**If skye fall doesn't come out in 2020, I'm tossing what I have for the story and throwing it in the blog book so I can move on. Creatively, I'm stuck and I have no idea why. Something just isn't clicking with the story**
“Wake up, wake up Delilah! Wake up!” Indigo whispered, shoving my arm as I peered my eyes open in alert as I felt the car move. Shifting from side to side, I sat up trying to catch my breath while Indigo sat calmly back in her seat beside me.
“We’re almost here,” she whispered.
“What are you talking about?” I asked, rubbing my eyes. I looked out the window seeing nothing but darkness. I could hear the crumbling road beneath the tires as Caroline turned around from the passenger seat. “Where are we going?”
“Moon Run,” was all she said as she tucked her short hair behind her ears and faced forward. Indigo patted my knee excitedly while Tallulah sat on the other side of her with her head sticking out the window. Ben was comfortably driving us as I looked around again for my son.
“Where is Yuma? Where is he?” I questioned. “Where is my son?”
“He’s fine. We’re only gonna be gone for a little while,” Indigo whispered again just as Ben cut the bright headlights off and on. The ray of light flickered along the dark pathway with smoke and dust rising up with each passing mile until he suddenly pulled over to the side of the road. I looked back seeing a few other cars following in our lead as Caroline opened her door.
Everyone was wearing white except for me and although it took me a second, I realized this was nothing more than a dream… a vision of some sort when Ben stepped out of the car. His single braids were pulled back with a few dangling in the front and the moment he bent down to reach for something in the seat, I noticed the faint outline of his wings. They were usually tucked away against his back, but when he stretched, they expanded for miles. Flicking and twitching the feathers as he stood up right to put chapstick on his lips.
“I think it's down this way!” Siren yelled as I turned back to see everyone getting out and walking down the thick tall grass. I could smell water nearby as I followed Indigo and Tallulah in their white. Nothing but a basic flashlight of the phone, I watched my footing, feeling the dirt begin to hug my feet as the earth became soggier from the water.
“What is this about?” I whispered to Indigo.
“A rebirth,” she replied in a low voice before pointing up at the sky where two moons sat across from one another like a reflection. “This is a rebirth ceremony.”
She pointed across the way at the group of people dressed in white coming to the edge of the grass. Reflecting our movements until we all met in the center where the water flowed from a creek to a gentle river. Michael came walking up, dressed down with white paint smeared across his face. Ryan was walking behind him like a guide with her wings tucked against her back. Not nearly as big or as wide as Ben’s wings but she had them all the same. She was the same thing he was. Both fallen spirits that happened to stay put on this earth and walk among us. You could tell she was sent specifically for Michael the way she kept to his back, eyeing anyone that dared to stare at him for too long while he moved past the grass.
What a strange dream… Homer and Tallulah...my brothers...all were still in their regular form yet here we are...everyone from our ancestors to our extended family from all over came to this river, and then I saw it…. I saw our reason for coming. From babies and toddlers being dipped into the water to grown women who claimed they were called on by a select spirit or ancestor to do work. I saw her… I saw Jasmine come walking down, drawing attention from everyone as Tallulah clapped excitedly. She wore a simple white dress with her curls hanging down against her shoulders as her eyes met mine.
“Look how beautiful she looks,” Indigo said in awe as my mouth tightened at the sight of her. Jasmine walked past with her dark eyes cutting to me before coming to the edge of the water, taking Caroline’s hand. The two whispered something towards each other before walking further into the water.
“Caroline?” I called out before speaking up, “Caroline?! What is this? What’s going on?”
“Shhh!” Lu hissed as the two girls were escorted further into the water. Michael gave the signal as he guided Jasmine to lay back into the water while Ryan held on to Caroline. Both falling into the water, submerging their bodies as we all leaned forward to watch the ritual.
They were supposed to come up, and be born again. A baptism of some sort. It was supposed to be a quick dunk but as Caroline closed her eyes and fell back with the water covering her face, she remained down while Jasmine’s body came back up with a loud gasp.
Everyone was clapping and cheering her on while I felt like I was the only one screaming for Caroline who refused to come up. I pushed past everyone, trying to get to my cousin before screaming as I looked down at the ground at the snakes slithering towards the water. Everything was being pulled into Jasmine’s energy as I jumped into the water, moving past her to grab Caroline’s body. Attempting to shake her awake, and pull her back for air but she was a mere shell of her body at this point. She and the bodies floating in the water like hers were no longer here, and none of her sisters seemed to notice. They just continued to dance and laugh their way through the night without a care in the world.
“And as spirits move on to a higher calling,” someone called out as I felt hands on my shoulders, “a rebirth occurs for those born. Ancestors call on to those they choose while others are finally laid to rest…”
“Wait, wait a minute. Ben?!” I called out, feeling my body being pushed down into the water. I looked around for Ben in panic until Michael’s hand came around my neck, laying me down into the rushing river. I’m screaming his name, calling for my son saying I wasn’t ready before feeling water plow into my ears and nose, swallowing my face whole as my eyes closed. Mouth filling with water, blowing my last breath as I watched my cousin lay his hand on my head to keep me down. Last thing I saw was everyone suddenly scattering like mice when the lights came on. Knocking one another out the way to take off running and the only person left standing at the edge of the water was Jasmine. Eyes meeting mine with a growing smile, a yellow snake slowly circled her frame while I managed to take my last drowning breath.
I shot up from the bed with a gasp as I looked around my bedroom. Ben’s side of the bed was empty but I could see the lights were on downstairs. I flipped the covers back, and checked the crib to see Yuma was still peacefully sleeping on his back. Gripping my head, I tried to calm myself down before walking out of the room to start for the stairs. Indigo and Micah were still asleep in the other room after the long drive from Alabama.
“Ben?” I called out. “Benjamin Moore…”
When he didn’t respond, I turned the corner and saw the back of his head from the chair in the living room. Most likely watching TV until his head tilted to the side and I heard him moan.
No… no no… Not this shit again… Not this bullshit again.
“Ben?” I called out again with a firm voice as I walked further into the room. He sat on the chair with his legs spread wide as Jasmine rubbed her hands up his thighs with a mouthful of him. Ben threw his head back with a moan, eyes blackened out to the point where he didn’t even see me as I turned around.
“Breathe...Delilah breathe…” I muttered to myself with a trembling voice.
“Are you here for a reading?” Jasmine asked, hearing her kiss and suck, slob and lick between her words.
I inhaled again before turning around to see Ben had simply fallen asleep on the chair with the TV on. There was no Jasmine. No bitch that continuously haunted and fucked with my head. Just a tired Ben.
“I’m not going through this again,” I said as I turned to look for my phone, “I will NOT BE RAN OUT OF MY HOUSE AGAIN! Whatever the fuck you are! Jasmine!? Whoever you got to fuck with me! Bitch, you don’t even know what me and my roots are capable of!”
I grabbed my phone off the counter and yanked the front door open. Snatching the screen door back, I stepped out onto the porch and sat down to calm myself while making a call.
“Come on, answer…. Answer the damn phone,” I muttered, hearing the low hum of the ring. I peered out over the porch railing at the thick bushes lining the foundation of the house, noticing small slick movements until a loud threatening cry of a cat pouncing on its prey burst through the leaves. My Amay rushed up the porch steps with a small mouse in its jaws, taking one look at me before clawing at the screen of the door to get inside.
“You’ve reached Caroline Skye–––”
“No, Caroline,” I snapped, calling again as I opened the door for my cat to be let in. If Amay was around here, Yoon couldn’t be too far behind.
“You’ve reached Caroline Skye–––”
I hung up and sent out a text for her to call me back immediately before calling the next sister in line.
“Hello?” Trinity yawned with a throaty tone.
“Where is your sister?”
“Which one? You know it's at least a million of em running around here,” she retorted with another yawn.
“How would I know anyway? Last time I spoke to her, she texted the group chat saying she would be out of town and be back in a few days. I think she’s sneaking around with DJ and not saying anything. She’s probably with her now,” she sniffed. “Why? What’s going on? Ain’t you back in Atlanta? Did something happen in that house again?”
Trinity’s list of questions went unheard as I thought back to the dream, trying to remember every detail.
“Helloooo? Delilah?” she called out.
My eyes were fixated on a figure standing in the middle of the street. Just far enough from the street lights where I could only make out a shadow of a body but they were facing this house, eyes meeting mine. No sudden movements, no cars were coming, nothing. Just standing in the middle of the street, in the middle of this quiet neighborhood with their hands at their sides.
“Delilah?” Trinity called out again, “you sound like you struggling to breathe. What’s going on?”
“This girl got a root on me,” I whispered, watery eyes unmoving, not even a single blink as I stared at the figure across the way. “She got something on me that I can’t get off…. I can’t…”
“I can barely hear you, hold up. Lemme call Caroline and see if she’ll pick up…”
I heard the line click as I closed my eyes, trying not to cry from pure paranoia and fear until the line clicked back over.
“We’re sorry,” the automatic voice called out, “the number you’re trying to reach has been disconnected or is no longer in service––”
“Whaaaat?” Trinity gasped. “We’re all on the same damn plan, what are they talking about? Hold up, lemme call one last time.”
I opened my eyes, refusing to look at the street right away as my knee began to jump. Something was definitely wrong all around.
“We’re sorry, the number you’re trying to reach has been disconnected or is no longer in service. If you think you reached this message in an error, please check the number, and dial again.”
“What the hell…” Trinity murmured to herself, “Delilah, she’s probably just–––”
I hung up as I tried to hold onto the fading memories of the dream I just had before calling Caroline back one last time.
I hung up.
I heard her voice but I refused to turn around. I refused to look across the street. I kept my eyes centered to my knees before shutting them tight. Squeezing out any noise, any distractions, anything that made me think about her.
“Oh Delilah,” the voice sighed as I listened to the creaky floorboards of the porch move with each step, “you would think a simple reading wouldn’t scare you. If you would just listen to me before it’s too late…All of this could be prevented and forgiven from the manipulation to the lies…your unhealthy attachment to the weak and frail.”
“Leave me alone, leave me alone…”
I opened my tearful eyes and scrolled through my phone with trembling fingers. Jasmine was standing right behind me. I could smell the rich perfume and oils in her hair. I could smell Africa on her and the salty waters of the Caribbean on her breath. Slowly, I turned my head when she began to hum and gasped at the sight of her holding my son in her arms. She stood there in a white cloth like dress draping over her frame as she attempted to unbutton the top.
“I think he’s hungry–––”
“GET AWAY FROM HIM!” I launched, shooting up from the chair and shoving her back into the house with a loud scream.
“Delilah!?” Ben called out from the living room as I took one split second to look in his direction, seeing Jasmine straddling him on the chair with her hands gripping his shoulders.
“The wildest sex I could ever imagine is with your husbaaaaand!” she screamed.
She was no longer in front of me with my son. No. There was nobody there but the wall and stairs as I ran into the kitchen, screaming out and dug into the drawers for a knife.
“Just come get a reading by me, Delilah! Three things! I can tell you three things that’s going to happen if you just sit and talk with meeee!” Jasmine whined. I could hear Ben calling my name like he was afraid, panicked and in need of help. Maybe he finally saw what I’ve been seeing this entire time so without question, and hesitation? I ran screaming with the knife in my hand towards the living room, ready to slice this bitch from east to west across her face. Both of us grabbing Ben in attempts to pull him away from her and him away from me. She was laughing, having the time of her life while I was in tears, and at my end with all of this.
“Delilah?! DELILAH?! WHAT IS YOU DOING!? DELILAH?!” Ben croaked as I began swiping at Jasmine while keeping him pinned down on the chair.
“STAY THE FUCK AWAY FROM MY HOUSE?! MY MAN AND MY CHILD! I DON’T WANT SHIT TO DO WITH YOU! I’M NOT GETTING A READING! I’M NOT GETTING A DAMN THING FROM YOU!” I threatened as Jasmine grinned, right shoulder jumping just a little at the reaction until Ben’s hand waved across my face.
“Delilah?!” he screamed.
I turned to look back at him, breath heavy, chest heaving up and down with sweat and tears pouring as I stared at the fear in his eyes. Wide and jerking from side to side to look me over, he had no idea what just happened. I looked back at the suddenly empty space in the living room, seeing nothing but my arm stretched out holding the knife in the air.
“What’s wrong with you?” Ben asked, voice cracking trying to compose himself but I could tell he was scared for me. “What the hell is wrong with you? Who are you screaming at? Who are you tryna–––”
“She was just here, Ben,” I declared. “She was just in here, kissing on you…touching you…threatening me. She’s been doing this shit and I can’t get her to stop,” I cried. “I don’t want to be in this house. I can’t be here if she’s here––.”
“If who is here? Huh? If who is here, because I don’t see anybody! I don’t see a gah damn thing but you always nutting up! I’m not staying away from here and missing out on money because you…”
“I know what I saw, Ben. She has something on me,” I muttered, getting off of him as I looked around the living room. “SHOW YOUR FACE! SHOW YOU DAMN SELF AND LET EVERYONE SEE!”
“What’s going on?” Indigo asked as she came down the steps with Micah behind her. “Delilah? Are you–––.”
“SHOW YOURSELF!” I screamed. “SHOW EVERYBODY HOW YOU’VE BEEN TORMENTING ME!”
Only thing you could hear was a car going by. I dragged my wrist across my cheeks to wipe the fallen tears as I looked back at Ben. Something in the way his eyes flickered, like a beam of light flashed across the dark circles made me snap.
“I KNOW YOU’RE HERE! YOU’RE WATCHING MY EVERY MOVE!” I screamed before charging towards Ben, straddling his lap with the knife to his neck, “COME OUT NOW! THIS IS WHO YOU’RE USING TO GET TO ME! COME OUT! YOU HAVE MY ATTENTION BITCH!”
“Delilah?!” Indigo gasped as Ben gripped my hand holding the knife to the thin skin of his neck, and attempted to bend it backwards and away from him. Only to shove me with a hard jerk of his hands off of him.
“I’M DONE! No more! I’m not doing this shit anymore with you!”
“Ben, I swear to God she’s tormenting me!” I cried in panic. “I told you I wasn’t ready to come back home! I wasn’t ready to come back here and you forced me!”
“I DIDN’T FORCE YOU TO DO SHIT YOU DIDN’T ALREADY DO!” he screamed. “ALL OF THIS PLAYING AROUND WITH PEOPLE IS CATCHING UP TO YOU AND YOU’RE TAKING IT OUT ON THE ONE PERSON WHO TOLD YOU NOT TO! I’M DONE!”
“Nooo! Please, pleaseee!” I begged, dropping the knife as I tried grabbing his arm but he yanked his arm up and shoved me back against the chair before storming off.
“Ben, wait a minute!” Indigo yelled after him. Micah stood clueless, scratching at the back of his head, unsure of what to do until we heard the door slam shut. It didn’t take long for the engine to start up in the driveway as I bolted for the door.
“Ben?!” I screamed, struggling to open the screen door before rushing out down the steps of the porch. I’ve never been this vulnerable for a man, for another human before. I’ve never been this… weak to the point of begging but he brought me to this point. “BEN?! PLEASE?! PLEASE DON’T LEAVE!”
The bright headlights flashed right in my face with the muted music blasting as he swerved out of the driveway with Indigo attempting to stop him.
“BEN PLEASE!?” I begged, crouching down to my knees with tears, “I’ve been trying to make it stop! I’ve been trying–––”
His car sped off down the road, hearing the tires screech from his exit. I sat in horror, heart clogging my throat, blocking the airways before feeling it drop like a ton of bricks into my stomach at his exit.
He left me… No matter how bad we fought...he wouldn’t actually pull off and drive away.
“Delilah?” Indigo called out with a hesitant voice. I stared at the empty street in front of my house, half expecting Ben to whip the corner of the intersection again and pull back into the driveway to continue fussing at me. Maybe just to prove a point but when I felt a hand on my shoulder, I realized I was still down on my knees, several minutes later with Indigo attempting to help me up.
“I don’t think he’s coming back, Delilah. Not tonight at least… Come on. Yuma is crying, don’t you hear him?”
“Aye?” I heard Micah say as I kept my eyes to the road, “somebody else was in here… She ain’t lying.”
“What are you talking about?” Indigo hissed underneath her teeth, “Micah what––”
“I’m saying she wasn’t lying. I can smell it...It smells like another woman’s perfume was in here… Somebody is fucking with her, and badly. One of them old head charmers…”
My mind clicked like a light bulb going off as I thought about the woman who came to see me about Pia’s father. Her friend...she mentioned her friend...did Jasmine hire this woman who pretended to step foot in my house for some other work? None of this shit happened until after that woman came over…
“Delilah?” Indigo called out again, tapping my shoulder.
“We not staying here,” Micah said, voice more firm, “whatever it is, it’s gonna take a few days for me to trace it back but somebody tryna drive her crazy and its working.”
“So what do we do?” Indigo asked as I slowly came to my feet, dusting myself off, and wiping my face.
Somewhere, I needed to remember who the fuck I am. Delilah Camille Skye. I am a woman born of the earth, totem, and root. With or without Ben, I will always be who I am. I was barely filled with natural emotions when I met Ben but he somehow managed to bring me out of my shell and make it okay to be happy and in love. Show affection and cry when I needed but this night just sucked up whatever energy I had left and brought me back to not giving a fuck.
“We’re leaving,” I said. I turned back into the house to find my phone so I could make a call to my brothers. Whichever one will answer first. “I’m packing up what I can and I’m going back to South Carolina for a while.”
“What about Ben–––”
“He can stay gone.”