booktalks

young adult fictionDreadful Sorry by Kathryn Reiss [pdf : 180k]

Subjects: Paranormal fiction; Reincarnation—Juvenile fiction; Supernatural—Fiction

Props: Audio file of humming of “Clementine”

(Start audio—blank at first, timed so that the humming begins on sentence three)

17-year-old Molly had been plagued by a recurring nightmare for some time, but lately it’s become more frightening. She’s floating down a long hallway with closed doors on both sides. There’s humming, insistent, unrelenting. . . She feels that someone is waiting for her behind the door at the end of the hallway, but before she can get there, there’s screaming and blood oozes out from under one of the side doors. Wind whips all around her and the walls press in upon her. (Hug yourself and hunch, turn) She turns and tries to run, but she finds herself floating down the staircase. On the landing, she passes a mirror (Look to right) and when she looks into it, she sees someone else’s face looking back at her. Molly! (Turn off audio)

Her mother’s call wakes her with a start. Now she’s late and she rushes to get ready for school. No time for a shower, she splashes water on her face (Pretend to splash water on your face) and when she looks in the mirror, she sees that face from her nightmare looking back at her, not her own. She feels very cold. She closes her eyes tight, (Close eyes tight) hits the mirror with the palm of her hand (Put hand palm up in front of you and clap hard with the other hand) and when she does dare to open her eyes. . . oh, (Open eyes and sigh), it’s her own pale face looking back at her.

Downstairs, she argues with her mother again over her refusal to take her school’s required swim test or even swimming lessons. It’s embarrassing to be in high school and not know how to swim but Molly is convinced that if she gets into the water she will die. Why can’t her mother and even her friends understand that? Molly decides to put the nightmares and her fear of water aside and that night she goes to a friend’s graduation party. She meets a boy, her best friend’s cousin, who is visiting from out of town. He seems almost familiar and they hit if off right away. Everything’s going great when suddenly, for no reason, he throws her into the pool. But it’s not funny. She almost drowns and is taken to the hospital.

To get away from all this, she flies to Maine to spend the summer with her father and his new wife. As she steps into the old house they’ve just bought, she realizes that she already knows the layout of the house and sees the rooms not only as they are but how they were in a former time. And when she goes upstairs, she finds herself in the hallway of her nightmares. (Hold up book) Dreadful Sorry by Kathryn Reiss.

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