So this novel is currently at a stand-still because I have just started a new project, but I had a couple of chapters that I really wanted to share with you. If you haven’t read the first chapter, you can do that here.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this post:
I woke up sweating. I was lying on the ground, in the exact place I had collapsed. I soon realized that it had been only moments since I had passed out. The night sky above me was filled with smoke from the fire. Rose and Sage stood above me, looking terrified; both of their eyes were open wide. They looked concerned, but I could tell by the look on their faces that they weren’t sure what to do.
“What just happened?” I cried.
The girls just stared at me in shock.
I felt extremely dizzy. I was confused and scared, having no idea what had just happened to me. I was shaking uncontrollably, and felt like I was going to pass out. But there was something I felt. A weird feeling.
“We’re not safe,” I said, sitting up quickly. My head throbbed as I had leaned up too fast, but I ignored it. “We have to get out of here!” I cried, “They’re coming!” I stood up, and Sage put out her hand as if I was going to collapse again.
“What?” Sage asked, and her face looked pale, “Who’s coming?”
“I don’t know,” I replied, “but someone is, and we’re in danger,” I barely knew what I was saying. I didn’t even know where I had thought of this, but I knew I wasn’t making it up. It was true. I just had an instinct. It was a weird feeling, and I had had it in the dream.
“Julie, are you okay?” Rose looked as if she had seen a ghost.
“I don’t know,” I said, grabbing Sage’s arm to steady myself from my shaking. Smoke from the house blew our way, and we began to cough. We started walking away from the smoke, me leaning on Sage’s shoulder for support. I was so weary and dazed from the dream, it was a few minutes before my head stopped spinning and my vision cleared.
As we walked, I noticed the house in flames. It was a sight I knew I would never forget. Smoke was rising into the night sky. The house’s siding was a dark, burnt color. For a quick moment, I thought about how only minutes before we had been rushing to get out. Now, I knew my dad was lying in there somewhere, dead. I felt almost guilty, knowing I could do nothing about it. I would have run in the house to find my mom, but I knew she wasn’t in there. I turned away, blinking back tears.
It was hard to breathe, and as more smoke blew our way, I struggled to keep my eyes open. The heat was almost unbearable, but we walked as quickly as possible, me struggling to stand.
We reached the lamp-post by the street, and I collapsed on the grass, exhausted and weak. Sage and Rose tried to help me into a sitting position, but I pushed their arms away and tried standing back up.
“We can’t stay here,” I said urgently.
Sage ignored me, pushing me down into a sitting position. I didn’t try to get up, but sat there as Sage and Rose sat beside me.
“Julie, what’s going on?” Sage asked.
I shook my throbbing head, but didn’t say anything. I sat there for a moment, my heart beating rapidly. Sweat was dripping down my face, but I didn’t care to wipe it off. At the moment, I was in so much shock, and filled with so much sadness, I thought I wouldn’t be able to speak.
I took a deep breath, and then began talking, surprised to hear my shaking voice coming out of my mouth “What happened to me?” I asked.
“I don’t know,” Sage replied, “We saw you run behind the house, and then we heard you yelling. You were yelling about danger, and how someone was coming for you,” she shook her head, “It was weird. We were worried and went over to see what had happened,” she paused for a moment. “What happened to you? I mean, why did you pass out?” I could sense fear in her voice.
I shook my head in confusion. I had no idea what had happened to me and was afraid to find the answer.
“Julie?” Sage asked. I looked up at her, and although she and I were the same age, she suddenly seemed much older. Her blond hair fell over her shoulders, and I could see a deep care in her brown eyes.
I stared at her for a second. A cool breeze swept through the neighborhood, cooling me. I wasn’t sure where to start, but taking another deep breath, I began to talk, “I heard a weird noise behind the house, and when I went to see what it was, I saw a man run into the woods. As soon as I saw him, I collapsed,” I was afraid to go on, and my voiced changed to a whisper,, “I began to have these dreams, but they didn’t seem like dreams. They seemed like visions. I don’t know what they were. In the dream, it was like I was in this lady’s mind. I saw everything through her eyes.”
Sage and Rose had their eyes set on me, trying to comprehend what I was saying.
“There were people there. And-” I looked down, and my eyes began to fill with tears, “two of the people were being held back by these men. And then- the lady shot- she shot him.”
“Who?” Rose asked, confused, “Who did she shoot?”
I could barely speak. “She shot Dad,” I answered, looking into her eyes.
No one said anything for a long moment. I was trying to put things together in my head, and I knew Sage and Rose were doing the same.
“The scene changed in my mind before I could find out what happened to Mom,” I whispered.
“Mom was there too?” Rose asked in complete shock.
I nodded. “She and Dad were the people who were being held back,” I didn’t want to describe how weak Mom had looked, so I didn’t say anything about her. “I saw Dad when I was in the house. He was just lying there, and I didn’t know how he had died, but thinking back, I think he had been shot.”
“So this dream, it was really a vision?” Sage asked.
I didn’t answer her.
“How is that even possible?”
“I don’t know,” I said, shaking my head. Fear was shooting through me, my brain thinking back on everything that had happened. I tried to remember the dream. From what I could remember, it seemed that the dream had taken place in my parents’ room. But if my dad was gone, where was my mom? I suddenly remembered something. “There were other people in the dream.”
The girls looked up at me.
“Uncle Brady and Aunt Melissa,” I said, not meeting Sage’s eyes.
I could sense Sage’s worried eyes on me. “My parents were there?”
All I did was nod.
“Where are they now?”
“I don’t know. That was all I saw,” I replied, finally making eye contact with her.
Sage looked at the ground, her face in complete bewilderment.
“I woke up and saw you,” I whispered, “I knew that danger was near. I don’t even know how, I just knew.”
We sat in silence for what felt like hours. All I could do was think. What were these dreams? Did the fire have anything to do with them? Why did this lady kill my dad? And where was my mom?
My thoughts were broken by the sound of a fire truck driving through the neighborhood. It was then that I noticed that everything, besides the fire truck, was so peaceful. All the house windows were dark, and a cool breeze was blowing through.
The fire truck turned the corner, and we got to our feet as it pulled to a stop on the side of the road. We covered our ears from the noise of the blaring siren as five firemen jumped out of the truck, each suited in heavy gear. Two of them quickly got out the water hoses and started spraying cool water on the fire. Two more ran in the house looking for people, while one came over to check on us.
“Are you guys all okay?” he shouted over the sound of the crackling fire and the water spraying out of the hoses. His mask was off, letting his voice ring loud and clear.
I nodded nervously.
He started to guide us further away from the fire, but a yell from another fireman caught his attention. Turning towards the voice, I noticed that the fire hadn’t died down. In fact, the flames were roaring even more than they had been, the crackling echoing around the yard. There was more smoke than I had seen in my entire life. It was rising slowly into the sky, thick and dark.
The fireman near us rushed over to the truck and began to undo another water hose. We stood across the street, watching with fear. We were so shocked from the dream, we barely understood what was going on.
As smoke drifted our way, we shut our eyes and tried to cover our mouths with our arms. Coughing, we turned and ran further away from the house, our lungs aching.
Once in a safe place across the street where we could breathe normally, Rose doubled over coughing.
“Rose!” I cried, but my throat was dry, causing little sound to come out. I bent down beside her, not knowing what to do. She finally stopped, and sat, staring at the grass. She looked up at me pleadingly, and I knew she was begging for water.
There being nothing I could do, I tried reassuring her, “It’s okay. We’ll get water soon.”
Tears were in her eyes, beginning to pour down her cheeks. She turned away wearily, looking up at the fire, which was beginning to die down. I stood back up, but continued looking down at her. She looked miserable, and her face showed how exhausted she was. Though she was only eleven, I knew she was tough and would be able to hold through. I wished I was as brave as she was.
Looking back at the fire, scenes from the dream flashed through my head. What if my mom was really still in the house? What if the dreams weren’t real? I didn’t want to believe that my mom was gone. I wouldn’t believe it. I made myself think that my mom was still in the house, although part of me told me different.
Before I knew it, the two firemen who had entered the house came running out, their arms empty. My loving mom wasn’t in their arms. I tried telling myself that the firemen left her in the house. Maybe they had a reason for leaving her there. But it was no good. I knew she wasn’t in there. I had no idea where she was.
I fell to my knees beside Rose, aching. But I wasn’t aching from pain. I was aching from grief. Grief and fear. Both hung over me as I sat there, watching the fire be distinguished.
What was this vision? Who was this lady who murdered my dad? Why was the dream through her eyes? I tried not to think about it, but a startling question came to me. What if I was the one who had murdered him, but it was a different me, one I didn’t know? I tried to tell myself that was impossible. But was it?