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Wake Me Up Inside
EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER ONE:
Walking briskly into the dark room it dawned on me. This was my favourite place to hang out in the school. The equipment never let me down, although it was in rough shape. Developing the football pictures would be a snap. As I started to process them, several transparent balls appeared one of which was conical in shape like a wizards hat. They were randomly located through-out the photos, but not in all of them. Curious. It must be a reflection or some dirt on my camera lens. I hung up the pictures for drying and began to clean the lens. A light tap on the door startled me.
Just a minute - Im almost done, I shouted, almost dropping the lens.
Another tap on the door! Wow, dont they know the red light means that I am processing pictures and cannot open the door?
Ill be right there, I barked.
Exiting the room, I turned off the red light. As if walking through a cold breeze, the hairs on my arms stood straight up and I shivered. What is going on?
Suddenly, everything appeared in slow motion - the little girl from my dream was walking towards me down the hall. I became paralyzed with fear in reaction to the physical manifestation in front of me. Unable to move, my eyes rolled slowly towards her trying to make sense of the situation. I realized she held something in her hands that was beyond interpretation. She held my gaze as if to say something and then poof - she disappeared.
I flinched as I realized someone was beside me talking to me and snapped back into reality.
Paige, are you all right? asked Principal Byrne. You look pale as a ghost.
Uh, yeah&. Im okay. Did you just see a little girl in the hall? Feeling nauseous, I was almost afraid to hear his answer.
No. I didnt see anyone else, replied Mr. Byrne. His eyes narrowed as he studied me and with the effect of the pop bottle glasses he wore, his eyes appeared ten times bigger. His shiny, bald head reminded me of a bowling ball, which did not help either. I tried not to giggle.
Are you sure? She looked & around eight or nine years old? I responded indignantly.
Yes, Im sure Paige. Youre the only one in the hall, he replied, with a puzzled look upon his face.
Like someone hit me in the stomach, I realized how vulnerable and alone I was. Why was this happening to me?
Thankfully, dad appeared. Mr. Byrne nodded at him and walked away. The two men hadnt seen eye to eye on a few issues over the years.
Cmon, Paige, lets go. Im finished meeting with Madame Darling, dad commanded with his charming smile.
Yes, Im done too, I stammered, slamming my heels on the polished flooring. The pounding of each step resonated through-out the hallway, reflecting my thoughts that time in this institution was drawing to a close. Soon I would be free.
As we burst out the front doors to the parking lot, my dad asked gently, Paige, are you okay? You dont seem yourself; youre pale, too.
Im just hungry, dad, I responded, successfully changing the subject.
Dinner will be soon. Hang in there, dear.
That night, I lay in bed reading, smelling something faint in the air. It was almost like a newly dug grave - kind of like when you dig a grave for a family pet. My face crinkled as the smell became stronger, burning the insides of my nose. It smelled like dirt from deep down under. The hairs on my arms stood on end, like earlier at school; my heart pounding. What is happening to me? Just then I heard dad clear his throat as he entered the bedroom.
I am really looking forward to speaking with your class, tomorrow, Paige.
As scared as I was, I quickly recovered and said, Thanks for donating your time, dad. Madame Darling is thrilled. I know Im going to get a fantastic grade for bringing you into the class. Imitating Madame Darling walking around the classroom with her nose in the air, I mockingly said, She feels our generation is so lazy. Chiropractic and the wellness lifestyle teaches us to eat better, think positive thoughts, exercise and sleep enough!
Okay, kiddo, thats it, he said, laughing. See you in the morning.
Dad? I sat up.
What, dear? His face grew serious.
Oh, never mind. Goodnight. I lied back down looking interested in my book. It was evident by the conversation and dads beaming smile on his small-boned face that he was happy about tomorrow. He was very passionate about his career. I did not want to bother him about weird visions or nightmares tonight.
Sauntering gleefully through the forest, again, in my fancy dress, I felt free; not a worry in the world. It started to rain; the mist was so refreshing. I faced up to the sky, smiling, enjoying the coolness on my skin. Opening my eyes, I looked down at my sleeves and hands and realized the mist was ruby red. I felt sick to my stomach, yet, managed to bolt through the dense brush. The tree branches whipped against my face, cutting my skin. I was in agony. Throwing my arms up to protect myself, I glanced down at pools of blood. My white shoes were now ruby red slippers and I realized, I wasnt in Kansas anymore. Hounds snapped at my heels as I jumped off the edge of the cliff. This time landing on the boy, his eyes opened and I stared into the blackest abyss. My skin crawled; I was petrified. He grabbed me and thorns from the rose ripped into my stomach as he rolled me over, pinning me down, preventing me from drawing a breath.
Mom shook me until I awoke. She was yelling at me.
Paige, Paige, wake up! Wake up, dear. Kevin, whats wrong with her!?
Calm down Lori. Give her a minute.
I slowly opened my eyes and through blurred vision saw my parents troubled faces. I felt like I had run a marathon. My stomach was on fire, my legs were achy, and my hair was wringing wet. My heart felt like it was going to burst out of my chest. I slowed my breathing, as I gasped, Dad & mom& what happened!?
Paige, you were thrashing about in your bed and almost fell out. It seemed like you were deathly afraid! dad exclaimed. Has this happened to you before?
Like any smart kid would do, I denied having similar dreams to this one. I did not want my parents putting me under a microscope. Mom left the room to grab a cold cloth for me. She was always nurturing. Dad looked very concerned, apparent by his furrowed brows and rigid frown.
I knew this move was not agreeing with you, Paige. Im so sorry we have to go.
Were worried about how its going to affect you.
Dad, mom doesnt have much of a choice. Grandpas sick. Mom can`t drive to Camlachie and back every day. Its two and a half hours one way. Im trying to understand, I replied, not believing my own words.
Mom stormed into the room and heard us talking. She placed the cold cloth gently on my forehead, nudging my dad farther down the bedside, and began to speak slowly.
You know I have to go. I feel terrible making you guys move.
This was a family decision. Were all in this together, Lori. Right, Paige?
Mom started to cry.
Dad threw his arms around her. I was aware once more of the love they held for each other. They had each married their best friend. I just hoped I would be as lucky one day. My parents turned and hugged me on my oversized double bed. We all cried for a moment and then I tried to assure them that the move was cool. I am not certain I was that convincing, but they did wander off to their bedroom.
Dreams seemed to rule my life, lately. They werent the kind about butterflies dancing lazily in the garden or sunshine over a beautiful floral meadow. My dreams were not dreams at all. They were nightmares. I glanced at my alarm clock; it was flashing four a.m. Alone in the bed and wide awake, I wondered, what will this move bring?
In this para-thriller/romance/coming of age, ghost story Paige Maddison, teen heroine, is forced to deal with other-wordly experiences whether she wants to or not. Her life seems perfect living in Scarborough, Ontario, until one day her parents announce they are moving to a village named Camlachie. Angry and resentful, Paige begins to have nightmares of a girl haunting her dreams. And when the dreams turn into reality, she is scared out of her mind. Paige must figure out what is haunting her family and the mystery of OBrien Manor before the evil is their undoing. Wake Me Up Inside is a page turner; an emotional roller coaster that leaves you haunted.
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