Chapter 013: Shadow in the Storm

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    Brynn walked outside and into the woods near Castle Byers. Technically, she wasn't breaking the rules, she wasn't going into the Upside Down, she was just going to see it. She sat in Castle Byers and closed her eyes, concentrating on the world around her. In a split second, she was in the Upside Down. She crawled out of Castle Byers and looked around. There was a huge storm in the sky, the lightning coming from it was red. Brynn was about to tap out, when she saw a huge shadow inside the storm. She tried to tap out, but couldn't. She tried and tried again, but all attempts failed, and the shadow was growing closer.

"WILL?!" She screamed. "JOYCE! JONATHAN! HELP!"

    There was a hand on her shoulder and she finally tapped out. There was blood pouring from her nose, Will was standing in front of her, a worried expression on his face.

"Are you Okay?" He asked.

"I tapped into the Upside Down, to get a better look at it... and... I couldn't tap back out." She said.

"I think it's best you don't try to tap back in anymore." Will said. "Mom's taking me to the lab. She said you could come, if you like..."

"Yeah..." Brynn said. "I don't want to be alone right now. Not after that."

"Okay." Will said. "We're waiting in the car." Brynn rushed back into the house and cleaned up her nose, then got in the car.

______________
At the lab...

Brynn sat silently in the room with Will. He was explaining his visions to the doctor, and Brynn was replaying them over and over in her head. She remembered the moment she got stuck in the 'invisible world', when the shadow grew closer and the feeling of darkness penetrating her mind.

"Brynn?" Joyce asked, snapping her out of her thoughts. "We're sending you guys out in the hallway so I can talk to the doctor."

"Okay." Brynn said, going out into the hallway with Will. She tapped in and listened to what the doctor and Joyce were saying.

"Alright, I'm gonna be honest with you, its probably gonna get worse... before it gets better." The doctor said.

"Worse?" Joyce asked. "He's already had two episodes this month."

"And he'll have more before the month is out. It's called The anniversary effect, we've seen this with soldiers. The anniversary of an event brings back traumatic memories, sort of opens up the neurological floodgates, so to speak."

"What does this mean for the kid?" Hopper asked. "He's gonna have more episodes, nightmares?'

"Yeah, that. Maybe some personality changes. He might get irritable. He might lash out." The doctor said.

"What do we do when that happens?"

"Okay. Well from what we know about post-traumatic stress... and we're still learning, just treat him normally. Be patient with him. Don't pressure him to talk, just let him lead the way." The doctor said.

"I'm sorry, what you're saying is its gonna get worse and worse, and we're just supposed to pretend its not happening?"

"It sounds counterintuitive, I know, but I assure you that it is really the best thing you can do for him... Listen. I understand what you went through last year. I get it, but those people are gone. They're gone, okay? So if we're gonna get through this, I just need you to realize I'm on your side. I need you to trust me." The doctor said. Brynn tapped out.

"What're they saying? That I should be put in a mental hospital?"

"Post-traumatic stress." Brynn said. "Memories of a traumatic event." Will exhaled a deep breath, and looked down at the floor, like he had been the whole time.

"Hey..." Brynn said, putting her hand on top of his. "We'll get through this together. No matter what happens, I'll be here, and I'll never leave again." Will weakly smiled at her.

"Alright kiddos, time to go." Joyce said, trying to sound cheerful, though she was failing miserably. Will and Brynn stood up, and they walked out into the parking lot. They could hear Joyce and Hopper complaining behind them, but they ignored it. Brynn and Will got in the car, and sat in silence all the way home.

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