I guess I can do that.” the figure whispered back to her. “You’re not backing out now are you?”
“Nah,” Jackie said. “What are you going to do about him?”
“The council will know of his crimes. I’ll erase his memories of the child before he speaks in trial, but we’ll most likely banish him and rid him of his powers.”
“Good,” Jackie smiled. “So, when do I get to start taking care of my new-found niece?”
He laughed at Jackie. “We’re better than this, and you know it. We shouldn’t be in hiding anymore, and I’ll make sure that it’ll end. Soon, the whole world will know about us and who we are. Just need to get rid of the ones that will be in my way.”
“And I’ll definitely be in your way. I’ll not let you kill the child.”
“I don’t want to kill her; not yet anyways. I want to teach her.”
“You would only teach her to hate, I’ll not let this happen,” Jackie vowed. She straightened her shoulders and pointed her jeweled hand toward the man.
“What can you do?” He spat at her. “You were banished years ago. Just a lowly Secret Keeper now.”
“Banished; Yes.” Jackie smiled at him. “But I can’t ever forget what I was taught.” She raised her pointer finger at him, and directed her power to him. “You sure you want to go through with this?”
“The child is mine no matter what. You won’t be able to get rid of me.”
Jackie shook her head sadly. “Then I’m sorry for what I have to do.” White mist came away from her body and drove wildly to the man. Black figures climbed from beneath them on the gravel with loud moaning sounds and crawled creepily toward him. Screeching came from the white and black figures as they attacked the man. The white mist was beginning to form into hideous creatures, with fingers and claws and they scratched the man’s face and body so blood was seeping from his wounds.
“What power is this?!” The man bellowed with rage.
“These are my friends,” Jackie said. “And they always protect me.” She then pointed to the sky, and made a shrill whistle through her teeth. All the lights in the rest of the abandoned parking lot flickered off, and a large whooping sound came from above.
She drove out of the parking lot praying that everything would be okay. She passed a few streets trying to even out her breathing. It was then when she noticed a dark presence behind her before she felt an arm creep beside her and wrap around her neck.
“You really didn’t think it would be that easy for you to get away did you?”
Jackie screamed when she heard the man and looked at her rear view mirror to see he was sitting behind her. It was the same guy that she left on the ground in the parking lot. How did he get in here? His face looked maniacal. Jackie reached down to pull her knife out of her key ring, but couldn’t find it. “I guess you’re looking for this?” The man snickered as he presented her with her very own knife. “You should have known I wasn’t a Narm.”
Jackie swung the car over into an empty car lot at an abandoned gas station and jumped out of the car as it was still running. She rolled onto the gravel below and watched as the car drove straight into a post sign. There was a loud noise from the post as it groaned, tilted back and forth, and finally fell onto the car with the man in it. The car was flattened and sparks of light was shooting from the sign. Jackie crawled closer to see if the man was still inside. “Hello?” She called out. “Are you still there crazy guy?” Jackie snickered at her own question. She had a feeling he wasn‘t dead and she was worried of what was to happen next.
“Yes, I’m still alive,” the man’s voice came from behind Jackie. She jumped from the ground to face him. The stars in the night sky seemed to have been laughing at her as they watched the scene below. The parking lot was full of light except for the only spot they were standing. The only source of light Jackie could use to see this enemy was from the sparks shooting out from the sign on top of her sad vehicle. “But, you soon won’t be.”
“Who are you?”
“Now why would I tell you that?”
“Don’t answer my question with another question,” Jackie snapped. Both she and the man were walking in a slow circle. The man held his head high, as if he was sure of himself and didn’t have a care in the world. He looked pompous and Jackie could feel the power emanating from him as he looked down to her.
“I want the child.”
“You won’t ever have her,” Jackie was surprised he knew of the baby. No one was supposed to know. She looked around her, looking for a place to run, but the man just shook his head at her and told her to not even think about it. She rolled her eyes and wanted to tell him to knock off.
“Who are you?” Jackie asked again.
The man tilted his head and looked at her with laughing eyes. “Do you really want to know?” he asked Jackie. With her fast nod he smirked as he brought his hand up level to his face. As soon as he snapped his fingers, a mist swirled around him and touched his body. His short hair turned from a dark brown to a silver white. His eyes turned to a glowing white, with no color or pupils inside as his skin turned to a light brown. Silver was drawn upon his face with specific markings and swirled down to his muscled arms. He grew a few inches taller as he now held a bejeweled staff in his right hand and aimed it to Jackie.
“Why are you doing this?” Jackie said in fear. She couldn’t believe someone with his stature would do something so horrible. “They all trust you, I trusted you.”
“Of course she can call you whatever you think most appropriate,” the whispered voice seemed less stressed, and somewhat relieved. “She’ll be sent over to you as soon as it’s safe.”
“I‘ll be waiting,” Jackie whispered to the voice.
Jackie jumped as she felt pressure on her shoulder, and quickly turned to find a handsome stranger standing beside her table with a hint of a smile. Did he notice her talking to herself? He balanced a glass of vodka in one hand while the other beckoned to her. “Well, hello little Lady,” the man said drunkenly, with a southern drawl, as his body swerved off beat to the music. “I saw you sitting here all by yourself. Is there someone coming to meet you or would you care to join me for a little swing around the dance floor?” Jackie glanced quickly at the crowd of bodies swaying in rhythm to the latest R&B tune and shook her head no to the offer.
“Not really. I was waiting for a friend of mine, and I’m a little worried because she should have been here already. I need to leave and give her a call to make sure she’s okay. Thanks for your offer though.” Jackie said with a fast smile. She pushed herself away from the chair and the shadows while she grabbed her phone from her pocket. Jackie waved goodbye and an apologetic smile to the man as she headed to the exit.
It may have seemed like an innocent gesture, but Jackie had hidden herself so no one would really see her. She should have been ignored and her gut was telling her that something was not right. “I‘m in danger.” Jackie whispered to her friend, knowing that the shadows will send her message through. Leaving the club, she practically ran to her parked car with the phone glued to her ear and thanked herself on parking close to the nightclub. As she was unlocking the door of her brand new red Mercedes, a hand lurched, grabbing her by her golden brown hair.
A wicked laughter came from behind her. Jackie immediately took her keys out of the car and opened up her knife that attached to the key ring as her phone fell to the ground. The hands swung Jackie to face the guy who was not only minutes ago was trying to convince her to dance inside the club. “Why are you running away?” The man smirked, his accent no longer southern and his voice sharp. “I was only trying to get to know you.” He said as he slid a finger down her cheek.
“I never said I wanted to get to know you.” Jackie spat. She reached for the hand that held her hair and stabbed his hand with the knife. He yelled out in pain and cursed at her as he slapped her face with the other hand. Jackie’s knee came up and hit him in the groin; he leaned down in pain as she intertwined her hands together to hit him in the back. He fell onto the ground, groaning in pain. Jackie took the chance to jump into her car, and pulled away as soon as the car started.
“I don’t have much time, my friend,” the voice whispered to Jackie Stone. Jackie hid herself in the shadows, keeping herself out of sight from the others in the crowded night club. Her whole body trembled as nerves shook her all the way down to her fingertips. She jumped from nervousness as soon as she heard the voice from the shadows. Jackie wasn’t afraid of the voice for she knew who it was and she couldn’t help but wonder why her old friend would take a chance at a time like this to speak to her.
“I know what happened,” Jackie said, her voice full of emotion. “I was told of something horrible last night. I tried to warn you and let you know, but I haven’t been able to contact you.”
“You must listen to me now, Jackie! All communications have been down for over a week. I need you to do something for me.”
“I’ll do anything for you. You know that.” Jackie replied quickly.
“I need you to take care of the child.”
“She’s the only one left. Please, I need you to watch over her. I would take care of her if I could, but you know better than anyone that I can’t.” Although whispered, the request came out more frantic than before. Jackie could feel the panic coming from her friends voice. “I can pay for everything and you wouldn’t have to worry about a thing. When she comes of age, she can come to live where she belongs. Right now, it’s not safe for her here. Until then, I know you’re the only one who can protect her. “
“Okay. Just stop. I don‘t need you to beg me, my friend. I‘ll take care of the child,” Jackie exclaimed. She didn’t expect such an important responsibility to fall in her lap, but she would do whatever she was asked. After all, she did owe her friend did she not? How was she going to take care of a child though, when she couldn’t even take care of herself? “I’ll treat her as if she was my own flesh and blood. What shall she call me…Auntie Jackie?” she snickered, laughing more from the ridiculousness of the situation than anything else.