Estimated reading time — 8 minutes
My little sister is thirteen now. Her name is Zoe, she has blonde hair, blue eyes and she likes pop music, fashion and other typical teenage girl stuff. I really do love her. I must have been seven or eight when she first came home. I was excited to finally see my little sister. At first I had been annoyed that the baby was going to be a girl as I had wanted a little brother, but I was happy when she eventually did come home. This kind of disappeared quickly, though. It was about a week since Zoe first came home. My dog, Rusty, just would not calm down. Whenever he was in the same room as Zoe, he just barked like mad at her. Eventually, as my parents were scared that he would hurt her, they got rid of him. They didn’t even talk to me. I just came home one day and he wasn’t there. It was only when I asked about it that my mum just casually said “Oh, we got rid of Rusty. We were worried about Zoe.” Then she went back to feeding Zoe. I was confused. Both of my parents had just abandoned my dog, my best friend, in some pound somewhere and they didn’t even bother talking to me.
They weren’t even sorry. This was when I first started to gain some disdain towards her. It wasn’t her fault, of course. If we had kept the dog, she probably would have loved him too. I just blamed her at the time. When she was one I was kicked out of my room. We lived in a three-bedroom apartment, just on the outskirts of some big city. There was my room, where I kept all of my stuff, my parents’ room, which was where Zoe had slept in a cot in the corner, and the tiny guest room. My parents had decided that Zoe should have her own room, but instead of refurbishing the guest room for her, they kicked me out of my room and gave it to her. Any protest I had was quickly silenced and I could only watch as my room, my one free area that I had any say in, was transformed. Sports posters were replaced with pictures of ducks and sheep, my bed was replaced with a pink wooden cot and everything else that made my room mine was changed. They didn’t even give me my bed or my TV or anything. All of the things like that were either thrown away or became Zoe’s. They refused to refurbish the guest room for me, and I was instead forced to make do with boring, beige walls, an old, metal single bed and a single wooden dresser for my clothes. I did decorate it slightly, of course, with posters and other decorations I had managed to scavenge, but it wasn’t the same. My parents seemed more concerned with where any guests we had were going to sleep. This was the point where disdain turned to hatred. It seemed to me as if they had just completely forgotten about me in favour of her. Eventually, my parents decided that I was old enough to be responsible and look after Zoe while they went out. I think she was three years old, so she was old enough to speak. I really didn’t want to do it, but my parents wouldn’t take no for an answer. They simply left saying that they had left some premade lunch for her in the fridge. There wasn’t one for me, so I had to make myself something. I couldn’t be bothered with looking after her all day, as there was this TV show I wanted to watch, so I just laid a blanket in the corner, put a few of her favourite toys in there and said this to her; “You need to stay on the blanket. Don’t move off it, okay? If you do, mum and dad will be really mad, so you HAVE TO STAY IN HERE, understand.”
She simply nodded her head in agreement and started playing with her toys. I was on the couch watching my show, my eyes flicking to her when there was a commercial break or some boring segment. At one point, as I was watching two of the characters on my show beating the tar out of each other, I felt a tugging at my trouser leg. I turned to see it was Zoe. She looked up to me, then sighed “I’m hungry.”
“I told you not to come off the blanket!” I said, shooing her off. She just sat back down on the blanket. I looked back to my show. It was a boring bit again. The victorious character was monologuing over the unconscious body of the loser. I couldn’t just not feed her, harsh feelings aside. I got up and walked to the kitchen. As I was opening the fridge to get her lunch, I heard her say from the other room;
“Daddy won’t come.”
I was confused, but not enough to stop me in my tracks. “What did you say?” I asked, carrying her lunch over to her.
“He won’t come.”
I was quite unnerved by this, but I didn’t think anything of it. About half an hour later, the phone rang. I didn’t check the number, assuming it was my mum, but instead a male voice that wasn’t my dad’s came through the receiver. “Hello, is this Daniel and Zoe?” The voice sounded serious, and kind of upset and disturbed.
“Uh… yeah, I’m Daniel. Who is this?”
The voice then proceeded to explain to me, nice and clearly, that there had been a traffic accident. My mum was in critical yet stable condition, but my dad was not so lucky. He had survived the initial collision, but died on the way to the hospital. The next few hours were a blur. I just switched off the TV and stared at the blank screen as I waited for my Uncle Jared, who was married to my dad’s older sister, my Aunt Louise, to pick me and Zoe up. We spent the next few days at his house. My aunt was inconsolable. I was just dull. I didn’t speak, I barely left the bedroom I was in. Zoe was too young to grasp the situation, but they said that she understood that dad was gone. The only thing I was thinking of until my mum came out of hospital and we could go back home was what Zoe had said to me. It was as if she somehow knew what was going to happen. I didn’t forget about it. It got to the point where it was unnerving to be in the same room as her. Another similar incident didn’t come until much later, however. A year, to be exact. It was a nice, sunny day. We all went for a walk in the park, me somewhat reluctantly, as by this point we had decorated my new room and I had a TV, which I had plugged a PS2 into. My mum held my sister’s hand and I walked slightly behind, hands buried in my pockets and generally wishing to be home. It was all quiet, nobody really speaking, when Zoe pointed to an inconspicuous looking guy in a hoodie. All she said was “There’s a bad man over there.”
My mum turned to look. A man in a grey sweatshirt stood by a fountain. He was staring at his feet, hands in his pockets. I looked too. Something about him did seem rather off, but I didn’t think much of it. It was later on, when we had left the park and were in the car on the way home, that I remembered how she had predicted dad’s death. I leaned over to her. “Zoe, what did you say about the man in the park? The bad man?”
She turned to me. Her face was covered in chocolate from the chocolate bars mum had given us. “The man had a knife. He was sad about something. He wanted to change it.” She then turned back to look out the window. I was just frozen. He was sad about something? He wanted to change it? I wanted to ask my mum to call the police, but I knew she’d find it ridiculous. I just stared out my window too. The next morning, I was up before anyone else. I saw the local newspaper had arrived, so I picked it up to put it on the coffee table for mum to read. As I did, I glanced at the front page headline, and I dropped the paper and almost jumped back in horror. ‘Family of five stabbed to death in home.’ Beneath it was a mug shot. A man in a grey sweatshirt. It was then that I realized Zoe had a talent. I stopped being distant and uncaring of her, and instead listened carefully to what she had to say about anything, asking her about random things that we saw. I would write down anything I found particularly interesting in a notebook I kept in my room. There wasn’t anything major. She worked out when the goldfish was going to die, but that was the biggest thing. I eventually worked out that she could only make predictions linked to deaths. When she was six, something big happened. She was watching some little girl TV show, eating crisps, when the phone rang. She turned to face my mum’s boyfriend, David, as he picked up the phone. “Oh no.” She said. I was on the other side of the couch reading a comic book. I looked over to her, expecting that something had just happened on the show, but she was staring at David.
“What is it?” I asked.
“Grandpa.” She said, still looking. I froze. I could feel in my gut that this was another prediction. We watched David talk on the phone.
“Yes?” “Oh my god, really?” “Jesus, I’ll tell Cathy.” “Ok. Goodbye.”. Then he hung up. He noticed that both of us were looking at him, and a sunken look came over him. “Oh, jeez. Kids, I have some bad news.” I knew what he was going to tell us before he even said it. Grandpa had passed away in his sleep. Mum was sad. Zoe was sad. I tried to be sad about grandpa, and I was. I was just more amazed and creeped out at Zoe. How did she do it? That was the last prediction for a long time. I eventually forgot about it, just chalking it up to coincidence. Last week, I got a phone call. Checking the caller ID, I saw that it was Zoe. I hadn’t spoken to her in about a month, so I was pretty happy to see her name on my phone. I took the call.
“Hi, Zoe, how are you?”
“Dan, are you there? I need to talk to you, are you alone?” My girlfriend was sitting next to me, watching TV.
“Hold on, I’ll move.” I said, standing up. My girlfriend looked to me.
“Who is it?”
“It’s just my sister, I need to talk in the other room.” She just shrugged and turned back to the TV. I closed the door to my bedroom behind me.
“I need you to listen to me. I got a terrible feeling, as if I knew something was gonna happen. You and Megan should get out of your house. Go to a hotel or something, just get out of there.” I couldn’t speak. Not only did she predict something again, but she was aware of the seriousness of the situation. Meagerly, I managed to say;
“Ok, thank you.” I hung up. Then I rushed back into the room where my girlfriend was sitting watching the TV. “Megan, we need to leave.”
“Why, what’s wrong?”
“My sister had another prediction, we could be in danger.” I had told her about the predictions. She never believed any of it, or chalked it up to mere coincidence.
“Are you kidding? I’m not going anywhere because your thirteen-year-old sister thinks we should.”
“I told you about her predictions, this is serious!” I shouted. After an hour of bickering and arguing, she finally agreed to leave. We went to a nearby hotel, booked a room for one night and went to sleep. The next morning, I got a call from the neighbor. He said our house had been broken into, but nothing was taken. I told my girlfriend, and she was utterly dumbfounded.
“How in the hell did she know?” Was all she said. We talked to the police, and I called my neighbor and told him to call the police if they returned. We stayed at the hotel again that night. When morning came round, I was woken by my phone ringing. It was the police. We went to the police station and apparently Megan’s mentally unstable ex-boyfriend broke into our house with a knife. They had arrested him when the neighbor called the police. It was obvious to all of us what he was going to do. My girlfriend hadn’t said a thing. She was just completely blown away by what my sister had done. Without her, I would probably be dead. I talked to my sister about it, and all she said was this one thing;
“I could see your bodies lying on the bed. You were next to dad, grandpa and five other people I didn’t know.” I’ve never felt more haunted than I did after hearing her say that. Nobody else believes it, even my girlfriend is still skeptical, but I know for sure that my sister has a gift.