Whispers in the Everglades By Julie Palella
Thursday, December 30, 2004
Rated "R" by the Author.
A woman with psychic powers goes up against an angry tribe.
She heard it.She knew she had.But once again, she didn’t say anything.Fear engulfed her.Her palms began to sweat, she could hear her heart beat in her ears or was it adrenaline? She couldn’t tell.Should she say something?Her husband had become annoyed; irritated at her for her over-grown imagination that was ruining his life.
No, she wouldn’t say anything.The voices continued, not voices so much as whispers, if she could only hear what they were saying.They were muffled, almost like being at a party with your hearing aid too low as she could hear faint laughing at times.Mostly she heard chanting.Chants over and over and it was always the same chant.If she could just hear them clearly, maybe her husband would understand.Deciding against it, she kissed him good-bye and he left for work.She was alone, again.
Karin didn’t like living in the everglades.Her husband, Jim, absolutely loved it.They had lived up north throughout their marriage and they were happy.Well, she was happy, he was not.He had always wanted to move to Florida.There was just something about living in the middle of nowhere on a ten acre lot with nothing but thick brush and lakes that terrified her . She didn’t know why, but soon would.
“I love it!” he had said to the realtor as they walked through the house.“Could this price be right?” Jim asked him again.
Jackie ran through the house, “It’s huge!” she screamed with delight.
“I don’t like it.” Karin calmly said.
Jim sighed heavily rolling his eyes.“What’s the problem now?” he asked, irritated.
“I just don’t feel right about it.” She said with the hair rising on her arms.
“Karin, it’s a deal of a lifetime!We aren’t letting this pass through our fingers!It’s the perfect place for your writing.”
She looked around her heart sinking, he never believed her.
“We’ll take it.” He said to the realtor before she could protest more.
It was okay at first.She started to adjust, started her writing again.The peace made that part of her life easy.Jim went to work everyday and her daughter went to school, leaving her in peace for a whole 7 hours.Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad.
The house was huge, too big for the three of them.Karin thought the deal was too good to be true little did she know it was.
At first the move kept her busy.She started hearing strange noises and passed them off.She was living in the wild; of course there would be strange noises, but she knew it was more than that.
The doorbell rang and Karin jumped out of her chair.No one had visited her.No one even knew they lived there.When she opened the door the hair on her arms stood on end.The woman staring back, looked like a normal woman, but her eyes told Karin differently.They were dark brown...no black.She was staring right at Karin yet her eyes were empty.
“Yes” Karin said in a shaky voice.The woman just stared at her with long flowing black hair.Say something!Karin screamed in her head.
The woman had dark creases in her face, throughout her cheeks and her forehead. She had small lips with a pointed chin, Karin noticed almost a little too pointed.She had dark skin and a long flowing, dark purple dress.The wind had picked up, yet the dress didn’t move, neither did her long hair.The woman’s stare caused a bead of sweat to drip down Karen’s back.“Yes?” she tried again.
A faint whisper whirled through her mind.“Leave.”
“Excuse me?” Karin asked the woman.She didn’t see her mouth move but distinctly heard the word.The woman turned and walked away.
Karin shakily shut the door.With trembling hands she moaned.“Not this again!” she said aloud.
Karin had what you would call a “second sight.” Seeing things others did not. It had been passed down from her mother, and she hated it.Her mother was the only one to understand it.“Trust it” she could hear her mother’s advice through her head.Her mother had been gone for 5 years now, yet her voice was in her head as if she were standing right in front of her most days.
Karin quickly looked out the window; surely the woman would be walking away.Just as she had suspected, no one was there.Did she imagine it?Why did this happen to her?She couldn’t tell Jim about it.The last “vision” she had almost caused them a divorce.Jim couldn’t understand it, couldn’t take it anymore.Even though she told him all about this “sixth sense” she had when they were married, he became afraid of it. He accused her of being crazy that horrible day when she ran screaming from the house after seeing his grandmother standing at the sink doing the dishes.
“You’re scaring her!” He had screamed at Karin, nodding towards their daughter Jackie.She was 5 at the time and a look of horror passed her face.Jim was right.She was scaring her.She didn’t mention the next morning when she woke up and the dishes were done.She knew she had left a sink full of dinner dishes from the night before, but she didn’t dare tell Jim.Obviously Jim’s grandmother didn’t think she was a very good housekeeper.
From that day on, she kept her “visions” to herself.She prayed that Jackie hadn’t inherited this curse.Running into her room many nights after nightmares, Karin decided to keep her gift to herself.Gift, that’s what her mother called it.Curse is what Karin called it.
She went back to her book.Karin’s curse did bring one advantage to the family.She was a writer and a good one at that.Writing thrillers and ghost stories that were flying off the shelves allowed them to make the move from the north in the first place.
She would just add the Indian woman to her book.Why did she think she was Indian?It hit her that she was, in fact, an Indian woman.The dark face with the deep creases, the long flowing black hair, yes she was an Indian woman.But why would she want her to leave? Goose bumps flying down her arms again, Karin did the only thing she could.She wrote about her.
That night she lay in bed wondering why this Indian woman had visited her.Usually it had been family members, passed on, warnings, premonitions that would come true .She had never seen an Indian before.The woman didn’t look friendly; in fact, Karin brought her vision to the full front of her mind.The woman was mad.
Not being able to sleep, she crept out of the bedroom and snuck downstairs to go sit on the lanai with a hot cup of milk.The moonlight hit the lake and lit the back up with an eerie glow.The palms were brushing back and forth, so thick she couldn’t see past the first line of them.
That’s when the chanting began.At first she thought it was just the wind, but knowing of her curse, she strained to listen.
Looking to her right, she noticed a circle of trees that she hadn’t noticed before.The moonlight was shining straight down through the middle of the circle.
Karin strained her eyes; she could see fog gathering in the middle forming figures.Smoke gathered in the circle as the chanting went on.She could see the feather’s coming from their heads, the long white feathers forming on the back of their black heads.It was becoming clearer now, more Indians.
One particular rough looking warrior turned his head and glared at her.She saw he had the same black eyes as the woman at the door.They were empty.Feeling in a trance, Karin couldn’t look away from him as hard as she tried.
“Leave” was all she could hear dancing across her brain.
The hair on the back of her neck was rising; an uneasy feeling came over her.Breaking the trance of the Indian warrior she bent down to put her head between her legs to make the nausea go away when she saw her.
She was sitting right next to her.The same woman with the long black hair and empty eyes had been sitting right next to her the whole time.She jumped up spilling her hot milk on her lap causing her to scream in pain.The woman chuckled, a deep throaty laugh, amused by Karin’s pain.Karin looked at her mouth instinctively, but again, her mouth did not move.
“What do you want?” She asked the strange woman.Her eyes grew squinty and her face turned down.She glared at Karin sending waves of nausea throughout her.
“Leave” was all she heard.
That was it; she’d have to tell Jim.She simply refused to stay here one more second.Running back into the house she ran right into him in the hallway.He must have heard her scream in pain.
“We’re leaving.” She simply stated.Seeing Jim roll his eyes made her heart sink.
“Why?” he said flatly.
“We are not wanted here,” she said in fear.“I wasn’t going to say anything, but I have to.We are in danger here, Jim, all of us.”
Jim sighed heavily having heard this too many times. “What is it now Karin? Was you’re dead aunt doing the laundry?” he asked sarcastically.
“I’m serious!” she screamed.
“I know you are,” he sighed.“That’s the worst part.”He turned around and went back to bed, leaving her in the hallway with the whispers passing through her brain.
Damn him!She thought to herself.She passed by Jackie’s room, she was sleeping peacefully, thankfully no nightmares tonight.
She looked out back again through the window.Nothing was there.Someone wanted them out of there and she knew she had to find out why.
The next morning Karin went to her greatest source, the library.Looking up the lands she found that the house itself was sitting on an old sanctuary.Looking back into the everglades history she found them.She found an old book from 1832 and immediately opened to the page with same woman who had been haunting her.
Her face stared back out to her from the book.She was kneeling on the ground with many warriors around her.Reading the caption underneath, Karin began hearing the whispers again.
Looking around to see if anyone else could hear them, but knowing it would be only her she looked back at the caption.
“This particular tribe was the last tribe to fight for their land, not allowing their land to be bought off, killing many people on their path, they were murdered one night right on their own land.It was a great victory to the settlers there.”
Chills ran down her spine.“Murdered on their own land” she read it over and over with the woman staring back at her.
The page began to move in front of her.The woman in the picture lifted her head to stare up at the Warrior in the middle.He seemed to be the head of his tribe.Her head moved back down on the page and continued staring at Karin.
Dropping the book instinctively, she didn’t dare touch it again.Running out of the library, Karin left the book on the floor and headed home.
Pacing in her office, she knew they meant business.They were in great danger here.Obviously this particular tribe did not want them there and she wasn’t sure what would happen to them if she couldn’t convince her husband to leave.How could she do it?If he could only see them, he’d know.But he never saw them; his brain would not open to the thin veil of the other side.She wished she could close her door in her brain that allowed her to see them.
Suddenly she dropped to the floor, she couldn’t breathe.She struggled for air but she was choking.She grasped at the hands around her neck as darkness descended upon her but there were no hands there to grab.
Her eyes bulging and watering, she knew she was going to die.She heard the deep chuckle behind her.Flailing her arms to strike at something, she caught a glimpse of the purple dress.She tried to scream, tried to breathe, but the darkness was growing.Losing her strength and all consciousness, she let the darkness take her.
She thought the ringing was coming from her ears.Was she dead?She slowly peeled one eye open and the sun shot through her brain like a hot poker.She coughed, taking shallow breaths; her lungs would only allow so much air in at a time.Breathing slowly, she crawled to her chair.It was the phone.She didn’t know if she could talk but needed a human voice so badly.
“Hello?” her voice was raspy, scaring her; it didn’t sound like her voice at all to her.
“Mrs. Murdock, this is the school, we’ve got Jackie here and we were getting concerned.”
Her brain was cloudy, her mind spinning.What had happened?She got home from the library at in the morning; glancing to the clock she could see it was .
“I’ll…I’ll be right there.” She croaked.
Driving to the school was difficult.She still felt like she couldn’t breathe.They had tried to kill her and almost succeeded.Maybe they thought they had.Jackie was not happy for being left at school.
Not speaking to her mother she sat in the passenger seat with her arms folded in front of her.“Thanks mom,” she said sarcastically.
Karin grew more and more afraid as they approached the land.Who would they go after next?
Jim was home by the time they arrived.He was fuming.“What the hell happened to you?” he screamed at her.“The school called me, I couldn’t leave work and I’ve been calling here for hours!Where the hell have you been?”
Karin just stared at him.She couldn’t deal with him right now.She turned to go to the bathroom and splash water on her face.
He grabbed her by the arm.‘I said, where the hell have you been!”His eyes were on fire.
Jackie looked at the two of them, fear covering her own eyes.She stared at Karin waiting for the answer herself.
Pulling down the top of her shirt she glared at him.“This is where I’ve been!”She heard him gasp as he saw the red and purple marks around her neck.
“Oh my God Karin!What’s happened?Were you attacked?”
“Jackie, go to your room.” She turned to her daughter not wanting her to hear this.Jackie sighed still staring at her mother in horror, but obediently left the room.
“It was them” she said calmly, too calmly.
He stared at her in fear. “Who?” His voice cracked and she could see that he was certainly afraid.
“THEM!” she screamed, becoming very annoyed that he hadn’t believed her in the first place.“The Indians!They want us out of here and one way or another; they are going to win this time!”
“Wha…” He stopped mid sentence when a curdling scream came from their daughter’s room.
Both of them running, tripping over furniture they arrived at the door to Jackie’s room.It was locked.
“Jackie, open the door this instant!” Her father screamed.She was still screaming.
Jim backed up to two paces and pounded his shoulder on the door breaking the hinges.They both stood back and gasped.
Jackie was sitting on her bed, her hair was lifted and blood was coming from her forehead.Blood rushing down her face the screams continued.
Karin could see her, Jim could not.It was the woman, this time she was smiling.She had a knife to Jackie’s forehead and was cutting away.The slices on her face becoming visible to Jim, the attacker not.
“GET AWAY FROM MY DAUGHTER!” Karen screamed, lunging for the woman, hitting nothing but air.
She heard the woman’s deep chuckle and saw the smile on her face.Her eyes were black and empty with dark eyebrows framing them.She stared right at Karin the whole time.
Jim grabbed Jackie and Karin’s hand as they ran for the car.“Jesus!” He screamed when they reached the driveway, he was still clutching Jackie and laid her in the back seat of the car.
Jackie was whimpering in the back seat with her head on her mother’s lap.
Karen was pressing on the cuts with her shirt to stop the bleeding.Breathing heavily, her heart was in her throat.They almost got my baby, her mind kept saying.
“Jesus!” Was all she heard from Jim again as he sped off.
She turned to look at the house as they were speeding towards the hospital.The woman was standing there.The wind was blowing; Karen could see the trees swaying from side to side but her long dress didn’t move.She smiled holding up her bloody knife in one hand and a waving good-bye with the other.A wicked smile that made the hair on the back of her neck stand up.She saw Jim glance in the rear view mirror but could tell he saw nothing, he was just mentally saying goodbye.
They hired movers but never entered the house again.The “For Sale” sign stood in the lawn for many months.
They moved to an apartment in the city.Jim decided country living in the Everglades was not for him after all.Jackie’s scars began to heal.
Karin got up out of bed in the tiny apartment that was much more to her liking.Surrounded by people, she felt safer. She couldn’t sleep, still thinking of that horrible day.Sitting down at her computer, she decided to do some writing.She felt a hand come across her shoulder, making her jump.
“It’s just me” Jim whispered.She looked up at him and saw that he was stressed too.“I’m sorry I didn’t believe you Karin,” he said sitting down next to her holding a hot cup of milk, he knew it calmed her nerves.“I’ll never doubt your gift again.”
“More like curse,” she said but smiled at his acceptance.
“It’s beautiful!” Jody said to her husband Tom as they walked through the house.“Could this price actually be right?” she beamed.
Tom looked around, he was surprised too, such a huge house on ten acres of land and the price was unbelievable!
I don’t like it.” 16 year old Carrie said to her parents.They both stared at her in awe.
“How could you not like it?” Jody questioned her daughter.
“Oh, she’s just pulling that nonsense again.” Tom sighed.
Carrie’s heart sank.Her parents never believed her “feelings” about things.“I just don’t feel right about it,” she tried again.
“Well” Tom said, glaring at his daughter.“Since you don’t pay the bills, you don’t have much of a say in the matter.” Making his daughter wince once again.
OMG Julie, this is so scary it sent chills down my back. The plot, the scenery, the dialogue and how you have woven it all together with your marvelous writing skills, make this a wonderful story. Thank you for sharing this with us.
May the Lord Jesus bless you, and those whom you love, and be with you always, and at your side constantly. With much love in my heart, joy to the world, peace on earth, & (((HUGS))) Barbie
"If I have to be this girl in me, Then I have the right to be."
Now this is a good story and I said that there were many things about our old house that troubled me. It finally died on May 15, 1997 and this story reminds me about some things I have also seen and heard. But we moved the spot from the old one. There is much about the everglades that comes out. Thanks for a good mystery story.