SEVEN

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It took Lynn a minute to put the pieces together when she opened her eyes to the dark, quiet living room. Sitting up, she rubbed her forehead and ran a hand along the side of her face. After her crisis, she had expectedly fallen asleep — one of the known side-effects of her medication.

Taking a quick glance around, she pursed her lips at the sight of Dana sleeping on the chair. A pang of guilt clawed at her heart; she was the reason her friend would be dealing with sore muscles as soon as she woke up.

With a shake of her head, Lynn wrapped a blanket around her body and stood up. The floors responded to the sudden assault with an echoing creak, making it seem that the house was alive. Picking up her phone from the glass table, she silenced her worries and took quiet steps towards the front door.

Her bare feet relished in the cold touch of the wooden planks as she turned the knob, before her form disappeared inside the unknown. The observant stare of the dead bear was blocked by the heavy door as she closed it and stepped into the empty porch.

The moon returned her curious glance, gliding its white tears across her cold face like fingers tracing a map. Keeping the blanket close to her body, Lynn sat on the wobbly stairs and let her gaze wander around the wild landscape. What once had given her peace was now the promise of despair and chaos; the lake greeted her uneasiness by drawing on the humid grass.

Closing her eyes, Lynn gave into her first instinct and dialed a number. As she waited for the line to give way to the voice she needed to hear in that moment of full disconcert and dread, she mulled over her options.

There was something unnatural about that lake; something inhuman watching from the shadows. She just happened to be more sensitive than others; her mind had already been sliced open, drawing the path for that being — she was an easy target. Perhaps, the perfect one.

He was right.

No one was going to believe her; her hallucinations, albeit perhaps provoked by something supernatural, would be seen as a relapse. Because it's easier to believe someone is crazy than to open your mind and admit the world is bigger than we know, that it holds secrets never unfolded.

Lynn wasn't crazy, but she was alone in her beliefs. And in this world, that's enough to mark someone as insane.

"Do you realize it's almost two in the morning, Lynn?"

The sound of her voice felt like a ray of sun in a cloudy day, contrasting to the exasperation it had the tendency to awake in her. Her lips curled into an amused smile.

"I can always call in a few hours...," she drawled teasingly.

"No!" her mother panicked, before mumbling something under her breath as someone hushed her. A few seconds flew by, and then Lynn heard the sound of a door closing. "Thank God you called. Your aunt is going to drive me insane! Who was the genius behind the idea of leaving me with her for a whole week?"

Biting back a laugh, Lynn cleared her throat. "Me. And it's still your sister; she just wants the best for you."

"I highly doubt watching Jigsaw is going to do me any good," she retorted with a scoff. "She should at least pick a good film."

"Some people find it entertaining," Lynn commented. "How are you feeling, mum?"

"Revolted."

Lynn rolled her eyes. "Yes, I guessed as much."

There was a pregnant pause, and she expected her mother to hang up like she tended to do every time Lynn asked about her well-being. Hence her surprise when the woman sighed in defeat.

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