Maine felt odd in the girls' embrace. She was not use to being touched. But she felt a lot better now that her secret was out. She followed Eru out of the room, but she couldn't help sensing that something was wrong.
“I feel like we have forgotten something,” Eru said, voicing Maine’s thoughts.
“Yes.” Maine tried to concentrate on what it was, but she couldn’t concentrate. What was it… The book! What about the book? They still hadn’t found out anything about it. Maine looked for Aliryia, but she wasn’t there.
“Girls, where is Aliryia?” She turned to the girls, but they had slightly dazed looks on their faces. Maine grabbed Eru’s arm.
“It’s trying to distract us!” Erulastiel’s eyes widened.
“You’re right! We have to go back.” They turned and tried to push against the door, but it wouldn’t budge.
“It must be locked.”
Eru examined the door. “There is no lock!”
At that statement, the door flew open, and Maine felt her mind clear. Despite all the windows, the room was strangely dark. Maine saw Jacqueline standing over an unconscious Aliryia. Maine hadn’t even noticed that she was gone.
“What are you doing?” Eru asked in a quavering voice.
“You will know in time.” Jacqueline said, her voice cold and even. Then she disappeared, and sunlight flooded the room again. Aella shrieked.
“What happened? Where did she go?”
Eru shook her head. “I do not think she was an illusionist. I think she was an illusion of the book.”
Maine looked around as the girls ran over to Aliryia. “Where is the book?”
“I do not know, but we have to figure out the mystery of this book quickly.”
Elorrie looked up. “Aliryia has a high fever. We should get her upstairs.” The girls began trying to carry her, but Maine waved them away.
“I’ll do it.” She picked her up and began to walk out of the room. The fact that Jacqueline was a tool of the book, and the way the book had befuddled them sent shivers down Maine’s spine.
The book is trying to work its way into our head, and I am afraid of what will happen if it succeeds.