Fane’s Cove isn’t the average coastal town- not with wandering apparitions, disembodied voices and poltergeist activity occurring on a regular basis- but the residents are used to it. As far as they know, it’s simply always been that way.
Somehow, Cadence McKenna can’t shake the feeling that the seemingly-normal new resident, Gray Addison, is hiding something stranger than all of the town’s odd happenings combined and she’s determined to find out what that is – by any means necessary.
- Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7
- Part 8* | Part 9* | Part 10* | Part 11* | Part 12* | Part 13*
- Part 14* | Part 15* | Part 16* | Part 17* | Part 18* | Part 19*
- Part 20* | Part 21* | Part 22* | Part 23* | Part 24*
“Something witchy this way comes.” I call out as I drop my keys into the bowl on the coffee table and proceed through the house.
My mother works—refusing to let my dad’s alimony and child support checks pay any of the bills; she feels that would put a crinkle in their strangely amicable divorce—but she always tries to take a late lunch at home so she can be here when I get in from school. I round the French doors that separate the dining area from the kitchen to see my brother Jeremy, but no mom. I raise a brow, slinging my backpack up onto the counter and heading straight to the fridge to get a can of diet Pepsi. Dad’s diabetic, so we’ve been raised to do without real sugar.
“Something witchy, huh?” he says, barely looking up from some college paper or another he’s working on. “Mom had to work through lunch, but I’ll listen if you wanna talk about it.”
I nod before I take a long swig of soda, trying not to choke on the carbon bubbles for a sec. See, it’s always been mom’s contention that Gran’s sixth sense was a hereditary trait and so should have been passed down. Jeremy and I get vibes and inklings about things from time to time; however, our mother . . . . God love her, she tries, but it seems to have skipped her. Regardless of her numerous failed predictions, the awareness of it being in our family makes her open-minded, understanding, and perfect to talk to about the weird moments.
When we were little, if Jer or I ever announced something before it happened, Dad would laugh and just say careful, your witchy is showing. So the Shakespearean misquote turned into a McKenna family declaration we use upon entering the house when we want to have one of those weird-moment talks.
“Only if that can’t wait a few minutes,” I say, nudging my chin in the direction of his laptop and textbooks.
He scratches at his close-cropped brown hair and closes the computer. “Yeah, sure. In fact, I welcome the distraction.”
Setting the can of soda on the kitchen table, I pull out a chair and sit down before I explain about the pharmacy window. It isn’t the incident itself that bothers me—that crap happens all the time—but the little thrill of warning I felt just before it happened is what worries me.
“And what did Wendi think about that?”
I just stare at him. Here I was, wanting him to tell me that my thrill isn’t strange at all, just like our usual inklings, and therefore, the forewarning is something that I can just let go of without examination. Maybe I should know better than to talk to him—he takes any opportunity lately to bring up Wendi and yet, somehow thinks I won’t realize he’s got a crush on her. Honestly, I think he’s just embarrassed ’cause usually it’s the little sister’s best friend who develops the crush on the older brother, not the other way around.
I don’t see what the big deal is. She told me—in an unforgettably awkward conversation that has likely left me scarred and traumatized for life—that she thinks he’s totally hot. They’re both just being stupid, and if one of them would only say something to the other one, then maybe I could be left out of it altogether.
But rather than blurt all this out, since he’ll likely only respond in typical-guy reflex and tell me I’m crazy, I just shrug. “She was looking straight ahead, so she couldn’t tell that I didn’t see it coming at us before it actually was, ya know, coming at us.”
“Why didn’t you tell her? She already knows about your feelings.”
Yeah, sure, she knows about them, but still questions my distrust of Grey—the one thing I’m adamant about. I can’t help frowning, not even about the Grey thing, either, but because Jeremy’s not even asking for my benefit, but for his. Like he wants to know for certain that she’s used to the psychic stuff from me so that if she ever sees it from him, she won’t get freaked out.
It’s still a wonder to me why I don’t just get them in a room together, spill the beans, and then walk out, leaving them to deal with each other.
“Forget it.” I mutter as I fight off a yawn, ignoring the rest of my soda and pushing away from the table to stand.
“Hey,” he says, and reaches out to catch my wrist as I pass him to retrieve my backpack. “Are you mad at me or something?”
Pursing my lips, I take a moment and sort of internally vent—it’s not his fault, he doesn’t get how annoying he can be when it comes to Wendi.
“No, Jer, I’m tired and irritated and just want to do my homework and relax.” I shrug, and realize I actually am really tired, but having no clue why.”Maybe go to bed early.”
“Okay,” he says, with a perplexed half-frown as he lets go and reopens his laptop. “You want me to tell mom just to put something in the fridge for you?”
Usually my brother and I have no trouble cooking dinner for ourselves, but on days when mom has to work through lunch, she tries to make it up to us by bringing home takeout. No matter how many times we tell her that we understand and there’s nothing for her to make up, the woman insists.
“Sure, thanks.” I smile tiredly at him as I head out of the kitchen and amble upstairs to my room.
It occurs to me only after I’m already closing my bedroom door that maybe I could have gotten his take on the Grey issue—Jer being someone who understands what it’s like to get these feelings. I turn around and head back downstairs, but then I’m stopped short by the notion that he might just gloss over what I want to talk about and hijack the conversation so he can get me to talk about Wendi some more.
“Screw it.” I dump my books out onto my bed and then sigh miserably as I pull my math text from the small pile.”I’ll just wait and talk to mom instead.”
When I wake up, I open my eyes to be greeted by a vague, person-shaped blob leaning over my face in my darkened room, and I let out a startled shriek. In a second, though, I see a very familiar eyebrow lift, and suddenly my mom’s features make sense.
Sitting up, I press a hand to the center of my chest and feel my heart pounding like a very small jackhammer as I push away my quilt and swing my legs over the side of the bed.”What’s the big idea, lady?”
“You slept through dinner,and then some, so I thought you might like to go get us breakfast.”
I frown, glancing down at myself. I’m still in my clothes from yesterday . . . . I don’t even remember having gotten under the covers; I must’ve been half-asleep when I decided to ignore the warmish early-autumn weather outside and cocoon myself in a blanket. But it’s still dark out, and mom is talking about breakfast.
How long was I out?
“What time is it?” I ask as I wipe my eyes.
Mom shrugs, one corner of her mouth twitching as she looks away from me. This is when I realize that she’s deliberately standing between me and my alarm clock. “Almost . . . five a.m.”
My eyes drift closed as I groan.
“Fantastic.” She knows I hate mornings.
“Oh, c’mon.” She bounces away from me—damned morning people—and flicks on the light switch. I’m about to grumble some more, as the sudden brightness forces me to squint, but she waves a twenty-dollar bill at me. “Go get bagels and some of those turbo-espresso-super-caffeinated coffees you like so much.”
I’m not incredibly happy to be up before the sun, but the thought of yummy bagel shop coffee does perk me up a bit. I stand and reach to snag the money from her hand, but she pulls it out of my reach.
“Get changed, first,” she says, tucking the bill into the pocket of her navy blue dress slacks. “No daughter of mine is going to step out of this house looking all sleep-rumpled.”
With that, she goes into the hall and shuts the door, leaving me to throw on some fresh clothes.
When my feet hit the sidewalk finally, I’m clad in black skinny jeans, a ribbed, sable-colored turtleneck, and a pair of slightly scuffed up black motorcycle boots. The twenty is in my pocket, and I realize I’m still kind of functioning in my sleep after swallowing several yawns as I make my way to the bagel shop. I feel like I shouldn’t be so tired, not after having slept so long, and I still have no idea why I was exhausted in the first place. It’s strange to consider the source, since it really didn’t seem like that big of a deal at the time, but I can only think that my tiredness had to do with the pebble incident.
I remember Gran used to talk about how some of her episodes left her feeling drained or winded or in need of a nap. I know a simple vibe can’t compare to a full-on premonition, or remote viewing, or any of the other phenomena my grandmother experienced, but making this connection helps me to rationalize it. The feeling had just been another inkling, but it had been stronger than usual—even if only by a little—and sharper. Usually they’re vague . . . just a feeling that something is going to happen, but not knowing what. A solid instinct like stop, that certainty that told me to pull Wendi back, is kind of new. Maybe it just sapped my energy . . . maybe even the smaller inklings did, too, and I just hadn’t notice sooner because I was used to those.
That’s all I can think of, and it doesn’t feel like a satisfactory conclusion, but it does make sense.
By the time I leave the store carrying a bag of bagels with cream cheese and a tray of über-caffeine, the sun is cresting and the street lamps have timed out. It’s that odd moment of the morning when the sky is hint darker than just before dawn.Rather than making a right and continuing straight up the next few blocks to get back to my house, I cross the street so that I can walk along the worn stone and wrought iron fence around the cemetery.
Despite my gripes about weirdness, I actually like a little spooky chill in the morning.
I sigh, rolling my shoulders and stretching to work some kinks out of my spine, as I gaze through the fence, over the crumbling grave markers and mausoleums covered in vines that dominate this side of the cemetery. Being closer to the initial settlement that Fane’s Cove had grown out of, the section I’m walking past is simply referred to as Old Part, some of the tombstones so worn that you can barely make out the names or dates on them.
I see something that stops me in my tracks. There’s someone in the cemetery. And it’s sure not the groundskeeper. Frowning, I set the bagels and coffee on the sidewalk and step closer to the fence, pressing my face against the diamond pattern of the rusty, iron scrollwork to get a better look.
My jaw drops at the sight of the one and only Grey Addison leaving the cemetery. Well, sneaking out, really . . . at roughly ten to six in the morning. Yeah, nothing weird about that, I can’t help thinking snidely as I watch him scramble over the fence not very far from where I’m standing—like if he turns around for even a second, he might see me watching him. Which means he’s been poking his nose around in Old Part, but why couldn’t he do that while the place was open?
Just peachy—now I don’t simply want answers, I need them.
I let out a grumpy sigh, shaking my head as I turn away and pick up the breakfast stuff, then resume my walk home. “All right, Wendi,” I mutter, “looks like I’ve got to play it your way.”