The Writers Voice
In Her Eyes
Nicole Starleigh Yeager
Cassie Smith turned her car off the main road and into the gravel parking lot of the solitary gas station in her small hometown of Ridge Pointe. Things were different at home, now; once, a high-spirited station attendant would have come out to greet her as she pumped her gas. Things were very different, now. Everyone always spoke of how wonderful miracles were, but when one happened to Cassie and her friends just outside of Ridge Pointe last summer, the locals became frightened, and shunned the six teenagers.
Thankful for the pay-at-the-pump option, Cassie filled her tank and glanced in the window of the convenience store. A shadowy face slipped from view just before she had a chance to identify it. Her heart drooping, she took her receipt, got back into the car, and pulled away. Cassie's mind drifted into thought as she made her way home that afternoon. Jesse Davids, her steady, was home from college this weekend, and she couldn't wait to see him. Cassie, Nate Hunter, Ashley Cavert and Quinn Louis III were the only four involved in "the miracle" who stayed in Ridge Pointe after the incident and only because they had to finish high school. After "the miracle" on Big Bear Mountain, life had become a little more difficult than they had ever imagined it could be. Michaela (Mikki) Hart had also gone off to school, not really sure whether she would ever come back home.
Cassie, Nate and Quinn were seniors now, and Ashley was finishing her junior year. In a few weeks, school would be out, marking the first anniversary of the journey that changed their lives forever. Pulling into her driveway, Cassie shuddered as a chill shot down her spine. Over a year ago, she would have thought nothing of it, but she had a gift, given to her by their late comrade, Will "Rising Sun" Corrigan. She had lost most of it in the epic spiritual battle that took place on Big Bear Mountain the previous summer, but a little bit of it remained with her. She could sense things before having any knowledge of what was going to happen. As she shut her car door and started to walk up the sidewalk to the front porch, the door creaked open. Her stride slowed as her little brother, Jimmy, now 11 years old, poked his head out and peered at her. "Hi, Cass," he said meekly, almost sympathetically.
She paused and looked at him curiously. "Hi, Jim, what's going on?"
Jimmy didn't say anything but disappeared back inside the house. Something was definitely wrong. When Cassie entered the house, the living room was empty and the television was turned off, unusual in the Smith home. "Mom?" she called.
Charlene appeared from the hallway, "Hi, hon," she said, also sympathetically.
"What's going on?" Cassie asked.
They knew they could not keep anything from her. "How was school today?" Charlene asked.
"How do you think?" Cassie spat back. Once popular and friendly, Cassie, along with Nate, Ashley and Quinn, were basically rejected by most of their classmates.
"Dinner's almost ready," her mother said, retreating to the kitchen, on the verge of tears.
"Mom? What's going on?" Cassie demanded.
Jimmy came around the corner of the kitchen wall and looked at his sister with wide, uneasy eyes. "A man came by the house this afternoon," she told her as she hid her eyes in the pot on the stove. She picked up the ladle and stirred their dinner.
"And?" Cassie asked. Jimmy stared, afraid to get involved with the conversation.
"The kids at school are afraid of you, Cassie. There have been a lot of complaints."
So what else is new, Cassie thought to herself. "Who was it, the principal?"
Charlene took a deep breath. "It was a doctor."
Cassie was stunned. Since when did the local doctors make house calls? "What?" she said, half believing. "Who, Dr. Miller?"
"No, he came in from the city."
"We won't let them take you, Cass!" Jimmy blurted out, his face seeming paler than usual.
Confusion set in. "What? Take me where, Mom?"
Charlene burned her hand on the side of the pot and yelled out in pain. "AGH!" She dropped the ladle onto the stove and ran her hand under the cold water of the faucet.
"Take me where, Mom? Who wants to take me where?" Cassie demanded.
Between painful sniffles, Charlene turned to her daughter. "They want to put you in a hospital in the city."
This was new. This was definitely new. "Wh... What?" Cassie discovered that her voice had become weak and raspy.
"The school officials are saying that you are a danger to the other students."
"Mom? You don't believe them, do you?"
"Cass, you have been... different... since you all came home - and they can't explain what happened to you or how you survived. And sometimes I think... sometimes I think you can read my mind..."
"Mom, I haven't done anything to anybody!"
"I... I know, sweetie, but..."
Cassie couldn't believe her own mother was turning against her, now, too. This would explain why Jimmy was hiding behind the wall. "Mom, I'm not going - I'm not a psycho! Mom! You told them no, right? Right?"
"It's out of my hands, Cassie. I can't do anything about it," she answered, her sentence ending in sobs.
Cassie's eyes burned with tears. She dropped her bag as there was a knock on the still-open front door. She turned - Jesse was home.
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