Haven Shorts – Chapter 7 – Episode 12 – A Stranger Magic
Chapter 7 – Episode 12
Rain began to fall in earnest at about eight o’clock that night. The tiny raindrops beaded up on Sam’s bedroom window and shimmered in the moonlight before streaking down like silver ribbons onto the wooden ledge. The street light down below flickered on and off as it always did.
Sam lay on his bed with the lights off staring at the ceiling, and contemplating revenge on his stupid sister. He also thought of adding Daniel Harris to his mental list of paybacks for ruining his favorite t-shirt and leaving him with that loser of a garment he had to wear home.
Sam sat up in his bed and stared at the small puddle that was starting to form on his window sill. The lightning cracked and thunder rumbled, followed by another bright flash that streaked across the sky. It was a good thing he didn’t go to the caves, he thought. He could see himself getting trapped there with Travis until the whole storm had passed.
Sam forced himself to stand up and grab the bath towel that was draped over his desk chair. The leak from his window was now dripping onto the floor. He carefully folded the towel and placed it snugly under the edge of the window sill.
Lightning struck again. The street light below popped; sparks of electricity flew into the air like fireworks, then slowly fell to the ground.
In that moment, Sam thought he saw someone standing next to the light post. He waited, but it was too dark. His eyes were still trying to adjust from the sudden flash of light. Was it the stranger from before? He couldn’t be sure.
Suddenly, lightning flashed again and Sam saw him. The dark figure stood next to the street light in his long coat and holding his staff, looking up at Sam.
Thunder roared and it was dark once more. Sam quickly rubbed his eyes, trying hard to focus as the lightning struck again, blinding him momentarily. He searched frantically through the spots of green and blue floating in front of him, but the stranger was gone, vanished into thin air.
Then a small click echoed from behind him, and the light in his bedroom switched on. Sam whirled around to see his mother standing in his doorway.
She had her long brown hair pulled in a tight pony tail that draped across her right shoulder. Her light blue eyes were trapped behind a pair of thin reading glasses. She was wearing a light pink robe and house-shoes.
“Mom, turn off the light!” Sam whispered, worried that the stranger could see him now. Alisa Dalcome turned off the light and stood there in the doorway. Her silhouette stretched across the wooden floor.
“Shut the door, something’s out there!” Sam whispered.
“What? What on earth are you talking about?” Mrs. Dalcome asked as she closed the door to his room. The lightning flickered again. Mrs. Dalcome scuffled across the cluttered floor, trying to reach Sam.
“Mom, I swear there’s someone out there!”
“Don’t swear. You know I hate that! Now see there, you made me say hate! I don’t like that word either!” His mother could be a bit old-fashioned at times, Sam thought. Words such as swear, hate, and liar were off-limits in the Dalcome household. Mrs. Dalcome thought there were better ways, nicer ways, to get your point across.
“Why are you whispering?” she asked.
“Mom, shhhhhhh!” Sam said, trying desperately to see any sign of the man outside.
“Sam, you need to clean this room. You can’t even walk in here!” she said, not bothering at all to whisper.
Sam wasn’t listening to a word she said; the stranger was out there, he was sure of it. He may have vanished from sight but that didn’t mean he was gone.
Mrs. Dalcome finally made it to the window; she grasped one corner of the window sill and placed her other hand on Sam, trying to keep her footing amidst the piles of clothes. She reluctantly leaned toward the window, scanning the front yard and the street below.
“Oh, Sam, I don’t see a thing.”
“I’m telling you. I saw something!”
“Well, if you did, it’s gone now.”
Sam was starting to get frustrated with her. “It wasn’t an it, it was a man!” he said in a bitter voice.
“Don’t talk to me that way, Samuel!” she snapped back.
Sam didn’t say anything for a moment. He continued to stare out the bedroom window. It wasn’t worth it, he thought to himself. The stranger was gone, again.
The whole day had gone horribly wrong, as far as he was concerned, and now he had no patience left to tell his mother the entire story, even if he wanted to. He was mad, frustrated, and too tired to argue.
“I’m sorry,” Sam said, defeated. He hadn’t meant to take it out on her; she was the only one in the room.
Mrs. Dalcome looked down at Sam. His eyebrows furrowed as he stared solemnly at a star in the distance. There was clearly something bothering him. Something more than whatever he had, or hadn’t, seen outside. She reached over to his desk, pushing aside the magazines that covered the switch on the base of the lamp, and turned it on.
The light was dim, but it seemed bright after the two of them had stood in the dark for so long. Mrs. Dalcome grabbed Sam’s hand and sat on his bed, pulling him down with her. Sam sat next to her, holding her hand and staring at the floor.
“What is it Sam, what’s wrong with you?”
Sam didn’t say anything at first. How could he make her understand that there was nothing she could do? He couldn’t say anything more about the stranger without sounding like a nut case. As for Sarah, there was no way his mother was going to trade her in for a really cool brother, or even give her a good smack upside the head. Which she deserves, Sam thought. No, today started out bad, and had just gotten worse, and it wasn’t his mother’s fault. He was smart enough to know that.
“I can’t help you if you won’t talk to me, Sam,” she said, patting him on the hand.
“I don’t know, Mom. It’s everything,” Sam said, looking down at the cluttered floor.
She wrapped her arm around him and gave him a gentle squeeze. “What’s everything?”
“I don’t know … like everything … like I hate Sarah …”
“Saaam,” she said in that tone she used when hate came up.
“Okay, I don’t hate her, but I really, really, really dislike her!” Mrs. Dalcome tried her best not to smile.
“Sam, she loves you.”
Sam couldn’t believe she was going to take Sarah’s side on this. Sarah was the meanest person he knew, except for Daniel Harris, and he did hate Daniel Harris. “No she doesn’t, Mom. She’s mean and it’s not just her. It’s school, it’s here, it’s my whole life!”
Mrs. Dalcome removed her hand from his shoulder and gently clutched his chin, forcing him to look into her eyes.
“Sam, look at me. I know it’s hard being thirteen. It’s not an easy age for anyone; it wasn’t for me, your Dad, not even for Sarah. But it will pass and things will get better. I know that’s hard to hear now, but it’s true.”
It was hard to hear now because it didn’t fix anything. Sam was still empty on the inside, ordinary, and well, let’s face it, heading nowhere.
“I just feel alone sometimes. It’s hard to explain.” He could feel himself getting irritated. He didn’t want to talk about this anymore.
“Well, you’re not alone. I’m here. I have always been here, and I don’t think that’s going to change, do you?” she said with a soft smile. She released his chin and placed her hand on his back again.
“That’s not what I’m talking about, not alone … alone. I mean like …” He paused for a moment; he could not find the words. Where were the words? Why were the words not there to explain the emptiness he was feeling? Now he just sounded like a bumbling idiot.
“Oh, never mind …” he said, discouraged. Why did he even bother to speak? The words never came out right anyway.
“Is it something at school? Did you and Sarah have a fight? Was it—”
“It’s all of those things, Mom, and more! I hate school, I hate Sarah, and I hate where we live! It’s just all wrong, it just feels all wrong! I just wish Dad was here!”
Sam heard the words come out, but it was too late to stop them. He didn’t mean it but there they were, out there where he could never take them back.
He looked in his mother’s eyes; he could tell he had hurt her feelings. She let her arm slide down across his back and slowly stood up. She stepped over the piles of clothes, books and video games until she reached the doorway. Sam’s eyes followed her every inch of the way. She opened the door, walked out into the hallway and turned back, reaching back to grab the door knob. Sam saw her eyes were full of tears as she cleared her throat.
“I’m sorry you feel that way Samuel, but I am trying, and for the record we all love you.” She turned away as tears started to roll down her cheek and gently closed the door behind her.
Sam sat on the edge of his bed staring at the back of the door in silence. The rain had stopped, and the storm had passed, but the frustration lingered.
In one day he had managed to hurt his mother’s feelings and make Travis mad for not going to the caves with him. Not to mention that Sarah hated him, he was cut from head to toe from the attack of the rosebushes, and there was a vanishing stranger stalking him.
No matter how you looked at it, this was a bad ending to a very bad day.
**I will post one EPISODE each week, but there are 50 EPISODE, so this may take a while. If you just can’t wait, you can buy (Just .99) the complete book and the rest of the HAVEN series (More Coming Soon) at Amazon.
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