by Emma Bloom
Release Date: 07/20/15
The world sees Abby as unsavory, making her feel isolated. But she most certainly isn’t alone. Everywhere she turns she hears disembodied voices, sees things move as if by unseen hands. Bullies constantly torment her, threatening what remains of her sanity. Her mother is too busy trying to fix her craziness to see what is truly happening.
Abby is tired of the world around her, and wants nothing more than to escape. When her life spirals out of control, she is invited to Hildebranch Academy, a school for spirited kids like her. Can Abby learn to live a normal life?
The hospital room at Mercy Hospital was pretty much your standard small town hospital room. It had not been redecorated in over half a century. The room smelled like stale urine, and while Abby knew they had a protocol to keep it clean, her skin crawled just thinking about all the people who had lived and died in this very place since the moment it was built. The old paper lining the walls reminded her of the fabric of a Berber couch, with its cream color separated by small horizontal brown threads. The blinds looked like they hadn’t been cleaned in years. Instead of a bright white, they had long ago faded into an almost light mustard color.
When her mom finally left the room to get some breakfast, Abby felt like she could breathe at last. Mom had spent the whole night hovering over her and forcing her to stay awake. So her attempts to get any kind of rest had backfired. What a disaster this had all become. Abby couldn’t figure out how her life had spiraled so far out of her own control. At least the voices had been quiet throughout all the chaos. Now that she was out of the woods, the doctor’s words, she would be released later this afternoon after a psych evaluation.
A slight shuffle of feet caught Abby’s attention, and she looked to the doorway. Her vision blurred for a moment, then refocused. At first, nothing could be seen, but after a few seconds a fuzzy shape appeared. “Can I help you?”
“You can see me?”
“Uhm, yea. I’m not blind. Are you lost?”
“I’m looking for my wife.” An older man with a dark complexion was walking closer to her bed. He was wearing a long blue dressing gown, green pajama bottoms, and fuzzy maroon slippers. “You can really see me?”
Abby squinted her eyes and rubbed the corners with her fingers. “Did I hit my head or something? I’m pretty sure I can see you, sir.”
“Thank goodness. You have to help me find my wife.”
“What is your name?”
“Ed O’Neal.” He walked closer to the bed and put his hand on the railing.
“Mr. O’Neal, where was the last place you saw your wife?” Abby found it odd that a strange man would just walk into her room. She didn’t normally talk to strange men, but since her mom would be back soon she felt relatively safe. Plus, if she pushed her call button, a nurse would be in here quick enough.
“Miss Marcelli, who exactly are you talking to?” Abby looked up at the door to find a nurse in pink scrubs. She carried a clipboard and was playing with the side of her dark rimmed glasses as she looked at her speculatively.
“Mr. O’Neal.” She gestured to the side of her bed and sat up quickly when she found the man was no longer standing there. “I don’t understand. Didn’t you see him?”
“See who my dear?” Her mom picked that exact moment to walk into the room.
“The old man who was looking for his wife. Where did he go?” Confusion filled her. If there wasn’t any man in the room, that would mean she had either imagined the whole thing, or the voices which had always followed her around were materializing into something quite different. Abby had known that spirits followed her wherever she went, but she had never seen one so realistic before. Unless she counted seeing her dad, which Abby didn’t because she had desperately wanted to see him. At times, she thought maybe she had conjured up his image from her memories. Didn’t lots of kids do that? A small inkling of the apparition at the Pruitt house rose to the forefront of her mind, and Abby wondered if perhaps her friendly guests were starting to present themselves in a different form to her. But then again, there was still the chance that she hadn’t seen what she thought she had and was just imagining things. Wouldn’t that be a simple fix? To just not imagine these things anymore?
“Mrs. Marcelli, a word?” The nurse waved Mom into the hallway, and Mom followed her out of the room. Abby eavesdropped on their conversation the best that she could, but all she could hear were words like “side effect,” “mental breakdown,” and “depression.” She was sure there was a string of others, but they were standing too far away, and the constant blipping of the monitor behind her distracted her ears. Abby should have been used to the low murmur of whispers speaking about the oddity who was laying in the room. The crazy girl, that’s what she’d always been. Maybe everyone had been right, and Abby had gone around the bend for the last time.
About the Author
Author Emma Bloom, that’s me! I was born in southern Illinois and am the youngest in my family. From an early age I found a great love for reading and dreamed of one day creating books that would capture the minds of young readers. I am an avid lover of all things paranormal, even though I admit I’m the first to duck and cover in a haunted house.