Kya didn’t feel as though she had slept at all. Her morning alarm on her phone buzzed and beeped endlessly as she swatted at her nightstand. Forcing her left eye open, the one that felt to be the less dry of the two, she noticed her phone wasn’t in its dock, nor anywhere on her table. She paused and took a moment to listen, trying to detect where the noise was coming from, only to realize that she had left it in her jeans the night before.
As her feet hit the ground, Kya found it difficult to push herself up. It was as though she spent the night being punched. Her whole body ached, and her muscles seemed weaker than normal. A large stretch did nothing to improve the situation. Kya grabbed her cell phone, turned off her alarm, and set it in its charging station.
A notification of a text message was also on her phone, and it took Kya a few moments longer than her more alert self would need to check what it had to say. Without removing the phone from the dock, she opened the messenger.
>Hey, just wanted to let you know that I have time this afternoon if you wanted to go out to the cabin. Let me know.
Kya closed the message without responding. She knew that Mattea was just trying to be accommodating, but she also didn’t want to add any extra stress to her friend’s life than she had to. Awkwardly, as her phone was still charging, she swiped over to the bus schedule application and pulled up the route needed to get her to the cottage. As she stretched again, she started to feel more alert, and focused. It didn’t take long for Kya to get all of her things together for the long trip to chase down another lead.
The bus dropped Kya off over an hour walk away from the cottage, but it was the closest stop, and she didn’t have the money to pay for a taxi. The walk gave her time to clear her thoughts, and fight any expectations that were trying to creep into her mind. Kya didn’t want hope to rise up within her as she approached the large wooden structure sitting amongst the heavily treed property atop a small hill. She didn’t want to feel anything, so that she felt prepared for everything.
Amelia’s cottage was more like a small mansion. It was made of large, dark wooden logs, with a pristine red shingle roof. Large glistening windows faced towards the road and the cobblestone path that lead up to the garage. Old trees were scattered around the property and the lawn was noticeably manicured. It looked like someone was keeping the cottage in perfect condition.
As she arrived at the front door, Kya knocked, only to barely hear any resonance from her tapping. The door, solid oak, didn’t translate the noise of her rapping into the cottage. She lifted the small metal knocker, and let it fall onto the door, and a near deafening noise echoed outwards. The birds nearby stopped singing for a moment, likely from shock, as Kya waited to hear any stirring inside.
After a few moments of waiting, her ear pressed against the door, Kya let the metal knocker slam into the door once again. She quickly counted to three in her mind, and then grabbed the doorknob and pushed the door open.
Unlocked, it opened with surprising ease, and the heavy door swung open revealing the sunlit interior of the cottage. Her head spinning as she took in every detail, her eyes quickly noticed something on the ground. Lying, unnaturally still, in a blue sun dress was a body, with pale skin and dark hair, tangled and messy. A small amount of blood, mostly dried on the hardwood floor drew Kya’s attention next.
Kya pulled on the door with both hands, and the sound of it slamming echoed through the air around her. She tried to take a step, and her legs gave way beneath her. She crumpled to the ground. She heard a ringing in her ears, and the world shifted in and out of focus, her skin exploded with goosebumps and she started to sweat. She fought the sudden urge to vomit. Kya closed her eyes, but her mind’s eye was focussed on what she had just seen. She forced her eyes open wanting to see anything other than the image burned into her mind.
Around her were beautiful trees and flowers in bloom, new life growing in the sweet late spring air. Birds were singing, and the sky was blue with a few puffy white clouds. It seemed a terrible mockery that the world wasn’t darkened by the weight of Amelia’s fate in the way that Kya herself now was.
I should go in and see if she’s alright – she’s not alright. I should go in and see if I can help her – I can’t help her. Kya pulled her knees up to her chest and breathed deeply. She pushed her hair out of her face, and rubbed her forehead with her hand. A hand she could no longer see. Kya blinked rapidly and stared at where her hand should be. She put both of her arms out in front of her and they just ended at her wrists. She could see her shirt’s long sleeves and beyond that was the grass and the trees. “My… My hands!”
She shook her hands and could feel them, blood still flowing, her fingers felt attached as she willed them to move. She blinked slow and hard and her hands faded back into existence.
“I think I’m losing it.” She said aloud to no one, as a numbness washed over her.
Kya put her hand in her pocket and pulled out her phone. She used the emergency call function.
“Fire, police, or ambulance?” A gentle sounding female voice said through the phone.
The lady asked Kya for the details of where she was and Kya answered as accurately as she could.
“Help is on the way,” The woman said after gathering all relevant information.
Kya ended the call and as her thumb touched the End key, it seemed to flicker in and out of existence. Kya shuddered. She closed her eyes, and felt her eyelids close, but she could still see the world around her. A scream escaped her. She dropped her phone and reached her hands up to her face. She touched lightly, exploring and expecting to feel the moisture of her eyes and the discomfort of touching them, but instead she felt her closed eyelids, completely transparent, still where they were expected to be.
“Oh, oh, oh help me!” Kya said as a cold panic wrapped itself around her. “What is wrong with me?” The world faded away to darkness, and for a moment Kya had thought she was blind. Relief filled her as she opened her eyes and she was able to see the world normally once again. She exhaled deeply, unsure of what was happening to her.
Kya picked up her phone and selected Mattea’s number from her list of recent calls.
“Mattie, answer. Please, Mattie.” She repeated as the phone rang.
Kya heard Mattea’s voice say “Huh” before she immediately broke into a frantic rant.
“Mattie! You have to come get me! I’m at the cottage Ainsley mentioned. I came by myself. I’m really freaking out here. Amelia… Amelia’s here… but she’s not good. I’m losing it. Like, I’m barely here too! Literally, disappearing!”
“Kya!” Mattea yelled. “Stop!”
Kya shut her mouth, clenching her jaw.
She took a deep breath through her nose.
“Is Amelia okay?”
Kya shook her head and closed her eyes. Blessed darkness once again. Tears cascaded down her cheeks as she tried to imagine herself back at her apartment in bed.
“Kya?” Mattea said calmly.
“No.” Kya responded in barely more than a whisper. “No, she’s not okay.”