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Wayward Child

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Cora always considered herself different. She was always quiet and taking everything in. Calculating in every move she made. She had been born premature by two months. Diagnosed with cerebral palsy at two as well as learning disabilities. But then she was genius in other areas. Her grandfather was a mystery for some reason. The rest of her family was made up of sociopaths, narcissists, etc. Even as a young child, she knew she was different. She was kind, trusting, eager to please. To a fault. The paranormal was normal to her. Her first encounter was as early as five years old and continued in many forms throughout her life. Rather than be afraid, Cora saw these encounters as a privilege. She was granted the gift of seeing things others could not. Other abilities would make themselves known throughout her life. When she reached middle age, she began to research all the occurrences she had experienced and found that she wasn't alone. Digging into her experiences would bring some unwanted, and dangerous attention. But she would learn she had allies in the unlikeliest of places. Some who would make themselves known. Some who had been with her from the very beginning.

Scifi / Romance
Kala Matai
Age Rating:

It Begins

Cora lay in bed with her head under the covers. She held her tiny hand up and counted out loud. “1,2,3,4,5.” Putting up each finger as she counted. Suddenly she froze. Something had touched her middle finger. It felt as though someone had held her finger between two of their own. Or between their teeth, she thought. Her heart pounding, she hurriedly crawled out from under her covers and without daring to look behind her she made a desperate run for her baby brothers room. She climbed over the side of his crib and cuddled close hoping she hadn’t been followed. She calmed her breathing and before long she fell asleep. Now any normal person would wonder why she didn’t run to her mom and dad’s room as most children tended to do. Her parents were not the most loving and had she dared to ask them for help, she would have been punished and sent back to bed. So in her mind, her brother was the safer bet. Not too long after this incident, Cora would begin to have bad dreams on occasion. After each of these bad dreams, she would feel the sensation of falling and then a being she identified as “Wall Men” would appear and from her perspective, bite her finger. Interestingly, it was always the same one that the first entity had grabbed or bitten during her first occurrence. Surprisingly only a year later, Cora cried out for her father after she had been visited. Her father grabbed a butcher knife from the kitchen and ran into Cora’s room. He yelled out that whoever was bothering his daughter had better stop or else. This may have made Cora feel safe for that moment, but the visitations continued. As Cora got older, she began to realize that the Wall Men were not just random beings. They began to take on the likenesses of people she feared. Her drunk father, bad guys from movies. If she tried to run from them, they would chase her down until they completed their task. Soon the Wall Men began to appear as people she admired. Their approach to her began to be simply that they had a job to do. She would let them bite her just to get it over with. Then at the age of fifteen, everything changed.

Cora found herself in an orphanage after choosing to leave her mother’s custody and escape from the years of abuse she had suffered. She had begun dating a young man three years older than herself and it was his attempt to visit her and her mother’s interference that led to the change in the relationship she had with the Wall Men. When her boyfriend came to visit her, he had walked over an hour to meet her. Instead, Cora’s mother met him at the door and had threatened to have him killed if he ever came near her daughter again. Upon learning what her mother had done, Cora became hysterical and ran back to her room. The staff demanded that her mother leave and never return. Later that night after Cora had gone to bed. Her best friend had been given permission to sleep on the floor next to Cora’s as a source of comfort. Her friend woke suddenly when she heard Cora talking to someone. When she looked up, Cora appeared to be leaning against someone and pouring out her heart and soul out to them. And yet there was no one there. After watching the conversation play out, Cora finally said thank you and good night and fell asleep. Her friend, out of a sense of worry, alerted staff to what happened, the counselor stated simply that Cora was allowed to use whatever coping mechanism she needed to deal with the trauma her mother had caused. Cora had been afraid the staff would think that she was crazy and thankfully this turned out to be untrue.

Some weeks later Cora had a dream that a pair of Wall Men came for her. They led her to what could be best described as the central location for their kind. She was brought before the leader, who appeared to her as a familiar character from one of her favorite movies. During the meeting, she was told that their would be no more visitations from their kind. Cora breathed a sigh of relief. The leader continued however, her voice solemn. “What is coming next is far worse, be prepared.” The following night, Cora dreamed that she was being chased by an unknown entity. Her fear kept her from looking behind her as she ran down the familiar halls of the orphanage to her room. This felt different. Even more menacing than what she had experienced as a child. When she had hit puberty at the age of thirteen, she had also learned that she was an intuitive and had experienced her first premonition through her dreams.

Her father at this time had visitation rights and Cora and her siblings would be expected to visit their father every other weekend. It was on one such weekend that Cora had refused to go. Her mother had not asked why. Then on the night her siblings were going to return home, Cora told her mother that she had had a strange dream. In the dream, her father had bit off both of her siblings earlobes, turning them into mindless zombies, willing to do their father’s bidding without question. Her father was unable to reach her however. When Cora looked down she learned why. There was a package of frozen chicken next to her leg. Weird right? She warned her mother that when her siblings got home, they were going to treat her like crap. Calling her names, accusing her of things. Her mother waved it off at first. But when her siblings returned home, Cora watched her dream come to fruition. Her siblings called their mom a whore, a slut and any number of names that should not come from children of their age. Cora’s mother looked at her shocked. Later on that night, she told Cora that she should not use that ability. It has consequences. Cora told her simply that she didn’t use the ability, it used her. All her mother could do was shake her head.

Back to the current situation, Cora would have a dream months later that would take years to come true. The first dream occurred after she had been placed in a foster home as one of over eight other children. This home she learned was far from loving. It made her on more than one occasion want to return to the orphanage. The only biological child of the foster parents was especially cruel. Doing all she could to anger Cora. Hoping that she could get her kicked out.

Cora “found God” as a source of comfort. Even getting baptized in her church. The problem was, her religion of choice and that of her foster family were like fire and ice. Cora had been raised in the Church of Christ. Her adopted family were members of the Pentecostal church. Cora had even on one occasion quoted scripture to her foster mom as to why her beliefs were distorted. The abuse by the family only intensified. One night Cora had a dream. In it, she standing in the kitchen doing dishes. When she looked out the window above the sink, she saw a familiar religious figure. He sat on a bench and was feeding random animals. He looked right at Cora and motioned for her to join him. Cora became frightened. If she was caught going outside before finishing her chores, she would be severely punished. The figure only smiled. And without speaking, he told her everything would be fine. Cora dropped what she was doing and immediately joined him. He put his hand on her shoulder. Cora woke feeling warm, comforted and at complete peace with her situation. She faced each assault with a smile.

Fate would soon have other plans for her. Her father had a long history of pedophilia. He had assaulted children for as long as she could remember. She had even witnessed his victims assaults. Every slumber party she would attempt to have would result in those girls being assaulted by her father. Then the girls’ and their families would suddenly leave town. Her father and his family were very powerful. They were in the pockets of all the local officials of multiple towns and multiple states. Cora chose at thirteen to stand up to her father. This made her enemy number one to her father’s entire family. Maybe the trauma is what brought about her abilities. Cora was given the opportunity to move in with him and her two younger siblings. She took it. For no other reason than to protect her younger sister. As she settled in to her new home, she was hyper alert whenever her father was around. He would sneak into her room at night and molest her to the point that she began to wear her clothes to bed. This angered him and he told her that she was not allowed to do it. Cora simply ignored him. A few months later, she would learn her purpose for moving in with her family was a moot one. She had returned early from school one day and walked in on her father molesting her little sister. Her father simply looked at her, got up and left. Cora watched him go. Anger rising up in her. When she went to try and comfort her sister, she received an unexpected response that made her heart break into pieces. “Leave me alone. I like what daddy does to me.” All Cora could do is make a bee line for her bedroom. She had to absorb all that had happened. She began to cry, she felt lost, betrayed. And ever so angry. And yet she knew there was nothing that could be done. All she could do is bide her time. That night she had a dream. In it, she was in the local bus barn yard. She was dressed in a white gi with her hard earned yellow belt. As she looked around her, she saw a man she didn’t know beating on someone. As she inched closer, she saw that he was beating on her cousin. Not just any cousin. The cousin who was like a sister to her. They were nine months apart in age and had been raised together over a number of years. Cora yelled at the man to stop. The man stood up. He had dark hair, a mustache. He told her to shut up and mind her own business. Cora stood her ground. Suddenly, the man pulled out a handgun and aimed it at her. Cora heard the gun shot and time seemed to slow. She flipped out of the way of the bullet and backed up as he continued to come towards her. Cora would wake up. Less than a year later, Cora and her siblings would find themselves in foster care together, after her sister disclosed that her father had attempted to rape her and her father would threaten to commit suicide in front of them. First putting a pistol in his mouth in front of all three children, then going outside and firing off a rifle and dropping to the ground pretending he had shot himself. The suicide attempt and not the rape would be the cause for the removal from their father’s care. While there, Cora learned that she could see as well as sense other entities. Her foster parents were a kind, elderly, Hispanic couple. The room that Cora occupied with her sister was eerie. The walls were painted black and no matter how warm it was, there was always an odd chill. The foster mom had informed Cora and her siblings on arrival that a family member had committed suicide in another house on the property. The home was boarded up and had not been cleaned after the body had been found. On Oct 21, Cora and her sister had gone to bed as they usually had. But Cora had woke up suddenly, sensing someone else in the room. She sat up and saw a black figure standing over her sister’s head. When Cora tried to call her sister’s name, her sister didn’t respond. Cora could see her breath in the air despite the room being hot from the wood stove that burned in the corner. Cora jumped up and ran across the room to turn on the light, waking her sister in the process. After looking around, she returned to bed. The next day, she asked her sister to trade beds with her. If anything was going to happen again, it would happen to her. Her little sister had no memory of what had happened and thought that Cora was being weird. Suggesting that the wind had blown the curtains. Cora only shrugged. In order to prove her sister wrong however, she twisted the curtains until they were tight and used the bed to hold them in place. When she attempted to pull them, they held tight. It would be a month later that a visitor arrived. A month later to the day. Cora woke to an entity in a white death shroud. The shroud moved around the body as though there were a wind blowing. Cora feared that it would blow off at any moment. The body under the shroud was that of an older man. She sensed in that moment that it was the family member who had committed suicide. Cora turned on the light and the figure disappeared. When she told her foster mom what she had seen, the older women simply shook her head and allowed the girls to sleep in another room. Cora asked if they could repaint the room, the black paint made her feel very uncomfortable. The foster mom was more than happy to agree and allowed the girls to redecorate the room to their liking. Cora and her sister chose to paint the walls all white and hang plastic music notes above each bed. Cora had a gift of music and had sung since the age of four in choir. This seemed to end any further encounters during the time they stayed.

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