Melody stood in the middle of the floor, eyes closed, hands outstretched, braced for what was to come.
"Are you ready?"
She didn't open her eyes to look at her brother or Officer Jones. She could feel the tension in both of them as they stood waiting.
"No one is ever ready for any of this," She said simply and, taking a deep breath, calmed her heartbeat and delved into her own mind.
There were barriers there, put in place by her to keep her sanity from touching what lay beyond. But sometimes the two needed to connect in order for things to work to their advantage, especially in a case that held no other clues.
Mentally addressing the first block in her mind, she released it and felt a whisper run through, inaudible and not threatening. She paused a moment to allow the chill that always crept up her spine in these moments to settle down to a cold spot in her back before approaching the next one.
When that one was unlocked and let down, the whisper turned into a hum. The hum was not unpleasant but it still managed to convey the same coldness from the first intrusion. The humming had an audible voice connected to it but she still could not make out what it was telling her.
The next barrier came down and now the hum became a buzz and she could decern the words within the 'white noise' as she called it. The cold spot in her lower back grew and she took a deep breath, letting it settle and simply listening to the muted conversation in her mind.
The next barrier was put aside and the words became clearer. She paused and listened. A conversation, low and steady was replaying like a broken record in her mind. It was there and now she had to fine tune it in order to listen to it completely.
"Okay," Her mouth was dry when she spoke and her voice far away and dreamy. "I'm there."
Silently, both Jones and her brother took one of her outstreached hands and closed their eyes, breathing deeply and letting their own minds settle into a slow pace.
Melody focused more thoroughly on the 'record' in her mind, pushing everything else out of the way. The background noises, the hum of the electric clock in the kitchen, the drip of the water in the kitchen sink, the wind in the trees outside and even the small noises from the men at her side faded into the background as the conversation was pulled forward and amplified.
She could feel the currents of energy entering her body from the room around her, moving through her mind and out of her body to pulse into the two men. Her skin tingled and goosebumps rose on her flesh but she paid them no mind, did not even realize her outer body was reacting she was so tuned into her inner self.
Words became clear, first in a monotone and then with increasing tone. A tenor and soprano mingled, separated and mingled again. A roaring filled her ears but she barely registered it as the words now boomed inside of her.
"BELIEVE!" The tenor intoned, the single word crashing into her mind almost as a blow.
Sobbing, the soprano choked out a moan, mumbling and begging, the words not clear enough even at this level to make out.
A wailing rose around that word, high and hard and filled with pain.
And the pitch of the wailing reached an edge that would have broken glass had there been any to break. As it was the cold that had settled in her back flared out, covering her and working through every nerve ending until she felt the icy fire wrapped completely around her inside and out. Her heartbeat fought to continue as she felt the cold grip wrap around that necessary organ.
Her brother's voice snapped her back and, instantly, her mental barriers fell back into place and locked one after the other, a dull clanging echoing in her mind as the last one hit home and pushed out the voices.
Melody's eyes snapped open and she drew in a deep breath. Shaking, she could still feel the cold and let go of the men's hands, wrapping her arms around her and chaffing cold skin in an effort to get warm.
Robert seemed to be shaking off something as well and he blinked, his eyes unfocused for a minute before he became aware of his surroundings again.
Marcus took off his coat and threw it over his sister's shoulders, rubbing her arms as well as she did deep breathing exercises to rid herself of the aftereffects.
"You sense anything, Robert?" Marcus said, keeping an eye on his sister.
Officer Jones shrugged and looked around the room as if trying to place something he might have seen.
"I don't know. Maybe. But it wasn't definate, Marcus. Shadows. Flashes now and then. Like something was trying to escape the shadows and let me see them. Otherwise, I don't know what the hell I was seeing."
Marcus frowned. "Sis?"
Melody had recovered enough to reveiew what she had heard and her own forehead turned down into a frown of concentration.
"Believe. Ignorance. Die." She said shrugging. "And pain, lots of pain. But it doesn't seem to lead us anywhere."
Marcus sighed but nodded. Dealing with these things more often than not lead to more questions instead of less.
"Okay, lets call it a night. We can look over Brice's place later if we have to. I'm not going to push you for tonight."
Both Melody and Robert nodded in agreement and made for the door, the officer stopping to make sure it was locked up tight.
"Sorry we couldn't have done something earlier before the energy began to disapate," Robert Jones said as they made their way down the sidewalk toward their respective cars.
Marcus shrugged. "Not your fault. Parker still isn't ready yet. It will take some time but Jenny will bring him around."
"Yeah. Best thing that ever happened to him." Robert chuckled and then split off with a wave of his hand as he opened up the driver's side of his car.
Getting into his own car, Marcus looked over at Melody who was buckling up in the passenger seat.
She gave him a wan smile. "Yeah. It always throws me a little bit but I'll manage." She reached over to punch him playfully in the arm. "I'm a big girl. I can take the spookieness now and then."
Marcus grimaced as if the blow had actually hurt and rubbed his arm. "Ouch! Big enough for me to file assault charges?"
She gave him a dark look and they both laughed, the mood lightening around them almost instantly.
Starting the car, Marcus pulled out into the road and headed to drop Melody off at their childhood home where she now resided with her two cats and one dog.
As he drove, he sobered and his mind went back over the three words that Melody had said she heard. "Believe, Ignorance and Die." Not only did they not make sense but they weren't making him feel any better about this case. Not at all.