Insatiable Series Outtake: Kia
A tapping on her bedroom door pulled Kia up out of a dream that foretold the death of someone close to her family. By the time she rolled over beneath the covers the dream had rinsed out of her memory.
She sat up and called out, “Yes?”
No one answered.
Okay, this is weird, she thought. She knew she’d heard someone knocking. It woke her up, so someone had to be there. She clicked on her bedside lamp and slid out of bed, went to her door and opened it.
The hall was dark and empty. She leaned out and looked. The door of her parent’s bedroom was closed. She didn’t see a light at the bottom of their door.
She knew she’d heard a knock. She didn’t dream it because it woke her up.
As she climbed back into bed she looked at her nightstand clock. It said 3:13 in the morning. And now she was wide awake and she had to go to school and no way in heck was Daddy gonna let her skip just because she was sleepy. Just great.
Maybe it’d be better if she just stayed up. She looked across the room at her desk, at her open laptop. She could play computer chess. She still hadn’t figured out how to beat the computer when she set it on expert level. And when she’d tried to see ahead and see what the computer was gonna do she’d slipped, and instead saw all the crazy bad stuff that wanted to hurt Uncle Paul.*
Kia reached and clicked off her nightstand lamp, and with the darkness came the feeling, hitting her strong.
Somebody was in her room.
Kia turned her light back on. She didn’t see anyone. But someone was there; something was there, in her room. She could feel it.
“Who’s in here?” she whispered.
Kia told herself not to be scared. Mère said some of them were good and some were bad, but mostly they just watched people.
“Are you good or bad?” she asked.
She heard it, but not with her ears. It was like a whisper inside her head.
“What’s that mean? Are you good or not?”
“What do you want? Why are you in my room?”
“Yeah well, you’d better get outta here. Mère can kill you.” Kia didn’t know if that were true, but she figured maybe whatever was in her room didn’t know either.
“Anyway, I’m not scared of you.” She hoped whatever it was couldn’t read her mind, because if it could it’d know she’d just told a new and improved king-sized lie.
“You’re what? What’s your name?”
Kia heard it speak in her head. She heard its name, and it was a sound she knew couldn’t be formed by any human language. So it wasn’t from…here. Then where was it from?
“You’re not a ghost, are you?” she asked. “I don’t think you’re a ghost…right?
She thought about the things Mère had asked her about; the things with red eyes. She didn’t see any red eyes in her room. She didn’t see anything. She just felt it.
Yeah, felt it.
Over there, by her desk.
Waiting for what?
It had knocked on her door and woke her up. So it wanted her to know it was there. Why?
“Okay, quit screwing around. What are you? What do you want?”
Kia heard a soft click and then a beep. Her laptop screen blinked on and the machine went through its boot cycle. Then the desktop screen appeared, and then the computer’s word processing app opened up to a blank page.
Kia scooted back against her pillow and pulled her covers up under her chin. “You can touch stuff?”
“What do you want? Are you bad? ‘Cause if you’re bad you better get outta here.”
Her laptop’s keyboard went tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap.
A word appeared on the previously blank word processing document. It was too far away for her to read, and no way was she gonna go closer to her desk to see. No way, Hosea.
The text highlighted and its font size increased, so large that the single word spread across the top of the page. Kia leaned and looked. She could read it now:
“What’s that mean?”
“You’re a mistress?”
Holy Crap. It felt extra special creepy hearing the thing say her name in her head. And what did it mean?
On her laptop screen the word changed from black to red to blue and back to black.
“You’re talking about me? Hey, I’m only twelve. I can’t be a mistress. That’s old lady stuff, like a lady who has servants or something.”
“You’re what…a servant?”
“Hold up…you’re my servant?”
“For real, like, you’ve gotta do what I say?”
Mère told her that if she prayed or made wishes that sometimes the powers that be might help her get what she needed. But she wasn’t supposed to do that unless it was an emergency, and only if she asked Mère for permission first. She’d only done it that one time, and something really bad happened.**
But she didn’t care about praying or making wishes because she’d found out that sometimes she could make stuff happen just because she wanted it to, by pushing with her thoughts. So she didn’t have to ask anything for help. But now this thing was in her room…
“How come you’ve gotta do what I say?”
“Look, if that’s all you’ve got to say then you’re not much help. I mean, seriously.”
“Can you help me beat my computer playing chess?”
Her laptop screen flickered, and the chess game app opened up.
“Ooh, sweet! But I can’t play now. I’ve gotta go to sleep ‘cause I’ve got school.”
The laptop flashed back to the word processing document.
“Okay, you can come when I want, right? ‘Cause it’s too creepy with you hanging around looking at me while I’m sleeping. So you need to go someplace else ‘til I want you, okay?”
“Seriously, you need to be gone right now, and I wanna know you’re gone. That’s um…that’s like an order, okay?”
The word processing app closed, and a moment later the screen message advised that the computer was shutting down.
When the machine shut off Kia said, “Are you there? Hello?”
No answer, and she didn’t feel it in her room anymore. Cool beans.
Kia clicked off her nightstand lamp and snuggled under the covers. She drifted away, and dreamed of things passing through, back and forth between dimensions and worlds.
Some of them were good, and some were bad.
The really bad ones were shadows with eyes that glowed red.
She dreamed that some of the shadows of death with their glowing red eyes were already here, in her world. The wretchedness of man had opened a gap that allowed them to squeeze through from their world, from the place where a beautiful garden used to be.
She dreamed that as mankind further lost its way the gap would grow wider, and more shadows would come through, and that every soul on earth would be taken unless people like her, and other people who weren’t like her, could save them.
Come morning, Kia would not remember her dream.
**From Golden (Insatiable: Book Two