#AtoZChallenge 2022 – Just another Nightmare?


Abby is a little girl again, around age 8, hopping off of the school bus with a pink backpack that’s half her height on her back while holding tight to her metallic Hello Kitty lunchbox like a lifeline.

“Well look who it is,” says a girl in a short navy skirt, white blouse, and knee-high socks says as she and two other girls strides over to a girl wearing a navy blue and white checker blouse and navy blue pants. Abby feels a familiarity toward the girl but struggles to pull a name from her head.

“Bethany.”

Abby blinks, Bethany? Beth? How can I not remember her?

Beth hastily stands, closes the brick-size book she was hiding behind, attempting to make a quick getaway but the girl in the short skirt grabs Beth by the wrist. “Where are you going?”

“Let me go,” Beth whimpers.

“Not so fast. No one walks away from Daphne Waters.”

Abby wakes with a start. Hand over her heart, she takes several deep breaths and look around her. It takes her a moment to realize she’s not at home and that she’s at Richard Hitchcock’s mansion. She closes her eyes and can still see the dream in her mind’s eye, like whenever she watches a movie with a great plot, she would imagine the plot with her in it as the main character.

“I knew Beth and Daphne?” She says out loud and shakes her head. “No, that’s impossible. I just met them yesterday.”

Closing her eyes, she takes several deep breath, counting each breath as she inhales and exhales, concentrating on what she witnessed in the dream.

There was a body.

A loud shriek of brakes as a car ground to a halt.

The boy, small as he was, his arms and legs were at awkward angles, like a puppet with its strings cut and got dropped in the middle of nowhere. Something about the boy looked familiar to Abby.

“Think,” Abby mutters, “my brain is trying to tell me something.”

She lies back on the plush king-size bed, in a room that does not feel grand enough to have such furniture, and closes her eyes.

The harder she wrecks her brain trying to relive the dream, the less the dream feels like a dream and feels more like memory. This isn’t a dream, she realizes, this is a memory and maybe this is what my brain is trying to tell me about Richard Hitchcock.

Theme: The Mystery of the Millionaire Mansion

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