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Secrets of the Shadows (Part 3)
Blink, blink. “SHARA!!! Wake up wake up wake up!” It’s Tiffany, my wake up call. Yawn.
“Tiffany, how did I get back here?” I say as I slide off the bed and walk over to the table. Tiffany tucks her hair behind her ears and sighs.
“You have the worst memory Shara. Cassia and you walked back here last night, and you were like, ‘Anja is a freaking loser.’ And I’m like, ‘Oh, I know that, but what happened? And you were like, ‘She said, OOOHHH they DESERVED to die! Oh my gawd!’ So I say, ‘Oh. I guess for Anja, that makes sense.’” I nod, recalling. “Oh, and then you crashed on the bed. Tired much?” She turns, swinging her blonde hair and goes out to the bathroom for our hall.
I laugh a little, bringing a smile to my face, for the first time in 4 weeks. The snow begins to fall outside the window, individual little crystals, each one unique and different. I bring my hand to the glass, cold to the touch, It’s 25 degrees outside, and you could expect as much. It was January after all.
Turning away I walk to the door and head to class. Another long, long day. I enter Art and we begin to draw realistic portraits of the model in front of us. It is a girl, only 13 years old, with a tall and slim build, long hair, doe like eyes. She’s very pretty, and as I draw I think about my little sister Bethany, same age, similar looks. I remember the day, that day she disappeared. She’d loves us, I’d loved her as did Mom and our brother Armand. The past few days before this she’d seemed distant, as if she was in another world. I thought that it was just a phase, and she’d be fine. As if.
Bethany was out there for sure. She was many things, but she wasn’t stupid. And maybe she too had these dreams of the insignia. Perhaps this means that if I should disappear, I’ll be with her too. I believe I could find her if I tried.
I drive to the Garden, my Aunt Melina’s house. She has such a beautiful, sprawling garden full of flowers and plants, it’s very much alive. I walk to the fountain and dip my feet in. Aunt Melina left a couple weeks ago, asking me to watch the house while she was gone. The fountain is beautiful, stone carved with designs. Thankfully, the insignia is not upon it. I notice a new garden statue, made by Melina herself. I gap as I see it. It’s of Bethany.
And as I watch the statue I see it appear to move , and a figure steps out from behind it. I am about to scream when I see who it is. She holds her finger to her lips and walks over to me. Bethany. Here. In the Garden.
“Shara, the Garden is a safe place. I’m OK. But you can’t tell anyone I exist! I died, OK? Good. Now if you please, tell me how you can see me.” She laughs.
“Bethany, what are you talking about?” I ask. She giggles and gracefully climbs up her statue.
“Don’t you know? The insignia, silly. The one on the fountain? That is the symbol of good, and the good need to be protected, don’t you think? That’s why I disappeared. It called me here, to be safe. And now, so are you!” I am taken aback. Bethany was never crazy, but now…
“I don’t understand. If I go back to Wellesley-“
“Of course, you can still be seen if you go back. Then Anja would find and kill you.” I laugh. She has to be kidding. “No, really Shara. Anja is one of the bad. She’s a dark spirit, put on this earth to destroy us.” I cover my face with my hands, shaking my head.
“No, this isn’t possible. No, no, NO!” Bethany looks sympathetically at me. She places her arm around me.
“Shara, sister, I had these feelings too. I was so lost, and distant…I felt alone. But now, we have each other. Together, we can fight this!”