My little sister looks at me angrily from the driver's seat of our mother's van. She says something, but I can't hear her. It was deadly silent in the car. I turned to face out of the windshield , just in time to see a tractor trailer come speeding at us. I blacked out as my head hit the dashboard.
I woke up in a cold sweat. For a few minutes I thought I saw the stark white of a hospital room around me, but I finally got a grip on reality and realized I was in my bedroom. I also realized that my head was pounding as though my brain had been stabbed with a screwdriver. Ignoring the pain, I leaped out of bed and ran into my sister's room next door, not bothering to knock.
"Mallory! Mallory! Wake up!" I shouted, shaking her violently. She grudgingly opened her eyes and immediately closed them when she saw that it was me. I flipped the lightswitch, forcing her to open her eyes. She glanced at her alarm clock.
"Chelsea, it's two in the morning! Go back to bed, you idiot!" She groaned and pulled the baby-blue comforter over her head. I yanked it right back off.
"I had a dream," I said seriously.
"Moose," I pleaded, using her old nickname, "It was about you. You and I were in the van and we got in a really bad accident."
For a second I thought I saw a flash of fear behind her eyes, then it was gone.
"Who cares, it was just a stupid nightmare. Go back to sleep!" She stood up and pushed me out of her room, slamming the door in my face.
The next day I left to go back to college. I didn't see her again until the weekend of her sixteenth birthday a few months later. This time she was much happier to see me.
"Chels, look, I got my permit! See?" she bragged. I grinned.
"That's awesome. Best birthday present ever."
"Yeah, and Mom said I could go for a drive into town if you were with me. Can we please go, please???" I pretended to think about it, enjoying the agonized look on her face.
"Alright," I agreed.
We got into my mom's blue Dodge caravan. I felt a little nervous as Mallory pulled out of the driveway, but I reminded myself that she wasn't ten anymore and calmed down.
After a ten minute drive we came to the intersection that led into town. Suddenly I had a strange sense of deja vù. I became afraid.
"Be careful when you turn, make sure no cars are coming first," I warned, having no idea why I was so worried.
My sister looked at me angrily.
"I'm not a baby anymore!" She pressed the gas pedal hard and turned. Suddenly it hit me. I turned toward the windshield just in time to see a huge red tractor trailer coming at us.
"Mallory, watch out!" I screamed. Everything stopped, as if we were hanging frozen in time, in dead silence. Then suddenly time started again, and the air was full of noises. Screeching brakes, a horn honking, glass shattering, all were barely audible under the high-pitched whistling in my ears. Then my head hit the dashboard and I blacked out.
I was back in the van at the intersection. Time stood still, and I somehow noticed that everyone was frozen in place. Mallory slowly turned her head and started talking to me. But it wasn't her. It couldn't be. The voice pouring from her lips was too raspy, to serpentine to be hers, and there was an evil glint in her eye. Slowly her eyes turned a darker and darker blue until they were greenish black, and her hair turned pitch-black, too, and she grew pale. My sister was no longer sitting in front of me. It was some strange creature. I couldn't understand what she was saying, but it made my skin crawl. Suddenly she threw her head back and broke into an evil laugh.
I opened my eyes to a room so blindingly white I had to shut them again. When I opened them again, I saw that I was in a hospital room, and as I glanced down at myself I realized I had stitches ina few spots and a cast on my arm. Just then a doctor walked in. I sat up immediately.
"Where's my sister?"I demanded. "Where's Moosey?" The doctor gently pushed me back onto the pillows.
"Sshh, you should rest, you've had a terrible ordeal," he advised. I could see from his eyes that there was something wrong.
"What happened to her?" I begged. "What's wrong? Please tell me!" He looked at me and bit his lip.
"We think your sister had some internal bleeding," he said carefully. "We tried to find the source, but we didn't make it in time." He paused. "I'm sorry."
I started shaking my head in denial. "No, that's not true. You're lying to me," I accused dazedly. "No...no...no..." I choked on the tears in my throat as the doctor injected a sedative in my arm. Everything became hazy, but I kept rapeating that same word as though my life depended on it.
Sweet dreams, precious.