Journal entry—April 4
I’m going crazy.
There was no doubt in my mind of that simple and terrifying fact. And the situation I was facing right now only made me more positive.
I dropped my pen and ducked out of the way as another book whizzed by my head, then jumped onto my bed and thrust my back against the wall, hugging my legs against myself. And, for what felt like the thousandth time—that day—I prayed for it to stop.
Around me, books, papers, pillows, and my laptop were swirling through the room in a supernatural whirlwind. Which meant that my normally carefully organized pink and white room was now covered by the chaos of my other belongings. A place of calm and peace, turned to hell. Drawers were opening and closing, spitting out their contents and adding to the mess that flew around the place. They’d been doing it on and off all day. How everything was moving, I didn’t know … but this wasn’t the first time. Not by a long shot. I’d endured months of this torture.
If only the flying objects were my sole problem. But no, that would be too easy. I was also seeing people who weren’t there, moving places in the blink of an eye without meaning to, and having visions of events that later came true. Take your pick—I had somehow hit the motherlode of crazy jackpot.
God, I just wanted it to end.
I should have died. The thought suddenly drifted through my head, just like it had been doing at least a dozen times a day—since the day that had changed my life. And with it, my lower lip began to quiver.
That was where it all started, I was sure of it. Ever since I hadn’t died, this madness had been life. And it was wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. I could feel the sting in my eyes and the warmth as a few stray tears began to slide down my face. Then a familiar pressure settled down on my chest, and I gave up and let the sobs come. I just wanted to go back—back to when I was normal. Before all the strange things started happening, and ruining my life. But that wasn’t possible. Not after what had happened.
There had been an accident … an accident that should have taken my life. I’d been in a coma for weeks, and the doctors had given up hope on me. My parents were ready to pull the plug as well, from the stories I’d heard … but not my brother. My sweet, innocent, guilt-ridden Ash. He’d vowed to save me, no matter what it took.
And that’s when things had started getting weird. I’d found herself in some sort of ghost-like state, able to see and hear the world around me, but unable to communicate. And I’d watched, horrified, as Ash had met with a strange man … and made a deal for my life. He’d sold his soul for me, and I’d been helpless to stop him. Then, right before Ash had shaken hands with the man, there’d been a flash of bright light.
Next thing I knew, I was awake in the hospital, back in my body. I’d been ready to write off what I thought I saw with Ash as a dream—after all, who in their right mind would have believed it?—but the weirdness started that very day.
I had made remarks to my parents about people I saw at the hospital, people no one else seemed to notice. The doctors chalked it up to stress, but I couldn’t quite accept that. I tried to, for awhile, because who was I to argue? Then I spent a week in the hospital, seeing people. Stress, I kept telling myself. That was what the doctors said, and it made sense.
Only stress didn’t explain the events that followed.
My first night home, I swore my bags had unpacked themselves. No one else admitted to doing it, and I knew I hadn’t. Which seemed … well, weird. Once again I tried to explain it away—mental exhaustion, I thought. I’d done it myself, and then forgotten. Or something.
As the days and weeks went by and the odd events continued happening, though, I began to doubt it was just stress. Then one day, it all came to a head. I went to move my bed, my phone having fallen behind it. It wasn’t light—a solid wood, sleigh-style bed—and when I pushed it, using the strength it would normally take to even budge it one inch, I ended up sending it sliding across the length of my room and slamming into my desk.
I panicked as I stared at the bed, knowing there was no way the doctors’ excuses explained that one away. That’s when the objects began to move right in front of my eyes. I picked up my phone with a shaky hand, and the bed moved back into place on its own.
I tried to ignore it all, but it continued. And the more time went by, the more freaked out I became. Still, it wasn’t until the day I was running late for school that I truly had to accept that something was seriously wrong with me. Just after thinking there was no way I’d make it in time, boom, in a blink of an eye, I found myself standing alone in the girl’s bathroom right outside first period. Just in time.
Or I would have been if I hadn’t completely freaked out, spending my first class curled up in the fetal position.
I didn’t know how, or why but something else had happened to me the night of the accident. It hadn’t been a dream, I realized—that scene that I’d seen was real. My brother had made a deal with the devil—or maybe something slightly less dramatic—to bring me back.
But what did he bring me back to?
Linda Foster was born and raised in Colorado, where she still lives with her (very patient) husband and three (very spoiled) ferrets. Linda became an avid reading enthusiast the moment she picked up her first book, and has grown steadily worse with time. By the time she was 15 years old, her library had become too big for her shelves, and she was forced to donate all of her books to the local school, just to make room for new ones. She started writing short novellas for her friends in middle school, and expanded into full-length novels several years later.