House of Cards

Having survived a car accident that her younger brother perished in, five years later Quinn O’Neil is still unable to accept that she had been the one to live. Now, living with Gavin, the man who rescued her from the accident, she is starting her new life as an art teacher in an elementary school.

On her first day of work, Quinn is taken aback by her coworker, Charlie Scott, and finds herself unable to suppress her attraction. Still, Charlie is not the only one she is able to connect with. For the first time since her brother’s death, Quinn is able to build relationships with the students in her class. That is, until she notices a drastic change in, Justin, a student of hers. A change that occurs when an ominous child spirit begins to appear.


2. Nightmares


     I woke up drenched in my own sweat and tears bringing my hands to my face only to sob some more. My heart was in flames. It wasn’t the first time I had a dream pertaining to my deceased younger brother. And though I tried to push it out of my mind, I knew that it wouldn’t be the last.

     The sheets I’d nestled into earlier that night were scattered all over the floor, the pillows hadn’t stood a chance. With my legs at the edge of the bed, I readied myself to stand before turning on the small table lamp. It didn’t light the whole room but it was enough to navigate.

     Going out for a drink of water, I found Gavin pouring himself a glass of orange juice. He offered me one as well. I sat down on a bar stool watching him already dressed in his EMT uniform, his last name “Rossi” stitched on the left side of his chest.

     “Another dream,” he asked handing me a small glass of juice.

     I nodded my head taking a sip. “Same one.”

     “I didn’t hear you scream, it must not have been that bad,” he tried reasoning.

     But it was that bad. It always was. “Tell that to my bed.”

     Normally a comedian, Gavin only smiled sympathetically. We’d been through this scene too many times.

     He gave me a kiss on the top of the head like he always did before work, unless I was sleeping in my bed of course. I didn’t turn around, just stared in the empty spot Gavin had been occupying.

     “Do you want me to call out of work,” he asked. “We could spend the day together. Road trip?”

     I laughed and thanked him for his concern but we had bills to pay. “Thanks though.”

     The apartment was quiet when he wasn’t there. Too quiet. I had half a mind to call his cell phone and tell him to come back but I went to my room instead. It was only five in the morning, and I had plenty of time to sleep before normal people started waking up.

     With ease, I picked up the pillows lying on the floor and tossed them on my bed. Having all the linens off the ground, my room was spotless except for one thing. A chill spread down my spine realizing what it was. It was Gambit, Brayden’s action figure. I kept it high up on a shelf along with other special and breakable items so it wasn’t like I could have knocked it off during my sleeping fit.

     Holding it in my hand, I surveyed the room around me. It was a sure thing that insanity was consuming me. Some sort of post-traumatic stress disorder thing going on up in my brain but sometimes, sometimes I felt like he was still there. Trying to get my attention. Like he watched me to make sure I knew everything was okay. But it wasn’t okay. I missed him more than I could put into words – and I tried. I was always trying.

     Even after five years of my life being completely busy with school and attempting to get a job, I couldn’t let Brayden go. Gavin told me it was normal, that a wound that deep couldn’t possibly ever heal completely. At least I had him. I didn’t know where I would be without him.

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