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The surface was smooth, a dark mirror that reflected the soft yellow light of the old bulbs in a way that made it hard to determine the color of the liquid in the bowl.

The bowl itself did not help. It was stone, old and rough and stained on the outside from years of use. It was so much older than anything else in the room that everyone looking at it felt small compared to the years the object had seen.

She gazed into the bowl, long white hair hanging down in a wispy veil. The veil was tattered, due to its age and a lack of care. The hairs stuck together, knots and tangles that added character to the veil, as if someone had woven in beads and baubles over the years.

We sat and watched. None of us dared to move or even take a deep breath for fear that we might disturb the seer and ruin our chance to get an answer.

My parents sat side by side, holding hands and waiting for an answer. Years had been passed while we were searching for my brother, but so far, none of us had heard anything.  We were so strung out from searching and hunting that we had neglected our health, walking skeletons that he might not recognize if he did return.

“There is no answer here.” The old fraud raised her head, revealing two white, sightless eyes. “He is not on the other side.”

“I thought the spirits could find him on this side?” My father looked furious, but I knew he was nothing but words. The man’s fire, passion and soul had been burned out of him by the search light he had carried on so many dark nights.

“The spirits could find him on either side if he were normal,” the old woman said. “You have kept something from me. He is not normal is he?”

My mother began to cry. My father trained an angry scowl on the seer as he wrapped his arms around my mother. It did no good, the old woman was blind, but if it made him feel better it was alright.

The crone turned her white eyes on me. “He is not normal and you knew that.”

Both parents froze and turned to face me. They stared at me with wide eyes while the blind woman stared at me with sightless ones. But as they looked, I stared back into the past, to the green and yellow eyes that had looked back at me from the porch. Those eyes had been glowing too bright to be hidden by the shadows.

When he had walked towards me, I dropped to my knees to pray. I mumbled hymns as he relieved himself on my down turned head. I had stayed there, terrified of nothing but a pair of eyes as he walked away. I never told anyone. I couldn’t tell them. If they believed me, believed that my brother was possessed, then our whole family would have been burned.

“Say the word child. There is only one and it is the truth.”

“What is she talking about?”

“What do you know young lady?”

“Say the word child. It is the only way to give them peace.”

I was crying. Big, salty tears streaked down my face as I tried to look at my mother. Her face was so blurry. My father’s face was red, despite my inability to see the details.

“What did you see?” The old woman’s voice was so quiet that I wondered if she had spoken aloud or if I had imagined it.

I turned to the window, unable to face them when I said it, but found my voice stolen. A single, croaking sound rumbled out of my throat as I saw his eyes glowing at me through the glass again.

The seer gasped and keeled over. I was right behind her and the last sound I heard as I felt the weight of my skull drag me backward to the floor was a slimy voice that made me imagine slugs crawling on my arms.

“I am home.”

Categories: Horror
  1. May 16, 2013 at 6:41 PM

    You killed the seer! What a character.
    I loved the description of her hair as a beaded, tattered veil.
    I am a little confused on how the brother showed up after being gone so long. What pulled him back to the family?

    • May 17, 2013 at 8:00 AM

      The arrival of the brother was either happenstance or the old woman’s attempt to scry for him worked in a more literal way than intended.

      But if she is dead, we will never know for sure.


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