Chapter One

Jess's POV

I sit on the front steps, sketching in my book. The disappointment still running through my veins. Miss Edmunds invited me (ME!) to go to the museum with her, but of course my parents had to say no, I had too many chores. Well, the chores are done now, so I'm left sitting on the porch, doodling in my sketchbook.

"Hey Jess!" a voice shouts, and I look up to see Leslie running towards me, her short blonde hair whipping around her face.

"Hey Les." I say, a huge grin breaking across my face.

"Wanna go?" she asks, referring to Teribithia.

"Yeah, race ya!" I say, dropping my sketchbook and taking off after her, my earlier sadness quickly forgotten.

We hurtle through the forest, but she beats me to the creek, snagging the rope and backing up to prepare for takeoff.

"Wow, the water's really gotten high." She says, then a mischievous grin lights up her face. "Guess I'll just have to swing higher!"

She breaks into a run, launching herself off the shore and over the river. A giggle escapes her lips, but is quickly cut off by a loud CRACK and the rope breaks, sending her tumbling into the water.

"Leslie!" I scream, my voice full of fear and panic as I launch myself into the creek after her. There's blood on a sharp rock and the water is turning red.