Chapter 1

Beginnings

Leeyia Stroods

I sat up -­ only to bang the top of my head on the bottom of one of my foster brothers’ old bunk beds. I reached for my head and swallowed the yell of pain that wanted to come out.

“Lee?” my biological twin sister said in an all-­too­-awake voice.

“Yeah…?” I asked groaning under the pain.

“You awake?”

   “No,” I said as my eyes rolled.

   “Oh…well while you’re still listening to me then: look at this.”  I could hear the sarcasm in Persephani’s voice.  Then, suddenly a shadow of a book fell unto my sheets beside me.

   “Wait…what?”  I was still enduring the pain and growth of my now swelling bump on my head and trying to remember my dream.

   “Just open it to the page I marked, Leeyia.”

   “Oh-kay.”  I reached out and grabbed the book-looking-thing and a reading night light.  Before I had switched the light on, I recognized the book which was actually a journal.  Ani and I had found it in my bike basket at the school we and our foster parents had visited to see if they would take us in as sudden students.

   Opening the journal to Persephani’s marked page, I saw a drawing, more of a sketch really which the journal seemed to have a lot of.  It was a building that may have once been a church but looked as if it was hardly used or looked at, for that matter.  But what really caught my eye were the two figures staring at the church.  

   They were tiny simply-drawn stick figures with letters for their heads.  The slightly taller one of the two had the letter “L”; the other a “P”.  Drops of ink were falling from each stickman.

   “So did you draw that?” Ani asked me.

   I hesitated.  This journal held power; I realized that when I had looked through its pages the first time.  

   Back at the school, it seemed like the journal was someone’s private property that had been misplaced.  As I walked back up the stairs to the entrance of my now high school, a huge forceful wind blew it from my fingertips.  The crazy thing is – it came from inside the school!  I ran down the stairs, picked it up, and went to shut the journal when a word caught my attention: “DON’T!!”.  That’s when I knew I was dealing with a Tom-Riddle-is-talking-to-me-through-a-diary sort of thing.  Yet it felt like it was there to help me.

   “Leeyia?”  Ani brought me out of my flashback.

   I was now fully awake because I could feel the headache coming.  “Whoa…”

   “That’s it? ‘Whoa’?”

   “Yeah that’s all I got right now, sis,” I said.

   “So, you didn’t draw that then?”

   “Yep, I think.”

   “Okay…I’ve been looking -skimming- through all the pages ever since 5:00 am – it’s only 5:30 now to answer your shifting there – but the first few pages are words and the actual drawings don’t show up until the middle of the book.  And since it was found in your basket, I didn’t read the long note thingy but I couldn’t resist the drawings,” said Persephani, the artist.

   “You saw something in the sketch,” I said all knowingly.  Persephani and I know each other all too well; we know all of each others’ secrets, crushes, and can tell when either is lying.  I wouldn’t say we know what the other is thinking but we do tend to guess correctly.

   She hopped down from the top bunk as I crawled out from under my sheets.  “We should get ready for the bus.”

   “Persephani, don’t change the subject.  What did you see?” I asked her.

   “Lee…that’s us.  We run to that church for some reason.”

   “Wait we what?”

   “We run there…eventually…”

   “What do you mean eventually?” I stood up now.

  Persephani sighed, “That’s the future, Lee…”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

   Brady Landers

   “Hey, Brad, did you hear about the two new girls?” asked my best friend Lukas.

   “Um…yeah from you and the whole school now,” I replied as we walked with the usual almost late for school hallway crowd.

   “I heard they’re twins that were adopted by Adam Strood’s family.  I bet both are identical and super hot.”

   “Dude, that’s all you think about,” I pushed him into the wall.

   “Not true man.  You know I can’t stop talking about that new PS4 game-“

   “‘With that smoking girl on the cover’….My point still stands, man.”

   “Whatever, dude,” Lukas said shaking his head.

   “Just don’t screw up their first day, k?”

   “Sure, I’ll be chill, man.”

   I rolled my eyes as we went into our first class of the day; Lukas could never chill.

~*~

   Lukas and I came out of Biology hungry.  The guys of (name of school here) walked out of class toward the cafeteria like zombies.  A friend of mine, Aaron Duran, couldn’t help but pretend to shoot us and shout, “Die, zombies, die!”

   A few girls laughed; others cried out in disgust and did their little girly run/jog/prance away from us.  Two of them even joined in with us in our search for brains and it was those two who I couldn’t identify because their hooded backs were facing me.

   “Hey you two are the new girls,” stated Lukas, of course, “I’m Lukas, George Lucas. 

   “Get out of here! The George Lucas?” said the shorter of the two.

   “Sadly, no.  I’m really called Lukas Jackson, but you’re twins?”

   “Well, yeah, but not identical.”

   “Obviously,” said the second “I’m – Oh my gos-“

   But I didn’t hear what was said next except for, “Brains!” which was what Aaron-the-zombie had said as he pulled Lukas to the ground. Laughter filled the lunch cafeteria.

   I waited for the mob to pass and for my best friend to stand up before I grabbed my lunch, but Lukas was no where on the ground.

   “Brady, come on!  Get your food, man, before the next wave of zombies come!” yelled Lukas who had grabbed his lunch and sat down already.

   My arms flew up into the air symbolizing my thanks to him.  I stood in line, finally made it to the pizza, grabbed a lemonade, and went to travel to Lukas’ table.  On my way I noticed the new girls again who sat at what was called the “losers’ table”.  They looked lonely so I signaled Lukas.

   “I’m gonna hang here,” my eyes told him.

   “OK,” he mouthed back with a nod.

   “Hi,” I said, turning to the girls, “Can I sit here?”

   “I don’t know,” said the taller as she looked up from what was supposedly a Caesar salad but looked more like watered-down soup, “Can y-“

   She gasped and her sister looked at her probably thinking she was choking on a soggy crouton, then Shorty looked at me and gasped too.

   “What?” I said stupidly.

   The sisters pulled back their hoods, looked around, and Talls told me to sit.  But then I gasped, “Leeyia?  Persephani?!”

   “Brady?!?”  Leeyia said.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Riley Hinderton

   “When’s school gonna end?” I complained to myself while waiting line for my lunch.  “Pizza.”

   The lunch lady handed the last pizza and the only edible food in the whole school.  A few kids behind me groaned.  I smirked at them and walked away to find a seat.

   “Hey Ry,” said Aaron Duran who sat next to geek guy Lukas Jackson, “Come sit here with us guys.”

   “Ew.  No way.”

   Lukas shrugged, “Good luck finding a spot then.”

   I never seemed to get over finding boys “ew” or disgusting.  It apparently is sticking with me through high school.  Except for one boy, who I couldn’t stop thinking about.

   “Fine.” I sat down.

   The two snickered to themselves as I began to eat.  “What is it?” I snapped.

   They stopped laughing right then and there.  “Nothing….” said Aaron although I wasn’t convinced it was nothing.  Lukas looked ashamed and couldn’t stop looking over near the trash cans.  I followed his gaze to see Brady Landers talking to – The new girls!  What?

   “Is he gonna sit?” asked Aaron.

   A new voice spoke jokingly over our table as the nerd Quinton Orlando sat down, “Maybe he thinks it’s gentlemanly.  Hey, dudes and…um…Riley.”

   “Ugh, why is he over there taking to the newbies?” I said.

   Lukas finally spoke up to where I could hear him again, “He’s probably apologizing for my not being chill.”

   “Or asking ’em out,” Duran laughed.

   I watched my pizza suddenly not hungry anymore, thinking, He likes one of them.

   “I doubt that, Aaron.  Brady’s not that kinda guy,” Lukas said.

   “Yeah, Luke is right,” agreed Quinton.

   I pushed my plate away, stood up, and walked out feeling sick.  I kept walking on until I noticed a large blue pamphlet on the school’s notice board.  Reading it, all thought about Brady liking some other girl left my mind.

   “No way….” was all I could say.

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