Damian's Oracle (Chapter Three, page 1 of 8)

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The in-between place where Jake's drugs put her were filled with horrifying visions of Cody and other strangers dying while Dr. Czerno screamed at her to return to him in his inhuman computer voice.

And him. Another … thing … had entered her nightmare and taken over. The dark monster sat in a dark corner of her mind and sobbed so loud, she thought them real. Once, she heard him call for help. She'd stepped near him in her dream, until he swiped at her, and she tried to free a scream from her frozen body. He retreated to the corner and sobbed while she fought the effects of the drug. The drug wore off, leaving her in a dark fog, hot and sweating with a different kind of headache, the kind she got after taking a lot of Dr. Mallard's drugs. Groggily, she couldn't remember taking drugs. She'd been drinking fruit punch when she felt drowsy.


Furious, Sofia pushed off the bed coverings and stood, teetering dangerously before deciding to sit again. Moonlight drifted in through a window, and she stared in confusion. Her window was on the other side of her room. Disoriented, she stood up again and stumbled to the door.

She hated the headaches and feeling like shit! She couldn't remember the last time she felt halfway decent. Determined first to get rid of her cotton mouth and then to kill Jake, she wrenched open the door, blinded by the hall light she didn't recall leaving on. She shielded her eyes with one hand and walked down the carpeted hall, stopping when she realized her hallway didn't have carpet.

Her vision was too blurry for her to see much beyond hazy shapes and colors. The carpet was a deep maroon, soft and cushy, the walls around her brown. She squinted through her fingers and braced herself against one wall to counter the effects the drugs had on her equilibrium as she moved down the long hallway.


Suddenly, her bracing arm hit air. She tried to balance herself only to find herself toppling over and over and over down a stairwell. She landed hard on a cold floor. Pain roared through her, and she sought both to shield her eyes from a crystal chandelier blinding her and to grab her burning leg. She wore only a long shirt to her knees that twisted to her stomach with her fall.

"Oh, God!" she grated, pushing herself into a sit.

Her blood was a slash of stark red against a white marble floor. The pain in her leg cleared the haze of her mind, and she realized whatever was happening wasn't a dream. Panic peaked as she looked around her. There was nothing familiar about her surroundings-nothing! Down one hallway, she heard the ring of a phone.

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