After a vicious fight with her boyfriend followed by a night of heavy partying, college freshman Amanda Greene wakes up in her dorm room to find things are not the same as they were yesterday. She can't quite put her finger on it. She's sharing her room with a peculiar stranger. Amanda discovers she's registered for classes she would never choose with people that are oddly familiar. An ominous shadow is stalking her. Uncomfortable memories are bubbling dangerously close to her fracturing world, propelling her to an inevitable collision between fantasy and reality. Is this the mother of all hangovers or is something bigger happening?
She walked slowly to the window and rested her hands on the filthy sill, her face pressed against the glass. It was so familiar, yet it had a strangeness, as if she'd never seen it before. It was different. Amanda let her eyes roam over the vista before her, trying to put her finger on the change. It seemed like yesterday that the landscape had been filled with lush, verdant leaves. The Indian summer refused to move on, the maples, hickories, and birches filling branches abundantly in varied shades of restful green, so that the school looked crisp, fresh, and inviting. Overnight, autumn painted a new picture, fading the landscape, ushering in the next season; the leaves withering, curling, setting the branches on fire with vivid oranges, yellows, and reds; the bases covered with the remains of dead leaves, shriveled and brown. It was too early; Amanda was puzzled by the change. A dark shape raced across the lawn, too fast for her to discern, but the feeling of unease returned. The shadow disappeared quickly behind one of the great gnarled tree trunks that Patrick had told her were the entrances for the goblins that terrorized the campus. She smiled, wishing Patrick were there so she could point it out to him. She squinted hard, trying to figure out what exactly had caught her attention, but the bleak landscape offered nothing. She laughed for the first time, her ribs protesting, missing Patrick so hard that it hurt more than her bones. Amanda's brow furrowed, and the hammer clanging behind her eyes filled her skull, but the memory of how she had gotten there eluded her.
Michael Phillip Cash is an award-winning novelist and screenwriter. His novels are best-sellers on Amazon under their genres – Young Adult, Thriller, Suspense, Ghost, Action Adventure, Fantasy, Paranormal Romance and Horror. Michael writes full-time and lives on the North Shore of Long Island with his wonderful wife and screaming children. You can follow him @michaelpcash.