When Corey's sister commits suicide, his family is distraught. Ten years on, and the hole she left still hasn't healed over. The unanswered question remains: why did she decide to die? Soon her secret is revealed to Corey, and he is left to fight for survival, his dead sister haunting his dreams. But she is only a memory. After all ghosts and daemons are just make-believe...... Right? WARNING: There are scenes of violence and strong language some readers may find offensive... Hence the yellow rating.


4. Chapter Three - An Unexpexted Visitor


The dictionary definition of music is ‘The art or science of combining vocal or instrumental sounds (or both) to produce beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion’. It’s wrong. Music is so much more than that. Music is raw emotion that leaves you breathless after listening. It grabs hold of your heart and manipulates it until you feel the way the music wants you to. It makes you look beyond the obvious in it and see the real pain that is hidden between the notes.

Music makes you feel when you don’t want to. Music helps you cope.

I don’t think there is a way to put what music is into words. It’s like trying to describe the taste of water or the pain and hurt you feel when someone you love dies. No being able to explain it is a good thing. That way there’s no limitations, no way to restrain it.

Music if free. And that’s why I turned to it when my sister passed away

*     *     *     *     *

I pulled my jacket tighter around my body  as the frigid air bit at my skin. Walking along, I started to whistle a tuneless set of notes, my breath coming out in clouds of white. The random melody filled the air, harmonising with the quiet bird song that could always be heard on the school site.

When I reached the music block, I dumped my kit into my locker that stood there. You could have a locker wherever you wanted – you could even go without if you preferred – as long as you brought a padlock from home. About three weeks ago, on the first day of term, I came and staked my claim on one of the lockers in the music block.

Not only was it in my favourite part of the school (the library was a close second) but, unlike the rest of the school, the lockers were full length, which meant I was able to put my guitar away. Lugging it around all day was a bitch. I was constantly worrying – and I didn’t worry easily - that it might get damaged every time I set it down. Not to mention the fact that people at my school weren’t the most trustworthy. I wouldn’t be surprised if it got vandalised or stolen. There were some douchebags in that place.

I slammed the locker door shut, clicking the padlock back into place so my stuff was secure, and strolled off into the area where the music practice rooms were. There were about seven in total and were usually all full with people having lessons, with one or two being empty and they were normally the ones without a piano in.

When I arrived, I was shocked to see that there were four practice rooms free, usually there were GCSE students filling them. I made a beeline for the one that had the best piano out of all of them and placed my guitar to the side as I sat down on the padded bench. I ran my fingers across the keys happy to have my hands on a piano again. We didn’t have one at home, so I had to self-teach myself with the few moments I could steal in the practice rooms  at school.

To warm up my hands, I started off with some scales, going up and down the piano for about five minutes before really beginning to play. I positioned my hands and let the simple melody wash over me, the compressed keys producing blear, beautiful notes that rang through the small space. Playing music was so much better than listening to it.

When the song was nearing an end, the melody transformed, my subconscious taking over. I began to sing, my voice following the example my hands had set, the instinct I had for music kicking in. I needed music like I needed air, so I just went with it.

And I don't want the world to see me

'Cause I don't think that they'd understand

When everything's made to be broken

I just want you to know who I am


And you can't fight the tears that ain't coming

Or the moment of truth in your lies

When everything feels like the movies

Yeah you bleed just to know you're alive

The song put me in a trance like state and nothing existed but me and the piano. As the final notes faded, I was hastily brought back to reality by the sound of applause.

I turned round to see a middle aged woman standing in the door frame. She had dark brown, wavy hair streaked with silver that stopped at her waist and was feathered around her face. Paired with her warm brown eyes, she looked like a very gentle person, optimistic even. This impression was ruined somewhat by the formal suit she was wearing.

“Well you sure can play young man,” she said in a light airy tone.

I continued to stare at her, my mouth open slightly. No-one but my family, Danni and my music teacher had ever heard me play before. Up until last year, no-one knew I had any musical talent at all, and the only reason they ever found out is because I chose to take music as an A-level.

My friends were astounded that I wasn’t just the basketball jock with a dead sister. That there was more to me than meets the eye.

Music had always been away to escape reality; to hide away from the world. It was private and personal, something I didn’t share by choice, but by accident or through necessity.

And she had just walked in and watched like it was nothing. I felt like someone had been watching me in the shower, or something. I felt violated.

I realised I was sitting there gawping at the woman when she arched an eyebrow and smirked at me from across the room.

“Thanks.” I said, the word coming out in a more venomous tone than I had intended. Maybe I was more annoyed than I first thought.

My obvious distaste for prescence didn’t seem to faze her as her eyes flicked to my guitar that was sitting in the corner.

“Is that yours?”

I gave a sharp nod, wondering why the hell she cared so much.

“So you play?”

I snorted.

“I should hope so. I've only been learning since I was six.” I didn’t see the need to inform her that I also played bass, drums, saxophone, violin and basically any instrument I got my hands in since I was six.

She continued to look at me, her eyes unblinking, as if she could see right through me.

I turned away, grabbing my bag from the floor and started to rummage through it before speaking again.

“Look, I don't mean to be rude but what the hell are you doing here? I've never seen you around here before and that, plus the visitors' badge you're wearing, tell me you aren't a new teacher.”

She didn't look bothered in the slightest at my outburst, in fact she seemed rather amused.

“Well deduced, young man, or should I call you Sherlock? I'm not a teacher, at least not at this school. I've come from a prestigious school in London and am here to film the basketball game this evening. Apparently there is a student here who is applying and, unfortunately, the coach couldn't make it, so I've been sent instead. To be perfectly honest, I know nothing about basketball.” She sighed.

At the forlorn look on her face, I let out a bark of laughter, and she looked up at me. She had a slight twinkle in her eye when she saw my song book I'd finally managed to fish out of my bag sitting on the table.

“Well I better be going. See you around, Sherlock.” she said, turning around and walking out of the room.

“I doubt it.” I called to her retreating figure, and I could've sworn she let out a small laugh at my words.

I got up and shut the door she had left open when she left before settling myself back down on the piano bench.

I leaned over to the worn out note book I used to jot down snatches of notes and lyrics that randomly came to me. There were a few completed songs at the back of the book, but not many. I could never finish anything. But today was different.

I flicked through the tattered pages until I found the string of notes I was looking for. I played them gently on the piano, desperate to make use of the small time I had it for. I started writing more notes down, then lyrics, and I was lost in the haze of music once more.

When the bell went to signify break, I had almost completed the song. I knew exactly what lyrics I wanted, but the second verse and chorus were giving me trouble. Something in the chord progression was off, but I just couldn't put my finger on it. I tried for another ten minutes to fix the problem and make the music perfect, but, try as I might, the flaw in the song didn't leave.

I slammed down the piano lid, grabbed my guitar and stalked out the room, frustrated that I couldn't get it right.

As I walked down the small pathway that led to the English block, I muttered to myself about nothing in particular, keeping my eyes on my feet.

Suddenly I heard someone whisper my name, ever so softly.


I wheeled around, searching for the source, but came up empty handed. There was nothing but a bush.


This time I was sure. The voice was coming from behind the leaves. I crept towards it, keeping my footsteps light. I could hear my heartbeat in my ears now. There was something not right. And I needed to know what the hell it was.

In one quick movement I swept aside the foliage, and peered into the small clearing. It took a few seconds for my eyes to adjust to the dark light, and as soon as they had I was thrown backwards into the wall behind me.

The bushes rustled and a flash of blinding light emanated from their depths.

As the light faded, I blinked, trying to re-orient myself. What the fuck was that?! Either I was going bat crap crazy or some weird shit had just gone down.

“Corey?”' a voice called from the end of the path. “Corey? Is that you?”

I turned my head to see Danni running towards me and I sent her a tentative grin, still slightly dazed from being thrown into the side of a building.

“What the hell are you doing on the floor, Stephens?” she said, glaring  at me.

“I'm having a tea party with Abraham Lincoln, care to join us?” I snapped at her, and she just rolled her eyes at my obvious annoyance. Her action caused me to laugh, before I replied to the prompting look she was now giving me.

“what does it look like I'm doing? I fell. Now help me up!”  I said, a grin spreading across my feature

She let out a small chuckle and offered a hand to pull me up.

When I was on my feet again, I brushed the dirt off my jeans and Danni wrinkled her nose in amusement.

“What now?”

“It's just... You're all soggy. It sort of looks like you've wet yourself.” She stifled a laugh as she tried to look me straight in the eyes.

I glanced down, twisting around to see the back of my jeans, and swore, causing her to start giggling. She was right. It did look like I'd wet myself.

“Hey Danni... Wanna skip?” I asked her mischievously, knowing she would go for it. We had English Literature together next, and we were currently reading through a book both me and Danni had already finished.

She nodded enthusiastically at my proposal before saying, “Library?”

“Library.” I told her in affirmation, before grabbing her hand and starting to run, towing her along behind me.

We walked through the doors, slightly out of breath and laughing gently, but the Librarian didn't even glance our way, used to our abnormal behaviour and presence when we should be in class. Danni dropped her stuff down next to one of the multiple computers saying she had some coursework to complete. I placed my stuff down next to hers, giving her strict instructions to not let anyone touch it.

I strolled around the shelves of books, skimming my fingers along the tops of them, until I came across a battered copy of 'To Kill a Mockingbird'. I pulled it down from its perch, sunk into a nearby sofa and began to read.

About sixty pages in, a voice over my shoulder said “To Kill a Mockingbird, Corey? Again?”

I glanced up to see Danni standing behind me, her face scrunched.

“Yes, Daniela, again. As I have told you many times before it is an astounding piece of literature, which demonstrates perfectly how –“ I was cut off mid-sentence by an upbeat song that rang from Danni's phone. I grimaced as I realised her newest choice of ringtone was One Direction's 'What Makes You Beautiful'. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate the band – I never discriminate against music on the grounds of what artist had made it - but I did, however, hate that song.

“Hold that thought,” she said as she pressed the answer button on the phone, and started to walk away so I couldn't eavesdrop. Like I'd need to.

Yesterday, one of my friends from music class came up to me to ask me if I was okay with him asking Danni out. It was common knowledge we were close, but a lot of people thought that meant we secretly like each other. As if. We'd tried the whole dating thing back in Year 11. It lasted about a week before we agreed it was too weird. She was like a sister to me and I know she felt the same.

So I bet the phone call was him asking her out. And, surprise, surprise,  I was right

“Corey, guess what?” she practically chirped, bounding up to me, a huge grin on her face.

I transformed my features into a look of concentration.

“Hmm... Let me think... I've got it,” I said, snapping my fingers, “Kris rang you up and asked you to go to the cinema on Saturday?”

She punched my arm.

“Actually, we're going bowling. I'm guessing he asked you if it was okay?”

“No. I’m just super physic and always know everything” I said my voice laced with sarcasm, before continuing on in a normal tone. “Of course he did, Danni. They always do.”

She sighed.

“I hate it when people do that. We're just friends. Why do they turn it into something more?”

“Hey. We are not ‘just friends’. You, my dear are my sister, and as such I warned him that if he hurt you I would break his kneecaps.”

She gasped.

“You didn’t.”

I shrugged, then got up and placed my book where I found it, my back to her in order to hide the smile that was creeping its way across my face.

“Come on. We have form now,” I told her, and as we left, we chatted about random things. The looks she gave me told me she was still unsure as to whether I had threatened Kris or not.

The rest of the day passed by in a bit of a blur until the final bell rang, nothing eventful happening.

But no matter how hard I tried I couldn't get what I had seen in the bush out of my head. I knew why I hadn't told Danni what had happened. She'd think I was crazy. Hell, I thought I was crazy.

Because I'd seen a pair of bright blue eyes staring back at me in the bush. Eyes I hadn't seen in almost twelve years.

Eyes that belonged to my sister, who had been dead for over half my life.

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