Twenty Three

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Hey! Want to meet at the pond this afternoon?

I texted Leo in the morning before he had a chance to text me. I wanted to go by Maggie's earlier in the day, so I confirmed plans with Leo for the afternoon. This way, I had plenty of time to talk with her and see what, if anything, she could do.

Sounds good! How's 2:00? Bring your art stuff and I'll bring my camera?

My phone buzzed, making me jump. I laughed at myself and then texted him back. I grabbed my sketchbook and pencils, tossed them into my backpack, and finished getting ready. I pulled my hair up into a high ponytail and pulled a t-shirt over my head. I grabbed a pair of denim shorts and then slid on my hiking boots.

My dad had already left for work and my mom peeled in my room as I finished getting dressed. She had joined a quilting group and would be out for a few hours, she told me. I could tell my mom was excited. She'd spent hours at the sewing store and was invited to join a group of other women in town who also sewed. They were now working on a giant quilt to showcase at one of the middle schools, and she was always running off to buy more fabric or thread. It made me happy to see her so energetic about something. She giggled as she waved a quick goodbye to me before leaving.

With both my parents out of the house, I could go to Maggie's first and then meet Leo later without having to check in or anything. Glancing at the clock, I ran into the bathroom for a quick check in the mirror. The crystal necklace caught the light from the bathroom as I flipped on the switch. I raised my hand and felt its smoothness.

I hope this really helps and isn't some total hoax.

I wanted Maggie to be the real deal so badly. She was all I had right now and I couldn't afford to waste any time. I planned on telling her exactly that as soon as I saw her. If she's a fake, then fine. I'll tell her I will keep her secret, not alerting anyone she's not really a psychic fortune teller or whatever, but that I need to know the truth. I just hoped she'd be upfront with me and I wouldn't have to go in circles. I nodded at myself in the mirror, smiling with satisfaction, ready to go. My stomach turned with anticipation.

I was holding on to the crystal as it sat around my neck when the light went out

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I was holding on to the crystal as it sat around my neck when the light went out. I sighed and looked at the bulb, it's white glass now looking burned. Our extra light bulbs were in the garage somewhere, but I didn't want to waste time in replacing the bulb right then. I promised myself I'd do it when I got home later. As I was about to turn to leave, the bathroom door slammed shut. I jumped, a short scream escaping my lips. My hand shot out for the handle, turning it, but the door didn't open. It was locked from the inside where I stood, but wouldn't unlock. The door wouldn't budge. My palm grew sweaty and slipped around the door handle until I let go.

Turning around slowly, I looked around, eyeing the shower, sink, and finally back around again to the mirror. The shower and tub were empty, but I checked them anyway since I'd see way too many scary movies where people get attacked in the shower or while they take a bath. I almost laughed at the thought, but my fear had grown to anger.

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