YA supernatural thriller
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All Billy wants is happiness.
What she gets is terrifying revenge.
One moment, Billy was on her way to the bathroom, the next she was standing outside the hostel covered in mud. She couldn’t remember having a shower, let alone going outside.
Why on earth would I go outside in my pajamas, barefooted? Billy wondered bewilderedly.
The iced chill of the air stabbed through her clothes like daggers. She’d never felt so cold before. She was about to make her way back, only after taking one step, she stopped. A sharp pain pieced the bottom of her left foot. When she lifted it up to have a look, she was surprised to see the sole bleeding.
“How on earth did that happen?” She said aloud.
Billy limped her way back to the hostel, but stopped when she reached the front door.
If I walk through the main entrance I’ll have the supervisors and Professor Brian on my case, and I don’t particularly want to answer their questions.
The last thing Billy wanted was for everyone to know about her sleepwalking escapades, if that was what it was. So she decided to enter from the back. Luckily, her dorm was not far from the backdoor.
It appeared that everyone was asleep, and she managed to creep past without waking anyone. Carefully sitting on the edge of her bed, she lifted her foot up to have a closer look.
“Where have you been?” Susan whispered loudly, making Billy jump. “Jesus what happened to you?”
“Ssh, I don’t want to wake the others,” Billy answered. “Listen can you swipe some dressings and antiseptic and meet me in the bathroom in five minutes? Don’t tell anyone, okay?”
“Sure,” Susan agreed and climbed out of bed.
Billy grabbed clean nightwear and then limped to the bathroom. She noticed her toiletries lying on the floor under the bathroom mirror. As she bent down to retrieve them, she caught a glimpse of her reflection and couldn’t understand how she’d gotten into such a state. Dried mud covered her pajamas and most of her hair. Maybe I decided to have a mud bath instead, she laughed at her joke.
Billy took a quick shower and reflected on her dilemma.
So far, only Susan knows about the incident. I hope it stays that way. I can’t get it straight in my own head, let alone having to explain it to anyone else. How am I supposed to explain why I was outside in the first place without sounding nuts? I’m glad Susan knows, though, as I really need her help.
Dressed in clean nightwear, Billy waited patiently for Susan, and giggled when she turned up minutes later with her hands full of medicants.
“What did you do, raid the first aid box?” Billy laughed.
“Well, I didn’t know what you’d need,” Susan replied uncomfortably. Dying to know what had happened, she held her tongue until Billy finished cleaning and dressing the foot.
“So, where have you been?" Susan asked impatiently.
“Don’t laugh, but I was sleepwalking,” Billy said.
“You couldn’t have been sleepwalking; you haven’t been to bed yet.”
“I know. I fell asleep in the bathroom.” Billy smiled falsely
“No!” Susan laughed.
“I guess all the hard work and fresh air has finally caught up with me. I’m totally shattered.”
Billy was relieved that her explanation had worked. Actually, Susan had quite a giggle at her expense. Luckily, she didn’t question her any further.
Billy got through a restful night without anyone else finding out about her little escapade, and in a couple of days, she totally forgot about the incident. That was, until it happened again. In fact, it happened twice.
The second time she found herself huddled in a corner of a small broom cupboard. Again she had no recollection of how she got there, especially as the last thing she remembered, she was sitting down at the dinner table eating and drinking with the others. Imagine her surprise and fear, to suddenly discover being in a dark cupboard as though no time had passed at all. That episode freaked her out. Billy wanted to ask someone if she said or did anything strange at dinner, but of course she didn’t dare to inquire.
What really concerned her was the third occasion where she misplaced time. She was standing over the sink washing plates and thinking of nothing in particular, when the next instant, she tasted a rusty, iron flavour inside her mouth that could only have been blood. When she pulled her hands out of the cold, soapy water, she noticed they were dyed with caked blood. Billy quickly wiped her mouth, but neither her teeth, nor lips were bleeding. She searched the bottom of the sink, but couldn’t find any broken pieces of china or sharp knives that could have cut her hands. In fact, Billy couldn’t find any evidence of any cuts at all. Hastily, she scrubbed off the blood and finished the washing up, almost in a daze as she tried to reason out what had happened. It was a mystery that couldn’t be solved by Billy alone; but she wasn’t about to involve anyone else, especially as she assumed the others were already questioning her sanity.
The night terrors continued, and on a couple of occasions, the other girls in the dorm woke her. Billy apologized profusely, blaming it on something she ate. Still, it never got to the stage where she was too scared to sleep. Although her dreams were traumatic, they were also strangely comfortable. It was as though another was sharing her experiences, and she was not alone.