Time seemed to stop as Kylie and Holiday sat side by side in the alcove of the falls. The wall of water diffused the incoming light; only the briefest rays of yellow sun passed through. And when they did, the light caught in the mist droplets and danced in the air. The water rushed down with a low roar, and tiny molecules of moisture brushed against their faces.
The thought occurred to Kylie that maybe now would be a good time to tell Holiday about her sister. If anything could help curb the sting of the news, it would be the magic of this place. Yet even with the peacefulness embracing her, the idea of telling Holiday about the death of her sister had Kylie's heart hurting.
Then a familiar chill filled the damp air. Hannah materialized, standing in the pool of water. Her green eyes, bright with tears and filled with sadness, focused on Holiday.
Oblivious to her sister's presence, Holiday stared at the wall of water rushing down. She rubbed her arms as though she were chilled, and then turned her head and met Kylie's eyes. "A visitor?"
Kylie nodded, her throat getting tighter with emotion when she glanced again at Hannah's tears.
Holiday shrugged. "That's odd. They normally don't come back here." She leaned back on the rocks and stared up at the cave ceiling, as if giving Kylie space to deal with the spirit.
"She hates me," Hannah said. "And I don't blame her. What I did was unforgivable." Shame now entered Hannah's wet eyes.
Kylie almost asked Hannah what she'd done, but decided to let her be the one to initiate the conversation. Kylie sat there in silence, feeling the cold of death that somehow seemed to blend with the calm of the falls.
She studied Hannah's emotion-filled expression and she knew the spirit had found her way through the confusion of death enough to communicate.
Enough to remember. Did she recall the moments before her death? The name of her killer perhaps? But all Kylie saw in Hannah's expression was regret.
Watching Hannah took Kylie back to her own near-death experience, to when Mario and his friends had knocked her off the ledge. She'd thought she was about to die. And she would have if Red, Mario's grandson, hadn't saved her and sacrificed himself in the process.
She remembered the regret that consumed her when she thought it was the end. Probably the same emotions Hannah felt now. Wouldn't everyone feel that way? Living, Kylie supposed, meant making mistakes, as well as garnering karma points.
While Kylie had never really defined her job/gift as a ghost whisperer, she supposed it entailed helping the spirits recall the good they'd done as much as helping them absolve any outstanding mistakes. It seemed that when you were alive, you spent most of your time trying to forgive others; upon death, it was yourself you mostly needed to forgive.
I'll bet you two were close, Kylie said. I imagine you had a lot of fun as sisters.
Hannah looked up at Kylie. "We did. I just wish..."
When Hannah didn't continue, Kylie asked, What is it that I need to do for you? Is it just telling her about you? Is it getting you and the others out of the mass grave?
"No, it's more." She paused as if still trying to remember. "It can't happen again." Hannah's whisper echoed against the cave's rock walls and the cold of her presence built.
Kylie pulled one knee closer to her chest. What can't happen again?
Hannah stepped closer, looking lost in thought. "I can't look at her without feeling ... I was so wrong. So jealous. I got what I deserved. I deserved to die, but the others didn't. It has to stop." Even more tears filled her eyes. The sound of rushing water punctuated by the quietness of the mist-filled air added a strange kind of eeriness to the moment.
"He wants her." Hannah took another step forward. Desperation filled her eyes. "And you have to stop him."
Kylie's gaze shifted from the spirit's face and became captured by the still water that didn't even stir as Hannah inched forward. Her sad spirit stopped when she stood directly over Holiday, staring down at her with a mixture of love and regret.
Realizing what Hannah had said, Kylie asked, Who? Stop who from doing what?
Holiday's phone rang and Kylie looked over at her. The camp leader sat up, her brows pinched. "Okay, that's odd, too. Phones don't usually work in here." Pulling her phone from her pocket, she eyed the number on the screen.
Kylie heard Holiday's breath catch at the same time as Hannah's. The spirit let out a sound of despair and took off running through the falls. Her footfalls, though quick, fell silent on the rock floor.
Right before Hannah's spirit darted through the wall of water, she glanced back at Holiday, who stared transfixed at the number on the phone. Then she disappeared, taking with her the cold that she'd brought.
"Who is it?" Kylie asked Holiday.
Holiday shook her head. "It's ... Blake."
"Who's Blake?" Kylie asked, somehow certain he was a clue to all this. Was he the one Kylie had to stop from doing something bad to Holiday?
Was Holiday's life in danger?
The hum of the rushing water was interrupted by the sound of someone running, splashing through the falls. Kylie and Holiday looked up.
Burnett, standing guard outside the falls, shot through the rush of water, his face etched with panic. His clothes were wet, and his dark black hair was scattered across his brow and dripping water down his face. "Where did she go?" He blinked, and then his gaze landed on Holiday. His eyes widened. He shook his head in pure confusion. "You just ... ran out of here. How could you...?"
"What?" Holiday asked.
Burnett just stood there, his complexion paler than its normal olive color, staring as if he'd seen a ghost.
Kylie suddenly realized that was exactly what had just happened. Burnett had seen Hannah.
Oh, shit, Kylie thought. Burnett not only could smell ghosts, he could see them, too.
"How could I run where?" Holiday asked again, tucking her cell phone back in her pocket. "You're not making any sense."
Kylie didn't know what compelled her to do it, but she glanced at Burnett and shook her head, indicating that he shouldn't tell Holiday about what he'd seen.
He opened his mouth and then closed it and studied Kylie. She shook her head slightly again and she knew he'd understood.
He focused on Holiday again. Then, still looking perplexed, he answered, "I misspoke. I thought I heard you call me."
"No," Holiday said. "I didn't."
"Fine," he blurted out, and in a blink of an eye he shot back through the wall of water.
Holiday stared wide-eyed at the spot where he'd stood a flicker of a second earlier. "I know you told me he'd come back here and it's not as if I didn't believe you, but I guess I had to see it to wrap my head around it. I don't ... I've never seen anyone be able to come back here who wasn't blessed."
Kylie's mind raced with what to say, but then she remembered Holiday's phone call and the anguish in Hannah's expression when she'd rushed out. Then Kylie recalled the distinct feeling that whoever that caller was had something to do with Hannah and could be the person the spirit seemed to be so worried about.
"Who's Blake?" Kylie asked again.
"Don't you have an appointment with one of the new teachers?" Burnett asked Holiday fifteen minutes later as they came to the clearing of the woods after they walked back from the falls. "Why don't you head back to the office and I'll see Kylie to her cabin?"
Kylie cut her eyes up at Burnett and she knew his game plan. He wanted her alone so he could interrogate her about what had happened at the falls. She could tell by his silence and the color of his eyes that the interrogation wasn't going to go easy.
"I still have half an hour if you have something else to do." Holiday studied Burnett with open curiosity, probably confused about his change in eye color. On the walk back, she'd come out and asked him about his ability to walk into the falls. He'd shrugged and said he hadn't given it much thought.
Which was a huge, honking lie. He'd obviously thought about it a lot. And he'd gone back to thinking about it because he didn't speak again for a while. With silence following them as they made their way through the woods, Kylie had done her own thinking, or worrying. Trying to figure out the mystery of Blake with each step, she'd fretted until she'd chewed her bottom lip sore.
When asked about the caller earlier, Holiday had danced around the truth with her answer: "Someone I used to know."
That hadn't told Kylie squat. She'd been tempted to blurt out a list of questions.
Did Blake also know your twin sister that I'm not supposed to know about?
Do you think this Blake character could have done something to your sister, like kill her?
Do I need to tell Burnett about Blake just in case he is the person that I'm supposed to not let hurt you?
Oh yeah, Kylie had a lot to fret over, including the upcoming interrogation from Burnett.
"Nah," Burnett said. "I'll see Kylie to her cabin. You go relax."
Holiday's brow tightened in a total non-relaxing way and she looked at Kylie as if she might know why the vamp was acting so weird. Kylie shrugged.
"Okay." Holiday walked toward the office.
Kylie started the trek to her cabin and made a bet with herself on how long it would take Burnett to start hitting her with questions. One minute? Two?
"Start talking!" Burnett ground out less than twenty seconds later.
Okay, so maybe she overestimated his patience.
He stopped walking and looked at her, his expression one big scowl. "Who was that at the falls who looked like Holiday? Did you use your witch powers to do that?"
Kylie hesitated, unsure how to answer him. She remembered how she'd felt learning she'd be spending the rest of her life hanging out with dead people.
"I didn't do anything."
"Then who was it?" he demanded. "And why did you feel the need to keep this from Holiday?" When she paused, he added, "Now, Kylie! I want answers. And don't forget that I can tell when you're lying."
She exhaled. Understanding his frustration, but ... "It's Holiday's twin sister."
His brows pinched in confusion. "Holiday has a twin?"
Burnett looked off for a second, then back at her. "Why wouldn't she have ever mentioned this?" He ran a palm over his face, frustration and disappointment filling his eyes. He blurted out his own answer. "Because she doesn't confide in me about anything."
His gaze shot back to Kylie. "But wait. How could this twin be in the camp without setting off the alarms? I checked my phone when I went back outside the falls. The alarms hadn't been triggered and there was no bad weather to make me believe someone could have fooled the system."
"She didn't fool the system. She..." There wasn't an easy way to say this, but she still paused to try and find the right words.
"She must have," Burnett continued. "How else would-?"
"She's dead," Kylie said, feeling the pressure to answer under his intense scowl. "Holiday's sister is a ghost."