A/N: I've been looking for a good place to use Sanny's name – and here it is. I always thought I'd use it in a House fic . . . I guess I was wrong.

Summary: How did The Change affect other places around the world? Was Shade the only one of his kind? Out of my mind, I've envisioned how a small town like mine would deal with The Change if it's to come.

A/N: Also – I don't own anything -- except of course the USB Flash Drive with the green zip-tie that both I and Sanny tend to chew on.


I had what was basically a full ring of keys hanging out of my mouth. It was the basic ring, plus my front and back door house keys, and a caribiner, along with a light, my USB Flash Drive – and a green zip tie.

The zip-tie was in my mouth. I was chewing on it – but I should be talking about what happened that day, and not what I was chewing on.

It all started the day before my birthday.

It was August 5th – the day before my fourteenth birthday, and I was at the Ortho getting my braces tightened. I came out with the inside of my mouth hurting like a mofo. The start of the day was not very good. I'd had to get up at six o`clock for the Ortho appointment, and here I was, my mouth aching, on a two-hour long car ride back to my dorky little small town in Minnesota. We got back around noon – and, lo and behold, chewing on the zip-tie relieved a bit of my pain! (I've been chewing on it ever since.) I wasn't looking forward to going home – because my sister had started moving her stuff onto the college campus in Duluth – she was accepted to the U of MD (University of Minnesota, Duluth branch – for you non Minnesotans.)

But, here I was, dreading coming home and chewing on a zip-tie. If I had known what was coming, I'd have called John and the others earlier for the final back-to-school party. We were all biking down to the park by the library for the party. (The library becomes very important later – I tell you!)

When we arrived home, I pulled out my cell phone and started dialing friends about the time. First John – since he lived closest. Then onto Bekkah, Dan, Dezzy and the rest. "`Kay, Sanny," They said. The party was to start at one o`clock.

The party rolled around – and we just . . . chilled out. I grilled a bit – yeah, that sounds kinda weird, but I'm a weird person. So I grilled a bit, and we just were dorking around, having a few laughs. The party tripled as the back-to-school/one more weekend party, along with Tim and I`s birthday parties. Tim and I were born six days apart on different sides of the country – he was born in Phoenix, Arizona, and I was born in Cambridge, Minnesota. He moved here a few years back.

My mom and my step-dad had supported my idea to throw our own party, without any outside assistance. I mean, fourteen is a pretty big step – we're being slowly shuffled into adulthood, which means we can handle running our own events. Everyone we knew – and liked – was there. Anastasia, Dan, Dezzy, Bekkah, Maja, Maggie, obviously Tim and I, John, Jesse, Sammy, Katie, Jonathan, Kevin, Cody came along for the ride, and a few of Cody's friends, too. I busted out my old-school boom box and played some tunes.

Overall, it was a good day. I brought out the cake I'd stashed away, and people pulled out presents for Tim and I. Bekkah got me a Yale lanyard – I'd love to go to Yale, and her sister's boyfriend is going there, so she asked him to get me a lanyard. Katie came up to me with a pretty big box – and I ferally ripped it open – it was a French Horn! She said she'd found it at a garage sale, and she remembered that I'd been looking for an affordable one of my own. I got a bunch of hilarious cards – Tim got a bunch of Gift Cards to GameStop, and a bunch of other gamer places. And boy was he excited! The party started to wind down at about four o`clock, and some people were talking of heading home.

And that's when it happened. I'd been showcasing my amazing French Horn skills, and there was this . . . pulse almost, through the air, and the sound fell dead. I shivered. Not a cold shiver though – it's August, remember? More like a foreboding shiver, that played up my spine like a xylophone. From my Coccyx to the base of my scull, the entire situation made my fingers slip off the keys of the horn and make a weird, sharp sound. There had been a few adults jogging through the park – I'd noticed they were gone. iPods and armbands lying on the ground. Cars were stopped in the road. My heart seemed to skip a few beats.

What the fuck just happened?