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