Clarisse McClellan walked slowly down the sidewalk, a little skip in her step. She hummed a little tune that was stuck in her head. Of course, this song had no words or singers, but Clarisse could still sense a bit of emotion in those notes. It was different from the songs she heard now days. This song had a single acoustic guitar, just strumming along. She forgot where exactly she heard it. It had just popped into her head that afternoon.

"Hm hmmm. Mmmhmm."

She looked up at the baby blue sky, looking for birds.

"Hm hm hmm. Hm hm hm."

It was a beautiful day, and no one was outside to enjoy it. How sad.


She stopped as she realized she had passed her house. She giggled mentally at her own unawareness and spun around on one heel.

"Hm hm hmm hmmm hm."

Suddenly Clarisse stopped. She heard the car before she saw it. A ruby red dash of a Porsche roared down the street. It skidded to a halt, the tires screaming like the girls in those "10 Minute Horror Mysteries".


The car was practically overflowing with teens. Thin, make up laden girls lashed their heads around to a song blasting from their Seashells. A boy lowered his sunglasses to get a better look at Clarisse.

"What'chya doin', Clarisse?" He asked, his voice laced with cockiness.

"Walking." She replied, steadily returning his challenging gaze with her own calm, collected stare.

"Why? Wanna come with us? There's a huge race down town. I'll betchya someone's gonna get hit! Killed, or at least hurt. Don't you wanna see that?"

"I can't say I do."

"C'mon." One of the girls leaned out. Dozens of bracelets and bangles clinked around on her wrists. She had a deep tan, obviously fake. She'd never been outside long enough to get a tan like that in her life. "Stop being so spacey."

Spacey was a new term-or, rather, insult-that had just gotten popular. Clarisse wasn't fond of it, especially since it had been directed at her a lot these past few days.



She brushed off the insults as easily as brushing away leaves on the ground. "I'm fine here. Have fun with the race. But please try not to kill anyone."

The boy sneered at her. He slammed his foot down on the gas and the car screeched away. A sudden burst of air from the takeoff blew Clarisse's hair back and ruffled her blue dress. Leaves danced along the sidewalk, coming to a stop with a scratching noise.

It's sad, really. Clarisse thought. People, kids especially, shouldn't kill each other.

She kept walking back to her house and let the thought of those teens slowly evaporate from her mind. She took one last glance at the sky and opened her door.

Clarisse tossed the scarf's over her shoulder and opened the door. She trotted out into the cold air and stopped next to her uncle.


He nodded. He shifted something hidden inside his coat. A book. Clarisse knew this. They were going to deliver it to an old professor. They couldn't keep it anymore. The book had belonged to her uncle as a child, and he had no use for it anymore. He didn't read it much, and they'd be in huge trouble if someone else found it.

They started walking at a casual, comfortable pace.

"This is the last one, isn't it?" Clarisse asked, talking about the book.

He nodded sadly. "I don't mind too much, though. I don't read anymore, and it will be nice to get it away from the house."

Clarisse hummed thoughtfully. "What will the professor do with it, then?"

"Read it or burn it or just put it away somewhere. As long as the Firemen don't find it, I'm happy."

Clarisse thought about that one Fireman, Montag. He was so different, yet still the same. Maybe they would meet that night, and she could introduce him to her uncle. Her thoughts were distracted by the sun suddenly disappearing behind a house, turning the sky a brilliant red and orange. The setting sun also made the temperature drop. Clarisse rubbed her hands together. Her uncle hugged her closer to keep her warm.

"Thank you." She said.

He smiled back.

They hadn't even walked 50 feet and suddenly a car sped around the corner. She recognized the bright red paint from earlier that day. Another car, purple this time, sped after the first. The street shook from the beat of the cars' music. She squinted as the headlights shone on her face. She held up a hand to block the light. For some reason the car seemed to be getting closer. Closer than it was supposed to. Her eyes widened.

She heard a thick, sickening thunk. Suddenly she was on the ground. Ouch... She thought. What... was that?

"You killed em!"

"I-I didn't mean to!"

"What do we do?"

"Ew! There's blood!"

Killed...? Who...?

She sat up slowly, rubbing her cheek, which had grazed the concrete. The purple and red cars had stopped. Their headlights just barely showed a figure lying on the street. No... Her uncle had seen the car coming. He had pushed her out of the way. The one dead was him.

"UNCLE!" She screeched.

The teens turned toward her voice.


She stared in horror, unable to answer. Uncle... this is happening to me... Tears flowed freely down her face, but Clarisse couldn't feel them.

A girl slapped the driver. "Asshole! You ran over the dweeb's uncle!"

Suddenly a blur ran down the street. A police car. Its sirens seemed far away to Clarisse. The teens scrambled back into the cars and roared away like two rockets.

"Ugh. Kids these days."

"Tell me about it."

A policeman poked her uncle with this foot like he was roadkill. One policeman's eyes traveled around and fixed on something in the road. Her uncle's book. It had flown out of his coat when the car had hit him.

Clarisse urged her legs to move. They didn't seem to hear her. They lay in the grass, useless and skinned up from the fall. The fall that had saved her life, but taken someone else's.

One policeman said something and pointed at her. She snapped into motion, scrambling to get up. She slipped and fell and got back up. She had only taken two steps when a strong hand grabbed her from behind. She kicked and scratched, trying to get free. She tried to scream for help, but nothing came out. Then the world went black.

Neighbors, namely a Mildred Montag that was chatting with the "relatives" at the time, would only hear a thunk, a scream, and police sirens. They would wonder what the chaos was about, but be too busy with the family on their walls to go outside. They might hear a mother scream Clarisse's name. Their mind might put two and two together. A car crash, and the girl was gone the next day. Poor girl, they would think. Oh well. People are killed everyday. No use worrying about it.

Clarisse, meanwhile, was being driven to where all those crazy bookworms are taken. All the misfits, the ones who thought that books actually meant something, were dumped at the insane asylum.

(A/N- That was unexpectedly dark O_O... can't believe I just wrote that... I wrote it because I just finished the book (we're reading it in school) and I was bored. So instead of working on the three or four other ffs I have going, I decided to make a new one. Yay -_-... Anyway, review please, and stay tuned for another chapter! See ya ^^ Thanks for reading!)