Chapter twenty-five

As soon as my eyelids fluttered open briefly, a blurry humanoid person was looming over me with their nimble fingers cascading through my black locks. I didn't need perfect vision to know exactly who this was. The glob of orange and the scent of salt water was pretty much a giveaway not to mention the peaceful emotions.

"Hayden?" I asked, but my voice came out a bit hoarse and dry.

"Sh. Don't talk. Just rest," he said. "Save your strength."

With a groan, I turned over. My cheek bumped against something broad. The fabric felt like a pair of jeans. Before I could say anything, my eyes started sliding shut on their own accord and I instantly fell back into darkness.

The second time I woke, after finding my glasses on top of my head and putting them on, I was surprised to discover that I was in my bedroom.

At first, I was confused. I mean, how did I get here? The last thing I remembered was being with Mel outside of the museum and touching the gooey substance that came out of the muffin. I remembered being surrounded by the darkness and then... Nothing.

Putting a hand to my pulsating head, I slowly sat up. A glance at my watch told me it was 7:30 pm. How long was I out for?

Whispered voices from downstairs had me carefully getting out of bed and making my way down the stairs.

"Do you think he will be okay?" I heard someone ask. That voice sounded like my cousin.

"I believe he will be, Carter. I'm glad you brought him home," my grandmother said.

"This is the second time I found him out cold. Do you know what happened to him?"

"I can't say for sure, but maybe we should ask him," she said as her eyes looked up and locked onto mine.

Carter turned in his seat. "Weston, hey, how are you doing?"

I made my way over and sat down. "Better, I suppose. I do have a bit of a lingering headache."

My grandmother placed a hand on my forehead. "I have the perfect remedy for such dreadful things." She walked over to the counter and opened the cabinet and pulled out a jar with tea packets. She pulled one out and then started boiling some water.

While she was doing that, Carter looked st me. "So, want to tell me why I found you passed out in your Jeep?"

"In my Jeep? That isn't... How did I wind up there?" I wondered.

"Here you go, sweetheart," said my grandmother as she set the cup of tea in front of me. The scent of peppermint was strong.

"Thanks." I wrapped my hands around my cup, feeling the warmth against my palms.

"Weston, you can tell Carter the truth."

"I know. But even I don't know everything."

"What truth?" asked Carter. There was an air of curiosity and concern radiating from him.

I took another sip of my tea before I answered. "You know how I told you about my empathy?"

"Yeah," he said.

"Well, turns out that empathy wasn't my original gift."

"It's not? Then what was?"


"What is that?"

"It means," my grandmother interrupted, "that Weston here would have had the power to see memories and feel emotions that he touches. It could be from objects or people. And unfortunately, because of my potion, it seems to cause empathy and a bit of clairaudience."


"Clairaudience. The ability to hear beyond normal range. My guess is it activated due to suppressing his psychometry as well as having a mediumship ability."

"Wait. Wait. Back up. Mediumship? Are we talking about ghosts?"

I sighed. "Unfortunately, yes. It seems like I can hear and communicate with ghosts. And I can hear memories but not view them. It's harder to understand without a clear image. I'm left with questions than answers. But it kind of has given me some insight."

"Okay. So, let me see if I got this. You can see and talk to ghosts, feel emotions, and hear memories. Do I have that right?"

I nodded. "And all of this is tied to me having magic."

His eyes widened. "Wait. Magic? Like magic spells?"

My grandmother rolled her eyes. "Magic comes in many forms. In my family, we never needed spells. We could always do small mediocre things. It honestly saved time. If we needed something from across the room, we could make it move toward us. We know how to brew potions which were mostly used for healing only or cause severe cases of illness. Witches and wizards are all different. Now some do use incantations and some even use wands," she said, making a cup slide to her from the other side of the counter.

Carter's eyes widened more and I could feel his concern radiating off of him in intense waves. "And you can do that, too, Weston?"

I nodded. I expected him to be angry at me for not telling him everything. But instead, I was just met with worry.

"So, then, what happened to you was because of magic?"

"I'm not sure. This woman, Kayla, wanted to bring my grandmother a dessert. I believe it was a muffin. But it was knocked out of my hand and I touched it. It was filled with a darkness I never felt before."

"Is that bad?" asked my cousin.

My grandmother shrugged. "I honestly don't know. But Kayla you say. I know that woman. She's kind occasionally. But she has been known to be temperamentally cruel."

"Cruel how?" Carter asked. Of course, he would be curious.

"Mind you, I only heard rumors, but some say she hurts animals and some even claimed she killed her ex-husband when he cheated. Though, from the time I met her and brought her a beautiful plant, she just dropped it on the ground and walked away."

"That was...harsh of her," I said.

"So, is this Kayla person why you passed out? And will this continue to happen?"

I shrugged. "Maybe. I don't know. And with some practice and training, it might go away."

"But what if it doesn't?" asked Carter with overwhelming concern in his voice.

"Then he will have to live with it, Carter. It shouldn't be hard. He'll just have to keep something sugary with him at all times."

I groaned. "Great," I said as I buried my head in my arm.

Carter's hand landed on my shoulder. "Don't worry, cuz. You will be fine. I will keep a watchful eye out."

"How? By those weird texts?"

Carter shrugged. "If that is what it takes. Whoever it is, they must be watching out for you."

Suddenly, the door busted open startling all three of us as Norman came running in, dripping wet. "Sorry for barging in like this, but I had to come and bring news." He then looked at us. "Oh, is this a bad time?"

Carter shook his head. "Not at all. I was just about you head out." He grabbed his coat.

"Oh, well, be careful out there. It's been pouring like crazy. I barely made it on my bike."

Carter smiled. "Thanks," he said as he put on his coat. "Remember what I said, cuz. If anything happens, I'll be there."

I nodded. "I know. Thanks again, Carter."

The second Carter left, with us hearing his car start and backing out of the driveway, Norman came over. "So, that message I got from you, it turns out your hunch was spot on. It took a lot of digging, but I found something interesting."

"What did you find?"

Norman smirked. "Something that is going to shock you."

That had my attention. "Don't keep me in suspense."

"The photo I looked into has some interesting people."

"What do you mean?"

"Aside from the fact that the picture was taken in 1978 moments before their deaths."

"I already knew that. What about the people?" I asked, fidgeting a little.

"Well, I first started going back through the dates to see if there were other mysterious deaths. Turns out there wasn't. But that wasn't surprising. So, instead, I dug even deeper into the people. And it turns out there is a huge conspiracy."

My eyes widened. "What kind of conspiracy?"

"So, it was the time a movie was being filmed right here in our very own town. I don't have the full story on that yet, but a woman who was there was interviewed, saying that the young businessman met with someone and the young actress got jealous and started an argument."

"Okay, but..."

"Hold on. It gets even more interesting when you find out that the man was none other than Timothy Bloomsdale."

"Bloomsdale?" he asked. "Like Barry Bloomsdale?"

"The very same," he said. "It was his great-granddad. There were rumors listed that he was some kind of powerful wizard."

A cup-shattering broke us out of our conversation.

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