In an old run-down bungalow lived a mother, a father, and their little two-year-old daughter named Sage. This poor family lived literally in the middle of nowhere, in a deep, thick forest. Their closest neighbors, Sally and Josh, lived on the other side of the forest.
On a day in late spring, a tragedy occurred that would affect Sage’s life forever. For the next thirteen years she wouldn’t know about her past. It would be a total secret to her. But on that fine spring day, all was happy, as Sage’s mother and father were working outdoors and enjoying the fresh breath of summer that was new in the fading spring air. Her mother was sitting on a tree stump sewing up a hole in a pair of jeans, watching Sage as she giggled in her playpen nearby. Meanwhile, her father was building something in the back of their yard; it was going to be a special gift for Sage, when she was old enough to enjoy it.
A few minutes later, her mother went inside to fix lunch, and her father went inside to grab the box of nails that he had left on the counter. Sage was still laughing and smiling. And then the wind blew a very strong gust, and the house creaked and moaned loudly. Anyone could tell that the house was in dire need of major repairs. But the town council had not said that it was unfit to live in. So they put off the repairs until they had enough money to move.
Just then her father walked out, smiled at her, and then realized that he had forgot to grab the nails again, and he walked back in the house. The wind blew again; harder this time, and Sage’s expression turned solemn as the house creaked louder and moaned longer than it ever had before. It took only one more gust of wind, and the house collapsed, killing her mother and father instantly. Sage didn’t cry, though, the noise was loud and frightful. She just stood there and starred, she looked dazed, confused, and in shock. Sally and Josh, the nearest neighbors, had heard the loud crash and had run along the path to their neighbor’s house.
When they got there, Sage was still starring. Sally looked to see what she could possibly be starring so heavily at. And then she saw it. A cloud of purple tinted smoke arose from where Sage’s room had been, and in that smoke; a girl; dressed in the exact clothing as Sage. It showed to them Sage’s image, or so they thought, starting at age two; growing and increasing in age until she looked about fifteen. As the voices heard in the distance, came closer, the image disappeared.
“Josh, it is the spirit, the long lost child, foretelling Sage’s life. Can’t you see it?”
“Yes, I think it is trying to tell us is she will come back here, sometime and-“
“The secret’s out.”
“Yup, the secret’s out.”
“We have to do what ever we can to make sure that Sage doesn’t come back here. Ever!”
Thirteen Years later
“Honey,” said her mother,”we’re going on a little vacation.”
“Where?” asked Sage.
“To the small town of Willow Valley, where you were born.”
“We kind of want you to see where you could be living, compared to the city life you’ve grown to know.”
“Fine.” When are we going?”
“In three days. So get packing!”
So three days later they were on their way to the secrets of the past. It was a five-hour drive, long and tiresome. Sage was dressed in a blue string tank top and jean shorts, and had long since taken her sandals off. When they got there she got out of the car and let her bare feet feel the first breaths of summer hit the warm ground. They were staying at Sally and Josh’s home, because the four adults figured they might be able to watch her better, that way she wouldn’t stumble onto anything from her past. To Sage this place seemed strangely familiar, and over the next three days, she kept seeing images of what she thought was her past, in her dreams and when she saw something that seemed familiar. She didn’t understand it until she over heard a conversation that night that made her start to wonder.
“Did you tell her about her parents?” Sally asked Rachel, Sage’s mom, as they were making dinner,
“No. We are afraid to tell her.”
“So, in other words. She’s her walking around like a blind bat.”
“Yep. And it’s got to stay that way for now.”
“Our mouths are shut.”
“As are ours.”
That night after dinner, Josh and Mike went fishing, and Rachel and Sally were catching up on old news. Sage was getting really bored and antsy, she was getting more images and they were stronger. So she went and asked if she could take a walk. They decided to let her go. So she went outside into the warm, sinking, sun, and along the paths she walked.
About five, maybe ten minutes later, she reached a very misty, opening in the path, where it looked like a house had stood at one time in the past. The ground was moist and a wet mist arose giving the area an uninviting look. She sat down on the tree stump, not far from where she was standing. The images were now becoming so strong that it made her dizzy. She kept seeing a child, purple-tinted smoke, and a playpen with little blue spinning toys on the top of it, and people’s cry. The she leaned back and felt something turn and kind of spin behind her. She turned quickly, to find a playpen, covered with moss. She moved the moss away to find that it was the same as the images had showed it to be. She ran her fingers across the toy, and the top of the playpen, where she felt an indentation of a carving, and got an image of a little girl, smiling and laughing. She peeled and scratched more moss off. The wood had worn really thin, and she broke the piece off the top, so she could wash it off and make out the letters. She kept the two little wooden toys that came off with it. Things were getting weirder and weirder; she was now determined to get to the bottom of this by the time they left; in three days.
Just then, the purple-tinted smoke started to flow out of the cleared space in the path. In side the smoke; a girl, starting from age two, grew right before her eyes to be the exact mirrored image of her. The girl looked into Sage’s eyes and pointed down. She looked up once more, into her eyes again and said “Secrets out.”
Sage went to where the spirit had pointed, and quickly realized that she was standing on a moss-covered wooden floor. She felt a cold chill, and lifting her arms up above her head, she fell through the floor, into the dark, root-covered, and musty basement.
After recovering from the fall, she noticed a divide in the cellar wall. The ever-fading sun shown on the space, sending a shiny reflection in to Sage’s eyes. She got up and went to the wall. A box, shiny and yet a little rusted, came out of its little clearing very easily. She held on to the box, and with all the courage she had, proceeded to walk around the basement. It was empty, except for a beautiful dress that hung near where the stairs had been. She unhooked it, wrapped it around her arm, and attempted to climb up the rotted stairs, which collapsed as soon as she reached the top.
She looked at her watch, and realized that she had been gone for almost an hour, so she jogged back to the house where she was staying, and hid the dress and box in her new backpack, that she had bought while she was in Willow Valley. The one thing she couldn’t figure out was; why, if a dress was in an old and rotted cellar for ten or more years, would it still be clean and white?
That night while everyone was asleep, she closed her door, turned on the lamp, and attempted to open the box. It was locked with a twenty-five cent machine lock. The lock was old and rusted, and broke off after about three pulls. The contents of the box brought to her a whole load of images, along with voices of her secret past-the reason that she was back at the place of her birth. But why wasn’t she told? She wondered this as she pulled out the contents of the box. Her wondering was cut short by the last two items that she pulled out of the boxï’¼Her birth certificateï’¼And her twin’s?ï’¼
Name: Sagellina Mija Williams
Date of Birth: April 12, 1980 10:33 a.m.
Legal Guardian(s): Sara J. Williams (mother) and Jackson M. Williams (father)
Weight: 4 lbs. 6 oz. Height: 19.5 inches
Birth Address: 1249 Willow Creek Road. Willow Valley, NC 53124
She was in shock, and then it hit her. Her parents were not her parents at all, and it seemed, were too scared to tell her what happened in the past. And although she still was unsure about a few things, she read on. The next sheet was another birth certificate, a girl born the same day and year as she was, and to the same parents except she was born five minutes before Sage. The girl’s name was Mija, and her middle name was Sagellina. Their names were flip-flopped.
She paused, and thought quietly out loud. “That is my name except that is not my last name. That is my birthday, but I don’t have a twin, or do I? Wait! The girl in the smoke! She said, “Secrets out. She is my twin; I’ve got to find her!”
With all this thinking, she grew tired, but filled with anger, she packed her new found toys in her backpack along with her other belongings in her other backpack. And even though she was tired she snuck out to the old lot on the path, in search of the small tree hut she had seen in one of the pictures that were in the box. When she got to the place, she looked up in all of the nearby trees. And as the warm glow of the newly risen sun hit the trees, she began to notice a large dark image in one of the trees in the back, and sure enough, there it was.
The tree was a devil to climb and she couldn’t do it, and then she noticed an old weathered rope ladder. She tested it and it was still strong enough to hold her, so she hooked the ladder to the end of her foot so incase any one had seen her they would not be able to follow her up. The ladder would go up with her as she did. She quickly got her stuff all situated.
The fort was just high enough for her, at five feet seven inches tall, to kneel in. It was about six feet long and about four feet wide. It was comfortable, and had two windows with shutters. The fort was hidden so well that even she couldn’t find it, without knowing what it looked like. After what had felt like an eternity of sleep, listened for voices, because she wanted no one to find her, and then proceeded in climbing down. She was too mad at her family, who kept this secret from her, to ever want to go back home. She still didn’t know what had happened to her real parents and to her sister. She wanted to know so badly.
She went to the playpen again and broke a few more pieces off, until the whole top layer, toys included, was in her pockets, on their way up to the fort. That is where she went, and that is where she was content on staying. She left the fort door open, so she could her voices of those who were approaching. About nine thirty in the morning she heard them, the voices of the people she once felt close to.
“Sage! Sage! Honey! Where are you?” asked Rachel.
“C’mon honey answer us!”
By this time Sage was snickering to her self. And then she felt a tickle in her nose, like she was about to sneeze. So without thinking to shut the door, she sneezed. Josh heard the faint sneeze, and said, “She’s near here. I just heard a sneeze, coming from somewhere over there, toward the back of the lot.”
They went to the place where Josh had pointed. It was not very far from the tree where Sage was hiding. Although she was shaking she kept to her self and listened to what they were saying. She started to unpack her things and place them on the shelves that were on some of the walls in the fort. She was content on staying where she was, and she knew that even if they did see the fort they’d have a hard time trying to get to her. So she watched them and laughed. Just then, she felt a cool breeze on her back; it gave her a chill that ran down her back. When she turned around, nothing was there. So she figured that it was just the wind coming in the door, so she shut the door and listened out the windows. And then, a few minutes later she felt the same cold chill; it felt like a frozen hand was on her shoulder. In turning around, she noticed a bright light, and the spirit in the smoke. Sage was in shock. They starred each other down, and when Sage got the full recollection of what was actually happening, she started to scream, but was stopped as the spirit covered her mouth and glared at her.
“You wanna get found!” the spirit snapped.
Sage was too scared to answer.
“Don’t be afraid of me. You knew me long ago, in the secrets of the past. But now the secret is out. You know not now about the story of the outcome of your biological family, but you will. You’re the only one left, and not for that long. Come with me, into the voices of the past.” The spirit said.
Sage took a deep breath, and agreed to go. She felt dizzy and she felt as if she was falling. The images came back to her, stronger than ever. They took over her mind completely. The spirit put her hand on Sage’s forehead, and now she was in the purple smoke, watching aimlessly, as the secrets unfolded.
Two young children, next to one another on a mattress surrounded by pillows, were sleeping during a midday storm. A mother, sitting in the kitchen, trying desperately to comfort her friend who had lost her child just days earlier. Both babies cry and the mother takes one, the friend takes the other. Still in tears, the friend rocks the baby until it is quiet and sleeping again, or so everyone thought. Hours later, only the one baby awakened, the other was pronounced dead. Nobody could tell how the baby died; only two people knew, the friend and the baby.
The next thing Sage knew, she was in a different time, still in the same place, looking through the purple smoke, seeing a new secret unfold. This one was the death of her parents. And not to long after that she was back in the tree, filled with questions.
“You’re my sister. My twin sister.” Said Sage.
“Yes. I’m the one who caused you to have all of those images. You deserved to know what really happened, and no one was going to tell you; not for a very long time. I brought it to your attention, and now you must fulfill the ending of our family.”
“You mean my death.”
“Casted in stone, is the plan for the remainder of your life. I died peacefully. Mom and Dad died of shock, so they did not suffer much. But you, you’ll die in some pain. You can’t prevent it.”
“But, I have a boyfriend. I can’t hurt him that way. What if I never see him again?”
“You will, would you just listen for a minute. You are going to go on from here, as if you know nothing. You’ll go home and continue as you normally would, until I come to you. First in a dream, and then right before you die.”
“Damian. Will he get hurt, really bad when I die?”
“He will hurt for a long time. If I wouldn’t have brought to your attention, your past, you two would have gotten married.”
“I don’t want him to hurt. You will be his guardian until his death; not long after you.”
“You must go now. Do nothing until further notice from me.”
And that is what she did, surprisingly ok, but very much in disbelief of everything that had occurred. She climbed out of the tree and made a fast break for home. She threw her things on her bed and acted like she had been waiting for the adults to return. When they returned and saw her, they hugged her and told her that they thought she had run away. She told them that she felt a small case of cabin fever coming on, so instead of disturbing them in their sleep she went for a walk. They were okay with that.
Since they were leaving tomorrow, they started to get packed and put their things in the van. They decided, instead, to leave late that night. Her mother fell asleep right away. And Sage pulled out her flashlight, in order to examine the contents of the box once again. The box contained: about 15 pictures, a sterling locket, a skeleton key on a pale blue ribbon, a diary, a doll and a few of its accessories, a pocket watch, a war medal, and two birth certificates, along with a few obsolete coins.
Her mind was wandering, and fearing her destiny. She wanted to tell Damian everything she knew, and she would. She knew he’d hold her as she cried, and that by telling him, he’d have fair warning to let go, so he wouldn’t suffer. She made up her mind to have him over the day she got back. She was crying to her self now. She took out her notebook. It was filled with notes to each other; the notes had their dreams and wishes in them on a day to day basis. On the last page of the notebook, she wrote her final wishes, she knew that Damian would find them there.
When they reached home it was nearly 2:30 a.m. She tried to sleep, but her mind was focused on the past days occurrences. So she got up and walked to Damian’s house, which was no more than a few blocks away. He had a very large two-story house. She took pebbles off of the street, walked to the back of the house where his room was, and started to throw the pebbles at his window. About three minutes later, he opened the window. He was so surprised to see her. While she was gone he had planned to give her his high school ring, until he could afford to get her a better one, so as he was about to leave to go down by her, he grabbed it.
“Is there something wrong?” He asked her.
“There’s something I need to tell you.” She said. His expression changed so fast.
“What’s going on?”
“I’m not going to be here for very much longer. Believe it or not, my life was foretold to me by a spirit; my twin.”
“What are you talking about?”
“My parents are dead, and have been for thirteen years.”
“They died? But-?”
“Yes. I have some things I would like to show you.” She said as she pulled out the box.
“What’s this about your twin?”
“Her name is Mija; she died four months before our parents did.”
“How’d she die?”
“They say she didn’t wake up from her nap, but Mija knows what really happened.”
“Kind of. My real mom had a friend over the day Mija died. The girl looked so familiar to me; she took and rocked Mija last, just hours before she was pronounced dead. The girl had just lost a baby, and she killed Mija, she poisoned her with a chemical that didn’t show up in the tests. So I have to figure out who the girl was, I can’t shake the feeling that I know her well, and I am missing something.
“Maybe this will help?” Damian said as he handed her the diary out of the box.
They paged through it, and sure enough, one page told her who the girl was. It read:
I feel so helpless! I cannot even help my best friend. I bore two healthy twins, and Rachel bore a son, who died on his birthday. He would be the same age as my girls are. He died at two, and being only one month younger than mine, I’m worried. I wish I could make her feel better. If anything ever happens to me, I want her to care for my daughters.
“Rachel. She is my mother!” Sage said.
“Rachel killed Mija?”
“Yes, the girl in the image, her face; it has aged some but is still the same.”
“Is she going to kill you? Is that why you think you are going to die?”
“No. Like I told you. The spirit of Mija came to me when I stumbled across the lot where my house used to be. All that is left of it is the cellar and the floor.”
“What did she say to you?”
“She told me that I would die in pain, and that she would come to me in a dream to give me some warning before I leave.”
“Don’t leave me. Promise me that.” He said placing the ring on her finger.”
“I can’t promise what I can’t control. But I will not leave you. When I am dead I will be there for you when you need me. Don’t worry.”
“I love you. I’ve known you forever; please don’t leave me alone here.”
“You’ll never be alone; I’ll always be here, in your heart, forever.”
“Let’s not talk about this anymore until we have to.”
The sun was rising as they lie down on the hill, and fell asleep. Sage had her dream.
“Honey, by night fall you will no longer be a physical life.” Mija said.
“I can’t leave him. Look at him sleep, so peaceful and unharmed.”
“Here’s what you need to do.” She told her the last thing she was to do.
She let Mija take her in to the dream world, so she could talk to Damian one last time.
“Damian. Damian! Sweetheart listen to me. Today is the last day we will be together in the physical world. I’ll be in your heart forever, until we’re again together. My love to you and be there always. Do not do anything drastic! Whatever will happen, will happen. Promise you will be strong. Damian! Damian!” He was now partially awake.
“Damian help me! Wake up! Please! Damian!” Sage screamed.
Damian awakened completely with the gut-wrenching scream of Sage. He saw her getting dragged off by a large man and thrown in to a van. He ran as fast as he could to her. He jumped on the guy, but was thrown to the ground. His head hit the cement and he was knocked unconscious. Meanwhile, Mija visited with Rachel.
“Rachel, its Mija. Do you remember me?”
“Mija. Mija!? What’s going on?”
“Look at me. I’m no more than a spirit that holds Sagellina’s life in my hands. She will die soon, nothing can stop that.”
“Yes, she knows. She was with me the morning that you thought she had run away.”
“Will she die a painful death? What about Damian?”
“You’ll find out when the time comes. I must be with her now.”
“Wait. Are you taking her life because I took yours so long ago?”
“No, Sage has a family waiting for her, one that she has never known. I have forgiven you, as has my family, but you will be punished later. Now, Goodbye.”
After Mija had left, Damian was found unconscious on the cement outside of the park, where they had watched the sun rise and fall so many times before. He awoke the next morning with a killer headache.
“Where am I?” he asked
“You’re at the hospital.” Said a girl’s voice.
“Sage, Is that you?”
“No, honey. It’s your sister. When I found out what happened, I came down to see if you were okay.”
“She’s dead. They found her badly beaten last night, near the hill where you were found.”
“No! What was foretold came true. Damn it! It’s not true! Go and get her!”
“Damian, she’s dead. Face it. She’s not suffering anymore.
“It’s my fault, I should have saved her. I should have waked up sooner! I want to be with her! Kill me please!”
“Damian! Chill! They found this near her when she was found.” She handed him her backpack.
Inside it was their special notebook, the box that contained the truth of her past, and a white dress. He looked at the dress closely. He’d never seen it before, so he looked in the notebook for an explanation, and there it was; her will.
I’m sure you are going to be the first person to read this. You must have me buried with the box of my past, and in the dress that I found in the cellar of my old house. Don’t do anything drastic. I’ll never leave you. Just reach deep into your heart and I will come shining through to help you.
My love always,
“When is the funeral?” he asked through his tears.
“It’s tomorrow; you don’t have to go if you don’t want to.”
And tomorrow came. He tried to be strong and not cry, and it worked until it was his turn to go up by her open casket. He took his ring and placed it on his left ring finger, promising never to love again, and then he took off her chain, and put it around his neck, it was a sign that he would never forget her and the love he felt for her. He kissed her cheek, and said, “Come back for me, I can’t take much more of this.” And then he ran. He took his money and bought a bus ticket to Willow Valley.
Five hours later he got there, and he asked where Willow Creek Road was. Someone took him there. It was no more than a dirt path that led to an open lot, just the way Sage said it would. He sat on the tree stump, looked out into the open lot, and cried.
“You’re with your family now, my darling angel. Don’t forget me. I love you, forever.”
He dropped a note into the hole in the floor boards and looked up at the sky. He kissed the sky, not once, but twice, and began his journey home. Two years later, he was killed in a car accident. And by his side on his way out, was his beloved, best friend.