Chapter 1“Run Lucy! Get out of here quickly!” I ran away as quickly as I could through the dark, humid hall. Everything twisted altering the reality of once a beautiful building that would help heal individuals who needed aid. The reason I was in the hospital, I don’t even know, all I knew is that I had to run, run so they couldn’t get to me. I sprinted through the maze of hallways, and stairs making it to the front doors of the top floor. I looked around for a way out, only to see a window.
“Damn it,” I told myself, scanning the area for an object to shatter the glass. I looked around for about a minute when in my peripheral vision, I spotted an object. I turned to look to get a better view when I saw it had been a metal rod broken off from metal laboratory table, used centuries ago in our small town for surgeries. I sprinted to the object quickly grabbing it before making my way to the window for my escape. I rushed my way to the window, looking out seeing the ground a million stories away death was my only option. I swung the leg into the window shattering the glass, bits of its debris piercing my skin. I glanced around looking for anything or anyone who would try to harm me, nothing visual but I started to hear voices chattering down the hall minutes away. Acting quickly, I jumped out of the window, screaming as I fell.
I jolted awake, light burning my eyes as fear surged through me. I remembered the dream vividly, the twisted hallways planting itself in my brain.
“Lucille, are you alright?” My mother stood beside me as my meltdown exploded. She held me tightly worried. As I regained my self-control I glanced at the time, noticing it was 7:30, school started at 8:05.
“Shit! I’m going to be late!” I burst into action running to my closet quickly scanning for clothes then grabbing a black lace long sleeve shirt, with a gold tank top underneath. I threw them on heading for my dresser opening it to grab a pair of dark grey jeans ripped at the knees. I threw on my black converse with a phoenix on the side a beautiful shade of red. After I laced my shoes I ran into the bathroom painting on my eyeliner, eyeshadow, primer, and mascara. Once I finished I looked at myself in the mirror, looking at the work I had done admiring the lace colored eyeshadow, and the wing I had just recently perfected. I then picked up my brush, tying back my hair into a messy bun. Tanira, my mother walked in tucking the loose strands of hair behind my ear.
“You look beautiful Lucille, now remember what I’ve told you.”
“Yes, I know, when someone asks about my hair tell them you dye it every year to make it look this beautiful. No one asks me about my hair mom, they’ve stopped asking in second grade.”
“You never know Lucille, anyways have a wonderful day dear.” I grabbed one of my lace coverings, the same shade as my jeans then rushed downstairs grabbing my school bag then bursting out the door. Outside my friend, Rachel waited for me, her beautiful golden locks shining in the sun, and her ocean blue eyes sparkling. She got out of the blue suburban she rode in, driven by her butler Matthew Johnson.
“Damn Lockwood, have you been getting slower lately Jesus Christ get your ass in the game, we don’t have time for you to mess around.” She spoke laughing slightly, grabbing my things setting them nicely in the suburban.
“I know, I know, just get your ass in the vehicle and let's get to school, we’re already late as it is.” She glanced at the driver as she seated herself in the car. I took one step before my head started to spin. I looked at Rachel before I collapsed onto the ground, my head hitting the cement. The last thing I heard was someone screaming my name and crying before everything went dark and my dreams took over.
I screamed as I kept falling, images gliding past me quickly then I hit hard dirt ground. I thought I was going to die because they say when you die in your dreams you die in the real world. Only, I got up off the ground brushing myself off, everything was perfectly fine no bruises or broken bones. I heard voices yelling for me, I turned their direction and demonic creatures made their way towards me, one man caught my eye as he walked while the rest of them ran. His hair was black, and his eyes were a dark shade of red. I looked for an escape route turning to see 20 Ft. gates behind me, I sprinted towards them running as fast as I could. Once I reached the gates they weren’t that far behind me. I felt the fear inside me as I climbed the poles trying to get away from the demons that were hunting me down. I kept looking back, watching them gradually get farther behind. Only a few attempted to climb after me, turning to ash as soon as they touched the bars.
“WHAT ARE YOU DOING! CAPTURE HER!” The man who was once walking screaming, starting to sprint. I climbed faster swinging myself onto the wall as soon as I got to the top. “WE’LL GET YOU PHOENIX, AND YOU WILL DIE I’LL BE SURE OF IT!” I ignored their screams of frustration, running for my life to the end of the wall. I stopped but it was too late, I flew off the wall faster than I did the building, I hit the ground my ulna snapping in half the pain stabbed my arm along with the swelling. I cried out in agony holding my arm tightly against my stomach crying as the pain gradually got worse. Tears flooded my vision just as a figure stood in front of me.
“Don’t worry Lucille, I’m here to help you this won’t hurt,” his voice echoed, then fading into the darkness. Before I knew it, I woke up just as a needle stabbed itself in my arm. I cried out, afraid of everything that surrounded me. “Calm down Lucille, it was only a nightmare!”
“They’re after me!” I screamed, fear in my voice causing panic inside mother as she rushed to my side.
“Lucille, are you alright? Who’s after you?” She wrapped her arms tightly around me as my tears rained down, she rocked me back and forth calmly stroking my hair calmly speaking, “Don’t worry I won’t let them get you.” I glanced around the room, Rachel sat passed out in a chair, and another one of my friends pacing back and forth. I thought of the memories we’ve had together, then remembering what happened only weeks ago, and how’s he’s been there, that smartass, even when I don’t need him he’s there.
Weeks before the dreams began I started my first day as a high-school senior, dressed nicely in a navy-blue dress with black tights. “Mom, I’m ready for school!” I yelled from the upstairs bathroom, just beginning to finish the wing of my eyeliner. She walked in looking at the way I looked, my flaming hair covering my shoulders, and my freckles visual on my pale skin.
“You look gorgeous Lucille, and I’m shocked you didn’t cover your angel kisses.”
“They’re not angel kisses mom, they’re the devil’s curse… why do I even have freckles they make my skin look dirty!”
“Now Lucille, that’s not true freckles make you look even more beautiful you just have to live with them.” She kissed my forehead then put her hands gently on my arms starting to cry. “My baby’s starting senior year, gosh darn it I’m getting old.” I looked at her blushing, she noticed then hugged me tightly making it harder for me to breathe. “I love you, but remember what you say about your hair.”
“Why can’t I just dye it a normal hair color like brown or something like that?”
“Lucille, you know how I feel about dying beautiful hair it’s definitely not allowed, besides Ashton already adores it.” I rolled my eyes looking away to grab my concealer, only to realize I didn’t have it. “Oops, looks like I forgot to buy you more concealer!”
“MOM! YOU KNOW I NEED THIS CONCEALER!” She ran down the stairs laughing, I ran after her. Once I hit the last step she threw my backpack at me, I caught it last second almost dropping it. “Mom!”
“Get to school, Rachel has been waiting outside for the past 10 minutes, you know how she is when she has to wait.” I glared at her walking out of the house, she smiled happily behind me.
“Have a wonderful day Lucille!” I took one last glance at her, she stood in the doorway waving “I love you!” Rachel opened the door of her suburban giggling, waiting for me to get in.
“Hurry up Lucy, I don’t want to be late for my first day of school, and you look beautiful today!” I smiled at her getting in the vehicle. I remembered the beautiful smile my mother gave me that day, it was the only truly happy smile she ever gave.
Matthew drove off as soon as I shut my door, he didn’t bother to look back to make sure everyone was safely buckled in. “So, Lucille how are you and your BOYFRIEND Chase!?”
“We broke up, he decided I wasn’t a purebred because his mom told him that.” Her face turned furious.
“I’m going to kill him!” I turned away to watch as the building passed me, admiring the beauty of my city before a vision ruined it. The city burned and darkness covering the skies, a girl with black hair knelt crying holding a man cradling him. She looked up just as a blade pointed itself at her skull. Before the death, the vision cleared, everything returning to normal. “Lucille, are you okay you got quiet suddenly.”
“Yeah, I’m perfectly fine, just admiring the view.” I watched more buildings pass when we arrived at the school. The vehicle made a quick stop, Matthew slamming on the brakes, putting the car into park before opening Rachel’s door.
“Yes ma’am, I apologize, it won’t happen again,” he replied, helping me out. I looked at the school looking at all the changes that have been made. I also glanced at Ashton, who stood ahead of me holding my ex-boyfriend Chase by his collar.
“Well Lucille looks like your other man is protecting you, honestly you guys need a room he obviously likes you.” I walked over to Ashton he smiled at me then threw Chase to the ground.
“Now, tell Lucille that you’re sorry and you’ll be a good little wimp!”
“I’m sorry Lucille, and I promise to be a good little wimp from now on please call off your beast!”
I helped Chase to his feet then moved him aside so I could face Ashton, “You know you’re a real jerk!”
“Yeah, but you love me.” We made our way inside avoiding teachers, making sure to stop by the office for our new I.Ds. I looked at mine noticing a flaming aura surrounding me, I looked at it admiring it. I looked at Ashton as he grabbed his then walked over to the door that leads into the hallway, opening it so he could walk through. “Lucille, we have the first period together.”
“That’s amazing, let’s go!” We walked out of the office heading for our first period, there we sat waiting for our teacher. “I made sure to kick Chase’s ass for being a dick to you.”
“Thanks, Ashton, that makes me feel so much better,” he smiled just as the bell rang, and class began.
The end of the day was almost near, Ashton made his way over to my locker with someone standing beside him, “Lucille, this boy is brand new here his name is Max just look at that red hair, you guys are twins!”
I looked at Max in shock, his hair was flamed like my own only I remembered people could dye their hair that way. “Cool, what salon did you go to get your hair like that.”
“My house, my sister did it, I don’t really have a mom, and my dad… I don’t want to talk about him.” I nodded grabbing my belongings out of my locker.
“Her hair is naturally like that, isn’t it beautiful!” I looked at Ashton elbowing him in the ribs glaring, he chuckled pulling me into a playful chokehold. “Don’t worry Lucy, Max is cool.”
“Wait… your hair is naturally like that?”
“No, I dye it just like you… Ashton is just a bastard making everyone believes it’s natural.”
“But that’s what your mom established when I tried using the technique to remove the hair dye from your hair to figure out what your real hair color was.”
“It’s brown!” I said quickly, Max looked at me disappointed, “Yup it’s all brown just dyed.” I elbowed Ashton breaking his chokehold. “My mom wanted to ask if you wanted to eat with us at Denali’s Cafe?”
“That would be amazing, I’ll catch up with you later Max see you tomorrow.” Ashton closed my locker and grabbed my hand, I looked at him questioningly, “Sorry, am I not allowed to hold my best friend’s hand or is that illegal?”
“It’s illegal so keep your hormones to yourself,” I walked out of the school heading west towards Denali’s Cafe followed by Ashton. Ashton had dirty blonde hair, a glossy smile, and a weak build, only he wasn’t so weak. He was around 6’4 with an extremely nerdy style wearing a bright colored band and marvel t-shirts, with blue jeans. He had a bright and bubbly personality, but he was a jackass when he wanted to be.
“Want to race to the cafe?” I started to sprint catching him off guard laughing. “Bitch, I didn’t say start!” He ran after me, falling behind. One thing about Ashton is he was never a runner, “WAIT UP!”
“I thought the whole part of the race was to win?” We stopped at a stop sign, about two blocks away from Denali’s Cafe in front on the other side was a man in a black hood. He looked my way then began walking, didn’t bother to worry about him only that to be proven a huge mistake. He grabbed my hand and looked at my palm.
“Phoenix, I’m here to bring you back to the place where you belong, you need to save us we’re dying because you’re not there to protect us!” Ashton arrived tackling the strange man to the ground, he looked at me to run.
“Quick, get to the cafe, I’ll be there shortly!” I sprinted away glancing back constantly to make sure Ashton was okay, the last time I looked back they were both gone. I continued running until I reached the cafe, screaming to Tanira who sat in the corner near the window drinking from her coffee mug.
“Mom, someone went to grab me and Ashton went and fought him off and I don’t know when I looked back they were both gone, I THINK SOMETHING HAPPENED TO ASHTON!” She set down her mug then pointed to the door. I turned around and there he was walking through the front door heading our way, I ran to him hugging him tightly, “I thought he took you!”
“No, he ran off after I slammed his head into the cement ground, I would never let him take me or you.”
“Why don’t the both of you sit down so we can talk.” We both did as we were told and looked at her, Ashton sat next to me looking out the window occasionally making sure we weren’t followed. “Now, I know both of you are scared about what happened today, but I need to ask you both something.”
“Sure, what is it Tanira?” Ashton interrupted.
“Lucille, it’s about time we moved out of this small town and move closer to our family, I’ve been avoiding them since the day you were born but it’s time you finally met them, I’m asking if it would be okay for the both of you to video chat.”
“Move! After I’ve just started school!?” I yelled loudly, everyone who sat in the cafe stared at me.
“Lucille, it’s been 18 years almost since I’ve last seen them, you have family out there you haven’t even met you need to meet them!”
“No, I refuse to leave Ashton, if you want to move so be it I’ll live with him!”
“Lucille Rae Lockwood, you are not staying here you’re moving with me to Romania to see your family, you can video chat with Ashton!”
“But mom!” I protested but she ignored my protests and waved for a waiter to bring the check. After Denali paid we made our way back to the house where I ran up to my room slamming my door shut locking myself in. There was no way, I was going to move whether my mother wanted it to happen or not I was not ready to leave behind my only friend.
The next day I got ready like normally, I got dressed, did my makeup, and rushed out to the blue suburban. The only thing truly different was the disappointment that stained my face. Rachel noticed and touched my shoulder sympathetically, “I’m sure that whatever you’re upset about isn’t as bad as you think.” I looked at her afraid to tell her the news my mom told me the night before about moving. I turned away looking back out the window, admiring the city again for what might be the last time I’m here. “Tell me what’s wrong sugar.”
“I don’t want to talk about it just yet,” I kept looking outside and again the vision showed, the girl with black hair holding a man cradling him crying. I could tell he was dead, the way his head dropped back showing that his soul was no longer there. The women looked up as the dagger aimed itself at her flesh. Her eyes glowed red as did her hair, the darkness of her hair turned bright flame red burning brightly melting the blade held in front of her. The vision cleared reality setting itself back in place as the school made its way into view. Ashton leaned against his favorite pillar waiting for my arrival.
“I sure hope you’re alright Lucille, you’ve been extremely quiet lately, anyways have a wonderful day at school tell Ashton I said salutations!” She got out of the car, as I did walking the opposite direction. I walked towards Ashton on the verge of tears, I hugged him as soon as I got to where he stood. It shocked him as soon as I hugged him, he wrapped his arms around me and we stayed that way for a long time until the first bell rang. We walked down to the classroom together, for the first time in years I held his hand.
He looked at me smiling, “I have something to show you after school, meet me at my place?”
“Yeah, of course.” We arrived at the classroom and walked in the teacher waiting for the second bell. After it rang class started, I occasionally glanced over at Ashton and he sat there staring at me until the period finished.