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.


3. Starlit Kidnap

   Run. Faster. Don't look behind you. They're coming.  It was my mom's voice. I didn't know how I knew, but it was Mom. I reached for her, but something was holding both of us back. I couldn't move. Suddenly, the scene changed. I turned around and I was on the roof of a skyscraper. I was never afraid of heights, but I almost threw up at the sight of such a long fall. I began to step back when I was suddenly thrust forward and I fell off. Then, I swirled forward and I was with Jullian and Maddy. Their eyes were dripping blood like tears. I screamed and then they-

        I woke up with a start. My throat was raw, so I must've been screaming, or trying to scream in my sleep. I sat up, startling Cocoa. The room was unbearably hot, so I pushed open the window. I didn't know why, but I began to climb out. I was two stories up, but I jumped off anyways. Why in the world did I do that? I managed to think before my bare feet slapped on the ground, and I collapsed. My face contorted with the effort not to moan or scream as pain shot up my legs. It truly was stupid of me to come out here in the middle of the night.I didn't even know what time it was. I moaned quietly as I got up. One of my ankles was sprained and it was already starting to become purple. I sighed. I should've at least brought a jacket; it was colder than I had anticipated. I got up, and I began to walk around the neighborhood in my purple and red pajamas. 

        I decided that Stephen would be awake, he rarely got more than 6 hours. I walked about 3 blocks away from my house and stood in front of his house. It was gray, like most houses in our neighborhood. It also had white pillars on the porch, and connecting them was a small wooden fence. I knew that he lived in the back of the house on the bottom floor, so I went around his house to the back yard. I shivered, it felt about 3 degrees outside. I didn't even know why I was out here, in the middle of the night, alone. I just knew I needed to talk to Stephen. I face the back of his house. I knew that the one on the far right was Stephen's room, but his light wasn't on. I winced when I put too much pressure on my left ankle. I had a habit of shifting my weight on both of my feet when I wasn't sure about something. I think Ah, what the heck and I walk over to the window. I tap it with my fingers lightly. Nothing happened. I sighed, maybe I should just go home. I decide 2 more times, and if he didn't come, I would go home. I rap my knuckles on the window a little louder, and nothing happened. I closed my eyes and full out knocked on the window. I  silently prayed to every deity I knew that his parents wouldn't wake up.

        A light came on inside his room. I smile a little. The window suddenly was pushed open and there stood a sleepy, slightly annoyed, hair-tousled Stephen. I blushed more than I should have at the sight of him without a shirt, and only pajama pants (thank God they were pants) on. His eyes go wide when he sees me. I bit my lip and grinned, just a little.  He was handsome, and all the girls knew it too. He had golden, wavy hair and a strong jaw line. His eyes were one of the brightest blues I had ever seen, and apparently he had a six-pack. He was nice, funny, and smart too.

        The complete package.

        "Well hello Mr. SleepyPants." I said. He glared at me, and I grinned as wide as I could.

        "Lizzie, what the actual hel-" he began, quite loudly.

        "Shhh!" I say. "C'mon ,  follow me. " He sighed, and I knew that I had won. He ducked under his windowsill as I walked in the opposite direction of our houses, towards the forest I used to go in when I was younger. I licked my chapped lips and notice that Stephen , well, isn't exactly properly clothed for this kind of cold. We're almost to the path that I took into the forest when i grab his freezing cold hand.

        "Probably should've put on a shirt," he mumbled in his sleepy voice. I'm not much for getting giddy over things, but his sleepy voice is beyond adorable. I snicker, and try to cover it up with a fake cough.

        "Yeah... I guess..." I said. This was beginning to become awkward, and even though it's dark I can see his neck become red, and then it seeped into his cheeks. I squeeze his hand as we approach the small, worn down path I used to travel down in the third grade. I remembered Maddy racing behind me, Jullian in the lead. I used to make hand signals, whether to split up, go together, me and Maddy to go one way, or me and Jullian, or sometimes Maddy and Jullian  would go one way and I the other. We used to pretend that magic was real, and that we were destined for adventure. We had our own world. I was a daring assassin, willing to do anything for my survival. Jullian was an evil witch, and Maddy was a princess. The game was fun, but when middle school started, we stopped playing. I imagined that I was an assassin, going up the dangerous path to the heart of the kingdom; the prince and my lover going to assassinate the king. I smiled.

        We walked up the small dirt path and approached a clearing of trees. "Okay, we need to talk." I said.

        "No, duh. Why did you wake me up at.." he checked his watch, " two o'clock in the morning?" I sighed. I didn't know how to explain to him that I just didn't want to go.

        "I can't go. I can't. I-" my voice shakes," But I have to. I hate being told what to do. You know that. I just-" Stephen suddenly leaned forward and kissed me. My mind shut down on impact. Suddenly, the wind wasn't that cold, all I could feel was his arms around me, softly pushing me onto the damp grass. He was on top of me, still kissing me. I pulled my fingers through his hair and he wrapped his arms around my torso. It was our first kiss, technically. He had once kissed my cheek a few months ago but that was it. Staccato bursts of joy spilt through me like fireworks. I knew that we would last forever, even if it was only in my mind. He pulled away all too quickly.

        " I love you." he whispered, as if the quiet would shatter into a million pieces if he spoke too loudly. I briefly glanced up to the stars, and thought of the dream I had of my mom. Somehow, I knew she was alive somewhere, and she was safe. I said a silent thank you too whoever thought of the great idea for us to co-exist in this world.

        " I love you doesn't even start to cover it," I smiled. He chuckled.

        " Agreed." he said.

        " Well, I guess we ought to get back now. " I said wistfully. I wished we could stay there forever.

        And we walked hand in hand, back to his house. Then I walked alone back to mine.

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