On the day of Emily Lilac's fifteenth birthday, her father gives her a purple amulet - a lilac amulet – an ancient relic of her family. When she puts it around her neck, her world, her life changes.
She discovers that she is not human. And neither is everyone else.
She is part of the new generation of Psychics in a world of monsters. She is one of the only, one of the rarest species in existence and she is the key to ending the war between the two most powerful species around.
And in the midst of it all, there is a love. A Gravern and an Eternal come together, set apart because of the war, and must keep down in fear of death.
So Emily fights: not for the Eternals from the sky; not for the Graverns from the ground; but for the love that her friends share.


32. Stories

“You should talk to someone about it that isn’t me.” Tia tells me when I tell her about my strange experiences. The dreams, the anger, the sickness... “I can’t help you, but someone else can. When I died I finally got to speak to someone about my troubles.”

“What, did you have a ghost counsellor?” I say jokingly.

“Something like that.” She says smiling. It suddenly occurs to me that she still hasn’t told me how she was murdered. Would it be bad to ask?

“Do you still need to talk?” I joke to her. She laughs.

“Of course I do, I had a traumatic life and death! I need help with my mental health!” She keeps laughing, but I feel awkward as I’m not sure how to react to that. How am I supposed to laugh at the fact someone was abused and murdered by her father? As she laughs I notice for the first time scratches down her arms. Her Dad’s work or self harm scars?

“So what would you like to say?” I pretend to be a mental health worker and she sits on my swivel chair, faking panic and psychological problems. The last one I don’t think she has to fake.

“Oh it’s so terrible. My father is the worst, and my friends deserted me, and my boyfriend is trying to sleep with me and we’re both underage...” Even though it’s all true, and all her own problems, she overdramatizes it to take the mick out of herself. I don’t think I would do that if I had been through all that. I’m surprised that she can make light of it so easily.

“So tell me first about your friends.”

“My old friends. They won’t talk to me now. Especially since I'm dead, obviously!”

“Yes yes yes, I know, just what exactly do they do?”

“Well, the spread rumours about me and bully me by calling me names and stuff.” Are we still acting? I can’t tell. Should I keep going? I guess I have to.

“What sort of rumours?”

“That I self-harmed and that I stole from shops and slept with my boyfriend underage.” She looks sad. Melodrama? I don’t think so. I begin to tread in to dangerous waters; I have no choice.

“Are any of them true?”

“No. Not a single one. But I don’t know why they made fun of me for it; because I knew for a fact they did all of those and more when they started to pick on me. They did drugs, you know.”

“Did you ever take those drugs?”

“I didn’t. I was, am, smarter than all of them combined. But, they still made me feel small and reduced me to something insignificant.”

“What about your boyfriend then? Let’s talk about him.”

“I thought I liked him, but it turned out he was clingy and overly protective. He liked me much, much more than I liked him and that led him to moving on the relationship too fast. I didn’t have the heart to tell him no, and I didn’t have the courage to break it off with him.” Why does she have to have such a sad and depressing life? She doesn’t deserve it one bit.

“Okay, then what about your Dad?” I say, stepping in to her mine field.

“He does everything. He cuts me when I do something bad, and hits me when I do something good. And then for everything in between he comes up with a new type of torture. He made me feel so isolated. He said if I told anyone he would push me out of the window of our apartment, 12 stories up, and into the busy street below. I would hide in my room whenever I could, but he’d always find me and do horrible things to me.” Tia’s not pretending anymore, I know that for definite. I can’t stop her story flowing out, so I keep quiet and hope that the trauma she faced does not rise to the surface. “He made me swallow salt water once which made me throw up. That was definitely one of my low points. Another low was when he raped me, which was really traumatic. My own father, doing something of that nature to his 13 year old daughter. What a... there are no words to describe him. He’s worse than an arse, worse than a bastard, worse than even the one word I won’t say. He is like the devil on earth. The night before he murdered me he had been heavily drinking, and he sexually abused me again. He made me give him a blow job, and when he refused he cut these scars in to my arm. So I had to. I had to do the unthinkable. It kept making me gag, and every time it did he would hit me. And the next day, he found the letter from school which was an application for the tutor, and talked to my head teacher on the phone, and he drank so much more than normal... And he hit me. He slapped me. He even stabbed me with the knife he’d always use on my arms.” Tia lifts her shirt to her stomach to reveal a dark, still bloody, wound that her own father inflicted on her. Is this how it happened? Did she bleed to death? “And as I screamed out in pain, he told me to stop being a wimp. He told me to take pain and learn from it instead of weeping like a baby. When I cried even more after he twisted my arm he screamed at me, breath stinking of alcohol and... and he...

And he took my head and banged it against the wall. Right on the temples. I was killed instantly.”

Tia’s story, finally out of her mouth and into my brain. This was her story. This was her life. This was her death. This is why she was with me. This is why I had to help her. This is why she was crying.

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