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… the previous night’s vision, or whatever it was, ended with a name I heard clear as day, as if the people were in my room. Ivy, the girl and boy recited together. –Camille
Could her dreams be real? Is she the key to freeing witches from their curse? Of course not, right? Thinking that her only chance at a normal life lay in a new treatment, Camille joins Dr. Antos and a group of teens for a month long camping trip in Iceland. There she meets Jude, a fellow schizophrenic. Dr. Antos invites Camille and Jude to extend their work with him on the island of Sardinia. Camille is suspicious of Dr. Antos’s intentions but her dad goes missing, leaving her no choice but to travel to Italy. Is she walking into a lion’s den or has her illness invaded her reality?
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“That must have been some dream last night. Was the guy hot?” Tyler taunted me as he sat down at the breakfast table.
“It’s not like that.” I slapped him on the shoulder.
“Camille, Tyler, seriously,” Mom scolded. “Don’t start the weekend fighting?” She squatted down so we were eye to eye. “You had a dream? Why didn’t you say something?”
“It wasn’t a big deal.”
“Well, what was it about? Who was in it?”
The dreams had started four weeks before, but I hadn’t told Mom because I knew she would freak out and double my counseling sessions. The first was a scene with a girl and her mother at a library. They studied a boy who sat at a table reading. The next day the girl and boy met at the library again. I never heard words, only saw pictures. It wasn’t like I thought the dreams were real, but it fascinated me the way the storyline continued.
I’d had imaginary friends when I was younger. My pretend scenarios got so out of control, Mother put me on medication. She moved us from Los Angeles to the Arizona desert, seeking a healthier environment. Then she relocated us to Cheyenne, Santa Fe, and Bismarck, trying to find a solution to my health problems. Bismarck had been better but still not perfect, and we packed up and relocated to Iceland, the healthiest country on the planet. Tyler had pushed for Honolulu, but in the end, cost of living won out.
Reykjavik seemed to have solved all my problems. We’d been there over a year, and I hadn’t had any episodes. Then the dreams started. Granted they were just that, fictitious stories created by the overactive limbic part of my brain. My research indicated this to be the emotional part that gets highly active during REM sleep, when our prefrontal cortex, the mastermind of the brain, rests. The limbic portion of the human brain causes emotional, vivid, irrational scenarios to play out in our sleep.
My dreams were more like a silent movie, continuing where they’d left off the previous night. The plot included a girl who didn’t eat normal food save sushi, avoided human contact, and had witch-like powers. The boy developed these powers, and he and the girl assembled an army of vampires and witches to fight another group of witches. So, of course, the scenarios playing through my head each night couldn’t be real.
The whole issue was that, even with medication, I’d had visions of my imaginary friends after we’d left Los Angeles. The girl and boy, Violet and Chase, searched for me and sat outside my door waiting for me to come play. The doctor switched my medication, and the hallucinations stopped just before my fourth birthday. I hadn’t seen Violet or Chase since, but the characters in my dreams had similarities to my imaginary friends. Maybe their features wouldn’t have stuck with me so vividly, except each time we moved I saw a new psychiatrist. He or she always reviewed my history, so I had to relive being three every other year or so. Violet’s reddish-brown hair, her milky white skin, and Chase’s dark hair and eyes, became etched into my brain.
For the past month, I’d watched the characters on mute. But the previous night’s dream, or whatever it was, ended with a name I heard clear as day, as if the people were in my room. “Ivy,” the girl and boy had recited together. It was the pretend name my Violet and Chase used for me. As soon as the sound of the name vibrated through my head, I’d woken with chill bumps covering my body.
Sitting up, I wrapped the blankets around my shoulders, wondering how the girl and boy in the dream knew my nickname. A buzzing sound, like the type you hear just before you pass out, grew in intensity until I thought my eardrums might explode, and then it stopped suddenly and images filled my head.