At the age of 18, Kaya was struck with the uncanny ability to see creatures from another world. During the following year, she learns to fear them; they are spirits of death, relentlessly stalking those not long for the world of the living, ferrying their lost spirits to the Underworld.
Not long after she turns 19, a dark and mysterious boy appears at her work. She soon discovers he too can see creatures others cannot, and knows much more than she does.
He instructs her to visit a place named,
It wasn’t that Kaya hated her life. She just wanted some things to change. She was tired of seeing Death stalk the people around her.
It was ironic. They were the ones near death, and yet she feared for her life.
Most people envisioned death as a single entity, who traveled the world, snatching spirits and ferrying to the afterlife. But Kaya knew the truth. There were hundreds, probably even thousands of these dark, looming shadows that relentlessly pursued humans who were near to their last breath.
They were Omens. At least, that was what Kaya called them, because that was what they were.
As their subjects came closer and closer to their final moments, the shadow creatures would become more and more visible to Kaya. It was like they fed off of the life of people until they died.
Kaya never knew whether the person was destined to die, or if the creatures were actually killing them. There was no real way to tell. The people would die in all kinds of different ways; she’d hear about car crashes, murders, even drownings in the local lake, all featuring people she’d seen earlier that day, or a couple days ago, all stalked by the shadowy death creatures.
They looked like tall, gangly wolf-men. They were unnaturally slender, and they all seemed to be the same height: somewhere around seven feet, Kaya guessed. They had long claws on their hands that they never seemed to use, and a long snout that never opened. But the scariest part was their eyes. While the entire creature seemed to look nearly two dimensional, like an upright walking shadow, their eyes looked as if you could dive into them.
They were white, glowing pits in their head (it didn’t seem right to say they had a face) that burned like fire.
She had never met their gaze. Ever. She felt like if she did, she be sucked into whatever world those eyes (or whatever they were) looked from. She only dared to look at the creatures out of the corner of her eyes, or sweeping her gaze quickly over them.
For over a year now she’d been able to see them. Since her 18th birthday. She remembered that day all too well.
Somewhere around 7:00 PM, when all her friends were leaving, wishing her a final happy birthday, she noticed a strange shadow behind one of them. It was just barely visible. At first she thought it was just the strange twilight lighting, but then it moved to follow her friend. She didn’t know what to do. It couldn’t possibly be real, right? Shadows couldn’t stalk people; at least not how she was seeing it.
Two days later, her friend was caught in the middle of gang-based gunfire. He was killed instantly.
She had no idea what to do when she saw the live event on the news that day. She just started crying. Her mother assumed it was just because they were friends, but it was so much more than that. If she’d known what that shadow was, maybe she could have saved him. But she didn’t, and she couldn’t.
And she couldn’t even tell her mother about it, or the police, or her brother. They’d never believe her. She didn’t even know what she was seeing, so what would she say? I see shadows that kill people. Now that sounds believable.
So she’d lived with the ability quietly for a year.
After her friends death, she basically broken off all contacts with her other. All she had left was her brother. She didn’t have that many friends in the first place; they’d all moved. The few she had left, she saw only her dead friend in their faces.
Of course, she didn’t just one day say I can’t be friends with you anymore. She wasn’t a jerk, in any way. She simply hung out with them less and less, until ceasing meetings all together.
It made her fairly lonely, but making friends was too big a risk. She could hardly handle seeing strangers followed by the shadows, she didn’t need to see any more friends die.
It didn’t happen all that often of course. But everything seemed like a risk to her.
It mainly concerned her mother, the way her daughter would come home from work and do nothing. It was either off to play video games or sleep.
Her mother figured it was just the fact that her daughter was a teenager, but she could tell something was wrong.
She’d tried talking to her daughter, tried to find out if something had happened on one of her walks home, or at work, anything. But her daughter assured her everything was fine.
There was a small voice in her head that suggested talking to a therapist, but she knew that would only break the bond she had with her daughter.
Kaya’s brother, Charles, had noticed the change in his sister as well.
Kaya loved her brother, and he was always the first to know her secrets, but she still couldn’t find a way to tell him about her ability. She longed for consolation in someone, and knew it would never come. If she couldn’t tell Charlie, she couldn’t tell anyone.
She had so many questions about them. Were they dangerous to her?Where were they from? Could they see her? Did they know she could see them?
These last two concerned her the most. She hoped she was as invisible to them as they were to normal people. They’d never payed any attention to her, only the subjects they followed.
To be honest, she’d seen much scarier creatures in horror movies. They may be malformed and tall, but their looks weren’t very scary at all, except for their strange eyes.
No, the scariest part was that her life wasn’t a horror movie, and these creatures were very, very real.