Chapter 1

I laid awake in my large room. The usually charming lavender walls blending into the darkness. I sat up in my bed when I heard pitter patter of steps come rushing down the hall towards my room. Suddenly my younger brother Bo appeared in the door way, the hallway's light leaking into my room, amplifying his angelic blonde curls. His blue eyes sparkled with joy and he has the biggest smile on his face. I haven't seen that expression in a while.

"Bo? Why are you still up?" I asked.

"Prosper is here to recue us! I told you he would! Now pack quickly!" he said before running back down the hall. I stared at the spot he use to be with my wide light blue eyes that both my brothers and I share.

No way. Prosper broke out of the boarding school? I jumped off my bed and lunged towards my backpack and roughly pried it open and started to undress the very close off my back.

Pajamas. Check.

I went to my walk in closet that aunt Esther happily filled with dull ugly clothing and started to pile in my black yoga pants, a pair of simple navy jeans.

Pants. Check.

I loaded in simple shirts of white and blue.

Shirts. Check.

I slid into a pair of jeans and slid into my favorite bra and put on the first shirt I saw. A v-neck.

I filled the rest and made a mental checklist in my head as put on my sneakers and ran for Bo's room.

Bra's and underwear. Check

Tooth brush and paste. Check

Socks. Check.

Deodorant and brush and hair ties. Check.

I got everything I need. When I stumbled into Bo's room as I saw my older brother Prosper, my best friend licking his lips anxiously. I nearly broke at crying at the sight of his unkept brown curls.

I ran to my brother and gave him the biggest hug I ever gave, squeezing him tightly like I would never let go again. My fists clutched onto his worn out grey plaid sweater tightly. His favorite sweater. I smiled at the fact he would never go anywhere without it.

"Oh Pro how I missed you." I said giving another squeeze. He pulled away and held out to my shoulders.

"We'll catch up later, Mar Come on, we have to go." He said and I nodded at him. I slid on my jacket as Prosper jumped off the ledge. Suddenly the lights flicked on and the alarmed shrieked loudly throughout the entire Este. No doubt waking the neighbors. Curse that stupid alarm system.

"Jump! Quick Mar and Bo!" Prosper shouted extending his arms to into the sky. Without hesitance I jumped from the air and felt my brother's arms around me again. He quickly set me down and waited for Bo to fall in his waiting arms.

When Bo cached up with us me and Prosper broke out running down the driveway, with Bo still in Prosper's arms. Pro pulled out a bike from the shrugs that Aunt Esther care for every Saturday and I couldn't help but grin as I climbed onto the handle bars.

Take that you old witch.

The front door open and out climbed out Aunt Esther in her robe with her rollers wrapped up in a scarf and Uncle Max in his silk red robe. "Quick!" I whispered as Prop started to pedal away with all his might.

"You…you.. wrecked child!" I heard our so lovely aunt shout.

"Come back here! You kidnapper! You'll be locked away for this time!" Uncle Max called after us. I grinned over my shoulder at my brothers and high fived Prosper and Bo.

"Nice job Prop." I said as the wind harshly blew my blondish brown hair around. He nodded at me and till dawn we rode to the tracks. Prosper skidded to a halt and I leaped off the handle bars that gave me a horrible ach in my bum. Ow.

"Prop where is this train going?" asked Bo as me and Prop lifted him into the boxer cart. "Yeah… where are we heading to?" I asked as Prop grabbed me by waist and practically threw me in with Bo.

Ow. Sour butt and back. Is gentleness to much to ask for?

"Hopefully south!" Prosper shouted as he hurriedly stuffed his bike in and climb in yelling "Hey give me a hand!"

"Mar. Help me with this door." Prosper said as he tried to slide the door close. "Right!" I said determinedly as I leaned on the heavy door with all my might and shove.

"I'll help to." Bo said as he got up next to me and started to push along side us. "Push! Push!" Prosper said as the door finally closed and the trained lurched forward. I stumbled back and fell on to a stack of crates.

"Ha. Same old Mar." Prosper said. I smiled at my brother "Same old Prosper." I said.

When we got off the train Prosper plied us on to his bike again and we rode to a port. "What are going to now?" I asked looking around the dark blue waters filled with boats of all kind. Prosper licked his lips and looked around when we all stiffened at man yelling at another man. His boss I think.

"Okay! Okay! I'm heading to Venice now! Stop hassling me!" the bold man yelled at his boss. I beamed up at Prop and grinned. He returned the grin "You thinking what I'm thinking?" I asked happily.

"I think so." Prop said picking up his bike as I picked up Bo. We ran to the saw cargo boat and snuck under the tarp that shields all crates when the man wasn't looking. I gave Prosper a thumbs up as I settled onto a crate. The boat was cramped had a strong musky odor. I sighed. This is going to be a long ride.

"Are we there?" Bo coughed and I rubbed his back. "Nearly." Prosper said trying to give a smile but he was to tired. "Almost." I said as Bp hoped off his crate and walked around. He was so small that he didn't have to crawl like me and Prosper.

"Look Prop. Mar. Gondolas." Bo said as he fished out miniature gondolas in each small hand. "Bo!" I scolded. "What are you doing opening the boxes? Put them back!" Prosper said. "I didn't. This one was open already." Bo said as he played with them in his small hands.

"Put them back anyway. They don't belong to us." Pro said. I nodded "Yeah Bo just put back where you found them." I said. Suddenly the boat came to a stop and I look up at Prosper with a grin.

"Come on we have to go!" Prosper shouted as I helped him grab his bike. I threw the tarp off and hop onto the wooden dock with out starched arms. "Aye! Aye!" the man shouted as he realizes he had given a free ride to stowaways. Prop threw Bo in my waiting arms as he shuffled out of the boat.

"I'll have no thieves on my boat!" the man shouted as Prosper started to pull out the bike. The man grabbed the rear wheel and started to pull. I gasped and lowered Bo and we both grabbed on to bike and pulled.

"No! Let go!" shouted Prosper as we played tug-a-war. "We don't have time for this. If we stay any longer we'll get caught!" I said giving another tug. This is a tough choice but we can't give our selves up for a bike. Prosper sighed then jumped for Bo, throwing him over his body and grabbed my hand and led us away in a run.

We ran aimlessly through crowds of people, and through allies till night fell. We all slugged in the dam clod stone street. Suddenly Bo came to a halt and I stop ahead of him and turn to him. "What's wrong?" I asked as Prosper didn't realize we had stopped.

"I'm hungry." Bo called.

Prosper turned around and looked at us. "oh." I said as Prop shuffled back to us and slide off his backpack and dug out a twinke.

"it's the last one." Was all Prop said as he started walking again. "Want some Mar?" Prop offered sweetly. I shaked my head no slowly, my blonde brown curls flying al over the place.

I want Bo to have all the energy he could. "Suit yourself." He said as we started walking again in silence again. "Are we going to have any money?" Bo broke the silence. Out of all questions he had to ask that one. Naïve little tot.

"Don't worry, I'll find us enough." Pro said. "I know. Cause you're my big bro." Bo said happily, taking Prop's hand. I smiled at the two from behind. Sure we might not have money, or food or shelter. But at least we had each other. After so long we are a family again.

As another coughing attack flowed out of Bo Prosper came to a stop. I kneeled own to Bo's level and rubbed his back. Prosper dug a small handful of coins and counted them before stuffing them back into his pocket. I looked up and saw a green cross sign and look up at Prop.

He wouldn't.

"Wait here, okay?" Prosper said walking towards the sore. He wouldn't. I got up off the ground, my knees damp. "Prop. Be smart." I warned as he nodded. "Just wait here." He said before walking in.

Oh but he would.

I pressed down on my lip nervously. I hope Prop has enough… mom would be devastated if we steal.

Bo leaned against the wall and I grabbed his hand. Suddenly Prosper ran out of the store. "Come on!" he yelled as he grabbed both our hands broke out in a mad dash. "What happen?" I said panting for air.

"Stop! Thief!" a man yelled. I look over my shoulder at a man in a white coat with graying bread. Oh. That's what happened.

Everything blurred as we rushed past, I look over my shoulder again and saw the old man was hot on our heels. "He behind us!" I said as we did a sharp turn. We started to speed up and the shouts of the old man started to disappear as ran into an open run down area. It looks like somebody was remolding because there are boxes and tools lying around.

"We're safe." Prosper said as Bo sat on the boxes and a street lamp swung back and forth above us. Prop sat down next to Bo and I plopped down next to my brothers. "Prop. When you have no money do you have to runaway from everyone?" Bo asked innocently.

"We won't runaway anymore Bo. Mom wanted us to be." Prop said as Bo rip out another cough. I moved closer and hug my little brother tightly. "Here?" Bo asked as another cough sounded. His body shaked violently as he struggled to breath.

I giggled out Bo's naivety "No Bo." I said as he looked away.

Bo hasped out loud gaining my attention and he patted Prosper's hand with urgent. "What?" Prosper snapped. "The fish man looked at me." Bo pointed. "What?" I asked as I look over at the merman carved beautifully into the stone wall.

"You're tired. The shadows are playing tricks on you." Prosper said turning away. "It's just your imagination." I said softly smiling at Bo.

"Are you lost?" We all jumped at the smooth voice and I dodge behind Prosper. Don't tell me some hobo had dibs on this first and is angry at us.

"No." Prosper said as a boy in black trench coat walked in. I gasped and hid behind my older brother more as my blue eyes caught sight of back wooden mask with a long bird's beak. Creppy. The boy had a head of smooth dark brown wavy hair and his dark smoldering eyes stood out brightly from the peep holes.

"Really? You look lost to me." He said. "We're just fine." I spoke up. The boy's eyes flickered up to me and he grin at me. My heart swooned as his eyes bore into mine. Prop hid me more, breaking the moment. "Tell me what you want." Prosper demanded. "Actually it's you who need me." The mask boy said.

"I highly doubt that, we got everything we need." I said trying to be brave, but my voice only came out weak and nervous. The boy shoot me another smile I couldn't help but give a weak grin back. Crap.

Don't give in Mar! he's just a creeper! "How so?" Prop said glaring. You know… I'm not really helping the situation right now.

"Have you lost your mommy and daddy?" he asked amused. My heart tugged and I sighed. "They're gone." Prop said. The boy's face turned serious and he stepped forwards.

"Then I'll help you find them." The boy offered. I look down sadly before looking up at the boy over Prosper's shoulder "You can't." I said softly.

"They're not with us anymore." Prop said.

"Ah. Orphans. How tragic." The boy said reaching out and softly stroking my cheek. A blush spread out on my pale face as the boy gazed into my eyes. Prosper suddenly knocked his arm away. The boy gave Prosper a look before he turn away and walked away.

"Now tell me. What did you steal?" the boy asked all serious again. "What?" I asked. Did I hear him right? Did he just accuse us of stealing? Prosper tensed and I saw his face twitch with anger.

"Money? Jewels? Are you purse pickers? Pocket pickers?" they asked pulling the inside out of his pockets. "We're not thieves. Please leave us alone. We have no money." Prosper said cutting him off.

"Now run along home."

"This is where we live." Prop said. The boy loomed towards us, the beak brushing my noise.

"Don't be ridicules. Do you know what happens here after dark? Things that little eyes should never ever, ever see." The boy said and glance down at me. "I'm scared." Bo whispered. "Don't be. He's lying." I said taking Bo's small hand.

The boy grinned down at me and winked. I stick my tongue out at him, blushing. What am I? A child?

"Be scared. Well aren't you a little tiger." The boy said to Bo. "Roar!" the boy roared mockingly and we all jumped back as I shrieked and buried my face into Prosper's shoulder. "Jerk." I muttered peaking up at the boy who only smirked down at me..

"We're not scared of here or you." Prop said. The boy smiled and started to walk away. "Good. Then follow me to safety. Right this way." I looked to Prop and mouth are you sure at him. The boy face us, the black mask glowing in the moon light.

"Or would you rather sleep here in the dark?" he said walking again. "Did I mention the rats." That was enough for me. I peeled away from my brothers and snuck by the gray little rats snooping for food. I tuned towards my brothers. "Well? Come on." I said. Bo hoped off the boxes and dragged Pro as we followed the mask boy into the darkness.