The night before they turn sixteen, people are being taken from their homes. Haidee Blacksby turns sixteen tomorrow. Taken by mysterious people in the middle of the night, she awakes to find herself in a strange place with other teens who had been taken. Split into teams they must fight in order to stay alive.


3. Home

‘Welcome to Greywald’, that’s what the sign says. I can see it through the window from where I am sat in my bedroom. I know : ‘Thank you for visiting come back soon' is written on the reverse, but you can only see that from the living room window.

I don’t why we have that sign, no one ever comes to Greywald and they sure as hell don’t leave. 

Greywald is one of those unfortunate places where everyone else knows more about you than you yourself do. It only has a population of 15,000, but you can bet your bottom dollar that those other 14,999 people each know at least one of your dirty secrets, at least they used to know, community is now a non-existent thing in Greywald, ever since...

Half of the year the town stays covered in snow, the other half, it warms up just enough for the rain to no longer freeze.  I  swear that someone somewhere has it in for Greywald, but then no one else has ever visited Greywald so I don't know why they would spend their time trying to punish a town they didn't even know existed, I however, would gladly take that time.

"Haidee Blacksby, what time do you call this, it's time to get up", I hear my dad shout from somewhere downstairs. I am Haidee if you hadn't guessed, my father's name is Sean, he is Greywald's only surgeon, I don't see much of him since he is always in the local hospital, but we have always been close.

"It's find Dad I'm already up."

I trudge downstairs to where my Dad is sat eating breakfast in the kitchen. When you look at us it is easy to see the family resemblance, like him I am tall and thin and have prominent cheekbones and a strong jawline. We have the same eyes too, dark brown with flecks of green running from the centre. My hair however, is definitely my mother's. It is ebony black and just touches below my shoulder blades, it is the only thing I have left of her. She died when I was three. There were complications in her pregnancy with what would have been my baby brother and doctors said she couldn't be saved. So now there is only me and my dad around.

"You called"

"Haidee, it's seven thirty, don't you have school?"

"It's Sunday" I say. 

Since the disappearances under 16's are only allowed out for school, I have classes Monday, Wednesday and Friday, other than that I spend my life cooped up inside, it can get lonely I guess with my dad being away at work most of the week and working strange hours we don't really see each other very much, but you get used to it I suppose. I never really liked the outside anyway, too many people, too much fresh air.

"Sorry Haidee, I have just lost track of the week. I have an early surgery today, I will be back before night fall. Keep the doors and windows locked and don't answer the door Haid." My dad shouts rushing to get through the door, now realising he has somewhere to be. He turns back once before stepping out into the cold abyss outside and I could have sworn I saw the glint of tears in his eyes.

"I got it dad" I whisper

That was another precaution they took, all windows were sealed shut, and only one door was allowed to be in use, it was a bit pointless if you ask me, you can still smash a window or cut down the door, but I think it gave people hope they could do something. They couldn't.

I hear my Dad lock the door and soon after hear the roar of his cars engine as it pulls out the drive, wheezing as it faces the barrage of snow. Soon after I head back up to my room. 

Back when I used to have friends, they all used to say they envied me, living in a large house and having nearly everything I wanted, but it was only because of my dad's job that we could afford it and some times it just felt isolated - large house on the edge of the woods, strikes me as the perfect place for a crime to be committed. In all honesty I envied them more, they had a nice complete family whilst my dad has to raise me and juggle a full time job at the same time, it can be hard, but I now realise I wouldn't want it any other way.

My Siamese cat Hal, jumps onto my bed just as I am about to lie back down curling up into a little ball, in the process taking up nearly all of the bed. As I scratched his stomach I was greeted with a loud string of purrs. Hal is nearly as old as me, after my mothers death he was a coping technique they applied to help me feel less lonely. He is the best friend you could ever have and even though he is only a four kilogram cat, it makes me feel better knowing that if someone tried to take me, there would be someone to at least try and scratch their eyes out in the process.

I can remember the first boy they took, his name was Will. His birthday was January first, it has been nearly two years since he went missing. He was two years above me in school, and all that I really knew about him was that he was raised in the park. He was a force to be reckoned with, but they still got him. 

Greywald is home to every variation of person. Most people work in the shops in the town centre and live up by the river, some people like me and my dad choose to live in the forest where it is slightly quieter and there are less people to intrude. Then there is the park. What once was a vast expanse of green is now covered in makeshift shelters, housing the homeless, penniless or frankly just the reckless. People tend to avoid those areas in order to avoid trouble, whichever was why no one expected Will to be taken, he would have put up a fight.

I just wish we didn't live here, in fact I hate the place. Most people are content with just living the same routine here in Greywald every single day of their lives, but I want out. They say there is just a whole load of nothing outside these town boundaries, but one day, maybe after all this has died down, I am going to find out for myself, in the meantime I guess I just have to stick around.

Now laid on my back after having fought for space with Hal, I can see the clouds my mother painted on my blue roof. My dad said she always wanted me to be able to see the blue sky wherever I was and I notice how I suddenly feel rather tired, slipping in to a deep slumber all I can think of are summer days and blue skies, non-existent in Greywald but plentiful in my imagination.

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