Ghost Mirror (Volume 1) 1st Edition
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From the Inside Flap
"One ... two ... three."
A sharp snapping noise echoed through Dylan's ears, and when he opened his eyes again, he was seated on the stage in the bookstore once more. The curious faces of the crowd grew blurry and distorted for a moment, and Dylan vaguely wondered whether he would throw up. His stomach churned and twisted beneath his ribcage, threatening to expel its contents.
Suddenly, the hypnotist's eager face swam into view. He hovered over Dylan, looking expectant.
"Well?" he quipped, lacing his hands in front of him. "Can you tell us what you experienced? What memory you regressed into?"
Dylan stared out at the crowd. Everyone was silent and stared back at him. The boy licked his lips, feeling the way his heart slammed around inside his body like a rampant drum. He didn't know how to put his feelings into words. He couldn't bring himself to tell a dozen strangers that he thought he had just seen a brother he didn't know existed.
He opened his mouth to speak, but no words came out. Images of his mother and father's faces swam before his eyes. He felt a deep sense of betrayal begin to grow within him. It was an ugly feeling, and a foreign one.
"I ..." he wavered.
"Yes?" Dr. Dark urged, boring his eyes into Dylan. He elongated the S like a snake.
Without another word, Dylan leaped from the chair, causing it to scrape backwards a few inches across the stage. He quickly ran off and weaved through the bookshelves towards the exit. With every passing moment, it was harder for Dylan to breathe.
"Wait!" the hypnotist hollered after him. But Dylan was already out the door, his worn sneakers pounding against the sidewalk as he ran.
He ran for two blocks before he stumbled against the brick wall of a closed coffee shop and vomited into some shrubbery. He clutched at the mortar with his fingers as he gagged. Every time he closed his eyes, he pictured the toddler seated beside him. His brother, quite possibly his twin brother. The thought made his stomach seize up.
But where was he now?
Wiping his mouth, Dylan turned to see his mother's SUV in the road, its headlights cutting through the chilly fall night. Caitlin Reynolds's face was pale white as she peered out at him from behind the steering wheel. Even from a distance, Dylan could see her forehead furrowed with worry.
"Mom," he said, before erupting into tears.
Caitlin's face immediately softened. She clicked the button on her seatbelt and scrambled out of the vehicle, wrapping her wool cardigan more tightly around her as she jumped onto the sidewalk.
"Oh, thank God!" she cried and pulled her sobbing son to her chest. "Are you okay? Are you hurt?"
"I'm fine, I'm fine," Dylan blubbered. He stared down at the ruffled edge of his mother's long floral skirt. "Please don't be mad at me," he added feebly.
He could feel his mother sigh against him. "Well, of course I'm mad," she snapped, but hugged him more tightly. "I completely panicked when I couldn't find you anywhere in the house or the garage. Your father and I have been worried sick."
Dylan shook his head, not bothering to push aside the lock of dark hair that fell into his eyes. "I didn't want to move, mom," he said simply. "I really didn't want to move."
Caitlin slowly pulled away and crouched in front of him. She had thick, curly chestnut colored hair, but her eyes were the same deep blue as Dylan. In that moment, they searched Dylan's face, silently feeling his pain.
"I know," she whispered. "I'm so sorry, baby. I know it doesn't seem fair right now, but I promise you'll understand when you're older. This was too good of an opportunity for your dad to pass up."
Dylan nodded, swiping his fingers across his cheeks. Taking the sleeve of her cardigan, Caitlin ran its edge under his wet nostrils.
"Come on," she said. "Let's go home. Your dad is worried sick."
Caitlin kept glancing at Dylan in the rearview mirror as she drove, but she resisted asking him any questions. Dylan stared out the window of the backseat of the SUV, watching the dark square windows of businesses and shops as they drove out of downtown. Everything and everyone in Traverse City seemed to be asleep, except for a couple of restaurants here and there. He wrapped his arms more tightly around himself under his fleece jacket. The yellow light from the restaurants seemed warm and cozy.
He shifted uncomfortably in his leather seat, not wanting to make eye contact with his mother. He was afraid that if he did, she would ask him where he went. Dr. Dark's smug smile swam in his vision, along with the toddler on the floor of the family room. Was it possible that it had all been a trick? He wondered if the hypnotist could have somehow controlled what he had seen.
Dylan didn't know much about hypnosis, but the possibility seemed unlikely. He swallowed and snuck a glance at the back of his mother's head. With a sickening feeling in his stomach, he realized that the only other explanation was that he really did have a brother, and his parents had been lying to him about it all his life.
His knuckles turned white as he clutched the armrests on either side of him. Xbox aside, Dylan would have readily agreed that he had nice parents if someone ever asked. His father was a prominent and successful doctor, but he always had time to play catch with his son on Sunday afternoons. His mother always took the time to hear about his day at school each evening. Every once in a while, she even brought in homemade cookies to share with his class.
But these feelings and recollections were now tainted with a new image, the image of that other toddler staring up at the television in their old house. It was impossible that Dr. Dark would have known that their entertainment center had a long streak of black down the front of it, which Dylan had once put there with permanent marker when he was two. Nor could he have known about which photographs his mother had framed and placed on both sides of the television, either.
The only explanation was that Dylan really had regressed into a long forgotten memory. That his parents had a fourteen-year-old secret they were somehow desperate to keep from him.
- Paperback : 144 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1981848819
- ISBN-13 : 978-1981848812
- Item Weight : 7.2 ounces
- Product Dimensions : 6 x 0.33 x 9 inches
- Publisher : CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1st Edition (December 18, 2017)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #3,734,937 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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