A Shade of Halloween

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Chapter Twenty

My mom sat in the corner of my room the next day, her eyes filled with tears. Dr. Reyes and Detective Howard were also in the room, sitting on two extra chairs, while a doctor stood a few paces away from my bed.

“How soon can we get the results?” Detective Howard asked.

“Maybe in a week. I strongly suggest you keep her here where she can be cared for.” The doctor replied.

“Wait… What results?” I asked, looking at Detective Howard but relaying my question to the doctor.

“Selena, I was at the library yesterday.” Detective Howard started, a grim expression on his face.

“Okay…” I said, too impatient for him to pause now.

“The book you mentioned does not exist.” He stated, calmly.

“What do you mean it doesn’t exist?” I asked. “It does. I read it there yesterday.”

I couldn’t believe what the detective was saying. The book existed. It was how I knew everything that was going on.

“Selena, every book in the library is registered in the database. The library head did a search of that database in front of me. There was no book with Selena Ryder as its title.” He replied.

I looked at everyone in the room in disbelief.

“You’re not being serious, are you?” I asked.

“How can it not exist?” I asked, directing my question to no one in particular.

“Selena, we won’t be this worried if that was the only thing that didn’t check out.” He continued. “I was in your room and the note you said you dropped before running home wasn’t there. A few of your dorm mates testified to have seen you acting erratically yesterday.”

“I was worried about my mom. Anyone in my position will run out the way I did!” I defended, a little too forcefully.

“…and the librarian?” He asked.

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“The librarian named Rose was reported missing two weeks ago. How could she have told you not to borrow a book yesterday?” He asked.

“Not that Rose.” I protested. “I thought that Rose quit. The library hired a new Rose. She’s been there for a while now.”

“Selena, I want you to know that we all care about you, and we’ll help you recover. However, you need to accept the truth. You can’t keep thinking these things are real.” He stated.

My mom’s tears were falling freely down her cheeks now.

“Mom, please… This is probably what the vampires want you to believe! It’s all real!” I begged, screamed, and hoped she’d understand.

I saw Dr. Reyes raise an eyebrow at my mention of the word ‘vampire’. It was the first time she made a gesture that suggested she didn’t believe me. I was shaking frantically now. I remembered the dream about my mom’s murder and the vivid description in the Selena Ryder book. I couldn’t sit back and do nothing while that became my reality.

“Calm down, Selena.” I heard the doctor say, over my screams.

I didn’t even realize I was screaming.

“Selena… stop, please. I believe you.” I heard Dr. Reyes say, and I stopped screaming.

My eyes were still fixed on her relaxed facial features when I felt the prick of the needle on my arm.

“Wait… stop… what…”

I could barely piece the words together properly before everything around me went blank.

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