Foreshadowed

When Corey's sister commits suicide, his family is distraught. Ten years on, and the hole she left still hasn't healed over. The unanswered question remains: why did she decide to die? Soon her secret is revealed to Corey, and he is left to fight for survival, his dead sister haunting his dreams. But she is only a memory. After all ghosts and daemons are just make-believe...... Right? WARNING: There are scenes of violence and strong language some readers may find offensive... Hence the yellow rating.

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5. Chapter Four - Cracks in the Glass

 

Chapter Four – Cracks in the Glass

Once school had finished, I decided to bail out of going home and visit the library instead, in an attempt to utilize the computers there. My internet connection at home was atrocious and I wanted some more sheet music for both the guitar and piano. Not to mention, I didn't want to face my parents. Not when her eyes were still burned into my mind.

                I was strolling along, my footsteps echoing in the air around me, creating a beat that I couldn't help but hum along to. A simple string of notes joined in with the rhythm my feet were creating and I pictured what it would sound like on guitar, deciding that the slow melody that had been bouncing around in my head was definitely best suited for acoustic.

                I was about halfway to my destination, when I was broken out of my music induced trance by my phone's speakers blasting out the opening bars to "We never change", the guitar in the track gently crooning out the tune.

                I fumbled around in my jacket for a few seconds, trying to figure out which pocket housed my phone, resisting the gentle tug of music, attempting to persuade me to just close my eyes and let the song flow over me.

                When I finally found it, I pulled it out triumphantly and pressed the answer button, not pausing to check the caller I.D.

                "Hello?" I said, starting to walk again, my hunt for my phone having caused me to come to a complete standstill.

                "Where the hell are you, Stephens?" an angry voice demanded from the other line.

                "Finn?" I asked him, brows furrowed in confusion. Why was he calling me?

                "Yes, Finn. And like I said, where the hell are you‽"

                "I'm almost at the library. My music teacher told me to get this piece of music from online, and you know the internet connection at my house sucks balls. Why?"

                "Why?"' he yelled "WhyWE HAVE A BLOODY GAME THAT'S WHY!"

                For the second time in the past two minutes, I stopped dead, my breath caught in my throat. I knew I had been forgetting something, the eyes in the bush having wiped all memory of the match from my mind.

                "Shit."

                "Shit is right. Now get your ass over to the changing rooms before coach has to come find you and skin you alive. The game starts in ten."

                There was a click on the line as Finn hung up, not bothering to say goodbye, and I was left standing there listening to the dial tone.

                I was motionless for a few seconds before my brain kicked in and  I turned around. My feet pounded against the ground,  starting to run to the music room, picking up speed as I went along. When I got there, I swapped my guitar for my kit before sprinting to the sports hall.

                "I'm here!" I yelled as I burst through the doors to the changing rooms.

                "Took you long enough, captain."  Evan sneered, smirking at me

                When he turned back to the guys to continue with his conversation, I shot him the finger before walking over to a bench and dumped my bag down.

                What the hell was his problem? I know I beat him out for captaincy at the end of last year, but it's not as if that was my fault. I mean the team voted on it, not me. And it's not as if I wanted to be captain in the first place. To be perfectly honest, I couldn't care less if I'd been chosen or not.

                I still couldn't wrap my head around the fact that I was captain. I wasn't a bad choice, but everyone knew I wasn't the most enthusiastic. Sure, I loved the sport and was good at it, but the other guys on the team were serious about making it into a career. It was just a hobby to me.

                I sighed and returned my attention to finding my kit. I rifled through the contents of the bag, finding a mass of towels, shower gels, shampoos and spare tops and shorts I used for practice.

After a few more moments of rummaging, I saw the flash of dark blue with white lettering that was the school home colours. Grinning with success, I yanked it out from underneath everything else, and started changing.

"One minute, Stephens!"

"Yeah, yeah, I know." I muttered under my breath, slight irritation leaking into my words. I took a deep breath and yelled back. "I'm almost d-"

My reply was cut off halfway through, as a dark shadow flit across my peripheral vision, causing me to stop mid-shout.

My head spun around as I surveyed the room, desperate for something normal that could have caused what I thought I had seen, proving my sanity. I was still on edge after the incident with the bushes earlier.

But hard as I tried, I couldn't find a plausible explanation for the shadow. I took a deep breath and sat down on the bench trying to offset the wave of panic threatening to flood through me

Come on Corey, I told myself, scared of a little shadow? Who are you, Ben? I this thought I let out a small laugh. I was being stupid. I could've imagined the shadow.  It's not like I wasn't stressed and tired. People saw things that weren't there when they were stressed and tired, right?

Reassured by my internal debate, I stood up and turned to leave just as Finn shouted.

"Corey! Come on!"

"Yeah, I'm coming. Jeez, when did you turn into my mum?" I laughed, resuming our casual banter in an attempt of returning normalcy.

I started to jog out of the room, passing the sinks to get to the door. I glanced at the mirror hanging there as  went by, making sure my skin wasn't drained of colour, giving evidence of my freak out.

As I peered at the reflective surface I saw the briefest flash of blue, before the mirror shattered, sending shards flying.

"Hey dude, we really have to – "

Finn ran into the room and let out a low whistle when he saw the broken glass, and the fragments of glass that littered the floor.

"What the hell happened in here?" he asked me, running his fingers through his hair.

"I… I don't know. I was just walking past and…" I trailed off, gesturing to the mirror. "…That happened."

"Whoa. I knew you were ugly, Corey, but this… this is taking it to new levels."

"Hey!" I protested and elbowed him gently in the ribs as he grinned at me. We were both laughing slightly at Finn's terrible joke, but we sobered up when we looked back at the mangled wreck that hung on the wall.

Finn put a hand on my shoulder.

"But seriously, it was probably just a weakness in the glass or something."

I sighed.

"Yeah, I guess."

I didn't really believe what I was saying, and I knew Finn didn't either. There was no way a weakness in the glass could have caused something of that intensity.

My eyes darted off to look at the clock. "Crap! We'd better get out of here."

Finn proceeded to glance at the time when I spoke, and he swore in frustration. We should have been warming up five minutes ago.

As I started to jog out of the room and head for the court, I saw him bend down and pick up something white that had fluttered as I ran past.

"Here, you dropped something." he said when he caught up, passing me the scrap of paper.

"Thanks, man." I told him as I tucked it into the waistband of my shorts, not bothering to look at it. "Let's go show the other team what we're made of!"

 

*             *             *

When we entered the court, the usual atmosphere surrounded us. The loud music blaring from the speakers, getting the teams pumped up. The cheerleaders on the sidelines, cheering as loudly as they could, trying to out-shout the other squad as the payers warmed up on court.

I loved every ounce of it.

Pretty soon after we came in, the match got started and we threw ourselves into play with everything we had. Just because basketball wasn't my favourite past time, didn't mean I didn't love the rush I got whilst playing.

For the first quarter, the game was pretty normal. At least when it comes to basketball. The cheerleaders cheered, the crowd roared when we scored and booed when the other team did, and a couple of guys got hit in the face by the ball.

It wasn't until the second quarter did things start to get strange.

 About two minutes in, the other team knocked the ball out and I had to take it from the sideline. I was jogging over towards the ref when I felt something grasp my wrist, jolting me backwards due to my momentum.

"You will not win, Corey Stephens." The guy said, staring straight ahead, his voice low.

"What the hell? It's just a friendly. No need to be so serious about it." I told him, trying to wrench my arm from his grip.

He turned to face me, his eyes boring into mine. Something dark flickered in them and for a brief second I feared for my safety.

"You will not win, Corey Stephens. We will not let you." He snarled, spittle flying from his mouth.

At that point, the whistle blew, warning him to release my arm. This seemed to pull him out of his trance and as he shook his head, the fire in his eyes died.

"Shit, dude," he said, pulling his hand away. "I'm sorry. I don't know what came over me."

I just stared at him.

"What?" he asked, confused.

"Nothing."

I backed away, going towards the sideline, trying to convince myself that his voice hadn't completely changed from the one that you could imagine Satan himself having, into that of a normal teenage guy.

The rest of the quarter was pretty peaceful.

That is, until the scoreboard broke in our break.

"What's wrong with it!?" coach yelled at the poor guy who was monitoring it, his face bright red from the effort he was putting behind amplifying his voice .

"I-I don't know."

"WELL FIX IT!"

I looked up at the scoreboard and froze.

Instead of displaying the time and score, the words ‘You will lose' were running across it again and again.

The guy from earlier flashed through my mind, and I knew that whatever the hell had caused this was directing it at me.

They eventually got it fixed by turning unplugging it for five minutes before powering it up again,  but by that time, I was really creeped out.  My brain tried to rationalize with me, telling me that the other team were purposefully trying to psych me out so I wouldn't play, but my body wouldn't listen. My hands went clammy, shivers ran down my spine and my heart was racing for reasons unrelated to the game.

The third quarter was calm and quiet, just the usual fuss going on. Coach sat me out, saying that I had to be able to gain back any points we needed in the last quarter if necessary.  I think he could tell I was feeling uneasy.

I sat on the bench, sipping my water, my eyes running up and down the court with the players. By the time the last quarter came around, I was calm again, and had convinced myself that I was making it all up. That it was all in my head.

We were about 15 points behind, and I knew we had to get those points back.

After nine and a half minutes we had almost caught up, and there was only a point between us. A point we had to gain in thirty seconds.  They were the best team we had played in a long time, and I knew they were going to be hard to beat. Getting a ball past their iron clad defence would be... tough. To say the least.

I glanced over to the coach, a pleading look in my eyes. I had an idea that could win us the game, but I needed to talk to the other guys.

He nodded, understanding that we needed a strategy, seeing the plan formulate in my eyes,  and called  time out.

When the guys got there, I filled them in.

"Are you sure this will work?" Finn asked me. The whole team looked sceptical.

"Positive. We all know that Benji is the smallest player and, no offence dude, the least intimidating."

"None taken," the year twelve said, shrugging it off. "I know I'm not scary."

"He is, however, amazing at shooting. I've seen him throw from the three point line twenty times in a row, and not miss once. If anyone can pull this off it will be him."

At my words, Benji seemed to glow with pride. The rest of the team shot me sceptical looks, not convinced by my reasoning. I sighed.

"Look. They're going to try and stop the people they see as a threat. So far in this game, Benji has laid low, and I don't think they'll notice him slip through their defence. It's such a simple plan, so they will not be expecting it. I'm counting on them anticipating us using a complex layout with our biggest players to pull it off. They'll never see it coming. And I'm confident Benji can do it. This will work guys. I know it."

The team seemed assured by my words, even if my stomach was currently flipping over in anticipation. In all honesty, I had no freaking clue if it would work or not, but it was all we had.

The whistle blew, indicating we had to get back on the court, and we all took up our positions.

Finn took the ball from the sideline, due to an untimely foul committed by the opposing team right before we called timeout.

He threw it to me, and I immediately started to race down the court, my fellow team members and opponents hot on my heels. Just as the other team were about to intercept the ball, I passed to Finn and he passed to another guy on our team.

It went on like this for a few moments, the ball being passed around our team in order to keep it in our possesion.  With a quick glance left, I saw Benji had taken his position on the three point line. It was now or never.

"Ace!"  I yelled, the codeword appropriate for our one and only play, and the ball immediately came flying towards me. I raced towards the hoop, darting into the key, and hoping to god I looked like I had every intention of shooting. I saw the other team grab at me in an attempt to stop me, and that was the moment I passed to Benji. .

My pass flew straight to him, and when he caught it he had a clear shot. He was unguarded. Just like I had planned.

I watched as the ball sailed overhead. Come on, I thought  to myself, go in.

Just as it reached the hoop, I heard a low voice in my ear.

"We will destroy you, Corey Stephens."

There was an intense pain in my head, then everything went black.

 

*             *             *

"Wake up, Stephens!"

I heard a voice float over me and I opened my eyes.

The light was intense and I blinked a couple of times, to let my vision adjust.

"Shit, my head hurts. What the hell happened?" I asked when I turned my head and saw Danni sitting on a chair nearby.

She offered me a sheepish grin as I sat up and looked around, taking in my surroundings. For the first time, I noticed I was lying on the bed in the school's medical room.

"Well…" She started, but I cut her off.

"Wait. Did we win?"

"Yeah. But-"

She was stopped mid-sentence by my mini cry of victory, and I punched the air, wincing slightly as the noise echoed around the small room. My head hurt. Alot.

"That's awesome!" I whisper yelled, trying to reduce the noise level and alleviate the pain.

"I guess so. Everyone was more worried about you to actually celebrate, though."

"What do you mean?" I asked, my eyebrows furrowed as an expression of shock took over Danni's features.

"Don't you remember?"

As I shook my head, her confused expression turned to worry, and I could see fear in her eyes.

"What happened, Danni?" I pressed, needing to know why I was lying on the uncomfortable bed and why she looked like someone had died.

"Why don't you tell me the last thing you remember, and I'll fill you in on the rest?"

"I don't remember much. Just seeing Benji throw the ball and then an excruciating pain in my head before I… passed out?"  I asked the last part in a questioning tone and Danni grimaced.

"Kind of." She said, her voice low, causing me to lean in to hear her. "You.. you got punched in the face, Corey." 

With that last sentence she looked up at me, studying my face in an attempt to read my emotions. The room was silent for ten seconds and then I burst out laughing.

My laughter rang around the room, causing my head to throb in pain. I attempted to stop, but chuckles kept bursting out, so I settled for diminishing the noise level.

Danni's worried look was instantly replaced with one of frustration and annoyance. She smacked me on the chest, causing me to sober up - on the outside at least. Inside I was doubled up, tears streaming down my face at the hilarity of it all.

"What the hell, Stephens? How is this funny? You got punched in the god damn face!" She exclaimed angrily.

"Aww! Worried that my perfect features will get messed up ? Don't worry, I'm sure that the bruise will just add to the bad ass, 'don't mess with me' look I was going for."

She let out a small chuckle at this and abruptly stopped. I could tell that she was internally chastising herself. After all she was supposed to be mad at me.

"You're an ass, Corey." she muttered, crossing her arms.

"But'cha love me" I teased as I winked at her.

"Ha ha. Very funny." she said sarcastically, rolling her eyes but the grin on her face told me she wasn't mad.

"Well, now we've got the love confessions out of the way, would you mind telling me why I'm an ass?"

She snorted.

"Well it can't have anything to do with the fact that you cracked up laughing at the notion of being punched in the face, even though we were all freaking out over it."

"Oh, come on Danni. I've been punched in the face before."

"Yeah, you have. But you've never been knocked out for three hours after being punched in the face before. Not to mention how your head smacked against the floor when you fell"

"Three hours?" I asked, sitting up abruptly and wincing when my head pounded. I was shocked at how long I'd been out. It had felt like twenty minutes, not three freaking hours.

"Yep. Now do you understand why we were worried?"

I sighed and ran my hand through my hair.

"I guess."

"I thought you were going to go into a coma." she whispered, head in her hands.

I laughed again. Danni had always have a tendency to overreact.

"Screw you, Stephens" she said, punching me in the arm when she realised what I'd been laughing at. "It's not my fault I always go to the worst scenario possible.  And, hey, where would we be if I hadn't done exactly that on our trip to Spain? You'd be married and I'd be pregnant!"

I raised my hands in surrender as she smirked at me from across the room.

It was then the nurse barged into the space, interrupting our reminiscence of our trip to España. Damn, that was a messed up holiday.

"Mr. Stephens! I see you're awake! I guess that means you can go home and celebrate." the fifty-something year old woman beamed at me, and I grinned back at her. I'd always hated hospitals, and the medical room has the same sanitised, eerie feel to it.

Just as I started to get up so I could drive home, she spoke again.

"Oh, hang on a sec. We need to do a couple of check's first. We can't let you drive home concussed now, can we?"

I groaned and fell back on the bed, hearing Danni trying and failing to contain her laughter at the look of exasperation I knew was on my face.

Great. What a lovely way to spend my evening.

*             *             *

 

Once all the checks had finished, despite my constant protests that I was fine and didn't have a concussion, I was finally cleared and allowed to go home.

As Danni and I strolled out of the medical office, she bumped my shoulder gently, and I turned to face her.

"Corey..."

"Yes?" I said, elongating the 'e' sound.

"Well... I was just wondering, since I'm such a great friend and all, and cause Ben left... if you could possibly- "

"You want a ride home don't you?"

"Please?" she said, giving me the puppy dog look.

I laughed. She knew I would have given her a ride whether she asked or not.

"Sure. Just let me get changed and grab my stuff first, okay? Wait for me by the car." I said as I chucked her the keys, still chuckling slightly at the excited look that had spread across her features.

I started walking away towards the changing rooms, when I heard her yell out to me.

"Just so you know, I'm driving!"

I just shook my head. That girl was deathly afraid of driving.

When I reached the changing rooms, I stripped quickly, wanting to be home as soon as possible. I had thrown my shorts on the bench and was in the process of pulling on my jeans when I saw the small scrap of paper tucked under the waistband of my kit.

I finished dressing, and pulled it out, stuffing it in my pocket, before grabbing all my stuff and running  to the car.

I'd read the note later. Right now I had to stop Danni from messing with our transportation.

 

A/N:

Well guys, it's finally here! Whoop for chapter four! I know it's not great, but I just cannot get this chapter to flow properly. I've re-written it twice, and it still doesn't work, so I'm sorry for the crappyness.

Now, despite the awful-ness of this, the dedication still stands. I'd like to thank HardeeBurger for her wonderful advice and long paragraphs that must have taken an age to write. It means a lot to me that you'd take the time to do that and I am truly grateful.

Now, I promised you guys a British School System explanation, so here it is (At least where I live):

So obviously you go to Nursery or Pre School, as most countries do, and you officially enter school when you're 4 years old.

You start in Reception (or Kindergarten for those American folk out there), and then you go into year one, which is when it actually starts becoming school-ish. You then stay at that school until year four before moving to middle school until year 8. After that you go to Upper School and this is when it starts to get complicated.

Years 9, 10, and 11 are spent preparing for your GCSEs which are basically a series of exams in each subject leading up to a final grade in said subject. It's like a qualification in a way. You need seven GCSEs to get into Sixth Form (which is what Corey is in) and a specific grade in the subjects you wish to take for your A-Levels. This is the point where you have to go to either Sixth Form, College or get and Apprenticeship.

Sixth Form is the most common option so that's the one I'll explain. You chose four subjects and a core and in Year 12 you take AS exams. In year 13 you drop the core and one of your subjects and take A2 exams in whatever is left over, resulting in A-Levels! Ta-DA! And, yes, an AS is only half, but it is seen as a qualification as well.

Once you've done that, you go to Uni, which is different to college over here in the country of tea drinkers and cool accents, and it's basically the same from there on out.

So there you go! You now understand the British Schooling system!

Also if there are any Brits out there thinking 'That's not right' then I'm sorry. I didn't really know how to explain it. Not to mention there is a three tier system where I live compared to the rest of the country's two...

 

So. Yeah....

TASHA OUT

 

 

 

Also, please don't forget to vote and comment if you enjoyed this chapter (which is unlikely buy hey ho) and tell me what you think :)

 

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