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Fiction: Did He Know? (907 words)

Aurora sat alone in her room. She was always alone in her room—or almost always anyways—at least since her parents died. No that she minded too terribly much. She did have some access to the internet, and her father’s large collection of classic television, so she had plenty to amuse her time. The workers were nice enough to her, often bring her games or new movies to watch. And sometimes, when she was really lucky, John would come by.

John had been visiting Aurora since she was about six years old, even when her parents were still alive. He came because he figured that Aurora might like someone to call a friend who she wasn’t directly related to, and she wasn’t likely to meet a lot of people as long as she was under “observation” here—which was very likely to be for the rest of natural life. On top of that, he was the only international member of the team here, and he figured he was Aurora’s only chance to meet someone who wasn’t American. When she was young, she was enthralled by is accent, and would often come up with ridiculous things for him to say, just so she could giggle at the difference between the way they would say it.

When her parents died, he was the only one who actually went in to  her room to comfort her, rather than just offering condolences. To hold her tightly and let her cry and treat her like the mourning twelve-year-old she was. And when she started to develop her “moods,” they always called John in to talk to her, and get her into a better mood.  He had been a good friend to her. And a surrogate father in the last seven years since she lost her real family.

But she had never asked for him to be brought to her before. Today, though, she needed to know if he knew. She needed to know if she had been so thoroughly betrayed. And if she hadn’t, if he didn’t know, she needed to warn him.

She went to the wall where she knew the door was, and knocked against it sharply. “Excuse me. I would like to see John please. If someone could get him, I’d appreciate it.” She called out.  There was no response.  She waited a few minutes to see if someone would answer her, but she didn’t expect them too. Finally, she crossed back to her bed and sat down. She’d give them a little while to bring him, and if they didn’t, she knew how to fake a hissy fit and get them to fetch him themselves.

Luckily, she didn’t have to resort to that measure. About an hour after she had knocked on the door, it opened just a crack, just enough to see a brown eye peeking in at her. She laughed in spite of herself, and John came into the room, all wide smiles. If they knew she’d figured it out—they hadn’t warned him. “You wanted to see me?” He questioned dropping into the chair that was meant for her desk.

“Yeah,” She scooted to the end of her bed so that she could look him in the eye, “Do you know?”

She saw his confusion, still amused, wondering what kind of game she was playing now. “Do I know what?”

“About my parents. Do you know?”

He didn’t stiffen, or panic. But the amusement was gone. He knew she didn’t like to talk about her parents. He didn’t understand what she was playing at. “What are you going on about?”

He didn’t know. She’d never felt so relieved in his life. She closed her eyes and counted to three, before opening them to look at John. He looked at her quizzically before his eyes widened. “You’re getting stronger, aren’t you?” He asked quickly, “Stronger than you’re letting them believe.”

“Yes,” she answered simply, “But that’s not what I needed to know if you knew.”

“What then?”

“My parents died in a car crash. But it was not an accident. My parents wanted to pull me out of here, thinking these people were going to do me more harm than good. And they died because of it.” She informed him blankly. “I am stronger than they know, and they are going to suffer for that.”

“Aurora. No. Don’t do anything rash.” John said softly. She believed that he actually had her best interest at heart—he wasn’t just trying to save this company—he cared for her. But—she’d made up her mind, and that was that.

“Leave, John. Get out of here before breakfast. After all this is said and done, maybe I’ll come find you. But if you stay.” She gave a little shrug like saying it wasn’t her fault what happened.

John nodded slowly. She’d been out of control her whole life. It was time for her to be in charge. He hadn’t known about he parents, but he wasn’t surprised. “I’ll leave,” he said quietly, “If you promise that you’ll come and find me. Promise me.”

Aurora didn’t even have to consider it. After all, who else did she have? “I promise.”

John stood to leave and Aurora closed her eyes again. No one would know they had this conversation. Now, he just had to act normal until he got out of the building. Aurora would take care of the rest.

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2017 in Stories

 

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BEST OF: Changing The Future (367 words)

Originally Posted: September 24, 2014

It always felt like a shock. Not a little static shock, but like the time he accidentally touched an uncovered wire for a second—that wave of energy rolling up his arm.  It didn’t hurt, per se, but it didn’t feel good. Daniel always seemed to notice before Arthur’s brain could even fully recover from whatever happened.  He’d steady Arthur easily, and whisper “Who was it?” as if it was ever anyone else these days.

“Maggie,” Arthur would dutifully respond, and Daniel would abandon him.  Of course, Arthur never minded.  If he had the power to help her, he’d have abandoned Daniel in a heartbeat.  She was other of their top priority.

And it was all due to Daniel that those shocks were so small, not the crushing pain Arthur had felt before—knowing the worst had happened to someone he cared about.  Daniel could move fast enough just quick enough to stop it before it could get too bad—sometimes before it happened at all.

So slowly Arthur made his way back home, sometime taking hours to get to that house in the woods, sometimes days.  But no matter what, it was worth it.  To be greeted at the door by Maggie—to have her wrap her arms around him and say “Thanks, King.  I owe you another one.  You’re always saving my life.”  To which of course Daniel would always get mock huffy and complain that he does all the heavy lifting and Arthur gets all the praise, but in the end everyone’s okay and they order pizza that Daniel always has to go pick up because Maggie doesn’t want to give out her address to people she’s never met.

And it takes a while, but Arthur finally admits—he’d rather get shocked every day, he’d rather take all the weight of every crushing pain he’d ever experienced at once, than let one bad thing happen to Maggie. And he is so grateful for Daniel that he doesn’t even know how to start to say it—and then as if he’s the psychic, Daniel gives him a wink and a smile and says, “Don’t worry, you’ll figure out how to tell me.”

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2016 in Bekah Beth's Best Of

 

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Fiction: Surrogate (777 words)

Maggie eyed this new woman suspiciously.  It was in her nature to mistrust.  But she was fighting it, for King’s sake.

“My Psychic is named Carlos,” She smiled, “and our son is Oscar.  He is an angel of a boy now, but I’m pretty sure he’s going to be a holy terror once he starts flexing those muscles.”

“Why are you doing this?” Maggie asked, cutting off the thrilling tales from the little Psychic family.

“I thought you would want to know a little about me?”  You know, if you are considering letting me carry Arthur’s kid,” Abby smiled.

“No, that’s not what I meant.  I want to know why in the world you would want to carry the child of a man who is not your husband and another psychic’s child nonetheless, for no money or other worldly benefits, in fact, most likely at your own expense.”

Abby shrugged. “I’m not going to lie to you—having a psychic’s kid is tough.  If we all agree to this, I am going to learn a lot about Arthur that he might not want me to know, and by extension I may learn a bit about you that you might not want me to know.  And I know you are a very private person and I understand that you are weary about this, but,” Abby spun her mug on the table and smiled again.  “When Arthur talks about you, Oscar gets this smile.  Carlos is better, as you know I’m sure, at not giving away what he knows or what he learns, but Oscar hasn’t quite gotten to that point yet.  So, whatever Arthur feels so strongly when he talks about you, Oscar can’t help but light up and smile, and…I don’t know.  I guess it’s hard to explain.”

Maggie looked down at the table and scratched at the back of her neck nervously. She still wasn’t used to the fact that someone felt a “light up and smile” way about her, and she really wasn’t sure how she felt about the fact that someone else could see that, even if it was just a four-year old psychic boy.  “You know you’d have to raise him—Arthur’s boy, I mean.” Maggie pointed out, not entirely sure why she was still trying to talk Abby out of it.

“I know. Arthur said that for whatever reason you don’t want to raise a family, and I figure that’s none of my business.  But this way, Arthur doesn’t lose his mind and cheat on you, his son gets to be raised in a loving family, with a half-brother to help take care of him, and no poor unsuspecting woman is dragged into a terrifying world of magic and monsters by unknowingly carrying the child of a psychic.   Also, if Arthur wants to be involved in his son’s life, then I’m sure we can figure out a way to make that work too.” Abby took a long sip of her tea to let it sink in, and to let Maggie come up with more objections if she had them. “I wouldn’t dare insult your intelligence, Maggie.  I know you are smarter than two of me combined.  I know that you know this is a good plan.  I also know that Arthur wouldn’t have dared to bring me to your home without your explicit permission to have me know where you live.  From what Carlos has told me and what Arthur says, you do a lot of good for a lot of people who help protect innocents. I know that at least once you had a big hand in helping to save Carlos’s life, and I’m willing to bet you had at least some help in a series of other times that he’s survived. Carlos and I just want to make your life easier, Maggie, and we want you and Arthur to have your happily ever after if we can wing it.  Since this is something Arthur has to do, we want to make the whole experience as convenient as possible. You do enough for others, let us do something for you.  Does that answer your previous question sufficiently?”

She was authoritative, but not challenging Maggie.  She was willing to play pleasantries, but knew where she stood and was going to make sure Maggie knew it too.  She was happily married and didn’t want to conceive with Arthur the “Natural” way.  In spite of herself, Maggie liked this girl.  A lot.

Maggie stood up, and Abby followed suit.  Maggie offered her hand in a shake. “We’ll be in touch, Abigail.”

Abby smiled as they shook.  “I’m sure we will, Margaret.  I’m very sure we will.”

 
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Posted by on May 3, 2015 in Maggie's Stories

 

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Fiction: A Sister’s Connection [Part 1 of 2] (620 words)

 

Hana sat up quickly. Whir was still asleep in his doggie basket, so he couldn’t have woken her up.  Harlowe wasn’t in her bed, so she couldn’t have woken Hana up.  Hana listened quietly for the sounds of her mother moving around the house, but heard nothing.  Hana didn’t like the twist in her gut though.  Something was wrong. She sat and thought for a moment, trying to figure out what some hidden part of her brain was trying telling her.

She found herself staring at Harlowe’s still made bed and felt like she was going to be sick.  Something was wrong, of course, and it had to be related to the only thing she’d trained herself to focus on.  Something was very wrong with Harlowe.

Hana fell out of her bed so quickly that Whir jumped up from his blankets and started barking like the world was coming to its end. Hana didn’t have time for him today.  She threw on a skirt and a jacket over her night-shirt, and moving as quickly as she could down the stairs.  She did have the presence of mind to grab a lantern as she headed out the front door of the house—but forgot some other necessities such as shoes.  But if the road was cold or muddy, Hana didn’t notice it.  She was a girl with a mission.

She swung through the bar room of the Inn without even noticing Charlie behind the bar or the fact that it was the time of night when men and women gathered in their little booths to pretend that they had privacy while ignoring the lack of privacy they could hear from those around them. She moved up the stairs quickly, to the rooms where she knew that Conlyn was staying, and she hoped counterintuitively that she was about to see a lot more of Conlyn and her sister than she ever wanted to.  Because if Harlowe wasn’t home because she was here with Conlyn than that meant that it wasn’t too late, that whatever bad news was swirling around her heart was in the future and they could try to change it, to try to protect her.  She’d gladly be scolded for invading Harlowe’s privacy for the next two days straight if it meant that Harlowe was safe.

But no such luck. The room was silent and the bed was empty.  Hana panicked for a moment, wondering if Conlyn was the one who took Harlowe away, if he was the bad news she was dreading, but then she saw him, his tall figure bent over the desk, seeming asleep on his papers.

“Don’t be dead, don’t be dead, oh please, please, don’t be dead.”  Hana practically chanted as she made her way over to the desk, holding the light high to see if there was any blood or visible wounds on Conlyn.   There weren’t any, so Hana took a deep breath and reached out to shake his shoulder.

Conlyn jumped up immediately, his hand closing down like a vice on Hana’s wrist, twisting her arm away from him.  But, just as fast as he was there, he let her go. “Goodness protect, Hana, you startled me.  What’s going on?”

“Is Harlowe here? Or did she have plans to meet you tonight?”

“What? No. No, she said she was going home.”  Conlyn rubbed at the back of his neck, his brain slowed from the panic and sudden safety again.  He blinked at Hana and put things together. “I’m guessing she’s not at home.”

“No.” Hana said quickly, now at a lost, not sure what her next move should be, “No, she’s not at home.  And I think something very bad has happened.”

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2015 in Stories

 

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Fiction: Psychic’s Nightmare (361 words)

Half way across the world, he sat up suddenly in bed.  His head was ringing and his heart was racing.  He looked around the room for anything that might have startled him awake, and coming up with nothing.  The clock read 3:23 am.

Just to ease his nerves, he crawled out of bed and headed to check the security panel in the hall just outside his bed room.  It showed no alerts, no alarms, not even the low battery signal which might have chirped to wake him up.

No, the only explanation would be that his dream woke him.  That was something he’d never experienced before.  He’d never had a dream vivid enough to get him worked up to the point of being awoken.

He climbed back into bed and tried to remember her. Because the dream had centered on a woman, a young woman, maybe a couple of years younger than he was.  She had an accent, American of some nature.  She was alone.  And she was terrified.  And as best as he could tell or remember, the only thing that was scaring her was her own mind.

He couldn’t reach her.  In the dream, he remember thinking that he had to go to her, or if he couldn’t get there, then he had to call someone to help her.  But he couldn’t.  He felt like he should know who to call, but couldn’t reach out.  He wanted to hold her close and remind her that things would get better, even if he had to make them better with his own sweat and blood. It couldn’t possibly be as bad as it seemed.

But awake, he knew he didn’t know her.  He couldn’t even remember the last time he had spoken to an American.  He couldn’t have helped her even if he wanted to, but he still felt like he’d somehow failed her.

Arthur rolled over and tried to shake the feeling, hoping that it was a onetime dream. His father had warned him that with age came changes to his psychic abilities, but he’d never mentioned dreams before.  This woman, whoever she was, had to be a fluke. Or so he hoped.

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2015 in Maggie's Stories

 

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Fiction: Psychic Advice (278 Words)

My dad was the one who told me I was psychic He had been too, and he explained that it would get stronger, and then it would get weaker.  He warned me time and time again that I would only know after the fact when I had been at my peak, and that no matter what I should try to do some good with it before it faded and was as good as gone.

Of course, like the proper little shit I was, I ignored my father completely and wandered into a city to use my abilities as a con man to make some serious change, telling people just what they wanted to hear, being who they wanted me to be—so I could make them do exactly what benefited me.  Usually, it benefited them too—but often in benefited me more.

But then I met Daniel.  He told me, and I believed, that he would lead me to everything I’d hoped to get out of life.  I just had to make a few concessions, follow a couple of his rules.  It was so subtle.  I didn’t even really realize he was influencing me. When I first said no, he didn’t even try to convince me otherwise.  He just kept this quiet confidence that I would come around to his side. He didn’t leave me to my bad ways.  He just waited.

I asked him why—what made him so sure I was going to come around to seeing his side of things?

Daniel just smiled, and I remember word for word what he said. “Ah Arthur, you might be the psychic, but I’ve seen your future.  You’ll do the right thing.”

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2014 in Maggie's Stories

 

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Fiction: Changing the Future (357 Words)

It always felt like a shock. Not a little static shock, but like the time he accidentally touched an uncovered wire for a second—that wave of energy rolling up his arm.  It didn’t hurt, per se, but it didn’t feel good. Daniel always seemed to notice before Arthur’s brain could even fully recover from whatever happened.  He’d steady Arthur easily, and whisper “Who was it?” as if it was ever anyone else these days.

“Maggie,” Arthur would dutifully respond, and Daniel would abandon him.  Of course, Arthur never minded.  If he had the power to help her, he’d have abandoned Daniel in a heartbeat.  She was both of their top priority.

And it was all due to Daniel that those shocks were so small, not the crushing pain Arthur had felt before—knowing the worst had happened to someone he cared about.  Daniel could move fast enough just quick enough to stop it before it could get too bad—sometimes before it happened at all.

So slowly Arthur made his way back home, sometime taking hours to get to that house in the woods, sometimes days.  But no matter what, it was worth it.  To be greeted at the door by Maggie—to have her wrap her arms around him and say “Thanks, King.  I owe you another one.  You’re always saving my life.”  To which of course Daniel would always get mock huffy and complain that he does all the heavy lifting and Arthur gets all the praise, but in the end everyone’s okay and they order pizza that Daniel always has to go pick up because Maggie doesn’t want to give out her address to people she’s never met.

And it takes a while, but Arthur finally admits—he’d rather get shocked every day, he’d rather take all the weight of every crushing pain he’d ever experienced at once than let one bad thing happen to Maggie. And he is so grateful for Daniel that he doesn’t even know how to start to say it—and then as if he’s the psychic, Daniel gives him a wink and a smile and says, “Don’t worry, you’ll figure out how to tell me.”

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2014 in Stories

 

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