It was the third foster home this month and Sterling was sure this one would end up like all the others - she'd be right out the door. The last one hadn't even lasted a week before the phantoms that make her life a living nightmare came to full bear.

Sterling didn't know what to call it, the strange things that happened around her. It had started with simple things - knocking over jars and bottles. From what she understood, it had been happening since she was a baby. No one knew what was going on. The first family who had Sterling had lasted two years before they made the connection that the trouble only happened when she was in the room.

It had been a bad accident. Sterling only remembered the fear that had pierced her tiny mind then. The entire room swam in a field of electricity. Every outlet in the room arced to the next. The light bulbs shattered. The stereo and TV ramped up their volume until the speakers exploded in a shower of sparks. The curtains caught fire. The house almost burnt down, all because of the phantom that trailed after Sterling everywhere she went.

It left once and a while. But never for very long. But what was strange was while the phantom was malevolent, there was a secondary presence - more watchful. But the second presence never interacted with the world. Only protected Sterling from whatever harm the malevolent one bestowed up on her. Sterling didn't know what it was, what either of them are. But they both frightened her.

Today Sterling was going to a new house, a new family. It wouldn't be the last one, but hopefully the last one for a few months. Sterling could only pray that was the case. She prayed for the phantoms to reign in their issues and let her be for only a little while. She wanted a break.

Sep 24,2018 at 5:15 PM