In the morning as soon as she woke up, Grace returned to her parents’ house. Ivy knew it wasn’t permanent as she needed to blow off some steam. It was normal for Grace to retreat when times were tough. Then Ivy thought maybe sharing more about her special gift could’ve settled the argument. But then again, it wouldn’t have gone well. In the past it just never did. This sort of thing only ended up one of two ways. Either Grace wouldn’t have believed it and then stopped speaking with Ivy for good, or she would have believed it so wholeheartedly emotions would have triggered an event. Neither were acceptable. Getting her out of the house for now was for the best.
As she stares in the bathroom mirror, her dirty blonde hair looks a mess. Ivy places a finger on her cheek and stretches the skin to flatten the horrible bags under her eyes. They remind her of giant suitcases packed for a summer’s journey to Europe. She let’s go of her face and rolls eyes as the dark circles snap back into place.
“I need to get some sleep,” Ivy mutters to herself.
As she walks out of the bathroom, the earth shakes suddenly. Violently. Ivy tumbles to the floor against the hardwood floor in the hallway between the bathroom and bedroom. Pictures pop off the wall crashing to the ground. Echoes from shattering dishes and glasses in the kitchen reverberate throughout the entire house. Ivy crawls back towards the bathroom for shelter.
Earthquakes are usual in Northern California, Ivy remembers, but this one could be devastating. Vibrations from outside the house, followed by a howling wind catch her attention. The wind whistles like a freight train coming through an intersection. Cracks form at the base of the walls, then work their way up into full rips. As she nears the doorway to the bathroom still crawling, the entire room thrusts outwards in the street.
“Is this a tornado? or hurricane?” she thinks.
As Ivy stares into the void where her bathroom used to be, it’s pitch black outside. It’s as if something blocked out the sun entirely. Her worries of earthquakes, and storms intensifies. She recalls—this is how it begins. This is how it happened in the past. Was this real? Or just another episode? Ivy then remembers she wasn’t even upset! How could an episode begin from nothing, not one misplaced emotion?
Darkness and shadow surround her until she’s enveloped into a colorless, light-less void. The earth shakes no more. Storms and winds subside, as she rises to her feet. In front of her, a good ways away, is a single light. Walk towards the light, she thinks to herself, always walk towards the light.
Her body trembles, yet she continues onward. In the past she never knew what awaited at the end of the tunnel. These journeys never ended well, or at least until her father came with her once and attempted to help her control the outcomes. She stands in front of a portal of light takes a deep breath and walks in.
On the other side of the light, Ivy realizes she is standing in Grace’s parents house. In the spare bedroom where Grace usually sleeps. Her girlfriend is in the bed fast asleep.
“Perhaps, I should wake her up?” Ivy muses.
“Not so fast,” whispers a voice.
Ivy scans the room and sees no one else. The strange feminine voice did not belong to Grace, that much she knew. Ivy takes a step back and examines the room but finds nothing.
“Who is that?” She asks still spinning her head in circles.
“Ivy,” laughs the voice, “I know you. I know what you can do. I’ve been following you for quite some time.”
“Who are you?” Ivy snaps.
“Let’s just say, I’m like you. Except more refined. I don’t fear our gift. I’ve embraced it. You had your chance, but you rejected it.”
Ivy’s brows knit together, “there is no control over it if that’s what you’re suggesting. It’s too dangerous.”
The voice laughs yet again and then continues, “And yet I’m here. You’re here and she’s here.”
“Who are you?”
“You’ll find out soon enough. I’m here for you. I hope to dismantle you, one nightmare at a time.”
“I don’t even know you. Why would you do that I don’t understand?” Ivy wails.
“Shut up!” Barks the voice, “You’re an Empath like me. I already know you’ve felt the tremors over the past few weeks. Your father is the key. If you don’t help me get what I want, then I will tear Grace’s mind apart. She won’t even be able to speak when I’m done with her. Do you understand me?”
“What does my dad have to do with this, bitch?”
“Everything. Let’s just say my employer doesn’t want either of you screwing around with what they’ve built. And my name is Xavia, but I can be a bitch if you’d like. A real big one! See you around.”
Within the blink of an eye, Ivy was back sprawled against the hallway floor, Everything in the house was unblemished. She jumps to her feet and runs to her phone. After pushing the screen a few times, a voice answers.
“I need to see you, now! No. No. Yes. I’ll tell you everything, I promise.”
Xavia pronounced Zay-Vee-Ah