My younger brother, Nolan, is the first to notice I've been acting strange. Were standing outside the hallway to the bathroom, waiting to brush our teeth, when he asks me, Ciarán, are you all right? You don't look like you're feeling too well. I mumble incoherently into my chest, head down, unwilling to look him in the eyes. What am I supposed to say? The shadows on my window sill became one and took on the shape of a human body? I didn't believe it myself at the time, but even now I can hear the hum of its voice calling to me from inside of my bedroom.
Don't listen to them, Ciarán. You're stronger than they are. Gilda, how many of them are there? I demand mentally. What do they want from me? Gilda is more often than not the one who tries to look out for me; if she says the shadows are dangerous, they more than likely are. Antonio tries to strip away her authority. Ignore her. She doesn't know what shes talking about. / I'm trying to help him, she protests. There are more than seven or eight of them. You have to get out of here. You aren't safe.
It sounds too much like something out of a movie to be true. My brother interrupts me, "Ciarán, if you don't answer me, I'm going to tell Mom and Dad there's something wrong with you.
I'm fine, I lie, my breathing heavy. The air has suddenly become so much thicker, to accommodate the growing number of people in the room. I don't know whether or not to run away in terror or try to bravely walk past my brother. My insides are churning. If I panic, my family will assume its because I'm not taking my medication and they'll try to send me back to the hospital. I can't go there again.
Deep breaths, Gilda coaches. You're all right for now. But you need to get out of here. Do you trust me?