Piece of Mind

Fourteen-year-old girl, Carah Bryan, had a perfectly happy life yesterday. But today she looks different, lives somewhere else and isn't called Carah Bryan. The fear and confusion risks to drive her insane, and she needs to find out what happened to change everything. But now everyone she once knew is gone and there is no-one to ask. So why does a complete stranger know what will happen tomorrow?


My heart leaps as soon as my eyes open.

   This is it! The day I've been waiting for for almost two months now - the dance final. The most important thing that's ever happened to me and my three friends, Amy, Louise and Alex; the thing that could change our lives forever and...

   Wait a second. My bedroom isn't blue. My bedroom is lilac and violet and all other shades of purple you could possibly create, not blue. I hate blue.

   I sit up and glance around at my bed. The sheets are dark blue, and my duvet and pillow are the same colour but with little yellow stars dotted all over them. Usually everything's just a plain lilac colour. How could someone sneak in and change everything, including the bed I was sleeping in, in just one night? I look up and, with a jolt, notice straight away that the window has moved. It should be on the wall behind the head of my bed, behind me, but instead it's on the wall to my left, where my wardrobe and my dresser and my mirror should be. And the door is to my left, where this bed should be...

   Okay, this is getting weird now. Maybe it would help if I actually got up and asked Mum and Dad what's going on.

   I look around for my white dressing gown which is always hung over my chair, and end up pulling on the bright pink one hanging over the end of my bed. Stretching and yawning, I walk out of the door in the wrong wall and find myself on the landing, which is now a kind of off-putting yellow rather than the smooth clean white I'm used to. Well, at least everything's still in the same place, apart from the linen basket, which seems to have disappeared altogether.

   I quickly check the time then knock on Mum's and Dad's door. It's 7:30 - they should be awake by now.

   "Mmm?" Mum's voice answers from inside.

   "Mum, I need to ask you something," I say into the dark wood of the usually glossy door.

   "All right, love, come in. There's no need to knock, you know," I can hear her laugh. Oh. Mum and Dad have always told me to knock before entering a room, because that way you'll know if you're wanted or not.

   I walk through the threshold and  see Mum lying on her bed in a light pink nightie with a mask over her eyes, which is hopefully a good change from her usual stern, bleak clothes, even if it is just nightwear. This room looks kind of different too, but it's hard to be entirely sure with the curtains drawn and the light off.

  My initial question gets pushed aside as I register the empty space beside her. "Where's Dad?"

   "Oh, he's gone for his morning jog, lovie. You know what he's like with all this early bird excercise stuff. Don't see the point of it to be honest," she tells me in a disapproving tone. Wow. I can't really picture my small, stick-thin, bespectacled father jogging around the village in sports gear. I almost burst out laughing but try to focus on what I came in here for in the first place.

   "Mum, why has the house changed?"

   Her head jerks in my direction but she doesn't lift her mask to look at me. Now I see her properly, her mouth looks a little different...the lips aren't as pencil-thin and serious as usual...no, I'm imagining it. It's what's happened to everything else, that's all; it's messing with my head.

   "What do you mean, honey?"

   "I mean, everything's different. And can you not call me those weird little names like 'lovie' and 'honey' please? You never do that."

   "I always do that, sweetie," she explains in a sickly-sweet voice that doesn't suit her plain, boring, ordinary personality at all. "And nothing's changed. Everything's just as it usually is. Are you all right?"

   "Of course I am, it's just-"

   "Good, 'cos you've got your maths exam today, haven't you?"

   "What?" I stopped in my tracks, everything else fleeing my mind. "No...it's my dance final, remember? Sunday 26th June? The most important day of my life?"

   "No, sweetie, it's Monday. It's your maths exam." She's starting to sound a little concerned now. "Are you sure you're all right?"

   "What maths exam? We don't have any exams at school 'til next year!"

   "Honey, I think you're still half-asleep; why don't you go and have a little lie-down before breakfast?" Mum suggests, and I begin to shuffle out of the room, utterly bewildered. "That's it. Good girl." she says, as if I'm a toddler who's just had a bad dream. But this is real - I'm sure of that. I'd be able to tell if it was a dream; it'd have that weird feeling.

   Then Mum says something that turns my confusion into plain shock: "That's it. Oh, what are you like, my little Cassie?"

   My name's not Cassie. I've never heard Mum say that name before. It has nothing to do with me. I'm Carah, Carah Bryan...at least I think I still am. After everything that's happened this morning, I'm not so sure.





The End

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