Songspell

Addie Mersh is a singer. Well, sort of. Her recording manager won't even let her record a single song, and when Addie tries to find out why, a horrible car accident stops her.
Now Addie's vocal cords are beyond repair. She can barely speak, let alone sing. Her dreams no longer have a chance to become reality.
But then she is offered a magical shell, which gives her a voice again. Confidence restored, Addie auditions for the X Factor, where she wows the judges with her stunning voice.
But is there more to Addie's new voice than a beautiful sound? There is something deadly and sinister about it, and Addie is about to find out why she was ever given the shell at all...
For the X Factor competition!

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4. Chapter 4

~**Short Notice**~

Hey there, anyone who reads this! You readers have managed to get Songspell into the top 3 most popular Paranormal books this... week? month? I don't know, but it's awesome, and thank you so much!

Keep reading, and Merry Christmas! x

Kameka :)

A Note About the Judges

The judges in this story are going to be those that were in Season 7, i.e. Simon, Dannii, Cheryl and Louis.

~**~

A week later, I was bursting to get out of the hospital. The doctors hadn't questioned the returning of my voice: they just said that they knew it would happen eventually, with rest. During the week, I had experimented with my shell. I had found that it only worked if it was close to me, so I wore it under my shirt, on a piece of string.

When I finally got out of the hospital, the school welcomed me back with a wonderful party.

But I was even anxious to escape that. I wanted to start practicing. I wanted to be perfect when I entered the X Factor next year...

***

Soon, I got my wish.

The next two months passed in a blur of small practices and last-minute homework assignments.

I got my own mic for Christmas, and hooked it up to my laptop so I could record a few practice songs.

New Year passed, then January, then February. My practices gradually increased in intensity and length during this time.

In March and April, I stopped practicing for a while, since my grades were slipping and I had to do some serious studying to get them back up.

In May, I was beginning to practice more seriously as school began to slow down. The school threw a massive birthday party for me, at which I performed the song I was practicing.

By June, I was attending daily practice sessions of two hours or, as school finally finished, I practiced for up to six hours.

By July I was almost ready for the August audition I had signed up for. I began to perform my song at the singing school's summer school classes. I was already almost a celebrity in my neighbourhood.

Then. finally, came August. 

1... 2... 3... I ticked off the days on my calendar. 4... 5... 6... 7... 

My uncle broke his leg falling off the stage at a performance of his. 8... 9... 10...

I went to see him every day, since he and Sanny were the ones helping me perform, and he gave me some material to practice. 11... 12... 13...

I bought a dress. I sang my song for the last few times. Two days before the auditions, I came down with a 24 hour throat bug, the suspense of which had me and all my friends by the throats. 14... 15... 16...

Luckily, by August 17th, 2013, I was fine.

I wore my new red dress as I drove to the auditions.

I was superlatively nervous.

I wanted to scream.

But I just kept singing my song in my head and stared out the window as Sanny chattered beside me.

***

I wait by the side of the stage for a few minutes, and talk to a couple of cameras. Inside, I feel like mashed potato. Everything blending together...

"Sanny," I whisper. "I'm not ready."

"Okay. It's your turn now."The stage hands gesture to me to walk onstage.

Sanny gives me a little push towards them "Yes, you are," she whispers back. "You can do it!"

I take a deep breath and walk, finally stopping in front of the judges, completely dazed by the amount of people watching me in the audience.

"Hi. What's your name?" Louis asks me.

I blink. For a second, the stage and sounds around me become a little hazy. Focus! I chide myself.

"I... I'm Adeline Merschwimmer, but people call me Addie Mersh. And..." I glance sideways slightly, to where Sanny and my uncle are standing offstage. They give me a thumbs-up. "And if I make it through this audition, I'd like to be called Addie M."

I look at Simon. He's poker-faced, as usual, but beside him, Cheryl is smiling encouragingly at me.

"Okay, Addie. Now, how old are you?"

"I'm sixteen."

"Sixteen? Are you sure?" Louis smiles.

I smile too. "Yeah, I'm sure. I'm just short."

Louis' smile grows wider. "Okay, then, Addie. Which song are you going to sing for us today."

"Viva la Vida, by Coldplay." The butterflies in my stomach grow, and I take a deep breath and raise my chin as the music begins.

"I used to rule the world

Seas would rise when I gave the word

Now in the morning I sleep alone

Sweep the streets I used to own."

The song continues. I keep singing.

I feel like I am in a dream.

When I get to the chorus, I raise my voice slightly.

"I hear Jerusalem bells a ringing

Roman Cavalry choirs are singing

Be my mirror, my sword and shield

My missionaries in a foreign field."

The second verse done, the second chorus-- over. The bridge? Hasta la vista. And the final chorus...

I am done.

Nobody claps. I stand silently in a huge theater, not recalling what happened during my song. All I had thought about was the words, falling from my lips like rain from clouds.

Simon is the first to recover from his bout of silence. "Adeline," he says.

"That was brilliant."

I nearly faint.

"I agree," says Cheryl. She blinks like she's just woken up and says, in a slightly... robotic... tone,  "Addie, that was amazing! I'm giving you a yes."

"Addie, you've got two yeses!" Louis gives me a massive grin. "That was beautiful!" His tone is similar to Cheryl's. "Dannii?"

Dannii gives a start. "Yes, yes, oh, definitely a yes!" she says, in the same tone Louis and Cheryl used.

Simon studies me for a long time before he gives his answer. He has a strange expression on his face, like he's struggling to remember something. "Yes," he finally says, quietly. "That was incredible, Adeline. Thank you."

"Addie M., you are going back home with four yeses," says Cheryl, beaming at me.

Four yeses. I almost scream with happiness. Instead, I just say, "Thank you!" breathlessly, and walk offstage.

Once I'm completely off, I fall into my uncle's arms. "They said yes."

My uncle kisses the top of my head. "I know."

We stay like that for a while, numb with happiness.

I feel like I could stay like that forever.

Suddenly, someone wrenches me from my uncle's embrace and drags me into a doorway. "UNCLE!" I scream.

But when the doors slam shut, and darkness engulfs the corridor I'm in, I know it's hopeless.

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