Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock. The familiar sound lulled Scarlett into a stupor as she pretended to think of an answer to the therapist's question. Funnily enough, the angels usually gave her a break during her sessions. Unfortunately, this made her drowsy and the opposite of talkative, which was exactly what therapy was about.
"Scarlett? I asked you how it made you feel to know that the six year anniversary of your incident is tomorrow." Scarlett looked up at her therapist then. His mustache was so dark that it was distracting and he had a mustard stain on his shirt.
"Why do you always call it the incident? I killed someone. I can say it." Scarlett stayed clear of referring to that someone as a demon. She did not, under any circumstances, want to go back into that psychiatric hospital.
"Okay, then. If that's what you want to call it. It's been six years since you...killed someone. How does that make you feel?" he pressed, twirling the pen in his hand and waiting for Scarlett to speak.
"I don't know how it makes me feel. Bad, I guess." Scarlett didn't like talking about the demon she killed. All she could remember was the blood spilling onto her dress and the red abyss that was his eyes as he attacked her. She shuddered at the memory.
Scarlett hadn't gotten into any legal trouble over it, since she was just eleven and there were countless people who witness him lunging for her just before she stabbed him. But she did get stuck in a hospital--Sunny State Psychiatric Hospital--for two years after telling everyone that he was a demon.
"And why does it make you feel bad?" Now he was writing something down, though she couldn't tell what. She stopped caring what he wrote in that notebook of his a long time ago.
"Isn't it obvious? I killed a person when I was eleven." And because he was an actual person underneath the demon with a family and kids and friends. It wasn't his fault that he had gotten possessed. But Scarlett would never tell her therapist that.
"Yes, but how does it affect you?"
Scarlett sighed. She didn't know what he wanted her to say. And there wasn't much she could say to him even if she wanted to. She tiptoed around the truth and gave him an answer. "Well, it makes me feel guilty...all the time. But, at the same time, it wasn't a mistake. He wanted to hurt me."
"And why did he want to hurt you, Scarlett? Because the angels," he put air quotes around the word, "told you that he did? Or did you notice something else? Something that you don't want to remember?"
"I just knew."
"I just did, okay? I don't know how but I did. And good thing I did or maybe I would be the one buried six feet underground right now instead of him." She crossed her arms over her chest signaling that she was done with the topic.
He seemed to take the hint. "Alright, how is school?"
"Scarlett..." he said, pushing her for real information.
"Okay. It's basically the exact same as the last time I told you about it. Except...well, there is a new guy. His name is Phoenix."
"And why did you feel the need to bring up Phoenix? Did you speak to him?"
Scarlett shifted uncomfortably. "Well, yes. He kind of...stook up for me in class. It was nice, I guess." And apparently he was the key to saving every being that littered the earth...
"Well, that was quite nice of him. How have the other kids been--"
"Actually, my session is up," Scarlett said, pointing to the clock. "I guess I'll see you next Monday." And before receiving his reply, she hurried out of the door, glad to be leaving that room behind her.
Phoenix was curious. As he lay on his bed, laptop open in front of him, his fingers itched to type the one thing that was on his mind. Finally, he gave in. Scarlett Whitely, he entered into the search bar.
He scanned through the results: no social media pages, no personal information at all, except the dozens of news articles that had various headlines. He clicked on one and read.
Murder At Charity Dinner Rocks NYC
Guests at a charity dinner for a popular children's charity were shocked and traumatized as they witnessed Scarlett Whitely, 11, stab Ronald Fisher, 43. Many guests report that Fisher attacked Whitely just before she gave the fatal blow seconds later.
Her parents were heard saying that he verbally assaulted their daughter just before the incident, though there have been no conformations concerning the alleged verbal attack. Police have released Whitely's statement to the public.
"He was a demon. He was going to kill my family," Whitely stated just after the attack.
She was described as shaken up, though seemingly not able to comprehend that she had just murdered a man. There is no word on any legal charges at this time.
Fisher was a husband and father of two with no history of violence or mental disturbances. He's been described as a fun loving and outgoing friend who wouldn't hurt anyone.
The investigation is still underway.
Phoenix stared at the screen for awhile after finishing the article. Was this really the same Scarlett who he'd met earlier that day? When the girl in class told him that she killed someone, he thought she was joking. Just a vicious rumor, like the ones Phoenix had been subjected to countless times.
He went back to the search page and clicked on another article.
Eleven Year Old Murderer Admitted To Local Psychiatric Hospital
Just a month after eleven year old Scarlett Whitely fatally stabbed a man at a charity dinner, she was admitted into the privately owned Sunny State Psychiatric Hospital in NYC. Reason of admittance was cited: 'vivid auditory hallucinations and delusions'.
It has been confirmed that these disturbances were not behind the murder of 43 year old Robert Fisher. Whitely will not be charged due to the fact that multiple witnesses claim he attacked her first.
Her parents released a statement earlier in the week. "We're just glad that Scarlett is getting the help that she so desperately needs. If we would have been informed of her illness beforehand, she would have entered Sunny State prior to the incident. As it is, her doctor did not catch the signs early enough. We are taking legal action against him at this time."
The length of time Whitely will spend in the hospital is still unknown.
Phoenix couldn't read anymore. Maybe he should be more concerned about this new revelation, but all he felt was a deep sense of pity. He could only imagine what Scarlett had been through. And how the kids at school must treat her...
Phoenix wasn't a stranger to misfortune, so he could relate. His mother died when he was born, leaving him in his aunt's care. He had no clue who his father was. He could be dead or just hiding from his responsibilities--Phoenix didn't know or care to know.
He sighed, slamming his laptop shut and picking up the cigarette carton that was laying on his nightstand. He got up and walked to his balcony. It was still strange to live in a place that had more than two rooms and a kitchen, much less a balcony.
He actually picked up the smoking habit at his last school which was much rougher and poorer than his new rich and snobby school. He and his aunt, Hannah, were barely making ends meet whenever she met Dave--a wealthy entrepreneur with a bank account the size of Russia. Their courting had been swift and fleeting. Within a week of dating, he had already proposed and moved them into this place.
Phoenix didn't like him. Dave was always...watching him too closely. It was unnerving. It felt like he was waiting for something to happen--something that he was waiting to stop.
The cold of the night greatly contrasted the warm smoke that passed through Phoenix's mouth and down into his lungs. He pushed back some of his hair that had fallen into his face and imagined what it would be like to kill someone--to actually feel the sensation of a knife pushing through someone else's flesh and know that you were the reason that they ceased to breath. He shuddered. How did Scarlett...live?
"Yes, yes, I'm alone," Phoenix heard from the other balcony--it was Dave. He put out his cigarette immediately and tried to hide himself behind the railings. It was easier to be quiet though as the roar of New York City traffic masked most of his movements.
"Has she been taken to WarLOCK? Good, good. No, I didn't think she would be able to cross into the angel realm. She is a seasoned meditator. I know-it's incredible. And very, very inconvenient. No, Phoenix still isn't aware."
Phoenix shifted slightly at the mention of his name. He wasn't aware of what? "I've got my eye on him. I don't think the Whitely girl will be a problem. She doesn't even know what she is. These kids...they're so ignorant," he said with a laugh. "I can assure you that he knows nothing of the prophecy, nor will he find out. Just keep Atria Fowler locked up and this will be the last we hear of this situation. You can believe I will be watching Phoenix like a hawk. Yes, yes, good night Magister Andros. I'll see you soon." And with that, Dave hung up his phone and went back into his and Hannah's bedroom.
Phoenix stared into the bright lights of the apartment building across the street for more than a few minutes. He couldn't seem to make his limbs move. His mind was reeling. He knew that Dave was a creep but now he had actual proof that Dave was watching him...
It sounded as if he was a member of some sort of cult. Who was Atria Fowler and what does Scarlett have to do with anything? Phoenix could feel another internet search tingling in his fingertips. He had to know. He had to know what Dave was up to.
And with a click of a button, it was clear that he was up to no good. With one search of Atria Fowler's name, he had an address to 'Shaman Sense: Witchcraft Supplies and Psychic Readings' and a drive to get to the bottom of Dave's twisted agenda.