The Other Side – Chapter 1 – Whispers (REWRITE)
When two worlds collide…ours and the supernatural. It’s a start of a Y.A. Novel that has been W.I.P for a long time! Starting all over again.
The Other Side
A low whispering could be heard coming from the hall, but the words evaporated as they made contact with the air. Izzy stood on the darkened landing listening, but couldn’t make out any of it. The whispers stopped for a few minutes, then began again. She stood as still as she could and listened, too afraid to move forward or sideways in case the floorboards squeaked. Downstairs was in darkness, mum hadn’t put the small lamp on like she normally did. This was the fourth night in a row she’d heard strange whispering.
Izzy took a few steps backward until she felt her back against the bedroom door, she nudged it open enough to squeeze through, closed it quietly behind her and crept back into bed. She pressed the button on her phone and it lit up…the luminous numbers showed it was midnight. Izzy sighed and wished she could surf the net, but the signal kept crashing. She would keep checking as Zombie Crushers next concert would be in a venue close to her town and she had plans to go with Jessie and Micha.
She fumbled for the lamp switch, found it and turned it on, then attached her headphones to her phone and put them on. She waited for the instrumental guitar, but a faint crackling sound began in her right ear, then the left so she turned the volume up.
“Stupid things! I only bought these last week!” she muttered.
Its crackly undertone could still be heard as the electric guitar played until gradually it became a static hiss.
“You have to go,” a voice whispered.
“Huh! What the hell,?” Izzy said, looking round
The electric guitar playing in her ears increased. Izzy winced, pulled her headphones from her phone and threw them across the wooden floor. The music still played and she hugged herself as she felt the temperature begin to drop and an eerie silence consumed the room. The hairs on her arms stood up and goosebumps spread beneath her skin.
Izzy heard a thud and turned to see her silver skull ornament bounce across the chest of draws, drop onto the rug and roll, only stopping when it hit the crumpled pile of clothes.
“You need to go,” The voice whispered. “Go!”
Izzy looked around the room. “Who’s there?” she asked, her voice trembling. “Why do I have to go?”
She waited for a few seconds for an answer. “Who’s there?” she asked, but no reply came.
The temperature began to rise and she looked around the room. For a brief second, she wondered if she had imagined it or even fallen asleep on the bed while listening to her music. Could she have dreamt it?
The silver skull remained on the floor with a piece missing from the left eye and she knew it had happened.
Izzy pulled the covers back and swung her legs over the edge of the bed. She jumped as electric guitar music blasted from the headphones that were not attached to anything! She hurried to the bedroom door, but before she reached it, it swung open.
“Mum!” Izzy said with a mixture of surprise and relief.
“Izzy, what are you doing? Do you know what time it is?” her mum snapped.
“Yeah, sorry! it’s around midnight,” Izzy replied.
Her mum put her hand over her mouth to stifle a yawn and replied “No, it’s three in the morning! I could hear music and bangs coming from your room. I have to get up in a few hours…again.”
“Sorry! but it’s Saturday, your day off. Remember?” replied Izzy.
“I know, it’s supposed to be, but something’s come up that I have to deal with,” answered her mum.
“Oh! is everything okay? Is that why you were on the phone earlier?” Izzy asked.
“ Umm…yes, had things to sort out. Now get into bed and go to sleep. Goodnight,” her mum said, giving her a kiss on her head before leaving the room.
A raised voiced seeped through the floorboards into her room. Izzy yawned and slowly opened her eyes. Another loud bang made her jump in bed, she fumbled for her phone and looked at the time, it was almost eleven O’ Clock. She hated getting up this early, but she got out of bed and went to the banister on the landing and listened. She could hear her mum’s voice loud and clear.
“You have no choice and neither do I. Do you really think I want to do this?” her mum snapped over the phone.
There was a brief silence.
“If I had any other way than this, believe me, I wouldn’t be speaking to you now. I would rather walk over hot coals and poke my eye out with a sharp stick than ever ask you!” her mum declared.
Izzy could now see her mum pacing the floor below, frowning and throwing her one arm up in the air in protest. She took a step back so her mum wouldn’t see her.
“Oh my god, it’s not a favor!! I have never asked you for anything, and after this, I never will, but we have no choice. Don’t you understand? There is no one else to ask and you, you are blood or have you forgotten that?”
There were a few minutes of silence before her mum let out a frustrated growl.
“Don’t tell me to calm down. My life is different too, as you know. You are not the only one, but shit happens. I can’t help it and I didn’t ask for this either. “She paused briefly as she listened to the other voice on the phone. “Oh really! so it’s been fine for you huh! But now I ask you for one thing and you argue about it! Let me tell you WE do not have a choice. Be here in two hours or I will be at yours!”
Izzy listened to her mum’s footsteps echo as she paced the hall, then heard the click of a lighter.
Smoking! She hasn’t had a fag in the last five years! She heard her mum inhale and exhale, then cough.
“Well, maybe it’s about time you pulled your finger out of your…” cough…cough. “Don’t put the phone down on me this is serious. I mean it…” shouted her mum’s voice.
She peered over the banister, her mum held the phone in her hands, staring at the screen, then threw it, she heard a thud on the other side of the room.
Quietly Izzy went downstairs.
“Oh, morning Izzy. Sorry love, did I wake you?” Izzy’s mum asked.
“Yeah, a little. What was that all about?” said Izzy as she looked towards where her mum had thrown the phone and stared at the red handle bag and suitcase. “Where are you going? What’s going on?” She asked.
“I’m sorry Izzy, I didn’t want this to happen like this, but I need to go away for a few weeks to sort things out. An aunt of ours has passed away. I need to go take care of the funeral, her house etc and get everything in order.” Her mum replied, bending her head.
“Oh…I’m sorry…What Aunt?”
“Err, Aunt Jasmin.”
“Aunt Jasmin, can’t remember you mentioning her before!”
“Umm…no she was in a home…quite old…lost her marbles a little, bless her soul, but was a lovely woman and helped me a lot when I was younger and over many years too.” Izzy’s mum said giving a heart-hearted smile.
“Oh, so when do we to leave?”
“That’s the thing, Izzy, it’s you that has to leave…for now.”
Izzy stood there in silence her mouth dropped open slightly and she stared at her mum.
“Yes, I’m sorry love, but I have things I have to sort out and tie up here first, like work, the dogs, the milk, bills etc.”
“Where am I going?” Izzy asked, tears welling in her eyes.
“I’m sorry love, but the only one I could ask was your dad!”
“Dad!! Really are you serious? You asked him? No!” Izzy shouted.
“Izzy, it’s not the perfect choice, but I have no one else to ask.”
“I have to stay with Him…Them? No! I can’t do it. Can I stay here? I’m sixteen, I’m a big girl now!” Izzy pleaded.
“No, I’m sorry Izzy I can’t leave you here home alone, your too young at sixteen to be here for a few weeks…Social services would take you away from me if they found out or you would end up living permanently with them. If you were eighteen it would be different. Please do this…for me…for a few weeks…that’s all I ask…I know it’s hard, but we will be together soon.” she paused and looked into Izzy’s watery eyes. “I can’t afford for us both to go, but this, this will help us. I’m so sorry.” Izzy’s mum, held her daughter’s hands in hers, tears sliding down her cheeks.
Tears flowed down Izzy’s face and she hugged her mum tight. “Okay!” she sobbed.
“I promise, I will be back before you know it.”.
“Okay, but I don’t like it and I hate them after what’s happened,” Izzy replied.
“Izzy’s mum nodded. “I know and if there was any other way!”
“Keep in touch, every day?”
“I promise. Every day!” Izzy’s mum hugged her. “I love you!”
“I love you too” she sobbed as she went to pack. An hour later she sat looking like a rag doll on a chair downstairs.
‘Beep, Beep, Beep.’
“He’s here love. Time to go!” Izzy’s mum said, giving her a hug.
Izzy looked at her mum, her eyes saying goodbye.
She threw her two suitcases in the boot of the car and opened the back seat door and got in.
Thunder roared above and lightning lit up the sky and the rain fell heavily.
Izzy put her palm on the glass as she watched her mum silhouetted by the bright flash of light until she went into the house, then glared at her dad in the rear-view mirror. This was going to be the most boring and awkward few weeks ever, she thought.
The phone rang and Izzy’s mum snatched it out of the cradle.
“Yes, it’s me. She’s gone and she’s safe,” she answered, swallowing hard. “I will be with you in the next couple of hours. The storm has started. I hoped it would have held off until I got you, it’s not a good sign.”
A loud hissing and static rang in her ear, and she held the phone away swearing under her breath. Seconds later she held the phone to her ear again. “Hello, are you still there?” There was no answer. “Hello? I guess that’s my cue to get the hell out of here.”
Izzy’s mum grabbed her suitcase, swung the door open, and took one last look at the darkened hall. “Hope to see you again soon!” she muttered and closed the door behind her.
The thunder boomed above her head, lightning bolts lit up the sky as she ran to the car. She opened the back door and shoved her suitcase in at an angle and slammed the door shut. She shivered as she sat in the driver’s seat and shook some of the rain out of her bobbed, out-of-the-bottle, red hair.
“I hope I’m not too late!” she muttered as she started the engine.