Chapter of the story unfolds as Leona learns she has inherited the gift.
“Well, I guess that’s that,” Mom said. “Everyone be on high alert. Don’t let Leona out of your sight.” Great. Just what I needed. Five babysitters until I have my first meltdown of the day. The gift is great and all but it has a few downsides. When you first receive it, it is like a thousand languages are downloaded to your mind. It doesn’t really hurt, but it does tend to make you lose concentration. And the first time you have an encounter with a creature can be quite terrifying if you don’t know what you are getting into, which I did not. Oh shit, Kat. She must be devastated.
I hurried after her down the hallway. “Kat,” I called out. “Kat, I’m so sorry. So, so sorry.” I could hear her crying on the other side as I leaned into the door. I sank to the floor and wondered how I could persuade her to talk to me.
“It isn’t fair. I know it’s not your fault. I just...I put everything on hold for this. I skipped out on school. I flaked out on dates. I missed opportunities that only come once in a lifetime. For what? So my sneaky, apathetic little sister could get the abilities I’d been dreaming of my whole life?”
I could hear her becoming more and more like my mother in the tone of her voice. I couldn’t let this happen to her. “Kat, calm down. I’ll reject it. I’ll get rid of it. There has to be something we can do,” I lied. There was nothing. If you received the gift it would only depart you when you died. She laughed behind the door.
“Screw off, Leona.”
I retreated in defeat to leave Kat to deal with her own demons. Not my fault she missed out on life for something she was never promised. I made my way back to the family room to check in with the others. Beth was across the room staring out the window. It was raining now. A soft, beautiful shower. I loved the rain. I noticed my nose twitch as I inhaled and took in the scent of the outdoors. Ah, another perk of being the chosen. Super smell. I was thankful for this perk now but I instantly thought of how crappy this part would be next time I was in a local Walmart. I shuddered at the thought.
Jim was staring down Beth from the other side of the room, still seated on the couch. I noticed his hand was palming all over the spot where Beth had been sitting. From a distance he looked like he could be attractive. A very far distance. Up close he was freckled all over with brownish, red hair. It reminded me of mud. He had a half ass neckbeard which paired nicely with his fedora collection. Moderate height at an average weight, he creeped me out to the extreme. Mom always pretended not to see him fawning after Beth, but she could sense it. I could tell.
A small amount of tension began pulling at the center of my brows. I could feel a headache coming on. Must be the new languages and dialect downloading in there. I pulled my attention to my mother. Cecilia was an attractive woman for her age, which I assumed was somewhere in the mid fifties. She was a slender woman with a shrill resting face. Dark hair like Beth and me, she had fine lines where her cheeks met her lips. Mother always despised birthdays. She never let us throw her parties or buy her gifts and would go about the day pretending it was just another day in the week. She never really made a fuss over our birthdays either. I still wasn’t sure if it was a vanity thing or just a her being a miserable person thing. Thank goodness we had Dad to look to for fun in our childhoods.
Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Was I out of it again? Things were beginning to get a little fuzzy. Details were getting blurrier as I examined the room.
I looked around to see if anyone else had heard the noise. No one else seemed to be looking for it’s source.
Tap. Tap. Tap.
Geeze, that was loud. And annoying. Ahhhhh man. Now the real fun begins. I quietly slipped out of the room and back down the hall towards Katerina, where I believed the noise was coming from. A knot formed in my stomach as I could hear the noise getting louder. Please let it be Kat. Please.