Chapter 1

I woke with a start, the metallic taste of blood in my mouth. I staggered to the bathroom and hurried to the sink to spit into.

I stared at my reflection in the mirror. I studied the pale face with green eyesstaring back at me with vigor as I recalled the contents of the nightmare I had just had.

It always started with me walking in the park, and then it went to a voice saying, "On the sixth minute of the sixth hour of the six day, the one who you love with perish. Be prepared. Or suffer the consequences." Then I woke up, coughing up blood.

"What's with these nightmares? Geez... All I did was turn 12," I sighed. The turning twelve part was true, my birthday had been just three days ago. And that was the night I began having these nightmares.

I sighed again and shuffled back to my bed, shoving my sweaty pillow and blanket aside, not bothering to care if I was cold or not.

I shivered. Naturally.

"I haven't even had my period yet, geez..."

I huddled my body together for warmth. I sighed, knowing that tonight was not going to be the last day of nightmares.

"I hate this..."

In the morning, at around 6 A.M., I showered and pulled on jeans and a cashmere sweater I got for Christmas.

"Might as well get on with life, right?" I asked no one in particular.

I walked out the door slowly, sporting my forty pound backpack. Okay, maybe not that much. But still, it was heavy. I met up with Libby, who lived just a few houses down.

"Hey, Libs."

She stared at me.

"Dang, girl, you don't look so hot."

I grimaced, not liking how she used the word hot with the word not.

"I'm fine. Just leave me alone!"

Not true,I had dark semi-circles under my eyes and my skin was pale.

"Whoa, take a chill pill, Cindy! I didn't mean it in a bad way!"

I shook my head and sighed.

"Sorry, Libs. It's just that I've been having these nightmares, and they're starting to scare me! I mean, I always wake up practically soaked to the bone in my own sweat and I'm coughing up blood! I can't handle it anymore!"

Libby stopped suddenly.

"Whoa. I think you should go see a doctor or something. It seems pretty serious. Coughing up blood? I'd really want to get that checked out if that happened to me."

I shrugged and walked on. She hurried to catch up with me, even if she only carried a purse to school.

"It's probably nothing physical... I think it's got something to do with my mental health---"

I left off at 'health'. I sped up my pace even more.

"I don't mean as in like, psycho crazy though," I explained.

I saw Libby nod slowlyin the corner of my vision.

"Really, Libby. I'm fine. I'm sure it'll stop soon."

Reassured, Libby smiled and hurried ahead to meet Sheen. Who in turn was walking with... Jimmy.

"Hey, Spewtron. "

He glared at me and retorted with the same amount of malice dripping in his voice.

"Hello, Dorktex."

I looked at his hair. It was immensely different from the last time I had seen him.

"Hey, what happened to Whippy-do?"

I was referring to his hairdo. He scowled again. Libby and Sheen watched us fight, just like any other day.

"I got it cut, duh."

"What, you finally realized your hair might've been weighing down what puny brain you had?" I smirked.

"Who's the certified genius here?" asked Jimmy.

I stuck my tongue out at him and raced up the stairs to enter our seventh grade torture chamber.

"Who cares?" I replied to him before entering the school.

The look on his face was indescribable.

A/N: Hey, dudes and dudettes! How'd you like my new story? And please, if you're going to flame me, be gentle, please.