What's That Sound
This Isn't The 1800s
Your Average Girl
Don't Make Me Go
Dress-Up Game
Alone With the Enemy
Some Strange Magic
You Only Live Once
What Are You?
A Wrong Turn
A Deal's a Deal
The Secret Inside
Helicopter, Helicopter
Mind Your Manners
A Maze and Delight
The Lost Seed
A Secret Escape
Getting Hot Inside
Seriously, What The
Got a Bad Feeling
Let's Try Something
Breathing is Overrated
In the Meantime
Nice Day for a Drive
Can't Turn Back
Got a Bad Feeling
When I woke the next morning and my fever still hadn't gone away, I knew I was going to have to tell my parents. At least maybe this would get me out of school the next day. There were a couple big assignments coming up, and I didn't feel like working on them, that was for sure. Not when every couple minutes, I had to run to the bathroom for fear of throwing up all over my textbooks.

"You poor dear," my mother said when I lay my head on the kitchen table. There was a bowl of cereal in front of me, but I hardly felt hungry and just lifting the spoon took all my energy. "I do hope it isn't food poisoning," she said, hovering around my shoulders as she glanced anxiously at my father.

He had always been the practical type, and said, "We'll take you to the doctor if it's not better by tomorrow."

With that settled, I managed a few sips of water and shuffled myself back off to bed. With any luck, the nausea would pass soon. As much as I didn't want to go to school the next morning, I didn't want to feel sick, either. It had been a while since I'd had a flu bad enough I didn't even have the strength to eat.

* * *

I must have fallen asleep, because I woke on top of my covers drenched in sweat and shivering. Whatever I had dreamed about must not have been good. I couldn't remember exactly what it had been about, but it had left me with a general feeling of unease.

It was quiet when I listened for the familiar sounds of the house, for the low murmur of my parents' conversation. They must have gone out. It really shouldn't have surprised me by this point. Ever since the move, they'd become quite the pair of socialites.

But still. Something about being in this big house by myself still threw me off. Particularly if I'd been up reading scary stories or, as in this case, awoken from a nightmare.

You'd think it would be a whole lot less frightening waking up in the middle of the day with the sun out an all, but the late afternoon glow cast an eerie orange light through the windows and across my room. It felt... unnatural.

But at least I was starting to feel a lot less sick to my stomach, probably on account of how long it had been since I'd last eaten.

I was so sweaty and gross that I decided to risk taking a shower--not that it was a risk in the typical sense, mind you, just that I still didn't know if I was up to standing that long. Maybe a  bath would have been better, but I figured I might pass out and drown or something. Better safe than sorry and all that.

As I turned on the tap, I thought I heard a noise from downstairs. Was that something... someone at the door? But when I shut the water off and listened, the house was still again. Deciding it was just my imagination and probably the fever screwing with my head, I climbed in and enjoyed the rest of my shower as best I could.

But when I got out, something still didn't feel right. I couldn't place it exactly, but it was familiar, like a few days back when I'd come home from school to find the balcony door ajar.

I actually hoped I would find Chance or even Mercurius and his animus when I opened the door to my room, but nope. I was all alone.

And to make it worse, when my parents finally got home a few hours later, they told me it was probably just the fever and I should go back to bed.

- - -

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© Hopeful Romantic ,
книга «Just a Kiss».