Visitation IIIStarling Manor[TRIGGER WARNING FOR MENTIONS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT]
“Good to hear ya talkin’, mom,” I say, trying to disguise the crackle in my voice with sarcasm.
I haven’t heard her speak in the eight years I’ve known her. When I could get her to look at me, her eyes would always look haunted. Now, I know why. I look just like this a**hole. Same a**hole that raped her. Same a**hole that stole her from me. Alice looks at me, and she sees him.
The hands that hold my arms by my sides tighten a bit. Not that I forgot he’s behind me. How can I? At least twenty different tendrils of aura are lashing at me, all from different people, all terrified.
“Now, don’t be cruel, Evie,” my father says. Kal. Kaliel. A**hole. Prick. Douche. “Your mother wanted to talk to you all this time. If there’s anyone you should be angry with. It’s me.”
Suddenly, I’m whirled around and pushed back several feet to sit in the other chair situated at the window, beside the one my mother was seated in when I arrived. The whole motion is like a backward carnival ride. No steps involved, only nauseating gliding. Then, I’m sitting, looking up at the man who sired me. Again, I’m unconsciously reaching for a weapon that still isn’t on my belt. He’s got one, though. Not that he needs it.
“Who says I ain’t angry at you? I’m plenty pissed,” I retort, no venom lost in my verdant gaze. The same one reflected back at me before he glances to Alice, who’s still standing, just at my right.
“Have a seat, Alice. You don’t want to overstimulate yourself.” Kaliel’s placating voice grates on my nerves more than I’d like to admit, but I’m just glad he’s not touching me anymore. My mother sits back down, her fingers gripping onto the armrests.
“Right, Evie. You and I need to have a talk, and I understand that you’ve grown attached to Alice, here.” Kal looks at me, running his tongue along his teeth and raising his brows.
“Guess a kid might ‘grow attached’ to their mom. Doncha think?”
“I suppose they would, but you’re not a regular ‘kid’, are you, Evie?” Kal comes closer, perusing, inspecting me, lifting his chin up appraisingly. Oh, yea. He’s expecting an answer…
“Nope. Not regular.” Flat. Monotone. I don’t like him calling me ‘Evie’. If I thought I could get away with it, I’d have kicked him in the teeth already.
“Right, and you hate that,” he offers. To which I say nothing. What’s he getting at? “Evie, do you realize what a gift you’ve been given? The power you could hold?” He’s coming closer again, gesticulating with his hands, opening them and looking at me as if I’m crazy.
“Kal, I get it. You got control over people. Okay—a lot of people, but what about them? You just plan to use them up like batteries until—what, they’re all used up? Then, what?”
He frowns, and I finally see lines on his face when he comes closer. His approach is quicker than I anticipate, already in my face before I can blink. I still do, but my heart is pounding. He’s gripping the armrests of the chair I’m sitting in. I feel the terror of the auras he sipped from. I’ve gone too far. I f***ed up. I’m sorry, mom.
“You still don’t understand what it is you have. Limitless possibilities. Yet, you only see the negative.” Kal shakes his head, his hands tighten on the chair until I hear the wood creaking. “You could have so much more, Evie. If you’d stop being afraid of the possibilities.”
“Killing people? That possibility?” I ask softly, but my eyes hold firm.
He scoffs. “You think that’s the worst thing you could do to them? Death?” Now, he stands up again, looking down on me with a cruel smile. “You could make them wish they were dead. You could make them do the most horrific things. Or, you could make them see Heaven. Make them believe the best. You could light a fire or the sky. You’re thinking too small…” His hands rake through his hair as he turns away from Alice and I. Only for a minute, and he’s focused again. “That’s my fault, though. I should have been here all along, stepping in to show you the way.”
I’m trying hard to understand what he’s alluding to, especially what he means by lighting a fire. Is it a metaphor? Don’t get me started on what he means by ‘light the sky’. Look, I’m lost. I don’t understand. Not until he says he should have been ‘stepping in’ do I get what he’s saying.
“Nah. I think it’s past time for you to be ‘stepping in’ anywhere in my life,” I say. “You’re a rapist. Not a dad. You don’t get any privileges.”
“That’s where you’re wrong, Evie.”
“STOP CALLING ME THAT.”
“You’re connected to me, whether you like it or not. Even more than your mother, I’m always going to be a part of you. Our auras are linked. You’ll see that, one day.” Kaliel is so calm it makes my heart stutter, like a mouse under the stare of a viper. “One day, you’re going to have to choose. A war is coming. Which side do you think you’re going to be on, good or evil?”
I blink, furrowing my brows. If I had to answer, I don’t think the good side would take me.
“Think about that, Evie. I’ll be in touch.”
My father turns away from my mother and I and strolls toward the door, where Pete opens it for him. Kal pauses in the doorway, glancing at me and then Alice. He flicks his wrist, a bright white flash consuming his eyes. My mom convulses in her seat, her chest thrusting out as blue light bulges from it. A stream of blue pours from her breast and soars to my father’s hand, lighting his eyes the same azure for a moment before Alice slumps in her chair.
“Mom!” I shout, jumping up from my seat to crouch at her side, my hands cupping her cheeks to lift her head.
The door clicks shut again behind Pete and my dad, and I stare at my mother’s face.
It’s the same face she’s maintained for the past eight years. Blank. Her brown eyes stare past me. My pulse pounds, and I feel that pressure in my eyes again. My eye sockets ache, vision burns.
This time, I let the tears come.