Chapter 38. Write a Novel Challenge.
When Neina came to, the first thing that she realized was that she was in bed. Not her own bed either but a bed that was uncomfortable and foreign, yet …. familiar.
Opening her eyes, she realized that she was, once again, in the hospital. The hospital room was dreary and empty, an outdated TV set up a few feet in front of her. On her bedside table was a vase of flowers, a glass of water and a remote, inviting her to turn on the TV.
The voice was now all too familiar to Neina. It was a voice that she had come to hate with a burning passion. A voice that belonged to the person who had started this whole mess. Neina hadn’t seen anybody when she had glanced around the room only a minute earlier, but now there was Isla, perched in the ugly pleather armchair that was positioned right next to Neina’s bed. She held a newspaper in her hands, an expression of concern contorting her face. Neina knew better. Any concern that Isla had for her well-being was fake, and nothing could convince Neina otherwise.
“What do you want?” hissed Neina, her voice gravelly from not having been used for a good while. Her vocal chords still ached from screaming for Janus earlier. How long had it been? A few hours?
“Oh I’m so glad to see you awake!” gushed Isla, standing up and abandoning her newspaper to go hug Neina as though the two were old friends. Neina immediately held her back, her hand gripping Isla’s arm.
“WHAT DO YOU WANT?!” Tears began to stream down Neina’s face – and she couldn’t quite tell whether they were from rage, fear, or simply grief. Charlotte was gone. Now Janus-her only source of help-had been killed, too. “Why must you keep doing this to me?!”
Isla simply chuckled and pulled Neina’s hand away with ease. “Let me guess. This is about your friend and that stupid scarecrow. Is that right?” Isla sat back down, taking out a mirror and checking that her cherry red lipstick was properly applied.
Neina felt her blood boil. “What did you do to Charlotte?!” she demanded. She had already seen what had happened to poor Janus, but she had yet to learn what Isla had done with Charlotte. Isla’s expression turned to one of mock sadness, even sticking her lower lip out a little the way a small child would.
“Oh, poor Charlotte…haven’t you heard? She killed herself…” Isla picked up the newspaper she had been holding, flipping a few pages before holding it up for Neina to see. There was a small article in the corner, with the headline, ‘WOMAN FOUND DEAD IN APARTMENT.’ Below the headline, just before an article about how she had supposedly killed herself, was a selfie of Charlotte and her pet cat, Stanley. That had been posted on Instagram just a few weeks ago. Thinking of it now, it seemed only yesterday that Neina had first seen the photo. Before any of this happened. Before Isla. Before the Mors world.
Of course, Neina didn’t believe a word of what the news article said. She knew the truth. Charlotte had been taken. Neina was the only one who could get her back.
She looked at Isla, feeling rage consume her from head to toe. “I don’t believe any of what you’re showing me.” hissed Neina. “You’re lying. Where is she, really?!” Nothing else mattered to Neina at that moment but her friend. She would never forgive herself if Charlotte died all because of this.
Isla raised her brows. There was a look of satisfaction in her eyes. “What do you mean? She’s dead.” She frowned, pretending to look concerned. Anyone would be able to see the satisfaction in her eyes. At least, Neina was able to. And it angered her more than she could say.
“YOU–” Neina lunged forward, yanking her IV with her. She didn’t care, simply wanting to absolutely destroy her. She wasn’t thinking straight at that moment; everything was spiralling out of control.
Isla screamed, her eyes widening-but Neina knew better. “HELP ME! HELP! SHE’S OUT OF CONTROL!” Isla sobbed, tears streaming down her delicate face.
Apparently her screams had been heard, since a few nurses immediately ran in. Neina drew in a choked breath when she saw the nurses’ faces. They weren’t just any nurses; they were Ryder, Frankie, and Janus.
“JANUS! HELP ME! IT’S ME, NEINA!” Neina had begun hyperventilating loudly, struggling against the nurses as they forced her into a straight jacket, snapping it shut so that she couldn’t move. Frankie, or the nurse that looked like him, was getting an injection ready, poised to inject it into her jugular vein.
“This should calm her down…” he said, speaking to Isla, who by now had let a smirk grow across her face as she watched the whole scene taking place.
“Frankie…no. NO!” Neina shrieked, as he leaned in to inject whatever the substance was into her neck…
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