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I lacked the enthusiasm that she possessed. and then suddenly leapt out of bed. The first 23 days of the month have been already X’d out. My Blackberry alarm rang with We’ll Be A Dream by We The Kings featuring Demi Lovato. our birthday was also the same day that Mount Vesuvius wiped out Pompeii.Chapter 1 Dawn he bright light woke me up. and she had been planning for it for several months. I hit snooze. It was 5:30 in the morning. I mean everyone who has seen 17 Again would agree with me that 17 is a cursed number. the one prettily decorated with pink sparkly markers by my sister. Lexi. Lexi. O deliberately putting a physics test on my birthday was bad enough. However. and flung my gold and black blanket over my head. too. She 1 . It was mine. August 24. I looked to the following square. and it was in the middle of the school week. Her eyes flew to the calendar like mine. on the baby blue bed beside me woke with a yawn. I mean having Mr. I looked over at the calendar beside my bed. It was her birthday. but entering the age of the “magically cursed” just made it ten times worse. It was my 17th birthday. To make things worse.
she did. I mean which girl is not excited about their Sweet Sixteen? I had completely forgotten about her Sweet Sixteen. I had picked out a Sweet Sixteen worthy present. watching the astonished expression on her face as she ripped of the wrapping paper. I handed it to her. and yanked off my blanket. There was no possible way for me to get out of her embrace if she didn’t want to let go. 2 . “Happy Sweet Sixteen?” I replied. but Lexi ignored me. “Happy Birthday bro!” she screamed at the top of her lungs. Blackberries were a common interest that Lexi and I shared. She used to do it in public all the time. She pulled me into a tight embrace. Although she doesn’t do it anymore. Lexi couldn’t stop admiring the sleekness. Luckily. Lexi was the athletic one in the family. and kissed me on the cheek. and commenting how much she loved it. It was a personally customized Blackberry Torch. I pulled out a carefully wrapped box with silver ribbons from under my bed. crushing me tightly toward her. making me blush bright red. Ever since I got a Storm 2 for Christmas. and I was the nerdy one. No wonder she was so excited about her birthday. “Ca…Ca…Can’t Br…Br…Breath!” I choked. I cost me a whole year of allowance.jumped on top of me. fully unlocked with bling covering. she loved doing it at home. thank-you so much!” she hollered into my ear. Luckily. Meanwhile I gave up struggling from her bear hug. “I love you! Thank-you.
She held up the phone and beckoned me forward to take a snapshot. obviously wanting to install a hybrid before school. I saw that we both made silly faces. Mom gave birth to me a year earlier.“Keep it down!” I suggested. “come here. After all. The 3 . “You don’t want to wake up mom. “You’ll love it. Lexi always picked the best presents. It wasn’t always the most expensive or the most popular. I am not a morning person. She leaned on my shoulder.” I agreed happily. and that was the same night that our father left us. but you always love them.” she called from her desk. When she flipped the phone around. Lex skipped over to her desk and booted up our shared laptop. “Allen. I laid in bed thinking about random thoughts as they floated into my mind. our messy chestnut coloured hair covered most of the background. and clicked the shutter. We started the tradition of giving gifts at the exact birth time ever since we were 12. when we first got our allowances.” I walked over to her desk as she disconnected the phone from the computer. It was 16 years ago that our mom gave birth to Lex. That’s why I woke up so early this morning. Lexi grabbed my phone and set the picture as both our backgrounds. “Just wait for your present!” she exclaimed.” “I won’t doubt your taste in presents. exactly 12 hours off from Lexi. Lexi disrupted me from my trance.
Apparently Lex had enough. Just slightly louder than a whisper. “What did you do that for? You think that we’re millionaires?” Mom has been a little stingy with money ever since dad left. I could tell that she loved it a lot. reflecting light into the dark corners of the room. “What’s with the smile?” mom asked Lexi. slightly confused. unable to resist her joy.silver-intricate phoenix necklace I always wear was a present from her several years back. We never let them out of our sight. she crammed our lunch into crumpled paper bags and sat down at the table as we were finishing our last bites. We raced down the creaky wooden staircase and grabbed breakfast. “You’re grinning from ear to ear?” “Bro just gave me this!” she squealed. mom ate almost nothing. Lex held up her new Blackberry. only taking occasional bites of food while she prepared our lunches. we hear mom calling us from the kitchen downstairs. Lex also got herself a matching phoenix attached to her bracelet. I could see Lex started brewing with anger as mom shook her head. When mom was done. and she stuck out her tongue. She giggled as mom continued to stare at me. “Do you really not know what day it is?” I questioned. Mom turned toward me with a frown. I mouthed the word thanks a lot to Lexi. I took a ham and cheese sandwich and started munching while Lexi poured milk onto her bowl of Lucky Charms cereal. 4 .
“It’s okay. It’s a lot of pressure for her to watch over both of us. She threw her cereal bowl into the sink and stormed upstairs. “Lex. Allen. mom stood there immobilized.” “I’m so sorry. okay? You have to understand that being a single parent isn’t all that easy. walked to the sink. muttering “I’m sorry” as I ran past mom. I rushed upstairs. or else we’d be late.” 5 . she had her school bag on one shoulder and stomped out of the house. playing with her Blackberry. exiting with a slam of the door. A minute later. and hastily washed our dishes and silverware.” Lex was on the verge of tears. Come on. and doing two jobs.” I started.” I explained sympathetically. You gave me such a great present and you got in trouble for that. “It’s okay if she’s angry with me. “Yah?” she replied quietly. “Give mom a break. I made the money I bought the cell phone with. I quietly stood up. I put a hand on her shoulder. pulled on my shoes and headed out the door. She can’t give me too hard a time about that. Lexi was waiting for me outside the house. We better start walking. I pulled her into a hug and whispered.“You can’t even remember the birthday of your two kids! What sort of mom are you?” Lexi yelled. and turned around to face me. I grabbed my backpack.
still blaming herself for the trouble that she caused.We started walking toward school hand in hand. Lexi was silent for the whole time. 6 .
Chapter 2 Predator r. After taking AP biology with her. so I got busy. finally arriving at tundra that spread towards the horizon. The title grabbed my attention and caught me off guard – Prey and Predator. Nivitz was showing. As I walked into her classroom. Suddenly the leopard takes off and the camera follows. it focuses in on the snow leopard. leaping over various streams. Ms. 7 . When the screen lights up. and then suddenly. and saw the screen center in on a snow leopard. I looked up at the video Ms. I handed the test in after 10 minutes. now with a bloody and torn hare hanging from its jaw. I realized she was teaching freshmen biology. Nivitz trusted me to do all her grading for her. After getting permission. She had already loaded the desk with worksheets to grade. O’s physics test was a breeze. The worksheet was an on population and ecology. everything went black. through windy paths in the forest. so I sneaked toward the back desk where I usually sat. I headed downstairs to get a head start on my teacher-aid assignment. I started feeling a little tipsy. The screen flashes black.
Thinking I knew the area well. turning onto the road which led to our house. I motioned Lexi to follow me as I snuck into a small pathway. It was one that I locked away in the abyss. and saw that it was Lexi. hoping never to remember. I was looking at my worse memory replay from the viewpoint of my younger self. Lexi looked years younger. but instead walking down the road on the way home.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Where am I? I thought. “How did I get here?” She looked at me weirdly and replied. To make things worse. I suddenly remembered the memory. I turned toward her and asked. cautiously keeping a safe distance. and saw a 8 . I couldn’t help but notice a mysterious man following us in the distance. I did not have to turn around to know that it was the mysterious man. but instead to the trap door in our backyard fence. We took a left on the next corner. “Huh?” The sight of her face caught me off guard. I threw a look over my shoulder. I was no longer in Ms. How did I get here? I realized that someone was walking alongside me. Minutes later. I then realized I was in my own memory. seeing cloudy visions before my eyes. with the “hunter” stalking us. leading away from the main road. Lexi and I were now running down a narrow alley. Nivitz’s classroom. pausing when we paused. closer to 14 than 16. I hear the sound footsteps following behind us.
“I’ll go get mom and come back for you. then. and shouted. followed by a tall lanky man.. She pulled her up and looked down at me. and we realized that we were in trouble. well. we’d be safe.” “Allen.moving shadow in the far distance.” I whispered out of breath. I dodged into a pathway on the right and pulled Lexi in after me.. He paced slowly toward me. I’m going to buy you some time. It was a dead end. I picked up a wooden stick beside me and help it defensively. 9 . “Well. well. “I’m going to give you a boost over that wall.. We were really close to our house now. “Show yourself. I heard the footsteps of the “hunter” closing in on us.” A shadow appeared at the entrance of the pathway.. If you only remember me. stopping 20 feet from me. I turned to face the attacker.. I gave her a boost.” he said with a hint of a smile. Apparently we took a wrong turn somewhere along the way while I was overwhelmed by my adrenaline rush. Allen.” Lex refused. but I pushed her to the wall anyways.. and her hand found a grip on the top of the wall. you sure look different from the last time I saw you.” Lex promised and took off. Don’t wait for me. looking about 30. “Lex. We could see the end of the pathway now. Get yourself out of here and find mom. if only we could climb through the trap door.
From behind us. but he was interrupted by the rustling of leaves behind us. “Allen? Allen? Where are you?” Lexi and mom’s voice echoed from behind. I heard mom instruct.. “What did we ever do to you?” “I only want to do some explaining. Lexi showed up behind me and pulled me into a hug from behind. and dodged back into the alley. “You two are now forbidden to go out after dark. “You shouldn’t have done that.. You don’t know who I am. 10 .. and my eyes were hurting from the florescent lights on the ceiling. “I am. disappearing into the vast darkness.“What blasphemy are you talking about? Why are you stalking me and my sister?” I demanded.”. I’ll be back. overwhelmed by paroxysm. I ignored him... We both broke down into tears. whispering “wake up” in my ear. and continued. Lex was shaking me.” ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I woke up in the nurse’s office. I felt groggy. “I’m here! Over here!” I hollered guiding them to where we were. you know?” the man muttered angrily. do you?" he answered. I turned around and pulled her into a tighter embrace. The man held up his hand and motioned me to keep quite.
Since both she and my mom insisted. Mom said that she would wait for me in the car. I had shut out the memory for several years. I loose sheet of paper fell on the floor. I never repeated my conversation with the man to anybody. but the flashback reminded me of foreshadowing. What is up with Lexi and giving hugs? I forgot how I blacked out. like in the various Greek mythologies. read it. but I remembered everything in the flashback. I needed to tell someone. mouth opens in shock. We never saw that man again. Dear Allen and Elexis I am in town tonight 11 . Lex picked it up. Something wasn't right. I had to comply to their wishes. so Lexi walked with me to my locker. When the nurse informed us that my mom was here to pick me up. I she pulled me into a tight embrace. we obeyed mom’s restriction and never left the house after dark. but instead. It said.” I stuttered. From that day on. As I spun the combo and pulled the locker door open. I insisted on staying at school and finishing the rest of my classes. and totally forgot about it.“Lex. you can let me up know. I took the notes out of her hand and read it myself. and then stood motionless.
and we go meet the old man. I thought for several minutes. “We tell no one. and then concluded.Please meet me behind your backyard ~Dad “What do we do?” Lexi asked.” 12 .
Chapter 3 Dusk 13 .
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