The Other Place follows a group of psychics who have been outcasted from normal society. In Book One, they encounter some unusual people who seem just as interested in them.
Micah's guitar woke me up that morning. I tried to stay half asleep and imagine that she was actually playing it. The slow soulfull playing reminded me of her and how she appeared to me in my head.
Slowly my brain told me that it wasnt her. I frowned slightly and swung my legs off the bed and onto the floor, the chill seeping in straight away. Using my feet, I dragged my slippers across the floor and slipped my feet into the woollen warmth and padded across my room and into the hall where the music became louder. Slowly I walked down the hall to the partially open door of her old room.
I stood outside the door for a minute with my hand on the handle, listening to the music. I closed my eyes and pictured her sitting on the bed, her long hair still messed up from sleeping. The picture seeped away from my thoughts as the player inside the room faltered on a note. I opened my eyes and pushed the door open and stepped inside the room.
The sun streamed in through the partially open curtains, picking up every small fleck of dust floating round the mostly empty room. The chest of drawers and wardrobe were still covered in sheets, the bed still made from when Micah last slept in here. Sitting in the middle of the bed, facing the door but with his head down was Jake. The guitar in his lap, his fingers slowly tracing the outline of the soundhole. I shuffled over and sat on the bed beside him, taking the guitar from him and strumming it slowly.
"Did I wake you?" he whispered.
"No," I lied.
"She never could play this."
"She bought it for you, you know?" I said, flicking the strings.
"The thought crossed my mind. She never said anything."
"She never thought she had to," I softly played the few chords I knew and handed the instrument back to him. "She's still here, Jake. You know that, right?" he smiled at me sadly.
"No, she isnt. That's what makes this even harder. She hasn't been back in the commune since ... that night."
"But the others said ... " I trailed off slowly.
"The others will say that. It helps them to get over it too, my friend. I wish she still visited us. The grief is ... overwhelming at times."
"I know, man. I'm heading down to the kitchen. You want something?" I asked, getting off the bed and padding back over towards the door.
"No thanks. I'll be down soon. I'll see you down there."
"Ok. Don't stay in here too long," I pulled the door open and slowly walked back to my room.
I was born into a conservative family, my father was a well to do doctor and my mother, until she fell pregnant, worked at the local clothing shop. She gave up work when she fell pregnant on the request of my father. Once she knew she was carrying twins, my father began to stress and worry about the amount of room the house had and how much work two children would be, which ended in him holding the opinion she should terminate the pregnancy and try again for one child.
My mother, ever the strong woman, fought that choice and ended up birthing two children, identical twins.
One of them, was me, obviously. Icharous Maximillian Cosgrove. Ike for short. The other twin was my sister, Micah Serrah Cosgrove.
For the first four or five years of our lives we were inseperable. We lived in the same room, had the same interests and wore virtually the same clothes.
Our father never really had much time for Micah, favouring me over her for many things in our younger days. She didnt feel resentful, as I was always with her when he had sent me away.
Things changed when our fifth birthday rolled around. The whole day was different for me. It felt as though I could feel the air around me. Eventually, a few days later I realised I could manipulate the energy I felt, but at that young age, it wasnt into anything tangible. Over the next few months, I felt it become stronger and more solidified in my mind.
One day, my sister and I were playing in our living room when our father arrived back from his practice. He asked Micah to come and help him with something outside. She happily leapt up and followed him outside to help him with whatever it was that he wanted. I stayed inside and played with the toys we had out. After a small while something needled me at the back of my mind. I stood up and went outside firstly wondering what he would want Micah for and then where our mother was.
Stepping into the afternoon sun, I didn't see my father or Micah on the large deck out the front of our house. Nor did I see our mothers car in the drive, which was unusual, as Mum always got home before our father. I stepped into the afternoon sunshine and cupped my hand over my eyes. I saw father and Micah over at the door to the garden shed, he pushed her in roughly and grabbed a stiff wooden pole. I rushed over as he shut the door behind him.
I heard Micah scream as I ran over to the door. I was only just tall enough to reach the handle, but I nearly pulled it off in my rush to help her. The scene inside was somehting I'd never forget. My eyes widened at what my father was doing to Micah. He turned to see me staring in horror at the sight, he swung with the arm holding the stick at me.
And thats where everything stopped.
From my point of view, everything slowed right down. Dad was halfway to hitting me with his stick, Micah had turned her tear ridden face to see me, her mouth in a cruel mixture of pain, fear and horror, yet deep in her eyes I saw something worse brewing. I saw an empty abyss of nothing.
I tore my eyes from hers to face the slowly approaching stick, which I managed to avoid by ducking under it as it swished slowly above me. I used the energy in my legs to propel me at my father, whose face was slowly contorting itself into a look of fear and anger. My outstretched arms hit him in the abdomen and he stumbled backwards falling over a small shelf in the middle of the floor. I grabbed Micah and sprinted back over to the house with her. After making sure she was ok, I stood at the door and waited for our father to emerge from the shed. Once he stepped into the sunshine, he resumed normal speed.
I didnt know what happened back there, but I still felt the energy flowing through me. I raised my arm at him and he stopped in front of me. I remember him yelling obscenities at me before Mother arrived home. She protected Micah and me from our father. Taking most of the abuse on herself. I guess she thought that because she had bore twins was her fault.
I stayed out of the arguing. I had injured my father when I jumped at him. I didnt want to be anywhere near any arguing, lest he ignore the pain and attack me in return. I sat in our shared bedroom and contemplated things for a few hours before Mum came up and stood in the door. She told me that Dad had left for a while so he could calm down and that he wanted me to leave. Suddenly all the courage I had drained away and all I felt was fear. I ran over and wrapped my arms around my mother and begged her not to let him send me away. She hugged me back and told me she'd talk to him. I smiled as she led me to the bed and tucked me in for the night.
He returned the following morning and demanded that I leave. Again, I stayed out of this. I sat in the lounge and watched him and mum argue it out in the kitchen. Eventually he reached out and struck her. I stood and hurried into the kitchen, hoping that I could protect her the same way I did Micah. Dad saw me coming and threw a china plate at me which hit me in the head and knocked me to the ground and unconscious. I awoke several hours later in the street with a suitcase and the clothes I was wearing.
That was the day I met Eric. He watched me as I struggled down the road with my case. Eventually approaching me as I slumped onto the footpath and cried for the first time in my five years. He took me into a small commune of about 15. I learnt that this is where the outcasted people, those who were different in some way - political alleigences, religious beliefs and, for a very small group, physical abnormalities. I was raised there by Eric and his friend, Malcolm, who said they were there because they had 'special talents'. When I was older, Malcolm disappeared. Eric never talked about him after he vanished and I never asked. One day, Melissa arrived and stayed with Eric and I and helped him raise me.
Thirteen years after my arrival at the commune, a lone figure showed up at the gate. She begged for entry and was guided to Eric, our unofficial leader. Once her veil was removed I instantly recognised my twin and I wasted no time in wrapping my arms around her.
We were inseperable once again. She told me how she had seen our father kill our mother in a drunken rage and in her shock and confusion, she destroyed him with a thought. When asked to elaborate, she stared at a lamp on the far side of the room and it exploded into many tiny pieces.
A few weeks after she arrived, Jake showed up having been forced from his home after carrying on a conversation with his dead grandmother. He, Micah and I quickly formed a tight friendship, being the only teenagers in the entire commune.
Then, 11 months later, as Micah was wandering around outside the grounds of the commune, both Melissa and Jake felt her disappear. When we went out to investigate, she had gone leaving only a large pool of blood and her coat.