I saw the flames as they licked the tops of the tallest trees, destroying not only the dry, autumn leaves, but the creatures that called the forest their home. I saw the wreckage on the highway, the crumpled heaps of five cars and an eighteen-wheeler truck.
My mother’s body was being wheeled away from the scene on a stretcher by two paramedics, a thin sheet covering her from head to toe. Her bloodied arm dangled limply off the side, exposed; somehow, the charm bracelet she’d worn for as long as I could remember had survived, though she would not.
The orange blanket around my shoulders did nothing to quell the chill going through my body. It wasn’t just the shock of the crash. It wasn’t the throbbing pain in my shattered leg. It wasn’t the droning of the tactless police officer to my right as he asked me questions I couldn’t answer.
I’d seen this exact event before, in a dream. If only I could have done something to stop it from happening.
His name was Abraham. Abraham Smith, to be exact. Irony of all ironies, his house was full of (intact) graven images. Everything from smiling Buddhist figurines to little statues that looked vaguely like Hello Kitty took up space on shelves, tables, window sills, and armrests.
“I collect and sell these things, y’see,” he explained awkwardly as I locked eyes with one leering pre-Columbian carving. “I don’t necessarily believe in them, in case you’re wondering.”
I shrugged, which isn’t easy when you’re leaning on a cane. I’d had my share of odd foster families in the last few months. What could I say that wouldn’t offend my newest guardian, who also happened to be my fourth cousin thrice removed? Continue reading “Premonition: Updated Prologue + Chapter One”