The Haunted

"Oh Lucinda, if you think this has a happy ending, then you haven't been paying attention." She smirked amused by Lucinda's sense of optimism.

Something has come back to Bishops Green. Something that wants to kill. Something unworldly.
Sixteen year old Lucinda Marcs is cute, fun and looking forward to the start of her Junior year of High School. But little does she know that something evil has made it's way into Bishop's Green, her quaint, seemingly normal town where nothing ever happened.
And when Lucinda finds herself caught up in the mess it's up to her to figure out how to get rid of this evil for good.
But what happens when her best friend becomes a target? Will she be able to save her? Or will she fall with her?

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14. Chapter Fourteen:

A loud scream in the darkness woke Poppy up and it took her a while to realise it was coming from her best friend who was lying next to her. Lucinda, still asleep, had her hands clawing and grasping the bed sheets with a strained look on her face. She was having a nightmare Poppy realised. Poppy roughly shook her friend forcing her awake. Lucinda gasped loudly as if she'd been underwater for a long time and had just reached the surface. 

"Lucinda, it's ok. You're ok." Poppy calmly told her as Lucinda looked around the room nervously. It took a few seconds for Lucinda to realise she was in Poppy's bedroom not in the woods with... 

"Brad." Lucinda whispered. The word felt painful coming from her mouth, she didn't want to admit it. Poppy stared at her friend in the early morning light. Lucinda glanced at the clock above Poppy's door but couldn't make out the time in the darkness. 

The walk in the woods had definitely not worked if anything it had made things worse. Now she was having longer nightmares with the insanely attractive but suspicious new guy at school. "Brad?" Poppy questioned when she felt brave enough to ask, not that she wanted to know why Lucinda had been dreaming about him. "He was in my nightmare." She told her stating the obvious. "It was him." Lucinda said.

Poppy jumped out of bed, switching on her bedside lamp lighting up the room, and said, "let's go get a drink." Lucinda slipped out of the bed and followed Poppy down the spiral staircase and into the kitchen. Luckily her screams hadn't woken Poppy's parents but she'd felt bad having woken up Poppy anyway.

Poppy opened the fridge handed Lucinda a bottle of water and grabbed one for herself. They both sat down on the stools beside the kitchen island. The air was thick with an awkward silence that made Lucinda's mind play the image of Brad in the woods on repeat. What was her subconscious doing to her?

"So, Brad?" Poppy repeated. She wasn't exactly sure what she expected Lucinda to say but it definitely wasn't, "I think he killed Alanna and Kyle." Poppy choked on the small sip of water she'd taken from the bottle and replaced the lid settling the bottle down on the counter. "What do you mean?" Poppy asked concerned her blue eyes glistening. Lucinda shook her head quickly and said, "I don't know. I know it sounds crazy but it's just something about the way he was in my dream." She admitted. 

In truth she knew it sounded absolutely insane and that she had no proof other than he'd shown up in a nightmare and that wasn't even actual proof. She realised how irrational it sounded but for some reason she couldn't stop herself from believing it. "It does sound a little crazy. It's only a dream Luce" Poppy comforted her friend. Lucinda knew she didn't believe her and she wished she could just show Poppy her dream instead of explaining it maybe that would make it more realistic. Though she knew it wouldn't.

Lucinda put her head in her hands, "Ugh this is so frustrating. What is wrong with me?" She whispered more to herself than to Poppy. Poppy rubbed her friends back comfortingly and said, "it's ok it's just bad dreams. I'm sure they'll go away soon." Though Poppy herself wasn't sure. Lucinda had been having the same dream for five nights in a row now and it seemed they were only getting worse. 

"Maybe I need to see a doctor?" Lucinda suggested and Poppy instantly shook her head. "No, god no." Lucinda realised what her friend was saying. If she told a Doctor what was happening they could put her into a mental institution and throw away the key. Definitely not a good idea. 

"This needs to stop though." Lucinda said frustrated. She was fed up of having nightmares of her dead classmates and now the new kid was joining the party. "But how?" She posed. That was the real question, how was she actually going to get rid of these nightmares. "Have you tried meditation?" Poppy asked through a yawn. Lucinda suddenly felt extremely guilty for waking her friend up so early in the morning because of one of her bad dreams. 

"No, should I?" Lucinda asked. "Yeah, it always works for me when I'm stressed or can't sleep." Poppy told her. Lucinda mused over the idea realising she had nothing to lose from trying. "It can't hurt to try." She told Poppy who weakly smiled back at her. Lucinda took a long gulp from her water bottle the cold liquid rushing down her throat. "Let's go back to bed." Lucinda suggested knowing she wasn't actually going to get anymore sleep but she could see her best friend was hardly able to keep her eyes open. Poppy smiled gratefully before getting down from her seat followed by Lucinda. 

The girls slowly walked up the stairs back up to Poppy's bedroom. Poppy climbed into her side of the bed as Lucinda climbed into the other side. Poppy quickly switched off the bright lamp turning the room into darkness once again. Lucinda listened to the soft tick of the clock that hung on the other side of the room. She could hear Poppy's soothing breaths as she let herself go back to sleep sure that her friend was ok and safe. But Lucinda wasn't going back to sleep at all she couldn't let herself fall into that false sense of security and have anymore nightmares. 

So she lay there listening to the clock, the pigeons that cooed just outside the window and to the sound of her own heartbeat. She let them soothe her, comfort her and let her know she was safe if she just stayed awake. 

- - - 

"Lucinda, wake up..." A soft whisper came from beside Lucinda as she stirred awake. "Lucinda..." The voice pushed a soft hand gentle rubbing her arm. Suddenly her eyes shot open and she quickly sat up. She had eventually fallen asleep. She looked over to the clock, 10:00am and then to Poppy smiling beside her. "Were you having a bad dream?" She asked cautiously. Lucinda shook her head, "No. I hadn't expected to fall back to sleep." She admitted. 

It felt nice to have been woken up by Poppy rather than the scary woman or Brad that were haunting her sleep. "That's good then." Poppy brightly said. As Lucinda looked over her friend she realised she was already full dressed with a full face of makeup on. How long had she been awake, Lucinda thought.

"I've been awake for a couple hours already." Poppy answered Lucinda's unspoken question. Lucinda nodded pulling the heavy, pink cover off of her. She let her legs dangle over the side of the bed for a few seconds before she finally stood up off the bed. She lifted her arms above her head stretching her whole body. 

"I should get dressed." Lucinda said picking up her bag from beside the bed and walking towards her friends en suite bathroom. Poppy merely nodded and walked over towards her desk sitting down on the chair and opening her laptop. 

Lucinda closed the door quietly behind her and looked at herself in the square mirror that hung above the sink. She looked different. The bags under her eyes weren't as heavy and the tightness around them had softened. Maybe those few hours of nightmare free sleep had helped. 

She tied her hair into a tight bun on top of her head, quickly removed her pyjamas and jumped into the shower. Standing away from the hose she turned on the water and let it run free for a few minutes to warm up before she stood underneath it. 

She let herself soak in the warm falling water trying to avoid getting her hair wet and enjoying the small comfort it gave her. She felt fresh as she allowed the water to clean her from sleep. Lucinda rubbed the apple flavoured soap over her body taking longer than was necessary to clean herself. Once the water had washed off all the soap she switched it off and jumped out of the glass shower. 

She wrapped herself up in one of the light grey towels hanging off the rack and pulled her hair out of the makeshift bun she'd made. The soft brunette waves hung around her head limply as she stared at herself again in the mirror. She picked up the brush next to the sink and quickly ran it through her long locks. 

Stripping the towel off of her she rummaged through her bag for the clothes she'd packed. She quickly got herself dressed into her casual light blue jeans and plain white t-shirt. She unlocked the bathroom door and walked back into Poppy's bedroom where her friend was still sat at her desk looking at her laptop.

"You ok?" Lucinda asked seeing the strained look on her friends face. Poppy removed her gaze from her laptop and smiled at Lucinda, "yeah I was just googling something." Poppy shut her laptop and stood up from her chair. Lucinda wasn't one to distrust people, especially not Poppy but she could see she was hiding something. She walked over to her desk and opened her laptop to see what she'd been searching. 

"Pop why are you looking at this?" Lucinda asked as she saw the amount of hits that came up on the google search. In the search bar it read 'continuous nightmare explanations'. "I wanted to try and help you. I could tell you weren't going to let it go." Poppy explained. Lucinda sighed heavily and shut the laptop again. "I don't want you going crazy too." Lucinda said. Poppy giggled at her friend and said, "you're not crazy, just tired."

Lucinda loved Poppy, no matter what she could always comfort her and she was always there for her. Lucinda just hoped that this was something that would go away after a while. After having Brad appear in her dreams she wasn't sure about his presence in town now.

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