Mila Warren sat up in bed as the name, “Stefan,” whispered from her lips. A bit of desperation, fear, maybe need thrown in too. Her soul reached out to the nameless faceless male in her dreams, the name forgotten as soon as it came. Her soul called out, reaching for the connection. Reaching for answers.
Scrubbing her face with her hands, she sighed. She had been having the same nightmare for as long as she could remember. A nightmare she didn’t experience every night, thankfully. She wasn’t sure she could handle it if she did. It left her drained. Aching for answers that eluded her all her life. Some nights it left her body aching in other ways.
There was always a name she whispered, but she never recalled what it was. As soon as it left her lips, it was forgotten. Never reaching her ears. She set her cell phone to record all night, as well as a camera. Everything else she could think of to help her know what name she called out failed.
Static was all she heard, all that was recorded. Mila gave up. On the rare occasion someone stayed over they said, “I heard you talking, but don’t remember what you said.”
Only thing she, or anyone else could ever recall, was that it was a name. One name. One name that rolled easily off her tongue, from her lips, as if spoken a million times. Whispered through so many lifetimes she knew it by heart.
What name was so powerful as to erase memories? To cause electrical devices to malfunction? What name was such a secret?
Sweat clung the clothes to her body. The tank top and shorts were plastered to her skin. Mila threw the covers off, letting the chill of the night dry her skin, hoping to breathe. She took a deep breath in the silence. Shadows covered every surface.
Mila ran a hand through her hair, then climbed from bed. She plodded barefoot across the chilly wooden floor, into the adjoining bathroom to get a glass of water. Never turning on a light, she moved with expert ease through the gloom, her body on fire.
The heat seemed sweltering in her room—despite not having a heater—so she went over to the window, set her glass on the sill, unlatched the window, then threw it open. The cool night air spilled into her room, dispelling some of the heat from her flesh.
She inhaled as deeply as she could, tasting the clean air with her soul. Breathing in the early morning dew along the grass and the boughs of the cedars. The evergreen’s crisp notes smelled almost sweet. The full moon reached out to say hello and welcome again. A blue aura drifted around the edges.
“Always the same,” she whispered, not that she needed to since she lived alone. “When the moon is full, and the aura is blue, Mila will wake.”
As the gentle breeze caressed her flesh, Mila drank her water. Beyond, a thin crest of yellow lined the horizon. Day beginning to break. Five in the morning or thereabouts, she figured, not bothering to check the clock. Her instincts were strong.
Beneath her, a shadow moved across the lawn. The wind stirred a bush under the large trees that surrounded her property. The trees stood tall and proud against the backdrop of the navy blue sky, twinkling stars slowly drifting from view. Soon to be replaced by the sunrise.
The bush drifted back with the wind, deeper into the shadows of the hulking cedar’s trunk.
Mila blinked and placed her drink down, then flattened both palms on the windowsill so she could lean out. The bush no longer existed, the wind never did. She straightened up, but kept a close eye on that corner of her yard. No movement. Anywhere.
“Must’ve been an animal,” she murmured. Could have been a grizzly bear, maybe a wolf, but she’d never seen such a large wolf. Animals didn’t typically venture too close to her yard, and certainly not sneaking about with that sort of awareness. That one only moved when she leaned out. Anything else would’ve disappeared the moment she opened the window.
She didn’t keep food scraps near the back of her yard, kept her garbage cans secured properly in their own private metal shed she built. She had no bushes to speak of anywhere within a good five hundred or more feet of her yard. It kept pesky rodents and other animals far away from her home. Also the potential creeper. It was a modest ranch property at best, and she held no interest in battling with any extra animals she didn’t have to. It was hard enough for her to deal with her chickens. Their food was cleaned up by nightfall, and precautions in place to protect them from predators. That was more than enough work when she was exhausted and just wanted to go to bed.
Mila was too busy during the day for pets, and not particularly fond of altering her ways to accommodate any emergencies that could crop up. Short of a dangerous disease or anything that prevented them from being eaten, if one of her chickens—none had names—were bad off, it became her dinner.
The sky had begun to lighten, the line beyond gradually fading into a sunrise. “May as well prepare for the day’s schedule.”
On tap for the morning was widow Giles. The woman had been coming to see Mila for many years. Ever since she lost her husband Josiah. Mila tried to tell the woman he was dead, but Lila wouldn’t listen. On the days she did believe Mila, then she hoped Mila would try to contact Josiah.
Worse for Mila was the one day she heard a whisper in her ear that seemed to be Mr. Giles. It frightened Mila as much as the widow because Mila was a seer, and not the best. She hadn’t expected to hear anything. Hadn’t ever expected to contact Mr. Giles. But she had. She got the impression of a genial old man. He spoke the name Kennedy. Mila didn’t mention it. Not that it felt affair-ish. Just didn’t seem right. She told Lila that wherever Josiah was, he seemed happy.
That didn’t stop Lila’s visits. She wanted that connection. Mila understood. She too craved that depth in a connection. That sort of intensity that could overcome anything, even death.
Things hit Mila out of nowhere like that more than she called upon them. It wasn’t that her visions didn’t always come true. Sadly they did, and more often than not, the truth came too late.
What nobody understood—save for her clients—was that the future could never be predicted. Not completely. Because of free will, because of the little things that could take place, there were so many variables that changed what happened, or destroyed it.
Even a simple cough could realign the entire prediction for an individual. Mila wasn’t a future predictor. She received visions, could tap into the past, but she could not, as she adamantly explained to new customers, could not predict or change a person’s path. The fates were incredibly funny that way.
For those who weren’t serious and wanted to play, Mila knew. So when they asked for a lotto number prediction, she gave them the numbers from the past lotto. When they came back after her she explained that it was what they asked for. They had to be incredibly careful about asking fates for help in such a thing. Money and success came to those who worked hard, the fates would not give such a thing for free. Not without severe loss.
Dangerous things happened and dangerous entities were involved in any freebies. They didn’t want to cross that path. They had no idea what they asked for then.
For those who didn’t buy it and attempted to hurt her because of it. . . Well, that was what all those self-defense teachers had been for. Long ago she’d felt she may need extra help in that department. One could never be too careful when one dealt with a variety of people.
She flipped the coffee pot on, then shoved two slices of bread into the older styled aqua toaster. After that she plodded past the large window over the double sink to the fridge to get the butter and huckleberry jam. Mila froze in the center of the kitchen before having reached the fridge.
Behind her the coffee pot bubbled and boiled away, heating the water and dripping it through the coffee grounds. The wonderful aroma of the Columbian beans filled her kitchen, but didn’t distract her heightened senses from what caused her to stop moving.
The kitchen overlooked the backyard. A homey country kitchen, fairly decent sized among the white house she called home. There was an island to her right and stools under the overhang for people to come and gather while she cooked. A small booth beyond that many times held neighbors coming over for a cup of coffee or her infamous biscuits they held so dear.
While they rattled on and drank coffee, ate a biscuit smothered in honey, they’d often talk to her, and one another. Her home was a gathering place. Her customers knew they were one hundred percent allowed to hang out before and after her readings. They often did. So did children who came by.
Mila wasn’t particularly interested in having her own children, but enjoyed listening to children playing in her backyard. The yard was large and open. Not so open that she didn’t notice a shadow moving near a large cedar outside the window. Maybe twenty feet away.
The movement of the shadow wasn’t near the same tree she’d seen earlier from her bedroom. In fact, this one was a tad closer. Not by much certainly, but closer. That entire idea unnerved the hell out of her.
Someone was watching her. Intent on it too by the looks of it.
This time Mila couldn’t deny it was a stray bear wandering through. From the corner of her eye she caught it shift inside the shadows. Continuing to the fridge, she casually made it seem as if she hadn’t seen anything. If it was a person, she didn’t want to alert them.
In the meantime, against the backdrop of the aroma of coffee calling her name, Mila ducked down and slipped through the house. When she neared a window, she crouched and slipped under. She swept downstairs into the cellar and over to the side entrance.
Out the door she snuck into her side yard. Her slippers weren’t quite the outdoor wear, but she wasn’t about to take the time to grab good shoes, or ditch them. Normally, this was the reason she bought slippers that were worthy of sprinting outside, but she went through them so quick that this round she’d just grabbed the cheapest pair. They lacked the grip she needed not to slide on her butt on the dewy grass so she was careful with her steps. Quickly ducking behind a bush, she used the shadows of the trees and the large trunks to shroud her from view. The moist ground already soaked through the soles and squished coldly between her toes.
In no time, she came around the tree from behind, where the person had been the first time. Nobody was there, but that wasn’t the tree they’d hidden behind. She slid around the trunk to stare straight at the house. Where they’d been watching her from.
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Witness to the Moon is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, stories, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2019 Kim Iverson
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