Psychic Sisters – A Short Story
Many have told the tale of the Psychic Sisters, some hailed them as heroes, some told the story to scare small children to keep them tight in bed at night.
However few stories truly tell how the psychic sisters became who they were, how they decided to use their unique powers for a purpose and not just by reaction or instinct.
Most stories such as this start from something as simple as a chance encounter at a simple inn. As easy as it is to regard these sisters as otherworldly characters due to their power it is worth remembering that they started out confused and afraid of a world that would not understand them. You can get your own psychic readings over here after the story if you wish.
As the sun set low on the horizon a small town began to prepare for the long night ahead. Farmers put away their gear, shop keeps closed up their shops. Few noticed the two strangers enter the town, and even fewer spared the time to find this out of the ordinary. They were two girls, alike in look but not completely the same. Both sported olive skin and big round hazel eyes. One had long black hair neatly tied into a pair of twin-tails. The other had short cropped hair, appearing to be a choice of convenience. The pair were dressed in travelling dresses of black and violet and walked close to each other, seemingly hip to hip. The pair walked as if in practised unison as they walked deeper into the town.
“Ay you girls where you come from?” A derelict man asked as he approached the pair. “Why don’t you come with ol’ Watsha…”
“We are of no concern to you.” The short haired sister said in a low annoyed tone, a hint of orange glinting over her hazel eyes.
As if scared by a bar the man turned on his heels and briskly walked away into the forest. The girls continued until they found the towns inn and went inside. A young woman waited by the door and smiled as she saw the girls.
“Hello there.” The woman said in a perky voice. “Coming for a meal?”
“Indeed!” The long haired sister replied eagerly. “And a room for the night.”
“A room?” The serving girl asked in a confused tone. “Are your parents coming as well? Rooms can be rather expensive for-”
“That is of no concern.” The short haired sister responded. “We have money and you will accept it with no further questions.”
“Of course.” The serving girl said with a smile. “This way please.”
The pair was shown to a table and food was brought out. The sisters ate heartily as they had not had much food with them on the journey there. The serving girl indeed asked no more questions, bringing the girls whatever they ordered and informing them where their room was when they were ready.
The inn began to grow quiet for the night, the large fire stoked for a slow warm burn. The locals all headed out and the travellers headed to their rooms for the night, leaving only an elder innkeeper and the sisters alone in the warm tavern.
“Do you want us to head out too?” the long haired sister asked to the innkeeper, stiff-ling a look from her sister who did not seem to like the meek question.
“No rush dears.” The innkeeper responded as he put some dishes away behind the counter. He then walked over and handed each girl a hot cocoa. “I usually stay up late tending the fire an enjoying a bit of reading.”
“Thank you.” The long haired of the psychic sisters replied. “We have a lot on our minds right now and we are not ready to rest just yet.”
“What is it if I may ask?” The innkeeper asked as he began to wipe the bar down.
“That is none of your business.” The short haired sister snapped. “And you-”
“It is fine.” The long haired sister interrupted. “We probably could use a bit more perspective.”
“I doubt he would understand.” The short haired sister responded. “Our situation is…unique.”
The innkeeper smiled. “A long life offers the perspective of many events. I might not have seen exactly what you are going through before but I can possibly still help.”
“Have you seen many adventures?” The long haired sister asked. “You have a lot of scars!”
The short haired sister sighed, realizing that her sisters curiosity would not so easily be quelled. “You know we could just-”
“I want to hear him answer it!” The long haired sister interrupted again. “Please tell us.”
“But my tale is not one many adventurers would care to hear.” The innkeeper said with a laugh. “I am just an old innkeeper now.”
“I want to hear it.” The long haired sister asked as she leaned onto her table closer to the innkeeper.
“Very well.” The innkeeper smiled. “How about this? I tell you my story and you two tell me yours. Can we start with your names?”
“I am Kira.” The long haired sister replied. “And my sister is Lana.”
“Pleased to meet you both.” The innkeeper said with a polite nod.
“Before I was just a humble innkeeper I was a fairly well know ranger everyone called Raker. A nickname given to me as I was a farm boy before I was a soldier. Such nicknames are rarely ideal or chosen but I was glad for it. Many adventurers real names are lost in the paths of time but it is rare that such unique nicknames are forgotten.”
“I like it.” Kira said with a smile. “I hope to earn a great name like that someday.”
“We have one.” Lana replied in an annoyed tone. “One that we can not so easily shake.”
“Such is how those things work unfortunately.” The innkeeper said with a smile before continuing his tale. “I may not have been the stoutest warrior or the deadliest swordsman but I could move fast through harsh terrains and was very hard to track. For these unique skills the king, the previous one, took notice.”
“You met a king?” Kira asked in surprise. “That’s amazing!”
“You realize that we can find out if he is making it up right?” Lana asked. “There are really no surprises for us anymore.”
“I don’t want to jump to the end like we always do!” Kira insisted. “I want to hear him tell it so I can be surprised.”
“Suit yourself.” Lana replied as she crossed her arms. “Continue please…Raker.”
The innkeeper nodded politely before continuing. “Imagine one as I, a simple farmer turned ranger being invited to meet with the king. We went hunting together in the estates near the capital. At first I wondered why I would have been one he would want on such an excursion but soon it became clear. It was a test.”
“Like a fight?” Lana asked.
“No, nothing like that.” The Innkeeper answered with a laugh. “Deep in the forests he had set up a series of challenges, each more difficult than the last…some he thought surely no one could accomplish but he wanted to see how one with my skills would try.”
“And you defeated them?” Kira asked enthusiastically. “As if they were child’s play?”
“I suppose the story would be more compelling if that were the case.” The innkeeper said with a laugh.
I did complete every challenge the King presented me with but it was by the skin of my teeth and with no small amount of luck. The challenges ranged from hunting elusive animals to shooting targets hanging from the edges of cliffs. I doubted myself many times and thought that these tests were a peril that might even lead to my demise. But the thing was, and ironically what the King was looking for over all else, is that I never showed my doubt and I never even considered quitting without trying my all. This was how I proved myself to the king.”
“That is amazing!” Kira commented, awe plainly on display on her face. “What was the King searching for?”
“A messenger.” The innkeeper answered, a hint of pride in his voice. “Though the lands were a little different, they were no less perilous. There were many outposts and missions throughout the lands and communication was the best way to ensure their survival. The king had lost almost every messenger he had hired and only large slow moving armoured bands were getting his messages to their destinations. The tasks were to not only prove my skill but to prove my resolve.”
“You were to venture out deep into the wilds alone?” Kira asked. “Lana and I can take care of ourselves on the roads, but the deep wilds seem really perilous.”
“I preferred it that way actually.” The innkeeper answered with a smile. “I knew my limits and I trusted my skills, any others were a liability and another worry. I knew how to sleep in the highest trees, to move without raising notice. To me in my prime the wilds were like this bar…I knew every part of it.”
“There are a lot of maps.” Lana said in a skeptical tone. “Lots of people who know the lands and its really easy to get that information.”
“True enough I suppose.” The innkeeper replied. “Though what maps are there of places undiscovered? What if the place you seek to go has not yet been explored by any?”
“I suppose that makes sense as a challenge then.” Lana reluctantly admitted with a sigh. “Go on.”
I was the first to learn paths up the Dark ledges, the great library still has impressions I made from the mystical carvings, and information provided by lead to the first real strike against the allied bands of thieves. Before long my deeds not only lead to great riches but a great reputation. Soon if anyone wanted something done in the wilds my name was among the first to come up. Most of the greatest groups of adventures of the time had me as their guide.”
“Did you find any romance?” Kira asked with a curious smile. “All the best tales of heroes have romance! You were a friend of the king with all those accomplishments under your belt…I’m sure you had dashing women after you all the time!”
“Oh yes.” The innkeeper said, his tone sounding proud but he took a deep breath before continuing the statement. “But there was only one I cared about. Only one who…”
“I’m sorry.” Kira said, seeming to realize she had dug too deep. “If it is hard you don’t have to tell me.”
The innkeeper shook his head slowly while glaring at the two psychic sisters. “Some tales need telling. Stories that we pass on to each other are the only real way we can live on past our meagre lives…Her real name was never known to me. As I was Raker to her she was Sparrow to me. She was a druid of sorts, someone like me who was skilled and at home in the wilds but on a more intense level.
She had hurt in her past, some events that made her retreat from humanity.”
Lana nodded in an unexpected sign of empathy, starting to show interest finally to the tale. “How did you meet her?”
“There was a village not too far from here.” The innkeeper continued. “Long lost from the maps and forgotten by many. What started out as a group of believers of the divine, devolved into a group of worshippers of the occult. They began to sacrifice their own neighbours at first, but soon began to lure in travellers, seeking blood for their vile purposes.”
“Why must those who claim to believe in a higher power hurt so many?” Lana asked in a tone betraying deeper hurt. “Those who would hurt those that follow them…imagine what they do to those unlike them?”
“All too true.” The innkeeper answered with an empathetic nod. “Such is all too often the way with such things. Back then I was sent to find a lost caravan that had disappeared on it’s way to resupply an outpost nearby. I found the remains of the caravan in the village, all the men that drove it already dead. In my anger I attacked, killing several cultists before they knew what was going on. However in my haste I had misjudged their number. I am deadly with a bow or knife but not much use in a drag out conflict. Before long I was at a stalemate and could sense my number was up. However that’s then she came, from the forest as if born from it she attacked. Before long we turned the tides, and burned the accursed town from the face of this world.”
“She sounds amazing!” Lana commented, transfixed by the story and having long since forgotten her misgivings not that the tale had some action. “That was what those dirty cultists deserved!”
“The story is about the girl!” Kira scolded. “You are missing the point!”
“Fine.” Lana admitted. “What abut the girl?”
“She was like no one I had ever met.” The innkeeper continued. “She wore animal bones in her auburn hair, her clothes were a mismatch of skins and older garments. She wore no shoes, allowing nothing to get between her soles and the earth. She was suspicious of me, being no longer used to talking to her own kind. However in my fight she saw someone who would not stand for such evil to flourish as well as someone comfortable in the wilds.”
“See?” Lana commented. “It was as much about the fight that got her attention then it was about anything else. You are too obsessed with romance.”
“Well those are the stories I like!” Kira replied. “I hope to have my own romance someday…just like that.”
“Well that might be difficult.” Lana replied. “Especially with our…situation.”
“Fate will find a way.” Kira insisted. “Please go on with the story.”
The innkeeper nodded and continued. “Though we shared few words we grew closer by the day. We journeyed to the mystical lake, slept behind the enchanted waterfall and even found our way through the haunted woods. We forged something beyond romance, beyond companionship, we were like animals that had found their lifelong mates.”
“Were…” Lana quoted. “What happened to her?”
“Your jumping ahead!” Kira snapped. “You always do that! Can’t you just experience a story in it’s telling.”
“I’m not!” Lana insisted. “I just…guessed that was where this was heading.”
“She isn’t wrong.” The innkeeper continued, his tone growing more serious. “We got a new mission. She had begun to accompany me on my work, we made a wonderful team. But one day we got orders more dangerous than most others. An outpost very far out was the target to a group of mercenaries. We knew when they would attack and how, what we didn’t have was any way to get to the outpost in time to warn them.”
“I sense more action!” Lana said excitedly. “More evil cultists? Savage barbarians?”
Kira crossed her arms and sighed. “Go on.”
“I was young and I was brash, though we had no way to get ahead of the mercenaries there were ways to beat them there.” The innkeeper continued. “To the south of the outpost was a cursed swamp, a dangerous fetid wasteland few ever returned from. I was sure that Sparrow and myself could find a safe path through the swamp and beat the mercenaries there by over a day. However the swamp turned out more challenging then we could have ever imagined. Great beasts roamed it freely and the sucking bogs threatened to devour anything it could grasp at any moment.”
Did you fight them?” Lana asked. “Wave after wave of savage beast?”
“Indeed.” The innkeeper replied. “The beasts seemed to be the biggest danger but soon we proved to them we were not worth the effort. However the bog itself was the real enemy, threatening to get us lost so we might never find our way out. Just as we began to think we had made a mistake, the northern edge of the swamp came to view. We did not have as much a head start as we hoped for but we had made it and could still save the outpost. However in our celebration we got careless. Sparrow stepped off the path and into the swamp. It’s funny how such a simple thing can have such grave consequences. She was only up to her shins but no act we could do could pull her loose. She was bound into the muck like it was stone.”
“Oh no!” Kira responded. “How did you get her free?”
The innkeeper sighed, seeming to organize his thoughts before continuing. “As the time grew late we realized that the lives of the men and women of the outpost were in imminent danger. Sparrow convinced me to leave her. She would continue to work to free herself and defend until I came back for her. I did not want to leave her but was confident I could be to the outpost and back before to long. I encouraged her and left, moving as fast as my already weary legs would carry me.”
Both of the psychic sisters seemed caught up in the story, perched together, side by side on the edge of their seat.
The innkeeper seemed to take solace that his tale was being so eagerly received and allowed himself a slight smile before continuing to the dark part of his story. “I got to the outpost mere hours before the first signs of attack and my warning allowed them to be ready and lay a trap for the mercenaries. What resulted was a bloodbath that made certain that particular band would trouble no one ever again. The victory however, was to be short lived. With me I took several strong men from the outpost, desperate to find Sparrow and pull her from the mud…However we never found her.”
“What happened to her?” Both girls asked, creepily at the exact same time.”
“Whether the mud had finally claimed her or a beast of the mire overcame her, no sign of her was ever found.” The innkeeper explained with a sigh. I spent weeks in the swamp even after everyone else had given up. I saved the outpost but the cost was more than I could have ever imagined.”
“What did you do next?” Lana asked, her face grave, tears threatening the corners of her eyes.”
“After that I had no heart for adventuring.” The innkeeper replied. “I hung up my bow and quiver and took my gold and settled here. No longer at home in the wilds nor comfortable in the capital I figured an inn might be the way I can have neither and both. Beyond that you can figure out the rest. I never married, never loved again, just became a simple innkeeper with nothing to offer the adventurers of the future.”
“That isn’t true.” Lana responded with an out of character kind smile. “Not only is this place a welcome respite on the crossroads of dangerous wilds, your experience and tales serve as inspiration.”
“Really?” The innkeeper asked. “You seemed like you had no time for stories.”
“Well it…was better then I expected.” Lana admitted.
“See?” Kira pressed. “Some stories are worth it for the telling.”
“I suppose you are right.” Kira admitted. “Also I suppose you deserve our story.”
“Only if you desire to tell it.” The innkeeper replied. “I sense you too have much hurt in your past and if you are not ready-”
“We are.” Kira added. “We live in a world where we think we know everything. But we don’t really understand our own all the way.”
“Sometimes the benefit of perspective can go a long way.” The innkeeper offered.
“You are probably right.” Lana agreed.
As if prompted automatically Kira began the tale. “We were born in a relatively small town, a happy place so beloved that it was named paradise in another language. However the serenity they loved so much was not as it seemed and only seemed so because everyone there did the same thing and believed the same things. The town was formed by a sect of one of the old churches and they governed all who lived there.”
“As long as you did what they said and did not stand out you were fine.” Lana continued as if it were the same thought. “However when we were born it became difficult. At first we seemed like normal babies, nothing strange about us. However we never cried, we never fussed, seeming to know what our parents were feeling and what they wanted.”
Kira jumped back in. “Though the first real sign of…strange stuff…was when one of us cut ourselves and was taken away for treatment. There was like a psychic force that kind of lit up and refused to allow the pair of us to be in different rooms. Fighting it was impossible…we could not be apart. As we grew older the force became stronger, eventually keeping us strictly together almost side by side.”
“That is quite perplexing indeed.” The innkeeper commented. “I have heard of such anomalies, though they are incredibly uncommon.”
“Such was easy enough to hide.” Lana continued. “We were twin sisters after all, the idea that we would prefer to be at each others sides was not unreasonable to believe by others. Our parents instilled within us that it was important to hide our situation. That is when we started to be aware there was more to it.”
“We could see what our parents were thinking.” Kira explained. “We saw within them the truth. Though they spoke enthusiastically and fondly of the governing church we could see the fear, the danger, the consequences of attracting their gaze.”
Lana nodded, seeming to be getting her anger back. “We saw it in everyone, we could see tales of things that had been taken from them, punishments they were forced to endure. The town seemed happy to try and ignore and forget it all, to pretend the situation was not so bad.”
“However with our abilities we could not pretend.” Kira added. “We did not know how to ignore what we saw yet. Where everyone pretended everything was fine, all we could see was the terrifying truth. We tried to hide it as best we could, we knew all too well what they would do to us if they found out.”
“I presume they did.” The innkeeper asked.
“They were much more astute than we figured.” Lana added. “We learned that we could implant suggestions into people. Tell someone to forget what they had seen and they would actually forget it. We figured that if we were careful enough we could avoid notice.”
“But we weren’t.” Kira added. “We got too confident. We would tell boys that they fancied us, tell shop keeps we deserved free apples. We started to test our powers to get what we wanted.”
“Even with a lot of forgetful people it started to form a pattern.” Lana replied. “And the church soon realized what we could do. They had no way of knowing if they could protect their minds form us so they sought to weaken us in the easiest way we never suspected.”
“You’re parents?” The innkeeper guessed.
“Yes.” Kira replied, tears forming in her eyes and seconds later in her sisters. “We never even saw them to say goodbye. They were taken…killed…and their ashes were given to us.”
“They figured the grief and sadness would cloud our abilities enough for them to take us.” Lana explained gravely. “They would destroy what they referred to only as abominations.”
The story was interrupted as two tall travellers entered. They looked around the inn for something.
“Excuse me just a moment.” The innkeeper said as he stood and faced the newcomer and his thuggish companion. “You are early this month.”
“That is of no concern to you innkeep.” One of the men replied in an annoyed tone. “Your concern is about money and nothing more.”
“I have had little time to recoup from last month.” The innkeeper replied. “You are coming more and more often and-”
“Shut up!” the newcomer snapped. “The only thing you need to answer is if you have the money or not.”
“I…” The innkeeper began. “I do not.”
“Then we truly have a problem.” The newcomer said with a savage grin. He then turned to look at Kira and Lana. “Who do we have here?” Such pretty treasures indeed.”
“Don’t you touch them!” The innkeeper shouted as he stepped over toward where a bow and sword hung on the wall but the thuggish man stepped in between.
“It seems he still thinks he is an adventurer.” The thuggish second man said in an amused tone. “He is not yet aware the tales he keeps telling are no longer relevant. You are no adventurer now.”
“Please.” The innkeeper pleaded. “They are but young girls. Take whatever you want from me but leave them be.”
“I would not discount them old man.” The newcomer said as he Grabbed Kira’s arm. “For maybe we just take one of these each and be on our way.”
“No!” the innkeeper shouted as he tried to reach the girls, the thug grabbing him from behind and restraining him.
“This one will do nicely.” The newcomer said as he tried to pick up Kira but found Lana held her back even though her hands were still on the table. “What in the? They are stuck onto each other.”
“Take them both!” The thug shouted. “I don’t mind sharing.”
“Funny thing about grief and sadness.” Lana began as if she were still telling the story to the innkeeper. “It gives you a certain clarity when you realize how small your world really is.”
“What the hell are you talking about girl?” The newcomer asked. “You are starting to creep me out.”
“All the suffering, all the hurt did not stifle us.” Lana continued, ignoring the newcomer completely as the orange glint flowed over her eyes. “It made us…stronger.”
The newcomer froze in place instantly, his grip loosening and falling to his sides. “W-what are you doing to me?”
“What’s going on?” The thug asked. “Let’s get out of here.”
“Not yet.” Lana commented as she looked up to the stunned newcomer, her eyes changing to a vibrant orange. “Go free the innkeeper. If your friend resists in any way…kill him.”
“What the hell is she talking about?” The thug demanded. “He wont kill me!”
The newcomer turned and drew his blade, a look of violent determination on his eyes. “Let-him-go.”
“What is wrong with you?” The thug demanded but was interrupted as the newcomer grabbed him, separating him from the innkeeper and running his sword through the thugs chest.
“It is amazing what happens when you can tell anyone to believe anything you want.” Kira replied. “Especially when you tell a town of people that had been suppressed by fear that they no longer fear the oppressors. The church labelled us the Psychic Sisters as a way to bring notice to our supposed abomination. They learned that day however that the name would be something to fear…but not as much as the villagers.”
“We learned that day that we didn’t have to let people like that hurt the people under them.” Lana replied with a wide grin. “We like you Raker and there’s no way we would let you get hurt.”
“You would have given your life to protect us just now.” Kira added. “It was the least we could do.”
“Thank you.” The innkeeper replied. “They have been plaguing this town for weeks. Everyone just preferred to pay them off and not stand up to them.”
“Do you want us to kill the other one?” Lana asked. “It is no trouble.”
“No.” The innkeeper replied. “Though I understand why you did what you did I do not want more blood spilled.”
“Of course.” Kira replied as she looked at the newcomer. “Take your friend with you and bury him in the woods.”
“Then walk to the end of these lands.” Lana added. “Go to the rocky cliffs of the ocean and there realize what you have done to everyone you have hurt. Feel their pain, and realize that it was by your choices that you lost your friend…then…decide what to do with yourself.”
The newcomer did not speak, instead hastily picking up the thug and exiting the tavern.
“Are you afraid of us now?” Kira asked the innkeeper. “Do you think of us as the monstrous Psychic Sisters?”
“Not at all.” The innkeeper replied with a reassuring smile. “You both are just at a crossroads. Back when I was young I was very uncertain of my future, fearing the like of dangers that might lurk around every corner. Like you I have felt pain, I have felt loss, but that is what makes us stronger. The choice now is what you do with your power. You have learned what people can do with such to hurt and you seem keen to use yours to fix that.”
“You are right.” Lana replied. “Our first instinct after all that happened was to use our powers to hide, to retreat.”
“But we can go on…just like you did.” Kira added. “We really liked your story.”
“Such is the hope of old men like me sharing our tales.” The innkeeper said with a warm grin. “My tales are long winded but true and I am glad that one of them was of use to you. My story might be at it’s end but much of yours is still to be written.”
“Agreed” Lana stated as she and Kira got up. “Do you want us to help you clean this up?”
“Oh don’t bother with that.” The innkeeper said with a nod. “I have cleaned up after my share of battles. You two should get some rest. I promise to keep your secret and none will bother you here.
“Thank you.” Kira replied with a smile. “Tomorrow would you tell us another story?”
“Of course.” The innkeeper replied with a smile. “I am old and filled with stories.”
“We look forward to it.” Lana replied before the pair retreated together up the stairs to their room beyond.
The innkeeper got up and added another couple of logs to the fire. He then got to his task of cleaning up the bar after a most eventful night.