Emily's House (The Akasha Chronicles)

BOOK: Emily's House (The Akasha Chronicles)
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The Akasha Chronicles
Book 1

Emily’s House

 

 

 

 

 

Natalie Wright

 

 

EMILY’S HOUSE

Copyright © 2011 by Natalie Wright

Published by Boadicea Press 2011.

For any questions about the novel or the author, please refer to contact details at:

NatalieWrightsYA.blogspot.com

 

Book Cover Art copyright © Phatpuppy Art

Book Cover Design © Cheryl Perez

Formatting by Jason G. Anderson

 

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents are either product of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.

 

All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the written permission of both the copyright owners and the above publisher of this book.

 

Edition: September, 2012

 

 
For Sarah
.

Acknowledgments

In the beginning, there was just a seed of thought, a vision of a golden torc hovering over rolling green hills. This dream would never have become
Emily’s House
without the love and support of others.

Thank you to Ellen Schneider for creating the Feng Shui Networking Group, and thank you to Ellen for your support in this endeavor. Thank you also to the lovely ladies of the Feng Shui group for your encouragement. None of you laughed when I said I wanted to write novels instead of practice law. I thank you for that.

My deepest gratitude to Deborah. Your support of my dream is appreciated more than you can know.

Thank you Colleen for slugging through an early version. You rock girl! A special thanks to Bridget Magee, one of my biggest cheerleaders. You believed in my project and me when I didn’t believe in myself.

Thank you to Claudia McKinney at Phatpuppy Art for the fantastic cover art; to Cheryl Perez at You’re Published for cover design; to Jason G. Anderson for formatting for all digital platforms; and to Gary Smailes at BubbleCow for editing.

Thank you to Jill Robinson for creating
Emily’s Theme,
original music for the book trailer. Your talent blows me away. Thank you. Thank you to Mark Corneliussen of for your enthusiasm and creativity in creating the book trailer for Emily’s House.

Thank you to Sarah for sharing your mom with Emily for half of your life! You are my muse and constant source of inspiration. Thank you for listening to my stories and encouraging me to write them down.

Last but not least, thank you to JRF. It has been said that, ‘with love, all things are possible’. You kicked me in the pants and said ‘write it already’. I did, and I couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you.

 

 
The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whosoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed.

– Albert Einstein

 

 

PART ONE

 

 

 

The Order of Brighid

 

 

 

“Possibility is the secret heart of time.”

-
Anam Ċara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom
, by John O’Donohue

Prologue

The whoosh, whoosh, whoosh of that infernal machine. Its bellows pumping up and down as black, tarry sludge is sucked up the tube and into the holding tank.

She’s lying there on the bed like a robot corpse, tubes and lines going in and out of her body. Her once rosy lips now pale, tinged slightly green. Her once vibrant emerald green eyes are closed, sunken into the eye sockets. Her once strong body lies still and shrunken. Only her hair looks the same, flowing like a red wave across the white shore of the pillow.

Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh.

I’m standing at the door, gingerly peeking in. I don’t want to be here. I don’t want to see this. I don’t want the putrid odor of people dying stuck in my nostrils.

I don’t want to go in, but I’m sucked into the room anyway, my legs powerless against the invisible force pulling me. I feel myself flailing with my arms and trying hard to command my body to obey me – to allow me to turn and run from this horrid scene.

But I’m in the room anyway, drawing ever closer to the bed.

Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh.

What is that tarry black stuff? Is it being sucked out of her body? Or put in?

I’m now close enough to touch her, but I don’t want to. The last time I touched her I saw a vision of her taking her last breath. The last time I touched her, I saw her die. I don’t want that to come true. And I don’t want to see her die again. The first time I saw her die I ran and ran, trying to escape the vision. I don’t want to touch anyone ever again.

But my hand reaches anyway, a mind of its own. I’m powerless to stop it. I feel my mouth opening to scream, but nothing comes out, my lips locked in a soundless “O.”

My hand quivers as it reaches, in slow motion, toward the sleeping body that bears a resemblance to my mother. Is she still in there? Or has the cancer stolen the last of her?

My fingertips shake as they touch her hand.

Her eyes pop open in a look of terror. Her mouth is open in a scream, but instead of a human scream it’s the loud whoosh, whoosh, whoosh of that tar-sucking machine.

Then she sits up. The long, wavy red hair flying about her head is the same, but the face is no longer my mother. It looks at me with large, solid black eyes, devoid of light or emotion, staring out of a bare skull. Her hand is now skeleton and grips me hard.

I pull and pull to get free of this monster, but it has me. I’m caught in its grip.

Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh.

I finally wake, dripping in sweat, my mouth still open in an “O,” the scream still caught in my throat.

I awake once again from the same bad dream I’ve had for the last seven years, only to find myself in a house of nightmares.

1. A Run-In With Muriel The Mean

The day she died everything changed. It sucks for a kid to lose their mom. But my mom and I shared a special connection. A secret bond.

For as long as I can remember, I could read her thoughts. It was like a radio station playing in my head. All I had to do was tune in my receiver, and there she was, the ‘Mom Station’. She could read my thoughts too. It seemed like the most normal thing ever. Mom let me know that it wasn’t normal and that it was best to keep between us, so I did.

The day she died, I held her hand as that horrible tar-sucking machine whooshed away and then her station went off air. I never heard it again.

Inside my head, it was so quiet and lonely. I was seven years old, and it was the first time in my life that the only thoughts rolling around in there were my own.

To make it all worse, my dad turned into a zombie and my Aunt Muriel came to live with us. Dad’s work at the university takes most of his time so he thought my old widowed aunt (fourteen years older than my dad) could come live with us. “It’s a win-win,” he had said.

Only it wasn’t a win for me. Muriel is meaner than a dog chained in the hot sun with a choke collar on. I’m not sure why she’s such a heinous person, but she is so I call her ‘Muriel the Mean’.

Seven years living with a zombie who used to be my father. Seven years of Muriel treating me like the bastard fourth cousin of a retarded rhino. I felt as if I was slipping away. I felt like if something didn’t change, I was going to disappear completely.

Something did happen - something really big. It all started the second day of my life that everything changed. It began as a normal day, at least normal for me anyway. I was flunking math and getting D’s in pretty much everything else. It was report card day. The envelope in my backpack addressed to ‘Parent or Guardian’ felt like a bomb ready to go off. I was glad to have my best friends Jake and Fanny with me on the walk home that day.

“Maybe I should just keep walking,” I said when we were a couple of houses away from the sidewalk leading up to my front door. “You know, run away.”

“You can’t do that,” said Jake, his voice panicked. “I’d miss you too much. Besides, where would you go?”

“Then tell me how I can deliver this to Muriel the Mean and not end up dead.”

“Let me come in with you,” offered Fanny. “If she lays a hand on you, I’ll go banshee on her.”

“Fanny, we’ve been over this before. I’d love to let you go gorilla on my Aunt Muriel, but I can’t let you do that.
You
have too much to lose.”

She shut up about it then. She knew I was right. Even though we were only freshmen, Fanny was a shoe-in for at least one sport scholarship, and we all knew it. Spending time in juvenile detention for beating up my aunt would waste that dream for her.

“I don’t know Emily, maybe you should just go with the direct approach. That’s usually best,” said Jake.

“Best for what nub? Getting her butt kicked? No, I suggest the time proven method that has worked for generations of kids,” said Fanny.

“What’s that?” I asked.

“Lie.”

Fanny’s suggestion had considerable merit. Problem was we were at my house, and I had no lie in my head; no strategy planned out for how to hide the incriminating paper in my backpack from Muriel.

“I’ll see you guys later?” I asked.

“Yep, and I’ll help you with your algebra homework,” said Jake.

“And I’ll be over to keep Jake from boring you to death,” said Fanny. “We’ll meet at your tree later.”

“Wish me luck!”

“Good luck Em,” said Jake.

“Hope you live to see me later,” Fanny joked as they both walked away.

Fanny’s joke – like most humor – had a core of truth. Aunt Muriel wouldn’t actually kill me, but when displeased with me (which she was just about all of the time), she’d make my life hell.

I walked lightly across the creaky wooden porch of my house, trying not to make a sound. My hand hesitated on the door handle. Once upon a time I would have bound in with laughter to a kaleidoscope of color. That day I was sneaking with dread into a house of monochrome. I finally opened the door. Muriel was waiting for me just inside. Not a good sign.

“Okay, let’s see it,” she said.

“See what?”

“Don’t be cute. You know what. Hand it over,” she snarled back.

I dug in my backpack and brought out a wrinkled piece of paper. Muriel snatched it from my hand and pored over it. When she finally looked up, I thought for sure her eyes would incinerate me on the spot.

“If you were smart you wouldn’t have even come home with this. It appears that your grades do reflect the sum of your intelligence which, I’m sorry to say, is not a terribly large sum.”

“Then I must get my intelligence from your side of the family,” I replied. I know! Stupid, stupid, stupid. Sometimes it’s like my mouth has its own brain and it just shoots stuff out. Stuff likely to get me killed.

Crack!

I should have seen it coming. She hit me so hard I swear she made snot shoot out of my nose. My backpack fell, and stuff flew out all over the floor. Blood trickled from my nose over my upper lip. I didn’t want to cry in front of Muriel, but tears welled up in my eyes anyway.

“Pick up this stuff,” she hissed.

I bent down and shoved all my stuff back into my backpack. My nose bled so much that it dripped all over the wood floor in the entryway.

“Now look at what you did! You clean that up and then go to your room. I don’t want to see you until morning. And for God’s sake, stop sniveling,” she said as she stomped out of the room.

I wanted to run away, run and run like I had that day back when I was seven. Run and run until I was far away from this house and Aunt Muriel and Zombie Man. Run until I fell over.

But I didn’t run. Instead, I pulled it together enough to clean up the blood, snot and tears off the floor. I ran upstairs to my room, shut the door, and shoved wads of toilet paper up my nostrils to stop up the blood. Then I flopped down on my bed and I kept crying.

It wasn’t the wailing or hiccupping to catch your breath kind of crying. That’s how it usually was for me. No, that day it was a long, slow, stream of hot tears kind of crying. And they weren’t all tears of sad. A lot of those tears were mad tears. Really mad tears.

BOOK: Emily's House (The Akasha Chronicles)
8.51Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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