Authors: Dakota Lake
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storage and retrieval system without prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of
a reviewer in brief quotations.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the
products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual
persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
The sky was slowly fading into darkness as the night drew closer, the pinks and oranges in the
sunset we're disappearing quickly. Seth cranked up the heating in the truck and pulled out onto the
main route leading out of town. Small beeps and the sound of a clucking chicken were coming from
Seth found himself humming the ridiculously catchy theme tune to the game Micah was playing,
but he groaned having listened to the sound repeatedly. He punched the radio button in a little
harder than necessary and it got stuck.
“Great!” Seth said trying to pick it back out without much success. The sound of country and
western music filled the truck.
“It's stuck. Now I have to listen to this, I don't know which is worse this or listening to the sound of
a clucking chicken on repeat?”
“Take the next left coming up.” Micah said not looking up from his game.
“Why, that's not the way back?” Seth asked confused.
“Motel....damn chicken.” Micah replied.
“Motel. Micah what are you talking about? You know I have work tomorrow, real work. Unlike
Micah ignored him and carried on tapping at his cell.
“Micah,” Seth said punching him in the arm to get his attention.
“What was that for? Some of us aren't built like soldiers.” he said rubbing his arm. “Seth you
missed the turning,”
“We're not staying. I need to get back. If I'm lucky I might be able to get maybe an hours sleep
before I have to start work tomorrow. We don't all live on fresh air and energy drinks I actually need
sleep every night being that I am still part human.”
“I sleep,” Micah replied.
“Really when was the last time you slept then?”
“I dunno? Maybe three weeks ago and that's only cause I like to see what's going on otherwise I
wouldn't bother. I could probably go four or five months without it but that would be one really long
“Right well I need to get back, I can't be late or miss work tomorrow I'm covering someone's lunch
shift. So we're not stopping. Don't suppose you want to drive so I can catch up on my sleep?”
“No. You know I hate driving stick shift plus I'm sort of busy.” Micah replied.
“Yes I can see that.” Seth said frowning at him, while fiddling with the radio button again.
“Well it's your sister not mine,” Micah said after a few minutes of been silent.
Seth scowled at him, but Micah didn't look up from his cell. Seth pulled the truck over to the side
of the road and braked hard sending Micah forward in his seat, he then snatched the cell away from
“Hey! Careful that's new. Why have we stopped?” Micah asked reaching over and snatching his cell
back, wiping the screen with his sleeve.
“What's Ruby got to do with anything?” Seth asked sounding agitated.
Micah put his cell down and slouched back in his seat.
“She's not safe....” he said quietly pausing and looking over at Seth. “we have to take her back with
us,” he continued.
“Are you insane, I'm not taking my sister home. Heaven's Point is the last place I would take her.
Wait what do you mean she's not safe? We just left and she looked fine to me,”
“Well obviously she's all right at the moment. Anyway I wasn't talking about today, but if we leave
here without her.....she could be dead in a week.”
“Why what's going to happen to her?” Seth asked becoming concerned.
“There's a car crash it's not pretty. She was driving, end of story.”
“Well can't we do something to change it, stop it from happening?”
“You know it doesn't work like that, I can only see what happens not when. You can't exactly stay
here we need to go back and you can't stop her from driving or getting in a car while she's here. But
we could prevent it, if we took her back with us. We could monitor her. I don't see any other way
“Why is this the first time I am hearing about this?” Seth asked shaking his head.
“Because I knew you would freak out and panic like you're doing right now.”
“So you thought you would just spring it on me last minute,”
“Yep, something like that,”
“You really don't know when it's going to happen?” Seth asked.
“Judging from what I saw today, her hair colour and length weren't any different from what I saw in
my dream. So I would take a random guess and say soon.”
“And here I was thinking you came with me to pick up my stuff to keep me company. But like
always, you have different plans.”
“I know it's not ideal, I don't really want a girl hanging around either. They're nosey, irritating and
demand attention,” Micah said cleaning his cell screen again.
“Micah you know that just describes you right. Anyway I happen to like my sister and you know it's
not safe for her to come back with us, it's dangerous. I don't want her getting involved in any of this.
She's still too young she doesn't know about any of it, about me or herself and I definitely don't
want her finding out about you.”
“What makes you so sure she doesn't already know?” Micah asked casually as a sly smile appeared
on his face.
“Why, you think she knows something already?” Seth asked.
“No, it's just you haven't seen her in a while and girls can hide things really well,”
They both sat there in silence. Micah stared vacantly out the front window, while Seth was trying to
formulate a plan that didn't involve taking his sister home with them.
“If it helps she looks nothing like you, she doesn't even look like one of yours yet. No one is going
to even notice her, we'll just keep her away from it all. Which shouldn't be to hard it's not like
they're going to be hanging around the school gates. She's going to find out one way or another,
maybe it would be best if you told her,”
“No she's not ready. She's still in school, finding out would change her life,”
“I should of just sent her one of the many letters you drafted to her about the subject but never had
the guts to actually mail. But whatever it's your decision to tell her or not but you're still going to
have to think of a good excuse as to why you want her to come home with you. Look I'm sorry okay
it's just the way things are and I only told you cause I'm your friend, I don't tell everyone about
impending doom. Jessie's going to have me watch her 24/7, so she probably won't even chip a nail.
She's most likely going to drive me mad though.”
“What does Jessie have to do with this? I didn't even think he was around at the moment, I haven't
seen him for over a month,” Seth asked.
Micah sat quietly and looked uneasy about the question.
“Nothing.....he's only interested in you. You're one of the best fighters at the club and this
arrangement we have going works well for all of us and he knows if anything was to happen to her
it affects you, you'll be distracted.”
“Yeah my sister would be dead. Distracted is an understatement. I thought you hadn't heard from
him in a while either?”
“He's around, he's been preoccupied with something.....so it's decided we're taking her back with us.
Unless you want to tell her the truth, that your good looking friend saw her get killed in a car
accident and it would be best if she avoided driving any cars in the near future,” Micah said joking.
“No didn't think so. It will only be for a short while anyway, then we can return her back to that
lovely person you call mother. She was a real pleasure to meet by the way....Not. So tomorrow we
will go back when your mother dearest and that useless slob are out of the house and you can speak
to your sister about coming back with us. You're going to have to make it sound convincing though
so try to act excited or something. Not that she will need much persuading to leave that home
environment behind. Seriously how did you ever live with that woman?”
“Micah she was my mother I had no choice and it wasn't all bad I had Ruby,”
“Well I'm glad I never had a mother not if they're anything like that nightmare,”
“Why does this sound like the worst idea ever?” Seth said unsure about Micah's plans.
“Would you just trust me when I say Jessie and I aren't going to let anything happen to your sister.
Oh and one more thing just be careful with you're internal rambling. If she's anything like you who
knows what she can do with her mind, try to remember that. Just because everything happened at
once when you turned eighteen doesn't mean it will be the same for her. She may already be
“Is there something you're not telling me?” Seth asked curiously.
“Nope nothing springs to mind. Seth the reason I told you this is, believe it or not you're
“I think the word you were searching for was
friend,” Seth joked.
“I have friends,” Micah replied.
“I don't think the dog counts,”
“Well he smells better than most people. Now turn this thing around and lets find that motel, I
bought playing cards,”
“I hate playing cards,” Seth replied starting the engine.
“That's only because you never win,” Micah said grinning.
“No it's because I'm sure you always cheat.”
Seth turned the truck around and took the next turning for the motel.
I opened the front door, only to be greeted by even more boxes piled up then when I left. Another
sad reminder we were moving on Monday, I was mentally counting down the days. As I shut the
door I noticed a box with '
written across the front. Mom had gone into packing
overdrive and was now attacking my stuff, was there no privacy in this house.
I made my way to the kitchen, mom was at the stove stirring something which looked like soup.
Since she announced we were moving she'd gradually packed away all the cooking utensils, such as
casserole and roasting dishes, which didn’t leave much left to cook good meals with so we had been
living off soup and microwave meals.
I stood in the doorway listening....
Lawnmower, flower baskets.
She was naming items from the garden, probably things to take with us on the move.
I’ve been able to hear what people are thinking for as long as I can remember. I used to comment on
it when I was little, say if I was at the supermarket with my mom I would hear her going over the
things she needed in her head and I would read them off like a list back to her. She would frown at
me and I got this reaction a lot from different adults so I stopped doing it after a while and kept
As I got older I realised it was not normal to be able to hear peoples thoughts so I was glad I'd never
made a big deal out of it. There was only one other person who knew my secret and that's the way I
wanted it to stay.
I’ve learnt that I have to be within a certain distance to hear passing thoughts, which can be very
random and confusing if you're in a room full of people. It can be hard to separate them from people
actually talking out loud, I sometimes have to check their lips aren't moving to make sure they
didn’t say anything. I can't shut it off so I've learnt to deal with it even if I hear things I don't like I
have to try to remember not to act on them.
If I want to hear exactly what someone is thinking I have to focus on that person in particular,
which involves concentration and staring. I don’t do it that much, because it looks weird and people
don't react well to been stared at. Plus I wouldn't like anyone digging around in my head so I try to
respect peoples privacy and only do it on a need to know basis.
I dumped my bag on the counter, mom jumped slightly and turned around.
“Ruby I didn’t hear you come in, I made soup.”
“Great!” is all I said. I didn't want to get in another row with her. We had been arguing non stop
since the mention of moving had come up. I didn't want to leave, but she had found a better job with
great opportunities. Translation she had found another job longer hours with more money to pay for
my stepfather Frank's love of beer and lack of job.
She dished the soup into bowls and set them on a tray alongside a plate of bread and started walking
to the dining room.
“Did you have fun at Carly's?” she asked with her back to me.
“Yeah we watched that new comedy the one with.....”
She interrupted me before I could finish. “Fetch the spoons would you,” she called over her
shoulder, I doubted she was even listening to me. I grabbed the spoons and followed her into the
“Where’s Frank?” I asked noticing there were only two bowls.
“He's sleeping of a migraine.”
Hangover more like. My stepfather was a complete waste of space, he drank all the time and hadn't
had a job in years complaining he suffered from a bad back.
Mom married him when I was eight, saying she was lucky to have found someone who had agreed
to marry her and take on her two children. My biological dad had walked out on her before I was
born, I never knew why and I never asked. I’ve never been close enough with my mom to talk about
personal stuff like that. I asked my brother once but he said he didn't know why either so I stopped
wondering after a while.
I sat there dipping the bread in my soup, still feeling miserable about the upcoming move. All I
could think about was starting senior year at a new school with a bunch of strangers, when my
thoughts were replaced by my mothers
I hadn’t seen my brother Seth for over three years he took off just after his eighteenth birthday when
I was fourteen. I came back from school and found he'd packed some clothes and just left. No
warning, no note, nothing. Mom wasn't the least bit concerned. She had been convinced months
before he left he had started using drugs. It was true he had been acting strange shutting himself in
his room all day not bothering with school, becoming detached from life. Then there was the
paranoia, he kept saying people around him were acting weird. I kept trying to read his thoughts but
at the time they made no sense. He thought he was going crazy and I couldn’t work out why he felt
After he left I regretted not telling him what I could do, I thought maybe he could do the same and
he'd started hearing peoples thoughts and that’s why he thought he was crazy or something different
who knows. But now I'll probably never know as he hasn't been in contact with us since the day he
, I heard her say in her thoughts again my mom was obviously thinking about him, but why?
She'd avoided any conversation that involved Seth, since he'd been gone she hated talking about
I didn't normally like to pry into my mom’s head but hearing my brothers name sparked my interest.
While she was busy breaking her bread into small pieces for dipping I stared at her, concentrating
just on her blocking out everything around me including the ridiculously loud ticking from the wall
Hopefully he will have come and gone by the time Ruby gets back from work, I must remember to
pull his boxes down from the attic ready for Saturday. The last thing I want is him hanging around
all day, so much like his father here one day gone the next.....Why is Ruby staring at me like that?
It quickly registered in my brain what she had said. I blinked and looked at her face properly, she
was staring back at me.
“What’s wrong? she asked.
“Nothing, sorry. I’ve just got this feeling there’s something I've got to do before the move but I can't
remember what it is, probably a book I need to take back to the library or something,”
“Oh, well I just packed all your books and I didn’t see a library book if that helps,”
“It must be something else then.” I said returning my spoon to my soup.
We finished dinner in silence and she didn't think about Seth anymore. All I knew was he was going
to be here on Saturday and that I wanted to be here when he arrived. I was upset that they were still
in touch, if my brother was to contact anyone I always thought it would have been me.
Maybe Helen would let me leave work early. But seeing as it was my last day probably not. Maybe
I could get sick, but then I did need to pick up my last pay and tips. Either way I had to go into work