The day after I received my own car, I decided it was probably a good idea to try it out. Tossing on a white tank top and denim shorts, I make my way downstairs.
"Jules! Want to go exploring?" I ask, and she hops off the couch quickly.
"Dude, you bet! Let me grab my stuff!" She says, her sandy blonde hair trailing behind her as she zooms out. I turn to the couch again, where the other blonde mop sits.
"How about you, Cal?" I ask, and he tears his eyes from the tv screen to look at me.
"Can we get icecream?" He asks, and I chuckle.
"Of course we can." I say, and he darts out the front door. I pop my head in the kitchen door, where my parents are sitting at the counter discussing something.
"We're going exploring. And test driving." I tell them, and my mother smiles.
"Just be back before dinner. Have you got your phone?" She asks, and I wave it in the air before blowing a kiss and backing out.
"SHOTTY!" Julia yells, and Callum groans. I hop into the car, her beside me and Callum in the back seat.
"This," I say, readjusting my mirror, "Is pretty freakin' exciting." I turn the key in the ignition, and the car purrs. I grin. "Do you hear that? It's like ear sex!" I laugh, and Julia pulls a face. Callum frowns.
"What's ear se-"
"Nothing!" My sister and I cut him off at the same time, then burst out laughing as we pull out onto the road.
I follow the directions my parents told me last night, and soon we pass by the big mansion thing. This time, however, there are a couple kids playing in the yard. A woman stands by watching them. All of a sudden she turns toward us, her stern gaze burning into my skull. I look away quickly, continuing to drive past.
"Wow, good thing we have welcoming neighbours.." Julia says, rolling her eyes and laughing a bit. I laugh a bit too, but I can't help but feel unnerved.
Why was she looking at me with such hatred... and something that looked like pure disgust?
About ten minutes later, we arrive in the town of Lawton, population 20k. Not too small I guess, but a lot smaller compared to where we used to live. We pass through downtown, the street lined with a bunch of cute little shops, and a movie theater. A small mall is a little further down, along with a park and the two schools are past that.
"Looks pretty cozy.." Julia says, and I nod, parking the car and stepping out. The air is warm and humid, typical Canadian August. The wind blows my hair around me, which is only a couple shades darker than my siblings.
"School does not look cozy to me." Callum says, wrinkling his nose. I chuckle, ruffling his hair as he swats my hand away.
"We've still got a week and a half of summer left Cal, don't worry." I say, turning around. "Shall we crash the mall first, comrades?"
The mall is fairly decent, actually. It's got a few good stores, and by the time we're done an hour later, we're carrying a few shopping bags. We drop our bags off in the car, and I turn to the two.
"Alright, losers. Personally, I could go for a coffee right now. Cal wants creme de glace apparently. Jules?"
"Woah man, obviously ice cream." She says, and I give her some money. They head to the ice cream shop by the park, and I step into the coffee shop on one of the corners.
It's quite cute, with a stone fireplace at one end and rustic looking table set around. But as soon as I step inside, something in my gut goes off. We're being watched.
I turn my head to the right and sure enough, my subconscious was right. At a table in the corner sit three teenagers- a guy and two girls who appear to be my age. The guy has buzzed brown hair, and looks built like he's the star of a football team. One girl has a short blonde pixie haircut, and appears to be rather short. The other girl has long dark brown hair, and has curves to die for. They're all staring at me with cold, hard looks. Jesus, could they be a little less obvious? I quickly look away and head up to the counter.
"Hi, what can I get for you?" A girl says from behind the counter. She's absolutely stunning- dark red hair cascades in curls down her back and her eyes are the most perfect shade of blue, as opposed to my boring green. She sounds nice, but stares at me with a wary gaze as she looks me over. I begin to feel rather awkward, four pairs of eyes set on me.
"Could I please get a medium cafe mocha- to go?" I ask and she smiles- which seems to be contagious because I can't help but smile back.
"Sure thing." She says, and busies herself behind the counter as she gets my order. I'm broken from my thoughts when she speaks again. "You're new here, aren't you?" She asks.
"Uh.. yeah. Just got here the other day, actually." I say, and she nods thoughtfully as she sets my drink down on the counter.
"What are you from?" She asks seriously, her voice slightly quieter than before. I frown. What does she mean what?
"Excuse me?" I ask, and she frowns too, quickly shaking her head. "Never mind. I'm Kadence, by the way." She says, smiling again. I hand her the money for my cafe mocha and smile back.
"I'm Kennedy. Nice to finally meet someone here." I say, before turning and heading out the door, the stares of the other teens still on my back.
I walk down to the little park where Julia sits on a swing, licking her icecream cone. I sit on one of the swings beside her.
"Where's Callum?" I ask, and she shrugs her shoulders. Before I can reprimand her for losing our little brother already, I hear his voice behind me.
"Hey Ken!" He says, and I hear two sets up footsteps come up from behind me. I twist the chains of the swing around so I'm facing him. Beside him stands a little girl with brown pigtails, who gives me a grin revealing her missing front teeth.
"Look Ken, I made a friend! Her name is Brit and she's going to be in my class at school." He says, and I smile at her.
"Brittany. Lets go." A deep voice cuts me off from behind. I turn to see the guy from the coffee shop glaring at me. His eyes travel from Julia to Callum to me, and a confused look flickers over his features.
"But Bradlee-" She whines, and I give her a sympathetic smile before he cuts her off.
"Now." Bradlee says, his face set back to his hard stare. She sighs before running over to him, turning to give Callum a quick wave. Once they're out of earshot, Julia whips her swing around and turns to me.
"Dude, what the hell? Have you like pissed off people already?" She asks and I glare at her.
"No, everybody here just hates me for some reason." I mumble, staring at the ground as I sip my coffee. I feel as if I'm intruding for some reason, living here.
My head snaps up, looking around. Nobody is around, who could've said that? I thought it was me for a split second- but I don't even know what that word means, nor have I heard it before..
A squirell hops acoss the grass in front of us, and I smile. Something tugs at me from inside, wanting to chase after the little thing.
What the hell??
We arrive home around four o'clock. I pass my parents in the living room, heading upstairs.
"You're back a little late." My father says, and I furrow my eyebrows.
"I said before dinner. It's not dinner yet." I snap, a little bit annoyed. At least we came home at all. My mother tuns her head to me, and my father frowns.
"Excuse me, Kennedy?" He says, and I sigh, shaking my head.
"Sorry, I'm not feeling the best right now. I'm just going to go lay down." I say, and my mother nods while my father gives me a stern look, as always. I wasn't lying- I don't feel well. There's a slight throbbing in the back of my skull, and I don't feel like I can keep any food down. That cafe mocha probably just isn't sitting well.
Hours later, at 1am, I'm still wide awake. I can't seem to get to sleep since my head is still throbbing. I skipped supper, and was currently feeling like something was sitting in the pit of my stomach. Maybe I'm coming down with something? From what I've read on Google, I'm probably dying of stomach cancer or something. Terrific.
The rest of my family is sleeping, and at 2am I begin to feel a bit agitated. I open up my laptop, deciding reading stuff will probably help me sleep. I'm scrolling through my Facebook feed when suddenly I stop at a post.
Colin Farnwell is in a relationship with Maggie Whelmer.
That set me off. I didn't care that he found somebody new- but my best friend?? The one who said 'I'll miss you so so so much Ken! We'll keep in touch!' and that Colin totally had the breakup coming? That bitch. I clutch my hands around the side of my laptop and let out a deep breath.
This was great! Just abso-fucking-lutely great. Not only do I get to live in this god forsaken town where everybody looks like they want to wring my neck- I no longer have any friends at all. I stand up from my bed, slapping my laptop shut. I begin to pace my room, rage building indside of me. What kind of life is this anyways?
After a few minutes of pacing, I silently pad downstairs and out the back door to cool off. The evening air cools me, the smell of pine and wet earth hitting me all at once. I take a deep breath, and my gaze lands on the old barn at the back of the property. I start walking towards it, left alone with my thoughts.
Best friend with your ex boyfriend.
I clench my fists, when all of a sudden an excruciating pain shoots up my spine. I fall to my knees in front of the barn door, gasping for breath. After a minute I stand up again, opening the creaky door and stepping into the barn. There's a pretty sizeable hole in the roof, where rays of moonlight shine down on the dirt floor. It's peaceful, serene.
Nobody here likes you.
Another pain shoots through me, but this time it's different. It feels as if fire licks my skin, and I scream as I fall to the ground again. My skin burns- feels like it's being torn to shreds and ripped from my body. My ears, my hands, my feet, my spine- they all throb with pain.
Your parents like the other two better.
A sob catches in my throat as I sit on my hands and knees. My insides begin to twist and turn- and my stomach is emptied on the barn floor as I wretch. There's an ear splitting crack, and I'm looking up at the ceiling as my spine convulses. Another crack brings me to looking at the dirt. I think I just broke my spine, I say in my head. Tears blur my vision and I wipe them away- something cutting my face in the process.
I look down at my hand- except, it's not my hand, it's a mother fucking paw. Sharp claws protrude from browny-gold fur, and I scream.
Actually, it's more of a yelp.
Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god.
I shakily stand on all fours, and pain shoots through my whole body. I let out this weird whimpering noise, and limp-walk into the barn a little. I try so hard to stand up normally, like a normal person, but I physically can't. An old, cracked mirror sits in the corner, and I wobble over to it painfully. It's covered in dust which I go to wipe away- but low-and-behold, paws don't do that very well. I awkwardly wipe it with the top of my head, and look into it.
A pair of golden brown eyes stare back at me. The wolf jumps away- I mean I jump away, stumbling backwards. If I were me, I would have screamed. Instead, a howl rips from deep in my throat.
Then everything goes dark.