Bloodlines

Meredith Green is an eighteen year old girl who is, to be honest, pretty lazy. She has no idea which direction her life is going to take, and, quite frankly, doesn't care. She gets the opportunity she needs to turn her life around, however, in the form of a completely unexpected call from a Specialist University, offering her a place among their ranks. With no other options, Meredith is forced to attend, along with her best friend Charlie Samuels, who also received a mysterious phone call. From the moment they enter the huge manor house, Meredith starts developing odd symptoms and strange suspicions about the teachers. Also, the two brothers who own the manor, Jeremiah and Noah, seem to act weird around the pupils in particular. She is determined to find out the truth, despite the mystery illness she seems to be coming down with. However, is the truth safe? Can Meredith handle the shocking facts about everyone around her that she loves and trusts?

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2. Another Call

I kept my head down and my hands clasped tightly against my chest, hurrying through the jammed streets in town. I felt my shoulders being knocked and people treading carelessly on my feet as they ran onto their destination, always in a hurry. However, for once I didn't mind the close-packed bodies, the biting cold and the deafening wails of buses and lorries, or the stink of cigarette smoke, the rude, brusque shoppers and the over-priced sales items. My mind was elsewhere, pondering and thinking and checking things constantly. Was I going mad? Did I send an application form to this mystery university? Was this all a joke, something Charlie had set up? God, I loved my best friend, I really did, but if she was behind this then I was going to completely kill her! Brushing a stray curl of wavy strawberry-blonde hair behind my ear, I straightened my coat and glanced up, feeling relief as I spotted mine and Charlie's favourite coffee shop across the street. It was named Blueberry Buns, and quite small compared to the Star-bucks situated a few blocks down. However, the produce was much, much nicer, and way healthier as it was all organic and home-made. I swiftly crossed the street, narrowly missing being hit by a smart, gleaming black BMW. I reached the pavement, my heart pounding, just in time to hear the driver swerve violently and swear even more so, before turning on my tail and pushing the clean glass door open and hurrying in. 

 

Blueberry Buns was a large-ish, square-shaped room with round, wooden tables set for two or three people. Little red checkered table cloths were placed neatly on top, along with a delicate crystal vase holding a bluebell or daffodil. The floor was varnished, light brown wood, and very clean, no matter how much mess the customers made. On the right-hand side of the door was a counter displaying some of the menus and snack food available for sale, like muffins or sandwiches. There was also an  unrivaled variety of tea, lattes, cappuccinos, coffee and hot chocolate, which was the most appealing quality for me. I stepped inside, glad of the sudden peacefulness and warmth that the homely shop provided. I skimmed the customers, searching for Charlie or some of our other friends. In a window seat near the left corner, I finally spotted Charlie and Bethany, who was one of closer friends. They were both chatting with smiles on their faces, but Charlie saw me and waved me over, motioning to an empty seat opposite her. Once I had sat down and taken off my pretty reddish-brown coat, Charlie burst into agitated and incoherent speech. I shook my head slowly, grinning all the while, as I took in my bubbly, pretty, talented and 100% unique best friend. As she babbled away, her loosely tied, spiky brown hair fell free and bounced around her square-jawed, pale-cheeked face, also scattered with dark brownish black freckles. Her turned up nose and dark, oak-green eyes added to her mischievous, elfin appearance. Finally, she stopped chattering and looked up, exhaling deeply through her nostrils. "Well?" she promted, raising her eyebrow expectantly. I frowned, along with Bethany, who seemed to be completely confused and tired out by Charlie.

"You... you don't actually expect me to have understood all that, do you?" I asked incredulously, an expression of guilt and horror creeping across my face. To my relief, Charlie's face cracked into a devillish grin, chuckling like a little pixie.

"Oh, come off it, Merry. You know me well enough to recognise one of my jokes when you see one. But I do have something important to tell you, actually." Her face, which had been care-free and light-hearted just seconds ago, was now serious and sombre-eyed, a tiny crease appearing on her pale forehead. Bethany looked nervously at both of us, shifting her position slightly.

"Oh, look, is that the time? Er... sorry guys, I... have something I've got to do... somewhere else. Well, I mean somewhere other than here. No, as in... NOT here... like, across town.... but anyway, I, er, have to go. Bye!" And with that, Bethany, hastily slid back her chair and hurried out into the packed, freezing cold streets, pulling her red hair across her face. I looked quizzically at Charlie, who seemed just as puzzled by our friend's sudden exit. She then met my eyes, shaking her head in dismissal.

"Anyway!" she said, carrying on. "I had this phone call, just after I got out of the lecture meeting. It was really weird, saying that I'd been given a place in some University, even though I definitely know I haven't actually applied yet. It was called.... gimme a second.... Stock... Stockridge Manor! Yeah, something like that. Anyway, I was wondering.... Merry? Er, Meredith? Are you okay?" Charlie broke of abruptly, a look of concern written all over her face. She reached out and touched my arm, shaking it gently. I had gone completely silent, staring off blankly into space. Stockridge Manor was the reason I'd come to see Charlie. Finally, I turned to her and said, in a thin, whispy voice, "Can we talk about this more at my place?"

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