All Over Again - The Clue Hunt, Take 2
Amy Cahill sighed as she finally dragged herself to bed at 3am. She was so exhausted that she could barely keep her eyes open, having sat in front of a computer screen for practically 6 hours straight, and it was with great relief that the 16 year old collapsed onto the slightly lumpy mattress. Beside her, Dan groaned something unintelligible as he hit the other bed face first and lay motionless on top of the covers.
The hostage situation had gone from bad to worse; not only had Nellie been shot, but now Uncle Alistair was in serious danger too. She and Dan, with the help of the Rosenbloom brothers and the Madrigals back in Attleboro, had been completing tasks for the mysterious 'Vesper 1' around the world, with their loved ones' lives hanging in the balance. It had been both a relief and torture to see the pictures that they had been texted of the captives every once in a while; 1) they were alive, but 2) they were clearly miserable and at the complete mercy of their captors. Amy only prayed that they'd all be able to keep this up - they'd had plenty of close calls over the past couple weeks, and it would only take one slip up and then... that would be it. She shivered.
"Stop worrying and go to sleep." Dan's slightly disgruntled, but mostly weary voice broke the silence. Startled, Amy glanced over at her brother, only to see that he had not moved from his position with his face buried in his pillow. He really did know her too well. She opened her mouth to protest how impossible that statement was, but a soft snore cut her off before she could start. Dan had clearly taken his own advice and drifted off. Good, she thought. He needed all the rest he could get - they both did. Amy wearily raised an arm to shut off the lamp on the bedside table. Maybe, just maybe, things would look brighter in the morning. It was the only hope she could hold on to as the teenager rolled over and drifted off to sleep.
"Amy! Wake up!"
Amy's eyes opened slowly as the girl was jolted out her slumber. She hesitated, feeling the strong urge to roll over and go back to sleep, but something stopped her. There was something about that voice, her half-asleep brain was telling her, something that wasn't quite right. It sounded familiar, sure, but still...wrong, somehow.
"Amy, I will not call you again! We have to leave in an hour, young lady, and we will not be late to the funeral!" Funeral?
Amy sat bolt upright, flailing wildly in panic. Who had died? Was it one of the hostages? Did Vesper 1 finally make good on his threat? Had she and Dan failed?
The Madrigal opened her mouth, ready to scream her questions at the top of her lungs and pray for reassuring answers, when her fatigued brain finally caught up with her and abruptly brought her up short. She did know that voice, but she hadn't heard it in a long time... It couldn't be... Amy closed her mouth with a snap as her eyes took in her surroundings and widened to the size of dinner plates. This was not the dingy hotel she had fallen asleep in...but a room, eerily, much more familiar.
Shivers started to wrack Amy's body as she slowly pushed the covers off her and stood up. She revolved on the spot, taking in the small dresser, the clothes hanging neatly in the closet, the pictures in frames around the room, and the posters hanging on the walls. Amy knew this room, just like she knew that voice, and just like she knew that this was all impossible.
Slowly, ever so slowly, Amy raised her eyes to the mirror hanging across the room on the closet door.
Just when she had thought that she had seen it all, the universe had thrown her for another loop. For staring back at her was the pale, shy-looking relfection of her 14 year old self.
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