Isabel sat up. Had she fallen asleep? She felt strange, sort of light and a little tingly. She looked to Violet, who gave her a thumbs up.
She had done it- she was in the astral plane. She pushed lightly off the floor and felt her body rise up and fall down slowly, like a deflating balloon.
She glanced down to see Cody pouting on the floor. She grinned at him, then remembered that he couldn't see her anymore.
She looked to Zane, whose eyes were quivering madly beneath his eyelids, his face scrunched up in concentration. She wondered what he was thinking about.
‘Stop trying so hard,” she whispered to him. “You’ll hurt yourself.”
He squinted at her. “Wow! You did it! That’s so cool.”
“Shhh!” Violet shushed him. ‘Concentrate on yourself.”
He rolled his eyes and then closed them again, and it was then that Isabel saw her own body lying next to Zane.
She looked peaceful and perfectly calm, her burns in stark contrast with the pale skin underneath. One arm was resting on her stomach as it rose and fell slightly with each breath. The other ended in a stump at the shoulder, the fabric of the baggy overlarge sweater falling limply around it.
Isabel sighed and gently raised her fingers to her own cheek, expecting to feel the burns there as well, rough and dry to the touch. But to her surprise, she felt nothing but soft skin beneath her cool fingertips. She let her fingers trail down the soft curve of her collarbone,expecting the shoulder to fall and leave nothing but air.
But instead of an ugly, disfigured stump that was the result of several skin grafts and a lifetime of painkillers, her right hand continued down to feel the round mass of an arm. She raised her left arm disbelievingly. There, right in front of her where before had been empty space, were long slender fingers and a pale right forearm- a forearm that matched the one on her left.
She stared at her fingers in shock and wonder.
“It’s a phantom limb,” Violet said to her. “Incredible, isn’t it?”