A Shade of Halloween

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Chapter Eighteen

I got into my dorm room and ran straight to Alex’s bed. My curiosity was threatening to burst out of me, making my pace seem too slow. My hands were shaking as I lifted the mattress off the bed, tossing it to the floor beside the frame. Tears were beginning to cloud my vision now. I didn’t know why I was crying, probably because I could tell I was crumbling under the pressure of the ridiculousness going on in the world around me. I looked at the small space between the headboard and the first rail of the bed, and my breath got caught in my throat.

It was there!

The note was right there, carefully tucked in like someone had placed it there. I couldn’t believe it. The police had checked this room. What was the possibility of them missing it? I had checked this headboard before, though not the first rail. My head began to pound as I recalled the other things in the mystery Selena Ryder book. If my silver pendant had stopped my dream from playing out exactly the same way, did that mean my mom was going to die?

My mom!

I rushed to my bag and brought my cell phone out. My fingers instantly raced to the dial button, praying she would pick up this time.

“Mom, pick up!” I yelled out loud, as the buzzer continued to ring in my ear.

I knew I couldn’t stay back in school when my mom was possibly in danger of losing her life. Maybe if I got home soon enough, I would be able to stop it somehow. I didn’t take anything else from my room. With just my cell phone, I ran out of my dorm. I didn’t even bother to lock the door behind me. Everything else could wait.

“Selena!”

I heard Trina Bayle call my name as I ran past, but I couldn’t stop. Any time spent explaining things could have devastating consequences. I needed to get to my mom as fast as I could, so I left Trina there looking confused. I was going to explain later. For now, I needed to make sure my mom was fine.

I got to my front door and wasn’t exactly surprised to find it open. I was terrified because it was open in my dream.

“Mom!” I yelled at the top of my lungs.

There was no response. I was still standing at the front door when I spotted the drop of blood on the railing.

“No, please no!!!” Tears were beginning to make their way out of my eyes now.

I ran straight to the top of the stairs and almost collapsed when I saw a bigger red spot on the floor. I felt like I lost my ability to breathe in that moment. A searing pain shot through my heart and I felt like someone was puncturing holes in my lungs. It could not be true. The events from the Selena Ryder book just couldn’t be happening in real life.

“Mom!!!”

I let out one final pain-filled, blood-curdling screech, as I flung the door to my mom’s room open. I must have really startled her because she turned around sharply, almost dropping the Band-Aid she was holding. She removed the earplugs in her ears, and her facial expression quickly changed from surprise to worry.

“Selena?” She called my name like she wasn’t sure it was me.

I was standing in the doorway, panting like I ran a marathon across the city. I had a mixture of overwhelming emotions crashing through my body.

“The blood… the blood on the floor.” I managed to say.

“I cut my finger in the kitchen and came up here to cover it up.” She replied. “Why did you scream like that?”

“They’re coming, mom. They’re coming after you.”

The words felt hot in my throat as I managed to choke them out. The floodgates opened in my eyes and tears began to stream down my face. My mom took me into her arms, hugging me to calm me down.

“It’s okay, honey. Nobody’s coming for me.” She said, her voice laced with concern.

“No, mom. They’re coming!” I protested, my body stiffening from fear.

“Okay. Who’s coming?” She asked.

“The Serafino clan of vampires!” I blurted out, holding her even tighter in the hug.

My mom pulled away from the hug and studied my face.

“You look like you haven’t slept in days.” She said softly. “Honey, I told you going back to that room was a bad idea. Vampires aren’t real.”

“Mom, you have to believe me. They are. They killed Alex and now, they’re coming for you too.”

“Honey, Alex was killed by a cut made with a knife.”

“No! The vampires killed him. Please believe me!” I cried. “Everything happened like the book said it would. The front door was open. There was blood on the railing and the floor in front of your door.”

“What book?” My mom asked, clearly confused.

“The Selena Ryder book!” I replied. “It’s right there in the library.”

“It’s okay, honey. I believe you.” My mom smiled. “I know someone who can stop the vampires. Let me grab my car keys and I’ll take you there.”

I stood there terrified, looking around me like I was expecting the monster to jump out any second. He didn’t. My mom came back with a glass of water in her hand.

“Here, drink this. It’ll help you relax.” She said.

I took the cup from her hands and gulped the water down. All that crying must have made me so thirsty. It was a good thing she thought of making me drink some water. Once I emptied the glass, I dropped it on the drawer and followed my mom out of the house.

“Why don’t you close your eyes and sleep for a while. You look really tired.” She said when we got into the car, stroking my wet cheeks with her thumb.

I realized I was actually feeling sleepy and closed my eyes for a bit. By the time I woke up, I found myself in the parking lot of my college’s hospital.

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