I Who Killed Me-Chapter V


AKA Xueyun, Contributing Writer

Chapter V

-Can a Witch Lie?-

Ⓒ 2023

Sharifa gave me a smile that told no lies. Her eyes remained honest and sweet like honey. She waited for me to take it in, but it was all physically impossible. It could have been her fluency in English that confused me, but she had no accent of the sort. She was certain of what she said. 

I brought my head into my hands. The dream I had on the plane ride to Cairo, then the one I had before waking up this morning, but who was the other man? Remembering that twisted smile sent chills down my spine. Did she know of this too?

My head began to throb, remembering all of those other moments of deja vu. I looked up from the ground and into her eyes. 

Her smile faltered with uncertainty and her eyes glinted with fear, but she didn’t say anything. 

“I can’t believe this, but I can’t find myself to completely accept it to be true,” I sighed and shook my head. All the dreams began to make sense, and like I really was crazy. Why did I even come here?

“I’m guessing you saw that ‘dream’ too then?” Sharifa spoke, avoiding my eyes as she looked out the window with a sip of her tea. She was nervous, her hand shaking when she set down her cup.  

I looked out the window as well, sighing, “Yeah.” I wanted to ask who that man was, but I couldn’t tell if knowing more would be better for me. 

“You took this in a lot better than I expected.”

“Excuse me?” I looked at her and shook my head. “I can’t tell if I should be worried or not about all this.” I laid back on the couch, suddenly feeling like I was at home. 

She was quiet for a moment before she responded, “If you’re worried about dying any time soon, then you should be.” 

“What?” What did she mean by that? Would I be dying like those people on the news too, in all their mysterious ways?

“Those dreams, they’re not dreams. You’re watching first-hand as someone dies,” she paused and sighed with a shaky breath. “And my time is soon.” Sharifa did not look at me the rest of the time I was there. She told me of the dreams and visions I have been having, and how they relate with the next of ‘us’ that are destined to die.

After exiting the quaint flower shop, I was left feeling worse than entering. The beautiful buildings from oldest to time loomed over with their thin windows and colours fading. I walked down the street, the afternoon sky shone on the cobblestone and against shop windows. My feet felt heavy as they landed on the street, and my vision was almost spinning, just like a few days ago during my shift, before whatever I saw. 

I mouthed the words from then, “It’s a shame you didn’t get to enjoy those waterfalls.” Why hadn’t I heard something similar with Charlotte Moon? Why was this man killing these people? And who is ‘he’?

“You’re next.” The words resonated and shook me to the core. What did it mean by Sharifa being me, and I being her? Just the thought of that smile gave me goosebumps again. None of this made sense. 

I thought long and hard over my dinner back at the hotel about what everything meant, and if Sharifa really were telling the truth. The plate in front of me was steaming with string beans, boiled carrots, and a bowl of bright tomato soup. The food would be a comfort to me, but I couldn’t help but lose my appetite. 

A part of me wanted to accept it all, that I really was part of this twisted nightmare, and the other wanted to deny what lunacy could be made from it all. Neither option seemed valid to take, so I decided to take it into my own hands and research on my own. If what Sharifa was saying was true, then I would get another dream soon. 


The hotel room was dark and relatively quiet. I stared up at the ceiling, waiting for sleep to overcome me. I couldn’t get it out of my head that I might see that man again, and the likelihood that I would see the death of someone firsthand, this time with full consciousness. 

Just on the brink of giving up on sleep, my phone began to ring. I groaned and sat up to look at the bright screen. It was my mom. I slid my thumb across the screen and brought my phone to my ear, “Hello?” I was surprised by my own voice; it seemed so tired.

“Lennon,” she responded in her worried voice. I could tell she was going to say something that would bother me, but I kept listening in silence for her to continue. “I sent you a letter about a week ago; have you gotten it?” 

I debated whether I should tell her about my trip or not, but I decided to go with the good excuse of, “I’ve been busy. Sorry, Mom.” 

This time she sighed. “I sent some money for you and a letter from your father. You know how he is. He doesn’t like to talk over the phone.”

Hearing about my dad ticked me off, especially since I was already stressed enough about the whole ‘killer in my dreams’ thing and not being able to work. The fact my dad kept his debt a secret from her all this time and allowed his own son to pay for it made me enraged. “I’ll check my mail when I can.” I wanted to get back to sleep but it didn’t seem like I’d be able to tonight.


“Hey, hey! Are you listening?” Phoebe shouted in my ear again through my earbuds. 

“Y..yeah, yeah. Sorry,” I responded and rubbed my forehead. I did my best to listen to her rant from when I left the hotel to now, where I stood around in a park. I had thought going out would help me think, but I made the mistake of picking up a call from Phoebe whilst doing so. 

“Geez, it’s like I’m talking to a wall. What’s up with you? That trip in Cairo, not enough for you?” she tutted. I could imagine her expression as she shook her head with disapproval. 

“No, it’s not that,” I paused. Should I tell her about Sharifa? 

“Then what is it, Lennon?” She sounded a bit annoyed, but I could tell she was just worried for me. I didn’t share much but she did know about my dad’s debt, the jobs I was working to pay it off, and the exceedingly plain life I had. 

Before I could come up with a half-life, she whispered through the phone, “Are you seeing someone, Lennon?” I could hear a smirk behind her voice. 

I technically was, but there would be no way to explain. “Sorta.”

“What kind of answer is that?” she peeved and exhaled. “Forget it. I’ve gotta get back to work.”

“And by ‘work’ you mean taking care of your dog?” 

Phoebe laughed without hesitating to admit, “Yeah, I love him with all my heart. Anyway, see ya, Lennon. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.” She hung up first.

I sighed and looked at my phone. Tomorrow. Something about the future made me anxious as if something bad would happen any second. 

Before I could put my phone away in my pocket, my phone lit up again with another call. I answered the phone, my heart beating faster. “Sharifa?”

“Lennon,” she responded, her voice equally anxious. “Please come back to the flower shop. I need to make sure of something.” She hung up before I could ask more. The thought of returning to the place where she would most likely be killed unsettled me, but I had to know what was happening. 


The lights inside the flower shop were off, and the sign on the window was turned to ‘Closed.’ The door chimed when I pulled the glass door open, the flowers staring at me in the dim room. “Sharifa?” I called and glanced around as I approached the counter. 

“Come to the back,” she called from behind the shop. 

I walked past the blue curtains and to the house behind the shop and the storage of fertilizers and dirt. The air was heavy with steam and the smell of tea herbs when I entered the kitchen. 

Sharifa stood over the kitchen counter, her hair tied back and her eyes focused on stirring a pot of steaming water. 

“What’s going on?” The state of the house was a mess compared to yesterday. It was only a matter of time before it seemed a tornado had gone through the room; books lay open on any table available, bowls of herbs and ink over scribbled papers–some had symbols and marks on them that I knew for certain weren’t ‘just’ notes.

All herbs of every kind in the kitchen were across the marble countertops, some mixed in mortars and others still in their glass vials. Amongst the mess was Sharifa, dressed in a long black skirt and a sea-green blouse with frills. Even if she still dressed well, I could see she was exhausted, if not, as much as I.

“Please sit. I’ve made some tea,” she hurried past me and to the couches with a single small cup of tea. 

I followed her as she set down the cup on top of a closed book, the title in a language I would expect to be Arabic, but I couldn’t tell. Beyond the large window next to us, a small table was set in the corner, with incense burning and persimmons set out in front of an image I couldn’t make out.

She sat across from me just as the day before, except she was not well put together. Her eyes seemed dim with dark circles, and her overall aura of peaceful stature was off course. It felt as if the person I met the other day was a different person from the one I saw before me. 

Sharifa motioned towards the tea with a weak smile, “Please have the tea. It’s a mix of honey and earl grey.” 

I lifted the cup and took in the steamy scent. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary, but all that was happening in the kitchen and the matter of change overnight made me suspicious. I wanted to trust her, but everything fell out of line so quickly, and the person in front of me seemed to have changed. 

“I could drink some of it first if you’re suspicious of it. I know we’ve only met yesterday, but please,” she seemed desperate, for a reason I wasn’t sure about. “I need to make certain of something.” She glanced towards the open books and the notes she had taken. 

Thinking back to the symbols I saw in the books and on the papers, I began to hesitate more. Even though everything about her was suspicious, and what she told me the day before about her time is near, I brought myself to trust her. 

I took a slow and careful sip of the tea, tasting only the sweet honey and the familiar taste of earl grey. I glanced at her but it seemed she wanted me to drink it all. At the bottom of the now empty cup were the herbs. 

At the moment I set the cup down, Sharifa snatched the cup away and stood, glowering into it like she was searching for answers. 

I watched her as she left to the kitchen and walked back, her eyes still glued to the inside of the cup. 

“What is it?” Her anxiety was beginning to spread to me, 

Sharifa sat down with a trembling sigh as she held the cup tightly in her hands. “I can’t believe it was true,” she whispered in disbelief without looking at me. 

“What? Sharifa, what is it?” I moved around the coffee table and sat next to her, desperate for an answer. 

She shook her head and spoke in her language, seemingly praying, and paused. She stood and took a cup from the kitchen, looking into both and comparing. “There’s no time.” 

Just as I was beginning to become impatient, she cried out into her hands, “He’s coming after me.” Her sobs were full of fear and weakness which said she couldn’t do anything. 

“Who is?” I shook her, trying to get an answer out of her. 

Sharifa shook her head and showed me the cups, the tea leaves at the bottom of each in shapes I couldn’t understand. “I did a reading to prove our futures.” She turned both until each of the cups seemingly mirrored the other. In the darkness of the cup and the herbs, a silhouette of a smile could be seen. 

At that moment, I saw a flash of that smile, and the voice of that man saying something new, but I couldn’t understand what he said. My head rang with the words before a sharp pain in my side shocked me still, squeezing the air out of my lungs and grappling my ribs with horrific pain. The pain petrified me, bringing me back for a moment until I realized I wasn’t back in that dream.

“You’ll die after me,” she whispered with her teary eyes, dropping the glass cups to the floor where they shattered.