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Good Intentions

by T.D. Edwards 11 months ago in Short Story
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A short story

Good Intentions
Photo by Devon MacKay on Unsplash

It was nothing short of a miracle that I’d made it to the house without crashing and meeting my own demise. Tears covered my face despite my attempts to hold them back and wipe them away. I pulled the car over, parking so haphazardly, one of the tires rolled over the curb.

Pushing the driver's door open, I climbed out, my legs wobbly as I stumbled up the porch steps. My sobs joined the cacophony of crickets chirping into the cool summer night.

I pounded on the door with one hand and repeatedly pressed the doorbell with the other. Shuffling behind the door reached my ears, and my heart broke into a million more pieces.

Soon, Joseph was peering out at me.

He was such a good man. I’d been so happy for Shelly when he came into her life. I’d proudly been her maid-of-honor, and marveled at how beautiful their children were when they were born.

I’d hope to one day have a life as happy as theirs…

A gut-wrenching sobbed bubbled out of my throat and I threw my arms around Joseph, burying my head in his chest. His body tensed at my touch, and his arms hung limply at his sides.

The poor man. And those kids, for god’s sake. It just wasn’t fair.

My stomach lurched. “I swear, I’m going to find who did this to her, Joe! I won’t let Shelly’s death be in vain!”

Joseph’s large hands gripped my shoulders. He pried me off him, revealing the wet spots my tears had left on his pajama shirt.

I sniffed.

“What did you just say?” His questioned pierced the air as he held me at arm's length. He lowered his hands from my shoulder, his brow furrowed in confusion.

The blood in my veins turned cold. My mouth dropped opened and I sputtered incoherently. But there was no use. The words that had left my mouth couldn’t be taken back.

Much too late, I noticed how peaceful the house looked. How dark it was—as if the inhabitants had been fast asleep rather than in the anguish I’d expected to find them in.

Clearly, I’d made a terrible, terrible mistake.

This week just couldn’t get any worse.

After sitting through the treatments with my grandmother for months, there was nothing more doctors could do. The woman who’d single-handedly raised me had slipped right through my fingertips. I could still hear her voice telling me, “Everything happens for a reason, Sweet-pea.”

I couldn’t fathom there was any good reason for this though.

Shelly had been my best friend since ninth grade—one of three people I let know my secret. In eleventh grade, I confided in her. The weight that had lifted off my shoulders was a relief unlike any I’d ever experienced before, although I'd immediately felt guilty afterwards. I knew my secret would eventually cause problems, but I’d so desperately wanted to be accepted for who I was.

I'd been so grateful Shelly hadn’t laughed at me. Hadn’t assumed I was insane and making up stories for attention.

Most importantly, she’d believed me—unlike Zack Tinksman in tenth grade. The first boy to capture my heart had also been the first to stomp on it. Telling him had been disastrous.

But perhaps not as disastrous as right now.

I had no idea how to respond to Joseph’s bewilderment.

I swallowed, my mouth dry as I thought back to the news report with Shelly’s photo flashing onscreen. I’d watched in agony as the newscaster described how she’d been murdered in cold blood…

A light suddenly flickered on within the house, piercing through the darkness surrounding me and Joseph on the front porch. The drag of house-slippers sounded across the living room’s polished wooden floor. Seconds later, Shelly peered over Joe’s shoulder, tying her robe around her nightgown. Right beneath her collarbone, the yellow marigold flower tattoo she’d gotten on her twenty-first birthday was still visible. She’d wanted that tattoo so badly, but had been nervous about getting it. So I sat through the pain with her, getting a matching tattoo on my left calf.

“Cora?” The worry in Shelly’s voice was unmistakable. “What’s going on? What’s wrong?”

I lowered my head, unable to believe this was happening.

All my years of control had gone down the drain when my grandma died. The stress had given me a psychic-cold. I barely knew if I was coming or going these days. I could no longer prevent my visions. And when I had them, I couldn’t distinguish the present from the future.

Standing on the porch, I realized the news report I’d seen about Shelly had not happened…


“What the hell, Shelly?” Joseph’s demeanor shifted from confused, to angry, scared, and then back to confused. And who could blame him? He’d been awakened in the middle of the night by someone telling him his wife was dead, when she was still living and breathing safely beside him.

For now.

Staring into his eyes, I shook my head, silently pleading him to not relay what I’d told him. My visions were dangerous. I now understood more than ever why my grandma had worked so hard on helping me control them. Helping me prevent them.

“The road to Hell is paved with good intentions, especially when you mess with fate. Changing what is meant-to-be will cause the future to spiral out of control. It doesn’t matter what tragedy you foresee—if you interfere, things will only get worse and you’ll drive yourself crazy. Best to avoid seeing those visions altogether. So come on, clear your mind. Close that inner-eye, Sweet-pea. Keep it closed.”

Grandma’s voice echoed in my head while I watched helplessly as Joseph told Shelly what I had said.

Shelly’s faced morphed into a mask of pure terror. After all these years, she’d never forgotten that I was psychic. She met my gaze, and I could literally see the unspoken questions racing through her mind.

With impending doom already on the way, how much more damage could my interference do?

I guess we were about to find out.

Short Story

About the author

T.D. Edwards

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