It’s 3 AM and Beth is tossing and turning in bed. It’s one of the things she hates about travel – not getting to sleep in her own bed. Her body somehow knows she’s not in her childhood bed and will let her get zero rest until she returns to her usual bed.
Staring at the gray stony ceiling that reminds her of the European prisons in Medieval times she’d seen in movies, she blows out a big breath. “Okay, you can do this.” She tells herself. “This is a King-size bed, for God’s sake, it’s way more comfortable than what you have at home. Now go to sleep.”
Closing her eyes, she tries coaxing her body to relax. Imagine you are sinking into the bed, she thinks, remember what you’ve learn in meditation.
As she feels her body begins to relax, a soft knock jolts her awake. Beth opens her eyes, feeling irritated. She bolts upright, “Who dares wake me…” she stops mid-sentence when she see something slides under the door.
Not even bother putting on her shoes, she pitter-patters across the room, picks up the stationary, and reads,
I think we
knowknew each other before.
A? Abby? Beth wonders. What does she mean?
Slowly and carefully, Beth eases the heavy wooden door to her room open, checking the corridor to make sure it’s empty. Though she knows she’s a guest, she doesn’t want to be caught skulking at night when she’s supposed to be sleeping.
When the coast is clear, she tiptoes down the hall to Abby’s room and knocks softly, which opens almost at once. Beth holds up the stationary, “Wh…” was all she can get out before Abby slaps a hand over her mouth and yanks her into a room, which, to Beth’s surprise, looks identical to hers, down to the furniture.
Daphne is also in the room, a black eye mask on her forehead while she sits cross-legged on the armchair by the window, like a queen on the throne. “What do you mean, ‘we knew each other’?” Beth spins around and shoves the stationary in Abby’s face.
“Calm down,” Abby says slowly, “Are you always this way?”
“What way?” Beth snaps, “Uptight and anxious?”
Abby lets out a loud sigh and begins slowly. “Okay, so I think we might had known each other back in elementary school. I had this dream, well, more like nightmare, about this kid getting run over by a car. Now, I know dreams are just something our minds made up but I have this gut feeling this isn’t a normal dream. My mind is trying to tell me something, something the psychiatrist helped me block out during one of our sessions way back when.”
The room falls silent for a minute before Beth hears the name spill slowly from her lips, a name she wishes she can forget for the last 20-some years, since she left the hellhole that was Double Lakes Elementary. “Daphne…Waters?”
“Well well well, Bookworm Beth,” Daphne smirks.
“So…the accident really happened? The dream is real?” Abby interrupts and for a moment, Beth feels a strong urge to run as fast as her bare feet would let her back to her room, away from Daphne, her tormenter from first grade to the day her parents finally moved her out of the town. Instead, Beth stands there, frozen.
Daphne uncrosses her legs and stands. “Yes,” She crosses the room to the door, “Are we done?”
“Didn’t you see Richard at dinner tonight?” Abby says, “The cane?” Beth and Daphne stares blankly back at her. “Didn’t you notice he looked familiar?” Still, blank stares.
“What are you saying?” Beth says.
“I don’t think we were chosen at random. I don’t think this is a vacation. I think Richard is that kid that got hit by the car and I think he knows we were witnesses.”
“So?” Daphne shrugs.
“So, my gut is telling me there’s a hidden agenda.”
Theme: The Mystery of the Millionaire Mansion
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