There was a peculiar feeling in the air that evening — a wrongness in the wind. It blew seemingly with no direction, bringing with it the heady scent of flowers mixed with the more sickly scent of overripe fruit. The atmosphere itself felt heavy, cloying, like being swaddled tight but without its comforts.
No, this feeling left Lucille ill at ease, her heart thundering and nerves jittering with anticipation, and she thought back to her late Grandmother’s ramblings.
“Cursed, we are. Our blood is cursed. We women of our line, who hear the whisperings between worlds. You’ll see. When finally I sleep, you at last will wake.”
Lucille scorned herself for a fool, shrugging off the memories. Mad ravings brought on by old age and a rapidly fleeing mind.
Still… the summer solstice was tomorrow, a day for strange happenings, when old doors were flung wide. She’d never believed in fairy tales, but this feeling of misgiving, the sound of hushed whispers from afar, had been creeping up on her for some days.
And so it was with a roll of her eyes, and a swift thought to her Grandmother, that she whispered her wish to the wild, restless wind.
“I wish not to see, not to hear your call. I wish to be apart from the worlds of Other.”
Fleur was distracted. That is to say, that for an eight-year-old who normally never stopped talking and moving, she was unusually quiet and still. Absent.
“Do you hear that, maman?”
Lucille glanced over as her daughter paused her eating, fork still raised, and cocked her head to one side. Fine blonde brows scrunched together over glazed brown eyes.
“Hear what, bébé?”
Lucille froze, felt herself blanche and her throat constrict. Her breathing came fast, the hairs on her arms rising.
Truthfully, she could not hear the whispers. Had not, in fact, felt even the slightest stirring of anything amiss since she made that childish wish yesterday.
Looking at her child now though, lost in words that Lucille would no longer hear…
She felt truly afraid.