When I was six my cousin Amber stayed over for a slumber party. We were about the same age and were pretty close. I’m sure the sounds heard throughout the house that night was girlish laughter and happiness; until it happened to me the first time and Amber screamed her little blonde head off. After that all hell broke loose; my Mom cried hysterically, my Dad ordered the 9-1-1 operators to ‘get off their **** and do something’, and Amber, still screamed in the corner.
When I came to, I had no idea what had happened and was lying strapped to a hospital bed. The doctors had rambled on about seizures and whatnot, but I knew what happened to me was not ‘whatnot’. The monitored me for twenty-four hours then sent me home with medications to try out. My parents watched me like a hawk for a couple of weeks and when nothing else happened, they took me off the medications.
Two years went by before it happened again. I still didn’t understand any of it, but at least that time no one else was around to freak out. Amber never spent the night with me again. Over the next few years it happened several more times. Each time I began to understand and remember bits and pieces. At age fourteen, I finally thought I had it all figured out, but as it turns out I’m still learning.
I’m twenty-two now and I haven’t told a soul about the ‘whatnot’ that has been happening to me since I was a little girl. I’ve learned to keep it a secret and to feel when it’s going to happen so I can get some place alone and safe. The general population tends to flip out when a woman drops dead at their feet for any measure of time. I’m only writing this now because I won’t be around much longer. It’s hard to explain how I know that or what happens, but I have to try and write it down because there maybe some poor kid out there who this is happening to and I’ve learned a lot to pass on.
My name is Emma and I am a shifter, or rather shifting is what happens to me. When I literally drop dead to the world my soul, or whatever you chose to call it, separates from me and shifts to another place in the world. You might think of it as time travel, except I don’t physically go anywhere and it’s still the same time, just another place.
Before you start getting excited, I cannot see the future or some sci-fi crap like that. My soul just simply shifts away from me for a while and I visit people or places. They don’t see my soul, nor can they hear me, but I’m there. I figured out that whoever I shift to is the person I’m supposed to watch. I don’t know really what I’m supposed to do other than that, but it seems right. I feel like I have to listen and learn, so that’s what I do.
I don’t have any control on when it happens or for how long, but I have learned to feel it coming on. It almost feels like walking by something really warm and dry while you are standing in the middle of a rain storm. Cold and wet, warm and dry. The more intense the feeling gets the less time I have to find a safe and private place before I shift. One time the only place I could get to was a big dumpster in an alley. You’ve got to think fast and know you’re surroundings.
I’ve never seen the same person twice, or been to the same place twice except for once. Which is how I know I’m not going to be around much longer. I feel like I’ve made my rounds, so to speak. The first time it happened, when I was six, I popped up behind a little girl in China. I followed her for two blocks and watched her. She was walking with her head down following her dad throughout some run down part of town, he was yelling at her the whole way. Just before I left and returned to myself, she turned around and smiled at me, or where my soul was. I don’t think she saw me, they never can, rather she felt something there.
I shifted to her again last week. She’s older now, a few years older than me but I know it was her, the same way I know I’m leaving. I felt it. This time when I shifted I was standing in front of her and she was looking right at me. I know deep inside that she didn’t actually see me, but it was just like the first time. She smiled and titled her head. I followed her nod and saw her father, dead on the floor with blood seeping out from under him. I looked back up at her and finally saw the still smoking gun hanging from her hand. She put the gun down on a desk and spoke in my general direction, “Thank you, you saved me when I was a little girl and that has given me courage to end my punishment from this man. I knew I would see you this day and I’m glad I had the chance to thank you before you leave.”
A single tear flowed down her cheek as she stepped over what once was her father and walked out the door. I shifted back to myself and laid on my bed for hours trying to figure out what she had meant and just how she knew I was there, both times. I haven’t shifted since and don’t know if I ever will again.