Saving Grace

Fidan Aliyeva | THE SPECTRUM
FIDAN ALIYEVA | THE SPECTRUM

She was falling — no, she was floating, surrounded on all sides by mirrors. Twisting around to reposition herself, she found she was not alone.

Another figure drifted less than a foot away, but her body was limp and lifeless, her long, dark hair dangling — dull and lusterless, like death.

She reached out, opening her mouth to call to the other girl but her voice was gone, the silence swallowing her words.

“Grace?” Who was that girl?

She swam in the air, desperate the try to get to the stranger to no avail. Something was holding her back, pulling her away even as she came closer. She was almost able to touch her shoulder…

“Grace, snap out of it!” She woke up with a jolt to Sam shaking her shoulders, his eyes wide in concern, face inches from her own where he knelt beside her chair. Piper stood to his right, her hands on the edge of the table.

“Is she okay?” The two looked at each other before looking back at her, seeming to contemplate her well-being. “She just suddenly passed out. That can’t be normal, can it?”

“Guys, I’m fine.” Standing up, she patted Sam on the shoulder, smiling. “I’m okay.”

It was all a dream in the end.

It had to be, but it had all been so real.

If she had reached just a little further, she was sure she would have felt the cloth of the girl’s baggy shirt. She shook her head, sitting back down. “I just had a crazy dream, that’s all.”

Piper stared at her in disbelief, “Are you sure? I really think we should take you to see the nurse, just to be safe. You hit your head pretty hard when you fell.”

“Fell?” She echoed, uncertain whether she had heard right. It had just been a dream, after all. It couldn’t possibly be real. It was just her imagination getting the best of her.

“Yeah,” Sam answered, “You were saying something about ideas for the float and then you just fell. Piper and I had to work together to get you into a chair.”

“You were out for a while; we were worried about you!” Piper added, placing a hand on Grace’s forehead. “You’re certain you aren’t sick?”

She nodded, brushing back her bangs from her face, straightening out the wrinkles from her t-shirt. “I don’t even remember falling, so everything is A-OK. We were discussing the spring festival, right?”

Hesitantly, Sam nodded while Piper opened her tablet again to recap the main points of the discussion before Grace had passed out.

Thankful for the change of subject, she relaxed in her chair, happy to just listen to her two friends pass ideas back and forth, debating the best decoration choices and budget options.

This was normal. This was the real world, unlike that mirrored-place that could have come straight out of a fairy-tale.

“It was just a dream,” she muttered when Sam said goodbye, mentioning the homework he needed to complete for a class on Monday. Piper put away her tablet, closing her bag.

“Of course it was a dream,” she motioned for Grace to follow as she made her way to the door.

“We should be going too. It’s getting late, and I think you should get some sleep. I still think you should see the nurse, but that will have to wait until the morning now.” Grace groaned, standing up to join Piper by the door.

“You’re a worrywart, you know that?”

“Yeah, a worrywart with common sense, unlike a certain roommate I know.”

Rolling her eyes, she fished out the key to their dorm as they walked up stairs, opening the door for the stubborn redhead who grinned when Grace finally gave in.

“All right, all right, if it makes you feel better, I’ll go see the nurse in the morning.” If she was lucky, the nurse would pass it off as nothing to be concerned about, and they could put this matter to rest.

This is a weekly realistic fiction series with supernatural implications that will be published every Monday. To read previous portions of the story, please refer online to ndsuspectrum.com.

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