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Yesterday's Ashes

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This story is No. 2 in the series "December's Child". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Anita Harris has left Sunnydale but has it left her? Hoping for normalcy, Anita must deal with both college and the reality that her dreams may just be dreams. Except, nothing is ever that simple.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Anita Blake > GeneralEffieFR1577,8690185,54918 Aug 084 Jul 09No

Chapter 4

The psychologist’s name was Ross, David Ross. He was at least in his fifties and was close, but not quite the definition, to portly. Grey hair and eyes had looked at Anita through smudged glasses on the first meeting and he had seemed to make up his mind about something. Anita wasn’t quite sure what it was but she could see he was trying to lead her somewhere in their sessions. This was the third one in the last two weeks; Ross seemed to take an interest in her, which is why she assumed her meetings were so close together when she heard others complain about the wait time.

Unfortunately none of it seemed to be actually helping her. She didn’t feel better after any of her sessions and anything Dr. Ross recommended her didn’t help her any more than twirling a baton would. Anita had been careful with her words, she wasn’t experiencing hallucinations nor was she hearing voices, although that one was a lie. Anita had heard several voices grow up calling her, one in particular. It was never more than a soft whisper in her ear and it was enough to make her think her imagination was acting up and nothing more.

A French voice that seemed to flow over her skin, it was the only description she could think of. The voice was not merely a voice; there was something behind it. Something she could feel over her, trying to find her. Anita remembered this voice the most because it had been the one that had been trying to call her for the longest time. Ever since she nearly died as a child she remembered it.

Anita didn’t remember a lot from that day, except that voice and flashing light of the ambulance. That’s what struck her as odd. She couldn’t remember hearing anything past Jessica yelling, worried because she wasn’t really responding she’d been told. She remembered that voice though, not what it said.

Anita shook her head; it wasn’t time to think about that. She was trying to move past it. It was dark tonight and the local clubs were filled with so many people. Anita was with Bethany, her roommate was less irritating when she wasn’t panicking and being loud. The blonde (bottled, Anita had helped) smiled at her. Anita smiled back, trying to let herself relax.

“Come on, Anita.” Bethany said laughing. “You have to dance.” She coaxed.

“I don’t really dance.” Anita said embarrassed. “There was only one club in my hometown,”

“You didn’t go?” Bethany asked sounding surprised.

“No, I went.” She said shaking her head. “Everyone went at some point. I mean everyone,” She said laughing. “I’m not just good at dancing.”

Bethany rolled her eyes. “Come on, I’m not asking you to break dance or anything! It’s just a dance.” Bethany said before standing up. “You just gotta feel the beat.” At her raised brow she grinned. “Okay, just do whatever every one else is doing. Just move and try to copy them a bit.”

Anita pointed to a couple that were doing something short of copulating on the floor. “Like that?” She asked in what most people would believe to be an honest voice under most circumstances.

Bethany followed her fingers and laughed. “God no!” She said as she reached for her hand and hauled her to her feet. Anita went, smiling. She couldn’t help but laugh and try to relax. St. Louis was nothing like Sunnydale. She could afford to relax, just the slightest. Anita could feel a few stares as she and Bethany found a spot on the dance floor.

Although Anita was hard pressed to admit that it was rather comforting to dance without the worry that she had to be on the look out, well more than a person should be at a club. She let her eyes close for a brief moment. She was so tired but the dance was relaxing, even if barely managed to do more than just sway to the beat. For a brief second there was darkness when Anita felt it.

Anita couldn’t tell what it was other than it felt like the cemetery, the dead. Her heart sped up just so slightly. Her eyes snapped open. She couldn’t feel it. She couldn’t feel it at all. Was she falling asleep on her feet? She wondered. She closed her eyes again. Nothing came to her, Anita decided to reach. It was the only way she had to describe what she did when she was at a cemetery. She reached and felt those who were in the ground and those who were not.

Anita hadn’t visited a single cemetery in Saint Louis. She was sure she could place at least five and guess their age even if she couldn’t quite name them. This reaching though felt invigorating. Anita could feel it, the dead thing. It was moving. It was moving away from her and the club. It was alone and it was leaving. Anita’s eyes snapped open.

The music stopped.

Bethany looked at her oddly, “You okay, Harris?” Anita nodded, unsure what she should make of her feelings. She knew she should be counting this as a sort of hallucination, a delusion her body created or at the very least, something her mind produced from a lack of sleep. It wasn’t though and for the first time in a long time, Anita felt something click into place.

“Want to get a drink?” Anita asked. Bethany looked scandalized.

“You got a fake ID?” She whispered.

“What?” Anita asked, feeling confused, “No, I don’t have a fake ID.” She said as her brows knitted together for a brief instant. “Why would you think-“ Anita shook her head. “Do you want a drink as in soda? Tea? Water?” She asked pointing toward the bartender where they did indeed had all the above.

“Oh,” Bethany gave a short laugh, “yeah. Come on,” Anita rolled her eyes and smiled. Bethany looked over her shoulder, “Annie.”

“It’s Anita!” She snapped playfully. She’d made the mistake of calling her Beth and the moniker had appeared a day later. She felt better than she had in a while. They stayed at the club until just after 1 a.m., Anita didn’t feel anything dead and had completely forgotten about it by the time they stumbled into their room. Anita fell asleep soon after, dreams normal.

In the morning, Anita looked at her reflection in the mirror and smiled. Today she was going back to that club and looking for that dead thing again. Right after she called Xander. After all, what was the worse thing that could happen? St. Louis was safer than Sunnydale.
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