• Chapter 1.

    I was in a meadow. The grass a beautiful green, with different kinds flowers scattered everywhere all colors of the rainbow. The meadow was surrounded by a forest with different trees varying in shades of green. Tall grass tickled my calves, it was beautiful. And I was alone. My clothes were different from my regular attire: a knee high, spaghetti strap, pure white summer dress and I was bare foot. My long hair hung down and blew freely in the wind. The loneness only lasted a few seconds when a gentle wind blew in. Four people were then standing across from me about twenty feet away, lined up in a line so that I could see them all clearly.
    The first one was a man, maybe in his late twenties or at least no older than thirty. His brown hair with a little light white streak starting by his hair line, just above his ear, complimented his warm smile, gray eyes and fair skin. His outfit was no more than a pair of faded blue jeans and a long sleeved burgundy shirt with a white collar showing underneath and he smiled at me.
    Next, was a girl maybe my age, or maybe younger. She wore a beautiful jade sundress with her dark reddish brown colored hair flowing down to her shoulders. Her eyes were a forest green and the cheeks were rosy. Freckles decorated the bridge of her nose going nicely with her olive-toned skin, the smile she wore was the same as the man, but bigger. Her small hand raised and moved it back and forth rapidly to wave at me. I could only wave back.
    A boy was next to her, no older than 18 at the least. His bleach blonde hair was spiky and in disarray on top of his head, with ice blue eyes which stared at me eagerly. The smile was gentle, and friendly, the clothes were no different than the others. A nice faded sand color short sleeved shirt and khaki shorts. The hands were in his pockets, and now and then I would catch him glance behind me then back to me, when he thought I wasn’t looking. His skin was much lighter than the girl’s. Seemed like everything his appearance was, there was faded colors.
    The last one, a male, had a giant smile that was from ear to ear. His sea-green eyes were bright. He looked like he was happy to see me. The outfit was less formal or summer like: a sleeveless shirt, which displayed his well muscled arms and some old sweats. His dark brown hair, almost a black, ruffled in the soft wind, and the green eyes watched me, every movement I would make they would follow.
    I could feel a warm smile spreading over my face. Then without warning the scenery changed; the sky grew dark, a deep purple mixed with red. Blood red. The grass and flowers died and became a shriveled brown crumpled mess; the four newcomers’ smiles became frowns. And the cheerful eyes began to reflect hate; the oldest one looked fierce and strong for his age and sighed angrily.
    The girl looked less fragile then before; her eyes reflected the same hate as the man. The boy who had bleach blond hair’s upper lip pulled back over his teeth and growled, or what sounded like a growl. He was prepared to attack and those big green eyes were still locked on me, I met his gaze. The eyes showed worry, for me.
    They all glared at me, I thought they were going to attack, but their glares directed to what was behind. I turned. Big mistake. I couldn’t see anything but a big cloud of smoke, with growls and howls echoing from inside of it. My eyes locked back on the others, but they weren’t there anymore. All but for an unnatural sized silver wolf, cheetah, and tiger were charging to the thing behind me.
    “No!” I screamed. They couldn’t possibly beat it, not without me at least. I had the urge to help them, to go run with them. I twisted my torso back and took a step forward.
    Then two warm hands caught my shoulders and spun me around. His eyes were what I saw first; they bored into mine. Our faces were just inches apart; he leaned closer; his breath spreading across my face. It smelled so sweet; my head started spinning, I tried to concentrate on what he had to say. He whispered one word in a deep but still boyish voice; “Run.”

    I sat straight up, on my bed. Hair sticking to my face with sweat and not to mention it was in a tangled mess, my hands clenching the comforter. My breaths were shallow and short; the faded violet walls of my room were comforting, but I wanted to be back in that meadow with those four people; minus the awful ending. I would have stayed forever.
    That dream, that beautiful dream turned into a nightmare. Great way to start a Monday. I thought sarcastically. My eyes wandered to the clock; 5 o’clock in the morning, my alarm would be ringing in a couple minutes anyway. Might as well get up.
    Shaking the covers off, then swinging my legs around to the edge of the bed where me feet tried to locate the slippers. Once they found the comfy softness, I got up stiffly, stretched my stiff arms, and my back.
    Then my mom called, “Jen! Are you awake?” she then waited for my answer.
    “Yes.” I shouted back. The front door slammed after my response. I sighed; my mom always has to leave early. This was the routine, she would check to see if I was awake then leave.
    I slipped my light blue silk pajamas off and replaced them with my inescapable jean Capri and a nice green t-shirt. Now for the necessities, brushing through my hair was going to be a challenge. My bare feet carried me to across the hall and into the bathroom. I grabbed the toothbrush and toothpaste, squirting the minty paste onto the bristles.
    After my mouth was clean, I grabbed my brush and yanked through the snarls in the back of my head. The knots were almost brushed through, but I didn’t have the time. Julie was supposed to pick me up in fifteen minutes and I still had to eat breakfast too. This is what happens when your car is in the shop. I thought sarcastically. You don’t have enough time to look presentable.
    I sighed. My hand reached for elastic on top of the cold counter and put my hair up in a ponytail. I left the bathroom and headed downstairs. The stairs creaked and groaned as my feet carried me down them. I made my way through the kitchen doors. The brightness of our kitchen was still blinding for me, all my life I’ve been here and I still haven’t gotten used to it.
    The cabinets and tile floorings a glistening white and the counters made of granite. Too white for me. But not everything was white, a mercy that, the table was a dark maple, and the fridge was a light blue. White was never my kind of color.
    My father greeted me. By my noisy approach he knew who it was, “Good Morning Pumpkin.” He said in a cheery tone. His face was buried in the sports section of the newspaper.
    I laughed at my old kid nickname; he never called me that anymore, “Mornin’ Dad.” Something must be up. But I didn’t press it any further; I’ll figure it out tonight.
    Walking to the cabinet I grabbed a bowl, and some cereal. It was quiet in the kitchen as I poured, the clinking of the cereal bits hitting the bowl was all I could hear. After putting the cereal back in the counter I went to get the milk. The milk was poured cautiously into the bowl. I grabbed a spoon and went to go sit opposite of my father at the big maple table.
    He read in silence and I ate in silence. After I was done eating, it was time for Julie to pick me up. I put my empty bowl in the sink, filled it with water and kissed my dad on the forehead. And headed for the front door.
    “Bye Dad.”
    “Have a nice day Pumpkin.”
    I laughed quietly at him again. Something was definitely up. And yet he was always so absorbed with the news, mainly sports. Well I guess that’s what happens when you’re the sports reporter on the news, your work rubs off on you. Trying to get the latest scoop on the sport teams far and wide across the country, half the time he nearly forgot what was happening at home. My feet slid into my tennis shoes and my hands grabbed my book bag. Next the hand reached for the door knob and I turned it to the left and tried to yank it open. It didn’t budge.
    I tried again. It didn’t move an inch. This time I shook it violently. Still wouldn’t move.
    “UH!” I complained so loud my dad could probably hear it. He did.
    “Something wrong Jen?” my dad’s voice carried out from the kitchen.
    “The door won’t open!” I reported.
    He didn’t answer for a minute then suggested, “Try kicking it.”
    I kicked it as hard as I could with my right foot. The door shook violently, and then there was a clicking sound. My hand turned the knob again; the door obeyed the command of opening.
    “Thanks Dad.” I called back. Note to self: Have Dad fix front door.
    “Sure.” But he sounded too into the news to really notice. I could just see him in his usual seat, his face still in the newspaper and him waving his big hand in the air. Motioning that it was no big deal, that he helped me get the dang door open. I laughed again, I knew my dad too well, and he was my best friend. My mom not so much, she was always too busy never off the phone and we rarely saw her.
    So that meant I always had to do the cooking, he cooked every once in a while. But mainly my cooking skills were put to good use. Especially when he was doing his late time reports, someone would have to cook for Dylan.
    Closing the door hard I left and walked slowly to the sidewalk where Julie usually picked me up. The sky was a dark blue with the remains of red, orange, and yellow where the sun was rising. It would lighten up more soon, in a couple minutes probably. I glanced at my watch, right now it was 6:30 so Julie would be here in about five minutes.

    I stared wide-eyed at my wrist watch, it was quarter to seven. Julie was supposed to pick me up ten minutes ago.
    “Just my luck” I muttered, definitely a bad Monday.
    Folding my arms over my chest impatiently and then I waited. The wind swirled the loose hair strands of my chocolate brown hair around my face. No sound came from anywhere, only my foot tapping the sidewalk. Might as well give up on waiting, knowing Julie, she probably had a make-up problem; to her one mascara clump is a 911 crisis.
    Well forget her; I guess walking to school would be a good way to get some early exercise. This is the beauty of living two blocks away from school. I waved my dad goodbye through the huge kitchen window. He finally looked up from the paper, smiled; his skin crinkling around the edges of his eyes, and waved back.
    I secured the leather strap on my shoulder and started walking; it was a nice day in June. All was quiet, blue birds singing and the crunch of gravel underneath my feet. With the wind blowing, making a low whistle, it was a perfect day, perfectly normal.
    I was halfway to school when the beautiful bliss suddenly stopped. The birds and wind made no sound.
    The hair on the back of my neck stood on end. The air got cold. Everything was still, as if it was picture. But nothing appeared to be wrong, I scoped out the area; the same old trees, leaves a perfect looking shade of green and bark a dark brown with just a little bit of moss. Same old tiny oddly painted houses with faded paint, yet somehow comforting. And same old path with gravel and the weeds popping up in between the little tiny rocks.
    As my eyes scoped the area in front of me, something brought me up short. In the path someone or something was standing about twenty-feet away from me. I stopped abruptly, my heart started pounding. Frozen in my tracks, I didn’t know what to make out of it. I stared at it like an idiot. I should be running, but I stood there, feeling, not frightened, but . . . calm. My mind flew back to that dream, the image of the four people standing all smiling at me. The image zoomed to the man. The creature and him seemed to share the same kind of warmth or comfort. I examined it closer, but dare not to take a step closer.
    It couldn’t have been a person, it had a tail and four legs, but it appeared to have the same look as a wolf. Yet it wasn’t that at all. It was too big to be a wolf or even a dog. The creature had silk like silver fur, and gray eyes. The same as the man from my dream. It looked like it could’ve been taller than me, it probably was. Giant paws, with giant limbs and a chest that came slowly in and out. It was alive and it was beautiful.
    Then I realized that I had seen this creature before; in my dream. It was one of the animals that were charging towards the howl-filled smoke.
    To my surprise something happened, someone whispered a name; “Charles.”
    I looked around to see who said it, I was still alone, but then to my amazement, I realized that I had said the name.
    The great wolf nodded, and it whispered my name at the same time, “Jen.”
    My heart starting beating faster, pounding against my ribs. It was greeting me; I still stood there still frozen. Animals shouldn’t be able to do that! I didn’t know what to say, was I supposed to wave back or say ‘hi’? But I knew that this wasn’t a regular animal of the animal kingdom. Yet still my mind couldn’t process this, first of all a big wolf appeared out of no where, second of all it spoke! It said my name. And third of all I felt familiar with it, but I was panicking, which didn’t make sense.
    I was about to say something, but the wind blew and the wolf started to blow away, it was being blown away as if it where sand. I could here the pulse in my ears. Animals can’t do that either. But then again it wasn’t an ordinary animal. It started to disappear first with the head and worked its way down. It was so weird, to see this happen. But I wasn’t an idiot to see that it couldn’t stay here for long. It was here to tell me something.
    I heard one more thing as the creature disappeared, it whispered something that only I could’ve heard; “Be prepared. We’ll see you soon.”
    Be prepared? Be prepared for what? And what was this, we’ll see you soon? Who was we? I listed out the possibilities: 1) I was being pranked. 2) This ‘meeting’ was real. I narrowed it down to someone playing a trick on me. Holographic projection. By ‘be prepared’ the pranksters meant; be prepared for humiliation. And by we’ll see you soon they mean; we’ll see you in school. It was probably Julie and Hannah, that’s why she didn’t pick me up for school.
    Trick or no trick. That wolf intrigued me, I would think more about the dream and about what just happened. I had to pretend this never happened. Keep it secret. Not for the sake of me being totally humiliated, but for the people in my dream. They seemed so real, like they were living in real life, that they weren’t apart of my imagination. Okay, now I’m thinking like a crazy person.
    Continuing down the path, first in a walk, then a jog, and finally I broke out in a sprint. Really good thing I’m on the track team, I could get to the school quicker. Wanting to be in the safety of the school walls and to see my friends drove me faster. I wonder if I should tell a counselor, my friends or my parents about my encounter with the mysterious wolf or the weird dream. No. They’ll only think I’m being silly, and my friends will only laugh at me harder.
    I had to get myself calmed down; I didn’t want my friends to see me this way. Slightly panicked, maybe a crazed look in my hazel eyes. My heart was still pumping, would they hear the frantic drumming of my heart when I got there? Still coming down the path, running, but could faintly here the pulse in my ears now. That was a good sign. Had anyone seen the wolf and me ‘talk’? Or seem me sprint along the sidewalk? Hope no one did.
    I’m not crazy. I’m not crazy. I chanted over and over again in my head. At least I hoped I wasn’t.
    * * *
    I finally reached the school grounds, the grass was filled with high schoolers lounging around and talking. Everything was normal. I walked causally up the granite stairs and entered inside the big doors. I hurried to my locker passing some walking students, trying my hardest not to show any sign of panic.
    Reaching my locker, and to my amazement I saw Julie and Hannah standing there. They were waiting for me. I approached them, trying to contain my anger.
    “Where were you?” I asked as soon as I reached them.
    Hannah stared confused, then turned to look at Julie who looked a little bit shocked, but contained it well. I gave her some time to respond.

    “Well,” she began “Okay I’m sorry. I was half way to your house when I realized I forgot my English paper. So I drove home and then it was too late to pick you up. I’m so sorry Jen.”
    “You forgot didn’t you?” I accused.
    She nodded sheepishly; she whispered quietly, “Yeah, forgive me?
    Well, there goes my practical joke theory. I could tell when Julie was lying, and right now she was telling the truth. She stared at me with her big sapphire eyes. How can anyone resist them? Then her lower lip jutted out a little bit, and her eyes got bigger.
    I softened up a bit.
    “It’s okay Jules. You don’t need to lie.” I smiled and she returned one too.
    I unlocked my locker and took out my books and headed to class. So the wolf was there, so it wasn’t a joke or anything else.
    I walked like a zombie to my first class; I couldn’t get over that silver wolf. Reaching the science door, I tried to snap out of it. To forget it, I did. Kind of. Just putting it a couple spaces down on my worry list. The bell rang and then I scurried to my usual seat, sat and opened my text book.
    Mrs. Lisk entered the room with her purple suit, and heavy jewelry. With a teacher’s salary I’m surprised she could even afford all that. Her honey colored hair piled on top of her plump little face and the little tiny purple glasses perched on her petite nose.
    “Now, class” she began in a high voice. She always tried to sound and look superior. She wasn’t succeeding, never has, never will. “We will not be discussing today’s subjects like planned.”
    The happiness of the students was easily detected.
    “We will be having a pop quiz.” Mrs. Lisk finished quickly.
    The merriment was soon replaced by sadness. Everyone’s two un-favorite words in science; pop quiz.
    All of us slowly got out our pencils and closed our notebooks. I sighed. I already knew all of this stuff, so I could finish quickly and get more time to think about that silver wolf, Charles, as I believe his name was. Thank God for studying last night. I thought.
    While I was daydreaming about what to think of when I finished the quiz, I hadn’t realized Mrs. Lisk already passed out my paper. I groaned, quickly I went through the pop quiz, but making sure my answers were right. I saw some kids open their textbooks to cheat. I scribbled my answers on the parchment, trying to concentrate. That took a lot of effort.
    My other classes went by in a blur. I just made sure that I was there and that it looked like I was paying attention. And in art class, when Ms. Grey asked for us to draw an animal I drew the wolf I had saw earlier. She had complimented how it looked very life like, I could only thank her then let my mind slip for the rest of period. Class after class I still couldn’t keep my mind off the dream and that wolf. It doesn’t matter anymore; I’ll soon forget it anyway.

    After my morning classes were over I went to Julie’s classroom, she came out and drifted to my right. Then Hannah came out of nowhere and went to my left. We always walked to lunch this way. Even though Julie was more popular, I walked in the middle; like the leader. But I was far from that kind of authority.
    As we entered the cafeteria, the line had formed and people were eagerly waiting for food, the boys shoving each other just playing around. While the girls tried to stay out of their way, probably gossiping. Julie, Hannah, and I got into line. Julie grabbed her usual lunch; water, and apple, and a slice of pepperoni pizza. Hannah grabbed the same.
    My mind was still wandering, thinking about the Charles wolf and those beautiful green eyes that followed me everywhere, until a voice brought me back.
    “Jen? Jen!” Hannah was saying my name and nudging my shoulder with her elbow, careful not to spill her lunch.
    “What are you going to eat?” she asked
    I looked at her then at my empty tray. “I’m not really all that hungry. I’ll just have an apple.” I took one and put it on my tray.
    Then tried smiling a convincing smile, she seemed to buy it. All three of us bought our lunch and Julie lead the way for us to sit at our usual table, with Hannah, and me following close behind.

    “So have you guys set your eyes on any hot guys yet?” Julie asked and eyed Hannah then me.
    She always asked this question every other day; I merely shook my head and drifted out of the conversation. I didn’t want to mention the boy in my dream, since technically he wasn’t real. Boys were not a conversation I was likely to have. My mind wandered to my conversation this morning with the amazing animal and the boys and girl from my dream.
    But that last sentence; we’ll see you soon, closed one door but opened a million more. I couldn’t wrap my mind around it.
    Then the air suddenly got colder, and the buzz of talking was a low hum. My heart started pounding against my ribs again. The pulse in my ears being heard clearly and loudly. Could everyone hear my heart accelerate? The cold air, my heart going out of control, and the room going quiet, it seemed familiar. It was like a long memory, then it nailed me. This morning, with the wolf. It was the exact same feeling. It was happening all over again.
    A big cold gust of wind swept through the room. Silence. Everyone must have thought it was the air conditioner and started to chat again. But I knew that it wasn’t the AC, it was something bigger. Then a big thunder like sound burst through the doors, with the wooden door blowing into the room.
    And then chaos; all the students were in a frenzy; screaming and running in circles, trying to get out of the room. But I stayed; I wanted to see what was going on, although I had a pretty good idea.
    Then four figures walked through the big cafeteria opening. I gasped. The first was a man, with brown hair and a white streak, complimented by gray eyes. The next was a girl with dark reddish brown hair streaming to her shoulders, and forest green eyes with freckles on the bridge of her nose. The third was a tall thin boy with bleach blond hair and ice blue eyes. And the last one was the boy with the bright sea-green eyes, and dark brown hair almost a black.
    Not to mention they were wearing the same close in my dream, only the girl was wearing something different. A pair of faded jeans and a dark blue t-shirt.
    They were just as I remembered them. They’re real. But if they’re real than that means . . . I didn’t want to finish my thought. In an instant I was alone except for the four strangers. In the first minute of lunch everyone was talking, then in the next they all scampered out of the room.
    Then the man spoke, “Well, I guess we can clear a room.” His voice was deep like I expected, and it was in a joking tone.
    He was right, they can clear a room. And they did, within a matter of seconds.
    The girl giggled. “Yeah,” she said in a surprisingly normal voice, not at all what I had expected. “Next time, Darren, try not to make such a mess of opening the door with your head. ‘Kay?” she said. The sarcasm flowed thick, but in a way she sounded serious.
    The boy with the dark brown hair rolled his beautiful eyes. “It was the only way to get the door open.” Then he looked at me, smiling; the smile that I dreamt of, the one from ear to ear.
    “You think we should get her out of here, before they send in the police?” I heard someone whisper. It was the boy with bleach blond hair
    “Oh, right.” The man said. He cleared his throat, and walked forward. “Jen?” he said cautiously “Hello, my name is Charles Grant. And this is Trish, Zac, and Darren.”
    He gestured to each one in turn. The giggly girl was Trish, and the silent boy was Zac. The boy was gorgeous sea-green eyes was Darren.

    “We need you to come with us.” Charles said. He offered me his hand.
    “Why?” I managed to say. I was speechless.
    “Uh,” Charles hesitated “We’ll explain on the way.”
    “The way? Where am I going?”
    Darren was suddenly besides Charles. His big green eyes stared at me pleadingly.
    “Please?” He asked in the rich voice I remembered. “Please Jen?”
    A trill shot through me as Darren spoke my name. How he knew it, I haven’t a clue, but I liked it.
    His hand came up to me in offer, and I took it. Darren’s hand was warm and gentle; he nodded and led me to Trish and Zac. Trish was grinning so widely, that I thought her face was going to explode. Zac was just avoiding me entirely; studying the cracks in the walls —like he was interested.
    His eyes cut to me, then narrowed. My instincts took me a step back, but that wasn’t really possible in Darren’s iron grip. I didn’t know what to think of this. My mind was racing; what was going on? Where was I going? My hand was shaking under Darren’s warm hand.
    I didn’t know what would happen or where I was going, but I knew I was going to be safe.

    Chapter 2.

    They led me through the school hallways, no teacher or student were in the halls. Darren was dragging me so that I was behind him. He was literally dragging me; my feet wouldn’t move but only a little, just enough to not fall on my face.
    His fingers wove through mine; I yanked my hand free he didn’t seem to mind. What was wrong with him? He looked so comfortable with me, like we’ve already met. Trish, Zac, and Charles too. They all seemed to know me personally, so why didn’t I know them? Sure, I’ve dreamt about them, but that really doesn’t count. And Charles still wasn’t explaining anything to me, they all remained silent.
    We soon entered a hallway I wasn’t familiar with; it was cold and pitch black. The school hallways were always heated and lit. So where were we? I never recalled us leaving the school, but we could still be in my school.
    “Where are you taking me?” I demanded. No one answered. “Why won’t you tell me?”
    Still no answer, I was getting irritated. First they kidnap me and then don’t tell me where the heck they’re taking me. Or what they’ll do. . . .
    “Where are you t—” I didn’t get a chance to finish my sentence. A big hand clamped over my mouth.
    “Please be quiet, Jen.” Darren pleaded quietly in the darkness.

    I glared at him, but I don’t think he saw it. My mind swarmed with questions for them, but I didn’t want to ask. Fear didn’t take over me like I thought it would. Safeness was the feeling. Technically this was kidnapping, yet my four kidnappers’ remained calm and so did I.
    Soon after walking down the long and endless corridor, my eyes adjusted to the dark and I could see everyone. But quickly I lost track of the time, how long was the hallway? No hallway was this long in my school, or this dark. The lights never turned on, though the walls were a glowing white in the blackness which helped a little.
    Someone whispered Darren’s name, the voice sounded like Charles’. Darren put his hand in mine, this time holding it in an iron grip. He didn’t plan to let me go. Zac touched his right shoulder, Trish took Darren’s other hand, and Charles placed his hand under the boy’s neck.
    I heard him take a deep breath, and then static jolted through my body. It hurt a little but I ignored the stabbing pain. Fear finally pierced my stomach, twisting it in an uncomfortable way. That I tried to ignore as well, but it was much harder than ignoring the static pain. We didn’t get out of the rhythm of walking when Darren did whatever he did.