- Author:Kyle May
- Series:Psychic Hunters
- Word Count:1,157
- Edited by:
- Julian Brooks
- Damien Taylor
Chapter 1Psychic Hunters
I stared, wide-eyed at the black horses as they raced past me. The carriage they pulled rattled like it would fall to pieces while something screamed all bloody murder from inside. Four in total, they beat the ground beneath them, turning up a smoky ash that trailed into the encroaching darkness. The same ash spouted from the nostrils of the beasts with every vigorous breath they took.
My surroundings were a dull blur; familiar but vague, as if they could be just about any street in any town I’d ever been. But there was something else. The way it made my spine tremble and tickle told me that I wasn’t far from home.
The black wisps that rose in the wake of the horses turned to cackles on the air. I had never seen him before, the man driving the carriage, but now it was like he was the only thing I could see. He held leather reins in his hands. There were so many. And he had so many hands. Nothing he wore stood out, not really—a black coat… like, a trench coat? The hat was fairly prominent, though. It was tall and black with a circular brim… a top hat! His face was covered, completely wrapped in bandages. I could see at least one eye leering through an opening where the folds parted. It was just enough for a single, hollow eye to peer through it. No… not hollow. Red…. fuck!
We locked eyes for a long, tense few seconds before the carriage raced onward. Consider ‘long’ a vital detail. My heart slammed against my chest, the way it does when your parents catch you in a lie.
The carriage driver and his horses circled me a few more times before they peeled off into the night to be swallowed by the darkness at the edges of my mind.
And then it was all gone.
My eyes struggled to open. The waking world appeared gradually but surely. It was still dark outside, but hints of dim, blue light coming through the base of my blinds exposed morning, morning enough for me to get up. My feet hit the hardwood floor. My hands swallowed my face in more darkness, and I sighed. This dream had been much more disturbing than the others. Right then I wished I was like normalkids, and that this nightmare would be just that. Normal. But of course, it wasn’t that way at all. Things hadn’t been that simple in a long time. Nightmares for me never were just nightmares. That’s what it meant to be a psychic.
Before we go any further, I should probably tell you a little about myself. I’m Travis Foster, and I’m adopted. Yes… I’ve heard just about every conceivable joke related to the irony of it. What are the chances of a kid being taken in by foster parents with the last name Foster? I find it a little funny, to be honest. But I’ve also been told my sense of humor is a little off.
When we were kids, my twin sister Morgan and I, lost our parents. On the books, it’s listed as a B&E gone terribly wrong, breaking and entering. But what kind of B&E results in the massacre of half a town’s population?
Fortunately for us, though, Gerald and Madeline Foster had two spare rooms and enough white guilt to take in a pair of damaged black orphans. All in all, we lucked out.
After rubbing the sleep out of my eyes, I got on with my morning, jumping in and out of the shower, dressing, and grabbing breakfast in the kitchen on my way out. I kissed my foster mother goodbye then waited for Morgan to get her lazy ass up as well.
I’ve been told I can be on the anal side of retentive, an early-to-bed–early-to-rise type. My sister Morgan, she had always been my complementary opposite. Where my exterior belayed detail orientation, ironed clothes, prompt arrival and the like, Morgan was more of a play-it-by-ear-type of person.
Twenty minutes after I finished my breakfast she stumbled down the stairs in a carelessly dawned pair of purple jeans, a shirt that didn’t quite match, and untamed hair sprawled over her head the same way it was when she woke up.
Somehow, though, she was still the pretty one.
She waved and greeted with bold sarcasm. “Morning.”
I shrugged. “Yeah, the sun is up. Ready to go?”
Morgan jumped the last step, hitting the bottom of the stairs with startling force. Sometimes when she moved with enough intent, it was almost like you could see the weight of her power. Or at least that’s the way it looked to me. According to her, she’d never seen any display of the sort with me. I suppose it could be something that went along with my precognition. But I’d never seen it in any of the other, admittedly few, psychics we’d encountered. I just knew it had more to do with the strength of her power.
On the way to the bus stop, I told Morgan about my dream. She didn’t seem shaken, which was an improvement. We’d only dealt with evil killer psychics a few times, and all in all I had the easy job.
As I mentioned before, my dreams were a little more than just dreams. Every night the visions my mind pulled together, represented future events, warped by the filter of my imagination. In simpler terms, I have precognitive dreams. Morgan on the other hand, well, her powers are something else entirely. Since we lost our birth parents in the incident seven years ago, Morgan and I have searched for their killer. The police didn’t believe us when we told them a man with empty black eyes had killed them and everyone else in our cul-de-sac. Who would? We were ten, and people with black irises and pupils don’t exist. Thus far, we’d managed to find three others like us. Both of them were out of their minds, mad, using their powers to make names for themselves as amateur serial killers. I marked the targets, figured out their abilities and how to neutralize them. After that, it was up to Morgan to get her hands dirty. I don’t envy her job.
“Any idea what this one can do,” she asked, skipping ahead of me at the sight of the bus pulling around the corner.
I shrugged again, following her lead and moving to catch up to the bus before it stopped. “Not sure. Not yet at least. Just saw the carriage, the horses; something in the back yelling. I think it has something to do with all that. I won’t know until I have more dreams.”
She growled low in her throat, clearly uneasy. “The theatrical ones are the worst.”
“I don’t think it's another Pyro.”
Morgan shook her head in disgust. “I hate pyros.”
Drawing, Drawing, Always Drawing