Mirror Sight

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Book: Mirror Sight by Kristen Britain Read Free Book Online
Authors: Kristen Britain
Tags: Science-Fiction, adventure, Fantasy, Young Adult
wakefulness, an incessant noise that scraped at her nerves. She blinked in the predawn gray, once more having to orient herself to where she was and
when.
She rubbed her eyes and yawned, wondering what caused the noise that had awakened her.
    Scritch-scritch-scritch,
like a pen rapidly stroking across paper.
    She raised herself to her elbows. “Hello?” she queried, searching into the shadows spilling across her room.
    She discerned nothing, but she pinpointed the noise emanating from a particularly dark corner. She stared hard, perceived movement. A trick of her eyes?
    “Hello?” she said again, a slight quaver in her voice, and again there was no response. The scritching did not sound mousey, and it had a sort of rhythm to it.
    I’m becoming just as mad as they think I am.
    She tossed aside her covers and stood on the rug beside her bed. She took tentative steps toward the dark corner. The scritching grew a little louder as she approached. She made out the frame of the one chair in her room. She thought to turn back and ignite her lamp when she caught a faint flutter of movement around the chair, like pale moth wings in the night. Transfixed, she drew closer. Spectral smoke wafted and drifted above the chair until it resolved into a vaguely human figure.
    A wave of cold rippled through Karigan’s flesh lifting the hairs on her arms. She licked her lips. She dared not step any closer to the apparition lest it vanish. Its features were so blurred she could not even tell whether it was male or female. It sat bent over a flat object on its lap.
    “Who are you?” she whispered. Perhaps, she thought, Who
were
you? was the more appropriate question. In any case, she received no reply.
    The gray of her room began to lighten, the puddles of black retreating. The faint apparition faded even more.
    “Can you see me?” Karigan whispered, but the hunched figure remained intent on whatever was on its lap, even as it faded to a wisp of smoke.
    Scritch-scratch.
    Was it writing?
    The city bell clanged and, startled, Karigan glanced at the window, which had brightened with the dawn. The bell to call the mill slaves to work. Between tollings, she heard no scritching, and when she glanced at the chair, the apparition had vanished.
    Either she had indeed gone mad, or apparitions could appear even in a world deprived of magic. Not that spirits of the dead should have to rely on magic to exist, but it still surprised her.
    Why had it appeared to her? She’d enough experience with the supernatural to know such meetings did not usually occur by chance.
    She stood there staring at the empty chair for several moments, then shook her head. She gave some thought to using the early hour to sneak around the house, but she heard footsteps in the hallway and other sounds of life elsewhere in the house, bringing to an end any such notion. At least now she knew the household began to awaken with the first bell, which was more than she’d known before.
    She sighed and limped back to bed to await the day.
     • • • 
    After breakfast Karigan suffered through the humiliation of the sponge bath, protesting all the while there must be a way to take a regular bath without getting her cast wet, and couldn’t she do this herself, please. Mirriam was as immovable as a granite pillar and informed Karigan this was not her first sponge bath. Karigan had known someone cleaned her up upon her arrival to the professor’s house, though she’d not been conscious. Being awake and aware of it was a whole different level of embarrassment.
    “Stop your fussing,” Mirriam ordered as she scrubbed Karigan’s back. “You’re just making it take longer.”
    After the sponge bath, Karigan had to admit she felt better, especially when Mirriam and Lorine set to work washing her hair in the bathing room sink, which was shaped like a giant clam shell. Mirriam deftly shifted the various levers to make the water temperature just right while Lorine’s nimble

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