ISBN 9789899734869-3

2005 Words
'What the...?'. Standing, Lana did a full circle squinting her eyes before chuckling nervously, 'Very funny, Scottie. I know it's you. You can come out now!' she yelled. But nobody appeared. She fidgeted with her fingers, nervously. She planned to climb back on her bike and cycle away, but her legs moved in another direction: towards the summit. No, she thought, no. But it was no good. She no longer had any control over her body, and she continued walking until she reached the pinnacle of Carlton Point. Lana was terrified. She'd always had what she thought to be an irrational fear of heights, just like Emma had an irrational fear of water. There was no explanation to either phobia. Then why am I here? Why did I climb up? At the very top of Carlton Point was a small circular patch of ground surrounded by an ancient stone wall. On one side of it was the pathway she'd just walked along, although steep, there were no scary edges as such. But the other side was an altogether different story. She'd seen it in pictures, and from afar, but she'd never seen it up close. Standing dead centre as she let her handbag fall to the ground, Lana closed her eyes just for a second. I'm not here, she thought, I'm in bed having a nightmare. But the gentle breeze told her a different story. She gulped hard and opened her eyes, her limbs incapable of moving further. But she was no longer in the centre of the circle. She was now looking down at a sheer drop hundreds of feet below. She could hear her heart beating, feel it thudding in her chest. She couldn't open her mouth; it was too dry. All she wanted to do was scream, but she couldn't even do that. Please, God, don't let me die, she thought. A sudden massive gust of wind took her feet from beneath her, and she was forcefully pushed from the top of Carlton Point, falling silently and peacefully to the rocky hills below. CHAPTER 4 She'd fallen asleep with her head leaning forward on the bottom of the bed. She woke with a start, a cry slipped from her lips, startling herself. Her hands flew to cover her mouth, and a tear fell down her cheek. A strange feeling overcame her and Emma searched the room for Lana. 'Lana?' she asked. 'Em?' said the voice from the bed. Emma gasped. Wasn't he supposed to be in a coma, she thought. 'I'm here,' she said without thinking, moving closer so he could take her hand. 'It's me, Em... it's Joe, don't forget me. I've always loved you, you know.' Emma blushed, 'I... erm... I...' Joe smiled, his dry lips cracking, 'I knew we'd be together again, Emelia... ' he sighed and as a final breath of air whispered through his lips, so did his life. 'Joe? Joe?' she cried, 'Wake up, Joe...' The door opened, and the doctor rushed in. After a few moments that seemed to last for ages, he turned to face her. 'Emma,' he nodded. 'He's gone. I'm so sorry. I knew he wouldn't come out of the coma.' Emma looked at the doctor strangely, 'But... but he did. He just spoke to me,' she exclaimed. The doctor walked over to the monitoring system and shook his head, 'I don't think so, dear. There's nothing here to suggest that he woke from his coma. He's gone now. He's no longer suffering.' Emma sniffed, 'What will happen to him?' 'Until the police can locate his family, he will be kept in the mortuary. I'm sorry, Emma, I know you seemed to have developed a bond today, but he's gone. It's time you went home,' he smiled as he patted her arm gently. 'I... I want to go and see Mr Grimshaw if that's all right?' she said, not quite knowing why she wanted to go and see the old man. The doctor nodded and directed her to his room, 'But, you do know that he's in a coma too, don't you?' Emma nodded, thanked him and walked down the corridor to Mr Grimshaw's room. As she pushed open the door, she expected him to have company, but the room was empty, except for old Mr Grimshaw who lay pretty much the same way the young boy had done — linked up to all kinds of machines that beeped quietly in the background. Pulling up a chair, Emma sat beside the bed and closed her eyes. A strange sensation flooded her body, like a feeling of deja vu. She shivered, wondering what Lana and Scott were up to when a sense of foreboding filled her. She rubbed her arms and shivered again, before closing her eyes, letting the gentle sounds of the hospital lull her to sleep. CHAPTER 5 It didn't feel like death was upon her. In fact, Lana felt strangely alive as her body fell slowly to the ground. Slowly? Yes, she was falling slowly, far too slowly. Lana looked down and watched as the ground below her seemed to hover. She held out her arms and felt her feet gracefully touch the floor like a ballet dancer about to pirouette in the air. A shocked giggle erupted from her lips as she twirled and looked around, before glancing upwards to see how far she'd fallen. But it wasn't a fall, she thought, I should be dead. Suddenly, the full extent of what had happened hit her. She took a step back as if someone punched her in the stomach. Oh My God, she thought, gulping. I've just fallen from Carlton Point and survived. Not a scratch. Nothing. It can't possibly be right. 'Oh No,' she whispered, 'I must be dead.' Her hands flew to her mouth, and she retched, heaving, throwing up the chocolate Rice Krispies she'd had for breakfast. Sitting down on a mossy rock, she put her elbows on her knees and breathed in and out deeply. Hang on; if I'm dead, surely I wouldn't throw up this morning's breakfast? She searched around for her body, and it was nowhere to be seen. She pinched herself over and over until her arms were pink and sore. And then she couldn't help it. She began laughing and laughing until her stomach muscles ached. But after about five minutes, she stopped abruptly. A sensation in her abdomen caused her to curl over in agony. Writhing on the floor for what seemed like an age, tears rolled down Lana's face. Eventually, the pain dissipated, and she was able to sit up. Scrambling at her long black T-shirt, she pulled it up and peered down at her stomach. There, etched on her skin, was what appeared to be a tattoo. Lana's eyes opened wide, and she began to cry, loudly. 'What the hell?' she sobbed, 'What's going on?' she shouted as tears streamed down her cheeks, causing black mascara to smear across her face. 'What's wrong with me?' she said as she fell to the floor in a heap. 'Emma, I need to get to Emma,' she whispered, pulling herself together as she scrambled upwards and ran around the back of Carlton Point until she eventually reached her bicycle. 'My bag... where's my bag? Oh no,' she whispered as her gaze was forced upwards towards the pinnacle. Her shoulders slumped as she realised where her bag must be. 'No, I can't do it. I can't go back up there.' But Lana soon changed her mind as she remembered that her bag was full of her many treasured things: her favourite animal print cardigan; expensive perfume, Juicy Tube lip gloss, pink camera, etc. She couldn't just leave those things up there. Reluctantly, she dropped her bike once again and began climbing upwards. But that's when she realised something had changed. The fear that she'd felt since she was a baby had gone. She walked with newfound confidence. The confidence that her fear of heights had left her. It had gone for good. When she reached the top, Lana held her arms high above her head and twirled around and around, laughing. She located her bag and took out the camera, taking pictures of everything that she could see from such a height. All the places where Scott, Emma and herself spent much of their time: the old churchyard, the castle ruins, the new church which they visited on special occasions, but best of all, she could see the one place she'd always wanted to see for herself but had never had the courage to: the mainland. She could just about see mainland England. 'Woop, Woop!' she shouted as she eventually put the camera back in her bag and went over to the spot where she'd fallen. Lana looked down. It didn't even make her dizzy. Without thinking, she climbed up onto the stone wall and held out her arms, 'I'm on top of the world!' she yelled as loud as she could, laughing. When another gust of wind pushed her from behind, Lana didn't even flinch. She let it take her because deep down she knew she would land on her feet, in one piece, safely. And that's exactly what happened. But the pain in her abdomen brought her back to reality. 'Mum and Dad are going to kill me,' she whispered as she bent over, wincing. How the hell am I going to explain this, she thought as she walked back around to her bike, climbed on it and headed downhill. People milled around the hospital just as they had before, minding their own business. Lana walked up the stairs, past the nurses' station and into the room where she'd left her sister earlier. The sight of nothing but an empty bed startled her. 'Oh no,' she whispered, 'Excuse me,' she asked one of the orderlies cleaning the floor outside, 'Can you tell me what happened to the young man who came in in this morning?' 'I'm sorry, love. He died a little while ago. Your friend was here when it happened.' 'My friend?' 'Yes, love, the girl with the long brown hair. You know, with the intense green eyes,' he smiled. 'Oh, you mean Emma. That's my sister,' she replied. The man looked at her quizzically, 'Your sister?' Lana smiled, 'Yes, my sister.' The man looked a little awkward before adding, 'She's still here. She's down with the old man who was brought in earlier. Grimshaw, I think his name is.' 'Oh? Okay, thank you. Can you tell me which room?' After he told her where to find Emma, Lana thanked him and walked away. 'Em?' she whispered as she opened the door to Room 12 and saw her sister sleeping in a chair next to the old man. Tiptoeing inside, she gently closed the door behind her and wandered across to look at Mr Grimshaw. He looked terribly sick. He's so old; she thought, poor thing. When his eyes shot open, Lana nearly had a heart attack. 'Jeeesus!' she cried. 'Wh...what the...' shrieked Emma who jumped up from the chair. 'Em... Em... is that you, my love?' said the old man. Emma groaned, 'Oh no, not again.' Lana raised her eyebrows at her sister once she'd calmed down. 'What is it with you today?' 'Em... Emelia?' he croaked before closing his eyes again, quickly returning to his unconscious state. The door opened, and a nurse popped her head around the door. 'Everything all right, girls?' Emma nodded while Lana shook her head. 'Well, which is it?' she said as she walked into the room and checked on Mr Grimshaw. Lana was about to say something, but Emma tugged at her arm and shook her head. Smiling sweetly, Lana told her everything was fine. The middle-aged nurse pulled a funny face and walked out, closing the door behind her. 'What's going on, Emma?' Lana asked, placing her hands on her hips and tipping her head to one side. But before she could tell her, Emma asked, 'Are you all right, Sis?' 'Wh...why do you ask?' she stuttered. 'Well, you've got panda eyes for a start and, I don't know, I just had this horrible feeling earlier. Weird really,' she said, shrugging her shoulders before she proceeded to tell her sister about what had happened while she was out. '... and he told me his name was Joe. Just before he died, he called me Emelia.'
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