Today’s extract is from Cynthia D. Witherspoon’s paranormal fantasy book, The Sibyl – enjoy!
The Sibyl extract:
“Honestly?” I looked to Elliot, then to the scryer. “No, I don’t detest the paranormal. I just think you are all here to make money.”
“And you? Isn’t that why you are here as well?”
“I really need to get going.” I tried to ease away from her, but this woman was quick. She grabbed my arm again to hold me in place.
“Then look into this mirror. If you see nothing, then I will release you.” She handed it to me with the care one would preserve for a child. “Yet if you see anything – anything at all – you must tell us at once what you see.”
“I am going to see my reflection. Nothing more, nothing less.” I shrugged. “I hate to break it to you, but that’s how mirrors work these days.”
“Indeed.” Kathy pushed the mirror against my hands. “Well, then. The sooner you take a look and do as I say, the sooner you can sit back down with your love over there.”
Love? Who did this lady think she was? Her assumption made me angry. I couldn’t explain my sudden anger, but I felt defensive towards her. I wanted nothing more than to snatch the mirror from her hand and smash it against the carpet. Yet, just as I wrapped my hands around the handle, I remembered the contract I’d signed saying I would put myself in these exact same situations for money.
“Alright, but only if I get to leave after this.”
I was surprised at how heavy the mirror was as Kathy Carter released her grip. It was obviously old with carvings along the rim and handle. I flipped it over so the glass was facing me. I saw what I always see in a mirror.
“I see myself.” I handed it back to her. “I’m not sure what you were trying to prove, but I don’t think it worked.”
“Tell me you are willing to do this.” Kathy Carter was shifting from foot to foot, locking her hands in front of her as she refused to take it back. “You must be willing.”
“Well, I’m not.” I thrust the mirror in her direction. “So take this back.”
“Please,” The scryer closed in the distance between her and clasped her hands over mine holding the mirror. “Just try. Be willing to try.”
“Try what exactly?” I frowned. “You’re not being very clear.”
“I can’t explain it. No human can explain what happens with mere words. Just please, say what I tell you to say.”
Kathy glanced at the audience and I got it. She was using me to make her little presentation more dramatic. The scryer was probably making such a scene to fill in the time gap since I broke her laptop and subsequently ended the PowerPoint she would have shown to us. I was so relieved I almost laughed.
“Alright, fine.” I tugged my hands free from the woman. “I’m willing to play along with your act. What do you need me to say?”
“I take thee, mirror, to be my own.”
I turned towards the audience and waved the mirror like a flag. “I take thee, mirror, to be my own.”
The scryer clapped her hands together with obvious excitement. “Apollo, bless my eyes to make me see. Allow me to hear the words unheard by the living to learn from the dead. I am your daughter. Your messenger. Your servant for time immortal.”
“Ok.” I faced her and repeated her mantra. When I was done, I tried to give her the mirror once more. “Can I go now?”
“Close your eyes, child. Your world will change the moment you open them.”
“Whatever it takes to get this over with.”
I let out an exaggerated sigh as I closed my eyes. I felt the woman grab my hands, holding them so tight against the handle it was hard for me not to cry out as the carvings cut into my palms. Kathy Carter started whispering, her words getting lost to my ears as my hands began to burn. This time, I did cry out. But the woman had a grip on me. One she wasn’t going to let go of easily.
I felt the heat rising up from my hands as it traveled up my arms. I was so focused on getting away from the scryer I barely heard the applause erupting through the room. The fire engulfing me didn’t stop until it reached my eyes and my ears. The horrible woman started cackling like a witch in a fairy tale just as the pain from the heat become unbearable. She released my hands as she called out so that the entire room could hear her.
“It’s over! Thanks be to the gods, my time is over.”
I opened my eyes trying to seek out Elliot’s familiar face in this sea of strangers. Instead, my gaze was trapped by the mirror glowing red. The glass seemed to be reflecting the fire engulfing my mind. I wanted to look away. I needed to look away. Yet the color captivated me as a strange white noise filled my ears.
Elliot pushed Kathy Carter out of the way. He took hold of my chin to force my eyes away from the strange shades of red and black. I could see his lips moving. I knew he was asking me if I was alright.
I couldn’t hear him. I could hear nothing as the white noise shifted into a furious whispering much like what the scryer had done. I turned my attention onto the mirror as a face formed in the darkness. I knew this face was the one whispering to me. It was a man; young and just as beautiful as Kathy Carter. His golden eyes shimmered as he smiled. This was the voice filling my ears.
“Your soul is now mine, Sibyl.”
I dropped the mirror just before I passed out.
Cynthia D. Witherspoon is an award winning writer of Southern Gothic, Paranormal Romance, and Urban Fantasy. She currently resides in South Carolina, but spent three years in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Always an avid reader, she began writing short stories in college. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in History from Converse College, and earned a Masters in Forensic Science at Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences.
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