Raylorian Dawn
Author: Othello Gooden Jr.

Chapter 0
PROLOGUE

The car sped down the highway. A young girl spoke from the back seat. “Tee-Tee, who’s after us?”

 

Her aunt remained silent as she kept driving.

“Tee-Tee?” the girl repeated loudly.

“I don't know, Kimmy!” the woman yelled.

 

Something small crashed through the window, striking the woman in the side of the head. She slumped over the wheel. The car swerved, nearing the San Diego River. Kimmy screamed.

 

“Tee-Tee, help!” She struggled to free herself from the back seat. “My seatbelt is jammed, Tee-Tee!”

 

The car crashed through the guardrail and plummeted into void, then splashed into the river below. Water began to rush into the car through the open windows. Kimmy struggled to unfasten her seatbelt, but to no avail.

 

“Somebody help!” Kimmy’s cry fell upon deaf ears.

 

As the water rose above the girl's chest, she raised her head to keep from drowning. She struggled once again to free herself from the child restraints and finally succeeded and slipped through the jammed seatbelt. She swam over the front seat and glanced wide-eyed at her aunt. Her bloodied head rested against the driver side's window. Kimmy scrambled out the passenger-side window and swam her way to the surface. She could feel her lungs began to collapse. Before the girl reached the surface, she lost consciousness.

 

Kayla screamed awake, gasping for air in a pool of sweat. She looked around frantically, and then realized it was just a dream. She was in bed, wrapped in covers. The thick gloomy mind haze faded in an instant. A much younger girl than she opened her door and flipped on the light switch.

 

“You okay? I heard a scream.” The girl asked in a tone of concern.

“Yeah, Marion,” Kayla said with a sleepy grunt, squinting at her younger sister through the blinding light. “It was just a dream. Go back to bed.”

 

“Can you tell me about it, please?” Marion strode toward Kayla. She wore pink and white-striped pajamas. The girl plopped down on the edge of Kayla's bed. A strand of black hair fell from her nightcap, slightly exposing her diamond-crested circlet.

 

Kayla turned away, retreating into the covers.

“You don’t want to know.”

“Please?”

“Even if I told ya, you wouldn't understand.”

“Was it about Mama?” Marion asked with a half-smile.

Kayla quickly glanced at Marion.  “Not even close.” She looked away.

“Just tell me!” Marion snapped.

Kayla whispered, “Quiet! You'll wake Daddy!”

“So what? I hate it when you keep me in the dark!”

 

“And you expect to tell you the truth?” Kayla asked, coldly glaring at her little sister. She continued in an apathetic tone, “Why? So I can worry you to death?”

 

“Try me!” Marion said with confidence. “Just spit it out! I can handle it!”

“Nope.” Kayla folded the covers around her defiantly.

 

Marion pouted. “And you wonder why I’m always angry! She's dead because of them!” Kayla sighed.

 

“If it wasn’t for Mariana, all of us would be dead!” Kayla added in a melancholy voice.

 

“It's just not fair!” Marion cried. Tears rolled down her face. “Why did she have to die? Couldn't Madam Zyra just—”

 

“Ryn, it wasn't that simple.” Kayla groaned.

 

“Then what could’ve been?” Marion wiped her face with her sleeve. “What did we do to have Mariana taken away from us?”

 

“Ryn, unforeseen things happen to us all... leave the Creator out of it!” Kayla said lowly after a sigh.

 

“What makes you think you know so much?” Marion asked in a spiteful tone. “He gave us everything, didn’t he?”

 

“Just go back to bed okay?” Kayla yawned, looking at the clock. She pulled the covers out from under Marion. “It's 2 a.m.!”

 

“But... but—”

Kayla’s evil gaze pierced her sister’s soul, making Marion uneasy after the two made eye contact.

Marion’s tone turned to one of defeat as she said, “Okay, fine!”

She rose and headed for the door.

 

“But you know what Daddy thinks.” She said. Marion turned off the light and closed the door behind her.

 

“He thinks a lot of things,” Kayla mumbled after falling backwards on her bed. “Doesn’t necessarily mean they’re right.” Kayla closed her eyes and went back to sleep.

 

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