Prologue: The car screeched to a halt. There were some distant screams. Then everything faded away.
I was sleeping. It was around about 1:30 in the morning. I had just got back from my best friend, Kiera’s party. The party got a bit out of hand, and some strangers came and gate crashed. They brought sour-tasting drinks; I can’t seem to remember what they were. It was hot and I think I drank too much of the drinks. I can’t really remember anything else, except the clear sound of a car, a driver desperately pressing against the brakes and a high-pitched scream.
My head was pounding. I woke up. My cat, Mittens, jumped on top of me and landed right on my face. ‘Get off,’ I said, still half asleep. As I pushed her off the bed, my computer screen lit up, and something strange happened. My webcam loaded on to the screen. I went to turn it off, but just before I hit the button, I looked up into the webcam program, in which you can see yourself. I stared at the program. You could clearly see my room, but not me. It was as if I was invisible, and I could see right through myself. My heart felt as if it had turned to ice. I adjusted my webcam, telling myself it was a dream. ‘Come on Georgia wake up. This is just a silly dream, and you can wake up and tell Kiera all about it in the morning.’ My throat was getting sore. Mittens jumped down from my bed and onto my lap. You could clearly see Mittens, but not me. I froze. I punched myself in the arm, checking whether it was a dream. I could not feel anything.
How could this be possible? If it was a dream, I would have been awake by now, but if it was not a dream, then I would feel pain and be able to see myself in the webcam program. But none of those things have happened, which must mean...?
“Mum! Dad! Muuummmmm! Daaadddd!” I screamed down the stairs. No reply. I sprinted down the stairs faster then ever. I went into their room. It was empty. I ran down another flight of stairs until I reached the dining room. There was mum, crying what seemed to be thousands of tears, with dad comforting her. A tear rolled down his cheek. That was the first time I’ve ever seen my dad cry in my fifteen years of living. “Gosh what’s wrong? Why are you crying? Mum? Dad?” They didn’t seem to even blink. “Mum! What’s wrong?!!?” I screamed into her face. Not even a sign of me being present. A policeman walked into the room. “I’m very sorry for your loss,” he said, sympathetically. “MUUUMM! DAAAADD!” I screamed so loudly that I’m surprised that Australians from the other side of the world aren’t shouting at me to be quiet.
I burst into floods of tears. The fact that neither mum nor dad could hear me, and the fact that I seemed to be invisible, was too much. Why is the policeman talking about their ‘loss’? Then it hit me. It was me! They were talking about me. I’m dead! But why am I still in my normal life? Is this where dead people stay? I had so many questions that were left un-answered, I was practically frothing at the mouth! I ran back upstairs to where my computer was. I touched the screen. My finger went into the screen but didn’t come outside the other end! I stuck my head through, taking half my body with me. ‘Wooaahh!’ I said. It was like a whole other world, but exactly the same as this one. Suddenly, a whirl of wind swept me up and carried me into the computer screen.
I landed with a crash on the floor. I looked up. There above me, in rusty letters, ‘Rusthall Avenue’, in other words, my street. Out of what seemed to be nowhere, an old lady in a candyfloss-coloured cardigan came up to me and smiled, “ Hi Georgia, I’ve been expecting you. I don’t think you’ll recognise me, as I passed away when you were six. I am your Grandma.” I stared up at her. She looked like an older version of mum. “Why are we on my street, if we’re dead then?” I asked, suspiciously.
“Welcome to ‘Another’. You are not on your street, but a street that happens to look just like your one. We are in a parallel world to our old one. You will live in this world, for fifteen years and each day, you will get younger. You are re-living your life, but backwards. When you reach zero, you will be pushed back into the screen you came into, and start a whole new life, not as Georgia Nicolson, but as a new person. You will then have a normal life, starting from a child. But, until then, you can live with me.” My jaw seemed to drop down to my ankles. I couldn’t say anything. I was in too much shock.
My grandmother took me on a tour of ‘Another’. She showed me how you can watch your family and friends, through binoculars. I stayed there all day. I watched Mum and Dad sprinkle soil on my coffin. I watched Keira as she wept. I watched their lives go on, without me.
As months went past, I made new friends and learned how to adapt to life in Another. It was like living a whole new life. But whatever happens next, whether it be waking up and discovering it was all a dream, or spending time with my new friends, I could never forget my old life and how special it was.
Epilogue: At 4:37am, a little girl was born. As her mother and father smiled at her, she smiled back, remembering her old life and knowing she would never, ever forget it, as long as she lives.