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.


3. Chapter Two - Twelve Years Later


I loathe waking up. Waking up means facing life. It means leaving behind happy  dreams where anything can, and does, happen.  Waking up means you are torn from blissful unawareness into a harsh, unforgiving reality where you have no control of anything.  In short, I harbour a deep resentment for anything that tears me from the realm of sleep.

Unfortunately, this means I tend to sleep through my alarm the first few times it rings, and when I do finally wake up, I'm not happy about it. Which is what happened the morning my life began  to  change.

*   *   *   *   *

The first thing I remember was being torn from the dark fog that had overtaken me as I slept by a shrill beeping sound.

I groaned in annoyance, the sound coming out muffled due to the fact my face was buried in the pillow. My arm flung off of my bed in the general direction of the small cabinet that sat next to it, in order to shut off the horrific noise.

At first my fingers fumbled around on the top, brushing against various items I was too lazy to put in their proper places, searching for the offending object. When they finally found it, they crashed down onto the snooze button, and I flipped onto my side, fully intending to get a couple more minutes of sleep.

However, when I looked at the illuminated numbers that were flashing at me on my alarm clock, I jumped out of the warm cocoon of blankets I had made.

"Shit!" I cursed, my voice slightly louder than usual, but not quite a yell.

"Corey Michael Stephens! You do not use that language in my house. No matter how late you sleep in."

The disapproving voice emanated from the doorway of my room, and when I turned towards it, I saw my mother standing there, dressed for work, an angry scowl on her face.

I offered a sheepish smile as way of atonement, to which she raised an eyebrow. My mum was the type of person who believed that a verbal apology was always needed. I sighed.

"Sorry, mum. It won't happen again."

She let out a snort of amusement.

"Sure it won't. The same way you'll never oversleep." She said, glaring at me.

"Sorry... Again.

"I'm sure you are. Luckily you have a wonderful mother who is willing to drive you to school, as you've already missed the bus." she replied, a small smirk on her face. I could tell she was getting a great satisfaction from my discomfort.

At these words, a grin spread across my face.

"Thanks Mum." I said and moved towards her, arms spread out, as if I was about to give her a hug. I knew full well I didn't smell all that great

"Oh no, young man." she said putting one hand on my chest and pushing me away, "You stink. Go get a shower before I decide you can walk to school."

I chuckled slightly before and snagging a towel from the rack and opening the door to the bathroom.

"Oh, and Corey?"' my mum called.

I turned around, glancing at my room. It wasn't too messy, so what could she want?


"Don't forget to clean your teeth. You have horrible morning breath." She laughed as she started to walk down the stairs.

Shaking my head at her childish actions, I went into the bathroom and had a quick five minute shower.

When I was back in my room, I rummaged through my wardrobe, attempting to find some clean clothes in the jumble of unwashed t-shirts and dirty jeans.

When I finally found a clean shirt -which happened to be my 'The Clash' shirt I got a couple months back - and jeans, I quickly got dressed and ran down the stairs towards the kitchen, already combing the cupboards for breakfast.

"Straight to the kitchen. Typical."

I was pretty damn sure I was alone, which is why I jumped three feet into the air at the voice that was now laughing at my reaction

"Mum, you really have got to stop creeping up on me like that." My voice was filled with mock hurt, and my hand was pressed against my racing heart. That's saying something, cause I'm pretty hard to scare.

She just smiled at me as she offered me the thermos flask she was holding.

"Coffee?" I asked, happiness clear in my voice. Coffee makes the world go around. I don't know where I'd be without my caffeine fix

My mum nodded and I punched the air in an obvious over reaction of celebration, causing her to laugh at my absurd behaviour.

"But in all seriousness, you're the best mum in the world. You know that right?" I said as I took the thermos full of liquid awesomeness from her. I really do have a coffee problem

She rolled her eyes at me.

"I know. Now get your butt out of that door and into the car! All your stuff is ready and waiting for you. And yes Corey, that includes your guitar," she sighed when she saw the apprehensive look on my face, that quickly turned into a smile.

I don't know why, but she never really understood why I loved music so much. For some reason, she thought it distracted me from my studies, so 'forgot' to put it with the rest of my things from time to time. Not that it didn't distract me from my studies. It did. But, hey, at least I was thinking about chord progressions in lessons instead of getting laid like all the other guys at my school.

"Okay, I'll just go grab a coat and meet you in the car," I told her, but she didn't move. "I won't forget my kit mum. You can trust me; I am an adult... almost." She did however, understand I was incredibly lazy, and had left my kit at home by 'accident' in order to get out of a game.

She gave me a look and opened the front door.

"You better not Corey. The match today is important."

'Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's what you say about every game. I fail to see the significance.' I mumbled under my breath.

"Excuse me?"

"Nothing!" I yelled before going into the coat cupboard. I looked through the various articles of clothing, my fingers finally coming into contact with my old worn leather jacket. I shrugged it on, muttering under my breath about the English weather. Stupid rain. Seriously, it was only September. Why was it already cold?

I grabbed my bag, guitar and kit from beside the front door, before bursting out of the house and onto the porch trying to balance my bags on  my shoulders.

"Hey mum, we better get going if we -"

My voice cut off as I glanced up for the fist time.

Sitting on the driveway was a black Alfa Romeo Brera. My favourite car. And it had a ribbon on it.

"It's for you. You like it?" my mum asked from behind me.

I looked at her as if she was stupid.

"Hell yes." I said, taking a step forward towards the car, not able to believe that it was mine. "But why?"

"Well... " she hesitated. "You just got your licence and your dad and I thought you deserved a treat." A slightly guilty tone had crept into her voice, which was reflected by the look I saw on her face when I turned to look at her. She was hiding something

"Sure mum. I believe that. Now what's the real reason?"

"That is the real reason Corey,"

 I scowled at her.

"Look, we'll talk when you get home." she pleaded.

She tossed the keys at me, walked to her car and pulled out of the driveway.

Damn that woman. She knew I wouldn't ask questions once I had the keys. The overwhelming urge to get my hands on the wheel and start driving had already taken over and before I knew it my feet were moving, my bags had been thrown in the boot and I was sat in the leather driver's seat.

I knew my parents was trying to bribe me with the car, but when I saw the perfect interior, I didn't care.

I ran my fingers along the dash and saw my mum had already moved some of my extensive music collection and put it in the car.

My car. I flicked through the C.D.s absent-mindedly, not knowing what to choose. Instead I picked one at random and inserted it. The sound of Guns 'n' Roses  filled my car and I skipped through to the sixth track on Appetite for Destruction.

I started the car and began to sing along with Axl Rose. My hands rhythmically tapping out the beat on the steering wheel , itching to grab my guitar and start playing along to the song.

'Rags to riches or so they say
You gotta keep pushin' for the fortune and fame
You know it's, it's all a gamble when it's just a game
You treat it like a capitol crime, everybody' doin' their time

I was belting out the lyrics as I drove to school, cruising along the tarmac. I marvelled at how smooth the drive was, every turn seeming effortless. Oh yes, I loved this car.

I pulled into the car park as the final notes of 'Sweet Child o' Mine' rang through the speakers. I think mum and dad had got a new sound system installed.

 I killed the engine and stepped out, enjoying the looks of admiration on people's faces. I smirked as I pulled my things from the boot and started to walk towards the sixth form block.

Instead of my first two periods being full with lessons, I had two frees. Which meant I could've slept in, but me and my friends had agreed to meet in the common room that was only for the upper years.

Luckily, they all had to go to second period which meant I had time to practice in peace.

I walked through the double doors and glanced around, eyes searching for my friends. I saw them over in our usual corner seconds before they called me.

"Hey! Corey! Over here man!" Finn shouted from across the room, although I was already headed in that direction.

Ben, Cole and Trev were sitting one of the sofas with him. Daniela (Danni for short), the token girl - and my childhood best friend - was also there.

"Hey guys," I greeted as I flopped down on the end of the sofa in the space next to Danni, dropping my stuff down next to me. "What are we talking about?"

"We were just taking bets on what delayed you this time". Danni answered smoothly. "Finn thought you were hung over and lying in a gutter, Ben swore you'd been abducted by aliens, Cole and Trev abstained from voting and I went for the classic you slept through your alarm for the hundredth time."

I chuckled and high-fived her. "Got it in one, Danni."

"Told you guys. I know him too well. He'd never get drunk when could be at home in bed. We all know how much the boy loves his sleep. And the alien thing was just stupid, Ben"

To punctuate her last sentence, Danni threw a cushion across at Ben, who let out a yelp of indignation.

"It was a perfectly good theory, Daniela. I-" He stopped halfway through his sentence, clasping his hand to his mouth as he realised what he had said.

"You did not," Danni said, narrowing her eyes at him "Just call me Daniela."

Ben spluttered, looking around for help. Cole held up his hands in an 'I'm not getting involved' gesture while Trev and Finn suddenly realised how interesting the walls and ceiling were. Meanwhile, I was trying very hard not to laugh at the look on Danni's face.

"I-I di-"

Those few words made me relinquish the little control I had and a few seconds later I was cracking up in my seat, getting weird stares from everyone in the room.

"What the hell is so funny, Stephens?" Danni demanded.

"I just - you - he -- and - Hahahaha!" I was laughing so hard I couldn't breathe and Danni sending me evil looks wasn't helping. Eventually the guys realised what I was laughing at and joined in. It took us ten minutes to stop and calm down, as whenever our laughter died down slightly we would look at each other - or Danni - and it would start over again.

"Now that you've finally shut up, would you mind telling me what caused the hysterics" she hissed.

"Danni," I started, looking straight at her, "Do you not see how you beating up Ben, though funny, would never happen? I mean, come on. Last time you tried to hit one of us, you fractured your knuckle, due to the fact you messed up your aim and punched the wall instead. Plus, your scary face isn't exactly intimidating. You just look too innocent to pull it off."

"I do not!" she protested, "Ben was pretty scared!"

"Ah, yes. But you see, my sweet Daniela," I replied, emphasising her name, just to annoy her, "Ben is... how do I put this kindly? Ben's a wuss."


"Sorry mate, it had to be said. You started screaming last week when Cole told you about the spider in your hair."

We all grinned fondly at the memory.

"It was a big spider!" he said half-heartedly, knowing he wasn't going to win this time. I smirked at him, and he aimed the cushion Danni had thrown at him earlier at my head.

Just as it was about to hit me, I ducked, leaving it sailing through the air at an unsuspecting year twelve, before smacking her in the face.

"Sorry!" Ben called, as she let out a yelp.

She gave him a scathing look, before retreating into a large group of people who were waiting for her.

"It slipped?" he said, a mischievous glint in his eyes.

"Yeah, Ben. Oops. I hope whatever revenge Danni has planned for you is nice and embarrassing. Preferably caught on camera."

"Don't worry. It will be." Danni chimed in, obviously happy I had reminded him of her talent.

Ben paled.

Finn, who had been very quiet during the whole thing, turned to face me.

'Did your parents really get you a car?' he asked.

"Wait, how did you know?"

"I got a text." He waved his phone in my face to emphasise his point. "Apparently it's a Alfa Romeo Brera."

I sipped my coffee from my thermos quietly, mulling this news over.

"Word travels pretty quickly around here. You'd think people would have something better to talk about than a car."

"So they did get you a car?" Cole said, inquisitively.

I nodded.

Instead of all my friends ooh-ing and aww-ing over the car, they all looked apprehensive.

"Why? It's not Christmas for four months, and your birthday is after that." Cole wondered aloud.

"I have no clue, man. All I know is that they want to talk about it after school."

Our group lulled into silence, reflecting on the news.

In an attempt to change the topic and get conversation started, I looked over at Danni, who knew everything that was going on in the school.

"Is there anything going on that doesn't involve my car?"

"Not much. But there will be a scout from this private school in London coming in today to watch the basketball game. Apparently, some guy's parents are trying to get him a scholarship."

"Really? Wonder who it is?" Ben said.

"Who gives a crap? It's just basketball." I told him. All the guys stared me as if I had lost my mind. "What? It's not like we're going to play basketball forever! Whoever it is, will probably play at that stuck up school and then that'll be it."

Finn opened his mouth to start to speak, but Danni shot him a look and he closed it.

"I guess, dude" Trev started. "But don't you want to be able to play for a living? I mean, how cool would that be?"

"Not really. In case you have forgotten, I'm lazy as hell. I don't know how I even got on the team in the first place."

"It's 'cause you're talented Corey." Finn said, ignoring the glares he was getting from Danni. "If anyone could make it, it's you."

"Look, guys. Can we not talk about this? It's boring." Danni said, coming to my rescue. Only she knew how much my music meant to me, and how little I cared about basketball. Music was my life. Basketball was just a hobby.

We talked about pointless things for the rest of the period, and when the bell rang we all said goodbye and went our separate ways.

I grabbed my bags up from the floor and made my way back to my car, grabbing my guitar out of the boot before heading to the music block.

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