Chapter 2

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"Daddy!" She said. "I can't sleep."

Vigilant in bed, I watched Tala enter my bedroom. She plodded in, dragging her teddy, her eyes moist with tears. Another nightmare?

"What's wrong, love?" I asked.

"I had a bad dream." She said.

"Never mind, sweetheart." I lulled. "Come sleep with daddy."

"I'm scared." She said.

"Let it go, sweetie." I kissed her forehead. It occurred to me that I needed to let go as well. Tala's eyes had eventually succumbed to sleep, while mine defied relentlessly. I kept rewinding the incident.

I stood every morning at the edge of that cliff to contemplate the empty ground, and remind myself that it never happened. I needed to believe it was a mere illusion, but every night when I closed my eyes, the memory came vivid. No matter how hard I shook her off, the dead girl in orange clung to my mind like a fossil embedded in stone. She had haunted my dreams, and a voice in my head insisted she was real.

Dawn was creeping. I lingered on bed, glaring at the window. I let a sigh of relief; it looked like a good day.

Until I glimpsed a glint of orange.

Somehow she materialized at my window, her presence filling the room with an orange hue, and her glowing eyes magnetizing me to the bed. Is it getting hot?

 "Who are you?" I muttered.

But all she did was eye me in deafening silence. It must be another dream.

One moment she was there, and the next she disappeared. I sprung to my feet, and scurried to the window. I stretched my neck, scanning the yard. Where has she gone? I rushed outside, pursuing any clue, any guidance, but I lost her again.

"Hello?"

"Anybody there?"

"Oh come on!"

I was out there on my own, no sign of a being could I see. The neighbourhood was snoring. Am I going crazy? I turned to the door to see Tala's panicky eyes watching through the bedroom door. Her voice trembled, but I heard her words loud and clear.

"Did you see the girl in orange?"

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Chapter 3 comes next Friday.

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