Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Day 1: Beyond The Grave, Something Lives...

Once Emmie was sleeping peacefully in her mother’s bed, Megan asked her grandmother to take Emmie back to Austin for a few days.
“It will do her good to be on the ranch with you, Gran. And I need to get over this. I’m no good to Emmie this way.”
“Megan, come with us. You don’t need to be here by yourself.”
“Gran, I can’t. I know you’re worried about me but don’t be. I just need to get myself together. I can’t seem to let him go. I know he’s dead and yet I still feel him with me.”
“Megan, don’t do this to yourself. You’re only getting your hopes up. He’s gone, honey.” Of course, Marie would know what her granddaughter had planned.
For someone with the gift, trying to reach out to the dead could have dangerous results. You never knew who might be out there reaching out to you. Would she find Jack or someone far worse than the Angel of Death?
“Gran, I know—at least, in my head I understand he’s gone but in my heart, I can’t let him go. I have to do this.”
“All right, Meggie. You must do what you feel is right in your heart. But you’ll call me? The second its over, you’ll call?”
“Of course,” she promised.
Emmie didn’t want to leave her mother but she did. Megan assured her daughter she would join her at the ranch in a little while and that they would go somewhere fun for a few days. They both could use a little fun in their lives. While Emmie was afraid of losing her mother again, Megan believed she understood what she was doing.
After they were gone, the place grew quiet with just her and her faithful dog, Bubba. They went for their usual run but that day Megan pushed further. She stopped by the boutique for a little while to talk to Jess, who seemed happy to have life almost back to its normal boring pace for once.
“I still can’t believe all those things that happened were real. God, Megan, I had no idea you had such a gift.”
“I’m sorry I got you involved in this thing, Jess. I wouldn’t wish that type of nightmare on anyone.”
“Are you sure you’re going to be all right out there by yourself?” she asked when she spotted the sadness that seemed to cling to Megan since Jack’s death. “I could stay with you for a while?”
“No. No, I’ll be okay. Maybe not for a while—but soon. I probably won’t come into the shop for a while, so you’re still in charge. Call me if you need anything, okay?”
By the time Megan returned home the desert surrounding her had grown dark. She and Bubba went outside to the porch. Megan sat in her favorite chair, rocking. In the distance, the coyotes howled.
She wasn’t sure how long she’d sat with her eyes closed before the world around her grew unearthly quiet and Bubba began to freak at the silence. He sensed something close as he crouched nearby and growled in a low throaty tone that warned her something was near that Bubba didn’t understand.
And then she heard it—the sound of footsteps against the creaky boards of her porch. It sent Bubba rushing out into the night in fear. But Megan remained calm.

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