Hope has always been the outsider. In a world full of golden haired people, she's one of the few that aren't the 'norm'. Being a person with red hair means that she cannot talk, touch, or interact with other people, for fear of infecting them, as so the deadly warning everyone's told by the 'Big 3' says.
Shunned by her family, bullied by her classmates, all Hope wants to do is find a place in the world where she won't be treated as dirt because of her 'disease'.

But then she meets Ash Dallyn, and suddenly there may be a light on the horizon. Ash is everything that Hope could have wished for, but there's just one thing: Ash has golden hair


1. Chapter One: Glossophobia



Glossophobia: fear of speaking in public or of trying to speak.


"Hope!" My mother shrieks from the kitchen and I resist the urge to groan into my pillow. Great, another day in paradise. Notice the heavy sarcasm dripping off that sentence.

I push my long curly vibrant red hair out of my face, and like every other day, the mark stands out from my left wrist, in stark contrast to my pale skin. It was tattooed on my wrist as soon as I was born and 'they' realised what I was. The big red rose stands out in the middle, with a thorned vine curling around my wrist, showing that I am one of the only infected.

I guess right now you're wondering who the hell I am. Sometimes I wonder that myself too. My name is Hope Moore, and I am the one thing that most people fear in this world now. A red head. A diabolical nuiscence. An outsider. The one thing, that if you touch it even once, will give you a one way ticket to Death's door. Well, that is pretty much what I've been told my entire life.

"HOPE!" My mother's voice rises a notch. "Get your lazy ass down here now and cook our breakfast! Or so help me. . . . " She doesn't need to finish her sentence for me to understand her threat.

Grumbling curse words under my breath, I swing my legs out of my tiny excuse for a bed and cross my entire room in 3 strides to grab a pair of scruffy jeans and an old t-shirt. When I'm dressed, I walk down the stairs and enter the kitchen with my poker face on, expressionless.

"Yes Mother?" I ask, trying not to cross my arms and give her sass. Then she'd get some of the Enforcers to beat me. The only people who could touch me without getting infected. She's done it before. Snap out of it Hope!

My mother narrows her eyes at me. "Hope," She spits my name out as if that in itself was diseased, "You need to cook our breakfast before you leave off to school."

I roll my eyes and turn around, to find myself about to bump into my twin sister, Harmony, or as I call her, the twin from hell. She hisses and leaps back, eyes flashinng, and like every other time, my heart inadvertantly sinks. It's not as if this has happened before. Pull yourself together Hope, you're better than this. I scold myelf.

"Watch where you're going!" Harmony glares at me. "You almost touched me."

My mother gasps from behind us. "Did she Harm? Oh My God, she didn't did she?!" she asks worriedly, and a stray tear escapes, trailing down my face. No matter how long I've lived in this lonely world with all these downgrading comments, I still can't get over how they treat me, how the people always jump away from me. But it's true Hope, you're a walking disease. You know that. You should know that.

My sister shakes her head, her curly golden hair cascading down over her shoulders with the movement, and looks at me in disgust. "Luckily, no. It was a close call though. Too close."

I try really hard not to glare at her, and turn to the kitchen,my hands shaking. Sure, I had red hair, which was considered the worse thing to ever happen to someone, but still. She was my twin sister.

My mother pales slightly, and grips my sister's shoulders, drawing her away from me as fast as she can. "Do I need to call the Enforcers?"

Gasping quietly, I pray to God that she doesn't. She wouldn't, would she?

Harmony glances at me. "Not this time Mum. It wasn't bad enough."

I sigh in relief, and they both glare at me. "This won't be forgotten Hope." My mother snarls, and my shoulders slump as I walk into the kitchen.

Slipping on a pair of disposable gloves, I grab a large frying pan and start to make french toast, my mother and sister's favourite breakfast, which I usually make for them.

As the butter is sizzling in the pan, my father thumps down the stairs, briefcase in his hand. He nods quickly at me, eyes flashing, before walking over to my mother. Kissing her on the cheek, he hugs my sister and walks out the door, probably late to his meeting. As one of the 'Big 3'; the three people who basically run our country, he's always rushing out the door to his next meeting. At least the move from our last home in Delane to the big city Telmore, where the other two from the 'Big 3' has benifited from something other than myself not being bullied by my 'classmates' of 16 years; he's closer to his office, so he doesn't have to get up so early, which means that I also didn't have to get up at 4 in the morning to get his breakfast ready.

"Hope!" My mother snaps, jerking me out of my reverie. "The toast better not be burning!"

Gulping, I turn my attention to the toast, which is on the verge of burning, and quickly whip it out of the pan, before tossing in another couple and taking the first batch over to my mother. Nodding curtly, she gestures to where she wants it placed, before turning her attention to my golden-haired sibling.

"Harmony, today you start at your new school. It does not require a uniform, so make sure you dress to impress. " My mother says, sipping at her tea, and Harmony nods eagerly, probably already contemplating on how long it'll take for her to make it to the popular table. I, on the other hand, try not to gag at my mother's choice of words and slink back to the kitchen ,hoping that my mother has forgotten to enrol me too.

"You as well Hope." She sneers, and my shoulders slump in defeat. Great. Another 2 years of absolute torture. Whoopie.

Harmony claps her hands twice at me, and grumbles. "Geez, how long does it take for you to cook two pieces of toast?! You better hurry otherwise you'll be late for school."

Sighing, I flip over the toast and contemplate. I don't see the point of making me go to school anyway; all that happens is that I'm shunned by everyone, no one can even bare to be within 2 meters of my prescence, for fear of being infected by me. The seas of students always part when I walk through the school hallways, and not in the good way. People fear me, and I can't blame them. Don't think like that Hope, you know it doesn't get you anywhere!

Quickly plating up Harmony's food, I take it over to her and place it in front of her. Twisting my hand around my mark, I look at my mother, the vision of meekness.

"Mother, may I have permission to go and have my breakfast?'

She shakes her head, and swallows the mouthful of food in her mouth. "No you may not. You need to make the kitchen spotless before you even think about getting food for yourself." Her eyes gleam with anger.

Sighing inwardly, I nod and bow to her, before stomping off to the kitchen to clean up.


"Hope, hurry up!" My sister's high pitched voice shrieks up the stair as I twirl around in my room, trying to find my school stuff. For such a small room, it was impossible to find things in here. Bag, check. Pens and pencils, check. Paper? Uhh. . . . check. Finding the last thing, I run down the stairs, and into the kitchen. My mother's in the kitchen with an evil smile.

"No time to get your lunch, you can buy some at school!" She snaps, before making a shoo motion with her hands. "Now, go on! You're going to make Harmony late."

Almost growling at the unfairness of the situation, I walk out the door slowly, not expecting Harmony to be waiting when I leave the house. She never does, it ruins her 'reputation' to be arriving with one of 'them'. And my mother damn well knows that. She just wants to starve me again, hoping that I'll just drop dead at school so they don't pin the blame on her. Not that they would even begin to look into my case anyway. I'm one of 'them'.

Luckily, the local school is only 15 minutes walk away from here, so I'll only be a few minutes late to class. I plug in my old, weathered headphones and listen to the historical MP3 player. I was lucky to find them in a trashcan near our old house, and the MP3 player actually had some good music on it. It was all I had anyway.

As I walk, I pull my curly red hair into a high ponytail, so that it's not as visible to some. But the blaringly obvious mark on my wrist should scare away everyone. Yay. Not.

I've left on the clothes that I wore to make breakfast; a pair of scruffy light blue jeans, some old converse that were too small for me, and a light blue floaty 3/4 shirt. As a rule, my mark always had to be in the open, so that people knew.

As I near the school, more students appear, and the whispers start. I can feel the stares on my back, the not so subtle points in my direct, the looks of horror and disgust sent to me. Hugging my books tighter to my chest, I start to chant in my head. Just ignore them, just ignore them, just ignore them.

I make my way to the office, and see my sister already chatting to some tanned girls in barely there skirts. I snort inwardly. Harmony's on the prowl, and she has set her sights on her prey. . .

Like always, the sea of students part, and there must be at least 5 meters between me and the closest person. The girl scowls at me and draws further away, making me sigh quietly. I put out a gloved hand and push open the glass doors to the reception, smiling at the receptionist. A look of terror sweeps across her face as she notices my hair and the mark.

"H-h-hello." She stutters. "H-how can I help you?"

"I'm new at this school. Hope Moore?" I ask her as she quickly taps something into the computer in front of her, hands trembling. She shakily nods and prints something off.

"Here's your schedule, locker number and code, aswell as a map of the school." She says quickly, throwing the papers at me. "Goodbye." She makes it blaringly obvious that I'm dismissed, and turns her attention to the computer, still slightly pale and quivering. Blowing out a heavy breath, I walk out of the office and try to make my way to the locker.

When I've successfully found it, I groan out aloud. Of course they'd give me the worst locker, next to the toilet doors. It's covered in graffiti and God knows what else. At least the insides ok. I think hopefully, trying to see my glass half full. I stuff my books inside and glance at my timetable. I groan agian. Great, I have maths first.

I quietly slip into the classroom as the bell goes off, and the whole class goes silent when they see me. The teacher stands up to look at me with a sharp expression, and looks me up and down.

"Are you the new student?" He asks, and I nod. Someone groans out aloud.

"Great, now we have two cads in our class." The person grumbles. "Are they trying to kill us?"

My heart picks up when I hear that. There's another in here?

The teacher sighs in annoyance, and points to the back of the classroom. "Down there please." He barks. "And hurry up, I'm trying to teach."

Nodding, I hug my math books closer to my body as I walk down the isle. People draw their bags away from me and lean drastically to the side, some even move their desks, making the desk legs screech across the hardwood floor. This makes me walk even faster to the back, and a slight blush dresses my face, making someone snigger. Great, now I've just showed everyone that I'm a pushover.

I sit down quickly and slump down in my seat. The teacher starts to talk again, and I look around the classroom mindlessly. I small waving hand catches my eye and I look at the person behind it, sucking in a breath. She smiles at me, and I smile hesitantly back. It's another one of 'them'. The other red head.


The bell rings, and everyone else in the class leaps up, eager to escape the classroom. I wait back, knowing that even attempting to go first will get me beaten up by the Enforcers.

"Hey." A soft voice interrupts my thoughts, and I look up startled. The other red head looks back at me and smiles. "I'm Sophia. It's so nice to have someone else here. Not that it's nice that we're-uhh. . " She backtracks hastily, and I grin at her inadvertantly.

"No, don't worry, it's fine. I'm Hope, by the way." I say to her as she flushes with embarrassment.

"Hope? What a, uh, unique name." Sophia says, before letting out a frustrated sigh. "I'm really not good at this am I? I've just never spoken to anyone else before." She looks at me, eyes sad. I nod. I know exactly how she feels.

Grabbing my bag, I jump up and start to walk out of the classroom. The teacher's hovering near us with the decontaminating fluid and rag in hand, and he glares at us as we leave the classroom. I scowl back at him, and he blinks, surprised. He opens his mouth to answer bitterly, but I skip out of the classroom before he can. Sophia looks at me with wide eyes.

"Don't do that!" She hisses frantically, looking around. "You'll get us in trouble!"

I sigh and rub my face. "Sorry." I apologise. "I'm just really sick of it."

She nods sadly, before brightening up and slinging her arm around my shoulder. I look at her warily, slightly startled at her abrupt change of attitude, and she beams at me.

"Well, never mind." She says. "It'll get better." I shake my head inwardly. No it won't. It never did, it never will. "Besides," Sophia continues. "We have all the same classes together!"

I smile at her, this time for real. The one good thing about our condition; we get grouped together for everything.


"Yeah Hope!" Sophia squeals, high fiving me when I get the answer correct. She then slaps her hand over her mouth, eyes wide and horrified, as the whole class looks at us, annoyance clearly written across all of their faces. The teacher narrows her eyes at us.

"Do you want me to call the Enforcers?" She threatens, and I pale. Sophia does the same, but to a bigger extreme.

"N-n-n-no M-miss." She stammers out, voice shaking. "I'm terr-terribly sorry. It won't h-happen again, I p-promise."

She then gets up and bows low, head down with her wrists held up and crossed in submission, the mark openly visible; the position we must take when apologising to a higher ranking adult. The teacher nods at her and returns to teaching the class science, occasionally sending glares in our direction. I look at my friend and nudge her.

"Soph, you can sit down now." I whisper at her furiously. "Sit down."

She shakes her head, her reply slightly muffled. "No, I can't until she releases me."

I shake my head slightly at her, horrified by her submissive behaviour. Was this how they ran things in Telmore?

Halfway through the lesson the teacher looks over at Sophia, and clucks her tongue. "You may sit down now." She orders her, and Sophia bows lower before sitting back down in her seat. She looks at me with wide eyes again - that girl could win a prize for the most eye widening - and whispers "If you don't obey them then they call the Enforcers on you. Telmore is a lot more strict than where you came from."

I nod slightly. "It definitely is." And it scared me by how much stricter it really was; I could get slammed for even breathing wrong here. I curse the Gods. Why did we have to move here?!


After Science we made our way to the English department, and sat at the back again as students start to file in, giving us filthy looks as they cram into the small room.

"I hate this." I grumble to Sophia, sighing. "I hate the way we're treated just 'cause we have different coloured hair. It's bull."

She looks at me with a panicked expression. "Don't say that!" She whisper yells. "Are you saying you want to rebel?"

I shake my head, horrofied. "Oh no no no no no!" I say hastily. "I'm not saying that!"

"Hope, we can't change the way things are. We were born this way, we can't change anything." Sophia scowls. "Especially the rules, they've been like that since the Dark War."

The Dark War. My mind flashes to the things I've been told about the War. How, the country we live in, once called America, evolved into the era of 3000. How the possibility of people with hair colours like mine, or brown, or even black, become slimmer and slimmer. How the few who still carried the dark haired trait were treated more and more like outcasts, even though their 'Rights' were exactly the same as the ones with fair hair. How, in 3003, they all rebeled against the 'Big 3', sparking the second civil war in American history. Somewhere in there, the rebel leader discovoured something that would change everything: we carried a trait that made us poisonous to the goldens.The rest is better left unsaid.

My friend scowls at me again, and sinks lower into her chair. "I sure as hell am not going to be friends with a rebel, so make up your mind quick Hope."

I shake my head furiously. "I'm not that stupid Soph."

Am I?



Hey guys! Hope you enjoy this chapter, its a little bit boring, but I had to explain the situation Hope's in. Any comments or votes would be grand! Please tell me your thoughts on whether I should continue this story! It's just a random idea inspired by a bit of history I'm learning right now! Next upload should be in the next week!

THIS IS NOT MY VEIW ON PEOPLE WITH RED HAIR IT IS JUST A STORY! I have red hair so, yeah. I love red hair!

Thanks guys, skittles and hugs all around

-Caitie xx

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