He nodded, though he looked anything but convinced. Cassie turned back to the scene in front of her. Shapiro backed away now. Terror rested in his eyes. As his victims advanced on him, they pulsed with a white light. She couldn’t see their faces, but she could feel their strength. They were united. The pulsing of Shapiro’s blackened aura slowed. The glow faded as his victims grew brighter.
A few more seconds, and he’d be left pale and weak.
He turned to flee, but the man closest to him reached out and took hold of his wrist. Shapiro cried out, but another of the men latched onto him. Soon, all five had a part of him. They dragged him to his knees. They moved in until Cassie couldn’t see him anymore. His screams faded. Soon, she couldn’t feel him at all.
One by one, the victims dissipated, leaving only her visitor. He gifted her with a soft smile before fading away himself. The whispers ceased. She turned to David.
The next day, Cassie still felt exhausted from the encounter in the orchard. Her muscles ached, and she was tired down to her bones, but the satisfaction of having found the five missing bodies was enough to get her out of bed and dressed to go to her therapy appointment.
Cassie felt her phone buzz and dug around inside her purse until she found it. “David says he has some information on the bodies we found yesterday. He was wondering if we can stop by after the appointment?” She conveyed the message to Laura.
“Fine with me.” Laura’s yawn was so big, Cassie could count her molars. “But I want lunch and about three iced coffees first.”
Cassie sent a reply to David and then tossed her phone back in her purse. The floor that where her therapist’s office was located had ceased making her nervous years ago, but it all looked different and more imposing now that her sister was sitting next to her.
Cassie still had a lot of opening up to do with Laura, but she was more concerned about how she would open up to her parents. Laura was doing the best she could, but it was hard for her to be objective. When Cassie asked if she’d like to meet her therapist, Laura was all for it.
At the time, Cassie was, too. But now? She wasn’t so sure.
The waiting room was empty except for the two of them. Cassie could hear the old building creak and pop, and her nerves were on edge thanks to the ghost of the little boy who wouldn’t take his eyes off Laura for more than a second or two at a time. That mystery continued to gnaw at Cassie until she wanted to pull her hair out.
But approaching footsteps saved her from any dramatics. Her therapist rounded the corner with an enormous smile on her face and held out her hand to Laura.
“So, you must be the sister.” Dr. Greene began.
“What was your first clue?” Laura asked.
“You know, just an educated guess. You two really look nothing alike.”
Cassie laughed at the joke, though her heart wasn’t in it. As Dr. Greene led them back to her office, she threw one more glance over her shoulder to check on the little boy, but he had disappeared.
“Have a seat, please. I’m so glad you’re joining us today, Laura.”
“Thank you for inviting me.” She glanced at Cassie with a smile. “We’ve had a bit of a turbo-charged reunion, but I’m really glad I made the trip.”
“Cassie, you were pretty worried prior to Laura’s visit. How are you feeling now?”
“Better.” Cassie nodded her head a few times as she tried to find the words. “Still worried. I don’t want to mess it up.”
“Why are you afraid you’re going to mess it up?”
Cassie shrugged. She couldn’t say her worry stemmed from her fear of her sister—and her parents—finding out about her abilities. “I guess I’m just afraid there’s something about me now that didn’t exist when I was younger and they might not accept me.”
“Do your parents dislike people who are different?”
Cassie blanched. “No, not at all. They raised us to be tolerant and open and loving to everyone. They taught us the world was full of people who were different, and that we’d have to work every day to make sure we learned about other cultures.”
“That’s fantastic.” Dr. Greene smiled. “What makes you think you’re the exception to that rule?”
Cassie opened her mouth and then snapped it shut. She glared at Dr. Greene. “I hate when you do that.”
“Do what? Prove that your anxious thoughts are unrealistic and illogical?”
“Yes. You should just let me suffer in peace.”