"And now, all because Martin Luther King had a dream, we are able to live in a world where everyone can join hands and shout to the skies; "Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, we are free at -"

Clark's speech was cut off by the loud ringing of the bell, signaling the end of the school day.

"- last."

"Thank you Mr. Kent, that was very touching." Said their English teacher, Mrs. Goldenberg, fighting to be heard over the racket the class was making, each student trying to be the first out the door. "Grades will be posted Wednesday. Read pages 136 to 137 for homework tonight. There will be a test next Monday."

Clark walked back to his desk to collect his books, jostled among the hoard of students. He was pleased to see that Pete had waited for him.

"Man, it's like a jungle out there." He said as Clark packed his bag.

Clark couldn't help smiling just a little as he swung his bag onto his shoulder.

They walked out of the classroom into the now totally deserted hallway, the 'angry mob' having departed as quickly as they formed.

Just a typical Thursday afternoon in Smallville.

That night, Clark sat in his loft, reading the pages for homework, the chill air drifting in through the permanently open hayloft window, causing him no physical effect, apart from slight uneasiness as he stared out at the neighboring farms, the thin, eerie mist drifting a few inches above the ground, making Smallville look like a ghost town.

He shivered and turned back to his textbook.

The mist was thicker when you were waking through it. The round October moon was large and bright, but it did little to illuminate the deserted road stretching in front of the lone figure walking it, as did neither the occasional streetlight.

Clearly, this part of town wasn't suburban enough to warrant more than one lamppost every fifty meters.

"Evening" A raspy voice emitted from the shadows.

Chloe's head jerked up. An elderly man, who bore a striking resemblance to Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lector, she realized with a shiver, grinned a toothy, crooked grin at her as she passed by.

She muttered a quiet reply, and hurried past, the man staring arrogantly after her, satisfied he had rattled her.

Chloe stole a quick glance behind her, then pulled her coat tighter around herself, and kept walking.

October 14th

Dear Diary,

Isn't it funny how one person's opinion can alter your own so easily, even when the person giving the opinion isn't one you would normally go to for advice? That's right, as usual, I am talking about Clark.

Why is it so maddening? I claim to have feelings for him, but at times, I loath him with every fiber of my being.

What he said isn't important. I don't want to write it down in case one day I'm lucky enough to forget the huge fight we had today. In any case, I don't think we'll be on speaking terms for the next few days.

The house is very peaceful at the moment. Chloe's gone for a walk down the road to the store. What would be the odds that we would run out of milk on the one day that both our cars are at the repair shop? Her dad's working late in Metropolis, and probably wont be home until early tomorrow morning.

I'm starting to feel a little lonely. Maybe I'll go and call Clark. Maybe I over reacted. It might not have been that beg a deal.

Until next time.

Lana

Pete sank slowly into the couch, letting his hot chocolate filling his body with warmth and cinnamonny goodness.

It was chilly, even for the middle of autumn. Not cold enough to be digging through the Ross's musty basement in search of the few moth-eaten duvets they kept down there, but never used. However, the frosty air and creepy fog definitely sent some shivers up his spine, and not just those that were caused by the sudden drop in temperature, either.

He clicked the TV on, and buried his face in his mug, allowing the warm vapor from the drink to defrost his nose.

Lana picked up the phone and dialed Clark's home number. She hoped she didn't seem too desperate, and was just considering hanging up, when the phone was answered by Martha.

"Hi, Mrs. Kent. Is Clark around?" She asked

"No, I'm sorry Lana, he's gone out." Martha answered

"Oh." Lana said, deflated. "Do you know where he went?"

"No, he didn't say." Replied Martha

"Oh." Lana frowned. It was not like Clark to go out without telling anyone where he was going.

Her thoughts were interrupted when the door clicked open, signaling Chloe's arrival home.

"Hey, Chloe, that was fast!" Lana called to her, covering the mouthpiece of the phone.

She waited a few seconds, but there was no reply.

"Chloe?" Lana called again, a little wary.

Still no reply. She heard the door quietly click shut behind whoever had entered.

Suddenly, the power cut out, plunging the house into total darkness.

Lana let out an involuntary little scream, making the connection that whoever had just come into their house was not Chloe, and had not been invited.

Trembling, she cursed herself for calling out to Chloe, realizing that she had just revealed her presence to the intruder.

She remembered the phone in her hand, and raised it back to her ear, whispering;

"Mrs. Kent?"

There was no answer. The line had gone dead.

She was on her own.