Beauty In Her Madness (Winterland Tale #3) - Stacey Marie Brown Page 0,1

café/hat shops in the city that kept her busy nonstop, and with the sexiest man I had ever seen in my life for a boyfriend, screwing each other relentlessly like horny rabbits.

Jealous? I felt the voice tug at me, flashing a chiseled face with icy blue eyes and a cruel mouth through my mind.

I folded my arms, shaking the image from my head. He’s not even real. Just some figment of my imagination.

I didn’t even care about pretty faces. Scott wasn’t even in the same hemisphere as Matt Hatter, but he was kind, faithful, and loved me. We met in debate club at school and had been dating since we were fifteen. Now we lived together in a tiny apartment while we attended the university where my father worked.

“I know you didn’t come here to stare out my window.” Dr. Bell’s voice broke into my reverie, my attention sliding back to her. With an exhale, I sat my five-foot-six-inch frame on the sofa, the pillows almost swallowing me up. I inherited my mother’s petite frame, but while she and Alice had curves, my addiction to running kept mine nonexistent.

Dr. Bell let the silence sit in the space, waiting for me to fill it. Twisting my hands in my lap, I took a deep breath. “I feel…” My throat tightened. This went against my nature, talking about my feelings. I wanted to solve and cure everything with logic and strategy and wanted her to tell me why I was having these dreams and visions.

“What do you feel, Dinah?”

Lost. Scared. Unsure.

“Um.” I tugged my hair behind my ear, glancing up at the light, then over to the shelf. “Unsettled.”

“Unsettled?” Dr. Bell’s eyebrows curved up. “Peculiar word choice. Why unsettled?”

“I don’t know. Having strange dreams. Ones I used to have as a child, but they’re different now. I-I just feel off. Like something’s not right. Sometimes I feel I’m being watched, but no one’s there.” I squirmed on the sofa, dying to get up and move. “You know those times when you feel you’ve forgotten something, but you can’t remember exactly what?”


“It’s how I feel.” I rubbed my sweaty palms on my jeans. “All the time.”

“When did this feeling start?”

“Uhhh…about two years ago.”

“Two years, huh?” Dr. Bell replied, her tone leading.


“Around the same time your sister went into a mental facility? It must have been quite traumatic for your family.”

I licked my lip, staring down at my hands. Traumatic? Yeah, you could say that.

I remembered sirens wailing, my sister screaming, flashes of blue and red lights reflecting off the houses, neighbors milling about in the street. I remembered Alice pinned to the ground, shouting and crying nonsense. And I remembered her talking to Mom and Dad, pleading for them to believe her, that she wasn’t crazy, someone was doing this to her. For the life of me, I couldn’t recall parts of that night, while others were crystal clear, making the night disjointed like a badly edited movie.

I groaned, reaching deeper into my memories, trying to remember. Mom said the trauma we all went through was why we blocked it from our minds, the pain of seeing Alice hurting herself and possibly others. But who called the police? Who found the facility so fast? She was home one minute and, in a blink, locked up. It didn’t make sense they took her straight to a mental ward and not to the hospital.

It all seemed strange.

Memories weren’t reliable and could shift with perception. But I had a tickle at the back of my neck and the feeling of knowing something, but I couldn’t puncture through, letting it gush from my lips. It hovered around me, buzzing and irritating, but never revealing itself.

“That had to affect you.”

“It did.” The words croaked from my throat, my head turning to the window.

“Here, have some water.” Dr. Bell poured a glass from the pitcher on the coffee table, handing it to me. The cool water drizzled down my throat, clearing away the emotions clogging my airways. It was like drinking pure snow; the refreshing taste had me guzzling down the rest.

“Thank you.” I set down the empty cup, my attention latching to a drop trailing down the side of the glass. We sat in silence for a moment, her regard expectant, waiting for me to speak. My hand brushed over my face, and the instinct to run, to get away from this office, was palpable.

This is silly. Why am I here? I’m not my sister. I’ve had a Copyright 2016 - 2024