This is from an unpublished novel related to my series The Dark Lines.
Thank goodness the pastor only talked for a few more minutes. By the time he was finished I wanted to die. I ducked out of the pew and made it to the restroom just in time to lose my breakfast in the toilet instead of on the floor like I’d done last time. I rinsed my mouth and went out to the lobby, where Dad was waiting. “You’re holding us up,” he snapped.
“I was sick. I’m sorry.
“Couldn’t you have waited till we got home?”
“I tried. My head’s really bad today.”
“God’s trying to tell you something.” He put his hand on the back of my neck and steered me toward the door. “You’re doing something that displeases Him. After you do your chores you can rest till tonight’s service and think about what that might be.”
I wasn’t sure I could manage to vacuum the living room and clean my room, as bad as my headache was, but I knew better than to say so to Dad. Just like I knew better than to say what kind of baloney it was that God would punish me by giving me migraines. I’d been taught all my life that was the way God worked but I didn’t believe it. God had to have better things to do than punish us.
When we got home, Ruth and Naomi went to the kitchen with Mom to start dinner. Mark and I went to our room to clean. “Dad was mad when you took off,” Mark told me.
“Dad’s always mad. I was sick.” I lifted the edge of his bedspread off the floor. “Dad told you to stop shoving those comic books under there.”
“They’re dumb comic books. Everyone else gets to read about superheroes and stuff.”
“Everyone else doesn’t have our parents. Get them out from under there. If you don’t want them to throw them out or something.”
“What’s wrong with superheroes anyway?” Mark slid on his stomach under his bed and started fishing out the Christian comic books Dad had bought him. “They fight bad guys. How can they be evil?”
“It isn’t them. It’s their powers.” Just like me.
“Don’t let Dad hear you say that. After you get the comic books out of there you need to put away your clothes.” I turned to my side of the room, which really wasn’t too bad. There were a couple pieces of paper on the floor. When I bent to pick them up I almost fell over. A sense of darkness hit me like a wave. I’d never felt anything like it before but it felt strangely familiar.
“Matthew? You okay?”
I straightened up and turned to Mark. He looked almost frightened. Had he felt it too? No, he couldn’t have. As far as I knew I was the only one in the family with “evil” psychic powers. “It’s my headache. It’s getting worse.”
“Dad or Mom should take you to the doctor.”
“You know as well as I do they won’t. They don’t think there’s any real problem.” I threw away the paper I’d picked up. “You’re eight, Mark. You know that by now.”
“You’re thirteen. You don’t know everything.”
“I never said I did. Take care of the comic books before Dad comes to check on us.”
Mark slid back under his bed. I kept working on my side of the room, randomly moving things around since I didn’t really have much to clean. I was more worried about the darkness I’d felt than the room anyway. Something was going to happen, something horrible. I had the feeling it would involve someone I knew. But when I tried to get more information it made my headache worse.