Author's Note: Thanks for checking this out! It started as a NaNoWriMo project, and while I'm happy to have started it, there's always room for improvement. Expect updates at least once a week, possibly more if I'm not writing Torchwood fanfic (ha ha). Thanks for reading, and please review! 3 Reviews!
"Kaley Simone Baxter was a special girl. Her dreams weren't just there to inspire her, but to inspire us all. All we had to do was listen; she did the legwork." The dark haired man with the hollow face stopped briefly, choking back tears. He was stronger than this, damnit, but the feeling choked him as he looked at the assembled crowd. "All we had to do was listen, and I'm glad that some of us did." He couldn't look, but he had to, at the shiny black coffin with the lilies and nasturtium and the picture, a closed coffin for his baby girl. Kaley, we're going to miss you, sweetheart. "I just wish that more of us could have the chance to hear her."
The rest of the service was a blurry vision for Adam Baxter. He came back, briefly, when the bells tolled, the horse-drawn hearse pulling away with the black coffin, the body … it was too much. He couldn't bear it. As the crowd dispersed, he looked at the assembly, wishing to just fade away, never to be seen again. Falling to the ground, he burst into tears. Instantly he was surrounded, comforting voices encouraging him to sit up, arms supporting him, depositing him into the limo that took him home. He was vaguely aware that he wasn't alone in the space, which helped ease his mind. But nothing would calm his shaking body.
~~~Three Years Before~~~
"Kaley? Time to go! Up 'n at 'em! C'mon, lazybones! Places to be, people to see!" The sound of her dad's voice woke her, and it was all she could do to not just pull the pillow over her face and try for a few extra minutes. Sighing, she threw the comforter off the bed. "Alright, Dad, alright! I'm up, be down in a minute!"
She slid her feet out of the bed, finding the fluffy slippers she always had waiting for her. Shuffling, she ran her hands through her long brown hair, smoothing her nightshirt as she headed for the bathroom.
Her dad's voice echoed up the stairwell. "C'mon, K! We're gonna be late!" She sighed again, a little louder so he could hear. "Just a second, Dad! Gotta powder my nose, ok?" Laughter met her ears as she closed the door.
She jumped a step when she looked at herself in the mirror. The remnants of last night's dreams weren't normally the thing she thought about while going about her morning routine, but this one had stuck with her. There was something about the turn of her nose, her fingertips that struck her as different, somehow. Dad's waiting, Kay. Sighing, she passed the mirror on her way out the door. If she'd looked back, she would have seen the hazel eyes of her reflection following her out the door, a ghost of a smile shadowed in the reflection.
"These classes are just too much, don't you agree, Kay?" The blond hair swung as her friend Juliet turned to look at her. "I mean, it's week one, and I've got five assignments given just today, plus the ones from the past two days! Where do these teachers think we get the time?"
Kaley smiled. Just like you, Jules. Waiting 'till the last minute. "Well, if you'd even tried to keep up and did homework every day instead of waiting 'till Thursday night... but yeah, totally. I know what you mean. We could always play hooky, go to the mall or something..."
Juliet's eyes got darker, and she frowned. "When did you start thinking about shopping? My little bookworm is getting so rebellious! I'm so proud! Let's go celebrate with some ice cream, whaddya say?"
"Juliet Marie Golden, we are not skipping school to go for ice cream at the mall. Dad's ready to kick my butt for running late this morning; I sure don't want to add to it. How about after school? We can bitch about teachers – maybe Mr. Shorn? He's a pretty easy target, anyway. Just no bitching about chemistry, ok? There's a sub until they find a new teacher, and Ms. Downey is the bomb."
Juliet's face lightened up at that. "She is pretty awesome, isn't she? And while we're on the subject, why were you late this morning? I thought Mr. Vandevere was going to throw an eraser at you or something when you walked in."
"It... wasn't anything specific, just overslept." Kaley did her best to put on her poker face. Can't let her know. Too much to talk about if that comes up.
It didn't do any good, she realized, when Juliet spoke next. Her best friend in the world leaned in close, blond hair bobbing just below her ears. "C'mon, you can't B.S. me. Maybe everyone else, but not me, remember? So, c'mon, out with it. More bad dreams?"
"I... I really don't want to talk about it."
"C'mon, Kaley. You know it's going to eat at you until you tell someone, and you know I'm not going to laugh at you. There's been too many of these lately to not pay attention, don't you think?
"Alright, you've got a point. But not here. Meet me in the library? You have open study today, don't you?"
"Sure do. It's a date. See you then!"
Kaley watched her friend skip away happily. A portion of the dream played like deja vu in her head, and she shuddered, pulling her sweater closer to her body.
~~~Detailing the Dream~~~
Kaley and Jules' Free Study time came soon enough that Kay let out a breath. She's told Juliet a bit about her dreams, but had left out so much that now, she wasn't sure where to begin. She considered a note.
Dear Jules, I've been having creepy, all too realistic dreams since I turned thirteen. Shit that I shouldn't know, I'm positive of, and it has made my life... interesting. Please, please don't follow me down this path.
She walked into the American History section of the stacks, and pulled a book she used to research the dreams she'd had. Mysteries of the Known World was the closest thing to a resource she had.
It didn't fail her now. The story in the book about the crew of the Mary Celeste hinted at details Kaley's dream had put out there as if it were truth. For all she knew, it could be truth, but there was no record of it. Just a mystery about where the rest of the crew had gone. But she knew. Yeah, like anyone's going to believe a fourteen year old. Sitting down at one of the tables in the corner of the library, she waited.
She was deep in her notebook when Juliet popped down beside her. They'd long since decided this was their corner, and always met here during open study. Smiling, she finished what she was writing and looked at Jules. The smile got lost as she saw Juliet's face. Jules was concerned, again. "So, what's going on, Kaley bear?"
She sighed, and opened the library book to the page she'd been studying. "The Mary Celeste. A crew of eleven, including the captain's wife and young daughter.. The boat sank, and two lifeboats were found. One had a single body draped in an American flag, the other had five bodies. No one ever found the other five people, so they were assumed lost." She swallowed. "Well, I dreamt about them last night, Jules. The side of the ship, the name on the back as it sank, the lifeboats drifting toward shore with the already dead people in them. I... I stayed with the captain's wife and daughter. The little girl kept looking at me as if she could see me, although I knew she couldn't. And her mother... Jules, her mother said my name and put her finger to her lips, as if she were telling me to stay silent. It was so real, Jules." Juliet's lips were pursed in a frown. "What?"
"Kay, that's just weird. Why this ship? I mean, it could have been anything. Why this ship? Any ideas?"
Kaley shook her head, twisting her hair into a bun. "Not a clue, Jules, not a clue."