Slowly, filled with dread, I unfolded my body and stood up. This wasn’t a girl who died peacefully in bed. I had no idea what horrors I would have to experience in order to help her find peace. Still, I’d made my decision. The deal was probably sealed when I’d felt that electric sensation – recognition laced with something I couldn’t quite name – ripple through my body at the sight of her tear-streaked face. Looking directly at the dead girl in my living room, I dipped my head slightly in her direction.
“Tell me,” I whispered as quietly as possible.
A flood of foreign feelings swarmed in, making me dizzy and disoriented. So many impressions flickered by so quickly, my brain couldn’t process anything but desperation and panic.
“Slow down!” I’m not sure if I actually pronounced the words or if I sent the thought to her. I could barely breathe. I blindly reached out to the wall on my left for support. The sensations pulled away for a moment, but I could still sense them hanging tentatively at the edge of my awareness. It was a stupid rookie mistake, inviting a recently departed victim to simply “tell me” anything or everything. This is exactly why my father wanted me to avoid these sessions. Dimly, I remembered my mother saying it was a matter of filtering, of leading with the right questions.
Start with the basics.
In the kitchen, my mother continued to sway in place, moaning and occasionally muttering about her visions while LaShawna hung on every syllable. Neither of them were paying any attention to me.
“Are you Ivy Brennan?” The words were a barely articulated breath, softer than a whisper.
Frustration rippled through the air.
The word was a violent hiss at the back of my skull, making me cringe.
“Calm down,” I said through clenched teeth, jaw tight. “Do you know what happened to you?”
Instead of answering the question with words, the sensations swarmed back in. The edge of frantic desperation was still there, but this time I was able to focus.
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