Shannon O'Reilly (Chapter 2, page 1 of 5)


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Chapter 2

Shannon awoke on the floor in the upstairs hallway with two, very concerned parents looking down on her. Brendan was kneeling down next to her and her mother was standing with her hands on her hips with a look of dismay upon her face. Her mother was never good at emergencies. In fact, if the house were burning down, she would probably go outside, light a cigarette and make cell phone calls to her friends asking them what she should do. Her father, on the other hand, was always practical. If Shannon were to be stranded on a desert island, she would want her father there with her.

"What happened?" Victoria demanded. "I heard a terrific thud and then I find you up here flat on the floor passed out!" Shannon didn't know how to respond; her head was throbbing and a lump had formed on the side of her head where she'd hit the floor. Leave it to her mom to want an explanation when she had just awoke from a fainting spell. "I have no idea," she lied. "One minute I was walking down the hall, the next, well, I just don't remember," Shannon said meekly, looking away so she could avoid the steady gaze of her mother. Her mom could spot a lie a mile away, and she knew her daughter wasn't telling the whole truth.

Brendan put his arm around Shannon and helped her to get up off of the floor. He carefully held her hand and supported her while she swayed a little. "I think I'm all right," she said. "I just need a little drink of water." Victoria walked to the top of the stairs with Shannon and her father following close behind. The trio carefully climbed back down the staircase into the kitchen. Shannon sat down on one of the old farm chairs and sighed. The day had been incredibly long already, and now she was going to face the scrutiny of her parents.

Brendan got an old jelly jar from the cupboard and filled it with ice-cold water for Shannon. "Here, drink up," he said quietly. She took the cup with trembling hands and began to sip slowly. If she had her mouth full she couldn't answer any questions and would be less likely to trip up and tell the whole crazy truth. "Are you all right, I mean, do you hurt anywhere?" her mother asked with a touch of concern. "I'm fine, just a little woozy." Shannon replied. "We came running up once we heard you scream," Brendan said. This caught Shannon off guard; she didn't remember screaming at all. "Scream? I don't remember screaming," Shannon said. She felt confused and began to think she had imagined the whole thing. "Well, you sure scared the pants off of us young lady!" Victoria said with a touch of anger in her voice. "I didn't eat lunch today. I guess I just got a little light headed," Shannon said, hoping to end this particular line of questioning. "I probably just over did it, you know, too much stuff going on at school and all," Shannon trailed off.

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