Everyone in town would remember Hurricane Frances. It rained so much in those two days the first week of October that the dirty water at the reservoir overflowed and contaminated all of the clean water. At least that’s what they told us at school. As usual, my condition didn’t deliver the details on the parts of the story that were actually pertinent. all I got was a bit about the college kids.
Declan and Raven were both in their sophomore year and for them, once the news broke, that meant school had to shut down. They didn’t panic. They didn’t evacuate or anything like that. But the water didn’t run, so the school closed and they set up portapotties for people who didn’t want to go home for the week, or couldn’t.
“What you thinking, babe?” Declan asked. She sure as hell wasn’t going back to her parents’. Over the summer, she’d elected to stay with him. Awkward, considering his parents, but they were amenable, so they worked it through. Yet that didn’t hold her appeal as much as staying in the room that his roommate was evacuating.
Strange things were happening in town, though.
Having SchadowFreud come to play in the area back in the day, that was one thing, but SchadowFreud wasn’t where Anastasia Borgia had gotten her start. And her successor as the lead female vocalist of Acid Monsoon, Lucrezia Romanov… she wasn’t exactly living up to their dreams.
“Do you think we should go?” Declan asked.
“Acid Monsoon. Didn’t you hear?”
“They’re playing in town.”
“No, I didn’t hear that. When did that happen?”
“Everyone’s been talking about it.”
But of course, Raven didn’t actually talk to anyone.
“It’s okay,” said Declan, “we don’t have to go.”
“No, it’s okay,” said his girlfriend. “I don’t really feel up to it, but you should go.”
I don’t know quite how to get into what happened next. I saw the whole thing in my vision—of course I saw it really only as it was going on. If I’d seen it the night before, maybe I could’ve convinced Declan to stay home and accompany his girlfriend out to the portapotty when she needed to go. As it was, all I could do was send him an ominous text he’d get four hours later telling him he needed to get in touch with Raven.
I saw the whole thing well enough to remember it afterwards, but Raven doesn’t remember it. Not well. At least that’s what she says. She claims all she remembers is going out to the portapotty and that something happened. And then her talon ended up covered in blood.
Have I talked about Raven’s talon? It was one of those cheap-yet-fancy Goth girl affectations: a three-inch claw that attached to her finger. It wasn’t designed for self-defense—wasn’t meant to be, anyway. When she did use it, it was usually in kinky games with Declan that I blush to even think about, but she happened to have it on her, so when “whoever it was” attacked her, it must have been some kind of instinct that kicked in.
She insists to this day that she doesn’t remember the guy’s face. But I have an excellent memory and I’ve gotten pretty good at drawing, to boot. I won’t say how, but I managed to get the young man in question found and properly punished.
Raven, meanwhile, was super-charged. Different people react to that kind of assault in different ways, I guess. Even through time: three years ago she’d have probably locked herself in her room, shut out Declan, shut out everyone, but something about having blood on that talon…
Once she stopped to think about it, that would scare her, what it said about her that she was so full of rage—but she’d won! She’d won and she needed to celebrate and her boyfriend was unreachable at a concert.
It was too late to get tickets herself. They had wanted to call the even a “Hurricane Concert”, playing on the irony of Acid Monsoon’s name, but after they figured out what was going on in the town, they renamed it their “Broken Levee” deal. But there were still a couple of bars that were open. And one of them never let a Thursday night go by without hosting karaoke.
I won’t say what song it was she was singing when the band walked in. Let’s just say you’ve never heard of it, but they had. The concert had been a success and the bar was their afterparty and they heard our girl Raven doing her thing and they just fell head-over-heels. Even “Lucrezia” agreed she sounded good before she realized what she was actually agreeing to.
Caspar June, the front-man, had a note sent to her inviting her over and she was deep into talking to them by the time Declan finally called her.
“Hey, how’d you like the concert?”
“Not bad, I’m at Weaver’s Pies, listen I got a weird text from Kassandra.”
“Yeah, she said I should call you—are you okay?”
“Why would Kassandra want you to call me?”
“Well, she is kinda psychic, so why don’t you tell me?”
“Oh! Actually, I do have something to tell you!”
The assault from earlier didn’t slip her mind, she just didn’t want to talk about it. But she did want Declan there. She was hoping he could share her glory. If only that had been the case.