A Ray of Hope
The air was crisp, biting my cheeks as I looked over the mountain range. I loved being up here: seeing the world from a different vantage point and noticing how quiet it was. Over the years, the world has become so loud that it was almost overwhelming. It was moments like this that I treasured the most. The only thing missing was her.
“We need to go now, Atticus, before it’s too late.”
I glared over at my brother Tristan. He was in the process of talking me into leaving my peace on the mountain to look into a lead that might possibly bring me back to her. However, it was probably just another ruse and we’d be left wondering where she was all over again.
“Go on ahead, Tristan; I’m not done here yet.” I knelt down on one knee and scooped up some dirt in my hand, running the course material through my fingers. You can learn a lot from the ground on which you stand, just by touching it and feeling its energy.
Tristan let out an impatient snort. “I’m telling you it’s her and you’re going to sit up here investigating some folklore from a local town?”
I laughed, standing back up to my feet while rubbing my hands clean on the front of my jeans. “You can learn a lot about something from the locals of a small town. Folklore starts from somewhere, Tristan.”
We had been called here a week before, the locals hoping we could figure out what was tormenting them from the caves deep within these mountains. They didn’t give us much, other than the fact that when hiking in the hills they could hear knocking sounds coming from the cave openings, and upon a quick search, there was nothing there. When people weren’t in the hills, they claimed to see little creatures hiding in the shadows near their homes at night. Other accounts suggest these little creatures like to steal things from their homes and yards. It honestly sounded like a case of fairies to me, but we won’t know for sure until we come in contact with them. Fairies are notorious for stealing things and moving other objects to confuse the owners. It was actually pretty funny if you ask me.
“Listen, Tristan, I’m busy here. Why don’t you head down to Louisiana and if it’s promising, just give me a call and I’ll be there before you know it.” I looked back over the mountain range and debated on which cave system I wanted to explore first.
“I’m not going without you. You know more than anyone that we won’t know it’s her unless you’re there. You’re the one with the connection to her.”
My brother was getting on my last nerve and I knew the only way to shut him up was to comply with his plans. The townspeople will just have to wait a few more days before I could get to the bottom of their mysterious thieves.
“Fine, let’s go then.”
We headed back down the mountain path towards our SUV and climbed in. I wasn’t looking forward to this long drive to Louisiana for nothing. We had been searching for her for so long that I was beginning to think she wasn’t on earth yet. The timeline was right for her to be back, but so far she was nowhere to be found. It was a bit disheartening and the longer she was away, the more I could feel my soul getting heavier. I really do need this time to be it or I might lose myself forever.
As we drove across the Louisiana state line, I felt a weird tingle run through my entire body. It was something I normally felt when she was near. I couldn’t help the excitement running through me at the realization that this might be it this time.
But if it wasn’t, I didn’t know what I was going to do.
“Do we know where to find her?” I looked over at Tristan, hoping he had some kind of plan. I never even thought to look in Louisiana, so he must have found something important that was bringing us here. That was one thing I loved about Tristan’s character: when he had a job he took it very seriously and exhausted all resources until he found the answers he sought.
“Well, the last I knew, she was living in Baton Rouge. There’s a fair going on called The Autumn Equinox Fair and I’m wondering if we should start there. If she is who we think she is, that would be the place I’d start looking.” Tristan pulled his old journal out of the glove box, flipping through several pages before pointing at something on the page. “We don’t know if she knows anything at this point. Normally, when she comes back, she knows exactly who she is and who you are. But,” he paused, looking a bit disturbed, “but the way she ended her li...”
“Tristan,” I warned, glaring at him. I didn’t need to be reminded of how she died last time. It was far too painful. Of all of her lives, the last one was the worst and I blamed myself for how things ended up.
“Right. Let’s just start at the fair and we’ll test the waters from there.” He slammed his journal shut and shoved it back in the glove box before leaning his head back to close his eyes.
Several hours later, we were pulling up to the fair and I instantly scanned the crowds of people waiting to get in. None of the women looked remotely familiar and my heart fell into my stomach at the realization that I might be getting my hopes up for nothing.
I lightly punched Tristan’s arm. “Wake up. We’re here.”
Tristan sat up, rubbing his eyes before taking in the sights in front of him. “Alright, what’s the plan? Are we going to find her and tell her everything, hoping she remembers again?”
I shook my head, knowing it was going to be more complex this time. When one takes their own life, the memories from that life disappear into the universe. No, if we find her in the fair tonight, she won’t know who we are. And that hurt. A lot.
“Let’s just feel things out before we jump to conclusions. You’ll call me Kit, not revealing my real name to her. If, and I do mean if, we find her, play it cool. We don’t need her running off just yet.”
I shut the truck off and stared ahead at the bustling fairgrounds. We’d either find her or we wouldn’t, and I’m praying to the universe that we do because this might be my last chance before it all goes dark.
As we made our way into the fair, I noticed how most of these people were just your normal day-to-day group. None of them had a lick of magic in their bones and most were here for a cheap thrill. It was confusing to be alive these days, knowing most people enjoyed a good magic movie or a fair like this one. However, not long ago, I remember running for my life because I was accused of being a witch. People and time were funny things. One second they shun you while throwing stones, and the next, they’re intrigued and friendly. I had been alive for so long that nothing seemed to surprise me anymore. The human race was one I’d never understand.
“What’s the plan here, Tristan?” I didn’t want to be here any longer than we needed to be. If she wasn’t here, I wanted to get back to the mountains and complete the job I was hired for. Obviously, I wanted to find her but I wasn’t holding my breath this time.
“The girl I have been following through my astral projection journeys should be here. While I napped in the truck on the way here, I went out in search of her. I saw that she was here.”
I swung my hand out. “Lead the way, Brother.”
Tristan took off through the fairgrounds as I followed closely behind him. It was during this time that I noticed all the tents lining the pathways, all of them had signs posted out front for psychic readings, future fortune-telling, and of course, tarot and palm readings. I couldn’t stop my eyes from rolling at the sight of them. Most of these “psychic” readers were complete bullshit. They were, however, trained by talented psychics, but they themselves were not psychic. It made real psychics like myself and Tristan, among our other metaphysical friends, look like a bunch of crazies. And it was things like this that drove me crazy about the new world we live in. They were all so gullible and believed anything that might benefit them in the long run.
If I were to give any of these people a “reading,” they’d all run for the hills and never speak to a psychic again. That’s the thing about these fake psychics: they were in it to make a quick buck, which meant that they needed to have happy customers. Happy customers meant fluffing the truth and telling them what they wanted to hear, versus what they truly needed to hear. That’s where my readings would be different. If there was something bad in their future, I’d tell them, not giving two-shits if they wanted to hear it or not.
But, then again, that’s probably why I don’t give readings. I’m not very good with people, or at least, that’s what Tristan says.
Again, my eyes did that rolling thing. I was beyond annoyed today and everything was bothering me. If Tristan doesn’t find this girl he thinks is the one, I’m out of here.
Tristan spun around, grabbing my arm before he pointed over to a girl standing near the food carts.
“I think that’s her. She looks like the girl in my journeys anyway.”
I stared at this blonde girl standing about twenty feet in front of me, but there was no connection between her and I at all. My heart sank into my stomach at the realization that we were right back to square one. That wasn’t her and she wasn’t here.
“Next,” I growled out, turning away from Tristan, but he stopped me.
“Let’s at least go talk to her. There’s a reason I was seeing her in my journey, Atticus. If she isn’t the girl, she might know where we can find her.”
Growling, I nodded my head at Tristan, not at all happy about this situation, but he did have a point.
The blonde and her friend watched as we approached, grins spreading across their faces.
“Hey ladies,” Tristan purred out. He was always good with people and especially women. They took one look at him and they were instantly wrapped around his finger. I’m not sure if it had to do with his actual looks or the fact that he was possibly putting out his lady-killer aura. Either way, it was working right now and that’s all that mattered.
They were a giggling mess as we stepped up to them.
“This is my brother Kit and I’m Tristan. We’re new to the area and wondering if you have any other friends who are into all this magic stuff.”
Way to be blunt, I thought.
The blonde looked me up and down, not hiding the fact that she was attracted to me at all, when she smiled.
“Not that I’m aware of, but we’re into all this magic stuff,” she cooed, clearly trying to be flirty. It might be working for Tristan but I was done with this conversation the moment they started giggling.
Being well over a hundred years old did that to a guy. I was completely immune to the women of the world today, only having eyes and feelings for one girl. Except, that girl is MIA.
Tristan began laughing with them, annoying me even more. He continued to talk to them, but I had tuned them all out, scanning my eyes over the crowds of people passing by. Most of them were in their own little world, talking about their personal readings, kids whining over wanting to go in the haunted house again, and teenagers discussing what they wanted to do next.
Is this night over yet?
My annoyance level was full and being here only made it worse.
“It’s clear that she isn’t here, Tristan. Let’s get the hell out of here.” I telepathically spoke to my brother, needing to get the hell out of here.
“Chill, Atticus- I’m almost done here.” The tone in his voice told me he was enjoying the flirtatious exchange between the girls and I knew that tonight wasn’t going to be over anytime soon.
He was always pulling this crap. Ever since we were kids, Tristan was a giant flirt. However, that flirtatious manner of his often fed us, so I couldn’t complain then and I couldn’t complain now. That stupid demeanor of his was usually helpful in getting what we wanted except for tonight it wasn’t doing jack to find what I was looking for.
I turned away from them and that’s when it happened. Every hair on my body stood on end and the world around me slowed dramatically to a stand-still. The crowds of people froze in their activity and my tunnel vision stared at the only moving person in the fairgrounds.
Her long dark hair wisped down her back and her perfect olive skin gleamed in the lights of the fairgrounds. But it was when she turned to look at me that completely stole my breath away. I could see from here that one eye was blue and one eye was green and I nearly broke down in tears. I knew it in my soul that I had finally found her. She was finally here.
When her gaze pulled away from mine, something broke and the crowds of people began milling about again, taking me by surprise.
“Tristan, I found her.”
Tristan spun around as I pointed to the brunette beauty standing in line at one of the food carts. She was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. What seemed to always amaze me was the fact that every time she came back, she looked completely different except for her eyes. They were always green and blue. That was the one sign that told me who she was when I first fell in love with her. However, this time, she looked exactly like the girl I had fallen in love with when we were kids running through the highlands.
“Holy shit,” Tristan audibly breathed out. “That’s really her, isn’t it?”
When I nodded, I felt him turn back to the girls, thanking them for an interesting conversation and telling them that they needed to go now.
I grabbed Tristan and pulled him away from the cackling girls, mixing us in with the crowd and out of sight of the brunette. I didn’t need her catching us staring at her, she’d freak out for sure.
“Put out your feelers, brother,” Tristan urged, nudging me from behind.
What he refers to is my psychic antennas, in a sense. When I focused on energies and spirit, I could find out anything I desired.
After closing my eyes, picturing a white light around me, I pressed my aura out. I didn’t know what I was looking for exactly, other than a way into the brunette’s life. We couldn’t scare her off so I had to play it cool here.
And that’s when I felt him.
My eyes whipped open and I was staring at a young brunette teenager. He looked much younger than he actually was but I knew he was friends with her. And he’d be my in.
“There,” I nodded towards the kid, making my way over towards him.
“What’s your plan, Atticus?” Tristan murmured to me, keeping his voice low.
“We befriend the kid. We need to get close to her somehow and this kid is it.”
Everything in my body was on high alert, buzzing, and elated. After all these years, I finally found her.
“Is this the line to the palm reader?” Tristan asked the kid, putting out all the charm that he could muster.
The kid smiled at us, nodding behind him. “Yeah, it’s a bit long, but I’ve noticed it’s moving pretty quickly.”
“Sweet. I’m Tristan by the way.” Tristan held out his hand to shake the kids. “And this is my brother Att… Kit.”
“Idiot,” I scolded him. “Hey, I’m Kit.” I shook his hand, too. And upon touching his hand, I read the kid’s entire life. He was a dear friend to my girl and for that, I was thankful. The things I saw in my head, however, were haunting and I couldn’t help but feel bad for the kid. His home life was something you’d see on the news or hear from a social worker after it scarred them for life. If I ever come face to face with his father, I’d have a few choice words to say to him right before I make him swallow his own teeth.
All that’s left to do is test the waters and see what happens next. We don’t want to scare the girl off, so I’m going to play it cool for tonight. But, I knew deep in my soul that she was Emersyn. Now I just have to be patient. She has to come to me.