Lizzie Mallack has always been a decent kid. A-B student, got home on time. When she gets invited, more like forced to go to Black Smoke academy, she loses her best friends and boyfriend, Stephen. She sulks her way through the academy for ' perfect , well mannered and behaved ' children. Just when she thought things couldn't get any worse, her father dies , leaving her with the most haunting words imaginable. When an even more haunting, vivid dream occurs, she decides to find out exactly what is happening at Black Smoke Academy.


2. Breaking Bad News

  I woke up with a pounding headache and a dry mouth. I lied there, still for a minute , processing the previous evening. I rolled over and noticed the time. It was an hour after school started. In my mess of myself, I had forgotten to set the alarm clock. At this point I just told myself I'd walk to school after lunch. I rolled over and absentmindedly stroked Cocoa. Eleven o'clock came all too quickly and I decided to make myself look decent. My headache had faded away to a dull throb , and my throat was just a little scratchy. I got up out of bed and headed to the bathroom . I stripped my clothes and jumped into a slightly too- hot shower. It was just what I needed. I scrubbed the previous night away and a million ways to tell my friends I was going to 'Black Smoke Academy' ran through my head . I stepped out and attempted to blow-dry my already frizzy hair. I ended up wearing a black hoodie, blue jeans, and of course, combat boots. It was about noon, then. I headed out to walk to school and face my friends.

      I walked up to the school and was surprised to find Stephen waiting there for me. He got up when he saw me approaching.

      "  I thought you'd show up soon. What's wrong? " asked Stephen as I walked up to him.

      I bit my lip. " I'll... I'll tell you later. " I looked up at him as he brushed a strand of curly hair out of my face. 

        "Promise?" he asked with a pleadingly sincere look in his bright blue eyes. 

        " I promise. " I fake smiled. He took my hand and we walked inside the large, dirty building. 



             "Ok we all know something's up. It's bad news, too, by the look on your face. So spill it!" cried Maddy. Typical Maddy, she'd probably asked everyone in the school what had happened. She's a bit of a drama queen.

        I bit my lip, nervous to see their reactions. They needed to know that it wasn't my choice, I was thrust upon this and there was nothing I could do. It was probably one of my worst pet peeves, not being able to do something about something that's going to hurt people. I hated it with a crude passion, I just didn't want to go to that stupid school. I sighed, and began my rant.

        " Ok look. So when I got home yesterday my dad was talking to this incredibly repulsive lady. They told me to go to my room and stuff, but you guys know me. I hid in the hallway and listened." My voice was shaking. They were my best friends. I looked at all three of them, surrounding me in the blazing hot sun. It was after school had let out, but I had been anticipating this moment all day long. I'd barely spoken a word. Even Ms. Maryl noticed it. I began after a moment's hesitation. "Well... Ok guys this is horrible news... Well the lady was talking about one of those private schools, you know. The ones where everyone's , like , perfect. So Dad was listening to her, and he was talking about... about me going there. So they talked for like a minute and... Dad said that I have to go there. I'm leaving this Saturday. I hate this so much..." I paused to look at their faces. Maddy's face was unbelieving, as if she thought this was another one of our frivolous pranks that we've played together since 2nd grade. Jullian looked astonished, but somehow not surprised. She seemed to always be the least emotional of us all; this was the most emotion she'd displayed all year. I knew that she'd had a lot of hard times with her parents, but she'd never lost a friend before. This was thrust upon them as much as it was upon me. I didn't want to look at Stephen, because I already knew what he'd look like. Those blue eyes once full of life so sad, on the brink of tears. Stephen was too strong to cry. I knew that all guys cried, but never, ever, ever, would Stephen cry. Even that one time he got pushed so hard to the ground he got a concussion, he didn't let out a tear.

        Luckily, Maddy said something before I got the courage to look at Stephen. "But... why?"  she said desperately. I looked back at her. Her somehow bright, brown eyes, always filled with crazy ideas and amazed at the simplest stuff. It took incredible control not to burst out in anger. I DON'T KNOW! I NEVER CHOSE THIS FOR MYSELF. I NEVER WANTED YOU TO GET HURT! I WISH THIS WOULDN'T BE REAL! THERE'S NOTHING I CAN DO ABOUT THIS! 

        But no. Instead, I had to be calm. I had always noticed that Jullian and Maddy had looked to me as their leader almost. I never gave myself the title, but it was sort of implied. I had come up with our first prank, and I guess that's how it started. I always got us out of serious trouble and came up with the best ideas. They looked up to me and respected me, which is more than I ever wanted. They were there for me as well, even if it was one of them that was causing the problem. I loved them both like my own kin, they were my kin. They were practically sisters to me. I sighed. " I honestly don't know. Dad wouldn't tell me. " I said dryly. I was done with everything. I just wanted to sleep forever.

        Suddenly, Jullian let out an exasperated sigh, as if she had been holding her breath, and stormed away. I knew she wasn't mad at me. She was mad at the world in this instant, and she converted her sadness into blood-boiling rage. I watched her as she went over to the nearest brick wall, and punched it extremely hard. Somehow, she dented brick. I rasied my eyebrows as she puched it again and again. I watched as her knuckles began to bleed and her eyes began to spill tears. Maddy ran over to her and took her fist away from the concrete and Jullian fell to the ground. Maddy went with her and Maddy took Jullian's head against her shoulder and Jullian began to bawl. She was taking this much worse than I thought. I wanted to run over there and comfort her, but I couldn't move my feet. I wanted to throw up. I had done this horrible thing to my friends. And there's nothing I can do about it.  I spun around to glance at Stephen. He looked calm on the outside, but I knew that he would go home and cry. I knew it was going to happen. I squeezed my eyes shut and spun back away from him. I didn't want him to see me like this. I let out my first gasp of sorrow, yet I refused to cry.

        "Tell everyone I'm sorry."I whispered so that only he could hear. That's when I ran as fast as I could back to my house.

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