Chapter 1


It was the worst day ever, and that was saying something for Dory. She had gotten into trouble at school in an attempt to get out of going to the dance this evening and still hadn't succeeded. It was ridiculous. Her aunt was still going to stuff her in a stupid puffy dress and send her. All she wanted to do was sit at home and read a book. Why was that such a crime?

She kicked through her aunts garden gate in the late afternoon heat and headed up onto the porch of the old country house dragging her feet. Her aunt met her inside the screen door.

"Dory, this has to stop. You have got to go out and do something other than sit at home on a Friday night.. Prom is a high school wright of passage. Why are you so against going? You will have Jack and Ben and Josh there with you. It can't be all that bad." Dory let out a loud, exasperated sigh.

"I can't dance, and I don't want to go. It's just an excuse for bottle blonde cheerleaders and their football player boyfriends to practically have sex on the dance floor. Excuse me if I don't wanna watch my classmates conduct their own orgy" she retorted.

"Dory!" her aunt reproached her.

"What it's true! They swap saliva in the halls now, what makes you think they won't do that? Can't I just sit at home on the couch with my book?" she whined.

"You're going. End of discussion." Her aunt told her.

"AUHG!" Dory yelled before, pushing past her aunt, into the house and stomping up the stairs to her room. Her little, white, mutt, Radar, rushed to greet her bouncing up and down excitedly at seeing her, his large ears standing at attention. Dory spotted the light blue, puffy dress hung on her closet door. With another sigh , she fell across the bed in defeat. It had bits of tulle poking out from under it. Puffy indeed. Radar nuzzled her hand begging for attention. She pet him and played with him, finally scooping him up into a hug and smothering him with kisses. He wouldn't have made her go to a stupid prom.

Dory had a plain bedroom with a simple patchwork quilt on an old fashioned, brass bed, flowered wallpaper adorned the walls and lace curtains fluttered in the afternoon breeze. She had a couple of bookshelves crammed with novels a large mirror over a vanity and a computer on the desk in the corner. It wasn't much but it had been her haven for the last 2 years. She had originally come from one of the larger cities of Kansas, but had moved out here with her aunt the summer of freshman year. Now she was a senior at the local high school. Classes hadn't changed, and neither did the student body.

Dory could hear her aunt yelling from down stairs to get ready. With another sigh, she drug herself off the bed and got into the shower. After a quick rinse off she put her hair up in a towel and after yanking her underwear out of Radars mouth and finding a new pair she pulled on the dress . Her aunt might could make her go but she was going on her own terms, Dory thought as she pulled a pair of gym shorts on under the dress. It was knee length with a black sash that tied in a bow at her waist and black tulle

poked out underneath it. She slipped on her black flats and loosely braided her brown hair into a side twist. The straps kept sliding off of her shoulders.

"Hell at least it's not pink" She muttered to herself looking into her mirror. She hated dresses. Petting Radar on the head she grabbed the little beaded bag that went with the dress and headed down the stairs to meet her aunts approval.

"See, it's not that bad," her aunt got up off the floral couch and headed towards her from the living room.

"Can I please stay home?" Dory begged again.

"No, end of discussion. Most kids beg to go out on a Friday night? I don't understand why you are so against going out."

"It's just not my scene. I would rather go to chill in the barn or read a book in bed." Dory said.

"Well you need to go out and have some fun,"

"That is fun, Aunt Em!" Dory tried to explain. Her aunt laughed at her and grabbed her own purse.

"Come on, kid. I'll drive you to your doom," She said laughing. Dory rolled her eyes, but followed her aunt out to the old ford truck and climbed in. The ride to the school wasn't long and Dory usually walked home on nice days, like today. It wasn't but a 20 minute walk at a leisurely pace. They were there within 5 minutes. Dory could hear the pounding music coming from the gym on the curb. The school had been decked out with flowers and balloons everywhere. It was enough to make her feel sick.

"Try to have a good time. I know it's not your ideal scene but it will be fun if you give it a chance." Her aunt told her.

Dory just rolled her eyes and climbed out of the truck her stomach quivering slightly. She hated big crowds, loud music and annoying teenagers. And that's all that was here. She slipped through the double doors and into the schools lobby that led into the cafeteria. There was a long buffet style table set up with round tables scattered through out the room with LED candles on them and glittering stars. More hung from the ceilings along with balloons. Flashing lights could be seen through the door to the gym where the student body was busy grinding on one another. Again, she felt betrayed by her aunt to be forced here. She spotted her 3 best friends standing just inside the door and made her way to them and shouting a greeting. Jack looked like he was about to have a seizure.

"Wow! You look great Dory! Who knew?" Jack shouted at her over the noise of the music.

"You know I hate this crap!" she shouted back. It was hot in there. All the students made the temperature soar. She could already feel sweat trickling down her back. Thankfully in the next moment a slower song came on and the constant loud beat toned down. Jack, Ben and josh all stood around looking as awkward as Dory felt. Josh had recently been dumped by his girlfriend and wasn't feeling very comfortable at all seeing her dancing with another guy, and Ben. Poor Ben was more like a robot than anything. He didn't do big crowds either. Jack was brimming with excitement though. He was a geek at best and wanted so bad to be a part of the in crowd and just be accepted. They had all been friends since Dory had first arrived out here. She hadn't gotten along with anyone else. It had started with Jack asking her out, and her turning him down. She had decided to be his friend though. He was sweet and loveable and if not a little accident prone.

"You wanna dance, Dory? Just a slow dance. You don't even have to do anything, " He said to her in a more normal tone. Dory looked at his earnest face in the flashing lights and took pity on him.

"All right one dance, And then I'm done!" She told him. He pulled her onto the floor and they swayed in time to Seether's song Broken. It wasn't as uncomfortable as Dory would have liked it to be. It was kind of nice. Which kind of ruined her excuse to end it. Another couple shoved past them knocking her into her friend. He was about the same height as her and nearly stumbled under their combined weight. He caught her, wrapping his arms a little tighter around her waist to steady her.

"Sorry," she told him.

"Don't be," Dory smiled at him and rested her head on his shoulder for the rest of the song. It was indeed a very nice moment and she was sad to see it end. Just as the next fast song was picking up the music stopped and the principal got on the mike.

"Everyone, I apologize but it appears there has been a tornado spotted in this area. I'm going to have to ask you all to move calmly into the hallway adjacent the office."

Dory felt her stomach squelch down. Tornadoes were deadly out here, and her aunt was home alone. She let go of Jacks hand and started with the rest of the crowd to the doors, but instead of heading for the hall she ran for the double doors leading outside. She heard Jack, Ben and Josh shout for her to come back but she kept running. Outside she could tell the wind had definitely picked up. In the opposite direction of her house she could see a funnel forming. She ran for home. If she was fast enough she could beat the storm, and get her aunt and herself into the cellar. Within 15 minutes she could see the house. The wind was roaring in her ears and nearly knocked her over a half a dozen times. The closer she got the worse the storm became. No lights were on in the house and the screen door was swinging wildly in the wind. The huge oak tree in the yard was nearly bent parallel in the wind. She felt something scratch her legs and looked down to see her dog Radar clawing trying to catch her attention. She reached down and scooped him up barely missing being struck in the head by a wayward branch. She struggle to get the old garden gate open and up the porch steps and into the house. The screen door flew off the hinges and into the storm as she tried to get the main door open . She finally succeeded getting in and slamming it shut. She raced through the dark house shouting for her Aunt. She fell going up the stairs and banged her knee but continued on. Her aunt wasn't in her room. Radar was crying and shaking, terrified of the loud winds.

Dory had just checked her own room and was getting ready to head down to the cellar herself when the wind knocked her own window out and into her knocking her unconscious. She fell across the bed and Radar sat next to her whining and crying . The place spun back and forth her furniture moving around and crashing into one another. It finally all ended with a loud crash. The world stopped spinning and Dory slowly came too.